Two-Week Volunteer Abroad Program in Surin, Thailand

Bangkok and Surin, Thailand Children & Youth Development

Program

Description

The two-week special in Thailand is unlike any other volunteer travel opportunity out there because you'll have a chance to do and see so many of the sights, people, and places that make Thailand special. This particular trip packs in as much action, tourism, and volunteering as possible in a 14-day period. It is an ideal trip for time-crunched travelers who want to see the world and also make an impact. Your volunteering opportunities will include a week with the Teaching or Childcare Project, and a week at the elephant village, along with lots of time dedicated to touring and exploring Bangkok. From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, you'll be busy enjoying life, seeing the people and places that make Thailand special and making memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Your two-week odyssey will begin with a weekend to discover Bangkok and everything that makes it a favorite destination for travelers and backpackers from the world over. You'll be picked up right from the airport by a local coordinator and taken to explore the bustling and lively Khao San Road. The following day, you'll get a guided tour of the city that will include a canal tour and stops at some of the most beautiful, popular, and culturally significant destinations in the city, such as Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Wat Phra Kaew. If you like, you can also go inside the Grand Palace for an additional fee of 500THB. Once the tour is over, you'll have the rest of the evening to relax, explore, and check out the bars and clubs of Khao San Road.

Following your weekend of getting to know Bangkok, you'll hop on a train with your volunteer team and journey to the heart of Thailand. The trip will take you past the sprawling neighborhoods of the city, along the edges of the magnificent Khao Yai National Park, and eventually to Surin, which is nestled in the rice plains of Isaan. For the next four days, between Monday and Thursday, you'll be working with either the childcare or teaching program in Surin, getting to play with the children and helping to create a fun and nurturing learning environment.

After your first volunteer week in Surin, you'll be rewarded with a three-day weekend that will give you plenty of time to enjoy the city or venture out on your own. One of the favorite destinations for weekend adventurers is Khao Yai National Park, which is about four hours away, and which is considered one of the most unique places in the country thanks to the enormous trees, wild elephants, and waterfalls. If you're up for an even greater adventure, however, you can make the six-hour trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which is the world’s largest religious monument.

When the weekend is over, then comes the highlight of the trip for many: volunteering at the elephant village outside Surin for the next four days. This will give you an opportunity to get up close and personal with the elephants, live among the villagers and learn what it’s like to live in a rural Thai village. Finally, when your time at the village comes to an end on Thursday, you'll return to Surin for a final night enjoying the ancient temples, bars, clubs, sights, sounds, and night food markets of this exciting town. The last leg of the trip is your return to Bangkok on Friday morning, and the local staff can help you to arrange your train or bus transportation back to the city.

Impact

There are two ways that you'll make a difference during the two-week special in Thailand: during your time as a childcare or teaching volunteer, and during your time volunteering at the elephant village. In Surin, you'll have the option of choosing to be a childcare or teaching volunteer, though the two positions are quite similar. The major difference is that you'll be working with younger children in the childcare stream, and slightly older children in the teaching stream. As a teaching volunteer, you'll be planning lessons and participating in teaching the children, all while focusing on using fun and play as teaching tools.

At the elephant village during your second week of volunteering, you'll have a chance to get your hands dirty as you live among the village elephants, bathing and feeding the animals, taking them for walks, and even learning to make paper from their dung. You'll also live among and learn from the villagers, and will help them to harvest sugar cane for the elephants, learn to fish and cook traditional Thai food, and go kayaking on the nearby river.

Because of holidays, special activities, and other events, the order of the volunteer sessions (teaching/childcare and elephant village) will sometimes be reversed to ensure you get the most from each experience.

Field conditions

One of the most important things to know about Thailand is that it’s a hot, humid, and tropical country, so you'll want to bring appropriate clothes, sunscreen, hats, and bug spray. Because the country is also somewhat conservative, you should pack modest but lightweight clothing like t-shirts, jeans, shorts, sandals, and other summer gear. For the teaching and childcare portions of the trip, bring some smart/casual clothes that are cool and light. For your time in the elephant village, you'll want old clothes and running shoes that can get dirty.

Thailand is a safe country for the most part, and you'll also have access to round the clock support during your trip. For your safety, don’t carry valuables with you, be aware of your surroundings, and follow all the safety guidelines provided by staff and coordinators.

