VOLUNTEER IN VIETNAM

Volunteer in Vietnam with PMGY, a low-cost, responsible volunteer travel organisation. Plan My Gap Year provides unique, personal and secure programs abroad with a number of different volunteer projects in Vietnam, including Childcare, English Teaching & NGO Support.

 

“The best thing I’ve ever done in my life! Being the first time I have travelled this far was very nerve wracking, however the support and Volunteer Handbook that was provided before my journey helped me feel at ease. I went to Hanoi for the childcare programme at a paediatric hospital, where many of the children have longterm illnesses and can’t attend school. I definitely recommend PMGY and this programme to anybody out there; you’ll love it!”” – REEMA ALSIRA | UNITED STATES

KEY FEATURES

FROM $435 + $249 (REGISTRATION FEE)

PROJECTS FOR 17+ YEAR OLDS

Compelling, breathtaking & unique destination


Great for older, mature participants


Perfect for developing long term placements


Breakfast, lunch & dinner included daily


Highly organised & structured projects

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

LOCATED IN HANOI

STARTING ON 1ST & 3RD WEDNESDAY EVERY MONTH

Breathtaking, sublime & exotic country


Based in a quiet, affluent neighbourhood of Hanoi


Sample amazing Vietnamese local dishes


Easy further onward travelling


Visit natural wonder of the world Halong Bay

REAL SOUTH EAST ASIA ENCOUNTER

If 3 months spent volunteering around one of the most colourful and spiritual parts of the world sounds enticing, then this combo of Vietnam, Cambodia & Bali is ideal.

From $2565

12 WEEKS

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REAL VIETNAM EXPERIENCE

Have the time of your life on this 4 week adventure to Vietnam. Combing grass-roots volunteer work with undoubtedly the best travel itinerary around. It's epic.

From $1275

4 WEEKS

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ULTIMATE ROUND THE WORLD ENCOUNTER

An epic 36 week journey across 9 enthralling destinations. If are looking for the ultimate gap year experience, then this Encounter is the one for you!

From $7275

36 WEEKS

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VIETNAM CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

Help these children and adults receive the vital care and education they desperately need, encouraging them to lead more independent and productive lives.

From $435

2-24 WEEKS

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VIETNAM ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

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

From $435

2-24 WEEKS

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VIETNAM NGO VOLUNTEERS

Volunteer at a local NGO in Vietnam tackling issues such as health and human rights utilising your skills within a very stimulating environment.

From $435

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

WHY VOLUNTEER WITH PMGY?

PMGY provide a sociable structured meaningful experience across need driven community projects in Africa and Asia. Each year, we have thousands of volunteers working across a range of our projects from teaching and childcare to wildlife, medical and more. Our volunteer reviews are testament to the extensive pre-departure support and legacy our team provides to match the unbelievable in-country experience our volunteers engage in.

 

We are transparent and affordable with our fees, committed to long-term sustainable community development, all our local programmes are fully vetted and offer some great travelling and cultural opportunities to ensure that your time with us overseas is the best it can be.

 

A combination of all these reasons and more are why so many of our volunteers choose to come back to us and volunteer year after year with PMGY!

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Book your flights as early as possible after confirming your place on the programme to ensure you get the lowest airfare possible.

 

You should book your flights to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. The airport code is HAN. 

 

PMGY work with various partners in the aviation industry to offer our volunteers competitively priced flights. If you would like any assistance in booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during the online application or feel free to call us or drop us an email.

 

PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority.

 

Travel Insurance really is a travel essential. It is mandatory for all of our participants to have adequate travel insurance in place across all their trip dates incase anything goes wrong when overseas.

 

PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional travel insurance policy 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 for any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada).

 

Plan My Gap Year Ltd is an appointed representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

 

If you’d like to purchase Plan My Gap Year Travel Insurance, you can add this option on during your online application.

PRE-DEPARTURE SUPPORT

Before you begin your programme, we provide extensive pre-departure support on the build up to your volunteer project with us whether it is a month or a year away. This all begins from an online chat or a telephone call that develops into a regular email chain of next step communications to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip with us.

 

Further to this we provide a forty page plus Volunteer Handbook that provides all you need to know once you confirm your place on the programme with us; from visa guidance and how to get a background check to what to pack and more information on the culture and preparing for your project.

 

For all our destinations we have Facebook groups made up of our local teams, past, present and future volunteers that provides a great forum for volunteers to network and to also share project updates and community updates across the year.

 

We have also generated a range of informative and action packed videos to bring some tangibility on what volunteers can expect when travel volunteering with us. This can be accessed on our PMGY Vimeo channel.

 

Our pre-departure and programme preparation webinars are not to be missed either. They run on selected Tuesdays at 1pm (GMT) and will provide you with some invaluable advice on your upcoming trip. The first webinar covers all 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.

 

For those looking to go one step further, we introduced a 60 hour online TEFL course to really strengthen volunteers project preparation. This really is the perfect introductory course to teaching English abroad and enable you to acquire some key skills along the way as well as an internationally accredited certificate.

PROJECT LOCATION & DURATION

Our projects are based in the north of Vietnam around 30 minutes from Noi Bai Airport. As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi does not disappoint. Hanoi will impress you on so many levels. It has all the attractions a visitor could want; an array of cultural sites, some of the best markets in South East Asia and a great nightlife. But in no way is Hanoi touristy. 
 
Sit with the locals and 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 words of Vietnamese you will find people to be extremely welcoming.
 

Our programmes in Hanoi run from 2-24 weeks beginning on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Our Real Experience programmes that combine volunteering and travelling run for 4 weeks and start on specific start dates across the year.

PMGY VIETNAM LOCAL TEAM

PMGY’s programme in Vietnam are ran by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams who have been fully vetted by our UK team.

