Volunteer in Vietnam: Most Affordable & Real Impact!

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About

UBELONG offers 1-week to 6-month volunteering opportunities in Vietnam in two incredible locations: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City!

Volunteer in one of these world-class projects:

CAREGIVING
-->Caring for children with disabilities (Hanoi)
-->Caring for children from poor backgrounds (HCMC)

EDUCATION
-->Teaching English (Hanoi)
-->Teaching French (Hanoi)

CONSTRUCTION
-->Light Painting and renovation (Hanoi)

BUSINESS
-->Social entrepreneurship (Hanoi)

NGO SUPPORT
-->Assisting community development organizations (Hanoi)

Visit ubelong.org for more detail - the journey of a lifetime starts there!

Highlights
  • **24/7 in-country support
  • **Volunteer on projects that truly need you
  • **Live in the heart of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy delicious meals every day
  • **Go with a US based organization - legitimacy and peace of mind
  • **The #1 program in Vietnam and with the best reviews!

Questions & Answers

You should bring some if there's particular things (shower gel, etc )you like from home... as it's always nice to bring some small reminders!! Wetwipes are key, and some handsanitiser, but its a very clean country.. But there will be supermarkets etc so don't panic! Just dont bring too many clothes( only bring plain clothes) so you have more room for souveneirs, as they are so cheap over there if...
Wet wipes are the best travel tool. Good for wiping your face after a long sweaty day, wiping your hands before eating if you don't have a sink or access to fresh water, and usable as toilet paper - just don't flush it! And don't count on local preferences for things like sunscreen and bug spray, you may be sorely disappointed. Don't bother bringing an umbrella, or even a fancy raincoat. Plastic...
Hi Cyndy, the minimum age is 18, unless you are accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Reviews

96%
based on 26 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 16 - 26 of 26
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Mika
10/10

Eye opening experience

This was my first experience volunteering in an overseas location and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've voyaged as a tourist before and found this experience of volunteering to be as good, if not even better. I feel I connected with the locals in a positvely more genuine manner. They saw me more as somebody who cared, not as somebody in transit through their nation. I participated to teach English in a public school with primary students. The level was more basic than what I expected but the students made up for it with their enthusiasm. The local teachers meant well (though they could use English classes) and I appreciated the support from Ubelong. I think the cultural tips they gave were excellent and their focus on volunteers being there to work and be of service to the community, as opposed to the other way around, was important in preparing me. Knowing somebody knew my name and wanted me to do well was a very nice feeling. We lived in a perfectly basic but fine volunteer house. English was the spoken language so it did not feel so immersive from that perspective. There were Vietnamese staff people who were wonderful and I cherish the relationships we had. I found their curiosity about me and my country to be eye opening and I enjoyed their companionship. They went out of the way to make us feel at home.

How can this program be improved?
Meals in Vietnam are not as big as in North America. The food was delicious but especially for breakfast I sometimes had to do a mid-morning snack to carry me to lunch. It is also a diet very rich in carbs, which for me took some getting used to.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
baishi
9/10

Excellent Experience

UBELONG is a wonderful organization that truly values individual volunteers and does everything that it can to enable them to succeed and help people in the world. I was seeking out an opportunity to contribute to a developing economy and found the perfect outlet in Hanoi, Vietnam through UBELONG. I was very happy to work with Raul and the partner organizations UBELONG worked with in Vietnam. All of them truly cared about my happiness and fulfillment in the field. For anyone who has some time and really want to make an impact firsthand across the world, I would strongly recommend UBELONG.

How can this program be improved?
I believe immersion is a very important part of every volunteer program and if anything, UBELONG could be more strict and require volunteers to stay longer in developing countries.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
nininguyen
8/10

Review of Ubelong

UBELONG sets the standard for nonprofits. My experience with UBELONG was seamless. I traveled with a group of eleven other people, and we were all taken care of in every aspect, before, during and even after our trip. Raul and the other members of the UBELONG team made sure we were accounted for on our trip, and even took the extra measures to follow up with us afterwards. Prior to our, Raul briefed us extensively on what our experience would’ve been like and gave us many helpful tips as well. It definitely helped ease the transition, and we were able to truly focus on our service. I can only imagine how significantly different my experience would have been if we hadn’t traveled with them.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jonathan.Patrick27
10/10

My Phenomenal Experience in Vietnam with UBELONG

Working with UBELONG provided me with a life-changing experience as I worked to make a difference in the world. As researched different organizations, I chose UBELONG because of their dynamic program offerings that include HIV education, a cause I am passionate about. From my application to my departing flight from Vietnam, UBELONG staff made themselves accessible at all times. I was both impressed and motivated by how hard co-founder Raul Roman worked to make sure that my skills were used in a way so as to have the greatest impact at my project site in Hanoi. From hosting a workshop on HIV/AIDS prevention to spending a day helping children affected by Agent Orange, UBELONG encouraged me to seek out all the opportunities I could to help others. The chance to do this work in Vietnam has meant the world to me; I can only hope that I did as much for the Vietnamese as they did for me.

