Volunteering in Thailand

Click here to view our Volunteer Package Option (Package B)
Volunteer Reflections (Click here to see what past volunteers have had to say about their experiences

Why volunteer?
Volunteering abroad is a way to make a worthwhile contribution to another country while simultaneously broadening your life experiences. Volunteer EFL/ESL teaching adds valuable practical teaching hours to your CV, making you more attractive to prospective employers in the future.

Volunteering can be a life-changing experience. Many people are content to spend their time abroad lying on a beach or sitting in bars. If you are looking for a more substantial experience, then volunteering provides you with a purpose and gives you the chance to explore places off the beaten track. It can also allow you to live among the communities you are helping.

There are many reasons for wanting to volunteer abroad whether you are taking a gap year, a career break or a working vacation. The welcoming attitude of the Thai people, their desire at all ages to learn English, the beauty of the environment and the integrity of Thai culture, makes Thailand an ideal place for volunteering as an EFL/ESL teacher.

Although Thailand is a hugely popular tourist destination, the level of spoken English is quite low in most areas. Volunteer EFL teachers are desperately needed to build students’ confidence and encourage them to use their English language skills.

Make a Difference
As a TEFL volunteer with Island TEFL, you can make a difference to the local people of Koh Samui. Not only will you be giving something back to our wonderful community and immersing yourself in the Thai culture of this tropical island paradise, but you’ll also be making a difference to yourself and broadening your horizons. Due to low budgets, the majority of public schools on Koh Samui have no native-speaking English teachers, so the staff and students are very appreciative of our volunteers, and the generous commitment they make to the schools. The children are welcoming and very respectful of all volunteer teachers, making your experience one that you will never forget.

A Flexible Schedule
Unlike paid employment, volunteer teaching with Island TEFL provides a more flexible schedule and you can vary your level of commitment. Most volunteers choose to teach around 3 hours per day, 2 days per week, but the schools are very flexible and will accommodate other hours and days of work whenever possible. Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 25 students. You can choose which age levels that you would prefer to teach, working in collaboration with the school's Head of English.

Improve your Resume
Many employers understand the value of an employee who has devoted time to volunteering. If you have TEFL volunteer teaching experience on your resume/CV, it shows that you are flexible, patient and committed, and that you have experienced living and working in a foreign environment.

By volunteering with Island TEFL, you can add invaluable hours of practical EFL teaching experience to your resume/CV. The Director or Head of English at your host school will provide you with a Letter of Appreciation, indicating the levels taught and the number of teaching hours completed. This will be extremely beneficial to you if you go on to apply for EFL/ESL teaching positions in the future.

TEFL Training
Our belief is that to be an effective EFL/ESL Volunteer Teacher, you must possess the skills and knowledge necessary to enable you to confidently step into your classroom and deliver well-planned, stimulating, effective and fun lessons to your students.

With this belief in mind, all our volunteers must successfully complete Island TEFL’s 4-week certificate TEFL course before commencing a volunteer placement with us in a local Thai school. The course will equip you with everything you need, including confidence, in order to make you a valuable asset to the school. During the course, you will undertake observed teaching practices in primary schools (maybe even the school where you will be volunteering). This gives you a very clear insight into the levels of ability, the school environment and the people you will be working with (both students and fellow teachers).

Teaching practices are also conducted with adult learners.

After graduation from the TEFL course, it is up to you when you start your volunteer placement (depending on schools being in session, and not closed for holidays). Most volunteers want to get straight into it, and start immediately after the course. Others have a week or two to chill and travel a bit, then start their volunteer placement. Some choose to do the course and delay their volunteering start date to best suit future travel plans (work/family commitments at home; extended travel; etc.). We will do our best to accommodate your plans and preferences.

Visa Assistance
Island TEFL will assist you with obtaining the appropriate visa - in most cases, a Non Immigrant ED or O Visa - which will cover the period of the TEFL course and your Volunteer Placement. You don’t need a work permit to volunteer.

What You Get
At Island TEFL we offer a 1-month TEFL Volunteer Program, designed to suit your needs. All volunteer placements are in local Thai schools here on Koh Samui, so you receive a very authentic experience, teaching local Thai children.
All Island TEFL volunteers will receive the following:

Island TEFL’s 4-Week Certificate TEFL Course (which includes 8 hours of teaching practice in local Thai schools and resorts/businesses and 1-1 tutoring).

Private Accommodation for the duration of the course and your volunteer placement.
Your own Volunteer Placement Coordinator who will liaise with you and your host school, set up your volunteer teaching timetable, meet with you on a weekly basis to provide support, advice and assistance, and organize your Letter of Appreciation from your host school.

A mobile phone with an international SIM card, enabling you to keep in touch with family and friends, and also with your Coordinator and school.

Free transport upon arrival from the airport to your accommodation.

Volunteer Reflections (Click here to see what past volunteers have had to say about their experiences)