Thailand

Service in the Land of Smiles

This journey provides an authentic connection with the one-of-a-kind cultural and natural beauty that only this part of the world can offer. You’ll split your time off the beaten path between two culturally distinct parts of Thailand enjoying a balanced mix of meaningful humanitarian work and adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities. You’ll leave your mark on at-risk communities, test your limits, feel the thrill of adventure travel, and make some of the closest friends you’ve ever had with this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Note: The published tuition fee below does not include the cost of flights to/from the program, nor an additional $130 for the internal flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

  • Days
  • Service
  • Students
  • Age
  • Availability
  • Tuition (USD)
Session 1 / Jul 13 - Jul 27, 2018
  • 15
  • 30 hours
  • 18
  • 14-18
  • Open
  • $3,870 $3,520

Focus

  • Humanitarian Support
  • Infrastructure Development

Adventure

  • Cultural Exploration
  • Hiking & Walking Tours
  • Water Sports
  • Land Sports

Environment

  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Mountains
  • Rainforest

The Journey

Your Adventure Starts Here

Sawatdee! Welcome to Thailand!

2 Days

Our journey begins! Students have the option of flying to Bangkok (BKK) via New York (JFK) and Hong Kong (HKG) on a preselected group itinerary, or students can fly independently. For students flying via JFK, GoBeyond arranges for an airport representative to assist with the transfer. In some cases, this representative is one of the group leaders and flies with the students to the journey destination. In other cases, he/she is a local contact responsible for airport assistance but will not be on the flights to Bangkok. Due to time zone differences, our group flight typically lands in Bangkok the day after departure. After arrival in Bangkok, students are met at the airport by GoBeyond’s professional staff and transferred to our comfortable, clean hotel. First day activities include check-in, ice breakers, GoBeyond’s orientation, and a fantastic Thai dinner.

Service & Exploration in Kanchanaburi Province

6 Days

As a well-deserved break from bustling Bangkok, students spend time working in rural communities sponsored by the D.P.F. The New Life Project in Kanchanaburi Province gives at-risk young adults from the Klong Toei community an opportunity to experience life outside the slum, and gives GoBeyond students the opportunity to sample Thai life outside of the city as well. New Life Project residents learn farming and vocational skills and learn to live and work together in a spirit of cooperation.

Service & Exploration in Kanchanaburi Province

(cont.)

For a short, yet profound period of time, GoBeyond students play an integral part in the lives of the New Life Project youth. During their stay, students facilitate games, plan activities, and share cultural customs. Compassion abounds on all sides during this service work. After only a few weeks, the effects of the New Life Project are noticeable in these children. For the first time in many of their lives, the Klong Toei youth discover that they have a part to play in life and can play it successfully.

Service & Exploration in Kanchanaburi Province

(cont.)

When the service work is over, students have an opportunity to explore Thailand’s beautiful countryside. Natural caves and gorgeous waterfalls offer students the perfect place to relax and unwind. Students also get up close and personal with gentle giants while touring the area on elephant back. These wondrous natural areas of Thailand give new depth to our understanding of the Land of Smiles. Students leave Kanchanaburi inspired and with a feeling of awe – not just for the sights and sounds of rural Thailand – but also for the meaningful work they’ve accomplished.

Outdoor Adventure in Rural Chiang Mai

5 days

Thailand’s northern capital offers a very different perspective on Thai culture and life. Situated in the heart of central Asia’s forested foothills, the ancient city feels more like a sleepy rural town than a bustling urban metropolis. After a quick introduction and tour through the numerous historical sites of Chiang Mai, you’ll venture into the lush, green countryside of northern Thailand for an adventure off the beaten path. Pristine jungle, open-air trails, and churning waterfalls all await exploration in this blissful, natural paradise.

Outdoor Adventure in Rural Chiang Mai

(cont.)

