Summer Volunteer Programs in Thailand

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Program Highlight!

A full spectrum of Chinese adventure awaits, as complex as the country itself. Hike the Great Wall of China and experience Mandarin immersion and language classes on our China: Mandarin Service Adventure program!

About

Explore the beautiful and rich culture of Thailand while volunteering. Global Leadership Adventures offer multiple Service Learning Adventures, from orphanage work to caring for elephants:

* The Elephant Village Initiative: Learn about the importance of elephant conservation and how to care for these majestic animals.
* The Elephant Conservation Project: Take your compassion for animals a step further as you work on elephant conservation efforts on a permanent care reserve.
*Cultural Kaleidoscope: Take in all of Thailand - its sights, sounds, and colors - through its vibrant culture.

While volunteering you will also have the chance to zip-line through a rain forest, sight see in Bangkok, hike through jungles to hill tribes, and of course experience food, arts, and music first-hand.

Questions & Answers

It's really going to vary trip to trip, but for my Thailand trip we did service nearly every day, except for when we first arrived. You usually start early in the morning and will have a break for lunch. Some days end at lunch time and some days you will have a lunch break and keep working. For some programs they try and set it up so your recreational adventure activities are on the weekends, but...

Reviews

98%
based on 29 reviews
  • Growth 9.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.9
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 9.3
  • In-program Support 9.7
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 29
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Eva
10/10

Amazing time!

Hi all! I am a Global Leadership Adventures Alumni and I had an amazing time in Peru, Ghana and Thailand with GLA! I really recommend GLA! The housing experience was great! GLA Peru rented out a hotel in Cusco, for both the 2 week and the 3 week groups. In Ghana we all stayed in a house together and in Thailand we also had a hotel! I felt very safe there! I had never been to Peru, Ghana or Thailand, so I felt that by being there I grew, a lot! I understood much of their culture and what their lifestyles are like. The program staff were very supportive! I felt that I was able to talk to them about whatever I needed, or if I was frustrated with other students! Overall I recommend GLA to all High School age students

Yes, I recommend this program
Olivia
8/10

A Life Changing Experience

Global Leadership Adventures does the best high school volunteer trips hands down. From their staff to their housing everything is so well done! I got to experience life on the other side of the world and come home to apply what I learned into my daily routine. I participated in the Cultural Kaleidoscope program that worked in Thai classrooms to teach English. Even though there was a language barrier I felt empowered by my students and could see the impact I had made. Away from service work, I got the opportunity to be immersed in local culture-my favorite part of Global Leadership Adventures. We got to learn about local history, Buddhist religion, and the poverty issues Thailand faces. I can also now say I have ridden an elephant! How cool is that?!? If you are looking for a trip of a lifetime, a trip to Chiang Mai might just be the one for you!

How can this program be improved?
I would have loved to dive deeper into the culture and the issues the country faces. This is only because it is my favorite part of travel.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Maria
10/10

elephant conservation

I went on Global Leadership Adventures elephant conservation program this past summer and it was an amazing experience. first let's talk about the food because it was amazing, both the food we ate at home base and the restaurants we were taken to had amazing food. I learned so much on this trip, learning the truth behind elephant tourism in thailand was eye opening and it is an issue that need to be addressed by more people. The community service is demanding and consists of a lot of hiking but it was a rewarding experience at the end of the day, and the mentors and other students make it very fun. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in doing service centered around these amazing animals and/or looking for an unforgettable experience.

How can this program be improved?
i think this program is already wonderful so i'm having difficulty thinking of ways it can be improved
Yes, I recommend this program
GiannaRamon
Gianna
10/10

Cultural Kaleidoscope

This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to participate in one of Global Leadership Adventures' (GLA) Thailand service trips! I went for two weeks to Chiang Man, in northern Thailand, and created lesson plans and later executed them to teach English in public primary schools. Being able to see thoughts and plans become a reality, while also helping expose children to a new language helped create a strong bond and an experience that can only be understood by doing it. There's a lot of service but it's balanced with fun and cultural immersion. We visit temples and markets, meets monks, eat delicious new food, and interact with people, and animals, that you've never met before! The program directors do a great job of prioritizing the service but making it fun also. Every part of the experience has helped me grow, from fundraising to traveling internationally alone to immersing myself across the world. I hope everyone who wants to can have this adventure!

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement I could see would be to have the directors foster the relationships of the participants a little bit more. Maybe in things like team building excerises.
Yes, I recommend this program
Roxanne
10/10

Excellent trip!

