Volunteer Abroad in Koh Samui

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A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Koh Samui

There are plenty of reasons why Koh Samui is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, yet few visitors really experience life on the island, as lived by the locals. Volunteering abroad in Koh Samui will allow you to do just that. Immersing yourself into their culture, as a volunteer, means you’ll contribute something meaningful to the local community and still have the chance to enjoy all of Koh Samui’s coconuts highlights. A volunteer abroad on Koh Samui island can have their Pad Thai and eat it too—probably whilst watching the sunset from a stunning white sand beach

Life in Koh Samui for the International Volunteers

The statement that “Life’s a beach” has really never been more appropriate. Volunteers in Koh Samui can enjoy afternoon swims in the ocean once their work for the day is complete, and weekends soaking up the sun or exploring further on snorkel or scuba diving excursions. Tear yourself away from the sand every now and then to explore some of the glistening Buddhist temples and famous “Big Buddha,” learning more about the main religion of Thailand in the process. The natural sights don’t stop at the coastline either, be sure to venture inland to chase some waterfalls or hike in the jungle!

Most volunteer abroad in Koh Samui packages will include accommodation and some meals. You will live either with a local host family, getting even more acquainted with real Thai life, or in shared accommodation with your fellow volunteers. Either way, the other participants will provide a great social network with which to explore and appreciate life on the island. A hot tip is to learn a few local phrases, particularly “mai phet” meaning “not spicy,” (this might come in handy when sampling the delicious local cuisine!).

GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for volunteers in Koh Samui

You have very little to lose by agreeing to volunteer abroad on Koh Samui. The local environment and culture make it an exciting and culturally interesting location. Couple that with making a valuable contribution to the local community. To get the most out of your experience do your research in advance and come with realistic expectations. As a volunteer, you will be expected to work hard and won’t have unlimited hours to spend topping up your tan or sipping delicious coconuts. You will, however, benefit from free time at the weekends to explore your new neighborhood. 

With a wealth of higher end resorts on the island, it’s a confusing economy to be faced with as a volunteer initially. As you get to know the community with whom you’ll work, take the time to learn about the challenges faced and how your contribution as a volunteer makes a difference. 

No visit to Thailand is complete without fully embracing the deliciousness that is a local menu. Be sure to try as many of the local dishes as you can, from steamy Pad Thai to the many varieties of curry, the fried pineapple (or coconut) rice, and nutella-banana egg pancakes for dessert.

Volunteer abroad in Koh Samui—aka volunteer abroad in paradise. Appreciate all of the highlights of this popular destination, with the added bonus of engaging with the local community and better understanding the culture. It’s an experience you would simply never get as a tourist or visitor to the island, and one which will stay with you for the rest of your life. 

Get more details, inspiration, and coconuts! Read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in Thailand here.

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written by:

Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Volunteering Abroad in Koh Samui


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