Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Vietnam from $245

Video and Photos

Sunrise in Houston Chi Minh City
Sunrise in Houston Chi Minh City
Volunteers at the Medical placement
Volunteers at the Medical placement
Some great views
Some great views
Working with local students
Working with local students
Food served
Food served
Food Outreach crew
Food Outreach crew
Saigon by night
Saigon by night
Rice paper
Rice paper

About

Trusted by 100,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and 40+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 4 volunteer project options in Ho Chi Minh and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Vietnam, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

With IVHQ, you can expect to establish real connections within the local community while supporting projects that make a genuine difference.

Highlights
  • IVHQ’s Vietnam program is available year-round, offering a start date on every Monday.
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $245 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 15 and 30 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Ho Chi Minh each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 100,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Popular Programs

Teaching English Project

The aim of this project is to provide assistance to college students in Ho Chi Minh City who are needing to increase their English fluency so they can further their studies in Business Communication, Nursing and Public Relations. This project is well suited to volunteers who are passionate about education and are excited about the opportunity to use the English language to help enhance the career prospects for students in Vietnam.

Medical Project

As a volunteer on our Medical project, you will have the opportunity to experience a new culture, while developing your medical knowledge by gaining an insight into the Vietnamese healthcare system. This is a unique opportunity to gain a greater understanding of differences between medical systems in developed and developing countries. This project is well suited to volunteers on pre-medical and medical students, or those qualified in a relevant medical field.

Special Needs Care Project

As a Special Needs Care volunteer in Vietnam, you will be working within hospitals and community clinics in Ho Chi Minh City, providing support to children and young people, some who have been affected by Agent Orange. This project is best suited to caring and hard-working individuals who are passionate about increasing access to care for young people living with a range of intellectual and physical challenges.

Food Outreach Project

Your role on this project is to provide assistance to a local ‘Soup Kitchen’ to enable them to provide over 500 lunches daily to people from various backgrounds including poor elderly, low-income earners, disabled, students and children. Poverty is still widespread throughout Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh has a large population of people who are unable to afford regular nutritional meals.

Questions & Answers

For sure, all ages welcome, I volunteered with families, seniors, young adults and mature adults 😊

Reviews

97%
based on 38 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 38
Default avatar
Nina
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My returning trip to Vietnam

My returning trip to Vietnam was an amazing experience. As a prior volunteer, I was excited to work hands on with fellow volunteers and staff. The doctors and nurses were very friendly and happy to answer my questions. I learned more from the different departments of the hospital than last year. My volunteer friends were one of the main highlights of my IVHQ trip because we got to experience the culture and work together. Even though I was able to communicate to the doctors and patients in Vietnamese, I learned that laughter has no language barrier. Overall, I am thankful for another opportunity to volunteer with IVHQ! I would recommend this program for anyone interested in helping the community, learning new culture and meeting new people!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The unfamiliar things I ate were snails and frog legs!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nina, thank you for your review! I'm so pleased you have had another wonderful experience volunteering with us and it sounds like you have made some friends for a lifetime. We would love to have you volunteer with IVHQ for a third time! Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Kimberly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Wow! IVHQ was an amazing program and they really prepared me for my time abroad. The programs were reasonably priced (unlike some of their competitors!) Everything was included as well, which definitely eased some of my worries before the trip. There were very clear instructions leading up to my trip and they were very receptive to feedback. The hosting program made sure everyday that we had no issues and they were more than happy to help us if there were. The staff was amazing as was the food and the total atmosphere. They took a scary experience (going on your own to a foreign country) and turned it into an
experience of a lifetime. I met a family there and it was very sad to end my trip but I can’t wait to go on more. I completely recommend this program as they really care about not only the volunteers but the countries in which they are located! Thank you IVHQ!

What was your funniest moment?
Ha! The funniest moment was trying to explain the difference to a local doctor (I volunteered in a hospital) the difference between a Wedgie and a Veggie as the doctor kept mixing the two up. Definitely a funny moment for the two of us and definitely very memorable!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kimberly! Thanks so much for your review. It sounds like you had an awesome time getting to know your host family. We can't wait to have you back and plan your next adventure! Kate - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Andy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Medical Experience in Vietnam

Simply an amazing experience! I was only in Vietnam for two weeks, but I worked with so many amazing volunteers and staff members and saw so many beautiful areas in and around the city. The program coordinators here are amazing! Not only are they good at their jobs, providing safe, meaningful volunteer opportunities, but they also are great people to spend time with and get to know. I had high expectations coming into the program, but IVHQ and Green Lion still managed to exceed those expectations! I will definitely be traveling with them again in the future. :)

For the medical placement specifically, just come in with an open mind ready to observe. I learned a lot just from watching the doctors, nurses, and therapists. I even got to watch a couple of surgeries which were very interesting!

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe have some more optional group activities in the afternoons/evenings. Most of the time, volunteers just organize on their own, but it wouldn’t hurt to have some planned group outings.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Andy, thanks for taking the time to provide an insight into your 2 week experience on the IVHQ Vietnam - HCMC program. It's great to hear you were able to see the beautiful sights of Ho Chi Minh City while also contributing to the local volunteer projects. I am stoked to hear your expectations were exceeded and that the local team welcomed you into their family with their amazing hospitality. We can't wait to have you back volunteering with IVHQ again some time. Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Bowen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved it!!! Life time experience

Before this opportunity, I already have a lot of experience working with disability groups and with children by being a Community Support Work at Saskatchewan Abilities Council, and I really enjoyed the work I did with them. This volunteer trip was a great experience to see the differences in mental health support between developed countries and developing countries. It gave me a better picture of how I can utilize my skills to support diverse groups. I was surprising that there is so many skills I used at work are from my study at school. This industry is for sure a place of interest for me in the future.
Overall, I enjoyed this experience very much. First, this hospital is way more organized than I thought, due to language barrier, the hospital specifically signed coordinators who speak English to work with us. Second, I was able to walk out of my comfort zone to work at a developing environment. Most importantly, I was able to use the skills and knowledge I so far learned at school at real work place, it made me enjoy the program at school more and made me more certain that this is the area I want to study and work for in the future. I learned so much from this trip.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for taking the time to provide this review Bowen! It's excellent to hear you were able to use the skills and knowledge you have gained from your studies on the IVHQ Vietnam Special Needs Care project - I am sure your efforts were greatly appreciated by the staff and students. We can't wait to have you back on another IVHQ program!!! Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Joy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Food Outreach, Vietnam

Overall, it was a pleasant experience. The local staff and my IVHQ support was great. The program itself Food Outreach did not met my expectations. The local team doesn't have its own budget for this project so they have partnered with another local organisation that is running a soup kitchen. We were there just to give them a hand on whatever it is, that was needed and mostly spent our time cleaning and scrubbing walls. All other programs I heard was good. The local team was very supportive though with everything. Food and accommodation was good. The coordinator and their manager was excellent and will do everything for you to help in whatever issues you might have. I shall surely do it again with them but maybe on a different program. Overall... good.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Joy, thanks for your review and it's great to hear you meet like minded people on the IVHQ Vietnam program. We clearly mention in our project description on the website that volunteers will be placed at a local Soup Kitchen. Help is needed anyway for this placement, and I am sure it was greatly appreciated the volunteer work you did. Cleaning is a big part of the project, but I am sure you also got to help with plenty of food preparation and serving. We look forward to you joining your next IVHQ program. Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Lisa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would recommend IVHQ to anyone looking to travel on a budget

I am beyond impressed by IVHQ and their service to organizing and assisting international volunteers. Many aspects drew me to IVHQ including there being no application fee, the variety of programs, and the reasonable fees. There are so many destinations through IVHQ, just about anywhere you would want to travel has a volunteer program! I attended the 2-week program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and volunteered with the medical project. This program was the most popular in my volunteer group, for good reason. Working in the rehabilitative hospital was an amazing opportunity for me as a Kinesiology undergraduate student. The hospital staff was kind, informative, and appreciative of the IVHQ volunteers. We were challenged on a daily basis, and constantly learning so many new things about the healthcare system in Vietnam. The daily routine of waking up around 7:00 am and returning to our accommodation around 4:00 pm made for long volunteer days, but they were worth all of the time spent. The accommodation was comfortable, the food offered was delicious, and the facilities were both clean and well functioning. Overall, this trip was a great time and the staff of IVHQ did an amazing job at facilitating this positive volunteer experience for me.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay for at least 3 weeks to make a bigger impact at your volunteer placement.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lisa, thank you for taking the time to provide this informative review. It's great to hear you were able to gain insight into the Vietnamese medical system which challenged you and provided lots of learnings. I am stoked to hear you were impressed by our wide range of destinations and projects, and we can't wait to have you back to volunteer again some time. Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Alicia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience I've ever had!

