In an increasingly interconnected world,  the journey towards understanding and contributing to global communities begins with a single step out of our comfort zones. Volunteering abroad is an amazing way to engage with diverse cultures, engage in meaningful work, and create lasting impacts on both local communities and yourself. So where do you find these volunteering opportunities as a student? 

In this article, we’ll talk about where to find the best volunteer abroad opportunities for students, answering questions like: 

  1. Why volunteer abroad? 
  2. Where can you find the best volunteering programs? 
  3. Why choose Camp Thailand? 
  4. How Do I Make the Most Out of My Volunteering Abroad Experience? 

At Further Travel’s Camp Thailand, our job is to organise group trips around the beautiful islands, so that you can have impactful volunteering experiences while making lifelong connections and having a boatload of fun. Our programs like Rescue Paws and Summer Teach are made for students who want to balance community service and fun–but more on that later!

If you’re already excited and ready to volunteer abroad with Camp Thailand, you can apply now! You can also contact us, look through our common application questions, or see FAQs for more info. 

Why Volunteer Abroad? 

Volunteering abroad can be an extraordinary experience that boosts your resume, lets you explore new countries, and gives you opportunities for cultural and personal growth. Some other benefits include: 

  • Enhanced Global Awareness: A 2021 study found that overseas volunteering experience is correlated with students having increased knowledge on global issues.
  • Skill Development: When you volunteer abroad, you’ll also have to develop new skills including problem-solving, adaptability, and leadership. 
  • Self Confidence: The challenges you face while volunteering will help you become more independent, and you’ll have a clearer sense of your values and passions in the process. 
  • Educational Enhancement: Volunteering can complement your academic studies by providing real-world experiences that illustrate and enrich your coursework. 
  • Increased Employability: Employers value international experience and the skills gained through volunteering abroad, such as cultural sensitivity, communication, and teamwork. 
  • Language Skills: Volunteering abroad can provide hands-on language immersion, enhancing proficiency and communication abilities. 

These are just a few of the countless benefits you can get from volunteering abroad. At Further Travel’s Camp Thailand, we create volunteer abroad opportunities for students who want to do good and have fun. If you want to learn more, you can start off by looking through our FAQs and contact us if you want more details. 

Where Can You Find the Best Volunteering Programs? 

You know the benefits of volunteering abroad, so your next question is probably, Where can I find these golden opportunities? 

Before going online and clicking the first volunteering opportunity you see, it’s important that you have a mental checklist ready to ensure you are applying to programs that are organised, safe, and support the legal and operational aspects of your journey, including visa processes and health requirements. 

Since that’s a lot of information to remember, we’ve made a checklist with some things to consider before hitting the apply button.

Criteria for Selecting the Right Program 

Selecting the right program can feel difficult, especially when you have tons of options in front of you. Here are some ways to narrow down your search: 

  1. Aligning with Personal Interests and Passions: Reflect on what you hope to achieve through volunteering—whether it's learning new skills, contributing to a cause you care about, or experiencing a new culture. Look for programs that match your passions. 
  2. Evaluating the Impact on Local Communities: Research how the program contributes to the local community in a sustainable and ethical manner. Look for programs that involve local stakeholders, ensuring the initiatives are welcomed and have a lasting impact. For example, we work with the Rescue P.A.W.S. clinic Khao Tao to make an impact on Thailand street dog epidemic
  3. Feedback from Previous Volunteers: Read reviews or reach out to alumni of the program to understand the actual impact of the projects and how well the program meets its stated goals. You can look at our reviews and past volunteer experiences on our blog

Finding volunteer opportunities that match this criteria can help you choose programs that genuinely benefit local communities and align with your own values. After reviewing these opportunities based on their value and ethics, you can further specify your search by researching their logistical and legal organisation. Here are some things to look out for: 

  1. Accreditation and Reputation: Check if the program is accredited by relevant organisations and has a good reputation in the volunteer community.
  2. Costs and Inclusions: Understand what your program fee covers and what additional expenses you may incur.
  3. Legal and Health Precautions: Ensure you are aware of any legal requirements or health precautions needed for your destination. This includes vaccinations, travel insurance, and understanding local laws and customs.
  4. Visa Requirements: Research the visa requirements for your destination country well in advance. Some volunteer programs might help with visa applications or provide necessary documentation. 
  5. Program Support: Inquire about the level of assistance the program offers with logistics, including visas, flights, accommodations, and local transportation.

Following these checklists can help ensure you choose a volunteer abroad program that is safe, reputable, and matches your goals. Making an informed decision is a huge part of having a fulfilling and impactful experience.

Why Choose Camp Thailand for Volunteer Abroad Opportunities 

Finding a program that checks all of the boxes, both in terms of safety and value-add, is hard to say the least. It took us decades of experience in coordinating and managing camps to become a respected program, and now we are able to provide opportunities that ensure our travellers are able to volunteer abroad without additional worries of planning, organisation, and health and safety awareness. 

To double down on ensuring trip safety, we’ve teamed up with World Nomads Insurance, where you can get additional protections such as: 

  • 24/7 multilingual emergency assistance, customer service and claims support
  • Ability to easily extend your policy to keep you on the road
  • Travel coverage for 200+ adventure activities
  • Up-to-date insurance information & safety advice to help you plan for your trip

Alongside insurance, taking part in well-established tours can ensure that your travels will be protected and enjoyable. At Camp Thailand, you’re given on-the-ground support throughout your trip and can always seek out further support from our in-house team at our Manchester-based HQ.  

We’ve also simplified the application process, so that you can focus on packing and getting excited. Rather than having to fill out piles of forms and sitting through hours of processes, Camp Thailand’s application process is three clear steps: 

  1. Fill out our application form: Tell us about yourself and why you’d like to join our trip. The form is 3 questions and only takes around 5 minutes to complete. 
  2. Application review: Our team will review your application. We’ll get in touch within 2 hours to let you know if you’ve been approved to join one of our trips. 
  3. Pay your deposit: Secure your place with a deposit, which will let you access our portal where you’ll find pre-departure information and more.  

Our trips combine adventure with tangible impact, connecting volunteers with meaningful experiences in Thailand’s beautiful islands. Apply or contact us for more info! 

Rescue Paws: Helping Hands for Stray Animals 

If helping stray dogs and engaging in animal care is your passion, our Rescue Paws program is up your alley. 

Rescue P.A.W.S in Thailand offers a life-changing adventure for those looking to make a difference in the lives of stray dogs while immersing themselves in Thai culture. This two-week project not only aims to improve the lives of dogs but also addresses the root causes of the country's stray animal epidemic. 

Volunteers engage in daily care, field research, and health checks for the dogs, providing care that includes beach walks, feeding, and playtime. The program is set in the serene environment of Khao Tao Temple, combining animal welfare with cultural immersion through various excursions.

Volunteers of all backgrounds are welcome, with a special call to those passionate about animals, regardless of their experience level. Key requirements include:

  • A passion for animal welfare.
  • Minimum age of 18.
  • Proof of rabies vaccination prior to arrival.

Participants directly impact the well-being of stray dogs, engaging in activities that promote their health and happiness. The program focuses on:

  • Fieldwork involving stray animal behavior and sterilisation efforts to control the stray population.
  • Daily care that builds relationships and ensures the dogs' well-being.
  • Health checks and medical procedures to maintain health standards.
  • Media and marketing opportunities to promote the organisation and its mission.

This hands-on experience leaves volunteers feeling part of a family dedicated to making a positive impact on Thailand's stray dog population. A typical day includes a blend of fieldwork, daily dog care, health checks, and media creation:

  • Morning: Volunteers start with cleaning and maintaining kennels, followed by feeding and taking the dogs for walks on the beach or lake.
  • Afternoon: Activities may vary from additional feeding runs, providing parasite treatments, dog training, and reintegrating dogs into their packs.
  • Excursions: Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in a free local excursion, which might include Monk Meditation, Thai Cooking Class, or a visit to the Cave Temple in Sam Roi Yot National Park, among others.

This program is not just about providing care to animals; it's an opportunity to learn about Thai culture, medical practices, dog behavior, and engage in personal growth and meaningful travel experiences. For more information, you can peruse through our Rescue Paws program page to view dates and see reviews. 

