Information for the Family of a Potential Intern
The MATE At-Sea Internship Program was created to help prepare students to be competitive and effective in marine technical careers upon graduation. The MATE Internship coordinator, Nandita Sarkar, works hard to place the best students in the best possible internships, and we aim to give students all the information they need to be successful. Families of interns are welcome to contact Nandita if they have questions or concerns about the program.
What is a MATE Internship?
Students work for one to ten weeks aboard UNOLS and USCG research vessels. Students who have never been out to sea or who are new to this field generally get shorter internships, while more experienced students are placed on the longer internships. Students may choose the amount of time they wish to work on the ship, also.
What do they need to take with them?
There is a suggested packing list on the MATE Website.
Where will my student travel?
The internships occur all over the world: Florida, California, Hawaii, Alaska, Samoa, Europe, etc. All intern travel to and from the ship is covered by the MATE Center, and the intern lives and is fed aboard the vessel for the duration of the internship. In addition, the students receive a stipend of $500/week.
How much money will my student need?
All travel to and from the internship is paid for by the MATE Center. In addition, interns receive a $500/week stipend. However, the stipend is not paid until after the internship and final paperwork are completed. Students should plan to bring spending money and a credit card in case of emergencies.
Will I need to purchase travel or additional health insurance for my student to participate?
Interns are required to enroll in a cooperative work experience or independent research course at Monterey Peninsula College (where the MATE Center is located) or at their own college. Enrolling in the course ensures that the college insurance covers them for the duration of the internship.
Will I be able to talk with my student while they are away?
Most ships have email capability, but most internships are at sea and students will not have access to telephones.
Where will they sleep and eat?
Students live and eat on the ship for the duration of the internship. They generally share a room with one or two other people on the ship of the same gender as themselves and share a bathroom. The food is usually pretty good on ships, and there is always a cook or two preparing hot meals.
Will they be safe?
Life at sea is challenging, but everyone makes safety their top priority. All people working on the ship are required to wear life jackets and hard hats when on the deck of the ship, and no one is ever out on the deck alone when the weather is rough. The people who work on the ship and the MATE Center do everything possible to make sure everyone is safe, and we have never had anyone seriously hurt while on an internship.
Who will take care of my child at sea?
Students must be over 18 to participate in the internship, so they are expected to be responsible adults at all times. However, they are provided with a mentor on the ship who helps them adjust to life at sea, answers their questions, and guides them in their work. The student knows the name and contact information of their mentor prior to going to sea, and they are expected to contact them ahead of time to get comfortable with them.
Who should I contact in the case of an emergency?
Students are given Nandita’s (the Internship Coordinator) cell phone number before going to sea, and they can call at any time if there is an emergency during the internship. In addition, families of interns are welcome to contact Nandita via phone or email if they are concerned or need to reach their student urgently.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please email Nandita Sarkar, MATE Internship Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.