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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Chiang Mai, Thailand; Phang Nga, Thailand
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: OSU applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:




In cooperation with GVI, an international volunteer organization, Ohio State STEP students may participate in one of the following service projects in Thailand:

Volunteer with Children in Thailand 
Global Public Health in Thailand
Thailand Coastal Conservation Expedition 
Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand 

Volunteer placements range from two to 12 weeks in length and participants design their own program dates within this time frame. Please refer to the volunteer site links listed above and click on the “dates & costs” tab for information on possible start dates and program costs.

PLEASE NOTE: While this experience is only available to STEP students, this is not a group program.  Individual applicants work with the program provider to select their preferred placement and experience dates. There is no guarantee there will be other STEP students on-site during your particular dates of participation.  

APPLICATION PROCESS:  Students are required to follow the application steps in order as they are outlined under the "Eligibility" tab.  Students must first apply via Ohio State Education Abroad by the application deadline and be approved before continuing the application process with the provider. 


Phang Nga province is located on the Andaman Sea and is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, numerous national parks and stunning scenery with a wide range of attractions. Phang Nga is made up of white sandy beaches, tropical islands, amazing limestone rock formations and a rich culture

Volunteers participating on the project with elephants will find themselves surrounded by breathtaking mountainous scenery in northern Thailand and will quickly ease into a very peaceful way of life that still exists here. Project work itself takes place in Mae Chaem District, a 5-hour journey into the mountains, where the famous Karen elephant-keeping communities reside and who have shared a unique and sacred relationship with elephants for hundreds of years.


Phang Nga project accommodations consist of basic dormitory-style arrangements. Students volunteering with elephants will reside in the village of Huay Pakoot.

Education Abroad Coordinator

Jenny Kraft



Courses and Credit

This is not a credit-bearing experience.


In order to be eligible to apply for this program, students must be in STEP, be in good academic standing with the university, and meet OIA's General Eligibility Requirements and Conditions for Participation. All students will also be required to participate in on-campus pre-departure orientations organized by the Office of International Affairs.

Application Process

1. Complete the OIA Education Abroad Application: start at the "Apply Now" at the bottom or top of this page.
2. Eligible applicants will be prompted by OIA to continue the application process with the service-learning program provider. Students should only apply to the provider after being instructed to do so by OIA.  
3. The service-learning program provider will advise students on their application requirements.
4. Students approved by the provider will be formally accepted to the program by OIA.


Passports are required for every Ohio State education abroad program. For many destinations, passport information is required to apply for an entry visa early as 6 months prior to departure. For information about apply for a passport, go to



Program Costs

Students will pay the GVI program fee directly to GVI according to their payment schedule plus an international insurance fee to Ohio State. Program fees vary by project and placement length. Please see the project-specific links in the "program description" section. 

IMPORTANT: Ohio State does not make payments to the program provider on behalf of students, nor are funds transferred between the two institutions. Students are responsible for making payment directly to the provider.

The release of STEP funds cannot be changed to accommodate the billing cycle of a particular program provider. Students who rely on STEP funds in order to make payments to the provider should work directly with the provider early on to determine if a portion of their payment may be deferred based upon expected release of university funds. Students may be expected to make payments months prior to the release of STEP funds and should plan accordingly. 

If a students withdraw or become ineligible any time 11 days after the acceptance notification, they will be held responsible for a cancellation fee. Please refer to OIA's Cancellation Policy.




Information Sessions

Information session times and dates are TBD.


U.S. Department of State: (travel advisories/country-specific safety information)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: (pre-travel health guidance)

Ohio State reserves the right to change without notice any statement contained herein, concerning but not limited to rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula and courses. In the event of a change to an existing U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, CDC Travel Health Notice or other risk designated criteria, the Office of International Affairs reserves the right to cancel any program prior to departure or while in progress. Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status is prohibited.


Please review this information about the Zika Virus and other pre-travel health considerations.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 02/01/2020
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Summer 2021 01/04/2021 01/18/2021 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed