Meaningful Thailand Experience (2013)
On the project you’ll be welcomed into a village home, enjoying family life and true Thai hospitality. On Samed Island and in Bangkok, you’ll get a dorm room (or single if you pay extra) at a friendly hostel or tourist-class hotel. Preferred accommodation list: Bangkok – Lub D Bangkok Project site – Homestay or project guesthouse (dormitory bed) Samed Island – Samed Cabana or Vongdeuan Resort or Malibu.
Bangkok arrival transfer Arrival airport transfer and group meeting for project orientation. You will learn about Thailand in general, cultural differences, the school and village, and discuss how your skills can benefit the community.
Orientation tour and Thai language lessons Explore Bangkok on foot, tuk-tuk, taxi-boat, bus and Sky train, seeing as much as possible of Bangkok everyday life. You will visit temples, a flower market and Little India or Chinatown. You’ll then spend time learning the Thai language in an informal environment.
Bangkok to Angthong (breakfast and dinner included) Depart for Angthong to begin your volunteer work. The first task is orientation and getting to know the village, your hosts and the local people. Each volunteer will be allocated host families to stay with, with 1-2 volunteers staying with each family. This will help with culture exchange and ensure you see Thailand from a totally different viewpoint.
Volunteer project (breakfast, lunch and dinner included) You will have 10 days of teaching and joining in with village activities. During the weekend, you can choose to share more activities with the children (eg joining in with their Thai music practice, cleaning the temple, helping to grow vegetables), go out with the teachers/villagers to visit Ayutthaya, its historic ruins and elephant village, perfect your skills in meditation, or learn some Thai cookery skills.
Return to Bangkok (breakfast and lunch included) After the last morning class, it’s time to say farewell to your host, the teachers and school children. There will be a farewell function and you’ll receive a certificate as a token of thanks. You’ll then transfer back to Bangkok.
Bangkok to Ko Samet (breakfast included) Travel to Ko Samet for beach time and relaxation after hard work.
Ko Samet (breakfast included) Enjoy a tropical-island cool-down, choosing from a wide variety of activities including a boat trip around the island, a banana-boat ride, sea kayaking, inland exploration and much more.
Ko Samet to Bangkok (breakfast included) Return to Bangkok.
Departure transfer (breakfast included) Spend the day time at leisure to enjoy every last minute of Bangkok before a transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Volunteer project highlights include: Helping the teacher teach English to children Learning the Thai language and about Thai culture, attitudes and customs Joining in with village activities, such as preparing food, dancing, giving food to monks and playing soccer with children Learning from local monks about Buddhism, their way of life and how to meditate Exploring the local countryside.
About this project:
Share your experiences, thoughts and love with the children in the village, a home for the poor and hill-tribe children. You will also learn about Thai culture and way of life and be part of the Thai community. The volunteer section of the project can be extended if you wish.
Essential notice for prospective volunteers:
You do not need to be officially trained in teaching English as a foreign language, but you must have a genuine love of children, especially the poor and disadvantaged, and an interest in different cultures. What volunteers need to do is encourage the local children they meet to communicate in English wherever possible, and enhance their listening and speaking skills through practical lessons and fun learning activities such as games, songs and art activities (painting, drawing, crafting, etc). Take some books, CDs, dolls, flash cards, teaching materials, maps, photos, postcards, stickers, etc, from your country and leave them as gifts. Sometimes the villagers or the host might arrange some get-together function and this will be a good chance for the volunteers to give a simple performance that represents their country in exchange for a performance by the villagers. Prepare small gifts (from your country) to give to the children of the village, to the host at your homestay and the community. It would be a lovely gesture - much appreciated and a precious memory for them.
School holidays take place between: • Mid-end of March and mid-May • 12-17 April and Thai new year • End of September/beginning of October and end of October/beginning of November. If you are on the programme during this time or during any examination periods, you will be teaching English informally to local village children, rather than in a school/classroom environment. Your day-to-day schedule will be adjusted to match the children’s schedule.
Your included Bangkok accommodation on day 1.
• Accommodation • Meals: daily breakfast and full-board at volunteer site • Transport: air-conditioned/non-air-conditioned in remote areas • Orientation • Excursion with an English-speaking guide • Language training • Services of local English-speaking assistants during transfer to the volunteer site
• Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary • Travel arrangements during your free time, weekends and holidays • Email, telephone calls, personal expenses, etc • Entrance fee for places not included in the itinerary