Summer Programs in Thailand

Being a volunteer in Thailand is meant to be a satisfying and enriching experience. Volunteers are immersed into Thai culture so they can learn some of the language, enjoy typical food and interact with locals. Our local partners have plenty of experience guiding and assisting the newcomers who are willing to help the community. We do our best to make sure that all the volunteers in Thailand benefit as much as they can throughout their stay in the country, staying safe and earning the respect of the locals.

 

Regardless of the activities you carry out in Thailand, whether you teach English, work out in the nature, or stay at the elephant camp, living and working in this country is an eye-opening experience to gain the most valuable insight about the Far Eastern culture. All of this would be totally unattainable from the point of view of a tourist.

 

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the South Eastern region. This country offers incredible experiences including diving excursions, amazing food, and, most importantly, meeting some of the friendliest people ever.

 

What’s included in our fair-cost policy?

 

All our programs include a fixed price Registration Fee of US$249 and a Program Fee that varies according to the duration of the program and the services included.

 

The Registration Fee covers the costs of all that Connecting Worlds has to do in order to organise the experience in an efficient manner and offer each participant a quality program. These costs include marketing, staff salaries, travel costs of staff who visit and inspect each of the programs on offer and Connecting Worlds’ solidarity fund among others. We need this fee just to sustain the organization.

 

The Program Fee is the total cost of everything related to the services that the volunteer will be able to take advantage of upon arrival to the destination of their choice. For example, accommodation, meals, transfers, the donation made to the volunteer project, welcome orientation and constant 24/7 support. The payment for this fee goes directly to the country in which the volunteer will be stationed, directly benefiting the local community. It’s a fee which helps organisations that work in the country associated with the program at hand to move forwards with their projects and generate work opportunities for the local community.

 

Thanks to our fair-cost policy, the volunteer benefits from not having to pay high fees and our local partners benefit from being able to invest in their projects and keep things moving forwards. Connecting Worlds also benefits from keeping the costs of its programs as low as possible because we get the opportunity to support local communities and make a difference in our own small but important way.

Projects in Surin:

Elephant Village Program

Around 60km north of Surin city, a rural and traditional community lies hidden from the big cities. This is one of the most genuine parts of Thailand, with its wooden houses and dirt roads. For hundreds of years, until the mid-1980s, elephants were used for logging and heavy duty work; however, that is illegal nowadays but the elephant population still needs to survive. They are currently treated like ordinary pets. Their daily food intake is over 300kg and they need periodical health checks; yet all of this is extremely unaffordable for any ordinary Thai farming family that earns $5 per day at the most.

To be able to pay for what the elephants need, their owners (known as “Mahouts”) started taking their elephants to the big cities so that tourists can purchase pictures with them. This activity is dangerous for elephants, as they are meant to live in a rural and less polluted environment. Our partners in Thailand have offered these elephant owners to support them physically and economically if they stop walking their elephants for tourist pictures.

The program fees for this project are meant to make sure that the elephants stay in a healthy and natural setting, by receiving the appropriate healthcare and diet they require. You can spend 3 nights and 4 days each week learning how to train, feed, wash and work with the elephants.

What is more, volunteers who take part in this program will live the “real” Thai life by assisting with the cooking, farming, fishing, kayaking and even working on small development projects. They will also be able to interact with the community kids and lots more. Don’t miss this incredible experience!

 
Program Highlights:

  • Establishing a personal relationship with nature’s biggest land animals
  • Living in a genuine Thai farming community
  • Helping with micro-development activities in the area
  • Entertaining and playing with the local Thai children!
  • Going on a guided tour to the greatest landmarks in Bangkok
  • Learning to cook a few classic Thai meals
  • A guided tour of bustling Bangkok city

The experience in this program starts at Bangkok, where volunteers are picked up from the airport and taken to the guesthouse in Khao San Road, in the center of the city, to spend their first night. At this place, volunteers will meet one another and be taken on a guided tour around Bangkok and a lunch at a well-known Thai restaurant. After that, volunteers will be driven to Surin by coach. That is a great way to start your stay!

Please NOTE that the dates to arrive should be the first and third Fridays of each month, so that volunteers may begin their placement the following Monday.

Projects in Bangkok and Chiang Mai:

Education Program

Our teaching volunteers can choose to start their programs in Bangkok or Chang Mai. School students in both locations will be totally pleased to have the chance to interact with native English speakers. Your presence alone will give students the opportunity to develop their English skills in real-life situations, no matter whether you have a teaching background or not. Your role will also vary depending on the school’s needs, your interests and what time of the year it is.

