FAQ About OpenmindProjects

In 2001, we started IT in Isan, as a computer training program in northeastern Thailand   for poor students and also to learn other subjects by using computers and the internet. 

We later expanded and changed name to Openmind Projects. 

To provide better learning opportunities for poor people, using IT/internet and later inviting volunteers.

To improve learning opportunities for underprivileged people and encourage the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for better (distance) learning opportunities. To encourage cross-cultural understanding by inviting international volunteers to help us.

To help underprivileged people use IT/internet to learn. To encourage cross-cultural understanding by inviting international volunteers.

Great inspiration and hands on learning for local people and personal development for  volunteers.

We focus on education support to local people and also on sustainable eco-tourism and nature conservation.

We have a small number of local staff/trainees and volunteers  in Thailand.

In Laos, Cambodia, and Nepal we have local coordinators. 

Abroad we have many country representatives,  volunteers .

We have over time supported some 70 projects.

Volunteers arrange for their insurance. Our volunteers can contact us any time.

Yes,  teachers, headmasters, staff, and managers.

The level of English varies in our field projects. That is why part of our work is to help local people improve their English.

Schools normally pick you up or we assist you in getting to your placement.

 

 

Since our mission is to help underprivileged people and projects, it varies. If you do not want to be alone please tell us.

Apply via our website, tell us about yourself with a short CV. Then we will contact you.

We will suggest an online meeting to discuss your volunteering and the next steps.

Basic Information

Volunteers are helpful, patient, confident with an open mind to new culture and habits and eager to learn.

Volunteers of all ages above 18 are welcome. Families with yunger children are very welcome

We had Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Nepal before Covid.

Now we restart in Thailand but you can also go to Laos and Nepal.

The minimum is normally two weeks. One to three months is the most common volunteer period. But volunteers/interns are welcome for longer periods too.

 

We  meet and talk to you before you arriev, send you a Volunteer Handbook, with volunteer, culture and teach  adviceand we help you with travel.

Go also to http://openmindtravel.org.

When you arrive we meet, introduce and work with you and help you learn about culture, local dos and don’ts, and how to teach.        

We and local people work together with you. 

You fill out an application form on our website. 

We’ll get in touch with you to discuss, agree on your volunteering  

School Projects

Children are 5-6 years, primary school, 7-12 years and secondary, high school, 13-19 years old.

Non formal education adults too.

Primary school classes normally around 12 to 30 and  secondary  around 20 to 30.

Schools normally start around 8.30 and lessons start at 9. Classes last about 45 minutes. Lunch at noon and then classes till 4.  Volunteers normally teach 3-4 lessons per day.

After school, some students may stay around playing games. Volunteers are welcome to take part:-)

We encourage volunteers to practice English speaking and listening since speaking skills are the weakest part for students.

IT volunteers teach basic IT skills and some teach coding.

We will discuss this with you beforehand.

We encourage teachers to coteach with volunteers but many prefer to let volunteers teach after introducing the volunteer to the class. So, teaching alone or with another volunteer is always a possibility

Some teachers may lack the confidence to speak English in front of volunteers.

Students and teachers dress formally and expects volunteers to do so too.

Skirts covering knees or trousers,  not shorts, blouses covering shoulders, shirts, and shoes rather than flip flops.

It depends on the local project.

Volunteers in the North, NongKhai mostly stay at our new place, Orawans, in their own small houses and have dinner there on weekdays, 12 USD per day. But volunteers can also stay at local guesthouses and we can help you.

Volunteers in the South either stay at guesthouses or with teachers,  a host family. 

We help you wherever you go.

Lunch is normally served at the local projects, school.

You may wish to bring some material with you, such as flash cards, pictures, maps, etc.

Other Projects

These projects are on hold for the time being.

Depending on experience, season and local needs, volunteers may help with Coral reef and debris surveys. Marine life data collection. Mangrove reforestation. Teaching English. Developing research and tourist information in English. Sea bottom and beach clean ups.

Volunteers normally stay in staff rooms/bungalows but we can recommend nearby guesthouses. We will inform you about the particular project.

Volunteers can help  teaching English, guiding home stay, hospitality skills.

Participating in survey work and developing ecotourism packages, treks.

Create promotional materials and help design websites.

 

Volunteer work depends on the needs of the local project. Volunteers and staff work out their particular schedule.

Diving depends  the current needs of the local project and the season.

Projects mostly require technical diving experience. Weather is always a factor.  

Travel Information

Visa requirements are subject to period of volunteering and may change. 

We will help you when you apply.

Visa requirements are subject to period of volunteering and may change. 

We will help you when you apply.

Visa requirements are subject to period of volunteering and may change. 

We will help you when you apply.

Visa requirements are subject to period of volunteering and may change. 

We will help you when you apply.

Recommendations vary by volunteer country. Governments and health departments mostly offer comprehensive information. 

Visit a doctor at least 4 – 6 weeks before departure.

When you apply we can also give more advice.

You should have travel insurance that covers accidents, medical treatment and emergency cancellation of your trip.

Ask your insurance company or travel agency. If you pay for your flight with a credit card, it may include travel insurance: ask the travel agency or credit card company for details.

Bring your insurance policy/certificate with you.

Many airlines fly to Bangkok, some to Phuket.

From there you can travel to your project, air, train, bus.

Check our https://openmind.travel/

 

Most major towns are linked to Bangkok by domestic flights from Don Muang airport or from Suvarnabhumi.

Ground transportation is comprehensive and inexpensive with convenient connections with the North, Northeast and South of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. 

You can fly to Udon Thani from Bangkok. There is a limousine service to go to Nong Khai, it takes less than one hour.

You can also take a day or night train to NongKhai. NongKhai is the  last stop on the border to Laos station. The trip takes about 12 hours.

Buses also run from Bangkok to NongKhai.

We will help you on arival.

  .

You can fly from Bangkok to Krabi or to Phuket (and from there get a bus to Krabi.

Once  at Krabi airport, you can take a taxi to meet our people.

You can also take a bus from Bangkok to Krabi.  There is no direct train to Krabi but you can take a train to Surat Thani and then a taxi or bus to Krabi.

 

You can take a bus or fly from Bangkok to Mae Sot.

If you travel from NongKhai, you can take a bus and we can help you.

 We will help you with travel information.

Thailand is basically a safe country. It even has its own special tourist police! Few visitors have any problems here unless they create them themselves.

 The other safety issue in Thailand is traffic, especially young guys night time during weekends, alcohol!

 The government is aware of the potential of tourism and is eager to make visitors feel welcome. Lao people are very friendly.

 

Costs & Money

We charge a low volunteer fee to fund our work for local projects and volunteers. We do not charge local projects, schools or other beneficiaries anything.  

It is not included in the fee for most places. Lunch normally served at schools.

Your fees help us cover our costs for volunteer services and also local projects, information, development, and admin of our NGO, and charity.

OpenmindProjects is entirely  funded by donations.