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This educational initiative serves the less privileged families and children of Vientiane with the aim of improving the students’ English language skills and developing their interests and ambitions in different fields.
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Location of the Project:  Vientiane, Laos
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Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 8 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Wattay International Airport (VTE)
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Volunteer Work:  Teaching and child care
Age:  18 - 60. Exceptions: This project accepts volunteers who are 16-17 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 20 international volunteers

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Double or quad rooms at guesthouse
Food:  Three meals a day (excluding lunch on the weekends)
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Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses, lunch on the weekends
You will be staying in the village of Ban Houakhoua just outside of Vientiane, the capital and largest city of Laos. Known as the “City of Sandalwood,” Vientiane is located on the banks of the Mekong River and is one of the quainter cities of Southeast Asia. The city is knowm for its immaculate roadside gardens, spotless streets and symmetrical architecture. This French-inspired city is slow-paced, laid-back and a nice respite from the typical bustle of Southeast Asia.
The school has about 60 students between the ages of 4 and 12, all of whom are in need of additional educational assistance. As a volunteer, you will be responsible for teaching English language classes at the local primary school in accordance with the school’s curriculum. This involves teaching basic English grammar, vocabulary and conversational phrases, as well as creating practical, real-life situations that are fun for the children to role-play while utilizing their English. You will also organize and lead extra-curricular classes in English that vary in content, but typically include playing games and sports, singing songs and arts-and-crafts projects.
 
A typical day: 9:00 am to 11:00 am will be time for you to prepare lessons and activities for your upcoming classes in the afternoon. At 12:00 pm you’ll have lunch, followed by teaching English from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. You’ll have time to meet with fellow volunteers and staff to evaluate the day and plan for the next day at 5:30 pm, and then dinner is served at 6:00 pm. Your evenings will be free to either explore the local sights or participate in the site's weekly events such as movie nights, karaoke and barbeques. You have Saturday and Sunday off to relax after a week of teaching or to explore the area.

Holidays: Volunteers will have the day off on most public holidays, with the opportunity to join in the local festivities. The education program is also affected by school holidays, and those who are enrolled in the project during these times have the opportunity to join in English teaching camps organized with the local Buddhist monks at a nearby temple. Although the exact dates are subject to change depending on the local schools' plans, the tentative dates of these holidays are:
  • Mid January - Early February, 2018
  • May 25 - June 1, 2018
  • Mid January - Start of February, 2019
  • End of May- Start of September, 2019
Volunteer work does not take place during national holidays, but you are always welcome to join in the local celebration.
Please note these consecutive holidays, which may impact short-term placements, before registering:
  • Apr 14 - 16, 2018
  • Oct 24-25, 2018
  • Dec 2-3, 2018
  • Dec 25-31, 2018
  • April 14-16, 2019
Internet
Internet:  WiFi at the accommodations is limited. Volunteers can purchase a local SIM card and data plan that work best for them, if more coverage is needed.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry services are not provided.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in single-gender dorms with up to 6 people. All rooms have a Western style toilet and shower. There is no hot water.
Food:  From Monday-Friday, three meals a day are provided and served at the guesthouse. Breakfast will be American-style and lunch and dinner will include typical Laotian dishes, consisting of rice, noodles, meat and/or fish with plenty of fresh fruit. On the weekends, only breakfast and dinner are provided. Most meals will include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options; however, we ask that you please inform us ahead of time if you have dietary restrictions to ensure that we can plan accordingly.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Police clearance
  • Good level of English
  • Motivation to work with children 
  • Able to work in hot and humid climate
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • Teaching experience preferred, but not necessary
  • CV/Resume to be submitted upon registration
Near the accommodations you will find temples and authentic, rural Laotian scenery. Many volunteers head to the country’s largest city and capital, Vientiane, in the afternoons. Some sights you will find there include:
  • Patuxai - Vientiane’s take on the Arc de Triomphe and their own victory monument. You can climb it to enjoy the panoramic views!
  • Wat Si Muang - A Buddhist temple for those who want to absorb some religious culture.
  • Night Market - Every evening at the Mekong river, this is the place to be for locals as well as tourists.
Orientation Culture Week (Highly Recommended, Not Included): 
For an additional fee you can begin your stay for a week, with a program that includes Laotian cooking lessons, language classes and tours to learn more about the Laotian people, culture and customs. Visit some of Laos' highlights, such as the Golden Pagoda, Victory Monument and lush hiking trails through caves and mountains. This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in this truly remarkable country while also getting to know the other volunteers on your project.
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