Is a volunteer Teaching placement in Vietnam right for me?
If you’re looking to get hands-on teaching and classroom based work experience, this project is for you. For those planning a career in education, it will add valuable international experience to your experience, giving your CV an edge. This kind of experience will also help demonstrate your commitment to education.
To join this project, you need to be at least 18 years old. You should also have completed at least one term at university, or have one year or of work experience behind you.
If you don’t have previous experience, don’t worry! You’ll support local teachers, and Projects Abroad staff are also there to help you. We also run regular workshops where you can exchange ideas, and get advice, and we have an online database that you can use.
This project runs throughout the year, and you can join us at any time of the year. The school year in Vietnam runs from September to May. Exams take place between November and December, and from April to May. We recommend volunteering during the school months (and outside of exam time) to ensure that you get time in a formal classroom setting.
You can also get involved with summer classes during the school holidays. If you have advanced French skills, you can also choose to teach French.
What will I do on this project?
While in Vietnam, you’ll teach at a primary or secondary school. There are various activities that you can take part in, and they can include:
- Teach conversational English at a primary or secondary school
- Work with small groups to give attention to students who need extra help learning English
- Attend teaching workshops to share ideas and learn from experienced teachers
Your work will focus on these main activities:
Teach conversational English at a primary or secondary school
Teaching English is the main focus of this project. You’ll spend your time working at a primary or secondary school, teaching about 5 different classes from different grades per day. Depending on where you are placed, you can either assist local teachers in their English classes, or run your own. You’ll focus on helping students improve grammar and pronunciation. You should also encourage your students to practice speaking with you as much as possible. Speaking English better will boost their confidence.
Work with small groups to give attention to students who need extra help learning English
Sometimes you will be required to focus on helping the students who are falling behind. There are often children who struggle in class because the student teacher ratio is too high. You can support local teachers by working with struggling students in smaller groups.
Attend teaching workshops
Once a month, we host a teaching workshop that you can attend. At these workshops you can share your experiences in the classroom with others, and listen to others’ stories. Together you can come up with strategies to improve your level of teaching, and find solutions to certain problems.
Where will I work in Vietnam?
You will be based in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital and second largest city.
We run placements at several schools where you can work. These can be primary or secondary schools, and include both public and private schools. Class sizes generally range between 35 and 50 students.
During your movements around the city, you navigate your way through thousands of motorcycles, Vietnam’s primary mode of transport. Follow the delicious smells coming from street food vendors at nearly every corner. Enjoy lunches of spring rolls and Vietnam’s famous pho, a noodle dish with rice, broth, herbs, and chicken or beef.
What will my typical day be like?
A typical day will depend on which school you are placed at. Most schools in Vietnam operate at similar hours. They begin at around 8am, and close at 4:30pm. There is always a long lunch break from around 11:30am to 2pm.
During the day you’ll either work alongside a local teacher, or you’ll run your own class. This will depend on your abilities, and the need at the school at the time. You will teach conversational English, helping them with pronunciation and grammar. At some placements, you can also get involved with extracurricular activities, like sport or drama.
In the evenings, you’ll return to your host families or other accommodation for dinner.
Your weekends will be free for you to explore. You can visit spectacular landmarks attractions such as Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also visit ancient temples, shop till you drop at night markets, drink endless cups of Vietnamese coffee, and sing your heart out at karaoke bars.
Aims and Impact of the Teaching Project in Vietnam
The aim of this project is to help disadvantaged students improve their English conversation.
There is a huge demand for English teachers in Vietnam. The country has a thriving tourism industry which creates many jobs for locals, but you need to speak English. Unfortunately, opportunities to learn English are limited in underprivileged schools, and there aren’t enough teachers.
This is why we partner with local schools. We want to empower young students and help them improve their job prospects once they leave school. To do this, we are working toward four long-term, sustainable goals through our Teaching Management Plan for Vietnam:
- Improve English
- Improve classroom support
- Improve teaching techniques
- Encourage learning through creativity
Join us and become part of our efforts to achieve these goals, while gaining valuable teaching work experience in Vietnam.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Vietnam offers a mix of bustling cities and picturesque countrysides. With so many different activities and tourist sites, you’re bound to find plenty of ways to spend your free time.
For a glimpse into the country’s history, you can spend an afternoon exploring the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology or the National Museum of Vietnamese History. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is also a major historic site, located in Hanoi.
If you’re looking to buy some souvenirs, there are many markets with locally made products on sale. Evenings in Hanoi are filled with excitement and bright, colourful lights. You can watch street performers and then head to a nearby restaurant for a taste of local cuisine.
The countryside, with its emerald rice paddies stretching to the horizon, provides the perfect escape from the busy capital.
We run many different projects in Vietnam, so there will likely be other volunteers in-country with you. This makes travelling as a group easy to arrange. However, you’re welcome to explore independently if you prefer.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Vietnam
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