The Ultimate Guide to Teach English in VietnamBy Krzl Light Nuñes
April 4, 2023
Are you looking for a TEFL destination in Southeast Asia that has a vibrant mix of natural wonders, colonial-era cities, and world-class cuisine? Teaching English in Vietnam may be what you’ve been looking for! This region is brimming with English teaching opportunities. Let’s explore how you can teach English in Vietnam, the types of jobs you can land, and the best places to work as an EFL teacher in this country.
Is it good to teach English in Vietnam?
As one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, Vietnam has gained popularity among English teachers as it offers not only great job prospects but also experiences you wouldn’t want to miss. First, it’s filled with diverse places and activities. You can be hiking on rice terraces one weekend and then find yourself relaxing at a tropical beach the next! It’s also one of the top countries where people have a good work-life balance. Even if you live in a bustling city, it is still possible to have a laid-back yet high-quality – not to mention low-cost – lifestyle.
Ella, an English teacher who participated in a teach in Vietnam program, shared how working in this region has allowed her to experience its culture in a more authentic and meaningful way. “Living in an area where westerners receive double takes has provided an incredibly real insight into daily happenings in Hanoi, and forming our very own routine among the smoky streets and beeping bikes has been one of the most fascinating and rewarding things I’ve ever done,” she said.
Is there a demand for English teachers in Vietnam?
Especially in the big cities, the demand for English teachers in Vietnam is high. Also, whether you’re keen to teach kids, teens, or adults, you can find opportunities in various institutions such as:
- Public schools
- International schools
Outside of these places, a lot of teach English in Vietnam jobs are in training centers, which are language schools that cater to children or adults who take English classes in the evenings and on weekends. As language or training centers have the largest demand for English classes, jobs here are also the easiest to land.
Here are some English language training centers you can find in Vietnam:
While Vietnamese language training schools hire teachers year-round, the peak hiring times for public schools are from August to December.
Aside from working with companies or schools, you can also do one-to-one tutoring as a freelance English teacher or start your own ESL teaching business, especially when you’ve already created a network or a steady student base. There are also many ways to monetize your freelance teaching business beyond simply teaching lessons.
What are the teaching English in Vietnam requirements?
At a bare minimum, English teachers in Vietnam are required to have the following:
- A TEFL certificate
- A bachelor’s degree in any field
- Be a native English speaker or have a near-native level of English
- A clean background check
- A health check (also known as a health certificate)
Besides landing a teaching position, the documents above are also required during the work visa application process.
Employers may also look for additional documents or a higher level of education. For instance, schools or universities may require you to have a teaching license, a bachelor’s degree in education, or a master’s degree.
What is the age limit for teaching English in Vietnam?
According to Vietnamese law, teachers between the ages of 18 and 60 can work in the country and get an employment visa.
Can I teach English in Vietnam without a degree?
In most cases, English teachers in Vietnam are required to have a bachelor’s degree, which is also necessary for obtaining a work visa. Take note that your degree should also be notarized for the visa application.
Do I need TEFL certification to teach English in Vietnam?
An in-person or online TEFL certificate is a must for teaching English in Vietnam. Typically, it’s best to have a TEFL/TESOL certification of at least 120 hours – it will give you a big advantage as this is preferred by most companies or schools. Bridge’s 120-Hour Master TEFL Certificate, a self-paced, tutor-led course, meets the requirements to teach English in many places around the world and is recommended for undergraduate-level university credits. Also, don’t forget that to teach in Vietnam, your certificate must be notarized and apostilled for the work visa process.
Learn about Bridge’s most advanced certification course, the 150-Hour Bridge International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™).
Do I need teaching experience?
When it comes to how to teach English in Vietnam, although having experience in teaching English or other areas will give you an edge when you start applying for jobs, it’s not necessary for many positions. Nevertheless, if you haven’t taught yet and you’d like to come well-prepared and with a stellar resume, you can gain experience by taking a TEFL practicum, teaching English as a volunteer, or teaching English online.
How much do English teachers make in Vietnam?
One of the great things about teaching English in Vietnam is that you can earn a more competitive salary than what most of Vietnam’s neighboring countries can offer. Depending on the type of company or school you’re working with, a teach English in Vietnam salary falls anywhere between $1,100 to $2,000 USD monthly. Universities and international schools typically pay the highest and offer more perks such as housing, free lunch, and airfare reimbursement.
What’s more, the cost of living in Vietnam is generally low. For example, you can find apartments from $150 to $300 USD per month, and it’s even possible to pay for three meals a day for less than $10! This will allow you to save money and travel without sacrificing the quality of your living situation, food, or lifestyle.
Where can I teach English in Vietnam?
Are you ready to start or continue your English teaching career in Vietnam, but you’re not sure where to teach? Here are the TEFL destinations in Vietnam where English teaching opportunities abound.
Hanoi is the capital and second largest city in Vietnam. Even with its many skyscrapers, Hanoi maintains the charm of a smaller city, with tree-lined boulevards, lakes, and parks, as well as a well-preserved Old Quarter that features historic monuments and colonial architecture. In fact, Hanoi is considered the cultural mecca of Vietnam! If a thriving culture is important to you, Hanoi would be a great fit. Residents of Hanoi say that it has grown quite a bit in the last 20 years, with many more buildings and apartments, and it continues to grow every year.
Halong City is the gateway to Halong Bay and is a popular destination for English teachers. Halong Bay is one of the most recognizable and beautiful sights in all of Vietnam – this natural attraction with tall, pinnacle-shaped, and forested islands scattered throughout the turquoise waters is also a UNESCO World Heritage List site. In this area, tourism is a huge industry, and guided boat tours are popular, along with kayaking and boating excursions. There are two parts to the city of Halong; one is where the locals typically live, with businesses, markets, and schools at which international teachers work, and one is where tourists typically visit, with many restaurants and hotels.
Haiphong is a developed, coastal port city and the third largest metropolis in Vietnam. It’s popular with foreign students and teachers due to its alluring landscapes that include beaches, a national park, and the rugged Cat Ba Island. Nestled between industrial buildings and skyscrapers of the city are ancient temples, shrines, pagodas, and mausoleums that show the culture of old Vietnam. Wander through one of the many markets that sells traditional Vietnamese items and you’ll soon see why this large city is Vietnam’s most important seaport. Cat Ba Island is easily accessible by boat or ferry, and Hanoi and Halong City are easily accessible by bus.
The ancient capital city of Hue has a lot more history than many other developed Vietnamese towns, and you’ll be able to see the vestiges left from imperial Vietnam, some of which are more intact than others. The famous, vast 19th-century Citadel, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls, encompasses the Imperial City and is one of Hue’s main attractions. Hue’s picturesque location on the Perfume River also makes it one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam, and the blending of the new and the old is fascinating, truly deserving of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage city. Hue is also easy to navigate; locals and tourists are frequently riding bicycles down the tree-lined streets.
Anywhere as a digital nomad in Vietnam
Do you want to give in to your wanderlust but still be able to teach or have an income stream? No problem! You can also become a digital nomad in Vietnam by teaching English online. There’s a plethora of coworking spaces, especially in big cities, and the internet is relatively cheap. You can also apply for an e-Visa, which allows you to stay in Vietnam for 30 days.
Aside from enjoying the amazing sights, food, and friendly culture, teaching English in Vietnam can also be your ticket to a thriving TEFL career. Now that you already have a picture of what your teacher life can be like in this country, it’s time to take stock of your qualifications, choose the opportunities you’d like to land, and set off on your next adventure abroad!