Gap Year Programs in Thailand

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A Guide to Taking Gap Year in Thailand

Taking a year to pursue your passions in the real world is a great way to spend some time getting to know yourself at any stage in life. A gap year in Thailand is an excellent choice because you can boost those yoga skills, master the art of cooking authentic pad Thai, and learn about conserving elephant sanctuaries. And that’s just scratching the surface! Thailand will introduce you to living in a non-western culture while giving you the opportunity to do some soul searching. So go on and take a Thailand gap year where the “land of smiles” will give you a new experience abroad!

Everything else you need to know about gap years in Thailand

Costs. A gap year program in Thailand along with the cost of living is much more affordable than a western country. Massages, tuk-tuks, and delish street treats are all just a few bucks. Getting your essentials at the markets is also affordable. Prices are usually negotiable so be sure to test out those haggling skills. Traveling within Thailand is affordable as well. You can take trains or planes across the country for around $40 one-way. Although penny pinching in Thailand won’t be a problem, be sure see if you are eligible for scholarships or check out FundMyTravel to raise some mula before you head out on your overseas gap year. 

Accommodations. Most gap year programs provide accommodation. There is no better way to experience a new country than by being offered a homestay. A homestay will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself into Thai family culture and devour homemade food - yes please! You may also be set up in a guest houses or apartment with fellow travelers who are doing a program similar to yours. For those who plan to backpack around Thailand, budget hostels are great for making nomad friends and learning about events going on around the area.

Visas. Keep in mind you must get a visa to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days. There are different procedures for volunteers, interns, or backpackers when applying for a visa. Although Thailand is pretty lenient on doing visa runs across the border, they are tightening up and always could deny your re-entry into the country if not done properly. Make sure to check out the GoAbroad embassy directory to ensure you are following the steps to securing your year stay in Thailand.

Safety. Thailand is a safe place to travel. As a rule of thumb, it is always important to be cautious of your surroundings and to not walk through dark alleys in the middle of the night - that doesn’t sound fun anyway. Although pickpocketing isn’t common, it can happen if you aren’t paying attention. Same with scams; you should know the price range of taxis and tuk-tuks before hopping in. Overall, people mind their own business and are very friendly.

GoAbroad's Inside Scoop

A gap year in Thailand is unique! How many people do you know that have jumped out of their comfort zone to take the path less traveled? Take advantage of the time to do some soul searching while munching on mangoes and learning the lingo. A gap year in Thailand will provide you with a different perspective of the world. After a long day of meeting friends, playing with kids, or bathing elephants you will have that satisfaction in your heart that you did something meaningful. Not only that, but friends back home will be green with envy while scrolling through your Instagram pics. 

This is your chance! Make sure to fully engage in the culture. Learn bits of the unique language, take Thai cooking classes, meet the locals, and learn to drive a motorbike. Also, stay up to date with all of the festivals and events throughout the year; Songkran—a three-day water fight, the lantern festival, the Lopburi monkey buffet, and the Chinese New Year are just a few faves. If you throw yourself into the culture and hype, you are sure to make the most of your gap year in Thailand. 

So ditch the hot pockets, freshman 15, and throwing money toward an undecided major. Taking a gap year in Thailand could end up shaping your life in a way that you cannot yet fathom and the learning opportunities are endless. Meet a new bestie, find a second “home,” and realize you can survive abroad without mom doing the laundry. Taking a gap year in Thailand before college, a career change, or just out of plain curiosity is perfect for figuring out your next step in life. 

Make sure to check out why saying yes to a gap year in Thailand will be one of the best decisions of your life!

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A Guide To
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