Tie your shoes tight and build your day pack because you’re setting out to explore the jungle by land, water, and sky. Begin your adventure with a hike to the shady foothills through rural farmland and terraced rice fields. You and your team will cover ground much faster on the way back as you glide through the canopy on an exhilarating zip line ride. That evening you’ll transfer to your new lodgings in the picturesque Mae Ngat valley for some much-deserved reflection and relaxation.

Outdoor Adventure in Rural Chiang Mai

(cont.)

The next few days will be spent in a whirlwind of authentic exploration of some of Thailand’s most scenic beauty. We’ll gain access to hiking trails typically reserved for local use and meet the people of this magnificent countryside. With extended excursions on foot, mountain bike, and white water raft, you’ll have the time of your life while testing your limits and rising to challenges.

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The Need We Address

Visitors to Bangkok are charmed by the energy and vitality of the city and its cultural treasures. Yet behind the hustle and bustle of the business and tourist districts lies the poorer region of Klong Toei. Here, Bangkok’s impoverished peoples – referred to as “slum dwellers“ by those who live and work in the area – have virtually no support or services.

In the 1960s, one of these Klong Toei “slum” dwellers was a typical teenage girl working to pay her way through a teacher training college. Having learned early the value of education, Ms. Prateep Ungsongtham used her training to establish a school in the Klong Toei, as one had not existed before. Her success and ambition in education quickly spread through the community and ultimately led to a life of public service. Elected in the year 2000, Ms. Prateep served as a prominent Senator for Thailand, currently continuing her work as an advocate for children’s rights. Her work was formally recognized in 2004 when Ms. Prateep was awarded the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child.

GoBeyond is privileged to work alongside Ms. Prateep at the now +40 year-old Duang Prateep Foundation. The underlying focus of our activities in Thailand is to enhance the self-esteem of the local children, teens, and elderly; in doing so, we embark on our own path of growth. We play team-building games, create art projects, have fun teaching, and get our hands dirty on much-needed building and painting projects.

Learn More

  • Get Our Free Online Brochure

    Full of detailed information about our journeys, staff, and FAQs for you to access anytime
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
“I couldn't have asked for a more meaningful introduction to global service. I was on Thailand '08 and it was truly the foundation for where I am today (studying public health & anthro and doing a lot of service in college!). I've traveled and worked with so many communities since GoBeyond, but that summer will always be special. ”
Alaina S.Dover, MA
thailand-alaina-s

Closing Activities

2 Days

The last days are always so hard! – so hard to say goodbye to this amazing place. To round off their stay, students and staff go for a final dinner and reflect on the past couple weeks. Students and staff exchange stories, and, perhaps, shed a few tears during our slide show and closing program. Without fail, there is a mix of emotions – there is excitement to return home; there is sadness to leave. On the final day of the trip, students are transferred to the Bangkok airport by our professional staff, checked in, then travel on to their respective homes and families. Yet the journey continues on for each individual in undefinable ways. The lessons we learn and the personal growth we gain through GoBeyond Thailand are things we can never forget.

Sawatdee! Welcome to Thailand!

2 Days

Our journey begins! Students have the option of flying to Bangkok (BKK) via New York (JFK) and Hong Kong (HKG) on a preselected group itinerary, or students can fly independently. For students flying via JFK, GoBeyond arranges for an airport representative to assist with the transfer. In some cases, this representative is one of the group leaders and flies with the students to the journey destination. In other cases, he/she is a local contact responsible for airport assistance but will not be on the flights to Bangkok. Due to time zone differences, our group flight typically lands in Bangkok the day after departure. After arrival in Bangkok, students are met at the airport by GoBeyond’s professional staff and transferred to our comfortable, clean hotel. First day activities include check-in, ice breakers, GoBeyond’s orientation, and a fantastic Thai dinner.

