Plight of the Thai Elephant

Our "Plight of the Thai Elephant" program has been replaced in 2015 by the combination of two 2-week programs, Cultural Quest and Wild Adventure. By linking those two programs together, students can follow the "Plight of the Thai Elephant" itinerary. By joining two programs, students earn a 10% discount on tuition on each program.


This program is the chance to spend a whole month in another world. Be a part of a Thai hill tribe for a week, living village life, from teaching English to planting rice. Live two weeks in the ancient city of Chiang Mai, where daily adventures take you to temples, mountaintops, rain forests, tiger visits, and more. And volunteer for a week at the world-renowned Elephant Nature Park.

Dates: June 28th - July 28th.

Tuition: $5,900 plus international airfare

We spend a week living among the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park. But the trip is more than that.

Our flagship program -- the one that started it all -- is the chance to get immersed. By looking from different perspectives, learning from the people on the ground, you'll see how conservation really works. You'll see how to make a difference. You'll see a side of the world you may not have known. And you'll experience new ways of living. When you leave, Thailand will feel like home.

Are you looking for a place where you can make a difference, experience a new culture, and learn a new way of thinking about leadership in conservation or other global fields? Then 'Plight of the Thai Elephant' is the place for you!


During the program, you'll:

* Volunteer for one week at the internationally recognized Elephant Nature Park reserve, coming face to face, and hand to trunk, with Asian elephants;

* Save elephants and gibbons and help protect their rain forest home while you live for one week in a Karen hill tribe village;

* Explore Thai culture and wildlife each day, from markets to monks, from macaques to mountain waterfalls, and even things that don't start with M;

* Live at Spicy Thai hostel, yours for two weeks, in the center of Thailand's second-largest city, also yours for two weeks; and

* Trek the jungle, hold tigers, meet NGO leaders, and learn what real conservation is all about.

This trip is a chance to see some amazing things and come home with new perspectives based on service, cultural exchange, exploration, teamwork, and project design. "Plight of the Thai Elephant" is for students who really want to immerse themselves in Thailand and take in a variety of perspectives and experiences along the way.

Each week makes up a different unit of the trip. Click on the photo buttons below for detailed information on each week.


Week 1: Welcome, in a big way. We spend this week living with rescued elephants, volunteering to care for them and spending each day among their families.

Week 2: This is who we are. This is the week to learn all about Thai culture, since conservation has to happen within a cultural context. Language, religion, food, history, and the arts are explored while living in the ancient city of Chiang Mai.

Week 3: Blazing a Trail. We spend this week in the jungles, mountains, and rain forests of Northern Thailand, trekking along waterfalls and through the cloudline to discover precious and untouched ecosystems. We visit conservation efforts like the Tiger Kingdom, and you design a conservation project for a cause you are passionate about.

Week 4: Journey to Freedom. We head to the jungle to live with the Karen Hill Tribe in a high mountain village six hours from the city. Dig into the culture of the hill tribe people and immerse yourself in their way of life. It's a chance to see everything we've learned come to fruition and give back to those people who can help re-introduce Asian elephants to the wild before it's too late.


The Plight of the Thai Elephant is a chance to see conservation from all sides, while exploring a new culture and an amazing wilderness.

We encourage you to explore the pages below for a full idea of what your summer in Thailand will be like! As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you have.