More and more travellers start to explore the world with the idea of meaningful travel. Meaningful travel isn’t just a mindless traveling around the globe and doing all the regular touristic things; exploring most “beautiful” places, trying this and that, posting pictures of you from the expensive boat tour, etc. Read our Mini Guide to Volunteering in Vietnam as an English Teacher is a great experience to consider doing, if you are interested in manful travel, as this can be one the experiences that will offer you just that..
If you have a different idea of traveling, then you’re at the right place. Meaningful traveling means traveling with the deeper motivation than just exploring the places. Meaningful traveling means that you have the interest to learn more about the people, their culture and you really want to impact their lives during your stay.
Can you see yourself in that description of traveling? Well, one of the most convenient ways to deeply explore the country’s landscape, culture, traditions while connecting with the local community and making a lasting impact on the same community is volunteering.
In this article, we will provide you with all the information that will help you with finding your next volunteer project in Vietnam as an English teacher! Keep reading and plan your next meaningful adventure today!
Why Should You Consider Volunteering in Vietnam?
That’s the most common question as the majority of people know that demand for English teachers is enormous in these parts of the world, and you can quickly make a good living as a teacher in Vietnam.
I had a chance to meet and talk with many English teachers in Vietnam (and around the globe), and, in general, the biggest motivation is, of course, of financial nature. Well, I can’t deny it, teachers here are making astonishing sums of money while working around 20 hours per week.
It’s a job that will make you do a commitment to school or organization for some time to make profits. Sounds good, right?
Well, what about the meaningful side of teaching?
Majority of teachers are teaching in private schools which means they are into the business, which is totally fine, but again, their motives can be different than just pure money making.
Volunteering is a bit different as you won’t make any money during your project which means your motives are aimed to make a change and impact lives of people. Majority of parents doesn’t have enough money to give their kids a chance for better education, so these kids don’t have many options later in life. That isn’t fair.
As a volunteer, you can invest your time and energy to really help communities around Vietnam to grow and provide people with equal opportunities when it comes to education and later, the job opportunities.
There is a huge gap in education between rural places and cities. Also, the rural areas are significantly less paid, which means their options for education are even lower. That’s the perfect opportunity for meaningful travelers to help!
You can literally, with your time and energy, change lives of many people and having that fact in mind is merely a fulfilling feeling.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is that majority of volunteering projects will provide you with the food and accommodation (living with local family) which means you will have a real and authentic Vietnamese experience during your stay! What more could you ask for?
How to Find Your Next Volunteering Project in Vietnam?
Finding a suitable and meaningful project won’t be a considerable hustle if you know where to look. Many organizations offer volunteering projects in exchange for vast sums of money.
I, personally, don’t agree on paying a small fortune to be able to help someone. Many organizations made a good business model behind volunteering, and I’m firmly against it.
Don’t feel discouraged yet, as there are still many legit organizations that put so much effort into making the world a better place! I recommend you check some of the volunteering platforms that are aggregators for projects.
I advise you to check HelpStay – a very intuitive platform with so many projects available.
Vietnam is a country that has many projects posted on HelpStay, which means you will have many options when choosing the right fitting project for your values and motives.
Things a Volunteering Project Should Have Checked
Well, everyone has their own opinions and needs, but here are some things you should definitely consider before applying to any volunteering project:
– Check out the reliability and reputation of the organization you’re applying to. Read about their vision and mission, talk with people who volunteered there to get a better understanding on their work. Basically, do the research about the organization and staff.
– What do the organization offer in exchange for your time and energy? If the project is very meaningful to you, but the organization doesn’t provide you with anything, that shouldn’t be an instant deal breaker. Everything depends on your values and possibilities, but a good thing would be that organization provides you with free accommodation and food. That way, you can focus all your time and energy on teaching and making a difference, instead of thinking about your next meal or rent.
– Documentation requirements and what’s the visa process. Plan it carefully and on time as you don’t want to stress yourself about it.
– What about the school or center you’re going to volunteer in? Is it a non-profit?
– Check about the places you can visit and what the place where you’re going to live has to offer. It’s crucial that you’re living in a comfortable place where you can relax and sometimes spoil yourself, as teaching really requires a lot of energy and patience, especially when you’re teaching small kids.
– Get in contact with volunteers who plan to join the project or who’re already there, so they can give you practical advice before you go there.
Once You Are in Vietnam..
Many people give up the idea of volunteering as an English teacher as they don’t have the experience in teaching. Well, don’t worry!
Experience with the kids is an excellent asset to have, but of course, it’s not crucial. If you’re a confident and open-minded person, you will get a grasp of teaching very fast.
Don’t beat yourself up because there will be ups and downs, but with the experience, you will see that every challenge and obstacle become more comfortable and easier to overcome.
If you see yourself in a teaching position, many organizations offer TEFL course and paid opportunities after few months of volunteering, so you can go that way.
Once you arrive in Vietnam and start with your volunteering project, you will realize how many options are there and how many people really need your help.
Before deciding to volunteer abroad, it’s crucial that you did considerable research and that you know what you’re doing. Also, ask yourself about the true reasons why you’re doing that.
If you have any other questions or need help in finding a perfect volunteer teaching position in Vietnam, feel free to send us a message!
Have you ever volunteered or worked as an English teacher in Vietnam? What were the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered? Share below in the comments.
Check out our article on Volunteering Experiences Around The World.