Service & Exploration in Kanchanaburi Province

6 Days

As a well-deserved break from bustling Bangkok, students spend time working in rural communities sponsored by the D.P.F. The New Life Project in Kanchanaburi Province gives at-risk young adults from the Klong Toei community an opportunity to experience life outside the slum, and gives GoBeyond students the opportunity to sample Thai life outside of the city as well. New Life Project residents learn farming and vocational skills and learn to live and work together in a spirit of cooperation.

Service & Exploration in Kanchanaburi Province

(cont.)

For a short, yet profound period of time, GoBeyond students play an integral part in the lives of the New Life Project youth. During their stay, students facilitate games, plan activities, and share cultural customs. Compassion abounds on all sides during this service work. After only a few weeks, the effects of the New Life Project are noticeable in these children. For the first time in many of their lives, the Klong Toei youth discover that they have a part to play in life and can play it successfully.

Service & Exploration in Kanchanaburi Province

(cont.)

When the service work is over, students have an opportunity to explore Thailand’s beautiful countryside. Natural caves and gorgeous waterfalls offer students the perfect place to relax and unwind. Students also get up close and personal with gentle giants while touring the area on elephant back. These wondrous natural areas of Thailand give new depth to our understanding of the Land of Smiles. Students leave Kanchanaburi inspired and with a feeling of awe – not just for the sights and sounds of rural Thailand – but also for the meaningful work they’ve accomplished.

The Need We Address

Visitors to Bangkok are charmed by the energy and vitality of the city and its cultural treasures. Yet behind the hustle and bustle of the business and tourist districts lies the poorer region of Klong Toei. Here, Bangkok’s impoverished peoples – referred to as “slum dwellers“ by those who live and work in the area – have virtually no support or services.

In the 1960s, one of these Klong Toei “slum” dwellers was a typical teenage girl working to pay her way through a teacher training college. Having learned early the value of education, Ms. Prateep Ungsongtham used her training to establish a school in the Klong Toei, as one had not existed before. Her success and ambition in education quickly spread through the community and ultimately led to a life of public service. Elected in the year 2000, Ms. Prateep served as a prominent Senator for Thailand, currently continuing her work as an advocate for children’s rights. Her work was formally recognized in 2004 when Ms. Prateep was awarded the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child.

GoBeyond is privileged to work alongside Ms. Prateep at the now +40 year-old Duang Prateep Foundation. The underlying focus of our activities in Thailand is to enhance the self-esteem of the local children, teens, and elderly; in doing so, we embark on our own path of growth. We play team-building games, create art projects, have fun teaching, and get our hands dirty on much-needed building and painting projects.

Learn More

  • Get Our Free Online Brochure

    Full of detailed information about our journeys, staff, and FAQs for you to access anytime
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Outdoor Adventure in Rural Chiang Mai

5 days

Thailand’s northern capital offers a very different perspective on Thai culture and life. Situated in the heart of central Asia’s forested foothills, the ancient city feels more like a sleepy rural town than a bustling urban metropolis. After a quick introduction and tour through the numerous historical sites of Chiang Mai, you’ll venture into the lush, green countryside of northern Thailand for an adventure off the beaten path. Pristine jungle, open-air trails, and churning waterfalls all await exploration in this blissful, natural paradise.

Outdoor Adventure in Rural Chiang Mai

(cont.)

Tie your shoes tight and build your day pack because you’re setting out to explore the jungle by land, water, and sky. Begin your adventure with a hike to the shady foothills through rural farmland and terraced rice fields. You and your team will cover ground much faster on the way back as you glide through the canopy on an exhilarating zip line ride. That evening you’ll transfer to your new lodgings in the picturesque Mae Ngat valley for some much-deserved reflection and relaxation.

Outdoor Adventure in Rural Chiang Mai

(cont.)

The next few days will be spent in a whirlwind of authentic exploration of some of Thailand’s most scenic beauty. We’ll gain access to hiking trails typically reserved for local use and meet the people of this magnificent countryside. With extended excursions on foot, mountain bike, and white water raft, you’ll have the time of your life while testing your limits and rising to challenges.

