ISV - Volunteer Projects in Thailand

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from ISV (International Student Volunteers).

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About

Sun-swept beaches, spiritual temples, smiling faces, lush tropical rainforests and tasty cooking are just a few of the wonders awaiting visitors to Thailand - but through volunteering with International Student Volunteers (ISV) you can be more than a tourist and address the needs of rural Thai communities and environments.

On ISV’s conservation projects, you could be working in rescue and rehabilitation centers for elephants, Asian black bear, gibbons and other animals. When it comes to community development, you can help tackle issues like human trafficking through providing support in centres for those at risk, or helping to maintain infrastructure and provide teaching assistance in Thai orphanages.

This exotic country has the perfect balance of culture and nature and it truly is a place that will capture your heart. For more details on how to make a difference visit ISV’s website and sign up for the experience of a lifetime.

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Reviews

9.52 Rating
based on 93 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 7.9
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 93
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Yidi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2016 High school program

we cried a lot during the time in Thailand with our buddies, they are like my real sister and brothers, and i hope i can come to Thailand again to visit Maekok Foundation .
It was the most memorable experience in my life. I learned so much during the time spending with the Kids, and i miss them so so so so much!!!
We taught the Kids English while they also taught us how to do the work, like how to mix the sand and rock, how to plan rice.

Default avatar
Charles
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

ISV - Thailand - Elephant's World - July 21st

It was cool working with the elephants first-hand. On the very first day, we got to feed them, bathe them, and make them sticky rice. These creatures were absolutely beautiful.
I liked this project quite a bit, but I later found another elephant conservation place, called Elephant Nature Park, that seemed much more aligned with my personal values. I would recommend volunteering there instead, if at all possible.

Morgan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Visit Thailand... But Visiting with ISV is a MUST!

This past July (2016) I traveled to Chiang Mai Thailand with International Students Volunteer (ISV) to volunteer at Ran Tong Elephant Sanctuary. While we were there we lived with the elephants for two weeks! Never in my life did I think this itself was a possibility!! I knew I would be volunteering with elephants (which itself is amazing and a dream come true), but I had no idea that every morning I would wake up to a view of twenty elephants roaming around enjoying their new life Ran Tong provided for them. During the day we made a fence for the sanctuary, helped WASH ELEPHANTS, feed elephants, clean up after them, tend to the baby elephants, and learn about the daily routines the caretakers have to go through to provide the elephants with a safe and happy life. Most of the elephants were saved from the logging or tourist industry. The best part was that you feel like you are making a difference for these amazing creatures and that they appreciate your hard work. While I was there I made so many friends. Not just from my group, but the people who lived in Thailand as well. One friend I made that had a lasting impression was Adam. He worked at the sanctuary and helped us along the way. He help translate for us and helped us get the things we needed. He was so friendly and immediately became our friend. Another man I met was Gaga. Gaga lived near the sanctuary and would drive us to locations like the market or into the jungle to cut down food for the elephants. He was the nicest man I ever met. He even introduced us to his young son, who we played with many days when we were there! Gaga reminded me of Indiana Jones! I wish I could explain how nice the people there are! They would give you the shirt off their back even if they did not know you.

One of my favorite memories from my trip was bathing the elephants. We made soap out of bark and brought the elephants to a watering hole to wash them. My elephant was named Maku, she was 37 years old and the most gentle giant! We went in to about our chest and the elephants sat down in the water. We rubbed the soap on them and used buckets to rinse them off. The coolest part was the elephants could eat the soap. Maku knew this and tried to steal the soap from me. If I didn't give her the soap she would spray me with water from her truck!! I feel like I bonded with Maku and this will forever be a lasting memory for me. The fact that I was bathing an animal that giant in a watering hole in Thailand is the most humbling feeling ever. I hope when you read this you can see how excited I am about my experience! I have many more stories, but this was my favorite!

Everyday in Thailand is an adventure and ISV made it the most memorable trip ever! This was my first trip out of the country and my first trip by myself. ISV made me feel so comfortable every step of the way. The team is very supportive and the work that they do is amazing. I can never go on vacation again! I will always make my trips about volunteering to help better our world. ISV helped me see this and makes me want to continue making a difference. ISV helps you IMPACT YOUR WORLD. I recommend this project to anyone and everyone. BEST TRIP OF MY LIFE!

What would you improve about this program?
It can't be improved, it's perfect!
Paige
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Friendships and Independence in Thailand

My time in Thailand was amazing, I learned so many things but mostly and most importantly bout myself. This trip pushed me out of my comfort zones and also re-instilled what is important to me. I learned many things during the first two weeks of volunteering like, international and national relations, trades/construction skills, time and money management, sustainable development and fostering beginning friendships. My project leader was very friendly and helpful, he made sure to really highlight the core values and purpose of our volunteering time and work to the Lisu village and women's group. Every day he had us write out five things we were grateful for that day. This activity really made me see how the simple and small things are what we take for granted so easily and so often; for example, so many times the fresh fruits served at dinner were on my grateful list because it was a bright and sweet end no matter how tired I was at the end of the day. The constant smiles and words of appreciation from our project leader, our project supervisor, and the village people we were ultimately helping was always a sweet and kind reminder of why we initially chose to be on this volunteer trip: to help others and learn about ourselves and what we are capable of, both physically and emotionally.

