February (5 months)
September (5 months)
If you’ve got the travel bug and want to see as much as you can whilst adding real value to local communities, sign up for Project Asia! Work with a team of likeminded volunteers from around the world, explore different cultures and learn to travel like a pro! Challenge yourself over the course of five months, completing a wide variety of activities in different countries with fantastic travel opportunities in between. Volunteers will combine working and traveling to experience South East Asia in a unique and exciting way. You’ll volunteer your time to support the community and in-between projects you’ll travel together and explore the region. But as you’ll see and do more than tourists, you’ll gain unique insights into new cultures as well as develop a range of personal and practical skills.
Is it for me?
Keen to explore several different countries across Asia? Want to be immersed in many cultures and undertake a variety of projects as well as travel? This is a great option for those who would like to work and travel in a team and have the support of a Team Leader. If you’re looking to meet new people and use your gap year to see as much of Asia as you can, this is the place to start.
How does the programme work?
The project will run through structured placements in multiple countries with the opportunity for self-directed regional travel. Volunteers will start by completing a longer placement at an education institution in Vietnam, allowing greater time to develop their resilience and travel skills. Volunteers will then work on projects in Cambodia and Thailand lasting between 2 and 3 weeks, chosen in consensus by the group. Between each of these projects, volunteers will have free time to break off and travel in smaller groups. Volunteers will be comprehensively supported by Lattitude staff both locally and in New Zealand.
You’ll undertake a variety of different community projects during your time on the project. Starting in Vietnam, volunteers will have the option of being placed as teachers or teaching assistants.
Teaching Placements are in universities, primary schools and secondary schools. Volunteers provide students with the opportunity to practice their spoken English by leading activities such as conversation, role playing, singing and debating. A range of extracurricular activities including conversation groups, visiting students’ homes and playing sport adds great value and enjoyment to the placements. Volunteers may also be asked to teach the teachers and assist in enhancing their confidence in English conversation.
In Thailand and Cambodia, the project group will be given the choice to tailor their experience around these three roles:
Environmental Placements provide a true immersion in nature during the day! Discover the beautiful countryside and the culture of the locals in the evenings. Your work may involve wetland conservation, revegetation of tropical forests or fishing village conservation. You’ll not only be learning about the environment, you’ll be helping others to enjoy the beauty of nature too!
Community Placements will have you using your creative skills to assist in community centres that provide services such as accommodation, food, educational courses, medical and social help, cultural, and sport events. Volunteer tasks include a mix of organisation of leisure activities for children (games, sports, or DIY workshop) and the organisation of a final exhibition with the theme of art in general (painting, photography, sculpture, or musical show).
Construction Placements have you working on a team to renew playgrounds, renovate community areas and buildings, and revive landscaping. By installing new equipment and repairing existing structures, you’ll be bringing life back to a community in need.
Volunteers will also get to decide on a unique cultural immersion week to unwind and reflect at the end of the project.
What will I learn?
- Social and personal skills such as Team working, independence, relationship building, leadership and confidence in interacting with a range of different people
- Practical skills working on different hands-on projects
- Gain experience of different cultures and opportunity to live in a variety of places, experience how people live, what they eat, learn a little of many different languages
- Meet young people from different countries and work alongside them
- Independent travel but organised with the support of a Team Leader and fellow participants
Food & accommodation
Accommodation in Vietnam will be in teachers accommodation provided by the placement. You will receive an allowance during this time.
Accommodation in Thailand and Cambodia will vary on different projects, and will include hostels, basic accommodation in community centres and accommodation in villages. Food arrangements will also vary based on the project and volunteers may need to assist in the preparation at times.
Accommodation and food will always be arranged for you during the project weeks. Accommodation and food will be at your own expense during the travel weeks between projects.
Before you go:
- We find out more about each volunteer through an interview which helps us select the right people and after a second interview, we match them to a placement that’s right for them.
- Once selected, each volunteer is allocated a Coordinator in the New Zealand office who assists them with all preparations. They provide briefing materials, support with logistics such as flights and visas and are there to answer any questions.
- Volunteer are briefed in person or in an online session to prepare them for their placement ahead.
- Volunteers complete their own Learning and Development Plan which helps to identify goals and personal skills they would like to develop, and these areas of development are followed up throughout their time away.
