Interning in Thailand – A Volunteer Account

Interning in Thailand – A Volunteer Account

Born in South Africa, I packed my bags and headed for Asia in 2009 and never looked back. Out of the 13 countries in Asia I have travelled so far, Thailand has definitely stolen a place in my heart. I moved to Chiang Mai 4 months ago and I am now the media intern for Thailand. This enables me to go around with volunteers and capture their experiences and also that which makes Thailand unique. The rich culture, the friendliness that you find around every corner and the general vibe of happiness all around is something that makes Thailand special.




Having the opportunity to go behind the scenes so to speak at the temples the foundation works with has definitely been of my most favorite things about being a media intern. Being able to get up close to the monks and observe their daily rituals without feeling like a tourist that is imposing is amazing.  I think the volunteers have a unique chance to get to know the monks in a way that not many people can. From going to the fish pond to “give merit” (gain good karma) to sitting in on daily chants, it’s an experience that only a handful of people can say they have had.


Teaching English to Novice Monks is only one of the many great ways that the foundation makes a difference in the community. I have seen how the faces of the students light up when volunteers arrive to teach English at the local government schools. You won’t walk around for too long without hearing a “how are you!” being yelled, followed by giggles. Being able to learn English will open up a lot of doors for these students in the future and meeting volunteers from all over the globe is an exciting experience for them.


The plethora of things to see in this beautiful Northern Thailand city is never-ending, and the encounters to be had will never be boring. I am very excited to see what the rest of my stay in the land of smiles has to offer!


Heleen Barnard
Thailand Media Intern
Prakriti Malhotra is the founding director of Inspire. She has over 12 years’ experience helping individuals plan their overseas volunteering trips whether it be for their gap year, a sabbatical from work or a post retirement adventure.
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