Frequently asked questions FAQ'S Thailand Teach
Visa and Passport ?
Ensure your passport is valid a minimum 6 months from your scheduled return date home. Visa - www.thaiembassy.org/ should give you the link to a local Thai embassy in your country to get the most up to date information.
What is the weather like in Thailand?
Thailand is tropical and humid during most of the year with April the hottest month across the country. Best time to visit Thailand is from November to February when the northeast monsoon is blowing cool, dry air which serves as a respite from the heat. During this cool season, the temperature ranges from 18 degrees centigrade to 32 degrees centigrade in Bangkok. The summer period, or hot and dry season, is from March to June. At this time temperatures in Bangkok average around 34 degrees centigrade, but can often reach 40 degrees centigrade with the humidity levels of 75%. From July to October is the monsoonal season when most of Thailand's annual rainfall is accumulated. The humidity averages just under 90%, with temperatures averaging around 29 degrees centigrade in Bangkok.
Thailand Weather Updates - https://www.tmd.go.th/en/province.php?id=45
Vaccinations and other concerns?
See a travel doctor, nurse or healthcare provider for a health assessment before you travel abroad. This provides an opportunity to review your vaccination history, make sure you are up-to-date according to your provincial/territorial/state vaccination program, discuss any health concerns you may have related to your trip, and assess your needs based on where you plan to travel and what you plan to do. Please note you require comprehensive travel medical and cancellation to participate in any of our programs. Travel Smart !
Should I bring travelers cheques, credit/debit cards or cash to Thailand?
People now go for credit and debit cards as they can access money 24 hours a day. Main disadvantage is higher fees, bank charges from both countries, exchange rates, or bank suspending your card. If planning on using a credit card for much of the trip, let your bank know and consider having a second card as a back up. Be sure to inform your bank of your travel plans and check with your bank to find out what charges they'll slap on you. Travelers cheques offer the best rates and safety so if possible get a few in your resident country currency in case of emergency, such as theft or or ATM machine eating your card.
Exchange Rates - http://www.x-rates.com/
How much should I budget per day for a holiday in Thailand?
Be honest with yourself and know what type of traveler you are and how much traveling you plan to do. People who love the outdoors and comfortable camping can consider traveling on a very tight budget. If your only camping experience was in your backyard and never pooped in the woods then consider a higher budget. Recommend a minimum of $35 to $40 USD per day per person to be safe.
Major tourist areas being the exception you should be able to get a basic fan-cooled room for under 400 THB. If you want air-con then you're looking at between 450 -1,000 THB. Locations close to the beach with facilities like swimming pools can be more. Accommodation Savings - Stay with locals
Do we need nets for our bed ? (for mosquitoes)
Most rooms have screened in windows. If not then they would in most cases provide nets. If not then nets can be purchased locally very cheaply so you are not taking up to much room in your luggage. If you would feel more comfortable having one and bringing your own then yes. There are mosquitoes creams and sprays here but if there is a particular brand you are comfortable using bring it. Bring a few pair of socks that are light weight and go above your ankles as they really help around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are around the most.
Is a fan room ok, or should I budget for air-con?
If you're not acclimatised to the heat then look for air conditioning. The heat of February to April is difficult for many Thais to function so air-con can be invaluable and is worth the extra few hundred baht. On islands, air-con bungalows tend to be a bit bigger, of a more solid construction and are sometimes better looked after. Fan only rooms depending on location are generally better ventilated and more windows. This tends to hold true in rural and beach areas. Densely populated areas may not be the case. The cheapest fan-cooled rooms may just have a small desk fan or a simple standing fan unit. These do circulate the air, but not all that well compared to ceiling fans. Make sure you check the room out first and test out the air or fan first as they may often come with industrial noise rating due to the age. :)
Food - per day - when outside the program Three meals per day - Street food 150- 200 THB - Backpacker style restaurant 250-450 THB - Proper restaurants - 350 or more a meal. If you have issues with MSG say "Mai sai phong churot" so they do not use it. Most restaurants and even street stalls in tourist areas are used to foreigners asking this. At our location we use a potato substitute that has no MSG. Thais use peanut oil in a lot of their cooking. If you have issues in regards to peanuts or other allergies get a note in Thai and show it before you order, to be sure they really understand.Peanuts are also used in some of the cold salads, satays, pad thai or a garnish.
Water - when outside the program Important to keep hydrated as Thailand is hot and you'll need to be drinking so two to three litres of water a day is around 50-80 THB a day. There are more and more refillable water bottle machines popping up so keep a spare bottle with you to save money.Avoid drinking tap water in Thailand even if people say you can. Brushing your teeth and showering shouldn't pose any problems. The water may be good when it leaves the plant, but the pipes it passes through to get to your tap is the concern.
Transport - when outside the programBuses, trains and low cost flights are all very affordable. Price depends entirely on how far and frequently you are travelling. For example a two hour VIP bus fare is about 150 THB. The train or Bus from Bangkok to say Chiang Mai one way is between 600 to 900 THB and airfare less than 2000 THB when on sale one way.
Alcohol, soft drinks and coffee - Alcohol is generally cheap compared to what you'd pay at home. A large bottle of beer can cost around 70 THB, a bottle of good gin or vodka around 800B. Soft drinks start at 15 THB and coffee 30 THB at local street vendors or convenience stores.
Are there many internet cafes in Thailand?
There are many with more and more popping up each day. Pretty much any major Thai town will have an internet cafe. Quality and cost vary so shop around.
I already have a Thai tourist visa and if I understand from what is written in the visa stamp that the visa is valid for 3 months.
Does it mean that I can stay in Thailand for 3 months?
Not correct, the validity of visa and the duration of stay are not the same. The 3-month validity of the visa means that you must use the visa within 3 months from the date of issue. The duration of stay is the period in which you are permitted to stay in the Kingdom granted by the Immigration Officer once you arrive in Thailand, that is usually, 60 days from the date of entry.
What should I pack?
Try not to over pack as basic clothes and basic things you need can be purchased here. It is ideal if you can put everything in one backpack and if you need more room one carry on size luggage bag. Bringing full size luggage and carry on is a mistake. Bring small containers that can be refilled to hold your creams, shampoos, conditioners etc. You are sharing the shower and bathrooms so have a personal toiletries bag that are easy to carry. Your not camping but for arguments sake imagine you are. Shoes you use only for a shower like when you go to the gym are a good idea. Yes you can shower in bare feet but having
something to walk around with after your shower is ideal. Also our towels are not the big wrap around type many people can wear after a shower.
For the ladies many of the lightweight beach wraps (not see through) you wear are ideal to have after a shower. Light weight shorts or track pants and tee shirts are great for many things. For both guys and gals one large light weight towel is a good idea to bring. Towels here are of poor quality and the good ones are very expensive. One pair of comfortable toe covered walking shoes or running shoes or sport shoes is a good idea.
To help me with my purchases and packing! What clothes would you advise to wear at the school on a day to day basis? I appreciate we must have our shoulders and knees covered. Would linen trousers and a casual top suffice? Any do’s and don’ts with colours? Also I’m having difficulty picking the right pair of shoes. Are we allowed to wear open-toe sandals or flip flops in the school? Again, any right or wrong colours?
In regards to teaching clothes, I found that the teachers generally dressed extremely professionally, so I would recommend blouses or button-down shirts paired with slacks or khaki pants. Linen trousers and a casual top sounds perfect! You will want to wear clothes that are comfortable and that you wont mind getting a bit messy (because if you are anything like me, you will inevitably wind up covered in chalk-dust), but still look presentable and polished.Knee length skirts and dress capris are also acceptable alternatives to trousers, so you are more than welcome to wear those, if that is a more comfortable/familiar attire for you. As for color, there are no particular color combinations that are seen as any more professional than another, but I would recommend bringing one white or black outfit. For certain religious ceremonies the Thai people dress in specific colors (generally white or all black), so I would recommend throwing at least one black and white top into your bag. Open toed sandals and flip flops are definitely acceptable footwear in the school. Most of the time you will have your shoes off anyway, and you will often use your shoes only between classes. I would suggest bringing at least one pair of dressier shoes or flats for special events (parties, weddings, school gatherings) that you may be invited to attend, but for the most part, shoes were not an extremely significant part of the teaching attire. The most important factor is comfort, durability, and the ability to easily remove one’s shoes, as you will be taking them off frequently before entering most rooms/buildings.
Do we need to take laundry detergent to clean our clothes or you already have ?
Can buy laundry detergent locally. We ask that you have at least a half load before doing laundry as there are 6 or more people who may want access to the machine. Any delicate items need to be hand washed if you want them to stay nice.
Are there a little supermarket near the guest house ?
Not really, but there are little stores where you can buy soft drinks, ice, chips etc. It is about a 3 KM bike ride to a 7-11 or mini store for any basic things you need. We usually make a trip every 7 to 10 days to the larger city that has one or two larger stores and you are welcome to join us. If there is something in particular that does not need to be refrigerated that you feel you will have a craving for then bring it. Also things like tampons or specific items you know you want bring as I can guarantee you will not find them here. Please bring a travel container, mug, insulated bottle with a top that keeps your water or your drink of choice cool. We do not provide small plastic water bottles. We purchase filtered water and store it in larger containers so you can refill your mugs. If you want to make a special trip to Singburi City we would ask for gas money there and back is about 300 THB for as many people who can fit in the pick up truck. :)
Is rabies a problem in Thailand?
Stay away from travelers or any animals foaming at the mouth. Animals affected with rabies in Thailand include dogs, cats, monkeys and feral animals. If you are licked, scratched or bitten by an animal you should wash the site immediately with soap or antiseptic a detergent and seek a medical opinion. Rabies can be treated if caught early. The incubation period depends on the site of infection -- about ten days for the head and neck, forty days for the arms and sixty days for the legs.
Is Thailand safe?
Using your common sense in any country when you are on holiday is important to remain safe. Crime against foreigners occasionally takes place, but overall it's safe and many women comment they feel more secure than in the west. Common problems are petty theft, scams and traffic accidents.
Highly recommend that you:
- wear helmets when riding motorcycles or bikes
- don't get drunk and argue with locals
- late night outings alone in dark unfamiliar areas is asking for trouble.
- avoid travel on the roads during the Thai new year break and Songkran in April.
- Watch out for Scams
How Can I get involved?
You can get involved by reading through our site carefully, familiarizing yourself with the issues, volunteering and by spreading the word. Educating others of these issues is the main way to truly make a difference. This will in turn generate awareness, funds, government pressure/action, reduced social stigmas, and hopefully, change.
Who is right for Thailand Teach?
