Applications for LE thailand summer 2018 will reopen next fall!


Dates:

Orientation: June 15-17

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Midpoint Break: July 8

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Wrap-Up: July 29

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Ideal volunteer:

  • Takes initiative and is resourceful. Teaching and living abroad can create unexpected challenges.
  • Is open-minded and independent. You may be the only volunteer in your village.
  • Is a leader and service orientated. Volunteers complete service project: see below.
  • Takes initiative and is resourceful. Teaching and living abroad can create unexpected challenges.
  • Is open minded and adaptive. Living conditions, culture and traditions greatly differ to those of the US and UK.
  • Understands the program begins the moment of acceptance. Teaching takes place through the school year, volunteers must be prepared to teach full classes in state schools.

things to know:

  • Volunteers will be staying in Phichit, a province in North Central Thailand approximately 210 miles (or a 4 hour drive) north of Bangkok. The province is made up of rural towns and villages. Most have paved, albeit pot-holed, roads but lack infrastructure. Phichit is located on swampland, so be prepared for mosquitoes and lizards! Malaria is not a problem, but certain diseases should be vaccinated against before travel - see your physician or a travel vaccine specialist before departure.
  • The country is mostly Buddhist, so although you won't be obligated to participate in Buddhist worship, it is almost certain that your host family will take you to see various temples, festivals, etc.
  • The culture is quite hierarchical. It goes without saying to show respect to the royal family.
  • This program has no language requirement, but any experience with Thai is welcome! This year, LE in Thailand is expanding to a school for deaf students, so there will be a spot reserved for a student who knows sign language!
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Host Community:

The towns are essentially hybrids of rural villages and suburbs - there are paved roads but poor infrastructure. All houses have running water but might not have automatic flushing toilets. Some houses will have air conditioning and some will have hot water. Internet should be accessible from most houses and/or schools, but not convenient to Western Standards.

Host families may or may not have children. The food is usually diverse with lots of vegetables and meat - pork is a particular staple in most Thai meals. Vegans and vegetarians fare very well; however, keeping Kosher or Halal is virtually impossible. Host families are very hospitable. Most are Buddhist and may participate in religious ceremonies.

Another important mindset for the program is to embrace the culture with an open mind. Volunteers may find that the Thai students are not the only ones learning. Keeping an open mind will pave the way for a true exchange of ideas and will "expand horizons" for everyone involved.


Teaching:

Our mission is to increase access to education and this could mean bringing the class to the student. Volunteers teach classes during the school year (Thai school system vacations are in March-April and October). Volunteers will teach in schools within their communities, and will inherit the teacher's classes throughout the length of the program. Each class can be as small as 10 students or as large as 50 students. Volunteers also teach classes after school to teachers and other community members. In total, volunteers teach between 20-25 hours a week.

Volunteers should not be surprised by occasionally overwhelming attention from students and teachers. They will likely be so grateful to have you in their schools and want to spend time with you. The most important aspect of teaching is to have fun! You are not subjugated to the norms of teaching: mix things up and have a great time while learning. Volunteers are encouraged to use creative methods in the classroom and to focus on the communicative side of the English language, rather than on grammar. You can accomplish this through games, theatre, songs, art and crafts or whatever you're into! We want our volunteers to bring their own personality to their lesson planning!


Some awesome things about Thailand:

  • Teachers are held in very high regard. Volunteers are often treated like celebrities.
  • The people are generally extremely hospitable and will go out of their way to make you happy.
  • Food is cheap and good! You won't go hungry.
  • There are some beautiful places to visit, including Chiang Mai (about 4 hours north of Phichit).

Also check out Thailand's Addendum and Budget!

Check out LE Thailand's YouTube Channel, while you're at it!