Teach English in Vietnam
Why teach English?
English is a widely spoken language in many countries around the globe. It is an international language and is used for official communication in more than 53 countries. This has created a need to learn English as a Second language in countries where English is not the primary language. As a result of this, the job market for English teacher in non-native English speaking countries are better than ever. It will not be wrong to say that this is a great time to be an English teacher.
One such country where native-English teachers are in high demand is Vietnam.
Why teach English in Vietnam?
- Demand is high – Vietnam has a lot of scope for English teachers because the demand is high. People in Vietnam realize the importance of English and are eager to learn the language as well as teach it to their children. Even the government of Vietnam has started a National Foreign Language project for the students to enable them to use the language in their everyday lives and their workplaces.
- Cost of living is low – Another reason why teaching English in Vietnam is a good option is because the cost of living there is quite low. Teachers can earn handsome amount of money and due to the low cost of living, they can save a lot without having to compromise on their lifestyle.
- Plenty of job opportunities and benefits – Vietnam can offer plenty of job opportunities for English language teachers. You can work with all age groups; from teaching at schools (starting from kindergarten to higher academic levels) to teaching at language centers and private agencies. If you work full time at schools, then you might be able to get benefits as well. Some schools offer health insurance, paid holidays and will also sponsor you to attain a work visa.
Visa requirements and work options
In order to get a job in Vietnam you need to have the following:
- A bachelor’s degree – In order to get a working visa to teach the English language in Vietnam, you will need a bachelor’s degree. The degree does not have to be in the subject of English literature or language as long as it is from a recognized university.
- TESL, TESOL or TEFL – These certifications are not mandatory but getting any one of these will improve your chances of getting better-paid jobs. Your certificate should be from a recognized training program.
- Visa – Legally speaking, the law prohibits you from teaching English or working in Vietnam on a tourist visa. However, despite this sanction, many tourists teach while visiting Vietnam. These visas will allow you to get short-term gigs such as summer camps etc. You must remember, if you are teaching on a tourist visa and you get into some sort of a conflict with your employer then you may not have the privileges to take any legal action.
- How to get a work visa and work permit in Vietnam? Unlike many European countries where getting a work visa is quite difficult to acquire, Vietnam offers different types of work visas. As an English teacher, you will need the Visa type B4. You can also get a visa approval letter, which will allow you to buy the visa upon arrival in Vietnam.
However, before you can come to Vietnam to work, you must have a work permit, which your employer will help you get. Without a work permit, it is illegal to work in Vietnam.
- Here is how you can get a work permit:
- Application for your work permit
- Application letter for work permission
- A clean criminal record
- Copy of your degree or certificate
- Health clearance certificate
- You will need the following documents from your employer:
- Employment letter/contract
- The license of the company which must be certified by a government office
- Approval by the government to employ foreign labor
- These papers then have to be submitted to the Labor and Social Welfare Service, which decides whether you get your work permit or not. You will receive an answer within 15 days or so.
- As an English language teacher, you can either secure a full-time contract or you can get multiple part-time jobs at different smaller setups.
What kind of teaching jobs are available in Vietnam?
- Fulltime jobs and what to expect – A full-time job would mean an average of 20 teaching hours per week. However, you are not bound and can take up more or fewer hours depending on your preference. With a full-time job, you can not only have a steady income but can also get health insurance. Moreover, your employer will fully cooperate with you to get a work permit.
- Part-time job and what to expect – The other option to work as an English language teacher in Vietnam is to enter the country with a three-month business visa. You can enter the country and look for part time jobs in small language centers. These type of jobs will give you cash but you won’t be able to gain access to any benefits. You can get as many part-time jobs as you want.
- Getting a business visa can cost around $90 to $130 and you will have to get it renewed at the end of your three months, which means you will have to pay for renewal again.
- Vietnam has various job opportunities for English language teachers and you can choose the kind of job that works best for you.
