Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Booking Guide – Volunteer or Internship

Booking Procedure for our Volunteer and Intern Projects

  1. Complete Online Application at: APPLY NOW
  2. Read through this booking information.
  3. Correspond about your main motivations and interests to participate in our projects. This is normally conducted via e-mail.
  4. Sign Terms and Conditions and Liability Agreement
  5. Send $295 US Dollar Project Deposit to book spot in the volunteer or intern project. This can be conducted through our Online Payment System, which is administered by PayPal for security reasons.
  6. For our projects where volunteers work directly with children – Complete Criminal Police Background Check. This can be completed through one’s national government, their local police station or through an online check. Contact Friends For Asia for additional information regarding this check. In addition to the police check, all volunteers are required to sign and follow our Child Protection Policy.
  7. Purchase travel insurance for the length of project time.
  8. Make travel arrangements to arrive into Chiang Mai or Bangkok between 8am and 8pm on the Friday before project starts.
  9. Send balance of the project fee 30 days prior to project start date.

The timeline for Thailand Volunteers and Interns

Arrive into Chiang Mai or Bangkok on a Friday, between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm. Our coordinating staff will pick you up from the airport, bus station, train station, or arrival point and escort you to our volunteer and intern accommodation. After the check-in process volunteers and interns are free to recover from jet-lag, or explore the neighborhood of our office and accommodation.

Saturday and Sunday – Pre Volunteer/Internship Orientation, city tour and cultural activity.

Monday – Begin project. Friends for Asia Coordinators escort volunteers and interns to their project locations by local transportation and introduce them to the administration and staff of the site. Expectations, grade levels to be taught and other special activities and announcements with regards to the volunteer or intern’s project will be discussed at this time.

Weekends between project weeks – Volunteers and interns are on their own to explore, travel, take part in cooking courses, do jungle treks, go to the beach, etc.

Upon completion of the project and before departing, volunteers and interns are asked to complete the Volunteer/Intern Report and have a close of project interview with the local director or coordinator. The Volunteer/Intern Report is to allow future volunteers and interns in the project, and more specifically at the site where a volunteer or intern was placed, to better prepare for their project. It also gives those future volunteers and interns advice and recommendations of what TO and NOT TO do in the project and at the project site. The Close of Project Interview is scheduled near one’s close of project date. During this interview, original expectations, how those expectations worked out, along with positives and negatives of the project, orientation, etc. will be discussed. For volunteers and interns that serve for an extended amount of time, discussion of the reverse affects of culture shock, in returning to one’s home country and society, after an extended time away from it, will also be discussed. The purpose of the close of project interview, is to provide closure to one’s experience, review what they accomplished and what they benefited from the project, along with ways that Friends for Asia and our volunteer and intern projects can be improved.

Friday – Last day in the project.

Saturday – Check out of volunteer and intern accommodation by noon (no exceptions). For volunteers and interns that plan to stay in Chiang Mai or Bangkok for a few more nights, we can point you in the right direction of inexpensive, nearby guesthouses and hotels.

Pre-Volunteer / Intern Orientation Schedule

As you can see, our volunteer and intern orientation is a rather busy couple of days. It’s understandable that volunteers and interns maybe drowsy due to jet-lag and adjusting to the new climate of Thailand. For these reasons, we do ask that volunteers and interns take care of themselves upon their first few days in Thailand and get plenty of rest and drink lots of water.

Dates, Times, Project breaks, and Holidays

The Thai school summer runs from March to mid-May. During these months, all of our Teaching Projects, and Children’s Home Project are not available. The Thai school mid-year break occurs for roughly three weeks in October. Therefore, our teaching projects are not available through the month of October either. We do not recommend for a volunteer to start a teaching project in mid-September, or mid-February, as their project would occur when the students are mostly preparing for, and taxing exams.

Temple schools in our Teaching Monks Project are prone to last minute closures for various activities. This is especially true during the months of November and December. In the event that a school is closed for a special activity, often (but not always) our volunteers are able to participate in some capacity.

Aside from these breaks in the Thai school year, Thailand also has a lot of national holidays. On national holidays, all schools (for all of our teaching projects), all our Medical Internship, and Magazine Internship Placements are closed. Friends for Asia will not take responsibility for the closing of project sites for national holidays, observances or other activities. As some of these activities and closures are last minute, Friends for Asia will not be held responsible for not informing volunteer or interns prior to their project start date. Click here to visit a list of Thailand’s official list of holidays and observances.

Changing Projects

In the event that a project site is closed for three days or more, then our coordinating staff will try to place a participant in another project site for that time. The new placement will be dictated by the set of variables in the situation. In most cases, we try to re-assign participants to placements that are as similar to their original project booking as possible.

Our Children’s Home and Elephant Project placements are very flexible. Changes between placements in these two projects can be arranged, in the event that there is availability. In the event that one decides to change their project to one of a higher project fee, then the additional difference in the fee will be required prior to participation in the new placement.

