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Teaching and TEFL Internship in Laos

Earn a TEFL certification and gain work experience teaching children and young adults abroad in Laos.

Program Code: LALP0313N

Program Information

Learn how to Teaching English as a Foreign Language, TEFL, on this teaching internship abroad in Laos. Complete your TEFL certificate. Complete a training program, including work experience for three months, and then go on to work at a local educational institution in Laos for the next three months.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

 
Remote-Working Friendly
 
Reliable WIFI
 
Part-Time Options

Research Internship

 

Get out of the library or the lab. Visit a remote research base to get the data needed to complete your thesis or research paper.


Learn more 

Career Internship

 

Want to land a job working for a purpose-driven organisation or kickstart your career in an impact-focused field?


Learn more 

Core Internship

 

Travel with ambition and purpose. Make a positive environmental or social impact and gain experience in an impact-focused role or sector.


Learn more 

Overview

Travel to the UNESCO listed heritage site of Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Laos, famous for its many Buddhist temples. Here you will complete your TEFL and leadership course, as well as practice your teaching skills, before heading off to work at one of the educational institutions in Laos. In the process you will live and work with GVI staff, other interns, and volunteers, immersing yourself in the diverse cultures of Laos, and exploring the region in your free time, taking a cruise down the Mekong river or swimming in the turquoise pools surrounding the Kuang Si Waterfalls.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earn your TEFL Certificate.

  • Complete a work placement of up to three months at a local educational institution in Laos.

  • Earn six months of TEFL training and practical experience teaching English abroad.

  • Explore Laos in your free time.

Program Details

Further Program Details

YOUR FIRST 12 WEEKS
During this initial training phase, GVI teaching interns in Laos will live and work with other interns at the GVI base accommodation in Luang Prabang. Here they will complete a training program including the 150 hour online TEFL course. From Monday to Friday, for approximately 4-6 hours each day, interns will teach English to students ranging from 8-25 year old. Students’ levels vary from beginner to advanced and interns will teach a variety of topics 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. In the process they will gain knowledge and practical teaching and leadership experience, while becoming immersed in the culture of Laos.

WORK PLACEMENT
GVI collaborates with local partners in Luang Prabang and the surrounding area. Your work placement may include schools or language centers in Luang Prabang or the surrounding area, where you will support English language education. This might be at a primary school or an English Language Centre. These work placements offer the opportunity for you to gain hands-on experience.

*The details of project work may vary at any given time. During the school terms, participants may work with novice monks, or other children and young adults in the community. During the summer months, from approximately June to late August participants may also contribute to a range of summer programs for children and young adults. Laos also has many festivals and holidays. During these times the community might not be holding educational classes but participants will have the opportunity to get involved in local celebrations and other cultural activities.
 
Flexibility
Change your location and dates free of charge.
 
Payment Plans
Flexible payment plans available.
 
Cancellation Waiver
Cancel anytime and receive a full refund minus your deposit.

Select a Start Date

  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023

Select a Duration

Select a start date first.

Life On Base

Live with other participants from around the world in the ancient city of Luang Prabang, among Buddhist temples, rolling hills, and the mighty Mekong river. The GVI base is situated at a quaint guesthouse, with an outdoor space where participants can relax and take in the tranquil atmosphere of the capital of Laos. Project work continues from Monday to Friday at local educational centers around town and meals are available at restaurants on base. In your free time learn more about the many cultures of Laos, by taking additional language lessons, exploring nearby temples, or visiting a rice farm. Bond with new friends while visiting the beautiful Si Kuang falls or taking a river cruise down to the historic Pak Ou Caves, filled with thousands of images of the Buddha.

Base Tour

Highlights

 
24-hour in-country support
 
Accommodation
 
Free wifi
 
Meals while on project
 
Relaxation area
 
Transportation
 
ACCOMMODATION

Participants live in a guesthouse and typically share a room with one other volunteer. Bathrooms are also shared and feature hot water showers and Western-style toilets.

 
TRANSPORTATION

Participants can easily walk to project from their accommodation.

 
COMMUNICATION

Wifi is available at the accommodation and at our GVI offices.

 
MEALS

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at one of two local restaurants on base. Cuisine includes both traditional Laos dishes and Western meals. Eggs, pancakes, toast with butter and jam, and a range of southeast Asian fruits are common for breakfast, and or lunch and dinner, participants can choose from a range of dishes.

