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Volunteer with Buddhist Novice Monks in Laos

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Teaching the novices at Wat Mano

Teaching the Novices at Wat Mano and seeing how far they come from when we started to teach them and talking to so many different students at Big brother Mouse and getting to know their background and hopes for the future was the best aspect of the program for me.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Met with wonderful people!

Apart from being touched by the people of Laos and the people I was given the chance to teach. I am deeply impressed with the young volunteers who participated in this programme. They know what they want to do with their lives and they do not waste time getting closer to their dreams. They are friendly and they work hard and play hard which I think is good. It is good to know that there are young people out there who care for other people and use their time for them. Same goes for the elder volunteers. They could be just relaxing at home but they chose the challenge to do something they have never done before. I met wonderful people, both volunteers and Lao people alike, they are wonderful people.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The staff made me feel safe

I absolutely loved the cultural connection with locals and the country. The program was well organised and it made me feel safe to know staff is watching out for us both whilst working and during days off.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Fun experience!

I really enjoyed this teaching program although the workload was very full on. But the only problem I encountered was I felt that I was not able to prepare my lessons as well as I would have liked.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Fell in love with teaching!

I found this trip very enjoyable I'm every aspect. Working with the children and novices was the best aspect of this trip for me. I really loved teaching and I enjoyed the challenge of running a classroom and being in charge of lesson planning.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great chance to experience another culture

The whole experience was very positive - the staff, schools, students, local community, volunteers and being part of a different life and culture.

I don't think that teachers/trainers need basic training in general teaching techniques. The training in local teaching methods was very useful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I felt that I was helping to make a difference

The most positive experience was the hands on time spent with the students and to feel like I was contributing to the program. I enjoyed all aspects of the program. The interaction with other volunteers, the town and people of Luang Prabang, the staff and the assistance provided by all of them.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It's nice to have a positive impact on the lives of students!

Next time I will definitely do a longer program, two weeks was not long enough and went way too fast. Tricia is doing an amazing job over there. It is great to see someone so dedicated to the cause. I got to experience so much in my two weeks, it is hard to pick a favourite thing. The highlights would definitely include mixing with a diverse bunch of volunteers, going to chanting (at a temple where many of the novice monks were taught by GVI volunteers), experience a number of local cultural festivals, the food, the amazing generosity of the locals... I can't pin point one thing, it was an amazing experience and I will definitely be involved in a program with GVI again in the future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great opportunity!

Working with Novice Monks was truly an unforgettable great experience. The GVI staff on site were amazing and lovely people. My teaching schedule allowed a good balance between volunteer work and sightseeing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great people!

It was awesome meeting the other volunteers, the staff of GVI and the student themselves.

Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond their control we could not teach the Novice Monks in the temples which was disappointing. It was still could to teach them but in the library the monks were often distracted and there were many inappropriately dressed tourists talking to them and not in appropriate ways.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was such an overwhelming positive experience!

Highlights of my experience in Laos:

(1) The professionalism of the whole program and how it was run was excellent and therefore created an amazing experience.
(2) The extraordinary experience of teaching and getting to know novice monks.
(3) The accommodation was beyond my expectations.
(4) I felt the inclusiveness and bonding of the volunteers (regardless of age, nationality etc) for the common purpose of teaching English was wonderful.

Thank you GVI! :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Efficient and financially transparent

I love teaching the novice monks. They are simply delightful and so enthusiastic. I miss them and want to go back to give them more of my time.

It is well-organised, efficient and financially transparent, which cannot be said for all such voluntary schemes.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I was so impressed by the organisation and staff!

Everything about my experience was positive! The organisation was the most impressive thing I think, and I most enjoyed getting in the classroom and teaching! Closely followed by exploring the beautiful Luang Prabang, and spending time with my fellow volunteers, staff and locals.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Well-organized program

My most positive experience with this program was the teaching and being with the novices. It was great visiting a completely different country in Asia for the first time. And Working with amazing, positive volunteers.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life

Working with such a dedicated team in Trish, Molly and Greg made the entire experience amazing. They were not simply doing job. Their interest and enthusiasm for the project was infectious and it was hard not to want to do my best even when I fell ill. I was extremely privileged to work with some of the most wonderful students at Wat Passaviet and Xayadet college along with Mr Beng and Xai who were both supportive and made me feel very welcome and at home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Enjoyed the whole experience!

The staff were awesome and the people that GVI accepted as volunteers were very well suited. We all got on extremely well in part I think because the staff made us feel very welcome and were friendly, supportive and professional. The students provided a great experience in teaching and lesson planning was relatively easy once we were trained. The accommodation was very good. Loved the town and being given an allowance for food meant we could experience the incredible array of eating places. Also with our schedules we managed to see a lot of the things we would have seen if we were on holiday. We were treated very well by everybody so it was overall a very positive experience, thank you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This was too big of an experience to not want to do again!

The best thing about the program was that we became a part of the community. I have established invaluable relationships with the students and their eagerness and positive nature continues to surprise me to the core.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Everything was amazing!

Teaching the students was the best part of my trip. Every moment of the teaching was positive. The social aspect of the program (with volunteers and staff alike) was incredible also and really added to the whole experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The experience of teaching in Laos was life changing

My most positive experiences mostly involved being able to form meaningful relationships with the local community - the classes that I taught as well as other locals that I came into contact with for a variety of reasons. I enjoyed being able to spend a significant amount of time with the same classes, giving us both a chance to get to know one another, as well as learning the Lao language while I was over there.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Really enjoyed this experience!

Laos is an amazing country, and GVI made the experience even more amazing. The staff and other volunteers were an incredible group of people, everyone so inspiring and devoted to the program and its goals.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing staff support!

The program was amazing! The support given by GVI was faultless and I loved the children. It was such a positive experience working with the Lao children and being with an energetic group of other volunteers is a plus.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The experiences are like nothing else

The teaching! I loved working with all the students. It was great how eager they were to learn. I also found that meeting people from all around the world was an amazingly positive experience. I know I've made friends that will last forever.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Will definitely participate again

I love spending time in the class room with the Buddhist novices. Also getting to know a new country and place in "slow motion mode" instead of rushing through as most travellers. If resources allow, I would definitely do the program again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Loved everything!

Where to start? The opportunity to teach in temples as fantastic. The staff were very supportive and helpful and quickly responded to any concerns. Working with volunteers from all around the world was great and the age mix was good - the young volunteer energy was infectious and I think the maturity of the older volunteers helped the younger ones. It was great living in Luang Prabang for 6 weeks and getting to know (superficially) local people - being acknowledged by locals when you walk down the street and having a laugh when you try and speak Lao. Teaching in temples was a privilege and while I found it very frustrating that girls have fewer opportunities than boys, I hope I was able to make a difference.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Enjoyed my time on the project!

What I enjoyed most about my GVI experience was the opportunity to interact with local members of the community and to teach novice monks. Whilst I was there, I also participated on the GVI Charitable Trust Challenge giving alms to monks every morning. A once in a lifetime experience! I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the programme and was impressed by the hard work, passion and dedication on the project manager and field staff.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation