Van Lang School

Placement Address

Van Lang Primary and Secondary School
Hon Gai Ward, Halong City,
Quang Ninh, Vietnam

Truong TH-THCS-THPT Van Lang
Phan khu 7, Phuong Hon Gai, TP. Ha Long,
Tinh Quang Ninh

Tel: +84 (0)33 3658 012
Fax: +84 (0) 33 3829 823

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: Ms Hoang Thi Kim Khanh
Tel: +84 (0)33 3658 012
Mobile: +84 (0)904 735 678

Volunteer mentor: Ms Do Thi Thuy
Mobile: +84 (0)985 721 468

Background on host institution

Halong City is on the coast, a little north of Hai Phong, overlooking the famous Halong Bay (World Heritage site). Some 3-4 hours by road from Hanoi. The school is just off the main street of Hon Gai, very close to Poem Mountain, which is a fine viewpoint which volunteers are encouraged to climb.
Van Lang is a new school, much favoured by the DOET. It is owned by a state firm that produces school equipment. At present it has 36 classes, with more than 1300 pupils. It has primary, middle school and secondary levels. All pupils from Grades 1 to 12 learn English. It is very keen to improve the English of the Vietnamese teachers.

Volunteers duties

To improve the communication skills of the pupils and improve the English of the English teaching staff. The school has the ambition of establishing a selected group which would be taught bilingually. Vols will teach from Grade 1 to Grade 10. The classes typically have about 35-40 pupils.

In summer all children have a right to one month’s schooling. In Van Lang they stay for at least two months (primary and middle school). In summer they are not obliged to follow the MOET teaching course, so it can be more interesting for Vols. Vols and Vietnamese teachers will co-teach.

Regular extracurricular activity: singing and dancing. Sports: basketball, badminton.

Volunteers will usually teach about 20 hours per week.

Accommodation and food

Accommodation is on the campus. Well appointed. Three good sized rooms, shared kitchen with good facilities.

There is a canteen in the school. Volunteers receive 4,000,000 VND per month, to be spent in the canteen or in the city.

Financial allowance

There is an additional allowance of 1,500,000 VND per month. 

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

• Buses to Hai Phong and to Hanoi. Halong City is an interesting place. It is on the edge of the
  justly famous Halong Bay, and therefore sees many tourists, but it is also an industrial town:
  ship building and coal mining. The tourists stay in Bai Chay and rarely get as far as Halong
  City. There are internet cafes to keep in touch with home. The school is in Hon Gai, which is a
  colourful district. The locals love to talk to the volunteers. It is a very friendly place. It is
  dominated by the beautiful Poem Mountain.
• This is a relatively new placement. The school is clearly well run. It should be very worth
  while, in part because it is in a less financially favoured part of the country. Volunteers will
  have to accept that Hanoi is 3-4 hours away by road. Hai Phong and Cat Ba Island on the other
  hand are very accessible.
• New volunteers must be very open and give of themselves, because the more they do and give
  the more they will receive. They should make friends with the teachers and the local town
  people and should not be afraid to tutor more people in their free time; it’s very rewarding. The
  students are eager to learn and the teachers are lovely and helpful. Also: Do not be put off by
  comments about Halong City in Lonely Planet; they are all WRONG

Recent volunteers

Olivia Anne Grey:
Lucy Kate Maltby:
Rotem Nusem:

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