Know One Teach One (KOTO)

Know One Teach One (KOTO)

KOTO stands for “Know One, Teach One" and this ethos permeates all KOTO's work. KOTO’s works towards abolishing the cycle of poverty, by empowering at-risk and disadvantaged youth to create better futures for themselves and their communities primarily through the transformative power of social enterprise.

KOTO believes disadvantaged youth thrive when they have access to holistic and vocational skill development opportunities. Supported in a nurturing environment, where each participant builds self-confidence and is empowered to live a life of dignity, independence and happiness.

KOTO is a longstanding partner of PACE International, since its inception in 2010. Over this time, Macquarie students have contributed immensely to the delivery of KOTO’s programs to have a real and quantifiable impact in alleviating poverty through providing educational opportunities for vulnerable youth in Vietnam.

Find out more on the KOTO website or view the New Colombo Plan video about students working at KOTO. Dateline also recently produced a great documentary about KOTO that you can watch on ABC iview.

Previous student activities have included:

  • Teaching/assistant teaching, especially in ESL/TEFOL
  • Hospitality
  • Social enterprise management and development
  • Youth leadership, mentoring and life-skills coaching
  • Fundraising and marketing
  • HR

Accommodation: Typically hotel twin-share accommodation

Activity Timing*: Winter Vacation (June - July)

Activity length: 4-6 weeks

PACE Units*: ARTS3000, EDTE4010, INTS3050, MQBS3000

*Please note: unit availability, timing and activities are dependent on partner needs and are subject to change. Not all units are offered each session.

Location and highlights 

KOTO has multiple venues within Vietnam, with a restaurant and training center located in Hanoi. The KOTO restaurant is located opposite Quoc Tu Giam park in Van Mieu and surrounded by local artisan shops and specialty stores. Students who are placed at the KOTO Training Center take the KOTO shuttle bus to and from the center each day and are provided lunch at the center's canteen.

Hanoi is renown for its centuries-old architecture, rich diverse culture fusing Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. At its heart is Hoan Kiem District (the Old Quarter), where the narrow streets meet at the famous Hoan Kiem Lake. There are many historic sites worth visiting, including Bach Ma, Đồng Xuân Market and Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature).

Hanoi's famously delicious street food (and coffee!) is a total highlight with an array of culinary delights destined to captivate the most discriminating gourmand.

Activities with KOTO in July regularly feature an overnight field trip to Da Nang, a coastal town in Central Vietnam.

Previous Activities

HRStudents helped coordinate staff training workshops and performed a demographic analysis on volunteer information that was used to inform decision making and marketing for future volunteer groups.
MarketingStudents supported the marketing department with preparation for the End of Year Tet (Lunar New Year) Party by developing media presentations, designing promotional collateral, managing event logistics and fundraising.
BusinessStudents worked with KOTO’s People and Performance team to improve some internal processes. Students focused on the design and implementation of internal communications for current and past trainees, enhancing KOTO’s alumni program.
EducationStudents assisted KOTO trainers in delivering English language classes and hospitality curriculum. This included conducting lessons, tutoring sessions and hosting conversational English groups. Students also worked with staff to design and develop life-skills training and hospitality training.
Public RelationsStudents designed a sponsor information pamphlet outlining the benefits for potential sponsors for the KOTO Trainee Field Trip to Hoi An. Students also prepared an official media press-release for the field trip and created thank you letters and certificates for all event sponsors.

This decision reflects a similar decision that has been made in respect to Macquarie International student travel.

This means that all PACE International in-country activities (including student-nominated activities) in Session 1 and Winter Vacation will need to be cancelled.

Our students’ health and safety is our primary concern at PACE International.

We understand this news will be quite disappointing and some of you may have queries or concerns regarding your unit enrolment.  Please contact our teams at PACE International, or your appropriate Faculty, if you would like to discuss this further.


PACE International applications are open to all currently enrolled students at Macquarie University. To be eligible you must:

  • Have completed one session at Macquarie University
  • Be enrolled – or eligible to enrol - in a PACE unit as listed in the Partner search on the PACE International website
  • Hold a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) on or above 60* (LAWS units require a LAWS WAM of 70* or above).
  • Be assessed as suitable using the PACE International Selection Criteria

* If you do not hold the minimum required WAM you can apply for special consideration in your application form.

Please note that placements are allocated based on number of places available at the partner organisation, students’ skill set, student preferences and unit requirements. While we aim to place all eligible students, some placements are very limited, and applications will be considered competitively. Please also note that activities and partners are subject to change.

In assessing your suitability, PACE International will review all components of your application including your application form, academic transcript, CV, and referee report. We may also seek advice from your home Faculty, Student Wellbeing, and/or Macquarie International.

If your WAM is under 60 (or under 70 for LAWS), or if your transcript lists Academic Caution or Disciplinary Issues, you will need to complete a special consideration form alongside your application to provide further information.

In some cases, we may require additional information to properly consider your suitability and may invite you to either submit additional supporting documents or to attend an interview with PACE International staff.

