Thailand is one of the countries in the world where you will feel at home. Most developing countries in Asia like Thailand are still looking for ways to develop as a society. For this reason, opportunities to become a volunteer in Thailand are so many.
Thailand serves as a tourist destination among other Asian countries. This is due to Thai’s strong ties to its traditions and history. It does not just stop there as you will meet locals who smile a lot.
You will definitely smile after surviving your first tuk-tuk ride or after sharing a watermelon with an elephant. Another funny but exciting experience is that you may find some Thai schoolchildren waving at you as if you are a celebrity.
Participating in a volunteer program in Thailand lets you step outside the normal tourist bubble. As you step outside, you will work with an NGO to help develop the communities hosting you.
So, if you wish to travel to Thailand for tourism, you can consider volunteering in schools, healthcare settings, or even in wildlife conservations.
Will I be paid to volunteer in Thailand?
The simple answer is NO! You cannot find paid volunteer opportunities in Thailand. The reason is because the Thai people believe in the spirit of selfless service.
Volunteer programs in Thailand will enable you to travel, experience a new culture, and gain experience as you mix with the locals. Some programs can make you to earn community credits while volunteering.
How can I become a volunteer in Thailand?
There are several volunteer opportunities in Thailand because the nation is still developing. If you wish to travel to Thailand and volunteer, we will guide you on how to go about it.
You should begin by checking the website of the organization that is offering the volunteer program in Thailand. Most volunteer programs in Thailand have their specifications. So, check the program to know if the projects match your interests.
Finding a program that matches your interests means that you will show much passion while carrying out projects in that program. If you are passionate about animals, helping children, women rights, you can delve into programs that cover them.
Try and check the location of the program in Thailand that you wish to participate in. This will help you to know if it is a place that you want to be.
Contact the organization offering the volunteer program in Thailand to know if their expectations and schedule match with your interests. You can also check the reviews of previous volunteers on the program.
Finally, apply for a Non-immigrant Visa ‘O’ if you wish to stay and volunteer in Thailand for up to 90 days. You can apply for the visa at any Thai Embassy or Consulate nearest to you.
The Best Volunteer Programs In Thailand
Now that you know how to become a volunteer, it is very necessary that you choose any of the top volunteering programs. Choosing the best volunteering programs will help you to make the best out of your time while in Thailand.
After evaluating the reviews from several travelers in Thailand, here are the top volunteer programs for you:
- Elephant Conservation with Travel for Teens
- Teach English with GoEco
- Community Service Projects with Love Volunteers
- Education and Wildlife Opportunities with Volunteering Solutions
- Medicine, Hospital, and Medical Volunteer Ops with ELI Abroad
- Wildlife Conservation with GVI
- Teaching in Bangkok with Plan My Gap Year
- SLS TEFL & Volunteering at a Foundation in Thailand with Salisa Language School
- Ocean Reef Conservation with Oyster Worldwide
1. Elephant Conservation with Travel for Teens
By volunteering with Travel for Teens, you will be involved in caring for and building bonds with giant Asian elephants. You will also learn how to conserve these creatures.
The volunteer program will enable you to earn up to 20 hours of community service credit while volunteering at an elephant sanctuary.
After working with the Asian elephants, you will spend two days exploring the big Pai river and the beautiful mountains around. You will also spend a night at a rural jungle lodge where you may possibly see wild monkeys on the trees.
2. Teach English with GoEco
GoEco presents a great chance for college students to make the best out of their summer breaks. This is an opportunity to explore the Sing Buri region of Thailand while giving back to the locals through community service.
By volunteering with GoEco, you will help Thai school children to learn English by teaching them basic grammar, pronunciation, reading, and writing. You will also teach them games, songs, and art.
The volunteer program will also require you to work with children in their vegetable garden, develop activities for students, or organize workshops for them.
3. Community Service Projects with Love Volunteers
Love Volunteers offer a unique opportunity for travelers to have a wonderful experience during their stay in Thailand.
The organization offer placements for volunteers to participate in grassroots initiatives while immersing themselves in the Thai culture.
As one of the platforms that offer top volunteer programs in Thailand, you can expect to get placements in childcare and development, teaching, and elephant conservation.
The benefits that Love Volunteers offer include airport pick-up and accommodation.
