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Teaching English Volunteer Program in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City

Teaching English Volunteer Program in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City

Want to Teach English in Vietnam? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching English project gives volunteers the opportunity to assist with language learning at a local college in Ho Chi Minh City. Volunteers gain teaching experience while helping older students who already have an intermediate level of English to practice and improve their skills. Knowing English is extremely useful for Vietnamese students who can continue on to higher education or find better jobs and access a wider range of employment opportunities.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from AU$641 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help students build and improve on their existing English language skills

  • Enjoy Vietnam’s vivid culture and delectable food

  • Stay with other volunteers in a vibrant district of Ho Chi Minh City

Key information

Improve access to quality education
Based in a local college
Dormitory-style volunteer accommodation
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Fully hosted experience from AU$641 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Introduction Week orientation available
Up to 6 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who speak English fluently, are interested in education and want to teach more than just the basics. You’ll be working closely with the local team so no experience is needed, but some relevant training like a TEFL course would be useful.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

English language skills are highly desirable in Vietnam, as they enable students to pursue other areas of study and open up many different career options. English teachers are also in high demand, meaning those who speak the language fluently are valued for their expertise.

Students at this project are older, attending classes at a local college for those aged between 16 and 25. Many already have an intermediate understanding of English.

As a Teaching English volunteer, you can be either leading a class as the head teacher, or assisting a local teacher with lessons. You’re required to follow a syllabus from a business communications textbook, which will guide you in the tasks you’re assisting with. These may include:

  • Teaching English
  • Improving vocabulary
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Comprehension and understanding
  • Pronunciation
  • Word use
  • General knowledge

It is important to note that the Teaching project is disrupted from the 29th of January to the 24th of February due to the celebration of the Vietnamese New Year (TET) in 2024.

During this time, volunteers will make food for the at-risk community (mainly young children in the community who have been diagnosed with cancer). The local team will arrange activities for the children including, dancing, singing, playing and the volunteers will also spend some time teaching them English.

The local team will buy all the food and materials for volunteers to help with preparation of the food, cooking the food and serving for that center. The center is about a 45 minute bus ride from the accommodation and you can expect to volunteer from 8am to 1pm. Alternatively, volunteers can use the time to travel and join in on the local festivities.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Teaching English volunteering in Ho Chi Minh with IVHQ?

When you volunteer as an English Teacher in Vietnam you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving access to quality language education
  • Helping students gain English proficiency
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining teaching experience
  • Immersing yourself in Vietnamese culture
  • Discovering Ho Chi Minh City

Volunteer requirements

  • 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
  • To respect the local culture and customs in Vietnam, volunteers should be aware that they’re unable to have anything obstructing their face while at their volunteer placement.
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

AD
Andrew Dyer
25 Aug 2023

The program was well organized and created an environment where the volunteers felt connected to one another and the local staff. I liked the variety of activities that were planned and I feel that I had a wide range of experiences teaching English.

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GM
Geraldine Mulawka
19 Dec 2022

The warm and sincere reception of both students and staff in and out of the classroom setting made the experience great. I finally realize that having English as a first language is a gift to share; A tool that without very much effort from English speakers, can provide so much opportunity and choice to citizens in other countries. I felt deep gratitude from students, staff and the local team. It was a very humbling experience.

...
KC
Karim Charania
08 Dec 2022

A treasured moment is meeting lots of new people from around the world and living together for a week and also at the end getting a certificate and being thanked by the whole class. The biggest impression the program had on me was being able to grow as a person by becoming more confident and going out of my comfort zone. Just do it and go outside your comfort zone, you’ll be surprised what you can do when put in the situation and the feeling at the end when you know you’ve helped others is amazing.

...
NG
Natacha Garbe
25 Jul 2022

The local team were all such lovely and kind people who made the accommodation feel like home!

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RL
Richard Lauriston
21 Jun 2022

My best teaching experience to date . Great place to work . Supportive teachers and fantastic students . My advice would be as I am 65, go for it. Be prepared to work and socialise with younger volunteers. You will be amazed at the experience and fun that can be had .

...
CB
Christopher Brown
11 Feb 2021

I arrived in Vietnam to start my volunteer program and was greeted at the airport by a friendly member of the team. We were taken to our accommodation which was clean and tidy. The first 3 days are an introduction to the sights in Ho Chi Minh and the team show you where the nearest shops, pharmacy, restaurants, etc. are. Once you start the ‘Teaching English’ program you get the bus every day to a nearby college and help the students with their listening, writing and pronunciation skills. The students are great fun; if you go the extra mile and really put the effort into the games, the students respond positively. The coordinator is very helpful and supportive and is always on hand to help translate to Vietnamese. Back at the accommodation, the food is very good, there’s lots of variety and always plenty to go round. If anyone is thinking about volunteering abroad, definitely pick Vietnam; you’ll really make a difference even if you’re only there for a short time.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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Volunteer Abroad in Vietnam with IVHQ

Location

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is home to IVHQ’s Vietnam program. With high-tech industry, upmarket hotels, skyscrapers, shopping malls and buzzing nightlife, the city has a modern, dynamic atmosphere tempered by reminders of its history under French colonial rule and of its fall during the Vietnam War. While Vietnam has made great economic strides since then, the country is still recovering from the war and many people, especially ethnic minorities and those in rural areas, live without the basic necessities of life or find them difficult to access. Volunteers are needed to support efforts that help to further reduce poverty and hunger for these vulnerable people.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday, and volunteers need to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Vietnam prior to your volunteer program, you will need to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation on the day before your program orientation.

