Gaia Ashram Internship

Join us in our day to day life and immerse yourself in community living, permaculture practices, and ecovillage design!

This 3-months Gaia Ashram internship is a hands-on experience that is meant to deepen your knowledge and sharpen your skills with experiential learning through head, heart, hands and spirit, with support of a focused mentorship.

Our Gaia Ashram Internship is an ideal opportunity for those who want to gain (more) knowledge, skills, and experiences in regenerating ecosystems, permaculture practices, and living in harmony with Mother Earth. Our internship program is open for those without any experience, but also welcomes those who are already quite skilled and experienced (maybe even completed a PDC or EDE) and want to use their skills & experiences to help to evolve our project or to share with other people in the community.

We are looking for interns that are self-motivated, committed, and flexible with a strong desire to serve Mother Earth, the community, and themselves.

What is the Gaia Ashram Internship about?

Within the first 2 weeks of your internship you’ll be working together with the Gaia Ashram team, to get to know the land, the main working areas, as well as our structures and culture. During that time you’ll get a feeling for our farm, projects, and working environment and we will get a sense for how we work together. During this period you will follow the same routine as volunteers.

Depending on your experience and knowledge, there’ll be weekly theoretical input sessions and check-ins that will give you the needed foundation and support for your project. Together we’ll find a project or area for you to work with the commitment to complete the project or achieve some stage of completion before the end of their internship (depending on the project). Later on, you’ll receive monthly feedback and evaluation on project progress and personal growth.

Your assigned project can be focused on the following areas, depending on your passion, interest, and experiences:

  • Gardening
  • Food forest & Agroforestry
  • Plant & Tree Nursery
  • Natural Farm Products
  • Educational Program & Trainings Coordinator
  • Natural Building
  • Landscaping

All projects should be aligned with our project’s needs, our vision and agenda, and your need for personal development.

What is the structure of the internship?

The Gaia Ashram Internship will follow the practice of experiential and project-based learning where the learning will follow the following steps:

  • Knowledge
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Feedback & Evaluation
  • Documentation
  • Presentation & Sharing

Knowledge

After building a foundation in the first weeks of your stay with us, you’ll have designated time for yourself to research and study relating to your project. We will share our knowledge with interns as much as we can, however, you have to do your research and study by yourself, with support and guidance of your mentor. This will help you to gain more knowledge beyond what you learn from your mentors.

Design

Once we agree on a specific project together, you’ll be guided to design your project and to complete a project design document. A project design has to cover the following questions: What is the project about? Why do we need this project? How to do and implement this project? When will it start and be completed? What is needed (materials, resource, money, etc.)

The design process will be under guidance of your mentor and will be discussed and feedback between you and the mentors to make the most realistic design according to time, space, material and resource available.

Implementation

Once the design is agreed and set, you will start implement your project with support from your mentors when necessary. At some stage of the project you might need extra hands. In this case you can announce your request in the community and ask for support. For specific technical support you’ll have to consult with your mentors.

Feedback & Evaluation

Towards the end of your internship, you’ll evaluate your project whether or not it achieved the set goal, and whether or not what you created is functioning as expected. The evaluation will happen per step/stage of the project together between intern & mentors.

Documentation

We ask you to document your project design, including step by step implementation, completion, and how the project helps to improve any aspect of Gaia Ashram. The documentation can be done by photograph, video, writing, or in any creative way. We expect you to make at least one writing, slideshow, or video of your whole learning cycle. This documentation will be posted on our website and social media presences.

Presentation

You’ll be presenting your project idea and design to the community to keep the community aware of it, share your knowledge, and to get feedback. You will also be expected to do a presentation of your project during and after completion which can be done in many different and creative ways according to what feels good for you.

What are the requirements?

We want to empower you with the tools and understanding of permaculture and ecovillage design for you to become an inspiring change maker and leader for positive change. There is no guarantee on what you will take away from this internship but be sure that the more engaged and active you are, the more you receive in return.

Please be aware that

  • You have to take responsibility for yourself and your duties
  • Our day to day work can be physically demanding
  • You have to take responsibility for daily chores
  • Our facilities are basic. Our buildings are made out of natural and/or recycled materials, and mostly open and in harmony with nature

We are looking for someone who is eager to learn, committed, able to accept feedback, self-motivated, working well with others, has an open mind and heart, and is honest and clear in communication.

What are the fees?

The fee for this 3-months internship is 26,400 THB.

The fee includes the living costs of 17,400 THB (3 vegetarian/vegan meals & accommodation in our dormitory) and mentorship fee of 9,000 THB.

We ask you to make a deposit of 9,000 THB to secure your spot and pay the remaining amount in THB in cash on arrival or electronic payment before arrival. Please make sure you have communicated with us before to make sure you have clarity of what the internship program means for you.

We as organizers reserve the right to cancel the internship, even at short notice, if there is a danger to the well-being of the visitors and organizers, such as viral infections (COVID-19 pandemic), storms or natural disasters (fire, hurricanes, floods). In this case, the organizer cannot be held liable for personal losses. Deposits will be refunded at 100%. To prevent further personal loss, we recommend taking out travel cancellation insurance.

living together

Gaia Ashram’s core team consists of Om and Tom. From time to time there are long-term residents joining, and we’re having volunteers staying with us. We are an international community and we expect you to be joining in our day to day community life. You’ll be joining the general daily rotational chores such as preparing meals, doing dishes, and cleaning the communal spaces. There is a weekly Monday morning communal cleaning blitz to take care of collective spaces.

As mentioned, at any given time there are short-term volunteers staying at Gaia Ashram. If you feel ready, you can take volunteers to support you and your project and guide them in your work area. Furthermore, you can share your gained knowledge & experience with volunteers through presentations and teachings.

Further educational courses

During the time of your internship, we will hold a Natural Building Course and a Thai Medicine Course. There’ll also be a Permaculture Design Course by the end of your internship, starting on November 25. Please let us know if you’re interested, we’re happy to give you a discount as an intern!

About us

Gaia Ashram is an education center on Permaculture, Deep Ecology, Ecovillage Design Education, and other sustainable living practices. We are a learning center that provides workshops and courses for both international and national participants. Feeling the urge to regenerate Mother Earth, Gaia Ashram was founded in 2013 by Tom and Om.

Over the years, we’ve hosted over a thousand people from all over the world and from all walks of life. Through the hard work by those who are involved in Gaia Ashram project, the volunteers, interns and long-term community members Gaia Ashram land has completely transformed from a bare rice field that didn’t even produce a lot of rice, into a beautiful biodiverse forested landscape that harvests water and serves the biodiverse community of all beings. In the social and cultural aspects, Gaia Ashram has found a way of life that deepens our connection with the earth through the head, heart, hand and spirit.

Om and Tom might be mentoring you in your hands-on experiences depending on your project, while most of the theoretical sessions, check-ins, and monthly feedbacks will be held by Karla, who is living at Gaia Ashram for around 3 years on and off.

Learn more about Gaia Ashram!

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION

Included in the internship fee is accommodation in our dormitory and 3 vegetarian/vegan meals per day. Nevertheless, we also have private accommodation available.

Our facilities are basic but functional, comfy, and most importantly, out of natural and recycled material!

Facilities:

  • Accommodation: Dormitory, shared rooms, and single rooms available. Mosquito nets, cushions, bedding, and blankets are provided.
  • Private rooms are available for an extra fee (single room 5,000 THB & big room 6,000 THB per month). Please let us know if you prefer to stay in a private room.
  • Toilets and showers: We provide compost toilets and showers for men and women.

General:

  • Internet: We don’t provide Wi-Fi but you usually get a good reception with AIS. There is an internet shop in the next village that is usually open every day. Nevertheless, for your research sessions, you are welcome to use our office and the internet.

WHERE TO FIND US

We are located in the Northeast of Thailand, in between Nong Khai and Udon Thani. Where exactly we are and how you can get to us can be found here.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE INTERNSHIP?

Please make sure you have communicated with us to make sure you have clarity of what the internship program means for you.

We’re happy to hear from you!

***Please be aware of our policy on drugs & alcohol***

We don’t allow alcohol or drugs on our property. We ask people to smoke at the smoking corner only to provide a healthy environment for learning and living together. We encourage people to take this course as an opportunity to have a break from smoking or drinking.