2-24 WEEKS




PMGY’s Childcare volunteers programme in Vietnam brightens up the lives of young children making an important contribution to their daily lives. We work with a range of organisations in and around Hanoi, providing vital support and care for children and young adults in NGO care centres, kindergartens and hospitals.


Important Note: Volunteers are advised to note that we support a range of childcare facilities in and around Hanoi in addition to the examples provided across this overview. Thus volunteers may be located at such placements not listed in the overview. This can be particularly true across the summer time where we have higher numbers of volunteers and we may support additional childcare and teaching projects to prevent overcrowding at projects. This is also in line with the holiday periods in Vietnam where there is more need and availability for community programmes and summer classes through the day.


Therefore please bear in mind that whilst we will always do our best to place volunteers at their chosen project that can be highlighted as a preference in the ‘Special Requirements’ section of the application form, it is not always possible and project availability and needs are fluid.




As in most developing countries, disabled people in Vietnam do not receive the level of support they need. It is estimated that nearly seven million people in Vietnam are disabled (8% of the population). We support NGOs in Hanoi that provide vital assistance to these vulnerable groups.


Volunteering with disabled people is a challenging but highly rewarding experience. Using your creativity, emotional strength and resourcefulness to help such vulnerable people will not only change their life but yours as well.


PMGY support a variety of projects that provide care for children and young adults with special needs. Below is examples of some of the projects that we support and example of some of the placements you could be working on when in Vietnam with us.


Phuc Tue Centre – Established in June 2001, Phuc Tue Centre provides support to around 75 children and young adults. The students range from 2 to 30 years of age and suffer from a variety of physical and mental disabilities. These include the effects of Agent Orange, Autism, Down Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis. The aim of the centre is to provide the children with the level of support needed to empower the students to be able to be as independent as possible and integrate into mainstream society.


There are 4 classes at Phuc Tue and 12 teachers work at the centre. All of the teachers graduated from Hanoi National University of Education. Volunteers assist the staff in their daily activities and sessions. These include early grade academic learning, life skills training and physical education/therapy. During the lessons, volunteers assist the teaching staff by providing individual attention to the students with tasks such as drawing and painting. The students really enjoy dancing and singing, so any type of musical activity is always popular. A few of the children can speak a little English so volunteers can teach English to a few of the more capable children.


At lunchtime, you can help to feed the children who require special assistance. Phuc Tue Centre extends their support to raising awareness in the community about disability and the human rights of the disabled people.


It is around a 45-minute journey to reach Phuc Tue Centre from the Volunteer House.


Morning Star Centre – Founded in 1995, Morning Star Centre (locally known as Sao Mai) is a subsidiary of the Vietnam Relief Association for Children with Disabilities. The centre has nearly 70 staff members caring for approximately 150 children ranging in age from 1 to 25 years. Morning Star’s mission is to provide opportunities for children and young adults with special needs to receive the education and training to help them successfully play their part in the local community. In particular, the centre strives to provide assistance for those children suffering from developmental disabilities including Down’s Syndrome, Autism and Cerebral Palsy.


The children are grouped in smaller classes of around 12 to 13 children with on average 2 to 3 teachers per class. The classes are tailored to the needs of the children. Volunteers can get involved in a range of activities from basic education, motor skill development, play therapy and physical education sessions. Morning Star offers some vocational and pre-vocational courses for teenagers before sending them to outside vocational schools. The courses help increase the children’s independence and confidence, and their abilities to get enrolled in professional training centres outside. Having recently set up a coffee shop at the entrance of the centre, some of the children help out and in the process receive valuable experience in working and interacting with the public.


Where possible, Morning Star strives to prepare the children to enter mainstream education. However, it is quite common for former pupils who have entered mainstream education to return to Morning Star as government schools are by no means equipped to welcome special needs students.


Morning Star Centre is around a 45-minute journey from the Volunteer House.


Friendship Village – We also place volunteers at Friendship Village, which is a living, health, and educational centre for children living with the effects of dioxins from the herbicide “Agent Orange”. The centre also provides healthcare to war veterans.


Friendship Village was founded in 1992 by George Mizo, an American veteran who strived to repair the damage done as a result of the use of Agent Orange in the America-Vietnam War. The Friendship Village complex is composed of two living quarters, two classroom buildings, a health centre, and a few other buildings used by the staff for cooking and general administration. There is also a vegetable garden, as much of the food is grown on-site.