Everyone over the age of eighteen who wants to broaden their horizons, see new and different places and people, face fresh challenges with a sense of adventure and who can give a minimum of one week assistance time in the program. We welcome service from all walks of life and levels of experience. No specific training is required but becoming acquainted with the issues pertaining to your placement prior to arrival at your project is a good idea. If you have an interest or background in a related area, for example we are always interested in people with an art or music background. School assistants should be self-motivated, patient, team-oriented, compassionate, independent and respectful. Remember that the issues you will be dealing with can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. We look forward to your enthusiasm.
How far ahead do I need to apply?
We feel it is important to plan early, and we ask that you apply 90 days before the placement’s starting date. This will help to ensure your place in a desired project and also give you adequate time to prepare by reading up on your chosen project and Thai culture. If your chosen start date is within 90 days, please send us an email we will try to get you involved.
Can non-U.S. citizens apply?
Yes, we welcome people from all countries. Our main requirement is that you are serious about the projects. If you are a non-U.S. citizen,
you should make inquiries in your country of residence about your eligibility for tax deductions for this kind of venture.
How many volunteers do you usually have working at the school at any one time?
Usually 1 to 3 per school
What is a usual day to day itinerary and do we get weekends to ourselves?
Full day school schedule: Typical school day has you arriving around 7:30 am and finishing about 4:00 pm assisting teachers and watching over students.
School opens at 7:00 am and are there to greet the children and do the morning flag raising at 8:00 am followed by a group assembly. Classes are from 8:45 am to 12:00 pm with a recess and hour for lunch. Classes start again from 12:45 pm to 3:30 pm with play time after while the students wait for their parents to pick them up. Few rural schools have bus service. The four 1 hour English classes for the different age groups consist of 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. English instruction is about 20 hours per week with the rest of the time approximately 15 hours being involved in preparing for class or school activities. The minimum time we ask from volunteers is 4 half days a week and depending how they feel work up to a full day and full week. Maximum time is 5 full days of 35 hours per week. Weekends are free and if you are planning a long distance trips you can schedule in school time Mon to Thursday and the next week Tues to Friday. As long as you are committed to a minimum 4 half days during your stay with us.
Do I need a visa to enter Thailand?
Yes. You are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa for your time in Thailand. For stays longer than 30 days, Thailand Teach will do our best to assist with what forms you need.
Visa - Thaiembassy Locations should give you the link to a local embassy in your country.
Passport - Ensure it is valid a minimum 6 months from your scheduled return date back to your home.
Rules and regulations change constantly and Thai consulate staff do their best to interpret the guidelines. Thailand Teach has no control over the visa process and cannot guarantee that your visa application will be accepted with the ever changing interpretations and guidelines. Please note that any visa fees are the responsibility of the applicant. And, while we try to assist you during the process, ultimately it is 100% your responsibility to ensure that you have obtained the appropriate visa.
Note: May be variations from your countries local Thai Embassy to below links in Thailand.
Below information provided is your responsibility to verify and is only a reference to assist you.
Single entry Visa allows you one entry into the country no matter how long it is valid for you to stay. If you plan to go in and out of the country then get a multiple entry visa if possible. Thailand Tourist visas guidelines have remained pretty consistent and have been the best and easiest way for participants going to Southeast Asia for 90 days or less. Thailand allows many countries tourist visas upon arrival of 15 or 30 days so verify this with your countries local Thai Embassy. We highly recommend applying for a Thailand Visa in your local country if your plan to stay longer than 29 days. In most all circumstances travel on a tourist visa obtained outside of Thailand is good for up to 60 days with the option of extending it another 30 days at most Thai Immigration offices at a fee of 1900 THB when we last checked. Also depending on the country you are from new or extensions of visas can be done by leaving Thailand then entering Thailand from neighbouring countries for tourism purposes. Depending on the passport you carry leaving and returning to Thailand by land gives you another 7 or 15 days and flying out will give you another 15 to 30 days upon your return.
Plan your trips close to the expiry date of the visa you are holding. Our community based group of volunteers, guest houses and homestays design tours to promote cultural exchange situations, missions that assist the Temple schools and local people in Thailand. We provide as part of your program an invitation letter with a photocopy of our ID signed and the register of the domicile paperwork. For stays longer than 90 days they question the fact of you being a tourist so best to apply for a Non-Immigrant Type visa. If you are considering this type of Visa PLEASE DO NOT BOOK YOUR AIRLINE TICKET YET and budget another $ 275.00 US for us to acquire the required paperwork from an immigration representative and lawyer on everyone's behalf. Thai Embassy's in every different country interpret a category of Non-Immigrant Type visa "B, ED, R, RS, and O" differently. This complicates the process at our end making it very labour intensive to ensure you get what your Thai Embassy is asking for to issue the visa.
On average it takes about 45 days until you are able to receive the original documents to present to your local Thai Embassy. If during school holidays school administration is usually off as well so applications take much longer waiting for the required approvals and signatures. If you decide to do this process on your own here is a link to a popular legal firm you can deal with directly.
Why do you use the wording assistant, cultural exchange, voluntour instead of volunteer or Humacité ?