“I couldn't have asked for a more meaningful introduction to global service. I was on Thailand '08 and it was truly the foundation for where I am today (studying public health & anthro and doing a lot of service in college!). I've traveled and worked with so many communities since GoBeyond, but that summer will always be special. ”
Alaina S.Dover, MA
thailand-alaina-s
  • Chat With GoBeyond Alumni

    Enter your email below, and we'll send you some alumni references
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Closing Activities

2 Days

The last days are always so hard! – so hard to say goodbye to this amazing place. To round off their stay, students and staff go for a final dinner and reflect on the past couple weeks. Students and staff exchange stories, and, perhaps, shed a few tears during our slide show and closing program. Without fail, there is a mix of emotions – there is excitement to return home; there is sadness to leave. On the final day of the trip, students are transferred to the Bangkok airport by our professional staff, checked in, then travel on to their respective homes and families. Yet the journey continues on for each individual in undefinable ways. The lessons we learn and the personal growth we gain through GoBeyond Thailand are things we can never forget.

“These service projects really do benefit the community in a great way. Not only are they changing people's lives and making them happy, they are giving them a future. ”
Tres H. - Bangkok, TH
“My daughter has had three wonderful journeys with GoBeyond. The counselors took care of my daughter as if she were their own. She even would like to work for GoBeyond as soon as she can!”
Karen S. - Maple Glen, PA
“I think GoBeyond is an amazing program that changes lives for both the communities and the students - it certainly changed my life.”
Alexander Z. - Cranford, NJ
“You feel very quickly at home. The leaders of the group, the food, and the accommodations were just the best!”
Piyada P. - Bangkok, TH

Need More Information?

Affiliates

GoBeyond is a proud supporter of local, national, and international service organizations around the world.

In Thailand, students have the opportunity to work closely with local people on projects where the need is authentic and the results are long-lasting. When our time is up, we provide much needed financial help to the D.P.F. with a direct donation, which helps fund projects in an ongoing way. Consider your impact…join GoBeyond this summer and make a difference!

  • Duang Prateep Foundation

    The Duang Prateep Foundation was founded in 1978 and grew out of the efforts of locals to address the problems that confronted them - problems that have their roots in poverty and deprivation. The name "Duang Prateep" means "flame of hope" and this flame is the foundation's symbol. It offers a promise that we try hard to live up to. Learn more at http://en.dpf.or.th/

Need To Know

Is this journey right for me?

Though Thailand is likely far from home, you’ll never feel anything but welcome in the Land of Smiles. Whether you think you’re good with kids or not, this trip will help you recognize how similar people can be around the globe. This trip also focuses on outdoor adventure and wilderness sports, so it is ideal for the student who enjoys high energy interactions and activities. If you’re looking for a trip that blends culture, service, interaction, and adventure in one of the world’s most amazing countries, then this is the trip for you.

What's the group like?

There’s really no rigid mold that GoBeyond participants are cut from. Since our students come from different backgrounds all over the world, the groups end up being naturally diverse. Everyone arrives with different goals, expectations, hopes, and fears, but they quickly find common ground and begin to bond. The GoBeyond environment allows team members to connect quickly and become closer friends than anyone would expect. After the trip, many students report feeling as though they have known their fellow students for much longer than they actually have.

Our philosophy revolves around small group sizes that are still large enough to foster a sense of community. For this program, we’ve found that a maximum group size of 18 students works best. This program does not require any previous experience, skill, or language speaking ability.

Who are the staff?

GoBeyond is proud to attract and recruit the best in our field. Our summer staff consists of avid world travelers, highly qualified professionals, and fun and experienced facilitators and educators. All members of our team are dynamic, multi-talented, and passionate individuals with devotion and commitment to the safety and experience of our students.

