Volunteer in Thailand, a beautiful country with a rich culture. A Thailand gap year will give you a unique insight into a country that many people travel but few have an in-depth understanding of.
Thailand is a country rich in natural beauty and has a fascinating culture. Geographically it ranges from the flat fertile rice plains of the central belt, to the lush jungle hills in the North and the limestone-encrusted tropical islands of the South. From awesome jungle waterfalls to deserted sandy beaches, you’ll never run out of places to see and experience. Thailand is distinguished as the only South East Asian country never to have been colonized. Buddhism plays a large part in Thai culture, and the opportunity to observe and experience such an old and rich philosophy will play on your curiosity no end.
Project Trust’s placements in Thailand range from quite rural settings through to large provincial towns and from small primary schools to fairly large, well resourced secondary schools and colleges.
There is a well-developed tourist industry in parts of the country but living in Thailand is very different to the typical backpacking holiday. For your entire year you will be seeing a more authentic side to Thai communities and culture, making close friends and learning about the country in an immersive environment. For our Thailand gap year Volunteers, the experience is a profound one which will affect you long after you return home.
All of our projects in Thailand are TESOL and you will be a member of the English department.
Your role will be to put your imagination and enthusiasm into making English learning fun. In addition to activities in the classroom, you will have the opportunity to involve yourself in English camps held all over the country. We encourage Volunteers to set up secondary projects during their school holidays, which can range from providing assistance in a school for people with disabilities, teaching in a monastery or actually spending some time as a monk or a nun – the opportunities are endless.
Thailand is the ‘Land of Smiles’, and you will be expected to wear a broad grin wherever you go! Thai people are hospitable to an extreme, and will often be forcing another spicy papaya salad or pad thai on you. You’ll realise this during your first two weeks in the country when you stay with a host family, a great opportunity to be immersed in Thai family life.
These occasions will give you a chance to improve your Thai, building on the three-week Thai language course you will sit at the beginning of your year.
Thai people are very proud of their rich culture and you could have the chance to learn to cook Thai cuisine, play traditional instruments, practice Muay Thai and try your hand at traditional Thai dancing.
All in all, a land of opportunities: do not waste them!
Nici Gurney | Thailand 06/07Country Coordinator for Thailand
Nici is a Returned Volunteer (Thailand 06/07) who fell in love with Education and South East Asia in her year with Project Trust. After university she spent six years teaching in central Thailand and she was the Project Trust Representative for two years. Her passion for the ‘Land of Smiles’ is obvious as she talks about it all the time. Don’t get her started talking about Thai food- she loves it!