 
CLIMATE

Like the many other Southeast Asian destinations surrounding it, Laos has a tropical climate. Temperatures reach their height from March to April at 35 °C or 95 °F on average. The coolest time is during November to February when the temperature can drop to 14 °C or 57 °F. The Laos rainy season starts in May and ends in October. During this time temperatures remain rather warm however, ranging from the high 20s or 30 degrees °C or high 60s to low 90s °F.

 
CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE DRESS AND BEHAVIOUR

Bear in mind that Laos is a rather conservative country. You will need to dress modestly and behave in a way that shows respect to local novice monks and those who have taken their full monastic vows. Upon arrival in the country, GVI staff will teach you about all these practices so as to know how to act in an appropriate manner.

 

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.

Covid-19 Response

Health and Hygiene

For over 20 years, GVI has prioritised the health and safety of our staff, participants, partners and local community members. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, GVI has created the GVI health and hygiene team to put in place new standards of cleanliness, norms and behaviours that meet or exceed international recommendations to ensure the ongoing safety of GVI’s participants, staff and communities around the world. Internationally recommended practices, such as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the governments Australia, UK and US, continue to be monitored and the standards are likely to change if and when international advice changes.


The work GVI is contributing to across the globe remains important and the following measures allow our participants to continue to join GVI’s programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. The following changes to our existing protocols have been made by the GVI health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities.


Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19
pandemic – including destination ratings, flight bookings, and tests.

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.


Live 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.
 
GVILaosLuangPrabang

Arrivals

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.


As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.


 
 
 

COVID-19 Safety

Please note that the above images were taken pre COVID-19. All airport pick-ups and program operations now run with enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.

Flights

Please note that if you use this service delivered by Student Universe and / or if you buy your ticket through this portal you are agreeing to the Student Universe Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. Your agreement regarding flights will be between you and Student Universe or as per their terms and conditions.

As GVI is providing this portal as a service we are not responsible for the accuracy of this site.

We are also not responsible for any loss, damage (including loss of profits or consequential damages), injury, illness, harm or death in relation to your flight and travel arrangements.

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19
pandemic – including destination ratings, flight bookings, and tests.

Your Supervisor

We’re of the belief that internships are learning experiences and that a great supervisor is absolutely essential to the success of any internship program. Our supervisors will assist you in familiarising yourself with your environment and provide the guidance you need to meet your goals and solve problems. They’re remote, so that location and travel restrictions don’t affect us in choosing the supervisor that best suits your needs.


Research Supervisor

 

If you choose our research internship package, you’ll be assigned an research supervisor. Your research supervisor will provide guidance for you in achieving your data collection and analysis goals. They’ll also help you to navigate the complex challenges of collecting and analysing data within the context of international field research.


 

Internship Supervisor

 

When you choose our core internship package, you’ll be assigned an internship supervisor. They’ll help you to navigate day-to-day challenges involved in completing learning and tasks related to your internship program. They’ll provide guidance throughout your internship so that you can get your work done successfully and maximise the benefits of your experience.


 

Career Supervisor

 

If you choose our career internship package, you’ll be assigned a career supervisor. Your career supervisor will help you to navigate the professional relationship with the international organisation for which you’ll be completing a project. They’ll also help you to master skills necessary for successfully making the transition from full-time student to full-time employee.


 

Your Impact

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. 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 visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.


Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. Then, once on base you’ll 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.


Laos, specifically Luang Prabang, is quickly becoming a popular Southeast Asian destination among international visitors. As a result the tourism industry is a growing rapidly which provides many locals with new career opportunities. However, English language skills are an important requirement for accessing these jobs.


Three quarters of the population live in rural areas and economic limitations, limited infrastructure, and deep-rooted cultural values, restrict access to education for many. Boys from rural villages travel to cities such as the capital of Luang Prabang to seek out a good education by joining the temples and becoming novice monks. While women are accepted into the temples they are not able to study there, so women are further restricted from accessing employment opportunities through entrenched gender roles.


Our program in Laos assists the socio-economic development of the country by supporting English language learning at temple schools and other local educational institutions in the city of Luang Prabang. We assist local teachers, novice monks, lay students, including both children and young adults, and run a program that focuses specifically on providing further educational support for young girls and women.


As such, the main UN Sustainable Development Goals of this project include, #4, Quality Education, #5, Gender Equality and #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.


Our Partners In Luang Prabang

Project Objectives

GVI Luang Prabang Long-term Objectives:


1. To develop relationships with educational institutions, temples, partners and individuals with the aim of increasing their ability to provide educational opportunities (local leadership and capacity building).


2. To improve the quality of education in Laos for students taught by GVI and the local teachers, and in so doing provide educational opportunities, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity and gender.


3. To improve the health and wellbeing of the Lao community, through health demonstrations and access to a medical support program.


