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 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.
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.
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.