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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Take a look at some questions students, teachers, and parents frequently ask about our youth work experience program!



Do I have to be in the Work Experience course at my school to participate?

  • No. We offer youth volunteer opportunities to students ages 14 to 18, and you can complete our placements regardless if you are in the course or not.

When do your placements run for youth volunteers?

    • September to December
    • Winter Break
    • January to March
    • Spring Break
    • April to June
    • Summer Break

When do you recruit for the above placements?

  • We typically recruit up to 1.5 months prior to the placement date. Check our Opportunities Available page to see when our next recruit will happen!
  • September placement recruitment happens in mid August
  • Winter Break recruitment happens in November
  • January placement recruitment happens in December
  • Spring Break recruitment happens in February
  • April recruitment happens in  March
  • Summer recruitment happens in May

How many hours can I expect to complete?

  • It depends on what program you sign up for. All of our placements are a minimum of 30 hours and in the summer some of them can reach over 100 hours.

What is the difference between the Break recruits and the Month recruits?

  • Placements that run during Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks are typically shorter but intensive, with students volunteering several days a week for two to eight weeks.
  • Placements that run during September, January, and April are typically longer, with students volunteering once per week for three to four months.

Will I get to feed or interact with any of the animals at the Aquarium?

  • None of our volunteers - and most of our staff - have any contact with the animals at the Aquarium. If you volunteer with the Education department, you might have the opportunity to do some marine invertebrate handling and husbandry. You do get discounts on Animal Encounters as a youth volunteer, and this is a way to get up and close to some of our animals and learn more about our conservation and research programs.

Can we create custom placements?

  • We are open to creating custom placements to suit the needs of individuals, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to facilitate them at any point throughout the year.

My students need to complete a co-op placement, can you facilitate this?

  • Many teachers request specialized co-op placements, where students volunteer Monday to Friday for three to four weeks. Depending on departmental needs, this can sometimes be arranged. Contact the Coordinator of Volunteer & Youth Programs at workexperience@vanaqua.org for more information.

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