|Dates:||June 29 – July 12|
July 16 – July 29
|Arrive:||Los Angeles, CA|
|Depart:||Los Angeles, CA|
|Grade||9th, 10th, 11th &12th|
(Students Grouped According to Age)
*Airfare for group flight from Los Angeles additional
Learn More About Us
You May Also Like
- Explore Bangkok and Historic Chiang Mai
- Live and Work in a Remote Hill Tribe Community
- Work with Elephants in their Natural Habitat
- Spend the Night in a Buddhist Monastery
- Learn to Create Famous Thai Dishes in a Cooking Class
- Teach English at a Village School through Games & Activities
- Learn Thai Language, Customs & Culture
- 30 Hours of Community Service
Village Hill Tribe Community School
Surrounded by the lush jungles and rice paddies of Northern Thailand, we head into a rural hill tribe village where young students get very little exposure to native English-speakers. During our time in this welcoming community, we teach English to eager and energetic primary-aged school children through one-on-one sessions and fun, interactive songs and games. We then lend a helping hand on various infrastructure projects to improve the local school and community center. Our time in this beautiful village is unforgettable as we explore, work, and share laughs with our local students.
From the bustling metropolis of Bangkok to the lush wilderness of the Thai jungle, immerse yourself in an experience not soon to be forgotten. Explore the famous Wat Pho and Grand Palace in Bangkok and boat through one of Thailand’s energetic and colorful floating markets. Lend a much-needed hand on important village infrastructure projects and teach English in a rural hill tribe community while sharing in their traditional way of life. Work alongside elephant naturalists and assist with efforts to protect the majestic Asian elephant and conserve their threatened habitat. Spend the night in the serenity of a Buddhist monastery, then hike and swim among the spectacular emerald waters of Erawan Falls. Our Thai adventure concludes over a final feast, where you reflect on the friends you have made, the laughs you have shared, and the experiences you will cherish forever.
Bangkok Orientation & Exploration
We begin our Thailand summer program in Los Angeles and board a plane to Bangkok, where we receive a Thai language and cultural orientation from our Thai hosts. During our time in Bangkok, we stroll through lively markets, visit the revered Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha, and cruise the canals on a traditional Thai long boat.
Village Hill Tribe Service
Glimpsing Thailand’s true cultural origins, we travel north to hill tribe country where tribes have managed to retain their own language, customs, mode of dress, and spiritual beliefs for centuries. In the village, we help with much-needed infrastructure such as building bridges or community houses, or renovating and improving the local school. We spend three days living in a village guest house, helping the community while learning about Thai culture first hand. In Chiang Mai we take a full-day Thai cooking class during which we prepare tasty Thai dishes like spring rolls, Pad Thai, and papaya salad.
Elephant Conservation Service
Our elephant service begins as we float down a twisting jungle river to arrive at a nature preserve and adjacent elephant sanctuary. Here we have the opportunity to learn about the biology, ecology, and complex history of Thai elephants, as well as experience first-hand how to care for these majestic creatures. The elephants that we work with have been rescued from illegal logging practices, trekking camps, performances, begging in Bangkok, or were injured or orphaned and no longer able to survive in the wild. We spend our time at the preserve feeding, bathing, and restoring habitat for the sanctuary’s resident elephants, all while keeping our eyes peeled for wild Asian elephants and other exotic wildlife.
Buddhist Monastery Overnight
We head to the Power of Peace House to meet the monks that will be hosting us and begin our introduction to Buddhism, the main religion of Thailand. We have the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in life in the monastery and join the monks for different styles of meditation. We wrap up our time with the monks by joining them for morning alms.
Erawan Falls & Final Days in Bangkok
Leaving the monastery behind we spend a day swimming in the emerald pools of Erawan Falls, before we board our bus for the journey back to Bangkok. We spend our final days reflecting on our experiences these past two weeks and on the new friendships we’ve formed. We enjoy a final celebration and Final Feast and bid a warm goodbye to The Land of Smiles.
“This trip is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I wish I could do it again right now. Between the things I learned, the friends I made and the places I went, I can’t think of any better way to spend my summer.”— Emma VL., Katonah, NY, ARCC Student
“The Thailand trip gives you great opportunities to learn more about yourself while helping others. It really gives you a look into different perspectives of the culture here.”— Chelsea W., Haddonfield, NJ, ARCC Student
“I really like the people on this trip. The people are what make a trip and ARCC always has good people applying to it.”— Hunter B., NYC, NY, ARCC Student
“The ARCC trip opened my eyes to the diversity and adventure that await in new countries. The language and social barriers are easily – and quickly – torn down. It’s life changing.”— Kelsey H., Reno, NV, ARCC Student
“The people were so unbelievably great that I enjoyed every moment. The leaders, the kids were great and I am so happy I came on this trip. I really enjoyed the community service and EVERYTHING. It was outstanding.”— Benny G., ARCC Student
Group Journal Excerpts
Below you will find several Group Journal excerpts, written by ARCC students during their summer program with ARCC:
Culture in Thailand!
After a rustic night of stargazing at the orphanage, we were happy to learn we had a half an hour more of sleep the following day. In the morning, we boarded the “tuk-tuk party bus” which drove us two hours to spend a refreshing night with Buddhist monks. On the way, we stopped off at…
English Teaching in Kanchanaburi
We may not be experts in Thai, but yesterday we helped 100 kids to become experts in English! We are here at the orphanage and enjoying our second English service project. We had games, postcard making, and even a limbo contest with all the students from the orphanage and surrounding school. Read more Today we…
What is the packing list for this program?
Each program has a specific packing list that has been designed to fit the program’s activities, length, climate and cultural differences. Please click here to view the Thailand: Hill Tribe Impact packing list.
What is the weather like in Thailand?
Most of Thailand, with the exception of the mountainous regions in the north, can be described as hot and humid. Day-time temperatures in the summer months usually fall in the mid-80’s, with an average humidity of 66% to 82%. In the northern hill-country temperatures can fall into the 50’s, and it can get quite chilly in the evenings. Though it is not the rainy season during our summer program, it can rain frequently throughout the month of July in the regions we visit.
What are the service projects like?
ARCC has been operating programs in Thailand for many years, and we have built close relationships with a variety of individuals, small communities and organizations who enjoy hosting ARCC student groups. On this program, we spend time living and working in a remote hill tribe village. The specific service projects that each group will work on depend on what is most needed in the community at the time. Projects could include building a bamboo bridge for safe access to the school in wet season, a village meeting house, a playground, or making renovations to a school. We also participate in an elephant service project at a nature preserve and elephant sanctuary and teach English to local schoolchildren.
What kind of health precautions should I take before traveling to Thailand?
Thailand is a relatively clean and safe place to travel. However, ARCC does recommend that you take some health precautions before your trip to Thailand. When you enroll in the program, you will receive more complete information on pertinent travel vaccinations and immunizations. Please also refer to the Traveler’s Health section of the CDC website. Our leaders carry a full first aid kit, and are all certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR).
Where will we sleep?
During this program we sleep in a variety of accommodations: small hotels, a community center, dorm style bungalows, a monastery and overnight trains.
What is the transportation like once we are in Thailand?
We use a variety of transportation on the Thailand: Hill Tribe Impact program. We travel by train in overnight sleeper coaches and by private busses.
What is the food like?
We will have the opportunity to sample traditional Thailand cuisine such as noodles (like Pad Thai), curries, springs rolls and fresh fruits. We will also be taking a cooking class to learn how to cook all of our favorite dishes!
How much spending money should I bring?
For Thailand: Hill Tribe Impact, ARCC recommends that you bring an additional $150 of spending money. You should bring this money in the form of cash (small bills are best) and also bring an ATM/debit card with you. Thailand uses the “baht” as currency and there are approximately 32 Thai baht to every US $1.
As with any international program, we strongly recommend talking to your bank about its international withdrawal policies to avoid any surprise fees or card cancellations.
Do I need a passport?
Yes, all students traveling to Thailand need to have a valid passport. Please make sure the passport expiration date is at least six months after you travel. Passport applications are available at the post office. If you do not already have a passport, you should apply for one as soon as you enroll in this adventure. It normally takes six weeks to process a passport application.
Do I need a visa?
No. US and Canadian citizens do not need a visa for this program (unless you plan on staying in Thailand before or after the program).
What is the time difference between Thailand and the USA?
All of Thailand falls within a single time zone. While on your program in Thailand, the time will be 11 hours later than New York (Eastern Time), 12 hours later than Chicago (Central Time), and 14 hours later than San Francisco (Pacific Time).
Do I really need to bring a backpack, or can I bring a rolling suitcase on this program?
Although you will not be doing traditional backpacking on this program, it is important that you bring a backpack as your main piece of luggage. During the program the group will be navigating through airports, on and off buses, up and down stairways, and taking short hikes on unpaved paths. The group will be able to move much more efficiently if everyone is carrying their belongings on their back.
What kinds of goods and supplies can we bring to donate for the people we meet?
We have the chance to live amongst some people who have the very basics for survival. With education being a tool to better their lives, basic school supplies are welcomed with open arms. Pens, pencils, notepads, and books are widely accepted. Soccer balls are also an incredible way to cross the cultural border and share smiles. Because of limited space on our vehicles ARCC would ask that every person to bring no more than a gym bag of goods to donate.