Vietnam

Main Features

  • Pre-departure workshop included
  • Airport pickup & orientation on arrival
  • Placements available in Hanoi
  • Accommodation: Volunteer house (shared bedroom with intl volunteers)
  • Projects: Teaching, Social/care (working with children with special needs)
  • Staff on site at all times
  • EIL emergency support
  • From 3 to 12 weeks
  • Personal Debriefing
  • Group Debriefing workshop
  • Eligible for Global Citizen Award
Aisling and Ciaran on a teaching project in Vietnam

Volunteer in Vietnam

Volunteering in Vietnam offers an opportunity to give support to worhwhile community projects while discovering a country of traditional charm and rapidly opening up to the outside world. 
Volunteer projects inculde:
  • Teaching English to Children during summer community classes
  • Teaching children in local schools (schools are closed June/July/August but alternative education placements are available).
  • Caring for children with physical & intellectual disabilities.

"The voluntary work I did has given me a huge amount of life experience, from getting an insight into the lives of other people across the world and their cultures, to becoming more capable in dealing with situations. I have taken a lot with me from my experience and I hope I've given something back to all the people I spent time with during my stay, as a friend and as a teacher". Lynn, from Dublin

There are many interesting projects available in the categories listed below. Projects are situated in Hanoi City (north of the country). The example projects given here are representative of the projects in each category, but will not necessarily be the project where you will be placed. Our goal is to match the skills and expectations of the participants with the needs of the local projects. Our volunteer coordinator in the field will suggest a project for you once they have your application. They are well placed to match your skills and interests to the right placements. Volunteering in Vietnam also present a unique opportunity to meet and get to know local young people as Vietnamese volunteers (mostly students) are generally helping in local projects.

 

Teaching at NGHIA TAN PRIMARY SCHOOL

 

Teaching and Education

There are a number of community schools that require assistance from native English speakers to add value to the English classes in Hanoi. During the summer most schools are closed and volunteers can help in summer classes. Volunteers with previous experience in teaching and education are especially needed on these projects.

Example Project: The Ghia Tan primary school is situated in central Hanoi. The school has over two thousand students ranging in age from 6-11 and is a lively and active environment for any volunteer looking to teach. The children do have some knowledge of English, but, as is often the case for Vietnamese students, they have poor pronunciation due to their lack of contact with native speakers. There are 45 teachers, of which four are English teachers with about 50 students per class. Volunteers with an existing TEFL qualification, qualified primary or secondary school teachers or student teachers would be especially suitable for these projects.  

 

Residential Care Project Vietnam
Social Care Project Vietnam

Social and Care Projects 

Volunteers are need to work in a variety of social-care projects in Hanoi. Daycare centres for children and young adults with disabilities and a centre for children with HIV are some examples of the types of projects available. Volunteers are assisting the local staff and are generally involved on a variety of tasks including:

  • Following the daily schedule of the centre
  • Asssisting with meal times
  • Organising stimulating educational activities and games
  • Using music, sport, drama, art or any other creative means to engage with and stimulate the service users
  • Assisting in buidling up the children's independence, confidence and resilience. 

Social and Care projects can be challenging and it generally takes two to three weeks for volunteers to get familiar with their project environment. Volunteers with previous experience working with people with special needs or with a social care background are especially needed on these projects.

 

Arrival & Orientation

Participants are collected from the Hanoi airport and brought to the volunteer house. Your stay will start with an orientation which is designed to familiarise volunteers with the culture in Vietnam and with your volunteer project. The orientation includes  discussions on culture, religion, politics, a city tour and cultural visits, and visits to local projects. Local staff and young Vietnamese volunteers will answer your questions, show you the city's night life or even invite you to their homes where you can experience Vietnamese hospitality.

Accommodation

Your accommodation will be arranged in a volunteer house and you will sleep in a small dormitory.  Three meals a day (local food) will be provided Monday to Sunday (meals are not included during personal excursions).The accomodation is simple and basic.

Workplace conditions

Workplace conditions vary depending on the project. Volunteers work a maximum of 40 hours per week, with 2 days off. You might be required to work in the evenings and during the week ends. Generally there will be other international volunteers working on the project.

Eligibility

It's challenging to live and work in an Asian country. It demands courage and the ability to adapt. It can be difficult, particularly in the beginning, to adjust to new conditions, climate, food, language, and culture. During your volunteer service you will be faced daily with a harsh social reality and experience things differently than a tourist would. To take part in a volunteer programme in Vietnam, you must be over 18, mature, open minded, highly flexible, independent, and have a genuine desire to help others.

Start dates

Programmes start on specific dates every month. Please contact us for more information.

Visas

Visitors are required to get an entry visa before departure or a pre-approved entry visa (visa is issued on arrival at Vietnam's International Airports) supplied before arrival in Vietnam. The validity of tourist visas is one month and is extendable. You will also need a proof of your onwad travel.

As there is no Vietnam embassy or Consulate in Ireland you should contact the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK. A "Loose Leaf visa" is a valid alternative when applying for a tourist visa. 

 

 

The Application Process

Applying for the Volunteer Abroad programme is a straight forward process: after receiving your application and CV we will contact you to find out more about your interests and motivation for wanting to be a volunteer. We then send your information to our colleagues in the country of your choice and they make your placement. As soon as they confirm a suitable placement for you, we will send you all the information necessary to finalise your preparations. Although some countries can accept late applications, you should send your completed application 12 weeks in advance. The earlier you apply, the more time we have to find the most suitable project for you.

What you need to do:

  • Complete the application form and send it to us together with 2 recent passport photos, €350 deposit, and recent CV.
  • Do a telephone interview (or in person if you live in Cork and/or want to call in).
  • A confirmation letter of enrolment will then be sent within 10 working days.

If you prefer we can send you the application form by post.

For more information about applying to volunteer with EIL please see How do I apply? or contact Anton.

 

The EIL Development Education Network

Our volunteers work and live alongside local people in local communities in some of the most deprived areas in the world. It is in response to their experiences that the EIL development education programme was set up. On their return to Ireland we ask our volunteers to be the voice for the stories of the people they worked with and to highlight their experience of poverty and inequality. Then together we campaign to make a difference by promoting global justice, human rights, fair trade, debt relief and greater equality and respect among the peoples of the world. Our goal is to see global justice and equality reach the top of the Irish agenda.

We guarantee no hidden costs.

We encourage you to compare our costs with other organisations and a careful comparison of what is included and what is not included is always advisable.

What Is Included

  • Pre-departure information and support
  • Accommodation and full board
  • Pick up at airport on arrival
  • Orientation on arrival
  • Local transportation to host project
  • Ongoing support from local coordinator
  • Debrief workshop on return to Ireland
  • Invitation to join the EIL Development Education Network

What Is Not Included

  • Cost of flights
  • Visa Fees
  • Medical, liability and travel insurance (available for €10 per week)
  • Personal expenses
  • Transfer to airport on departure
  • Vaccinations
  • Airport departure tax

Costs

  • 3 weeks: €999
  • 4 weeks: €1,099
  • 6 weeks: €1,299
  • 8 weeks: €1,499
  • 10 weeks: €1,699
  • 12 weeks: €1,899

Medical, liability and travel insurance available for €10 per week.

Prices are subject to change.

Visit our WHY PAY? and FUNDRAISING pages.

 

