A female intern is pictured gaining physiotherapy work experience whilst assisting locals affected by Agent Orange during her physiotherapy internship in Vietnam.

Physiotherapy Internship in Vietnam

Get practical experience and learn from physiotherapists working with disabled patients

At a glance

  • People are still suffering from the effects of chemical warfare during the Vietnam War, so there’s high demand in this field.
  • Learn directly from experienced physiotherapists at rehabilitation and care centres.
  • We'll teach you how to diagnose and treat the disabilities you observe.

Start Dates: 

Completely flexible dates

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks


16 or over
You should have completed at least two years of physiotherapy related studies or training.

Is the Physiotherapy Internship in Vietnam right for me?

Our Physiotherapy internship in Vietnam will add plenty of work experience to your CV. This is perfect if you’re a student and want to gain experience in the field. It’s also useful for interviews. Talk about what you saw and learned, and the challenges you overcame. This will help give your application an extra edge.

In Vietnam, there is a large number of people who need treatment to improve their quality of life. You’ll watch as experienced physiotherapists help their patients. We encourage you to ask questions and take notes to learn as much as possible.

To join, you should have completed at least two years of physiotherapy related studies or training. The project runs throughout the year. You can join at any time, and must commit to a minimum of two weeks.

Projects Abroad interns are pictured leading a stretching and exercising class whilst on their physiotherapy internship in Vietnam, Asia.

What do you do at your Physiotherapy placement in Vietnam?

Your role on a Physiotherapy placement in Vietnam can vary depending on where you are placed. These are some of the main activities you take part in:

  • Work alongside professionals in rehabilitation centres to treat patients with disabilities
  • Assist teachers with educational development at child care centres
  • Work in a vocational department to teach children skills to use for income

The specific tasks you can help with during your internship include:

Work with patients at rehabilitation centres

You’ll shadow physiotherapists at a rehabilitation centre for children and teenagers. The patients here have conditions like autism, down syndrome, intellectual delay, and cerebral palsy. You will work in an exercise room and a gross motor room. Here, you’ll observe how physiotherapists perform massage and other passive treatments on patients. You can also help take children in wheelchairs out for walks. These activities are an excellent way to learn and gain physiotherapy work experience in Vietnam.

Assist teachers with child care development

You can work at a centre for children with disabilities. You’ll focus on educational games and running fine motor skills workshops. You can also help children develop skills in art and dance, or teach mathematics classes. Your input here will help support the local teachers.

Teach children vocational skills

You can run vocational training classes to teach some of the older teenagers skills like weaving, making incense, bags, paper flowers, cooking, and other craft items. These activities encourage creativity and hand-eye coordination, and the skills learned can be used in future careers to secure an income.

Where you will work on the Physiotherapy Internship in Vietnam


You will gain physiotherapy work experience in Vietnam at one of two placements. We can place you at a care centre in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Or you can work at a rehabilitation centre in a more rural setting about 60km outside of Hanoi.

The rehabilitation centre is near the city of Son Tay. Here, people live more basic and traditional lives. You’ll experience rural Vietnam covered with by rice paddies where farmers and water buffalo are hard at work.

In Hanoi, you’ll navigate your way through thousands of motorcycles, Vietnam’s primary mode of transport for most people. Follow the delicious smells coming from street food vendors at nearly every corner. Enjoy lunches of spring rolls and Vietnam’s famous pho, a noodle dish with rice, broth, herbs, and chicken or beef.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Vietnam Arrival Procedures page.

A typical day on the Physiotherapy Internship in Vietnam

Your schedule in Vietnam is slightly different depending on where you’re placed. Your day generally runs from about 8:00am to 4:00pm. You’ll have a lunch break from about 11:00am to 1:00pm.

At the rehabilitation centre, you’ll work with a physiotherapist in an exercise room or the gross motor and massage room. You’ll focus on helping with physical rehabilitation exercises, and observing physiotherapists as they treat patients. You’ll spend most of your day in these spaces at the rehabilitation centre. 

At the care centre, you’ll also work in a rehabilitation room. This room has equipment like mattresses, exercise balls, toys, a trampoline, and a parallel bar. You’ll help the physiotherapist treat children. This placement also has a swimming pool used for therapy exercises.

During your free time and weekends, you can explore the city of Hanoi and surrounds. Visit ancient temples, shop till you drop at night markets, drink endless cups of Vietnamese coffee, and sing your heart out at karaoke bars. We encourage you to organise a weekend trip to the spectacular Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Female intern with Projects Abroad participating in sensory play with a child during her physiotherapy internship in Vietnam.

Aims and Impact of the Physiotherapy Internship in Vietnam

The aim of the Physiotherapy internship in Vietnam is to give you the opportunity to learn and develop your skills in physiotherapy. You’ll also be able to contribute to important work being done to help people with various disabilities and improve their quality of life.

Chemical warfare used in the Vietnam War continues to affect people in Vietnam, young and old. This is because symptoms caused by Agent Orange exposure are passed down biologically. Physiotherapists have a significant role to play in Vietnam, and you’ll learn a lot from them.

We have set the following goals for this project as indicated in our Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan:

  • Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promote an exchange of medical knowledge
  • Improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients
  • Improve the quality of specialised or alternative healthcare provided
  • Improve hygiene standards
  • Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups

Join us as we strive to reach these goals to assist those in need, and advance your career in physiotherapy.

An intern is pictured reading to a child during her physiotherapy internship in Vietnam with Projects Abroad.

Medical electives for students

This project is also perfect for university medical and healthcare elective students. The real-world insight and knowledge you gain will help shape you as a future medical professional. You will also learn to work with different people and get a broader perspective of global healthcare systems and issues. This benefits your career for years to come. We can organise a placement that meets all of your university's requirements.

Read more about how we organise healthcare electives.  

Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.

Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll stay in shared accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns while in Vietnam. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.

The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day. 

Find out more about our accommodation.

Leisure activities and free time

Vietnam offers a mix of bustling cities and picturesque countrysides. With so many different activities and tourist sites, you’re bound to find plenty of ways to spend your free time.

For a glimpse into the country’s history, you can spend an afternoon exploring the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology or the National Museum of Vietnamese History. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is also a major historic site, located in Hanoi.

If you’re looking to buy some souvenirs, there are many markets with locally made products on sale. Evenings in Hanoi are filled with excitement and bright, colourful lights. You can watch street performers and then head to a nearby restaurant for a taste of local cuisine.

The countryside, with its emerald rice paddies stretching to the horizon, provides the perfect escape from the busy capital.

We run many different projects in Vietnam, so there will likely be other volunteers in-country with you. This makes travelling as a group easy to arrange. However, you’re welcome to explore independently if you prefer. 

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

When you apply you only pay €295, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options and fundraising advice available.

Looking to do more than one project? Get discounted prices when you combine projects or destinations!

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