An important note about trekking to Cambodia: When in Surin, you'll have an opportunity to visit Cambodia if you so choose, because the land border with Cambodia is only an hour from Surin. However, it’s integral that you have all the right visas in place that will allow you to enter Cambodia and return to Thailand, so be sure to discuss travel plans with the in-country team and coordinators before you go.

Arrival and orientation

From the minute you arrive in Bangkok to the moment you leave, you'll be taken care of by the local coordinators and staff, who will make sure you get to and from the airport and all other in-country destinations safely. When you arrive in Bangkok on the first or third Friday of the month, you'll be picked up at Suvarnabhumi Airport and driven to the accommodation near Khao San Road. Once you arrive in Surin on Monday, you'll meet the local staff that you'll be working with, and get an orientation that will cover topics like your responsibilities over the next few days, what Thai culture is like, proper greetings and behavior, and the location of important amenities like restaurants and ATMs.

Your stay

Accommodation

  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

During your first nights in Bangkok, you'll stay in a guesthouse or hotel near Khao San Road, which is the backpacker heart of the city. In Surin, the accommodations are made up of three volunteer houses that are maintained specifically for traveling volunteers like you. The houses are close to the shops, restaurants, and amenities of Surin, and thanks to the shared living and sleeping areas, you'll also get a great opportunity to really get to know your fellow volunteers.

Location

Volunteers will be staying in a volunteer house in Bangkok and then in Surin.

Cost

from $525 USDper week

from $525 USDper week

Costs...

What’s included

  • Transport to and from project location

  • Accommodation in a homestay in the elephant village

  • Elephant experience in surin

  • Volunteering in surin

  • Bangkok to surin by train/coach

  • City tour of bangkok

  • Accommodation in hotel/guest house in bangkok and in volunteer house in surin

  • Program orientation

  • Airport pickup from bangkok suvarnabhumi airport

  • Assistance from in country support staff

  • Comprehensive pre-departure guide

What’s not included

  • Any personal expenses, and any other services which are not mentioned (approximate personal expenses for food and traveling per week would be usd 40 to usd 50 per week)

  • Vaccinations

  • Departure transfer to bangkok (our program coordinator can arrange at extra cost)

  • Travel insurance (available at nominal cost)

  • Visa fees

  • International/domestic airfare

Start dates

Select Fridays year round.

Volunteering Solutions is a highly respected and accredited organization that coordinates volunteer abroad opportunities for high school students, individuals, couples, and even corporate groups. They’ve been running volunteer traveling programs since 2006, and in that time, they’ve helped more than 12,000 volunteers complete trips that have been life changing not only for them but also for the people they’ve helped. Volunteering Solutions operates in 19 countries, and provides over 100 types of volunteering and interning options in areas like child care, medical, education, conservation, community development, and much more. By coordinating volunteer efforts with local social welfare organizations around the world, Volunteering Solutions guarantees that your impact truly benefits the people you're there to help.

To help you get the most out of your journey, and to make the trip as safe and stress-free as possible, Volunteering Solutions takes care of the placement, accommodations, travel, meals, and security for each volunteer. That way, you're free to focus your attention on what's important, like helping the community, helping the people, growing as an individual, and exploring a new country, new cultures, and new practices.

Reviews

52
  • Laurine

    December 03, 2017

  • To give a summary, the last five weeks have been the most amazing five weeks of my life.When arriving at the center you are warmly welcomed and shown around. It is a lot to take in because the center is pretty big and there are a lot of animals ...Read more

  • Xinyi Yang

    September 27, 2017

  • It's a interesting journey. In this journey I tried a lot thing that are first time.

  • Shuwen Tang

    September 26, 2017

  • This volunteer experience for me is very meaningful. I was really enjoy the two weeks I spent in Thailand. I knew many new things, the stuffs are all very responsive and the members in our group are very nice. That was a challenge for me to be a volunteer, with ...Read more

  • Ruud

    September 25, 2017

  • The trip was really awesome. It was my first time to go outside Europe and this project was the ideal thing to do for the first time! It is a good combination between different volunteering projects, travelling, and being with international people. The week in Mr. Lee's elephant village ...Read more

  • Malin

    September 20, 2017

  • I participated in Volunteering Solutions Medical Internship Program in Kathmandu, Nepal August 2017.I was placed in a Childrens Hospital run by the government. The doctors were knowledgeable and helpful. It was interesting to meet a different spectra of diseases compare to with what I am used to in Europe ...Read more

