ISV - Volunteer Projects in Thailand

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

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Reviews

95%
based on 93 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 7.9
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 61 - 75 of 93
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Nathalia
10/10

Amazing!

My Thailand trip was amazing. I spent two weeks volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park and two weeks touring. The cost was extremely reasonable for the amount of knowledge and experience you gain! The staff involved, cared tremendously about the work they do and they take seriously the goals they are trying to reach. The staff was extremely friendly and informative; they educate you. This was definately a learning experience. You had the option to explore the cities yourself and really get the chance to immerse yourself in the culture. I would do it all over again. I strongly recommend taking the opportunity to travel with ISV. Make sure you take extra money. I took $500 US and in a month it was gone. I was able to stretch it until the very end but having $600 US probably would've helped. Take bug bite markers and lots of bug spray. I cannot recall the actual name, but it helps with scarring. Hiking boots, tall socks and windbreaker pants that can be converted to shorts really help as well. Do not forget to hydrate! I hope this review helps and gets you pumped! You won't regret it at all. You make life long friends as well. I love keeping up with the Park, my Tour guides and friends I made on the trip.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to be warned a little more about what to expect. Although every ones experience differs, an idea of how much money to bring, and a heads up that they expect tip for the adventures would've been nice. Other then that, i had no issue. Everyone was friendly, informative and cautioned.
Yes, I recommend
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Laura
9/10

Volunteering in a Paradise

Before this program I had not traveled overseas and although I was nervous I found that ISV was a great way for me to begin travelling and to experience other cultures. From the moment my application was approved to the moment I returned home ISV constantly ensured that I was enjoying my experience and that any questions, issues or concerns that I had were dealt with promptly.

I found that during my travels I met so many like minded people that made my experience even better.

I volunteered at Mae Kok Foundation which not only does amazing work for the community but also looks absolutely stunning! I was so excited to work with the children in the local community and found that playing with them and sharing knowledge was the most rewarding part of the whole experience.

We did work on physical projects like building a flood wall however the work was not too hard and as long as you give it a go you can still make a difference. along we this we visited local hill tribes, taught at "English camp" (a local college), played games with the children at Mae Kok and visited a local primary school.

Along with this we were spoiled by stunning views, yummy meals, mocha cake, fruit, natural hot spares, waterfalls, Buddhist temples and so much more. I was expecting to be exhausted and out of my comfort one but found I was in a kind of paradise.

a truly amazing first travelling experience.

How can this program be improved?
The packing list could probably be updated.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Heather
10/10

Costly, but worth it

The program cost was around $4000, though total cost (incl req'd gear and flights) came close to $10 000. That said, no regrets. If I'd known, I would have done more fundraising.

Word to the wise, plan to do the optional excursion pack. I was the only person in our group of 30 to not, and ended up spending the money while over there to keep from being on my own (safety first).

You will meet amazing, like-minded people on this trip. You'll learn so much and experience more than the itinerary can describe. And the food. Dear sweet baby jesus, the food. You'll fall in love with every aspect of this trip. Unexpected bonus: the bugs weren't even that bad!

How can this program be improved?
More volunteering during the first two weeks. We can work harder!
Yes, I recommend
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Megan
10/10

ISV Thailand 2014

Over winter 2014 my sister and I traveled to Thailand with ISV. It was a life changing experience which I cherish the memories of. ISV was an amazingly run program with a very helpful staff. Our project was located in the mountains outside of Chiang Mai which we helped local refugees with daily actives. A group of about 15 of us helped build a pig pen, make a path for rainy season, taught English in school, and visited local tribes. The experience was something one could not get being a tourist. I would love to go back on another ISV trip and would highly encourage everyone to go on one!

Yes, I recommend
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Izzy
7/10

An adventure everyone should experience

This adventure was one where you didn't know what to expect but the uncertainty of it unraveled a sense of freedom. From living in a remote wildlife conservation center in the jungle and traveling through Thailand, you were rewarded with a life changing experience. Volunteering started off being emotionally and physically painful as you had no idea what to expect. But the feeling of helping construct an area where animals could be protected and given the life they deserve was honestly the most amazing gift. Especially seeing baby bears moved from their cage into an enclosure we built for them, it was like seeing a child enter a playground for the first time.

But helping the animals was not the most important part of the trip, it was mixing with so many different people which was the highlight for me. You formed a little family who you would venture of this journey with, whether you liked it or not. Through being placed in an environment you are not familiar with and being surrounded by people you didn't know, you began to develop a tolerance to each others differences and thrived as a group; making friends you'll never forget.

Yes, I recommend
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Jackie
10/10

The Best Way to Travel

I volunteered at the Life Development Center in the Chiang Dao region of Thailand with my sister and 11 other group members. Not only did I get to see and experience the coolest things, but I made great friends along the way. ISV did a great job of keeping us busy and filling every moment of the day with activities. We did everything from laying cement, to hiking, to teaching English in schools, to exploring the city of Chiang Mai. It was an experience that I know I will remember for a lifetime. We slept in plywood cabins, pretty much in the jungle, and only had very cold water showers. So we lived the way people in that region live, which was really eye opening. You would never get this view and understanding of the culture in Thailand going as a tourist. ISV did an amazing job of making volunteering fun and exciting everyday.

How can this program be improved?
I think the price of the program was a little too expensive, there were definitely some costs that I didn't think were necessary.
Yes, I recommend
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Sandri
10/10

A Eyeopening Experience

This trip was one of the most rewarding things that I have done. Not only did I make some friends that I will keep for a lifetime, I have memories that will last a lifetime. The program offered the opportunity to get to know the how the people of Thailand live and what they believe in, to learn about some of the issue there are in Thailand and also provided our tour group with some varied and fantastic opportunities to travel as tourist in the country. I loved spending time in the north of Thailand, it was beautiful and relaxed but bustling and busy at the same time. The trip was very full on, which was great because I was never bored, I do recommend that you spend the few extra dollars and get the additional activity pack, it really is worth it.

