Everything You Need to Know About Teaching English in Vietnam


As the plane began it’s descent into Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi, my breathing was shallow and my palms sweaty. The ‘fasten your seatbelt’ sign lit up and I gulped. Loudly. No, I am not a nervous flyer. In fact, I quite enjoy flying. No… it was much more terrifying than that.

Making the decision to pack up and move to Vietnam in search of English Teaching work, without ever having actually visited the country (or Asia for that matter), was one of the most nerve-racking things I’ve ever done. Armed with my 150 hours of TEFL training and a copy of my degree certificate, I was hoping for the best… and preparing for the worst.

I had heard mixed reviews about Vietnam: the life threatening traffic, the barbaric practice of eating dog, the unhygienic food and questionable manners of the locals. I needn’t have worried. As true as a lot of this may be, I loved it as soon as I arrived.

Yes, Vietnam takes a little bit of adjusting to and there are certain things which I will never understand. This, however, is all part of its charm and if I could offer one piece of advice to anyone considering Vietnam as a TEFL location, it would be: do it!

Teaching English in Vietnam is a thriving business and it couldn’t be easier to find work here. There is a massive impetus upon learning English at the moment, with a National Foreign Languages Project in place, aiming for most of Vietnam’s students to be using English confidently in their study, daily communication and work by 2020.

There are numerous Language Centers, Kindergartens, International Schools, Agencies and Private Schools, all dedicated to teaching English to the students of Vietnam. This abundance of opportunity combined with the all year round hiring system, all makes for a very lucrative and fairly straightforward experience.

As well as the high volume of teaching positions, it is hard not be enchanted by the local markets selling fresh flowers and fruit, the pajama two sets that the local ladies wear with pride, the wonderful food and the ridiculously cheap, freshly brewed beer.

Typical Working Conditions

The quality of life for a TEFL teacher in Vietnam is fantastic. The standard average wage for a TEFL Qualified, degree holding, native English speaker is around $20 per hour. This is often higher depending on your experience and qualifications.  I arrived in Hanoi with no prior teaching experience and was able to find a part time job in a Language Centre, teaching children for $20 per hour, within a couple of days. There are opportunities to teach all ages, from kindergarten to adult, although finding adult work is a little more difficult to come by.

Essentially, there are two routes you can go down as an English teacher in Vietnam. You can sign up for a long term ‘full time’ contract at one of the major schools or you can take on multiple part time contracts at several smaller centers.

A standard full time position is considered to be around 20 teaching hours per week. However, there are opportunities to take on less, or more, hours depending on your goals and priorities.


The first option will usually provide you with a steady job, set hours, health insurance, assistance with your work permit, holiday pay and often a tidy bonus upon completion of one year’s contract. You can expect to earn up to and around $1500 – $2000 per month in this sort of position. These types of jobs require a high end TEFL Qualification, such as a CELTA, and will entail applying for a working visa.

Usually, the school at which you accept a teaching position will help you with this process. This will often mean signing a minimum contract of a year with that particular school. The more reputable schools and language centers will often cover the cost of your work permit and, while some schools might try and get away with it, it is usually possible to come to an agreement in sharing the cost. In order to obtain a working permit you must have the following:

–       An internationally recognized TEFL certificate (original document)

–       A health check from an approved hospital (this is very easy and cheap to have done in Vietnam)

–       A University degree (original document)

–       An academic transcript (original document)

–       A police clearance check (original document, not more than 6 months old)

The second option is a more casual route; something that is not as readily available in nearby TEFL countries such as Japan and South Korea. Many people are attracted to the ‘no strings attached’ lifestyle that is available in Vietnam. It is possible to enter the country on a three month business visa (which, depending on your nationality, should cost around $90-$130).

With this business visa, you can easily find cash-in-hand work at many of the smaller language centers. This will require you to renew your business visa at the end of every three months (at a similar cost as the initial visa but with no need to leave the country). This option won’t provide you with the benefits of signing up full time with one school but it will allow you to create your own timetable and working hours. It is fairly common to have multiple jobs of this nature as these centers usually offer contracts of around three or four teaching hours per week. Three or four of these part-time contracts  can provide you with enough money to live a fairly comfortable lifestyle. It is possible to survive on as little as 10 hours upwards per week in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, many of these Language Centers run their classes in the evening and weekends, which can hamper your social life a little.


An excellent way to supplement your teaching income is to take on some private tutoring work. I actually know a few people who earn a decent living purely on private tuition. Again, the rate starts at around $20 and can often go up as high as $30 per hour. In Vietnam, word of mouth is very important and it may take a while to get settled in and make some contacts to point you in the right direction. Once you have secured your first private gig though, the rest should come fairly easily. Private tutoring comes in the form of most age groups from very young to adults looking to brush up on Business English.


Usually, job adverts will specify that they are looking native English speakers with a University degree and at least 100 hours TEFL Qualification. While this is essential for many centers (and particularly if you are looking to acquire a working visa) it is not unheard of to find work without holding a degree. There are schools where the only hard and fast requirement is that you are a native English speaker. It is a sad fact that, honestly, a Pilipino teacher with perfect English will struggle to find work.

Finding your dream job

Now for the crucial part, how to actually find these lucrative jobs?!

A pressing question for a lot of aspiring TEFL teachers is whether it is better to secure a job before arriving in Vietnam or wait until you arrive. It is completely feasible to do either. If you have a degree and a high level TEFL qualification, such as a CELTA, then you should find it fairly easy to secure a contract before leaving your home turf. This provides you with security for your arrival but, on the other hand, doesn’t allow you to check out the school or the area.

It is very easy to pick up work once you arrive in Vietnam. The following websites and groups should be your first port of call when arriving to the country.

Despite the title, The New Hanoian caters for North, South and Central Vietnam and is where the majority of expat teaching jobs will be advertised. It is an on the pulse, up to date website that brings people, places and jobs together. A one-stop-shop for all things Vietnam, providing reviews, recommendations and listing, it is an essential source for every expat.

Additionally, Vietnam Works is a popular website to check for jobs: http://www.vietnamworks.com/

Where to base yourself?

The majority of teaching positions can be found in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There are also opportunities available in up-and-coming coastal Haiphong and Danang, as well as some more rural towns.

Busy Saigon!

When arriving in Vietnam, I visited both Hanoi and Saigon before making the decision to look for work in Hanoi. They are two very different cities and it all depends on what floats your boat. Saigon is massive. There are 24 districts and I think I managed to set foot in a grand total of three during my visit there. It has a much more international vibe than Hanoi and if partying from dusk until dawn is your thing, Saigon is the place for you. There is a decent bus system in Saigon which can make life a little easier, although the chosen transport method of the majority of expats is still the motorbike. It can be quite hard to get by without one. (Don’t ask about licenses… it is almost impossible to get one and it is an accepted truth that the traffic police turn a blind eye to ‘tays’ (foreigners) on motorbikes).

Sleepy Hanoi!

Charming Hanoi is a lot less Westernised than it’s big brother. It has a midnight curfew which is enforced to a certain extent. Many bars, clubs and restaurants really do start shutting up shop around 11pm but there is always an after party to be found and this can actually add a little something to the whole nightlife experience (I’ll admit, it can also get rather tedious when you have to wander around and wait up dark alleys waiting for someone to lead you to that evenings chosen hotspot). Hanoi has a lot of character and feels more manageable as a city.

Both cities have a lively expat scene.  Whatever your interests, whether it be martial arts, crafting, music or simply drinking bia hoi (local beer), you will find it easy to meet like-minded people to hang out with. There is a growing live music scene in both cities and it is possible to find gigs of some description, every other night.

Here are some useful websites to find out about what’s going on:

Facebook groups:

Hanoi Massive

Couchsurfing Hanoi

Couchsurfing Saigon

Expats Living in Saigon

Living costs

Living costs are exceptionally cheap in Vietnam. A meal at a local food stall (which can be found everywhere) will set you back around $2. This will be for a traditional dish of Pho (noodle soup) or similar. If you want to ‘splash out’ and eat Western food, you can easily go for a nice meal in a restaurant for around $5-7. Local beer is available everywhere in Vietnam and you can get a glass of organically brewed ‘bia hoi’ for less than 50 cents. Local markets provide fresh fruit and veg in abundance, just be aware that your status as a foreigner will leave you exposed to massive overcharging. Always be prepared to haggle your way down to around half of the originally quoted price. It is possible to find more ‘Western’ supermarkets where the prices are set and you can find a good selection of groceries for reasonable value.


Unlike other TEFL destinations, schools here generally don’t help you to find accommodation. That’s left down to you but fear not, it is surprisingly easy to do. It is possible to find short term lets or longer contracts, depending on what suits you. A room in a shared house costs, on average from $150-$250, depending on the quality of the room and the area. $250 will get you a nice room in a decent house, located in a good area. For $150 you can still get a decent room but it may be smaller, or a little further out of the center. Bills in general are not included in this price and for WiFi, electricity, water and usually a weekly cleaner, you can expect to pay around $30-50 per month, depending on how much you use the air con!

Setting up a bank account

Opening a bank account in Vietnam is fairly easy and recommended banks are ANZ Bank, Sacom Bank and HSBC. All you usually need is your passport and a Vietnamese address. You will have to fill out lots of forms and the card may only be a cash withdrawal card, making it difficult to transfer money out of the country. There are ways around this and usually your school will be able to help you.