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

An excellent, honest, and affordable program

I have Ubelong and my mentor Raul Roman to thank for making my experience in Ho Chi Minh City possible. I am so grateful for Raul's help and guidance over the past few months in making my trip happen. The professionalism and level of ease in working with Ubelong was superb.

During my time in Ho Chi Minh City, the local NGO that Ubelong connected me with was Volunteers for Peace Vietnam. They assigned me to an orphanage called "Chua La" for abandoned kids that had been taken in by Buddhist monks. The monks fed us everyday at their pagoda and I felt very welcome among them. We were among the first group of volunteers that had ever been allowed to work there. The other volunteers I worked with were a wonderful group of people. Fourteen children and a baby were all cared for by one 56 year old women. The amount of work she had in order to care for so many children was overwhelming and it made our work very valuable and necessary.

While helping to provide care for the kids, I also helped renovate the house that the children lived in. Alongside the renovations, me and another volunteer initiated the construction of a garden in front of the orphanage. I spent many hours in the hot sun turning up the soil! After many days and with the help of local and other international volunteers, we planted several flowers, a mango tree, and a squash plant. This garden will improve the image of the orphanage and also help them become more self-sustaining.I hope to see more planting done by future volunteers.

There is still much more work to be done at the Chua La orphanage/pagoda and I hope that things continue to improve as more volunteers are assigned to that particular project. I truly hope that one day I can return to Chua La and see the progress that has been made. I definitely see myself doing more volunteering through Ubelong in my future!

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

Times to remember in Vietnam

I volunteered in Hanoi with two friends and had an excellent experience. The support from my Ubelong mentor was excellent, he was very easy to reach and knowledgabe. I don't know how mentors are assigned, but if you can ask for Raul I highly recommend him. I thought the briefing meeting on live chat was also key, it made me see I had an organization supporting me and it gave me the opportunity to ask a lot of questions. Once I arrived it was overwhelming with the traffic, language and culture in general, but after about a week I settled in. I was teaching English in a public school and at first how busy and crowded the classes were surprised me. However, the kids were the best part of my trip and made it so enjoyable. I was shocked at how well behaved they were and the respect they showed us, they called us "teacher". I don't think poor schools in the US are like that. Some other volunteers had just started a volunteer book to pass from one to the other as people came and went, and I found this extremely helpful as I could see what others had done and feel I could pass on what I was learning. The housing was better than I expected, altough it was loud some evenings with people staying up. The food was excellent and I very much enjoyed being with volunteers from all over the world. It was a very good experience and one that I miss and hope to have again soon.

Yes, I recommend this program
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bryfling
8/10

I volunteered for a month in Hanoi and it was my best experience eve!

I volunteered for a local NGO in Hanoi, Vietnam for a month this past December and it was undoubtedly the best learning experience of my life thus far! Not only did I get an opportunity to see how NGOs in Asian countries function but I also got the chance to go out into the field - the beautiful Khe Ro forest in the outskirts of Hanoi - and explore this site's ecotourism potential.

I picked UBELONG because of its affordability and the wealth of precise and detailed information that they provide about their programs. Additionally, my volunteer mentor, Raul, was exceptionally helpful and made sure to answer any query and concern that I may have had. The Safety Meeting that Raul conducted over the phone with me made me absolutely sure about my choice of organization! In UBELONG, you can find a support system that is constantly there, no matter which country in the world you may be volunteering in.

Volunteering in Vietnam through UBELONG was the best decision that I have ever made and I look forward to volunteering this summer again… perhaps in South Africa! Thank you, UBELONG, for a fantastic experience!

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

Volunteering in Hanoi - Jennifer Du Mond

Volunteering in Vietnam through UBELONG was a life-changing experience for me. For years I had wanted to participate in some sort of international volunteer work, but none of the programs that I looked at quite matched what I wanted. Some wanted a lengthy time commitment, some were too expensive, and most of them didn't have the types of projects I was looking for - which was anything health or HIV related. Raul solved that problem when he found ME and suggested that I check out his organization.