- All volunteers sign our Code of Conduct to ensure that our expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
When you’re overseas:
- Our Country Manager in Vietnam will oversee the Vietnamese placement. You will be supported by a Lattitude Team Leader as well as local project staff at each individual project in Thailand and Cambodia. As this is a team program, the aim is that there will be a lot of peer support, so that volunteers will work together, travel together and support each other throughout. Lattitude staff in New Zealand will provide broad oversight, support and management of the project throughout its entire duration.
- We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from New Zealand.
- You will attend an orientation when you first arrive in Vietnam, and a further orientation at each project in Cambodia and Thailand.
- Attend a mid-project review and also a debrief at the end.
When you’re back:
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
Dates & costs
Lattitude Application Fee – $175
The application fee covers the cost of processing applications and conducting interviews.
Whenever possible, we like to travel to your area to interview you in person, but if not possible, video conferencing using Skype is an alternative.
All applicants are guaranteed an interview. This fee is non-refundable.
Lattitude Placement Fee – $4000
The Lattitude placement fee covers your preparation & support prior to departure as well as in-country support whilst on placement. This is payable in two installments:
Upon acceptance to the Lattitude programme, a non-refundable $1000 deposit is payable within 7-10 days.
The balance of your Lattitude fee is payable 40 days prior to departure.
Orientation – $500
Volunteers receive an informative group orientation upon arrival in their placement country.
This includes safety & security briefings, an overview of the local culture & customs, language skills (where relevant), and other handy tips. Teaching skills courses may also take place where relevant.
• In depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
• Assigned Volunteer Coordinator to help with all your pre-departure advice and guidance
• Links with returned volunteers
• Advice on obtaining police checks
• Advice on obtaining a Visa
• Pre-departure briefing seminar
• Airport pickup on arrival
• Accommodation for the duration of stay (either with a host family or on placement site)
• Food provided by host (may not include every meal, but you will know what to expect before your arrival)
• Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
• 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from local reps and the Lattitude Country Manager
• Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
• Returned Volunteer follow up and Debrief Event
• Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni Association
• Certificate of completion and references (on request)
What’s not included:
In addition to the Lattitude fees above, volunteers will be required to pay for their own international flights, travel insurance and any visa costs. Lattitude staff will assist you in making these arrangements.
• International Flights – TBC
• Travel Insurance – TBC
• Visa – TBC
• GP medical clearance
• Travel doctor consultation (mandatory)
• Vaccinations (if applicable)
• Onward travel to placement (if applicable)
• Pocket Money for weekends/ holidays/post-placement travel
• Accommodation and food during holiday periods
As a charity we always recommend our volunteers to fundraise to help meet the costs involved in volunteering overseas. In many ways it is part of the whole experience. For more information and fundraising ideas please click here.
Sample itinerary & travel
The 5 month program begins in Vietnam and concludes in Thailand, stopping into Cambodia along the way for a project. This program runs from February – July, or September – January.
|5 MONTH PROGRAM : VIETNAM, CAMBODIA, & THAILAND|
|1||Arrival into Hanoi, Vietnam. Orientation & Teaching Skills Course for 4 nights, then pick up by school and off to placement.|
|2 – 11||Vietnam Project|
|12||Travel week to South Vietnam|
|13||Project orientation with Team Leader & travel to Cambodia|
|14 – 16||Cambodia Project|
|17||Travel week to Thailand|
|18 – 20||Thailand Project|
|21||Thailand Project concludes, end of program evaluation.|
With travel weeks built into the program, you have plenty of opportunities to explore more of Asia on your own or with your project team. Easy transport is at your fingertips! Take a bus, train, or short flight to your desired destination. Your Team Leader will be on hand to help you with any travel arrangements you might want to make, or suggest a new adventure! You can really see a lot in the time provided!
Placement Availability – 2019
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|Project Asia||5 Months||September 2019||Spaces Available|
Placement Availability – 2020
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|Project Asia||5 Months||February 2020||Spaces Available|
|Project Asia||5 Months||September 2020||Spaces Available|
“I would never have been this adventurous had I not been on this placement; it’s really opened my eyes to the world.”Marianne, Project Asia