Teaching English in Vietnam
Where will you go in Vietnam? Extremely bustling Ho Chi Minh City or somewhat less hectic Hanoi. Or maybe some of the world’s best beaches along the country’s glorious coastline, in Nha Trang or islands off the coast. See gorgeous hilly rice patties and expansive green rice fields. Taste delicious pho, grilled prawns, and French-influenced baguette sandwiches in the local markets Overhaul your wardrobe in Hoi An, world famous for its tailors. This is definitely a country for adventure seekers. With rapid economic growth since the 1980s, Vietnam has lifted many in its people out of poverty, but remains a poor country with one in eight still living below the poverty line. English skills are seen as a solid chance to change a person’s life for the better and teachers report that students here are often more attentive and serious about their studies than in other more popular ESL countries. A big upside to being based in Vietnam as a teacher is the breadth of opportunities to travel the region’s exotic destinations – Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and more …
Salaries and Types of Jobs Available
The typical pay for a private school teaching position in Vietnam is $1500-$2000/month. Living expenses, especially going out for food and drinks, are extremely affordable. This makes Vietnam a very attractive option for teachers who don’t want to sacrifice a fun lifestyle – and you can still save quite a bit if you’re disciplined. You usually have to find your own accommodation here, but it’s not a big problem and there are many online resources online to help you – you could start your research at http://tnhvietnam.xemzi.com/
The vast majority of teaching jobs are in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (also known in the West as Saigon). Both cities have a well-established expat community. This makes it easy to rub shoulders with lots of other foreigners if you get a little homesick. Because of Vietnam’s exoticism and beautiful sights, there’s also a very bustling backpacker scene that’s not as present in other more common ESL destinations. Demand for foreign teachers is also growing along the coast, so if you’re lucky, you may be able to work in one of Vietnam’s beautiful beach towns.
To be a teacher in Vietnam, you need to be a native English speaker and have a BA or equivalent diploma. TEFL certifications (over 100 hours) is preferred and CELTA-level certification carries extra prestige here. Previous teaching experience can also go a long way towards securing you a better job.
Your employer will help you arrange your visa, in coordination with your recruiting agency. Apparently, Vietnam is a more forgiving marketplace for finding work after you’ve arrived (if you opt for a 3-month business visa). However, that choice doesn’t give you the peace of mind that comes with a contract fully arranged beforehand. It’s not for the faint of heart – if you go this route, you should come prepared with a couple of months’ worth of extra cash while you look for work.