The words work, job, volunteer, Humacité paid or not in Thailand is considered the same. It requires time, money, paperwork and permits similar to looking for employment in in Thailand. You are paying to visit Thailand and participate in a tour program designed to help others during your vacation as a tourist. Your have no intention of finding work or be paid while in Thailand. We use voluntour so international schools, universities, agencies, NGO, charities, governments and individuals understand you are touring for a selfless purpose. Using the words volunteer, Humacité, humanitarian is interpreted differently and causes much confusion. Recommend you ONLY use the words touring, visiting, vacationing or holiday as your reason to visit Thailand. The visa process ultimately is 100% your responsibility to confirm all information and ensure that you have obtained the appropriate visa. Please Note: Due to the overwhelming success with 60 day tourist visas we have categorized our programs as a cultural experience tour. All the years we have been doing this there have been increased expenses, numerous changes, revisions, interpretations, challenges and rejected applications with all types on Non-Immigrant visas. Thai Immigration requires a copy of the airline ticket purchased showing the entry and exit of the Thai territory with no assurance of receiving a visa. Therefore it is very important you purchase airline tickets with inexpensive revision or cancel fees.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
As a potential Thailand Teach assistant, you may wonder why there is a fee associated with volunteering. After all, you are offering your time,
energy and skills for free. This is when you should consider the needs of the organization you are helping and the costs associated with volunteering.
The organizations that you will be helping have limited resources and cannot afford the staff and administrative costs of coordinating volunteers,
let alone the costs of food, transport, accommodation, and insurance.
Additionally, operating a volunteer program has many hidden costs such as utilities, screening, training and supervision. Clearly, your host
organization could better spend their funds on achieving their specific missions by hiring local staff that will be available year-round. Thus, is
it important to understand that you are not paying to volunteer; instead, you are paying for placement research and to sustain and educate yourself
while in Thailand.
Can I fundraise for my trip?
Yes. In fact, getting other people involved in your efforts is another great way to raise public awareness and help to further your mission.
Thailand Teach has information on several campaigns, which enables volunteers to fundraise for their programs. Please email Thailand Teach for more information.
Your selfless act of sharing your time and knowledge is a worth while cause to raise funds for. Put your fundraising hat on to help you with your goal to assist others. You'll be on your way in no time! Volunteering your time and money abroad can be a life-changing experience for both you and the community. Get creative and fundraiser of your own. Luckily there are many ways to raise money to help offset your costs.
1. Peer fundraising websites have come a long way in the last few years. There are many out there like youcaring.com/fundraising-ideas It allows you to create custom fundraising page you can direct all your donors too (with fun social media integration that can help your campaign go viral).
2. A truly passionate desire to help those less fortunate than yourselves can always help bring in donations. People are always more willing to help fund a trip for a larger cause than a Spring Break trip. Focus on Your Reasons for Volunteering and let your goals and passions speak for themselves.
3. Successful fundraising costs little and reaches a wide audience. Always think about who you know that could help you. For example, if you have a family member who works in a large company, you could ask about being sponsored by them. Or if you have a friend who could get you a venue, you could hold a fundraising event. Start by making a list of everyone you know and how they might be able to contribute toward your volunteer goals. Every little bit helps!
4. Set a reasonable clear goal as to how much you need to raise from each fundraising activity and record your progress along the way. Follow up and assess how much you expected to raise against what you actually do. Some ideas work, others won't, but don't repeat the same mistakes.
5. It's a good idea to request a specific amount to let your donors start somewhere and have a benchmark - but that doesn't mean you need to stick with that number! Asking for a specific amount will also let you plan in advance how much you will need from each donor to accomplish your goals. It may help to go after your biggest benefactor first - people often follow the leader.
6. Address letters and emails to individuals, and individuals within companies, asking for their support. Do a search on Writing Successful Fundraising Letters.
7. Fundraising events can be fun, creative and inexpensive! The more interesting and unique the event is, the more attention it will get. It's a great chance to thank people and organizations who have already donated. Contact your local press about your event as well.
8. Turn the situation into a win-win for every sponsor who makes a donation. By giving something in return to all donors, they will have an extra push to donate and spread the word! This could be as simple as sending them updates on your adventures abroad via email or postcard when you are abroad, or giving a presentation about your experiences when you return.
9. Even when you are as prepared as possible, there is a chance you'll forget something or have trouble reaching all your targets. Get ready to face challenges and overcome them with preparation. Know what you will need abroad and do research into the cost of living where you're going. What will you need to spend money on? How much is covered in your program fees?
10. Fundraising can take a lot of time so make sure to prioritize. Work a timeline into your goals, especially if you're on a tight deadline.Resource search ideas for Fundraising your Volunteer Trip Abroad Fundraising Ideas for Study Abroad article Crowdfunding platform like https://www.youcaring.com/fundraising-ideas Kickstarter Ehow also has some useful articles, including:
How to Raise Money for a Volunteer Trip Overseas,
How to make a site to Raise Money for a Volunteer Abroad Trip
How to Start a Fundraiser for Yourself, and Online Fundraising Ideas.
International Volunteer Programs Association: Fundraising Tips: There are so many ways to find all the cash you need to take you on your travels.
What does the program fee cover?
At Thailand Teach, we have developed an all-inclusive volunteer program, allowing you to concentrate on providing your host organization with the best service that you can.
Program fees cover the following:
Pre-trip information: We provide you with the necessary links to sufficiently prepare for your trip and and information about Thailand’s culture and customs.
In-country assistance: Upon arriving at your program location, you will be collected and transported to your accommodation. Here, you will be greeted by the Thai program assistant and family, who will be able to provide you with the necessary information and tips for your stay in Thailand and answers to any questions you may have.
Accommodation: Thai-style homestay or guesthouse is where most of your eating, sleeping and relaxing will take place. Most locations are either a quick walk or bike ride away from many Thai style stores and markets.
