AFS Summer High School Program in Thailand

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Thailand’s emphasis on friendliness, fun (sanuk), and tranquility make it a wonderful place to spend your summer. With this six-week program, you can have an international high school experience without missing any classes back home. You’ll live with a Thai host family and attend a local school to learn the language and become a part of the community. Not only will you get a life-changing study abroad experience, you’ll be able to see the full spectrum of Thai culture by engaging in daily customs. You may also have the chance to participate in cultural activities like cooking, Thai handicraft, and Thai boxing. Other activities such as dancing, sword fighting, boxing, music, cooking, meditation, and arts & crafts might also be available. This is your chance to immerse yourself in Thai culture while traveling the world and becoming part of an international community!

Summer community service: This seven-week summer program will give you an unforgettable experience through engaging in community service, living with a Thai host family, and making friends from around the world. Projects range widely and appeal to a number of different passions and skills; past opportunities have included working as an English teaching assistant, volunteering at a hospital, and developing programs related to health and youth social issues in schools. Thai food is some of the world's tastiest cuisine. You will likely eat a lot of rice, paired with curries, fish and vegetables. Spicy pepper and peanut sauces are quite common, and fresh fruit is available year-round. Most Thai families share the evening meal together. On the Thailand summer program, there are numerous ways to engage with the community, form lasting friendships, and make a difference in the life of others. You could teach English and serve as a teacher's aide in a traditional school, assist secondary school health or physical education teachers develop programs to reduce problems in schools or highlight social/health issues, or work in a local hospital. Regardless of your project, you can earn up to 105 hours of community service credit.

  • Immerse yourself in Thai – the best way to become fluent.
  • Make connections and memories you'll never forget with other AFS exchange students from all over the world.
  • Live with a host family to deepen your immersion and connection to Thai culture. If you’re like most AFSers, you won’t want to leave this second family and home.
  • Sample delicious Thai cuisine, including pad thai (pan fried noodles, satay (pork or chicken on a stick with peanut sauce,) and tom yum kung (lemon-flavored soup with shrimp).
  • Become a global citizen. Gain intercultural communication skills. Build your college and career resume. Help create a more peaceful, understanding world.

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Questions & Answers


9.5 Rating
based on 4 reviews
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  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Yes, I recommend this program

Sawadee-ka (Hello in Thai)

My experience was unique because I was lucky enough to have host parents that have hosted many other students before in their house and my host dad was an English teacher, so communication wasn't a big issue. I know many participants whose host parents did not know any English and it was difficult to communicate because of the language barrier. However, Thai people are very friendly and many of them are willing to learn English to try and talk to you because depending on where you live, many of them have limited interaction with foreigners. I live in New York City and am fortunate enough to be able to encounter people of many different cultures, but then having to live in a small town was a bit of a shock for me at first and I had to adjust to it. From this program it made me more open-minded and adaptable because I was able to see and live in a world very different from my own. I learned how to cook thai food, do a traditional thai dance, speak thai and most importantly I made friends that even now I still talk to. One of my favorite memories was when these girls from my class called me at 7 in the morning on a Saturday and told me to get ready because they were coming over to pick me up on their motorcycles to go and feed catfish. I was confused by what they meant but we literally bought bread and went to this temple that had a giant pond of catfish and fed them bread. Afterwards, they drove by these patches of rice fields and sat by the water and had a picnic. I remember that it was day that made me feel like I wasn't really an outsider anymore. It is important when studying abroad to keep an open-mind and not have too many expectations because that could ruin your experience. You should also never compare your experience to someone else's because everyone will be going through something different. And also try to take advantage of your time there because by the time the program ends you won't want to leave and there will be so many things you wish you had done.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish during the program there were excursions planned for the exchange students because it would have made it more enjoyable and it would be nice to get to hang out with other exchange students sometimes.
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Yes, I recommend this program

AFS Program During Junior Year of High School

By far the most humbling experience, I was able to live with a caring host family who provided me with lots of resources out of pocket. It was my first time in a foreign country by myself and I could not have selected a better place. However, mild warning, beware of the mosquitoes. Invest in some heavy duty bug repellent.

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Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer in Thailand

My summer in Thailand was spent in school with my host sister and around Bangkok and the surrounding areas with my host family. A big part of what I saw outside of school was temples. My family, particularly my host mother was religious and we visited a multitude of different temples. From Wat Pra Kaew, a huge temple in Bangkok near the Grand Palace to a tiny shack of a temple on a hillside in the country. I very much enjoyed seeing the variety of places of worship and learning about and participating in different Buddhist traditions and practices.

What would you improve about this program?
For me, the biggest drawback to my experience was the fact that the school I went to was taught completely in Thai. I know from talking with other students that some schools are taught in English. This, combined with the fact that my school did not seriously try to teach my the language, as I was only there for the summer, made my time in school rather isolated. I think that if the program either placed students in English teaching schools or insisting that the students are taught Thai with the intention of fluency would make the program better.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Land of Smiles

First day of school was a blur of stares, smiles, giggles and so many selfies. For once in my life I felt known and important. Everyone there were so interested in who I was and where I came from. There wasn't a point in the day where I was alone - including going to the bathroom. I remember my first time riding on back of the motorcycle with my friends, going 40 mph, the road clear in front of us and rice fields surrounding us. I never felt so at peace. Also being at an Open Zoo was a wonderful experience, I got to pet, feed and watch animals as they would interact in the wild. My time this summer was something I'll always remember and continuously try to recreate.

What would you improve about this program?
I think I would change it so that more AFS kids could hang out with one another and be able to go to more trips together because it is during the summer and school is not the main priority.