At first I was skeptical of the complete stranger suggesting that I should send him money and then fly to a foreign country, but I decided to start by looking at the website, and I became progressively more and more secure about what UBELONG was offering. Each of my concerns about other organizations were addressed quickly by the website - great flexibility for length of stay, the most affordable option for volunteering that I've found, and most importantly, a wide variety of projects, with details up front about what was expected by the organization and what could be expected by the volunteers.

I quickly found a project that I found incredibly appealing - public health volunteering in Hanoi, Vietnam. I had just applied to Master of Public Health programs for the following fall, and I was looking for an opportunity to get some experience in my new field before diving into my studies. I applied to the UBELONG program called "Promoting HIV/AIDS Awareness", but my application went in right around the time of Tet in Vietnam and UBELONG was having trouble getting through to the host organization. UBELONG responded by preemptively talking to the organization hosting the other public health project in Hanoi and finding a place for me there, and when they called me a couple days later, I was given the option to keep waiting for the HIV project or accept the one that was already happy to take me on, and I chose to do just that.

Over the next couple months, while I was making all of the necessary preparations for the trip, I was in regular contact with Raul. UBELONG has a set of several standard emails and skype conversations that they have with every volunteer, but Raul quickly responded to all of my additional emails, answering in detail every question I could think to ask. He even found time to meet with me in Washington, DC while I was there for an unrelated trip. By the time I left for Vietnam, although I was still nervous, I felt like Raul had prepared me incredibly well.

Throughout the trip, Raul was in contact with me to see how things were going. I received check-in emails from him immediately before and after my flight to Vietnam and approximately every two weeks after that. We also had a phone/Skype conversation while I was there and he has listened to all of my concerns and suggestions and has quickly made appropriate changes, as necessary. I am incredibly grateful for his work as my mentor, and his support made the experience of traveling to a completely foreign country where I didn't know the language at all much easier. I would highly recommend UBELONG to anyone else considering international volunteering (and I have suggested it for a few friends already).

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelli
9/10

Experience of a Lifetime

I volunteered for three weeks as an English teacher in Hanoi, Vietnam through UBELONG. What initially attracted me to UBELONG was the organization’s genuine philosophy and passion regarding international volunteering and the outstanding affordability of their programs. I continued to be impressed by how thoroughly they prepare volunteers beforehand and how quickly Raul (co-founder and my volunteer mentor) responded to all of my questions and concerns.

The pre-departure Skype interview with Raul also provided a wonderful opportunity to better familiarize myself with UBELONG and the people behind the organization. I felt like I really got to know Raul and he took a genuine interest in getting to know me and my motivations for volunteering in Vietnam. The entire process confirmed to me that I had definitely chosen the BEST organization and program for my international volunteering experience.

Overall, I had am amazing time in Hanoi and I can’t say enough about how pleased I am with UBELONG. If you are looking into volunteering abroad, my advice would be to take this opportunity right now in your life and DO IT! You will gain friends, memories, and skills that will last you a lifetime. And in choosing a program through UBELONG, you definitely will not be disappointed with the quality of their organization and the support you will have along the way!

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

Great Summer Experience

My summer volunteer experience in Vietnam was one full of great insight. I learned the ins and outs of living in a South East Asian country. My volunteer work allowed me to interact with the local people and learn about the problems that face that country now, and problems they foresee in the future. If I wasn't at work or exploring the unique beauties of Hanoi, I was travel around the country. I saw sights that could only be explained through picture. I was lucky enough to meet a great friend while I was there. We still talk to this day. Even Though we are thousands of miles apart, we pick up our conversation right where we left off. I own a large amount of my enjoyment to Ubelong. They allowed me to relax and enjoy my time while it lasted. They took great care of me, my happiness was their first priority and I never felt like I was abandoned. I would recommend Ubelong to anyone looking for unique summer experience.

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

UBELONG: Two Thumbs Up!

Vietnam, however far you live from it, is worth the trip. Its beauty is often underestimated, as its gorgeous beaches, vibrant markets, and friendly people make for a whirlwind of an adventure.

Surviving Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in the tropically humid rainy season may be a challenge to some, but the fast-paced city life will definitely keep you on your toes. The crazy motorbike traffic, people sitting on the side of the street, and the street vendors offering sugar cane juice and lychee contribute to the excitement of the city. In general, the Vietnamese are incredibly welcoming to foreigners, which facilitated my transition to the new environment and thus lessened the impact of culture shock.

As nervous as I was for my trip, UBELONG was completely supportive and helpful from day one. They made sure to give me all of the knowledge and skills that I needed to succeed in my teaching and living experiences there. I am so thankful to have chosen such an outstanding program with which to volunteer abroad!

Yes, I recommend this program

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