Thailand

Original Volunteers

I have used Original Volunteers on two occasions now to book projects to Thailand and Ghana and I highly recommend this company if you would like to be involved in volunteer projects.

For those who have concerns about what company to choose when volunteering, my honest opinion is that Original Volunteers offer rewarding experiences and are very good value for money in comparison to other companies out there.

Original Volunteers were very supportive in their pre-travel advice, communication with them was excellent and they have always been happy to answer my queries. Everything ran very smoothly from beginning to end on both trips.

Thailand

Admittedly I was very nervous at first, I had never travelled alone before. Once out in Thailand an airport transfer was arranged and the accommodation hostel had a very friendly vibe. I was happy and settled from the very first evening, I met some wonderful people, both locals and other volunteers, and every day from then was a new adventure. The hostel helped to create a good rapport among the other like-minded volunteers. Meals at the accommodation cost from £1-4.

With regards to the teaching itself we had lots of resources to use, and as with any volunteer company you are expected to be able to think on your feet and use your initiative. After all, you are not there to be spoon fed, but to have a challenging experience. Throughout the trip our taxis to our volunteer placements were arranged for us, and we even had very affordable mini buses take us on weekends away and then drive us back! Generally we worked 4-5 days a week and then travelled on weekends.

The weekends included, boat trips, island hopping, a full moon party and plenty of time on the beach relaxing. My experience in Thailand was easily the best few weeks of my life and the following year I used the same company to volunteer in Ghana.

Ghana

I expected a similar experience here and in regards to the company’s organisation and efficiency I received exactly that.

I was late when I arrived and the other volunteers were sleeping so after a very warm welcome from 3 more staff members I called it a night. In the morning the other new volunteers and I were given all the information we needed and we were given answers to all our questions. We spent the rest of the day being shown around the local area and gathering supplies, which mainly consisted of drinking water and snacks.

The next day is when the volunteering began; the days usually began with a meeting where we all discussed what we will be doing and what we want to achieve. I taught in a school called Sunrise where I met so many lovely children and teachers, it was an amazing experience. If you plan on teaching for your whole trip I’d recommend thinking of some lesson plans before hand and take any equipment you might need. Most of the schools have little or no equipment so taking stationery is a good idea.

For a weekend trip a bus was organised for us and we arrived at a small beachfront community with a few hotels and a very nice atmosphere, this is the place to come to unwind. They organised beach parties to bars, live music, bonfires and nice food.

Another great place to visit is Cape Coast, we spent two days there and visited the old Slave Castle which was a very thought provoking and educational trip. The next day we visited Kakum National Park where we had a mini jungle trek followed by the Canopy walk, which was a 350m walkway suspended high in the trees.

In summary, I genuinely recommend Original Volunteers, they are affordable, supportive and very reliable. Working and traveling in a foreign country proves your ability to move out of your comfort zone, to take risks, and to adapt and confront new challenges. Thank you OV!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana, Thailand
Posted: Apr 4, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

This trip was an u forgettable and AMAZING experience that I loved!! Very safe and fun I loved working with elephants. Global leadership adventures offers a unique oppertunutu

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Mar 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

This trip was an u forgettable and AMAZING experience that I loved!! Very safe and fun I loved working with elephants. Global leadership adventures offers a unique oppertunutu

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Mar 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Discover Corps

My 23 year old daughter and I just returned from the Thailand Elephant Conservation Expedition. It was an amazing experience! Our guides, Mai and Joon, were wonderful! We visited several temples, conversed with a monk, sampled local culture and foods at the Market before heading to the Thai Elephant Home. I could have stayed here for the entire trip! The location was so peaceful and beautiful. Providing hands-on care for the elephants, working with the Mahouts, and even riding an elephant are activities I will never forget! Visits to a Long-Neck and Karin village topped off the trip. I would recommend this experience to everyone. I know it sounds trite, but it was life-changing.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Mar 16, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I travelled with Projects Abroad to Thailand for a month on their Diving and Marine Conservation project. This was my first time travelling abroad by myself, so something like Projects Abroad where pretty much everything was organised for me made things much easier.

As soon as I landed in the airport, there was a friendly staff member to drive me to my accommodation, and who would later take the time to show me around the area. This put my mind at ease, as all my questions were answered.

Projects Abroad organised my PADI dive qualification, and I had my certification in less than a week. We dived three days a week (with two dives on each day), and I got to experience the vibrant underwater world. I did surveying of coral and anemone, whilst also collecting any debris that we found. Diving was the highlight of the program for me; I got to learn about a whole new underwater world. We also did some other activities, including beach clean-up and transferring mangroves which were equally rewarding.

Our accommodation was nice, with air conditioning and running hot water. There was also a pool that we could use. There was a cook who provided us with three meals a day, all of which was delicious! I stayed with two other volunteers, who were very friendly and instantly made me feel welcome.

We had nights and weekends free, and there was plenty to see and do. The beach was just minutes away, and there were plenty of attractions, such as bungee jumping, kayaking, go karting and more.

