Volunteer and Intern in Vietnam
- Location: Hanoi
- Accommodation: Host family, placement guest house, Projects Abroad rented volunteer house, hostels
- Local languages: Vietnamese
Volunteering in Vietnam with Projects Abroad is a chance to make a difference in a developing country with a complex history. Although there is a huge disparity between the wealth of rural and urban populations, Vietnam is focused on change and volunteers have a crucial role to play on our worthwhile projects and internships, whether you are on a gap year, taking a break between semesters, or on a career break.
Vietnam, a one-party Communist state, is one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia and has set its sights high for development. After three decades of bitter wars that held the attention of the world, foreign investment has grown and the US is Vietnam's main trading partner. However, poverty is widespread and there is a lot of development work for volunteers to do, and your time and effort will be greatly appreciated by the people you help.
Volunteers can work on a variety of meaningful projects, including care work with children and teaching English and a variety of other subjects including sports. You can even volunteer in a traditional stilt village, fully immersing yourself in Vietnamese culture and daily life.
“Hello from Vietnam! Vietnam’s history is rich and long and will leave you wanting to learn more about this amazing country. Our people have shown much resilience over the years, but continue to be welcoming and will treat you as a highly respected guest throughout your time. As you work on projects here, we will try to teach you as much as we can about our culture and the way of life so that you never forget your time spent in Vietnam. We are proud to have you visit this magnificent land. Vietnam is a country of enormous natural beauty, centuries of history, and vibrant city life.”
Where You Will Live in Vietnam
Projects Abroad Vietnam is based in Hanoi, in the north of the country. Hanoi is one of Southeast Asia's liveliest cities. It is the capital and the second largest city in Vietnam. Though it may seem chaotic when you first arrive, as a volunteer living and working in the city you’ll discover the gracious Vietnamese people, explore the charming old town, and find hidden temples beyond the throngs of mopeds and urban activity.
Hanoi is the cultural highlight of Vietnam and has over 600 pagodas and temples to visit. The city continues to change rapidly as the current economic boom adds more high-rise steel and glass hotels to the French colonial architecture, traditional markets, and ramshackle shops.
Depending on the location of your placement, you will stay with a local host family or in a Projects Abroad rented volunteer house.
Travel and Sightseeing Opportunities in Vietnam
As a volunteer you’ll usually work from Monday to Friday, leaving plenty of time to explore Hanoi on the weekends. To escape city life you could head to nearby Ba Vi National Park, where there is excellent trekking, wildlife viewing, and over 1200 steps leading to the mountain summit for panoramic views over the city. You can also relax and try the local seafood at Halong Bay Beach, the closest beach to Hanoi.
Vietnam is well worth exploring further after your placement. Hike in mountainous Sapa, stare in awe at Halong Bay’s soaring limestone islets, or shop for a new tailor-made wardrobe in fashion capital Hoi An. If this all sounds too chaotic you can head south and enjoy the laid-back beaches on the island of Phu Quoc.
Did you know? Nearly ½ of Vietnamese people have the surname Nguyen (pronounced “win”).
Many volunteers choose to travel on through Southeast Asia to Thailand, Cambodia, or Laos, which can be done affordably - if not always quickly - by bus and train. There are also now many low-cost airlines, which allow you to explore the region further in a limited amount of time.