Experience the best cultural, adventure, and environmental activities that Chiang Mai has to offer, and spend a week volunteering hands-on with rescued elephants!

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This two-week program gives you the opportunity to explore Chiang Mai, while learning about Thai culture. Learn how to cook traditional Thai food, zipline through the jungle and feel like you're flying, learn the traditional art of paper making, learn how to meditate in a jungle temple, and go hiking through rice paddies. Spend one week at an elephant sanctuary. Live and work with the 60-some elephants there, cutting their food, feeding them, washing them in the river, and getting to know their unique personalities.


• Feed, bathe, and care for rescued elephants
• Zipline through the jungle
• Learn how to cook traditional Thai food
• Go rafting and hiking in Thailand's beautiful wilderness

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Who It's For

Anyone age 16-23. Individuals from any country may apply. There are no pre-requisites for this program. It's a great fit for students who want to live and work among elephants, but also want to see what this beautiful city and its surroundings have to offer.

It's for students who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and are eager to explore a new culture, but who don’t want a language-immersion or homestay program. It's for independent and interested students who want to travel with a group.

Each session of this program can accommodate a maximum of 16 students.


In this two-week program the group will spend one week volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park, working hands-on with the elephants and seeing first-hand how a successful NGO is run. The second week will be spent in the city of Chiang Mai with full days of cultural and adventurous activities. Check a sample itinerary here.

Our week in Chiang Mai includes the following activities:

  • Tasting new and exotic tropical fruits from a traditional Thai market
  • Discovering Chiang Mai's history on a guided walking tour of the ancient wall and old city
  • Trekking to a hill-tribe village in the jungle and spending the night at a hot springs resort
  • Exploring the majestic temples of Chiang Mai, from high above the city to deep in the jungle
  • Soaring through the jungle thirty times on Thailand’s longest zipline course
  • Cooking Thai dishes at an outdoor cooking class
  • Meditating and learning about Buddhism from Buddhist monks
  • Discovering night markets and street markets
  • Learning the art of traditional Thai paper making
  • Traveling to the top of Doi Suthep mountain, past hidden jungle temples
  • Exploring the ancient Chiang Dao caves by hand-held gas lantern
  • Your itinerary may vary slightly based on weather, holidays, and a number of other factors.

    The other week is spent living and volunteering with the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in a specially-tailored volunteer program. Students work with the elephants, helping to feed them, bathe them, cut their food, clean their homes, and provide overall care for them. They will also help with sanctuary upkeep and have the chance to participate in cultural activities.

    You will also have opportunities to volunteer with the puppies at the dog shelter on the property, visit an elementary school near the park, help with all sorts of farm chores, have a Thai lesson, go tubing in the river, and meet with Lek Chailert, world-renowned conservationist and founder of the Elephant Nature Park.

    Either the Elephant Nature Park or the Chiang Mai week may come first in your itinerary.

    Courses and Hours

    This program is designed for students from a wide range of educational interests and backgrounds. The program provides 40 service hours. Loop Abroad is a certifying organization for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, for which those hours are eligible.

    Loop Abroad can provide you with a pass/fail transcript for the course "Culture and Service in Thai NGOs" at your request. This course is the academic component of your program. If you are seeking credit from your college or university, please contact us for any assistance needed.

    Tuition and Dates

    2018 Dates: June 16 - July 2* OR June 30 - July 16, 2018.

    *can add a bonus week to these dates.

    Tuition: $3,450 USD not including international airfare. Airfare on the group flight from New York, NY is estimated at $1,800 round-trip including taxes and fees.

    Our Thailand 101 program is a full adventure on its own, or it can be combined with College Veterinary Service Program to create a custom four-week program just for you! Programs are arranged back-to-back so that they can be easily joined together. Combining two programs gets you an automatic 10% discount on the tuition for each program, and does not increase your airfare. You can also combine Thailand 101 with Veterinary Service: South Africa for additional airfare.

    Alternatively, Thailand 101 can be supplemented with a Bonus Week. By adding the Marine Bonus Week or Elephant Bonus Week to your program, you can customize your three-week adventure to be exactly what you want without increasing your airfare.

    You can get details on housing and meals here. All housing and meals are included in your tuition.

    How to Apply

    On the Application for Admission, choose "Thailand 101" as your program and select all dates that you would be able to attend.

    If you want to combine with another program or add a bonus week, please select that on your application as well. If you have any questions about how to combine programs or add bonus weeks, you can contact us at admissions@loopabroad.com.

    For More Information

    Message us on Facebook, call us at (617) 412-0838, fill out the contact form, or send an email to admissions@loopabroad.com any time!

    *Dates indicate departure from and return to New York. Some flights depart early in the morning and may require students to arrive in New York the night before. Loop abroad reserves the right to cancel any program at any time; in case of such cancellation by Loop Abroad, all payments will be returned in full.