Want to Teach English in Vietnam?
LanguageCorps in Vietnam
Vietnam possesses one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, yet it is home to some of Asia’s most beautiful scenery. Divine beaches dot the coast, while inland the soaring mountains are often cloaked by dense, misty forests. The Vietnamese people are hard working and industrious, and at the same time strikingly friendly and optimistic. The demand for English teachers remains consistently strong, and program participants are assisted in finding paid teaching jobs in Vietnam.
Teaching English in Vietnam is not only incredibly rewarding, it’s fun too!
TESOL Certification Program
Our intensive four-week TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certification Program gives you the skills and methodology needed to be comfortable and competent teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language). Our Vietnam program includes a 4-week training in our facility in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia, after which a recruiting agency will assist you with your job search in Vietnam. Please note that you need to hold a degree to participate in this program. The training includes 100 hours of in-class training and 20 hours of teaching practice with local students. Your classes are observed by our professional training staff and you receive constructive feedback which enables you to improve your teaching style every day. In addition to classroom instruction in effective EFL teaching principles and techniques, you will learn how to plan lessons, conduct effective classroom activities, and implement what you have learned in practice teaching sessions with local EFL students.
The TESOL Certification Program Fee for Vietnam is US$1,550. Airport pickup in Cambodia is included in this price.
Teacher Certification Dates
TESOL Course Dates 2018
8 January – 2 February
5 February – 2 March
5 March – 30 March
2 April – 27 April
30 April – 25 May
28 May – 22 June
25 June – 20 July
23 July – 17 August
20 August – 14 September
17 September – 12 October
15 October – 9 November
12 November – 7 December
To ensure placement in the program you desire, we advise applying two to six months prior to your intended start date. Late placements are sometimes possible; please contact us immediately if you are applying less than two months before your desired start date.
Teaching in Vietnam
An average workweek is usually 25-30 hours, including class time and preparation. Most language centers have weekday classes in the evening, while classes typically run all day on the weekends. A typical teaching day consists of two or three lessons and then planning time.
Students in Vietnam tend to include young children, adults, and, especially due to the economic growth in the last few years, business professionals. Vietnamese students are motivated to learn. Contracts are typically 6-12 months, depending on the type of school or company you work for. The longer you are available, the more ‘marketable’ you are as a teacher. In the beginning of their teaching careers, many teachers accept part-time jobs at more than one school to fill up their work schedule. After gaining teaching experience, many teachers go full-time with one employer.
Due to the huge demand for English teachers, Vietnam hires year-round. The only down time is around the Vietnamese New Year, “Tet”. If you are interested in working for a state school, you should apply three months prior to the beginning of the new school year, which starts in August. Bear in mind that these state schools have very high requirements for teachers. The easier alternative is to apply for a job at an international school, which also follows the Vietnamese school year. Private language institutes hire year round.
LanguageCorps teachers usually find jobs in our primary focus area in, and around, Ho Chi Minh City. A few choose to go outside the primary focus area, and our teachers, with our assistance, have been successful finding multiple opportunities in Da Nang, Hanoi, and other cities in Vietnam. If you choose to go outside the primary focus area, this process may take longer, and may require additional out of pocket expenses on your part.
In Vietnam, the best way to find a good job is to be in the country and visit the schools in-person. Securing a job prior to arrival in Vietnam is extremely difficult, but of course you can send the schools a heads up to let them know that you’re interested and will be traveling to Vietnam in search of opportunities.
A TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate is needed to teach English in Vietnam and puts you in quite a good position to negotiate your salary. A Bachelors degree is required to apply for a work visa in Vietnam.
Typical wages for LanguageCorps teachers range from US$1000-$1500/month (salaries are always paid in dong and are usually paid at the end of the month). Benefits vary greatly from school to school. In very few occasions, if a teacher stays for one year, the school will pay for the airfare to another destination or will give a bonus. As you would expect, the larger cities have higher living costs, but pay rates are also higher. Housing is typically not provided by Vietnamese employers.
