Hanoi

Volunteer in Vietnam | Teaching English or French in Hanoi

Brief Description

INTVS volunteers Gabriel & Ana Suja
  • Volunteers will teach English / French at a local Vietnamese educational institution, from primary level until tertiary level.
  • Many Vietnamese schools lack teachers with sufficient English competencies to extend the students’ English beyond basic writing and speaking skills. Volunteers help to improve the children’s vocabulary and pronunciation, assist local teachers in managing their classes, organize games and other activities in the classroom, and help to improve the children’s listening and speaking skills.

Apply

Volunteer in Vietnam | Working with Children with disabilities in Hanoi

Brief Description

Volunteer in Vietnam hanoi children special needs
  • Volunteers assist teachers and / or social assistants in their day to day tasks; caring for the children, cleaning, organizing games and other activities.
  • Assisting teachers in special education classes.
  • Assisting the teachers and children during lunch time.
  • Washing hands and face of the children and at times helping them to go to the toilet.
  • Charity campaign for books, old clothes, old shoes for the children (this depends fully on the volunteers).

Apply

Volunteer in Vietnam | Working at a local NGO in Hanoi

Brief Description

Volunteer in Vietnam hanoi local ngo
  • NGO programs range from support to young social entrepreneurs, sustainable rural development, sustainable studies, socio-medical & health research, and more.
  • Work can vary a lot according to the NGO and can vary from basic administrative tasks such as editing transcripts, translations or writing project reports to fundraising and the organization of events, amongst others.
  • It is important to note the work for an NGO can at times be frustrating as there is only so much one can do in a short amount of time. This is why the NGO programs run for a minimum of 2 months. It is also why we ask volunteers to present their ideas to the host project, following the SMART rule: your ideas should be Specific + Measurable + Achievable + Realistic (very important) + Time- bound.

Apply

Hanoi program info

Accommodation

  • Volunteers stay in a 5-storey building in a rather quiet area. It is convenient for shopping and has a good bus connection. It has six bedrooms dispersed over the three top floors, capable of housing up to 30 persons at a time. It has a good connection to the city center and the project sites.
  • The house has a television, wifi internet, a fridge, a washing machine, air conditioning, and provides for three meals a day, as well as cooking equipment, a common area & a rooftop. Bunk-beds, fans, sheets, pillows, mosquito nets & blankets are provided. Bathrooms (with a toilet and shower) are shared per floor (all have hot and cold water); please bring your own towel.

 

It's a 5-storey building located in a quiet and peaceful area. It is quite convenient for shopping and bus connection. You can get to the city center and project sites easily by bus. There are 6 bedrooms over 3 top floors, with the capacity of hosting up to 30 persons at a time.

Food

  • Vietnam offers some of the most diverse and tasty cuisine in the world, and you can expect to eat very well during your placement. There are two permanent cooks who prepare a wide variety of delicious and authentic Vietnamese dishes with locally sourced, fresh products daily. It’s little wonder that lunch and dinner times see some of the busiest activities of the day. In some special cases, when volunteers at a far-away project site, they will stay at the project site and eat there.
  • Breakfast (6–7 a.m.): There is always bread, jam and peanut butter, coffee and tea, as well as some fruit. Volunteers sometimes buy some extras like cereal from a local supermarket.
  • Lunch (12 p.m.): Rice with three or four of the following; vegetables, noodles, tofu, chicken, beef, fish or pork. Vegetarian dishes are always available.
  • Dinner (6 p.m.): Similar to lunch. It is the time when most volunteers come together and talk about their day.

Volunteer in Vietnam tipical food  

 What to see & do:
(In Hanoi)

  • Hoan Kiem Lake: Visit one of the major scenic spots in the city which serves as a focal point for its public life.
  • Old Quarter: The busy, bustling and charming center of Hanoi; famous for its small artisans and merchants, including many silk shops. Try the local food and enjoy the nightlife in its many pubs and clubs.
  • Hanoi night market: Clothes, souvenirs, food stalls…all at budget prices. People come here for shopping or just strolling in the crowd to feel the atmosphere of the night market and the habit of Hanoians.
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: See the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese late legendary leader, at the Mausoleum. It was here that Ho Chi Minh read the declaration of independence on September 2, 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Others

  • West Lake, Hoa Lo Prison, Bat Trang Ceramic Village, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Temple of Literature & Ancient National University, The Water Puppet Theater.

