Thailand High School Community Service

Vibrant traditions, world-renowned cuisine, and spectacular landscapes dotted with glittering temples: it’s easy to see what makes Thailand one of the most enticing places on the planet. Settle into our community and work alongside teachers on education projects at local schools. Spend several days trekking between hill tribe villages in the lush mountains surrounding Chiang Rai, and cap off the trip volunteering at an elephant conservation center.

June 26 - July 12, 2019
July 10 - July 26, 2019
Airfare is not included. We have arranged a round-trip group flight between New York and Chiang Mai.

Trip Highlights

  • Teach English to primary school students in the province of Chiang Rai, and document your experience through a variety of media.
  • Get introduced to Thai culture during cooking and martial arts classes and on visits to Buddhist temples.
  • Work with caretakers at an elephant conservation center, and track free-roaming elephants through the jungle.
  • Hike through northern Thailand to meet members of remote hill tribe communities.

Itinerary | 17 days

Days 1-10

Our home in Thailand lies in the northern province of Chiang Rai, known for its rugged natural beauty and remote hill tribe communities. Spend two days getting to know your fellow travelers, then split into small groups and work with local teachers on a variety of community-initiated education projects. Create English-language lesson plans and teach vocabulary and pronunciation skills to primary school students.

In the late afternoons, get into the rhythm of daily life and explore the surrounding area. Discover the sport of Thai kickboxing; visit the exquisite Wat Rong Khun temple in Chiang Rai city; or take a Thai cooking class. Report on your experiences through photographs, writing, or video, and develop a narrative about your time in the community.

Days 11-12

Travel into the mountains to our eco-lodge, located near several hill tribe villages. Set out on hikes to nearby communities, and learn about each tribe’s unique language and customs. Discover the symbolism behind village weaving patterns; learn how to harvest rice on a terraced hillside; or collect native insects with a local guide.

Days 13-14

Return to Chiang Rai for an enriching cultural exchange with local high school students. Attend classes with a Thai peer, and practice your Thai script or learn about local holidays and traditions. Gather with our new friends from the community for a farewell dinner.

Days 15-17

Head into the countryside to visit an elephant rehabilitation center. Learn about these creatures’ uncertain role in the evolving Thai economy, and follow free-roaming elephants through the jungle while speaking with their caretakers about modern threats to the species. Celebrate your final evening in Chiang Mai before returning home.

Our community service trips are for students in grades 9-12. Students settle into a community and get involved with collaborative service projects that focus on infrastructure, education, or sustainability. Students work alongside local people, and document their experience through photos, journals, and video. Collaborative community projects provide an opportunity for deeper cultural interactions and insight into daily life in our host communities. Students travel alongside a team of highly-qualified trip leaders—college graduates with extensive experience in the field, who love working with students. Our community service trips are limited to 18 participants, and the student-to-trip-leader ratio is usually between six and eight to one and never more than nine to one.
On this program, students will spend an estimated 35–40 hours on community service projects. At the end of the program, students will receive a certificate stating the number of service hours completed. Projects described in this itinerary are examples and vary depending on the needs of the community.
At our community service site and in Chiang Mai, the group sleeps in simple guesthouses. We stay in a rustic eco-lodge during our mountain trek.