Food: Local in-house cook will provide two delicious, home-cooked Thai meals per day six days per week. A light breakfast is always available with fruit, toast, coffee and tea. On Sunday, volunteers can cook for themselves at the Home-Base or grab a bite to eat in one of the many near-by markets or restaurants. In most areas, a delicious meal costs roughly 1.25 USD. Please let us know any specific dietary restrictions in advance so that all of your needs can be taken care of.
Transportation: Most programs are accessible by bicycle or a Thailand driver will collect you from the home-base and transport you to your placement organization daily.
Thai language training: The local Thai families are always happy to assist you with the Thai language. Formal classes are not included in the fee, but can be arranged.
Insurance: You are responsible to have comprehensive medical and emergency evacuation insurance coverage for the duration of your stay. Credit card types of Insurance are not acceptable. In case of injury you will be admitted to one of the local hospitals.
Support and Safety: Our staff will be on site 24 hours to provide any support that you may need. Cell phones are available 24 hours per day.
What kind of living accommodation is covered by the program fee?
Thai-style house with fans is where most of your eating, sleeping and relaxing will take place. Guest houses with air-conditioning are also available at an additional fee. All accommodations offer western-style toilets and a hot shower. There are small gardens and room for relaxing. The kitchen fridge is available to store drinks and any other foods that may need to be kept cool.
What if I arrive prior to my program start date or leave after the program end date?
All Thailand programs run from Saturday-Saturday. If you choose to arrive prior to the program start date, you are responsible for securing transportation from the airport and housing until their official program start date. These expenses are not covered by the program fee. If you choose to leave after the official program end date, you will still need to vacate the volunteer home by the program end date and will be responsible for securing your own housing at your own expense for the duration of your stay.
Can I extend my volunteer placement after I’ve arrived?
It is preferable that we know your intended length of stay prior to your arrival but are welcome to stay longer subject to availability.
Will I have any free time?
Yes, you will have free time in the evenings and weekends. On the weekends, you will be free to travel and explore surrounding areas (we will be happy to advise you on any excursions you might want to take) or you can stay in the area and become more familiar with the local community. You are also welcome to do any traveling on your own before or after your placement. .
Can special diet requirements be accommodated?
We can accommodate most dietary restrictions as long as we know in advance. Please specify any dietary needs when applying.
What happens in the case of an emergency?
The health and safety of everyone is very important. However, in the case of an emergency, contact between the volunteer and home can be made through our Program Coordinator via cell phone or VOIP internet connection. Phone service and internet are reliable and easily accessible facilitating contact with those at home. In the event of a medical emergency, volunteers will be taken to one of the local hospitals. Again it is a requirement of everyone to obtain emergency medical and evacuation insurance.
What about CO2 pollution I create when flying to Thailand?
Although Thailand Teach works with humanitarian issues, we are also aware of the importance of being environmentally conscientious. After all, without a clean, safe environment to inhabit, our efforts would be futile. As you may know, green house gases like carbon dioxide are emitted when flying in a plane. These gases stay in our atmosphere and contribute to global warming. To counterbalance this, you can buy Carbon Offsets. By purchasing Carbon Offsets, you invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that reduce carbon emissions. Learn more on how to compensate for the damage made to the environment while traveling to and from Thailand.
What is the Volunteer Project Deposit Fee?
A refundable deposit up to 90 days prior scheduled arrival of $98.00 USD is required to confirm a position with any of our projects. The balance of the project fee is is divided into two payments of the entire project fee with the deposit being applied to the final payment. The first project balance fee is due one month before the project start date and the balance owing is due within 2 days after arrival. For example, if a volunteer wants to serve in a project with a total fee including tax of $1,000 USD, starting on July 1, the volunteer would need to send $98.00 USD to book the project. The first payment of $500.00 USD must be received no later than June 1. If the first payment is not received by the due date, then the project placement will be lost and the deposit will not be refunded. Balance of $402.00 USD is due 2 days after arrival.
Where is Singburi Province located in Thailand?
Singburi Province is located in the central part of Thailand about 150 Km north of Bangkok. Thailand Teach Directions - http://volunteer-in-thailand.business.site/
What type of transport is available from Bangkok and what would it cost approximately?
There is an air-conditioned mini van service available hourly from Bangkok from Mo chit 2 Moe Sheet Song" bus terminal you have to ask in Thai รถตู้ “wrote tu” the mini van terminal. There you will see many small ticket booths (white colour with blue roofs) with white mini vans parked everywhere. Go to counter number 1 and ask for “wrote tu Sing buri Han kah Ban Cha na suit”. Chanasood or written in Thai ชันสูตร pay approximately 150 baht per person, with an additional cost for baggage. The minivan option is most efficient if you wish to get to the program in approximately 3 hours. Their are also air conditioned bus service but it will take substantially longer due to several stops. Licensed taxis that can hold up to 3 people with light luggage costs around 2750 THB one way including toll charges
Would the volunteer be picked up from the transport point in Singburi Province?
Yes, we will pick you up from the bus stop in Chanasood, a town in Singburi Province. We ask that you communicate with us by phone when you know the time you will leave Bangkok and we will be waiting for you. The school is approximately 5 km from the bus stop.
Does the volunteer need to come alone or can they volunteer with a friend?
We are happy for volunteers to come alone or with another individual. We understand that it can be more comfortable coming to a new place with a friend. If you decide to volunteer with a friend, we ask that you please let us know beforehand so that we can adequately prepare living arrangements and meal arrangements to support the appropriate number of volunteers. People sharing with others save on per person rates.
What is the minimum amount of time required with the school program?
We require a minimum one-week commitment from all volunteers, and happily welcome longer enrollments.