Most Teachers take jobs at language centers, although some public schools can now afford to hire LanguageCorps-quality teachers. Local living expenses are low: about US$500-700/month. A LanguageCorps teacher can earn enough to live very comfortably, enjoy local entertainment and restaurants, travel to local attractions, and – depending on your life style – save up some money.
In addition to the program and housing fees, you will want to plan for airfare, any visa costs, and personal expenses (meals, local transportation, security deposit and first month’s rent on an apartment once you know where you’re working).
Travel For The Program
To travel to Vietnam, you need to apply for a tourist visa in advance. You can obtain your single entry e-Visa online which allows you to stay in the country for 30 days.
Vietnam is quite strict when it comes to work visas. In order to work in Vietnam legally, you will need to convert your tourist visa into a work visa. In order to apply for a work visa, you need to have an actual teaching contract, hold a Bachelors Degree, have a clean criminal record, and a health certificate from your own country. The length of your permit depends on the length of your contract. Although very uncommon, a work visa can sometimes be arranged before arriving in Vietnam, but you will need to secure a contract first. In this case, your employer will most likely take care of your work visa.
Living in Vietnam
Vietnam – a land that overwhelms most visitors with the sublime beauty of its natural settings from the Red River Delta in the north, to the Mekong Delta in the south.
Vietnam offers an opportunity to see a country of traditional charm and rare beauty rapidly opening up to the outside world. This thriving nation possesses one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, yet it is home to some of Asia’s most beautiful scenery–pristine beaches, towering mountains, and enchanting forests. Though the people are serious about a good work ethic, they are also very kind and positive.
Ho Chi Minh City is the heart and soul of Vietnam. It’s a bustling, dynamic, and industrious center, the largest city in the country, the economic capital, and the cultural trendsetter. Yet within the teeming metropolis are the timeless traditions and beauty of an ancient culture.
This is a city that churns, ferments, bubbles, and fumes. The streets, where much of the city’s life takes place, are a jumble of markets, shops, pavement cafes, stands-on-wheels, and vendors selling wares spread out on sidewalks. It’s impossible not to be infected by its exhilarating vibe; its vibrant, wildly energetic combination of native heritage, French cultural influence, and Western capitalism. Still referred to as “Saigon” today, HCM City is the hub of financial activity and is the largest and most developed city in Vietnam. A beautiful mix of old and new bring modern skyscrapers juxtaposed with fading colonial buildings, Chinese-style pagodas, and historical landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office, and the Reunification Hall.
Ho Chi Minh City has a vibrant nightlife with many local and Western bars, and cafes concentrated in the city center. The city is also the culinary capital of Vietnam. You can sample a variety of foods ranging from Vietnamese regional specialties to international cuisine. The best Vietnamese, French, and Chinese restaurants in Vietnam are found in HCM City.
While working in Vietnam, you should absolutely tour the countryside and visit the beaches and islands. The landscape surrounding HCM City is lush with greenery, while white sandy beaches and breath-taking islands are within easy drives.
Farther north, mountains and sea – often with little or nothing in between – dominate the landscape. The cool highlands conceal the Phong Nha caverns and the mind-boggling mountain passes of Ngang and Hai Van. The Red River Delta, where the ancient Viet people settled, is surrounded by yet more mountains scattered with grottos, waterfalls, mountain lakes, and diverse ethnic groups like the H’mong, Dao, and Hoa. Dien Bien Phu, Fansipan Mountain, and the uniquely lovely Halong Bay are sites not to be missed.
Vietnam was colonized by China for over a thousand years and its culture is therefore highly influenced by the Chinese; influences can be seen specifically in its politics, moral ethics, and art; they also share the tradition of martial arts.
Vietnam is a highly collectivist society; the individual is not as important as family, and family is not as important as the clan you belong to. At the head of each clan, there’s a patriarch, and each clan has a clan altar. Death commemorations are attended by all members of the clan.
Vietnamese cuisine differs strikingly between the north, south, and central regions, but two key features stand out. First, rice plays an essential role in the nation’s diet as it does throughout Southeast Asia. But this is also a noodle-crazy population, regularly downing them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at homes, in restaurants, and at roadside stands. Noodles are eaten wet and dry, in soup or beside soup, and are made in different shapes and thicknesses.