Placements in our Teaching Projects, Medical Internship, Magazine Internship, and Womens Empowerment Project can not, and will not be changed for any reason outside of project site closure once a participant has arrived into Thailand. Not fulfilling one’s commitment in these placements creates serious problems with the project professionalism and legitimacy. For this reason, we highly suggest that when applicants are working their way through the booking procedure, they take into account their possible interest in participating in multiple projects, taking time away from the project, etc.

Bangkok and Chiang Mai Thailand Orientation

Thailand Volunteer Orientation and Training Video

Volunteer / Intern Orientation Day 1

Volunteers and Interns Must arrive into Chiang Mai or Bangkok between the hours of 8:00am to 8:00pm.
Pick up from airport, train station, bus station
Getting settled into accommodation

Volunteer / Intern Orientation Day 2

9:00 – 9:30 Welcome to Friends For Asia and Getting to know you activity Friends For Asia (Staff, different volunteer and intern projects and history)
9:30– 10:15 Thai Language Lesson
10:15 – 10:30 Break.
10:30 – 11:00 Staying Healthy and Safe in Thailand
11:00 – 11:45 Specifics about your project and preparation
11:45 – 12:00 Culture Shock!
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch.
1:00 – 4:30 City tour of Chiang Mai or Bangkok
7:00 Cultural Activity and Dinner

Volunteer / Intern Orientation Day 3

9:00 – 9:15 Welcome back. How’s everyone doing?
9:15 – 10:00 Thai Language Lesson
10:00 – 10:30 Thai culture
10:30 -10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:00 Visa Stuff
11:00 – 11:30 Do’s and Don’ts about Thailand and Volunteering
11:30 – 12:00 The Role of the Volunteer
12:00 – 2:00 Lunch and Relax
2:00 – 4:00 Tour of one of Chiang Mai’s / Bangkok’s Market
4:00 – 7:00 Prepare, Relax, Try to get over jet-lag

Monday – Off to your Project!

Volunteer/Intern Accommodation and About Us

Our first volunteer arrived in February of 2008. Since then, we’ve had over 500 volunteers and interns participate in our projects. All projects are located in the province of Chiang Mai. An American named Todd Cikraji is the founder and director of Friends for Asia and a long-time resident of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Please watch the following video to learn more about our staff:

Chiang Mai Volunteer Coordinator and Staff Video

Chiang Mai Volunteer Accommodation

Friends for Asia occupies three buildings in central Chiang Mai. One building acts as our office, and has bedrooms on the upper levels. This building holds a maximum of 14 people. Around the corner, only about 100 meters away from our office is our second building, which acts as only volunteer and intern accommodation. This second building has 6 bedrooms and holds a total of 21 people. Both of the buildings are equipped with wireless internet. The signal doesn’t always stretch all the way to the top of the buildings. Therefore, volunteers will sometimes need to use their electronic devices to access the internet in the common areas of our buildings. All the bedrooms are air conditioned, which is a nice reprieve from the hot, sunny days of northern Thailand.

Our volunteer accommodation in Chiang Mai is located in the center of the city and within close proximity to countless restaurants, ancient Buddhist temples and a large number of other sites. As you’ll see in the video below, we have many different types of rooms. The bedrooms range in size and number of beds. Most of the bedrooms have an attached bathroom. All the rooms have air conditioning and all the bathrooms have air conditioning and hot water showers. Requests can be made, in terms of types of rooms for accommodation. These requests will be filled with regards to availability.

Bangkok Volunteer Accommodation

Volunteer Breakfast

Breakfasts of toast, cereal, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit and aromatic, northern Thai Red Cliff Coffee, is available for all volunteers and interns each morning. Countless inexpensive, delicious Thai food restaurants, along with a large variety of restaurants specializing in different international cuisines are only minutes from our volunteer accommodation. Volunteers are also welcomed to cook other meals at our accommodations if they would like.


We also provide fruit and snack food for volunteers and interns to enjoy between meals.

Please watch the following video to learn more about our volunteer and intern accommodation:

Chiang Mai Volunteer Accommodation Video

Bangkok Thailand Volunteer Accommodation Video

Details about Volunteer and Intern Projects

The icons below will transfer you to pages that have important, additional information for our volunteer and intern projects. Yes, volunteers and interns may participate in two different projects, under the condition that you participate for the minimum duration for each project.

Childcare Projects

Orphanage Volunteer Project
Children’s Home Volunteer Project

Education or Teaching Volunteer Projects

Low Cost English Teaching Project
Teaching Monks Volunteer Project
English Education Volunteer Project
International University for Monks Volunteer Project

Projects with Animals

Elephant Camp Volunteer Project

Building Projects

Building and Gardening at a Home for Single Mothers in Crisis


Although Friends for Asia is basically a volunteer organization, we do offer a couple of resume boosting internships, for those looking to gain experience. Please know in these two projects, the focus is on the experience in which the intern receives through their experience, as opposed to the contribution they are able to provide.

Medical Internship
Magazine and Multimedia Internship