ISV - Volunteer Projects in Thailand

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Program Update:

ISV will only be conducting programs for this coming summer, 2018 in the Dominican Republic.

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 at www.isvolunteers.org and sign up for the experience of a lifetime.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 93 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 7.9
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 31 - 45 of 93
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Jenna
10/10

Baan Unrak Orphanage, Thailand

This company and programme qere absolutely fantastic. As cheesy as it sounds, it really was an experience of a lifetime. You make friends for life (which you get close to very quickly living in close proximity. .ie. learning how to use the squat toilet with trial and error was hilarious!). It was amazing to immerse yourself in the Thai culture, feel like you're really helping out and making a huge impact to the children's lives was very special and will always stay close to my heart.the adventure tour after the programme was insane and we saw Thailand in the most amazing ways! I always recommend this company to my friends when talking about my experience. You only live once everyone-go travel!

How can this program be improved?
Slightly more affordable
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kristina
10/10

Life Changing!

ISV is unique in that not only do you get to volunteer and help those in another country but you also get the opportunity to have a guided tour of the country and major attractions. I travelled to Thailand with ISV and participated in the wildlife conservation program which involved living and working at an elephant sanctuary. The ISV group was amazing, our group was small (only 10 of us) and some of them became my closest friends who I am still in contact with! The program was also incredible, waking up and walking to grab coffee surrounded by elephants was a once in a lifetime experience that I consider to be the best thing I have ever done! I would highly recommend this program to anyone between the ages of 18-25 because most of the other volunteers were in this age group. Since the entire program has a full-time guide I felt safe and as though I was getting the most out of my time in Thailand. I miss being there and wish it could have lasted forever!

How can this program be improved?
Because the trip is only 3 weeks long and half of it is spent volunteering you do not get to spend very much time exploring the country, however I don't think this could really be improved on because it was nice to get to see the entire country even if each destination was only for a day or two.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Amara
10/10

An experience of a lifetime

I could tell a million stories from that wonderful adventure. It is most certainly something I will never forget. One of my favorite stories is about a baby elephant. I worked at an elephant rescue center on my trip. One day we were riding a taxi (a very different kind of taxi, the whole back was open!) into the elephant center. Once we got there, we started to get ready to start working. All of a sudden, we heard this big group of elephants making noise you could hear from miles away. They were making the noises you'd expect to hear but also making noises that sounded like a Tiger growling! I had no idea before coming on this trip that elephants could make sounds like that. Anyways, we looked over and there was the baby elephant in the middle of a circle of several adult elephants, protecting the baby between all of them. It turns out that the baby elephant had gotten on the nerves of another "teenage" (meaning moody and bossy) elephant, and the teenage elephant started to push back at the baby elephant. It was incredible to see the instant love that those elephants had for that baby and to see them form a circle around him to keep him safe. This stuff is what you'd only see in Elephants nearly in the wild, and not anywhere else. Elephants are such loving and caring creatures, with so many social aspects to their lives. It was an eye-opening experience just being around them and seeing how they let you in, even to the most vulnerable parts of them.

How can this program be improved?
nothing
Yes, I recommend this program
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Liz
10/10

ISV Thailand

Going to volunteer with ISV in Thailand was the most life changing experience I have ever partaken in. We worked at a school that educated children who were at risk for human trafficking. I have worked with many children where I live because I am an elementary education major, but getting to know these kids and impacting each other's lives for the better is something I will never forget. Not only was I able to make a difference in the lives of people across the world, I made some of the most genuine friendships. I live in the US and I have plans to meet up with friends from Canada, Egypt, and Italy next summer. We have all kept in contact even after knowing each other for only two weeks!

