Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Tenerife Whale Nation

Tenerife Whale Nation

Hello hello hello! 🙂

So… it’s official! Whale Nation have booked my flights to go to Tenerife!! I will be there between 19 February and 7 March!

Although I am looking forward to this work placement, I am also very nervous! I have never worked abroad before and haven’t been away from my family for this long before… but I’m sure I’ll be fine! 🙂 It’s only 16 days that I’ll be there for, whereas some people opt to work there for more than 6 weeks!!!

By the looks of this video, I will be sharing a house and bedroom with lots of people which I am not used to… I like my own space in all honesty, but I don’t mind sharing for a couple of weeks! I cannot believe I have been given a FUNDED OPPORTUNITY in TENERIFE!! AMAZING! I am so grateful!

So what will I be doing on my placement?

They sent me an induction pack which I had a read through last night and within the booklet, it stated I will follow the below schedule:

Out of the 7-day week, 3 days will be spent working on the boats as research guides, 2 days working on my own project, and the other 2 days I will have off to do activities!

If you’re wondering what the accommodation looks like you can watch this video here 🙂 The house is shown about 4 minutes into the video. I’m so glad there is lots of information, reviews, blogs and videos about this placement! It makes me feel much more reassured.

The location of the house is in the South of Tenerife, away from the tourist areas.


What activities can you do on the days off?

Kayaking | Diving | Paragliding | Canyoning | Surfing | Horse Riding

I think I would like the opportunity to do some diving and paragliding! I’d love to be able to swim with dolphins and turtles! As I have a passion for flying, paragliding really appeals to me!

I’m sure some other volunteers have asked if we can walk up Mount Teide as well… I really hope we get to do this! Watching sunset or sunrise would be beautiful!


What information must be collected on the boats?

Boat trips will occur once in the morning and once in the afternoon and the volunteers are required to work on both trips throughout the day.

On the boats, I will be required to take photos of the dolphin/whale fins as this is equivalent to us having fingerprints – it’s an important method of identifying each mammal! There will be two of us on each boat trip, one will take the photos and one will fill out the information sheet (see image below).

Information to be collected includes:

  • The approach the boat takes towards the animals
  • The number of animals present
  • The type of animals present
  • Oceanic cloud cover
  • The GPS coordinates (gained from the captain)
  • The animals’ behaviours
  • The group formation (are they swimming close together or far apart?)
  • The state of the sea (small or large waves?)

I have been advised to take some binoculars to help spot the dolphins and whales, take a camera for capturing photos of fins, and take a GoPro camera for videoing underwater! I also need to take warm clothing as the house is up in the mountains and being out at sea can get cold… I just hope I can fit all of this into a 10kg hand luggage!!

Their Mission Statement (I have gained this from the induction pack)

“To inspire positive action in the defence and protection of habitats, endangered species and threatened communities through raising awareness globally. To encourage concerned, enthusiastic individuals to share our passion so that we pass on a better world to future generations. The AWdF exists to provide low-cost opportunities for people to give of themselves in the certain knowledge that, in so doing, the volunteers will ‘grow’ as people.

“We are not a business and certainly not a tour operator and it is important that all volunteers understand this. What we are attempting to deliver is far more valuable and infinitely less tangible than a mere product or service. It is a partnership, between you ‘the volunteer’ and the organisation, and the success of it all depends on the amount that BOTH parties put into the project.”

How to join next time

I’m sure Whale Nation will most likely visit UCB again, so if you are currently a student, ask your module leader if they know when the next opportunity to join will be! I know they have regular intakes of students. I think this opportunity is just for Tourism students, however, I am an Aviation and Airport Management student who chose Tourism as one of my option modules. I received an email regarding this opportunity and went for it by responding to the email!

If you are not yet a UCB student and are interested in joining a Tourism Course please take a look at our courses online.

This opportunity is so good to put on your CV! It will show future employers what you are willing to get involved in, it shows them what you are passionate about and is especially beneficial for whoever is interested in gaining employment within the tourism industry or for anybody interested in working towards conserving wildlife.

Thanks for reading!

Charley x

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