Volunteer Life Abroad

Volunteer life in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Nepal

You have decided to volunteer abroad. Great choice

What awaits you as a volunteer in Southeast Asia?

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 new friends!

Volunteer Life in Asia

Life as a volunteer abroad means immerse yourself, go local!

Going local means adapting to people, habits, food, weather, lots oif sometimes unexpected stuff! Adapting is not always easy but a great chance to learn about another way of life, to adapt, to learn about yourself, about the limits of your comfort zone

Cross Culture Skills

Learn about another culture, their values and do's and do'nts, their lives. How do they think, how do they feel and why? 

A Volunteer and Cross Culture Training that makes a difference

It is free and before you start!

Openmind Projects is the only organisation that offers a free week before you start! Meet and mix with our people for 2 days and then 3 days of intense, hands on training. Learn about culture, language, volunteer work and teaching. Learn about Learning by Doing, Openmind Projects style!

  • Volunteer life 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! 

  • What is a 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!

  • The common '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!

  • The famous '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 meaning of a 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 matters in life

    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!

  • The amazing Asian 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, hot, sunny, rainy, tropical

    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 Thai, Lao hong nam (bathroom).

    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. 

  • The day in the life of the 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!
  • The language challenges

    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.

  • Volunteer 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! Volunteer to help village people, the ones at the opposite end of the privileged urban people.

  • Volunteer life with 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. Volunteer to help minorities, stateless, migrants, always on the losing end of society!

  • Volunteer life by the sea

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

    Be careful with the sun! Volunteer to help young children, save marine life. 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

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