Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Vietnam

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About

Projects Abroad has been providing volunteer placements in the developing world since 1992. Our volunteers directly impact local communities through service projects arranged and coordinated by expect in-country staff.
Volunteer opportunities in Vietnam include Child Care, Teaching, and Sports.

We also offer internships in fields like International Development, Business, Journalism, and Medical placements including Nursing, General Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy.
Visit our website for more details.

Highlights
  • Choose a project you are passionate about that fits your interests
  • Select your own start date and duration
  • Receive support from our staff before, during, and after the program
  • Live and work in the local community
  • Have fun exploring the country and its culture over the weekends

New Gap Semester Programs!

🌍 Cultural Exchange ⭐ Experiential Learning 📅 6 weeks+

Asia, Africa, and Beyond! Looking for an alternative to virtual learning? Our new Going Beyond gap semester programs are a safe, structured, yet flexible option to see the world while gaining valuable work experience and knowledge abroad. Half semester up to a full year - choose your own path and tasks. Next escape is November 8th!

Discover more & Apply! - Limited spaces available.

Popular Programs

Volunteer with Children in Vietnam

Work with local caregivers and teachers to help improve children's quality of life and support education.

Volunteer Teaching English in Vietnam

Gain practical teaching experience and help young, disadvantaged students improve their English.

Vietnam Street Food Market

As you learn about the history in Vietnam, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how the flavours and fragrances of popular dishes were influenced. Get ready to have your taste buds wowed.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

8.67 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 88.89%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 11.11%
  • Impact 7.4
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 8.6
  • Value 7.7
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 9
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Claire
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing summer in Hanoi

My month in Vietnam with ProjectsAbroad was honestly one of the most enlightening and rewarding experiences of my life so far. I volunteered on the Care Project at Vietnam's K3 National Cancer Hospital, where I worked in the playroom on the children's ward. My role mainly consisted of keeping the children entertained during the hours of free time that they had between treatment. Most of the kids mainly enjoyed playing jigsaws and drawing with me, but there was also plenty of physical activities to participate in (toy cars, building blocks etc.) Obviously there was a slight language barrier here but luckily I had an amazing translator who did an excellent job of interpreting conversations between the children and I. I also took the opportunity to learn some rudimentary Vietnamese beforehand so that I could verbally communicate on some level with both children and adults alike - the Vietnamese people REALLY appreciated my efforts to speak their language, so I would absolutely recommend doing some learning beforehand!
The children in the hospital really enjoyed having me working in their playroom for 4 weeks. Initially, they were slightly suspicious of me and quite apprehensive to approach me - especially because of my blue eyes! - but soon enough we had formed relationships and had so much fun together as they took a break from hospital life and focused on enjoying and playing.

I stayed with a host family during my time in Hanoi - again, another amazing experience. The family I stayed with lived in a small village in the south of Hanoi which was pretty close to the hospital I worked in which made it easy for me to get to work every day. The mother of my host family actually worked for ProjectsAbroad as the cook in the volunteer house, which was great as it allowed me an opportunity to get to know and socialise with many more volunteers. I cannot begin to describe how amazing my host mum was - she was so hospitable and was always making sure that I was comfortable, safe, and enjoying myself in her house. And as you can imagine - she was an excellent cook! We spent so many nights watching football together (the World Cup was on at this point) and doing karaoke at the top of our lungs. I still keep in contact with her regularly and I am hoping to return to Hanoi in a year or so to visit her.
My host parents also had two young children aged 11 and 15 who I loved spending time with! Their English was really good and the little boy especially loved teaching me Vietnamese words and walking with me to the local shop for snacks. Staying with a host family made my experience all the more authentic and it was so cool to be completely immersed in another culture.

In terms of tourist attractions/food/nightlife, Hanoi genuinely has it all. Vietnam is enriched in fascinating history and there are so many interesting landmarks and museums to check out in the city. Make sure that you spend plenty of time in the Old Quarter! There are also so many wonderful locations not too far from Hanoi where you can spend your weekend - places like Ha Long Bay (an absolute must) Sa Pa, Ninh Binh etc. Make sure that you cram as much as you can into your free time - you will not regret it.

