On this wild animal internship in Thailand, work with mahouts to contribute to the protection of elephants. You will work in a reserve with these semi-wild animals, and participate in educating the population about the environmental issues of the region. Discover Thai culture and benefit from a real international professional experience. You will share daily life with the locals throughout your project.
In the province of Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand, is the small town of Huay Pakoot which houses our elephant sanctuary for this wild animal training internship. Rescued from tourist activities, the elephants are placed in a refuge where they are well treated, well fed and can live in a natural environment. Our partner organisation works closely with local caretakers (mahouts) to ensure the well-being of animals often traumatised by past mistreatment.
Like all of our animal internship programs abroad, this project in Thailand allows you to gain university credits while contributing to the conservation of the region's wildlife.
It includes a more in-depth follow-up with a theoretical part that adds to the practical experience in the field. In addition to receiving the necessary ECTS credits to validate your year, at the end of the program you will obtain an international certification recognised and delivered by the University of Richmond, in the United States. You will have two online course modules to complete before the field mission, to prepare you for the project. During but also after the internship, you will benefit from professional support: a specialised internship supervisor will monitor your work and give you a final evaluation, and you will benefit from access to a portal of job offers in NGOs as well as a recommendation from your internship supervisor on LinkedIn.
Take a closer look at the specifics of this internship as an academic program, and sign up to start a sustainable career via an approved internship!
During your internship with these wild animals, you will gain unique insight and immerse yourself in traditional Thai elephant-keeping communities while contributing to this multi-focused program. The internship will give you the opportunity to gain work experience in three different areas: community development (education), environmental diversity and animal welfare.
The community development aspect will focus on teaching English to the local school children as well as the elephant keepers (mahouts). You will also be involved in supporting community efforts to reduce financial dependence on elephants.
The biodiversity program includes the study and identification of reptiles, mammals, insects and birds in the area using different techniques. The elephant protection program consists of conducting health checks on elephants, educating on the condition of Asian elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into protected forests.
Rotating between programs offers you a variety of experiences and the opportunity to get involved in different aspects of animal and habitat protection, while giving you a wide range of skills and work experience for your future career. The internship encourages volunteers to take initiative and introduce new aspects to help them further contribute to the conservation of an incredible species. Interns will be given specific leadership responsibilities as well as weekly assignments and evaluation by their mentors, who will monitor their progress throughout their time at the centre. Interns will also obtain exclusive team management training approved by the internationally recognized Institute of Leadership and Management.
After a validated internship with wild animals, qualified candidates may have the opportunity to work for the centre or for selected partner organisations in Thailand or on projects in other countries around the world. More than 50% of the partner organisation's staff is recruited from our database of former interns.
They work in collaboration with local communities and the government.
As a non-profit organisation, our conservation project is completely transparent. The volunteer contribution is used to cover the planning of projects on the reserve (reconnaissance, team recruitment and logistical support), direct field costs (transportation, lodging, staff meals) and finally to support the project itself. Without the physical and financial help of the volunteers, this project would not have been possible.