How can this program be improved?
Have more communication with us before the program starts.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Rachael
10/10

My 4 weeks in Thailand from Rags to Riches

How do I even describe this adventure... To start off with I traveled with my boyfriend of two years, Samuel, the love of my life. Together we booked this trip one cold evening almost 9 months before the departure date. Both of us scraping our student bank accounts to meet the bill. Together we volunteered in the northern most part of Thailand next to the border of Burma in a little tiny village called Lesu, that mostly consisted of people that had fled the harsh life in Burma. We hand mixed cement until our backs felt like they were breaking and together our group of 12 built a cinder block and concrete wall around the town church and volunteer "house." We visited an integrative agricultural farm that was breaking the tradition of herbicide and pesticide use to better the environment. We drove to the local hot springs in the back of a truck enjoying the warm wind in our faces, the smiling people we passed and the heavy exotic smell of all the tropical plants. The village was small and poor, most people had no flush toilets and there we chickens EVERYWHERE and I mean everywhere. You don't understand the crow of a rooster until you've heard the dammned noise of 300 of them crowing at the same time!!!! After the two volunteer weeks of sleeping on a mat in a dirt floor shed we engaged in the adventure tour side of the trip. What a change, it was culture shock, we stayed in 4-5 star hotel on the beach with showers, beds, air conditioning, warm water, pools, paved roads, american-ish food, running water, all this unbelievably grandeur that was completely eye opening after the past two weeks of absolute minimalist living. We visited Elephants at a conservation park, went zip lining, snorkeling, horseback riding on the beach, beach time, swam in the ocean, kayaking, boat rides around Kao Sok national park, kickboxing, cooking lessons.... and so so so so much more. Thailand is a beautiful country, the food is manageable for a picky white girl and a digestively challenged white boy so i'm sure anyone can survive it. Would go back in a heart beat.. just need to not be a broke ass student.... <3

How can this program be improved?
Preferably better access to Wifi would have been nice, even though it was available we only got 5-10 minutes of it a day. It was somewhat difficult to stay in touch with family back home. But on the flip side you became disconnected from your phone and could really enjoy the beauty around you.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelsey
10/10

The Trip of a Lifetime!

I know it sounds super cliché, but my experience with ISV Thailand was TRULY life-altering. Living and working with a group of people you've never met before can be daunting, but I can attest that you will make friends for life. Everyone comes to ISV with similar intentions and interests so you're guaranteed to meet people with the same passions as you. The staff at ISV are also beyond incredible. They are helpful and funny and I am so happy to call them my friends. Besides the people I met, I had such a wealth of experiences in such a short period of time: I went white water rafting, scuba diving, bungee jumping, hiking through bamboo forests, kayaking, and so much more. I even bathed (rescued) elephants in a river. Cramming so many wild experiences in such a short period of time made it even more transcendent. The volunteer project itself was also phenomenal. I worked with animals rescued from illegal trade. I want to pursue a career in animal rehabilitation so this was exactly the experience I needed in an extremely welcoming environment. I could go on and on! I cannot sing ISV's praises enough: they are remarkably thorough and ethical and it is obvious that they care deeply about how much people enjoy the program. ISV Thailand had it all: cultural immersion, language exposure, AMAZING people, valuable and rewarding work, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I would recommend this program to everyone.

How can this program be improved?
I suppose that one thing that could be changed is the price; it is quite an expensive program. However, I do recognize that the price was reflected in the quality of our accommodation during the tour weeks. Also, I would love to have an option for longer volunteer projects with ISV. On that same token, with a longer project, I would hope that we could be given more responsibilities and opportunities around the site (although I know this isn't always feasible, safe, or appropriate depending on the host organization and the participants).
Yes, I recommend this program
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Dane
10/10

International Student Volunteers - Thailand. Wildlife Rehabilitation

I loved seeing all of the temples and different displays of the Thai culture. I went on countless adventures and got to experience a great opportunity that kick-started my career in wildlife rehabilitation. I even got offered a job from the manager at the Love Wildlife center and I am pretty sure I'll be taking up that offer so I can gain some international reputation with NGOs and other organizations that I can work with after establishing connections overseas.