What type of accommodation is provided?
Accommodation consists of a bed, wardrobe, bedside table, fan etc. in one of our guest rooms or in a nearby homestay with shared kitchen and western style washroom facilities. Dependent on the amount of volunteers we have at one time, availability and requests of air-conditioned rooms determines location. Our goal is to have a maximum of two to three volunteers in our local temple schools.
What does the school provide for the volunteers in terms of meals?
Breakfast and dinner is provided at your accommodation and the lunch meals are provided with the teachers and children at the school on the days you are assisting.
What is the weather like in Singburi province?
The summer period, or hot and dry season, is from March to June. At this time temperatures average around 34º C, but can often reach 40º C with the humidity levels of 75%.
From July to October falls monsoonal season, when most of Thailand’s annual rainfall is accumulated and flooding can ravage the country. The humidity averages just under 90%, with temperatures averaging around 29º C. Please be prepared for very warm conditions.
Does the volunteer need any teaching experience?
Teaching experience is certainly an advantage but not a requirement. Our main focus is on teaching the children and the teachers a vocabulary-based, conversational form of English, with the exception being the older students who may require more grammar and punctuation assistance. We recommend to volunteers with no College or University interested in teaching to consider this Free 60 hour TEFL training to prepare them for the classroom. Free TEFL starter course - https://teflbootcamp.com/start-free/
Once completing the Free training consider completing the optional 140-Hour on-line TEFL/TESOL with the young learners Certification at a discounted price for our program participants of $188.00 US.
TEFL On-Line Course - https://teflbootcamp.com/thailand-volunteer/
Through TEFL Boot Camp you have the option of getting your teaching practicum and a reference letter from a temple school in Thailand at the end of your stay with Thailand Teach.
Does the volunteer need to speak any Thai language?
Again it is absolutely and advantage but not a necessity to speak any Thai. Most of our volunteers do not speak Thai but can communicate quite easily with the children and teachers – some of whom do speak a little English.
Thai Words Thai Basic Words Video - https://youtu.be/-sAltTy9p8g
What hours does the school operate?
School begins at 8:00 in the morning and finishes at 3:30 in the afternoon.
What age groups does the school cater for?
The temple schools serves children from 3 years of age in our Kindergarten classes to 15 years in the higher classes.
Do the children and teachers have any English communication skills?
Children generally have no English but some of the teachers can speak a little English. The students are learning and can usually make themselves understood.
How much time would the volunteer need to spend in the class room activities?
This can vary, but as a guide, volunteers typically spend 3-4 hours teaching in the classroom, using the remainder of time for lesson preparation or assisting teachers and children in various ways, including cultural exchange.
What is appropriate attire for a voluntour teacher?
Volunteers should be dressed appropriately at all times. For female volunteer teachers, this includes covered shoulders and cleavage and no see through materials or shorts. Pants are preferred, but Capri shorts and long skirts are acceptable as long as the material covers the volunteer’s knees. For male volunteers, appropriate dress includes pants or long shorts and a t-shirt. In addition, we ask that volunteers cover all body art/tattoos and should remove all piercings when in the classroom.
Volunteers will often be invited to attend formal ceremonies and parties, so it is always a good idea to bring along a formal outfit (for female volunteers, this would include a dress or professional blouse/skirt, for male volunteers, this would include a pair of nice slacks and dress shirt).
Does the volunteer have the weekends free?
Yes, weekends are your own time with the possibility of outings to different areas with other teachers. Good idea to check your program dates for possible long weekends during the year. https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/thailand/2018
Does the school have internet access/wifi available to the volunteer?
Yes the school has access to the internet with basic computers operating Windows XP or 7. If you have a laptop please feel free to bring it along.
How many volunteers are at your school at one time?
Currently we would like to have two to three volunteers at each of the temple schools we assist.
Is there an option to be paid for the work a volunteer would do at the school?
No, we do not have the financial support to accommodate any additional paid teachers. Our program is designed solely for English lecturer applicants.
What is the best time of year for a volunteer to visit your school?
In Thailand, from kindergarten to high school, the first semester opens in mid May and continues until the first week in October. The second semester lasts from November until the end of February (or early March). Plan your visit during these times.
Is there any volunteer preparation time allocated before the volunteer begins his/her assignment?
We do not have a special program to teach the volunteers but integration into the classroom will be made very easily. After meeting and greeting the teachers and children on a very informal basis, you will feel very welcome and at home.
Does the volunteer teach as an assistant to the class teacher or are they required to take classes on their own?
You will be alongside one of the teachers initially and take guidance from them. After this initial period, you may lead a class on your own (depending on your school placement). There will always be a Thai teacher in close proximity to assist volunteer teachers with translation from English to Thai in order to more easily communicate with the students. The children have English activity and work books to assist you with developing and exploring English vocabulary and activities.
How much do volunteers have to pay for joining the project?
Thailand Teach asks for a completed application first and once accepted a deposit of $98.00 USD. Weekly fees plus tax start from $149.00 USD per week and $559.00 USD per month per person sharing a triple room.
Programs fee includes, shared accommodations with fans in local teacher/Thai family home, two daily meals and three on the days you volunteer, filtered water, transportation to volunteer and local attraction sites, 24/7 assistance in English/Thai and many cultural exchange opportunities. Air conditioned rooms are available at an additional fee.
This fee goes towards our costs and sustaining our current projects enabling us to continue our work in the local community. We feel certain that our upcoming participants will be happy to contribute this to assist the development and sustainability of our project.
