Highlights of Teaching English in Vietnam
- Do you want to live in the heart of Asia in a nation boasting dynamic cities, stunning landscapes, magnificent beaches and thousands of years of history and culture?
- Do you want to live in a tropical nation where the warmth of the people matches that of the weather and that combines the pulsating energy of one of the world’s fastest growing economies with classic Asian charm and beauty?
- Can you see yourself living and working in a country where good salaries and an amazingly low cost of living enables a first-time English teacher to save $500-$600 a month after expenses?
If so, then you might want to consider getting a TEFL certification and going to teach English in Vietnam.
Descending from the border of China into the heart of Southeast Asia like an ancient mythical dragon, Vietnam represents a distinct blend of Chinese and Indo-Buddhist cultures, tempered with a taste of French-colonial charm. Lined with thousands of miles of beautiful coastline, Vietnam mixes stunning mountainous highlands and picturesque rice fields with a collection of colorful and bustling cities. Foodie travel guru Anthony Bourdain claims Vietnam is his favorite country in the world. Once you’ve arrived and sampled local specialties like pho (beef or chicken noodle soup topped with sprouts and fresh herbs) and gỏi cuốn (fresh spring rolls with shrimp, pork, and rice noodles), you’ll realize he might be on to something.
Teaching English in Vietnam
With millions of Vietnamese citizens now taking English classes, opportunities are diverse and wide-ranging. Those looking to teach English in Vietnam to children will find ample opportunities, as will those seeking to teach English to adults, particularly business English. English teaching jobs in Vietnam are concentrated in Ho Chi Minh City (historically known as Saigon) and Hanoi, two cosmopolitan and dynamic cities that combine the energy of 21st century Asia with centuries of history, classic French colonial charm and street life with color that matches that found anywhere in the world.
While Ho Chi Minh City is the nation’s undisputed business hub and Hanoi is the political and diplomatic center, both are home to dozens of language schools, private academies and universities with an almost limitless demand for qualified English teachers. English teaching jobs in Vietnam will also be found in the coastal cities of Da Nang, Vũng Tàu and Hai Phong, as well as Can Tho, a bustling river port in the Mekong Delta known for its colorful floating markets.
Most English teaching jobs will be in private language schools and institutes and a typical English teacher in Vietnam can expect to spend 25 hours a week in class working with students, and another 12-15 hours working on lesson planning and other tasks.
Things to See & Do While Teaching English in Vietnam
English teachers in Vietnam will find the nation is absolutely littered with world-class natural, cultural and historical attractions. Travel is often very affordable and easy to arrange. In the north, top draws include the scenic highlands around Sapa as well as stunning seascapes of Ha Long Bay where more than 3,000 limestone isles dramatically soar into the sky like a scene out of a classical Chinese brush painting.
Hanoi itself has been a major center of government and culture for nearly 1,000 years. Here you can explore the traditional Chinese-style architecture of the Temple of Literature, spend hours (or days!) wandering through the markets of the “36 Streets” in the old city and learn about the life of the father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, at his home and Mausoleum. In the center of the country, highlights include the imperial city of Hue and the charming streets of Hoi An where merchants from throughout Asia have exchanged goods and cultural influences for centuries. Finally, in the south, Ho Chi Minh City makes an ideal base both for visiting the country’s scenic southern coastline as well as the Mekong Delta, which is lined with traditional villages and floating markets.
Major cities throughout the country offers plenty of exciting nightlife from nightclubs to karaoke bars, as well as all sorts of welcoming cafes and teahouses where English teachers can mingle with locals while enjoying cold and hot refreshments, including Vietnam’s famous iced coffee.
Eating & Shopping in Vietnam
Boasting an astonishing array of fresh seafood, tantalizing tropical fruits and delectable fresh produce, Vietnam is an eater’s paradise. Soy sauce, fish sauce, rice, noodles, produce and seafood provide the foundation of Vietnamese cuisine. While most dishes are mild and delicate compared to what one may find in say Thailand or Malaysia, condiments like chilies, garlic, and hot sauces are always available to spice things up.
