Global Prep — 2018
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
Help defend endangered species while enjoying the picturesque beaches of the Mediterranean. This is your chance to challenge yourself and dedicate your summer to making a difference in the world. You’ll camp near the beach—within walking distance of the waves and wildlife—as you protect, study, and educate the community about loggerhead turtles. During your free time, you can venture into nearby villages, visit ancient ruins, and learn about Greek culture from local experts. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch proudly as the tiny hatchlings make their way across the sand and into the sea.
Your journey will begin in New York City, where you’ll meet the other members of your group. Then you’ll travel together with your group leader to Athens. You’ll be welcomed at the airport by local staff and volunteers, and then taken to an orientation where you’ll get to know everyone and learn about the details of your program. During your first few days, you’ll likely have the chance to enjoy some delicious Greek food like souvlaki (meat grilled on a skewer) and moussaka (eggplant and ground beef or lamb with white sauce).
You’ll work first-hand with one of the most endangered species of the Mediterranean, the loggerhead turtle. You and your group will be in charge of helping guard the turtle’s nesting habitat from ocean water and predators. Different jobs may include beach patrol, bamboo harvesting (used to defend the nests), collecting data, or educating the public about wildlife protection. You’ll also conduct twice daily surveys of nesting habits and report your findings to the local community. Once you’ve seen the eggs turn to hatchlings and complete their journey to the water, you can congratulate yourself on making an important contribution to environmental conservation.
During your time in Greece, you’ll live with a group of international volunteers committed to making an impact on the world. This is a great opportunity to work closely with them and learn from their experiences. Each morning you’ll wake up near the beach, just a short walk from where you’ll be volunteering. Your accommodations will be rustic, but you can expect to find a local market and restaurant close by.
In addition to your volunteer work, you’ll have time to explore the white sand beaches of Giannitsochri, located on the Ionian Sea. On the weekend, you can engage in cultural activities like touring ancient ruins and admiring the local architecture. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit neighboring towns and villages to meet locals and soak in Greek culture.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.