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.
October: Sat 8, Sat 22
November: Sat 5, Sat 19
December: Sat 3, Sat 17, Sat 31
|January: Sat 14, Sat 28
February: Sat 11, Sat 25
March: Sat 11, Sat 25
April: Sat 8, Sat 22
|May: Sat 6, Sat 20
June: Sat 3, Sat 17
July: Sat 1, Sat 15, Sat 29
August: Sat 12, Sat 26
|September: Sat 9, Sat 23
October: Sat 7, Sat 21
November: Sat 4, Sat 18
December: Sat 2, Sat 16, Sat 30
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 Nongkhai for 2 years Jim now manages our programs in Chiang Mai and is since 2009 responsible for our all Thai programs.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 two different opions 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 visa.
If you are working for a longer period than one month you need a volunteer visa. This can be obtained at immigration in Chiang Mai. We will asssist you with that. You need to have a non immigrant O or B visa to start with. We will send you a paper that you need to bring to the Thai embassy in your home country and they will give you the appropriate visa.
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.