Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Vietnam from $275

Video and Photos

Sunrise in Houston Chi Minh City
Sunrise in Houston Chi Minh City
Volunteers at the Medical placement
Volunteers at the Medical placement
Some great views
Some great views
Food Outreach crew
Food Outreach crew
Saigon by night
Saigon by night
Rice paper
Rice paper
New friends
New friends
Cooking class
Cooking class

About

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and 50+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 4 volunteer project options in Ho Chi Minh and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Projects include:
- Teaching English
-Medical
- Special Needs Care
- Kindergarten

Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house, with other like-minded travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

With IVHQ, you can expect to establish real connections within the local community while supporting projects that make a genuine difference.

Highlights
  • IVHQ’s Vietnam program is available year-round, offering a start date on every Monday.
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $275 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 15 and 30 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Ho Chi Minh each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 110,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Popular Programs

The aim of this project is to provide assistance to college students in Ho Chi Minh City who are needing to increase their English fluency so they can further their studies in Business Communication, Nursing and Public Relations. This project is well suited to volunteers who are passionate about education and are excited about the opportunity to use the English language to help enhance the career prospects for students in Vietnam.

As a volunteer on our Medical project, you will have the opportunity to experience a new culture, while developing your medical knowledge by gaining an insight into the Vietnamese healthcare system. This is a unique opportunity to gain a greater understanding of differences between medical systems in developed and developing countries. This project is well suited to volunteers on pre-medical and medical students, or those qualified in a relevant medical field.

As a Special Needs Care volunteer in Vietnam, you will be working within hospitals and community clinics in Ho Chi Minh City, providing support to children and young people, some who have been affected by Agent Orange. This project is best suited to caring and hard-working individuals who are passionate about increasing access to care for young people living with a range of intellectual and physical challenges.

Your role on this project is to provide assistance to a local ‘Soup Kitchen’ to enable them to provide over 500 lunches daily to people from various backgrounds including poor elderly, low-income earners, disabled, students and children. Poverty is still widespread throughout Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh has a large population of people who are unable to afford regular nutritional meals.

Questions & Answers

For sure, all ages welcome, I volunteered with families, seniors, young adults and mature adults 😊

Reviews

97%
based on 41 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 17 - 24 of 41
Default avatar
Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Food Outreach Ho Chi Minh City

During my four week stay in Ho Chi Minh with IVHQ I had such a fantastic time. The staff there, run by the organisation The Green Lion, were very welcoming, helpful and approachable with regards to any problems or questions we had. Accomodation was clean and comfortable and culture week was both great for settling in and learning some history of the country/city. As for the volunteering side, the program I participated in was ‘Food Outreach’ it is fun, fast paced and hard, dirty work. More time is spent setting up and cleaning as apposed to preparation of any food. Although if you have precious cooking experience you are able to help with the preparation a lot more. Overall, I would not have changed my experience at all. I loved every minute of it and will remember my experience forever. I highly recommend IVHQ and volunteering overseas. A life changing experience.

What would you improve about this program?
As previously said goodbye preparation was not a huge part of food outreach, be prepared to sweep/mop the floor, clean tables, trays, cutlery and then wash 300-400 trays, bowls and sets of knifes and spoons. Also not mentioned was that you need to have your knees and shoulders covered at placement so be prepared or you’ll end up buying 6 pairs at the market.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Emma, it's awesome to hear from you and receive your informative review. It's excellent to hear how helpful the local team were and that you wouldn't change a thing about your experience. We'd love to have you back to volunteer again in the future. Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Gaëlle
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Leaving with my arms full

When I met Bao, I almost cried. It’s hard not to give in to tears when you see him. He is born blind with cerebral palsy. Both his mental and physical disabilities prevent him from doing everything you can basically think of, including talking. He cannot walk, eat, drink or move independently. But what his disabilities don’t stop him from doing is being happy. Happy despite the obscure and lonely world he lives in. Happy despite being deprived sight and normal cerebral activity. He smiles when you help him walk. He smiles when you feed him. He smiles when you play the tambourine. But when you hold him, caress his head and sing to him, he smiles back at you with his eyes half closed. He smiles and the world stops. He doesn’t speak, he doesn’t move but you know he feels secure and at peace in your arms, as if he could stay there forever, as if he can almost see you -

I am thankful for this amazing experience. For the one of a kind people I met, the unique food I tasted (even if it made me almost throw up at times) and the heat that makes you appreciate you have a water bottle and air. I went to Vietnam wanting to give something back but I left with my arms full. Thank you @ivhq

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gaelle, thanks for your review and it's awesome to hear how thankful you are for your time in Vietnam. I loved your saying of arriving to Vietnam, wanting to give back and leaving with your arms full - I hope you can volunteer with IVHQ again in the future as we'd love to have you back. Sean - IVHQ Vietnam Program Manager

