Sao Mai Primary School

Placement Address

Sao Mai Private Primary School
Lot 34 Luong The Vinh Road
Hai Duong City, Vietnam

Truong Tieu hoc Sao Mai
Lo 34 Duong Luong The Vinh,
TP. Hai Duong

Tel:  +84 (0)320 355 0239
+84 (0)320 629 0605

Placement dates

•  Late August to 15th January
•  Late January to 31st May
•  Early June to 31st August

Please note that we work with hosts to establish start and finish dates for placements in each programme. However, exact end dates may vary somewhat from placement to placement and year to year. On arrival at your placement, you should receive guidance and training on your role and responsibilities, and you should take this opportunity to establish when your host expects you to finish. This date should be respected, and you should only leave your placement earlier than this date with the express agreement of your placement and Programme Manager.

Placement contacts

Placement Head:  Mrs. Pham Thi Tuyet
Mobile:  +84 (0)979 750 367

Volunteer mentors:  Ms. Tran Thi Thoa
Mobile:  +84 (0)979 622 961

Background on host institution

This private primary school was instituted in September 2007. The school is part of a whole education system including Sao Mai kindergarten, Sao Mai primary school and Marie Curie secondary school. Sao Mai kindergarten and Sao Mai private school are on the same campus, while Marie Curie secondary school is on a separate campus very close by. In 2011 Sao Mai kindergarten has 850 pupils enrolled, Sao Mai primary school has 220 pupils and Marie Curie secondary school has 250 pupils.

Volunteers duties

Volunteers will be used to teach pupils at two levels of education. They will split their time between Sao Mai kindergarten (20%) and Sao Mai primary school (80%). They will facilitate conversational classes with follow-up from one lesson to the next. Teaching aids such as text books, teaching software and visual aids are all supplied. Volunteers will usually have the choice to teach independently or co-teach with their Vietnamese colleagues. The level of English is basic and pupils respond well to games and interesting lessons. It will be necessary to have plenty of ideas for topics. The size of all classes is between 25-30 pupils.

Accommodation and food

Volunteers will live in the spacious room in the main building of the school. It has cooking equipment and a washing machine which will be shared. There is access to sports facilities and to Internet and TV cable.

A food allowance of 3,000,000 VND per month is paid to volunteers in order to purchase food. This allowance will easily cover food to be purchased at either local markets or stores to be prepared at home. The allowance may not be enough to cover luxury food items and restaurant meals on a frequent basis.

Financial allowance

There is an additional allowance of 1,000,000 VND per month for incidental expenses.

Suitable clothing

Vietnam is a reasonably conservative country and both male and female Lattitude volunteers should dress appropriately at their placements. As teaching assistants, Volunteers need to dress in professional attire and not as backpackers. Blouses, tops (no strappy singlets), knee-length skirt and trousers are good choices for females and collared tops and neat trousers are required for males.

Other information

•  The School is situated at about 60km east of Hanoi and about 40km from Hai Phong. The road is  
      good and there are good bus connections in both directions. 
•  Hai Duong is a small town but well placed for Hanoi, Hai Phong and Ha Long City.
•  The locals in Hai Duong are very friendly so it is easy to socialise with the staff.
•  Bicycles are provided for volunteers to use outside of class hours.
•  Night-life in Hai Duong is fairly limited and there are not many other westerners. Volunteers are
     encouraged to bring something to do on week nights e.g. playing cards, books, puzzles.
•  The other teachers are very helpful but need to be reminded of any problems. Volunteers need to
     be persistent with any needs.

Recent volunteers

Ciaran Thomas Dwyer:
Joseph John Edwards:

Photo gallery


Quick facts
Capital: Hanoi
Government: Republic
Language: Vietnamese
Population: 88.1 million
Religions: Buddhism
Timezone: GMT +7
Climate: climate, with humidity averaging 84 % throughout the year
Currency: đồng
"Discovering Vietnam and how radically different it is from England (I really did fall in love with it) has also made me want to travel more and explore the world and all it has to offer. I would never have been this adventurous had I not been on this placement; it’s really opened my eyes to the world."

Marianne, English teacher