Kick start your career on this multi-faceted 24 week internship in Thailand’s stunning Chiang Mai region. Teach English to community members, assist with plant biodiversity studies with a focus on elephant foraging, and contribute to the rehabilitation of elephants which have been rescued from tourist camps. Discover the fascinating culture and lush mountains in this Northern region of Thailand in your free time.
This internship consists of 3 aspects – community (teaching), plant biodiversity (with an emphasis on elephant foraging) and elephants. Each of these projects are run independently, but are integrated and highly relevant to each other.
- The community project consists of teaching English to children at the school and to the elephant keepers (mahouts), as well as supporting community efforts to reduce their financial dependence on their elephants.
- The plant biodiversity project involves researching elephant foraging habits and working towards formulating a foraging guide based on the observations made on our elephants. Other biodiversity projects may include surveying biodiversity in the forests around the village, heading up night hikes to look for gibbons, porcupines, and other nocturnal animals, and identifying unique birds and insects.
- The elephant project consists of leading elephant health checks, studying the behaviour of our herd, and educating other volunteers about Asian elephants.
While each project has many established aspects, interns are encouraged to develop their own ideas and introduce new aspects to these projects.
Although you will be able to enjoy hiking with the elephants 5 days of the week, the rotation of the internship means your responsibilities will shift during the course of your stay.
All internships are geared at developing your leadership and role model skills, allowing you to develop a variety of key soft and hard skills that will put you a step ahead the rest of the pack.
Life on the Internship
During your first 6 weeks, you will work alongside other volunteers and learn about the day to day running of the project. Your days will be split between morning hikes into the Chiang Mai forest with the elephants and their mahouts. In the afternoons you will return to base where there will be lectures on elephant keeping and other training needed to assess the elephant’s health and conduct surveys in the forest. The following 6 weeks will see you go through training sessions with previous interns/staff where you will learn more about the 3 aspects incorporated into this internship.
The final 12 weeks of your internship will be spent running and organizing each intern project for one month each. Our elephant conservation internship will allow you to work closely with our elephant herd, their mahouts and the local community in an effort to promote sustainable eco-tourism.