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?
Internship opportunities vary throughout the year, but are available in a variety of departments including shelter, visitor experience, communications, and education.

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

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Where are internships available?
Farm Sanctuary internships are currently available in Watkins Glen, NY, and Los Angeles, CA. 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 Los Angeles office is located in the heart of downtown.

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?
Individuals 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 others are completely new to veganism and are trying it for the first time. We welcome all levels of vegan living experience, as long as applicants 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. Topics include, but are not limited to: Animal Agriculture & Its Impacts, An Intersectional Approach to Veganism, Strategies for Effective Animal Advocacy, and Q&A with Farm Sanctuary Staff. 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 screening process can take up to 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.

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 time of year. 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. Office interns typically work Monday through Friday with weekends off. Visitor Program 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 sanctuaries 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 their 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. No housing is available for Los Angeles office internships.

What level of internet and cell phone service is available at the Watkins Glen, NY sanctuary?
Each intern house is set up with wireless internet service; speed and strength of connection will vary depending upon how many people are using it any given time, and bandwidth may not necessarily be able to handle streaming. Cell phone service is limited, and varies depending upon your network carrier and your location on the sanctuary premises.

What do interns at the sanctuary typically do on their days off?
Every intern group is different, so how interns choose to spend their days off varies. Since the Watkins Glen sanctuary location is quite rural, your activity options will be very limited unless you plan to have a car during your internship. Interns may spend days off reading, cooking, or watching videos; we encourage interns to enjoy some quiet time at home, spend time with the animals, as well as take time to reflect on their experience. Interns with their own vehicle are also able to go off-site on their days off and explore the many offerings of the Finger Lakes region. While Watkins Glen is fairly quiet during the winter months, there are several area attractions that interns can enjoy at other times of the year such as the Watkins Glen State Park and Seneca Lake.

Will I learn how to medicate the animals during my shelter internship?
As an intern you may have opportunities to observe healthcare procedures, but interns are never trained or authorized to medicate or perform healthcare treatments on the animals. These tasks are handled by one of our staff of caregivers.

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.

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