Internship Program


Overview

Our International Internship Program is a prestigious opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students that come from a variety of backgrounds. This program will challenge its participants to further their professional development in their area of expertise, while also building and learning new skills in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.

Currently, CNF has interns specializing in Photography, Forest Management, Website Development, Social Media Marketing, Sustainability Management, and International Relations. This internship is an ideal opportunity for an enthusiastic individual who is truly passionate about our mission. Our organization operates primarily in two locations: Pai, a small town in the Mae Hong Son province of northern Thailand, and Tarutao National Park, a southern island chain in the Satun Province. Housing, meals, and transportation are provided. We also assist new interns with the visa application process, which, in most cases, will allow individuals to stay in Thailand from ninety days up to one year. The minimum duration for an internship with CNF is at least one month. The internship program is designed to provide a substantive experience for professional development, but also allows interns to immerse themselves in a side of Thai culture that is rarely experienced by tourists. CNF takes good care of their interns by ensuring they get the most out of their time spent on site and traveling around Thailand doing work-related activities. In return, we ask for a minimum working commitment of twenty hours per week, Monday through Friday. In their spare time, interns will be free to explore their surroundings and take in all of the beauty that Thailand has to offer.


For further information please feel free to email us at: internships@conservenaturalforests.org. Don't forget to submit a resume and cover letter telling us how your background and education will contribute to our program.


What to Expect

CNF stands out amongst other international internships because it allows for each intern to find his/her niche while working and living in Thailand. Unlike traditional internships that stress a 9-5 lifestyle in an office setting and give little room for creative thought and flexibility, CNF gives interns the freedom to be creative in their own light, and thus benefit the organization while also developing their own personal skillset.
There are a range of experts on the team that can act as either supervisors or mentors. We place an emphasis on teamwork. We value effective communication and collaboration. Due to the small nature of our organization, these skills are critical for the success of the operation and making sure things move along smoothly.

If you are interested in projects related to wildlife and environmental sustainability, while also exploring and discovering a new culture and way of life, then please apply for this internship! If you are interested in making a difference on an international scale, and connecting with other young, spirited individuals from around the globe, then look no further!


Tuition, Details, and Information

The base price, which covers the cost of the visa application, is 400 euro/month. If you choose to stay at our bungalow accommodation and eat our chef's home-cooked meals, as well as have your own motorbike, the cost is 900 euro/month for the first 3 months, and 600 euro every consecutive month. This fee includes the price of the initial visa, as well as the price associated with extending your stay past 90 days. However, you have the option of arranging your own accommodation,  as well as providing for your own meals and transportation.

  • All expenses associated with the arrangement of the internship, including the necessary documents to gain visa approval and assistance with the visa application process.
  • Your own private bungalow, fully equipped with your own bathroom and hot water for showers.
  • Freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner customized to your liking and food preferences during the week. Saturdays and Sundays are yours to explore the delicious flavours around Pai!
  • Your own motorbike to use at your leisure.
  • Transportation and accommodation during educational road trips.
  • Transportation to your bungalow or hotel once you arrive in Pai.
  • In-country support services for the duration of the internship.
  • Free high-speed wifi in your bungalow as well as the general living area.

While working with Conserve Natural Forests (CNF), you will live and work (and spend most of your free time) in the lovely valley of Pai, located in the mountains of northwest Thailand. In recent years, Pai has become a popular tourist and backpacker destination. However, the laid back and friendly vibe of this small mountain town endures. If you’re interested in coming to Pai, you can take a three hour bus ride with AYA Service from Chiang Mai. As you ascend into the mountains, you will notice a distinct change in the environment and topography. The road into Pai is marked by windy roads that boast amazing views of nearby cliffs and lush green hills, natural vegetation, rice paddies, the occasional chicken crossing the road, and other agricultural plots off into the distance. In short, you’ll be approaching some of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.

There is so much to do in Pai. In the center of town you will find any number of shops, restaurants, cafes, tour guide centers, live music, street vendors, Thai massage parlors, smoothie bars, and yes, regular bars too. Coffee shops, small eateries, and places that serve breakfast on Walking Street (the main strip) have become a huge hit: whatever comforts from home you are craving, you can find it here.

Besides the markets and Walking Street, there is plenty to explore in and around Pai. The most accessible way to see the surroundings is by motor scooter—which is included if you work with CNF. Getting out of town and finding the many waterfalls, hot springs, and architectural sites in the area will supplement your internship in Pai and spur your personal and professional growth while reestablishing you connection with nature.

These sights include the Sai Ngam Hot Springs (one of many hot springs in the area), the White Buddha, and Mae Yen Waterfall. Both are on the outskirts of town, and take a little bit longer to travel to (around 10km out) but are well worth the visit. Part of having an internship with CNF means familiarizing oneself with the land around Pai, and by visiting these sites you will begin to appreciate the biodiversity of the region and understand the importance of the work being done by you and your colleagues at CNF.

Read about Tarutao National Park in the next tab!

On the conservation site

Some of the bungalows our interns stay in.

