Teaching English in Laos

Work alongside novice Buddhist Monks to help students receive an education.

Program overview

In the ancient city of Luang Prabang, English is the most popular subject in school and it is not uncommon to see a high student to teacher ratio. You will be able to help these eager students learn English and receive a quality education.

Our partnership with the Novice Buddhist Monks program is a great opportunity to connect with this exciting culture, while providing vital life-enhancing English-language instruction to monks and local community members. You will work alongside the other volunteers and Lao teachers, teaching for 4 to 5 hours each day. The students may be older children or adults, and are all very eager to meet their volunteers and improve their language skills! Teaching takes place in a range of schools and colleges, as well as at some temple schools in Luang Prabang.

Where you'll stay

Facilities may be more basic than you are accustomed to – please travel with an open mind and a willingness to adapt to local conditions. Accommodation is in shared rooms with fan and shared bathrooms at a local guesthouse. There is running hot and cold water available for showering. Western style toilets are in each of the bathrooms.

Activities & Training

Things to do

In your down time you will be free to travel in the local area and can expect weekends off. In this time you could visit nearby caves, local handicraft villages, waterfalls, or go for boat rides on the Mekong River. Tour companies are plentiful in Luang Prabang and weekend trips are easy to arrange in country. Our staff can recommend reliable companies. Before and after your program you could explore Laotian culture and countryside. Visit the modern day capital of Vientiane, or go tubing and trekking in Vang Vieng.

Orientation and Training

Staff in the field will provide training on the skills required, but you may benefit from learning more about local history, culture and customs before you travel.

Good to know

Application requirements

Staff in the field will provide training on the skills required, but you may benefit from learning more about local history, culture and customs before you travel.

Recommended reading includes:

  • Laos Culture and Society edited by Grant Evans. Published by Silkworm Books, 1999.

  • Culture Shock – A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquett Laos by Robert Cooper. Published by Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2008

To get a head start on Teaching English as a foreign language, we recommend the following websites. They offer ideas about activities that can be used for teaching a variety of subjects.

Volunteers need not have any specific skills - just an enthusiasm and passion for contributing to the project and the local partner objectives. Volunteers need to be fluent in written and spoken English.

Volunteers need to submit a criminal check not older than a year by the time of the project start date.

Health and safety

The nearest emergency medical facilities are located in Luang Prabang, not far from your placement. Our staff are trained in basic first aid. Please note that we cannot provide specific medical advice. We recommend that you consult your primary care provider (doctor, GP, etc.) or visit a travel clinic for further information. You should check with your doctor about appropriate vaccinations for coming to Laos.


It is recommended that you arrive at least one day before the start of your program to help you acclimate to your surroundings and to be ready for orientation. On Day 1 of your program, you should meet your group at the Villa Merry 2 Guesthouse at 9:00AM.

Additional Information

For your program you will need a tourist visa. For most nationalities, this does not need to be arranged in advance. The duration offered depends upon your nationality so please check to ensure that you comply with immigration and airline requirements regarding visas and entry prerequisites. These can include proof of a return flight within a maximum number of days.