Universities and Research


curricular internship programmes

Curricular internships, intended for students, are an integral part of their study programmes for the achievement of their degree. They consist in practical training activities, which may also be followed in structures outside their university, that promote increasingly close and systematic links with various social and productive experiences and with the problems involved in the career to be embarked on.

Internships have many aspects:
- For the student, they represent a period of practical application of the knowledge and skills learnt during the study course.
- They give a more concrete awareness of the world of work that facilitates the professional choices of the student, rendering them more effective.
- They promote the interaction between universities and the territory, taken as a system producing goods and/or services for society.

When they take place: Given their nature of professional training, internships last for a period of several months, usually at the end of a course of studies.
How long they last: Every study course establishes the length of the internship following a criterion of coherence with the overall teaching and training times outside the university, in conformity with applicable regulations. If internships are followed in a company or organization, students generally have the same working hours as regular employees.

Are internships compulsory?

In university degree courses, internships are explicitly envisaged in study programmes and are therefore compulsory, and are subject to final assessment.

Individual or group internships?

Internships should preferably be individual, and a distinct training project is envisaged for each intern. In some specific cases, and also depending on the opportunities offered by the host organization, internships may be followed jointly by groups of students.

What they are:

The activities planned for students are mainly practical and intended to implement the knowledge and skills acquired during their study courses. For every intern, a preliminary outline training project is defined, in agreement with the host organization. Internship activities can later be incorporated in the development of a graduate thesis.


Every student involved in internship activities is followed by a tutor from the university, and by a referent appointed by the host organization. The joint responsibility of these two figures is to monitor and assess the activities of the internship placement.

Internship diaries: Interns must record the daily activities carried out in a specific diary issued by their university before the internship placement begins. The diary must be countersigned by a director of the host company or organization.
Cattolica Aquarium offers the possibility of curricular internships in the sectors of Aquariology or Education and Culture.

The minimum duration of the internship placements available at the aquarium is for a total of 250 hours, with eight hours daily from Monday to Friday, in accordance with the working hours already in existence.

This period is necessary to obtain basic experience both in the daily management of aquariological systems and in the development and practical application of educational projects.
The aquarium offers internship students the possibility of benefiting from the special prices offered to employees at the onsite bar and restaurant.

To provide interested students with clearer information, the programmes of internship projects are described below, specifying programme times and aims:


Approach and instruction in the main maintenance techniques for marine aquatic organisms in closed-circuit systems. Co-working with aquarium personal for the entire working day.

Total attendance 250 hours (from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm)


Day 1: Visit to aquarium; presentation and general explanation of aquarium tanks and pools and respective systems (host organization tutor);
Days 2, 3, 4, 5: Presentation of student to aquarium personnel and initial instruction on animals and systems, under the supervision of the directors of the Mediterranean and Tropical sectors.

WEEKS 2 & 3

Inclusion of intern in daily routines under the supervision of sector directors: - routine daily checks on animals and systems; - feeding; - cleaning of tanks and pools; - preparation of food and dietary supplements.
Period necessary for learning professional skills regarding various aspects of the complex work of the aquarist.


Day 1: Discussion with the host organization tutor of the experiences of the previous weeks and detailed explanation of the operation of the aquariological systems.
Continuous co-working on routine jobs in the aquariological sector, with particular attention to:
- rearing and housing of jellyfish; - rearing and housing of seahorses; - rearing, housing and reproduction of tropical marine fishes; - systems for parallel cultures; - breeding and housing of tropical and Mediterranean marine invertebrates.
At this stage of the placement it is possible to insert small research or study projects, to be agreed with the curator, sector directors and the host organization tutor (taking into account the short time available). In the case of particular projects, it is possible to extend the internship period beyond 250 hours, subject to agreement from the university.

WEEKS 5 & 6

The work prepared and started in previous weeks continues, and in addition, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning on both weeks, the student will assist the Veterinary Director in routine weekly checks on the chemical and physical parameters of water samples from tanks and pools.
Final assessment of the positive and negative aspects of the experience, and conclusion of internship.


Approach and instruction in educational and cultural methods and instruments on marine environmental themes for schoolchildren presented by Cattolica Aquarium.

Total attendance 250 hours (from 9.00 am to 6.30 pm)

- Inclusion in the Educational and Cultural Department, co-working with the Educational Department Director (about 80 hours):
Themes: What an Educational and Cultural Department is, how it is managed (contacts with schools and promotion, training of personnel as guides, organization of visits and teaching rooms), objectives to be pursued, relations with teachers and students….

- With respect to the period in which the internship takes place (activities vary to follow the school year), practical activities are followed co-working with aquarium personnel (circa 170 hours):

1. Teaching projects on biology–geology–archaeology (for infant, elementary, middle and senior schools): personal participation in projects, instruction on the educational instruments used, analysis of relations with students and teachers, possibility of development of a personal project.

2. Guided visits (for infant, elementary, middle and senior schools): co-working during visits, instruction on the educational instruments used and the organization of routes, analysis of relations with students and teachers, possibility of development of own personal visit.

3. Workshops (for infant, elementary, middle and senior schools): personal participation in workshops, instruction on the educational instruments used, analysis of relations with students and teachers, possibility of development of a personal project.

4. Workshops at sea (for elementary and middle schools): personal participation in boat trips, instruction on the educational instruments used, analysis of relations with students and teachers, possibility of development of a personal project.

For full information on internships contact:

Cattolica Aquarium
Director for Aquariology External Relations
Cristiano Da Rugna

Tel. 0039(0)541-837710 – 0039(0)541-837978

PARCO LE NAVI Soc.Coop.ARL – Cattolica Aquarium – 1/A Piazzale delle Nazioni – 47841 Cattolica (RN) Italy - Tel. 0039(0)541/837.1 – Fax 0039(0)541-831350 – E-mail: Info@acquariodicattolica.it – Internet: www.acquariodicattolica.it

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