Earthaven Internship FAQ

Additional Information About the Program

September 21 – November 2, 2024

Earthaven Ecovillage
Near Asheville, NC

Thank you for your interest in the Earthaven Intership Program!

Following are frequently asked questions and their answers. 

Workshop cohort

How do I apply and enroll?

Note: We are not accepting applications at this time.

If you are interested in participating in the internship program, we encourage you to read through the website and then complete this application. There’s no charge to apply. After we receive your application, we will review your application within two weeks and schedule a short interview to answer any questions and see if the program seems a good fit.

If the program seems a good fit, you will receive an acceptance letter as well as information about how to proceed with enrollment.

If there’s something you want to know before applying, feel free to contact us.

Who is this internship for?

The Earthaven Internship is for enthusiastic adults who are curious about life off the beaten path of mainstream culture. Maybe it’s a gap year or break from school to explore other paths or life transition of another sort.

We are looking for folks longing to be in their body and heart as much as their brain, and experience the tangible joy and satisfaction of land-based work. This internship is as much about exploring yourself as it is about experiencing Earthaven.

Can I visit Earthaven before the program starts?

Yes, if you can make it happen, it’s a great idea. The best first step is to book an in-person Ecovillage Tour. We offer tours most Saturdays throughout the year. If you need to come at a different time, you can always book a customized tour. Once you book, please let us know that you’re enrolled for the internship program so we can introduce you to other aspects of Earthaven that are beyond what is covered in the general tour. 

If coming in person is not possible, taking a virtual tour is a great way to learn about Earthaven and get a birds-eye-view tour, exploring areas of the community in photos that you won’t be able to see in the in-person walking tour.

If I am physically limited, can I still participate?

Due to the service-work nature of this program and the hilly, uneven terrain of Earthaven, a certain level of physical ability is necessary. The Wheelhouse is a three-story building with steep stairs and is located about a quarter of a mile from the Village Center. 

If you have questions about your ability to fully participate in the internship, please contact us. We have more accessible Earthaven experience programs that might be better for you. You could also take an in-person tour to assess the situation before committing to a six-week program.

Can I bring my child?

This program is not appropriate for children. Families are welcome at most of our programs, where parents weave in and out of content to tend their children’s needs. However, due to the length, physicality, and adult-centered service-learning aspect of an internship, this program is not a good fit for families with children. Families might check out Earthaven Ecovillage Experience Week or Compassion Camp.

We are open to including mature teens to apply as participants alongside their parent or designated responsible adult. Please make a note in your application so the program coordinator can discussed the situation with you during the interview.

Can I bring my dog?

Participants may not bring pets of any kind to Earthaven Ecovillage. Please make arrangements for the wellbeing of your animal companions elsewhere for the duration of your stay.

Can I have guests visit me who aren’t participating in the program?

Yes, for short visits. The program is Monday – Friday, making weekends the best time to have guests visit you. Although it may not be possible to have your guest stay with you at in your accommodations, they can elect to tent camp or book a bed in the Campground Cabin. Or if you want some cozy private time together, perhaps booking a nearby AirB&B would be fitting.

If you have additional questions about your situation, please make a note in your application so we can discuss it with you during the interview.

Weather and Clothing

Workshop at Earthaven Ecovillage in autumn
Eating breakfast during an autumn program at Earthaven Ecovillage

What is the weather like?

Weather is highly variable in the mountains of Western North Carolina. In the timeframe of this internship, late September – early November, one might experience daytime temperatures in the 80’s, night time temps near or at freezing, autumnal winds, frequent or heavy rain, or extreme dry conditions. Each year is a surprise, so come prepared for a variety of conditions. Learn more about what to expect here.

Is there mold?

This is a humid, forested valley. Mold grows in such environments. Our mold season is generally June – early September, however spores are still present at other times of year despite best practices, and mold-sensitive individuals may react. The common molds here are the blue and green penicillium species, not black molds such as cladosporium, alternaria, and stachysbotrys.

What type of clothing is appropriate?

Rugged shoes are a must, closed toed and sturdy. A boot-type shoe that covers the ankle is recommended. We have uneven terrain, plenty of poison ivy, and some venomous snakes through October.

Be prepared for some freezing nighttime temperatures and early mornings as we move through October into November, while afternoons can get quite warm in early autumn. Layering is important for your comfort and preparedness.

We will work in reasonable amounts of wind and rain, so having an outer layer to protect you from the elements is essential.

A full packing list will be provided upon enrollment.

Wheelhouse at Earthaven Ecovillage
Tent at Earthaven campground

Are there other options than camping?

Camping is available and included in the tuition, but you don’t have to camp if you don’t want to. The campground accommodates tents, hammocks, vans, and small RVs. The intern group will have the campground to themselves. There is spring water in the campground, but no hookups, electricity, or internet.

If you’d like to be indoors, shared and private indoor lodging is available for an additional cost. There are a limited number of rooms available on a first come, first serve basis.

You could also stay in a nearby Air BnB, which could be a good option if you prefer to stay with a friend or partner who isn’t participating in the program.

What about showers and bathrooms?

Hot outdoor showers are available.

Clean and pleasant composting toilets are available throughout the village. Learn more about what to expect here.

