The Kent Work Experience Bursary gives an opportunity to students to think about work experience in a different way. The world is the smallest its even been thanks to how easy and accessible traveling has become. Nevertheless, flight costs to go abroad still place a heavy burden on students; therefore, receiving a bursary to aid with the costs incurred is a great advantage for students seeking to have a different internship experience from the ones offered at home.
Finding an internship abroad is an exciting process because you find what seems like endless opportunities. In the field of conservation, the Tropics are one of the most interesting and thrilling places to work because of their abundant and diverse levels of biodiversity (over 50% of Earth’s species are found in tropical rainforests alone!). The experience that I gained doing proper field-work research in Malaysia cannot be compared to any other work I’ve done; it gave me a new insight on future careers and in what direction to guide my professional life.
I spent 10 weeks of my summer on Lang Tengah, a 2 km2 island off the coast of Terengganu, in Malaysia. I interned at a small organisation called Lang Tengah Turtle Watch (LTTW) which works to protect sea turtles nesting on the island. There are 7 species of sea turtles, 3 of which can be found in Terengganu. Unfortunately, due to unsustainable fishing practices, turtle egg consumption and detrimental human activities, one of the species is virtually extinct (the Leatherback), and another, the Hawksbill, is on the brink of extinction. LTTW receives volunteers from all around the world each week, and one of my duties on the project’s eco-friendly camp-site was to educate the volunteers on sea turtle ecology, as well as shark ecology, coral ecology and marine pollution.