Alumni Spotlight: Dylan Wu


Dylan is a junior at high school student residing in Taipei, Taiwan. During the summer break of 2019, Dylan decided to utilize his free time to participate in Thailand Teach's program in Singburi.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose Thailand Teach after months of surfing around the net. There is not a lot of local-based organizations that would allow students under 18 to join. And since my personal philosophy prohibits me to join the programs created by all those large international organizations that cost a fortune (I believe that organizations like those have their own interest in mind, generating money through creating volunteering opportunities), I looked for local ones like Thailand Teach.

With a Thailand Teach, I could really see that all the past volunteers, their efforts and donations are put to good use and that none of it is put into the pockets of the organizers. And through their Facebook page, I could see how the past volunteers all seem close to the host and happy in general with their experience. Lastly, through my interaction with Robert between emails, I began to really trust them since he is so responsible and thorough with every detail and plan.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Thailand Teach was amazing in helping me plan my trip over to Singburi. Aside from the plane tickets, everything else was planned by them. They helped me organize a contacted driver of theirs to bring me to the homestay and took care of everything thereon. They had a whole handbook on information regarding the program, what to bring, and how to get there.

With me being a high school student traveling alone, it was really helpful that Thailand Teach helped me organize such a large portion of my trip, without their help, it would have been a very hard process.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Writing from the perspective of a traveling minor, I will have to remind and emphasize on the point that THIS PROGRAM IS SAFE, and PEOPLE, IN GENERAL, ARE GOOD-HEARTED. There is no need to be afraid or nervous, especially in Thailand - the people would gladly help you out.

And remember, the people down in rural Thailand have very different life views and in order to fully embrace the experience, you'll have to put down all things you think you know and be accepting of new ideas.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I have a more detailed description of my week and the schedule of each day in my article at my site.

But here's a brief summary of the day:

Every day, depending on the school schedule of your classes, you wake up around 7:30. Then Pooh, the host, helps prepare you breakfast, and you're on your way to the school.

After teaching a few classes, you would be eating the school lunch and would eat together with the school staff.

To end off your day, you would finish your afternoon classes, return home – sometimes Pooh would take you out around Singburi – eat dinner and turn in for the day.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Fears. That's all that I felt before landing in Thailand. Traveling under 18 is not an easy task. I was worried about my own safety, worried about my ride over to Singburi, and worried that I would not make a great teacher, doing more damage than helping.

However, after arriving at the homestay and meeting the lovely host, Pooh, I figured everything is going to be ok. Since I was on my own and the youngest volunteer they've had, Pooh took great care of me, showing me around and assisting me on teaching the first few days. With her assistance, I felt more safe and confident.