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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Maymester, Spring, Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: GVI 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2025 10/15/2024 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Maymester 2025 01/01/2025 02/15/2025 TBA TBA
Fall 2025 03/15/2025 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:

Community Research Short Term Internship in Chiang Mai

Kick start your career on this internship in Thailand's mountainous Chiang Mai region, where you will gain invaluable skills and experience to broaden your future career options. Teach English to community members, assist with biodiversity studies of the area including bird and reptile surveys, and contribute to monitoring the reintegration of elephants into the forest, which have been relieved from the tourism industry. Experience first hand the elephant's in their natural forest habitat and observe their eating choices and interactions. Discover the unique Thai culture and lush mountains in this Northern region of Thailand.
You will have the opportunity to live and work in Huay Pakoot, a small village surrounded by lush forest and hills. During your time here you will stay with a local family, learn the local language Pakinyaw, and be fully integrated into the community. Your main focus will be working with this community, learning more about their culture and needs through community research.

Your research project will be based on an international development topic of your choosing and you will use existing literature and community surveys to learn more about the challenges faced by the local community and investigate potential solutions. You will also learn how to compile your findings into a report which can be used in your further academic studies. 

There will likely be the chance to learn more about the conservation elements of the hub, including our elephant and biodiversity research. Hikes go out every day to collect behavioural data on our elephants. The other core part of our project involves teaching English at the local primary school, as well as to mahouts and homestay families in the evenings.
GVI Chiang Mai is based in Huay Pakoot is a small Karen hill tribe village situated in a remote mountainous area, approximately five hours from Chiang Mai city center. The village offers a unique experience to volunteers, from getting to know the locals to spending hours in the forest, which is right on its doorstep. Currently there are about 400,000 Karen people living in Thailand, with roughly 400 living in Huay Pakoot. This close-knit farming community has been located in the same area for over 300 years.
  • Living in rural Thailand;
  • Help improve education levels and opportunities in the local Karen community
  • Helping protect Thailand’s diverse environment
    Gain skills in leadership, teamwork, teaching, lesson planning and organisation- to name a few.
  • Learn about the cultural and historic significance of elephants in Thailand including the tradition of elephant trainers known as mahouts.
  • Contribute towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including #4 Quality Education, and #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.
  • Earn your GVI ILM Leadership Development certificate, a qualification recognised by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM).
  • Have the chance to create your own research project, with staff support, to better understand the community you are working with.
  • Enjoy being in a rural location with a simple and laid-back way of life, whilst exploring the old city of Chiang Mai in your spare time
If applying for this program to obtain credit from an institution, GVI can supply learning outcomes and support in the application.
For more information, check out our video //