Teaching English Volunteer Project in Thailand - Chiang Rai
Want to Teach English as a volunteer in Thailand - Chiang Rai? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching English project empowers volunteers to assist with educational initiatives in local villages and hill tribes in northern Thailand. Volunteers will gain teaching experience while helping provide language learning for people who otherwise have limited access to formal education. Learning English can open the door to a swathe of employment opportunities for people in Thailand.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from AU$702 for 2 weeks
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Teach English to locals in villages or from hill tribes
Explore Thailand’s tropical jungles and breathtaking beaches
Stay with other volunteers in a village of rustic huts
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
In northern areas of Thailand, rural people have very limited access to formal education. There is a real need for volunteers to assist in teaching not only young children, but also adults from surrounding hill tribes and local villages.
As a Teaching English volunteer you’ll assist local teachers and other volunteers in taking lessons for students of all ages. You can also expect to teach some classes on your own. Time is set aside each day for you to prepare your lessons. Teaching English volunteer duties can vary but often include:
- Teaching classes
- Tutoring students in groups or individually
- Helping with pronunciation and word use
- Arranging educational activities
- Helping students with conversational practice
Why do Teaching English volunteering in Chiang Rai with IVHQ?
As a volunteer English teacher in Chiang Rai you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Helping students access language learning opportunities
- Supporting local education initiatives
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining teaching experience
- Immersing yourself in Thai culture
- Learning about the hill tribes of northern Thailand
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Thailand photo gallery
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
”IVHQ Thailand was the amazing experience I was looking for! The staff was incredible and working with them and the local school helped me decide to be an international teacher! My favorite moment was meeting all new people and hearing their stories of where they have been or where they are going. Also getting close to the staff and feeling like I could talk ...to them if I had a problem. I think that volunteers should know that teaching is not easy and you do have to make sure you take the time to plan out lessons. As a certified teacher I have experience with lesson planning but those that don't should just be sure to put in some time into what you are doing and volunteering for. I had a great experience in Thailand and with IVHQ and it has made me want to travel more and continue with new adventures!” read more
Read reviews from Teaching English volunteers in Chiang RaiSee more reviews
Chiang Rai is a city in the northernmost province of Thailand renowned for its beautiful mountain scenery, historic sites and authentic Thai atmosphere. It’s a great spot for those wanting to get off the beaten path and experience Thailand in a more relaxed manner than you might do in the bustling capital city of Bangkok or the popular islands of the south.
While Thailand is considered a reasonably well-developed country with low rates of extreme poverty and unemployment, there is an enormous socio-economic disparity between the wealthy and the rest of the population. Volunteers provide valuable assistance with improving conditions for low-income communities and contribute to local initiatives that help Thailand continue to develop and reduce inequalities. Volunteer placements are located near the volunteer headquarters in Chiang Rai and in the hills with local hill tribes.
Arrival and orientation
The Thailand volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and you need to arrive in Chiang Rai before 5pm on Monday.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation a short drive from Chiang Rai. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night of your program orientation.
If you are travelling in Thailand prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in Chiang Rai at 11am on the Monday morning.
On Monday, you’ll spend the day resting, meeting other volunteers and the local team. Orientation is hosted by our local team at the office in Chiang Rai. Orientation begins on the Tuesday morning after your chosen start date and runs for the entire day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Thailand – an introduction to Thailand, Thai customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Thailand, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.
Volunteer schedule example
Weekdays: A volunteer day is subject to change depending on your particular project and placement and the time of year that you are volunteering. A typical daily schedule might be as follows:
|8:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation|
|8:30 AM||Morning meeting for all volunteers|
|9:00 - 11:30 AM||Volunteer work begins. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. Lunch breaks vary in time depending on the working schedule, but all volunteers get an hour to eat and relax|
|1:00 PM||Volunteer work continues|
|5:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer accommodation|
|6:00 PM||Volunteers have free time to spend as they wish; however, many volunteers use this time to plan lessons or do extra work for their projects|
Weekends: As the working week runs from Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday and Monday are considered the weekend for volunteers on the Thailand program. During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Chiang Rai and Thailand.