  • Voula

    September 12, 2017

  • A wonderful Experience in Peru! Volunteered with my husband and 4 teenage children. We worked in a daycare and enjoyed every moment. The children where absolutely adorable and happy. We were able to build cribs for the babies and paint and refurbish all the chairs. Working with kids daily with ...Read more

  • Deborah

    August 20, 2017

  • My daughter and I had a wonderful experience with Volunteer solutions in Kathmandu. I have to say the first thank you goes to their very experienced staff run by Uma Mathema. She is kind, generous and fun loving. She sits and talks to us everyday and if a volunteer has ...Read more

  • Belladina

    August 10, 2017

  • My trip to Nepal was great. The staff of volunteering solutions were very helpful, and I find the website is very organised and interesting. Highlight of the trip was working on the hospital and experiencing living in Nepal. I enjoyed the time I spent working on the hospital. It was ...Read more

  • Grace

    August 10, 2017

  • My time in Thailand with Volunteering Solutions was absolutely incredible! I loved how we were able to volunteer in the community and and meet the locals, but also had free time to explore this beautiful country. I could not have asked for better tour guides. I felt extremely safe and ...Read more

  • Clara

    August 09, 2017

  • My experience in Thailand with Volunteering Solutions was absolutely amazing. The staff was professional, helpful and very nice. The volunteering itself offered many different ways to help and to get involved with the local culture, such as working with the elephants or teaching basic English to kids.It's a ...Read more

  • Alannah

    August 09, 2017

  • Kenya has been a truly amazing experience! I volunteered at Wema clinic (maternity clinic). The staff at the clinic are very welcoming and friendly! Massai Mara, Hell’s Gate and Lake Nakuru are the most beautiful places I have ever been!! The accomodation was great. Paul cooked us delicious food ...Read more

  • Niamh

    August 09, 2017

  • I had an incredible experience with Volunteering Solutions in Cusco, Peru for two weeks. This was my first time traveling alone, and I felt completely secure throughout my trip.I was placed with a wonderful host family who made me feel so welcome. It was very easy to take the ...Read more

  • Moria Patricia

    August 09, 2017

  • My experience of Delhi and of volunteering on the Street children project was wonderful. The extreme heat and humidity in Delhi was challenging and also made the conditions for working with the children a challenge also, but getting to know the children ( and meeting children I had worked with in ...Read more

  • Anindita

    August 08, 2017

  • Experience for me was fabulous. But I wish there was something more substantial and more long lasting that all of us volunteers could do at these orphanages For that your organisation has to be more involved.Country Team/Coordinators were very good and take good care of the volunteers.Experience ...Read more

  • Antara

    August 08, 2017

  • It was far from what I expected. It was very different and I enjoyed it thoroughly.Country coordinator were very Friendly and Supportive.The house was clean and spacious and in a good neighborhood. The food was alright.I think that I see The World differently after seeing those children ...Read more

  • MARINA CUBERO MATEO

    August 08, 2017

  • In general the trip was incredible. Since the first day I felt very comfortable and happy. The program learnt me a lot and I enjoyed each moment.The organization was perfect and we do not have any problem.Awesome experience and I felt welcomed. I learnt a lot about children ...Read more

  • Samantha

    July 16, 2017

  • This program was an amazing experience for me. I was only in Cusco for 2 weeks but I wish I could have stayed forever! My host family was very nice, my accommodation was great, it was clean and the meals were very good too. I loved my placement, I worked ...Read more

  • Camtran

    June 26, 2017

  • I had a wonderful experience with Volunteering Solutions! This is my first time traveling abroadfor a medical trip, and I was anxious, not knowing what to expect. However, the Starfish teamwas very on time in picking us up at the airport, and Pear, the one who picked us up, was ...Read more

  • Rachael

    June 26, 2017

  • The trip was great. I never felt uneasy about anything the entire time. Everything was wellmanaged and planned out and all of the people were fantastic.Coordinators were very helpful and enthusiastic.The living experience was excellent. It was very comfortable and homely stay with allthe facilities that I could ...Read more

  • Anna

    June 26, 2017

  • It was very nice, mostly due to Santi, the volunteer coordinator in Denia. He made sure that the volunteers were having a good time.Country coordinators both Santi and Beatrice were very friendly and supportive.The house was clean and spacious and in a good neighborhood. The food was alright.

