Handbook for volunteers



A valid passport and a visa are required of all foreigners visiting Vietnam. Vietnamese embassies and consulates in your countries will issue visas to Vietnam. Some overseas offices of Vietnam tourist agencies are able to issue tourist visas. Entry to Vietnam may be refused if your passport has less than six months validity. Please check with the Vietnam embassy or consulate in your country to know more about the procedure; it may differ in other countries.

You should apply for tourist visa at least for the duration of your project in Vietnam. For short-term volunteers, it will be difficult for you to extend your visa. Don’t think about extending your visa once in Vietnam, it also costs much money! Do not complete your visa application until your travel plans are certain. You are required to state your intended ports of arrival and departure (for example, arriving in Hanoi and departing from Ho Chi Minh City). Changing either of these upon or after your arrival could result in a lot of red tape and extra expense. Submit your application along with two standard passport photos, your passport and the required fee.

Don’t start to explain that you come here to be a volunteer, to help the poor children, etc. Except if you want to spend three days of explanation at the embassy and not receive your visa for “national security reasons”. Apply for your visa at least three weeks before to be completely sure to get it on time! Make at least three photocopies of your passport and visa and put them in different places. Give one photocopy to your coordinator. Keep the other photocopies for yourself. It can be very difficult if you lose your papers. If you lose your passport or if you over stay you will need to apply for a new visa from the Immigration authorities in order to leave the country. This can only be done during working hours and usually takes three to five working days. For further information, check with your nearest Vietnamese Embassy.



Do not travel without insurance: An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive! The volunteers need to have their own travel insurance and medical insurance. So please make sure you got adequate insurance coverage.

What should your travel insurance policy cover at least?
– Medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad
– 24-hour emergency service and assistance
– Personal liability covers in case you are sued for causing injury or damaging property
– Lost and stolen possessions cover
– Cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover


hospital 2

You can find a good quality medicine infrastructure in the big cities and hospitals with foreign doctors (at the “French Hospital” or “International SOS hospital” in Hanoi) but these private hospitals are extremely expensive that’s why you absolutely need to have a good travel assurance before to start your trip! We advise you to visit a physician and your dentist before coming, also to check your vaccination status on time!

– Malaria / Paludism: you don’t need to take treatment pills against Malaria/Paludism; there is no malaria in the big cities of vietnam!

– Check if your TETANUS, DIPHTHERIA, POLIO and HEPATITIS A+B vaccination are up- dated. Some doctors here, advice to do a preventive vaccine against fuzz (bird-flu).

– DIARRHOEA is a frequent travel problem. Even when traveling is in good conditions, it is not always possible to avoid it. Ask advice and the correct medications to your pharmacy.

– Vaccination against yellow fever :
* Not compulsory if arriving from Europe, North America, Oceania and Asia
* Compulsory only if arriving or transiting from infected areas

– Additional vaccination(s):
* Japanese encephalitis: vaccination can be justified in case of long-lasting stays in rural areas
* Hepatitis A: vaccination justified
* Hepatitis B: vaccination justified
* Rabies: vaccination can be justified for long-lasting stays or risky trips
* Tetanus-poliomyelitis: vaccination justified
* Typhoid: vaccination justified

We also suggest you bring a simple medical kit. Your doctor should advise you what to include AND HOW TO USE IT; however as a minimum we suggest you bring:
* Aspirin or Paracetamol (for pain or fever)
* Cold and flu tablets
* Anti diarrhea medicines
* Medicines against nausea
* Insect repellant
* Antiseptic and bandages
* Sunscreen and lip balm

(*) For extra info about traveling health advice:

(*) In case of emergency:
International SOS Clinic


1 Dang Thai Mai, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
T: (04) 3934 0666 (Alarm centre)
T: (04) 3826 4545 (Admin)

Family Medical Practice

Van Phuc Compound, 298 Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi (down the side street that runs parallel to Kim Ma)
T: (04) 3843 0748

Vietnam French Hospital


1 Phuong Mai, Dong Da District, Hanoi
T: (04) 3577 1100
Emergency: (04) 3574 1111

Hong Ngoc Hospital

55 Yen Ninh, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
T: (04) 39 275 568

Volunteer experience at CVTD Vietnam

I stayed and worked here for several weeks and had a very fun and rewarding experience. The students are great! The staff is friendly and the food is good. You’ll typically have roommates from Vietnam, whom work for the organization, and then volunteers from all over the Western world (I lived with 2 Vietnamese girls; a German guy; and a girl from each France, England and Spain); super fun group atmosphere.

Eric_workaway 02.2014_015

If you’re looking to spend a few weeks or months saving money and/or doing some service work this is a nice place. The organization has a great mission beyond just the school and I suggest you look into helping them get their vision off the ground there in Northern Vietnam. Be aware that the volunteer apartment is about 45 minutes outside of Hanoi city, but the bus stop isn’t far.

Eric Warren Moffet

Teach English for immigrant children, adult in outskirts of Hanoi and some other provinces in Vietnam

[Code: 2017.12.TO]

Dong Anh Dist., and Soc Son Dist., outskirts of Hanoi. The locality is in the process of urbanization, and as a result of the establishment of Thang Long Industrial Park, Quang Minh Industrial Park,… which leads to mass immigration from nearby rural provinces. Migrant workers accounted for more than half the total number of immigrants in Dong Anh Dist., and Soc Son Dist.,

The programme aims at providing the children with basic English lessons and other extra activities including drawing, music and physical activities in leisure time. The children have 1 – 3 class per day, 3 – 5 days per week, each class lasts for 1.0 – 1.5 hours per day.

cvtd_teaching_english_outkirt_hanoi_01     cvtd_teaching_english_outkirt_hanoi_03     cvtd_teaching_english_outkirt_hanoi_02

Volunteers will be living in the CVTD’s volunteer house in Dong Anh District, 10km from Noi Bai International Airport and 15km from Hanoi Old Quarter.