4. Education and WIldlife Opportunities with Volunteering Solutions
Volunteering Solutions offers an opportunity for college students to enjoy their summer breaks. By volunteering, you will work with children in a variety of welfare and development settings in Bangkok, Thailand.
In addition, you will have the opportunity to head into the hills to see incredible Asian Elephants in their reserves. The duration of the volunteering will depend on you but it ranges between 26 to 29 days.
Below are the requirements for the volunteering program.
- Applicants must be 17 years or older
- Candidates should be flexible, open-minded, and possess a passion for working with elephants.
- Applicants also need to have the flexibility and open-mindedness to work in a new and different environment.
- Candidates must not have any criminal records.
- Applicants below the age of 18 years must provide a parental consent form
The remuneration for this volunteer program includes airport pick up, orientation, accommodation, meals, and local transportation.
5. Medicine, Hospital, and Medical Volunteer Ops with ELI Abroad
ELI Abroad is a not-for-profit organization that offers many volunteer and internship programs to anyone that wishes to travel to different parts of the world. Statistics show that ELI Abroad has offered volunteer and internship opportunities to participants from more than 41 countries in the world.
In Thailand, ELI Abroad offers volunteer programs in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Through ELI Abroad’s partnership with urban hospitals and rural clinics, volunteers have the opportunity to earn about the Thai medical system, tropical diseases, and public health issues in a developing country.
Volunteers assist doctors by working between 5-7 hours a day Monday through Friday. During the weekends, you can cool off in one of Chiang Mai’s many cafes, explore their markets, or go on an excursion in the nearby villages.
ELI Abroad offer compensation such as airport pick up, orientation, shared accommodation, and constant support.
6. Wildlife Conservation with GVI
GVI is an organization that focuses on conserving wildlife in Thailand. To achieve this aim, GVI provides opportunities for volunteers to partner with local communities in Thailand to conserve the population of Asian elephants.
By working as a volunteer with GVI, you will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). You will also help the local communities and organizations to achieve their project objectives.
Keep in mind that the volunteer program with GVI is not an avenue to ride elephants and take photos. It is a program that will require your expertise with the locals to preserve the population of elephants.
Meanwhile, the projects that you will carry out while volunteering with GVI include marine and wildlife conservation, teaching, volunteering with children, and public health.
Wildlife conservation with GVI is one of the best volunteer programs in Thailand that you can participate in.
7. Teaching in Bangkok with Plan My Gap Year
Plan My Gap Year (PMGY) offers one of the most interesting volunteer programs in Thailand. The organization is located in Pathum Thani, a city that lies on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand.
During the program, volunteers will teach English classes and work in Childcare settings. It takes between two (2) to twelve (12) weeks to complete the volunteer program.
Interestingly, PMGY offers compensation to its volunteers. The compensation includes extensive pre-departure support service, an airport pickup, program orientation, meals, accommodation, and local support.
8. SLS TEFL & Volunteering at a Foundation in Thailand with Salisa Language School
SLS TEFL volunteering program requires participants to acquire TEFL training and offer volunteering services in Pattaya, Thailand. If you love to teach in Thailand, this is a great opportunity for you.
The volunteer program offers a TEFL course that lasts for four weeks (120 hours). You will also participate in teaching practice/volunteering (6-8 hours) at Father Ray Foundation. This will enable you to work on all their projects like teaching English to people with disabilities and playing English games with children with special needs.
You can choose either the in-person four-week course or the distance learning program before the teaching practice/volunteering at Father Ray Foundation.
To apply for the TEFL Course + Volunteering at Father Ray Foundation, you must meet certain requirements. The requirements include proficiency in English, no criminal record or a legal case under Thai law, and 18 years or older.
9. Ocean Reef Conservation with Oyster Worldwide
The Ocean Reef Conservation with Oyster World requires volunteers that wish to get wet. In other words, the volunteering program takes place in water.
The volunteer program aims at sustaining marine life. If you do not have a PADI certification (certification for divers), you will take a four-day course and obtain certification upon completion.
Volunteers for this program will join the research center that is on and off the water so as to conduct research in conservation projects. In addition, they will dive with some of the local experts during the program. Shared accommodation will be provided for all volunteers.