IMPORTANT NOTICE: Temporary Programme Suspension
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has required all of us to adapt and rethink how we conduct business. We have decided to consolidate programming for 2020/21 and reduce our offerings to the destination countries where Lattitude is able to send a greater number of volunteers. This will allow us to work efficiently with reduced staffing while maintaining the high level of support to our volunteers that we pride ourselves in. For this reason, we are temporarily suspending our programmes in Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, USA and Vietnam. We do hope and expect that we will be able to offer these wonderful programmes again in the future. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Gap year Vietnam! Vietnam is a richly diverse country with breath-taking natural beauty and an incredible heritage. It also has some of the best food in Southeast Asia, with subtle flavours and diverse dishes and is often a fascinating draw for visitors to the country. As tourism is such a strong industry for the country’s economy, learning English is considered the key to a prosperous future and our volunteers provide an avenue for people to learn and practice.
There is so much to see and do whilst working in Vietnam and with a cheap and reliable transport system it is easy for volunteers to see a lot of this beautiful and incredible country whilst on placement.
Language Coach placements are mostly in primary and secondary schools, with some university placements available too. Lattitude volunteers provide students with the opportunity to practice their spoken English by leading activities such as conversation, role playing, singing and debating. A range of extra-curricular activities including conversation groups, visiting students’ homes and playing games add great value and enjoyment to the placements. Volunteers may also be asked to teach the teachers as well to assist in enhancing their confidence in English conversation.
Volunteers in Vietnam are greatly valued by their host schools and are accepted as teaching staff from the beginning. Students are eager to learn and many lessons are engaging and great fun. As is the demand for English speakers in Vietnam, volunteers may soon find themselves running extra classes, for both their students and maybe even members of the local community.
Volunteers in Vietnam will find they are very popular and will soon get to know the local community very well. In doing this there is real opportunity to get the most out of a work placement, enabling volunteers to experience Vietnam and its culture in far greater depth than if they were to simply travel through!
Volunteers normally teach an average of 20 hours of formal classes per week. A small amount of pocket money is paid.
We have a variety of opportunities available for Language Coach volunteers in Vietnam. Depending on which age group of students interests you, volunteers could be placed in a primary school, secondary school or university. As a primary school teacher you could be placed in our host school in Hanoi. As a volunteer in this institution with over 2500 students and 257 members of staff, your responsibilities would involve giving 40 minute lessons to a range of different age groups and learning abilities. You would be responsible for planning your own lessons, and would take classes independently. You would also be encouraged to organise extra-curricular activities such as music, drama and sports clubs.
If you would prefer to teach older students, you could be placed in our host secondary school in Ho Chi Minh City. In this school, responsible for the education of 406 pupils between the ages of 12-18, you would form a part of a team of 50 teachers, four of which are specialist English teachers. In this placement, you would be working around 20 hours per week as an English language assistant, working in tandem with permanent Vietnamese staff.
If you decide to teach in a higher education institution you could be placed in our host University in Hai Phong. This institution teaches subjects such as IT, environmental engineering and foreign languages to 18-25 year olds and you would teach English to classes of around 45 students. Alternatively you could be placed in our host College of Agriculture and Forestry in Bac Giang, where 3500 students study subjects such as accounting, IT and biotechnology. In this position, you work 20 hours per week helping to teach both staff and students in classes of 10-20 and 40-60 people.
Accommodation and food
Accommodation is either provided on campus at the host institution, or in a nearby flat rented by the host. Food is either supplied or an allowance provided for self-catering.
Is it for me?
Vietnam will allow you to step outside your comfort zone, and embrace a truly rich cultural experience. You will be able to push yourself as you take on a position of responsibility and teach English to people of many ages. Any shortage in resources will be more than made up for by the keenness of your students to learn.
Need to know
Pre departure briefing – all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
Language – no previous knowledge of Vietnamese is required
On arrival – volunteers undertake a five-day combined teaching skills and orientation course in Ho Chi Minh City.
