Vietnam

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

I have volunteered with GVN (Global Volunteer Network) for six different years. I usually volunteer for 2-3 months and have requested and gotten the most remote places. There is so much to like about GVN. I'm 70 and since I choose remote areas I do need to know that someone has my back and GVN has always been there for me. I feel secure with the placings they give me. I was looking for a volunteer organization that would allow me to do my thing and not hold my hand. GVN has allowed that to happen. I wanted a program where I was really needed and I have found it six different times. I've lived and volunteered on a very small (very remote) island called Cu La Cham in Vietnam where I taught English with one other volunteer. We were the first on the island ever to do this. I've lived in orphanages, small villages (mostly remote). I've volunteered teaching English on Cu La Cham, Vietnam, teaching HIV-AIDS Prevention to the Maasai in Kenya, teaching English and math at an orphanage as well as feeding the homeless in Ethiopia, helped organize a non-profit in Uganda by making/typing up contract, taught the Peace Cell Project as well as assisted in a pre-school in Ghana and now I'm on my way to the Philippines to work a mangrove project for three months.

I have found GVN to be reasonable with their cost, supportive when needed and easy to make contact with. I highly recommend GVN as a place to contact when you are looking to volunteer somewhere in this world. They have a host of projects and many different countries you can work in.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam
Posted: Oct 6, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

Since this was a fund raising event and I had spent 2 years in Vietnam prior, I knew the costs going in. The event was a bargain for the amount of joy we got out of the trip! The costs covered staff, accommodation, food, transportation and several visits with the orphan kids we were fund raising for.

I am always impressed when strangers who have no knowledge of a country or the level of poverty - take on a huge physical and financial commitment to serve disadvantaged kids. Our group of 9 bikers was from 5 different countries - each person took every day as a new adventure whether it was in 40 degree heat, up hills with huge trucks or across flat plains where there was no relief from the sun.

Our mission was to bike and raise money that would be used at the discretion of the local partner and GVN. I believe the funds were stretched to the limit to provide as much food, staff and care where the needs were the greatest. Hundreds of kids have benefited from that one week of biking. I'd do it again!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Oct 3, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

WLS International

I had an amazing time on the WLS programme in Vietnam. I found the program extremely well structured and really enjoyed the variety offered by completing different projects, I think by offering volunteers the chance to work across different projects it adds a huge amount to the program, particularly when staying there for a longer period. I found each of the projects I visited really engaging and very enjoyable; at each of the projects the staff were extremely welcoming and helpful which made me feel really comfortable in working with them. To comment on the WLS coordinator, I think it perhaps goes without saying that she is a most fabulous coordinator, I have nothing other than praise for her. She made you feel very welcome in a foreign country, supported you through any problem, and allowed you to enjoy the very full program on offer. The best thing about the program is that you get a fantastic overall experience, meet some fabulous people, learn some amazing skills, whilst making an clearly positive contribution.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Sep 24, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

Program provides a variety of teaching experiences from teaching first time English learners to students that are proficient in the language. You can get a taste of teaching all kinds of learners. Schools vary from very well equipped to very primitive. The students are enthusiastic and ready to learn. The price is quite reasonable, you stay in comfortable guest houses in your own room with a bathroom and hot water. You are given a weekly stipend for meals which is quite generous.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Aug 30, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Volunteers for Peace

I do not recommend Volunteers for Peace. I recently volunteered with them in Vietnam and received very little support. The staff is very disorganized and did not help with the process at all. In fact, they didn't seem to even know about the program (it was totally different when I showed up)! I have traveled a lot in the past, and I would recommend going through Cadip or a similar program if you are interested in a project abroad. Their prices are less expensive too, and the staff is much more helpful. I have volunteered with Cross Cultural Solutions too, and highly recommend them as well. Take your money elsewhere and you'll get more for it! VFP's support is terrible.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Jun 28, 2011
Overall:
1
Support:
0
Value:
3

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I finished an 8 week trip with IVHQ a few months ago and loved it. I felt the support from IVHQ pre-departure was really good and in country, I had eight amazing weeks. I went with no expectations and thought mainly of the volunteering side of things. Don't get me wrong - the teaching was great and I love the kids, but outside of the work, visiting sites with other volunteers and socializing, it all contributed to an amazing time. One of the best things I did not realize about IVHQ was the high numbers of volunteers they have. This for me was so important (I wish I had known before I left as I was worried I would be alone), but with over 20 volunteers in Ho Chi Minh while I was there, there were always plenty of other people to explore with outside of volunteering hours. Big thanks to Andy and Minh in HCMC for making my trip unfortgettable!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Apr 24, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Glad you enjoyed yourself! Hopefully will have you volunteering with us again in the future.
Hi there, thank for your review, I going to be graduating in June of next year and started having plans to volunteer abroad especially in Viet Nam, how was your living conditions, and do you think that you volunteer work gave you a valuable experience for the future

WLS International

I joined the WLS Programs in Cambodia and Vietnam and the experience was just wonderful. The WLS staff and the WLS coordinators in Cambodia and Vietnam were very helpful and helped make this a very amazing and fulfilling experience. WLS International is the only organization that enables you to volunteer at different projects during your program. Really worth doing and I can recommend WLS International for your volunteering experience, they are great!.
Peter

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia, Vietnam
Posted: Apr 9, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

They arent the only organisation that allows you to volunteer at different projects during your program - I have volunteered with 2 other organisations that allow this
Hello Peter, I'm a french student and i'm going to do the Cambodia program with WLS and my departure is in few days... but i'm really worried about the serious of the association. What can you say to me to feel better ? How was the name of your coordinator in Siem Reap ? Do you live in the family of your coordinator ? And with some other people of WLS too ? Thank you for your answer. Aude
Bonjour Aude, cela fait déjà trois ans que tu as posté ce message mais j'espere que tu auras le mien. Je m'appelle Julie j'ai 21ans et je voudrais partir avec WLS au Cambodge mais tu les messages que je vois m'inquiètent un peu. Si tu as ce message pourrais tu me donner des informations sur ce que tu as fais, ou vivais tu et tout simplement comment cela s'est passé ? Merci d'avance ! Julie
Bonjour Julie ! Je ne sais pas si tu as reçu une réponse d'Aude, mais je recherche aussi des infos sur WLS au Cambodge. Es-tu finalement partie dans cette association ? Si oui, comment cela s'est passé ? Merci d'avance ! Céline

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I tried three different international volunteer organizations this year and I have to say that A Broader View was definitely the best one.
First of all, any questions that I had before leaving (and I had quite a few!) were answered immediately. Sarah was extremely kind and helpful with any pre-departure issues or concerns that I had. I got a lot of information beforehand on my host family and the places where I'd be volunteering.
I had a fantastic time in both Hanoi and Phnom Penh! The people were amazing, the food was delicious, and I loved my volunteer placements!
I got to work at two different placements in Vietnam, which was great, because I got the chance to see how differently things were run at the school for street children and the orphanage school.
In Cambodia, I worked at an orphanage for children with HIV. It gave me a chance to really come out of my comfort zone, and I learned to overcome my worries about working with people with AIDS.
Another thing that was difficult (especially in Phnom Penh) was adjusting to the slower pace of life. If you're used to the rush-rush pace of city life, then a place like Cambodia will be a huge change. I found it challenging at first, but by my second week there, I learned to embrace it, and I ended up loving it and wondering why everyone has to move so quickly all the time back home!
Although A Broader View doesn't operate out of the countries in which I stayed, their partner organizations were wonderful and I felt very well taken care of. Also, Sarah sent several e-mails to check in with me and make sure that everything was going well. And when I had any problems, she made sure to contact the partner organization immediately to get them fixed.
One thing to remember is that this will be very different from a vacation. There is a lot of work involved, but it is extremely rewarding. Travelling can (and should!) be done on weekends, and it's important to try to interact with the locals as much as possible. (Even if you don't speak the language, there are many other ways you can communicate!) You will meet some amazing people and make lifelong friends!
If you have questions, I'd be happy to answer them. If you contact Abroaderview, they can put you in touch with me!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Jul 14, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Comments

Sure! The partner organization in Vietnam was VFCD. I think their website is www.vfcd.org (it isn't updated regularly, though)
Hello, just read your comments about volunteering in Vietnam; I plan to travel there in Dec. 2010. Can you tell me the group you were connected with there to volunteer. Many thanks. Shirley

i-to-i TEFL

Travelled with i-to-i twice, and these are some of my earliest travel experiences.
In Kenya, I found the accomodation to be very poor, ie dirty, cold water, unreliable electricity etc, but put this down to the general living standards in Mombasa. The staff seemed supportive at orientation, but in reality, seemed to go back on their word alot, mostly due to lack of communication between them in the field, and head office in the UK.
My project was really good though, clean and good food and staff.
In Vietnam, I realised just how different I-to-I projects could be on the ground from what the website advertised, for example, a project that was supposed to be rural being in a reasonable sized city, and even info I was given in orientation was misleading, for example, I was told that I would be teaching english at my orphanage project, but when I arrived, it seemed nobody there spoke a word of English, and they weren't even expecting me, and therefore, we couldn't communicate what I should be doing, or could be doing, to actually help. Accomodation where I stayed was fine, hot water and one computer with internet and satellite tv etc, but I was alone there with a male housekeeper, which I would have thought I would be informed of before arrival, and he also did not speak english, which was frustrating. Orientation did not include even a basic Vietnamese language/culture session, and anytime I tried to ask for help with the language, the in-country i-to-i staff just wanted to practice their english. overall, I left feeling I did not received the support I paid for, and that I had not contributed in any worthwhile ways to the projects I worked on.
I would still recommend i-to-i, but I would not travel with them again, the core point being that what you get in-country is very different from what the main website advertises, and that standards can vary alot from country to country.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya, Vietnam
Posted: May 23, 2010
Overall:
6
Support:
4
Value:
4

Comments

I have also had a bad experience with i-to-i in Africa. I was placed in a family house - charge £100 a week by i-to-i and the lady of the house was paid around £2 a day to have me there - where did my money go? I was also in a really rough area and there were two murders in my village during my stay. I was mugged on my last night at gun point. A bad company to travel with and I would not recommend them to anyone!

WLS International

I volunteered with WLS in Vietnam at the shelter for street children and the agent orange orphanage and I can say that my time there was just great. The support WLS gave me before and during the program was excellent. Before I left the WLS program manager was very helpful all the time. Once in Ho Chi Minh the WLS coordinator was also very good and professional. The program was very well organized. The accommodation was also great. I am looking forward to join another WLS program.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Mar 26, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Could you please tell me more about the accommodations and the transportation to the work places? Thank you!
Linda, You mention your accommodations in HoChiMinh city were great. Where exactly did you stay? I am thinking about volunteering with WLS this summer. Thanks.

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