🇻🇳 VOLUNTEER IN VIETNAM 🇻🇳

Volunteer in Vietnam with Plan My Gap Year – an award-winning, international volunteering abroad organisation with programs in Hanoi, Vietnam. PMGY provides safe, trusted and affordable programs, with a range of volunteer projects in Vietnam, including Childcare & English Teaching opportunities.

PMGY Vietnam is located in the chaotic urban capital of Hanoi in the north of the country. The Vietnam volunteer programs start on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month. Our projects in Vietnam run throughout the year and volunteers can join the program for 2-24 weeks. Volunteers in Vietnam are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pick-up, in-country orientation, three meals per day, volunteer accommodation and local team support.

KEY FEATURES

PROGRAM FEE FROM 510 USD

PROGRAMS FOR 17+ YEAR OLDS

✓ 75% OF VOLUNTEERS ARE 17-22 YEARS OLD


✓ MEET LIKE-MINDED SOLO TRAVELLERS


✓ VOLUNTEER MON-FRI & TRAVEL SAT-SUN


✓ AVAILABLE TO WORLDWIDE VOLUNTEERS


✓ IDEAL FOR FIRST TIME TRAVELLERS

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

LOCATED IN HANOI

1ST & 3RD WEDNESDAY EVERY MONTH

✓ 24 HOUR AIRPORT PICKUP


✓ ACCOMMODATION, MEALS & WI-FI


✓ SAFE, SECURE & TRUSTED COUNTRY SETUP


✓ CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION


✓ 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY, UK & US SUPPORT

VIETNAM CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

Help children receive the vital care and education they need, bringing your personal passion and enthusiasm to engage with local children.

FROM 510 USD

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

VIETNAM ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

Teach English in Vietnam where you can bring new ideas to the classroom and help students at schools and community classes improve their English.

FROM 510 USD

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

REAL SOUTH EAST ASIA ENCOUNTER – VIET, CAMBODIA & BALI

If weeks spent volunteering around one of the most colourful parts of the world sounds enticing, then this combo of Vietnam, Cambodia & Bali is ideal.

FROM 1,770 USD

6-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

ULTIMATE ROUND THE WORLD ENCOUNTER

An epic journey across 10 enthralling destinations and 4 breathtaking continents. If you are looking for the ultimate trip, then this is your Encounter!

FROM 6,285 USD

20-40 WEEKS

MORE INFO

@planmygapyearofficial POV: you’re in Vietnam doing what you’ve always dreamed of! 😍 Vietnam offers an amazing cultural experience where you can get immersed in the local community, encounter amazing personalities and meet lifelong friends 🫶🏽 #pmgyvietnam #pmgyteaching #travel #volunteer #volunteering #explore #backpacking #gapyear #planmygapyear ♬ original sound – Plan My Gap Year


Have a cool amazing wonderful week ahead! 🥰😍💓🥳

#pmgy #planmygapyear #pmgyvietnam #pmgychildcare #pmgyteaching #travel #volunteer #volunteerabroad #gapyear
A cute moment of the day! Do you see what the students are doing? In 🇻🇳, it is a polite way for children to greet or say thank you to someone older 😊

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What are you playing? 🧐
Let’s play together! 🥰

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Have a Holly Jolly Christmas! ✨☃️🎊
May your life be filled with joy and amazing adventures 🎁🎈Love from Vietnam

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WHY VOLUNTEER IN VIETNAM WITH PMGY?

Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.

 

Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.

 

Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.

 

Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.

 

Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

VIETNAM CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

As a childcare volunteer in Vietnam with PMGY, you will work to brighten up the lives of young children, making an important contribution to their daily lives. Our local team and volunteers work with a range of organisations in and around Hanoi. Our international volunteers provide vital support and care for children and young adults in care centres and kindergartens.

 

Background to the Childcare Program

 

As a participant on the childcare volunteer abroad project in Vietnam, you will be involved in one of two project types during your time. Our volunteers support a range of facilities in and around Hanoi. Not only do participants work with childcare centres, but also facilities caring for young adults and children with disabilities.

 

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 projects in Hanoi that provides vital assistance to these vulnerable groups. Volunteers on one of these programs work with local staff to complement their work and enhance the opportunities of both children and young adults that they help care for.

 

Volunteering with disabled people is a challenging but highly rewarding experience. These projects require you to use your creativity, emotional strength and resourcefulness to make a difference. Through your hard work, you will not only change their lives but yours as well. Although challenging, the project offers volunteers the opportunity to showcase their skills in supporting others.

 

In the childcare centres we also support, the aim of a volunteer work in Vietnam is to provide daily support in caring for children. In addition, Vietnam childcare volunteers will work to nurture their English, confidence and communication skills. Roles may vary from teaching basic English to leading fun activities, and assisting with tasks such as mealtimes.

 

Childcare Volunteer Placement Examples

 

Friendship Village – This is a living, health, and educational centre for children and adults living with the effects of Agent Orange. The centre also provides healthcare to war veterans. Friendship Village was founded in 1992 by George Mizo. The American veteran wanted to help repair the damage caused by Agent Orange in the America-Vietnam War. The Friendship Village complex is primarily composed of: two living quarters, two classroom buildings and a health centre. 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 4-40 years of age. The residents come from all over Vietnam and suffer from a range of disabilities. This can include Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, physical deformity, and severe mental disability.

 

Volunteers help out in a number of different ways. This can include collaborating with the teaching staff as to new ideas and techniques to help the residents. You can share ideas on how to structure lessons, provide an independent evaluation of the students, and work on updating profiles. Sometimes volunteers will also teach English to the staff, teachers and residents.

 

Khanh Tam Day Care Centre – This project was established in 2006 for early detection and care of mentally impaired children. The centre cares for approximately 80-90 children, aged 1-12. Here, there are a total of 4 classes:

 

Early Intervention – The target group is aged between 2-5 years. The program provides children with basic skills to develop (communication skills, playing with others and etc). Namely, this aims to help children integrate into society at an early age (kindergarten age).

 

Primary/Elementary Program – The target group is aged between 6-12 years. The children in this class will learn how to read, write and calculate.

 

School Function Program – The target group is aged between 6-12 years, with no ability to study standard primary school program.

 

Living Skills Program – The target group is individuals between 10-16 years. These students have no ability to integrate into society or study a standard primary school program. Children will focus on learning living skills to help them prepare for when they grow up.

 

Volunteers will initially begin the project with an observational role. This will become more hands-on after generating a better understanding of the project and the individual abilities of the students. Vietnam childcare volunteers will start to provide a helping hand to run the class activities and lessons. In time, volunteers are encouraged to come up with and run their own ideas, bringing in new perspectives to the centre.

 

Please note that the minimum time commitment to join Khanh Tam Day Centre is 4 weeks.

 

Morning Star Centre (Sao Mai) – Founded in 1995, Morning Star centre 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 1-25 years. Morning Star’s mission is to provide opportunities for children and young adults with special needs. Local staff and volunteers work to ensure that individuals receive education and training. This aims to help them successfully play their part in the local community. 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 12-13 children. On average, there are 2-3 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.

 

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. This is unfortunate because government schools are by no means equipped to welcome special needs students.

 

In addition to their traditional classes, each pupil will also participate in one-on-one occupational and/or speech therapy classes. Volunteers with relevant experience may have the opportunity to sit on in these sessions to provide further guidance to staff members. However, participants with the appropriate experience will not be able to run these sessions independently.

 

Morning Star offers some vocational and pre-vocational courses for teenagers before sending them to outside vocational schools. The courses help increase the student’s independence and confidence, and their abilities to get enrolled in professional training centres outside. Having recently set up a coffee shop within the centre, some of the students help out here. Through this scheme, the students receive valuable experience in working and interacting with the public. Many students have also been participating in cooking lessons, with the eventual to sell these masterpieces within the shop.

 

Chich Bong Kindergarten – This centre is home to children aged from 12 months to 6 years old. The kindergarten’s mission is to explore and develop children’s abilities. This is done 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 to 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. Doing this allows the children to become more confident in their communication and mannerisms. This may include arranging drawing, painting and handicraft activities. There will also be a local teacher in the class to help the volunteers if needed.

 

Rose Kindergarten – Home to children from 2-6 years old, this project aims to support children with their early years development. The project is located in the Bac Tu Liem district of Hanoi. At the kindergarten, volunteers support local staff with art, dance, sports and music classes. For the children who are a little older, participants can focus on creating educational materials with the children and help with basic reading and writing activities. In turn, helping the children become more confident in communicating in English.

 

The project is usually split into two. For example, a big class for children from 2-3 years old and a smaller class for those over 3 years of age. For the younger children, volunteers will help with feeding time, organising games and arts and crafts activities when needed. There are extracurricular activities that volunteers can support local staff with to enhance their relationship with the children and develop a better understanding.

 

There are 2 local teachers in each class to help the volunteers manage the classroom environment. However, the local staff do not speak great English. Therefore, the local team will ensure a translator is on-site working closely with the volunteers to help with translation and limit any language barriers.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Childcare Day

 

Each of our Vietnam volunteer programs mentioned will have different expectations and roles for their international volunteers. In general, you can expect to provide daily hands-on care, interaction and attention for those who need it most. We try our best to outline expected roles under the specific ‘Project Placement Placements’ above. However, it must be noted that these roles can still vary.

 

Whilst each project location is different, as a childcare volunteer in Vietnam you will typically volunteer for around 5 hours per day. Project hours each day will vary depending on the location. Typically, participants will volunteer abroad for 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon, although this can vary.

 

Volunteers will usually travel by public bus to and from the project each day. This fee is included in the Program Fee. Volunteers will either be provided with a bus pass in-country or reimbursed their travel fares on a weekly basis. The bus station is around a 10 minute walk from the Volunteer House. The local team will travel with you on the first day to introduce you to your placement.

 

VIETNAM ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

As a volunteer teaching English in Vietnam with PMGY, you will work to encourage students to develop skills that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. This project provides the perfect opportunity for international volunteers to teach English in Vietnam, putting their leadership skills into practice across schools and communities in Hanoi.

 

Background to the Teaching Program

 

Education is becoming an increasingly important issue in Vietnam. Traditionally, agriculture has provided jobs for the masses, but this sector’s growth has plummeted. Nowadays, international commercial trade governs the Vietnamese economy, especially in major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This economic shift has created a greater demand for skilled labour and a workforce that is multilingual. In such circumstances, English is frequently the main language required.

 

In recent years, access to primary and secondary education has risen significantly, and schools have received increased levels of funding. Furthermore, there is a greater focus on physical, psychological, social and emotional growth, alongside general educational achievement. English language training was introduced into the national curriculum in 2010. This follows continued recognition from the government for the importance of the ability to speak English to young people.

 

PMGY supports a range of educational establishments and classes, from government high schools to universities and education classes for the local community. The aim of our teachers in Vietnam is to create an environment that encourages students to practice their English and improve their confidence. We encourage volunteers in Vietnam participants to keep the lessons fun. Being creative to make the lessons interesting will encourage the students to engage and improve their confidence.

 

Teaching Volunteer Placement Examples

 

Community & University Classes – Alongside our work with schools in Hanoi, our volunteers in Vietnam contribute to a number of community classes. These take place within the local community and nearby Universities. There are typically four different levels of classes per Community/University setting. Each class will attend two sessions per week. Every day, volunteers will engage in two classes: one morning, and one afternoon. The first hour of the lesson will typically focus on learning and understanding English vocabulary and phrases. The second hour tends to concentrate on putting this into practice.

 

The community classes are attended by high school and university students wishing to improve their English. Unfortunately, these individuals cannot afford private tuition. Most of the students come from rural areas and move to the city to attend university. The aim of the classes is to create a fun and interactive environment for the class participants to practice their English. On average 5-20 people attend each class.

 

High Schools – The main school we support is Nguyen Tat Thanh (NTT) project. NTT is a secondary school (11-18 years of age), home to over 2,500 students. English language skills are of growing importance at the school. However, the local teachers tend to focus on teaching listening, reading and writing skills, rather than focussing on communication skills. This is often because this is an area they are limited in themselves.

 

NTT is fairly well-resourced, but the school cannot afford to hire enough native speaking English staff. Furthermore, with large class sizes, it is difficult for teachers to give students the individual attention they need. Therefore, English speaking volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the school’s ambition to improve the English of their students. There may also be the chance to help with sports classes: badminton, basketball, football and volleyball are the main sports taught. If willing, as a volunteer teaching English in Vietnam, you can also spend time helping improve the English of the teaching staff. This helps bring about long term development at the school.

 

Circus and Vaudeville College – The Vietnam Circus and Variety Arts College was established in 1961. The college is a centre for creating, staging, and experimenting with new, modern circus acts while also preserving and restoring traditional circus acts. Currently, the program is the only training institution for professional circus performers in the whole of South East Asia. Most students who attend the project are aged from 12-17 years of age.

 

With support from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the college has grown in various fields. To date, the college has trained over 40 courses of circus performers and individuals working in the arts. Through many international missions, the college has conducted numerous short-term training sessions and long-term training courses, to enhance the skills, techniques and teaching expertise of neighbouring countries. The college has contributed to the founding of many circus troupes at home and abroad.

 

The students at the school are required to combine their training and performance commitments with academic endeavour. Therefore, they combine their practice time in the gymnasium with studying in the classroom. With students from the college often travelling and competing in international events, improving their English language skills is of great benefit. As a volunteer teaching English in Vietnam, you will assist students in enhancing their proficiency in English. Most importantly, developing interactive tasks focussing on improving their communication skills.

 

By fostering a positive and interactive learning environment, international volunteers will help inspire students to become more confident with the English language. As a volunteer in Vietnam, you will make lesson plans and prepare materials before each class. Such lessons will cover a variety of English topics. Volunteers are encouraged to lead class-based activities which focus on building the speaking and listening skills of the students. The students are typically excited to learn from international participants so be sure to bring lots of energy to this project. A local team member will also support volunteers to manage the students during the class.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Teaching Day

 

As a volunteer in Vietnam, you will be responsible for preparing and leading your own activities within the lessons. Depending on the volunteer project location you may be required to follow a curriculum. Communication with the local teachers and staff is therefore key, ensuring they can support you with the lessons and activities you prepare.

 

As an English teacher on this Vietnam volunteer program, you must be proactive in taking the lead around the topic. Our local team will be on hand to guide you as you plan your lessons. They will give you an idea of what former volunteers have taught and what students wish to learn. We will also give you ideas on what activities you can implement when teaching. To teach English in Vietnam, there is no requirement to have taught before. Where possible our local team aims to segment the group the students relative to their ability and level of English. This helps to improve the structure and productivity of the classes.

 

Whilst each project is different, the typical working hours for a volunteer teaching English abroad are 8am to 6pm Monday to Thursday. In school settings, volunteers will be expected to teach up to four classes per day. Typically on the volunteer abroad programs, two classes will be taught in the morning and the same in the afternoon. Each class lasts approximately 45 minutes, with a 10 minute break between two consecutive classes. Lunch is taken between the morning and afternoon sessions. With up to 50 children in one class, experience and confidence are great skills to have and develop. Volunteers must also be flexible, creative and show determination to succeed!

 

The university and community classes both follow a similar structure. Volunteers who teach English in Vietnam will lead two classes per day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each class will last 2 hours (4 hours total per day). In general, volunteers will be at the project from 9am-4pm each day, with an extended lunch break. Volunteers will teach 4 different classes each week. For all teaching projects, Fridays are usually not spent at the project and are instead used to prepare lessons for the following week.

 

Local transport to and from the project each day is included in your Program Fee. Most placements are located within a 1 hour commute of the Volunteer House. Volunteers will either be provided with a bus pass in-country or be reimbursed their travel fares on a weekly basis. The bus station is around a 10 minute walk from the Volunteer House. The local team will travel with you on the first day to introduce you to your placement.

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Flights

 

After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.

 

For your volunteer trip to Vietnam, you should book your flights to Noi Bai International Airport for your Wednesday start date. The airport code is HAN. Volunteers travelling to Vietnam can arrive at any time on their designated Wednesday program start date.

 

Travel Insurance

 

Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

We have partnered up with the insurance company battleface to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel. You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

PRE-DEPARTURE SUPPORT

Our International Team will work hard to provide extensive levels of support in the build-up to your trip. From our online chat service to email support and telephone conversations, our team are always ready to help. All international volunteers with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This detailed hand guide will provide you with all you need to know in the build-up to your trip. From visa guidance to suggested packing lists, this will be the ultimate guide, helping you plan for your volunteer trip abroad.

 

We have Facebook groups for each of our volunteer destinations. Here you can find members of our international and local teams, as well as past, present and future participants. These pages, therefore, provide a great forum for participants to network, share experiences and community updates year-on-year.

 

Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself abroad without yet being there. We, therefore, do our best to further manage expectations before you arrive through a variety of informative and action-packed videos on our PMGY YouTube Channel. These clips help provide you with a visual perspective of what you can expect during your time volunteering with us. Our webinars are not to be missed either. Running on selected Tuesdays, at 4pm UK time, our International Team provides invaluable advice for your upcoming trip. Each webinar covers something different. Our pre-departure webinar covers all of the essentials you need to know and do before joining us abroad. Our program preparation webinar is more project-specific, with advice and information for the time you will spend on placement. Finally, our safety webinar offers you some top tips on how to manage your safety and wellbeing across the pond. For those who are simply interested in learning more about PMGY, our team also run an introductory webinar. This provides an introduction to the volunteer organisation, our background, goals and volunteer opportunities overseas.

 

Teaching and childcare participants may wish to take their program preparation even further, through a 60 hour online TEFL course. This is the perfect introductory course for working with children and teaching English abroad. Participation in this course enables international volunteers to acquire key skills whilst working towards an internationally accredited certificate.

PROJECT LOCATION AND DURATION

Our projects are based in the north of Vietnam in Hanoi, around 30 minutes from Noi Bai Airport. As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi does not disappoint and will impress you on so many levels. It has all the attractions a visitor could want, but in no way is Hanoi touristy. With an array of cultural sites and some of the best markets in South East Asia, there is something for everyone.

 

Enjoy a bowl of Pho Bo (noodle soup), grab a glass of Bia Hoi (local beer) and soak up the atmosphere! Hanoi is the perfect location for those looking to really immerse themselves in a community. If you learn about the culture and pick-up a few Vietnamese words, you will find people to be extremely welcoming.

PMGY VIETNAM LOCAL TEAM

PMGY’s volunteer opportunities in Vietnam program are run by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams.

 

All staff have been fully vetted by our International Team. The committed local community network provides the structure for your stay with us as a volunteer in Vietnam. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Whether you are teaching English in schools or working to support children with disabilities, our local team will support you. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy a unique volunteering experience with us in Vietnam.

ORIENTATION

Your orientation as a volunteer in Vietnam will take place on Thursday. The team will cover all the theoretical aspects, with an insight into the overall program, Vietnamese history, culture and language. The team will go through all the relevant safety protocols. This will include staff contact details, ‘do’s and don’ts’ and advice for staying safe in your free time.

 

You will meet various coordinators across the day who will take different leads during this induction to the program in Vietnam. The rest of this jam-packed day will cover an overview of your volunteer project and useful tips for your placement. The team will talk you through how to deal with potentially challenging situations. This will be ended with a fun and interactive Vietnamese language lesson.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (HAN) on Wednesday.

 

Day 1 (Wednesday) Arrival

 

Welcome to Vietnam! You will be met at Noi Bai International Airport by a driver from our local team, holding a sign with your name on it. They will take you straight to the Volunteer House where you can relax and meet your fellow volunteers. You will also receive your locker key and house key.

 

Should you arrive in the morning or early afternoon, our local coordinators will give you a brief guide of the local area via a neighbourhood tour. If not, you will get the chance to explore the local neighbourhood on Thursday!

 

After getting your bearings, you will have the rest of the day to relax and get to know other participants in Vietnam.

 

Day 2 (Thursday) Orientation

 

Your orientation as a volunteer in Vietnam will take place on Thursday. The team will cover all the theoretical aspects, with an insight into the overall program, Vietnamese history, culture and language. The team will go through all the relevant safety protocols. This will include staff contact details, ‘do’s and don’ts’ and advice for staying safe in your free time.

 

You will meet various coordinators across the day who will take different leads during this induction to the program in Vietnam. The rest of this jam-packed day will cover an overview of your volunteer project and useful tips for your placement. The team will talk you through how to deal with potentially challenging situations. This will be ended with a fun and interactive Vietnamese language lesson.

 

Day 3 (Friday) City Tour

 

On Friday, our local coordinators will take you on a tour of Hanoi. You will get to see some of the best sights this famous city has to offer, whilst learning more about safety and how to use the public transport system.

 

Depending on the day’s schedule, you may get the chance to visit places like the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu). Here, you can learn about the philosophy of Confucius, whose principles shape traditional Vietnamese culture. Alternatively, you may spend time exploring the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. This museum first opened in 1997 and focuses on the 54 officially recognised ethnic groups that exist in Vietnam. It is recognised as one of the finest modern museums in Vietnam. Across the day, you will also get a chance to visit Hanoi’s lively Old Quarter and the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake – a cultural and social focal point in Hanoi.

 

Day 4-5 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend

 

After some introductory days, it is your time to explore the wonders of Vietnam. Whether you are looking to soak up some culture, relax by the lake or cruise around Ha Long Bay, Vietnam has it all! As a volunteer in Vietnam, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. Our local team are happy to help you arrange a trip to Sapa, as well as Ha Long Bay.

 

Day 6-10 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering

 

On Monday, your project coordinator will take you to visit your volunteer project and meet local staff. Today will be a great opportunity for you to get a feel for the program. You will settle into your project environment as the days progress.

 

Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see Vietnam coordinators throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help.

 

The Following Weeks

 

Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it! Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Last Day (Wednesday)

 

It is time to say goodbye. Wednesday is your last day on our program. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When anticipating their time overseas, many international volunteers (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee experiences to be 100% trouble-free, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. Every program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a director of PMGY. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local staff.

 

In the unlikely event that something was to happen, participants have various layers of support available to them:

 

• Volunteer in Vietnam Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team

 

Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge participants’ experiences. With the help of feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and opportunities. Security and safety are frequently assessed as part of this. We ask our participants to raise any concerns with our local or International Team. This ensures that these can be addressed and/or resolved as readily and appropriately as possible.

 

Through pre-departure and in-country guidance, we do our best to prepare our international volunteers for their time in Vietnam. All participants are provided with a comprehensive safety briefing during their orientation period. Our local teams will go through everything from project introductions, to emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. During this period, our team also provide participants with a full list of the important contact numbers.

 

Listed below are some general safety tips:

 

• Be modest with the amount of jewellery worn in public
• Do not drink tap water
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents can occur when is confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night
• Use reputable transport only. Our local staff will be able to recommend some during orientation
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high-risk areas for pickpockets and thieves
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers

WEATHER

The climate in Vietnam varies from north to south. The north of Vietnam lies in the subtropical zone, whilst the south lies in the tropical. In Hanoi and the rest of north Vietnam, the hot season prevails between April to October, with the cooler season sweeping across October to March. In additional to hotter temperatures, the summer months in the north often brings with it increased rainfall. However, this rainfall shouldn’t put you off, tending to fall in short, sharp bursts. During the colder months (typically January-March), temperatures can drop between 10-12-degrees Celsius. With no central heating within the Volunteer House, this can get quite cold both inside and outside. We, therefore, advise that participants joining us during this time bring some warmer clothing. In the south, the tropical climate means that it generally stays hot throughout the year. This is paired with dry and wet seasons.

