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Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The elephants!!!

Volunteering with GVI was one of the best part of my life. I was in Thailand working with the elephants and they are adorable despite their big size.

The best thing that happened was being immersed into another culture while also meeting people from other parts of the world. Also getting to know the mahouts and their elephants.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing

Meeting all the amazing people on project and in the village and obviously meeting the beautiful elephants in their natural environment was a wonderful experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It removed me from the familiar (comfort zone)

Being witness to elephants being reunited with other family members & how significant that appeared to be. Living so simply with the Karen people in their village (them sharing their space with us). Being able to spend time observing elephants in their natural environment.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Good experiences and opportunity

The community involvement when not taking behavioural research data of the elephants - it was nice to have that as a break and be able to really indulge in such a different culture. Good experiences and opportunity to get out and see the world whilst making a positive impact and having fun.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

The staff exceeded all expectations!

The staff exceeded all expectations! They were real scientists! We loved that! In addition to being knowledgeable of all aspects of the project and region, they are wonder people: kind, patient and encouraging. I would be honored to have any of the members of the staff stay as a guest in my home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Spending time with the elephants

My most positive experience during my stay in the program of GVI in Thailand was spending time with the elephants in the conservation and of course becoming so connected to the community where we were posted.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Really felt like we are making a positive difference to elephant conservation

Loved the location and the programme was everything I wanted it to be. Really felt like we are making a positive difference to elephant conservation. Very well organised and GVI seem to want to benefit the local area rather than just a simple animal watching exercise.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Unbelievable experience

My most positive experiences were the new friends I became close with, which were mainly the mahouts, as well as the unbelievable experience of living in such an opposite way than I do in the western world. Other positives include the educational presentations and the in-field experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was everything very different than at home

It was everything very different than at home. This was a challenge to me and broadened my horizons.
But I felt too old - there were very young people. But it was really good to find out how they think, see the world and socialize. I know better understand my own daughter.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved everything

Loved the project, tried to extend my stay but couldn't fund it this year. Now interested in Costa Rica and Africa animal programmes in the future. I loved everything. The involvement in the community and elephants.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Combining travel and volunteer work is a great experience which I am bound to repeat soon

My most positive experience during the program was staying in a homestay with the local community, the hikes in nature, and working with interesting people from different backgrounds. Combining travel and volunteer work is a great experience which I am bound to repeat soon

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was a wonderful week

It was wonderful week and I was grateful for the opportunity to be able attend a GVI project just for a short period of time (many other organisations wont allow you to simply spend a week on project). The timing (i.e. over the christmas holidays) was convenient in terms of obtaining leave from work. I had a particular good group of people on project which made it even better... and the elephants were awesome.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved the elephants!

I loved the elephants! My home-stay family were so welcoming, hospitable and helpful. The villagers were also very friendly and welcoming. Lyndsay the base manager was fabulous. Her passion and enthusiasm for the project and the elephants was infectious. Kylie one of the support staff on base was so nice. Kylie's extensive knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge was a real plus. Both Lyndsay and Kylie always made sure safety came first without being overbearing and restrictive which made the treks and activities informative, interesting and enjoyable. Both are great leaders. Patti Sai-ee is a true gentleman.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Working with the elephants was amazing

Working with the elephants was amazing, I think the best part of the program was being able to have a well-rounded experience of the culture, village and country. The organisation is very supportive not only on the program but also with travelling.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I fell in love with the project and the village

Being able to get up close for elephant bathing and health checks was absolutely amazing. I loved working with and simply having fun with the community as well. I fell in love with the project and the village. I want to do this kind of work for a living so after college I hope to work for the project for at least one year.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I've never enjoyed anything as much as my time with GVI

I expected the Elephants to be the main highlight of the time I spent in Thailand but spending time in the village with both the locals and the GVI staff and volunteers was just as positive an experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I had a wonderful time!

I loved working with the locals as well as doing the job that I traveled to the project to do. I had a wonderful time! Great staff, good project, lots to do. As a suggestion I would like to see the project make some more concrete, tangible advances if at all possible.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I was very happy with the whole GVI experience

I absolutely loved the whole volunteer experience and I can't put into words the experience of seeing the elephants for the first time. I also have to commend the staff there, what wonderful people, so caring and so driven by what they do, they looked after the volunteers and have a wonderful way with the villagers of Huay Pakoot, it was an absolute pleasure to work alongside these dedicated people.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I absolutely loved the GVI program

My most positive experiences were having fun hanging out with fellow volunteers, gaining knowledge about the culture & elephants, and interacting with my host family. I enjoyed feeding the elephants and health checks. I also loved watching their social behavior. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery and tranquility of Huay Pakoot.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I enjoyed the project so much I would like to see what other projects have to offer

My most positive experience is feeding a calf and it's mother (Boon Jan and Song Kran) at the same time during one of the health checks. Most enjoyable about the GVI experience is the community - both Karen and volunteer/staff. The town is amazing and the people you meet are what make your experiences that much more enjoyable.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Everything is awesome

This was my first trip working with animals and I am so glad I went! Watching elephants and knowing that what we were doing was helping to keep the elephants AND villagers safe was such an amazing feeling. Ravi Corea helped set up a weekend trip to work at the elephant bath house, and being able to touch and directly work with the rescued elephants was an experience unlike any other. Like all my GVI trips, the staff was awesome and the fellow volunteers will be friends for life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Living in the village of Huay Pakoot

Living in the village of Huay Pakoot was the most positive experience for me. GVI had good organization during our stay. It was nice to meet new people from around the world and to make a change at the same time.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Time with the elephants was fantastic

Time with the elephants was fantastic. We did get to spend a lot of time watching them up close and saw them engaging in natural activities and "semi-natural" activities (at least, not coerced) like boxing with their mahouts. The group was wonderful and there were lots of opportunities to get to know everyone better. Staff were really good about organising socialising activities and about organising activities with the community - basket weaving lessons were my favourite. It was also great living in a homestay. I stayed with the chief and got to know him and his family as much as the language barrier would allow.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It really allowed us to integrate into the community!!

Getting to see the elephants, and work with the community members. It was also awesome to live with a family, instead of with other volunteers. It really allowed us to integrate into the community!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It is was all perfect, really really well done

I loved the interaction with the elephants. The whole program far exceeded all of my expectations. I loved it all and would recommend it highly to anyone. I would love to volunteer again and after this great experience, I would volunteer with GVI for sure.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation