Teaching English abroad in Vietnam is a unique experience for anyone who seeks to explore a beautiful country with a rich heritage. You may find people who say that it is not difficult to find jobs in Saigon, but the converse is true. It depends on where and how you conduct your search. Generally, the big cities offer better job opportunities for prospective teachers than the countryside. However, you will need to learn how to find the existing job openings and prepare for departure. So, if you're considering teaching English in Vietnam, the following information will help you know what to expect.
Basic Requirements for Prospective Teachers in Vietnam
Generally, prospective English teachers who want to take up teaching jobs in Vietnam should at least have a college degree in any field and preferably a TESOL/TEFL certification. Although a TEFL certification is not a key requirement, nonetheless, it increases your chances of securing a job.
As an English teacher, chances are you will also be considered as a citizen. Even so, you will still be required to renew your working visa so that you can remain a valid employee. It is also advisable to have a basic knowledge of Vietnamese language for your peace of mind.
Universities in Vietnam provide great teaching opportunities to prospective English teachers. And, a good number of qualified and trained native English speakers are employed in public universities. Interestingly, English is also one of the popular courses being studied by a considerable number of students.
So, if you are native English speaker then chances are that you will be a valued member of any faculty with an opening. University teaching jobs exposes you to both students and other professionals who want to be taught English skills.
2.Private English Tutor
Another good option for those working part-time is to work as private English language tutors. You can apply for jobs posted by employment agencies or set up your own agency and run conversational classes to adult learners who want to learn English. Majority of the working class prefer to take evening lessons in their own volition and this creates an opportunity that you can explore.
There are a good number of colleges and organizations which offer teacher-exchange programs to assist prospective teachers find a school to teach in Vietnam. You can check out useful resources online and identify agencies which facilitate teacher placement. If you have just completed a TEFL certification, consider asking the institution to assist you with finding a job. This is a good way for entrants to transition smoothly to mainstream teaching jobs in big schools, government run schools, and private institutions.
4.English Language Schools
Saigon has a high concentration of English schools (at least 200) and a great number of kindergartens which require qualified English teachers. This is occasioned by the high demand for English teachers in the city. It might be useful to visit as many schools as you can, submit your resume, and set up an interview rather than sending hundreds of useless emails. Check out the listings and get in touch with useful contacts, and if you have referrals then that is an added advantage when seeking a job in any of these schools.
Sending Applications to Schools
Once you are in Vietnam, your colleagues will advise you to print and submit as many as 20 CVs to different schools. This may increase your chances of getting hired but it doesn’t guarantee that you will get a job. You should try to focus on schools in some of the districts which only hire native English speakers. It really helps if you contact the schools and tell them that you are interested with teaching jobs. Don’t hesitate to request for an interview.
Once you secure a teaching job, it also helps to build relationship with Vietnamese English teachers. They might provide useful leads or refer you to a different employer when you want to move out of your current school.
Vietnam is a wonderful destination for prospective ESL teachers seeking a new experience away from their home country. The country has job openings all year round and, the best places for experienced teachers are the major cities Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City. There is a considerable number of private schools which absorb native English speakers who visit Vietnam to teach. Opportunities also abound in universities and public schools. You should conduct searches in credible ESL sites such as Dave’s café and network with teachers to keep you updated on all new and viable openings.