 

Such a committed local staff network provide the structure for your stay with us when working on our Vietnam project. The support structure includes providing accommodation, meals, airport pick up, project transport, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support.

 

So whether you are teaching in schools, working at our childcare placements or interning on the NGO programme with us, our local team will also allocate you to your project as well as providing a great framework for you to enjoy a unique cultural experience with us in Vietnam.

ORIENTATION

Your orientation will begin on Thursday and continue into Friday. Orientation begins with an insight into Vietnamese history, culture and language. Our local team will go through all the relevant safety protocols such as emergency procedures, staff contact details and do’s and don’ts whilst in Vietnam. You will meet a variety of the team across the day who all take different leads during the induction day. 
 
Your day will end with an introduction to your volunteer project, useful tips for your placement and how to deal with potentially challenging situations. There will also be a fun and interactive Vietnamese language lesson along the way as well! On Thursdays, our local team run an optional Vietnamese lesson from 4.30pm-5.30pm which you can choose to get involved with too!

 

On the Friday our local team will take you to visit your volunteer project and meet local staff. This is a great opportunity for you to get a feel for the programme before you start on Monday. Depending on the project and how confident you are, it may be possible to jump in at the deep end and begin the project in full on the Friday!

ITINERARY

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

 

Day 1 (Wednesday) – Arrival

 

Good morning Vietnam! You will be met at the airport by our local coordinator who will be holding a PMGY sign. They will take you straight to the Volunteer House where you can relax and meet your fellow volunteers. Our local coordinators will give you a brief guide of the local area via a neighbourhood tour.

 

Day 2-3 (Thursday-Friday) – Orientation

 

After a good first night rest in Vietnam, it’s now time to begin your induction into life in Vietnam. The orientation will be a mix of theory, culture and visits to local points of interest.

 

Day 4-5 (Saturday-Sunday) – City Tour and Free Time

 

On Saturday 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 also learning about safety and how to use the public transport system. Sunday is a free day. Take this time to further explore the local area with fellow volunteers and prepare for your first day of volunteering on Monday.

 

Day 6-10 (Monday-Friday) – Volunteering Begins!

 

Now your volunteering begins! Should you need anything whilst at the project, our local team are only a phone call away. You will see our coordinators throughout the day at the Volunteer House; they are always happy to help.

 

Day 11-12 (Saturday-Sunday) – Weekend

 

After a hard week of volunteering it is your time to explore the wonders of Vietnam. Soak up some culture, relax by the lake or cruise around Halong Bay; the choice is yours. Our local team are always there if you need any help planning your weekend.

 

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 passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Last day (Wednesday)

 

Wednesday is your last day with PMGY. 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 Programme Fee.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect and many volunteers (and their loved ones) are concerned for their safety and security.

 

Although we can never fully guarantee your safety, we do everything in our power to ensure your volunteering programme is as careful, safe and secure as possible. Every programme that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a Director of Plan My Gap Year. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation, worked on the projects and built strong trusting relationships with our local staff.

 

In the unlikely event that something was to happen, volunteers have various layers of support that they can go through (and people who will help them in the case of an accident).

 

1. In-Country Project Coordinators & Support Staff
2. Project Staff
3. PMGY UK Team

 

Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge volunteers’ experiences and we are continually improving our placements and projects through this feedback. Security and safety of our programmes is constantly being reviewed and if you have any concerns we encourage you to discuss these with the local staff at your orientation. During orientation, project staff will also provide guidance in the area of safety and security.

 

Listed below are some general safety tips.

 

• Be modest with the amount of jewellery you wear in public.
• Do not drink tap water.
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents of theft often occur when there are crowds and 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 taxi firms only. Our local staff will recommend some specific companies during orientation. If you are unsure – ask local staff who to use.
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets. If possible use transport from door to door after dark.
• 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 south is a very tropical climate, which stays hot throughout the year but has dry and wet seasons. Hanoi and the rest of the north of Vietnam have two main seasons. Between November and April it is the winter season where it usually remains fairly cool and dry. Summer brings higher temperatures and increased rainfall. 
 
The hottest months are May through to August where temperatures average 32°C and humidity is 80%. It is important to drink lots of water during these months to stay well hydrated. The wettest months are February, March and September, although the rainfall tends to come in short, sharp bursts as opposed to all day rain. 

From January to March temperatures can drop to between 10°C and 12°C. With no central heating system in the Volunteer House it can get quite cold both inside and outside the Volunteer House and we advise volunteers to bring some warmer clothing as appropriate!

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

ACCOMMODATION

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in Vietnam you will live at our Volunteer House located within a quiet and friendly neighbourhood approximately a 45-minute bus journey from the Old Quarter of Hanoi. 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. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 6 people per room in single-sex, air-conditioned rooms. The bathrooms are shared and each has a western style toilet and hot shower. 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 and there is a communal computer you can use. Each volunteer is also provided with a locker to store away valuable items and there are wardrobes to hang your clothes.

 

The Volunteer House is gated and padlocked with an appropriate lock combination to ensure volunteers safety. We also have a member of staff (usually a nanny) present in the house 24 hours a day. Please note if you arrive late in the evening 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.

 

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.

MEALS

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 with lunch, for those that don’t, 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. 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. Western meals will be served on an ad-hoc basis and 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.

TRANSPORT TO PROJECT

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

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome volunteers of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the programme is 17 and there is no upper age limit. All volunteers 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, although learning a few words in your days with us in Vietnam will go a long way!

 

We require a clean background check from all our participants 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.

 

Registration Fees must be paid within 7 days of the application being successful to confirm your place and Programme Fees are due at least 60 days before the programme start date.

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