Volunteer in Thailand

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  • Overview

    It is estimated that there are over 300,000 stray dogs in Thailand, a number that grows each year as these dogs continue to reproduce at alarming rates. With a 70% puppy mortality rate and 90% of dogs having ticks & fleas, these dogs are in need of care. As a Greenheart Travel volunteer group, you will help these animals have a healthy life while working with the community to encourage humane treatment of dogs. Your group will work directly with trained veterinarians and staff to perform the following tasks:

    • Participate in daily feeding runs
    • Monitor the health of the different dog packs around Hua Hin
    • Assist in veterinarian services like administering tic and flea medication
    • Dog walking
    • Animal behavior training
    • Befriend local dog packs to build trust with humans
    • Cleaning of the clinic and general maintenance

    Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Project by the Global Youth Travel Awards!

    GYTA presentation

  • Eligibility

    This program is open to groups of people who meet the following requirements:

    • All group members are a minimum of 14 years old
    • Be in good physical shape for manual labor
    • Be open minded and curious about the environment and culture of Thailand

    *We are also able to accommodate corporate volunteer groups, individual adults, and families. Please email us if you’re interested at travelabroad@greenheart.org

  • Start Dates

    We offer start dates on the first and third Monday of each month! If this does not work for your group, let us know so we can arrange an alternative start date; we can be flexible.

    Please apply at least 3 months prior to when your group hopes to arrive.

    Arrival and Departure

    • Arrive at the Bangkok Airport on their start date (Monday) before 12:00pm
      • Transfer to project site upon arrival
    • Depart from Bangkok Airport on the Monday at the end of their program  after 12:00pm
      • Transfer from project site to airport in the morning

    Please note: Greenheart Travel does not include flights in the cost of the program. If you wish for Greenheart Travel to book flights, we will add this to your total program fee.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    Program Fees Per Teen 

    2 weeks: $2,050

    4 weeks: $2,430

    Please note, all prices are listed in USD. Please refer to the payment schedule here.

    What’s Included:

    During your program:

    • Airport pickup and drop off to/from Bangkok Airport
    • Accommodations in volunteer bunkhouses
    • Daily transportation to/from accommodation and program center
    • 3 meals per day
    • Medical/accident insurance
    • 24-hour long distance and local emergency support
    • On-site arrival orientation and training
    • Local cultural activities, such as a Thai cooking class, monk-led meditation session, or visit to a temple cave

    Pre-departure resources and training: 

    • Personal assistance from a Greenheart Travel program manager
    • Comprehensive program handbook
    • Online pre-departure orientation with Greenheart Travel (on in-person for Chicago-based teen groups)
    • Culture & etiquette guidebook
    • The Greenheart Travel Atlas, an interactive guide to your cross-cultural experience


    • Donation to support the Greenheart Odyssey, an award-winning youth leadership development program
    • Certificate of Completion upon request for successful completion of the program

    What’s Not Included:

    • Flight to Thailand
    • Visa to Thailand
    • Spending money for personal purchases, tourism or optional activities
  • Accommodation

    Groups will stay in a room at the volunteer guest residence. It is located about a 10-minute drive from the temple and volunteer program center, or a long walk. Your group may share a room with other participants, but you will be separated by gender. There are modern bathrooms, showers and sinks. There is only cold water.  Electric fans, pillows and clean bed sheets are provided, but each students should plan to bring their own towel. Meals will be eaten in the common rooms.

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    Greenheart Travel is a non-profit, mission based organization committed to making a positive, long-lasting impact in the communities where we work. We partner with a local, grassroots non-profit organizatios in Thailand to not only to create the most impactful program, but also to guarantee your volunteer work will make a difference.

    Greenheart Travel has been operating volunteer abroad programs for many years. We are proud of our authentic, hands-on opportunities on 4 different continents, which allow you to provide service hours to communities around the world! There are lots of advantages to traveling with us:

    Personalized & Consistent Support

    • Our staff is in Chicago – we are available to answer questions during US business hours
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from staff who have actually volunteered abroad themselves
    • Hands on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • An experienced program manager will personally review your application to make sure this is the right program for you

    Global Community of Volunteers

    Top-Notch Materials & Preparation

    • Extensive program handbook to prepare you for life abroad
    • Online pre-departure orientation with focus on cultural training and expectations
    • “Travel For A Change” T-shirt
    • Thailand Culture Smart! Guide Book

    Don’t just take our word for it! Check out independent reviews from past participants of Greenheart Travel programs here.

