Vietnam – Medical Placement in Ho Chi Minh

Get your scrubs on for this rare opportunity to shadow local medical professionals and gain insight into the Vietnamese healthcare system. You will experience a new culture and working environment as they guide you through different tasks and activities. This program is ideal for people currently working or studying in the medical field.


Program Highlights:

  • Experience the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s largest city
  • Assist and observe clinicians in a government-operated hospital
  • Learn about the health care system in Vietnam
  • Receive a certificate of accomplishment upon program completion.
  • Gain international work and cultural experience
  • Explore outdoor markets, temples and more during free time
  • You can enhance your Vietnam experience by adding our Culture Week in Ho Chi Minh (see additional options below).


Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Sunday: Arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). You will be picked up by the local team and transferred to your accommodations on a college campus in Ho Chi Minh.

Day 1, Monday: If this is your first week, and you have signed up for Culture Week, you will start with an orientation with fellow participants comprising a tour of Ho Chi Minh’s cultural icons, Vietnamese language and culture classes. If you did not sign up for Culture Week, we will give you a brief orientation on Monday and begin your placement on Tuesday.

Days 2-5, Tuesday-Friday: At the beginning of your placement, you will start with a full introduction to the hospital. You will also discuss your upcoming role, as you shadow and observe local medical professionals in a variety of settings throughout the hospital in Ho Chi Minh. You may have opportunities to take part in basic triage, wound care, blood pressure measurement, and medication preparation.

Days 7-8, Saturday-Sunday: The weekend is free for volunteers to relax or travel.

Remaining Weeks: Remaining weeks will follow the pattern of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on a Saturday.


Location icon Location of the Project: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Project length Project length: Minimum 2 weeks (13 days) – Maximum 8 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Shadowing medical professionals

Age Age:  18-60

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 20 international volunteers

Important Note Important Note: The hospital is bound by government regulations and cannot allow international participants to perform tasks independently. For this reason, it is best suited to pre-medical or medical students, hoping to gain more insight into the Vietnamese healthcare system.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared dorm room on college campus, up to 8 people per room.

Food Food: Three meals are provided during the weekdays, and two meals are provided on weekend days.

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Airport pick up is included on arrival day

Orientation Orientation: All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival

Support 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, navy scrubs or rent on arrival, personal expenses, daily transport to project location, weekend lunches, airport drop off

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam’s largest city, has completely transformed over the last two decades because of Doi Moi, the 1986, widespread economic reform. It went from a war-ravaged city to a flourishing metropolis, putting it in a position to rival Bangkok and other Asian powerhouses. The city’s gushing success can be seen in its five-star restaurants, fancy hotels, topnotch bars and clubs and luxury shops. However, much remains to be done to improve and expand the social and health services for its residents.


This project offers the opportunity to observe Vietnamese doctors, nurses or therapists while learning about the hospital’s medical practices and treatment methods. The hospital has an x-ray room, a children’s ward, an adult ward, a physiotherapy department, as well as an operating theatre, all of which participants may be actively involved in. You may also observe staff in the acupuncture and occupational/physical therapy departments. The project will start with an introduction to the hospital equipment, the operating procedures and the staff with whom you will be working. They will then assign you to either a nurse, staff member or a doctor, whom you will shadow for the rest of your placement.


Some of your tasks may include:

  • Measuring blood pressure
  • Monitoring patients
  • Observation in various departments, such as X-ray room, Rehab, Speech Therapy and Acupuncture
  • Helping in the children’s or adult’s ward (depending on the need at the time)


A typical day: You will be at the hospital five-six hours per day (not including travel time), Monday-Friday. There is usually a two-hour break. Depending on the needs of the hospital at the time and your level of medical experience, you will shadow doctors performing medical procedures, or other hospital staff members.


Please note: because of patient safety and local licensing regulations, this placement is primarily a shadowing opportunity. Not all doctors have a high level of English.

Holidays: During public holidays, volunteers can join the local celebrations. Please inquire about the exact dates.


Internet icon Internet: There is Wi-Fi in the accommodation and Internet cafes nearby. We suggest buying a Sim with 4G in Vietnam.

Laundry icon  Laundry: Laundry service is available on every Tuesday for an extra fee, or around $1 per kilo.

Accommodations icon  Accommodations: You will stay in the dormitories of a college campus. There is an air- conditioner in every room. Rooms are single-gender and shared with up to eight people. They are basic but comfortable, with bunk beds. 5 uni-sex bathrooms and 2 single gender bathrooms are available on campus. There is one public self service area with local tea and coffee. Volunteers are required to follow campus regulations, including a 12:00 AM curfew.

Food icon  Food: Three meals a day are provided and two during the weekend. Meals are typically Vietnamese, but also include some Western dishes.


  • Minimum age of 18
  • Police clearance
  • Able to work in a humid climate
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • You must have an established medical background — studying on a pre-medical track, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, occupational/physical therapy, or working in a relevant field.
  • You will need to submit your qualifications (Medical study transcripts) and CV/Resume and a copy of your passport by email at least two weeks before beginning the program. We will send your documents to the hospital for review.
  • You need to bring your own blue scrubs or rent on arrival

Culture Week in Ho Chi Minh (Highly Recommended):
For an additional fee, you can extend your stay for a week, with a program designed to introduce you to Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese culture, as well as give you time to get to know the other volunteers. During the week, you will visit some of Vietnam’s iconic landmarks, market places and visit the most atmospheric temple and Cu Chi Tunnel. You’ll take cooking and language lessons, learn about making bracelets and get an understanding of Vietnam’s past, present and future.

Volunteer Experiences

Want to join this program?