The average age of our summer staff is 26. Staff skills are program specific, such as holding a maritime license in the BVIs or having a background in childcare for China. All staff are First Aid and CPR certified, and many hold advanced training certificates such as Wilderness First Responder or EMT. Including the local guides and our community service partners, the ratio of staff to students is approximately 1:5. This enables close interaction and individualized attention during the journey.

Learn More About Our Staff

What do I need to bring?

GoBeyond students are responsible for carrying their luggage from place to place. As such, we recommend that you keep things simple and avoid over packing. Students are given the opportunity to do laundry throughout the trip, so there’s no need to pack several weeks’ worth of clothing.

Our hope is that families will have minimal purchases prior to the trip, so we’ve compiled our packing lists in a way that you’ll find most of what you need in your closet at home. Around mid to late March, we make available our Pre-Trip Packet to enrolled students, which contains a detailed packing list for this year’s journey. If you’d like to see last year’s packing list as an example, please download the PDF below.

Download Packing List Example

During the Thailand trip, students will need approximately $500 USD in cash. This cash is used for two purposes…

“Travel and Reserve Cash” ($200) is held in safekeeping by our staff during the journey. Its intended use is for anticipated travel needs to and from the journey destination and for any unanticipated emergency costs that might arise, such as a doctor visit. Any leftover cash at the end of the journey is returned to the student.

GoBeyond will pay all major program costs while traveling and working, but there will also be opportunities for students to spend money on personal items. For a student’s personal “Spending Cash” ($300), the most common expenses include phone/internet time, souvenirs, and snacks. Based on our past experience, some students will spend less and some will spend more than our recommendation above. Judge this amount by the spending habits of your student. Please set up boundaries for its use, as GoBeyond cannot be responsible for monitoring student spending. If you are concerned about loss or theft, students can give staff up to $150 of their spending cash to be put into safekeeping/drawn later.

Where do we stay?

GoBeyond is not a luxury program; however, we utilize comfortable, clean, and safe accommodations during our trips. In Bangkok, our students usually stay at a typical international hotel that caters to tourists and business people alike. When outside Bangkok, the Duang Prateep Foundation provides us accommodations at their New Life center. This is often more basic – think dorm-style living with mattresses on the floor – yet very comfortable and cozy. In Chiang Mai we stay at a new local resort in the heart of the grasslands with easy access to all of our adventure activities.

What do we eat?

GoBeyond’s tuition covers all meals after arrival in the host country. We strive for healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals, and serve a mixture of local and international fare (including Western). For our Thailand journey, our partner organizations often cater our meals. It’s also common for us to eat at the hotel for their buffet breakfasts and local restaurants for various dinners out.

Note, as GoBeyond is a health-conscious program, our staff does not provide large quantities of “junk” food (i.e. sodas, chips, candy bars, large desserts, etc…). Students can always supplement our meals and snacks by shopping locally for their own items.

During the application process, families can inform us of any dietary allergies or restrictions. We are usually able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians, etc…, as well as various food allergies. However, if your student has a severe allergy to peanuts or other common substances, please call our office to discuss the options.

Nitty Gritty

Flights
Are flights included in the tuition?

Since students join us from all over the world, the cost of transportation to and from the destination country is not included in the program tuition.

Who should we contact to book travel?

Helping to coordinate our students’ travel is of vital importance – and a mammoth task! For this reason, we strongly suggest that all families start by contacting our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 • E: leahctn68@hotmail.com). Even if you are not originating in the U.S., Leah will be able to provide options and guidance.

When should I book flights?

We suggest you wait until March 20th, and here’s why. The quality of the experience is in large part defined by the makeup of the student team, and unfortunately we can’t determine the status of a specific journey or session until we receive the appropriate number of enrollments to guarantee a great experience (which is typically no fewer than six). Therefore, unless you select a ticket fare type or flight insurance policy that allows flexibility for date modifications, refunds, or credits, we suggest that families wait until after March 20th to book their international flights.

What is the preferred itinerary for U.S.-based students?

