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The Science Exchange Sea Turtle Internship Program

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Our mission is to train the next generation to become scientifically literate, international team players through our hands-on field research internships.

Interns go to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and other Latin American sites. They work at a sea turtle research center on the beach or in a lab, collect data in the field for their research project, and immerse themselves in the local culture!

Future scientists live and work side-by-side with local researchers and fishermen. Interns can earn 3 to 9 units of university credit.

Our Program's Difference:

  • Conduct Your Own Research Project
  • Intense Cultural Immersion
  • Partial Scholarships

We offer inclusive packages that fit your schedule, budget, and language abilities, with the opportunity to publish your work at professional conferences. For non-U.S. students, no 1-20 visa needed!

Check out The Science Exchange Application here


Frequently Asked Questions

What does The Science Exchange have that other programs don’t?

Few internship abroad programs are focused on the sciences, and still fewer offer you hands-on individualized research opportunities. We offer up to 9 units of college credit. Most programs offer set course dates, with group classroom experiences, where you may speak English with your classmates. In contrast, we offer you real-world settings, on the beaches, in the forests, on boats, in laboratories, where you will work side by side with your mentor. Many students complain about the lack of “real immersion” in other study abroad programs. You will be completely immersed in the native language through daily activities - at your home, bank, stores, restaurants, and bars.

Why should I pay to work?

Unfortunately, you cannot earn money in another country without the proper work visas. Your payment goes towards college credit, travel and living expenses, as well as supporting several non-profit sea turtle organizations. You will likely save money compared to paying room and board in the U.S., while at the same time taking courses that move you towards graduation! You also cannot collect data on endangered species without the proper government permits, which we organize for you.

Why should I go through The Science Exchange instead of my host university?

We encourage you to shop around for internship packages that are as competitively priced as ours. San Diego State University is one of the most affordable universities in the U.S. We will write your research plan and syllabus to meet the requirements of your host university if you choose to pay tuition there.

Is it safe to live abroad?

Your safety is our topmost concern. We place you if safe environments that The Science Exchange has previously screened. In general, because of the strong communities in small Latin American towns, many foreigners, including women, feel very safe. The host country supervisor is responsible for keeping the interns safe and healthy in the field. The Science Exchange staff are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for students, mentors, and families to answer questions or concerns.

Make a Donation

You will receive a receipt for your tax-deductible gift. The Science Exchange is a project of The Ocean Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 90% of each donation goes directly to the project to help turtles and students.

To save us the credit card fees in the form below we also invite you to mail a check to: “The Science Exchange-The Ocean Foundation” and address it to: 1320 19th St, NW 5th Floor Washington, DC 20036

Donate here

Thank you for helping make a difference for the oceans and the next generation of scientific leaders!

Last updated: July 10, 2019 · Charity ID: 318

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Join an important multi-year multi-national research project on climate change impacts on nesting turtles on the beaches of Mexico this fall.

New Turtle Species Discovered in Puerto Vallarta

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The fresh-water reptile’s natural habitat consists of ecosystems such as streams and marshlands, which tend to be modified as urbanization expands.

Shellabrating World Turtle Day With Marriott Vallarta Resort & Spa

Global Animal

Located between Banderas Bay and the Sierra Madre Mountains, Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa makes it easy for travelers to access to once-in-a-lifetime animal encounters. From June to December, guests can participate in the resort’s turtle protection program and have the opportunity to release newly hatched turtles into the ocean.

We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

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2019 • m3 • this site is part of a charitable conspiracy