My son had an amazing experience with GLA. The support was wonderful, the travel was easy, and the group was a perfect size for getting to know each other in a real way. Nice mix of fun and service. Highly recommend. The flagship program gave them an opportunity to interact with kids and teach in the elementary school, pour a sidewalk at a shelter, and spend time with monks at the temples. I would recommend booking travel with the suggested travel partner, and GLA posts a roster of people going and where they are coming from. The kids met at the hub airport (New York or LA) and went to Hong Kong and then Chang Mai. Well run program! The group still keeps in touch now and is planning to get together over the holidays.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jared
10/10

Gla Thailand

By far the greatest experience of my life! Global leadership Adventures made it so easy and enjoyable to go overseas and help serve a community. They immersed us in the culture and they weren’t afraid to push us to try new things. If you can, it’s a must go! It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and you’ll make great friends along the way! The only problem we experienced was sickness. A few people got sick, but it was nothing that the doctors and staff couldn’t handle! No one let that stop the amazing time we had on our trip

Yes, I recommend this program
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Marlo
10/10

Parent Point of View

My daughter went on the Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope trip this summer through Global Leadership Adventures. I have never seen her so happy upon her return. When she proposed this trip to me, I was very nervous because she would be in a new country without me or anyone she knew. However, I was reading the description of the trip and saw how much service she would be doing and eventually let her go. We spoke to each other every night and she kept telling me how amazing the trip was and that I shouldn’t worry because of how safe it was. They were very strict and secure at all times so there was nothing to worry about. To any parent skeptical of letting their child go away, you should know that my daughter did not feel unsafe at all on the trip and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. She could not stop talking about her experience when she came back, and people are still telling her how amazing it is that she was able to volunteer abroad!

Yes, I recommend this program
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anna
10/10

Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

This summer I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in the most amazing country with the most amazing program, Global Leadership Adventures. This program offered so much and gave me the experience of a lifetime to give back and also gain cultural insight on the beautiful Chiang Mai Thailand in Asia. What was unique about my experience was the culture shock. When I had arrived in Thailand I didn't know how to piece my emotions of happiness towards this beautiful country I was lucky enough to be in. For anyone debating on participating in this program I say do it, it gave me the culture bug where all I want to do now is go back, it made the leave so hard because the experience was so amazing. I have absolutely no regrets with this program or this trip. This had a MAJOR impact on my life post-trip, it changed my path. I know now I need to help people, I need to give back. The peace corps was something I had never looked into until now, or even global teaching for english. This trip made me look at life in a new light with a new perspective. My favorite memory on this trip was while I was teaching, I was in the back of the classroom with a student because she was ahead of the class and wanted to learn a little more advanced english. Teaching to a country that does not speak your language was extremely difficult but this student made it easy, her name was Nuan. On the last day tears filled my eyes and this student who I had made a connection with and who had touched my heart came up to me and repeated a long sentence in english, ending in "I will miss you and I love you". Hearing English words you taught come out of the student will be a memory I hold onto forever. Alongside that, every part was honestly my favorite and I genuinely recommend this program to anyone who is interested in making a change that will make yourself be the change.

How can this program be improved?
Wish I could have been there longer!!
Yes, I recommend this program
Denise
10/10

Parent Perspective

When my 15 year old approached me about volunteering abroad, I must say I was apprehensive. The world is changing everyday in so many unpredictable ways. However, I wasn’t raised to fear the world. I was taught to be bold and to work towards my dreams with passion. Despite the craziness we’ve seen worldwide, I don’t want any of my children to be afraid to explore the world. There’s so much more than the boxes we live in and we only get one chance to make the most of our time here. That said, I can’t just send them out into the world with reckless abandon either....so I researched...ALOT....trying to find a program which I thought would help my teen develop an appreciation for other cultures. One that would help guide, without stifling creativity and would encourage growth and independence. I went through countless reviews by parents and participants of many programs. Global Leadership Adventures seemed to be a perfect fit for my young, new to be, world traveler. A great balance of service, culture, and adventure. From day one, a GLA representative was available to answer any questions, to help guide us through the process. We were well informed as to what would be required, timelines, deadlines....any and all of the behind the scenes stuff to make this trip a reality. I can’t say enough about the staff who help me along the way! My teen had never even flown stateside alone...so I was rather concerned about an international flight...especially with layovers and connecting flights. However, our GLA reps had completely prepared us for how things would go, right down to filling out the customs form. Thank you Jenica!! You were a huge help and comfort to me! I’m pretty sure Max appreciated all of the preflight info too! 🙂 After much fundraising, some gracious family members, and some very gracious scholarships from GLA, and a foundation who believes wholeheartedly in the importance of what GLA provides to teens ... the Live Like Ally Foundation, 3 weeks in Thailand would become a reality! It has inspired Max to want to do more. It has provided a solid foundation to encourage growth for a different future. One where boundaries become blurred and opportunities are more than just dreams. Where teens who have been “privileged” can appreciate the little things. I don’t mean privileged as in rich, but in the sense of not worrying about where their next meal is coming from, or being able to attend school instead of working as a child or teen to help support the family. There is so much to learn in this world, but many are too afraid to learn. Too afraid to promote change. Changes don’t have to be global. The children, the families, the communities our GLA teens are supporting....it doesn’t take much to inspire 1, who could then inspire 1 more. Before long, that 1, turns into countless numbers of people who have been inspired in different ways to accomplish different things. I am grateful my teen has the desire to want to do more. To help others. To take a chance on the world and believe that it can be better. GLA as been an amazing group for my teen. I hope others will see the importance of stepping outside of the box...outside of their comfort zone, and be the change.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Maxton
10/10

