Volunteer in Thailand | Teaching programs in Hat Yai

Brief Description

One of the international volunteers on the Hatyai teaching program

  • There are a number of teaching programs in Hat Yai, in which volunteers teach in a variety of classes.
  • Mostly volunteers teach English, but they can also teach sports, arts and crafts and others. The English classes are of a basic level and volunteers teach above all listening and comprehension, following both the school curriculum and by using games and creative activities to stimulate the learning process. 
  • Classes can be given by the volunteers themselves, but at times a local teacher assists, though the volunteer should be prepared to be the sole teacher. The local English teachers at times have a good level, but in most cases their level is quite low and communication can be quite challenging. 
  • Volunteers teach anything between 3 to 6 hour days and are sometimes also involved in weekend activities. 


Volunteer in Thailand | Agricultural program in Hat Yai
Brief Description

One of the international volunteers on the agricultural program in Hatyai
  • Volunteer in Thailand helping local farmers and/or local communities above all with planting, watering, weeding and harvesting, picking fruits and vegetables and, depending on the farm, can also help with feeding of the animals.
  • As it can be quite warm, the volunteers tend to work mostly in the morning or late evening. 


Volunteer in Thailand |Combined program (Agriculture, Teaching, Construction & More) in Hat Yai

Brief Description

Volunteers on the INTVS combined program work in agriculture and teaching
  • Volunteer in Thailand working in agriculture, teaching, construction and more. They are involved with the local community and cultural exchange is one of the key words of this program.
  • The combination of the work can be done in many ways, but generally there is a schedule whereby volunteers teach a day or two per week, work the land some days and help with simple construction, such as the making of furniture for the volunteer house.
  • Generally for the teaching side of the program, volunteers teach English, but they can also be involved in other classes, such as arts and crafts, sports or music, either with a local teacher or by themselves.
  • This is a very diverse program, in which volunteers live together in a campus-like area. 


Volunteer in Thailand | Combined program (Meditation & Teaching) in Hat Yai

Brief Description

International volunteers in Hatyai can also follow the buddhist program
  • Volunteers on this program meditate with the monks, teach some basic English to the monks and help with basic renovation work and cleaning around the buddhist compound. At times they are also involved in preparation for ceremonies. 
  • Volunteers learn how to meditate with local monks, passing through various stages, only passing to the next stage once they pass the first stage and so on. 
  • Volunteers do walking meditation, sitting meditation, praying and chanting and follow the local monks’ schedule. These different types of meditation can range from 45 minutes to a few hours and can be quite tough for those that have never before done meditation. 
  • Volunteers also help with cleaning around the compound and often also go with the monks or the ‘master’ to nearby schools or hospitals, where they can also be involved in other activities, such as teaching. 
  • The schedule is Monday to Friday but on the first 2 week the volunteers have to do meditation every day and can “follow their own program” as the master says.
  • Alcohol and smoking is forbidden on this program and volunteers are expected to be respectful of the buddhist lifestyle.



Hat Yai, Thailand program info


  • Volunteers generally stay with local families, but can also stay in a shared volunteer accommodation in Hat Yai. Depending on which program you apply to, the accommodation can be quite different.
  • As there are programs where people work either in temples, schools, farms and more, the accommodation can be very diverse. Underneath you can see examples of homestays, accommodation at the buddhist temple and shared accommodation with other volunteers. On the farming programs, volunteers should bring a sleeping bag and mosquito net. Before deciding upon any project, volunteers will have a Skype call with an INTVS coordinator in which more detail will be given about their specific placement accommodation. 
  • Some accommodation has Western style showers, but most have the bucket and pail type ‘shower’, where volunteers dip a bowl into a large bucket with water and pour it over themselves.
  • Generally volunteers meet each other in weekends or even during weekdays if they live in separate families.

some of the accommodation on the hatyai international volunteering programs


Shared accommodation with other volunteers on the volunteer program in Hatyai, Thailand

Accommodation is simple on the volunteer program in Hatyai, Thailand





  • Food is included during weekdays, but must generally be prepared by the volunteer him/herself with the family members. During weekends volunteers must buy their own food. 
  • Thai food is quite diverse. It is sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. Above all, volunteers should take into account that food can be very spicy, though this doesn’t tend to be an issue, as local families take into account the foreign palate. 
  • There is nearly always rice involved, though other popular dishes are noodles and soups. Beef and chicken are also popular and are prepared in many ways. Stir fries are quite popular, but grilling and cooking is also common. 
  • The thai cuisine also includes lots of vegetables and above all fruits. Popular fruits are banana, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, dragon fruit, jackfruit or the notorious durian. 

What to see & do
(In Hat Yai and nearby)

  • Hat Yai is quite a small city, with a population of just over 150,000, yet with its metropolitan area, it reaches a population of 800,000. Being in the Southern tip of Thailand it is just a one or two hours’ drive from Malaysia and close to some of Thailand’s most beautiful islands. 
  • Hat Yai is notorious for its good shopping possibilities, attracting many Malaysians to its shops, as well as other foreigner. Its most popular markets are Suntisook Market and Kim Yong market.


