Internship Programs

Become a Sea Life Park Intern

Sea Life Park Hawai'i offers several types of un-paid internship opportunities near Honolulu, including: Marine Mammal Care & Training, Seabird Care & Rehabilitation, Veterinary Technician, and Educator Experiences. Many interns receive course credit for their internships. We will be happy to work with your college or university to develop a program tied to your academic goals.

Our internships are ideal for students who love marine animals and want hands–on experience working with them.


Sea Life Park’s Marine Animal Training Internship is designed to be a career learning experience. Interns will gain firsthand experience in data collections, sanitation procedures, food preparation, and marine animal husbandry. Where appropriate, an intern may take part in interactions with cetaceans, pinnipeds, and various other types of animals within the park. Interns will work within the departments to gain in-depth knowledge of animal training through a unique phase training program. This allows the individual to familiarize themselves with the training techniques and terminology used at Sea Life Park Hawaii.

Professional development activities the intern will participate in include daily staff meetings, weekly in-house training seminars, evaluations, and resume building training. Interns may have the ability to complete an environmental enrichment device as present their project at the end of the internship. All of the animal related internships require intern to participate in food preparation for the animals of the park-applicant must be comfortable working with frozen fish. Intern must also dedicate a minimum of 40 hours per week, attend required weekly seminars, training courses and fish preparation as well as complete a three-phase training program.

Experiences

Aloha Experience

These interns will get to work primarily with dolphins. Aloha Interns have the opportunity to assist with dolphin training, husbandry, interactive programs, and observe some of our younger dolphins learning new behaviors. If your main focus is learning all about dolphins and guest interactions, this is the internship for you!

Lagoon Experience

Dolphin Lagoon interns will work with dolphins involved in our shows, habitats, and interactive programs. Dolphin Lagoon interns will also be exposed to sea lion and penguin training and husbandry. These interns get to assist in training, husbandry, and interactive sessions with dolphins, as well as learn basic showmanship and show production skills during the daily Sea Life Park Hawai'i Dolphin Lagoon Show. Interns also assist in the daily training, care, and educational presentations with our sea lions and penguins.

Hawaiian Experience

Interns in the Hawaiian Experience get to assist with husbandry, training, and shows involving our dolphins, sea lions, and penguins. Interns may also be exposed to basic husbandry of our monk seal, and help trainers during our sea lion interactive program. If you are interested in shows and have a love for sea lions, this is the internship for you!

Educator Experience

These interns will work with our in-house and outreach education programs. In our classroom, interns have the opportunity to assist with program instruction and curriculum development at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Interns also participate in park activities, the development of educational and interactive displays, and community programs. These interns will be exposed to all areas of Sea Life Park Hawaii; and will leave with a well-rounded knowledge of not only how the facility operates every day, but also with an extensive knowledge of conserving for our marine ecosystems!

Veterinary Technician Experience

Interns will work with a large variety of marine mammals, as well as penguins, sea turtles, reef fish, and seabirds. In our Veterinary Department, interns assist our staff with the husbandry and treatment of all animals residing at Sea Life Park Hawaii. Interns also help with lab procedures, sample processing, and record keeping.

Wings Experience

Interns work with a large variety of healthy and rehabilitating seabirds. At our Seabird Sanctuary, interns assist in the husbandry and treatment of non-releasable species of seabirds. At our Seabird Rehabilitation Center, interns help our veterinary staff with seabird medical treatments, husbandry, and reintroduction into the wild.

Internship Program Candidate Requirements

Candidates must:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Be enrolled in or recently graduated from a University or College.
  3. Commit to the full internship date period.
  4. Be able to financially support themselves (internships are un-paid, but lunches are included daily).
  5. Have strong swimming skills and physically able to work in in-water interactive programs.
  6. Be comfortable with public speaking.
  7. Be able to lift 50lbs.
  8. Be available for a phone interview.

Accepted applicants must:

  1. Be comfortable handling dead fish.
  2. Attend all required seminars and training courses.
  3. Commit to a minimum of 40 hours per week (including nights and weekends).
  4. International Applicants must be able to obtain the correct Visa in time for the start of the program. Sea Life Park is NOT a sponsor. It is the responsibility of the applicant to find a sponsor.
Application Submissions

Application packets must include:

  1. Application
  2. Two Letters of recommendation
  3. College transcript(s) – an unofficial copy from the school is fine
  4. Statement of interest
  5. CV or resume

Statement of interest

Please include a 1–2 page typed statement of interest that explains your reasons for applying, your background information, your interests, and your academic and field related experiences. Also describe your goals and objectives in obtaining a Sea Life Park Hawaii internship, and why you are the best candidate for the position.

