Volunteer in Thailand

Browse 118 Programs
  • About

    Thailand is a beacon for volunteers; whether you're interested in working at a refugee camp or volunteering with stray dogs, the opportunities for volunteers in Thailand are widely varied.

    Not to mention, volunteering in Thailand lets you step outside the normal tourist bubble. Working with an NGO lets you settle into a daily rhythm that shares the Thai daily rhythm of work and celebration. Thais work hard yet smilingly acknowledge you as you walk through ancient and modern entrepreneurial activities.

    Because Thailand shares borders with Myanmar (Burma), Laos, and Cambodia, all of which have a history of human rights abuses, scores of human right agencies have been long established in this area -- and it's easy for you to make these neighboring countries (which are also historical, beautiful and fascinating) part of your volunteer plans.

  • Program Types

    Bangkok and Chiang Mai in particular have multiple volunteering opportunities and NGOs:

    Human Right Advocacy

    There are many NGOs in Chiang Mai, with branches in Mae Sot, that do grassroots work with migrant workers and their families. There is great need for educators, grant writers, and handicraft artists. Some NGOs specialize and work with regional migrants, like Katchen women and Shan youth.

    Thailand is the chosen destination for many migrants from Myanmar (Burma) and Laos - at great personal risk and effort people cross the border to Thailand from their countries that share a long history with Thailand. Wide ranging aid programs are provided by many small NGOs up to the United Nations whose ILO (International Labour Office) includes Local Strategies for Decent Work Specialists.

    Learn more about human rights in Thailand from the Human Rights Watch.

    Education

    Both paid and volunteer jobs alike for ESL teachers are common in Thailand. However, if you still don't have a TEFL certificate or teaching experience, becoming a volunteer ESL teacher in Thailand is your best (and most responsible) option.

    Wildlife and Conservation

    Besides teaching, volunteering with Thailand's wildlife -- particularly elephants -- is another popular area for international volunteers. Spend your days helping to conserve wildlife habitats, rescuing stray dogs, or tracking elephants.

    NGO Work, Training and Monitoring

    Many NGOs need people who can 'train the trainer' and expand the work staff available. Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB) participates and coordinates events to raise awareness of human rights in Burma, an region whose recent elections is being closely watched by the world as it allows more visas for the first time in many decades.

    Other popular fields to volunteer in include: economic justice, youth advocacy, education, teaching English, and women's rights

  • Planning Your Trip
    Questions to Ask Before Volunteering
    • Do I need to learn Thai?
    • Will there be other volunteers where I'm working?
    • What will my accommodations be like?
    • Will I be in a rural or urban area?
    • What requirements are there for my volunteer project?
    • What can I do to prepare myself for living and volunteering in Thailand?
    Best Places to Volunteer in Thailand

    For volunteers looking to contribute to all kinds of social issues in a big city, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are perfect destinations. Both of these cities offer a number of volunteer programs to choose from while being surrounded by Thai temples, people, and culture.

    Chang Mai is also a much more calm and spiritual city in comparison to Bangkok. If you're looking to volunteer on the coast, head south. Phuket and Krabi are overrun with tourists, but many undiscovered islands and villages outside those two major cities remain.

    Ko Samui is an island off the east coast of Thailand that offers great opportunities to see wildlife and nature, especially interesting for those who want to work in conservation.

    Contributed by Charlotte Bennett Schoen

Showing 117 Programs

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  • IVHQ Teaching Volunteer in Thailand
    IVHQ
    Reviewer Verified
    Volunteer with IVHQ in Thailand! Highly affordable projects are available anywhere from a week to 3 months. IVHQ offers...
    6 reviews
    Community Photos
  • Volunteer in Thailand programs from Volunteering Solutions
    Volunteering Solutions
    Reviewer Verified
    Join one of Volunteering Solutions' many volunteer programs in Thailand! Thailand is a great travel destination full of...
    20 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
  • ISV
    Reviewer Verified
    Sun-swept beaches, spiritual temples, smiling faces, lush tropical rainforests and tasty cooking are just a few of the...
    77 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
  • Volunteer with elephants! Baby and mommy elephants!
    Global Vision International
    Reviewer Verified
    Explore the awe-inspiring mountainous forests of Northern Thailand where you will volunteer with traditional communities as...
    12 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Cultural immersion gap year program in Thailand
    Africa and Asia Venture - AV
    Reviewer Verified
    Cultural immersion is more than just being a tourist and seeing the sights, it's a unique opportunity to engage meaningfully...
    1 reviews
  • Volunteer in Thailand with Projects Abroad
    Projects Abroad
    Thailand is a great introduction to South East Asia, and a wonderful destination to volunteer or intern abroad. Its a...
    6 reviews
    Community Photos
  • elephants in Thailand
    GVN
    Reviewer Verified
    The Global Volunteer Network has opportunities for you to be a part of community-based, Thai-led projects in education,...
    8 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
  • volunteer with children in Thailand
    Love Volunteers
    Join Love Volunteers in Thailand to experience Chiang Rai as a local! Love Volunteers offers unique opportunities to immerse...
    4 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
  • Explore Wildlife in Thailand with Rustic Pathways
    Rustic Pathways
    Reviewer Verified
    Rustic Pathways has been operating student travel and community service programs in Thailand for over a decade. With 60 full...
    42 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
  • uVolunteer in Thailand
    uVolunteer
    Join uVolunteer in Thailand to experience the amazing culture and give back! Volunteers are needed to teach English in...
    8 reviews
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Twin Work and Volunteer
    Make a difference in the gorgeous Surin region in Thailand, and help to conserve and protect elephants. This project will...
  • GapGuru
    A gap year in Thailand with GapGuru will give you an opportunity to experience authentic Thai culture, learn some Thai...
    12 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
  • volunteer work in Thailand with Cross-Cultural Solutions
    Cross-Cultural Solutions
    Reviewer Verified
    From pristine beaches and remote mountain communities, to floating markets and bustling cities, Thailand will take your...
    8 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
  • Elephants and volunteers in Thailand
    Animal Experience International
    Elephants are in trouble in Thailand. Not only is the wild elephant population decreasing due to habitat loss and poaching,...
    2 reviews
    Community Photos
  • Working with Elephants in Thailand
    Global Leadership Adventures
    Explore the beautiful and rich culture of Thailand while volunteering with Global Leadership Adventures! Volunteer options...
    10 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.