For students currently in grades 9–12
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Learning Beyond the Classroom

Adventure Travel & Cultural Immersion

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Active Immersion in Language & Culture

Our Programs

High School
For students currently in grades 9–12

Thailand

Teaching & Service in the Thai Highlands

June 25 — July 13
$6,090 + airfare

Thailand

Teaching & Service in the Thai Highlands

June 25 — July 13
$6,090 + airfare

Travel to the mountainous northern provinces of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in Thailand, home to lush forests, endless mountain ranges, and tremendous ethnic and cultural diversity. Foster connections with young Thai students as you teach conversational English lessons, contribute to ongoing construction projects at local schools, and perhaps even assist with other community projects as needed. Experience northern Thailand’s distinct cultures and traditions while staying in the small community of Tha Ton on the Kok River near the border with Myanmar. Learn about Buddhism through offering alms to monks and visiting temples, make delicious dishes in a Thai cooking class, participate in a school exchange with local high school students, and cap your program by exploring the dynamic cities of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, northern Thai cultural hubs.

• Collaborate with local schools for English tutoring and assist in construction projects
• Learn how to make delicious Thai dishes such as pad thai and khao soi
• Visit temples and offer alms to monks while learning about Buddhism
• Cruise in a boat along the Kok River to Chiang Rai
“We hoped for Matt to learn about a new culture, become more independent, meet new people, have fun, and get a different perspective of the world. This program exceeded our expectations.”
—Debra & Frank G., Branchburg, NJ

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your program leaders in Los Angeles, and fly together to Chiang Mai, Thailand. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Chiang Mai — 3 days

Begin your program in Chiang Mai, where you will stay in a quiet neighborhood surrounded by ancient Lanna structures and picturesque temples while becoming acquainted with your surroundings and getting to know your peers. Enjoy panoramic views of the city from Chiang Mai’s beloved mountain, Doi Suthep, and visit evening markets and walking streets to sample delicious street food and try out your Thai language skills with local vendors.

Mae Ai District — 7 days

Travel northward into the mountains to a local community nestled near the border with Myanmar. Prepare English lessons alongside trained instructors and spend mornings teaching in local classrooms, or playing English learning games with Thai students. Get your hands dirty by helping with ongoing construction projects at the school, such as laying the foundation for a new canteen or giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. In the afternoons, trek through the lush landscape, go for a dip in the swimming pool, or learn how to make delicious Thai dishes by participating in a cooking class. Share your experiences through photographs, writing, or video, and develop a narrative about your time in the community.

Chiang Rai — 5 days

Travel to Chiang Rai via riverboat to explore this diverse, charming city in Thailand’s northernmost province known for its rugged natural beauty and remote highland communities. Learn how to make your own ecoprints alongside a local artist, and participate in an enriching cultural exchange with local students at a high school in the city. Visit the exquisite Wat Rong Khun temple and practice your bargaining skills at the local markets. Spend time learning about Thai plants and herbs while cooking your own dishes at an organic farm outside of the city.

Chiang Mai — 1 day

Wrap up your time with a final evening in Chiang Mai presenting your independent projects and reflecting on your adventures as a group.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Chiang Mai to Los Angeles with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your program leaders in Los Angeles, and fly together to Chiang Mai, Thailand. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Chiang Mai — 3 days

Begin your program in Chiang Mai, where you will stay in a quiet neighborhood surrounded by ancient Lanna structures and picturesque temples while becoming acquainted with your surroundings and getting to know your peers. Enjoy panoramic views of the city from Chiang Mai’s beloved mountain, Doi Suthep, and visit evening markets and walking streets to sample delicious street food and try out your Thai language skills with local vendors.

Mae Ai District — 7 days

Travel northward into the mountains to a local community nestled near the border with Myanmar. Prepare English lessons alongside trained instructors and spend mornings teaching in local classrooms, or playing English learning games with Thai students. Get your hands dirty by helping with ongoing construction projects at the school, such as laying the foundation for a new canteen or giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. In the afternoons, trek through the lush landscape, go for a dip in the swimming pool, or learn how to make delicious Thai dishes by participating in a cooking class. Share your experiences through photographs, writing, or video, and develop a narrative about your time in the community.

Chiang Rai — 5 days

Travel to Chiang Rai via riverboat to explore this diverse, charming city in Thailand’s northernmost province known for its rugged natural beauty and remote highland communities. Learn how to make your own ecoprints alongside a local artist, and participate in an enriching cultural exchange with local students at a high school in the city. Visit the exquisite Wat Rong Khun temple and practice your bargaining skills at the local markets. Spend time learning about Thai plants and herbs while cooking your own dishes at an organic farm outside of the city.

Chiang Mai — 1 day

Wrap up your time with a final evening in Chiang Mai presenting your independent projects and reflecting on your adventures as a group.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Chiang Mai to Los Angeles with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

2023_STHAIA_Dan Eden
Dan Eden
View Bio
2023_MSSECA_SCRH_Val Valdes_3
Valerie Valdes
View Bio
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Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

2023_STHAIA_Dan Eden
Dan Eden
View Bio
2023_MSSECA_SCRH_Val Valdes_3
Valerie Valdes
View Bio
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About the Destination

Thailand is located in the center of Southeast Asia and is known for its lush landscape, beaches, and opulent temples and palaces. The country is a constitutional monarchy with both a Prime Minister and King, and the main religion is Theravada Buddhism. Thailand, particularly the north of the country, is made up of many diverse communities who contribute their own languages, dress, and customs to the rich tapestry of Thai culture.

Language

Thai is the official language of Thailand, and different dialects and languages are spoken throughout various parts of the country. English is common in the cities, though not as widely spoken in rural areas.

Climate

June through October is known as Thailand’s rainy season. Although temperatures vary depending on which area of the country you’re in, average temperatures during this season range from 77–89℉(25–32°C) with very high humidity. Rainfall is common but showers typically do not last long, and storms are very rare. This season boasts beautiful, lush greenery and blue skies.

Cuisine

Thailand is known for its flavorful, herb-rich cuisine, which is often served spicy but can be altered to suit other palates. Rice or ‘kao’ is served with most meals, and the main types of Thai dishes include tom (boiled dishes), yam (spicy salads), tam (foods pounded with a mortar and pestle), gaeng (curries), and stir-frys. Staple ingredients usually include fish sauce, garlic, chili, lime, coconut milk, and other fragrant herbs such as lemongrass and galangal.

About the Destination

Thailand is located in the center of Southeast Asia and is known for its lush landscape, beaches, and opulent temples and palaces. The country is a constitutional monarchy with both a Prime Minister and King, and the main religion is Theravada Buddhism. Thailand, particularly the north of the country, is made up of many diverse communities who contribute their own languages, dress, and customs to the rich tapestry of Thai culture.

Language

Thai is the official language of Thailand, and different dialects and languages are spoken throughout various parts of the country. English is common in the cities, though not as widely spoken in rural areas.

Climate

June through October is known as Thailand’s rainy season. Although temperatures vary depending on which area of the country you’re in, average temperatures during this season range from 77–89℉(25–32°C) with very high humidity. Rainfall is common but showers typically do not last long, and storms are very rare. This season boasts beautiful, lush greenery and blue skies.

Cuisine

Thailand is known for its flavorful, herb-rich cuisine, which is often served spicy but can be altered to suit other palates. Rice or ‘kao’ is served with most meals, and the main types of Thai dishes include tom (boiled dishes), yam (spicy salads), tam (foods pounded with a mortar and pestle), gaeng (curries), and stir-frys. Staple ingredients usually include fish sauce, garlic, chili, lime, coconut milk, and other fragrant herbs such as lemongrass and galangal.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Community Service

During your time in Thailand, you can expect to work on one main project—teaching English to local schoolchildren. We may also assist with smaller, construction-based projects as needed. The focus of this summer program is learning about another culture by forming meaningful relationships with local people and undertaking a shared service experience together. You should come into the summer with an open-mind, eager to participate in new experiences and interested in exploring another culture and way of life. Everyone participates in the groups’ project, and lends a hand in creating a positive and supportive group environment. To learn more about our Service programs click here.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—learn how food is an integral part of Thai family life, create a photo album that documents a Thai classroom, or learn a traditional dance or song.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities. You can expect to trek to temples and stupas, participate in games and sports with local students, and traverse the towns of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai on foot.