Each year, GoBeyond works with TRC Travel Center to select a preferred itinerary to/from Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) via New York (JFK) and Hong Kong (HKG). GoBeyond strongly encourages U.S.-based families to book on our recommended route, so that as many students as possible can fly together as a team. Please bear in mind, however, that GoBeyond has no control over the number of participants that choose to fly via JFK. Depending on the desires of other participants, the number of students traveling on the recommended route can vary greatly.

What about an alternate itinerary that suits us better?

Since students come from all over the U.S. and world, it is not required that students book on our preferred itinerary.  For non-U.S. based students, those looking to use frequent flier miles, or others who are not booking with TRC Travel Center or on our preferred flight itinerary, please contact our office prior to booking to ensure you are arriving and departing Thailand at appropriate times. Note that the journey start date (as shown above) is the date upon which the GoBeyond group flight departs New York. Due to time zone differences, the group flight may actually land in BKK the day after. The journey end date is the date upon which the GoBeyond group flight departs BKK.

Does GoBeyond provide support on travel days?

Yes. We understand that travel days can be stressful for both parents and students, so no matter what time of the day or night, our office team actively monitors and supports our participants during travel. We require students to travel with a mobile phone with domestic data capability so we can monitor their progress and communicate directly if necessary. For certain flight connections, GoBeyond also offers on-site airport assistance, yet our experience has shown that being active and available to everyone electronically is often more effective in quickly troubleshooting snags than being physically present in just one location. For this specific journey…

  • Preferred Itinerary (Outbound flight, JFK to HKG to BKK) – In some instances, particularly for the first session of the summer, GoBeyond has a group leader who flies with the students on the preferred itinerary at the start of the trip. When a group leader is not able to travel with the students on this outbound flight, GoBeyond will typically hire a representative for the JFK airport who is responsible for helping troubleshoot any flight/connection issues that may arise.
  • Preferred Itinerary (Inbound flight, BKK to HKG to JFK) – On occasion, particularly for the last session of the summer, a group leader will return to the U.S. on the preferred flight with the students. If a staff member is not able to return with the students, GoBeyond will not typically hire an in-airport representative for JFK. This is due to the lack of an on-site representative’s ability to attend to customs/immigration issues and ongoing connection coordination when they do not arrive with the students.

For more information on airport assistance, please contact our office. We will be glad to let you know what type of support we typically offer for your journey (specific plans will only be available nearer the travel date).

Travel Docs & Vaccinations
Skip the stress and plan ahead

GoBeyond cannot apply for passports or visas on a student’s behalf, but we can provide the information you need to do so yourself. At the time of writing, students traveling on U.S. passports do not need a visa but must have 6+ months of passport validity after the entry date to Thailand. For the most up-to-date and thorough information, please visit travel.state.gov. Students traveling on non-U.S. passports should verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local Thai embassy or consulate.

GoBeyond understands that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications such as anti-malarials. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, GoBeyond does not supply medical advice. We recommend that all families refer to the expertise of the CDC (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic.

Tuition
GoBeyond tuition fees cover the following:
  • All in-country journey accommodation, meals, and ground transportation
  • Full-time service adventure staff, local guides, and tips
  • All group activities including service projects and materials, sight-seeing trips, and educational excursions
  • Physical and monetary donations to our partner organizations
  • One certificate of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only) upon successful completion of the journey

Not included in the GoBeyond tuition fees are personal expenses such as the cost of obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations, airport taxes, extra baggage fees, health and travel insurance, medical and evacuation expenses, personal spending money, e-mail, phone calls, laundry, souvenirs, etc. As students come from all over the world, air transportation is not included. Please see the Flights tab for more details.

OUR 5-6 WEEK PROGRAMS

Any two consecutive journeys can be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between journeys, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each journey and subtracting the 5% extended course discount (this discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program ActionQuest). GoBeyond and ActionQuest enrollment for any two journeys in the same summer will be considered as a single extended program in the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the trip at any time.

