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 monasteries or elementary schools 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 $260 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Teach English to local students in monasteries and schools
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 monasteries teaching monks or high schools in Luang Prabang 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.
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.
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
Laos photo gallery
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
”Absolutely couldn’t say enough good things about the local team. The team were the nicest and kindest people I have ever met. Not only did they support us with our volunteering program, like organising traditional skirts to wear to school, bikes to ride, etc, they went above and beyond by showing us around Luang Prabang in their own time, including ventures ...to show us the local culture and sights to see. They welcomed us so beautifully and made us feel very safe and comfortable. Please support them as much as you can because they need more volunteers to come to Laos. I will go back as soon as I possibly can to volunteer again. Volunteering had been one of the most rewarding and special experiences of my life and I feel like I chose the perfect destination for me. The children and the teachers were so grateful and happy for our help and I found them to be very respectful and keen to learn as much as they could from us. I loved their culture and their beautiful manners and quietly spoken way, I loved all the Laos people I met, especially the children. The food was amazing and the team did everything possible to make us comfortable. I particularly enjoyed the lunch and evening meals which were mostly traditional Laos food and was delicious, fresh and healthy. The location of the accommodation was also perfect, right in the middle of Luang Prabang, within riding distance to the school and walking distance to the night markets, morning markets, restaurants and the shops, it was perfect. My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was getting to know the children. I loved my students. I cried so much when I said goodbye to them. Volunteering is something i'd wanted to do all my life and finally I did it. It was like a dream come true. It made me realise that money and possessions are nothing, the Laos people don’t have much but they care for each other, they are happy and calm and very quietly spoken, but they also are very generous and kind, their culture is beautiful and something westerners could learn from. Go, it is the best thing you could ever do. Get out of your comfort zone and go and help someone else. They don’t ask for much but are so incredibly grateful and happy for what you can offer them, especially if it helps their children have a better life. ” read more
Read reviews from Teaching English volunteers in Luang PrabangSee more reviews
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 $435.
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. 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.
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 $10 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||$260 Equivalent to $37/day|
|2 weeks||$425 Equivalent to $30/day|
|3 weeks||$590 Equivalent to $28/day|
|4 weeks||$750 Equivalent to $27/day|
|5 weeks||$910 Equivalent to $26/day|
|6 weeks||$1,070 Equivalent to $25/day|
|8 weeks||$1,290 Equivalent to $23/day|
|10 weeks||$1,510 Equivalent to $22/day|
|12 weeks||$1,730 Equivalent to $21/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- 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.
Check what's required to visit Laos
Check out the widget below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Laos, based on your country of residence.
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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 upon arrival
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
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)