HOW TO VOLUNTEER ABROAD in THAILAND
Serving Others in the Kingdom of SiamREAD ARTICLE
221 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Thailand
Help preserve the environmental and ecological diversity of Thailand in a volunteer program from International Student Volunteers. Choose from three volunteer projects -- Habitat Restoration, Marine Conservation, and Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation -- and help the people of this Southeast Asian country protect its natural resources.
Volunteer in the beautiful country of Thailand and find contentment in helping others through Love Volunteers. A wide range of volunteer options are offered to participants all over the world. This program includes Community Development, English Teaching, and Childcare.
Volunteer in Thailand with International Volunteer HQ! Programs are situated in Chiang Rai and in the North provinces. Volunteers have the option to participate in outdoor work such as maintenance, construction, and renovation projects. They may also opt for English teaching placements.
Volunteer in the forests of Thailand and spend time with rescued elephants through the Elephant Rehabilitation Program by Global Volunteer Network. Participants of this program, located in the Chiang Mai province, learn about elephant behavior and ways to help elephants relearn their natural instincts. This project starts every second Saturday of the month and volunteers can participate for a w...
Learn about Thai culture and volunteer in the city of Bangkok with Cross-Cultural Solutions. Program participants can work alongside locals and make an impact in their communities. This summer program includes opportunities in Community Development, Academic Reinforcement, and Childcare.
GoEco offers volunteering programs in Thailand that let you contribute to the development and education efforts for the Akha hill tribes. Volunteers can also assist the locals in the rehabilitation and rescue of the elephants, or fill a short-term paid English teaching position in local schools.
Volunteer at an elephant camp in Thailand, helping with conservation efforts and maintaining the grounds. ELI - Experiential Learning International has other volunteering opportunities in Chiang Mai, such as taking care of toddlers at the Ban Vieng Ping orphanage and guiding young, unwed mothers to become self sufficient and responsible.
Live with a Thai host family and explore the land of smiles with Projects Abroad Thailand. For two to four weeks, volunteers are immersed in a Thai city and truly experience the lifestyle. They can choose between work in Conservation and Environment, Teaching, and Childcare and Youth Development.
Experience living in Bangkok or Chiang Mai for a few weeks while teaching English to a local family with GeoVisions. The cultural exchange program places participants in the care of the family, whose members benefit from informal conversational English tutorials. The program, which is available throughout the year, includes a clean place to live in Thailand, three healthy meals per day, and med...
Cultural Embrace by API offers volunteer positions in Singburi. Volunteers can choose from many projects, including infant and childcare, teaching or tutoring, construction, wildlife conservation, environmental conservation, and coaching. Volunteer programs include room and board, visa assistance, airport pickup, and medical and travel insurance, among many other services.
Take part in meaningful community service projects while engaging in Thailand's exotic culture through Friends For Asia. Placements are available in the city of Chiang Mai. Program fees include meals, cultural shows, and city tours.
Discover the wonders in the heart of Thailand while volunteering in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. There are eight volunteer projects offered through Volunteering Solutions. Participants will have the chance to partake in a medical project in hospitals and health centers, be part of the daily lives of children in an orphanage, and share their knowledge of the English language with Thai monks.
Learn more about Thailand and the Thai way of life through volunteer placement with Kaya Responsible Travel. Placements are available in locations such as Chiang Mai, Koh Tao, and Chiang Rai. Volunteers may work with victims of human trafficking who are living in shelters, animal specialists in marine and wildlife sanctuaries, or grassroots leaders in building projects catering to local communi...
Volunteer in Thailand through the program at Global Vision International (GVI). Participants of this program gain a uniquie perspective of Thailand which many other travelers, on the tourist trail, would miss. Volunteers can get immersed in the local community while contributing to meaningful local projects.