On the first day, each volunteer will be assigned a Thai teacher. Volunteers can assist the teachers during their lessons, or even suggest a new lesson plan if they have the confidence or experience. Students will love this new experience, and Thai teachers will be able to catch up on correcting homework or other projects they have in the meantime.

Please NOTE that the dates to arrive should be the first and third Fridays of each month between 8am and 8pm, so that volunteers may begin their placement the following Monday. As volunteers will work directly with children, they must submit a clean criminal record before their arrival.

 

Outdoor Work

As part of this project, volunteers will assist in construction and gardening at a home for single mothers. The activities may include bamboo construction, making cement foundations, painting walls, maintaining gardens and harvesting the produce that the locals grow organically. They will vary depending of the volunteer’s skills and the weather conditions amongst other factors.

It is important that volunteers are between 20 to 40 years old and they are in a good physical condition, as they will most likely work outside in the heat. They should also have a basic knowledge of building and tools.

The main objective of this project is to work with the single mothers to help them acquire and develop new skills and improve their quality of life. Volunteers should be able to work independently and be willing to share their knowledge and skills, which could include English teaching, computer literacy or creative and crafty workshops.

Teaching English to Buddhist Monks

Our teaching volunteers can choose to start their programs in Bangkok or Chang Mai. Novice Buddhist monks at the temple school in both locations will be totally pleased to have the chance to interact with native English speakers. Your role will also vary depending on the school’s needs, your interests and what time of the year it is. Some possible activities include helping children with their homework, cleaning the classroom, assisting teachers, and even preparing games and activities.

Each volunteer will be assigned a Thai teacher. Volunteers can assist the teachers during their lessons, or even suggest a new lesson plan if they have the confidence or experience. Students will love this new experience, and Thai teachers will be able to catch up on other projects they have in the meantime. In general, volunteers will be in front of a class from 10 to 20 hours each week. If you are creative enough, you can also assist in developing projects at school.

Please NOTE that the dates to arrive should be the first and third Fridays of each month between 8am and 8pm, so that volunteers may begin their placement the following Monday. As volunteers will work directly with children, they must submit a clean criminal record before their arrival. Also, take into account that this program will be closed from March 5th until May 15th 2017 and from September 30th to November 6th 2017 because of national school holidays, so we cannot accept applications for placements that overlap with these dates.

Projects in Chiang Rai:

Teaching English

In Chiang Rai, located in the north of Thailand, locals have very limited access to formal education. That is why volunteers are required to help with teaching both young children and adults from the nearby villages throughout the year. Schools are closed is from March to May and during October, but still the local group organizes school camps and other tasks for local children. Volunteers have to complete a lesson plan before they teach every day, and they can choose to work along with other participants or native Thai teachers. However, they will also have to teach classes on their own.

It is not required that volunteers hold a teaching degree or teaching experience to be part of this experience, as they work alongside CW’s local staff. Yet, we would like to encourage volunteers to complete some relevant course or training in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) to be well prepared prior to arrival.

 

Childcare

The Childcare Project involves working with children from 2 to 6 years old who attend the centers during the day. Volunteers assist native Thai teachers with their teaching and classroom management and helping the kids during mealtimes.

A typical routine includes teaching around 90 minutes every morning and then helping with the meals and cleaning up. While children sleep in the afternoon, volunteers will have to help with the planning and management of resources for around 2 hours.

It is not required that volunteers hold a teaching degree or teaching experience to be part of this experience, but they will have to discuss the topics and development of their classes with the teachers. This program is open for all volunteers all year round, except April and October because of holidays. During those periods, volunteers are welcome to be part of the Teaching Project.

 

Requirements

To volunteer for our Programs in Thailand you must be at least 18 years old on the date of your placement in a project, have graduated from secondary school and have a good command of the English language.

The minimum duration of your stay required in most of our programs is one week, except for the Teaching English and the Child Care Programs, which require a minimum participation of two weeks.

 

Locations and duration

Our local independent team is located in the northern province of Chiang Rai, one of the most beautiful scenarios of this amazing tropical country. Its mountains peopled by local villages and tribes are decorated with many ancient monuments and buddhist temples, hidden in the midsts of exuberant rainforests, inhabited by elephants and monkeys among many other animal species. Chiang Mai is away from the buzzle of international tourism and gives the tourist coming here a chance to have a taste of the locals lifestyle.

