Teaching and TEFL Internship in Laos

Work with Children and young adults, teach English and receive career development opportunities.


Program Information

An internship in Laos offers you a chance to gain practical teaching experience, while steering your career in the right direction. You will live and teach in the beautiful UNESCO Heritage listed city, Luang Prabang, where you will be immersed in the diverse culture of Laos. A structured 10-hour Introduction to TEFL training programme, online 150 hour TEFL course and certification, one-to-one mentoring, leadership course and teaching placement will ensure that you develop your teaching, leadership and teamwork skills. You will teach alongside fellow GVI teaching partners, take on independent teaching roles and assist local teachers in their classrooms and make a tangible contribution to the local community.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

Interns will make a significant difference in the local community by teaching English to children and young adults. In the process they will gain knowledge and practical teaching and leadership experience, while becoming immersed in the rich culture in Luang Prabang.



English skills are vital for students in Laos in order to improve access to further education and future employment opportunities. As an intern, you will become a part of students’ development and play a role in helping them to improve their futures. In addition, all internships are geared at developing your leadership skills. Our leadership course will allow you to develop a variety of key soft and hard skills. In addition, the corresponding assessments will give you the opportunity to put these skills in to practice, while allowing you to become a role model to your students, the community and the other volunteers and interns.

During the first 12 weeks of this internship, you will receive a dedicated staff mentor and structured training to develop your teaching, leadership and teamwork skills whilst working alongside other volunteers on GVI’s project in Laos as well as completing your online 150 TEFL certification. Following this, interns may be given a teaching placement within Luang Prabang or the surrounding region.

Following a successful internship, qualifying candidates may have the opportunity to work with GVI or selected partner organizations in Laos or in other countries around the world where GVI operates. Field work positions can be paid or unpaid, range in duration from one month to one year, and availability varies. Qualification for possible GVI positions is at the sole discretion of Global Vision International.

GVI have been running community development, education, and conservation projects since 1997 and our highly experienced field staff will help you gain and improve vital skill sets to improve your future job prospects.

Program Details

Program Type:
Location: Asia - Laos - Luang Prabang

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Life on the Internship

Your First 12 Weeks
During the initial training phase, interns will plan and deliver English lessons from Monday to Friday at various local educational institutions in the ancient town of Luang Prabang as well as completing your online 150 TEFL certification. Students’ levels vary from beginner to advanced and a variety of topics are taught including grammar, conversational English and subject based English classes. As you progress through the internship, you can expect to be given greater responsibility in terms of overseeing lesson planning, taking on extra tasks that contribute to the running of the program and assisting the GVI staff in volunteer management. During your internship, you will be staying at centrally located guesthouse, sharing a room and bathroom with other volunteers or interns. You will have daily communal meals with your fellow interns.

Work Placement
GVI collaborates with local partners in Luang Prabang and the surrounding area in order to increase local and rural students access to education and to meet the growing need for English language education in Laos. Your work placement may include schools or language centers in Luang Prabang and the surrounding area, where you’ll teach English and maintain and strengthen connections with our students, local partners and the wider community. These work placements offer the opportunity for you to gain hands-on experience and form a lasting relationship within the community.

Project Details

As Laos’s tourism industry has begun to expand and diversify, the demand and need for English education is rapidly increasing. Working directly with the community, you will plan
lessons and teach English in a variety of settings with a GVI teaching partner and assist local teachers with their English lessons; fostering an exchange in teaching methods and
techniques. Once comfortable with your own abilities, you are expected to lead the other
volunteers, take classes and offer support during training sessions. Interns will also
complete the GVI Leadership course. This course is comprised of various presentations
relating to leadership skills and qualities and is complemented by assignments for each topic, including a leadership day where interns will put their knowledge in to practice.
Following the completion of this course, interns will have the opportunity to go on a work
placement in order to gain practical experience and be immersed further into Lao culture.

How this program makes a difference

The main focus of GVI Laos is education as a tool for individual and community development. Educational opportunities and socio-economic status are closely related in Laos. Economic disadvantage and deep-rooted cultural values restrict access to education. This is only magnified for those living in rural areas; for Laos, this equates to three quarters of the population. Our three programs target disadvantaged social groups: children and young adults, Novice Monks and girls and women. We aim to help to increase these students’ access to education. By doing so, GVI Laos works to empower our students to increase their future employment opportunities, positively impact their socio-economic status and improve the quality of life of themselves, their families and communities while meaningfully contributing to the development of Laos as a whole.

