Thailand College Summer Program

START Bangkok, Thailand |
FINISH Krabi, Thailand |
DURATION 4 weeks |
AGES 18 - 22 |

Dive into the Heart of Thailand's Cultural Tapestry

From Bangkok's bustling mega-city vibes to climbing Railay's limestone ocean cliff walls, our trip in Thailand is incredibly diverse. Traveling with us, you’ll have the chance to get off the beaten track and uncover the true essence of a Southeast Asia experience.

Spanning cultural immersion in the mountains to beachside living, the program is deliberately staged with the ideal combination of adventure and relaxation. You’ll get a taste of everything from volunteering at an elephant sanctuary, practicing thai cooking, tubing down rivers in Khao Sok National Park, and getting zen at a meditation retreat! Join us on this truly scintillating and sensory journey that captures the ‘real’ Thailand.


Volunteer at a reputable elephant sanctuary and forge a deep connection with these rescued animals. Witness firsthand the positive impact of conservation efforts as you assist with daily care and enrichment activities. You'll be preparing nutritious meals, helping with mud baths (a favorite elephant pastime!), and even learning basic commands to interact with these majestic creatures.  This program goes beyond just "seeing" elephants – it's about understanding their unique needs and contributing to their well-being in a beautiful Thai setting. It's a truly rewarding experience for any animal lover seeking to make a lasting difference.

Embark on a captivating journey that traverses Thailand's past, present, and cultural heart.  Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Bangkok, Thailand's modern capital, where gleaming skyscrapers share the skyline with ancient temples.  Next, travel back in time at Ayutthaya, the awe-inspiring ruins of the former capital, where crumbling palaces whisper tales of a glorious past.  Finally, Chiang Mai, the enchanting northern capital, beckons with its historic temples, vibrant markets, and laid-back charm.

Our Thai Cooking Workshop program isn't just about learning delicious recipes – it's about cultural immersion and a gateway to deeper connections. Under the guidance of experienced chefs, you'll master the art of balancing sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and bitter flavors – the cornerstone of authentic Thai cooking.  This hands-on experience will not only equip you with culinary skills to impress friends and family back home, but also foster a deeper appreciation for Thai culture and traditions.  Beyond the delicious creations, you'll gain valuable knowledge about local ingredients and cooking techniques, allowing you to recreate these dishes with confidence long after the program ends.


This is a guide to what you can expect to do on program. The order in which the activities occur might vary.

Click download to view the full 4 week sample itinerary.

Download Sample Itinerary

Bustling Bangkok to a Peaceful Elephant Project

Welcome to Thailand! The program starts in Bangkok, a major cultural hub of Southeast Asia. The smells, sounds and sights are a whole new world! Bangkok is bustling and has many elements; fortunately we know the best places to go! We will get to know each other while touring on foot through the city. Your two experienced instructors will give you a brief on what to expect in the coming days and how to make the most of this exciting new landscape. We take a jump north to the old world capital of Ayutthaya, and explore the magnificent temple complex by mountain bike. From here, we’ll take an overnight train to Chiang Mai - a quintessential South East Asian travel experience.

You will see a LOT of elephants around these parts and we are about to dive into our first service-learning project with an elephant conservation program. We will be staying at an ethical sanctuary that aims to solve some of the problems surrounding elephant exploitation in Thailand. This week is all about empathy and understanding in a local community. Despite a ban on logging, elephant habitat is still being lost and as few as 500 wild elephants are left in Thailand. Over 2,000 domestic elephants, trapped in the traditional elephant tourist industry (i.e. tourists taking joy rides), have a bleak future. You will be up close and personal with these kind and unforgettable animals, helping care for them and exploring the complex issues the animal conservation world is facing.


Community Project & Exploration in Chiang Mai

We will be using the vibrant city of Chiang Mai as a base as we move between the elephant sanctuary to our community development project. We will be based in the forest just outside of Chiang Mai and work to support one of the minority tribes in northern Thailand. We will work alongside an NGO and local communities that take a grassroots approach to working with at-risk populations in ethnic minority communities.The work we’ll be doing is connected to the local hill tribes and their agricultural practices. We might help with planting seedlings, building greenhouses, digging garden beds, chopping bamboo to create fences, whatever the community requires while we are there. This is a unique opportunity to connect with a local Thai community and immerse in community living.

Program Details

What's Included?
  • All in-program travel and transport, excluding flights
  • All accommodation
  • All meals
  • All expeditions, activities, excursions, volunteer projects and entry fees as described in the itinerary
  • Experienced Program Instructors and local guides
  • Informal lectures from resident experts on conservation and eco-tourism
  • Experiential core curriculum that pushes students to reflect and ask questions of themselves
  • Certificate of Program Completion


For full program details, please request the information booklet.

Request Information Booklet

Medium Activity Level

Anyone with an average fitness level and an enthusiasm for the outdoors and new experiences will have a great time on this summer program! You will need to be prepared for some physical work during the volunteer projects on the program, like trail building or the removal of invasive plants. We will also head out on a two day hike and go on some fun adrenaline adventures - no experience necessary.

Low Camping Level

You will spend most nights on this Summer Program in comfortable guesthouses and modern hotels.

Medium Service Learning Level

You will be able to make a difference to the local community during your stay. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and do some hands-on learning about local issues.

Have you got any questions before applying?

Thailand College Summer Program