This was a great experience! I was a part of the "Teaching English" program in Vietnam and I learned so much. The local team was very accommodating and the people I met will be friends I will have for the rest of my life. The people in Vietnam are some of the most welcoming and kind people I've ever met. People would say hi to me on the streets and ask if they could practice their English with me on the bus! I had the opportunity to travel on the weekends and found some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I recommend the waterfalls in Da Lat, walking at night in Hoi An, kayaking through Ninh Binh, going to as many pagodas as possible, taking a cruise in Ha Long Bay, and seeing the floating market on the Mekong Delta!
I highly recommend Vietnam!!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would do this program for longer! My trip wasn't long enough and I feel like I could have made a bigger impact if I would have stayed a few more weeks.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

It's so wonderful to hear you enjoyed your time in Vietnam, Alicia! Your contribution to the program was appreciated so much, and we hope to see you again soon. :) Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Vietnam. LOVE.

Honestly one of the best things I have EVER done. My time with IVHQ was the perfect blend of travel, service, experience, and relationship building. 10/10 would recommend. I loved every minute of my time in the hospital, whether it was in surgery, or doing wound care, or interacting with patients. I had ample free time to travel with new friends, and I think I made the right decision to come alone - I met so many cool people! I would recommend going longer that a week, longer than two even, if you can manage it. The most rewarding component of the trip was the knowledge that I had really gotten to know Ho Chi Minh City and establish real relationships. I would also recommend utilizing all the resources that IVHQ offers, they helped us plan some cool things last minute because of their connections - they usually know what they're talking about. Very worth the cost, although I did do the Vietnam program which is a more affordable one.

What would you improve about this program?
There could be better overnight support, the rules are quite strict and I could see some incidents that would reflect badly on the organization coming up just because they don't want to deal with too many situations. But overall, an amazing experience!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jordan, thanks for your review and I am stoked to hear you had an excellent time on the IVHQ Vietnam Program. We can't wait to have you on more of our programs :) Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Tamarra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Vietnam volunteering

The volunteering trip was super rewarding as I was able to meet some amazing people from around the world and share the experience with working with the local team who were all so helpful and kind. Everything from the process of booking the trip as well as the actual organisation when arriving in vietnam was so easy and quick, as well as the accommodation being super clean and tidy. Everything was well planned plus allowed us to have time to explore the city for ourselves with the help of the team giving us advice on places to visit and the best ways to travel to places. The placement options were diverse, and having done the food outreach it was well established for volunteers to work and interact with the locals. I would definitely recommend IVHQ as it truly gave a very rewarding and memorable experience.

Default avatar
Angela
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

volunteer at any age

I recently volunteered teaching English in Ho Chi Min City..the city itself is such an experience, the heat, the smells, the motorbikes! What I enjoyed most about the volunteering is being involved with the local people, helping them learn English, making an effort myself to speak the language (and practice it on the helpful and lovely local cafe staff, students and volunteer co-ordinators, I think they had more fun than we did helping us speak the language), meeting fellow volunteers from all over the world and the supportive environment of the local co-ordinators. I did get sick while I was there and the Program Co-ordinator and the kitchen staff were so lovely in providing me with ginger tea and food that would help me. I was hesitant at first about taking the leap due to my age, not being in my 20's or 30's anymore, however, there were a number of volunteers my age and older as well as many volunteers in their 20's, so I needn't have worried. All up, a good experience and the culture week element is helpful and worth doing.

Default avatar
Agnes
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

How can you not?!

I really wanted to start volunteering and didn't know how to go about it. To try and find a good program and company that I could do it through was challenging. I had heard through a friend that a few years ago she had Volunteered through IVHQ and even after looking them up and reading the amazing reviews, I was still a little hesitant.
My volunteer program was in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) and it was nothing short but amazing.
Helping out with children who had disabilities and providing them support every single day for 2 weeks was such a rewarding experience. Just to see the smile you put on their faces was more than enough.
I've met some amazing people and have made new friends through this experience!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Agnes, we appreciate you taking the time to provide your review on the Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh Program. I am stoked to read you had a rewarding two weeks and that you made friends with like minded people. We hope you can return to volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Alessia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Vietnam