The country’s French heritage is evident in the fantastic breads and pastries found on almost every street, and perhaps most famously in the legendary banh mi sandwiches featuring fresh French bread crammed with fillings like roast pork and head cheese topped with cilantro and chilies. More adventurous eaters may wish to try such hair-raising local specialties as cobra heart and pickled scorpions, but even the most timid gourmand will find plenty to enjoy. Major cities in particular feature an array of international options from pasta and pizza to sushi and curry, and given the nation’s rich Buddhist traditions and abundance of fresh produce, vegetarians will find Vietnam to be more than accommodating.
Shoppers will also find much to like. Highlights include a vast selection of fine silk products, hand-crafted lacquer and a mind-boggling array of fun and colorful souvenirs like hand-made water puppets. English teachers in Vietnam will find that most goods cost a fraction of what they would in the U.S. or Europe. A hand-tailored suit or dress that might cost $800-$1,000 in New York of Chicago, for example, can often be purchased for as little as $150 in Vietnam.
Getting hired to teach English in Vietnam
There are thousands of great opportunities for those who earn an internationally accredited TEFL Certification and who meet certain basic requirements. Officially, to gain employment and a work visa to teach English in a Vietnam, a teacher must hold citizenship from a major native English-speaking country (defined as USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) and most hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year university. A criminal background check must also be produced. Some teachers who do not meet these criteria do find opportunities in Vietnam, but this is not something that ITA can guarantee.
Many schools and language institutes in Vietnam hire and interview locally, and many will also recruit internationally using ESL job boards and recruiters. International TEFL Academy will provide you with the resources and guidance you need to get hired as an English teacher in Vietnam regardless of which certification option you choose, and all of our students and graduates receive lifetime job search guidance.
Salaries for English Teachers in Vietnam
Most English teachers will earn the equivalent of $1,300-$1,800 a month, which represents excellent wages in Vietnam, where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is Europe or the U.S. Monthly rent for English teachers in Vietnam will typically range from $250 - $500 a month, and one can earn a healthy, tasty meal on virtually any street corner for a couple of dollars or less. Because of this low cost of living, most English teachers in Vietnam find that they are able to save $400- $600 a month, or up to $7,000 a year after expenses.
Certification to Teach English in Vietnam
You can earn your certification by taking our Ho Chih Minh City Vietnam TEFL Course, a course at any of our Worldwide TEFL locations or by taking the Online TEFL Class. Those take the course in Vietnam will receive personal, hands-on job placement assistance and virtually every qualified candidate who completes the course is able to gain employment. Those who take the course online or at another international location will interview by Skype or phone in advance of arrival in Vietnam.
You can also arrive in Vietnam with your certificate and interview locally. Again, International TEFL Academy will provide you with the resources and guidance you need to get hired as an English teacher in Vietnam regardless of which certification option you choose, and all of our students and graduates receive lifetime job search guidance.
Visas for English Teachers in Vietnam
Schools will sponsor work visas for their teachers, who must meet certain requirements. Officially, to gain employment and a work visa to teach English in a Vietnam, a teacher must hold citizenship from a major native English-speaking country and most hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year university. A criminal recognized criminal background check is also required.
Housing for English Teachers in Vietnam
Though there are some limited exceptions, schools do not typically provide housing for their teachers, however, most will provide assistance to teachers in finding suitable accommodations and apartments in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are relatively plentiful and inexpensive- monthly rent for English teachers in Vietnam will typically range from $250 - $500 a month.
In addition, there are many local English-speaking realtors who specialize in working with expatriates moving to Vietnam, as well as many English-language websites and periodicals that provide listings for apartment rentals and contact information for realtors. Apartments are typically pre-furnished and most teachers find that living with other English teachers is convenient and cost-effective.
Health Insurance for English teachers in Vietnam
Health insurance is typically provided to English teachers in Vietnam. ITA can also provide some guidance and information regarding providing international health insurance that can be purchased independently. Basic healthcare and services in Vietnam are typically inexpensive to what is found in the U.S. and Europe.
Are you looking for more inforamtion on how to teach English in Vietnam and get TEFL certified?
Contact International TEFL Academy today to speak with an advisor to find out about our online course, multiple on-site TEFL classes or request a brochure to learn about TEFL training courses and a comparison of the most popular countries to teach English.