Thailand: Elephant & Education Initiative™
Split your time between working with gentle Asian elephants and teaching English to children.
- Responsibly care for elephants living at a sanctuary for rescue elephants
- Learn about cultural, social and environmental issues related to elephant tourism
- Meet enthusiastic Thai youth and make a difference in their lives
- Volunteer and help with educational needs around a primary school classroom
- Visit colorful night bazaars filled with local cuisine and handicrafts
On This Program you will...
Journey to enchanting Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, where you’ll have a chance to engage with Thai youth, as well as Asian elephants. Make unforgettable connections with Thai students through community service at a rural primary school, and take part in a cultural exchange at a local high school. Then, live alongside elephants at a sanctuary, while you learn about how to care for these animals that are an integral part of Thai culture, conservation and tourism. Cook your own fabulous cuisine, shop at bustling markets and explore the rich history and culture of Thai temples.
Your Adventure is Just Around the Corner!
Spend one week volunteering at an elephant sanctuary, and another teaching English to local children in schools. The goal of the sanctuary is to teach these rescued animals to lead their lives as naturally as possible. Work with experts, harvest organic elephant food, feed the elephants, and help with daily tasks of the sanctuary. Then, teach English to primary school students with limited exposure to foreigners. Get to know Thai culture through your peers at a local high school. You’ll all share your cultures with one another during a cultural exchange.
After decades of exploitation, there is much work to be done to restore natural behaviors to Asian elephants. It depends on the awareness of travelers like you. Discuss complex issues regarding captive elephant welfare, tourism and conservation, and listen to experts speak on these topics. Then, reflect on the similarities and differences in education systems and culture between East and West. Learn how speaking with a native English speaker can help young learners with language skills and confidence.
There’s adventure to be found everywhere in Chiang Mai. You’ll visit Thai markets, local parks and attractions, and the famous mountain temple of Doi Suthep. Learn the art of Muay Thai boxing and visit a local hill tribe, where with a little luck you may have a chance to shoot a traditional bow and arrow. At night, visit the famed Chiang Mai night bazaar, shopping for handicrafts and sampling Thai cuisine.
Students travel to two different Home Bases on this program. At the elephant sanctuary, the group stays on premises. Wake up to elephants meandering feet from your window! During the rest of the program, students stay at a boutique resort in Chiang Mai. In both Home Bases, students live with roommates and have access to shared bathrooms.
Thailand Travel Requirements
Good news! As of May 1, 2022, Thailand will be dropping COVID-19 testing procedures upon arrival for fully vaccinated travelers. This means that fully vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to show proof of a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR test, nor will they need to undergo an arrival test and quarantine.
In order to enjoy these new reduced restrictions, everyone needs to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and up-to-date according to the vaccination schedule.
Everyone will still be required to register for a Thailand Pass with a Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination and a travel insurance policy with medical coverage no less than $10,000 USD (reduced from $20,000 USD).
PLEASE SEE THE DATES & TUITION SECTION FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Dates & Tuition
Elephant & Education Initiative™
|JUN 14 – JUN 27, 2023|
|JUL 01 – JUL 14, 2023|
|JUL 18 – JUL 31, 2023|
COVID Surcharge: $300
Final Antigen COVID-19 test to return home
Tuition Includes All In-Country Expenses Including:
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- In-country transportation
- 3 meals per day
- Professional full-time staff and experts
- 24/7 parent support hotline during the program
- Secondary medical and evacuation insurance
- Cultural activities, lectures and excursions
- Pre-departure materials and support
- Educational materials