ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Volunteers are accommodated in a volunteer apartment with other volunteers. The apartment is on the 13th floor of a high rise building in suburban Hanoi, approximately 30 minutes from the Hanoi city center. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds and you can expect to share a room with two to five other volunteers. Bathrooms include electric heaters for hot showers and western toilets. Bedding (pillow, sheet and thin blanket) is provided, however it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag/silk liner (which can be purchased in Vietnam) for the winter months in Hanoi and a mosquito net if they wish to travel during the weekends. Most volunteer placements are located relatively close to the volunteer accommodation, however in some instances (mainly on the Working with NGOs project), volunteers may have to travel by public bus for 30 to 45 minutes. If this is the case, volunteers will be escorted by a member of staff for the first 2 to 3 days to ensure they know where to go and can find their way around easily.
For couples or older volunteers who would like a private room, the local staff can arrange accommodation in a nearby basic hotel. This will cost an additional US$15 per night and is to be paid directly to hotel staff in country. If you wish to request an accommodation upgrade, please make a note of this in your application form.
Volunteers in Hanoi are served three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the volunteer apartment. These meals are typically Vietnamese and include a wide variety of rice, noodle and soup dishes with plenty of vegetables and fresh herbs. Breakfast generally includes toast, spreads, juice, coffee and tea. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.
Orientation is taken by our Vietnamese team at the volunteer offices in Hanoi. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs for half a day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Vietnam – Introduction to Vietnam, Vietnamese Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Vietnam, Introduction to your Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: A typical volunteer day is as follows:
7.30 AM Breakfast at the cafe.
8.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at.
11.30 AM - 1.00 PM Lunch Break.
2-5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.
6.00 PM - 8.30 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time to just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Hanoi and North Vietnam. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield and engage in tourist activities, such as trekking in Sapa, experiencing Vietnamese history tours and visiting Ha Long Bay.