Following is a list of job options available in the country;
- Public schools – Public schools look at the following things prior to hiring an English language teacher who’s a foreigner;
- Original college degree
- Original copy of TEFL certification
- A background check from your home country
- Salary – As a public school teacher you can earn somewhere between $17 to $25 USD per hour. However, if you collaborate with public school companies, you can earn up to $1700 per month. These companies will not only find work for you but will also provide you with teaching material. You will be expected to put in about 20 to 25 hours per week. Some of the top public school companies include names like;
- Compass education
- EMG education
- Mercury education
- Other benefits – A great benefit of teaching at public schools is that you will get a very long summer break that starts from the mid of June and goes into the start of August. This is s a great time to find short-term gigs at summer camps and schools and earn some extra money.
- International Schools – International schools are another great option for English language teachers. These schools offer competitive pays and teachers can plan out their own lessons freely. International schools hire you if you are a fully qualified teacher in your home country. They will also need you to have some work experience on your resume. A simple TEFL certification may not help you get a job at International schools.
- Salary – Salaries at International schools can vary a bit depending on the teacher’s qualifications and previous experience. However, you can earn up to $2000 USD per month. You may get paid a certain amount of your salary in cash and the rest will be deposited to your Vietnamese bank accounts.
- Other benefits – International schools assist you with getting a work permit and also set up your bank account for you. Although there is no bonus for completing your contract with International schools, you can get benefits like getting paid for extra hours, paid holidays, paid flights as well as getting sick leaves with no deduction from your paycheck. You will also be given a good health insurance plan from these schools. Some schools may also offer housing but that is quite rare. In addition to local Vietnamese students, you may also have foreigners such as Americans and South Korean.
Some of the most famous international schools are:
- Canadian International School
- European International School
- British International School
- International School HCMC
- American International School
- Language Schools/Centers – Another option for English language teachers is to work at the Language Schools. Most of the time Language schools have young children who come to learn English as a Second Language. These centers are one of the most popular places to work as an English teacher.
If you want to work at Language Schools, you may have to work at odd hours because most of these schools start their daily sessions after regular working hours. You may have to put in about 10 to 30 hours a week. There are also many language centers that offer regular working hours and may require you to put in about 20 to 33 hours per week. Language schools can be a great source of earning a secondary income and save some money.
- Salaries and other benefits – You can earn around $20 per hour working here. Teachers can also get bonuses on the completion of their contracts. These schools also offer paid vacations and housing allowance. Some schools also help you to get your work permit, set up bank accounts. You can also get health insurance at these schools but the terms of payment may vary.
The class sizes are also relatively smaller with about 10 to 20 students present in each class. Another great benefit is that these centers may also give you temporary residence. To get hired by these schools you will need a bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification (not mandatory).
Some of the most popular language centers are:
- Wall Street English
- I Can Read
- Private tutoring – Although many teachers opt for private tutoring in Vietnam as it allows them to be flexible with their schedules and they can take as many students as they want. However, the work does not remain consistent throughout the year because it is quite common for people to not take any private tuitions around New Year’s and other national holidays. Also, in this case, teachers will have to get work permits and visas on their own, without any assistance from the employer. Through private tuitions, teachers can earn up to $10 to $16 per hour. You don’t need to have a formal degree to be a private tutor; a native level grasp on English language and TEFL certification can get you enough students.
- Universities – To teach at the university level you will need to have a specialized Master’s degree and some teaching experience. You can earn up to $25 per hour and this may be higher depending on your qualifications and experience.
- Teach through NFLP (National Foreign Language Project) – In Vietnam, the government has started the program of National Foreign Language Project. The ministry of education aims to teach intermediate level English to all high school students in Vietnam by the year 2020. The biggest challenge for the government is to find fully qualified local English teachers, which opens up many doors for native-English teachers. If you get hired by the project, you may have to undergo an intense training program, which will only help you become a better teacher. This experience can also be a good thing to have on your resume.
Which cities in Vietnam offer the best market for English language teachers?
There was a time when people did not want to go to or work in the country. However, things have changed; tourism is gradually increasing in Vietnam and the country is even attracting international businesses. We see a lot of expats living there, and it is only natural that these new international visitors and ties have made the people of Vietnam interested in learning English. The growing interest in learning the English language is the reason why many teachers are looking for work in Vietnam. Although the job market for English language teachers is great all over the country, however, the three main cities are;
- Ho Chi Minh – Ho Cho Minh is seeing a lot of growth in international business and the economy is booming there as well. There is an ample number of teaching jobs available and the scope for the teachers to have a good career in good.