In Chiang Rai alone you can visit Wat Rong Khun, the breathtakingly ornate White Temple; see Wat Phra Kaew, the original home of the famous Emerald Buddha which now resides in Bangkok; or do some shopping and sample the fabulous food at the daily Night Bazaar or at the Walking Street Market during the weekend where a whole street closes to traffic to accommodate stalls and stands. It’s also a great place to go cycling, take a hike or learn about the region’s long and rich history and diverse culture. Other parts of Thailand offer spectacular scenery and wildlife, phenomenal beaches and an amazing selection of adventure and relaxation activities.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated on-site at our local team’s headquarters in Chiang Rai. You will live in a communal environment with other staff and volunteers in separate male and female lodgings. The accommodation in Thailand is well integrated into the surrounding environment and has a traditional village feel.
You can expect to stay in dormitory-style huts that are cool in summer and warm in winter with an environmentally-friendly design that minimizes tree logging. The windows and doors are also fitted with mosquito screens.
The living conditions are basic and volunteers should be prepared to have cold water and bucket showers. Mattresses are provided in the form of traditional Thai mattresses, which are much thinner than western ones. While bedding is provided, you are required to bring your own sleeping bag for the homestay experience and weekends away.
Generally, in the second week of a volunteer program, all Outdoor Work volunteers are taken on a homestay experience, working on a construction (or similar) project and living within the local community. Teaching English and Childcare volunteers usually have a non-working homestay experience over their first weekend on the program. Both of these are subject to change, depending on circumstances. Living conditions in the villages are more basic and squat toilets and cold bucket showers are the norm. During the weekends (Sunday to Monday), volunteers can stay at the local team’s headquarters, however, many volunteers choose to travel and return on Monday evening in time for work on Tuesday.
WiFi is available at the local team’s headquarters; however, the connection is limited so we recommend bringing an unlocked phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Thailand. The local team can assist you in purchasing a SIM card during your program orientation. You can also access WiFi at cafes and restaurants in Chiang Rai.
Traditional Thai cuisine is designed to appeal to the four fundamental taste senses with a balance of sour, sweet, salty, and bitter flavors. Common ingredients in Thai cooking include fish sauce, shrimp paste, chili paste, coconut milk, and lime juice. Staple foods include rice, rice noodles, vegetables, and herbs. Food served at the volunteer accommodation during the weekdays are typically hill tribe and Thai style meals; however, Western style food is also served occasionally.
During the weekends, food is not provided and volunteers purchase food at local shops and cook for themselves, or eat in town. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|2 weeks||AU$702 Equivalent to AU$51/day|
|3 weeks||AU$843 Equivalent to AU$41/day|
|4 weeks||AU$1025 Equivalent to AU$37/day|
|5 weeks||AU$1194 Equivalent to AU$35/day|
|6 weeks||AU$1349 Equivalent to AU$33/day|
|8 weeks||AU$1672 Equivalent to AU$30/day|
|10 weeks||AU$2037 Equivalent to AU$30/day|
|12 weeks||AU$2403 Equivalent to AU$29/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of AU$420 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Thailand generally find US$30-50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Check what's required to visit Thailand
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Currency||Thai Baht (THB)|
Weather and climate: The climate in Thailand varies between the north and south regions, however, the temperature is relatively hot year-round throughout the country. The southern coastal region is characterised by a monsoon climate, which brings heavy rainfall from April to October in the South West and from September to December in the South East. In central and northern inland parts of Thailand, the climate is tropical with the rainy season lasting from May to November, bringing hot and humid weather. During the dry season, temperatures are cool from November to February and are hot from March to May. In Chiang Rai, the hottest average temperature is 36°C (96.8°F) in April and the coolest average temperature is 15°C (59°F) in December. Please see Weather Spark for more details on the climate and weather forecast.