IGS Internships

Religion & Culture

Buddhist Temple Stay

Project Introduction

Twenty-five years ago, a revered Thai monk founded this Buddhist temple to provide foreigners with an opportunity to study Buddhism and to be ordained as monks in a rural setting in Thailand, but without the language barriers. The temple houses approximately 17 monks, with the number of guests varying throughout the year. This is a place of sacred worship, and a placement in this position must be treated with the utmost cultural sensitivity, full cooperation, and complete respect and deference to the monks. The Institute for Cultural Ecology will consider only those applicants who clearly demonstrate an exceptional gift for learning in varied cultural environments, demonstrate a considerable level of maturity. All applications will be subject to the approval of the abbot of the monastery.


The monastery is located in eastern Thailand, near Ubon Ratchathani. The town has an Internet café, shops, restaurants, and the like. There is also a bus available to Ubon's town center.

Job Description

The day starts early with chanting, meditation, and other rituals. At dawn, you will embark on the alms rounds in the village. Following the rounds, there may be teaching, work, meetings, speeches, discussions, private consultations with the abbot, and free time for study, meditation, or other pursuits. Activities vary from day to day, and season to season. The temple residents finish eating at 12:00 PM. They eat what has been given to the monks in the morning alms round, or what local people have cooked in the temple kitchen. Sometimes the lay followers (i.e. interns) will be asked to help in the kitchen. If you are interested in being ordained as a monk, please be advised that this would require observing the above routine for at least one year. Women cannot be ordained as nuns here; they are referred to a partner temple in Great Britain.

For students interested more in the anthropology of religion and not following a temple regiment, we can set you up at an alternative location that is more flexible in allowing you to come and go. You may then focus on a topic of academic interest and conduct your research accordingly.


This is a full-time residency. At the temple, men stay with a mattress and mosquito net provided. Women stay in a separate building with similar facilities. Interns can stay in the town and commute to the temple by day. Buses go from the town market past the temple every 15 minutes. The bus ride takes approximately 20 minutes.

Availability and Requirements

Internship available year-round.

Minimum Length of Stay

Minimum 4 weeks

Additional Requirements

In your brief letter of intent on the IGS Application form, please be sure to indicate the source of your interest in this position, what you hope to contribute to the program indicated, and what you hope to learn or experience through your internship--this letter of intent will be distributed to internship providers. In addition, be sure to submit a resume or acceptable equivalent indicating any relevant knowledge or skills.