You will be providing hands on assistance with the conservation efforts of Phang Nga’s coastal ecosystems as part of a team of GVI interns and researchers. The aim of this will be the development of your practical skills and environmental knowledge, which will strengthen your CV and university application, while providing a sustainable impact on the ground. The base lies in the beautiful coastal province of Phang Nga, surrounded by stunning scenery and amazing wildlife.
There are thee aspects to this comprehensive internship; community (primarily teaching), flora and fauna biodiversity and animal care. While on base you will gain insight into the issues facing conservation efforts in the region and the measures GVI and its partners are taking in response. You will also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Thai culture through various community initiatives.
The interns will be assigned leadership responsibilities and weekly assignments as part of their training. They will also be assigned a staff mentor who will monitor their training and progress throughout their stay.
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.
Please note our conservation efforts on this expedition are seasonal so projects will vary throughout the course of the year.
This internship will greatly strengthen your CV or university application if you choose to pursue a career in conservation.
If you want to continue to travel after the conclusion of your internship our hub provides the perfect starting point for a South East Asian Adventure! You can visit “James Bond island”, made famous by the 1974 film “The Man with the Golden Gun; go diving of the coast in some of the most stunning reefs in the world, explore Bangkok or help with 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 day to day activities will be a range of conservation and community development, environmental awareness and field work. Your work will aide sustainable development in the region.
The specifics of your work will vary greatly, depending on the needs of our partners, the community and the ecosystem. These needs 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.
As your internship is shorter than usual you will be working on tasks that both develop you and meet the needs in the area while staying in time with your internship duration.
You will have an opportunity to explore the area during your off time and to travel further once your internship is done!
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
Our work in Phang Nga helps local conservation and research efforts as well as builds environmental awareness. Our goal is to sustain the long-term conservation of marine and terrestrial systems by using a three-tiered approach:
How this project makes a difference:
- Contribute to scientific understanding through research
- Educate and inform local people about conservation issues
- Building the capacity and desire of local people to operate sustainably.
Your presence as an 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.
*During national holidays and festival periods participants will have the opportunity to get involved with community celebrations and activities.
Phang Nga's short, mid, and long-term objectives
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Phang Nga:
1. To provide equal, quality education to children of all backgrounds.
2. To Promote Good Health and Wellbeing through education to all children
3. Increase skills for local people to assist with equal employment opportunities in our communities within Takuapa and Ban Nham Khem
4. Increase awareness of local populations to environmental issues and facilitate change towards sustainability through scientific studies.
5. Increase our in-country capacity by providing environmental and conservation education and training
6. To assist and develop local coastal conservation efforts through providing practical support to project partners, data collection, awareness raising and habitat restoration
What's Not Included
While your time on this short term internship is limited, it will not be all work. You will have periods where you will be left to explore your surroundings and take in the amazing country that is Thailand. Below is some information on trips and travel options in Thailand.
Optional Side Trips
There are numerous islands, beaches, parks and caves to visit and many can be done in the space of a weekend. Be sure to ask our field staff about what they suggest you check out during your time off or after your internship.
The Khao Sok National Park is definitely worth visiting. The stunning Cheow Larn Lake and 740km² of rainforest, are also must-sees. Thailand 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!
Day trips are most likely your best option during your limited time on this short internship. They are great for a quick sample of a park’s delights. 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!
The popular tourist spot, Khao Lak is a great place to find souvenirs and mingling with locals. There are plenty of places to shop, eat and get a great massage. If you get tired of spending money thee are amazing beaches right there.
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!
Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.
When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!
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.”