Global Volunteers CEO and Co-founder Bud Philbrook claims that in all his travels across the world, Vietnam remains one of his favorite places to volunteer. Why? Read on for Bud’s eight reasons to volunteer in Hanoi!
1. Americans are welcomed and appreciated.
“I’ve been to Vietnam numerous times over the past 20 years. The one constant has been that the Vietnamese people love Americans. Some 70% were born after the Vietnam War, and don’t identify personally with that conflict. Vietnamese elders have nearly categorically put the war behind them, and welcome Americans with open arms. We have a lot to learn from that!”
2. Your impact is clear.
“The Vietnamese know that English is the international language of commerce, technology and opportunity. The country’s goal is to have all instruction, at every school level, taught in English. You can share your native language by tutoring conversational English as a Global Volunteer in Hanoi, and know without question you’re making a difference in people’s lives. It’s evident every day.”
3. Volunteers of all ages are needed and wanted.
“All adults can serve at Blind-Link or Vietnam Institute for Development Strategy (VIDS), two of our very engaging community partners who have no restrictions on upper age limits. Elders are respected and revered in Vietnam, and the wisdom gained through age is highly regarded. At the same time, young adults can work with their contemporaries in university classrooms as well as with grade-school students. There’s never a question that your unique skills and knowledge will be appreciated.”
4. Hanoi is a culturally rich and vibrant city.
The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. Originally a small settlement along the banks of the Red River, the city was founded as Thăng Long, the capital of Imperial Vietnam, in 1010 by monarch Lý Thái Tổ. At its heart is the colorful Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. This is where you and your teammates stay, in the charming Hanoi L’Heritage Centre Hotel. “Volunteers have the best of Hanoi outside their doorstep…spectacular sites and culture. I recommend a walk around historic Hoan Kiem Lake and taking in the many iconic museums.”
5. The volunteer work is not a “heavy lift.”
“Any native English speaker can be a successful volunteer in Hanoi. Our team leaders and community partners will counsel you and provide a Conversational English Teaching Guide jam-packed with activities, lessons, and step-by-step instructions. Teachers at Foreign Trade University and Nguyen Binh Khiem School (NBK) will brief you on their curricula and support you in the classroom.” English unites the worlds of business and trade, environment, human rights, science, and technology. You help make that happen.
6. There’s no better place to wage peace and promote justice.
“As a single-party socialist republic, Vietnam is a country much different from most volunteers’ homeland. Many opportunities exist to help build a bridge of understanding between our societies through service. You can be an ambassador for your country in the eyes of tomorrow’s leaders through stimulating conversations, meaningful interaction, and mutual respect.” As this volunteer explains, it’s “compassion in action.”
7. The program is directed by engaged community partners.
“Our community partners direct and monitor volunteers’ contributions of expertise and energy, and work with us to modify and re-define community projects as required to meet their goals. Whether you’re assisting adult students who’re training for a new career in massage therapy, teaching university, secondary or primary students, or tutoring government researchers, you open up opportunities for them that they would not otherwise have.”
8. Your team leader works to optimize your experience.
Global Volunteers’ Vietnam Team Leaders have years of experience leading teams, and choose this particular program because of their love of the country and the people. They’re skilled in supporting you in your teaching assignments, and will help you make adjustments to ensure you can contribute to your highest potential. Your team leader will arrive in-country a few days before your arrival to meet with our community partners, coordinate logistics, and prepare work projects. They’ll also direct you to cultural, educational and historical free-time opportunities enjoyed by previous volunteers.
Visit our Volunteer in Vietnam page to learn more. Contact us today by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 800-407-1074. Or, chat online with a Volunteer Coordinator to get your questions answered right away!