There are two options for orientation in Vietnam, a One-day Orientation and the Introduction Week Orientation.

One-day Orientation: This begins on your selected start date and all volunteers will attend. It covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Vietnam, including an introduction to the Vietnam 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, and arrange your SIM card. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Introduction Week Orientation: The Introduction Week begins on your selected start date and runs for five days. This option is very popular among IVHQ volunteers as you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Vietnamese culture, a true appreciation of local life and have extra time to bond with your fellow volunteers. You’ll also get to see some of Ho Chi Minh’s notable landmarks, visit markets and take a Vietnamese cooking class. Plus, it’s a great way to help settle the culture shock you can face when arriving in Vietnam.

Introduction Week does incur an additional Add on for US$400 (approximately AU$641) to cover the additional costs. If you wish to participate in the Introduction Week, you can indicate this on your application form or let your Program Manager know once you have been accepted.

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays

After the initial orientation day or week, you will work for approximately 4 to 6 hours per day. A typical schedule:

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.
12:00 PM Lunch break. Lunch is served at the college restaurant or at the placement. However; volunteers are free to buy their own lunch​ at their expense​, which will usually cost between AU$3 - AU$6.
2:00 - 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 Dinner at the volunteer accommodation.

Weekends

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Ho Chi Minh City or Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh itself boasts an incredible number of things to see and do. You could find yourself gazing up at the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, or down at the lights of the city below from a bar on the rooftop of a towering skyscraper. You might pick your way through the local morning markets, sample the city’s mind-blowingly delicious street food, squeeze through the underground Cu Chi tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war or admire a selection of ornate temples and pagodas.

Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to engage in tourist activities, such as trekking, joining Vietnamese history tours and visiting the Mekong Delta.

Accommodation and WiFi

You’ll stay in an IVHQ volunteer dormitory at ​a tourism college which is a 30-minute drive from the tourist area of Ho Chi Minh City.

You can expect to share a room ​with up to 8 other volunteers, all sleeping in bunk beds. Living conditions are basic; however, there is air conditioning and fans for the hotter months. The showers are with cold running water (nice and refreshing in the hot weather!) While bedding is provided, it is recommended that you bring your own sleeping bag/silk liner (these can be purchased in Vietnam) and a mosquito net if you wish to travel during the weekends.

WiFi is available in the volunteer dormitory, however the connection can be slow so we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Vietnam. The local team can assist you with this during your program orientation.

Some placements are located relatively close to the volunteer accommodation, however in some instances, volunteers may need to travel by public bus for 30​ to 40​ minutes to their placements. If this is the case, you will be accompanied by a member of the local team for the first 2 or 3 days to ensure that you know where to go and can find your way around easily.

Meals

Volunteers in Ho Chi Minh City are served three meals per day during the week.

Breakfast is usually toast, cereal, fruit, tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner are typically traditional Vietnamese fare and include a wide variety of rice, noodle and soup dishes with plenty of vegetables, meats and fresh herbs. On the weekends volunteers are only served brunch and dinner.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week AU$642 Equivalent to AU$92/day
2 weeks AU$883 Equivalent to AU$63/day
3 weeks AU$1188 Equivalent to AU$57/day
4 weeks AU$1461 Equivalent to AU$52/day
5 weeks AU$1734 Equivalent to AU$50/day
6 weeks AU$2007 Equivalent to AU$48/day
8 weeks AU$2553 Equivalent to AU$46/day
10 weeks AU$3099 Equivalent to AU$44/day
12 weeks AU$3645 Equivalent to AU$43/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 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
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$527) 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, transport to and from your volunteer placement. criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Free-time experiences & tours in Vietnam

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Vietnam! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Vietnam program.

Vietnam Introduction Week
Vietnam Introduction Week

Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Vietnamese culture.

AU$641
Vietnam Introduction Week
Vietnam Introduction Week

Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Vietnamese culture.

AU$641

Check what's required to visit Vietnam

Safety and support with IVHQ

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.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Hanoi
Population 96 million
Languages Vietnamese
Currency Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Time zone (UTC+7)

Weather and climate

Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with humidity averaging 84 per cent throughout the year. However, because of differences in latitude and diverse geography, the climate tends to vary considerably from place to place.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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