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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.
Program Description:

Thailand Community Development Internship - Long Term

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.
Your program will be split into 2 parts:
First 12 weeks
You will work alongside other volunteers and learn about the day to day running of the project and receive an introduction to teaching as well as community development training from staff. This will include lecture sessions where you will learn about sustainable development, child protection, empowerment, as well as teaching techniques. Your days will be split between lessons at the school in the day, and mahout/villager English in the evenings. As well as having time to plan and prepare for lessons later in the week. There is also the chance to participate in our other aspects of the programme - learning about elephant conservation and the biodiversity of the local area, and going on hikes in the forest.

Second Half
The second part of your internship will be spent running and organising your own class and development project on base. There may also be an opportunity to do an external work placement in the second half of your internship, with another similar organisation in Thailand. Our community internship will allow you to work closely with the community, in an effort to promote a wider knowledge of English. In order to provide the village with the tools they need to run their own sustainable eco-tourism project.

You will be focused on the community side of the project, where being a consistent presence is a very important part. But this won’t stop you from experiencing other aspects of the project hub; you will have the opportunity to hike with elephants, walk to see the sunrise over the mountains, and build relationships with all the other volunteers in the village.
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;
  • If staying 8 weeks or longer you will complete your Biological Survey Techniques training and qualification.
  • Observe a semi wild herd of elephants in their natural habitat;
  • Meeting people from all over the world;
  • Becoming immersed in several different program areas within the one location;
  • Living within and learning about the fascinating Thai and Karen cultures;
  • Earn your GVI ILM Leadership Development certificate, a qualification recognised by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM)
  • Sampling the amazing Thai cuisine;
  • Discovering Thailand’s idyllic beaches, ornate temples and beautiful rainforests 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 //