Thailand: Elephant Sanctuary Project™


Split your time between working with gentle Asian elephants and teaching English to children.
  • Responsibly care for elephants living at a true sanctuary
  • Learn about cultural, social and environmental issues related to elephant tourism
  • Teach English in a primary school classroom
  • Hike to waterfalls and soak in natural hot springs
  • Visit colorful night bazaars filled with local cuisine and handicrafts

On This Program you will...

Travel to Chiang Rai and care for elephants at one of the few true elephant sanctuaries in Thailand. These animals are an important part of Thailand’s culture. Learn how their cultural significance, conservation and place in tourism are deeply interwoven. Then, embrace the local community as you volunteer as an English teacher in local schools and make a difference in the lives of local youth. Top it all off with waterfall trails, the most beautiful view in Thailand and bustling night markets after service to inspire a lifelong appreciation for nature and cultural diversity.

Your Adventure is Just Around the Corner!

Community Service

Spend one week volunteering at a sanctuary for elephants, and another teaching English to local children in schools. The goal of the elephant sanctuary is to teach these rescued animals to lead their lives as naturally as possible. Work with experts who have committed their lives to promoting healthy relationships between humans and elephants. Harvest organic elephant food, feed the elephants, and help with daily tasks of the sanctuary. Teach English to enthusiastic primary school students who have had limited exposure to foreigners.

Immersive Learning

After decades of exploitation, there is much work to be done to restore independence, natural behaviors and dignity to Asian elephants. It depends on the awareness of travelers like you. Discuss complex cultural and ethical issues regarding captive elephant welfare, tourism and conservation. Listen to experts speak on these controversial topics, and determine your own first steps in encouraging a culture that promotes high standards of animal ethics around the world. Reflect on the similarities and differences in education systems and culture between East and West. Visit beautiful temples and experience the natural beauty of Northern Thailand.


There’s adventure to be had everywhere in Chiang Rai’s lush, rural environment! Hike a trail that leads to a breathtaking waterfall. Swim in its pools and visit a natural hot spring. You’ll also go on a full-day bicycle tour around Chiang Rai, spotting numerous temples, rice fields and orchards. At night, visit the street bazaars, shop for artisanal handicrafts and sample 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 north of Chiang Rai. In both Home Bases, students live with roommates and have access to shared bathrooms.

Program Type

Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of animals?
  • Collaborate with experts on issues surrounding animal & wildlife conservation
  • Spend time up-close and personal with elephants
  • Work side-by-side with your teen animal volunteer team as you make an impact
  • Contribute to sustainable habitat projects that will help these animals to flourish

Dates & Tuition


Elephant Sanctuary Project™

14-Day Program
2020 Dates
 June 17 – June 30, 2020
 July 3 – July 16, 2020
 July 19 – August 1, 2020
 August 4 – August 17, 2020
Duration: 14 days
Tuition: $3,799
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 30
Language Hours: N/A
More Information


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Tuition Includes All In-Country Expenses Including:

  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support

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Custom Group Travel Option

Global Leadership Adventures offers open enrollment on this program to any high school student who wishes to join any of the summer session dates listed above. Students will meet other teens from around the country and the world who sign up for the same program dates and destination.

Alternatively, this program is also available as an option for custom group travel any time of the year for those looking to put together their own group trip.

GLA Custom Group Travel works with educators, group leaders, or self-led students to create a tailored experience for their specific group of 12 or more students. Select a pre-designed itinerary or select your own countries, themes, and learning objectives. GLA’s service-learning methodology is the vehicle through which students learn, grow and challenge themselves and their fellow travelers; our host communities welcome students’ energy and helping hands.

Leadership and personal growth are the core components of all of our programs, regardless of duration, destination or theme type and can be woven throughout every aspect of the experience through our intentional design as desired by the group leader. Our programs aim to ignite participants to become inspired to be the change.

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Free Program Catalog

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