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Volunteer in Mai Chau, Vietnam for teaching

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Love teaching in Mai Chau very much

My time teaching English in Mai Chau was one of the most rewarding and unforgettable experiences of my life. I taught adults and children in a local school for up to three hours per day and in the evening stayed with a wonderful lady called Xuan, who took care of me as if I was a member of her own family. Staying with Xuan meant that I had many opportunities to experience the customs and lifestyle of the White Thai people as well as enjoying guided tours of the local area and beautiful surroundings. Mai Chau is the kind of place you can easily work in without knowing the language as the locals are so friendly and always willing to help with a smile.
At the end of the three weeks I was so pleased with how my students had progressed from barely understanding English to confidently playing games and singing songs with me. Being the only English speaking teacher in the school was a big challenge for me but it certainly kept things interesting and helped me develop my own language and communication skills.
David is an absolute credit to Vina Volunteer Service and made sure I was comfortable during my stay and accompanied me to the school to introduce me to the staff and translate for me, as well as providing me with all the information I needed upon arrival. He is clearly passionate about caring for volunteers and making your stay as comfortable as possible. When I continued my travels after the program, Vina Volunteer Service gave me the confidence to travel alone to my next destination with the peace of mind that I had support available if I needed it. The fact that VVS is a small organization does not affect the service at all, and I would like to thank the friendly, honest and caring staff for making my stay so enjoyable and worthwhile.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

2 weeks of memorable experiences

From the moment I joined the group of enthusiastic volunteers in Mai Chau right to the end of my experience volunteering, Vina Volunteer Services have helped me to fulfil my dreams of seeing Vietnam in a safe and caring environment that allowed me to relax and have fun. Registration was a painless and easy process, and the staff managed to answer all of my questions with no problems so I could feel at ease right away. I was slightly nervous about travelling alone but I soon found my feet when I was promptly collected at the airport by the very friendly Mr. Nguyen who explained all about the projects that happen amongst the communities in Mai Chau.
The astonishing beauty of the fog covered mountains and rice fields in Mai Chau coupled with the smell of delicious authentic food simmering away as you arrive into the village is an unforgettable and welcoming experience for your senses. I met and stayed with Ms. Xuan and her partner who welcomed me with open arms and immediately took care of my luggage. Both of them made every effort to make sure that I was happy and comfortable and although their English was limited they were excellent hosts. Ms. Xuan was also kind enough to prepare my meals for me which I have to say were irresistible.
My first day of teaching in the elementary school was quite nerve-wracking at first, but the children were so friendly and willing to learn that by the end of the first day I felt like I had been doing the job for weeks. I also brought some art supplies with me so that the children could practice using their English in a fun and creative way. They really seemed to pick words up easily and it was so rewarding to see them progress so quickly after only a few days. I was also privileged enough to teach some young women in a shop in Hoa Ban who wanted to learn how to socialise with tourists and tell them stories about their work. Each evening I would spend one hour with them discussing their work and listening to them tell me funny stories about their lives whilst teaching them basic words in English. One of the ladies particularly impressed me as she had lost her leg in an accident and was living in Hoa Ban after being rejected from her arranged marriage due to her disability. Their spirits were always high even though to most of the world they seem like the poorest of people.
Ms. Xuan gave me a tour of the surrounding area and even helped me to witness an arranged marriage taking place in the village which was so interesting to see first hand. The work done by VVS is small scale, but it makes such an enormous difference to the lives of the people living within the communities. The experience working as an English teacher has made such a positive impact on my life that I would urge anyone with an interest in experiencing different cultures to get involved in a similar project.