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Volunteer with Buddhist Novice Monks in Laos

Enhance the education of novice Buddhist monks as well as other members of the local community while learning about the local culture

Program Details

Program Type

Volunteering

Location

Asia - Laos - Luang Prabang

Program Focus

Teaching

2 weeks from

£945.00

Code: LALP0120P
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Program Information

Discover Laos' ancient city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and teach English to Buddhist novice monks, improving the quality of their education and enabling them to access more opportunities and bring a higher quality of life for their families. Visit local sites such as the Mekong river, beautiful waterfalls and breath-taking mountains in your spare time.
Overview
Project Life
Project Details
Free Time
The Team
Dates & Costs

Overview

The beautiful ancient city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World heritage site, is situated in northern central Laos. Teach English in this idyllic setting, at the meeting of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, famous for its Buddhist temples and monasteries.

Many young men in Laos will choose to become monks so that they can access education and escape poverty. Temples do provide inexpensive education although teachers are often stretched beyond capacity making it hard to provide all students with the attention they deserve.

Highlights include…

Have the rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school;  learn about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language; visit local sights; enjoy a weekend break on the banks of the Mekong River.

Volunteering on this project you will teach English to these students, improving the quality of their education. This will enable them to access more opportunities and bring a higher quality of life for their families.

Testimonials

"It was an amazing experience. To be able to interact with young novice Buddhist monks and know that you are actually making a positive impact on them seems almost a little surreal at first but then becomes so common place that it takes a moment when one grasps you on the arm and says “You are a very good teacher” to bring home exactly what you are doing.

But that is only a small part of it. The people that I met are what really made the Laos project something that will have a special place in my heart forever."

- Greg Wright, (Australia)

GVI Live

These updates cover all programs in this location

GVI Luang Prabang

Novice Monks enjoying a game of Apples to Apples with GVI-Laos volunteers as their warm-up to English class http://t.co/OnwumdBjZH
July 31, 2014

GVI Luang Prabang

Come volunteer in Laos and give morning alms to your students or just sit back and watch this calming daily ritual http://t.co/4A68IZUVOx
July 24, 2014

GVI Blogs

3 DAYS AGO
Volunteer with Children
  By laos

Students

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Parents

Why Study Abroad

GVI Difference

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Course Life

You will work with a wide variety of students teaching both practical and conversational English across different levels. The challenging but rewarding role will provide a unique insight into the Laotian culture.

You will work on the project Monday to Friday, weekends providing an opportunity to relax and explore.

You will live in Luang Prabang where Southeast Asian architecture and French colonial mansions collide to create a beautiful and unique setting. Accommodation is in a centrally located guesthouse with electricity and shared rooms and bathroom.

Receiving a weekly food budget you can sample the local cuisine whilst exploring your new home and mingling with locals.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Course Details

Many students in Laos have a strong desire to learn English which can create more employment opportunities improving their economic situation. This increased demand for English lessons and a severe lack of teachers has made classes extremely overcrowded resulting in a deterioration of quality.

We aim to improve the quality of current English programs by providing more native speaking teachers to the temples, schools and education center in the area will help increase access to learning the English language therefore providing a higher level of education for individual students.

How this project makes a difference:

In the ancient city of Luang Prabang, English is the most popular subject in school and it is not uncommon to see a high student to teacher ratio. You will be able to help these eager students learn English and receive a quality education.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Life on the Internship

You will work with a wide variety of students teaching both practical and conversational English across different levels. The challenging but rewarding role will provide a unique insight into the Laotian culture.

You will work on the project Monday to Friday, weekends providing an opportunity to relax and explore.

You will live in Luang Prabang where Southeast Asian architecture and French colonial mansions collide to create a beautiful and unique setting. Accommodation is in a centrally located guesthouse with electricity and shared rooms and bathroom.

Receiving a weekly food budget you can sample the local cuisine whilst exploring your new home and mingling with locals.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Program Details

Many students in Laos have a strong desire to learn English which can create more employment opportunities improving their economic situation. This increased demand for English lessons and a severe lack of teachers has made classes extremely overcrowded resulting in a deterioration of quality.

We aim to improve the quality of current English programs by providing more native speaking teachers to the temples, schools and education center in the area will help increase access to learning the English language therefore providing a higher level of education for individual students.

How this project makes a difference:

In the ancient city of Luang Prabang, English is the most popular subject in school and it is not uncommon to see a high student to teacher ratio. You will be able to help these eager students learn English and receive a quality education.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Project Life

You will work with a wide variety of students teaching both practical and conversational English across different levels. The challenging but rewarding role will provide a unique insight into the Laotian culture.

You will work on the project Monday to Friday, weekends providing an opportunity to relax and explore.

You will live in Luang Prabang where Southeast Asian architecture and French colonial mansions collide to create a beautiful and unique setting. Accommodation is in a centrally located guesthouse with electricity and shared rooms and bathroom.

Receiving a weekly food budget you can sample the local cuisine whilst exploring your new home and mingling with locals.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Project Details

Many students in Laos have a strong desire to learn English which can create more employment opportunities improving their economic situation. This increased demand for English lessons and a severe lack of teachers has made classes extremely overcrowded resulting in a deterioration of quality.

We aim to improve the quality of current English programs by providing more native speaking teachers to the temples, schools and education center in the area will help increase access to learning the English language therefore providing a higher level of education for individual students.

