English Teaching Guide

This is your opportunity to support Vietnam's education, a topic which is becoming increasingly more important in this unique country.

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.

TRAVEL TIPS
You should arrive into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (airport code HAN) on the selected Wednesday start date. 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.

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Families
Groups

Typical day

Volunteers generally work as co-teachers alongside the local teacher and are welcomed to prepare and lead their own activities within the lessons. You will also be responsible for working with smaller groups of students, giving them the chance to speak English and helping them with their pronunciation. With up to 50 children in one class, experience and confidence are great skills to have and develop along with being flexible, creative and having determination to succeed!
 
The school is fairly well-resourced but the schools cannot afford to hire enough native speaking English staff. Furthermore, class sizes can be as large as 50 kids, making it difficult for teachers to give the pupils the individual attention they need. Therefore, volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the schools ambition to improve the English of their students. There is also the chance to help with sports classes: badminton, basketball, football and volleyball are the main sports taught.
 
Alongside our work with schools in Hanoi, our volunteers extend their contribution to a number of community classes and holiday camps. The community classes take place only a short walk from the Volunteer House within a rented classroom space. The classes are attended by high school and university students who wish to improve their English but cannot afford private tuition. Most of the students come from rural areas and move to the city to attend university. The aim of the classes is to create a fun and interactive environment for the students to practice their English.
 
There are two lessons at the community class project each day. Each class lasts for two hours with a 10-minute break in between. On average 5 to 15 people attend each class. Volunteers lead their own lessons. You do not need to follow a formal lesson plan and volunteers have the freedom to add their creative take on subjects. Our local team will guide you as to what former volunteers have taught and what the students wish to learn, so you have an idea of what to put in your lesson plans. We will also give you ideas on what activities you can implement, so there is no need to worry if you haven’t taught before. Furthermore, the level of English of the students is relatively advanced which makes communicating and structuring your lessons a lot easier.
 
The holiday camps run during the school vacation period that takes place over the months of June, July and August. Each camp lasts around 2 weeks. There are three levels of students, each level is taught separately: Primary, Middle School and High School. Every group receives ten lessons, one each day over a period of two weeks (Monday to Friday). Each student will have a workbook and curriculum to follow so you will have a clear idea of what you’re expected to teach. Volunteers are encouraged to be creative with how they organise the lessons. Our local team will advise you on how to do this, so there is no need to worry if you do not have any teaching experience. We encourage volunteers to incorporate lots of games and songs into the classes, as these are always a favourite with the students.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School level
Other Skills
If you are under 18 please ensure you have the consent of your guardian before you join this programme.

You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Viet Nam? Volunteer World directly connects you with Plan My Gap Year

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Free-time activities

PMGY volunteers are based in a quiet, friendly neighbourhood approximately 45 minutes from the Old Quarter of Hanoi. There is everything you need within walking distance of the Volunteer House: ATMs, supermarkets, laundrettes, chemists, as well as some great cafes and local bars.
 
High-octane Hanoi is a feast for the senses. The first thing that hits you is the sound of swarms of buzzing motorbikes followed swiftly by the amazing wafts and tastes of incredible street food found throughout the city. Full of distinctive character as well as a confident buzz, Hanoi is now considered a pretty cool city.
 
For many, simply being in Hanoi and soaking up the atmosphere is entertainment in itself but there are many fascinating places for you to visit whilst you’re not volunteering both in the city and further afield.

HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM COMPLEX
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is an important place of pilgrimage for many Vietnamese. A traffic-free area of botanical gardens , monuments, memorials and pagodas, it’s usually crowded with groups of Vietnamese who come from far and wide to pay their respects to ‘Uncle Ho’. Within the complex are Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House and the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh Museum and the One Pillar Pagoda.
 
You will realise very early on that HCM still holds a very special place in the hearts of the Vietnamese people. Crowds queue for hours in order to pay their respects to the iconic leader. The seriousness of the guards and the reverence paid to HCM by the Vietnamese people is an eye opening experience.

THE OLD QUARTER
Take a step back in time into the Old Quarter of Hanoi. It will feel like a different world in comparison to the rest of the city where change takes place daily.
 
It is a warren of old style narrow, meandering streets full of antique brick houses where merchants and artisans would have gathered to sell their wares. Set around Hoan Kiem Lake, a visit here will give you the chance to explore how the locals lived a hundred years ago.

