Volunteer in Thailand

A Guide To

Volunteering Abroad in Thailand

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241 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Thailand

Global Volunteer Network

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...

A girl walking with the elephants
Make a REAL difference in Thailand with Love Volunteers!

Over the years, thousands of volunteers have trusted Love Volunteers for travel abroad that provides cultural immersion alongside the chance to help those in real need. Join us now for a safe, fun, and sustainable volunteer program in Thailand for a truly memorable experience abroad! Check out our programs!

Children posing for the camera
ELI Abroad – Volunteer at an Elephant Camp, and More!

Our extensive connections in Thailand mean you can do everything from shadowing in a hospital, teaching English to young monks-in-training, working in women’s empowerment to, yes, taking care of elephants! ELI Abroad has placements in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, with access to many cultural and beach attractions. Housing and in-country support included.

Boys having their picture taken inside the classroom
Exotic Thailand: Volunteering and Memories for Life

Join our service learning programs in Thailand and immerse yourself in the unforgettable experience of multicultural exchange, positive impact, and global awareness. In Phuket, Krabi, or Chiang Mai, your will efforts help our grassroots projects achieve their goals in improving the quality of life in a community through animal care programs, EFL teaching, conservation, and social development.

A girl joining the kid's art class
Voluntary Projects Overseas Thailand

Join us in Thailand and be part of our long term work. Volunteer opportunities exist working with Elephants, Teaching English, gaining your own TEFL qualification, Childcare, House building and Wildlife Conservation Go for 1 week to 3 months and make a real and lasting difference.

Volunteer in Thailand
Teach English and Live in a Tree-house in a Thai Village

Treetop Country is run by local and international staff who are dedicated to empowering the Thai community and the children through English and the opportunities that it opens up for the people here. The volunteers get to live in a beautiful private/semi-private tree house and will have several Thai families, as well as other international volunteers, living with them and welcoming them into th...

treetop
Volunteer in Thailand with Projects Abroad

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.

International Student Volunteers

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.

Teach or Tutor English in Thailand with GeoVisions

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...

Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

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.

Orphanage and Elephant Park Volunteering in Thailand

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.

A little boyscout
Volunteer and Travel in Thailand with Kaya

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...

Global Vision International

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.

Work alongside with children
Elephant and Wildlife Rescue Volunteer in Thailand

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.

An injured baby monkey
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Volunteering Abroad in Thailand

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, volunteering in Thailand mixes sightseeing at the famous ruins of Ayutthaya with educational work in a tribal village, snorkeling off Koh Pi Pi, or caring for native tiger cubs. From the islands down south to the mountains up north, and the chaotic capital of Bangkok in between, individuals who volunteer in Thailand will have a vast number of opportunities.

Locations

Chiang Mai. This northern city is a colorful hub for tourists and expats, monks and musicians, refugees and aid workers. It offers quick and colorful urban scenery, as well as a slew of proactive non-profit organizations. Due to the large populations of Burmese refugees and resettled tribal peoples, volunteering in Chiang Mai in organizations which focus on human rights advocacy, education, and women’s livelihood projects is common. Those who volunteer in Chiang Mai can also choose to step outside the old city’s stone walls to participate in forest conservation and animal welfare in the jungle hills beyond.

Phuket. One of the largest islands off Thailand’s southwest coast, Phuket was devastated by the 2004 tsunami. Volunteers play an important role in rebuilding infrastructure, assisting victims, and protecting the remaining marine wildlife still today. An increased interest in tourism also creates volunteer placements in Phuket that allow volunteers to fulfill positions with travel magazines, local tourism agencies, and grassroots activity organizations.

Bangkok. Like all capital cities, this one has its seedy, dark side. But if you look beyond preconceived stereotypes to Bangkok’s infamous gems – from the boisterous floating markets to gilded temples, kind locals, and cheap street food surprises – you’ll realize it’s an engaging place to volunteer abroad in Thailand. Fields such as youth development, education, healthcare, and human rights advocacy and awareness are all very highly needed volunteer placements in Bangkok, which address the city’s over 6 million inhabitants needs.

