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Vietnam Volunteer & Travel Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A trip that changed my life

It is impossible to describe how I felt about my overall experience at the Idex house in Southern Vietnam. I tremendously am grateful for this opportunity. In as little as two weeks, I was able to expand my knowledge of Vietnam. The truth is, I can speak both vietnamese and english. So it was easy for me to get around. I chose this to volunteer in Vietnam because I wanted to see it from a different perspective. I've been there twice before but that was when I was a tourist. Upon arriving at the Idex house, I was welcomed by Mr. Mojan. He was our housekeeper and chef. It was my first time eating Indian food, and let's just say, India's curry is not the same as here in the states. And than Mr. Sohan, he was so welcoming and always available when I had questions. He also sat down, talk to me, and ask for my opinion. The only thing I regretted about this trip was not spending more time than I had wished. Everyone was staying there from as little as a month to a couple of months. I was only there for two. Would I come back? For sure. Also the people at the community centers where we volunteered was very welcoming. I was stationed at the teaching project and there I helped girls around my age to enhance their english but also teach them how to properly do interviews and speak. Every time when I mentioned a favorite food or drink, the sisters would take time out of their busy life and make it. Although my time there has ended, but I do look forward in coming back and helping out. I really miss the friends I made at the volunteer house, but also the girls that I taught. Trust me, you won't regret this trip. I cannot wait to hop back on that plane and say "Hello Vietnam" again. Sincerely, Kathy

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Teaching English in Ho Chi Minh

I spent 3 weeks working with IDEX last summer on a teaching project in Saigon. My experience in Vietnam was a truly remarkable, and I don't say that lightly.
The IDEX team in Vietnam were kind, dedicated, considerate and beyond helpful for my entire stay. They always wanted our feedback about every aspect of our time their, and would never failed to have any issues resolved within one week. Their dedication to the volunteers of providing a holistic experience was admirable and added greatly to my time there, their genuine concern and interest in our safety made every day worry-free, and I am grateful to have made such encouraging and influential lifetime friends.
As per the volunteering aspect, I found teaching english at Son Ky orphanage a pleasure every day. The kids were energetic and always passionate about learning english. I seldom had a difficult child and staff were always their for support and to translate anything. I never thought I would enjoy teaching so much or have the motivation to prepare lessons etc, but the environment at Son Ky is like nothing else and I looked forward to coming to work every day to see my class improve little by little. Also, by spending every day around Vietnamese people I met loads of Vietnamese people my own age who invited me to their homes, showed me their city and really immersed me in their lives, always eager for me to try the food and give me tips about my travelling.
Ho Chi Minh is a fantastic city to live and work in. As a transitional city it has everything you could ever need from the western world if you're feeling home sick, but with the incredible street food, nightlife (often featuring karaoke), diverse people, wealth of sights and harrowing history, you'll rarely be tempted back to the west so much so that I actually ended up extending my stay.
The great thing about volunteering is that you also have you're weekends free to travel. This way I had the opportunity to see the whole of Vietnam and not just one city. From Sapa to old town Hoi An, Dalat and Phu Qouc, and the amazing Halong Bay, I really fell in love with the country and got a great first taste of South East Asia.
Volunteering isn't for everyone and either is Vietnam but if you're easy going, open to new things and looking for a completely different experience I really can't recommend this program enough, from the transparency with every penny spent and the security I was so lucky to have in a completely different world. I'll always remember flying home from Vietnam and thinking I really did not have one bad day my whole time there.