Accommodations

During the program, students stay 2-3 to a room at locally owned guest houses with hot showers, air conditioning, and electricity. In Maekok Village we stay in dormitory style rooms in a comfortable bunk house with a wealth of common spaces including a game room and swimming pool on site.

Meals

We eat breakfast together as a group at the guesthouse, which includes traditional Thai breakfast fare like rice congee or khao tom, with some supplemental Western food. We eat Thai style lunches and dinners at our accommodations or at local restaurants.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Community Service

During your time in Thailand, you can expect to work on one main project—teaching English to local schoolchildren. We may also assist with smaller, construction-based projects as needed. The focus of this summer program is learning about another culture by forming meaningful relationships with local people and undertaking a shared service experience together. You should come into the summer with an open-mind, eager to participate in new experiences and interested in exploring another culture and way of life. Everyone participates in the groups’ project, and lends a hand in creating a positive and supportive group environment. To learn more about our Service programs click here.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—learn how food is an integral part of Thai family life, create a photo album that documents a Thai classroom, or learn a traditional dance or song.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities. You can expect to trek to temples and stupas, participate in games and sports with local students, and traverse the towns of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai on foot.

Accommodations

During the program, students stay 2-3 to a room at locally owned guest houses with hot showers, air conditioning, and electricity. In Maekok Village we stay in dormitory style rooms in a comfortable bunk house with a wealth of common spaces including a game room and swimming pool on site.

Meals

We eat breakfast together as a group at the guesthouse, which includes traditional Thai breakfast fare like rice congee or khao tom, with some supplemental Western food. We eat Thai style lunches and dinners at our accommodations or at local restaurants.

A Day in the Life: Maekok River Village​

Due to the traveling nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in our host community.
7:00am
Enjoy a Thai-style breakfast with your group
8:00am
Head to the local school to begin your day of lessons
9:00am
Tutor Thai students in English by playing games or singing songs
12:00pm
Take a lunch break and play games or relax
1:00pm
Continue your classroom lessons or assist with construction projects
4:00pm
Go for a trek, journal, or take a dip in the swimming pool
6:00pm
Enjoy dinner together as a group
8:00pm
Group meeting to discuss the day, then a visit to the night market

A Day in the Life:
Maekok River Village​

Due to the traveling nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in our host community.
7:00am
Enjoy a Thai-style breakfast with your group
8:00am
Head to the local school to begin your day of lessons
9:00am
Tutor Thai students in English by playing games or singing songs
12:00pm
Take a lunch break and play games or relax
1:00pm
Continue your classroom lessons or assist with construction projects
4:00pm
Go for a trek, journal, or take a dip in the swimming pool
6:00pm
Enjoy dinner together as a group
8:00pm
Group meeting to discuss the day, then a visit to the night market
“While many things are different about the way kids my age live across the world, many things are similar as well. I learned a new way of life.”
—Hannah S., Edgemont High School, Scarsdale, NY

This Program is Directed by

Portia Watson

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

This Program is Directed by

Portia Watson

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

Enroll in two programs & save $1,000!

$800 tuition discount + no application fee

Thailand
Teaching & Service in the Thai Highlands

2024 Dates
June 25 — July 13

Duration
17 days

Tuition
$6,090 + airfare

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 9–12
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
14–16 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from Los Angeles

Service Hours
30–40 

Additional Info

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

 

2024 Dates
June 25 — July 13

Duration
17 days

Tuition
$6,090 + airfare

Service Hours
30–40 

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 9–12
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
14–16 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from Los Angeles

 

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

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Request More Info

Alaska
Baja & the Gulf of California
Barcelona
Belize
Chile & Peru
Germany & Sweden
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Montana
Peru
Switzerland
Australia, New Zealand, & Fiji
Croatia & Slovenia
Cuba
Faroe Islands & Iceland
Italy & Greece
Japan
Kilimanjaro
Panama & Colombia
Patagonia: Skiing
Spain, France, & Portugal
Switzerland, Italy, France, & Holland
Spain
France
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Tuscany
Barcelona
Tokyo
Argentina
Costa Rica
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Fiji
Hawai'i
Morocco
Nepal
Peru
Puerto Rico
Tanzania
Thailand
Vietnam
Iceland
France & Holland
Italy & Greece
Spain
France
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Hawai'i

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