Incredibly my four weeks in Vietnam has come to an end. I travelled there last July with a volunteer organisation called E.I.L Ireland. It was an amazing cultural, emotional and spiritual experience which has left me awe struck. I soon realised that travelling by myself was a great experience and gave me oodles of confidence. As I was flying over Ho Chi Minh City at night I had never felt more excited. I could see pockets of lights glowing like stars. The city was bustling and I could imagine the sounds of motorbikes and traffic moving beneath me. I was greeted by a local volunteer at the...
Dublin based volunteer, Kerry Dwyer, spent 3 weeks volunteering in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam with her friend this summer. Kerry volunteered on an education placement with young children aged 4-6 years old in a local kindergarden. While over there, she decided to create a reference book for the children and for future volunteers to base their lessons on. She organised the printing, laminating and photocopying of the book with the help of a local coordinator called Sang. Take a look at Kerry's photos above which give an insight to what life was like at this very colourful and lively project. For...
Dublin based teacher, Clare Owens, was the grateful recipient of a €1,000 teaching fund grant kindly donated by Folens Ireland as part of the Folens Overseas Teaching Fund competition. The Folens Overseas Teaching Fund awards €10,000 to Primary and Post-Primary teachers in Ireland who are committing their time and energies to teaching as part of a volunteer or charitable programme over the summer. The €10,000 is split into ten individual awards of €1,000. Each winning candidate receives €500 to help finance their trip and the balance of €500 is donated to their programme, school or...
An exciting and unusal volunteer opportunity is available for the right person in Hanoi What is it? This project is based in Hanoi city in northern Vietnam. It is a community based centre for young people that provides free youth activities, personal development courses and workshops for youth groups and young people. It is part of the "Youth Drivers for Change" programme which is sponsored by Irish Aid. What kind of person are they looking for? If you have expereince of youth work, youth or community development, youth facilitation or coaching then this could be right for you. The project...
Coffee Morning
By Anna Udby Mortensdatter, Danish Volunteer, volunteering in a primary school project in Hanoi, Vietnam I'm walking to school. It takes me around fifteen minutes. I live on quite a busy, wide street. So first of all its about walking along the road escaping bikes driving in the wrong direction on the side walk, pass by small street food places selling corn, sticky rice, banh my (sandwich) or fried stuff and Vietnamese people sitting on small blue plastic chairs enjoying their morning and their breakfast - which is not like breakfast in a foreigner's perspective. It's a strange mix of a busy...
As a first year college student I wanted to do something different with my summer. I've always had an interest in traveling as well as helping those in need so when I heard about EIL it seemed like the perfect way to integrate these two things. By going through an Irish organisation that is apart of Comhlamh I was definitely put at ease. We were given constant support not only throughout our trip but also before and after. I Volunteered in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam with three of my friends for three weeks where we were introduced to many different parts of society through our volunteering...
My return to Ireland really was the eye opener for me as to how lucky I truly was to have been educated in Ireland. I don’t think the penny really dropped with me whilst I was in Vietnam as to how bad the education system actually was. For the most part there appeared to be no education system to avail of if you were of a lower class division. No laws even existed that assured an education. It was more a privilege than a right and this was quite apparent when I was teaching in the shelters. If I could cast my mind back to my own childhood my immediate reaction of the word school was matched...
UCC student, Joanna Gilbert, gives us her first impressions of life in Ho Chi Minh city ... Day 4 here in Ho Chi Minh City, and I like to think I'm getting used to it (although I'll probably laugh at myself later on for saying that!). Its rainy season at the moment, so is anyone's guess what the weather will be like on a given day. There is one guarantee, though, and it begins with 'h': yes, the dreaded humidity The people in my area are really very nice, and are wholly fascinated by the concept of white people, which makes them endlessly endearing. I expect to have at least one conversation...
University of Limerick student, Elaine Smith, shares her experience of a month volunteering in Vietnam. It feels like I've been here for ages yet the time flew by. I'm definitely not ready to leave, but I don't think I would be no matter how long I stay. I had my last teaching class this morning so that was a bit sad. I have been teaching in the mornings in a boys shelter and they are lovely boys, if a bit noisy sometimes. The conditions are very basic and the boys we teach range from ages about 6-18. When I first got there all the boys were taught in the same classroom at the same time with...
As I flew into Ho Chi Minh, I was full of anxiety as I had no idea what lay ahead. I was not reassured by the vastness of the city below me. Sitting in the “Visa on Arrivals” area I hoped I had all my paper work in order and that my host organisation would turn up outside! My worries were unfounded. Thao B from the volunteer house was ready and waiting with a lovely friendly welcome. She asked me to wait for two more Chinese girls who would be arriving shortly. Lu, Jenny and I set off in the taxi through that crazy city to which one does eventually get accustomed to! The volunteer house was...
One afternoon, I was approached by one of the workers of the organisation and informed that there would be a television crew coming to film us teach in the morning. Our involvement in the documentary arose because one of the local volunteers was involved in Media and he wanted to made a piece to create awareness about the work that organisation is involved in and to highlight the benefits of international volunteers. For the documentary, they wanted to show what a typical day involved for the volunteers. From seeing us teach in the shelters to caring in the Pagoda’s, and simply relaxing in...
While in Vietnam I was teaching English, in a boys and girl shelter and to a class of local volunteers. The shelters housed boys and girls that had either been abandoned by their families or that their family circumstance meant that their parents were unable to care for them. It was summer holidays from school in Vietnam but the shelters had arranged classes for the kids to gain extra support in English or to be exposed to English. In doing so, it allows them the same opportunities to advance within the system that exist in Vietnam. As English has become the international language of...

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