From the lab to the coral reefs: Marie's life-changing internship experience in Bali as a marine biologist
CATEGORY: Internship abroad - Marine Biology
READING TIME: 4 minutes
Indonesia is an absolute paradise for marine biologists. The biodiversity on land and in the water here is absolutely unique. In her experience report, budding marine biologist Marie talks about her unforgettable internship abroad with StudentsGoAbroad in Bali, Indonesia.
Since making the decision to become a marine biologist, I have consistently strived to broaden my professional horizons and gather significant experiences. Particularly in diving and working in marine habitats, I see the opportunity to deepen my passion while simultaneously supporting your work in restoring damaged coral reefs. This internship will not only impart essential skills but also provide valuable experiences for my further studies and future career.
The path to my internship in Bali
When I chose to leave my home country and accept the internship program with Studentsgoabroad, little did I know that it would lead to a life-changing experience and a profound love for the captivating island of Bali. As a Biology student in my fourth semester at the University of Bayreuth, my goal was to step out of the confined space of the laboratory and explore the practical world of marine biology.
My journey commenced on October 3, 2022, as I joined a respected nature conservation and wildlife organization in North Bali for a 12-week diving volunteering program. The mix of excitement and nervousness accompanied me as I embarked on my first volunteering program abroad, leaving Europe behind for the first time. During a Skype interview before my arrival, I revealed that the decision to take on this diving project came from my professor, igniting my passion for marine biology and the wonders of the ocean.
My internship location: Bali's breathtaking underwater world
Upon my arrival in Bali, I was warmly welcomed by the on-site team. While in Pemuteran, I also participated in the annual festival in Pemuteran Bay, where I assisted the organization. The festival aims to promote marine conservation and raise awareness about the importance of preserving coral reefs and marine biodiversity in Pemuteran Bay. My days were filled with preparing equipment and gas cylinders for the 30 divers who would participate in the project. The festive atmosphere added a delightful touch to my experience, with 150 Balinese dancers and cultural events unfolding before my eyes.
The real adventure began when I, along with 40 other divers, ventured into the ocean to conduct reef gardening. Side by side with local experts, we planted baby corals and provided them with essential nutrients using specially designed plastic bottles. I felt a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment as I actively contributed to restoring damaged coral reefs and supporting the conservation of the ocean's delicate ecosystem.
A life-changing decision
Outside my internship, I immersed myself in the vibrant Balinese culture and forged friendships with locals. I fully invested myself in the island's beauty, relishing the breathtaking landscapes and diverse surroundings. Bali's charm had a magnetic effect on me, and as my internship ended, I couldn't bear to leave.
With my goal of becoming a marine biologist, I decided to stay in Bali for an additional year to support the organization's initiative further. I put my life in Germany on hold and pursued my dreams and passion for the ocean wholeheartedly. By then, I had become an integral part of the community, working tirelessly to protect marine life and make a positive impact on nature. My dedication and enthusiasm impressed everyone at Studentsgoabroad. My ability to work in a team, sense of responsibility, and flexibility made me one of the most valued interns they had encountered.
The opportunity to be involved in marine habitats, dive alongside experts, and contribute to nature conservation only strengthened my determination to become a marine biologist. This internship has laid a solid foundation for my future studies and career. My experience is a testament to the power of following one's passion and stepping out of the comfort zone. My journey from a student in Germany to a dedicated advocate for marine conservation in Bali illustrates how a single decision can lead to a life-transforming adventure. Bali had cast its magic on me, and in return, I had become a guardian of its marine treasures, leaving an indelible mark on the island and in the hearts of the people I touched.
Written by Marie from Germany (Intern in Bali, Indonesia with StudentsGoAbroad)