FAQs Volunteering In Vietnam

What Financial Commitment Do I Make?

As Trinh Foundation Australia relies solely on donations to support its work in Vietnam, there may be instances where clinicians will be required to self-fund their travel to Vietnam, including return airfares, travel and indemnity insurance. There may be some cases where we are able to secure funding for a particular project that allows the foundation to support our volunteers with the cost of travel expenses, however this will be individual to that isolated volunteer opportunity.

The Foundation can contribute a sum in the vicinity of AUS$200.00 per week towards the accommodation/living expenses of each clinician whilst they are working in Vietnam. TFA has some flexibility with respect to this stipend, particularly when clinicians are prepared to contribute their expertise for an extended period of time or if they return regularly to assist. Each application for funding assistance is individually assessed.

How much does it cost to live in Vietnam?

Regarding the cost of accommodation and living expenses – in District 1, HCMC (the backpacker district and probably the best location to stay) you will be able to find a reasonable room with air conditioning, and private bathroom for around US$15-30 per night, maybe cheaper for extended periods. If you are able to obtain a copy of a current Vietnam Lonely Planet guide, have a look at what they suggest and the price ranges.

Food is cheap, particularly if you eat at street stalls, etc. If you travel around town by xe om (motorbike taxi) it will be cheaper than by taxi… it can be a bit hairy and the helmets they provide are not Australian standard by any means but the travel is quick and cheap. Given HCMC is a major city, all living expenses will be less expensive outside HCMC.

Is volunteer work in Vietnam the right thing for me?

This is a difficult question to answer – it would be fair to say that volunteer work in a country with limited resources is not for everyone, even though Vietnam is indeed progressing rapidly in terms of economic development. As a means to assisting you answer this question, it is suggested that you:

1. Become familiar with the information on the Trinh Foundation Australia website. You will find important information regarding the motivation for the establishment of TFA, the goals of the Foundation, its activities and achievements to date;

2. Contact clinicians who have already worked with TFA in Vietnam – a number of clinicians who have volunteered as lecturers or clinical supervisors with TFA are happy to speak with clinicians who are considering volunteering their services in Vietnam. Contact info@trinhfoundation.org.au for details.

3. If possible, obtain a copy of: Potvin, C., & Stedman, N. (2008). Dos and Don’ts in Vietnam . Book Promotion & Service Co., Ltd. Thailand. Distributed by Amazon. This excellent general reference provides invaluable information pertaining to Vietnamese history, language and culture, practicalities and cross cultural challenges. It is well worth a read.

If after considering this information you remain interested and willing to volunteer your time and expertise to the students undertaking the Speech Therapy training Program, email volunteers-tfa@trinhfoundation.org with any questions, or submit an expression of interest