  • Jann

    June 26, 2017

  • The experience was great. The Street Children Program was well organized and very fulfilling.The children were receptive, energetic, and loving. The volunteer apartment was in a great location with all the amenities I needed. The advice I received from Volunteering Solutions people was very helpful.Country Coordinators were very ...Read more

  • Salvador

    May 31, 2017

  • The whole experience was amazing, the culture, in general, was a shock to me but I loved it. I liked everything, the food, the people whom I met, the places and the volunteering experience, in general, was great, the kids I was working with are super loving and I loved ...Read more

  • Carolina Lopez

    May 28, 2017

  • My experience with volunteering solutions was very good. Being at the hospital I got to experience the culture in a closer way, with plenty of time to do sightseeing in Delhi and other parts of India. Everything was well organized and we had constant support from the staff. The volunteer ...Read more

  • Miliza

    May 24, 2017

  • My experience in Nepal was very rewarding. It made sense to teach English in this government school, where the kids are never exposed to English language, except some word drilling by their usual teacher. Once the initial shyness was gone, the kids were happy to pronounce tongue twisters, sing songs ...Read more

  • Christina

    April 27, 2017

  • I know that there are so many children who are nowhere near as lucky as I am and who can barely get a decent education to set them up for the future. Although I had moved to Australia when I was a year old, I was born in China and ...Read more

  • Helen

    April 27, 2017

  • I’d been to India a few times before as a tourist, fallen in love with the culture, food, and people, and I wanted to give something back in a small way. In 2016, I did a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course, so when I heard that ...Read more

  • Kristina Kirchner

    April 27, 2017

  • It was a great experience volunteering in Cape Town for three months. I felt very integrated in my project and was able to do things on my own as well. I would totally recommend doing this project.

  • Rita

    April 26, 2017

  • I really enjoyed my time in India. The kids are amazing and I am so grateful for everything they did for me.I learned a lot of lessons during this experience and I cannot wait to repeat again. Thanks Volunteering Solutions!

  • Gerad

    April 25, 2017

  • Overall the experience was fantastic. The coordinator, Frederick, was amazing and more than happy to talk me through any issues that did arise. And he shared with me all the customs and traditions of Ghana​ by showing me around the local villages and introducing me to the people The kids ...Read more

  • Martha

    April 23, 2017

  • It was a great experience. Very nice students and teachers.It is a different world and a different life but I loved it. I can only recommend it to everybody.

  • Isabel

    April 20, 2017

  • This is my second volunteer trip through VolSol, I was in Nepal last year. I think you have a great organization and through it, many people are being helped. I plan to go to Morocco in 2018!Peru was a great experience. I was assigned to a pre-school and helped ...Read more

  • Reem Labani

    January 24, 2017

  • I Am Reem Labani, Medical student from Saudi Arabia, I joined the medical program for about 3 weeks.Starting from the hostel, as you probably know our culture is overprotective, but to be honest I felt as if it was home, Noel and eve where family to me. From the ...Read more

  • Naoka

    January 19, 2017

  • Volunteering at a nursery school was a good experience to me studying education. Kids at the nursery school are so cute and energetic. Also, teachers were so nice to me, and I really want to say thank you for accepting me.Morocco is so exciting and amazing. Actually I like ...Read more

  • Jasjap

    January 19, 2017

  • My experience volunteering with Volunteering Solutions was a great one but I think individuals have many questions before leaving to their desired country, therefore I contacted the VolSol team and the replies to emails were very fast and helpful! My friends and I had a blast working at our placement ...Read more

  • Amas

    December 23, 2016

  • I traveled to Uganda, to volunteer with Volunteering Solutions for 2 weeks. So the first thing I can say is that always apply for more weeks, if you really want to experience the Ugandan culture, and also to enjoy what Uganda has to offer.It was the best experience I ...Read more

  • Palak Goyal

    August 26, 2016

  • The students and the organisation were very welcoming and warm.The food at Volunteer house was amazing. The work and housingenvironment was so comfortable and well organised. I definitely feel like I made a difference and that matters the most to me. It was worth spending 4 weeks on. My ...Read more

  • Jaclyn Cifuni

    August 19, 2016

  • While my visit in Thailand was absolutely incredible it's very hard for me to rank my time there. However one of my favorite moments during the program was the school at the wat pho temple. During my time there we broke off into groups where I met a little ...Read more

  • Peggy Bedoyan

    August 11, 2016

  • when I first decided to volunteer in India with a friend of mine I thought I was worried ! Is it really a good idea ? Will I really be able to do it? Is it a risk ?! And all those questions faded when I first got to Delhi and met the ...Read more

  • Alexandra

    August 09, 2016

  • Working at the school with children, hugging them, taking picture with them and enjoying beach party with other volunteers were the highlight of my trip. I have learnt a lot from children. In the higher classes you could learn them more. But I think maybe if there was a overall ...Read more

  • Mariana

    July 08, 2016

  • I totally enjoyed my placement. The In country coordinator and support staff were Great! Always helping and gave us every time a lot of support. Getting to bond with kids is an amazing experience, to get to spend some time with babies, play with them, take care of them, learning ...Read more

  • Ines

    July 08, 2016

  • After some trekking in the Himalayan mountains, I had the great opportunity to work as a volunteer in the Paropakar Girls Orphanage in Kathmandu. Volunteering solutions helped me with the placement and made me feel very welcome from the first day on. They even arranged an orientation week for me ...Read more

  • Kathryn

    July 08, 2016

  • I loved it ! The kids were so cute and eager to learn. They loved having fun and were respectful. I will never forget them, and I am grateful to have met each one of them.The accommodation was good. I loved having AC at night! I also liked all the ...Read more

  • Glendon

    July 08, 2016

  • It was a great program, thank you very much for the wonderful placement. The project coordinator in Uganda does a fantastic job. I would definitely recommend the program. My volunteer experience has been wonderful, I had a lot of fun and a really great time. I love the kids, the ...Read more

  • Katie B.

    July 04, 2016

  • Volunteering Solutions was a great organization to volunteer through! They helped set up the placements at the hospitals to volunteer at and all of the weekend excursions as well as orphanage/school visits we wanted to make. They also always helped us out if they saw us around the town ...Read more

  • Sumaiya Matin

    June 23, 2016

  • I have no exact answers to the questions that had surfaced for me. I critiqued myself for prior assumptions with a fine-toothed comb. All I ended up with was one foundational understanding: true wealth is internal and comes not from the external world but an inner brightness that does not ...Read more

  • Linda Schirle

    April 21, 2016

  • Initially I was in a contract with Volunations but they transfered me to Volunteering Solutions. They had a medical project for me in Cape Town. Before I started me journey I was in Email contact with Sahil and he answered my questions. While I was in Cape Town SAST was ...Read more

  • Andi Donahue

    April 17, 2016

  • Overall I had an amazing experience. My fellow volunteers were amazing and the volunteer coordinator at the camp was amazing. Some of the mahouts are great and some are not. I had a wonderful mahout who treated his elephant very well. You definitely have the experience of a lifetime. I ...Read more

  • Lydia Loxton

    April 17, 2016

  • I was lucky enough to be able to do the 2 week volunteering program in Kenya this Easter. I was working in an orphanage in Nairobi with Volunteering Solutions; they are known in Kenya as Children's Home.The orphanage where i worked is managed by these three wonderful ladies ...Read more

  • Florine Vingerhoets

    April 13, 2016

  • My trip to Arusha, Tanzania was amazing!I went to Africa because I wanted to do something good.I decided to dedicate my vacation to volunteering.I went for 2 weeks and had the time of my life!I really wished it could be longer..I did the orphanage program ...Read more

  • Teva

    April 05, 2016

  • I like that part on the website where there is all the selection to choose what to do and where do I want to volunteer. I find the pre-departure booklet very good and helpful, support staff also answers all my questions and I felt like I know exactly where I ...Read more

  • Ali Nagh

    April 03, 2016

  • The website it’s very easy to understand and simple to work with. And the good thing is, we can write with other volunteer and ask them everything about their work.Every question that I mail to the Volunteering Solution, the answer come very fast back. Everything is great :)The ...Read more

  • Jessica Zukhovich

    February 09, 2016

  • I had the most amazing trip to Cape Town through Volunteering Solutions! Traveling alone, I was a bit hesitant and nervous beforehand, but within the first few days of arrival I was so glad I made the decision to go. Cape Town is such a gorgeous city and being able ...Read more

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