Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I apply?

After reading about our projects fill in our application form, telling us how you would like to participate and when you would like to begin.

We will talk with our local hosts and get back to you soon. At that point we will work together with you to give you more information on your individualized program. Then you will receive information on preparation for your experience, required visas, medical information, and more. If you like what we offer, you pay the application fee to secure your placement.

2. Why am I paying to volunteer?

If you’ve never volunteered in an overseas exchange before, we understand that it may seem contradictory to pay for a volunteer position. We ask for a small fee from you that will go directly to the community where you will be working. We believe it is fair to compensate the families, placements and hosts who help you during your time spent volunteering. You also contribute to our funds for several causes as well as your accommodation, materials, transport, and development of this volunteer program.

When taking into account a typical daily budget while traveling or living in your home country, we think you will find the fee you pay during your stay to be very reasonable.

3. Who profits from my payment?

Your money goes primarily to the local community, and it also contributes to our sponsorship programs. Mundo Exchange is a strictly non-profit organization, and because we have private donors covering our administrative costs, you can rest assured that 100% of your money is going directly back into the field.

4. What kind of accommodation can I expect?

Accommodation in Thailand is quite livable by most standards; however some of the Western amenities cannot be found in our rural locations. Bedrooms may be shared with another volunteer, beds may consist of thin but comfortable mattresses, and fans rather than air con may be the norm. The traditional Asian squat toilet is often found in Isan, Thailand, rather than a Western flush toilet. If you have more specific accommodation requests we should be able to arrange them for you

5. What is the difference between a home stay and the center?

Home stays are available for volunteers staying a minimum of two weeks. Volunteers residing at our center during orientation will have access to kitchen facilities so they may cook for themselves, and will have access to a few more Western amenities. Once your orientation is finished you will travel to your home stay, often living in rural areas with a local family. Specifics regarding each home stay vary, but volunteers will have breakfast and dinner provided at the home, and lunch is always provided at the schools. You can expect your own bed and fan. Staying with a Thai family is a wonderful opportunity to be immersed into local culture but volunteers should be intrepid and prepared for cultural differences.

6. What kind of volunteer is needed?

We encourage all types of people with varying backgrounds and interests to volunteer with us. Participants should be individuals who are excited about foreign experiences. We welcome people of all walks of life and encourage diversity. We also encourage travelers and backpackers seeking short-term stays as a way of giving to a community during their travels.

Mundo Exchange is not for those wanting to live and work with others from the Western world, but rather for those wanting to live in and learn from another culture. We are not a volunteer vacation organization. We have fun but work together to improve the local situation while exchanging ideas with another culture. Volunteers can be travelers, families, teams, pairs or individuals just feeling the need to help others.

If you are motivated, can communicate openly, are fairly independent, flexible, have a positive attitude and sense of humor, can accept others as they are rather than criticize, and enjoy the new and different you are welcome and would be a definite asset.

7. Who should join the Mundo Exchange team?

If you believe that helping and exchanging information about starting non-profit organizations, computer training, business, the arts, English language and more is important to improving the lives of others and yourself then Mundo Exchange is where you belong.

If you are interested in an international volunteering exchange where your work and your money goes to helping those in need, then Mundo Exchange is for you.

If you have a desire to help in community development projects in areas where there are few other foreigners helping, then Mundo Exchange is for you.

If you believe that cross-cultural exchange is important to this world, then Mundo Exchange is for you. For more information read about our vision.

8. What are Mundo Exchange’s experiences with volunteer work?

Many of our team members have volunteered most of their lives. Some have given their gap year, career breaks, or vacation time to volunteer programs.

Many have started programs helping the young and old alike that are victims of war, natural disasters and economic hardships.

All have volunteered and believe that giving of self is a rewarding and beneficial experience.

All believe that having fun and working together is essential to this world or ‘mundo exchange’.

Some of us have high school education while others hold doctorates in their fields. We all are equal in knowledge, compassion and the desire to support this exchange.

9. Does Mundo Exchange work with other organizations?

Yes. We work together with like-minded non-profits, associations, schools, government agencies and more. We enjoy working in cooperation with the many who strive to make this world a better place for those economically underprivileged, displaced or harmed by human made or natural disasters.

10. Besides helping to bring volunteers to needed areas what else do you do?

We create project based educational curriculum in the areas of education, the arts, environmental protection, health, and more. We exchange information about sustainable development, agriculture, and provide free classes to individuals and small groups who are seeking to improve their economic existence.

We use community people as master teachers. We offer our instruction at our centers to help businesses and individuals develop many skills. We work to support peace and mutual respect.

11. Why did you start Mundo Exchange?

We are a diverse group who share the desire to work with communities around the world who seek assistance with issues of financial development and needed educational skills.

Our goal is to bring volunteers willing to contribute financially and personally to mostly rural areas where their money will be used to assist those people in marginalized communities.

We strive to share ideas and work together with individuals, groups, and like-minded organizations that believe that solutions through doing and communicating openly and fairly help to make the world better for all.

12. Where does Mundo Exchange work?

Currently we are concentrating volunteer assistance in an area of Northeastern Thailand called Isan. We are in small towns and villages where there are rarely other volunteers or Western presences.

Members of our team have collective volunteer experience in areas including the West Bank, remote Guatemalan villages and on the farmlands of Europe and Australia. We work in an area considered by teachers and the government of Thailand to be the poorest region of the country and where there is a great need for English speaking volunteers. Most residents of the Isan area are farmers. Many in this area seek English language, computer and other career skills to improve employment choices.

13. Who will I work with?

You will work within a small Thai community with locals providing them assistance with their projects. You do not need to have English as your first language but should be able to help them with English skills. You may work with another volunteer but mainly your time will be spent assisting and improving your Thai community.

14. Are starting dates flexible?

Yes, you may come any time.

15. What skills do I need for your projects?

No specific skills necessary, just an open mind and a heart for service! You will have an orientation that will help you get started, after which on the job training will occur where you work together with locals helping with ongoing projects. Your coworkers and other volunteers will help guide your learning process as you participate.

16. Can you meet me in Bangkok and help me get to my orientation?

No we do not meet our volunteers in Bangkok, but we will be glad to help you get settled in by providing the phone numbers of guesthouses and hotels that are or have been used by our volunteers so you can safely make the trip to your orientation by yourself. In your pre-arrival information we provide numbers and information on how to easily get to Buengkan.

17. How do I get to my placement and orientation?

Most volunteers travel from Bangkok by plane, bus or train to Udon Thani (or by bus or train to Nong Khai). Mini vans are readily available from either city to Buengkan. Let us know your travel plans ahead of time and we will meet you at the bus station (mini vans and busses both end up there) in Buengkan.

18. Why us?

We believe in the concept of short term volunteering for long-term development. This means that we believe in making quality cross-cultural experiences, international exchange and volunteer service available to as many people in the world as we can.

By providing help to people in rural areas who seek assistance in strengthening their communities, we believe we are enhancing our global community while improving and enriching both our own lives and theirs in the process. Mundo Exchange happens to be a very unique organization that has promised to remain strictly not for profit, ensuring that the majority of financial help goes to benefit local communities and individuals, not to western pockets. In fact, 100% of your donations and program fees go back into the community in which you are serving, as our overhead costs are covered by private donors.

We are an easy going, multinational, accessible and idealistic group that offers you our experience, knowledge, open minds and a love for fun, diversity and adventure. We’re eager to develop a strong core of international volunteers who will help in international volunteer community development at all levels. We look forward to welcoming you.

If you have any questions not covered please contact us. We will integrate newer questions into our FAQs section over time.