*During traditional festivals and holiday periods participants will have the opportunity to join in community celebrations and cultural activities.

Laos short, mid, and long-term objectives

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Laos:


1. To develop relationships with educational institutions and temples with the aim of increasing their ability to provide educational opportunities

2. To improve quality of education in Laos for students taught by GVI

3. To provide educational opportunities to all students in the local community, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity and gender

4. Improving the health and wellbeing of the Lao community

5. Improving employment opportunities and socioeconomic status of community members.

6. Reduce Carbon Footprint

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


What's Included

  • 170 hour TEFL course
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A shared room
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Certification and summary of training and experience received
  • Confidential professional reference
  • Final evaluation from your mentor
  • Introduction to TEFL, including lesson planning
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Orientation on teaching methods and techniques
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Teamwork and leadership experience
  • Weekly evaluation with your mentor
  • Welcome meeting
  • Work placement (if successful during the first 12 weeks of the internship)

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship
  • Internal transport to placements
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Exploration

Interning with GVI not only allows you to participate in programmes assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel
in the local area in your downtime or further afield either before or after your programme. Many decide to travel interning, solidifying the lifetime friendships established during the programme.

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 team 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 interns 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; take a guided city tour through Luang Prabang with an experienced English speaking guide, 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 traveller’s dream with an endless list of possibilities and activities. You’ll be left wondering why you didn’t stay for longer!

The Team

Leyla Isin

Program Manager
Meet Leyla, our wonderful program manager in Luang Prabang. She completed a degree in International Relations, specialising in International Development from the Australian National University, she is TESOL certified, moderately fluent in French and is currently studying Lao. Leyla is a passionate person with diverse interests; she has been playing the piano since age 6, she loves running and doing yoga, she loves travelling and has set foot in many countries, sky dived in Austria, and cliff dived in Croatia.

She was first attracted to GVI as a volunteer in 2013. "Our work as a non-political, non-religious organisation that runs bottom up, inclusive projects was what I admired and wanted to get involved in. After volunteering in Kenya for 6 weeks in 2013, I went back to Australia to finish my degree. I knew that I wanted to put my volunteer experience and knowledge into practice in the field, and Laos has been the perfect place to do this!"

Molly Plexico

Country Director
Meet Molly, our hard working country director for both Thailand and Laos. Over seeing operations in two countries is no easy task but Molly is more than capable.

She started volunteering and travelling at a young age, working  in soup kitchens, with AmeriCorps, at animal shelters, as a Big Sister with Big Brother Big Sisters of America and as a Guardian ad Litem. She studied family development and psychology and loves to dance.

Her goal is to visit one country for every year she is alive. The most unusual place she has travelled to is Uzbekistan, on a trip beginning in Europe and ending in Southeast Asia. This is where she fell in love with Laos which began her journey with GVI. She started working for GVI back in 2012 and she is now based in Thailand. GVI has hubs all around the world and she has been lucky enough to visit the hubs in Nepal, Thailand, Laos and the office in South Africa.

Shayle Havemann

Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.

When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!

Sue Williams

Education Coordinator
Meet Sue, one of GVI’s Field Staff members in Luang Prabang. Sue is an ex-volunteer herself and completed two GVI internships, one in 2012 in Thailand and then another in Luang Prabang in 2015. This Sri-Lankan born TEFL qualified teacher is currently studying BA Humanities and is passionate about the Asian climate, food and culture. Sue is a wizard in lesson planning, teaching, organising, administration, and making sure all the volunteers are happy and safe, both at work and at play.

Meeting new people gives her a thrill and she absolutely loves getting the chance to work with new volunteers on a day-to-day basis. Teaching Novice monks and making a difference in their lives have been a highlight on her GVI journey and she has been intrigued by their sense of humour! “Giving alms to the monks early in the morning is the best way to start the day and going to listen to the novices chanting in the evening is the best way to end a hectic day.”

She thrives off the energy from enthusiastic and open-minded volunteers and being able to mentor them from nervousness to confidence. Her skills aren’t restricted to the classroom; she is also very entrepreneurial and adventurous. Sue had her own business for over fifteen years and celebrated becoming a grandmother in 2012 by going zip-lining in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

 

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.”

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Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Herritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

live base updates

Follow GVI Luang-Prabang's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
 
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