Teaching Volunteer Abroad Opportunities for Students 

At Further Travel’s Camp Thailand, we offer two teaching volunteer programs that support cultural immersion, language development, and teaching experience. 

Summer Teach Program 

The Summer Teach program offers an enriching opportunity for individuals to live and teach in Thailand during the summer, enhancing both their CV and their life experience. 

This program is designed for those new to teaching overseas who wish to try it out before committing to longer periods, experienced teachers desiring to explore teaching in Thailand, or anyone looking to make a difference and earn some money while experiencing life in a beautiful country. 

The program includes a variety of cultural and recreational activities, such as a beach BBQ, Thai language and cooking classes, Muay Thai lessons, and temple visits with meditation, all designed to immerse participants in Thai culture.

Key requirements include: 

  • Degree Holders: Applicants must have completed their degree.
  • Language Proficiency: Native English speakers or those who can prove fluency are eligible.
  • Health: Applicants should be in good physical and mental health.
  • Age Range: The program is open to individuals aged 20 to 50.
  • Nationality: Must be a passport holder from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, or Australia.
  • Certification: Completion of a 120-hour TEFL Course is required (included in the program).

Participants in the Summer Teach program significantly impact the lives of children in Thailand by providing English language education. The six-week teaching placement enables a cultural exchange that benefits both the local communities and the volunteers. Teachers contribute to enhancing the educational outcomes of their students and gain unique insights into Thai culture and educational systems. 

This teaching experience, coupled with the included TESOL certification, prepares participants for further teaching roles, both in Thailand and globally. Apply to teach today! 

Teaching Placement Program 

If you’re looking for an even more immersive and longer stay teaching program, then you might be a better fit for our teaching placement program! The Teaching Placement program in Thailand is an enriching initiative designed for individuals passionate about education and interested in experiencing life abroad. 

With options for 2-month or longer contracts, the program offers a uniquely comprehensive teaching experience. This program is ideal for those new to teaching English as a second language, as well as experienced educators looking for an adventure in a beautiful locale.

Key requirements include: 

  • Education: Applicants must hold a degree.
  • Language: Must be a native English speaker.
  • Background Check: A criminal background check is required.
  • Health: Good physical and mental health is a must.
  • Age: Applicants should be between 20 and 50 years old.

The teaching placement program significantly impacts both the volunteer teachers and their students. Teachers bring valuable English language skills to children while gaining a  deeper understanding of Thai culture and educational practices.

This experience not only boosts the CVs of the participants but also fosters global connections and mutual understanding. You are also able to develop closer connections to the local community as you have 2-months to build new relationships and friendships. 

Once you complete the TEFL course, you’ll be placed in schools across Thailand, where you teach from 8:30 AM to 4 PM on weekdays, with free evenings and weekends. The placement offers competitive pay and all public holidays off. 

A 2020 study concluded that teaching abroad resulted in volunteers becoming more mature and developing attitudes that involved more tolerance and respect. During your teaching experience, you’ll face new challenges that lead you to such moments of personal growth and maturity. 

If you’re interested in the program, you can apply now to begin your teaching journey. 

Summer of Service: Volunteer Abroad for Students with Further Travel! 

There are so many reasons why you should do Camp Thailand, from developing lifelong friendships to making a real impact on issues you are passionate about. Camp Thailand volunteers like Hannah have made lasting memories that have impacted their passions and careers: 

I’m studying an education degree at uni so having the opportunity to teach English in a school in Thailand just blows my mind. Being able to spend time with the kids and do lessons and games with them was so rewarding. My favourite class was definitely working with kindergarten. I’ve worked with kindergartners as part of one of my placements and I know I love the age group, they were just so much fun and so enthusiastic! It’s something I’ll remember forever.

If you want to join a community of students who want to do good, make friends, and take part in exciting adventures, you can join us at Camp Thailand to begin your volunteering journey. 

For next steps, you can start here and provide the necessary information to move your application forward. You can always contact us for more information–we love hearing from you. 

You can check our other Camp Thailand programs if you want to travel through the islands beyond volunteering: 

Want to explore other parts of the world? You can find other programs here: 

Apr 2, 2024

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