Volunteer Abroad Life in Asia
Life as a volunteer in Thailand
- Travel as a volunteer in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or Nepal; not as a tourist! Helping others gives more meaning to your trip. Local people don’t treat you as a tourist. You impact people and they impact you! Gratifying experiences, unexpected challenges, stories to tell. See for yourself!
- Volunteer Adele from France demonstrates life and work at our Center
- Lao trainee Khem shows you why volunteer with Openmind Projects
- Khem and Renee from Germany show you our fun Learning Camps!
- ‘Why learning camps for poor village children in Southeast Asia?’ By Renee
- ‘Why teach English the fun role-play way?’ with Mike, Gabriela and Malin
Imagine yourself as a volunteer in Southeast Asia
Imagine yourself as a volunteer abroad, immersed and living in another country and culture! Imagine living in a new country with another language, food, climate and social habits. Imagine learning to appreciate this different lifestyle! Imagine testing your comfort zone and and learning how to cope with the unexpected! Imagine the many news skills you would gain! Imagine how you could grow as a volunteer abroad!
Cross Culture Understanding
Learning about another culture is fascinating and enriching. You not only learn the local do’s and don’t’s, how people behave, live, eat and dress, but also about the values behind all this, how people think. At Openmind Projects’ free training days, you learn and practice all this and learn about working as a volunteer too!
Imagine life as a volunteer abroad where:
- Your food is cheap and delicious but usually spicy, and you eat with a spoon, chopsticks or your right hand.
- You dress casually for the sun and neat for work, but when plans change, you go with the flow without a headache!
- You ask a friend where to eat and hear ‘it’s up to you’. “Maybe” could mean maybe, yes or no!
- A beautiful smile may mean yes or no, happy or not happy.
- A room with water on the floor is the ‘hong nam’, meaning room water, i.e. the bathroom.
- Standing in line, queuing, means standing in a crowd!
- Imagine being popular, by being respectful and living like a local!
- Imagine yourself in Southeast Asia!
And don’t forget:
- To respect the royal family and government in Thailand and never say anything negative.
- To cover your shoulder, elbows and knees when visiting a temple, ladies.
- To use your fingers facing down and beckon towards yourself to hail a taxi or ask for a waiter to come to your table. Not to throw things to people, which is considered rude.
- Not to say no, instead say maybe, with a smile.
A few words of advice to a volunteer
Prepare yourself by learning about volunteer life abroad before you go. Learn about country and culture, some language and volunteer work. We help you but also ask other volunteers and learn online.
You are always welcome to ask us! Once confirmed we send you an online volunteer handbook.
REMEMBER! You are welcome to come and prepare with us at our Training Center, and gain first-hand knowledge and hands-on practise at our monthly and free volunteer training before you start! Learn more
Read what UK regular volunteer Shireen and US long term volunteer Jim have to say.
Eating and living as our volunteer in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal
Southeast Asia is full of great hotels and guesthouses at bargain prices for volunteers from wealthier countries. Eating out is even more of a bargain, price-wise and taste-wise!
- You can choose to stay with a host family (often one of the teachers), at our center or a local guesthouse if you would like a bit more privacy.
- Accommodation at national parks is normally a staff room.
- At our Center in Thailand, you normally share a bedroom and shower, men and women of course separate. If you prefer more privacy and comfort, nice guest houses are available nearby.
- A shared bathroom is standard in most places where you’ll stay, except if you book an en-suite at a guesthouse.
- If you stay at our Training Center in NongKhai, Thailand you eat with our staff, trainees and volunteers for lunch and dinner on weekdays. Everybody shares and helps, cooking, cleaning and enjoying time together. You may need to find out how hot you like the food! There are lots of great eateries close by for your weekends.
- If you stay with a host family, you will eat together with the family. At weekends you normally have the choice where to eat. You may be invited to join the family or you can try out one of the local eateries or street-stands.
- If staying at a guest house you can eat at a local restaurant or maybe street-stand of your choice and if you’re staying in our home town NongKhai, you are always welcome to our Center!
- If staying at a national park or similar project, it depends on the placement. We will tell you more when you sign up for the project.
Exploring Asia while volunteering with Openmind Projects
Volunteering In Thailand
We are happy to help you find your kind of excursions, activities and treks, including to the unseen places! There is much to do and see: the ocean, beaches, mountains, rivers and jungles. There are many cities, big and small, from Bangkok to isolated villages, explore them all!
Volunteers staying at our Center, in NongKhai are often invited on weekend trips along the river, to Laos or to villages where our people come from!
Volunteering in Laos
Laos is a small country with beautiful mountains to trek and many rivers, waterfalls and green jungles to explore. You will encounter many different ethnic groups and cultures in Laos, even speaking different languages!
Volunteering in Cambodia
Cambodia, a country with a tragic history, has a very interesting and ancient culture, beautiful nature, mountains, jungles and the sea. Do not miss the world famous and magnificent Angkor Wat outside the city of Siem Reap, dating from the once-great Khmer empire of Cambodia. Hak, our former trainee, in whose village you can volunteer, can take you there.
Volunteering in Nepal
Explore one of the most beautiful countries in the world with its Himalayas, lush jungles and wildlife. You will meet friendly people of many ethnic backgrounds in this small and very poor country!
Don’t forget to visit our neighboring countries if you have the time as our volunteer!
You are most welcome to come and volunteer abroad in Southeast Asia!