Thailand has unfortunately become a source of major illegal exportation of exotic animals as pets. Volunteer with Globalteer and help at a wildlife rescue and care for many exotic animals that have been rescued form poachers. Work with primates, elephants, tigers, bears, and birds. Help preserve theses species for generations to come.
Serving Others in the Kingdom of Siam
Thailand is much more than full moon parties and Buddhist monasteries. While the country is typically seen as a place for rowdy beach holidays or spiritual retreats, this kingdom (formally called Siam) is one of the most culturally rich locations in Southeast Asia. A comfortable mix of developed nation and unexplored environment, volunteers can mix sightseeing at the famous ruins of Ayutthaya with educational work in a tribal village. From the islands down south to the mountains up north, with the chaotic capital of Bangkok in between, Thailand is a place of vast opportunities for volunteers.
Understanding that Thailand is a travel hub for outdoor adventures, underwater sports, food trails, and cheap shopping, most placement programs combine volunteering with cultural activities and day trips. It is famous for climbing and diving and people travel from around the globe to experience Thailand from the tips of a cliff to the bottom of the sea. The low cost of living, friendly locals, and easy transport system makes it a convenient and easy place to explore, even after your placement is finished.
Due to the abundance of placement programs in Thailand, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Comments and reviews from previous volunteers are a good way to narrow down your options. Though every program appears to have good intentions online, there are unfortunate stories of volunteers who have reached their placement only to find the organization doesn’t actually exist. Contact the program manager or director if you have questions or concerns. Volunteering through a third party provider will also ensure the validity of your program and organization.
Since there are a plethora of placement programs, many can afford to charge fees without scaring volunteers. Typically, fees cover the costs of food and accommodation, and any training/orientation. Flights and insurance are the responsibility of the volunteer. However, many international airlines fly directly to Bangkok, and the country’s train and bus systems are cheap and dependable.
Thailand also offers a diverse range of volunteer placements. Volunteers can choose predominantly from the following fields: education, childcare and orphanage work, refugee assistance, media, conservation and environmental protection.
Education. Placements range from basic English teaching to higher-education classwork that is subject-specific. Depending on which level of education you’re interested in, certification may not be required. Many rural schools and orphanages are eager to take volunteers without previous teaching experience- just speaking English is a bonus! These placements can run from several days to several months.
Refugee Assistance. These placements are more difficult to arrange, because Thailand – while creating camps for ethnic refugees – does not recognize their international refugee status inside the country. Volunteers are desperately needed for female rights groups, human trafficking and protection groups, media outlets, camp classrooms, and other refugee organizations.
However, most placement programs are legally unable to work with these groups. If you’re interested in getting involved with Burmese refugees in Thailand, some information is available online through facilitators like the Burma Volunteer Program. Be careful not to advertise your intentions to the Thai government, or you can put these refugee organizations in danger.
Media and Marketing. Placements typically function like unpaid internships. Volunteers are able to assist with tourism-based marketing and magazine writing. These placements are more competitive and may require previous experience or additional interviews, on top of the initial application.
Conservation and Environmental Protection. These fields are quite popular with Thailand’s unique and endangered species. Elephant care and forestry are two volunteer favorites. The country has a growing reputation for environmental concern and education, with volunteers establishing conservation standards, monitoring wild species, and working with villages on sustainability projects. These placements tend to last one week or longer.
All volunteers, besides those considering and/or seeking work with refugees, can enter Thailand on a volunteer visa. Your placement program should help you apply for this. If not, information is available online at the Thai Immigration Bureau website. The country has a reputation for loose visa laws, so it’s a simple procedure for volunteers to legally enter the country. This also gives you options for extending and renewing visas, should you chose to stay longer in your volunteer placement.
Don’t worry about health and safety while you volunteer in Thailand. Bangkok practices some of the most advanced healthcare in Southeast Asia, and standards are considered equal to those in Western countries. The fees charged by many placements will include emergency treatment or evacuation; if they don’t, pharmacies and clinics are common in most towns, and medicines are not expensive.