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September 27, 2015
Life as a Galakiwi Intern in the Galapagos Islands

Galakiwi hires interns each year to join us in the Galapagos Islands! If you are curious to know what it is like to do an internship in the Galapagos, read this great post from Claudia Ash, one of our (great!) former interns.

Enjoying some Beach Time after a Snorkel Trip near San Cristobal Island

Enjoying some Beach Time after a Snorkel Trip near San Cristobal Island

It’s been just over 9 months since I first got it in my head to spend a summer interning in the Galapagos Islands. I had a friend, Sam, who had spent an amazing three months here and thankfully kept encouraging me to look into doing the same program. Since the first time I seriously looked into it I knew I had to at least try to get this internship. I applied during the holidays and interviewed the last week of January. After a few weeks had passed I received an email with more details and it became so real that I might get to come that I freaked out a little and tried to pull out. Luckily for me a very patient and persistent woman took time to call me and talk me through it and for some reason still wanted me. Then I began the actual process of paperwork, purchasing an international ticket, and gearing up for my three months in paradise. Sam became an invaluable resource for me and prepared for me the long and hard, yet rewarding, hours I would be putting in with groups and office upkeep. She told me of all the exciting places I would get to visit and the people I needed to meet. No amount of talking with someone or online research could have prepared me for how much I would learn and grow in Galapagos.

Helping a Galakiwi Group hike along Sierra Negra Volcano

Helping a Galakiwi Group hike along Sierra Negra Volcano

No day was like any other during my summer, despite whether I had done the activity eight times already. I realized in the airport before I even arrived in Galapagos that I should divide the amount of Spanish I thought I knew into about 10 and I still probably didn’t know that much. I’m thankful for those who had patience with me early on and took the time to help me learn while still giving me enough room to figure it out for myself. While I had friends doing paperwork in offices and fetching coffee to get real industry experience” I was learning time management, problem solving, people skills, and a new language while swimming with Sharks at Kicker Rock, hiking Volcan Sierra Negra, and island hopping, While every day wasn’t all smiles and easy going the days where passengers got stuck in the mainland, another when we had to rush through the airport to stall a flight so passengers wouldn’t get left, or the night I stayed in the hospital until 1 am with a passenger and my boss all taught me valuable life skills that I couldn’t learn in a class room at my university.

A group hike on Floreana Island in the Galapagos

A group hike on Floreana Island in the Galapagos

Interning abroad has taught me a great deal and given me real experience with the theories and information I’ve learned during my past three years of school. I’m leaving with a small grasp on how communicating interculturally actually works and a greater desire than ever before to continue my travels for several years before even considering settling down somewhere. While I could recount the activities I did each day and the people I met I know that I will never be able to fully explain to another person how incredible my time here was. I can only hope that from my experience I can help find other to spend a summer interning abroad and discovering another piece of the world to love while doing it.

Think you have what it takes to be our next intern in the Galapagos Islands? Then get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

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