If the mundane has left you with a bad taste in your mouth, spice up your life with an internship in Thailand. Uncover the complex flavors of Thailand’s cuisine with some fiery street food. With a full belly, dive into the culture (and coral reefs) or visit an elephant park. Despite the fun you’re sure to find, the real adventure begins with your internship. Not only will you gain valuable career skills, but you’ll also connect with Thailand’s people, history, and culture. Intern in Thailand and discover a whole world beyond your office desk!
Where to Intern in Thailand
Although Thailand’s reputation for beautiful beaches extends worldwide, the country’s geography also boasts mountains and rivers. Internship opportunities exist throughout the country; however, here are our picks for the best places for an internship in Thailand:
The capital and largest city, Bangkok, is a clear choice for Thailand internships. Also a center for art, entertainment, and education, internship opportunities abound across a variety of fields and sectors. The street food here is stellar, and in addition to two-buck noodles or fresh tom sum (green papaya salad), you can also shop for flowers or clothes from a street vendor. The constant energy in Bangkok will appeal to those who seek the exhilaration of being in one of Asia’s most important urban centers.
Founded in 1296 as the capital, Chiang Mai’s nickname the “New City” has stuck around. Chiang Mai continues to reinvent the new while also respecting the past. Although the city is tourist central, as an intern, you can enjoy the best of Chiang Mai as a resident rather than a passer-through. Known for its yearly festivals, the citizens here like to find a reason to celebrate. In February, the Flower Festival delights the senses as tropical flowers come into bloom. The November Loi Krathong festival lights the rivers and skies with small paper lanterns.
If a slow-paced internship setting floats your boat, the island of Phuket pairs business with pleasure. Many of the best-known beaches, including the popular Patong Beach, line the shores of this island of the west coast of Thailand. After your 9-5, you can also shop or hit up the nightlife in the areas near Patong Beach, or opt for sunset watching at the quieter Kamala beach. For a little inspiration, search for the Big Buddha, a 150-foot white marble sculpture hidden in Phuket’s mountains.
Popular Fields for Internships in Thailand
You may not be a seasoned professional quite yet, but completing an internship in Thailand will give you a taste of the real world with a dash of experience to set you apart. Here are popular types of internships for international students in Thailand:
With the plethora of natural diversity and wildlife, Thailand internships for international students in environmental studies and ecology are available in most areas of the country. Spending days in a coral reef or an elephant conservation park will not only be engaging, but it will also give you firsthand training in your field.
With over 20 million visitors a year, Thailand draws travelers like a magnet, making Thailand a top pick for hospitality and tourism internships. Speaking English is an asset for this type of internship, which could include anything from working in a tourism office to serving customers at a hostel.
Due to the nation’s status as a developing country, education and medical internships are widely available as well. Programs range from a medical volunteer and internship to teaching internship programs.
Costs of Interning in Thailand
Interns won’t make the big bucks here. However, you can live well on an affordable budget, and you might even land an internship that pays.
Salary depends on the field and sector in which you find internships in Thailand. Some internships may provide a salary or stipend that will cover some of your expenses. Housing and food costs will only set you back between $600 and $900 per month. You can also recruit family and friends to help for your adventure via FundMyTravel or apply for scholarships.
Accommodations in Thailand
Depending on the length of your internship stay, you may choose a homestay, a hostel, or an apartment. Homestays make perfect sense of mid-length stays of a few months and also offer a glimpse into Thai life. Hostels are ideal for a short stint and have the added benefit of helping you meet other travelers. For stays of six months or longer, an apartment may feel most like home and help you settle in like a local.
Visas for Thailand
For an internship in Thailand, you must obtain an education visa prior to entering the country. In addition to a valid passport, you’ll likely need to show proof of funds for the duration of your stay, a visa application, and passport-sized photographs. Valid up to three months, the education visa can be extended in Thailand to up to one year. View GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for the most up-to-date requirements for visas in Thailand.
GoAbroad’s Insider Tips
Language barrier. Although in many fields like business and tourism, where you can get by on English, knowing a few key phrases (at least) in Thai will certainly help. You’ll be able to better connect with the local community.
Navigating a new (work) culture. Don’t be afraid to politely ask questions in advance or on the job. Observing others will take you far as well. And after work, get out and explore your home away from home. You’ll soon settle into a new rhythm.
Tangy Thailand is awaiting for you to design your perfect internship menu. Order it up!