Projects & Placements

Education. Volunteer work in Thailand centered on education can range from basic English teaching to higher-education classwork that is subject-specific. Teaching certification may be required for higher levels of instruction and a TEFL certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) will come in handy anywhere. However, many rural schools and orphanages are eager to take volunteers without previous teaching experience – just speaking English is a bonus! These volunteer opportunities in Thailand can run from several days to several months, and it’s easy to find one that matches your skill set and intended length of time.

Refugee Assistance. Volunteering in Thailand in this placement area is more difficult to arrange, because Thailand supports temporary camps for ethnic refugees, but does not recognize their international United Nations status inside the country. Volunteers are desperately needed for female rights; human trafficking and protection organizations; media outlets; camp classrooms; and other refugee groups. If you’re interested in getting involved with Burmese refugees in Thailand, some organizations do offer placements assisting these specific refugees. These type of placements run from four weeks to a year and require a serious commitment from volunteers for the duration of their stay.

Conservation & Environmental Protection. These fields are quite popular for volunteering in Thailand, thanks to the nation’s unique and endangered species. Elephant care and forestry are two volunteer favorites. Though 11 of the country’s indigenous mammals are on international watch lists, Thailand is making strides toward environmental concern and education, with volunteers establishing conservation standards, monitoring wild species, and working with villages on sustainability projects. Those who volunteer in Thailand in conservation can be as short as one week, but three to four is the average length.

Costs & Affordability

Thailand is repeatedly voted one of the top volunteer abroad destinations in the world, and the affordable cost of volunteer work in Thailand is one of the reasons it rates so highly. Typically, program costs cover accommodation and any needed training/orientation. Covering flights and insurance are usually the responsibility of volunteers, however. Many international airlines fly directly to Bangkok, and regional public transportation systems are cheap and dependable. Food may be provided by a host family or organization, but if not, street eats are delicious and only a few dollars a plate. Clothing and toiletries are equally inexpensive. Also, markets occur everywhere and are a perfect place to barter your way to bargains on anything from shirts to shampoo to souvenirs.

Accommodations & Visas

Volunteers must enter Thailand on a volunteer visa and placement organizers should help individuals apply for this. If not, information is available online at the Thai Immigration Bureau website. If your international volunteer program in Thailand does not endorse a volunteer visa, citizens of most countries can apply for a three-month visa. Thailand has a reputation for loose visa laws, so it can be a simple procedure legally entering the country. However, visa laws have been tightening in the recent years, so laws are not near as relaxed as they used to be. Visas may also be extended, which gives volunteers the freedom to renew their visa if they choose to participate in volunteer work in Thailand for longer than expected. 

Accommodation is another component typically arranged by volunteer organizations in Thailand. In big cities, accommodation may be in a house or hostel-type environment with multiple volunteers sharing sleeping and dining quarters. In rural volunteer settings, accommodation is often provided by local host families. Both types of housing costs are typically incorporated into the placement fees; but, if living with a host family, double check that this money is being returned directly to the family for food and shelter.

Benefits & Challenges
  • Adventure & Immersion. Understanding that Thailand is a travel hub for outdoor adventures, underwater sports, food trails, and cheap shopping, most international volunteer programs in Thailand combine volunteering with local activities and day trips. Wherever you end up, you can look forward to deep cultural immersion, alongside an altruistic experience. 
  • Buddhism & Conservative Culture. As you jump into Thai customs, be aware that much of the country practices the Buddhist religion and follows a conservative way of life. Be respectful of religious and spiritual beliefs, whether you’re touring a temple or walking through a busy city. Don’t dress for the weather, but follow the unspoken rule and keep your shoulders and knees covered whenever possible. 
  • Look for Transparency. Though every volunteer program in Thailand 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, and look for other volunteer peer reviews.
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