Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Rural Schools Project Additional Information

Our Rural Schools 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)

Our volunteer projects range in the amount of support and benefits that are provided. This project (the Rural Schools Project), requires volunteers that are independent and ready to experience real Thai life, but still with our safety net and coordinating support. The schools are outside of town and will either require for the volunteer to travel relatively far distances, or to stay at the project site from Monday to Friday. Accommodation ammentities will vary greatly, so this is not a project for individuals that need a lot of creature comforts. Alternately, its a project that is meant for “roughing it” and diving head first into rural Thai village life for a few weeks. These schools range in two main placement options:

Option 1: School Stay

Volunteers are sent to the project site schools on a Monday, and stay in accommodation in, or near the school grounds until Friday afternoon. On Friday afternoon, we arrange transportation for them back into Chiang Mai, where they will stay in our volunteer accommodation for the weekend. Volunteers in this type of project will be provided with a Thai cell phone to keep in contact with our coordinating staff. As is mentioned above, the accommodation for volunteers at these project sites varies greatly with regards to amentities and creature comforts. All volunteers will have their own room, or share one with another volunteer. Volunteers will have access to a bathroom which may, or may not have hot water and a western style toilet. All of the accommodation spots for our volunteers are safe and clean, but volunteers need to be able to stay in various types of accommodation and conditions.

Option 2: City Stay

Volunteers will travel back and forth to the school and our accommodation (in the center of Chiang Mai) daily. The schools range in distance and travel time from 30 minutes to one hour (one way). Here volunteers will need to be flexible and ready to do some traveling back and forth from their project site daily.

School Daily Schedule

8:00 Morning Assembly
8:30 classes begin
11:10 Lunch/Break
12:10 After lunch Assembly and classes begin again
4:20 School ends for the day.

A volunteer is free to come and leave the school as they wish. It’s recommended to stay at the school during most of the day to get to know the staff and students as well as possible, but if a volunteer is free to leave the school during times when they don’t’ have classes, if they have something they would like to do off campus.

Teaching a lesson

It is important to plan and prepare lessons. For the inexperienced teacher, lengthy, in-depth lesson plans are not necessary. It is however, crucial that when preparing/planning a lesson that one must write down a simple procedure of how they plan to conduct the class. Attempt to cover all four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in the period of an hour class. Below is a basic plan as to how inexperienced teachers can plan lessons:

  1. Introduction to the class and a short fun warm up activity

  2. Presentation of new material/review of already covered material.

  3. Practice of the material presented Speaking activity then writing activity using the material covered.

  4. A quick wrap up / closing activity.

Suggestions for Topics Colors Numbers Time Animals Days of the week/months of the year Sports Hobbies Sports Food Places around town Countries / travel vocabulary Things at home Things at school Music

Suggestions for basic Activities Tick tack toe (with vocabulary) Memory (vocabulary and definition/picture) Word searches Crossword puzzles Skits Dialogue type games Songs (to follow, but not sing) Hangman Scrabble type games Bingo (with numbers, pictures, vocabulary, whatever) Pictionary Spin the bottle (conversation / vocabulary, not kissing) Simon Says Running Dictation

Volunteer Teaching in Chiang Mai Video

The following is a video of the English Education Volunteer Project (not our rural schools project – that video is still in the works). It does, however give a relatively good picture of what Thai schools look like and the how our volunteers interact with the students.

Materials, Stationary and Books

Most of the schools use student textbooks and workbooks in their English courses. With this being said, most of the textbooks are not very well written and are often times far above the abilities of the students that are using them. Some volunteers are free to use any material in their lessons, however it is recommended that volunteers try to use the textbooks and workbooks when possible, as it is important that the students follow the curriculum, especially considering the students will continue to use the textbooks and workbooks after end of the volunteer’s service. With this being mentioned, please don’t think that the textbooks and workbooks have to be used exclusively. Pictures and different materials from a volunteer’s country can be a lot of fun and be incredibly educational.

There are stationary stores close to many of the schools. Unfortunately there is no budget available for volunteer teacher resources. Therefore if a teacher wants to purchase supplies or materials for their classes they will have to do so with their own money. Friends for Asia staff will be happy to show you the way or take you to a stationary store during your orientation or service to help you prepare for your lessons. Most of the schools have some type of procedure for copies that volunteers are allowed to use. For specific information regarding the system of making copies, a volunteer would have to consult their coworkers at their assigned school.

Volunteer Transportation

Airport pick up, the city tour and the transportation to and from the project site (in Option 2), cultural show and dinner are covered in the project fee. Friends for Asia staff also sends volunteers and interns to seek medical assistance in non-emergency situations. Obviously, in the case of an emergency a proper ambulance would be called and used. A volunteer will have to cover the cost of their own transportation if they make multiple appointments to see a doctor or dentist.

Volunteers in the Rural Schools Project (Option #2) are responsible for their daily commute to and from the Volunteer House and their school. More details are listed below, but expect to pay anywhere between $1.50 – $3.00 per day for transportation. Here volunteers should be prepared to travel between an hour to an hour and a half daily.

Transportation by SongThaews (Thai style mini-busses) are normally 20 – 40 Baht (roughly 70 US cents – $1.50 US Dollars) per ride. Therefore, most volunteers spend around $3 a day on transportation to and from work. Volunteers travel with the coordinator on their first day by local transportation (Option #2) in an attempt to teach volunteers how to get to the school and back by themselves on the following days of their volunteer service.