It’s a bold statement! But we’d like to share with you why we believe Thailand should be your top destination in 2021 for study abroad, international internships and service-learning, so if you’re looking to travel, read on!
Travel to Thailand with safety in mind
In any year, Thailand is an amazing place to visit, and we don’t know anyone that hasn’t fallen in love with the welcoming culture after experiencing it. But as the world struggles through the Covid-19 crisis, Thailand has done a great job of keeping the virus under control and, coming into 2021, is one of the few countries to maintain its CDC level 2 status while still allowing entry to foreign visitors in a responsible way. In this blog post, we’ll explain all the reasons why travel to Thailand is at the top of our list!
But can I even travel right now?
Studying, interning or volunteering abroad in 2021 has its challenges. You may have questions about border statuses, your college’s stance on travel, safety, and ethical concerns, and what an international experience will be like this year, but the good news is that Thailand reduces many of the risks and uncertainties associated with travel in 2021.
We know that borders are unstable right now, so you may be asking, will countries allow me in? Will countries allow me out, and am I going to have to make some last-minute changes?
A number of academic institutions have canceled travel in 2021, at least in the summer and some even in the fall. Others are still allowing longer-term programs of six weeks or more, which is where a study abroad program, internship, or volunteer program can come into play. And other schools are allowing travel in 2021 to specific locations based on US Department of State and CDC travel advisory alerts. As part of that, the question becomes, where can I afford to make plans; and where can I commit to travel with the highest level of certainty possible?
At Kaya Responsible Travel, we work in 32 countries around the world, but we are particularly focused on Thailand for travel in 2021 for a number of key reasons.
So why Thailand?
First of all, Thailand is an incredible place to visit no matter the year. It contains an amazing mix of history and modernity in a fast-growing economy, and if you’re looking to study abroad, Thailand is home to a host of well-regarded academic institutions. And remember, Thailand has a tropical climate, world-famous cuisine and an incredible array of diverse landscapes! Did we mention that it’s affordable?
But of course, our number one reason that Thailand should be your number one destination for 2021 is that it’s one of the safest locations to visit right now, and is open to students!
What is the current safety status of Thailand? Thailand is one of the only countries that has maintained a consistently low number of Covid-19 cases and deaths. They went almost half of 2020 without a single case of Covid-19, and an outbreak in December 2020 was quickly contained due to a set of effective safety protocols that have remained in place since early last year. And as we mentioned, Thailand has maintained its CDC level 2 status consistently, which is rare in these times!
Importantly, Thailand opened to students in fall 2020, and opened to tourists in a controlled manner more recently, which allows students to enter for internships or service-learning placements as well as study abroad. Thailand has remained safe due to a set of effective protocols, so what is traveling in Thailand like in 2021? Is it still fun?
If I go, can I experience the location anyway?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Overall, life in Thailand is almost back to normal. Temperature checks and masks are required everywhere, indoors and out, but students and tourists are allowed virtually anywhere. And if you’ve traveled in Asia before, you know mask usage was already popular, so the requirement doesn’t bother the locals at all! Beaches, museums, and restaurants are open, with restrictions on large gatherings such as sports events in Bangkok, for example. Also, there is an effective contact tracing system in place, so anyone can get notified of potential exposure and even track cases in real-time.
We will help you navigate travel in 2021 and Thailand’s Covid-19 safety protocols which currently include obtaining a certificate of entry online, getting a PCR test and a “fit to fly” certificate, packing your proof of insurance, getting screened upon arrival, and quarantining for 14 days in a government-approved hotel. And we will take care of booking that for you!
Don’t worry, though, we’ve made sure that quarantine will still provide you with benefits. It’s not so bad. First of all, it will only be a small part of your whole experience. But most importantly, students on the ground have reported back to us that, yes, it is a bit boring, but they enjoyed the internet (Netflix!) and had a structured online program to keep them busy. If quarantine restrictions ease later this year for those already vaccinated, we will also adapt to the new plans, but Thailand are keen to open up travel as soon as possible without putting their peopole at risk!
So what about quarantine?
Currently the quarantine requirements are 14 days in a hotel room. Although it is a bit boring, you’ll have the internet, and if you’re studying abroad, you’ll have your classes. On our internships and service-learning placements, we make sure you have things to do too! Meals are fully catered, and after the first seven days, you’ll be allowed to use other hotel facilities, as long as you are alone. Also, you can stay connected with fellow students online, so you’ll be able to chat and get to know each other the whole time.
And after those 14 days are up, we’ll move to local apartments an you’ll be off to explore with daily activities including a city tour, cooking classes and more!
What can I do in Thailand on a Kaya program?
We have some amazing programs in Thailand available for 2021 and beyond, so check out our project pages to learn more or talk to one of our Placement Advisors! No matter the program, we’ll help you navigate travel in 2021 from beginning to end. You can have an incredible experience abroad this year!
Check out your options below:
Study Abroad in Thailand
Combine study abroad with an internship or service-learning! Spend the first two weeks studying and socializing (remotely) in quarantine, and on weeks 3 and 4, continue studying while enjoying all that Bangkok has to offer! Then, travel to Chiang Mai to extend your stay with an internship or service-learning placement in your field.FIND OUT MORE
Internships and Service-Learning Placements in Thailand
Check out your options for internships and service-learning placements that will allow you to travel in 2021 while advancing your personal and career goals! Contact a Placement Advisor today, and remember, we can often adapt placements to suit your university’s internship requirements!
Culture and Service Gap Program in Thailand
Travel on a small pod program so you can tour the best of Thailand’s culture and landscapes. Visit an elephant sanctuary, take an intro to Thai language class, enjoy a cooking class, and stay in a jungle resort – and more! Travel in 2021 never looked so good.FIND OUT MORE
For more reasons to make Thailand your top destination 2021, watch our webinar!