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West Coast Rural Thai School

Near Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand
from £425 (1 week)

Ref: AV083

A unique experience to live in school housing and become immersed in local Thai culture, in the mountainous and lush area of rural southern Thailand. Work as a close-knit team with enthusiastic local teachers, share ideas and help each other to effectively teach the young Thai children - through speaking, reading and writing English, singing, dancing or football. The children always love to meet and interact with new volunteers, who bring so much more to their young lives.

Who can join: 16 years and over
Accommodation: Dedicated Volunteer Apartment
Transfer time: approx 2.5 hours
Pick up Point: Phuket Airport
Meals: Lunch on school days
Volunteer numbers: approx. 2 volunteers

Duration & Fees

1 week£425
2 weeks£725
3 weeks£945
4 weeks£1,075
6 weeks£1,395

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Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Start Dates

This project runs during school term times only - from January - March; Mid-May - August and October - December.

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Accommodation
  • Lunch on school days
  • Bicycle for the duration of your stay
  • Transfers from Phuket Airport on arrival
  • Orientation and support from bilingual Project Staff
  • Financial contribution to other local social or environmental projects

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Return Transfer to Phuket Airport on departure
  • Travel Insurance, to include cover for repatriation
  • Visas if required
  • Vaccinations
  • Evening meals and weekend meals
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional excursions and activities

Highlights

  • Unique experience living in comfortable school housing, away from the tourist hotspots
  • Teach English to Thai children who have very limited contact with foreigners, to build their confidence and make a difference to their futures
  • Work as a team with local teachers, offering new approaches to teaching and creating effective learning
  • Meet other like minded volunteers
  • Experience the ‘real’ Thailand and learn some basic Thai
  • Explore this beautiful area during your free time on cycle bikes provided to all volunteers

The aim of the project is to have fluent English speaking volunteers to help young Thai students learn English, as they rarely get the chance to interact with foreigners. Although English is taught in the school, it is at a rather basic level - however the children find imaginative and fun ways to navigate the communication barriers. Overseas volunteers are able to help and teach both students and teachers to vastly improve their English speaking, writing and reading skills. As English is such an international language these language skills and increased confidence will greatly improve the children’s prospects - especially in this area of Thailand where tourism is such a dominant industry.

Volunteers will work alongside Thai teachers, sharing ideas and techniques, and working as best they can in order that students receive the best teaching possible. Thai teachers are enthusiastic and willing to help and learn. After the school day teachers and volunteers can meet to discuss the day or use this time to plan lessons together.

Typical day as a volunteer

Volunteers should expect to work from Monday to Friday, with weekends off. The teaching day starts at 8.15 am with a morning assembly, followed by classes at 8.45 am. The school day ends at 3.00 pm and is often a great time to chat with the teachers or play games with the children. There will be three hours a day of scheduled English teaching, with lessons lasting for 50 minutes, although not all of that will be teaching time. More classes can be added if desired. If volunteers have specialised skills they want to share, these can be incorporated into the English lessons too.

Teaching ranges from the youngest children in kindergarten, through to the oldest children in the sixth grade. Volunteers will get the best results for themselves and the students if they work on specific lesson plans with the English teacher, suitable for all age ranges. These can include a range of subjects and other interactive activities to engage and teach students.

Placements can last from 1-8 weeks, or longer if desired. Whilst on the programme volunteers will have access to support staff, teaching resources and Thai teachers who can assist with lesson plans. Placements are only available during school term times. 

Essential skills of a volunteer

Volunteers will need to be open-minded, patient, hard working, creative, flexible, enjoy working with children and teenagers, and have the necessary proactive skills to help these children make a better life for themselves. It would also be useful to learn some basic Thai words and phrases if time allows, and a Thai phrasebook will be provided to help with this. During the weekends volunteers will have free time to explore the area and go on their own excursions, getting the best from both worlds of travel and volunteering.

Extra Information

This school is located 2.5 hours drive North of Phuket in a town called Kuraburi and this project offers volunteers a real Thai experience, away from the tourists and the resorts. The school is off the beaten track and has plenty of exciting opportunities and excursions in which to take part, taking trips out to the coast, relaxing in the hot springs, refreshing in the waterfalls and experiencing Thailand as it used to be. 

The North Andaman coast is an ecological and cultural attraction which is still largely undeveloped and many communities still live according to local traditions. 

National Parks
Koh Surin Marine National Park and Khao Sok National Park are both within close proximity of the school. Here it is possible to see mangrove swamps, coral reefs, limestone karsts, beaches and evergreen tropical forests, all of which provide habitats for a huge array of flora, fauna and wildlife – and many of these exotic areas will be excellent places for exploration and learning.

The Koh Surin Marine National Park is 60 km from the coast of Phang Nga Province and accessible via boats which leave in the mornings, taking around 45 minutes. Enjoy fine white sandy beaches with clear waters laden with coral reefs, in marked contrast to the inland jungle.  Head here for snorkelling; there is no need to dive here as the reefs are shallow and plentiful. This is also home to the Moken Sea nomads; an ancient nomadic sea people.

Activities
Volunteers can also spend their free time enjoying homestays with locals in other nearby villages, plan eco-tours and see more of the local area.  They can also try snorkelling and scuba diving as some of the best dive sites are here in the south of Thailand.