Second, no meal is complete without fresh vegetables and herbs. A key portion of every meal, north, south and central, is a platter containing cucumbers, bean threads, slices of hot pepper, and sprigs of basil, coriander, mint and a number of Southeast Asian herbs. A typical meal ranges $2-4 US dollars.
Vietnamese food is always fresh: ingredients are purchased from the market the same morning. The abundant fresh fish, lobster, crabs, and cuttlefish will leave seafood fans dreading the return home.
Among carnivores, fish, chicken, or pork dishes, served with cooked vegetables and rice, form a typical meal. The dishes themselves are rarely spicy, and are accompanied by a variety of condiments including chili sauce, fish sauce (‘nuoc mam’), and soy sauce. Vegetarians rejoice in Vietnam, as well. Due to a strong Buddhist tradition, vegetarian food is widely available. Fresh vegetables and fruits are in abundant supply, as are vegetarian restaurants.
Expect to try “pho”, a type of rice noodle soup eaten for breakfast; “cha gio” (“nem”), deep-fried spring rolls; and “goi ngo sen”, a delicious salad made with lotus stems, shrimp, and peanuts.
Ho Chi Minh City also has a wide array of Western cuisine. Although they tend to be a bit more expensive, it’s not difficult to find French, Italian, German, and American restaurants. There are also a bevy of Thai, Indian, and Chinese dining establishments.
Chopsticks are standard, especially with noodles or rice. Western utensils are nearly always available, however, and are commonly provided with international fare.
Light, comfortable, easy to launder clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton suits Vietnam well. Good walking shoes and sandals that can be easily slipped off are recommended, as shoes are removed when entering temples and homes. No need to over pack, as high-quality clothes are strikingly cheap, while inexpensive laundry service is generally available wherever you go.
Vietnamese people are quite conscientious of their dress. The nationwide stress on maintaining a neat and clean appearance creates a marked disparity with some Western visitors. For instance, Vietnamese would never dream of wearing dirty clothes while traveling, and visible tattoos and piercings are frowned upon.
Dress codes while teaching range from Western “Business Casual” to “Sport Casual” (track pants and short-sleeved shirts) to “Traditional,” which could include a locally handmade, ornately decorated silk shirt that is somehow more comfortable in the heat than anything else you own.
When working, LanguageCorps Teachers are expected to adhere to the local working culture and ideas of professionalism. “Casually smart” attire means that women should cover their shoulders (sleeveless shirts are acceptable, but very thin straps or tank tops are not). No low-cut necklines or very short skirts. Bare midriffs must not be visible, even when lifting arms up. Open-toed shoes are acceptable.
Men should wear long pants (not jeans), short- or long-sleeved shirt with a collar (possibly with a tie), and loafers or dress shoes. Sandals and tennis shoes are not acceptable when teaching. Long hair should be neatly tied into a ponytail.
The Vietnam (American) War is a topic that still fascinates foreigners, and many of Ho Chi Minh City’s tourist attractions focus on this interest. In central Saigon, the most intriguing sites for war buffs include the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace.
If you’d rather pursue the topic of religion, be sure to check out the Giac Lam Pagoda, Jade Emperor Pagoda and Vinh Nghiem Pagoda. A day-long excursion to Tay Ninh is required to visit the incredible Caodai Great Temple. Another worthwhile excursion is to the One Pillar Pagoda.
Boat trips on the Saigon River are always a great way to take refuge from the urban pandemonium. Further afield, beach buffs are sure to appreciate either beauty of Mui Ne or the tranquility of Phu Quoc.
There are lots of day trip opportunities and fun things to do near Ho Chi Minh City. If you like waterparks, the city suburbs boast three! History buffs might enjoy the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Viet Cong’s secret underground supply houses and passageways. Visitors can tour the tunnels, the war history museum and even get to fire M-16s or AK-47s. Can Gio, an island located where the Saigon River meets the sea, boasts a beach, a mangrove park with plenty of monkeys, as well as a market and temple.