As well as the Vietnamese host family I lived with, I also made so many other friends during my time with ProjectsAbroad. It was such a great opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. I now have friends in several parts of Australia, Switzerland, France and across the UK - not to mention the staff at ProjectsAbroad that I networked with in Hanoi and many other Vietnamese friends I made during my project.

This project was rewarding in so many different ways. It is such an excellent opportunity to do something worthwhile in another part of the world, to make new friends and to immerse yourself in a different culture. Vietnam has such a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to return one day.

What would you improve about this program?
I think there should be more clarity and information given before you actually arrive in the country. I found it very hard to get in contact with the Volunteer Advisor that I had been corresponding with via email. Matters such as where I was staying in Hanoi and my actual volunteer project weren't properly explained until I had actually arrived in Vietnam.
Default avatar
Merja
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best travel ever to Ha noi!

This was my best travel ever, mainly because I got to know a new country and culture and very nice people. The country is very beautiful and I travelled around it a bit. I also lived with a very nice vietnamese family in the buzzle of Na noi. The city has still its old charm and the real feel of the city hasn´t been destroyed. The traffic is terrible, at least if you come from Finland. Just crossing the street was like doing a trip to the djungle, but you cross the street one bike at a time. Food is fantastic. And of course one has to travel vietnamese style with bike taxis :)

I worked with a NGO that gave education to youth with difficult background and it required studies at uni. My job was to observe the NGO and come with recommendations for improvements and develop its activities according to western standards. I really felt that I contributed to the NGO and that they liked the advices I gave them. I also tought english to students, attended events to raise awareness of the NGO:s activities, wrote communication material and did research about handicapped peoples possibilities to get work. If you want to get hands-on job experience in a developing country, this is the place.

Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Merja,
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this excellent review. Projects Abroad and the local community really appreciated your help on the General International Development Projects in Vietnam. We hope to see you again soon on one of our projects or internships.

Riyaad Herman, Country Director for Vietnam

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

7 months at 17

I went on a teaching project, based just out side of Hanoi. I arrived to the sweltering heat of 5.30am. On arrival British Airlines, forgot to place my bag on the airplane. But luckily the kind, staff member(Vieat), was able to set the matter straight. We then took a taxi back into the main city. The taxi smelled like pineapple.
When we stopped in the street that I soon would love and trust. Making are way through the back streets, we arrive at my new home. Everyone was gone on a day trip, so unpacking was easy. Later Vieat & I got sticky rice for breakfast, it tasted like cardboard.
I spent that morning sitting up on the closed balcony, waiting for people to come back.
Their was a lot of people, in that 4 story house through my time. 5 Australians, 3 American, 4 British, 1 French & 1 Italian.
Everyone was told to use Grab, the Uber of Vietnam. You could get a bike or a car what ever your mood. I mostly got the bike, it was a lot cheaper. Also a super fun way of seeing the city.
Yet I would get the car to the Kindergarten, for their was 2 of us traveling each day.
I was brought to the Kindergarten on my 3 day in Vietnam. The kids quickly began to listen & understand me, through my very helpfully translators. The kids were amazing, all different interests. One boy was fascinated by animals. So I began to show them Google Earth, they were mesmerized.
On my time in Vietnam, I made friends with 2 Swiss girls. Also with their host Mum. We visit many places outside of Hanoi together. Their host Mum, often invited me for dinner.
The thing I took most from the trip was, kindness. I saw it in every aspect of my time there.

So thank you Projects Abroad, for giving me memories and a passion to travel more.

What was your funniest moment?
It had to be the time when I had no translator. So in good hopes, I used Google Translate. The kids & I would have fun trying to understand each other.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Sarah,
I'm so glad to hear that you had such a rewarding experience on the Care project in Vietnam. You made a worthwhile contribution to our ongoing sustainable goals – you were really appreciated by the local community. You are very welcome to volunteer or Intern with Projects Abroad again!

