Covid-19: Where you can go & flexible booking
114,195 volunteers since 2007

Teaching English Volunteer Project in Chiang Rai - Thailand

Apply now. The next available start date for this project is Nov 1, 2021

In northern areas of Thailand, local 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. The focus is on providing assistance to teaching English initiatives in the local villages and hill tribes.

As a volunteer English teacher, you’ll assist local teachers and other volunteers in 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 volunteer in Thailand with IVHQ

This project is well suited to aspiring teachers as well as volunteers who are interested in teaching English to people who value the language, and would not otherwise have the chance to learn it.

As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher. However, we encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognised TEFL certification at a discounted rate.

Apply now
Apply now
Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from £373 for 2 weeks
  • Help to teach English to local children or adults

  • Volunteer under the supervision of local staff, or as the lead teacher

  • Suited to volunteers interested in education and teaching English

  • Minimum duration of 2 weeks

  • Volunteer for up to 5 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Thailand at a glance
  • Based in and around the northern city of Chiang Rai

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in dormitory-style rooms

  • Between 5 and 15 volunteers start in Thailand each month

Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Thailand, based on your country of residence.

The IVHQ Thailand volunteer program is based in Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand, which is renowned for its beautiful mountain scenery, historic sites and authentic Thai atmosphere. This is where orientation and general administration is carried out by our local team. Volunteer placements are located near the volunteer headquarters and in the hills with local hill tribes.

Volunteer Thailand programs start on the first and third Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks.

IVHQ also offer a Volunteer Program in Hua Hin on the southern coast of Thailand. Volunteers are required to fly into Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI), which is a 11 hour flight from most major airports in Britain.

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 the Monday.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI). British travellers do not require a visa to enter Thailand for a duration of 30 days. 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 – Introduction to Thailand, Thai Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Thailand, 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

​A volunteer day is subject to change depending on 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 AM - 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

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. 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 minimises 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 running water and bucket showers. Mattresses are provided in the form of traditional Thai mattresses, which are much thinner than western style. While bedding is provided, you are required to bring your own sleeping bag for the home-stay 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 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 based on appealing to the four fundamental taste senses with a balance of the following flavors: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter. 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 out 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.

“I love projects that allow you to get your hands dirty whilst also allowing you to see tangible results for your efforts so it was great to work on reinforcing the road at the village as well as clear the foundation for the church in the village. I really enjoyed the genuine look of approval and gratitude we got from the village chief as we left the village. Such a humbling experience to give so little, and yet receive so much gratitude - only wishing we could do more.” - Jacob Donatelle (Outdoor Volunteer Work in Thailand)

“This experience will change the way you see the world. You will get out of your comfort zone, you will eat different food, you will sleep on a different bed, you will work hard, you will meet interesting people from all over the world. You will help in making a difference! But for all that to happen, you must come here with an open mind and an open heart.” - Dominique Lajoie (Outdoor Volunteer Work in Thailand)

“I loved everything about my​ volunteering experience but mostly meeting so many people from​ all around the world. We all had a common interest: to help out and a love of ​t​raveling. I also loved integrating with the​ ​Thai culture through my volunteer​ experience.” - Nicole Turner (Volunteer Teaching English in Thailand)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in Thailand here


Duration Program Fee
2 weeks $500 £373
3 weeks $600 £447
4 weeks $730 £544
5 weeks $850 £634
6 weeks $960 £716
8 weeks $1,190 £888
10 weeks $1,450 £1,082
12 weeks $1,710 £1,276
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee from US$299 (approximately £223) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours.
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Thailand generally find US$20 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
Registration Fee
What it covers
  • Most affordable program fees
  • Expert support from a program specialist
  • Full MyIVHQ account access
  • Online volunteer training
  • Comprehensive preparation tools
  • IVHQ alumni rewards
Program Fee
What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Volunteer placement
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

As the working week runs from Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday​ ​to Monday is 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. Volunteers​ ​can book weekend treks through our partner organisation ​once in country.

See our Thailand Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Thailand!

Capital Bangkok
Population 66.79 million
Languages Thai
Currency Thai Baht (THB)
Time zone UTC+07:00

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.

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a national criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Thailand.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!