What expenses are the volunteers responsible for?
Volunteers are responsible for their own meals, transportation etc. when they leave the program accommodation school on the weekends for travel. If, however they are staying at the accommodation over the weekend breakfast and dinner is included. Program participants are also responsible for travelling expenses incurred when travelling to tourist attractions of other provinces in Thailand on the weekends, in addition to any personal expenses such as washing clothes, medicines, and other items of a personal nature.
What preparation should the volunteer make before their arrival with regard to class work?
Very useful to research classroom activities for ESL students of various ages. Any textbooks or worksheets you feel would be helpful to the school would be gratefully received. These items would be ideal for students and teachers alike. It is very handy to have extra activities for the children to participate in, so bring what you think might help you in the classroom.
What will the we receive at the conclusion of their experience?
Everyone receives a signed Certificate of Recognition for their contribution and dedication to the school.
Does the school provide a letter of introduction of any other documentation for visa applications?
Most participants depending where their passport is issued qualify for a 30 day tourist visa on arrival. Stays of longer than 29 days we advise our participants to apply for a 60 day tourist visa which requires a letter from the accommodation where they are staying. If more than 60 days, there is an option of applying for a 30 day extension at a local immigration office for a fee or crossing the Thai border and returning. This will provide an additional 14-15 days for land crossings and 29-30 days when flying. For the exact procedure, please contact your local Thai Embassy or Consulate.
What are the main differences between volunteering in the rural schools as opposed to the city?
Is there an option of living in the guesthouse or with family in both the rural and city?
The main difference between the rural school and city school environments is simply the size of the school, with city schools having both a larger school campus and a larger student body population. Both urban and rural schools are similar in regards to English proficiency and student’s enthusiasm towards English lessons.
Additionally, our program currently offers two means of accommodation: guest house accommodation and home-stay accommodation. Accommodation style is dependent upon specific school location, and thus, cannot be determined until after an applicant’s said school placement is completed and finalized.
What is the application process for acquiring a visa? (is a work visa required? How would I obtain tourist visa?)
The visa application policy is dependent upon the applicant's country of origin. Most all of our volunteers serve with our program on a standard 7,14,21,30 to 60-days . For exact visa information and policies, please contact the Thai embassy in your home country.
I understand that around the time I am coming it is monsoon season. What considerations do I need to make for this?
(Does it differ when living in City vs rural?)
During the monsoon season, I can state that no special precautions need to be taken in regards to preparation. I would simply suggest packing a basic travel umbrella and a raincoat. No extra precaution is needed.
Am I expected to provide stationery resources or can I buy the stationary once I am there?
Each school site will have access to basic blank paper for volunteer teachers, but more elaborate supplies, such as a formal stationery set, must be provided or purchased by the volunteer.
Is it possible to return the application form via email and attach my photograph? If so then do you require a passport sized
photograph or could I send a normal JPEG image and you can crop it down?
You can submit your application and photograph via email. We do not require passport size photographs, so you are more than welcome to submit a JPEG photograph of yourself.
I have not completed a TEFL course, is this ok? I can however provide a certificate of my English qualifications at A-level.
TEFL certification is beneficial, but not a requirement of volunteers. While we do search for the most qualified and competent volunteers, we do not require special certification, but rather, gauge applicants English proficiency through the paper application and/or a Skype interview.
We recommend to volunteers with no College or University interested in teaching to consider this Free 60 hour TEFL training to prepare them for the classroom. Tefl start free - http://teflbootcamp.com/start-free/
Once completing the Free training consider completing the optional 140-Hour on-line TEFL/TESOL with the young learners Certification at a discounted price for our program participants of $188.00 US. TEFL Discount - https://teflbootcamp.com/thailand-volunteer/
Through TEFL Boot Camp you have the option of getting your teaching practicum and a reference letter from a temple school in Thailand at the end of your stay with Thailand Teach.
I am flying in from BKK. So do you know the estimated cost from BKK to Mo Chit station?
Also, do you recommend a particular taxi service and are these easy to locate? Any do’s and don’ts to look out for?
There is about a 40 km distance between BKK and Mo Chit, so I would say that a fair estimate for a metered taxi would be between 300-450 Thai baht (9-13 USD; 7-10 EUR).
On the first floor of the Airport is a Public Taxi area where there are dozens of taxis waiting for customers. There will be a dispatcher (since they work at the airport, they generally have good English), and you will tell them where you are going and they will either give you a firm price right then, based on your destination, or will have the driver use the meter. They will then give instructions/your destination to your driver and you will be on your way! The Public Taxi terminal at the airport (from my experience, at least) was extremely efficient to use because it is built for travelers, so drivers and dispatchers/booth agents operating from this area will generally have a much stronger grasp of English than if you picked a random taxi cab in the city.
If you are travelling about the city and do use a random taxi, I would either agree on the price beforehand or use a metered taxi (the neon pink taxis or green/yellow taxis). As a solo traveler, motorcycle taxis can be a quick and inexpensive way of getting around, but as they do not have meters, ALWAYS agree on a price beforehand.Avoid Tuk Tuk and unlicensed Taxis
How do I contact you prior to boarding the bus? Is there a contact number which I can use from my UK mobile phone?
If you get a Thai sim card for your unlocked smartphone, you can call using your cell. Another option is to use one of the many payphones located within Morchit.
What will be my method of transport to and from the guest house/school? Is it within walking distance?