Riyaad Herman, Country Manager for Vietnam

Default avatar
Megan
2/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Over Priced and Does Not Help The Community

From mine & other volunteers experiences this voluntourism does not seem to be harmful but I also do not believe it does much good. A lot of us felt we weren't needed at our placements and did not make any difference with our volunteering.

Considering the low cost of living in Vietnam the courses are hugely over priced and the company is very cheap when it comes to paying for transport and food despite how much volunteers pay. Had multiple bad experiences with staff right from the booking process through to leaving.

Only thing that made the project enjoyable was the people there. Would highly recommend avoiding Projects Abroad and going directly to an NGO which will be much cheaper and you're time there will be useful. Other volunteers agreed that Projects Abroad was not an ethical organisation and they wished they had used a different company. Stay away!!

Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Megan,

Thank you for your feedback. I'm very sorry to hear you did not feel you were making a large impact in the community you were working within. We are very proud of the contribution our volunteers make each year around the world and in Vietnam. In 2017, our volunteers made a significant and lasting impact around the globe - from the 52,000 trees planted, to the 37,500 people they provided with health checks and basic health services, to the 8000 people they taught about safe hand washing practices, to the 16 new species of bird discovered. You can read more examples in our Global Impact Report here:
https://docs.projects-abroad.ie/uk/global-impact-report/global-impact-report-2017.pdf

In Vietnam, this year we have provided health and safety training to 280 disadvantaged youths, 168 students with health check-ups, speech therapy to over 86 patients, occupational therapy to over 58 patients and physiotherapy to over 94 patients. Our volunteers taught over 3,000 students and renovated an old classroom to make a library complete with a hand washing station and art corner. Our volunteers have educated over 120 children on hand washing and teeth cleaning, and worked with three local social enterprises, increasing traffic to their website by 10%.

We are really sorry to hear you were not happy with the support of our staff. We ask volunteers to provide us with feedback at the end of their stay. This year our team in Vietnam has received a score of 92/100.

I'm sorry that you did not feel we were value for money. We provide volunteers with accommodation, transport, local meals, travel and medical insurance and staff support 24 hours a day from our dedicated in-country team. While there may be some other cheaper options out there, it's important to keep in mind that Projects Abroad volunteers pay not only for the cost of living abroad, but to ensure they join a long-term, safe, and structured program that is focused on you having a positive and sustainable impact on the community you have chosen to serve. You are getting a hassle-free experience in which we take care of everything for you, as we do plan your trip from start to finish and guide you every step of the way so you don't have to worry about anything and you can just focus on your project. This would not be true by going directly with a local NGO, though the help is always appreciated anyway it comes!

We are extremely proud of the work that we do, but can always build on this. We value the feedback you have provided to us already, and have taken on board your concerns. Thank you again for sharing this with us.

Best wishes,

Suzy Wyett-Adams
Head Office Coordinator for Argentina, Cambodia, Romania, Thailand and Vietnam.

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

An experience to remember

I volunteered in Vietnam over a period of four weeks as an Occupational Therapy Student with Projects Abroad. I was placed with a friend from university at Hanoi Friendship Village, a residential community for Vietnam War veterans and for children and adults with disabilities resulting from the intergenerational health effects caused by Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide that was sprayed during the Vietnam War. We spent most of our time in the therapy room, working with the children and adults from 13-30 years old, most of who presented with Cerebral Palsy like characteristics.

Living and volunteering in a country completely unlike home came with its own set of challenges to overcome, and looking back, without the support from Projects Abroad, I don't think I would have learnt or experienced what I did. The Projects Abroad team are incredibly well experienced, and this is shown through their attentiveness to my needs and concerns throughout the entire volunteer process.

