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Laos - Teaching English

About Your Location

Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Luang Prabang Province in northern Laos, lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers. Inhabited for thousands of years, it was the royal capital of the country until 1975. It's known for its many Buddhist temples, including the gilded Wat ieng Thong, dating to the 16th century, and Wat Mai, once the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism. Although a bit further afield it is still worth the journey for sure. It is one of the most beautiful towns in Southeast Asia thanks to its alluring mountainous landscapes and riverside location!

Aims & Objectives

- Improve the children’s education through the learning of English
- Gain teaching experience, an invaluable life skill
- Assist the local school staff with extra hands

Weekly Schedule

Introduction Day
Your project starts with an introduction day on the first Monday including a tour of the area surrounding the accommodation, available facilities, cultural "do's and don'ts", safety concerns as well as some basic local language lessons.

Monday to Friday
08:00 Breakfast
09:00-11:00 Preparing lessons/activities for the afternoon classes
12:00 Lunch
14:00-16:30 English class including basic English, grammar, vocabulary, conversations, games, songs, sports and music. Creating practical real life situations that are fun for the children to partake in while utilizing the English language. (Depending on the needs of the school/location, teaching hours can also take place during the morning instead of the afternoon.)
17:30 Evaluation, meeting about program this week (on Friday)
18:00 Dinner

Please note that the volunteer activities and schedule can change at any time based on the needs of the project, local conditions, the weather and unforeseen circumstances.

Evenings & Weekends
During the evenings the volunteers are generally free, and there are no program activities scheduled unless otherwise mentioned. Once a week we provide a trip to Vientiane for all volunteers where they can visit the night market, Mekong river, restaurants and touristic sites. At the volunteer accommodation you will find great sport facilities including a volleyball court and soccer pitch. Weekends are free.

Additional Activities & Events
Tuesday Evening:
Every Tuesday is BBQ night, which provides a perfect opportunity to relax and spend time with other participants on our lakeside restaurant!

Wednesday Evening:
Cozy movie night at the accommodation

Thursday Evening:
We will head to a nearby local restaurant (or if preferred, stay in our location) to enjoy one of Southeast Asia’s favorite activities - Karaoke! (or “sing a song”, as the locals like to call it).

Optional Culture Week

The Culture Week will kick off with an introduction to Laos customs, do’s and dont’s and Laotian language classes. Further during the week, you can try your hand at local agriculture practices, handcraft lessons with local help, cooking classes, take a dip in a beautiful waterfall, experience the real buzz at local markets and many more! Of course, we cannot miss the chance to show you the ins and outs of the ancient historical city and its culturally valuable temples, one which is quite different to other cities in Southeast Asia. You will also get a chance to meet and greet one of the Laotian tribes, giving you some special moments to remember for a lifetime. We have a visit to bear conservation planned just for you during the Culture Week!

Please note:
Modest clothing - ladies are requested to cover their shoulders and legs when visiting temples

Public & School Holidays

This project is closed on the following public holidays when you will join the celebrations with the locals.

2024
01 January
08 March
13-16 April
01 & 22 May
01 June
20 July
17 & 28 October
01 November
02 & 04 December

School Holidays
The teaching program will not run at the school on the dates below. Please note that the dates of the school holidays may not be exact as they are sometimes adjusted depending on the school’s plans.

May 20-31 School Examination. No Activities Running

June - August School Break. We will arrange special activities for local students, however, teaching programs are still available during the school break from June to August, but in the form of a holiday program or a summer private full class outside of the normal school system

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Minimum age of 18
Intermediate level of competency in English
Police Clearance Certificate on sign-up *
Passport copy sent with the cv at least two weeks before arrival *

* Please provide us with the documents at the latest two weeks before your arrival. These documents are required to register you with the Laotian authorities and guarantee the project placement.

Additional requirements

Closed toed shoes (no flip flops allowed)
Modest clothing - shoulders covered, long pants or skirts over the knees, on school grounds

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.
Sammanfattning

Vad ingår?

Extra utgifter på plats
None

Boende

The accommodation is located on the main road of the world heritage town surrounded by a beautiful mountainous view with the Mekong River by the side. The accommodation is situated on the third floor, it is easy to exit to the night market, and the town center in like 3-5 minutes from our placement. Traveling from the accommodation to the program site by car typically takes around 10-15 minutes, making it a short and convenient commute for participants.

Lokal transport

Arrival transfer is included. You will be met at Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) by one of our representatives and taken to the volunteer accommodation. Our staff member will be waiting for you in the arrival hall as you exit the main door of the airport. The airport is very small so it is almost impossible to miss. Please note that you may need to wait for other participants to arrive before the group leaves the airport. The arrival transfer is only available on Sundays. If arriving on a Saturday, you will need to book an extra night of accommodation.