How can this program be improved?
I honestly can't think of anything that ISV themselves did wrong before/during/after the trip. The one thing I would change, would probably be the cost of it. Then again, we definitely got what we paid for.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Katy
10/10

Best experience of my life

I can't express how incredible this trip was. Thailand is so unique and beautiful. My love wildlife project was amazing and I have never seen more in a month than in this trip. I met so many incredible people and saw beautiful sights. I'll never forget bungee jumping, white water rafting, hiking through the beautiful forests, and kayaking into a secret island full of monkeys. All together, it is a month of my life that I will never forget and I wish I could go back every day.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelly
8/10

Pre-vet Thailand was all the hands on experience I hoped for

I really enjoyed my time in Thailand because not only did I get a taste of Asian culture during my two weeks of travel but I got tons of hands on work with elephants at elephants world during my two weeks volunteering. We drew blood, cleaned wounds, bathed, fed, made blood smears and helped teach the mahouts how to clean the wounds properly for faster healing. We were welcomed with open arms by the staff at elephants world and I really felt like we helped make everything in their day to day operations easier. Adjusting to the intense heat and rough accommodations took some time but if you pack based on ISVs list you will have everything you need and more to be comfortable. It satiated my longing for adventure, exotic animals, and change of scene. The activities were well worth the little bit of extra money but I was content without the optional Cambodia package because after a long four weeks I was ready to sleep in my own bed. I met some great friends on the trip that I still keep in touch with and our tour leader Dr. Erika ward was a great asset to have since she had been living in Thailand and working will elephants for the past few years.

How can this program be improved?
Be able to get more information up front. A lot of trip information wasn't provided until a few weeks before departure and after payment so it was hard to assess for myself if the trip would be worth all of the money ahead of time
Yes, I recommend this program
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Heather
10/10

Life Changing Trip

Thailand was the most beautiful place I have ever visited. In the coarse of to weeks I met life long friends while helping others. One of the silliest stories from my trip was an adventure on the school bust with the children from DEDPC. Everyday we got to take the bus home with the kids, and the views were incredible. At the last stop one day the bus driver stopped and at first we thought it was odd, but then we got off and the views of the mountains were breath taking, and life just seemed simple.

How can this program be improved?
I would want to know how much money was going to our host organizations, and for there to be a little more structure at the host organizations.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brittany
10/10

A life-changing trip to say the least.

I absolutely loved Thailand. I feel in love with the people, the culture and most of all the experience. I instantly felt at home during my project and during my adventure tour. My only complaint is to update the travel manual to include an updated version of what to pack and what not to. I was aware of how conservative Thailand was, but not to the extent I should have been. Other than that, I would not change a thing. If I had the time left, I would go on another trip. I know I will be back to Thailand, the question is: When?

How can this program be improved?
Update the Travel Manuel: i.e. Packing list, Money.. ect.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Maria
9/10

The Experience of a Lifetime

During my travels I not only got the experience to be immersed in wildlife and work/play with elephants, but I got to be completed excepted by a group of friends and people in The Kingdom of Thailand and have a great time with them. The local people are lovely, genuine and sweet. The cities are beautiful and the islands will blow your mind! All the activities we get to do in each place makes the trip worth it. I felt really comfortable with everyone I met in every city I went to. It was special to volunteer in Thailand with elephants because the elephant is Thailand's national symbol, yet they are being mistreated. It was great to see the rescued elephants and educate others about how to properly care for elephants as well. This trip means so much to me and it has encouraged me to want to go back to Thailand again in the future. ISV made it a safe and awesome travel experience!!!

How can this program be improved?
I think the packing list should be more efficient and have less items on it, I ended up not needing so much stuff.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sierra
9/10

DEPDC Volunteer Work

Being in Thailand for a month was absolutely amazing. It was very eye-opening to get to spend two weeks working at a center for women and children in rural Thailand. I came back home extremely grateful for all that I have, and with the desire to continue serving this world.

How can this program be improved?
Less orientations. Or shorter ones at least.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Arlenys
10/10

A Never Ending Story #TheThailandExperience

The program was clearly meant to help the community for those in the community development project, but what I never expected was my life to be impacted with amazing friendships and lessons to learn.

How can this program be improved?
During the adventure weeks, volunteers should not be treated like children. There should be different methods to communicate and promote the daily safety and policies without a daily (sometimes twice a day) speech on the same subjects.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sherene
10/10

Village visit

We went to the hill tribe village with the children and they were able to show us around. We hiked up the hills and it was muddy and slippery, but definetly worth it, as the view from that point is breathtaking.

How can this program be improved?
extend the length of time for volunteering
Yes, I recommend this program

About ISV (International Student Volunteers)

ISV’s mission is to support sustainable development programs around the world through life changing student volunteer programs designed to positively impact our world and to educate, inspire and result in more active global citizens.

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