Airbnb offering ‘sabbatical programme’ to South Pole

Successful applicants will get to go to Antarctica.
Successful applicants will get to go to Antarctica.

Intrepid travellers have the chance to explore the most remote continent on the planet as part of a scientific expedition, open to just five people.

Volunteers are needed to join environmental scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on a first-of-its-kind scientific expedition, investigating the presence of microplastics in Antarctica.

The opportunity comes as part of the Airbnb Sabbaticals programme, which gives people around the world to travel in order to have a positive impact on the world.

The expedition will include training in Chile for two weeks, where you will meet expedition leader Jones-Williams, as well as the other four volunteers on the team. Here you will be trained for the harsh environment and in using the equipment needed for the scientific research.

What happens on the sabbatical?

The third week of the programme will be spent in Antarctica itself. Based out of Union Glacier Camp, you will spend days researching, collecting snow samples and exploring.

You’ll get the chance to ride snowmobiles and fat bikes to visit the South Pole and explore the beauty of Antarctic sites like the Drake Icefall, Charles Peak Windscoop, and Elephant's Head.

After that, the final week is spent back in Chile, where the findings will be processed and the impact of humans on the most remote place on the earth better understood. The findings could then be used to help protect the oceans, and change policy towards the way people use plastic.

How to apply

You can apply to take part in the scheme via the Airbnb website If you are interested, you must apply by Tuesday 8 October 2019.

Applications must be in English, and only one application per person is allowed.

Applicants must be 18 or older, and resident in one of the following countries or regions:

Argentina

Austria

Australia

Belgium

Brazil

Canada

Chile

China

Denmark

Dubai

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

USA

You’ll have to be free and able to travel to Chile and Antarctica and remain there for a month, from 18 November to 16 December 2019. You must also hold a passport that is valid until at least July 1 2020 and, if required, be eligible for a visa to visit Chile.

Kirstie Jones-Williams is an environmental scientist passionate about understanding and protecting the Earth from human stresses.

She said, “I am looking for passionate individuals who are excited to partake in the work and return home eager to share our findings with the world.”