1. Location:

Dong Anh dist., / Soc Son dist., Hanoi and some provinces in Vietnam

2. Help:

– Teaching English at kindergarten, primary and secondary schools on the outskirts of Hanoi.
– Training in English and career skills for students and youth workers in the Industrial Zone.

✅ Volunteers will do the following:

– Write/prepare the lesson plans for every week/month including teaching aids (materials), games, and activities…
– Teach the lessons.
– Collaborate with teaching assistant to manage the class.
– Give feedback and recommendation to management regarding students’ performance
– Give feedback and success stories on website about your experience volunteering with us.

3. Duration:

From 04 weeks

4. Requirements:

– Volunteers who are fluent in English and have excellent pronunciation and communication skills with English as a second language
– Volunteer, who have teaching experience or have vast experience in volunteering in the field of education in different countries.
– Prioritize native English speakers.
– Strong inter-personal skills and experience in working with people, especially children and young adults.
– Have a laptop for teaching, slide, video, game,…

5. CVTD Fees: Table Of Fees 2017

✅ Volunteer service includes the following:

– Accommodation: Volunteers will be living in the CVTD’s volunteer house in Kim Chung Commune (Bac Thang Long Industrial Zone), Dong Anh District, 10km from Noi Bai International Airport and 15km from Hanoi Old Quarter.
+ Volunteers share their rooms with other volunteers, using bunk beds
+ There is full internet connection in the accommodation.

– Meals: Two meals per day (Lunch and dinner). We do not supply breakfast, but we have full kitchen facilities which you are free to use.

– Transport from CVTD’s volunteer house to the kindgarten, schools or center by bus or Grap moto.
– Airport pick-up at Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi.
– Various scenic visits with students.

– CVTD’s staff is available 24/7 by Online/Telephone or in person to support and guide you. It is extremely safe in Vietnam and there is really nothing to concern about.

❎ Not included:

– Flight tickets
– Visa application fee in home country
– Insurance of any kind. Participants are required to obtain adequate the Travel insurance, Health insurance, etc.,
– Personal items (toothpaste, towels, shampoo, shower gel, soap…).
– Travel during the program and after the formal program is completed
– Stipend – this is a volunteer project, the volunteer will receive no allowance or stipend

✅ More benefits for volunteer/internship:

– Two (2) days off per week
– Volunteers who work at least 3 months: One (1) week off for vacation (Total 07 days every 3 month).
– Participant certificate upon successful completion of the volunteer placement and small gift.


A voluntary work at Hanoi, Vietnam

There are places that have a too strong history and a so different culture from your own that could not be discover only on a journey.

That was what I felt about Vietnam. I wanted to know Southeast Asia and Vietnam was the place that most caught my attention. Anyway, I doubted if this was the place that suited me to spend some time living, considering how rich and interesting is the culture in Southeast Asia and the amount of wonderful places that have to be discovered.


One day, while I was planing my future months somewhere in the south of Asia, I received an email from a portal with international programs in which I was pointed saying ‘VOLUNTARY WORK IN VIETNAM‘ as the subject. In the mail there were more offers of interesting projects, and all of them in Europe and was such a chance that what it came prominent in the email subject was Vietnam, that I decided to contact with the organization that was proposing this voluntary work program.

The deal offered by this NGO in Hanoi city was that volunteers helped children and youth in the suburbs of the city to learn English and in exchange, the organization gave you a place to sleep and food. Actually, they gave something more important that they did not say in the offer of the project: the opportunity to learn the Vietnamese culture. And I, as a journalist I am, there is nothing that fascinates me more when I go to a new place than knowing well the local customs.

After convincing myself for the opportunity, I flew towards Hanoi, where I stayed with a family, the sister of one of the members of the organization, with her husband and her three young children. I don’t deny that it wasn’t hard at the beginning. The cultural shock was strong. In Vietnam there are few people who speak English and, what is more difficult is that many basic gestures with hands don’t always mean the same in all cultures, so most of the time was impossible to understand.

And in many cases, voluntary workers felt strongly that the woman from the family where we lived didn’t want to have us there, until one day, thanks to a neighbor who worked as a translator, we realized that it was not like that at all. There were many more cultural shocks, inevitably, and uncomfortable in many occasions.
Nevertheless, the experience payed off. I had 12 years old students learning very fast, and another group of adults who, with time (it was not so easy to know things when you questioned them by the large language barrier that exists in Vietnam) I knew that they were young rural immigrants from Vietnam, and they had moved to the outskirts of Hanoi, where they studied at night at a school created for workers.

They worked in large factories as Panasonic or Canon creating cameras and smartphones for consumption in the West. In other words, these workers, exploited in the name of communism, which appear on television and we are shocked by their working conditions, were my students, young adorable teenagers, all under 20, with their heads full of dreams and to reach a better future. It was like this because after 10 or 12 hours of daily work, always stood, were attending to night school and were searching three hours free in their weekends to learn English.

In other words, although what the organization proposed to me was that I would teach in exchange for a room and food, what I got was much more: new friends, knowledge of new customs and cultures, learning to handle different situations and, above all, the unconditional love of a people born in other points of the globe, with whom I still keep in touch.

Bárbara Becares
(CVTD’s volunteer)