Curriculum Development Internship

Placement: Thai Freedom House is a community learning center focused on teaching Thai and English languages and the arts to Burmese refugees who fled Burma to escape severe human rights violations. Basic education is unavailable to most ordinary Burmese citizens, which makes their services extremely valuable to these people. TFH also has a vegetarian café (Free Bird Café) on site with a small shop (Pre Loved Clothing Shop) to help generate income for the learning center. Every staff member of TFH is a volunteer, including their directors. Volunteers at Thai Freedom House gain a wide variety of experiences, from teaching ESL and helping with administrative work to helping in the café project and recruiting new volunteers.

The students of TFH are Burmese refugees from construction camps around Chiang Mai and are not able to go to school for lack of I.D. cards and unstable living conditions. Therefore, the project may be their only chance for an education, and it’s taken very seriously. That said, TFH also has a lot of fun with visiting artists, musicians and fund-raising events, not to mention being located in the historic city center of Chiang Mai.


-Bachelor degree in field related to education; TESL or TEFL an asset
-Two years experience teaching ESL/EFL curriculum
-Creative and enthusiastic about teaching; willing to mentor other teachers
-Familiarity with Thai and/or Shan culture and language is preferred
-Experience with the Arts an asset
-Able to work with minimum supervision; outgoing, flexible personality
-Excellent interpersonal skills and a positive, professional attitude
-High attention to detail; good analytical and organizational skills
-Experience in grant writing and fundraising a plus
-Knowledge and/or experience with ethnic struggles in Burma a plus
-International NGO and/or community-based program experience desired


-Develop a long-term model for ESL curriculum within the formal TFH community learning center structure
-Create dynamic and interesting lessons; develop creative English teaching activities
-Train and mentor other ESL, Shan, Burmese, and Art teachers on how to use our curriculum
-Provide ESL classes to our Thai and Shan staff
-Integrate Thai and Shan culture into curriculum
-Occasionally co-teach students with other TFH teachers
-Attendance at all TFH meetings, usually once a week
-Assist with grant research and writing proposals where education is concerned
-Perform other related work as required
-Display a positive attitude and strong work ethic to students and other staff

What you get in exchange for your work:

-On the job training and hands-on experience with a small grassroots not-for-profit learning center; setting up, coordinating and implementing all aspects of our organization and mission
-In-class ESL experience; curriculum development experience
-Ability to mentor and/or teach students and volunteers without access to such education
-An invaluable experience working with refugees and other international volunteers providing language and learning skills to stateless people
-Satisfaction of knowing you are helping to pass on education and create a community space for children and adults who can find it nowhere else
-A tour of Chiang Mai, orientation to Thailand and Thai Freedom House, Thai language basics, a local SIM card and phone and 24 hour emergency assistance
-The experience of a lifetime

Minimum Duration: 8 weeks

The Program Fee Includes: Registration fees, donation to the host organization, pre-trip orientation materials, travel health insurance, in-country orientation and city tour, in-country transportation to and from placement, accommodation, food, Thai language training, in-country staff support, and 24-hour emergency assistance.

Donation to Host Organization:
If you are accepted as a volunteer by one of our partner organizations, $100 from the program fee is contributed toward your project.

Pre-trip Orientation:
Upon receiving your application and deposit, we will send to you the CCT Orientation Kit, containing all the necessary paperwork to entirely prepare you for your trip.
The orientation kit includes information on the issue pertaining to your project. It also includes a recommended reading list and information on Thailand , culture and customs.

In-country Orientation:
Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, whether by bus, plane or train, a Cultural Canvas Thailand staff member will be waiting to transport you to the Cultural Canvas Thailand headquarters where you will have an orientation. This will prepare you further for your chosen project and give you a chance to meet our staff and other volunteers. Wad, our In-Country Director, will make sure that you have a grasp on Chiang Mai by taking you around the city and helping you to get acquainted with Thai culture and the Home-Base.

Thai Language Training:
Cultural Canvas Thailand provides three hours of Thai language training in the first week of your volunteer placement. If you would like to study further, you can arrange to do so with our Thai teacher. Additional hours are not covered the by CCT program fee.

You will be housed in the Cultural Canvas Thailand home-base conveniently located near the old city center. Here all of your basic needs are taken care of, including lodgings, meals, telephone and transportation. The home-base is located in a safe, conveniently situated neighborhood. It is a clean Thai-style accommodation with shared occupancy rooms.

Our in-house cook will provide two delicious, home-cooked Thai meals per day six days per week. A light breakfast is always available with cereal, fruit, toast, coffee, and tea. On Sundays, volunteers can cook for themselves at the Home-Base or grab a bite to eat in one of the many near-by markets or restaurants. Please let us know any specific dietary restrictions in advance so that all of your needs can be taken care of.

Upon arrival and departure, Cultural Canvas Thailand will provide transportation between the CCT volunteer house and the airport, train station, bus station, etc. Cultural Canvas also provides daily transportation to and from your placement.

Support and Safety:
The Cultural Canvas Thailand home-base is in a secure location with staff available 24-hours a day. Here you can receive international calls and internet access is within walking distance.

In case of emergency, friends and family can call the home-base or use our convenient U.S. 24-hour hotline.

In case of injury you will be admitted to one of Chiang Mai’s high-quality, private hospitals.

We provide comprehensive medical insurance and emergency evacuation assistance.

Application Process:
Are you up to the task? Then complete the online application form. Use our secure online payment process to make your $300 deposit.

The application and deposit should be received 90 days prior to the commencement of your chosen project. For late applications, please inquire regarding availability, as exceptions can be made.
Full payment must be received 30 days prior to the commencement of your project in order to allow us enough time to provide you with the proper insurance and project placement.