What will I do at my Occupational Therapy placement in Vietnam?
During your internship, you’ll gain experience by taking part in various activities relating to occupational therapy. These can include:
- Assist staff at a rehabilitation centre by treating patients with physical and mental disabilities
- Promote educational development through fun activities like arts and crafts, dance, and maths games
- Facilitate vocational lessons for patients to learn skills like embroidery, paper flower making, and cooking
At your Occupational Therapy placement in Vietnam, your work will focus on these main areas:
Assist staff at a rehabilitation centre by treating patients with physical and mental disabilities
The centres we work with have patients with various disabilities. These include autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, this is a legacy of the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
The symptoms of some of the disabilities you help treat will vary. They could include:
- Decreased or lack of fine motor precision and integration
- Decreased balance and coordination
- Poor prehension
Your presence at your placement will be extremely beneficial to the patients and staff you work with. Some placements provide equipment like mattresses, balls, and a parallel bar. You can use these during your treatment sessions.
Promote educational development through fun activities
Many of the patients we work with are children who need educational support. You can help run lessons using fun activities like:
- Arts and crafts
If you have the relevant experience, you may be able to work independently with groups or individual patients.
We encourage interns with training to use their skills to train local staff. You can also bring any resources you might have, like puzzles, LEGO, games, and other useful tools you’ve acquired during your training.
Facilitate vocational lessons to improve patients’ skills
You can work in vocational training to help teenagers and adults learn skills that would benefit their future careers. You can teach skills such as:
- Paper flower making
- Making incense and bags, and other crafts
By learning new skills, those with disabilities will develop a way to earn an income in the future.
Where in Vietnam will I work?
You can work at a care centre or hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, or you can work at a rehabilitation centre in a more rural setting outside of Hanoi. The centres we work with are either understaffed, or the staff are undertrained. In most cases, it is a combination of the two.
Hanoi is the capital and second largest city of Vietnam. Each day, you’ll navigate your way through thousands of motorcycles, Vietnam’s primary mode of transport for most people. You can follow the delicious smells coming from street food vendors at nearly every corner. You can choose to enjoy lunches like Vietnam’s famous pho, a noodle dish with rice, broth, herbs, and chicken or beef.
If you’re placed in a rural setting, you’ll witness a more traditional way of life. You’ll be surrounded by rice paddies where farmers and water buffalo are hard at work.
Volunteering for professionals
This project is also perfect for qualified professionals. With your skills backing up our ongoing efforts, we can make an even bigger difference together. We'll match you to the placement where your skills are needed most.
This means you can share your training and and knowledge with others. You can work hand-in-hand with our partner organisations and local communities to support sustainable development.
If you have relevant skills or qualifications, read more about how you can make use of them with Projects Abroad.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll stay in shared accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns while in Vietnam. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your program fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Leisure activities and free time
Vietnam offers a mix of bustling cities and picturesque countrysides. With so many different activities and tourist sites, you’re bound to find plenty of ways to spend your free time.
For a glimpse into the country’s history, you can spend an afternoon exploring the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology or the National Museum of Vietnamese History. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is also a major historic site, located in Hanoi.
If you’re looking to buy some souvenirs, there are many markets with locally made products on sale. Evenings in Hanoi are filled with excitement and bright, colourful lights. You can watch street performers and then head to a nearby restaurant for a taste of local cuisine.
The countryside, with its emerald rice paddies stretching to the horizon, provides the perfect escape from the busy capital.
We run many different projects in Vietnam, so there will likely be other volunteers in-country with you. This makes travelling as a group easy to arrange. However, you’re welcome to explore independently if you prefer.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Vietnam
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