Itinerary
Living in the moment

Though the fundamentals of our journeys do not change, specific journey logistics evolve over time. It is typical for our community service partners to not choose our project areas until late spring/early summer, thus the final touches of our itineraries are not always set until then. The journey overview portions of this page should give families a basic understanding of the kinds of activities we do on the journey. We also suggest last year’s Trip Updates if you need more descriptions. For the most up-to-date information on our expected itineraries, feel free to Contact our office.

With that in mind, we encourage all participants to “live in the moment” while on the journey. Travel, even on organized trips, requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. Your journey country may not be as efficient, orderly, and/or timely as you are used to. We hope you’ll take the bumps in stride, and enjoy the adventure!

Service Hours
Service Hours & Letters

After the completion of summer, all students (U.S. and non-U.S. students alike) receive a GoBeyond service letter reflecting their participation on the journey.* The GoBeyond service letter describes the type of service work performed, the number of hours awarded, and is printed and signed on our letterhead. Typically, our letter is accepted by most high schools/colleges as proof of community service participation. If your school needs a specific form signed or evaluation filled out, please make sure to bring this on the trip so a staff member can assist you.

* Note: Presence alone does not necessarily earn students the community service hours. GoBeyond reserves the right to deduct hours due to non-participation and/or early dismissal. Participants who work hard and participate in all journey activities will receive the full number of service hours available for their journey.

  • Flights
  • Travel Docs & Vaccinations
  • Tuition
  • Itinerary
  • Service Hours
  • Are flights included in the tuition?

    Since students join us from all over the world, the cost of transportation to and from the destination country is not included in the program tuition.

    Who should we contact to book travel?

    Helping to coordinate our students’ travel is of vital importance – and a mammoth task! For this reason, we strongly suggest that all families start by contacting our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 • E: leahctn68@hotmail.com). Even if you are not originating in the U.S., Leah will be able to provide options and guidance.

    When should I book flights?

    We suggest you wait until March 20th, and here’s why. The quality of the experience is in large part defined by the makeup of the student team, and unfortunately we can’t determine the status of a specific journey or session until we receive the appropriate number of enrollments to guarantee a great experience (which is typically no fewer than six). Therefore, unless you select a ticket fare type or flight insurance policy that allows flexibility for date modifications, refunds, or credits, we suggest that families wait until after March 20th to book their international flights.

    What is the preferred itinerary for U.S.-based students?

    Each year, GoBeyond works with TRC Travel Center to select a preferred itinerary to/from Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) via New York (JFK) and Hong Kong (HKG). GoBeyond strongly encourages U.S.-based families to book on our recommended route, so that as many students as possible can fly together as a team. Please bear in mind, however, that GoBeyond has no control over the number of participants that choose to fly via JFK. Depending on the desires of other participants, the number of students traveling on the recommended route can vary greatly.

    What about an alternate itinerary that suits us better?

    Since students come from all over the U.S. and world, it is not required that students book on our preferred itinerary.  For non-U.S. based students, those looking to use frequent flier miles, or others who are not booking with TRC Travel Center or on our preferred flight itinerary, please contact our office prior to booking to ensure you are arriving and departing Thailand at appropriate times. Note that the journey start date (as shown above) is the date upon which the GoBeyond group flight departs New York. Due to time zone differences, the group flight may actually land in BKK the day after. The journey end date is the date upon which the GoBeyond group flight departs BKK.

    Does GoBeyond provide support on travel days?

