Volunteer Abroad in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam with IVHQ

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Volunteer in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh

Volunteer in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh with International Volunteer HQ! IVHQ has a range of volunteer projects available in Ho Chi Minh City, including Teaching English, Orphanage Work/Caring for Disabled Children and Medical.
Map of Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh
Capital: 
Hanoi
Population: 
88.78 million
Official languages: 
Vietnamese
Currency: 
Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Time zone: 
(UTC+7)
Weather and climate: 
Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with humidity averaging 84% throughout the year. However, because of differences in latitude and the marked variety of topographical relief, the climate tends to vary considerably from place to place.

LOCATION OF VIETNAM - HO CHI MINH VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

IVHQ has volunteer placements located in and around Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam.

START AND DURATION OF VIETNAM - HO CHI MINH VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

Volunteers begin the IVHQ Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh program on each Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. 

SHORT TERM VOLUNTEERING IN HO CHI MINH CITY

If you wish to experience a taste of volunteering in Vietnam, you can register for a special 1 week program. You will spend the first part of your week with the other volunteers on orientation, gaining a cultural insight into Vietnam. This will be followed by 2 days visiting a volunteer placement to get an idea of what it is like to volunteer.

VIETNAM - HO CHI MINH VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

Volunteers must be 18 years or older on the program start date and have at least a high school education. Teaching English volunteers must be fluent in English and Medical volunteers must be training or qualified in a relevant medical field. All volunteers must have adequate travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ partner staff on arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. 

HOW MANY OTHER VOLUNTEERS WILL THERE BE?

Between 15 and 30 volunteers start on our program in Ho Chi Minh City each month. What does this mean for you? More people to socialize and travel with, more people to meet from different cultures, more people to volunteer with, more projects to work on, more staff support, better infrastructure for volunteers and lower fees! 

VIETNAM - HO CHI MINH VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIALS

"Thank you so much for all of your help throughout the whole process. I'm sure you hear this all the time but I really did have a wonderful time. Volunteering is so rewarding and having the chance to combine that with travel makes it a once in a lifetime experience." - Allegra Boccabella (Caring for Disabled Children)

Click here to read more testimonials from IVHQ volunteers in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh volunteer project descriptions

Teaching English

The majority of volunteers on the Teaching English project teach students at a tourism college in Ho Chi Minh. Many students at the college have a beginner to intermediate level of English and this project offers international volunteers the opportunity to assist these students in developing their English language skills. Volunteers follow a syllabus and help students to improve their vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation and general knowledge of the English language. There is also a limited amount of Teaching English work available in local Vietnamese schools, kindergartens, hospitals and community centers, assisting staff and students with their English language skills. Many schools in Vietnam lack teachers with sufficient English competencies to extend the students’ level of English beyond basic writing and speaking skills. Volunteers help to improve the student’s pronunciation, listening and speaking skills, in addition to assisting local teachers in managing their classes, organizing games and other activities within the classroom. Volunteers do not need to be a qualified or experienced teachers to participate on this project.

Medical Placement

The Medical project in Ho Chi Minh provides skilled medical professionals and students with the opportunity to experience a new culture and working environment, while simultaneously developing their specialized medical knowledge. Volunteers are given the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of differences between medical systems in developed and developing countries. Volunteers are placed in a local Orthopedic and Rehabilitation hospital in Ho Chi Minh, where they work alongside a local doctor and/or nurse who guides them in different tasks and activities at their placement. It is important to note that as a volunteer, you will not be allowed to partake in major procedures and your role will be more job shadowing. Depending on your level of experience, you may observe operations, provide assistance in basic procedures and visit patients before and after surgery, as well as any other tasks offered or required by the local staff. While volunteers are always encouraged by local staff to see and learn as much as possible, the local staff are also very interested in gaining a better understanding of medical work in your country and learning about the similarities and differences. Volunteers are able to work within the fields of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy with children and adults who suffer from cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, congenital motor system deformity and other disabilities.

Please note, there is a minimum duration requirement of 2 weeks for this project and there is also a surcharge of US$25 per week to cover training and resources used on the project. This will be included in the fees quoted to you when you apply. Volunteers need to be in training or qualified in a relevant medical field, therefore, volunteers are required to present a copy of their qualifications and certificates to our partner organization on arrival in Vietnam.

Caring for disabled Children/Orphanage Work

Although Vietnam has now been at peace for many years, the effects of war continue to haunt not only the adult population of this country, but also its children. Volunteers on this project have the opportunity to work in institutions caring for children and young people affected by Agent Orange, or in schools, hospitals and community clinics looking after mentally disabled children. Work is somewhat varied depending on the institution where the volunteer is placed, however typical examples of tasks include: assisting local staff in providing rehabilitation exercises and therapeutic treatments for children, playing with children and entertaining/educating them with games, music and arts, renovation work, such as painting murals, helping to develop fundraising initiatives to ensure on-going funding for these institution, and teaching English to local staff.

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

Volunteers are accommodated in a volunteer dormitory with other volunteers at the Ho Chi Minh Tourism College in the Tan Binh district, approximately 30 minutes by taxi from the tourist area of Ho Chi Minh City. Rooms are comprised of bunk beds and you can expect to share a room to 8 to 14 other volunteers. Living conditions are basic, however there is air conditioning and fans for the hotter months. While bedding is provided, it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag/silk liner (these can be purchased in Vietnam) and a mosquito net if they wish to travel during the weekends. Most volunteer placements are located relatively handy to the accommodation, however in some instances, volunteers may need to travel by public bus for 30 minutes to their placements. If this is the case, volunteers will be escorted by a member of staff for the first 2 or 3 days to ensure they know where to go and can find their way around easily.

Volunteers in Ho Chi Minh City are served three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the volunteer dormitory, which 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

Orientation is taken by our Vietnamese team at the volunteer offices in Ho Chi Minh City. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs for the first 5 days of your stay. 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. Your orientation week also includes two Vietnamese language lessons, a cooking class, a visit to the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace and the famed Cu Chi tunnels. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

VOLUNTEER WEEK

First Day: On your first day of volunteering (after your orientation week), 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 college restaurant.

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.

1.00 PM Lunch break. Lunch is served at the college restaurant however; volunteers are free to buy their own lunch, which will usually cost between US$2-4.

2.00 PM - 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.

7.00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.

VOLUNTEER WEEKENDS

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Vietnam. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to engage in tourist activities, such as trekking, joining Vietnamese history tours and visits to temples and visiting the Mekong Delta.

Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh Volunteer fees: 
Volunteer periodProgram fee US$
1 Week270
2 Weeks370
3 Weeks470
4 Weeks570
6 Weeks770
8 Weeks920
10 Weeks1070
12 Weeks1220
16 Weeks1570
20 Weeks1870
24 Weeks2220

To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
Please note: All programs attract a Registration Fee of $249 USD on top of the Program Fee. The Medical project will also have an extra cost of US$25 per week to cover training and resources. This will be included in the fees quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply.

What do my fees pay for?

Registration Fee (refundable if you choose not to go*) – 24/7 support from IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, IVHQ Fund, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee – airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

What additional costs will I have?

Visa, flightstravel insurance (mandatory), criminal background check, vaccinations, transfer back to airport at conclusion of program, in-country trips and tours, souvenirs, spending money (volunteers in Vietnam generally find US$30 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses).

* - Terms and conditions do apply.