Weather

Temperatures remain around 30°C throughout the year, reaching up to 35°C in the months of March and April, Thailand’s hottest months. 

The North Andaman region has two seasons; the dry season (November to April) and the green season (May to October).  However, it’s always a good time to visit, 

In the 'green' season from May to October, frequent rain can be expected (usually downpours of short duration, but some consider the warm showers refreshing!). Vegetation is also at its peak of lushness at this time producing an array of tropical fruit, and monsoon showers are usually followed by blue skies and brilliant sunsets - so don’t let the odd rain shower put you off. 

Getting There

Volunteers should fly into Phuket Airport, which is located in the south of Thailand. From here, volunteers will be met and transferred to the project, which will take about two hours and twenty minutes. Full details will be in the pre-departure pack sent upon booking.

Amanzi Travel holds at ATOL licence and can make any flight arrangements if required.  Please contact Amanzi Travel for information.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Near Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Rural Thai SchoolNear Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Rural Thai SchoolNear Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Rural Thai SchoolThe furnished accommodation provided for volunteers is basic but clean, comfortable and private.  Volunteers will be transferred to the school and back each day. Volunteers are also given a cycle bike to use during their free time.

Volunteers will be provided with lunch on school days.  Other meals will need to be sourced by volunteers. Local restaurants are cheap and have mouth-watering delights, and shops will sell snacks and fruits. The staple food of rice is the basis of all meals here, along with nutritious vegetables, fruit and meat.

Volunteers will be provided with breakfast and lunch at the school on school days. Evening meals and food at the weekends can be enjoyed at the cheap local restaurants in the town. The staple food of rice is the basis of all meals here, along with nutritious vegetables, fruit and meat.

Click here to view the full interactive mapThailand

Thailand overview

At the centre of Indochina, is the Kingdom of Thailand – as it officially known. Thailand nestles between Burma, Laos and Cambodia above and Malaysia below, with the Gulf of Thailand to the south and the Andaman Sea to the west.

Thailand’s second largest city of Chiang Mai is known as the Rose of the North and visitors can experience homestays in local villages, rural jungle treks and 13th century Buddhist temples. The islands on Thailand’s east coast consist of Koh Phangan, Koh Toa and Koh Samui, which are famous for Full Moon parties, diving and tourism respectively and of course white sandy beaches and coral reefs. While Koh Phi Phi was hit by the 2004 Tsunami, it is also the home of ‘The Beach’ and iconic limestone cliffs. Other synonymous activities with Thailand are Muay Thai boxing, Thai cooking courses, mountain climbing, elephant riding, river rafting, canopy walking, learning to dive and holistic retreats.

The capital city Bangkok is the country’s political, commercial and cultural hub, as well as being the gateway to Thailand for most travellers arriving by air. The city is a mixture of old and new, with high rise skyscrapers, old temples, the Royal palace, wide dominating motorways and little shops on street corners. The city is used as a hub to travel around the rest of the country and its many islands, as well as the surrounding countries. Thai people are, as throughout Asia, extremely warm and welcoming and cannot help but wear that huge Asian smile.

Highlights of country

  • Includes jungles, mountains, islands and beaches
  • Warm and friendly Thai people
  • Learn to dive in Koh Tao
  • Legendry Full Moon parties on Koh Phangan
  • Easy access to other Asian countries for further travel

Climate

SeasonsMaxMin
Summer 38 °C 230 °C
Winter 28 °C 22 °C

Thailand has a tropical climate almost all year round. Southern Thailand has two seasons; the wet season and the dry season, which are the different on the east and west coasts. The east coast has rain between September and December, while the west has heavy storms from April through until October. The south of Thailand receives the most rain, with around 2,400 mm falling each year, which is 1,000 mm more than central and northern Thailand.

Northern Thailand’s seasons are more defined. Between November and May the weather is mostly dry, except for expected rain between February and March. From November to March, there are cooling breezes in northern Thailand while the temperatures rise between March and May.

Key Facts

Population – 66.80 million
Capital - Bangkok
Currency – Thai Baht (THB)
Official languages – Thai
Time difference – GMT + 6
Telephone - +66

West Coast Rural Thai School

Our placement with this school was an unforgettable and rewarding experience. The staff and students made us feel very welcome. They have been open in sharing their culture and teaching us Thai. The students are a pleasure to teach and it is rewarding to watch them grow and show their enthusiasm. The volunteer project co-ordinators has also been amazing…flexible of our needs and always there to support us with anything we need (whether lesson materials, booking weekend getaways and recommending restaurants).

Elaine, Canada (West Coast Rural Thai School)

West Coast Rural Thai School

I loved the experience. I loved when the children responded to my teaching.  The housing was great and the people in the village were very friendly. I was touched by the benevolence and unselfishness of the staff and strangers I met exploring the village.

Kerri (West Coast Rural Thai School)

West Coast Rural Thai School

The time as an English Teacher in the Rural Thai School was great. I gained so much experience and it was always fun teaching the kids. The teachers were amazing even though there was a language barrier. They always tried to help me and I loved spending time with them. I really got to know the country, people, culture and a bit of the language!

Xenia (West Coast Rural Thai School)

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