Why Volunteer in Thailand?
Thailand’s tourist appeal is no secret, but there’s an important element missing from the average visitor’s itinerary – meaningful human contact. Transform your next Far-East adventure into a meaningful, cross-cultural experience by volunteering with Friends for Asia in Thailand.
The ancient capitals, forested mountains and dynamic festivals of Northern Thailand are captivating. Chiang Mai is our base for volunteering in Northern Thailand. Tourists venture for the chance to explore Lanna temples, enroll in cooking or massage courses and trek into the mountains to visit remote hill tribe villages. But our volunteers see a side of Thailand that the average visitor misses altogether. Better yet, our volunteers enjoy the satisfaction of changing lives in small but significant ways via their Thailand volunteer project.
- Later in 2014 we will begin volunteering and internships in Bangkok, the City of Angels
By joining the volunteer Thailand ranks with Friends for Asia, you may find yourself taking lunch with a Buddhist monk in a Chiang Mai temple or bathing an elephant in a rustic river. Wherever your project takes you, you’ll be meeting needs and making connections through your volunteer experience.
Our volunteers here in Thailand are involved in a dynamic range of volunteer projects, from building homes for single mothers in crisis to working with children afflicted with HIV. In between are volunteer projects in orphanages, at private hospitals and on elephant camps. In every case, Friends for Asia Thailand Volunteers are going beyond the routine holiday and traveling with a difference.
Why Volunteer with Friends for Asia
Friends for Asia has placed over 1,000 applicants in short- and long-term volunteer projects in Thailand. We’re a well-networked volunteer organization without any government or religious affiliations, and we’re wholly focused on helping you help others. There are five things that make us different:
- We are the in-country coordinators of the volunteer projects and internships.
- We provide extensive information, orientation and support in-country.
- Our Thai staff are experts in what we do, most have advanced training and degrees and extensive experience.
- Our projects are organized and ongoing, and we focus on ensuring that the volunteer and internship experience is positive.
- Our volunteers and interns get involved and make a difference.
A Day in the Life of Volunteers in our Projects
Please take a moment to browse our Thailand volunteer projects and internships. Chances are, we have a placement that suits your skill set:
Volunteer Thailand Projects
Friends for Asia offers many different beneficial volunteer projects in the vibrant northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai.
Comprehensive Volunteer + Tour Package – Summer 2014
Friends for Asia offers comprehensive two-week volunteer projects/tour packages in Chiang Mai, Thailand during summer 2014. There are three different start dates, and a variety of volunteer opportunities as well as excursions and cultural experiences. Don’t miss this chance to make your summer unforgettable.
Rural Schools Volunteer Project
Rural Schools Volunteer Project
The Friends for Asia rural schools project offers a candid view of daily life in Thailand. Ideal candidates will be keen on getting an inside perspective on a side of the kingdom that tourists and volunteers in bigger cities rarely encounter. In the countryside surrounding Chiang Mai, government schools have little chance of attracting international teachers.
Orphanage Volunteer Project
Waking up with a fish pond and rice paddies outside your window, mountains in the distance and more than 50 children waiting for your attention – this is what volunteering in Thailand is all about! Volunteers in this project stay on the project site five days a week, enjoying well-earned rest and relaxation over the weekend in Chiang Mai city.
English Education Volunteer Project
A lot of Thai students grow up thinking that their English ability is next to nil. But sometimes, a few confidence-boosting classes with a native speaker – where they’re understanding more than they expected to and communicating right back – is all it takes to change their minds. As a volunteer English teacher, you become a catalyst for student development.
Volunteer Building and Gardening for Single Mothers
The single mothers’ home is in need of more than childcare, and many of our volunteers contribute to the cause by building infrastructure on the compound. Whether its gardening, painting or teaching a special class, your efforts will directly benefit these disadvantaged women and their children.
Volunteer at an Elephant Camp
Bathing elephants in the river, cutting corn for their dinner and working side-by-side with ethnic minority families in Northern Thailand – it hardly even feels like work! With onsite rustic accommodation near the river, it’s easy to understand why working at the elephant camp is one of the most popular ways of volunteering in Thailand.
Volunteer Teaching English to Novice Buddhist Monks
Of all the opportunities to volunteer in Thailand, teaching English to Buddhist monks commands the strongest following. Each of our volunteers is assigned to a specific Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where they instruct novice monks in daily English lessons. This sort of candid, behind-the-scenes access to a working Buddhist monastery is difficult to match.
Volunteer at an International University for Monks
Buddhism has always been a catalyst for higher education across Asia and Thailand, and in this assignment, volunteers step into an authentic university setting. The student body is budding Buddhist monks from across Thailand and Asia, fostering a dynamic international atmosphere. This is an ideal opportunity for candidates with an interest in the higher teachings of Buddhism.
Volunteer at a Children’s Home
A small orphanage for underprivledged children in Northern Thailand. As with orphanages across the world, finding the funds and staff to meet demands can be a challenge. Our volunteers donate their time and energy in everything from childcare to groundskeeping.
Friends for Asia currently offers two resume building internships.
Intern at a Magazine
Interning in Thailand is a relatively unexplored concept, but the opportunities are ripe. Through this assignment, you’ll learn from industry leaders at an English-language entertainment magazine. This publication is well-known and widely circulated in Northern Thailand, so you’ll gleaning on-the-job experience from local leaders in publication.
Shadow full-time doctors conducting surgeries in the OR and making rounds in one of Chiang Mai’s private hospitals. Thailand is the preeminent medical tourism destination, and for our interns more relevant experience than just about any internship in the West could offer. Return to medical school with a clear-cut advantage over your peers.
Volunteer Throughout Asia
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Volunteer StoriesHelen Lam - HongKong - Teaching Monks, July, 2010
"Friends For Asia has definitely made my trip marvelous and unforgettable. Living in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks as a volunteer, I had the precious opportunity to experience Thai life almost as a local. People here always wear a big warm smile, and the city would just melt everyone’s heart. I would highly recommend volunteers to come teaching English to Monks. The satisfactory feeling that comes afterwards is truly rewarding!"
Sinead O’Leary, Cork, Ireland – Elephant Camp February, 2010
“My last two days were unforgettable, my mahout brought me through the jungle, which I strongly recommend and also to a deep river and got to act like a cowboy and try and balance on my elephant while he ordered her to throw me off. An amazing experience. Don’t be afraid to get wet, have fun, start water fights, and roll around on your elephant in the water, it’s a once in a life time experience…”
Alana Borsa, Ontario, Canada - HIV Orphanage Project April, 2009
“Working at the HIV Orphanage is a wonderful and inspiring experience. The enthusiasm of the staff and the energy of the children are completely infectious. They will touch your heart each and every day. Coming to spend time at the orphanage has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The orphanage family has certainly become, and will now be forever a part of my life.”
Read more Volunteer Stories