Before I apply

  • Use the PACE International Partner Search to learn more about our opportunities
  • Receive academic advice to see how a PACE International activity will fit into your degree
  • Check you meet the eligibility requirements
  • View the PACE International information session online or visit one of our drop-in sessions
  • Read through the Application Top Tips for advice on submitting your best application
  • Review the Example Application Form to plan how you will answer application questions
  • Refer to the Ethical Volunteering Guide for more information about ethical community engagement and how PACE International works internationally.

How do I apply?

  • Submit an online application form during the key opening dates and apply through the Current Opportunities page.
  • Select your preferences for host organisations (if applicable). Please research our partner organisations before you apply.
  • Attach to your online application a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV), your academic transcript and the contact details of your referee

An automatic reference check will be sent to your referee on submission of your application. Once you have submitted your application, you will be notified via email on the outcome of your application.

Application Timing

SessionApplicationsOverseas Activity
Winter VacationFebruaryJune-July (4 weeks)
Session 2AprilSeptember (2-4 weeks)
Session 3JulyJanuary (4-12 weeks)

Activity Cost

PACE International managed activities incur an activity cost. The Activity Cost is dependent on the location, work requirements, time frame and duration of your activity. Additional costs, not included in your activity cost, are paid for directly by you. Financial support is available through grant funding.

  • Accommodation
  • Pre-departure training
  • In-country orientation
  • In-country management
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel insurance for activity duration
  • Field trips
  • International airfares
  • Visa (where applicable)
  • National Police Checks
  • Unit tuition
  • Vaccinations (where applicable)
  • New/renewed passport (where applicable)Personal travel insurance and all related expenses for personal travel and leisure activities
  • Incidental living and travel costs (e.g laundry, transport, souvenirs)

Funding options

There are a range of funding options available to assist you with the associated costs of a PACE International activity. For more information on eligibility and application requirements see the Funding tab on the PACE International website.

Contact us

Phone: +61 2 9850 4473
Instagram: @mqpace

Make an appointment or attend a drop-in session: If you would like to speak to a PACE International staff member, please email us at

Student Stories - Russel Alivio

What do you study and where did you go on your PACE International activity?

I was in my final year of Commerce (Accounting) and Laws when I commenced my Pace International Activity in Vietnam.

What was your role or project at your host organisation?

I was assigned as an Alumni Relations Intern working on various projects within the Training and Alumni Services Department. For a few days I would be working on presentations, liaising with key sponsors or creating some team-building activities and then I’d be working on something completely different like designing shirts for our teams or learning the language and culture of the host country.

What attracted you to the PACE International program?

PACE International not only gave me the opportunity to travel, but as a history and exploration enthusiast, I was most attracted to its fundamental purpose of nurturing the students to learn, engage and appreciate the culture and history of Australia’s neighbouring countries like Vietnam.

What advice would you give a student who is thinking of applying for a PACE International activity?

I was away for four weeks to a place I hadn’t been before, which spoke a language I was unfamiliar with and that approached each day different to what I was accustomed to at home. You’ll be working as a team with members of different opinions, strengths and weaknesses. My advice would be to remain flexible and proactive — so avoid stressing if things don’t go as planned. In fact, you’ll find that a ‘go with the flow’ mentality is deeply rooted in the culture of many developing nations. That said however, you’re still representing Macquarie University as well as Australia. To me, this meant that maintaining composure was of paramount importance in those off days where I’d be tired or if plans took a different turn.

What was the best part of your PACE International experience?

Aside from the travelling and exploring I got to do on the weekends, what I really valued most from my PACE International experience was the engagement in work and the people. I worked on more than just one project over the month and even when I finished, there’d always be something to do. Throughout the month volunteering, I also took pride in the little things that seemed to put a smile on faces of people from the host country. Just conversing in English or sharing ideas or meals goes a long way. You discover the untold stories of people that have lived in small towns and cities their whole lives. Listening to peoples dreams and aspirations in a volunteer capacity has that human touch that you can’t buy or plan for when you visit a country as a tourist.

Student experiences - Ryan Lee

“I have been learning a lot about marketing at university, but to go out and practice it in another country with different cultures in an invaluable experience. The PACE International experience will show employers that you have the ability to go past what you’ve actually learned at university and that you can use your skills in an international context.” –Ryan Lee

Student experiences - Stephanie Hickman

"My experience with KOTO through PACE International was even more fulfilling than I anticipated. The opportunity to apply skills to a professional project, while working with and amongst another culture is the best of both worlds. I hope to be able to work with KOTO again in the future. The friendships made, the cultural experience and professional development gained are all invaluable." – Stephanie Hickman

Student experiences - Denise Celestino

"Working for KOTO changed my perspectives on life and clarified my own path to the future. It has shown me that passion, hope and hard work can get you to achieve so much. Working in a different work environment gave me so many different experiences I can utilise in future careers but getting to the know the students, teachers, staff and alumni made this experience even better than I expected." – Denise Celestino

Student experiences - Tamara Frary

“Travelling abroad to various countries could not have prepared me in the same way as working overseas. PACE International allowed me to develop my cross-cultural relations. I learnt worldly knowledge from a perspective I have never been given the chance to learn from before. The PACE International program gave me support that I wouldn’t have been able to receive on my own. This was the perfect way to gain a stronger understanding of cross-cultural relations and a great stepping stone to working abroad on my own in the future.” –Tamara Frary

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