The centre provides a home to 120 residents, aged from 4 to 26 years of age. The residents come from all over Vietnam and suffer from a range of disabilities such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, physical deformity, and severe mental disability.


Volunteers help out in a number of different ways. These include collaborating with the teaching staff as to new ideas and techniques to help the residents. In addition, you can share ideas on how to structure lessons, providing an independent evaluation of the students and updating their student profiles. Volunteer in Vietnam participants can also help in giving individual assistance to the students during the lessons or undergo personal therapy sessions (if appropriately qualified). Help is also needed organising structured activities for the children during their free time, helping with feeding the children and teaching English to the staff, teachers and residents.


The Friendship Village is located around a one-hour bus journey/walk from the Volunteer House.


Please note that the minimum time commitment to join Friendship Village is 4 weeks, and volunteers here are advised to have experience (whether professionally or through education) of working with people with physical and/or mental disabilities.


Khanh Tam Day Care Centre – Khanh Tam Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 2006 for early detection and care of mentally impaired children. The centre has nearly 20 staff members caring for approximately 50 children ranging in age from 1 to 12 and is located in Nam Dong, Dong Da, Hanoi.


After 10 years, the centre is developing and fulfilling services to help children in the centre. To be specific:


– Early intervention: target group 2-5 years old. The programme provides children basic skills to develop (communication skills, playing with others and etc), which aims to help children integrate the society in their early age (kindergarten age).
– Primary/elementary programme: target group: 6-12 years old. The programme equips reading- writing- calculation, providing basically necessary knowledge about the life. The children will learn how to do read, write and calculate by approaching direction or replacing direction which aims to applicable purposes in their life.
– School function programme: target group 6-12 years old and have no ability to study standard primary school programme.
– Living skills programme: target group 10-16 years old and have no abilities to integrate the society and study standard primary school programme. Children will focus on learning living skills. Primary working skill and career orientation are taught for children preparing when they grow up.


The Khanh Tam Centre is located around a one-hour bus journey/walk from the Volunteer House.




The aim of the childcare projects we work with is to provide daily support in caring for children as well as nurturing their English, confidence and communication skills. Below are some examples of the childcare settings where we place volunteers.


Smile Kindergarten – Smile Kindergarten is home to children aged from 12 months to 6 years old. The kindergarten’s mission is to explore and develop children’s abilities through teaching art subjects, languages and various methods of communication. It also has different clubs in the school where the kids can nurture their talents and cater for their hobbies.


Generally, one class will hold 15 – 20 kids. The volunteers are expected to help the children improve their English through songs, dance and informal education. They should be creative in generating fun basic educational materials so that the children become more confident in their communication and mannerisms. This will include arranging drawing, painting and handcraft activities as well as participating in outdoor activities that the kindergarten runs when needed.


There will also be a local teacher in the class to help the volunteers if needed.


Smile kindergarten is quite near CSDS office, situated in Mai Dich, Cau Giay district, Hanoi. There is easy access to the internet and other services that the volunteers may need in the area.


Cozy House Kindergarten – Founded in 2008, Cozy house kindergarten now has 8 classes for kids ageing from 18 months to 5 years old. The kindergarten aims at teaching art subjects, sports, some basic writing (for 5 years old kids) and English. Besides this, there are also extracurricular activities which are often conducted to better the children’s understanding and enhance their communication skills.


In each class, there are normally around 15 kids. The volunteers are expected to help the children by teaching basic English, taking care of the kids through play and interaction, organising games, leading arts and crafts activities, singing songs and dance and also helping feed the children at meal times. There will also be a local teacher in the class to help the volunteers if needed.


Cozy house kindergarten is 9 km away from the Volunteer House, located in the city center, Dong Da district, Hanoi. There is easy access to the internet and other services that the volunteers may need in the area.


The Little Seeds Project – The Little Seeds Project is based at the National Hospital of Paediatrics in Hanoi. Aside from the medical treatment provided at the hospital, the children have very little social interaction and are heavily reliant on their families. Quite a few of the children come from rural communities. Therefore, a family member, usually the child’s mother, will stay with their child 24/7.


The family member will sleep in the same bed as the child and, for all intents and purposes, basically live at the hospital! You can therefore imagine how stressful the whole experience is for not only the child but their family as well.


The time the children spend at the hospital varies from a week to several months. As a result, PMGY have identified a placement whereby we can create regular activities and engagement for the children in order to improve their psychological well-being. When hospitalised, the children face huge changes to their life and daily routine, which has numerous psychological effects. Infants, toddlers, school-aged children and teenagers all respond differently to illness in regards to their individual development.


