Places still available for June, July & August - book now
Teaching English Volunteer Program in Laos - Luang Prabang

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.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from CA$411 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

'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Key information

Improve access to quality education
Based in schools and monasteries in Luang Prabang
Dormitory-style volunteer house
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Fully hosted experience from CA$411 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Introduction Week orientation available
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who are fluent in English, work well independently, enjoy a challenge and are eager to overcome cross-cultural teaching barriers. You don’t need any teaching experience but you’ll probably find relevant training like a TEFL course is useful.
Who is this program suited to?

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.

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 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 Center, Luang Prabang

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16 or 17 on their program start date are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional document 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 Laos, 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.

Apply For Free

Not sure which program to join?

Get personalized recommendations >


'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

JH
Jowell Hong
17 Apr 2024

Living in Singapore is almost the complete opposite from the way of life in Laos, I am thankful for this experience and I am humbled and very glad that I came to volunteer here. The experience is what you expected, but even more strongly than what I hoped to gain. Other than wanting to make a change, the experience changed me and gave me a fresh perspective on life. Don’t be hesitant and just go for it.

...
ZW
Zuzanna Wawrzyniak
05 Mar 2024

I was teaching English at school but I know it's those kids that gave me a life lesson. Wonderful experience and memories for a lifetime!

...
MG
Maurice Gallant
25 Oct 2023

I was impressed by the quick response time from IVHQ whenever I made enquiries about some part of the registration process or the various programs.

At my placement, I hope I had a positive impact at the very least. I was teaching and tried to fit in as best I could. I felt like I had a good connection with both the teachers I was assisting and the students. I could say it had a very positive impact on me. I’ve taught ESL for over 30 years but never learners as young as the ones in my classes, so it was interesting to figure out how to connect with them and help them learn (and enjoy learning).

I had expected I would be sharing a room, but during the two weeks I was in Luang Prabang, there was only one other volunteer, so I got a room to myself. This was an unexpected bonus. Overall, I was satisfied with the accommodation. Though I have done a good deal of travel inAsia and familiar with many of the cultures, a person cannot be smug and think they know everything. This experience taught me there’s always something new to learn about cultures and people. I fully appreciated the effort put into making my stay in Luang Prabang a positive one.

...
RL
Richard Lauriston
29 Sep 2023

A fantastic way to gain an understanding of the culture and people. I am a retired white male, if your attitude is right, you will have a ball and make loads of new friends. It will also give you a more rounded view of the world's perspectives.

...
PP
Paolo Pucci Di Montaltino
22 Nov 2022

It’s a truly incredible team! A three man team, hardworking, and will do everything to ensure you have a perfect experience. Very friendly and warm, I’ve become very close to them over this month as have all past volunteers. It was incredible, to see your students’ level progress as the weeks went by and learn the pronunciations and phrases you taught them. Very nice accommodation, safe, clean, wonderful shower. Very central, a short walks away from the night market. Everything I could have asked for. The best was a stupendous rooftop terrace with views across all Laung Prabang, where you eat your meals. It was like eating at a high end restaurant three times day. The cook made the most delicious local dishes, and even made western food if wanted. Lots of variety and always an abundance of food. There is nothing better that you can do. At first I was hesitant even considering backpacking but I can say that volunteering abroad truly allows you to immerse yourself in the culture, while giving something to the community.

...
TF
Tara Fewster
27 Oct 2022

Our local team were absolutely amazing and the team along with all the volunteers became a small family. The program's they have on offer are great and suitable to all ages and people, we had a great mix of people from all walks of life volunteering at the same time. The support the team provided throughout our time was wonderful, they organised weekend activities and cultural experiences. The local food was truly incredible, I haven't even been home 24 hours and I'm already missing it.

It was life changing, I wish I could have stayed longer and will definitely be volunteering again in the future. Our food was a highlight!!!! Our cook was wonderful and was always happy to show us what she was cooking and how she did it. My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was seeing the smiles on the faces of the children and their eagerness to learn! What I would say to someone still hesitant about volunteering abroad is take the leap! Laos felt like the best way to "dip our toes" in and have a go. It was a very safe country, relatively easy to get to and a wonderful team!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

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
Volunteer Abroad in Laos with IVHQ

Location

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 center, 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 traveling 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 socializing.

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$325 (approximately CA$469).

Join the Introduction Week by making a note in your application or contacting your IVHQ Program Manager after you register.

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays

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.

Weekends

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.

Meals

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 Luang Prabang offering local treats.

Bottled water is readily available in Laos and volunteers should budget approximately US$10 (approximately CA$14) per week for 2 liters a day.

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 $285 Equivalent to $41/day
2 weeks $450 Equivalent to $32/day
3 weeks $615 Equivalent to $29/day
4 weeks $775 Equivalent to $28/day
5 weeks $935 Equivalent to $27/day
6 weeks $1,095 Equivalent to $26/day
8 weeks $1,315 Equivalent to $23/day
10 weeks $1,535 Equivalent to $22/day
12 weeks $1,755 Equivalent to $21/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately CA$474) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Laos generally find US$75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up
  • Transport to and from volunteer project
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized 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

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

  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Luang Prabang

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

Introduction Week
Introduction Week

The Introduction Week is an awesome way to kickstart your volunteer abroad experience and it covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Laos.

CA$469
Laos Adventure Week
Laos Adventure Week

Explore Laos in a fun packed week where we take you to some of the must visit places and experiences in Laos.

CA$705

Check what's required to visit Laos

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 Vientiane
Population 7.2 million
Languages Lao
Currency Lao or Laotian Kip (LAK)
Time zone UTC+07:00

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)

Other projects you may be interested in

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!