If you’re considering teaching English in Vietnam, the following information will help you know what to expect.
What requirements are there to teach in Vietnam?
Teaching English in Vietnam requires, in general, a four-year college degree in any subject, and preferably a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. While certification is not necessary, it will increase your chances of landing a good job. A working knowledge of the Vietnamese language is recommended, but only for your own comfort and peace of mind.
The vast majority of people teaching English in Vietnam do so at universities. English is a popular course of study for Vietnamese university students, and chances are good that as a native English speaker you’ll be a highly valued member of the faculty. Surprisingly enough, you probably won’t spend the entire time teaching students; you may be called upon to teach other professors English skills as well.
Although universities are the number one job market, it is also possible to get a job as a private English tutor in Vietnam, or as a teacher of part-time conversational classes. Many Vietnamese adults choose to learn English and attend evening classes by choice, and native-speaking teachers are always in demand.
Life in Vietnam
As a teacher of English in Vietnam, you will essentially be considered a citizen. You’ll be required to have a work visa in order to remain in the country, and will be in charge of locating your own lodging. All of these factors should be taken into account when you’re choosing a city in which to teach. The lodging available (and the cost of it) will vary widely between small villages and large capital cities. Although big cities may be more expensive in terms of cost of living, they will also offer more opportunities for teaching positions. The final decision is really up to you.
The city of Hanoi, in northern Vietnam, is the main governmental seat of the country. The area around Hanoi and bordering China is influenced heavily by Chinese culture, while further down south in Vietnam you will discover smaller villages and a more mixed range of people and cultures.
Regardless of where you choose to live, beware of the fact that traveling in Vietnam is expensive. Rail travel is available, but is generally slow; if your work place and your home are too far apart to walk, you may want to consider investing in a bicycle.
The Vietnamese people are known for being very friendly and accepting; Vietnam is a pleasant and beautiful country for visitors. Some English teachers choose Vietnam precisely for these reasons. Family ties are strong, and although Buddhism is considered the main religion, no particular faith is dominant. You’ll find your Vietnamese students to be open-minded and giving, with a sense of fairness and teamwork already well developed.
Teaching English in Vietnam is a wonderful adventure, but you shouldn’t expect to get rich doing it. Pay for teachers is relatively low in Vietnam, and sometimes jobs are somewhat scarce and difficult to locate. You may have to take what you can get.
With that said, you can make the experience much more positive for yourself if you go into it with some money in the bank and a few connections. Many colleges and organizations offer teacher-exchange programs that can help place you with a school in Vietnam and get you started on the path to your teaching career. Use the internet as a tool, and search online for teaching jobs in Vietnam. The more prepared you are to face the challenges ahead, the more you’ll benefit from the entire experience.
Cost Of Living
The cost of living in Hanoi in Vietnam is low compared to other places. The overall cost of living is determined using the prices for defined quantities of the same goods and services across 13 Basket Groups. Hanoi in Vietnam is currently ranked 672 overall out of 950 places (rank 1 is most expensive: rank 950 is least expensive). The cost of living rank for each of the 13 Basket Groups is as follows:
Alcohol & Tobacco costs are high compared to other places for items such as alcoholic beverages, alcohol at a bar, beer, locally produced spirit, whiskey, and wine (where alcohol is legally sold) as well as for tobacco products such as cigarettes. There are 335 places that are more expensive, and 614 places that are less expensive for alcohol and or tobacco.
Clothing costs are very low compared to other places for items such as clothing and footwear products, business suits, casual clothing, childrens clothing and footwear, coats and hats, evening wear, shoe repairs, and underwear. There are 895 places that are more expensive, and 54 places that are less expensive for clothing.
Communication costs are average compared to other places for various communication costs such as home telephone rental and call charges, internet connection and service provider fees, mobile / cellular phone contract, data, and calls. There are 394 places that are more expensive, and 555 places that are less expensive for communication.
Education costs are very low compared to other places for items such as creche / pre-school fees, high school / college fees, primary school fees, and tertiary study fees. There are 817 places that are more expensive, and 132 places that are less expensive for education.
Furniture & Appliance costs are high compared to other places for items such as furniture, household equipment and appliances, DVD player, fridge freezer, iron, kettle, toaster, microwave, light bulbs, television, vacuum cleaner, and washing machine. There are 352 places that are more expensive, and 597 places that are less expensive for furniture and appliances.
Grocery costs are low compared to other places for items such as food, non-alcoholic beverages and cleaning material items such as baby consumables, baked goods, baking, canned foods, cheese, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fruit juices, meat, oil & vinegars, pet food, pre-prepared meals, sauces, seafood, snacks, soft drinks, spices & herbs . There are 721 places that are more expensive, and 228 places that are less expensive for groceries.
Healthcare costs are low compared to other places for general healthcare, medical and medical insurance, general practitioner consultation rates, hospital private ward daily rate, non-prescription medicine, and private medical insurance / medical aid contributions. There are 712 places that are more expensive, and 237 places that are less expensive for healthcare.
Household Accommodation costs are high compared to other places for items such as housing, water, electricity, household gas, household fuels, local rates and residential taxes, mortgage, house / flat rental, household electricity consumption, household gas / fuel consumption, household water consumption, and local property rates / taxes / levies. There are 299 places that are more expensive, and 650 places that are less expensive for household accommodation.
Miscellaneous costs are very low compared to other places for items such as stationery, linen, general goods and services, domestic help, dry cleaning, linen, office supplies, newspapers and magazines, and postage stamps. There are 840 places that are more expensive, and 109 places that are less expensive for miscellaneous items.
Personal Care costs are low compared to other places for items such as personal care products and services, cosmetics, hair care, moisturizer / sun block, nappies, pain relief tablets, toilet paper, toothpaste, and soap / shampoo / conditioner. There are 715 places that are more expensive, and 234 places that are less expensive for personal care.
Recreation and Culture costs are very low compared to other places for items such as books, camera film, cinema tickets, DVDs and CDs, sports goods, and theatre tickets. There are 905 places that are more expensive, and 44 places that are less expensive for recreation and culture.
Restaurants, Meals Out and Hotel costs are low compared to other places for items such as a business dinner, dinner at a restaurant (non fast food), hotel rates, take away drinks and snacks (fast food). There are 609 places that are more expensive, and 340 places that are less expensive for restaurants, meals out and hotels.
Transport costs are very low compared to other places for items such as public transport, vehicle costs, vehicle fuel, vehicle insurance and vehicle maintenance, hire purchase / lease of vehicle, petrol / diesel, public transport service maintenance, tires, vehicle Insurance, and vehicle purchase. There are 807 places that are more expensive, and 142 places that are less expensive for transport.
Personalized cost of living indexes for Hanoi in Vietnam are based on the basket groups and comparison location(s) selected in the Calculators.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Hanoi in Vietnam is ranked as high degree of hardship with a hardship index of 30%.
Personalized hardship index premiums for Hanoi in Vietnam are based on the comparison location(s) selected in the Calculators.