SAPA
Sapa is orientated to make the most of the spectacular views emerging on clear days; overlooking a plunging valley, with mountains towering above on all sides. Views of this epic scenery are often subdued by thick mist rolling across the peaks, but even when it’s cloudy, local hill-tribe people fill the town with colour.

HALONG BAY
Towering limestone pillars and tiny islets topped by forest rise from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Halong translates as ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’ and legend tells that this mystical seascape was created when a great mountain dragon charged towards the coast, its flailing tail gouging out valleys and crevasses. As the creature plunged into the sea, the area filled with water leaving only the pinnacles visible. The geological explanation may be a bit more boring but doesn’t make this seascape any less poetic.

Swimming
Concert/Music
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Services

What's included?
Your programme fee includes:
  • accommodation, 
  • all meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner), 
  • airport pickup (24 hours), 
  • in-country orientation, 
  • private transport to projects, 
  • 24 hour in-country support.

Your registration fee includes: 
  • 24 hour UK based support, 
  • comprehensive volunteer handbook, 
  • live pre-departure webinars, 
  • regular programme inspection.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup
You should arrive into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (airport code HAN) on the selected Wednesday start date. 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.

Accommodation
During your time with PMGY in Vietnam you will live at our Volunteer House located within a quiet and friendly neighbourhood approximately a 45-minute bus journey from the Old Quarter of Hanoi. There is everything you need within walking distance of the Volunteer House: ATMs, supermarkets, laundrettes, chemists etc. There are also some great cafes and local bars. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.
 
The accommodation is basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 6 people per room in single-sex, air-conditioned rooms. The bathrooms are shared and each has a western style toilet and hot shower. The house has a communal kitchen with a fridge, oven and washing machine (available free of charge). Free drinking water is available 24/7. There is also a lounge where you can hang out. Wi-Fi is also available in certain parts of the house including the communal area and there is a communal computer you can use. Each volunteer is also provided with a locker to store away valuable items and there are wardrobes to hang your clothes.
 
The Volunteer House is gated and padlocked with an appropriate lock combination to ensure volunteers safety. We also have a member of staff (usually a nanny) present in the house 24 hours a day. Please note if you arrive late in the evening at our Volunteer House then it is likely our local team will not be present and you will meet them the following day. Our local team have an office on the ground floor of the house, which makes for a great atmosphere and ensures volunteers are well supported throughout their stay.
 
During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.
Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
You will be provided with three meals a day, which will be traditional Vietnamese dishes – this means a lot of rice! All food will be nutritious and freshly cooked.
 
For breakfast you can expect cereal, toast and tea/coffee. Some projects will provide you with lunch, for those that don’t, you will eat at the Volunteer House. Lunch in the house is usually always a Vietnamese dish, which will include soup, rice, vegetables and sometimes meat or fish. For projects a little further afield, you can eat lunch at a local restaurant and then be reimbursed for the value of your lunch up to 40,000 VND.
 
Dinner is served at the Volunteer House. We have cooks at the house who will freshly prepare your meals. You can expect a variety of dishes, so there will be always something to suit even the fussiest eaters! A typical meal will have pork, fish, beef or chicken and tofu or egg and at least 2 different kinds of vegetable dishes, along with rice and soup. Western meals will be served on an ad-hoc basis and our volunteers always appreciate this.
 
If you fancy eating out there are plenty of cafes and local amenities in the surrounding area or you can take a bus or taxi into the main tourist area, the Old Quarter, in the city of Hanoi.

* Please inform us in your application if you have any dietary requirements. Furthermore, meals on the Sunday arrival date are NOT included, so please budget between £5 to £10 for this.
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs
4 weeks (min. stay)
$722
5 weeks
$811
6 weeks
$900
7 weeks
$990
10 weeks
$1257
12 weeks
$1436
24 weeks (max. stay)
$2506

You can volunteer at the project site in Hanoi/Viet Nam between 4 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Plan My Gap Year will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$142/week
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Viet Nam

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Viet Nam. Please check the visa regulations for Viet Nam.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Viet Nam and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Viet Nam.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Viet Nam.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Noibai International (HAN) in Hanoi. We assist you to find cheap flights to Viet Nam.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Viet Nam provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Viet Nam you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Viet Nam.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Viet Nam while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Viet Nam upfront.
Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Viet Nam