Thailand is a country whose ancient traditions, friendly attitude, and tropical landscapes are world-famous. While attending the program in Thailand, you can make yourself at home by living with a Thai host family and getting involved in your community. You can participate in cultural activities like touring Buddhist temples, visiting lively night markets, and tasting spicy gaeng (Thai curry). If you’re a person who values quiet and calm but also seeks to find sanuk (fun) in all things, then Thailand is the place for you.

Things to Know About Thailand

Thai people greet each other with a wai (pressing their palms together as they bow or curtsy) in order to show respect. You raise your hands higher and bow lower when you encounter someone of high stature, like a Buddhist monk. In Thailand, the king and royal family are highly respected, and it’s actually against the law to insult them! Thais try to live with a jai yen (a cool heart), so you won’t usually see them expressing extreme emotions. They also value the Buddhist principles of acceptance and detachment, which means they tend to be non-confrontational and easy-going.  Because of the country’s Buddhist history, many Thai people understand and accept dietary restrictions like vegetarianism.

Your Program in Thailand

There are many types of schools in Thailand, but the participants will be mainly placed in the government or demonstration schools. Secondary-level students usually participate in different programs depending on their interests. Many schools offer an English program (EP), which provides several courses in English mixed with some Thai classes. School mostly starts around 7:30, with school assembly. Your timetable will include 7-8 classes per day, 50 minutes each. Students have to walk from class to class following their timetable. You may have some free hours. Thai students will spend this free hour in the library working on their assignments or seeing the class adviser. The school will likely be finished at 15:30 or 16:00. You must stay in school even if your classes finish before. Many schools offer cultural classes such as cooking, dancing, Muay Thai (martial arts), food carving, or Thai classical music. The school may offer domestic/overseas school trips or the English program. The expenses will be announced by the school, as you may have to pay extra if you want to join.

Your Accommodations

AFSers have lived throughout Thailand, from the northern teak forests to the southern tropical beaches. You might end up in a regional capital or a small town, and your host family could live in a traditional rural home or a small city apartment

Meeting Your Thai Host Family

Like anywhere in the world, all families in Thailand are different. But most are close and caring, with several generations often living in the same house. Young adults usually stay home until they marry so that you could have host siblings in their twenties or thirties.  Your host family will likely have namjai, which means they endeavor to show generosity without expecting anything in return – though it never hurts to reciprocate.

Teenage Life in Thailand

Your Thai friends might invite you to sing karaoke or go shopping at night or weekend markets. Many people enjoy dancing, and American-style breakdancing is getting more and more popular among teenagers. A lot of students participate in sports like soccer, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, and basketball. They also might like playing Mahruk (a game similar to chess) or watching Muy Thai (Thai boxing) on TV. Other common activities include Tai Chi and aerobics, with people gathering in parks at dusk and dawn to practice in groups.Teenagers in Thailand also like to hang out in Internet cafés to meet people and play games. There are tons of different activities available, but as a student you’ll spend most of your time—and make most of your friends—at school.

Program duration

 July 2024 – October 2024