  • For Parents

    The decision to send your teenager abroad can be difficult and there are a lot of questions to consider. We understand your concerns and the Greenheart Travel staff is there for you every step of the way! We want to make the process of traveling and volunteering abroad as fun and painless as possible for you and your child. Here are some of the common questions we get from parents as they consider the program:

    What does it mean for my child to be in good mental health in the program eligibility requirements?

    Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to the most well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of candidates.

    We may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Depression
    • Obsessive compulsive disorder
    • Debilitating anxiety
    • Eating disorders

    If the student’s mental health issue has been resolved (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.

    What’s the weather like?

    Thailand is tropical, and the weather is hot and humid for most of the year. They do have a rainy season, but the time of the year varies by area. In the south and west, the rainy season is from April to October. In the west and north, the rain falls between September and December.

    How does my child get a visa?

    You will need a volunteer visa (Type O) for Thailand if you are staying 4 weeks or longer. If you are staying 2-3 weeks, you can simply use the tourist visa that you will get upon arrival at the airport in Bangkok.

    We will provide all the paperwork, directions, and help you through this whole process so it’s nothing to worry about!

    Can we submit one application per group?

    Every member of the group, including chaperones, will be required to submit individual applications. See the application instructions here and payment process here.

    Are there any required vaccinations for Thailand?

    While there are no required vaccinations for Thailand, we highly recommend that you see a doctor or travel clinic for advice on vaccinations. You can find more details about recommended vaccinations on the CDC website.

    Will my child have access to internet?

    Broadband internet is easily accessible throughout Thailand. Many internet cafes are available throughout Thailand, and mobile internet SIM cards are available for about 800 THB per month.

    What if my child doesn’t speak Thai?

    No problem! It is not necessary to speak Thai to apply for this program. You will receive some introductory lessons to the language during orientation, and the volunteer staff would love to help you learn the language!

    Can my child use their credit card in Thailand?

    Major credit cards are accepted by hotels and large shops, but cash is the ideal method of payment almost everywhere. Typically, establishments will only accept credit cards for large purchases, so plan on paying for most things in cash.

    Is Thailand safe for my child?

    Thailand is a very safe and frequented destination for foreign visitors for decades. Through program materials, online pre-departure orientations and on-site orientations and trainings, students are given adequate preparation for expectations during the program, including health and safety.

    Greenheart Travel always puts the safety of our participants first and it is our number one priority, and we would never send students somewhere we wouldn’t go ourselves. Several Greenheart Travel staff have lived in Thailand and we visit frequently. We certainly wouldn’t be in business for 30 years if we didn’t take safety very seriously. We recently hosted a webinar about safety & security abroad if you would be interested in watching it here.

    Is the water safe to drink?

    The accommodation will provide you with safe and filtered drinking water.

    What if my child has an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

    We can cater to vegetarian or vegan needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met. In some cases you may need to provide your own food.

    What my child do in his or her free time?

    When your child is not volunteering, they will be participating in organized cultural activities or excursions, and optional supervised excursions. They will also be allowed to spend time relaxing at the volunteer accommodation or visit the beach. Your child will not be permitted to be alone or unsupervised during this program.

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk with us about the program? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

  • Application Process

    Committing to a volunteer abroad program is an exciting time, and we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the 4 steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.

    Once you begin your application, you have two weeks to finish.

    1. Start Your Application Here (Approximately 5 Minutes): Greenheart Travel Application.

    2. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): After you complete Part 1 of your application, you (and your parent(s) if you’re under 18) will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program.

    4. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): You will need to submit your $300 deposit at this point in the process. A deposit is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

    5. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): This is the most in-depth part of the application process as it helps us get to know you better. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to volunteer abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience.

    6. Acceptance: Once you’ve completed all the steps, Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 business days about your acceptance the next steps.

    Payment Schedule

    As for the payments, you will be required to pay a $300 deposit when you submit your application, and then a second $300 placement deposit will be due after your acceptance. The final balance of the program is due 35 days before departure. We do not deviate from this schedule and you can pay online via credit card.

    After Applying, Now What?

    Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 business days to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

    Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. You should expect to receive an orientation packet via email, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule a pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have.

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