Travel to Teach runs a volunteer homestay program in a small village located in the Phon Phisai district of Nongkhai province, Thailand. Volunteers can stay in a traditional Thai house with a local family, gaining a real insight into the Thai rural way of life.
Volunteers stay with a volunteer coordinator called Jack who offers 24 hour support and whose insight into Thai culture and local knowledge gives volunteers opportunities to experience things which general backpacking would never provide.
Spending time in a village is the best way to fully submerge oneself in Thai culture. Village life allows volunteers to enjoy the simple pleasures of rural Thailand, increase their understanding of Buddhist cultures and integrate into Thai life in a way which is often difficult in larger towns and cities.
Life in the villages in the north and north eastern parts of Thailand revolve around the Wat (the Buddhist Temple) and the rice paddies. Unlike the highly industrialized places that many of our volunteers come from, these rural communities are particularly scenic, offering beautiful views of stunning nature, free from the pollution caused by city life.
Many of the people working in the big cities grew up in the countryside, so spending even a short amount of time in a Thai village can increase your understanding and affinity with the multifaceted Thai culture.
We have made a video showing life at our Village Homestay in Phon Phisai.
Volunteer work in our home stay villages is predominantly English teaching, either in local schools or at summer camps during school holidays. We also have some computer teaching opportunities and are looking to develop eco tourism programs in the near future.
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Read how your fees are spent or compare our
prices with other volunteer organisations.
View our prices in other volunteer locations's or combine your stay in with stays in other locations as part of a combination stay.
Our application process typically takes two or three weeks, but can
be speeded up if there is a need for that. When we receive the initial application from you, we will send you our
full application form.
(1) Complete the Initial Application Form:
The first stage of the application process is to fill out the brief initial application form. Upon receiving this we will send you the full application form.
(2) Complete the Full Application Form:
Fill out the application form. After receiving this we will assess your suitability and place you on one of our programs.
(3) Placement info:
We will return detailed placement information and an invoice. If you accept the placement you should clikc the link to say so. The fee can be paid with credit card through PayPal or by bank transfer.
Once you have made your traveling arrangements you should mail your time of arrival and the means of transportation and we will confirm pickup.
You can join us for any amount of time, from a week to six months. We do recommend a trip of three to six months since it offers the best value. Regardless of the length of your stay, you will be able to learn some Thai and you will have time to get to know a new culture, come to know its people, and form relationships that will outlast the duration of your stay.
Dates of arrival: All teaching will start on the Monday after the introduction.
April: Sat 26
May: Sat 10, Sat 24
June: Sat 7, Sat 21
July: Sat 5, Sat 19
August: Sat 2, Sat 16, Sat 30
September: Sat 13, Sat 27
October: Sat 11, Sat 25
November: Sat 8, Sat 22
|December: Sat 6, Sat 20|
|January: Sat 3, Sat 17, Sat 31
February: Sat 14, Sat 28
March: Sat 14, Sat 28
April: Sat 11, Sat 25
|May: Sat 9, Sat 23
June: Sat 6, Sat 20
July: Sat 4, Sat 18
August: Sat 1, Sat 15, Sat 29
|September: Sat 12, Sat 26
October: Sat 10, Sat 24
November: Sat 7, Sat 21
December: Sat 5, Sat 19
The Accommodation in the village is traditional but comfortable, with western style toilets available. The house owners are great hosts and take good care of volunteers who stay. Volunteers are welcome to respectfully treat the house as their own and Jack's parents give volunteers freedom and space so you are not being watched over.
The house has a homemade gym and a badminton court, also there is a hammock by the rice fields creating the perfect spot to relax with a book. Internet is available, as well as a washing machine, DVD and TV and mosquito nets. There are multiple bicycles which are used for transport to school and around the village.
There are many great activities provided in the village lifestyle. Besides teaching, which is the greatest way to get to know the people, the natural surroundings provide many opportunities to hike. The Monks at the Wats are more than enthusiastic to include you in their daily prayer ceremonies, and it is also possible to meditate with them several times a day. A short commute will get you to a local town center where you can find local convenience stores and internet cafes.