Our programs in Chiang Rai start on the first and the third Monday of each month.

Here is where general administration is carried out and orientation takes place. Our programs placements are located nearby and with local tribes in the surrounding.

There are some programs available in Chiang Mai and in Surin.

Programs in Chiang Mai start on the first and third Monday of each month, but volunteers are required to arrive on the previous Friday.

Programs in Surin start on the first Friday and third Friday of each month.

The English teaching program requires an advanced level of this language skills and a minimum stay of two weeks.

The Child Care Program requires a minimum stay of two weeks and is close from March to May and in October.

 

Accommodation and meals

Our volunteers are lodged in a Volunteers Guest House where they are accommodated by gender in separate bedrooms and provided with a daily Continental breakfast.

 

Orientation

We require volunteers to arrive in Chiang Mai between the hours of 8am and 8pm on the Friday prior to their project start date. 

You’ll be introduction to thai culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety measures, travel opportunities, introduction to the the different projects and placements available.

During this orientation period you’ll also have the opportunity to meet other volunteers, exchange contact details and make new friends to share your spare time.

Working schedule

Working schedules will vary according to each project (to which the volunteers’ assistance is fundamental to achieve their goals)

Yet, a typical volunteers’ weekday will begin with breakfast between 7:00 and 8:00 AM, then followed by a staff and volunteers meeting in the project placement around 8:30 AM, and then the volunteering activities will run from 9:00 AM  to about 5:00 PM.

Volunteers working in the Teaching English program are usually working in the extracurricular activities, sometimes organized later in the afternoon, but they will still have plenty of free time left to enjoy the many touristic activities available in and around their chosen destination.

Groupal shopping trips to the local market places are organized each Saturday evening, which allows volunteers to enjoy some spare time together while getting stocked for the following week.

The rest of the weekend is free and volunteers can go sightseeing in the surroundings and exploring places like the “Golden triangle” (the common border among Thailand, Laos and Myanmar), take a rafting tour down the Kok river or sail down the Mekong.

 

Basic Facts

 

-Officially called the Kingdom of Thailand, it is a country in the South East of Asia.

 -It shares borders with Laos and Cambodia to the East, Malaysia to the South, and the Andaman Sea and Myanmar to the West.

 -Thailand was previously known as Siam. This name was changed for the first time in 1939 by Prathet Thai, and then again in 1949 (after being reverted during WWII). Prathet means “country” and the word “thai” means “free” or “freedom” in Thai language.

-Around 75% of the ethnic population is Thai, 14% is Chinese, and 3% is Malay. The remaining 22% is made up of minority groups and tribes.

-The official language in Thailand is Thai, also known as Siamese.

-The most popular religion is Buddhism, practiced by 95% of the population.

 

For more information, visit the following link: http://www.cwabroad.org/thailand-p-54.html

 

Program Fees:

Surin: Elephant Village program

 

Volunteer period (weeks) 1 2 3 4 6
Elephant Village program USD 560 USD 815 USD 1070 USD 1330 -

 

Chiang Mai and Bangkok:

 

Volunteer period (weeks) 2 3 4 6
Women's Empowerment USD 600 USD 710 USD 820 USD 1040
Teaching English in Schools USD 600 USD 710 USD 820 USD 1040
Teaching English to Buddhist Monks USD 600 USD 710 USD 820 USD 1040
Medical USD 850 USD 1130 USD 1410 USD 1970

 

Chiang Rai:

 

 

Volunteer duration Program Fee USD*
1 week 320
2 weeks 380
3 weeks 460
4 weeks 500
5 weeks 600
6 weeks 690
8 weeks 880

 

*Please note: All Volunteer programs in Chiang Rai attract a refundable* Registration Fee of USD 249 on top of the program Fee. A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.  You can calculate the value of your currency in US dollar using this currency convertor.

 

*Please read our refund policy.

What do my fees pay for?

 

Registration Fee:  Discounted program fees, Support and guidance from CW staff, program marketing costs, staff salary, pre-departure assistance, CW Solidarity Fund,  administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.

 

Program Fee:  Accommodation in a guest house, breakfast included, airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

 

What’s no included:  Air tickets, Lunch, dinner and any other snacks, Transportation to and from project, Vaccinations, Certificate of Good conduct, Visa, Local travels,  transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, Personal expenses and International Insurance against sickness, accident and 3er party liability. In addition to providing health insurance, the plan must cover medical evacuation and repatriation. Our participants in Thailand generally find USD 20 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.