Volunteering in Vietnam has been an incredible experience. Vietnamese people are joyful, kind and welcoming and Vietnam is a wonderful country. The food and the accommodation were very good. I met such amazing people and even if I was there only for a few weeks I felt I've known them for years. The medical program gave me the chance to see for myself how different the vietnamese health system is from my country's, and I think this knowledge and experience will help me in my future career.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Alessia, thank you for taking the time to provide this review. It's great to hear you were able to gain insight into the Vietnamese medical system. I am stoked to hear you made friends with the other volunteers and hope you can volunteer with IVHQ again in the future as we would love to have you back. Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Default avatar
Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Review

I absolutely loved working with IVHQ and the leaders of my program throughout my 3 weeks in Vietnam. The program directors and our mentors were so helpful and really made the experience unforgettable. They were amazing teachers, role models, and friends during the entire journey and I am so thankful for them because the trip would not have been the same without them. I especially loved working with the special needs children at the daycare because that was an experience I have never had before. Working with them was truly life changing and I am already taking steps to travel back with IVHQ so I can make a further impact.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Kia ora Caroline, it's awesome to hear you had an unforgettable 3 weeks in Vietnam. We hope you can volunteer with us again in the future. Sean - IVHQ Program Manager

Default avatar
Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Food Outreach Ho Chi Minh City

During my four week stay in Ho Chi Minh with IVHQ I had such a fantastic time. The staff there, run by the organisation The Green Lion, were very welcoming, helpful and approachable with regards to any problems or questions we had. Accomodation was clean and comfortable and culture week was both great for settling in and learning some history of the country/city. As for the volunteering side, the program I participated in was ‘Food Outreach’ it is fun, fast paced and hard, dirty work. More time is spent setting up and cleaning as apposed to preparation of any food. Although if you have precious cooking experience you are able to help with the preparation a lot more. Overall, I would not have changed my experience at all. I loved every minute of it and will remember my experience forever. I highly recommend IVHQ and volunteering overseas. A life changing experience.

What would you improve about this program?
As previously said goodbye preparation was not a huge part of food outreach, be prepared to sweep/mop the floor, clean tables, trays, cutlery and then wash 300-400 trays, bowls and sets of knifes and spoons. Also not mentioned was that you need to have your knees and shoulders covered at placement so be prepared or you’ll end up buying 6 pairs at the market.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Emma, it's awesome to hear from you and receive your informative review. It's excellent to hear how helpful the local team were and that you wouldn't change a thing about your experience. We'd love to have you back to volunteer again in the future. Sean - IVHQ Program Manager.

Gaëlle
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Leaving with my arms full

When I met Bao, I almost cried. It’s hard not to give in to tears when you see him. He is born blind with cerebral palsy. Both his mental and physical disabilities prevent him from doing everything you can basically think of, including talking. He cannot walk, eat, drink or move independently. But what his disabilities don’t stop him from doing is being happy. Happy despite the obscure and lonely world he lives in. Happy despite being deprived sight and normal cerebral activity. He smiles when you help him walk. He smiles when you feed him. He smiles when you play the tambourine. But when you hold him, caress his head and sing to him, he smiles back at you with his eyes half closed. He smiles and the world stops. He doesn’t speak, he doesn’t move but you know he feels secure and at peace in your arms, as if he could stay there forever, as if he can almost see you -

I am thankful for this amazing experience. For the one of a kind people I met, the unique food I tasted (even if it made me almost throw up at times) and the heat that makes you appreciate you have a water bottle and air. I went to Vietnam wanting to give something back but I left with my arms full. Thank you @ivhq

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gaelle, thanks for your review and it's awesome to hear how thankful you are for your time in Vietnam. I loved your saying of arriving to Vietnam, wanting to give back and leaving with your arms full - I hope you can volunteer with IVHQ again in the future as we'd love to have you back. Sean - IVHQ Vietnam Program Manager

Location

Location:
Ho Chi Minh City
Currency:
Vietnamese Dong
Weather:
Jan-Mar
93 F / 70 F
Apr-Jun
95 F / 70 F
Jul-Sep
90 F / 75 F
Oct-Dec
88 F / 70 F
Airports:
Tan Son Nhat International Airport
( SGN )

Ho Chi Minh City, also called Saigon, is the nation's largest city and economic hub. To get a good sense of the city, it's recommended to explore the french district and experience the lingering french motifs in Vietnamese culture.

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