Activities that Jack may take you to do whilst in the village include traditional pottery, swimming, camping, boat trips into the jungle, visiting forest temples to learn about meditation, rice planting or harvesting and much more.
Because of the extremely friendly culture of Thailand, you will find yourself being offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner with many different people. This experience is highly recommended as it gives you a chance to taste the real foods of Thailand. Eating lunch with the Monks (at 11:30, for they cannot eat after 12:00 o'clock) is especially rewarding because the people strive to provide them with the best of foods. There are also food stalls in the village where you will always be able to get Pad Thai or Fried rice. Some nights you will eat home-cooked traditional Thai food, other nights volunteers will go out to a restaurant or food stall. Meal costs are covered by Travel to Teach, however alcoholic drinks will need to be paid for by the volunteer.
Thailand has three main seasons, summer (March to June), rainy (June to November) and winter (November to March). The below chart shows average temperatures and rainfall.Nongkhai Weather Chart
Travel to Teach will accompany you to the village by either train or bus and introduce you to your local contact person.
Having graduated from Universtiy in Bangkok Jack has returned to his native village of Ban Thin Dung, Phon Phisai. Another former FGCC student Jack's English is excellent and he looks after our Phon Phisai volunteers. Jack has also developed his own program in "Isan-Survivors" taking people into the forests and on the rivers of Isan.
Jim graduated from Khon Kaen University's tourism program in 2007 and initially completed a 3 month internship with Travel to Teach before joining us permanently. After working with us in Chiang Mai for 2 years Jim now helps manage our programs in Nongkhai. She is responsible for contact with schools and organising English camps and looks after our volunteers giving Thai language lessons and cooking classes.Contact Jim: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nana is 30 years old and was born in Mae Sot, Thailand. She is ethnically Karen and has an exam as public health instructor.
There are many options for your visa depending on the length of your stay.
One month tourist visa (free)
This is valid for 30 days and is granted free on arrival in Thailand by air. If you arrive at a land border you will currently only be given a 15 day visa. Please note you can only have three free one month visa stamps in any six month period.
Two/Three month single entry tourist visa (1,200 Baht - approx. 24€)
This is valid for two/three months after your arrival in Thailand. If you leave the country during this time your visa will become invalid. This can be arranged in advance at any Thai Consulate/Embassy. For a list of Thai Embassy's around the world see www.thaiembassy.org.
If you are staying in Thailand for more than a month and do not have time to arrange a 2 month visa, you can simply get your free stamp on arrival and then cross over into Laos after 30 days and apply for it there.
It's quite a simple process:
To revalidate your visa you will have to come to Nongkhai. Simply catch a tuk-tuk to the friendship bridge where you will be able to get a bus across to Laos. On the far side of the friendship bridge you will get your Laos visa (approx $35).
Once in Laos you have two options, you can either return directly to Thailand receiving a 15 day visa extension or if you want a two month visa you will need to visit the Thai Embassy in Vientiane and spend one night in the city. Please note that for your Laos visa and for a two month Thai visa you will need passport photos and a photocopy of your passport. Vietiane is a 30 minute bus or taxi ride from the border.
You can also use your time in Laos to explore the country further and there are regular buses running from Vientiane to most of Laos including Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang.
If you are planning to work in Cambodia then you will need to obtain a police records background check before starting your placement. For details on the application procedure in your home country please take a look at: www.travel-to-teach.org/CRB-information.php
At all other locations you will be required to abide by the Travel to Teach Child Protection Policy.
You should tell your doctor that you are likely to go on a jungle trip in Northern Thailand and that you will live in village outside Chiang Mai. Keep in mind, Chiang Mai is an urban area and one need not worry about malaria pills for staying exclusively in there.
Also visit the WHO's (World Health Organisation) Travelers health information
One of the conditions of entry onto our programs is that volunteers have travel insurance. Most importantly the insurance needs to include medical treatment and repatriation in case of unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Volunteers should purchase insurance independently and bring a copy of their insurance certificate with them for their local co-ordinator to check before starting their program. Read our terms and conditions.