Free time & travel
Anyone who has ever travelled to Vietnam will tell you that the people are some of the most fun-loving on earth. During the evenings and at weekends, be prepared to embrace socialising with your new colleagues and friends and to spend time exploring the local sights, sounds and tastes. For relaxation, spend some time relaxing on one of Vietnam’s stunning beaches or wander around a local market sampling the likes of nem cuon (salad rolls) or canh chua (sour soup). Vietnam also has a very rich historical heritage which has led to an eclectic mix of cultural influences. From Indian Hindi roots in the south and remnants of the French colonial era in Hanoi, you will have enough photo opportunities to fill several albums back home: memories of your gap year to last forever!
In terms of sights and activities, during your weekends and holidays you can take a cruise to see the limestone islands of Halong Bay, explore the reefs of the Con Dao Islands, take a hike up mountain tracks near Sapa and explore the tribal villages of Vietnam’s 50 something hill tribes, to name but a few. You could also take advantage of being close to the likes of Cambodia and Laos by going on an extended trip of your neighbouring countries after your placement.
The scars of the Vietnam War are still visible and the Vinh Moc tunnels north of Hue are a poignant reminder of that time. Thousand year old Hanoi in the north has a beautiful, classical old quarter where oriental and western influences mingle seamlessly. Ho Chi Minh City in the south is Vietnam’s largest city, a real shopper’s paradise. In between are white sandy beaches, the magical Mekong delta, endless terraced hillsides and thickly forested highlands.
(Please note – we have made several changes recently to ensure our viability during Covid-19 and beyond. One change you may notice is we now list our pricing in US dollars. To convert to your own currency, you can use xe.com)
Lattitude Application Fee – $50 (USD)
The application fee covers the cost of processing applications and conducting interviews.
All applicants are guaranteed an interview. This fee is non-refundable.
Lattitude Placement Fee: $2800 (USD)
This fee is broken into three payments:
Once you have been interviewed and accepted into the programme, you will be required to pay a $500USD deposit to secure your position. The deposit covers our costs for identifying, assessing and matching you to a suitable placement.
Under normal circumstances, this is a non-refundable deposit. However, due to the uncertain timeframe of COVID-19 travel restrictions etc, we have adopted a more flexible approach to ensure there is no financial risk to our volunteers proceeding with their Lattitude travel plans.
Your deposit will be refundable if: You have paid your deposit after 11 March 2020 (the date WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic) and if nearing your scheduled departure, as a result of COVID 19, you are still unable to travel, or if, following government advice, your destination is deemed unsafe to do so.
If you are still unable to travel to your first-choice destination, we can work with you to look at alternative destinations at short notice. In the unprecedented scenario of no appropriate departures being available, we will look to reschedule, offer you the opportunity of deferring, or refunds will be made available.
Deposit Update – October 2020
From 8th October 2020, Lattitude will refund deposit payments in the event that Lattitude needs to cancel a specific programme departure due to COVID 19 or if international/government COVID 19 advice is to avoid travel to that destination. Lattitude will always encourage volunteers to consider an alternative destination or to defer travel.
You will be required to pay an interim payment of $1,000USD no more than 6 months before departure. This payment covers Lattitude costs involved in the pre-departure stage of your placement.
The remainder of the Lattitude fee of $1300USD will be due 60 days prior to your scheduled departure.
- In-depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
- Relevant DBS/police check fees
- Pre-departure information and briefing session
- Airport pickup on arrival
- Advice on obtaining a Visa
- Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
- Accommodation and food (provided by your host family)
- 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from the Lattitude Country Manager
- Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
- Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni
- International Flights
- Onward travel to placement (if applicable)
- In-country Orientation and Teaching Skills Course Fee (when delivered in-person)
- Travel insurance
- Pocket Money for weekends/ holidays/post-placement travel
- Accommodation and food during holiday periods
Ecuadorian volunteers will also be responsible for a $400 USD supplementary fee to cover the specific support we offer volunteers and their families in Ecuador. $50 USD of this fee will be put into a scholarship fund for future Ecuadorian volunteers.
As a charity we always recommend our volunteers fundraise to help meet the costs involved in volunteering overseas. In many ways it is part of the whole experience. For more information and fundraising ideas please click here
“I would never have been this adventurous had I not been on this placement; it’s really opened my eyes to the world.”Marianne, English teacher