Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Buddha’s birthday – Visakha Bucha Day

In Thailand, Visakha Bucha Day is without a doubt the most important Buddhist holiday of the year, and in 2018, it falls on Tuesday 29th May. This auspicious day commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha, and it falls on different dates, as it is based on the lunar calendar. In Thailand, Visakha Bucha Day is a National Holiday and is a time for Thai Buddhists to traditionally make merit at the temple, and is one of the few days when the sale of alcohol is prohibited, which means the bars and clubs will close for this special holiday.

Forge a Buddhist Connection

Many of our volunteers are very interested in Buddhism, which clearly outlines the middle path for people to lead righteous lives, and at FFA, we are proud to be able to offer a placement whereby you can teach English to Thai novice monks. Typically, the students will be aged 12 -15 years and they are all very keen to learn more of the international language, which is, of course, English. While many of our volunteers prefer to teach English to Thai children at regular schools, those who are particularly interested in Buddhism can enroll in our very special “Teaching English to novice Buddhist monks” Project. This gives you a unique insight into the lives of novice monks, who are very happy to discuss any aspect of Buddhism with our volunteers, and as every volunteer has a different set of skills, your placement would be suited to your own specific comfort level. If you are not completely at home teaching on your own, you can assist a Thai teacher with their daily duties, and for the more adventurous, you can teach solo (we have a complete program for you to follow).

A Rewarding Experience

For those who are interested in Buddhist teachings and want to learn more, this is the perfect volunteer program, as you can spend time with both novice and experienced monks, who are always happy to clarify Buddhist concepts with interested people. Indeed, teaching novice monks English is a very rewarding experience in many ways, and the level of student interest couldn’t be any higher. You have lots of opportunities to generally discuss Buddhism, both inside and outside of the classroom, and this also gives you a unique insight into the daily life of a novice Buddhist monk.


The Teaching Program

You will be at school from 08:30 am to 16:30 pm and will be involved in 15-20 classes per week, which is not too strenuous, and this will give you an opportunity to learn about lesson planning and how to best deliver the content. Such is the diversity of the program that you can integrate art and the sciences into your lessons, and the relaxed, hands-on learning style makes for a stress-free teaching and learning experience. Of course, teaching English comes as second nature to a Native speaker, and with a little help from our coordinators, you will be all set to conduct your lessons at your own pace.

Exchanging Opinions and Ideas

Rather than working to a strict (and sometimes boring) academic curriculum, you will be able to exchange opinions and ideas with your students, all of whom are very interested in western society, so be prepared for a barrage of questions about how life is in the West, and you will be able to find out more about the daily life of a novice Buddhist monk, and in the event you are considering entering into the monk-hood, this experience is a must, as it gives you a real insight into life in a Thai Buddhist temple.

Learn About Core Buddhist Concepts

Buddhism attracts many western followers and without communication with genuine Buddhist monks, it is difficult to gain a real grassroots perspective of living life as a Buddhist monk, which is why this volunteer program is so popular. If you are the kind of person who likes a challenge and have a genuine interest in learning more about Buddhist concepts, teaching English to novice monks is the perfect placement. Buddhism can be a complex subject and it is natural for a westerner to experience some confusion and by spending time with both novice and experienced Buddhist monks, you can gain a valuable insight into this wonderful philosophy that is the national religion in Thailand.

If you feel that this program is ideally suited to you and would like to know more, we are always happy to answer any questions you might have, and with so much to see and experience within a real Thai Buddhist monastery, you couldn’t get any closer to the real thing. Enrol now and we look forward to seeing you in the program soon.