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West Coast Thai Junior School

Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand
from £695 (2 weeks)

Ref: AV082

A chance to experience Thai, Muslim and Burmese communities all under one roof in the integrated Kuraburi Junior School. Get interactive and teach English to this mixture of eager children  and make a difference inside and outside of the classroom whilst enjoying southern Thai life. Experience one of the first Thai and Burmese integrated schools in this area of Thailand.

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

Duration & Fees

2 weeks£695
3 weeks£945
4 weeks£1,075
6 weeks£1,495
8 weeks£1,795

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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 is available all year round except for school holidays: March - mid May; and mid September - late October

Payment

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

What's Included

  • Transfer from Phuket Airport on arrival
  • Orientation and support from bilingual project staff
  • A donation to the school
  • Accommodation and lunch on school days
  • Visitors' handbook and Thai phrasebook
  • A financial contribution to other local social and environmental projects

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Transfer back to Phuket Airport (we can pre-arrange this for you on request)
  • Travel insurance including cover for repatriation
  • Visas
  • Vaccinations
  • Breakfasts and dinners
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional excursions

Highlights

  • Teach English to children in one of the first Burmese-Thai integrated schools, and help them build their confidence in dealing with foreigners
  • Develop professional skills while making a real difference to these children's lives
  • Meet other like minded volunteers
  • Experience the ‘real’ Thailand and learn some basic Thai while working away from the tourist area
  • Explore this beautiful area during your free time on cycle bikes provided to all volunteers

Junior School

The aim of this programme is to teach English as a second language to the children of Kuraburi Junior School.  Tourism is the main industry and associated income in the area in which the school is located.  Locations such as the Andaman Islands and the Khao Sok National Park are attractive to overseas visitors, so it is hoped that many of these children will go on to work in the leisure and tourism industry, where dealing with foreigners and speaking the English language is vital.

For this reason volunteers for whom English is their main language - or others who are fluent in English - are so important to these children, as daily interaction will improve their confidence in spoken English, and improve their ability to deal with tourists in the future. 

This school is unique amongst other schools in the region in that it caters for children from Thai, Muslim and Burmese communities. Often in Thailand, Burmese children are segregated within the Thai school system and do not attend local government school. Instead they are expected to work as child labourers, earning their living working in rubber plantations or local fisheries, to help support their struggling families. 

Burmese migrants have very little interaction with foreigners and are not confident in speaking English. The input of volunteers can make a profound difference to the lives of these 3-13 year old children. Having the opportunity to learn English from a native speaker, and hence gain confidence, will often enhance their success at school and lead to better prospects in the future, with often much greater success than the elder members of their families. 

Who can Volunteer?

Whether volunteers are experienced teachers, or just have the drive, enthusiasm and creativity for interacting and teaching children - they are all very welcome at the Kuraburi Junior School. Perhaps they may be teaching the children about body-parts through drawings, games and songs - this will always end in laughter as well as learning!

Volunteers will be provided with an ideas pack that has been developed by previous volunteers.  This pack contains ideas for games and activities and is a great starting place from which to develop lesson plans. 

Volunteer daily routine

Volunteers cycle to the school - approximately 2-3 kilometres on nice, level, paved roads.  They will leave at around 7.00 am from their accommodation, having already had breakfast.  Volunteers tend to leave the school at approximatley 3.30 pm to cycle back to the volunteer acommodation. Children learn Thai, Maths, Science, IT, Art, English and Sports at school, the younger children having one hour of English per week, while those in Grades 4--6 will have two hours.  These English lessons are dependent on the teaching staff available.

The classes between the Burmese students and Thai students are now integrated and one of the main roles of the volunteer is to encourage positive interaction and integration.  Lessons are taught in their own language but they also study English and volunteers may be asked to assist with these students. Class sizes are generally small - the exception to this is one class where all 50 children are taught in one classroom with two teachers, one for kindergarten and one for the other grades.

The Kuraburi school of 165 children hopes to break the poverty cycle for many children and families in Thailand by giving both Thai and Burmese children the opportunity to learn English to a high standard.  

Essential skills for volunteers

Volunteers will need to be open-minded, patient, creative, respecful of different cultures, flexible, independent, motivated, 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 Thai words and phrases if time allows - a Thai phrasebook will be provided to help with this.

Everyone has a valuable contribution to make. An ideal volunteer will be able to commit to a minimum period of two weeks. 

Extra Information

The school is located om Kuraburi town, about 2.5 hours north of Phuket and 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; perhaps trips out to the coast or to the hot springs and waterfalls near Ranong, experiencing Thailand as it used to be.

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

National Parks

Koh Surin Marine National Park and Khao Sok National Park are both close to the orphanage.  Here there are 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.  These parks - which have many contrasting exotic areas - are 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, the trip taking around 45 minutes. Enjoy fine white sandy beaches with clear waters laden with coral reefs. 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 visiting homestays with local families in other nearby villages, planning and taking eco-tours and seeing more of the local area.   Snorkelling and scuba diving are very popular 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. Volunteers will be met here and transferred to the project, which will take approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. Full details will be in the pre-departure pack, sent upon booking.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and can make any flight arrangements for volunteers.  Please contact Amanzi Travel for details.

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.

Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Thai Junior School Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Thai Junior School Kuraburi, North of Phuket, Thailand, West Coast Thai Junior School The furnished accommodation provided for volunteers is basic but clean, comfortable and private.  Volunteers are given a cycle bike to use during their free time and to get to and from the school each day.  The cycle ride is approximatley 2 - 3 Kilometres and it s a lovley ride each morning. 

Volunteers will be provided with lunch on school days. Breakfast will need to be eaten before the bus arrives as there are no restaurants near the school. 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.

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 Thai Junior School

This project is perfect for volunteers who not only want to teach English but that also want to collaborate with your teacher counterpart to come up with new interactive teaching techniques! I would highly recommend this project to anyone thinking about joining. I had a great time without a doubt!

Charlotte, Dutch (West Coast Thai Junior School )

West Coast Thai Junior School

We had the most fantastic time at Kuraburi Junior School. It was a challenging experience, but incredibly rewarding and we would recommend it highly to those who want to really help with a genuine company that is doing some fantastic work within development in Thailand.

Beth & Jessica, UK (West Coast Thai Junior School )

West Coast Thai Junior School

My seven weeks volunteering at the Kuraburi Junior School have been some of the most challenging weeks of my life, but also some of the best ones I’ve had. The children I have been working with will always be in my heart and I can defiantly say that they have changed my life!

Helena (West Coast Thai Junior School )


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