How can this program be improved?
We went to a wildlife sanctuary which was absolutely amazing, but we were so cold every night for the 2 weeks that we spent there, so I would definitely recommend despite people claiming thailand is hot, that if you are going in winter you bring a nice work jumper and a long pair of pants to sleep in.
Yes, I recommend
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Toneya
9/10

Highly Reccommended

My cousin and I spent an amazing two weeks helping at the Elephant Nature Park and at a Rural School with ISV in Thailand. The first week was jam packed with activities centered around helping the park, some of it was hard work but all extremely rewarding. The highlight was the daily washing of the Elephants, getting up close and personal was a fabulous experience. The second week we helped build the foundations of a kitchen for a rural school. I got to meet some inspiring people and look forward to going back.

Yes, I recommend
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Lynsey
8/10

Wildlife One - where are the animals?

I thought this experience was worth it because I made lasting friendships with people across North America and because I was able to travel to Thailand. I didn't know what program I was part of before going on this trip, even though the tour guide emailed our group some information, she didn't even say what the volunteer work would be like or what we would be doing. It would have been more comforting to know this information before boarding the plane.

The staff at Wildlife One were very nice but not that accommodating. We were promised mosquito nets but didn't get those until the end of the last week we were there. I would wake up with bug bites all over me. The boss didn't have a solid plan of what he was going to do with us so we helped to dig holes and fill up those same holes. We had to move trees by hand because the mote had already been dug for the island. It was just all over poor planning.

No, I don't recommend
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Donya
10/10

perfect summer

I loved every second about this program, from farming to teaching to painting even if it was tiring, the energy and atmosphere that you are in is incredible! its very rewarding that you can make a difference in someone's life.

Yes, I recommend
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Breana
9/10

Thailand Pre-vet Trip

This experience was very hands on and was an amazing vet experience. A variety of animals were available to get experience such as elephants, swamp buffalo, rabbits, dogs and cats. It was awesome to be able to work alongside the local veterinarians.

How can this program be improved?
Making sure other programs aren't scheduled at the same time. Traveling, not so much back and forth between destinations. Also, cost I understand there are program fees but it is a rather expensive experience.
Yes, I recommend
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Heather
10/10

Thailand stole my heart

Getting to be up close and personal with rescued elephants was something I will never forget. Thailand with ISV was a life-changing experience in the best possible way and the trip exceeded my expectations. The staff was absolutely amazing and I made a lot of new friends from all over the world which was really fun.

How can this program be improved?
The food was not very good at the Elephant Nature Park but it wasn't a big deal
Yes, I recommend
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Cora
10/10

An absolutely wonderful program

Traveling to Thailand with ISV was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Everything was planned out so well, and the work we did was very meaningful. The other volunteers were so fabulous as well.

How can this program be improved?
I wished they had offered optional trips following the program to Cambodia or Vietnam.
Yes, I recommend
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Doraly
8/10

Great Experience

The program was great. Learned a lot and experienced a great deal. There was little planning, minimal care for safety, things were figured out on the spot. For the price I expected more, I think it's a bit over priced for the average person to afford.

However the people were nice and caring, they attempted to make a schedule and tried to always accommodate the group. The stay itself was rough, but it was a great learning experience.

How can this program be improved?
Needs more safety and structure.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Rayna
8/10

Thailand ISV

Signing myself up for a volunteer trip across the world was the scariest thing I had ever done in my life. But it was completely worth it. The 2 weeks of volunteer completely changed my life. The wildlife sanctuary I worked with were the kindest group of people who truly cared about the work they do with the animals and environment. Their passion was so evident to us students and they treated us with the same kindness and care. The work could sometimes be hard but the people you surrounded yourself with made it enjoyable. Our group leader specifically, did not impress me as much. He was kind, knowledgeable, and passionate about his volunteer work but he could get wrapped up in being social with some girls in the group. Afterwords, the 2 weeks of adventure and holiday were amazing but strange. Our activities were the time of my life. I cannot emphasize how amazing it was to go zip lining, white water rafting, bathe elephants, cook thai food and wander around Buddhist temples. It made everyday of the year that I worked to save for this trip worth it. The only issues I had with the program were the costs and where our money went to. The program cost itself was expensive and I realized most of the expenses were for the 2 weeks of holidays at the end. The hotels and villas we stayed in were beautiful, but some nights we were literally arriving to go to bed and leave early the next day for the next destination or activity. Then we would come back late, go to bed and pack up the next day. There was no time to fully enjoy the evening at the beautiful wooden cabins we were brought to. As we were boarding our flight to go to the islands for the last week of our ISV trip, we found out the program had forgotten to book our tour leader her own plane ticket. She gave us instructions where to go should we have to fly without her, but luckily she was able to buy herself a spot on the plane. This should have never been an issue and it gave us unnecessary worry.

All in all the 4 weeks of Thailand flew by so quickly and I would never trade this experience for anything. Despite going back to school with hardly any money in my bank account, I would recommend this program to anyone who loves to travel, loves adventure, and loves meeting new people and new experiences.

How can this program be improved?
Some of the organization of the adventure tour could be improved. I thought it was a little bit of a waste to fly, then bus, then boat, then tuk tuk to our hotel when we only got the chance to sleep there and then make half that trek back for our activity. We could have cut a lot of those costs back if we stayed somewhere closer.
Yes, I recommend

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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