GVI: Volunteer in Laos

Video and Photos

luang prabang, laos, GVI, volunteer abroad
luang prabang, laos, GVI, volunteer abroad
luang prabang, laos, volunteer abroad, GVI
luang prabang, laos, volunteer abroad, GVI
luang prabang, GVI, laos, volunteer abroad
luang prabang, GVI, laos, volunteer abroad
a temple in Laos
a temple in Laos
laos monks english teaching
laos monks english teaching

About

In the mountainous city of Luang Prabang, once known as the royal city of Laos, you can choose a focus in childhood development, teaching, or health and wellbeing. Each program is conducted in collaboration with local communities, GVI partners and participants, and aim to reach short, mid, and long-term goals that are measured against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In your free time, travel among hillside valleys to visit traditional villages, or experience the cascading levels of Kuang Si waterfall. This is an opportunity to contribute towards meaningful sustainable initiatives, while surrounded by the connecting Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, forest lands, and mountains. Form connections with local community members, learning about their linguistics and culture.

Highlights
  • Stay and volunteer in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, learning about culture, linguistics, and the history of Laos.
  • Assist with initiatives that work towards reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Learn ethical and responsible ways to travel and volunteer abroad, collaborating to make a meaningful impact in sustainable development.
  • Enhance your skills with practical and immersive experiences.
  • Work alongside other like-minded international volunteers.

GVI has a Community Development Internship in Thailand!


This is an opportunity to learn more about Chiang Mai's local Karen hill tribe culture, gaining intercultural communication skills and valuable teaching experience.

Questions & Answers

Definitely enough time to get a feeling for the country and to give back. First time, I went for 3 weeks and then returned for 6 weeks the next year.

Reviews

91%
based on 22 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 8.5
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 16 - 22 of 22
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Sarah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with novices

Through this program I was lucky enough to teach at a temple in Luang probang and teach the youngest novices in the temple. The youngest in the class was 8 years old. This was such an amazing and humbling experience and I learnt so much about myself and my life of these kids who were less than half my age. It was an irreplaceable experience and one that I will be forever greatful for

What would you improve about this program?
The cost is a little bit high, considering you only get a small good allowance for the week. Compared to traveling normally through this country, I think the cost was pretty high.
Default avatar
Katelyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My volunteering experience

I visited Luang Prabang for about 3 months in 2014/15. My experience volunteering was amazing and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see such a different culture, meet so many new and wonderful people and teach students who really need and want the education this program offers.

Being in the classroom was so enjoyable. The students had a genuine desire to learn as well as an incredible gratitude towards their teachers. I was teaching between 3 and 5 hours a day (Monday to Friday) with a variety of Lao students, village children and Novice Monks of varying ages and abilities. I was also planning for lessons each day, often with a teaching partner and a staff member if assistance was needed. The resources available, while less than what is expected of a classroom at home, were adequate for creating engaging and informative lessons. The staff were incredibly supportive in all aspects of my trip, ensuring I was comfortable both in the classroom and the program.

The social experience of the program was amazing and I met so many volunteers from a variety of places and cultures. The Lao culture was also incredibly interesting. It was very humbling learning about Lao culture from my students and experiencing Lao customs in a way no tourist ever would. For example, being invited to watch hundreds of Novices chant at a meditation retreat or attending a traditional Buddhist Baci ceremony was something no tourist would get the privilege of experiencing . The city of Luang Prabang was beautiful in itself with so many things to do and see. It was the program as a whole, however, that provided me with such an amazing memory which is why I am considering volunteering on this program again.

Default avatar
Lucy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Overseas Family

I spent 4 months in Luang Prabang with the GVI staff and volunteers and it was an amazing experience. I met so many wonderful people all involved and doing interesting things with their lives, getting to know them was such a pleasure. I am also still in touch with my fellow volunteers and even had the good fortune of visiting a few on later travels.
The GVI staff are always trying to help their volunteers and were such a fantastic support net and resource for the time I was there.
I spent about 4 hours a day in an actual class teaching and an hour or so lesson planning. I got to experience working in teams and partnerships which made lesson planning easier and quicker but also added a lot of quality to the lesson that one mind, by itself, might lack.
One of my favorite memories was on my birthday when my adult class, whom I had been with for my whole time in Luang Prabang, bought in a cake and a small gift and surprised me at the end of class - it was just an unimaginably touching gesture. The Lao people are so lovely and it was a pleasure to teach them (and celebrate Lao New Year with!).
I also got to teach Novices of Theravada Buddhism which immersed me in the very core of Lao culture, and that deep connection to the community and culture is something tourists and travelling alone couldn't give to you.
Luang Prabang as a city has my highest commendation as a travelling destination, especially as a volunteer, because you can immerse yourself in the culture, or go for a trekking or kayaking adventure, or anytime you feel home sick go indulge on their tourist strip catering for westerners. As an Australian the Asian flora and fauna is so unlike what i'm used to and so their was a constant feeling of awe and surreal-ness about the beautiful foreign surroundings.
I would highly recommend going to Luang Prabang to volunteer with GVI, hopeful I can come back and commend you for your choice.