  • One of the nearest big cities to Hat Yai is Songkhla, which is practically tied to Hat Yai. Being by the beach, volunteers often go there together to go swimming, have a picnic or just hang out. It also has some nice beachside restaurants and bars. It is a fishing town and an important harbour

The islands and beaches of the South

  • Southern Thailand is known for its natural beauty, and above all for its beaches. Beautiful nearny destinations with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world include krabi, Phuket, Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta. To get there takes anything between three to eight hours by bus and boat.


  • On average volunteers work approximately 15 to 30 hours per week.
  • Detailed information on each program is provided in the program information booklets, which you receive once you have applied. You can also contact us via the website chat or at [email protected] hould you have any questions!


  • the volunteer placements are in and around the city of Hat Yai.
  • Popular flight destinations from Hat Yai within Thailand are Bangkok (about 50€ return flight), Phuket (about 100€ return flight) and Chiang Mai (about 130€ return flight). 
  • Popular nearby destinations outside of Thailand are Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (about 90€ return flight), Phnom Penh, Cambodia (about 160€ return flight) and Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam (about 140€ return flight)

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The INTVS volunteer program in Hat Yai, Thailand

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(Teaching programs)

  • Minimum 18 years old, show creativity & initiative, confidence in the classroom & effective time management skills.
  • A high level of English
  • (Depending on the program the requirements can be slightly more; for some a University degree, teaching certificate or being a native speaker can be a prerequisite).

(Environmental Program)

  • Minimum 18 years old.
  • Volunteers must be eager & should have the ability to maintain motivation and reliability.
  • Prior experience is not necessary, but enthusiasm for hard work and to ‘get involved’ in the cause is.
  • Volunteers also need to be fit and healthy and be able to rapidly adapt to the local situations.

(Combined Teaching & Environmental programs)

  • Volunteers should have all the prerequisites named in the teaching and Environmental programs

(Combined Meditation & Teaching programs)

  • Minimum 18 years old.
  • Volunteers on this program should be very respectful of the monks, their culture and their way. They should not drink nor smoke on the buddhist compound.
  • Prior experience with meditation is not necessary, but patience and motivation are key characteristics in order to achieve one’s goals on this program.

  • Accommodation with a local family or in shared accommodation with other volunteers. 
  • Monday to Friday, food is also included, though volunteers are encouraged to help cook their food. 
  • Two to three days’ orientation with other arriving volunteers
  • Presentation of aims and structure of the local NGO
  • Short introduction to Thailand and the local area
  • Practical information and arrangements
  • Language classes during orientation week
  • Visit to Host Placement(s) primarily with a program coordinator
  • Mid-term evaluation and monthly evaluation
  • Final evaluation on-line
  • On-going support and supervision during the program

Volunteer period Cost (Thai Baht)
1st Month 14,000
2nd Month 12,000
3rd Month 12,000
Additional months 10,000

(The minimum stay is one month) 

Please click here to convert the prices to your local currency.

  • INTVS charges its own fee of 185€, regardless of the time that a volunteer stays abroad. This fee covers;
  • Volunteer support prior to, during and after the volunteer experience (in English, French & Spanish)
  • All necessary preparatory information including;
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Travel/Medical Insurance
    • Police Check form
    • The program (the site, schedule, role…)
    • Local contacts & important numbers

And also…

  • History, demographics & local norms
  • What to bring
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • And much more.
  • It also covers work and travel costs that INTVS staff incur to check up on and document the programs on a regular basis.
  • The payments to the local organizations and INTVS are completely separate. We do NOT charge them a commission and 100% of the program cost goes to them.

Mariona Garcia in Hatyai, Thailand

Why did you decide to become a volunteer? I decided to volunteer because I had finished high school and needed a year’s break, and I also believe that working as a volunteer in Thailand teaches you a different perspective of life that can be very useful.

What did you find the most difficult? For me the most difficult thing was to feel integrated, since in Thailand (in non-tourist areas) they hardly see white people, and for them you are like a celebrity: and all the time everyone looks at you, they point you out, they compare themselves to you…and they do it because they are amazed (with no bad intention) but at the beginning it is a bit difficult or weird hahaha.

What did you find the most rewarding? To see how people appreciate your work, and how they like it when you show interest in their language and culture.

What have you learnt from the experience? The experience has seemed incredible to me. I would repeat it a thousand and one times, it’s like a perfect break in your life.

What advice would you give to future volunteers? Be calm, with a very open mind. Everything will be much better than it seems the first days or weeks!

Mariona Gràcia (Spain)

For information on Thai demographics, culture and history, please visit the Thailand link for Nachueak here: Nachueak, Thailand