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    I'm currently Year 12, sitting AS-Levels. I was wondering whether it would be possible do this: http://www.realgap.co.uk/vietnam-exp...#axzz2OfcV3xyA 4 week trip to Vietnam in between finishing my a-Levels and going to Uni. The trip has really caught my eye, as it looks a like a fantastic culture and includes a beneficial week of volunteer teaching. I want an English degree so this would be perfect. The only problem is finances - we're not middle class, but my parents have said they'll pay in part for the trip, which is £779 without flights. I'm also not sure whether it would be better if I actually took a whole year out and do other things as well or try and nudge it in before I go to Uni, as I wouldn't be able to talk about it on my UCAS and it might be better to work for a year to build up some money.

    1) Should I do it?
    2) Is it a good trip to make?
    3) What should I do for preparation for the trip? (finances, general)
    4) Should I put it in the summer holidays or take a whole year out?
    5) If I do take a whole year out, what's the best way to spend my time?

    Thanks in advance.
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    Could do with a reply soon.
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    Looks as though people are as knowledgeable as I am.
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    (Original post by Mr Faust)
    Looks as though people are as knowledgeable as I am.
    Personally I wouldn't bother. £800 is quite a lot of money in Vietnam and the are only covering accom. and breakfast really.

    If you want to volunteer you should check out IVHQ, you can volunteer there for two weeks at just $370, this covers 3 meals a day also.

    Hopefully at the end of that you will have made a friend or two, if not don't worry. Just book into a hostel for a couple of days and if you still haven't met anyone just set off travelling around on your own.
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    (Original post by bestofyou)
    Personally I wouldn't bother. £800 is quite a lot of money in Vietnam and the are only covering accom. and breakfast really.

    If you want to volunteer you should check out IVHQ, you can volunteer there for two weeks at just $370, this covers 3 meals a day also.

    Hopefully at the end of that you will have made a friend or two, if not don't worry. Just book into a hostel for a couple of days and if you still haven't met anyone just set off travelling around on your own.
    It actually costs $819 for Vietnam on IVHQ for a month, because there is a $249 registration fee on top of that $570 for a month. Although that is still £300 pounds less, RealGap offers a lot more than simply volunteering (only a quarter of it is, the other 3/4 is trekking, sightseeing, beach etc). The Real Gap one is also more structured, I don't like the idea of hanging around a hostel for days trying to find a stranger to go with.
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    I think you should do it! I'm going to Asia for five weeks myself next month and I'm ridiculously excited. I'm on a gap year though, so I've been saving up for it (and for uni) for a while now. There will be other expenses than the £779 for the trip and the extra for flights (which can be quite a lot! Usually the most expensive part), such as food, activities you want to try and so forth so you shouldn't do it without being sure you have the required amount of money. Taking a gap year is a great way to earn a fair amount but it can also be boring as hell so I would think carefully about it
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    (Original post by Kavalier)
    I think you should do it! I'm going to Asia for five weeks myself next month and I'm ridiculously excited. I'm on a gap year though, so I've been saving up for it (and for uni) for a while now. There will be other expenses than the £779 for the trip and the extra for flights (which can be quite a lot! Usually the most expensive part), such as food, activities you want to try and so forth so you shouldn't do it without being sure you have the required amount of money. Taking a gap year is a great way to earn a fair amount but it can also be boring as hell so I would think carefully about it
    How much do you think a month would cost in a grand total do you think? I'm thinking of taking a friend with me too if they agree, so that might get the cost down a little bit maybe if we share etc. At the moment I'm against the idea of a gap year, but I really would like to do this before Uni.

    Also, whereabouts are you going?
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    I did this exact trip last year and i must say it was absolutely amazing. I did it because travelling was a last minute idea and I really couldn't be bothered with the hassle of organising anything independently. The trip was extremely well organised, the guides were fantastic and I visited some incredible places. Also, DONT DO THE VOLUNTEERING, go to the mountains and do adventure option instead! PM me if you have any questions about the trip

    This is the area i stayed in for the adventure week:
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    (Original post by Mr Faust)
    It actually costs $819 for Vietnam on IVHQ for a month, because there is a $249 registration fee on top of that $570 for a month. Although that is still £300 pounds less, RealGap offers a lot more than simply volunteering (only a quarter of it is, the other 3/4 is trekking, sightseeing, beach etc). The Real Gap one is also more structured, I don't like the idea of hanging around a hostel for days trying to find a stranger to go with.
    well it is entirely up to you. It just looked like you weren't getting very much for £800.
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    (Original post by bestofyou)
    well it is entirely up to you. It just looked like you weren't getting very much for £800.
    I can't think of anything else I'd rather spend £800 pounds on.
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    (Original post by Mr Faust)
    I can't think of anything else I'd rather spend £800 pounds on.
    Not exactly what I mean. You spend £800 for a month on accommodation and one meal. That is very expensive for Vietnam. Real Gap is renowned for being a middle man. If you book a flight and did everything on your own then your £800 would go an awful lot further. Plus there will be plenty of volunteer options on the ground when you get there, all you need to do is look for them. At least that way the chances are you will be contributing something as opposed to you paying an international company x in fees for them to dump you off in some place where you really only get in the way. I have had experience with these type of situations and trust me, if you have to pay to volunteer then you presence is not required and chances are yo do more harm than good.

    My personal advice is book the flights, find a red cross site or some sort of charity if you want to volunteer and then go travelling yourself.

    I paid a company a similar sum and was a big regret when I got there and realised what I could have done with it.
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    (Original post by bestofyou)
    Not exactly what I mean. You spend £800 for a month on accommodation and one meal. That is very expensive for Vietnam. Real Gap is renowned for being a middle man. If you book a flight and did everything on your own then your £800 would go an awful lot further. Plus there will be plenty of volunteer options on the ground when you get there, all you need to do is look for them. At least that way the chances are you will be contributing something as opposed to you paying an international company x in fees for them to dump you off in some place where you really only get in the way. I have had experience with these type of situations and trust me, if you have to pay to volunteer then you presence is not required and chances are yo do more harm than good.

    My personal advice is book the flights, find a red cross site or some sort of charity if you want to volunteer and then go travelling yourself.

    I paid a company a similar sum and was a big regret when I got there and realised what I could have done with it.
    But I don't want to do everything on my own, I want a structured and safe trip. I'm not sure what you mean by me "contributing something" if I did it on my own and how I'd "only get in the way" with RealGap. Vietnam's schools are underfunded and understaffed, I don't see how organising my trip through RealGap or organising it myself would make a difference to whether I give help or not.

    I'm all for advise and tips, but the advice you are giving me is not suited to what I want - no stress.
 
 
 
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