Travel to the tropical Andaman area of southern Thailand, a region famous for its white sand beaches, lush jungle, stunning waterfalls and ancient sites. This internship is an excellent opportunity for you to begin or continue a career in teaching while making a huge difference to both the adults you will teach and to the wider community.
Your first 12 weeks will be spent working alongside other volunteers on our project in Thailand whilst also undertaking TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) training for your full certification. Upon completion of your training, you will start your work placement, using your new found skills as a professional TEFL teacher, becoming further immersed in this friendly and fascinating culture.
GVI's TEFL Certification is an accredited course through the International TEFL Academy and includes 150 hours of online coursework and 20 hours of practical training in the classroom.
After a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organisations in Thailand or in other countries around the world where GVI operate. Teaching positions can be paid or unpaid, range in duration from one month to one year, and availability varies. Qualification for possible GVI positions is at the sole discretion of Global Vision International.
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. GVI have been running community development, education, and conservation projects since 1997 and our highly experienced field staff will help you gain and improve vital skill sets to improve your future job prospects.
"The TEFL course itself is fairly intense, especially in the first week or two, but as I progressed through it everything began to click and I could see how the theory applied in the classroom. It was a bit nerve-wracking being thrown in the deep end and teaching on day three, but it was a lot of fun! The students were so enthusiastic and keen to learn and I’ve loved teaching them. It’s been challenging and I’ve definitely been taken out of my comfort zone but I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about myself."
What's Not Included
Life on the Internship
Your First 12 Weeks
Before becoming TEFL-certified you will begin with training with a qualified instructor, focusing on teaching and lesson planning techniques, practicing new found skills as you teach English to students in the evenings in a small and personal classroom setting.
The 170-hour course is run in the first four weeks of the initial teacher training. The end result provides high-quality teachers who can use their skills to teach in a range of environments, from communities with few resources to commercial TEFL posts. GVI is listed as an Institutional Member of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL), and the 170-hour TEFL course complies with the UK’s College of Teachers code of conduct (CoT).
Once you become a qualified TEFL teacher you will have a two week break where you will have the chance to get involved in other projects, such as teaching in local schools and on environmental education projects, before teaching an additional four-week term in the local community. You will then begin your work placement* within the community, where you will take and lead your own English classes, further building upon the skills you have learnt. Those interns placed at the GVI base will have the opportunity to help further develop our community classes, take on extra lessons within the community, and use their knowledge and experience to assist new volunteers through their training. Although rewarding, your days can be long as you learn and develop alongside your students.
Your accommodation for your first 12 weeks will be at our base in basic but comfortable surroundings with cold running water and electricity. Rooms are dormitory style with shared amenities and duties around base. During your placement your accommodation will depend on where you are placed; it may be at the GVI base, in a homestay with a Thai family, a guesthouse or your own independent rooms.
* Please note, during the school holiday's (March, April and October) all work placements will be at the GVI base.
What's Not Included
As tourism has developed in the area, many local communities have lost natural resources, altering their way of life and causing many traditions to be lost.
GVI works directly with communities in Thailand in order to; provide free English lessons to the community; train local teachers; assist in the development of sustainable local business; and, develop lesson plans to highlight important issues in the wider community.
Our overall goal is to support local communities to develop with tourism that blends into their lifestyle.
How this project makes a difference:
For local people in Thailand, English skills open doors for future educational and professional opportunities. Children starting at a young age will learn the language quicker that will prepare them well for their future.
By putting skills and knowledge into the hands of the local community, we are able to provide the tools to improve their own lives, livelihoods and future opportunities.
GVI works with local partner organisations to meet the growing need for English language education. Work placements take place at schools or community centres throughout the Phang Nga Province.
What's Not Included
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate in programmes assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your downtime or further afield either before or after your programme. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established during the programme.
Our long-term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Phang Nga field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Thailand!
Optional Side Trips
Take advantage of the amazing sites and scenery the Andaman region of Thailand has to offer. There are endless opportunities to visit islands, beaches, parks and caves and many can be done on weekends. While on the ground, we are here to help so make sure to ask our field staff to assist you with planning trips.
Explore the amazing Khao Sok National Park, including the stunning Cheow Larn Lake and 740km² of rainforest and which is home to elephants, leopards, tigers, deer, monkeys, lizards, birds, and the Rafflesia – the largest flowers in the world, 90cm across with a unique aroma…of rotting flesh! Take a day trip for a quick sample of the park’s delights or stay overnight and discover even more – perhaps in one of the jungle tree houses, or even on a bungalow that floats on the lake. Trek through the jungle, kayak around Cheow Larn lake visiting spectacular limestone caves, swim in idyllic waterfalls or just relax and see what you can spot!
