Marine Science Jobs Abroad

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A Guide to Marine Science Jobs Abroad

To get the most out of your marine science job, why not go abroad? After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea! Working abroad in marine science will give you a unique opportunity to collaborate with other scientists in your field and learn about new research methods, from collecting live samples to mapping the ocean floor, putting you a cut above the rest. Not to mention, you will broaden your horizons with new cultural experiences outside of the water. Although, nothing can quite beat getting out there in the big blue ocean and working with marine life in its natural habitat!

Why Work Abroad in Marine Science

With the threat of global warming and rapid changes occurring in the world's oceans, scientists will need to work very closely with other scientists in an international effort to turn the tide. Not only will you gain unique perspectives while working abroad in marine science alongside a diverse group of people, but marine environments themselves vary greatly from coast to coast. From the temperate waters of the Caribbean sea to the salty Mediterranean, it's a great big world out there and over 70 percent of it is covered by water!

Each ocean biome is teeming with distinctive marine life, and some sea animals even migrate across the ocean with the changing currents and tides. Learning about the complexities of marine life in a classroom, textbook, or even in an aquarium, is one thing, but getting real on-the -job experience scuba diving along the Great Barrier Reef is a whole other experience! To top it all off, you will have the opportunity to network with other professionals in your field who can set you on the right course. And with international work experience on your resume, it should be smooth sailing in your marine science future!


If you are looking to expand your horizons by working abroad in marine science, your options may seem as expansive as the sea itself. Do not fret, there are plenty of tools (besides a compass) that can help point you in the right direction!

Spain offers great diversity for marine biologists, especially since it is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the South and the Atlantic Ocean to the North. You may be tempted to lounge around on the beach, but there is plenty to discover under the water! As an added bonus of marine science jobs in Spain, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to brush up on your Spanish with the locals when you come up for air or simply enjoy some tapas!

In the Caribbean Sea, there are extensive coral reefs that flourish in the warm waters, making the Bahamas a mecca for scuba divers and pirate treasure hunters alike! There is much more to the Bahamas than Mai Tais on the beach; under the sea you will find a colorful array of aquatic life. With so much ecotourism and conservation efforts taking place in the Bahamas, you are sure to find some great marine science job opportunities, whether you are doing valuable research to better understand a threatened species, learning techniques to foster biodiversity, or helping to build a green marine park.

If you want to cross one of the most wondrous sights on the planet off your bucket list, go to Australia! Put on your scuba gear and explore the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef on the planet and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Barrier Reef is home to an astoundingly diverse ecosystem, which is sadly in peril due to the lucrative offshore oil mining industry. A marine science job in Australia would give you a wonderful opportunity to work with fellow marine scientists in their efforts to preserve this undersea treasure. Good luck finding a great job, and Nemo and Dory while you’re at it!

Marine Science Jobs Abroad

As with any job in a scientific field, there are a wide scope of positions you may find yourself in. Maybe you want to spend most of your days on the seafloor, scuba diving with your fishy friends, or up on dry land crunching numbers in the lab. Hopefully, your marine science job abroad will provide a good balance of tasks to sharpen your skills through hands-on field work and time in the lab behind a computer screen. Variations in marine science jobs are great, depending on your preferred focus area and skillset. For example, studying algae in an estuary would require a different skill set then tracking great white shark migrations across the ocean.

No matter where you land a marine science job abroad, you could learn some invaluable skills in marine conservation by creating a green nature park. Plus, you will also learn key skills in handling a boat, scuba diving, and get real hands-on experience surveying coral reefs. Out of the water, you will have a great opportunity to work with the local community through teaching children about the necessity of conserving the plants and animals of the sea, from the tiniest plankton to a massive shark, and how we can work to protect the oceans for generations to come.

There are also marine science job placement programs that are a bit less structured, but will help you hook a great marine science job and lend you valuable support for the duration of your time abroad. They will help get you involved with fun activities to help break the ice and city tours to ease you in. These temporary marine science jobs typically last 12 months (visa permitting) and come with various other support services, which usually includes some expert resume and interview advice. Some marine science work abroad programs even assist participants with those tricky little necessities that no one wants to think about before going abroad, like mail service, setting up a bank account, medicare, and securing accommodations and visas.

Once you land a marine science job abroad, a typical 40 hour work week should be expected, but some flexibility may be required in any scientific field working with the natural world. Wildlife doesn't follow a nine to five Monday through Friday schedule. Maybe you will have a longer than average work week or stay up late to study the annual sea turtle nesting event or dolphin migration.

Benefits & Challenges

Due to the diversity of different marine ecosystems in the many coasts, reefs, and estuaries all across the globe, you are sure to encounter some remarkable underwater species, as well as challenges and different scientific approaches. You will definitely need to go with the flow and adapt to the unique skills required for any marine science job abroad.

As a marine scientist, you will also be challenged because the ocean itself is in peril. You may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders as you grapple with the massive changes occurring due to global warming and pollution, which are threatening Earth’s most vital resource. Just remember, it’s going to be all hands on deck to get us through this storm!

Wherever you happen to work abroad in marine science on this blue planet, you will be faced with a unique set of challenges. But, you’ll always be racing against the clock to make critical discoveries in a rapidly changing oceanic environment. No doubt, marine science is a highly competitive field and now more than ever needs dynamic young minds, as it seems like the scientific textbooks are being re-written day by day.

Working in marine science abroad will be a challenging and amazing opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field and develop new scientific skills, whether you’re surveying coral reefs or conducting statistical analyses in a lab. Your eyes will certainly be wide open when you spot a dazzling angelfish in its natural habitat or when you experience a whole new culture up on dry land. Not to mention, international work experience is just the thing to reel in future prospective employers. Sure, there may be long days, and you most certainly will get wet, but you will have no regrets when you look back on your marine science work abroad, in a foreign land and sea!

It's a great big world out there... under the sea, and there is a whole lot to explore on the surface too! A marine science job abroad will be challenging, but also rewarding as you adapt the essential skills for the field, and make new friends while you're at it. Get ready to jump out of the kiddie pool and dive right into a new cultural experience!

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A Guide To
Marine Science Jobs Abroad


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