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Teaching English in Vietnam

ddTeaching English in Vietnam is a booming industry, due in large part to the National Foreign Languages Project which has the aim for most student’s in Vietnam to be using English competently and confidently by 2020.

Armed with an accredited TESOL certification and degree you can live a fairly comfortable lifestyle in Vietnam as an English teacher, and with much more flexibility than in the popular teaching destinations of Japan or Korea. For example, part time or short-term work is more readily available and you may find yourself working for more than one language school.

Language schools in Vietnam teach all age ranges, from kindergarten through to adults, although you will find positions teaching children are more readily available. If you do find yourself teaching adults in Vietnam be prepared for less sociable hours because many of your teaching hours will be in the evenings and at weekends.

There are a good number of English teaching jobs in Vietnam hiring all year round in all the major cities, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hai Phong and of course, Danang.

The salary for an English teacher in Vietnam ranges from $1,000 – $2,000 per month for a full time contract, depending on location.  A TESOL certified teacher with a degree can expect to earn up to $20 per hour, with 20 teaching hours per week being considered full time.

Many teachers choose to work in Vietnam on a business visa (costing around $110 every 3 months). This means you can then work part time for a few different language schools, having more freedom and flexibility. It’s not unheard of for a teacher to work 3 or 4 hours per week for 4 different language schools.

You can also find private one-to-on tuition for up to $25/hr, providing an additional way to supplement your income.

All in all, you can live a very charmed life as an English teacher in Vietnam with a similar capacity to save as in South Korea and Japan, but with more flexibility and freedom. And let’s not forget all those amazing destinations to visit so close to Vietnam, including Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

A one year working contract pays up to $2000 per month, and comes with additional benefits such as holiday pay, health insurance, work permit assistance and a completion bonus. For this type of job you will definitely need a degree, accredited TESOL/CELTA certification and a work visa.

To obtain the work visa you will need:

  • Accredited TESOL certification (original document)
  • University Degree (original document)
  • Academic Transcript (original document)
  • Health check (you can get this done cheaply in Vietnam)
  • Police check in your home country from within the last 6 months (original document)

Living Costs

Although more expensive in the larger cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, the cost of living is still very low in Vietnam.

Local food is cheap, costing somewhere between $1.50 and $2 for a traditional dish. If you feel like eating some Western food you can expect to pay around $6 per meal, so it’s still very inexpensive by Western standards.

Fruit and vegetable stalls can be found in abundance, but you will need to be aware of the vendor’s attempt to charge you more because you are a Westerner. Get into the haggle habit!

You will also find more Western-style supermarkets where prices are fixed and quite reasonable.

Expect to pay around $400 per month for an apartment, and around $100 per month for utilities, including wifi. If you choose to live in a more expensive part of the country, you can find decent rooms in shared houses for around $250 per month.

The city you choose to live in depends on the lifestyle you want to lead.  If you want to party from dusk to dawn then Ho Chi Ming could be the city for you.  If you’d prefer to live around a more traditional vibe you might end up in Hanoi.

If you’d like to be in an upcoming yet laid back city with amazing surf beaches nearby then living in Da Nang might just be perfect for you.

There’s no rush for you to decide, you can take a trip after your TESOL course and see which location feels right for you.

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