Teaching English Volunteer Program in Laos - Luang Prabang
Inspired to Teach English as a volunteer in Laos? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching English project gives volunteers the unique opportunity to assist with classes in elementary schools or monasteries in Luang Prabang. Volunteers gain teaching experience while sharing their invaluable English skills and culture with local students and giving them the rare chance to learn from a fluent speaker.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from AU$474 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Teach English to local students in schools and monasteries
Discover the incredible mountains and temples of Laos
Stay with other volunteers in Luang Prabang
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Monasteries are common places for children in Laos to receive their education, and volunteers are a valuable source of English-speaking expertise in these lessons. The same can be said of local schools, where fluent English speakers are not commonly available to help teach schoolchildren.
As an English Teaching volunteer you’ll help students, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, in either local high schools or in monasteries teaching monks and the ages can be from 10 to 25 years-old Your lessons will be guided by the school curriculum, which the local staff can help you with. As well as your time in the classroom, it’s expected you’ll spend time preparing your lessons each day.
On some Teaching placements its important to note that your volunteer shift will be split i.e. 8:00 am to 11:00 am and then 3.30pm to 7:00pm
It is important to note, that it is a requirement for female volunteers on the Teaching project to wear a traditional Laos skirt known as “sinh”. You will be able to purchase this once you have arrived in Laos directly with the local team for an additional US$20 and you will be able to take this home with you as a souvenir. Alternatively, there may be some to borrow from the local team if you do not want to purchase one.
Please note that school examinations are from the 20th to the 31st of May 2024. During this time, normal classes will be disrupted. Instead, you will join the Childcare project or the Construction and Renovation project.
School holidays in Laos are in June, July, and August, so it is important to note that you will be volunteering on the Summer Teaching Program if you are volunteering during this time.
Why do Teaching English volunteering in Luang Prabang with IVHQ?
As a volunteer English teacher in Laos you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged students
- Helping students learn and practice English
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining English teaching experience
- Immersing yourself in Lao culture
- Discovering the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Luang Prabang
- Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- Volunteers aged 16-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Laos photo gallery
Academic course credit
Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!Learn about course credit
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
Read reviews from Teaching English volunteers in Luang Prabang
”My best moment from the volunteer experience was teaching the younger children (all the students were incredible but definitely had a soft spot for the younger kids as they were adorable!). The biggest impact was that it was an eye-opening experience that made me realise how much we take education for granted. You won't regret it! You'll only regret not being able to stay for longer.”
Read reviews from Teaching English volunteers in Luang Prabang
Compared to the thronging, bustling party that is other capital cities of South-east Asian countries, Luang Prabang is in northern Laos at the heart of a mountainous region. This relaxed town, often described as the Jewel in Laos Crown; has beautiful parks, markets, temples and monuments, tropical weather, and plenty to do. Wider Laos has a huge range of adventure activities popular with visitors, and breathtaking waterfalls, limestone caves and scenery.
Just outside the town centre, you can explore lush jungles with miles of hiking trails leading to gorgeous waterfalls and limestone caves.
The IVHQ Laos Program is based in Luang Prabang. The placements are located in and around Luang Prabang.
Arrival and orientation
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Luang Prabang Airport (LPQ). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.
Volunteers need to arrive in Luang Prabang on the Sunday before orientation. When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are travelling in Vientiane, Laos prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Vientiane on the day before your program orientation for an additional pick-up fee cost.
There are two options for orientation in Laos:
One-day Orientation: This runs for a full day and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Laos, including an introduction to the IVHQ Laos program, the local team, general rules and a class on the local culture and language. In the afternoon, you’ll learn about the local projects, go on a walking tour of the local area, arrange your SIM card, and finish the day planting vegetables like a local. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.
Introduction Week: This not only teaches you everything you need to know for your volunteer project, but also gives you the opportunity to learn more about the culture and tick off some must-do Laos experiences including a language lesson, cooking class, village walk and visits to the KuangSi waterfall, bear conservation sanctuary, ancient history temple and forest temples. This week has an additional cost of US$435 (approximately AU$724).
Join the Introduction Week by making a note in your application or contacting your IVHQ Program Manager after you register.
Volunteer schedule example
After the initial orientation week, you will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day and a typical schedule is as follows:
|8:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer guesthouse.|
|9:00 AM||Volunteers travel to their placements by foot, bicycle or tuk-tuk.|
|12:00 PM||Volunteers break for lunch and travel back to the volunteer guesthouse. In some cases volunteers eat lunch at their placement. After lunch, volunteers continue with their volunteer work (where applicable).|
|3:00 - 4:00 PM||Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to return to the volunteer guesthouse, plan for the following day’s activities or use their free time as they wish.|
|6:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer guesthouse. After dinner volunteers will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as they wish.|
Volunteers have the weekends free and there is no shortage of things to do in Luang Prabang or further afield in Laos. Volunteers can fill their free time with local markets, adventure activities or simply exploring parts of Luang Prabang. Laos is a popular tourist destination, offering beautiful nature and scenery, with great biking, kayaking, climbing, caving, trekking and rafting. Volunteers who wish to take a long weekend to travel can enjoy the beautiful limestone mountains and waterfalls in Vang Vieng or even take a two-day cruise on the mighty Mekong River.
Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Laos and neighboring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Luang Prabang, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style volunteer house in Luang Prabang. The town center is only a 10-15 minute walk or 3 Tuktuk ride from the volunteer accommodation. You should expect to share a room with up to 4 other volunteers of the same gender. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a fan and have a shared bathroom equipped with western style toilet and a hot shower. Bedding and towels are provided. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.
Couples, families or individuals who want more privacy have an option to upgrade to private accommodation. Private rooms are subject to availability and therefore you must arrange this well in advance of your program.
The accommodation has free Wifi which volunteers are able to use. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to access the internet.
Laotian food is very tasty and during your time in Laos, you will be sure to receive some delicious treats.
Volunteers are provided with three meals per day. Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, eggs, bread and fruit. Lunch and dinner are prepared in the guesthouse restaurant and will often include fresh vegetables, fish or meat, cooked with fresh herbs and spices, and served with plenty of sticky rice. Noodles are common at mealtimes too, as are local soups.
Please note that during the weekends only brunch and dinner is provided.
Fresh tropical fruit is plentiful at roadside stalls and there are many street food vendors around Vientiane offering local treats.
Bottled water is readily available in Laos and volunteers should budget approximately US$10 (approximately AU$16) per week for 2 liters a day.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||AU$474 Equivalent to AU$68/day|
|2 weeks||AU$749 Equivalent to AU$54/day|
|3 weeks||AU$1024 Equivalent to AU$49/day|
|4 weeks||AU$1290 Equivalent to AU$46/day|
|5 weeks||AU$1557 Equivalent to AU$44/day|
|6 weeks||AU$1823 Equivalent to AU$43/day|
|8 weeks||AU$2189 Equivalent to AU$39/day|
|10 weeks||AU$2556 Equivalent to AU$37/day|
|12 weeks||AU$2922 Equivalent to AU$35/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
- Certificate of International Volunteer Service
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$547) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Laos generally find US$75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Recommended activities and tour add-ons
We believe that no volunteer adventure would be complete without experiencing the natural and cultural wonders of your host country. That’s why we offer an exciting Introduction Week to IVHQ volunteers in Laos as an affordable add-on.
|DAY 1||Introduction to Laos and Green Lion including a rundown of Laotian Customs, Rules and Expectations, Health and Safety and a tour of the local area. In the afternoon you will participate in language lessons and vegetable planting.|
|DAY 2||Visiting the local village to see the real home made weaving, textile, handicrafts making, as well as making a flower offering at the local temple, Laotian cooking classes, and a barbecue dinner.|
|DAY 3||Spending day in luangpanbang to explore the world heritage town, an ancient history temple, Laos local morning market, and a beautiful forest temple. Your afternoon will be relaxing and swimming at the famous KuangSi waterfall as well as visiting the bear conservation. On the way back visit the Hmong tribe village, along with a visit to the night market before heading back to the accommodation|
|DAY 4||Introduction and placement orientation to your project before getting stuck into the work in the afternoon.|
|DAY 5||Work at your volunteer placement and begin planning for next week.|
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on the needs of the project, local weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances
The introduction week has an additional cost of US$435 which includes all orientation activities, meals, and accommodation.
Please note the introduction week is not included as part of your program duration. So if you want this to be part of the total amount of weeks you spend on the program, please let us know.
How to book IVHQ’s recommended add-ons:
Ready to join? Please see the add-on options in your MyIVHQ checklist or email your IVHQ Program Manager and they will add this to your file.
Check what's required to visit Laos
Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Essential country information
|Currency||Lao or Laotian Kip (LAK)|
Weather and climate
The climate in Laos is considered tropical monsoonal, days are typically warm and sunny all year around, with an average temperature of 29°C (84°F). The rainy season runs from May to October, and this is when humidity and temperatures can peak at 40°C (100°F). The dry season runs from November to May, and this is when the temperature is typically cooler and can get to a low of 15°C (58°F)