Toys for Elephants / Thailand 2020 Travel Program  

January 2 – 19, 2020

Tuition: $2500

Estimated Airfare Cost: $1200-$1600 (Register early for better rates)

3 College Credits: $250 (optional)


On this 18-day travel program you will work with college students, designers, and educators from around the US to design and build objects that enhance the quality of lives of Elephants in captivity!!!! Since 2011, Handshouse Studio has offered student programs to design and build “Toys for Elephants” enrichment objects that develop cognitive learning, encourage physical activity and develop problem solving skills necessary for basic health and well being of elephants in captivity.

This Handshouse Studio Toys for Elephants: Thailand Travel Program will focus on working at BEES Elephant Sanctuary in the Mae Chaem region, as well as visiting many historic, cultural venues, and beautiful natural sites in and around Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is an opportunity to take your creative design build skills, your interest in animal welfare and cross-cultural exchange where they are much needed.

The program will include 9 days in Chiang Mai at Monfai Culture Center and NeNa Contemporary Arts Center learning and experiencing Thai culture, historical regional Lanna art and architecture, local crafts, and fantastic food; including several Thai cooking classes.   


Then we travel to Mae Chaem, a region south west of Chiang Mai, for a one week stay at BEES Elephant Sanctuary to design and build “enrichment objects” for their elephants. BEES is an ethical elephant sanctuary that focuses on retrieving elephants that have worked in the tourist business their whole lives. BEES is a place where elephants are brought to retire in a natural setting of many acres where they are allowed to forage and walk each day and are not used for the work or entertainment of humans. In the sanctuary visitors do not ride the elephants but enjoy offering help toward the sanctuaries needs for caring for them, and getting to observing these stunning animals in their natural environment.

In 2018, BEES Sanctuary reached out to Handshouse Studio to create a one-of-a-kind program to bring students to BEES to design and build enrichment objects for their elephants. Do not miss the second year of the unique hands-on Handshouse Studio Toys for Elephants :Thailand travel program.



Tuition includes: All Housing and Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), ground transportation, site fees, guides, travel insurance, tools and some supplies (We will raise funds for some materials needed to complete the objects and welcome participant help with this campaign.)

Credit: 3 College Credits can be purchased through Montserrat College of Art for an additional fee of $250.

Airfare: The faculty will travel with the group round trip from Boston to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Airfare costs vary with date of purchase and are not included in the tuition cost.


If you wish to apply for the Toys for Elephants/Thailand Travel Program, Please complete the application below;

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