Providing a Safe and Caring Environment for Exotic Animals


Intern Program FAQ

1. When will I know if I have been selected for the internship?

You will be contacted, either by phone or email, to let you know whether you have been selected for the position. You will usually hear from us within about two weeks after the deadline.

2. Are the dates for the internship flexible at all?

No. The dates for the internship are not flexible. We cannot allow people to come late or at different times because of training. We do not allow people to stay for shorter periods of time because it is already hard enough trying to learn so much in just three months. Please also note on the Intern Program page that the start dates listed are tentative. Your official start date will be on the first Monday of the month.

3. What kind of weather should I expect?

Texas weather is always unpredictable. The rain especially can be very unpredictable and can occur at any time. During the winter, the average temperature might be in the 50's or 60's during the day, while the night temperatures can fall down to the 30's and 40's, sometimes below freezing. Summers get very hot with most days in the 90's and temperatures often reach well above 100 degrees. All of our work is outside so please bring appropriate clothing for your session.

4. What should I bring?

Below is a list that should tell you most of the things you will need to bring. These are just suggestions; you won't need all of it necessarily.

  • Clothing that you will not mind getting ruined - At some point during your internship, you will be covered in blood from diet preparation, paint, bleach, or something else! Please bring the appropriate clothing for your session: shirts, tanktops, shorts, pants, long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, a warm jacket, hat, gloves, etc.

  • Old shoes - once again these will get ruined. Two pairs is always nice in case one pair is wet.

  • Lots of socks.

  • Waterproof boots.

  • Rain gear - we do have some panchos but some people like to bring their own.

  • Bug spray.

  • Suncscreen. This is Very important! Don't worry, you will still get a tan with the sunscreen.

  • Medications - for stings, allergies, headaches, etc...

  • Sunglasses.

  • Journal or notebook. This is required as you will be turning in a weekly journal.

  • Flashlight.

  • Pocket knife or Leatherman.

  • A watch (waterproof).

  • Personal effects...shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, etc...

  • Driver License (you must bring this if you will be driving the vehicles provided by IEAS)

  • A copy of your Social Security Card (you must bring this if you would like to get paid!)

5. How many interns work at IEAS?

The number of interns present at IEAS can vary with the seasons. Generally there are anywhere from four to eight interns here at a time. There are 3-month and 6-month Animal Care Internships available.

6. What are the accommodations? Does IEAS provide food?

Interns live in the Meadows Dormitory. There are four bedrooms, each with it's own bathroom and walk-in closet. There is also a kitchen, common living area, and a laundry room with a washer and dryer. Things like plates, glasses, pots and pans, bedding, bath towels, etc. are all provided so you will not need to bring anything of that nature.

IEAS does not provide food for interns. Housing and vehicles are provided for all interns. We also provide you with a stipend, which is intended to cover living expenses such as food, gas, etc.

7. How soon before my start date can I move in?

You can move in the weekend before your start date. We ask that you arrive before 5:00pm since people tend to get lost trying to find the Sanctuary. If you are flying, we ask that you fly in no later than 5:00pm. Otherwise you will need to get a hotel room and will be picked up the following day.

8. Do Interns socialize outside of work?

Interns do socialize outside of work. We remind you that you are representing the sanctuary while you are out, so act with maturity. Any housing issues have been resolved by the interns themselves.

9. What will my schedule be like?

Work starts at 6:30 am and ends anywhere from 3:00 pm or 4:00 pm. The end of the day depends on what we need to get done that day. Hours do vary. You will work anywhere from 50 to 70 hours per week. Duties vary depending on the time of year and what the sanctuary has going on at that time. You will be involved in food prep, feeding, cleaning habitats and houses, basic upkeep of the grounds, etc. The work can be exhausting and demanding at times. Interns need to know their limitations and stress tolerance levels.

10. How many days off do interns get?

Interns will have one day off per week. You are able to leave the grounds on your day off. However, the IEAS vehicles are not to stay off property over night. If you plan on being gone overnight, we ask that you let staff know.

11. What type of training will be provided?

Interns will be trained on basic animal husbandry. They will be involved in feeding, cleaning habitats and houses, upkeep of sanctuary grounds. Past interns have been involved in constructing a new habitat such as building pools, caves and houses. You will learn how to cement, make water troughs, install pumps, work with PVC piping, working with weedeaters and mowers, etc. The amount of knowledge one is able to gain is endless. The only thing is that it depends on what is going on at the sanctuary. We try to introduce interns to as many new things as possible.

12. Will I be able to work with the Veterinarian?

Our veterinarian does not come out every week. He only comes out if there is a problem with one of the animals. Do not count on working with either the Vet or Vet Tech while here. Remember, this is an Animal Husbandry Internship.

13. Are pets allowed in the Dorm?

No pets are allowed during this internship.

14. Are computers provided or should I bring my laptop?

The dorm does have two older laptops for interns to use with internet access. However, we do suggest that if you have a laptop to bring it. It's hard when you have 4-8 interns and only 2 computers. You will be required to do some work on computers such as writing grants and proposals.

15. Can my family and friends visit me?

Your family and friends are welcome to visit you during your internship. Advanced notice is required for all visitors who will be touring the facility with you. No overnight guests are allowed on-site.

16. How much will I learn about Animal Behavior?

Interns will learn as much about Animal Behavior as they want. They have the option to participate in our Emotional Enrichment Program during their off time. REMEMBER, this is an Animal Husbandry Internship. Everything else is secondary.

17. If I fly in, will someone come pick me up or do I need to find my own transportation?

If you fly in BEFORE 5pm, someone will be able to pick you up. Any arrival time after 5pm, you will need to stay the night at the airport and someone will be there to pick you up the next day after daily chores are finished.

18. Are you required to live on site?

Yes.  If you would like to participate in the IEAS internship, you will be required to live on-site.

19.  Can International Students/People apply?

Yes, they are always welcome as long as there are no additional costs to the Sanctuary.  You are just required to get all the necessary materials needed to work in the states. 

20.  Can I fax or email my application materials?

No.  You can mail your application to IEAS, Attn: Intern Program, P.O. Box 637, Boyd, TX 76023.  Only reference letters will be accepted by email to: [email protected]

21.  Should I send my reference letters with my application or can they be sent separately?

Either way is fine as long as all of your letters arrive by the deadline.

22. How much is the stipend?

Currently the stipend is $50 per week.  This may change at anytime.

23. Does IEAS pay for my transportation?

No.  You are responsible for paying for your flight or gas to drive to IEAS.  If you fly in, someone from IEAS will pick you up at the airport.

24. Do I have to be in college to apply?

No.  We accept application from all individuals. It doesn't matter if they are currently attending college or have already graduated.