    Yes. We understand that travel days can be stressful for both parents and students, so no matter what time of the day or night, our office team actively monitors and supports our participants during travel. We require students to travel with a mobile phone with domestic data capability so we can monitor their progress and communicate directly if necessary. For certain flight connections, GoBeyond also offers on-site airport assistance, yet our experience has shown that being active and available to everyone electronically is often more effective in quickly troubleshooting snags than being physically present in just one location. For this specific journey…

    • Preferred Itinerary (Outbound flight, JFK to HKG to BKK) – In some instances, particularly for the first session of the summer, GoBeyond has a group leader who flies with the students on the preferred itinerary at the start of the trip. When a group leader is not able to travel with the students on this outbound flight, GoBeyond will typically hire a representative for the JFK airport who is responsible for helping troubleshoot any flight/connection issues that may arise.
    • Preferred Itinerary (Inbound flight, BKK to HKG to JFK) – On occasion, particularly for the last session of the summer, a group leader will return to the U.S. on the preferred flight with the students. If a staff member is not able to return with the students, GoBeyond will not typically hire an in-airport representative for JFK. This is due to the lack of an on-site representative’s ability to attend to customs/immigration issues and ongoing connection coordination when they do not arrive with the students.

    For more information on airport assistance, please contact our office. We will be glad to let you know what type of support we typically offer for your journey (specific plans will only be available nearer the travel date).

  • Skip the stress and plan ahead

    GoBeyond cannot apply for passports or visas on a student’s behalf, but we can provide the information you need to do so yourself. At the time of writing, students traveling on U.S. passports do not need a visa but must have 6+ months of passport validity after the entry date to Thailand. For the most up-to-date and thorough information, please visit travel.state.gov. Students traveling on non-U.S. passports should verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local Thai embassy or consulate.

    GoBeyond understands that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications such as anti-malarials. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, GoBeyond does not supply medical advice. We recommend that all families refer to the expertise of the CDC (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic.

  • GoBeyond tuition fees cover the following:
    • All in-country journey accommodation, meals, and ground transportation
    • Full-time service adventure staff, local guides, and tips
    • All group activities including service projects and materials, sight-seeing trips, and educational excursions
    • Physical and monetary donations to our partner organizations
    • One certificate of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only) upon successful completion of the journey

    Not included in the GoBeyond tuition fees are personal expenses such as the cost of obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations, airport taxes, extra baggage fees, health and travel insurance, medical and evacuation expenses, personal spending money, e-mail, phone calls, laundry, souvenirs, etc. As students come from all over the world, air transportation is not included. Please see the Flights tab for more details.

    OUR 5-6 WEEK PROGRAMS

    Any two consecutive journeys can be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between journeys, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each journey and subtracting the 5% extended course discount (this discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program ActionQuest). GoBeyond and ActionQuest enrollment for any two journeys in the same summer will be considered as a single extended program in the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the trip at any time.

  • Living in the moment

    Though the fundamentals of our journeys do not change, specific journey logistics evolve over time. It is typical for our community service partners to not choose our project areas until late spring/early summer, thus the final touches of our itineraries are not always set until then. The journey overview portions of this page should give families a basic understanding of the kinds of activities we do on the journey. We also suggest last year’s Trip Updates if you need more descriptions. For the most up-to-date information on our expected itineraries, feel free to Contact our office.

    With that in mind, we encourage all participants to “live in the moment” while on the journey. Travel, even on organized trips, requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. Your journey country may not be as efficient, orderly, and/or timely as you are used to. We hope you’ll take the bumps in stride, and enjoy the adventure!

  • Service Hours & Letters

    After the completion of summer, all students (U.S. and non-U.S. students alike) receive a GoBeyond service letter reflecting their participation on the journey.* The GoBeyond service letter describes the type of service work performed, the number of hours awarded, and is printed and signed on our letterhead. Typically, our letter is accepted by most high schools/colleges as proof of community service participation. If your school needs a specific form signed or evaluation filled out, please make sure to bring this on the trip so a staff member can assist you.

    * Note: Presence alone does not necessarily earn students the community service hours. GoBeyond reserves the right to deduct hours due to non-participation and/or early dismissal. Participants who work hard and participate in all journey activities will receive the full number of service hours available for their journey.