Inside Thailand - cultural exchange and community service

Beyond tourism, and now celebrating its 16th year, our multifaceted adventure offers uncommon opportunities not only to explore this enchanting tropical kingdom and its culture through insiders' eyes, but also to make an exceptional contribution by participating in a unique teaching experience and sharing what we know best.

Dates: June 17 - July 17, 2011 (31 days)

Participants: Enrollment is limited to just eight motivated and qualified students in grades 9 through 12.

Leaders: Mac Bakewell and Boosaba Nualhing (Thai-American couple accompanied by bicultural daughter, Benyapa, aged 18)

Program Fee: $4,550 (please see details)

Application Deadline: April 15 (or first 8 qualified applicants)

Deposit Due Date: April 15
$1,000 deposit, checks payable to "Cate School — Inside Thailand."



Thailand, the colorful kingdom well known for exquisite cuisine, fine silks, and golden Buddhas, is most famous for its vibrant people and their radiant smiles. Here is a unique opportunity to feel the true warmth of those smiles and to share our own Western experience with eager Thai counterparts.

Adventure and experience

We will explore the tropical countryside from teak forests in the north to coral reefs in the south. We'll visit ancient temples and modern cities, study Buddhism with revered monks, rice farming with traditional growers, and social issues with dedicated activists as we examine some of the challenges facing this culture in transition.

Cultural Exchange

Most memorably, we will become valued members of a Thai village community as we bring English to life in rustic, rural classrooms, form friendships with Thai students, and learn to see the world through each other's eyes.


"Men working in the rice fields, women bathing their babies, and children walking home from school all came out to welcome us, even if they could not say a word to us that we would understand. They did not need to though; their smiles said everything."

Colleen Barrett
Inside Thailand, 1997

"My students taught me much more than I would ever be able to give them. I feel that I now have a home and a large family in Thailand."

Rachel Ko
Inside Thailand, 2002, 2004

"Never have I been given a gift so meaningful as the love, acceptance, and admiration the children of Pah Leurat gracefully afforded me."

Molly Baker
Inside Thailand, 2009


The Invitation


Our Work: Thai is a unique tonal language little known outside of Thailand. Through English Thais can communicate with the world in voice, print and digital media. Although English is now required from the first grade, few rural faculty are qualified to teach more than spelling. Each summer since 1995 Inside Thailand has helped bring English to life in Uttaradit.

For two memorable weeks we'll use music, games, and imagination to encourage bold attempts at communication. After school we'll plan our next day's lessons, then enjoy swimming, sports, and other local adventures with our new Thai friends. In the evenings we'll join these same friends for relaxed camaraderie with music, games, videos and computers in the village library.


Village Life: Between the river and the rice paddies, in a serene, fertile valley flanked by teak-forested hills, a rustic community of some six hundred wooden stilt-houses nestles under the trees. This is Pah Leurat, Boosaba's childhood home, where we'll work and play with our new school friends and help Boosaba, a world-class Thai cook, prepare our farm-fresh daily cuisine.

Despite Bangkok's intense industrial growth, nearly seven out of ten Thais still live in their ancestral, rural communities. Saffron-robed monks make morning alms rounds, children frolic in cool, bright rivers, and whole families help one another fish, farm rice, and graze buffalo. While the city is a world of outsiders, the village is a close community of family and friends—it is a great privilege to be invited here as honored guests.


Brochure page 1: Introduction | Brochure page 2: Itinerary | Brochure page 3: Details

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