This program was a great way to learning about the environment, do scuba diving and meet people from around the world.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Feb 4, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
7

Projects Abroad

From June - July, 2016 I volunteered with the Diving and Marine Conservation Project with Projects Abroad for four weeks. I had an incredibly welcoming and fun experience from the moment I stepped off the plane and met one of the staff members to the moment I left the project to continue my travels across SE Asia. I was instantly made comfortable in a country that was foreign to me, from the drive to the placement by talking with the staff member and having all of my questions answered. When I arrived at the placement, I met the other volunteers, was shown my room, and was introduced to the everything on site. On my first day, the volunteers and I went kayaking through the mangroves, a little drive away from our placement, which was such a fun experience and allowed me to get to know some of the other volunteers better. Over the weekend, some of the volunteers and I went hiking in town and did some other adventurous activities such as zip-lining. Since I arrived on a Friday, I received my official induction into the program on the Monday with another staff member that showed the other new volunteer and I around town, and it gave us the opportunity to purchase anything we may have needed, in addition to having lunch at a local restaurant. During my time in Thailand, I had the opportunity to learn how to scuba dive according to the PADI regulations, which then allowed me to learn how to survey the coral reefs we were studying. In addition, we learned how to properly identify various fish and marine life and how to differentiate coral, all while cleaning up the Andaman Sea by collecting any debris, nets, and garbage floating in the waters. 3/5 of our volunteer days comprised of diving, either at the Phi Phi islands or at local islands, with the other volunteer days engaging in other activities such as conducting shoreline cleanups, educating students at local schools, transplanting mangroves trees, planting trees, etc. Each day we were fed delicious and plentiful meals by the staff at the placement and everyone highly enjoyed the food! On our weekends, we often embarked on day trips within the local area to sight-see, and participate in various excursions, such as attending a Thai cooking school, visiting the famous Railay Beach, and hiking the steps of Tiger Cave Temple for example. Overall, I had an amazing experience with Projects Abroad. From the friendly and welcoming staff, to the volunteers I met and became friends with from around the world, to the meaningful and fulfilling volunteer work we engaged in, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I'm incredibly thankful to have learned as much as I did and to have met the staff and volunteers I volunteered with in Thailand, and now have memories to last a lifetime!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Jan 4, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Global Vision International (GVI)

Completing an internship on the Elephant Reintroduction programme is one of my proudest achievements to date. It was a complete honour to have had the chance to experience the real authentic Thai culture, whilst living with my host family and being immersed into the community.
It was always a pleasure to hike and see the elephants every day, and completely mesmerizing to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
There was always plenty of activities to get involved in on a daily basis, and I learnt more than I anticipated. The friends I made from around the world, during my time on project, I shall remember for the rest of my life. The elephants, mahouts (elephant keepers), villagers, staff and volunteers made my experience unforgettable and I am so thankful to have participated in the project.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Dec 20, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Discover Corps

While not my first trip to Thailand, this was my first time in Chiang Mai or with a volunteer group. Offered in conjunction with the Peace Corps Association, this opportunity to teach English at an underprivileged elementary school exceeded my expectations. The on-site staff was outstanding, available to help with any and all possible issues. Our driver was also commendable. The program itself was jam packed with opportunities to interact with local people and to gain a much deeper understanding of Thai culture than would otherwise be possible. The inclusion of such perks as a cooking class, Thai massage, visits with hill tribes and most exciting of all, a day at an elephant home working and playing with these extraordinary creatures, was a plus that all seven participants appreciated. The accommodations, while not luxurious (nor were they expected to be) were very clean, comfortable and satisfactory in every way. Personal preferences were all taken into consideration. The food was outstanding, each meal exceeding all expectations. I would recommend this trip wholeheartedly. Working with those kids and the school staff is an experience I will never forget.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Dec 17, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

I completed the Marine and Wildlife Conservation program in Phang Nga, Thailand. GVI offers extensive support both prior to and during your program including pre-departure information, airport pick up and information about the local area.

The staff on base are amazing in not only helping us integrate into our program but also understand how our time contributes to the development of the community. They are very knowledgeable of the local culture and anthropological narratives that have shaped the community. They provided us with both Thai language and culture courses, to alleviate the stresses of adapting to a new country and integrating smoothly into the community.
The staff supported us beyond the program. When I fell ill, a staff member helped us organise transport to the hospital as we couldn’t speak Thai. In addition, they helped us plan our short holidays and encouraged us to explore different parts of Thailand when we had days off.

We were even allowed to join in with other programs to get the most out of our experience. Thus even though I was in the conservation program, I joined the teaching and community teams in their orphanage visits and English classes.

The living conditions were modest, which is expected when you are volunteering at a developing country. Living in a village among villagers helped me appreciate the program and its contribution more and learn more about the locals.

Overall I highly recommend GVI and their volunteer programs.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Dec 5, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Loop Abroad

This past summer I did the 2 week college vet program through Loop Abroad. It was the best experience of my life! I was highly impressed that they had vets that were there just to teach students. Usually as a student I have gotten to follow a vet around and try to learn as I frantically try not to get in the way. With Loop Abroad we all have a checklist of skills we have to master such as drawing blood, placing IV catheters, and even assisting in surgery, I felt like I was really making a difference in the lives of these animals.. The vets had classroom sessions with us, which I initially though were going to be a bore but in the end they were fun and exciting and really helped me get the most out of my experience. Working with elephants was definitely the highlight of my trip with them, and I'm even thinking of doing their semester program next year since I can get credit through my school for it. It is a bit pricey and unless you make your own group of 8, you are stuck with people you may not necessary mesh well with. This being said I did make life long friends and learned so much I feel like I'm a step ahead of the other pre-vet students and have a leg up when it comes to applying to vet school.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Nov 12, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

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