We stayed at one of the volunteer houses with fellow volunteers from around the world. Sharing this experience other volunteers was one of the highlights of my time in Vietnam - and we travelled and explored the city together on many weekend trips. Another highlight of my volunteer experience at Friendship Village, was coming to a deeper understanding of the Vietnamese culture and learning to communicate and provide therapy despite the language barrier. I will never forget the sweet smiles and laughter that I shared with the children and adults I worked with, and knowing that I was able to make a meaningful contribution to their lives, however small, fills me with joy.

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

Volunteer Abroad in Thuy Anh with Projects Abroad

I volunteered with Projects Abroad in Thuy Anh, Vietnam. I was an English teacher at a primary school down the road from the Thuy Anh rehab center. I had grades 1-5, and taught two lessons a day that were each two hours, and each class had about fifty kids in it. I had the time of my life teaching those kids! They were so wonderful and so eager to learn. They enjoyed songs and games and making pictures. One day while I was teaching I gave them all paper dolls to draw clothes on (they were learning clothes and accessories) and they could dress their paper doll up as anyone they wanted. Most of the boys dressed their dolls up as Messi, and the girls dressed them up as their mothers or their favorite singers, but when one little girl stood up to present her doll to the class she had dressed it up as me. That was probably the best moment of my life, and I would give anything to go back and be in that classroom everyday.
The staff at Projects Abroad were extremely helpful with our assignments, our travel, and with our accommodations. They were always reachable and always did their best to help. Our accommodation was in the rehab center, so we were surrounded by the kids that lived there. While the rehab center was not my placement, I chose to play with the kids and help out when I was not at the primary school.
I would thoroughly recommend this program to anyone who truly wants to help and has an adventurous spirit!

What would you improve about this program?
I felt that the program might be a bit expensive for the accommodations that we were given, but we also had support and help around the clock which was well worth the money.
Default avatar
Gabriel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

I discovered Projects Abroad through a random google search looking for medical volunteer projects in Vietnam. After doing a decent amount of research I decided to choose them for my Sandifer Fellowship that I received from Eureka College. My overall experience was incredible!

Throughout my stay, I volunteered at the National Hospital of Traditional Medicine. Here I assisted with over 20 surgeries and learned to make injections on patients. The staff in the hospital was incredibly friendly and helpful. The main doctor that I shadowed while there even took me out to lunch every single day!

Projects Abroad had incredible support as well while I was there. Even though I didn't speak the language I always felt safe and secure. Transportation was made easy and there was plenty to do in the city during my free time. 10/10. Would do it again

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

Occupational Therapy Placement - Vietnam

When a guest speaker came to one of my classes and talked about how she had volunteered as a professional occupational therapist abroad I immediately knew it was something that I wanted to do. As an undergraduate student in the United States I am always looking into ways to make my grad school applications more competitive. Maybe that's what I was mostly hoping to get out of my experience in Vietnam, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

First off, I cannot say enough about the Projects Abroad staff. They helped me with everything before, during and after my time in Vietnam. As a person who had never left the United States I felt completely assured that my trip would go smoothly, and it did!

More importantly though, my time in Vietnam was meanginful. I was able to work and live at a rehabilitation center for children in a more rural part of Vietnam on the weekdays.

At the rehabilitation center I lived in a simple accommodation with other volunteers and our translators. I was able to have really great relationships with the other volunteers and especially my translator, who I now consider to be a very dear friend. We have all kept in touch and hope to meet again someday.

Working with the children at the rehabilitation center was amazing. They are resilient and interactive and love the attention. I was able to learn and grow within the field of occupational therapy because a certified occupational therapist was also volunteering there. I was able gain valuable experience working with children. The staff at the rehabilitation center were willing to learn and utilize the occupational therapy techniques that we were using.

During the weekend I lived in a beautiful house in the city of Hanoi with other volunteers from other projects. We were all able to explore the city and travel around Vietnam at our own leisure. I would not trade those experiences for anything.

I would recommend traveling to Vietnam through Projects Abroad to anyone!

During the week, at the rehabilitation center