Gap year Vietnam! Vietnam is a richly diverse country with breath-taking natural beauty and an incredible heritage. It also has some of the best food in Southeast Asia, with subtle flavours and diverse dishes and is often a fascinating draw for visitors to the country. As tourism is such a strong industry for the country’s economy, learning English is considered the key to a prosperous future and our volunteers provide an avenue for people to learn and practice.
There is so much to see and do whilst working in Vietnam and with a cheap and reliable transport system it is easy for volunteers to see a lot of this beautiful and incredible country whilst on placement.
Language Coach placements are mostly in primary and secondary schools, with some university placements available too. Lattitude volunteers provide students with the opportunity to practice their spoken English by leading activities such as conversation, role playing, singing and debating. A range of extra-curricular activities including conversation groups, visiting students’ homes and playing games add great value and enjoyment to the placements. Volunteers may also be asked to teach the teachers as well to assist in enhancing their confidence in English conversation.
Volunteers in Vietnam are greatly valued by their host schools and are accepted as teaching staff from the beginning. Students are eager to learn and many lessons are engaging and great fun. As is the demand for English speakers in Vietnam, volunteers may soon find themselves running extra classes, for both their students and maybe even members of the local community.
Volunteers in Vietnam will find they are very popular and will soon get to know the local community very well. In doing this there is real opportunity to get the most out of a work placement, enabling volunteers to experience Vietnam and its culture in far greater depth than if they were to simply travel through!
Volunteers normally teach an average of 20 hours of formal classes per week. A small amount of pocket money is paid.
We have a variety of opportunities available for Language Coach volunteers in Vietnam. Depending on which age group of students interests you, volunteers could be placed in a primary school, secondary school or university. As a primary school teacher you could be placed in our host school in Hanoi. As a volunteer in this institution with over 2500 students and 257 members of staff, your responsibilities would involve giving 40 minute lessons to a range of different age groups and learning abilities. You would be responsible for planning your own lessons, and would take classes independently. You would also be encouraged to organise extra-curricular activities such as music, drama and sports clubs.
If you would prefer to teach older students, you could be placed in our host secondary school in Ho Chi Minh City. In this school, responsible for the education of 406 pupils between the ages of 12-18, you would form a part of a team of 50 teachers, four of which are specialist English teachers. In this placement, you would be working around 20 hours per week as an English language assistant, working in tandem with permanent Vietnamese staff.
If you decide to teach in a higher education institution you could be placed in our host University in Hai Phong. This institution teaches subjects such as IT, environmental engineering and foreign languages to 18-25 year olds and you would teach English to classes of around 45 students. Alternatively you could be placed in our host College of Agriculture and Forestry in Bac Giang, where 3500 students study subjects such as accounting, IT and biotechnology. In this position, you work 20 hours per week helping to teach both staff and students in classes of 10-20 and 40-60 people.
Accommodation and food
Accommodation is either provided on campus at the host institution, or in a nearby flat rented by the host. Food is either supplied or an allowance provided for self-catering.
Is it for me?
Vietnam will allow you to step outside your comfort zone, and embrace a truly rich cultural experience. You will be able to push yourself as you take on a position of responsibility and teach English to people of many ages. Any shortage in resources will be more than made up for by the keenness of your students to learn.
Need to know
Pre departure briefing – all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
Language – no previous knowledge of Vietnamese is required
On arrival – volunteers undertake a five-day combined teaching skills and orientation course in Ho Chi Minh City.
Free time & travel
Anyone who has ever travelled to Vietnam will tell you that the people are some of the most fun-loving on earth. During the evenings and at weekends, be prepared to embrace socialising with your new colleagues and friends and to spend time exploring the local sights, sounds and tastes. For relaxation, spend some time relaxing on one of Vietnam’s stunning beaches or wander around a local market sampling the likes of nem cuon (salad rolls) or canh chua (sour soup). Vietnam also has a very rich historical heritage which has led to an eclectic mix of cultural influences. From Indian Hindi roots in the south and remnants of the French colonial era in Hanoi, you will have enough photo opportunities to fill several albums back home: memories of your gap year to last forever!
In terms of sights and activities, during your weekends and holidays you can take a cruise to see the limestone islands of Halong Bay, explore the reefs of the Con Dao Islands, take a hike up mountain tracks near Sapa and explore the tribal villages of Vietnam’s 50 something hill tribes, to name but a few. You could also take advantage of being close to the likes of Cambodia and Laos by going on an extended trip of your neighbouring countries after your placement.
The scars of the Vietnam War are still visible and the Vinh Moc tunnels north of Hue are a poignant reminder of that time. Thousand year old Hanoi in the north has a beautiful, classical old quarter where oriental and western influences mingle seamlessly. Ho Chi Minh City in the south is Vietnam’s largest city, a real shopper’s paradise. In between are white sandy beaches, the magical Mekong delta, endless terraced hillsides and thickly forested highlands.
Lattitude Application Fee – £50
The application fee covers the cost of processing applications and conducting interviews.
All applicants are guaranteed an interview. This fee is non-refundable.
Lattitude Placement Fee:
UK/EU nationals £2,450
Other nationals US$3450
- In depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
- Relevant DBS/police check fees
- Airport pickup on arrival and In-country orientation
- Part of country programme network of international Lattitude volunteers
- Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
- Accommodation and food (provided by your host family)
- 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from the Lattitude Country Manager
- Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
- Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni
- International Flights
- Onward travel to placement (if applicable)
- Travel insurance
- Pocket Money for weekends/ holidays/post-placement travel
- Accommodation and food during holiday periods
As a charity we always recommend our volunteers fundraise to help meet the costs involved in volunteering overseas. In many ways it is part of the whole experience. For more information and fundraising ideas please click here
Placement Availability – 2020
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|Language Coach||August 2020||3 Months||Available|
Placement Availability – 2021
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|Language Coach||Feb 2021||3 Months||Available|
|Language Coach||May 2021||3 Months||Available|
|Language Coach||August 2021||3 Months||Available|
“I would never have been this adventurous had I not been on this placement; it’s really opened my eyes to the world.”Marianne, English teacher