Joining a conservation or study project abroad can provide useful experience but it pays to research the organisation and programme before you commit, particularly as costs can be high. Reputable organisations are clear about the goals of each project, where your money will be spent and how your work benefits wildlife, habitats or communities. One recommended outfit is the Earthwatch Institute ( earthwatch.org), which runs wildlife and ecosystem research and conservation expeditions lasting for as little as a week all over the globe. GVI ( www.gvi.co.
uk) has conservation projects in Greece, Thailand and Costa Rica you can join for between two and 24 weeks. Trips with Biosphere Expeditions ( www.biosphereexpeditions.org) range from seven to 13 days and might involve camera-trapping tigers in Sumatra or wolves in Germany. Operation Wallacea ( opwall.com) has a strong academic bent and organises expeditions in Europe and North America.
Join an international conservation project and study exotic animals in their natural habitat.