Reasons why you should teach English in Vietnam right now: Image: Supplied

Reasons why you should teach English in Vietnam right now

Have you ever considered teaching English in Vietnam? Find out how you can secure a job at a top school or language center there.


Reasons why you should teach English in Vietnam right now: Image: Supplied

As we move towards the end of the year, students are finishing up their school or university programs and looking for new opportunities. Ideally, a job that gets them jumping 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 quick holiday. These days it’s 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 in terms of growing the country’s economy and competing on a global level. Because of that, English is taught at schools as well as language centers for after-school classes. The country is always looking for more English teachers to fill the demand, and teachers from countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and South Africa are in high demand. All you need is a bachelor’s degree in any subject and the willingness to learn.

Even without any 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 completely fall in love with the job and stay much longer. Either way, by applying for a teaching job in Vietnam you will be able to experience a great time in a new country, enrich the lives of kids, and earn a great living while doing that! The Covid-19 pandemic might have been a good excuse not to do so in the past 3 years, but now that borders are opening up, it’s time to try something new. Here are some of the reasons why you should teach English in Vietnam right now.

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 from living in the southern or central regions. For English teachers moving to Vietnam, they are most likely going to locate in Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, is the biggest city in Vietnam and host to most foreigners and English teaching jobs. The city has amazing options for food, coffee, and a buzzing nightlife. Locals are extremely open to foreigners, making it easy to integrate. The city is extremely walkable despite the crazy traffic and is filled with amazing parks and green spaces. It’s not uncommon for teachers in Saigon to take weekend trips to coastal cities such as Vung Tau or Nha Trang to enjoy some beach time.

Hanoi, located in the north of Vietnam, is the capital city and the second most popular location 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 to foreigners, but after spending some time in the city, Hanoi is often their favorite city to live in. Hanoi is located a short trip from the amazing Ha Long bay and Cat Ba island, which are some of the most beautiful locations in Vietnam.

For teachers who enjoy a smaller city, Da Nang, located 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 filled with cafes and restaurants and teachers won’t be bored at all living here. Teaching jobs in Da Nang are not as easy to find as in the 2 big cities, but there are still job openings. Teachers who cannot secure a job here right away might work in Ho Chi Minh City for a year to gain experience and then apply again. Da Nang is also a 30-minute drive away from Hoi An, which is a great location for a weekend trip.

Living in Vietnam is cheap and English teachers are well paid

One of the best reasons people decide to teach in Vietnam is because English teacher salaries are notably higher compared to the living costs. English teachers can earn anywhere between 35 million – 60 million VND ($1 500 – $2 500 / R26 000 – R44 000) per month from their job. But what is even better is that it is possible to earn even more. Teachers are usually paid by the hour and the salary is based on the assumption that one works a normal workday, but it’s possible to take on additional lessons either through your school or through private tutoring. The salary generally depends on the location you teach, the school you teach at, and your qualifications and experience. If you have never taught before, taking a TEFL course would give your resume a boost and possibly get you earning more money.

To make this even better, Vietnam is a cheap country to live in, whether one lives in a big city or a smaller town. Bigger cities will cost a bit more to live in, but not by much. For example, renting a 1 bedroom apartment in Ho Chi Minh City would cost you around 7 million – 12 million VND (US$295 – US$506 / R5 304 -R9 092) per month depending on how close to the city center you live. In Da Nang, it would cost around 6 million – 8 million VND per month (US$253 – US$337 / R4 549- R6 065). It would be slightly cheaper to live in Da Nang but teaching salaries will likely be a bit higher in Ho Chi Minh City. Either way that amount is just a fraction of a teacher’s salary making it easy to save money or spend on trips around Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Vietnamese people are friendly and welcoming to foreign teachers

Vietnam is one of the most welcoming countries in the world for foreigners. It is not uncommon for someone to come up to you and request to try to speak in English to you or learn about where you are from. Many people want to improve their English and meeting foreigners is a fun way to do that.

Education is also very important in Vietnam and Asia in general. By working in the education field as a teacher, you will be very well respected by locals. Being a teacher in this kind of 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 something at home or in their 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 change the lives of young learners. After spending the past 3 years in lockdowns, there has never been a better time to take on a new adventure!