Volunteer Life Abroad

Volunteering in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Nepal

So you have decided to volunteer abroad. Great choice!

You come as a friend, to help, not as a tourist!

What awaits you?

You will learn so much, you never knew before. Make so many friends, you never met before! You will meet new people, make new friends, and have new experiences, gain new perspectives, many surprises and lots of learning! 

As a volunteer, your experience depends as much on you as on your project and new friends!

Volunteer Life in Asia

Living as a volunteer with Thai, Lao, Khmer, Burmese, Karen, Nepal and other ethnic groups means going local!

Going local means adapting to peoples, habits, food, weather, many things! Adapting is not always easy but a great chance to learn about another way of life, learning by doing, by living with locals.

Cross Culture Understanding important

You learn about people, their culture and living conditions. How they think and how they feel and, very important, why they think and feel like that, probably not quite like you.  

So come to our free Volunteer and Cross Culture Training week before you start

Try to understand how and why people think and feel the way they do. It will not only help you to adapt but make your volunteering so much more rewarding and fun!

That is why Openmind Projects offers a free week before you start! Welcome to our Training Center in Thailand. That includes 3 days of intense and practical hands on training. Learning about culture, language, volunteer work and teaching our Learning by Doing, Openmind Projects style!

  • Living with the Thai, Laos, Khmer, Burmese and Nepali

    You find different habits, another way to think and express themselves. Are they right or you? Maybe you both are right but different! 

  • The plan

    A plan is a plan? What you plan you will do. What your new friends plan, they may or may not do! Or they may add something to the plan. Changing plans without notice is common. It’s called flexibility, go with the flow! Learn more at our free training!

  • 'Up to you’

    Ask your local friends what they want to do, where to go, what to eat. You'll hear 'it’s up to you'. How do you know what they want? Learn at our free training!

  • 'Maybe'

    What does it mean? The word maybe is more Thai, Lao than English! As a volunteer, find out when a maybe means yes, maybe or no! Learn more at our free training!

  • The beautiful Southeast Asia smile

    The smile is a smile? Yes, you smile when you are happy. So how come your local friends smile when they are sad or even angry? Only the volunteer, not the tourist, can find out. Learn more at our free training!

  • What really matters

    What are the important things in life. Your granny or your boss? Westerners are busy, work and results. Our jobs manages our lives. And in Southeast Asia? The granny is the manager. Family and relations come first. Learn more at our free training!

  • Asia food

    It's conquering the world! Try the ever present papaya salad.  Spicy? The only way to know is to try. You are OK? Great! You are not?? Fine, now you know too. Try the fantastic curries, so many kinds. Try the seafood, the fruits. You want to test grasshoppers or fermented fish? You never know, unless you try! Learn more at our free training! Why not learn to cook Thai, Lao, Burmese, Khmer? Many volunteers go back, cock and remember.

  • The weather

    So you’re going to Southeast Asia! Welcome to sunshine, sea, sand, blue skies, never cold, right? Well, you’re right, most of the time. Sometimes more right than you would have wished, very hot,  but also sometimes quite cold in the mountains and very wet too, monsoon time. Enjoy the spectacular thunderstorms too. And the sunsets are amazing! Learn more at our free training!

  • The hong nam(toilet).

    The hong nam (Thai/Lao for bathroom/toilet). It actuallu means water room (hong=room, nam=water). And you will liteally  find water everywhere. In the village they use a squat toilet, and a small tank beside to flush by scoping water after you. And large tank for your shower, from which you scope water over yourself. Don’t use it as a bathtub! Some did. Guess how surprised their hosts were. No paper in the toilet, put in the bin, please! Well, in towns it is more like at home. 

  • A day in the life of a volunteer

    • Your volunteer day may vary and depends on you and your project. At a schools and health projects week days, weekends off. At an eco-project, it depends on local plans, season and excursions. In your free time, you can mix with your new friends go on excursions, help them in the daily life. It is up to you. The more you mix, the more you learn, the more they learn, the more you all enjoy!
  • Language

    What about the languages? Yes, they are very different, so easy grammar, but sot so difficult tones and new words. But it's fun to learn and to make local friends! Impress your friends when you go back! Start learning at our volunteer training.

  • Life in the village

    What about life in a village? So simple, so genuine, nice, but tough and poor! Learn by sharing work and life with locals! Plant rice! Make sticky rice!

  • What about life with the ethnic minorities, mountain people?

    So simple, such hardy people but poor! Again, share their daily life, new experiences you never dreamed of! Go trekking with your local friends.

  • What about life by the sea?

    So sunny, so different from the north. Such nice seafood! Go fishing, maybe diving!

    Be careful with the sun! Ask us where to go!

Volunteer with Muslim community by the sea
Volunteer and local marine staff jumping on the beach

Volunteer Accommodation

Your home away from home! Many of our projects involve living with a host family. A great way to immerse yourself in local daily life! Living conditions vary, but usually simple and traditional. You mostly have your own room and eat with your family. They include you in many family activities and you can give them a chance to practice English, learn about your life at home.

Accommodation at national parks is normally basic staff rooms or bungalows with shared bathrooms. At our Center in Thailand, you share a room. If you prefer more privacy, comfort, guesthouses are available in towns.  

The type of accommodation depends on your particular project. 

Volunteer with village kids at home-stay accommodation
Volunteer accommodation at guesthouse

Explore Asia in your free time

  • In Thailand

    So modern but also so poor. So varied nature, the seas, the sun, the sand, the mountains, the rivers the jungles, the mega city Bangkok, the isolated villages. Explore!

  • In Laos

    So much nature, so like Thailand but landlocked, mountains, rivers, jungles, many different culture, even languages! Go trekking!

  • In Cambodia

    So like Laos,  poor, nice and such old culture! Don't miss the magnificent Angkor Wat from the once great Khmer empire of Cambodia.

  • In Nepal

    So beautiful, stunning mountains, jungles and nice people of many ethnic backgrounds, All in a small country, Go trekking in the mountains, watch the 'Big One' Everest and go trekking in the jungles, meet the fearsome one, Shere Khan, the tiger in Chitwan! Where you can volunteer. 

  • Take the chance to spend time with your friends and explore Asia.

    One reason you volunteered was probably to learn about a new culture so here's your chance! We are happy to help you find activities such as trekking and scuba diving near to your placement. You can discuss and agree when to take time off with your project.

volunteer free time scuba diving
volunteer jungle trekking on free time

Volunteer Abroad Reviews