INTVS volunteer Sebastien in Hanoi

(Nearby Hanoi)

  • Ha Long bay: According to many one of the seven wonders of the world, this is a must-see UNESCO heritage site. It includes some 1,600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, most of which are unaffected by human presence.
  • Sapa: Known as the queen of the mountains, this mysterious (and often misty) city overlooks a beautiful valley and is the gateway to Vietnam´s minority cultures.
  • Perfume pagoda: One of the most popular religious sites in Vietnam, Chua Huong (Perfume Pagoda) is the name of a cluster of temple sites in the mountain area of Huong Son in the province of Ha Tay.
  • Mai Chau: Off the beaten track, Mai Chau has breathtaking scenery and is a perfect location to mingle with some of the local minority tribes.

Volunteer in Vietnam Mai Chau

Schedule

  • Each program (be it teaching, helping the disabled or other) has a number of different sites across all of Hanoi (there are, for example about 10 teaching programs, and 5 programs for assisting the disabled), but there can also be a varying amount of medical and NGO programs, depending on the time of year and the necessity.
  • The program locations are situated from just a 10 minute walk to a 1,5 hour bus ride away.
  • On average volunteers work approximately 20 hours per week.
  • Detailed information on each program is provided in the program information booklets, which you receive once you have applied. You can also contact us via the website chat or at [email protected] hould you have any questions!

Location

  • Hanoi is located in North Vietnam, about 5 or 6 hours’ drive from the Chinese border and about 4 or 5 hours’ drive to the Lao border.
  • Nearby popular flight destinations are Vientiane (Laos), Da Nang (Vietnam), to which you can get return flights for about 200€ and 60 € respectively. Slightly further destinations are Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Bangkok (Thailand) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia), to which you can find return flights for about 100€, 160€ and 250€ respectively.

Volunteer in Vietnam Map of Hanoi

(Teaching program)

  • Minimum 18 years old, show creativity & initiative, confidence in the classroom & effective time management skills.
  • Fluent English
  • (Depending on the program, the requirements can be slightly more; for some a University degree, teaching certificate or being a native speaker can be a prerequisite).

One of the volunteers on the English teaching program

 

(Working with the physically &/or mentally disabled)

  • Minimum 18 years old,
  • A good level of English
  • Volunteers should like to work with children with disabilities as well as have maturity and initiative.
  • Preference for volunteers with a background or experience in medical work or special education. However, volunteers without experience or background will still be able to join the program as there are numerous tasks they can help with and the children are very excited with foreigners.
  • Furthermore, volunteers should be very patient, creative and active in this type of working environment.

 

(Working at a local NGO)

  • Minimum 18 years old.
  • Team work skills.
  • Computer skills.
  • Educational degree or practical experience required.
  • Volunteers must send a C.V. and cover letter beforehand and BRING A LAPTOP FOR WORK.
  • Flexibility/Adaptability.
  • Minimum stay 2 months.

 

  • Airport Pickup (Monday – Friday)
  • Accommodation (Food and lodging) at the local NGO dormitory
  • 1 to 2-Day Orientation
  • Presentation of aims and structure of the local NGO
  • Short introduction to Vietnam and the local area
  • Practical information and arrangements
  • 1-2 hours of basic Vietnamese (& possibly a chance to practice with a local volunteer)
  • Sightseeing and exposure tour in Hanoi
  • Visit to Host Placement(s) primarily with a program director.
  • 1- day Mid-term Evaluation (for those who stay for 6 months and over)
  • 1- day Final Evaluation
  • On-going support and supervision during the program
  • Re-imbursement for local transportation to the volunteer site

 

Volunteer in Vietnam - one volunteer

Volunteer Period Cost (USD)
2 weeks 400
Additional weeks 100
Additional days 15

Please click here to convert the prices to your local currency.

INTVS charges its own fee of 185€, regardless of the time that a volunteer stays abroad. This fee covers;

  • Volunteer support prior to, during and after the volunteer experience (in English, French & Spanish)
  • All necessary preparatory information including;
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Travel/Medical Insurance
    • Police Check form
    • The program (the site, schedule, role…)
    • Local contacts & important numbers

And also…

  • History, demographics & local norms
  • What to bring
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • And much more.
  • It also covers work and travel costs that INTVS staff incur to check up on and document the programs on a regular basis.
  • The payments to the local organizations and INTVS are completely separate. We do NOT charge them a commission and 100% of the program cost goes to them.

Volunteer in Vietnam - Hanói - Testimonials

“I had a very good experience working in Hanoi , Vietnam, with disabled children. I had the opportunity, in two months, to meet extraordinary people and to get to know the country and the Vietnamese culture.

My job was 4 hours daily from Monday to Friday. During the weekends I had time to travel or rest. Being in touch with children and working with them was magnificent. I learned a lot from them and I was involved in my work. At first it is hard to adapt but everything has its time and within a week I had confidence with children.

Volunteering is a way to get involved in a local project in which you end up receiving as much as you give. It is also a way to travel from a more local point ov view . I was with a local NGO where I could count on the help of the staff at all times. It has been an experience I will not forget”.

Lorna Casamitjana Agustí (Spain)

Volunteer in Vietnam Hanoi

“I feel fortunate enough to have spent a couple of months teaching English to kids in Hanoi for a month. Having a few months off between jobs allowed me to relax for a time but also I also wanted to help others and do something positive. INTVS made it very easy, helping me organise every step of the process so that I could arrive with confidence that everything would be in order. Couldn’t recommend it more highly”.

David Pierre Eliet (U.K)

Volunteer in Vietnam Hanoi

“I worked as a volunteer with mentally disabled children for 3 months at Morning Star Centre in Hanoi. During this time, I learnt a lot about a different, but also an amazing culture. I had some wonderful colleagues that helped me adapt, and they were so kind to invite me to join their annual holiday! This just shows how extremely nice Vietnamese people are!
Working with the children made me realize that I love working with and for people, and that aspect is something that has affected my work as a designer, where I strive to do projects that has a positive and meaningful effect in people’s life. Being a volunteer was the best adventure in my life, and something I can highly recommend”.

Denise Clemente (Denmark)

Josu Garcia

Why did you decide to become a volunteer? To get to know different cultures and learn from them in a nice and gratifying way

What did you find the most rewarding? The lessons in amicability and generosity that the locals showed me.

What have you learnt from the experience? It helped me to get to know many people from many different places, learn about their histories and have a more global vision of the world.

What advice would you give to future volunteers? I’d like encourage them to travel with eagerness and let themselves be surprised.

Josu Garcia (Spain)

Gabriel Garcia

Why did you decide to become a volunteer? I have always enjoyed traveling, meeting new people and other cultures and working with children. When a friend told me about her experience as a volunteer I decided I had to try it.

What did you find the most rewarding? The children’s smile. They know that you are volunteering and making a personal effort and they are always super grateful and with a smile on their face.

What have you learnt from the experience? I have been able to know a culture totally different from the one in my country and totally different from what I expected before going there. In addition, I have made a lot of friends from all over the world.

What advice would you give to future volunteers? Don’t be afraid of anything, try everything and enjoy the experience. And I would encourage them to relate as much as they can with the local people and learn about their culture.

Gabriel Garcia (Spain)

Pablo Figueroa

Why did you decide to become a volunteer? I have always enjoyed teaching children

What did you find the most rewarding? Work with children and meet other volunteers

What have you learnt from the experience? I have been able to know a totally different culture. And I have learned how to share with new people.

What advice would you give to future volunteers? Don’t be afraid of anything, go without prejudices, willing to learn, and enjoy the local culture.

Pablo Figueroa (United States)

Erwan Guillot

Why did you decide to become a volunteer? I wanted to discover the world of international volunteering.

What did you find the most rewarding? Watching the students improve and the positive feedback I received.

What have you learnt from the experience? I’ve learned to live with people from many different nationalities within a completely different country, and I learned to teach.

What advice would you give to future volunteers? Just give it a go!

Erwan Guillot (France)

Demographics

  • Population: 94,5 million (2017)
  • Currency: Vietnam Dong (VND)
  • Capital City: Hanoi
  • Land area: 130,000 square miles (about the size of Germany, the Congo or Norway)
  • Language: Official: Vietnamese Spoken: Vietnamese, English (to some extent, above all amongst the younger generation in the big cities), French (less & less, and above all the older generation)

Volunteer in Vietnam HistoryCulture

  • Vietnamese culture is based to a large extent on the teachings of Confucius (Confucianism) which stresses duty, loyalty, honour, filial piety, respect for age and seniority, and sincerity.
  • Family: Family is key to Vietnamese culture, where the father is the head of the family and is responsible for food, clothing and makes the important decisions. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for three generations to be living together under one roof.
  • Communication: It is important to understand the concept of ‘face’ in Vietnam. When criticizing someone try to do this in a subtle way by giving it a positive twist; otherwise the person you criticize loses face. Communication is not as direct as in Western countries, which can be frustrating, but have patience, and with a warm smile and friendly insistence you will get your message through.
  • Collectivism: The individual is secondary to the collective interest…be it of a family, school, company.
  • Hierarchy: Age and status should always be respected. Vietnamese refer to elders with a different personal pronoun as to those younger, in order to show respect.
  • Customs & Etiquette: Avoid showing affection publicly with someone from the opposite sex, don’t touch a person´s head and when giving something, hold it with both hands. There are many customs & norms, but these will be explained in further detail during your orientation. As long as you smile and are polite, you should be fine…the Vietnamese do understand that, being foreigner, you will not know all their customs, but the more you do respect, the more you will be respected by the local community.

Volunteer in Vietnam - places to visit

History

  • 3000 – 1000 B.C: Tribes from southern China move into an area called the Red River Delta, where many Indonesian people are already living. Together, they form the earliest ancestors of today’s Vietnamese people.
  • 207 B.C: A Chinese general establishes the independent kingdom of Nam-Viet. It is made up of what is today northern Vietnam and parts of southern China.
  • 111 B.C: The rulers of China’s Han dynasty conquer Nam-Viet and make it part of the Chinese empire. China rules over the Vietnamese for more than 1,000 years afterward. While they are heavily influenced by Chinese arts, religions, politics and farming, the Vietnamese work hard to preserve their unique national identity.
  • 939: After more than 1,000 years in power, China withdraws from what is now northern Vietnam, then known as Annam. It becomes an independent kingdom.
  • 1649: French missionary Alexandre de Rhodes creates the first dictionary for quoc-ngu, a script of Vietnamese still used today. The script helped increase literacy rates and spread Christianity.
  • 1802: Prince Nguyen Anh unites the northern, central and southern regions of his country and calls it Vietnam. The prince and the emperors who follow establish programs to build new bridges and castles and restore old structures.
  • 1847: Angered by Vietnam’s positions against business deals and Catholic missionaries, the French launch their first major attack. They fire upon the Vietnamese at the port of Danang, a city in central Vietnam.
  • 1883: France takes control of Vietnam. In 1887, it becomes a French colony. The French take charge of Vietnam’s farmlands, minerals and other natural resources. They also introduce the Vietnamese to European schooling and customs.
  • 1940: Japan takes over Vietnam during World War II after its ally Germany defeats the French. Japan and Germany are later defeated.
  • 1941: Ho Chi Minh, a leader of a form of government called Communism, organizes groups to fight for Vietnam’s independence. In a Communist government, a country’s wealth and resources are shared by all citizens, and the government owns and controls all property.
  • 1946: France tries to regain control of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh, leads an independence movement, called the Vietminh, against the French.
  • 1954: The Vietminh defeats the French. Vietnam is divided into two zones: the Communist-ruled north and a republic in the south. Ho Chi Minh is President of North Vietnam until 1969.
  • The U.S.A enters Vietnam in order to try to stop the spread of communism from Northern to Southern Vietnam…the U.S-Vietnam war claims tens of thousands of lives and decades of devastation due to the use of the defoliant ‘Agent Orange’ which contained an extremely toxic dioxin compound.
  • 1975-76: U.S.A leaves Vietnam; South Vietnam surrenders to communist North Vietnam and the country unites under communist leadership.
  • 1976-today: Vietnam was run as a communist state but this started to fade out at the end of the 80´s. With the fall of communism, Vietnam adopted a more socialist stance with privatization. Today, known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam it still remains to be a single-party state, but has increasingly capitalist policies in all other aspects

Ho Chi Minh City

Volunteer in Vietnam | Teaching English / French in Ho Chi Minh City

Brief Description

One of the volunteers on the English teaching volunteer program in Ho Chi Minh

  • Volunteers will teach English / French at a local Vietnamese educational institution, from primary level until tertiary level.
  • Many Vietnamese schools lack teachers with sufficient English competencies to extend the students’ English beyond basic writing and speaking skills. Volunteers help to improve the children’s vocabulary and pronunciation, assist local teachers in managing their classes, organize games and other activities in the classroom, and help to improve the children’s listening and speaking skills.
  • The extent to which the volunteer is responsible for his or her class can differ; in most cases the volunteers assist a local teacher and can have different levels of autonomy in the class, but in some cases volunteers will be the sole teacher.
  • On very sporadic occasions volunteers will be asked to work weekends and will, in such cases, be given two days off during the week.

Apply

Volunteer in Vietnam | Working with Children with disabilities in Ho Chi Minh City

Brief Description

One of the volunteers on the INTVS disabled chilren program
  • Volunteers assist teachers and / or social assistants in their day to day tasks; caring for the children, feeding them, cleaning, organizing games and other activities.
  • Assisting teachers in washing the hands and face of the children and at times helping them to go to the toilet.
  • The disabilities of the children range from severe cerebral palsy to far lighter disabilities such as Down’s Syndrome.
  • Sometimes volunteers organize charity campaigns for books, old clothes, old shoes etc for the children (this fully depends on the  volunteers).

Apply

Volunteer in Vietnam | Working at a local NGO in Ho Chi Minh City

Brief Description

 Volunteer in Vietnam - Working at a local NGO HCMC
  • NGO programs range from support to young social entrepreneurs, sustainable rural development, sustainable studies, socio-medical & health research, and more.
  • Work can vary a lot according to the NGO and can vary from basic administrative tasks such as editing transcripts, translations or writing project reports to fundraising and the organization of events, amongst others.
  • It is important to note the work for an NGO can at times be frustrating as there is only so much one can do in a short amount of time. This is why the NGO programs run for a minimum of 2 months. It is also why we ask volunteers to present their ideas to the host project, following the SMART rule: your ideas should be Specific + Measurable + Achievable + Realistic (very important) + Time- bound.

Apply

Volunteer in Vietnam | Environmental Program in Ho Chi Minh City

Brief Description

One of the volunteers on the organic farming volunteer program in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

There are two environmental programs in Ho Chi Minh city. One is at a pagoda which houses a few orphans and homeless elderly people, where volunteers work the land. The other is an organic farm on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh. This farm is run with the aim to promote organic & eco life styles within the community, as well as to provide real organic product to the community.

At the pagoda work consists:

  • Preparation: Cleaning and evening out the ground, fertilizing making beds, building water purification systems.
  • Cultivation: planting, watering and weeding regularly, harvesting.
  • Improvement: developing draining and irrigation systems, expanding the area under crop & building a tool-shed.

At the organic farm, routine tasks are (amongst others):

  • Checking plants regularly to find ecosystem patterns
  • Field sanitation and plant health
  • Planning the seasonal crops
  • (Helping with) the creation of an environment for development of beneficial insects (predators)
  • Taking measurements to help expel insects
  • Shielding vegetables in rows, or inside a greenhouse
  • Applying insecticides of biological origin

Apart from farm work, there is also an aspect of education. Children can come to visit and learn about organic farming, eco-life and environment issues.

Apply

Volunteer in Vietnam | Kindergarten Program in Ho Chi Minh City

Brief Description


The children on the INTVS kindergarten program eating

There are a number of kindergarten programs. Volunteers help to take care of the children (aged two to six). One of the programs is for children from under-privileged backgrounds.

Work consists of:

  • Helping to control the class.
  • Teaching basic communication skills.
  • Teaching the alphabet.
  • Playing with the children
  • Teaching creative skills (painting, drawing etc)

Volunteers can also teach a bit of English though this would be quite sporadic and very basic.

Apply

Volunteer in Vietnam | ‘Smile’ restaurant Program in Ho Chi Minh City

Brief Description

The 'smile' program in Ho Chi Minh city

There are a number of restaurants that cater to under privileged people in Ho Chi Minh City. These restaurants charge approximately $0,10 to $0,20 (10 to 20 cents) for a full meal. They are a great initiative and allow those who have little to no income to have a large, healthy meal. In order to be able to sell at this price, the restaurants depend on fundraising initiatives and the help of volunteers.

Work consists of:

  • Cleaning trays
  • Cutting vegetables, fruits, meat etc
  • Handing out of food trays
  • Cleaning up of the restaurant

Volunteers can then also eat lunch at the restaurant.

Apply

Ho Chi Minh City program info

Accommodation

  • Volunteers stay in a 5-storeybuilding in a busy area with a number of major universities and a lot of shops surrounding it. It has 7 bedrooms dispersed over the four top floors, capable of housing up to 36 persons at a time.
  • The house has a television, wifi internet, a fridge, a washing machine, air conditioning, and provides for three meals a day, as well as cooking equipment, a common area & a rooftop. Bunk-beds, fans, sheets, pillows, mosquito nets & blankets are provided. Bathrooms (with a toilet and shower) are shared per floor (all have hot and cold water); please bring your own towel.

Volunteer in Vietnam - Accommodation

Food

  • Vietnam offers some of the most diverse and tasty cuisine in the world, and you can expect to eat very well during your placement. There are two permanent cooks who prepare a wide variety of delicious and authentic Vietnamese dishes with locally sourced, fresh products daily. It’s little wonder that lunch and dinner times see some of the busiest activities of the day. In some special cases, when volunteers at a far-away project site, they will stay at the project site and eat there.
  • Breakfast (6–7 a.m.): There is always bread, jam and peanut butter, coffee and tea, as well as some fruit. Volunteers sometimes buy some extras like cereal from a local supermarket.
  • Lunch (12 p.m.): Rice with three or four of the following; vegetables, noodles, tofu, chicken, beef, fish or pork. Vegetarian dishes are always available.
  • Dinner (6 p.m.): Similar to lunch. It is the time when most volunteers come together and talk about their day.

Volunteer in Vietnam - Tipica FoodWhat to see & do:
(In Ho Chi Minh City)

  • Ho Chi Minh City is a very large city (it has over 6 million inhabitants) and has endless possibilities. Known for its hustle and bustle, the city is famous for its frenetic traffic, but also for its elegant boulevards and French colonial buildings.
  • The Reunification Palace (Dinh Thong Nhat) is one of the most popular city buildings and it was here that on the morning of April 30, 1975 Communist tanks smashed the gate, making way for a Viet Cong officer to come in and lift the communist flag, confirming the victory of the Vietnamese communist troops. Now it is a time capsule that has not changed since 1975 and is definitely worthy of a visit.
  • The war remnants museum is a museum displaying a large collection of military armament used during the Vietnam (American) War. It also shows how cruel the war was, displaying the effects of agent orange, the chemical agent used by American aircraft in order to defoliate Vietnamese forests in search of Northern Vietnamese soldiers; anagent that had devastating side effects ranging along three generations.
  • Chợ Ben Thanh (or Ben Thanh Market) is the largest old style market in the central district, and is filled with hundreds of stalls, selling anything and everything. There are many markets in the city of Ho Chi Minh, and if you know how to negotiate, you canfind some amazing deals!

 Volunteer in Vietnam - What to visit

(Near the city of Ho Chi Minh)

  • The Cu Chi tunnels: A universal testament to the strength of human will, these tunnels played a key role in the victory of the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War. Going from the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City (then known as Saigon) to the borders of Cambodia, thesetunnels linked villages and had underground kitchens, underground living quarters, underground munitions factories and more.
  • Tay Ninh: The center of Cao Dai, a religious group that is also politically active, TayNinh has some very beautiful sights, such as the Cao Dai Temple, the head of the Cao Dai church, known for its beautiful architecture, colors and…music. The Nui Ba Den Mountain is also worth a visit. Always covered with clouds, it has a mystical air and some fantastic views. The mountain is also known as the roof of South Vietnam.

Schedule

  • On average volunteers work approximately 20 hours per week.
  • Detailed information on each program is provided in the program information booklets, which you receive once you have applied.
  • You can also contact us via the website chat or at [email protected] should you have any questions!

Volunteer in Vietnam - Schedule

Location

  • Ho Chi Minh City is located in southern Vietnam, just two hours´ drive from coastal cities like Vung Tau.
  • Each program (be it teaching, helping the disabled or other) has a number of different sites across all of Ho Chi Minh city (there are, for example about 10 teaching programs, and 5 programs for assisting the disabled), but there can also be a varying amount of medical, orphanage and NGO programs, depending on the time of year and the necessity.
  • The program locations are situated from just a 10 minute walk to a 1,5 hour bus ride from the volunteer accomodation.
  • It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the border of Cambodia and a flight to Phnom Penh takes about an hour. The price for a return ticket is generally around €160.

Volunteer in Vietnam - Costs

(Teaching program)

  • Minimum 18 years old, show creativity & initiative, confidence in the classroom & effective time management skills.
  • A high level of English
  • (Depending on the program the requirements can be slightly more; for some a University degree, teaching certificate or being a native speaker can be a prerequisite).

Volunteer in Vietnam - Prerequisites

(Working with the physically &/or mentally disabled)

  • Minimum 18 years old,
  • A good level of English
  • Volunteers should like to work with handicapped children as well as have maturity and initiative.
  • Preference for volunteers with a background or experience in medical work or special education. However, volunteers without experience or background will still be able to join the program as there are numerous tasks they can help with and the children are very excited with foreigners.
  • Furthermore, volunteers should be very patient, creative and active in this type of working environment.

(Working at a local NGO)

  • Minimum 18 years old.
  • Team work skills.
  • Computer skills.
  • Educational degree or practical experience required.
  • Volunteers must send a C.V. and cover letter beforehand and BRING A LAPTOP FOR WORK.
  • Flexibility/Adaptability.
  • Minimum stay 2 months.

(Environmental Program)

  • Minimum 18 years old.
  • Volunteers must show eagerness & the ability to maintain motivation and reliability.
  • For this project, experience is not necessary, but enthusiasm for hard work and to ‘get involved’ in our cause is.
  • Volunteers also need to be fit and healthy and be able to rapidly adapt to the local situations.

(Kindergarten Program)

  • Minimum 18 years old, demonstrate creativity and iniciative, confidence around children and time management skills.
  • Medium – High level of English
  • Volunteers should feel comfortable working with very young children, should be responsible, mature and should show initiative.
  • Patience and creativity.

(‘Smile’ restaurant Program)

  • Minimum 18 years old.
  • Volunteers should demonstrate enthousiasm, motivation and reliability.

  • Accommodation (Food and lodging) at the local NGO dormitory.
  • 1 to 2-Day Orientation.
  • Presentation of aims and structure of the local NGO.
  • Short introduction to Vietnam and the local area.
  • Practical information and arrangements.
  • Airport Pickup (Monday & Tuesday from 07:00 – 22:00) If volunteers arrive outside of this time frame, they should organise their own accomodation until the local NGO staff can pick them up at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh city on either Monday or Tuesday. Volunteers that require a pick-upon another day should inform us at least a week in advance and must pay 50$ to the local organization.
  • +-2 hours of basic Vietnamese (& possibly a chance to practice with a local volunteer)
  • Sightseeing and exposure tour in Ho Chi Minh City for those staying longer than six months.
  • Visit to Host Placement(s) primarily with a program director.
  • 1- day Mid-term Evaluation (for those who stay for 6 months and over).
  • 1- day Final Evaluation.
  • On-going support and supervision during the program.
  • Re-imbursement for local transportation to the volunteer site.

Volunteer in Vietnam - Included

Volunteer period Cost (USD)
2 weeks 360
Extra week 105
Extra day 15

(Medical programs have an extra fee of 50 US$ per week for the local hospital)

Please click here to convert the prices to your local currency.

 

INTVS charges its own fee of 185€, regardless of the time that a volunteer stays abroad. This fee covers;

  • Volunteer support prior to, during and after the volunteer experience (in English, French & Spanish)
  • All necessary preparatory information including;
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Travel/Medical Insurance
    • Police Check form
    • The program (the site, schedule, role…)
    • Local contacts & important numbers

And also…

  • History, demographics & local norms
  • What to bring
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • And much more.
  • It also covers work and travel costs that INTVS staff incur to check up on and document the programs on a regular basis.
  • The payments to the local organizations and INTVS are completely separate. We do NOT charge them a commission and 100% of the program cost goes to them.

Volunteer abroad in HCMC Vietnam Beata

“There are many ways to discover the world. Try this one; travel and work! I think is the best way to know the real and profound face of a country. I went to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. I was working in the Leaf Pagoda Buddhist temple that maintains an orphanage and a small orchard. It were two unique weeks; I loved the place, its beauty, its tranquility, and above all, the proximity to the local people.”

Beata (Poland)
Volunteer abroad in HCMC Vietnam Alix

“I’ve had the chance to live three months in Ho Chi Minh City, sharing unique moments with the children of the Pagoda orphanage. I spent the day at the orphanage, taking care of children and playing with them. We stayed in a house with other volunteers; a very friendly host venue. Members of the association and the volunteers were always available and willing to listen. You can also visit Ho Chi Minh and its surroundings during the weekend, which allows you to discover the country. I can’t find the right words to describe this extraordinary experience. I learnt a lot thanks to this volunteer placement, and I sincerely think this has changed my life. It’s an intense human adventure with regards to discovery, emotions and sharing. I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the Vietnamese culture, a culture so different from ours. In particular, the children’s laughter, the long silent exchanges with the monks and the happiness of simplicity are my fondest memories. I hope that with these few words I’ve given you the will to go there. You should live the experience in order to understand to which point it can impress you.”.

Alix (France)

 


At INTVS we are extremely proud of Melissa who did a great job with the children in Ho Chi Minh!

Why did you decide to become a volunteer?

To give some of my time in order to help those in need

What did you find the most rewarding?

Bringing happiness to the children

What have you learnt from the experience?

The importance of sharing and mutual help

What advice would you give to furure volunteers?

Be motivated and have a smile on your face, and know how to relativize things

Melissa (France)

Demographics

  • Population: 94,5 million (2017)
  • Currency: Vietnam Dong (VND)
  • Capital City: Hanoi
  • Land area: 130,000 square miles (about the size of Germany, the Congo or Norway)
  • Language: Official: Vietnamese Spoken: Vietnamese, English (to some extent, above all amongst the younger generation in the big cities), French (less & less, and above all the older generation)

Volunteer in Vietnam HistoryCulture

  • Vietnamese culture is based to a large extent on the teachings of Confucius (Confucianism) which stresses duty, loyalty, honour, filial piety, respect for age and seniority, and sincerity.
  • Family: Family is key to Vietnamese culture, where the father is the head of the family and is responsible for food, clothing and makes the important decisions. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for three generations to be living together under one roof.
  • Communication: It is important to understand the concept of ‘face’ in Vietnam. When criticizing someone try to do this in a subtle way by giving it a positive twist; otherwise the person you criticize loses face. Communication is not as direct as in Western countries, which can be frustrating, but have patience, and with a warm smile and friendly insistence you will get your message through.
  • Collectivism: The individual is secondary to the collective interest…be it of a family, school, company.
  • Hierarchy: Age and status should always be respected. Vietnamese refer to elders with a different personal pronoun as to those younger, in order to show respect.
  • Customs & Etiquette: Avoid showing affection publicly with someone from the opposite sex, don’t touch a person´s head and when giving something, hold it with both hands. There are many customs & norms, but these will be explained in further detail during your orientation. As long as you smile and are polite, you should be fine…the Vietnamese do understand that, being foreigner, you will not know all their customs, but the more you do respect, the more you will be respected by the local community.

Volunteer in Vietnam - places to visit

History

  • 3000 – 1000 B.C: Tribes from southern China move into an area called the Red River Delta, where many Indonesian people are already living. Together, they form the earliest ancestors of today’s Vietnamese people.
  • 207 B.C: A Chinese general establishes the independent kingdom of Nam-Viet. It is made up of what is today northern Vietnam and parts of southern China.
  • 111 B.C: The rulers of China’s Han dynasty conquer Nam-Viet and make it part of the Chinese empire. China rules over the Vietnamese for more than 1,000 years afterward. While they are heavily influenced by Chinese arts, religions, politics and farming, the Vietnamese work hard to preserve their unique national identity.
  • 939: After more than 1,000 years in power, China withdraws from what is now northern Vietnam, then known as Annam. It becomes an independent kingdom.
  • 1649: French missionary Alexandre de Rhodes creates the first dictionary for quoc-ngu, a script of Vietnamese still used today. The script helped increase literacy rates and spread Christianity.
  • 1802: Prince Nguyen Anh unites the northern, central and southern regions of his country and calls it Vietnam. The prince and the emperors who follow establish programs to build new bridges and castles and restore old structures.
  • 1847: Angered by Vietnam’s positions against business deals and Catholic missionaries, the French launch their first major attack. They fire upon the Vietnamese at the port of Danang, a city in central Vietnam.
  • 1883: France takes control of Vietnam. In 1887, it becomes a French colony. The French take charge of Vietnam’s farmlands, minerals and other natural resources. They also introduce the Vietnamese to European schooling and customs.
  • 1940: Japan takes over Vietnam during World War II after its ally Germany defeats the French. Japan and Germany are later defeated.
  • 1941: Ho Chi Minh, a leader of a form of government called Communism, organizes groups to fight for Vietnam’s independence. In a Communist government, a country’s wealth and resources are shared by all citizens, and the government owns and controls all property.
  • 1946: France tries to regain control of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh, leads an independence movement, called the Vietminh, against the French.
  • 1954: The Vietminh defeats the French. Vietnam is divided into two zones: the Communist-ruled north and a republic in the south. Ho Chi Minh is President of North Vietnam until 1969.
  • The U.S.A enters Vietnam in order to try to stop the spread of communism from Northern to Southern Vietnam…the U.S-Vietnam war claims tens of thousands of lives and decades of devastation due to the use of the defoliant ‘Agent Orange’ which contained an extremely toxic dioxin compound.
  • 1975-76: U.S.A leaves Vietnam; South Vietnam surrenders to communist North Vietnam and the country unites under communist leadership.
  • 1976-today: Vietnam was run as a communist state but this started to fade out at the end of the 80´s. With the fall of communism, Vietnam adopted a more socialist stance with privatization. Today, known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam it still remains to be a single-party state, but has increasingly capitalist policies in all other aspects