- Hanoi – there are numerous job opportunities for English language teachers in the schools and the language centers in this city.
- Haiphong – compared to the bigger cities, Haiphong’s population is less. However, the people there are extremely interested in learning English which is why the demand for English language teachers is high.
Is it safe to live in Vietnam?
Although, Vietnam has been associated with war and the country suffered a lot in the past; however, things have changed today. Vietnam, in the recent past, has started to attract tourists from all over the world and people have started to consider it relatively safer to live here. However, you must know that petty crime is still quite common in the country. Events such as cell phone snatching, street mugging, and small-scale robberies. Moreover, there is still a problem of pollution in the country and the conditions may not be as good as many developed countries.
What is the cost of living in Vietnam?
The cost of living in Vietnam is quite low which is why expats can live there comfortably and still save enough money to take back home. There are many accommodation options in Vietnam to suit various budgets. The basic needs like accommodation and food are cheap and easily affordable. You can get a good hearty meal at a local food stall for about $2 and you can even go to restaurants for about $5 to $7 per meal. However, you will have to be a bit careful because being a foreigner you may get overcharged by the local merchants.
- Accommodation – There are different housing options available for expats to choose from. Most expats opt to temporarily rent a place rather than buying. The rents and costs of the property will vary, depending on where you choose to stay. Accommodation in the cities is more expensive as compared to the suburbs. However, the overall housing expense is still cheaper than other more developed countries.
- You can find a shared house that will allow you to rent a room for about $150 to $250. For other utilities, you may have to pay around $30 to $50 per month.
- Transportation – The traffic conditions in Vietnam are quite chaotic which is why many expats choose to commute via local transportation or taxis. Taxis and motorcycle taxis are quite common and cost-effective. Buses are the cheapest mode of transportation. If you do not want to pay daily expenses, you can easily buy a motorbike and take care of your daily commute.
How can I teach English as a Second Language without traveling to Vietnam?
There is no doubt that traveling to a different country to teach English is not an easy thing to do. You not only need to have enough money but you also have to leave your friends, family and home country behind. Therefore, if you do not want to or cannot travel to Vietnam you can still get valuable international teaching experience by teaching English online. One of the best ways to do this is to get hired by VIPKID.
What is VIPKID?
VIPKID is the largest online language school that teaches English as a Secondary Language to Chinese students. Currently, the company has more than 500,000 registered Chinese students who are keen to learn English through this platform. VIPKID is providing work to almost 60,000 teachers and hires regularly.
Why choose VIPKID?
Following are some of the reasons why you should consider working at VIPKID as an English language teacher;
- International experience – If you want to gain international teaching experience without having to move abroad then you don’t have to look any further than VIPKID. You don’t have waste time on looking for jobs or go through the painful process of applying for a visa. Moreover, you can teach from the comfort of your home at your own convenience.
- VIPKID provides you with the teaching material – To get the teaching material ready and prepare for lessons is the most time-consuming part of teaching. However, working with VIPKID can exempt you from all the extra work. The company provides you with the syllabus and all the teaching material, which can save you a lot of time. All you have to do is get the lesson plan ready prior to the class.
- Instant payment method – At VIPKID you don’t have to wait till the end of the month to get paid. The company has the policy of paying the teachers at the end of every class. There is an online payment method supported by VIPKID though which you get paid immediately after your class is done.
- Working hours are flexible – At VIPKID there is no set schedule for teachers to follow. You can take up as many classes as you like and teach according to your own convenience. This works great for people who have full-time jobs but still want to teach on the side.
- Pay is good – At VIPKID the pay can range from $7 to $22 per hour. You can choose how much time you want to invest in teaching and earn accordingly. It is a great platform to earn some extra savings.
Requirements to become a teacher on VIPKID
The entire process is quite easy. You just need a valid bachelor’s degree, a year or teaching, mentoring or similar experience and a great command over the English language.
English language teachers can find a lot of job opportunities in Vietnam with different educational institutions. Their salaries may vary but almost every job offers a decent enough monthly salary package, which coupled with other benefits and a low cost of living allows you to save quite a lot. However, if you are unable to move to another country but still want to gain international teaching experience then VIPKID is the best platform for you.