Without the right stimulation and routine, long-term hospitalisation will result in a higher susceptibility to long-term psychological damage. The aim of this programme is to not only bring entertainment to the children, but also to pay attention to the specific needs that young patients develop during long-term hospitalisation. Responsive activities will be strategically developed to support the various needs of the children. We aim to introduce a concept called ‘Play Therapy’.


From childhood to adulthood, play is fundamental in our lives. For children, play has an even more important role, as they haven’t yet developed the abstract reasoning abilities and verbal skills to articulate their feelings. Kids use toys as adults use words. They play as we build conversations.


By playing with the children, the aim is to give them the space to develop strategies for them to cope with the difficulties they experience. When playing the children’s defences are reduced and it becomes natural for them to express their feelings. Play releases stress, connects people to one another in a positive way, stimulates creativity and curiosity, and helps to regulate emotions.


The overall purpose of bringing volunteers to the hospital is to create an environment where the children can grow, play and learn with adults who are respectful and understanding of their needs. Furthermore, the sessions give family members a much-needed break. A mother may use this time to take a shower, buy groceries, or just take some time for herself. The mothers and families take great joy in seeing their child being happy and interacting with other kids. It is difficult to express how relieving the pressures on the parents, even just for a few hours, can really help them cope with the situation as a whole.


The project generally takes place across mornings and afternoons. Three days a week the project runs only in the morning meaning volunteers will get two afternoons off a week as well. PMGY volunteers will work alongside local volunteers who will help with translation and general support. We expect volunteers to spend an additional 1 to 2 hours each day preparing activities for their sessions at the hospital. The number of children who turn up each day varies, as it depends on how the children are feeling and if they have any treatments scheduled for the afternoon.


The average group size is 5 to 10. The children can also vary on a daily basis given the nature of volunteering at a hospital. The children vary in age, so volunteers will need to prepare a range of activities. At the hospital there is a small classroom where the sessions take place and there are some limited resources available for you to use such as board games and play-doh. Our Volunteer House also has resources you can take to the hospital and there are also plenty of places you can purchase additional materials should you require them.


The hospital is around a 45-minute journey from the Volunteer House.


What are the requirements to join?

In order to join the programme you need to be at least 17 on the programme start date.


We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, nationalities and religions. You must be able to provide us with a clean criminal background check prior to your programme start date. We are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions.


Although you do not need to speak English as your first language, we do require all participants to have a good level of English in order to join the programme.


You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.

What date should I arrive and leave?

You should arrive into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (airport code HAN) on the selected Wednesday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.


The programme ends on the Wednesday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

When is the best time of year to volunteer?

Volunteer feedback tends to suggest that joining us outside the European summer months is the best time to get the most out the experience from a project involvement and cultural integration perspective. The summer months tend to be our busiest times in-country where we have peak numbers across the projects and with accommodation.

Are there any age restrictions?

In order to join the programme you need to be at least 17 on the programme start date.


Generally the average age range of volunteers is 17-22 but this is by no means definitive.


There is no upper age limit. However, we encourage anyone who is slightly older to contact us in the first instance and we can advise if there is a more appropriate programme/destination for you.

When should I apply for the programme?

For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.


It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly. However, you should always make sure you’re 100% committed to the programme before applying.


It is also possible to change your start dates once you have already applied and had your space confirmed. However, please note this does carry an administration charge of £39 and is subject to availability.


You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual programme; this will guide you through our Online Application process.

What duration would you recommend?

Based on volunteer feedback we believe a period of 4-6 weeks is the ideal time to get really involved in a project and make an impact. This also allows you to have enough time at the weekends to explore the local area and further afield. Participants who join us for 2 weeks frequently tell us that they did not believe this was long enough and wish they had stayed for a longer period.


If you are interested in joining us for a period of 8 weeks+ then we strongly recommend you consider joining us in multiple locations to provide a better all round experience.

Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?

We accept volunteers from all over the world. The majority of our participants are from the UK, US, Canada & Australia. However we have hosted volunteers from countries such as Nigeria, Bermuda & Peru in the past.

Can I go with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer at the same project (please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis).
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.


The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.


In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.


When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.


All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.


While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.

When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee (£149). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.


You’re only required to pay your £149 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.


Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.


Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We also accept BACS transfers from UK participants. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

Can I use PMGY’s programmes as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.


If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly on [email protected] to schedule a meeting.


Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY volunteers joining our teaching programmes the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. If however you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory course to teaching english abroad.


At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is hugely convenient because it can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You’ve got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. An hour here and there certainly adds up over the course of the couple of months you have to complete it, so there really is no pressure.


Once completed you’ll not only have acquired some key skills for teaching English abroad but you’ll also gain an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules leading to a paid teaching position in the future.


As well as a core module in the ‘Principles of Teaching English’ which covers ‘Understanding language’, ‘Key English grammar points’ and ‘How to teach grammar in the classroom’ you will have a choice of one of three specialist modules. The ‘Survival teaching’ module is perfect for volunteers covering ‘Teaching large classes’, ‘Teaching with limited resources’, ‘Learner-based training’ and ‘Cultural awareness’.


The cost of the course is £99. If you’ve already signed up to one of our programmes and would like to enroll on the online TEFL course then please call us or email us.

Can I fundraise for my trip?

With PMGY the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive for your time with us overseas. The fundamentals of this structure include food, accommodation, airport pickups, around the clock support from our UK and in-country team, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.


We do our best to keep our programme costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing on quality and safety. However with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Therefore a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip.


We recommend setting up an online fundraising page to allow friends and families to learn more about your trip and make donations. PMGY have partnered with the online crowd funding website GoGetFunding.


This professional online fundraising service creates a personalised fundraising page for your PMGY trip, allowing you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415) that has been set up to help provide financial aid and assistance to the projects and countries we work with on an ongoing basis.


The objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty of people living in the communities we support by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.


The ultimate aim of the PMGY Foundation is to enable donations to be directed towards specific hand-picked projects in countries most in need. The project donations are determined by the charities trustees during our annual overseas visits.


If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation you can do so via our BT MyDonate fundraising page.


100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. Please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas.

How do I register for your online webinars?

On selected Tuesdays at 1pm (GMT) we hold our Pre-Departure Webinars. They are well worth attending, take only 45 minutes and will provide you with some really invaluable advice on your upcoming trip.


There are two to choose from and it is well worth attending both:


Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Programme Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching programmes.


You will receive an email invitation to join these sessions once you have confirmed your place the programme.


The first webinar is designed to cover all of the essential pre-departure information you need to know and things you need to do before you go and the second webinar is more programme specific with advice and information for whilst you’re on your placement.


The webinars are hosted by a member of our UK team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the world. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, good internet connection and a pair of headphones.


If any family or friends would like to attend the session as well then they are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

What about vaccinations and malaria tablets?

As we are not medical experts we cannot, unfortunately, tell you exactly what vaccinations you’ll need to obtain so it is vital you consult your local GP or travel clinic a few months before you intend to travel. Your local doctor/nurse will advise you as to what vaccinations and malaria prevention is needed for entry into your volunteer destination.


Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights?

You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you in arranging them. Through our close partnerships within the travel industry we are able to offer flights at very competitive rates. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries; we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use.


For peace of mind, PMGY holds an ATOL License (11262) that allows us to offer flight-based packages that are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority in the unlikely event of our insolvency.


If you’d like to receive a flight quote from PMGY, you can submit an online enquiry by visiting the specific web-page of the programme you’re interested in joining, or by calling our office or dropping us an email.


When you apply for a PMGY programme we cannot guarantee your acceptance immediately. On receiving an application we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the programme and to assess your suitability for the specific project.


Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your programme has been confirmed by us in writing. Once your programme has been confirmed you’re then free to book your flights either with PMGY or a through third party travel agent.

Do you offer travel insurance?

It is mandatory that all PMGY volunteers hold travel insurance during the entirety of their time on our programme; this includes your travel to and from the host country. Although PMGY do everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong so you must adequately protect yourself.


PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy for our volunteers. The policy is specifically designed to insure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 75 and covers you throughout any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.


Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away for, including the date you depart and return to your home country, to ensure you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5-week policy, not a 4-week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To join any of our programmes you’ll need to provide us with a clean CRB or Police Check before you travel. We have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. We are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.


If you hold a current CRB or Police Check then we can accept this providing it is issued no more than 18 months prior to your programme start date. Please scan and email us a copy of this document. If you do not have a CRB or Police Check then we will outline how to obtain this in your Volunteer Handbook. The CRB or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your programme start date.


