Volunteer in Bali, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam
Volunteer in: Thailand - Vietnam - Nepal - Bali

Friends for Asia Volunteer Orientation and Training

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At Friends for Asia, we have many years of cumulative experience doing our own volunteer work in Asia as well as helping others make the most of their skills and experience. Our background and extensive network in Asia are among the most valuable resources available to incoming volunteers.

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This is what our volunteer orientation program is all about. We introduce you to tips, strategies and insider information that you can leverage during your time on project. In the process, you’ll learn about the history and mission of Friends for Asia; the language and culture of your project site in Asia; and the role that you can play at your project site. When you arrive at your project site, a Friends for Asia Volunteer coordinator will be waiting to pick you up at the airport, bus station or train station. Your first evening is all about settling in and getting your bearings. Meet other volunteers; order a plate of pad thai from the corner restaurant; and get plenty of rest. You’ve got a full weekend of orientation activities ahead of you.

Thailand Volunteer Orientation and Training Video

Below is a video of our Chiang Mai (Thailand) Volunteer and Internship Orientation.

What to Expect from Our Volunteer Orientation

Volunteer orientation at Friends for Asia lasts two days and covers all of the basic information that you will need to make the most of your volunteer experience. These are the highlights:

Language Lessons

Mastering just a handful of phrases dramatically enhances the volunteer experience. While few launch into their projects with a well-polished grasp of the local language, our volunteers are introduced to the basics of greeting and conversing with local people. Two 45-minute language lessons are incorporated into volunteer orientation.

Volunteer Cultural Training

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Potentially even more important than language, culture differences can be an enormous barrier to really connecting with the local people on your project site. We’ll walk you through the reality of culture shock; devote some time to understanding the local culture; and then break down some “Do’s and Don’ts” to keep in mind on the project site at large. We also make sure that our volunteers have opportunities to engage the local culture during orientation. You’ll visit temples, sample plenty of authentic local cuisine and practice your language skills at the local market – all before your project has even started.

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Advice on staying healthy

Our attendees find themselves in authentic, off-the-grid locations while volunteering in Asia, and staying well is an important consideration. In some of our project sites, We bring in a registered nurse to offer tips on staying healthy and safe while in volunteering.

Volunteer and Internship Project information

More often than not, you’ll be joined in orientation by volunteers bound for different project sites than you. Early on Saturday, we will take some time to talk about the specifics each project. On Sunday, we host a special workshop just for teachers to help them craft strategies for planning lessons and managing classes of local students.

Getting to know the area

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There’s plenty of downtime worked into the orientation schedule, including outings to area markets, temples and rustic restaurants. A cultural event is incorporated in our orientations, regardless of the location. This cultural event may be a traditional dance exhibition, or special dinner.