Volunteering in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Nepal
As a volunteer in Asia you get closer to local culture and people especially with a local NGO like Openmind Projects.
What awaits you as a volunteer in Southeast Asia? You will find out at our monthly and Free Volunteer Training Week before you start!
Learn about country, culture, language and volunteering. Meet local and volunteer friends. Gain fresh perspectives!
As a volunteer, your experience depends as much on you as on your new friends!
Volunteer in Asian Culture
Immerse yourself in local culture, appreciate their lifestyle! Adapt to new habits, food, weather. Learn to expect the unexpected! Adapting is to learn about another way of life. Push the limits of your comfort zone!
Cross Culture Skills
Learning about another culture is fascinating. Learn about values, do's and don’ts, how people live, think and dress? We prepare you for a great volunteer trip at our a Volunteer and Cross Culture Training that makes a difference! Openmind Projects is the only organization that offers a free week before you start!
More things to consider when you volunteer
Eating. Asian food is conquering the world! People enjoy eating and cooking. Eating local is very cheap. Have a meal for 0.5 – 2 USD. Tell them not too spicy! 'Mai pet'.
Hygiene. Asian people shower several times a day. It is important to be clean!
Dressing. Appearances are very important in Southeast Asia! Dress codes are formal, rather than casual. Dress properly for work, at schools, avoid backpacker dressing!
For women and men shirts, blouses with collars, skirts for women, long trousers for men, not shorts, shoes rather than flip flops.
More to think about
What is a plan? A plan may or may not happen! Changing plans without notice is common in Southeast Asian culture. Go with the flow!
Up to you. Ask your friend what he/she wants to do. The answer will often be 'it’s up to you'. So, how do you know? Learn at our training.
Maybe. The word “maybe” is more Thai,Lao than English! Find out when a “maybe” means “yes”, “maybe” or “no”! Learn more at our training.
The smile. It takes time to understand if it means maybe, yes or even no! Learn more at our training.
The weather. Three seasons; hot, monsoon and 'cold. From very hot to quite chilly in the mountains and wet too during the monsoon.
Hong Nam. Thai/Lao for bathroom. It actually means “water room” (hong=room, nam=water). You will literally find water all over the floor. In villages you will only have squat toilets and a bucket of water. Do not flush toilet paper down the drain always put in the bin!
A day in the life of a volunteer. Volunteer days vary depending on project. You will teach at school during weekdays, 3- 4 lessons normally, with weekends off. At an eco-project, work depends on local plans and season.
In your free time, socialize with friends go on treks, relax. The more you participate in local life in, the more you all learn, the more you all enjoy!
Language challenges. Local languages are very different from Western. It is fun to learn though and easier to travel, shop around and make local friends if you learn some!
Life in the village. It’s simple life with very friendly people! Learn by sharing work and life with local friends! Plant, harvest and eat rice!
Lodging and Eating
Your home away from home! Many of our projects involve living with a host family which is a great way to immerse yourself in local daily life. Living conditions vary, but are usually simple and traditional. You will mostly have your own room and eat with your host family. The family will include you in many family activities and you can give them a chance to practice English and learn about your life at home.
Accommodation at national parks is normally very basic staff rooms or bungalows with shared bathrooms.
At our Center in Thailand, you will share a room and living conditions, though if you prefer more privacy and comfort, guesthouses are available nearby. The type of accommodation depends on your particular project.