Adventure & International Award
All adventurous activities are supported by specialist staff, with training given to students prior to the activity. High-quality personal protective equipment is provided as required, and all equipment is maintained regularly. We work to international standards to ensure the strictest safety requirements are met.
We have extensive knowledge of the local area and will choose the appropriate trek or bike ride suitable for the age and ability of your students, taking into consideration the weather and temperature at the time of your visit.
Out in the field the VSP staff carry first aid kits and are Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) trained and certified. For every activity and at all locations we visit, a support vehicle is always available in case of any emergency or medical evacuation.
VSP can lead and facilitate International Award (Duke of Edinburgh Award) at all levels, with our staff qualified to SAT3 (Adventurous Journey Supervisor and Assessor) and ALT3 (Award Leader) Levels.
We have many routes and options that are suitable for groups wishing to complete their Adventurous Journeys at all levels, and can combine various adventure activities to provide a challenging expedition for students.
Community Service & Service Learning
VSP is committed to offering authentic and dedicated community service projects to our visiting schools, and we provide many such projects each year. It is one of the most popular options for students of all ages and we are proud to support many local schools, organisations and remote communities with the generous and willing assistance from our visiting students.
Community service can range from just a half-day visit to a local school or orphanage, to lengthy construction projects over several weeks in more remote locations throughout Northern Thailand. We select the project depending on the donation budget, the number and age of students, length of project, and the time of year.
Experienced local guides and VSP staff support all our service projects, and we use local tradesmen for specialist tasks. We include the donation amount in the overall trip budget, and arrange all materials and tools needed to complete the project. To add to the experience, some of our groups stay in or close to the village during the project.
We can offer a service learning approach to community service where students are involved in helping to choose the project, meet and talk with the local people who will benefit and then plan and carry out the project.
Service learning is an experiential learning process that provides students with authentic opportunities to utilise effective collaboration and critical problem solving while engaging positively in the community.
By applying this method to work on a project, students will experience personal growth and become socially and environmentally responsible global citizens.
The friendly and welcoming Thai people are mostly Buddhist, and there are many temples and places of historical and architectural interest as well as traditional markets, music, cuisine, textiles, arts and crafts found only in this area. Chiang Mai is surrounded by mountains, jungle, rivers and waterfalls, and makes a wonderful learning environment for students to enjoy new experiences.
We offer many activities linked to the local culture and way of life including Thai language and culture lessons, monk chat, temple visits, Muay Thai boxing, traditional arts and crafts, Thai cooking, visiting local communities and industries, elephant dung paper, herbal soap and shampoo making, fruit carving, alms giving, city market visits, and our popular Khantoke dinner with cultural performance of music and dance.
Students can learn about and discuss the plight of the Asian elephant in captivity, their role in Thai society, and enjoy an unforgettable personal encounter by feeding and washing these majestic animals.
VSP works closely with FORRU (Forest Research and Restoration Unit) to look at the issues of deforestation in northern Thailand. Students can learn about the different local flora, and also plant seedlings in the nursery. We can also offer tree planting and other environmental projects when in season, and carry out surveys and tree care at sites that forests are being restored.
The Royal Projects were introduced by King Bhumibol in 1969 to help face the issues of deforestation as well as to improve the wellbeing and income of Hill Tribe communities with advanced farming methods and alternative crops to poppy cultivation and opium production.
Our on-campus farm is both educational and working, and supplies herbs and vegetables for use in cooking classes and the school cafeteria.
There are many seasonal activities to choose from suitable for students of all ages such as rice planting, animal care, mud brick making, bicycle blender, soil and water testing, macro invertebrates, growing cycles and food chains, natural soap and shampoo making, tie dye, and even an amazing farm race.
Jungle Cooking teaches students to prepare and cook simple but traditional curries and dishes using only utensils made from natural materials, cooked over a fire, and eaten with hands. We also have two mud brick ovens on the farm that students can use to make great pizza or bread. Please visit the farm website.
We offer the following fieldwork options, but we are very flexible so please let us know your curriculum needs if we do not currently cover them.
River Study - physical, chemical and biological
Slope Study – quadratting and soil testing
Leaf Litter Survey – species identity and diversity
Globalisation Study – how has tourism has affected Hill Tribe villages
Compass Education - using the compass of sustainability, a systems approach to learning
Settlement Study – land use survey and comparison
Group 4 – student lead project as part of IB curriculum
Social Justice & Global Perspectives
VSP works with many local organisations that look after people in need of help - single mothers, orphanages, people with mental health problems, involvement with trafficking, and a foundation working towards social change with Hill Tribe people and refugees from Burma through theatre performance, art and games.
Our community service projects are often at orphanages or small schools in remote villages, and social justice and global perspective issues can also be discussed and thought about as students interact and help the local people at the project site.
All projects and visits are designed to have a positive impact on the local people as well as being meaningful for students. VSP staff will provide information and briefings to prepare students beforehand, encourage positive interactions and questions during the visit/project, and lead reflection sessions afterwards.
Team Building & Leadership
VSP offers flexible leadership courses where we can combine initial training with theory on campus, and then put those skills into practice out in the field where students get to test their ability to work together in real life group tasks, all fully supported by our staff.
Thai Cooking has proved to be a very popular activity for staff and students of all ages, as it is a chance to create and enjoy tasty authentic dishes, and also to learn about the culture and traditions of Thailand with recipes passed down through generations.
The class also teaches important life skills in cooking, kitchen hygiene and safety as well as making healthy food choices and learning the importance of where our food comes from.
We offer various cooking classes, from a half-day that can include a visit to the Farm to pick seasonal vegetables and herbs, to a slightly longer session that starts with a trip to the local market to buy produce. This is an excellent opportunity to see more of the culture by visiting a traditional market, and also gives the students a chance to practice their Thai language skills.
Please visit the Cooking Academy website.
All Visiting School Programs can be created with reference to the Global Goals, to allow students to take action for global issues happening in Chiang Mai.