If you don’t have a valid CRB check (also known as DBS or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Disclosure Scotland (which serves all people in the UK).


This costs £25 and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Disclosure Scotland is outlined in the volunteer handbook you receive once you are signed up to the programme.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hardcopy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.


This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on-hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!


Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

Are there any public holidays that effect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that effect project availability and project closures in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change that directly effects project availability and we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. This usually represents a unique experience for volunteers to enjoy in the festivities and holidays themselves and/or our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country to country. We ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. We will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack.


The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover your shoulders and thighs and for men to not take their shirts off. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with.


It’s a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions but please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take depends on where you travel to and how many travel activities you plan to undertake during your free time. If you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania, scuba-diving course in Thailand or trekking in South Africa, then you should budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find £50-£100 per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time. All of our programmes have been designed so that you have weekends off. This gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures.


Furthermore, you’re going to meet so many new people during your time with PMGY that you’ll definitely meet some travel buddies along the way!


Before booking your flights we recommend that you look into travel opportunities within the relevant country either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. If you do plan to travel extensively please factor this into your flight itinerary, as we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering as you have made a commitment to the project.


Volunteer House


During your time in Vietnam you will stay at our Volunteer House. The Volunteer House is located within a quiet and friendly neighbourhood approximately a 45 minute bus journey from the Old Quarter of Hanoi – which is the main tourist area. Rooms are shared (four to eight per room – bunk beds), single sex only and all rooms have air-conditioning. The bathrooms are shared and each has a western style toilet and shower (hot water provided in winter months). The house has a communal kitchen with a fridge, oven and washing machine (available free of charge).


Free drinking water is available 24/7. There is also a lounge where you can hang out. Wi-Fi is also available in certain parts of the house including the communal area. Each volunteer is also provided with a locker to store away valuable items and there are wardrobes to hang your clothes. Volunteers are asked to pay a deposit of 50,000 VND or $5 US Dollars for the locker key which can be reclaimed at the end of your programme.


Each volunteer is provided with a house key (subject to a deposit of $5 US Dollars) so the house is accessible at all time and to ensure general volunteer safety. We also have a member of staff (usually a nanny or an intern from the local team) present in the house overnight. Please note if you arrive late in the evening on the arrival day at our Volunteer House then it is likely our local team will not be present and you will meet them the following day.


Our local team have an office on the ground floor of the house, which makes for a great atmosphere and ensures volunteers are well supported throughout their stay. There is everything you need within walking distance of the Volunteer House: ATMs, supermarkets, laundrettes, chemists etc. There are also some great cafes and local bars. A taxi to the main tourist part of Hanoi form the Volunteer House costs around £7 – which can be split between fellow volunteers.


During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.


You will be provided with three meals a day, which will be traditional Vietnamese dishes – this means a lot of rice! All food will be nutritious and freshly cooked.


For breakfast you can expect cereal, toast and tea/coffee. Some projects will provide you lunch, whereas for others you will eat at the Volunteer House. Lunch in the house is usually always a Vietnamese dish, which will include soup, rice, vegetables and sometimes meat or fish. For projects a little further afield, you can eat lunch at a local restaurant and then be reimbursed for the value of your lunch up to 40,000 VND.


Dinner is served at the Volunteer House. We have cooks at the house who will freshly prepare your meals. Generally speaking meals are served in the early evenings and usually divided into equal portions by the nannies to ensure everyone gets an equal amount should volunteers choose to eat later in the evening time.


You can expect a variety of dishes, so there will be always something to suit even the fussiest eaters! A typical meal will have pork, fish, beef or chicken and tofu or egg and at least 2 different kinds of vegetable dishes, along with rice and soup. Ad hoc we also serve a western meal – our volunteers always appreciate this.


If you fancy eating out there are plenty of cafes and local amenities in the surrounding area or you can take a bus or taxi into the main tourist area, the Old Quarter, in the city of Hanoi.


Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.






2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
10 weeks
12 weeks
16 weeks
20 weeks
24 weeks

* These fees apply to each individual application.



In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee (£149). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.


You’re only required to pay your £149 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.


Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.


Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.







  • FLIGHTS TO HANOI (£450-£700)NO
  • VISA (£0-160)NO





Duke of Edinburgh Logo


PMGY Financial Protection


PMGY Foundation Charity Logo

© 2018 Plan My Gap Year - Company No. 07693913 & Charity No. 1169415

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Site Map