Mandy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Medical program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Within 2 weeks of the medical program, I have learned so many things about the clinical aspect as well as the healthcare system in Vietnam. I got to do a lot of manual blood pressures, prepare medications and learn a lot about wound care in the Hospital of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. This will enable me to be more confident in my clinical skills when I return to America.The support I receive from the program coordinators here in Vietnam is amazing, which allows me to learn a lot about the culture here. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I was able to write up an exciting journal about my trip and make a comparison between the healthcare services in the United States and in Vietnam.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the guide at the beginning could be improved, and the staff could try to reach out to the volunteers around a week prior to the start date to set things up beforehand. Since I was arriving overland and had to get to the accommodation myself, that could be something to add to the safety of the program. Additionally, the cultural program could be improved by adding and removing certain aspects. Other than that, I think everything is great
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hello Mandy, thanks for providing an insight into your time on the IVHQ Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh Medical project. I am stoked to hear that you have learned a lot from your time on the project and that you were able to record a lot of comparisons between the Vietnam and United States medical systems. We would love to have you back to volunteer with us again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Vietnam Program Manager

Default avatar
Nina
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The world coming together

My first trip with IVHQ was an amazing experience. As a pre med student, I was interested in seeing what the medical profession was like in a different country, specifically my family’s home country. The doctors and nurses were very friendly and happy to answer my questions. I learned so much from the different departments of the hospital and was able to determine which were my strengths and weaknesses. I also worked alongside with the other volunteers, who have become to be my friends. They were one of the main highlights of my IVHQ trip. Even though I was able to communicate to the doctors and patients in Vietnamese, I learned that laughter has no language barrier. Overall, I am thankful for this amazing opportunity to be able to learn and continue my study in medicine. I look forward to continue my trips with IVHQ!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nina, thank you for taking the time to provide this review. It's great to hear you were able to gain insight into the Vietnamese medical system which helped you understand your current strengths and weaknesses as a pre-medical student. I am stoked to hear you made friends with the other volunteers and hope you can volunteer with IVHQ again in the future as we would love to have you back. ^Sean - IVHQ Vietnam HCMC Program Manager

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

Medical Placement

I participated in the medical placement with Volunteer IVHQ in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This was my first time volunteering overseas as well as my first time traveling solo outside my home country. I was blown away by how wonderful my experience was volunteering with Volunteer IVHQ! You are prepped with information on your placement well in advance of your start date. This really helped me prepare for my trip and help alleviate some of my anxiety traveling alone. The information provided is completely up-to-date and in line with my experience in HCMC.

The program started with a “Culture Week” the first Monday you arrive in HCMC. Before that, there is not much to do on the weekend. I made the mistake of arriving early (Saturday), which I did not find useful as most volunteers travel during the weekends/aren't really around to welcome you yet. By Monday though, you are drowning in fellow volunteers whom eventually become your greatest friends! :) Culture week did an amazing job of helping me adjust to Vietnam in general as well as make buddies with others to plan weekend travel and weekday funsies. :) You have a chance to see most top tourist attractions during this first week, too, which helped cross off some things on my to-do list!

I participated in the medical placement as part of my medical training (as an international rotation/elective). I was a fourth-year medical student during my time in Vietnam, so I have been in a variety of hospitals and clinical settings as well as experienced in medical procedures. I knew before signing up for the program that my work would be primarily shadowing. I found that my experience exceeded my expectations. I had the opportunity to see SO MANY departments in the hospital as well as help with a ton of interesting procedures. The fields I had a chance to experience included orthopedics, trauma, mental health, daycare/special needs, physical therapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, surgery, and probably more! This is a great program for those thinking about entering the medical field or already in it. I found the entire experience very humbling and eye-opening as the healthcare resources are much different than in the US.

Overall, Volunteer IVHQ did an excellent job of coordinating my volunteer trip in HCMC, Vietnam. I highly recommend their program! :D

P.S. Meals are AMAZING. More than enough vegetarian options if that's your jam!!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Megan, thanks for taking the time to provide a very detailed and informative review about IVHQ Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh. I am stoked to hear that the medical project exceeded all of your expectations, you were able to make lots of friends and that you enjoyed your vegetarian meals. I hope you can volunteer with IVHQ again in the future because we'd love to have you back. ^Sean - IVHQ Vietnam Program Manager

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

A Life Changing Volunteer Experience

The impact volunteering in Vietnam has had in my life is profound. I signed up for my trip 6 months before taking off, spending weeks researching for an organization with a strong reputation. I found that through IVHQ International. They had several programs available, but I ultimately chose Vietnam as my Grandfather served as a Green Beret during the war and the things he experienced wounded him badly. I knew this country would have an impact on me, but I vastly underestimated just how much.

First: the support we received before, during, and after were of the highest quality. Questions were answered promptly, the Facebook pages also gave us a community to connect prior to arriving. In country, it was the perfect mix of help and independence. The Green Lion team was nothing short of phenomenal in their care of us. The accommodations and the food (my goodness was the food amazing!) were high quality.