If you are traveling to Luang Prabang overland from Thailand or elsewhere in Laos, the pick-up window is between 08:00-22:00 on Sundays only at Luang Prang Airport (LPQ), Luang Prabang Bus Station, Luang Prabang Train Station, or Luang Prabang Bandone Boat Pier.

First Steps
Meet our Transfer Coordinator
If you arrive within the pickup window, a transfer coordinator will be waiting for you at a meeting point (details below) to arrange your transfer.

Get a SIM card
We highly recommend buying a local SIM card for your whole time here (for your own personal safety and for easier/cheaper communication with other participants, staff and family back home). If traveling to us by yourself, this becomes especially useful. They are usually very cheap.

Meeting Points
LPQ (Luang Prabang airport)
Our transfer coordinator will meet you at the Airport’s main arrival hall holding a sign with either your name or “The Green Lion”, upon your arrival near the main exit of the airport hall. You may need to wait for several participants to arrive before the group leaves the airport.

Overland Pick-Up Points
If you are traveling to Luang Prabang overland from Thailand or elsewhere in Laos, please be sure to meet us at one of the following meeting points on Sunday.
Luang Prabang airport (LPQ)
Luang Prabang bus station (North bus station or South bus station)
Luang Prabang Train station
Luang Prabang Bandone boat pier

Transfer times to your location
You may wish to take these transfer times into consideration.
Airport to your Accommodation in Luang Prabang by Car/Tuktuk/Taxi is about 15-20 minutes.

What to do, if...
...you are waiting at the airport but can’t find your transfer coordinator?
Make sure that you have passed customs and are at the meeting point as described above. If you are there already, it is essential you stay where you are and wait to avoid further confusion.
It is most likely your driver has just got stuck in traffic. But if after waiting at least 20 minutes you still can’t find your driver, try calling our transfer coordinator (phone number below).
If they do not answer on the first try, please keep trying.

...you can’t reach the transfer coordinator on the phone.
Please send them a text message and wait at the meeting point. They might be busy and will get back to you shortly. If for any reason they don’t get back to you, please try again. If 30 minutes pass, try your country manager’s phone number (also below).

...you don’t get an answer on your messages
Stay at the meeting point. We will meet you there in any case.

***DO NOT LEAVE THE MEETING POINT OR ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL TO OUR CENTER ON YOUR OWN.***

Måltider

Three meals during the day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are provided and will generally take place at the accommodation and project site, unless stated otherwise. We offer a variety of local Laotian dishes. Participants may find that the cuisine is quite different from what they are used to at home, as there are very few western dishes served. Local dishes can sometimes be adapted to accommodate vegetarians, but can be a bit challenging with other dietary restrictions. Please inform the local team of your specific needs and they will do their best. However, please consider that it may not be possible to meet those personal tastes or guidelines everyday to your satisfaction. In instances like this we do suggest, bringing some of your own items to supplement the food being served. Please note that during the weekends only 2 meals per day are provided (brunch and dinner). Water, coffee and tea are available at your accommodation.

Please inform us of any dietary restrictions or intolerances during your application. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible and accommodating to the local food.

Mer information

Facilities
You can find simple groceries and beverages sold in two local restaurants located next to the accommodation. There are also shops and a local market located 3 minutes and 10 minutes away respectively, by foot. There is also a pharmacy and local clinic located less than 5 kilometers away.

There is a lake-side makeshift restaurant just for us, where you can enjoy the evenings and order Western or Laotian food at reasonable prices.

Transportation
Vientiane is located about 25 kilometers away and it is very easy to reach via public transport from our center and back. Anything that you might need can be found there, with its numerous shopping malls, a cinema and local markets to explore! There are also bikes available for you to use to explore the area during the afternoons. It is important to note that the local transport stops running early, so you should check with the local team to ensure that you are returning early enough to catch it, as private transport can be quite pricey by local standards.

Money
We advise all participants to bring some local currency with them for personal expenses, or use the ATM at the airport when they arrive. The closest ATM machine can be found on the main road to Vientiane, approximately 5 kilometers from the accommodation. Money can also be exchanged in Vientiane.

Important information
Male - modest clothing with shoulders covered, long pants or skirts over the knees, on school grounds

Female - It is COMPULSORY for the female participants to wear a traditional Laos skirt called a “Sinh” to the teaching program. You can purchase the skirts from the local team after arrival for an additional cost of $20.00 and they can be taken home as souvenirs. If you don't want to purchase one, you may borrow a skirt from the local team.

Closed-toed shoes (no flip-flops allowed)

No specific equipment is required for this program, but you are more than welcome to bring teaching materials for your classes such as:
- Interesting board games
- Books/Comics
- Musical instruments

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