How this project makes a difference:

In the ancient city of Luang Prabang, English is the most popular subject in school and it is not uncommon to see a high student to teacher ratio. You will be able to help these eager students learn English and receive a quality education.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Free Time

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Luang Prabang field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Laos!

Optional Side Trips

On your weekends or while off project, the following short trips are popular with our volunteers and should definitely be checked out! Swim in the crystal clear water of the Kuang Si waterfall, enjoy the cascades and walk to the top of the falls to enjoy the beautiful view of the course of the water below. There is also a protected bear camp at the falls that is well worth a visit; take a ride on the Mekong River to visit the historical Pak Ou Caves that hold thousands of Buddha images. Visit the “Jar Maker” and weaving villages on your way back to watch the weavers at work; a short ride out of town, you can kayak on the Nam Khan River, discovering village life, beautiful countryside and lush green mountains along the way; visiting the Royal Palace Museum and the beautiful temples of Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai; discover the Tad Sae waterfall, a multi-level limestone formation that creates numerous cascading pools; cycle through the Luang Prabang valley and experience the daily life of the local people, passing temple ruins and handicraft villages.

Further Travelling Opportunities

If you have the time and budget, there are a number of opportunities for exploring Laos further. These could include visiting the World Heritage-listed ancient temple of Wat Phu Champasak, the nature reserve of Nam Ha Npa, the dramatic Mekong River, the travellers’ adventure hotspot of Vang Vieng, and many more.

Even further afield, the likes of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all border Laos and are a travellers dream with an endless list of possibilities and activities. You’ll be left wondering why you didn’t stay for longer!

 

The Team

Chloe Juyon
Country Expert

Meet Chloe, our resident frenchie. She initially joined us on the Mexico Dive Master Internship in 2010. “After that, I went back to find a ‘proper’ job, but it just wasn’t for me.” She reconnected with Richard to see how GVI’s French extension was going. His response? “Haven’t done anything yet, still interested, can you relocate to Cape Town?” Two months later, Chloe was at HQ in the Mother City!

‘CJ’ as she’s also known, likens herself to Christopher Johnson McCandless from ‘Into the Wild’ and recommends that no-one ever travel without an iPod and a good book.

Chloe’s lived in 9 countries (so far), including New Zealand, when she was very young, which is where our favourite Chloe story is set… Not yet able to speak English, a school outing to a farm show turned into a disaster when she misunderstood instructions to feed milk to a lamb, and much to the hilarity of the crowd, thought she was in a milk-drinking competition!

Greg Wright
Field Staff

Meet Greg, one of our field staff in Luang Prabang. He volunteered with GVI in Laos, Nepal and South Africa before joining the team in Laos.

Greg’s highlights since working for GVI? “So many! Being blessed by a Buddhist Monk due to his gratitude of the work that we have been doing, being greeted by locals in the street as a member of the community rather than as a tourist, and having volunteers return to the project again and again because they got so much from it.”

What does Greg like to do in his spare time around Luang Prabang? “Everything from boat rides to zip lining and white water rafting! Otherwise, visiting any of the 37 Temples within a 20 minute walk, exploring the myriad of small roads and laneways with their shops, or just sitting at a café with for an afternoon with a good book, watching the boats on the Mekong.”

Molly Plexico
Field Staff

Meet Molly, one of our field staff in Luang Prabang. A former English teacher, Molly is a great resource to have at base, helping take volunteers though their TEFL courses.

Molly’s favourite aspect of her job? “Being able to teach Novice Buddhist Monks is such an amazing experience. Spending time in the breath-taking temples and being invited to join the community in their festivals, being invited into their homes and included in their customs is really an honour.

When she’s not working, Molly likes to be outdoors, running, cycling or exploring the local area. “I love to go cycling through the traditional villages outside of the city to visit the weaving village, silver village and even a pottery village!”

Jill Walker
Assistant Director of Programs

Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she’s based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”

When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”

What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”

Tricia Feeney
Project Manager

Meet Tricia, our Project Manager in Luang Prabang. She joined GVI as a volunteer in Laos in 2008. She fell in love with the location, the work and the students, and we could see it, so when a position became available in 2009, we knew who to call.

When she’s not working, she likes tending to her garden, and her most interesting discovery so far has been learning little by little about the interesting and complicated nature of the Lao community.

Tricia’s passionate about teaching, she’s been a teacher most of her working life. One of her favourite aspects of her job is helping the volunteers with their teaching skills and lesson planning, but the ultimate highlight for her? “The joy that the volunteers express at being a part of the work that we do here.”

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What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A guided tour of Luang Prabang to show you the sights and point out the best restaurants, internet cafe’s, banks, etc.
  • Learning about Lao culture, history, food, religion and language
  • Your own room in guesthouse accommodation in the ancient city Luang Prabang
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques, language, culture and religion
  • The rare opportunity to work closely with novice monks in a temple school

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Our Impact

Location

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is the former royal capital of Laos, a relaxing town located on the Mekong River, about 900 km northeast of Bangkok, Thailand. The fusion of French and Asian culture and charm make for a wonderful setting to experience a unique culture. The 200-year old Wat Siphoutthabat stands at the base of Mt. Phousii in the heart of historic Luang Prabang, the largest school for monks in the city. The surrounding hills contain traditional villages, waterfalls and other scenic pleasures.

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