Volunteer teaching with monks in Laos
Combining a stay in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Luang Prabang, with a unique volunteering experience, this programme is perfect for any traveller interested in exploring Laos. Volunteer with monks and learn first hand what life in a Buddhist monastery is like.
For those interested and passionate about volunteering as a teacher abroad, this programme certainly stands out. Help to teach monks in Laos and make some life-long memories.
Located in a beautiful city
The people of Laos are welcoming and friendly and keen to meet people from other parts of the world. When you arrive in Luang Prabang, you will receive a full orientation and it will not take you long to see why the town is a protected UNESCO Heritage site. As the former royal capital city of Laos, the town blends French colonial architecture with many stunning Buddhist temples.
Monks in Laos
As Buddhism is the predominant religion in Laos, volunteers will gain a unique insight into the role of monasteries in the local community.
Monasteries look after many novice monks, boys who often come from poor, rural communities. They provide free accommodation, food and education for the young monks. The local community donate food to the monks each morning. When the young monks are old enough, they are welcome to choose which path they would like to follow, to become a monk or to return home and to seek employment. The temples encourage monks to make their own decision because regardless of their choice, they believe that the novice monks will continue to lead a good life, spreading Buddhist ideas and benefiting society as a whole.
Novice monks are often enrolled in local, mainstream schools and they also take part in spiritual classes within the temple. However, educational resources and teaching can be limited for novice monks and that is why dedicated volunteers are so valued.
What will I be doing?
You will work at two different temples. The contrast between the two temples will give you a broader view of how different monasteries are run. Volunteers will teach monks aged 10 – 18.
On Tuesday to Thursday, volunteers will work 3-4 hours a day. These hours will be split between the two temples and may include evening lessons. One lesson a week will also be spent at a local English community centre – helping a range of different people. This is often a real highlight! Volunteers will also have 2-3 hours a day to prepare lessons. Volunteers will team teach with fellow volunteers.
On this programme, all volunteers will receive:
- Over 7 hours of training
- Access to a teaching resources
- Hand over notes from past volunteers
- Support from your own teaching mentor
Accommodation and food
You will be living at a shared volunteer guesthouse. There are shared rooms and bathrooms at the accommodation. However, there are upgrade options if you would prefer to have your own room. Staff at the guest house are very welcoming. Rooms are cleaned weekly. You can also get your laundry done for a fee. The guesthouse has a curfew of 12pm, which is the same for everyone in Luang Prabang.
On the first Friday, prior to the Saturday arrival date, you will need to book your own accommodation. We can offer advise on this.
You will be provided with 3 meals a day, while at the guesthouse. Cooked by a local Lao cook on site, you will get to experience authentic, delicious, local food. Vegetarians can be catered for. There are plenty of restaurants in the local area if you fancy a night out.
When should I book?
Whilst late-availability is possible, we would advise booking as soon as you can to guarantee your ideal dates. Our projects are very popular and spaces can fill up several months in advance, especially for the months of June to September.
- Gain an incredible insight into Buddhism in Laos.
- Help novice monks to improve their English and make a real difference to their future prospects.
- Teach and socialise with like-minded volunteers.
- Live by the stunning Mekong River in a UNESCO Heritage town.
Whyshould I do this?
This is a unique programme that will enable you to become completely immersed in Lao culture. Whether you have previous experience teaching or not, you will gain country specific teacher training, enabling you to make a real difference in the classroom. The programme leaders are supportive and promote collaboration and team work. With shared resources, team teaching and seamless transitions between volunteers, you will truly feel part of a worthwhile movement to raise English levels in the local community.
You will be collected from Luang Prabang Airport. You will need to arrive on a Friday. The programme starts at 9am on the Saturday.
The programme coordinators will be there to support you from the moment you arrive to the moment you are taken back to the airport. You will also be assigned a teaching mentor, who will be able to support you with lesson planning. The team have been working in Luang Prabang since 2009 and have a lot of experience working with volunteers, local schools and temples
What is provided
- Access to your personal ‘My Oyster’ account
- Pre-departure briefing and advice
- Help and advice 24/7 from our UK office and in-country team
- Transfer to and from the airport
- Accommodation at a local guest house
- Three meals a day, cooked at the guesthouse.
- Over seven hours of teaching training, teaching resources and guidance.
- Oyster Worldwide volunteer t-shirt
- Oyster luggage tag
On your return:
- Welcome home pack
- Certificate of Recognition (on request)
- References (on request)
What do I need
- A valid passport
- Travel insurance
- Cost of accommodation for your first night (Friday) in Luang Prabang
- Any additional costs such as trips, food if away from the guest house, snacks, entertainment