Second: the placement. I was a medical volunteer and immediately felt at home in the hospital. It was an eye opening experience and I connected with patients at the level I need to be a successful doctor, with a language barrier in place even. I learned more than I could have ever dreamed when I first booked the trip.

Finally, the people. I went at a time the accommodations were filled with people. I formed so many wonderful friendships, even being an introverted person. I met people from all over the world, learned about their homes, their dreams, and know if I ever visited, they would gladly meet up.

If you are on the fence: simply do it. Sign up. Fundraise through the website IVHQ provides. You will not regret joining this organization in the slightest.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked more opportunities to observe in other areas more frequently. We watched medications being mixed every day, which gave us a chance to bond with the patients, but overall, I have no complaints. Thank you for the opportunity IVHQ and Green Lion!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Journey, we appreciate you taking the time to provide this excellent review and I am stoked to hear that this program has had such a positive impact on you. It's great to hear you have made friends from all over the globe and that you have learned more than you expected too while on the medical project. We have loved having you volunteer with us and we would happily welcome you again in the future! ^Sean - IVHQ Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Program Manager

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

An Experience to Remember

When I chose to volunteer in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam with my friends, I was a bit skeptical simply because I had never been to Asia and did not necessarily know what conditions to expect. The moment I landed, however, I was greeted with warmth and kindness from the Green Lion staff who made sure we felt safe, comfortable, and prepared to start our volunteer journey. As I began to meet amazing volunteers from around the world, I was continually impressed by the generosity and positivity of all of the local people, the 3 home-cooked meals we were provided each day, the cleanliness of the accommodation, and the accessibility of where we were staying to restaurants, museums, bars, shopping centers, etc. For New Year's Day, the Green Lion even hosted a party where they cooked a buffet-like feast for all of the volunteers to enjoy while having fun with karaoke. In regards to the volunteering, I worked on the medical project and loved being able to assist people in need. Although the language was definitely a barrier for me, I was able to still communicate with many of the nurses and physicians who allowed us to shadow/assist them in wound care, the operating room, acupuncture, physical/occupational therapy, and mixing medications. They even give you nap time each day (haha). Ho Chi Minh City was constantly bustling, and it was super fun to hang out with new friends in District 1 at night, grab a milk tea from the tea house directly across from the accommodation, or lounge around in the park nearby. IT IS TRULY AMAZING. Post-program, I feel much more equipped to attend medical school this fall now that I have seen healthcare on an international scale. It was extremely rewarding to make comparisons between the United States and other countries, and I feel that this life-experience is one that will be invaluable. If I could offer any advice to future participants, it would be to have fun and keep your mind open. Things are definitely different here than where you are from for most people, but that's what makes the adventure so memorable and exciting. In addition, remember that you are there to volunteer, so do not get lazy and stop attending your placement. It is important that you relax and enjoy yourself, but commit to the task that you signed up for. I will definitely be coming back to Vietnam at some point in the future, I absolutely loved it.

What would you improve about this program?
If anything, I would say that there should be less time mixing medications in the hospital (medical project), and more time getting to observe surgeries or assist with wound care. In addition, it would be nice to still have three meals on the weekends, even if it required more payment up front, so you don't have to wait so long to eat.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Brandon, thanks for taking the time to provide a very detailed and informative review, I am sure future volunteers will find this very helpful. I am also stoked to hear that the program made such a positive impact on you and that you can now transfer the skills and knowledge you have learnt at the medical project towards your studies. Great piece of advice to future volunteers and I hope you can volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Program Manager

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

Better than you would've expected

Growing up I have always been taught that Vietnam is a dangerous and dirty place. However, IVHQ had a way of making it feel all the opposite. All staff members were good at english and extremely friendly. The accommodation itself had great air conditioning, quality running water, and weekly cleaning services. There was security to open and lock the gate during later hours. The food was delicious and more flavorful than expected. For whichever program that you do, you will be free to roam the city or whatever you'd like around 4 p.m. and resume volunteering the next day. You would be free all weekend! It was my birthday and Christmas when I went and it was all made special because of the green lion staff. I am forever grateful. I also volunteered with special needs children and I left in tears. I did not want to leave and you should expect to leave touched and inspired as well. I was afraid that I would not like the trip and would not want to come back. I was afraid that I would be alone. But, I was wrong. I miss Vietnam and the staff members of IVHQ. I would definitely do the program again or even have my own trip and visit my new friends. Don't be afraid to ask for information or any questions because IVHQ will not hesitate to help.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Shawna, thanks very much for your review and it is excellent to hear that this program has changed your entire perception of Vietnam. I am stoked to hear you loved everything about the program and how hospitable the local team were. We look forward to you volunteering with IVHQ in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Vietnam Program Manager