What if we told you that you could spend your internship on the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia surrounded by crystal clear water and pristine coral reefs? As we expand our hatchery operations in the south of Thailand, we’ll need interns to help organize and run the sea turtle hatchery. We would like to open the site for research on sea turtles, as well as other local wildlife. CNF has special permission to work on the islands of Tarutao National Park, and this provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a virtually unaltered tropical paradise.

We are looking for interns who first and foremost have a sense of adventure. While staying one of the most beautiful islands in the Andaman Sea speaks for itself, what you will learn from the local population is invaluable. Whether you’re in Pai or Tarutao National Park we take care of our team while fostering your professional development.

We are looking for undergraduate and graduate interns from a variety of backgrounds. For this site, we are primarily interested in interns with a background in marine biology, environmental studies, communications, and photography. That being said, our former interns have carried out a wide range of activities so if you believe you have a skill that could further our project and our mission, we would love to hear about it.



Will I get paid for the internship? 

Candidates participating in our International Internship Program will not be paid for the internship - it is a voluntary non-paid training period. This is the norm in Thailand and for most global organisations. Because we are an NGO, we simply cannot afford to pay our interns at this time. Most of our interns have found that the costs far outweigh the benefits--not to mention, our price is significantly more affordable than what other international volunteer organisations ask. Rest assured, your money does not go into any third-party corporation, nor does it go into our pockets. Rather, it gets recycled back into our organisation to make your experience as enjoyable and meaningful as possible.

What is the duration of the internship?

This is up to you, but we ask that you commit at least one month in order to reap the full benefits of an experience abroad. Most of our interns stay for 3 months and up to 6 months.

How long will it take to arrange the internship?

We recommend that you apply at least 90 days in advance to your start date (especially if you are applying for university credit). However, we can expedite this process on a case-by-case basis.

What should I bring?

For work:

Sturdy work boots for hiking and the farm, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeve shirt, this will protect you from the sun as well as the bugs. Sunscreen can be expensive in South East Asia, try and bring some from elsewhere if possible. Daily work off of the farm is casual.

Outside of work:

When not on the farm, dress is casual – feel free to be your unique selves! Keep in mind that Thai culture is traditionally conservative, please be aware of this by trying to dress as respectfully as possible when in more formal situations. When visiting temples knees and shoulders should be covered.

Don't forget your laptop!

Can I get university approval or accreditation for my internship?

Yes! Many of our interns complete the practical requirement of their academic studies and gain credit for their internship completed at CNF.  Please let us know if you wish to gain academic credit for your internship.

We ask that applicants seeking credit for academic studies supply all of the necessary documentation with their application. The team at CNF will liaise with representatives from your university or college, if required, to ensure that all of the necessary academic documentation is completed and satisfactory.

What is the weather like in Pai?

June-Nov (Rainy Season)

Rainy season is wet and humid, bring clothes that easily dry along with a light rain Jacket along with a good pair of flip-flops. There are a lot of mosquitoes during this time, remember to use bug spray.

Dec-May (Dry Season)

Dry season can get extremely hot during the day, but drop below freezing at night. If coming during this period it is best to bring a sweatshirt and hat, warm blankets will be provided in the bungalows.

What kind of visa do I need?

You will be applying for a Non-Immigrant "O" Volunteer Visa at your local Thai Embassy or Consulate before you leave for Thailand. We recommend you apply at least one week in advance, or as soon as you have secured your travel dates.

How should I arrange my travel itinerary?

Arriving in Thailand:

After a long flight to Thailand you can stay one night in Bangkok as it is a big city with plenty to see, or switch airports and head directly to the northern city of Chiang Mai. There are plenty of places that can arrange your transport to either Don Mueng Airport which is where you can catch a flight to Chiang Mai, the flight is a quick and cheap 45 minutes, and makes for easy travel. You can always take the scenic route by taking the train where you can book an overnight sleeper, this is a little cheaper and a nice way to see some of the country side. Once you arrive in Pai, we will pick you up.

Arriving in Chiang Mai:

Chiang Mai is like the capital of the north, a really cool city with tons to do and tons to eat! A couple days in Chiang Mai could certainly be worth your while and a good resting place before making your way up to Pai. When you decide what time and date you would like to head to CNF, let us know so we can arrange with Aya Service, located next to the train station, to take you up in one of their vans to us. The trip can take around three hours and has a lot of turns, but it’s quite a beautiful ride.

What is expected of me as an intern?

When interning with Conserve Natural Forests you are expected to follow the Code of Conduct and be respectful to the humans and nature you come in contact with here. You will be expected to work at least 20 hours per week lending your skills and learning the inner workings of our organization. It is important that we feel as though you are learning from your experience so please feel free to bring up any concerns you have along the way.

Where are the bungalows located? 

The bungalows are just 10 km (10 minutes) outside of Pai, where it is peaceful, quiet, and conducive to a productive work environment.

Is Pai safe? 

Absolutely! While Pai city is comparable to an urban lifestyle, the atmosphere is that of a small community. People are warm and friendly, and look after each other's wellbeing. We also have full medical support, and your valuable belongings will be safe in your bungalows with locks on all doors and windows.

Do I get to keep an elephant after my internship?

No. But nice try :) !