Vietnam Gap Years

Overview and Highlights

Vietnam is a country with much to offer, with throbbing, modern metropolises of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, old world charm, glorious beaches and an intriguing and rich cultural history. Those travelling to Vietnam as part of a gap year or for an extended holiday or period of volunteering are in for a treat.

Vietnam has developed a great deal over the past 20 years. Indeed, it is now one of the VARP economies (Vietnam, Argentina, Romania and Pakistan) set to follow the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in experiencing rapid fiscal growth.

Prospective travellers will be delighted to hear that despite the rising GDP and social development in Vietnam, it remains one of the most affordable gap year options. That’s the economics lesson over, now on to the many great experiences you can have in this South East Asian haven.

Vietnam Gap Year Companies

We found 18 companies in our database that provide Vietnam gap years. Choose one below to learn more.

Gap Provider What They Offer Learn More
Gap Provider
Gapforcebrand-logoWe've been delivering life-changing adventure travel programs for over 20 years. That's why we're a leader in gap year programs.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We've been delivering life-changing adventure travel programs for over 20 years. That's why we're a leader in gap year programs.
Travellers Worldwidebrand-logoEnrich your life and change you and the lives of others with a volunteering holiday as a vacation, on a gap year or career break, or by gaining valuable work experience to boost your CV/ResumeVisit Site »
What They Offer: Enrich your life and change you and the lives of others with a volunteering holiday as a vacation, on a gap year or career break, or by gaining valuable work experience to boost your CV/Resume
POD Volunteeringbrand-logoPod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 1 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projectsVisit Site »
What They Offer: Pod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 1 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projects
i-to-ibrand-logoA TEFL course opens doors. Not only will you experience new cultures in a way no tourist ever could, but you'll also meet friends for life whilst sharpening your teaching skills. What's more, there's a huge demand for English teachers worldwide - and all you need is our internationally-recognised i-to-i qualification to start your adventure. Exciting times!Visit Site »
What They Offer: A TEFL course opens doors. Not only will you experience new cultures in a way no tourist ever could, but you'll also meet friends for life whilst sharpening your teaching skills. What's more, there's a huge demand for English teachers worldwide - and all you need is our internationally-recognised i-to-i qualification to start your adventure. Exciting times!
Outreach Internationalbrand-logoWe make volunteering abroad possible for gap year students, career break volunteers (those with specialist skills or just wanting a change), and increasingly retired persons who have a life-time of experience and skills to share with a community.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We make volunteering abroad possible for gap year students, career break volunteers (those with specialist skills or just wanting a change), and increasingly retired persons who have a life-time of experience and skills to share with a community.
The Leapbrand-logoWith The Leap, every program on offer involves variety. You'll travel to several different places across the country you've chosen to visit, and take part in all sorts of activities along the way. One week you could be entertaining local kids whilst living with an indigenous tribe, the next you could be taking surf lessons on the Pacific Ocean.Visit Site »
What They Offer: With The Leap, every program on offer involves variety. You'll travel to several different places across the country you've chosen to visit, and take part in all sorts of activities along the way. One week you could be entertaining local kids whilst living with an indigenous tribe, the next you could be taking surf lessons on the Pacific Ocean.
Frontierbrand-logoGap Years, Volunteering and Inspirational Adventures 103,000 Successful Volunteer Placements since 1989.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Gap Years, Volunteering and Inspirational Adventures 103,000 Successful Volunteer Placements since 1989.
Gap Gurubrand-logoGapGuru is a gap travel specialist offering a wide range of exciting gap year volunteering, teaching, travel and internship opportunities across Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.Visit Site »
What They Offer: GapGuru is a gap travel specialist offering a wide range of exciting gap year volunteering, teaching, travel and internship opportunities across Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.
Coral Cay Conservationbrand-logoCoral Cay Conservation is an award winning NGO that specialises in the organisation of community based coral reef and tropical forest expeditions.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Coral Cay Conservation is an award winning NGO that specialises in the organisation of community based coral reef and tropical forest expeditions.
Africa and Asia Venturebrand-logoAfrica & Asia Venture (AV) is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Based in the UK and established in 1993, AV specialises in gap year and summer volunteer projects in the developing world for 17 - 25 year olds.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Africa & Asia Venture (AV) is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Based in the UK and established in 1993, AV specialises in gap year and summer volunteer projects in the developing world for 17 - 25 year olds.
Projects Abroadbrand-logoFor over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.Visit Site »
What They Offer: For over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.
CESA Languages Abroadbrand-logoLive in a new country, improve your language skills, mix with native speakers and share the experience with like-minded language learners from across the world! Have fun exploring the CESA world of language learning.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Live in a new country, improve your language skills, mix with native speakers and share the experience with like-minded language learners from across the world! Have fun exploring the CESA world of language learning.
Oyster Worldwidebrand-logoOyster Worldwide is a well-regarded gap year travel and responsible travel specialist. Many of our projects were founded in 1999 and have been nurtured and supported by us ever since. We are known for running life-changing gap year programs, giving you the opportunity to make a genuine contribution and for the first class support you receive.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Oyster Worldwide is a well-regarded gap year travel and responsible travel specialist. Many of our projects were founded in 1999 and have been nurtured and supported by us ever since. We are known for running life-changing gap year programs, giving you the opportunity to make a genuine contribution and for the first class support you receive.
Project Trustbrand-logoProject Trust has 50 years experience of providing Gap Year opportunities for 17-19 year old school leavers. Since 1967, over 7000 Project Trust volunteers have challenged themselves, learnt about the world and discovered how to be a positive force within it. Now its your turn.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Project Trust has 50 years experience of providing Gap Year opportunities for 17-19 year old school leavers. Since 1967, over 7000 Project Trust volunteers have challenged themselves, learnt about the world and discovered how to be a positive force within it. Now its your turn.
Global Vision Internationalbrand-logoWe're a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).Visit Site »
What They Offer: We're a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).
Raleigh Internationalbrand-logoRaleigh is a sustainable development organisation with 30 years of expertise in working through, for and with young people to create lasting change.With our project partners, local communities, funders, and over 42,000 previous local and international volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Raleigh is a sustainable development organisation with 30 years of expertise in working through, for and with young people to create lasting change.With our project partners, local communities, funders, and over 42,000 previous local and international volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.
Pacific Discoverybrand-logoPacific Discovery offers experiential gap year semester and summer programs abroad to some of the most amazing places on earth. Our programs are deliberate overland journeys, blending authentic immersion in diverse cultures, meaningful service-learning projects, rewarding adventures, wilderness exploration, and personal development.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Pacific Discovery offers experiential gap year semester and summer programs abroad to some of the most amazing places on earth. Our programs are deliberate overland journeys, blending authentic immersion in diverse cultures, meaningful service-learning projects, rewarding adventures, wilderness exploration, and personal development.
Lattitude Global Volunteeringbrand-logoOur mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing opportunities to volunteer abroad and to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported overseas volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Our mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing opportunities to volunteer abroad and to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported overseas volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.

Gap Year Opportunities

There are a large number of charities and NGOs working in Vietnam which means that opportunities for volunteering are plentiful. As with many of the countries we focus on, teaching English, conservation projects and medical placements are all possible.

Vietnam has a number of orphanages which welcome volunteers looking to work with children. Some lesser known alternatives are sports coaching, with football and basketball the two main options, journalism and helping with the formation of social enterprises.

Whether you are volunteering or simply travelling in Vietnam in your gap year, there are some fabulous places to visit and excursions to take. The imperial wonder of Hue, the ancient city of Hoi An (a great place to get a tailor made suit) or the French colonial charm of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) are all highlights.

Vietnam has a long coastline with numerous stunning islands and beaches, whilst the impressive limestone karsts and emerald waters of Ha Long Bay near Hanoi feature on many a bucket list. Here you can also explore the World Heritage Site of the Cát Bà National Park, home to the white-headed langur, one of the rarest primates in the world.

Vietnam’s stunning food will also be a high point of any trip. If you develop a real passion for the super-fresh, herb-heavy cuisine, then a cookery class is another brilliant way to spend time in this wonderful country. Travelling is hungry work, but a few tasty Gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese spring rolls) picked up from one of the many street stalls will keep you going.

Practicalities, Health and Safety

For full and official advice on visa requirements and any current health and safety risks please check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office page for Vietnam.

That said, it’s worth noting that at the time of writing UK passport holders can visit Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa, although that process is under review. Longer stays will require either an online e-visa or full visa (depending on the length and purpose of your visit).

In common with much of South East Asia there are parts of Vietnam where the risk of mosquito- borne viruses and diseases such as malaria and dengue fever is high. These risks are greater during the wettest months but whenever you go, visiting your doctor or local travel clinic is advised Vietnam is a tolerant and progressive society but as with any foreign culture, sensitivity to local values and customs is sensible, as well as being just good manners.

In terms of travel within Vietnam, your options are plentiful, with a very cheap internal flight network which is brilliant for those short on time. There is also a reasonable rail network, as well as regular coaches and buses of various standards. A river boat journey down the Mekong, the 12 th longest river in the world, is also a wonderful way to see a different side to the country.