Khao Lak is a very popular tourist spot close by, with beautiful, seemingly endless beaches, so many dining options you’ll be spoilt for choice and hundreds of spas offering massages and treatments at reasonable rates. With a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to hostels, Khao Lak offers you the chance to spoil yourself for a few days, whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge a little.
The Similan and Surin Island groups, both under the protection of their Marine National Park status, are home to some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the region. You can take a day trip, stay on a live aboard boat or even stay overnight on the islands themselves.
Phuket Island, about 90mins south of Khao Lak and renowned for its colourful nightlife is also a great stop-off for divers and snorkelers, but if you’re not the diving type you can explore Phang Nga Bay by speed-boat or sea kayak, stopping off at James Bond Island, made famous by the 1974 film ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ before visiting the floating Sea Gypsy village. Phuket is also very popular with surfers, playing host to annual surfing competitions, though there is a great ‘secret spot’ near Khao Lak…if you’re interested GVI staff will show you the way!
Neighbouring Krabi Province is a treasure trove for intrepid travellers; from the crystal clear Emerald Pond to the epic 1,237-step climb up to the Buddha image and stunning views at the Tiger Temple Cave to the enchanted scenery and pools of Than Bok Khoranee National Park to the shopping and late night bars of Ao Nang to the chilled out beaches of Koh Lanta Island to the parties of Phi Phi, where ‘The Beach’ was filmed – the options are truly endless!
Further Travelling Opportunities
Thailand is a country with a whole range of fantastic places that you could visit. If you have the time and budget, you could consider going to see the following; the waterfalls of the picturesque Khao Yai National Park, the mountain town of Chiang Mai, the local tribes of Nam Province, the beaches of Ko Tao and Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park, the golden kingdom of Ayuthaya, the temples and nightlife of Bangkok and many more…
Meet Molly, our hard working country director for both Thailand and Laos. Over seeing operations in two countries is no easy task but Molly is more than capable.
She started volunteering and travelling at a young age, working in soup kitchens, with AmeriCorps, at animal shelters, as a Big Sister with Big Brother Big Sisters of America and as a Guardian ad Litem. She studied family development and psychology and loves to dance.
Her goal is to visit one country for every year she is alive. The most unusual place she has travelled to is Uzbekistan, on a trip beginning in Europe and ending in Southeast Asia. This is where she fell in love with Laos which began her journey with GVI. She started working for GVI back in 2012 and she is now based in Thailand. GVI has hubs all around the world and she has been lucky enough to visit the hubs in Nepal, Thailand, Laos and the office in South Africa.
Conservation project coordinator
Meet Katie, our brilliant conservation project coordinator in Phang Nga, Thailand. She is experienced in environmental education, working within zoos and outreach programmes in the UK, teaching a huge range, from pre-school children through to university students.
From a young age she travelled to many unique and culturally diverse places with her family.
During her short term internship with GVI, at Jalova Biological Research Station, she developed and advanced her surveying, research and project development skills whilst working in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.
Her must bring travel item is her trusty camera; "There is not a day that goes by where I don't encounter a moment that I want to capture, especially when exploring the worlds natural beauty."
Meet Dora, our insightful base manager in Phang Nga, Thailand. She has spent much of her life traveling, studying and volunteering all over the world. She grew up in China but felt the need to explore the world. She's lived in many different countries such as Egypt, Japan and the Phillippines,saying that she's not one to stay in one place for very long. She's also explored most of Europe an the west of the USA.
She has a BA in international relations focusing on the continents of Africa and Asia. She's also a certified, open water NAU diver.
Her favourite thing about working for GVI is how every day is different and how meeting so many new people has taught her so much about herself. She's a real life traveller and we're lucky to have her on board.
Meet Karissa, our vibrant country expert for our Cape Town and Thailand, Phang Nga, hubs. She loves travelling and has had her fair share of travelling too. Her first solo travel was to New Zealand to work as an Au Pair, followed by Fiji for over a year. She then travelled to Thailand, where she met her South African partner and worked as an English Teacher at a public High School.
Karissa is TEFL qualified and has first-hand experience of working abroad. What first attracted her to join GVI? “The amazing volunteer projects and stunning locations across the world.”
She moved to Cape Town in November 2015 from her home country, the USA, and is loving every minute of being able to call South Africa her new home!
Caroline Van Der Does De Willebois
Service Learning Manager Thailand
A conservationist and adventurer at heart with a passion for sustainable development and marine conservation. Caroline has a Master's degree in International Development and past experience working with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, educational marine conservation with the Marine Megafauna Foundation in Mozambique, and dive instructing in Thailand.
Caroline believes that GVI's combination of conservation and community development projects helps us to reach a true and sustainable impact in the field.
Her travels have taken her all over the world, but she is grateful to have returned to Thailand to join the GVI family and support and train others to have the best possible Service Learning experience!
Assistant Director of Programs
Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she's based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”
When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”
What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”