Submission Instructions

To apply for a Sea Life Park Hawai'i Internship Program, download and complete the application below, attach all required materials, and mail to the address below or to:

slpeducation@sealifeparkhawaii.com .

Download Internship Application


Education Supervisor
Sea Life Park Hawai'i
41-202 Kalanianaole Highway #7
Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795

**Be sure to save a copy of your application. Your application will not be processed unless your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statement of interest are included.
***Due to the high number of applicants, if selected, you may not be assigned to your top internship choice.

Internship Availability Dates

Period: Spring 2019

Dates: January 8, 2019-May 24, 2019
Application Deadline: September 14, 2018


Period: Summer 2019

Dates: May 14-August 16, 2019
Application Deadline: February 15, 2019


Period: Fall 2019

Dates: August 6, 2019-January 10, 2020
Application Deadline: May 3, 2019


Internship Acceptances

Applicants will be notified through email of their acceptance into the program within two weeks after the application deadline. The selection process is completed by scoring all components of your application (application, letters of recommendation, transcripts, statement of interest, and resume) on a matrix. Those applicants with the highest combined scores will be selected.

Please note that we typically receive more than triple the number of applications for the summer period, so chances of being accepted are greater in the fall and spring sessions.

Important Information

Housing is not included and interns must cover their own living expenses. If accepted, the contact information of all new incoming interns, and that of the current interns, will be distributed so that the new interns may contact one another to find roommates; and contact the current interns to see if they can assume their rentals. Generally with roommates, expect to pay between $600–1000 per month.

One free lunch will be provided from our restaurant for the interns on each scheduled day.

Food preparation for our animals is a component of this internship and all animal care and vet tech interns are required to participate. Interns need to be able to lift 50lbs.

Medical Insurance is not provided by Sea Life Park Hawai'i. Should any incidence occur you will be responsible for payment or insurance coverage.

Internship FAQ

Do I need experience?
Certain internships require you to have basic knowledge of the subjects you will be learning about; however although previous experience is not required to participate in our internship programs, having previous experience will contribute to a higher score.

Who should apply?
Anyone wishing to start a career in Animal Training, Education, or Veterinary Practice should apply. Each area, with the exception of education, will have a chance to take part in food and diet preparation in addition to working in their areas. Please keep in mind that food preparation is a vital role in working with animals, so be prepared to work with frozen or thawed fish. All applicants must meet the minimum requirements stated on the website.

Does it cost anything to be an intern or will I get paid?
The internship is unpaid. There is no program fee, but you will be expected to provide your own housing, food, and transportation.

How many hours a week am I expected to be at Sea Life Park Hawai'i?
You will be expected to be in your area 5 days a week, which is about 40 hours a week. Interns must be able to meet the time requirements for the entire length of the internship. If you need to leave early due to school, you must get approval prior to the start date of the internship.

Can I get school credit?
If you wish to get academic credit, we will work with your college or university to assist you with this process.

How do I get around?
Interns are responsible for acquiring their own transportation. Many interns choose to use the public transportation system called "The Bus" to get around. Sea Life Park Hawai'i is in the town of Waimanalo.

Below are the approximate travel times from various locations on The Bus:

Waimanalo: 15-25 minutes
Kailua: 30-45 minutes
Downtown Honolulu: 45-90 minutes (depending on transfer)
Waikiki: 45-60 minutes
Hawai'i Kai: 15-20 minutes

Routes 22, 23, and 57 service Sea Life Park. Please be aware that fish prep starts at 6:00 am and that some bus routes from certain locations don't run so early. Schedules for The Bus can be found at www.thebus.org. Interns that live in Waimanalo may be able to reach the park by bike or moped. As there are no bicycle lanes, travelling this way may be risky. Some interns decide to buy a car together for transportation.

What will the temperature be like in Hawai'i?
On O’ahu, the average temperature in the summer ranges from around 70 degrees Fahrenheit to the mid to upper 80’s. Temperatures are a bit lower in the winter with highs in the 70’s and lows around the mid 60’s. It can be very humid and rain very hard at times. If you are coming for the fall or spring intern session, please note that it rains more often in the winter months.

How much does it cost to live in Hawai'i?

Housing
Housing expenses are quite variable depending on the individual preferences. Interns frequently share housing so the cost is approximately $600-$1000 per month.

Food Costs
Interns are responsible for their own food. You will receive one meal for each of your scheduled days, in which you will be at the park for your internship. Please be aware that food costs in Hawai'i are considerably higher than you may be used to.

Health Insurance
Sea Life Park Hawai'i does not provide health insurance for interns. Please look into obtaining insurance during your internship session. Try to get or stay on your parent’s policy, get a travel plan through your current provider, or sign up for an individual plan in Hawai'i.