Reasons why you should teach English in Vietnam right now

As we near the end of the year, students are completing their high school or college programs and looking for new opportunities. Ideally a job that lets you jump out of bed in the morning. Not everyone can afford to just hop on a plane and travel to exotic locations in Southeast Asia for a short vacation. Nowadays it is possible to get paid to live in beautiful places like Vietnam.

The Importance of English in Vietnam

The Vietnamese government understands the importance of the English language for the growth of the country’s economy and competition on a global scale. For this reason, English is taught both in schools and in language centers for extracurricular instruction. The country is always looking for more English teachers to fill the need and teachers from countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa are in high demand. All you need is a bachelor’s degree in any subject and a willingness to learn.

Even without experience, you can easily secure a job at a top school or language center. Some people teach English for 1 or 2 years and then return home, while others fall completely in love with the job and stay much longer. Anyhow, if you apply for a teaching job in Vietnam, you can have a great time in a new country, enrich the lives of the children and earn a great living in the process! The Covid-19 pandemic may have been a good excuse not to do this for the past 3 years, but now that borders are opening up it’s time to try something new. Here are some of the reasons you should be teaching English in Vietnam right now.

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So many great places to live and travel in Vietnam

Vietnam is a diverse country. Living in the northern region is a completely different experience than living in the southern or central regions. English teachers moving to Vietnam will most likely settle in Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon is Vietnam’s largest city and hosts the most foreigners and English teachers. The city offers fantastic opportunities for food, coffee and a vibrant nightlife. The locals are very open to foreigners, which makes integration easy. The city is extremely walkable despite the insane traffic and is full of amazing parks and green spaces. It’s not uncommon for teachers in Saigon to take weekend trips to coastal towns like Vung Tau or Nha Trang to enjoy some beach time.

Hanoi, located in northern Vietnam, is the capital and the second most popular place to teach English. The city is more traditional and reserved than Ho Chi Minh City, but it has incredible architecture, parks, and lakes. People here are initially more reserved, which could be intimidating for foreigners, but after spending some time in the city, Hanoi is often their favorite place to live. Hanoi is just a short drive from the amazing Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island are some of the most beautiful places in Vietnam.

For teachers who prefer a smaller city, Da Nang in central Vietnam is a great option. The city has a long stretch of beach and beautiful mountains, making it a top location for outdoor activities. The city is also full of cafes and restaurants and teachers will not get bored living here. Teaching jobs in Da Nang are not as easy to find as in the 2 big cities, but there are still vacancies. Teachers who don’t get a job here right away could work in Ho Chi Minh City for a year to gain experience and then apply again. Da Nang is also a 30-minute drive from Hoi An, which is a great place for a weekend getaway.

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Life in Vietnam is cheap and English teachers are well paid

One of the best reasons people choose to teach in Vietnam is that English teacher salaries are significantly higher compared to the cost of living. English teachers can earn between 35-60 million VND (1,500-2,500$ / 26,000-44,000 Rand) per month from their work. But what’s even better, it’s possible to earn even more. Teachers are usually paid by the hour and the salary is based on the assumption of working a normal working day, but it is possible to take additional tuition either through your school or through private tutoring. Salary generally depends on where you teach, the school you teach at, and your qualifications and experience. If you’ve never taught before, taking a TEFL class would give your resume a boost and potentially make you make more money.

To make it even better, Vietnam is a cheap country to live in, whether you live in a big city or a smaller town. Bigger cities cost a little more to live in, but not by much. For example, renting a 1-bedroom apartment in Ho Chi Minh City would cost you around VND 7-12 million (US$295-506 / R5,304 – R9,092) per month, depending on how close you are to the live in the city center. In Da Nang, it would cost about 6 million – 8 million VND per month (253 – 337 US$ / 4,549 R – 6,065 R). It would be a little cheaper to live in Da Nang, but teachers’ salaries will likely be slightly higher in Ho Chi Minh City. Either way, this amount is a fraction of a teacher’s salary, making it easy to save money or spend on trips around Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

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The Vietnamese are friendly and welcome foreign teachers

Vietnam is one of the most hospitable countries in the world for foreigners. It’s not uncommon for someone to come up to you and ask to speak to you in English or to ask where you’re from. Many people want to improve their English and it’s fun to meet foreigners.

Education is also very important in Vietnam and Asia in general. If you work as a teacher in education, you will be highly respected by the locals. Being a teacher in such an environment is also great because your students will look up to you. Vietnamese students love their English teachers and will often write you letters, draw you pictures, or even make you some crafts at home or in your free time.

By teaching English in Vietnam you have a chance to meet some of the friendliest people in the world, have some of the best experiences of your life and make a difference in the lives of young learners. After spending the last 3 years in lockdown there has never been a better time to embark on a new adventure!

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