International Chef Internship

founded in 2015
Conserve Natural Forests
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Coordinator | Miguel
Coordinator | Miguel
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Break free from the 9 to 5 and hone your work ethic on a project that gives interns the freedom to be creative in their own light.
Work alongside a team of experts, incredibly knowledgable locals, and wonderful wildlife.
Strengthen your resume with hands-on experience in Asian cooking!
Make memories you'll never forget on weekend excursions around Pai and the beautiful villages in Northern Thailand.
Embark on awesome field trips along with staff and interns as we expand our project and reach new heights!
We are currently recruiting international chef interns to learn the art of Southeast Asian cuisine. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Do you want to gain hands-on, practical experience in Southeast Asian cooking while enjoying the lively and unique town of Pai? We are a small organization with big goals, and we’re looking for incredible interns to help us achieve them! 

International Chef Internship Description
How would you like to learn about Southeast Asian Cuisine while staying in the beautiful mountains of Northern Thailand surrounded by lush forests and wildlife? CNF is looking for an International Chef Intern to learn from and work alongside our Thai chef to prepare meals for our guests as well as for the other interns. The interns will be able to harvest ingredients from our organic garden full of fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables. International Chef Interns will gain valuable experience shadowing our incredible Thai chefs as they curate the most delectable Southeast Asian cuisine. 
  • Responsibilities Include:
    • Work alongside our chef to cook multiple meals a week for the other interns and guests.
    • Help to grow and prepare the fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the organic garden.
  • Requirements:
    • Degree or relevant experience in Culinary Arts or a related field.
    • Ability to contribute individually and participate in a team environment.
    • Must be positive and professional.
Why Intern With Conserve Natural Forests? 

CNF stands out amongst other international internships because it allows for each intern to find their niche while working and living in Thailand. Unlike traditional internships that stress a 9-5 lifestyle in an office setting and give little room for creative thought and flexibility, CNF gives interns the freedom to be creative in their own light, thus benefiting the organization while also developing their own personal skillset.        

There is a range of experts on the team that can act as either supervisors or mentors. We emphasize teamwork, effective communication, and collaboration. Due to the small nature of our organization, these skills are critical for the success of the operation and making sure things move along smoothly. If you are interested in wildlife and environmental sustainability projects while also exploring and discovering a new culture and way of life, please apply for one of these internship options! If you are interested in making a difference on an international scale, and connecting with other young, spirited individuals from around the globe, then look no further!

Typical day

Daily activities will vary depending on your internship focus area, season, local events, and other factors. A typical day for an environmental conservation intern might look like:
  • 8:00-9:00 am- Eat a delicious breakfast prepared by our Thai staff and enjoy a beautiful 10-minute drive to the project site (motorbike provided).
  • 9:00-10:00 am- Meet with staff and discuss daily activities, necessary support, or anything else interns need to tackle their projects!
  • 10:00 am-12:00 pm- Work on individual or group projects, which might include maintaining the nursery, collecting materials for building projects, collecting data for research, and more. 
  • 12:00-1:00 pm- Enjoy another delectable meal of Thai delicacies prepared by our on-site chefs while the whole team rests and takes a well-deserved break.
  • 1:00- 1:30 pm- Prepare for afternoon activities. Interns might assist staff with Ecotours to educate visitors about our mission, head to the office to conduct online research for projects, or continue working on site 
  • 1:30- 5:00 pm- Assist staff with the afternoon Ecotour, where guests come to learn about our reforestation and wildlife conservation work, including following Kamee, our resident Asian elephant, as she roams the project site and forages on her favorite foods. If not helping with the Ecotour, interns can use this time to work on their individual or group projects either on-site or at the office. 
  • 5:00- 6:00 pm- Enjoy another wonderful meal together with your fellow interns.
  • 6:00 pm onward- Make plans to explore the beautiful town of Pai along with interns and friends, from the lively walking street to local venues with live music. 

Free-time activities

Pai is known for its vibrant community of locals and ex-pats, a lively walking street with food vendors and crafts, delicious restaurants with Thai and western cuisines, and consistent live music almost every night. Beyond Pai center, the surrounding area is full of fun adventures, like tubing down the Pai river, chasing cascading waterfalls, bubbling hot springs, gorgeous sunset spots, ziplining, mountain biking and ATVs, training traditional Muay Thai Boxing, and more.

Pai is also located along the Mae Hong Son loop, a circular route encapsulating Chiang Mai, Pai, and Mae Hong Son. Many tourists embark on this gorgeous drive via motorbike, with countless opportunities to visit scenic villages and landmarks in Northern Thailand. 


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Education Requirements
Culinary Arts or a related field. at University (In progress or completed) level
Required Documents
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Ability to live and work in a communal environment, communicate effectively, and approach issues with a problem-solver attitude.
A driven, self-starter work ethic and motivation to tackle independent projects.
Must be positive and professional.
Specific qualifications are listed under each internship description.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Conserve Natural Forests
The internship fee is used to cover the cost of:
  • Accommodation- Primarily a bungalow with double bed and private bathroom.
  • Food- Interns are provided with three meals a day, five days a week, and are welcome to explore the delicious cuisine and restaurants in Pai during the weekends. Our talented chefs are able to accommodate any dietary restrictions or preferences. 
  • Transportation- Every two interns will be given a motorbike to share for transportation from the provided houses to the project site.
  • Field Trips- Interns will be able to participate in fieldwork and trips around Pai and beyond. 
  • Visas & Necessary Documents- Our team will organize any necessary documentation for you to apply for a Non-O volunteer visa and any other information you may need during your stay. 
Our primary intern housing is located next to the CNF office and boasts beautiful waterfront views. The bungalows are single occupancy with a private bathroom, double bed, and front porch for lounging and relaxing after work. 
If intern bungalows are full, comparable rooms will be booked and provided for interns at a nearby guesthouse. 

Food & Beverages
Interns are provided with three meals a day, five days a week, and are welcome to explore the delicious cuisine and restaurants in Pai during the weekends. Our talented chefs are able to accommodate any dietary restrictions or preferences. 
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) in Chiang Mai. We assist you to find cheap flights to Thailand.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Thailand provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Thailand you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Thailand.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Internships are available year-round, however, responsibilities and internship activities will vary slightly by season. For example, tree plantings can only be done during the rainy season (approximately mid-June through early October). However, there is plenty of work to do regardless of the season!

Once you arrive in Chiang Mai, our staff will be able to help organize transport to Pai through a local minibus service (approximately a three-hour drive). We will pick you up from the Pai bus station and transport you to Intern accommodation and get you settled for the start of your internship. 
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 48 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
11 weeks
19 weeks
48 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$244 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Conserve Natural Forests will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Conserve Natural Forests during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Conserve Natural Forests cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Conserve Natural Forests.

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International Chef Internship

We are currently recruiting international chef interns to learn the art of Southeast Asian cuisine.


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