There is so many amazing things to say about volunteering with YESD both as a teacher of English or a 'Project Assistant'. First, you are enveloped in an international community with travelers from all over the world who share their experience with you, furthermore you are able to meet Vietnamese from all over the country!
I was able to develop my skills as a teacher in a comfortably environment without heavy pressure. I was able to work with students from various skill levels. Teaching experiences ranged from University students, to fluent English speakers, to even professional level businessmen and women. While I provided a unique experience to these students through teaching and my Western life-style, they taught me something even deeper about their culture and what it takes for me to teach non-native English speakers. In addition, I created new friends in Vietnam who taught me far more about their culture and heritage than I would ever learn as a backpacker. As an added bonus, these students personally showed me places in Hanoi that I would NEVER find as a solo-traveler. Lastly, the coordinators of this program also helped to send me to a rural village in the Ha Giang Province or northern Vietnam as a teacher. I was able to teach villagers, travel, and live like a local Vietnamese.
Overall, this was an unforgettable experience that did not last long enough! The memories that I have here will surely follow me in life and help me in career choices in the near-future. I could not have chosen a better volunteer experience with the best supporters, fellow teachers, students and locals that you can meet in Vietnam. I highly recommend volunteering for this program above all others if you desire an original, fun, and culturally in-depth experience of the unique people of this country.