The final two weeks of adventure tour however is where I really learned about being myself and about being independent. Though all of our activities were done together, I found some of my favourite days where when I did solo full day of half day trips. The friends I made on this trip were wonderful in that though we all had great times together (dancing in the rain by the ocean, helping each other overcome anxiety on snorkelling for the first time, bonding over amazing food and getting tipsy over a coupe drinks, offering words of support and hands to hold while getting traditional bamboo stick tattoos, or having memorable conversations while laying on a bed with tangled sea hair and sun sensitive skin at the end of an adventuresome day) they still understood times when I wanted to be alone and enjoy the busy city streets or rolling sea sands by myself. Some of my best memories are when I took a day trip to the highest peak of Thailand, did some self-guided temple touring, and traveled to one of the most renowned temples of the country. These moments are when I was really able to admire and understand myself and the world I marvelled at. Though these people I'm traveling with are from all over the globe, I have made friends and lasting memories with them. I learned so much about myself in that month abroad that I was truly saddened to have to return home; but, one of the things that this trip really showed me is that I have had this independent, curious, social, and adventuresome side within me all along, it just never had the opportunity to come out.

The universality of friendship and individuality really made this trip meaningful and beautiful to me. I hope to never forget all that I learned over in Thailand and that I will always keep open to meeting new people and learning from new adventures.

What would you improve about this program?
This program is pretty good as it is. However, I would suggest that in the volunteering weeks that there was more instruction on the upcoming tasks with considerable time before they happened. In the instance of teaching English to local school children, I was riveted with anxiety and stress before we even stepped foot on the school property because there was little to no instruction on how to teach and what we should be teaching the kids. It was very difficult to keep an three hour lesson plan open to the possibilities of how old the children were, what their English learning level was, what they know and did not know, etc. I would highly suggest to provide more insight into what each project entails from the volunteer.

Also, on the first day of adventure tour I had gone up to my tour leader and told her of a place in Thailand that I had been wanting to go to since I first booked the trip. I had it all figured out on time, minor supplies, and self-motivation to go alone and it was only in that moment when I had asked her where the bus station was to go to to get there that I was told I could not go on the trip because it was "too far away." If I had been previously informed by ISV that I can not take "long day trips" to neighbouring towns/provinces that would have saved me a lot of emotional upset.
Read my full story
Lindsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rewarding in Every Aspect

I went into this trip knowing it was going to be a blast. Little did I know that I would find myself along the way. I spent two weeks volunteering at Ran Tong Elephant Sanctuary where I learned not only about Asian elephants but about how an individual can make a difference. I found a new family at Ran Tong between the other volunteers and the workers/locals. I grew as an individual in more ways than one. Volunteering abroad with ISV was the best choice I could have made.

What would you improve about this program?
More learning opportunities for volunteer to learn more about the host country.

Getting volunteers in touch with alumni so they can ask questions about what to bring/expect.
Default avatar
Cailley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From Tourist to Traveler

ISV provided this first-time lone international traveler with the opportunity of a lifetime. Throughout the program, I felt very safe. It was clear that ISV had put much time and consideration into the activities we did and tried very hard to accommodate our needs. I made friends with people I never would have met otherwise and despite our different backgrounds, ISV provided an environment where we could all feel comfortable with each other.
Throughout the program ISV encouraged us to become smart travelers over tourists and to respect and understand the environmental needs. As we got to the end of the trip I could tell I learned about the culture and the people enough that I felt comfortable enough to consider returning on my own at some point.
The volunteer project was extremely life changing. I will never forget the family I lived with and the impact I was able to make on the community. After the two weeks were up I had a greater appreciation for the accommodations and privileges we received during the second two weeks.

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

Best Month of My Life

I knew going into this trip that it would be an experience of a lifetime and that I would learn so much about a new culture, the world and myself. Every single day of the entire month completely exceeded my already high expectations. It was truly life changing and I'm forever grateful to have been apart of ISV. The adventure tour was insanely incredible and I went on adventures that I never thought I would go on but volunteering was no doubt my favorite part. Highly recommend!!!

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

ISV Thailand 2016

When I first heard of ISV programs, I knew right away that it was going to be a lifetime experience. ISV Thailand was an adventure that I will never forget. The Volunteer Project at DEPDC really touched my heart. The staff and the children are amazing people and I was privileged enough to be part of the community. The adventure tour was so much fun! Did so many different things with a group of people that will be lifelong friends! my favorite part was traveling with a group of people that had a common goal. It was to impact our world in a positive way while traveling and exploring an exotic country like Thailand.