4. To improve employment opportunities and socioeconomic status of community members.


5. To reduce the carbon footprint of the community, by encouraging them to reduce their use of unsustainable electricity, fuel and single-use plastics


6. To improve GVI’s systems of monitoring and evaluating overall progress, through more diverse forms of data collection


Publications

The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research. Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies. We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.


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.


 


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.


 

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 every 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 conducted, 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.


Program Ethics

 

NO ORPHANAGE PROGRAMS

We don’t support or allow participants to work in institutional residential care facilities, also known as orphanages. We partner with ReThink Orphanages and Freedom United.

CHILD AND VULNERABLE ADULT PROTECTION POLICY

Our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy requires all our staff and participants to complete a criminal background check and to learn why you shouldn’t reveal a child’s identifying factors in photographs. We support the ChildSafe Movement.

NO MEDICAL VOLUNTEERING

We don’t offer any programs where our participants engage in medical treatment. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country. Our participants only assist with public health programs.

NO DISABILITY SUPPORT PROGRAMS

We don’t offer any programs where our participants work directly with people with disabilities. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country.

Qualifications

References and Recommendations

Career Services

After successfully completing your internship you’ll have a host of new skills, specialised knowledge and work experience. You’ll also have a professional reference and, possibly, new qualifications. Our post-program career services will help you leverage what you’ve gained throughout your internship to take the next step on your chosen career path.


Careers in Sustainability

 

Career paths in social and environmental impact are not as well-established as other fields. That’s why we provide all of our interns with a Careers in Sustainable Development course in partnership by the University of Richmond. In this course, you’ll learn about current and emerging opportunities in a range of sectors, allowing you to make the best decision about your future.


This online course is valued at £295 and is included in all internships.


Course details can be found here.


Career Coaching

 

When you’ve successfully completed your internship, you’ll have the opportunity to schedule two career coaching sessions with one of GVI’s career mentors.


Use these small group sessions to develop your career goals, personal branding and job-hunting strategies.


Preferential Recruitment

 

At the end of your internship you’ll be added to our list of potential candidates we’ll consider first for GVI vacancies around the world. Stay up-to-date on positions by checking our Careers Abroad jobs portal. Get in touch if you find that fits you perfectly.


Job Portal Access

Once signed up to a GVI Internship, you’ll receive access to our jobs portal listing thousands of vacancies in social and environmental impact roles around the world. Employers range from non-profits to purpose-driven businesses.


 

Job Guarantee

 

If you join a career and research internship program for the duration of 24 weeks or longer you’ll receive a money-back job guarantee. We promise that you’ll find a position in an impact-driven field within 18 months of successfully completing the program or you’ll receive 50% of your internship program fee back.


Terms and conditions apply.


Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, 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 and high participant ratios.
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.

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


 

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures are in place throughout each GVI program. Learn more.

Support

Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Safety

Upon arrival at the airport, participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.


Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19
pandemic – including destination ratings, flight bookings, and tests.

Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov

HOW GVI UPHOLDS HEALTH AND SAFETY

It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.


1 Nov

GVI’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY AND SECURITY

As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.


6 Nov

HOW GVI REMAINS PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.


5 Nov

HOW GVI MANAGES PARTICIPANTS EXPECTATIONS

Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.


What's Included

General
Volunteer
Intern
Core
Research
Career

24-hour emergency desk

24-hour in-country support

Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)

All project equipment

Food (except on long-term internship placements

Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)

Pre-Program Training
Volunteer
Intern
Core
Research
Career

Group introductory call

Welcome presentation

Endorsed GVI Specialisation Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond

Endorsed Leadership Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond
Project Work
Volunteer
Intern
Core
Research
Career

Sustainable project work

Leadership responsibilities

Data collection and research

Real projects with partners

Remote Support
Volunteer
Intern
Core
Research
Career

Program training

Tailored to your location and program focus

Remote Internship Supervisor

Remote Academic Internship Supervisor

Remote Career Internship Supervisor

Post-Program
Volunteer
Intern
Core
Research
Career

Preferential recruitment on GVI positions

Job portal access

Endorsed Careers Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond

Career coaching sessions(x2)

Job guarantee (6 month minimum)

Certificates & Achievements
Volunteer
Intern
Core
Research
Career

PDF reference - upon request

Linkedin reference and skills endorsement

Exclusions

Work Placements

Our career internship programs include the option of joining and completing a work placement of between 2 to 12 weeks with impact-focused organisations all over the world. These could be charities, businesses, governments, or GVI itself. Please note that placements come at an additional cost. Speak to us for details.