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

ACCOMMODATION

Volunteer House

 

On the Vietnam volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based within a quiet and friendly neighbourhood of Hanoi, approximately a 45 minute bus journey from the Old Quarter of Hanoi (the main tourist area). There are a number of restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs only a walk from the Volunteer House. Our Vietnam volunteer programs are also located in various locations around the city.

 

As a volunteer in Vietnam, you will be living with other international volunteers. The Volunteer House is large, basic but comfortable. Bedrooms conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 8 people per room. Air-conditioning is available in each room and individuals will be provided with the bed linen. During the winter months, participants are recommended to bring additional bedding, such as a sleeping bag. Each bedroom in the Volunteer House has its own shared bathroom, with a western-style toilet and shower. Hot water at the accommodation is provided in the winter months only. There is some, but limited hanging space in each room.

 

There is free Wi-Fi within certain areas of the house, including the main communal area. This can be intermittent, therefore volunteers in Vietnam are also recommended to purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. There is a large designated communal area within the Volunteer House where participants can relax and socialise. Within the accommodation, there are two washing machines that can be used free of charge, and participants can purchase detergent cheaply from shops nearby. Alternatively, there are laundry services around the neighbourhood, available for a reasonable price.

 

Each volunteer will be provided with a locker to keep valuable items. Volunteers are asked to pay a deposit of 50,000 VND or 5 USD for the locker key which can be reclaimed at the end of your program. However, participants are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Vietnam. There is fridge space within the accommodation for volunteers to cool items they need to keep chilled. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in Vietnam although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours.

 

Each participant is provided with a house key (subject to a deposit of 5 USD) 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.

 

Most of our volunteer projects in Vietnam are not within walking distance of the Volunteer House. In these cases, you will need to travel to and from the volunteer placement each day. The local team will introduce you to different options during your orientation. Most participants will reach their project via public bus. The cost of a bus pass for the volunteer project is covered in your Program Fee.

 

During our busiest months you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in one of our secondary Volunteer Houses.

MEALS

During your volunteer trip to Vietnam, you will be provided with three meals per day. Meals will be traditional Vietnamese dishes – this means a lot of rice! All food will be nutritious and freshly cooked. Free drinking water is available 24/7.

 

For breakfast, you can expect fruit, toast and tea/coffee. Some of the volunteer opportunities will provide you with lunch. This is usually the case for volunteers that have longer travel times to and from the project and it is not possible for them to return to the Volunteer House. In these cases, lunch is either provided at the project or you can take lunch at a nearby cafe. In the latter circumstance, the local team will reimburse you up to 40,000 VND. When lunch is taken at the Volunteer House, the dish is usually always a Vietnamese dish, which will include soup, rice, vegetables and sometimes meat or fish.

 

Dinner is served at the Volunteer House. 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. 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 two different kinds of vegetable dishes, along with rice and soup. On an ad-hoc basis, our team also serve a western meal – our participants always appreciate this. Meals at the Volunteer House are usually served in buffet format so participants are recommended to eat as soon as the food is ready to avoid food going cold quickly.

 

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. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

TRANSPORT TO PROJECT

Your local transport to and from the project each day is included in your Program Fee. Most placements are located within a 1 hour commute of the Volunteer House. Volunteers will either be provided with a bus pass in-country or be reimbursed their travel fares on a weekly basis. The bus station is around a 10 minute walk from the Volunteer House.

PHOTO GALLERY

VOLUNTEER IN VIETNAM REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome participants of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 17 and there is no upper age limit. All participants need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. You do not need to speak Vietnamese. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in Vietnam will go a long way!

 

All participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation!

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY program, you need to pay your Registration Fee of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date.

 

Please check out our Application Process for more info on how to join our volunteer projects overseas.