Is there access to the internet? Cell service?

One of the beauties of life at Earthaven is limited access to cell service. You may find a signal at a few spots in the village, but we encourage leaving our phones in airplane mode in our pockets and engaging in the moment. Participants can drive or walk one mile up the road if they wish to use their cell phones. Landline phones are available for short phone calls or emergencies.

Internet access, but not wifi, is available in the Council Hall in the village center. Ethernet adaptive cords that work for your particular device will be needed for phones, tablets, and chromebook-type devices. Internet connection in the village commons comes through an ethernet cord.

Food, Transportation

Autumn workshop at Earthaven Ecovillage

What is the food situation?

Food is included in the tuition. The meal plan provides three ample and nutritious meals each day and some snacks. The meals will be prepared by the intern cohort themselves on a rotational basis, with support from a resident.

The provided meals accommodate most common dietary choices/restrictions, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. 

If you have a very specific diet or need extra snacks or special comfort foods, please prepare to bring or purchase these supplemental foods for yourself. On personal days, you will have ample time to take a trip into town for groceries.

Do I need to bring cash?

You do not need cash for the program, but there are weekly events where you might want to spend money. We function on a cash basis at Earthaven. There’s not an ATM nearby and most purchases can’t be made via a phone because there isn’t cell service or wifi in most of the village. 

What if I don’t have a car? Can I get a ride from the airport?

You won’t need a car during program days. You might want to leave Earthaven on the weekends to run errands, attend events, or explore the area. Generally participants will collaborate on town trips. If that doesn’t work, the program coordinator will try to hook you up with a villager to help you out.

Many people at Earthaven don’t have cars and many do. Because there’s always someone going to town for one reason or another, it’s usually pretty easy to catch a ride with someone or get help on picking something up. Not having a car helps us stay connected with others to get our basic needs met and supports us to practice sharing and caring.

We can arrange for you to be picked up and dropped off at the airport for $80 one-way. Select the transportation support option when you register for the program.

School of Integrated Living Educational Philosophy and Values

Zev Friedman and Kimchi Rylander in the neighborhood garden
Muddy hands

What is SOIL’s educational philosophy?

This program at Earthaven Ecovillage engages participants in a process of experiential, relational, holistic and transformative learning.

Through living in community, learning by doing, and dialoguing with community members, interns are able to generate knowledge firsthand, through direct experience. Our experiential approach grounds and connects the intellectual explorations with the lived realities of the Earthaven experiment and the Southern Appalachian Mountains the learning will take place within.

Within the web of relations that is our life, we are aiming to deepen relationships in support of socio-ecological systems that enhance life, love, and justice, within and between. Curiosity and direct sensory engagement with the physical world awaken embodied connections and foster reciprocal relationships with nature, self, and others.

This program is holistic in nature, in that interns are invited to bring all aspects of themselves to their learning: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, intuitive, and somatic. This understanding of “holistic” also recognizes the embeddedness of all knowledge in environmental and socio-cultural realities, challenging conventional distinctions between personal, societal and environmental transformation.

Lastly, this program has a transformative intention that is provided by the crucible of Earthaven and the Southern Appalachian Mountains, which, by necessity, elicit critical reflection on personal and cultural assumptions and conditioning. Together, interns and long-term residents are encouraged and supported to deepen their learning and to push beyond their comfort zones by engaging self-reflectively with the experiential realities they encounter, particularly as these challenge and evolve their understanding of self and world.

What are SOIL’s values and code of conduct?

We are dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We celebrate our unique differences  and are united by our values. We believe that articulating our values and accountabilities to one another reinforces respect and provides us with clear avenues to correct our culture should it ever stray. We put forth this code of conduct not because we anticipate bad behavior, but because we believe in the already exceptional level of respect among us. Learn more about our Values and Code of Conduct.

The Group and Application Process

Note: This program is not currently accepting applications.

We will be welcoming up to fourteen participants into this program.

This program is designed for adults of all ages and stages who …

  • Want to generate knowledge through firsthand, direct experiences
  • Are exploring options for their next life phase
  • Question mainstream culture and are looking for alternatives
  • Wonder if they would be happier living in a community setting

If you are interested, please fill out an application. (There’s no cost to apply.) We’ll schedule a short interview so we can answer your questions and confirm that the program is a good fit. If it seems like a good match, you’ll receive a letter of invitation and be able to proceed with enrolling in the program.

Click to apply.

Group working in the hamlet field

Nothing in advanced-level education has prepared you for this experience! Get ready to leave what you know and step into a firestorm of techno-, anthro-, bio-, socio-, politico-consciousness. 

Robert J., SOIL participant


Young adults (18 – 25): $1,950 – $3,400
Regular pricing: $2,600 – $3,400
BIPOC: $1,700 – $3,400

What’s Included

Tuition includes three meals/day, snacks on work days, camping (tent or van), instruction, materials, and Earthaven fees.

Indoor accommodations, arrival and departure transportation, and participation in The Re-membering Retreat are available for an additional cost. The Re-membering Retreat takes place September 26-29. Participants may join the retreat for a reduced cost. Separate registration required.

Personal expenses, such as laundry, medical expenses, personal entertainment, health & travel insurance, supplemental food, and any other personal items, are not available through the program.