Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT THE INTERNSHIP

Important notes:

  • All interns must be 18 or older.
  • All internships begin on the first day of the first month of the internship and end on the last day of the last month of the internship, (with the exception of January internships, which begin on January 3. December internships will end January 1, with travel day being January 2).
  • Upon acceptance into the program, all interns are required to pay a $150 deposit. This deposit will be refunded upon completion of the internship.

What types of internships are available?
Internships are available in the following departments:

  • Development Services
  • Development
  • Education
  • Communications
  • Shelter

Specific responsibilities, locations, and qualifications vary by department. For more information, please check the description of the position that you are applying for.

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Where are the sanctuaries located?
Farm Sanctuary operates three shelters. Our Watkins Glen shelter is nestled in the Finger Lakes region of central New York and borders the Sugar Hill State Forest, offering ample opportunities for hiking and exploring. Our Orland, California, shelter is located an hour and a half north of Sacramento, just across the road from picturesque Black Butte Lake. Our Acton, California, shelter, located on a beautiful hacienda ranch, is just 45 minutes from the excitement of Los Angeles. Internship opportunities are available at all three shelters. Remote positions are available as well.

When can I intern at Farm Sanctuary?
Most Farm Sanctuary internships are available year-round. Positions are filled on an ongoing basis as applications are received. Summer positions fill quickly, so if you’re interested in these months, contact us well in advance. We will begin reviewing summer applications in January and filling positions shortly thereafter. Due to high demand, we encourage you to consider an internship during a non-summer month.

How long is a Farm Sanctuary internship?
The minimum time commitment required for a Farm Sanctuary internship is one month. You may apply to intern for up to three months. Applicants who can commit to two to three months are given priority.

How many days per week do interns work?
Interns volunteer full time, working 40-plus hours a week on a five-day schedule. Every intern gets two days off each week, not necessarily Saturday and Sunday. Scheduling varies by department.

Who interns at Farm Sanctuary?
A variety of people intern at Farm Sanctuary for a variety of reasons — from students looking to learn more about nonprofit work, to professionals seeking a fulfilling and unique experience, to aspiring rescuers interested in starting a sanctuary of their own one day, to people who just love animals and want to spend time helping them. We’ve had interns from all over the United States, as well as from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Some interns come to Farm Sanctuary as long-time vegans, but many of our interns are completely new to veganism and are trying it for the first time. We welcome all types of applicants, as long as they are willing to commit to a vegan lifestyle during their internship. Interns must be 18 or older.

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Do I have to be vegan to intern at Farm Sanctuary?
Out of respect for the animals and the work that Farm Sanctuary does, all staff and interns are required to be vegan while on sanctuary premises. If you’re new to veganism, don’t be intimidated! Farm Sanctuary is a great, supportive environment to try out a vegan lifestyle. Our staff is more than happy to provide tips, recipes, and meal ideas. Vegan living includes diet (no meat, dairy products, eggs, honey, or other animal byproducts), personal care items (cruelty-free and no animal byproducts), and clothing (no leather, silk, or wool).

What educational opportunities are provided?
Each week, interns meet for lunch and an educational presentation from a Farm Sanctuary staff member or visiting speaker. Topics include, but are not limited to: History of Farm Sanctuary, Basic Farm Animal Care, Vegan Nutrition, Impact of Factory Farming on the Environment, Effective Animal Advocacy, and Vegan Cooking. Interns will also gain experience from the hands-on learning of working with Farm Sanctuary staff.

APPLYING FOR AN INTERNSHIP

When should I submit my application?
Internship opportunities are offered year-round, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We recommend that you submit your application two to three months in advance of your available dates. Farm Sanctuary receives a great number of applications for summer internships. Although we do not have enough spaces to accommodate all applicants, we are very appreciative of everyone’s offer to help. In order to have the best chance of getting a summer internship, please submit your application by the beginning of January of the year you are applying for.

When will I hear whether I have been accepted for an internship?
The application process typically takes two to three months. While applications for summer internships are accepted year-round, applicants who submit their applications by January 1 will have the best chance at securing a summer intern position.. Summer applicants will be notified by early March whether or not they have been accepted.

What type of writing sample should I submit with my application? (Communications, Development, and Education applicants only)
Most of the writing assignments that interns will encounter deal with professional, mass communications writing (for our website, brochures etc.). Therefore we recommend choosing a writing sample that demonstrates your formal writing abilities.

DURING YOUR INTERNSHIP

What type of clothing do I need?
For office interns, the dress code is casual; feel free to wear jeans and sneakers. For shelter interns, comfortable clothing that can get dirty is essential, as are waterproof boots and/or shoes. Appropriate dress for shelter work varies with the shelter location and the time of year. At the Acton and Orland shelters, the summers are very hot, and the rest of the year is mild with some rain and occasional hail and snow in the winter. At the Watkins Glen shelter, the spring and fall are mild, the summer is hot, and the winter is very cold with extreme weather conditions. It is important to have good rain and winter gear if you are interning during months with adverse weather because you will be working outdoors.
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What do I eat during my internship?
Interns are responsible for buying and preparing their own food. For internships where housing is provided, weekly trips to the grocery store are offered for interns without vehicles. Typically, on-site interns will enjoy a homemade vegan meal prepared by Farm Sanctuary staff once a week. Intern housing includes a full kitchen stocked with pots and pans, utensils, and other basic kitchen equipment. All interns are required to eat vegan while on sanctuary premises, which includes intern housing.

What will my schedule be like?
All interns work five days a week and have two days off. Communications, Development, and Development Services interns typically work Monday through Friday with weekends off. Education and Shelter interns’ days off, however, may not fall on Saturday and Sunday; your flexibility is appreciated. Intern schedules and hours will vary depending on department.

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What is the housing like?
Interns working at our three shelters are provided with on-site housing. Each intern house has multiple bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom, all shared by the interns. The houses are fully furnished, and each intern has a bed, dresser, and closet space for his or her personal use during the internship. The houses are also equipped with a washer and dryer, dishes, pots and pans, a microwave, a blender, a food processor, a TV, a DVD player, cleaning supplies, and laundry soap. Interns are required to share household cleaning chores and keep community areas clean for the comfort of everyone living together. Regretfully, we cannot accommodate companion animals.

Will I learn how to medicate the animals during my internship? (Shelter interns) As an intern you may have opportunities to observe healthcare procedures, but interns are never trained to medicate or perform healthcare treatments on the animals. Each sanctuary has a staff of caregivers who perform those tasks.

Additional Questions?
For questions about our Volunteer Internship Program, please call 607-583-2225 ext. 274 or email intern@farmsanctuary.org.

To Apply
To apply for a Farm Sanctuary internship, fill out our online Internship Application or call our national office at 607-583-2225 to request one by mail.

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