Volunteer in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City
VolSol offers reliable and affordable opportunities to students, gap year travelers and backpackers to travel abroad and volunteer in developing nations. Participants get a chance to contribute effectively towards the society, while exploring the country unlike any other tourist.
Those who are eager to volunteer with children can join either the Child Care Program or the Teaching Program in Vietnam. Apart from these, pre-med and medical students can join the Medical Volunteering Program and gain first-hand experience by working with professionals.
Programs are available throughout the year, and participants can choose the duration from 2 weeks to 6 months, as per convenience. All placements are in Ho Chi Minh City.
Volunteers usually work from Monday to Friday. On weekends, they can explore the natural beauty and quaint lifestyle of Vietnam. Visit the mountains, beaches, forests and countryside to discover this amazing destination.
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- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Airport Receive/ TransferVolunteers are picked up from Tan Son Nhat International Airport by the local coordinator or representative. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in Vietnam will be picked up at a meeting point decided beforehand.
All volunteers are given an orientation by the local staff in Ho Chi Minh city on the next day after arrival. Areas like culture, greetings, locations, transportation, safety and volunteer placements are given during the orientation.
AccommodationVolunteers are provided with accommodations in a four storey volunteer house along with other volunteers in Phu Nhuan district of Ho Chi Minh City. Accommodation is shared with other volunteers and the homes have got modern facilities available such as Air Conditioning in the rooms during night, Wireless Internet, TV, Fridge, and Washing Machine. The location is convenient for bus connections and travelling to the city center and projects.There are four big bedrooms over two top floors with the capacity of hosting upto 24 persons at a time. Normally, rooms are arranged for about 1-4 volunteers per room. In the busy time, the number can be maximum either 8 or 5 volunteers per room in five or three bunk beds respectively. Bedding is provided to the participants and bathrooms are shared per floor with shower (hot and cold water) and toilet.
There is one permanent cook and one part time cook who prepare a wide variety of delicious and authentic Vietnamese dishes with locally sourced, fresh, and daily produced ingredients.
MealsVolunteers are provided with three cooked meals a day. Local Vietnamese food is provided to the volunteers and the meals are cooked by the local cooks at the house. Meals consist of Rice,noodles, soups, chicken , meats , vegetables etc. Vietnamese cuisine is influenced from different Asian countries such as Thailand, China and Cambodia.
During your Free TimeVolunteers in Ho Chi Minh City can visit the Mekong Delta on a weekend tour. There is a lot to do during the free time and you can explore the city on your own.
- Vietnam - FAQ's
Application and Program Details
When should I apply for the volunteer programmes in Vietnam?
It is advised to apply for the projects once the volunteering/ traveling dates are decided as there are limited spots available . The application fee is valid for one full year and can be sent earlier than the desired year of volunteering for timely confirmation of the seat. As soon as you decide the travel dates, we suggest you to apply for the program and hold your spot.
The earlier you apply, the better it is, as you would get more time to be prepared for your program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and complete the necessary documentation, Visa formalities as well as take the vaccinations in time.
How long does it take to process my application? Will my application be accepted ?
Usually it takes around 10-12 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and the booking confirmation is updated in your My Account and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam volunteer programs?
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Vietnam volunteer projects :
- Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project.
- Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre Medical, Medical or Nursing students or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join the program as well.
- Need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
- The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
- Clean Criminal Background Check Report for participants joining Childcare and Teaching Projects.
- Must be in good health.
Can I volunteer as part of a Group?
Yes, you are welcome to take part in Vietnam Volunteer Program as part of a group. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer together in the India program. Volunteering Solutions Vietnam programs have hosted large student groups as well as families coming to volunteer in the programs. We have hosted groups, from universities in UK , Europe and USA as well as other countries.
I haven’t traveled or volunteered abroad before. Can I still be a part of VolSol experience ?
Yes, most definitely you can, as we believe that every participant brings something new to the project. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy – not only are our Volunteer Abroad opportunities rooted in offering you extensive support, but they are also very affordable.
When do I need to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City for my programme? What will happen once I arrive in Ho Chi Minh City?
All volunteers need to arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on the program starting date i.e First or Third Thursday of the month. To view the arrival dates for the projects, click here. Volunteers will be received at the International Airport by the local representative and will be transferred to the volunteer accommodation. A brief orientation would be conducted the next day where you will also be shown the area around the accommodations, the nearest ATM, market, and will be given safety guidelines as well as information about your project.
Flights and Visa
Does Volunteering Solutions help with Visa?
All enrolled participants are provided information on the appropriate Visa requirements for Vietnam in the pre-departure manual. You can also contact your pre-departure point of contact to know more about the visa requirements.
What are the recommended airlines to fly to Ho Chi Minh City?
Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Airport Code: SGN) is Vietnam’s largest airport and is well connected with major international destinations.
Some of the international airlines flying to Vietnam include :
- Air China
- Cathay Pacific
- Vietnam Airlines
- China Southern
- Vietnam Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- Tiger Air
- Singapore Airlines
- Silk Air
- Jet Airways
- Vietnam Airlines
From Middle East
- Qatar Airways
- Etihad Airways
Health & Safety
How safe is Ho Chi Minh City in general?
Vietnam is a relatively safe country for visitors, including solo travelers (both men and women). Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City is absolutely safe. When you venture out of your volunteer placement or accommodation, try to stay with your group. You are responsible for the safety of your bags and cameras etc. Traffic in Ho Chi Minh City is very chaotic and one should be cautious while crossing the road and walking as a pedestrian.
What immunizations/vaccinations will I need ?
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to Vietnam. To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to Vietnam, click here.
Do I need to buy health insurance?
Yes, for all participants, it is mandatory to have a valid travel medical insurance for their trip. Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider. To view the coverage details, please click here.
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Accommodation and Living
How do I get to the program location?
Your project coordinator will take you to your project placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc. You will be told about the directions to the project location from your accommodation and the best and the most affordable mode of transport you can use. Volunteers usually opt for public transport, as they are much affordable.
I want to know more about accommodation and food arrangements?
Volunteers in Ho Chi Minh City are provided accommodation in a volunteer house/ hostel in Phu Nhuan district of Ho Chi Minh City.
Wireless internet is available for the volunteers and rooms are shared. Shared bathrooms are there for volunteers with running water and flush system. Air conditioning is provided during the night in the volunteer rooms.
Convenience stores and internet cafes are also not very far from the volunteer house. The local cook at the volunteer house will prepare meals for the volunteers. Lunch and dinner usually comprise of rice, vegetables, meat, chicken dishes, tofu and soups. Breakfast can be tea, bread, butter, jam, eggs or local Vietnamese dishes.
What if I have my own accommodation. Can I still volunteer for the project?
Unfortunately the entire volunteering experience is as much about volunteering on your project, as it is about cross-cultural exchange and community building. A lot of that happens through the housing that we have set up by being with like-minded people. Additionally, for safety reasons, all volunteers must live in in the allotted accommodation
Can vegetarians be accommodated?
Yes, that is not a problem at all. However do inform us beforehand about your any special dietary requirements.
Would I have free time during my program ? Can I do sightseeing during my program ?
Volunteers work from Monday - Friday and have their weekends free for sightseeing. Evenings are free for the volunteers and they usually get together and go out for social gatherings, eat out or just relax at the volunteer house. Weekends are free for the volunteers and you can go for short weekend trips. There is lot to do in Ho Chi Minh City. You can start with Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh Square, Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater, Hon Viet - The Soul Of Vietnam, Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station and many more. You can also go to Mekong Delta or head out to Hanoi.
Are there more expenses once I arrive in Ho Chi Minh City?
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses . You will need to provide for yourself your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $70-$80 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you go on different weekend trips out of town.
For how many hours will I volunteer every day?
Depending on the project, elected volunteers will work during the week from Monday- Friday. You will have weekend off so you can travel on weekends. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
Where can I change my money in Ho Chi Minh City? Are there ATMs in Ho Chi Minh City?
Currency exchange options are ample in Ho Chi Minh City. Inside the airport terminal, there are several exchange counters that offer the official exchange rate, Sasco is one of them. You can also carry smaller denominations of your currency and buy things using them.Please check the latest currency exchange rate before going to Vietnam.
Connect with Past Volunteers
How can I connect with past Volunteering Solutions alumni as well as other former and current volunteers ?
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the ‘Meet a Volunteer’ section on our website.