Airbnb invites Dubai residents to apply for free 4-week Antarctica expedition


Airbnb is inviting ‘citizen scientists’ on a all-expense paid expedition to Antarctica

Dubai: Airbnb and Ocean Conservancy announced the launch of the ‘Antarctic Sabbatical’ on Tuesday – an opportunity for five passionate individuals to travel to Earth’s most remote continent and join Antarctic Scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on a first-of-its-kind scientific research mission in December.

What is it?

A four-week long all-expense paid expedition with leading scientist and expedition team lead Kirstie Jones-Williams.

The expedition aims to study the extent to which microplastics have made their way to the interior of Antarctica. The statement issued by the company says, “The goal of the Antarctic Sabbatical is to bring greater awareness to humans’ impact on the climate in one of the world’s least understood and most isolated ecosystems.”

Who can apply?

Any individual, over the age of 18, who resides in the following cities – of which Dubai is one.

The countries are Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Dubai (UAE) ,France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and US.

It would obviously help your application if you have a proven passion for the environment. However you can also be a newbie – according to the application form – there is a ‘None’ or ‘Other’ field. Your residence will be verified by the Airbnb team handling applications.

What do you need to do?

Just fill up an application form online. In addition to your full name, age, occupation and other such details, you will also be required to submit a 500-word write-up on why you want to attend this expedition. 

What should I pay?

Nothing. In fact, the selection terms on the website clearly state that payment or donations of any sort will not help your application in any way. Your expenses for the trip excluding visa, passport and insurance will be covered. Please contact the organisers directly for more information on these aspects.

Where will you go?

Chile and key sites in Antarctica. You will spend two weeks training for the research expedition in Chile, followed by the all-important research week in Antarctica.

You will be able to visit the South Pole and explore the beauty of Antarctic sites like the Drake Icefall, Charles Peak Windscoop, and Elephant’s Head. Then, in-between riding snowmobiles and fat bikes, the team will spend time collecting snow samples to be studied in the lab. The fourth week will be utilised towards compiling findings, back in Chile.

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