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Volunteer with Buddhist Novice Monks in Laos
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Volunteer with Buddhist Novice Monks in Laos

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Be an english teacher in Laos

I taught buddhist novices and monks for a month in Laos. It was an amazing experience!
The students want to learn and are really active during the lesson. The local are kind and Luang Prabang is a beautiful city. GVI is really organized and the staff member are welcoming, fun and always here to help.
I couldn't expected more and I'm definitely going back next summer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Fun, challenging and overwhelming

On January 5th, 2017, I took off from Paris to Luang Prabang for 2 months of English teaching to students, Novices and Monks. What a delight! after 3 days of intense teaching on the methods, customs and more, we were put in pairs and already were there teaching to more than 30 students or up to 60 Novices and/or Monks - Doing our best to bring to them what we knew from what they already did. I met wonderful people, students of course but not only. I got great support from staff and of course other volunteers. People I can only say that I will stay in touch with because we shared so much, it was so intense, so much fun, challenging and overwhelming. And then you have to leave and from the poems, the letters, the cards, the bracelets you are offered, it suddenly hits you on how much with just caring, attention and I guess love, you were able to give to all these wonderful people – THANK YOU.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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 Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Enjoyed my time with the locals!

I enjoyed the orientation and training by Molly and Pat. Their presentations were well organized, concise, informative, and fun. Molly and Pat truly cared about the volunteers and gave their time to answer questions to help the volunteers make the most of their teaching and leisure time. I enjoyed learning about the Laotian people and culture through the teaching experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

It was a great introduction to volunteering

I loved living in a different culture for a month. I loved the novices. I enjoyed the variation of teaching. I ended up having monk as a staff coach and my next weeks were awesome! Felt like it was a great introduction to volunteering.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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 Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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 Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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 Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Amazing experience!

The programme is long term and obviously appreciated and has great links with local schools and organisations. I enjoyed being 'not just a tourist'. I enjoyed feeling like part of a 'volunteer family', living in a friendly guest-house with the other volunteers.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

I am very happy with my experience!

Making friends with the other volunteers- they were not my age so weren't people I would usually become close to so that was special. It was great getting used to teaching and connecting to my classes. Activities on the weekend were also very fun.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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 Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Amazing Experience!

It was such a positive experience teaching the children for the entire time and seeing the difference it made to them.

Although, the website states all meals are provided, however this is not true, money is provided for a very basic food allowance. I think it should state 'food heavily subsidized or money provided for basic meals'.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Enjoyed teaching!

I liked the opportunity to teach English in a more formal setting, as I had previous experience of helping locals in foreign countries to learn/improve their English ( as a volunteer) whilst working in micro-finance projects in emerging economies since 1993. I enjoyed the experience of teaching.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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 Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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 Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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 Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Great team of volunteers

Loved the time spent with novice monks and seeing their progress, great team in my wave, Luang Pradang is a special place.

Unfortunately, meal allowance is not adequate for all volunteers so it needs supplementing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day 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.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation