Assist with the conservation of Phang Nga's coastal ecosystems as a hands-on member of an international team with GVI, with the aim to gain practical conservation skills and experience whilst making a sustainable impact to the region. Based in a stunning coastal province of Phang Nga, an area that encapsulates the very meaning of “dramatic”, you'll live alongside incredible islands and an abundance of natural beauty.
After completing your training on base, you will go on to complete a placement. The placement allows interns to really increase their level of responsibility on base, as you'll assist the staff team, and take more of a leading role on hikes, surveys and other activities. Interns may also get the chance to take on their own mini-project around conservation and research in the area. For anyone looking to get into a career in the conservation world, this is the ideal stepping stone - the opportunities for development in terms of conservation and leadership skills are unrivaled.
The internship encourages participants to develop their own ideas and introduce new aspects to help further their contribution to the conservation of local ecosystems. Interns will be given specific leadership responsibilities as well a weekly assignment and evaluation during their leadership training. Their assigned staff mentor will monitor their progress weekly throughout their stay at the hub.
This comprehensive internship gives you the opportunity to gain work experience in three different aspects: community (teaching), plant and animal biodiversity and animal care. You'll gain an insight into the conservation issues facing the region and the measures GVI teams are taking to in response, and, besides hands-on conservation activities, you'll become immersed in the Thai culture through various community initiatives involved in promoting environmental education and the delivering of English programs.
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. Over 50% of GVI staff are recruited from our alumni database. Qualification for positions is at the sole discretion of Global Vision International.
If you are a current or prospective student, please also speak to us about gaining academic credit for completing this programme.
Please note our conservation efforts on this expedition are seasonal so projects will vary throughout the course of the year.
This internship can kick start a career in conservation, or can help provide students with the necessary practical skills and knowledge to help progress in further education.
You're also lucky enough to have the ideal base for further travel in Asia! Visit “James Bond island”, made famous by the 1974 film “The Man with the Golden Gun; discover an area known for its beauty as you come across coral reefs, turtles and many more natural wonders; develop a well rounded education on sustainable conservation, environmental conservation and community development and teach local children about the beauty of the natural world and the importance of conserving it.
"The experience I gained during my time training with GVI has allowed me to go on to work within the conservational research field. This has been a stepping stone into a career in conservation that I would not have had access to without the GVI Internship program."
What's Not Included
Life on the Internship
Your internship will involve rotations between conservation, community development and environmental awareness, giving you an ideal overview and introduction to the world of sustainable development and field work.
Projects always vary greatly depending on our projects and partners which change seasonally. You can expect to get involved in anything from environmental research and tourist education and management (Nov - March), terrestrial work such as mangrove research & planting and biodiversity surveying in nearby National Parks (May - Oct), or turtle research and conservation, beach cleans and community education classes which take place throughout the year.
We have also been working in the neighbouring province of Krabi for several years, providing 1000’s of hours of classroom teaching. Community projects can vary from environmental education with the general community, schools and the community, hotels as well as tour and dive operators, to English language teaching to National park rangers and general community.
In between the above, and at weekends, you'll of course have the chance to explore the region and get to know your team of fellow international volunteers. Chances are you'll soon become friends for life!
Field Conditions & Accommodation Upgrades
Our base in Phang Nga is small but comfortable with shared facilities, with enough space for people to relax together. If you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.
What's Not Included
We are working in Phang Nga in order to to gain an understanding of the local ecosystem, help with current environmental protection initiatives, and conduct research contributing to future conservation efforts. Our goal is to sustain the long-term conservation of marine and terrestrial systems by using a three-tiered approach:
1. Contribute to scientific understanding through research
2. Educate and inform local people about conservation issues
3. Building the capacity and desire of local people to operate sustainably.
How this project makes a difference:
Your presence as a intern will help to protect some of the world’s most beautiful forests and beaches. By adopting a holistic conservation approach, we are also educating the community on local environmental issues. This means dealing not only with research, but also the social and economic pressures that are leading to the destruction of Southern Thailand’s beautiful forests and beaches. You have an opportunity to help protect and conserve it.
What's Not Included
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield, either before or after your program. Below is some 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 night life 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.”