Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Low Cost Volunteer Project – Teaching English


The two week project fee minimum in this placement is only $399 US Dollars, with all additional weeks at $80/week. Scroll down the page for additional information about our fees, along with what is and what isn’t included in the fees. This project does have limited availability.

The day starts early in rural Thailand, with roosters announcing the procession of village monks on their early morning alms round. Storefronts rumble open and a wave of students in uniform strike out for school. Although the locations of our Low Cost English Teaching Project sites are only an hour away from Chiang Mai city, one really gets a feel for the slow pace of life in the country side of Chiang Mai, along with everything that is happening in the city (on weekends).

Traditionally, there are three pillars of life in Thailand: the home, the temple and the school. These are most clearly expressed in rural Thailand, where traditional values prevail. With this in mind, volunteer English teachers in the Thai countryside contribute to one of most important pillars of Thai society.

The Friends for Asia Low Cost Volunteer 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, and at a fraction of the price then all of the other organizations in Thailand. Volunteers on this project are a world away from the expat hangouts, international restaurants and Internet cafés of downtown Chiang Mai. While this presents fantastic opportunities to hang out with locals, visit rural temple fairs and take part in cultural community events, it also requires flexibility, patience and a strong sense of independence.

Of course, you’ll be plugged into the Friends for Asia support network for the duration of your project. We’ll arrange accommodation for you near your project school and issue you a Thai mobile phone so that we can stay in touch with you, answer questions and help sort out any problems encountered along the way. During the weekend, you’re welcome to take advantage of our volunteer accommodation in central Chiang Mai for a dose of life in the city.


Volunteer in Chiang Mai Video

Volunteer Tasks

The volunteer’s classroom role varies from one school to the next, and there is plenty of flexibility when it comes to setting up a format that you and your students are comfortable with. Volunteers are paired with a Thai teacher from the school, either helping out with daily lessons or planning and leading their own, depending on the volunteer’s comfort level.

English Education

Schools in this project come in a range of sizes. Some of the schools in FFA’s network are extremely small, with as few as 70 students. Even the larger countryside schools are small by city standards, with student enrollment of around 1,500. Teachers can request to teach any grade level between kindergarten and grade 12. In most cases, there is no problem accommodating these preferences. Volunteer teachers spend roughly 15 to 20 hours per school week in class.

Volunteer Accommodation


During orientation, and on weekends, volunteers stay in our Friends for Asia Chiang Mai city accommodation. During the week (Monday to Friday), volunteers stay in clean, but basic accommodation at the project site. In most cases, we try to place two volunteers at any given school, but this is not always possible due to numbers of bookings. The accommodation for volunteers at the different sites varies, but most rooms have fans, and some of access to the internet.


Making a difference by volunteering in Thailand

English teaching is an area of service in which international volunteers can make a particularly strong impact in Thailand. Even volunteer project sites that are not directly involved in education are often eager to work an element of English teaching into their volunteer job description.


From a volunteer English teacher’s perspective, the best way to ramp up the benefits of your service is to head for out-of-the-way places in Thailand. There is no shortage of native-speaking English teachers in Chiang Mai city proper. Many of them work for large private schools and learning centers, teaching students from relatively well-to-do families.

Teaching is an honorable profession regardless of the students’ social status. Even so, volunteers who want to go a step further and make more of a difference can do so by setting themselves up outside of the city limits. In the countryside surrounding Chiang Mai, government schools have little chance of attracting international teachers. And even those fortunate enough to make this connection rarely have the budget to pay them a salary. With this in mind, the Friends for Asia rural schools project provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to maximize the effect of their service.

Volunteer Qualifications


Volunteer English teachers have to be at least 18 years old to be considered. It’s also important that they’re fluent in written and spoken English. While veteran teachers are enthusiastically welcomed, teaching credentials are not required to volunteer to teach English in Thailand.

Beyond this, Friends for Asia requires all volunteers who will be working directly with children to file a certified police background check before their start date.

Our Low Cost English Teaching Volunteer Project is only available during the Thai school year, and is closed during the Thai summer from March to mid-May and during October (for the mid-school year break)

Volunteer Project Fees

Participation in the Low Cost English Teaching Volunteer Project starts at a minimum of two weeks at $399. Each additional week is $80.


Volunteer Project Fee Includes

  • Comprehensive Pre-Departure Information
  • Visa paperwork (for projects over 8 weeks)
  • FFA Volunteer Insurance
  • Airport pick up
  • Accommodation during orientation and entire project time
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Lunch every work day
  • 2 day Orientation (including half day city tour, cultural dinner and show)
  • Onsite Coordinator
  • 24 hour emergency assistance
  • Written record of service completion (for volunteers that successfully complete their project).

Volunteer Fee Does Not Include

  • Travel to/from Home and Chiang Mai (airfare, train tickets, etc.)
  • Thailand visa costs (if applicable)
  • International Medical Insurance
  • Cost of criminal police background check (required for this project)
  • Cost of transportation to and from Project site and and accommodation (roughly $2 per day)
  • Lunches on weekends.
  • Dinner

  • Apply Now to Volunteer for this ProjectFree to Apply

Thailand Low-Cost / Rural Schools Volunteer Start Dates for 2023

  • 9th of January
  • 23rd of January
  • 6th of February
  • Closed for Thai Summer Break
  • 15th of May
  • 5th of June
  • 19th of June
  • 3rd of July
  • 17th of July
  • 7th of August
  • 21st of August
  • 4th of September
  • Closed for mid-School Year Break
  • 6th of November
  • 20th of November
  • 4th of December
  • 18th of December

Thailand Low-Cost / Rural Schools Volunteer Start Dates for 2024

  • the 8th of January – arriving on Friday, the 6th of January
  • the 22nd of January – arriving on Friday, the 19th of January
  • the 5th of February – arriving on Friday, the 2nd of February (maximum four week program)
  • Closed for Thai School Summer
  • the 20th of May – arriving on Friday, the 17th of May
  • the 3rd of June – arriving on Friday, the 31st of May
  • the 17th of June – arriving on Friday, the 14th of June
  • the 1st of July – arriving on Friday, the 28th of June
  • the 15th of July – arriving on Friday, the 12th of July
  • the 5th of August – arriving on Friday, the 3rd of August
  • the 19th of August – arriving on Friday, the 16th of August
  • the 2nd of September – arriving on Friday, the 30th of August (maximum four week program)
  • Closed for Thailand mid-school year break
  • the 4th of November – arriving on Friday, the 1st of November
  • the 18th of November – arriving on Friday, the 15th of November
  • the 2nd of December – arriving on Friday, the 29th of November
  • the 16th of December – arriving on Friday, the 13th of December