Global Leadership Adventures Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope

This summer, I went on the 21 day flagship program to Thailand with Global Leadership Adventures, and it was the best experience of my life. I grew so much as a person from group discussions and seeing all different walks of life in another culture. I never once felt unsafe, which was very nice. It was definitely clear that safety was the number one priority. The support we received from our mentors was amazing; they were always there for us to talk about missing family, to being scared of an activity, to personal struggles affecting you on the trip. The mentors really help to make you feel welcomed. We got to see every aspect of Thailand, from the nightlife of the markets to the daily lives of rice paddy farmers. The activities were all so much fun and had something to learn from them. The mentors are always making sure we're aware of what's going on. My favorite part about the trip, besides teaching Thai children, would be the last night of the program when we all laid out on the floor to write our bag notes and stayed up late to finish them after our final dinner. We had all grown so close throughout our 21 days and we just talked about our favorite parts of the trip and it felt like everything came full circle.

How can this program be improved?
I think the program is perfect as it is. Wish it could last longer than three weeks though.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emma
9/10

Global Leadership a Adventures: Thailand Elephant Health and Welfare

My daughter went on this trip this past summer and she didn't have any desire to come. She made amazing friends that she still contacts today. They are amazing resources as she is planning on visiting some soon. More traveling for her! The pictures I saw we absolutely beautiful. Elephants highlighted each one! I must say that I'm glad she got to experience Thai culture as well. Seeing her cook a Thai dish excited me as I know she will be making dinner for a few days when she comes home. An amazing experience for her and I recommend for any student looking to pursue a passion.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Alexis
9/10

Global Leadership Adventures: Elephant Health and Welfare

What an amazing experience I had in Thailand! Every day we woke up to the trumpeting of elephants outside our door. Prior to signing up, I must say that I was very nervous about traveling to another country. However, within 5 seconds of arriving at the airport, I had already seen 3 others with the same GLA shirt. Not once on this trip did I ever find myself alone, nervous, and scared. It was an amazing environment and I was so excited to meet new friends. My entire experience was absolutely amazing as I was able to interact with elephants first hand. We washed them in the river, rode them through the forest and rewarded them with yummy snacks like bananas, sugarcane, etc. Thai culture was also an important aspect of my trip. We traveled too and from different temples and met Thai children at a local school. It was a blast! Get ready to head to Thailand if you are looking for an amazing experience.

How can this program be improved?
I would say that a bit more organization is needed to benefit this program. Considering it was new this year, we found ourselves confused about our schedules sometimes. However, there was never a dull moment.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Charity
10/10

Parent Perspective

My daughter went to Thailand with Global Leadership Adventures and loved it! We were hesitant to let her travel alone, but she proved to be capable, and the support GLA provided was fantastic. We felt comfortable with her safety and wellbeing, and she came home with new stories and a new excitement about the world! Great experience for her, and we felt comfortable. Her service was something she was passionate about and will value for a long time.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Quinna
9/10

The best summer ever!!

I went to Thailand this last summer with Global Leadership Adventures, and I'm in love. Not just with Thailand, but with the program! GLA has amazing staff, and they're so supportive and caring throughout your trip and after. I always felt safe and secure, which I'm sure was not easy in the areas we sometimes went, but I never questioned it for a second. I had an amazing time, and I think that any opportunity I get to swim with elephants is an automatic favorite memory.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Diana
10/10

Global Leadership Adventures- Thailand Cultural Kaleidoscope

I had such an amazing experience through Global Leadership Adventures! I traveled to Thailand not knowing anyone, yet I felt at home. Each student was so welcoming and eager to make new friends. My favorite part of the two weeks was definitely teaching English to the children. They were so engaged in the lessons and tried to understand, although the language barrier was a challenge. The kids were so thankful that we taught at their school and crying as they said goodbye. I also loved immersing myself in Thai culture visiting many different temples, and also volunteering at an elephant conservation. We also had a Thai cooking lesson. It was so much fun learning about new foods that are different than ones I usually eat. Besides the many different activities, the Global Leadership Adventure mentors were always so nice and helpful. They were always there for us and were willing to talk about anything. This was an unforgettable experience that I would love to repeat hopefully next summer!

How can this program be improved?
These were the best two weeks of my life!
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

With a history and heritage in global education, Global Leadership Adventures packs our itineraries with leadership development, volunteering and the delight of taking learning off the beaten path. Our unique program design produces what many...