Default avatar
Liv
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!!

I had an absolutely wonderful experience in Laos.
I taught 3 novice classes a day and a class at Xayadeth college with mixed students. I loved all of my classes, and they were very different, so I got challenged in different ways.

The staff was always very friendly and helpful - from help to lesson planning to medical advice when you get sick.

The program is very social, and there are volunteers from all over the world in different age groups. I think, it was really nice with the differences because people accepted each other.

The accommodation is fine. Nothing too luxurious but it works and it's a nice place. You can always upgrade if you want a nicer room.

It is an expensive program, but I do not regret spending the money at all. The students are so eager to learn and genuine kind people, so you can only be happy every single day. I was crying when I was leaving after 6 weeks, and I hope I can come back one day :)

Default avatar
Machiko
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching volunteer in Luang Prabang, Laos - Great students!

(Teaching)
I was a little worried whether I could teach English because I did not have any experience before. However, GVI gave volunteers thorough trainings on how to conduct a class and this training helped me a lot. We were given a demo class in Laos language which made us aware what it would be like to learn a new language. It was a great demo and fun!!

(Students)
I had two classes, Novices class and Laos children class aged 9 to 16.
They are eager to learn anything from the volunteers.

(Volunteers)
There were young and middle aged volunteers when I was there.
We got along very well. During the weekdays, we plan and prepare for our classes and for weekends, we had free time. Some of us took Laos cooking class which was awesome, sat on elephants,cruised along Mekong River, etc.

(GVI Staff)
They were always efficient, happy and helpful. The seem to solve problems very quickly.

(What I think now)
When I applied for this programme, I thought it was expensive. But now, I don't think so. I would not have seen Laos, the Novices and the people
the way I did had I gone there just as a tourist. I pay for the experience and my money is wisely spent for the benefits of the students.

I learnt to be flexible when it comes to living in a different culture.
I also learnt to respect their culture and now I miss my students, the Laos people I met and the GVI staff and volunteers so much. I wish each one of them a good and happy life.

What would you improve about this program?
I cannot think of one now.
Default avatar
Reinhold
4/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Teaching experience at Lao private schools

I was teaching at 2 private Lao schools at Luang Prabang with Global Vision International (GVI). Teaching itself and the students and fellow voluntters were a lot of fun - oncel you accept local conditions: you work for free while the students have to pay substantially and you don't understand where all the money goes to. And at one school students essentially paid for getting their diploma - not for learning the language - since they received the diploma no matter what their final exam revealed. Which of course did not enhance their motivation to learn - only half the class usually turned up.
Also, you pay to GVI about twice the amount that you would pay, if you went there on your own and in return and as appreciation for your work as a volunteer they give you a 'food allowance' which is definitely below the subsistence level.
Luang Prabang and surroundings is beautiful and I had a great time.

Default avatar
rooddo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in Laos- Life Changing!!!!

Program provides a variety of teaching experiences from teaching first time English learners to students that are proficient in the language. You can get a taste of teaching all kinds of learners. Schools vary from very well equipped to very primitive. The students are enthusiastic and ready to learn. The price is quite reasonable, you stay in comfortable guest houses in your own room with a bathroom and hot water. You are given a weekly stipend for meals which is quite generous.

Location

Location:
Laos
Currency:
Laotian Kip

Laos is typically not regarded as touristy, especially in comparison to its highly touristy neighboring countries of Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia; however, this is slowly changing as people now associate Laos with a laid back style of living.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

About GVI

Founded in 1998, GVI runs programs in various countries around the world, each manned by our own staff and aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), as well as the objectives of local partners. We welcome participants...