Locations about 1 km away from accommodations many people choose walk or take the bikes provided. If the guesthouse is not within walking or biking distance, the teachers will transport you to and from the school by vehicle. We arrange transportation for our volunteers from their housing to school sites, so you will not have to deal with this issue.
Approximately how many people will I be sharing the guest house with and will I be sharing a room?
Each location is different with rooms of 2,3 and 4 people per room available. Once your program site is determined we can provide you with more information about the specific housing situation (guest house size/number of rooms; facilities and amenities; distance from school, etc.).
I have such limited space in my luggage – do you think it would be ok for me to download storybooks on my phone and then read it
out to the class? Or is it best to avoid this as the children will not have direct access to the story?
Wonderful! I bet that the children will love the Alphabet and Phonics games. They love getting active (and competitive!) in the classroom, and I am so excited that you have a Phonics game as a resource. The sounds of the phonetic alphabet are generally not taught in the classroom (and are even unknown by the English teachers), so it will be of extreme benefit to both the students and the teachers to learn phonics, in order to build and develop reading skills in the students. The phone/storybook situation should be great! I know that books can be bulky and heavy, so having books on your phone or computer sounds like a great alternative to lugging heavy material with you. In order to make the story more interactive for the children, you can act or draw it out yourself (which they will absolutely love!).
What sort of age group will I be teaching? Will they be more younger, or older, or just a whole spectrum?
A majority of the schools that we work with serve students in Grades 1 through Grades 6 (ages 6-12, approximately). There are a few schools in our program which offer the opportunity to work with kindergartners, high-school students, and adults, but our assistants are most frequently placed at schools where they work with Grades 1 through 6.
What level of English are the children general at? I.e beginners, intermediate or advanced?
There will be a mix of English proficiency between schools, between classes within a school, and even within a class. Within a single class you will have students who are extremely bright and pick up English quickly, and within that same class you will have students who may not even be able to remember the alphabet. Generally, the smaller, more rural schools have more beginning students, while the larger, more urban schools have more intermediate students (with only one school having intermediate students).
What is the main focus of teaching English at most schools? Is it more conversation and speaking, or grammar/spellings/writing?
The basic English skills and abilities within the classroom, I have generally found it best to focus on exploring and building vocabulary. This way, the ‘beginner’ students are still capable of learning the material, and you can make the material more difficult for the intermediate students. For example, when teaching animals, you can have the beginner students learn how to pronounce, spell, and write the word, ‘cat’, while teaching the more advanced students the sentence, ‘I have one black cat’. We generally try to balance speaking, spelling, and writing within the classroom, with an emphasis on incorporating the learned vocabulary terms into conversation. I have found that art activities (involving both a picture of the word and the spelling) and games such as hangman are very good for getting the children to visually recognize the word and to learn how to read, spell, and speak it.
What are the teaching/learning styles which most teachers/children appreciate? Is it whole class teaching or small group led work?Formal or informal or both?
While our classrooms are generally lead through whole-class teaching, rather than a group format, we leave it up to our assistant teachers to determine their classroom set-up. I have found that group-work is generally more difficult to moderate with younger students and typically leads to an out-of-control classroom, and is often extremely difficult to explain to the students given that I don't speak Thai, so I generally set up my classroom sessions to have a half-hour to forty minute lecture component (including worksheets; writing sentences; pronouncing vocabulary; etc.) with one or two games that tie into the lesson discussed
Some schools are a bit more structured than the ones that I have served with, and may provide you with topics that they would like you to teach, or will have you serve as an ‘assistant’ in the classroom, in which case, you will adapt to the predetermined classrom environment, rather than creating your own.
Do you follow any particular text book?
Schools do have curriculum books but they are often too advanced for the students, or may actually be poorly translated into English, so I frequently create my own topics, activities, and worksheets. If, as a native English speaker, I am unable to identify some of the concepts and words that the book activities are trying to convey, I do not feel that it is fair to expect my students to be able to do the same activity. For example, one of the activities in the book was to identify common vocabulary terms (flower, chair, tree, shirt, bus). However, when attempting the activity beforehand, I myself got some of the answers incorrect, because the test makers were looking for “Jeep”, rather than ‘car’, or ‘stockings’ rather than ‘socks’. If the schools do offer and English book, I generally try to look it over prior to the lesson to see if it accurately relays the vocabulary and topic that I intend to teach. If it does (which admittedly, is fairly rare), I will use a worksheet from the book, but if it doesn’t, I create my own worksheet and activity.
Many basic lesson plans and activities we have created are posted on our facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Thailandteach/
Additionally Colorado State University’s ESOL Volunteer Teacher's guide to have some very helpful suggestions for classroom activities, expectations
and a teacher, and lesson plans: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/esl/index.cfm.
Please feel free to contact us with additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask. We want to ensure that applicants and volunteers feel prepared and comfortable during their time with our program.
All the best,
Robert and Pooh Newton
Volunteer Inn - Thailand Teach
Tel# 66 084 996 8617 - Thailand Tel# 416 410 2345 - CANADA
Skype - volunteerresort Wat Wang Khon - Chom Poo Soi Sukhaphiban Sing Buri 14 68 Moo 10, Tambon Pho Chon Kai, Amphoe Bang Rachan, Sing Buri, Thailand 16130
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Intercultural travel and voluntouring programs overseas are an interesting adventure. The more involved you are the more incredible the experience is for everyone.
*** Note: Tropical countries such as ours have heavy rains, violent storms and floods. Be ready for alterations to activities and schedules during these times. ***