Education is becoming an increasingly important issue in Vietnam. Traditionally, agriculture has provided jobs for the masses, but this sector’s growth has plummeted. Nowadays, international commercial trade governs the Vietnamese economy, especially in major cities such as Hanoi. This economic shift has created a greater demand for skilled labour and particularly a workforce that is multilingual with English being the main language required.
In recent years, access to primary and secondary education has risen significantly and schools have received increased levels of funding. Furthermore, there is a greater focus on physical, psychological, social and emotional growth, alongside general educational achievement. English language training was introduced into the national curriculum in 2010 as the government continues to recognise the importance of the ability to speak English to young people.
PMGY support government high schools as well as community education classes for the local community.
The main school we support is a secondary school (11-18 years of age) that has over 2,500 students. English language skills are of growing importance at the school. However, the local teachers tend to focus on teaching listening, reading and writing skills and do not focus on speaking and communicational skills, as this is an area they are often limited in themselves. Our aim is to create an environment within the classrooms that encourages the pupils to practice their English and improve their confidence. We encourage volunteers to keep the lessons fun. Adding games, songs, music etc to the lessons will encourage the students to engage and improve their confidence. If willing, volunteers can also spend time helping improve the English of the teaching staff. This helps bring about long development at the school.
If you have a specific type of placement you’re interested in then please let us know in your application. However, if you do not outline a preference then we will place you where the need is greatest at the time. Regardless of your background or placement, our local team will give you a comprehensive introduction to the project and what is expected of you. Therefore, it is not an issue if you have little to no teaching experience.
We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60-hour Online TEFL Course.
ESSENTIAL PROGRAMME INFORMATION
For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.
It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly.
All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hardcopy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on-hand to assist you.
You should arrive into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (airport code HAN) on the selected Wednesday start date. Programmes start on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The programme ends on the Wednesday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.
Can I use this program as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY desitnations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.
The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.
In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.
When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.
While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.