Finally, here is a list of reputable and recommended schools to work for. As with everywhere, always be aware of schools that act in any way unprofessional.

Compass Education


This list is by no means exhaustive. There are countless Language Centers, Schools, Universities and Kindergartens that are always looking to recruit new TEFL teachers.

Vietnam is currently a land of opportunity. If you are looking to experience life in a new culture, earn enough money to live an extremely comfortable lifestyle, make lots of friends and work in a rewarding and fun teaching environment, this could be the destination for you.  And I promise, you will master the art of crossing the road. Eventually.

By Siobhan Smith
You can find more articles by Siobhan at her blog which is all about living and teaching in Vietnam, as well as travel in SE Asia: http://overdueadventure.wordpress.com/

If you have any questions for Siobhan or also have experience teaching English in Vietnam and would like to add some additional advice for prospective teachers please leave your reply in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


Siobhan is an experienced TEFL teacher who has most recently been living and working in Vietnam.



  1. Vietnam probably has the worst ESL jobs in Asia. The market has been flooded with backpackers and people opening illegal schools in their homes.

    Schools advertise 25 dollars an hour but in reality you will make 12 dollars an hour or less. You will need a motorcycle to travel to different locations between classes. Often you will be expected to teach for one hour in the morning and one in the evening and spend 1-3 hours travelling. Contracts never have 2 consecutive days off and state working hours as 7am to 10pm.

    The market is getting worse due to 18-24-year-old backpackers that are not native speakers or are and are just inexperienced. Schools love to hire young white pretty teachers. Playing silly games, singing dancing and playing a guitar are popular.

    It does not matter if you are from France, Spain, or Egypt.

    Due to the lack of learning in the classroom, the party poverty tourism behavior of backpackers becoming teachers, and the fact that many leave their positions on short notice after a month, English teachers are looked at with utter disgust by locals.

    The EFL industry in Vietnam is only getting worse and the salary and working conditions are appalling. Teaching English is a playboy drunk backpacker’s summer job now and the schools encourage it!

    So if you want to work in Vietnam just don’t bother to make an effort. its just a party job for travelers trying to have fun and extend a holiday.

  2. Hi
    To become a foreign language teacher in Vietnam does not matter how old you are. Importance is that you love the job, love children because they focus on Vietnam for children learn a lot.
      To teach you first you have to find a reception center and sign a labor contract with you. You need to have :
    + A certificate of graduation from a college or higher or equivalent and a training profession suitable to the teaching profession at foreign language training establishments (foreign language centers); Overseas preschool institution.
    + A certificate of graduation diploma from a university or equivalent or higher and a training profession suitable to the teaching profession at general education establishments.
    Then the company hiring them will help you contact the employer and temporary residence card help you

  3. Greetings All,

    I’m 55, spent 3 years in University studying Cultural Anthropology and Computer Science. I did not complete my degree; I left school to support my then wife and 2 daughters(grown up – Oldest spent last 9 years teaching in Shanghai). I have a lifetime of experience in a variety of practical fields which include everything from construction trades (I’m a top notch carpenter) to Webcasting and AV technical experience for live events. I’ve done design and development work for websites and have a specialty in network administration. I’ve done sales and even developed an online sales teaching course. I also have a background in Visual Arts.

    I’m single, free of my life obligations and ready for a new experience. I have 150 hour TEFL Certificate from the University of Toronto. I am Canadian, Male and have spoken English all of my life. I have exceptional oral and written communication skills.

    Will I be able to find work in Vietnam?

    • Hi Sean,
      Apologies for trolling but came across your post and your life experiences and aspirations are very similiar to mine. Except I’m Australian and spent most of my life in the nusing game. Q: did you get a response re: securing teaching work in Vietnam??

  4. Hi! Thanks for the nice article, It was so useful! I am not native English speaker but I have experiences teaching English and my own language. I have also a university degree, My IELTS certificate expired 2016, Should I have a chance to teach english in Vietnam? or I need to have certificate?Is 100 hours onine TESL enough?
    Thank you!

  5. Not sure if you will even see this comment as I am reading this years later after it was posted, but I was curious about traveling/living in Vietnam for 3 months but did not want to sign any sort of contract. Is it possible to purely private tutor in 3 months? I know you said it takes some time. But do you have to be bound by a contract or have a specific type of visa to just private tutor while you’re living there?

  6. Hi Siobhan, I found your page very useful. I am a student and I am heading to Vietnam to teach English for 10 days in Ho Chi Minh. Unsure what resources are over there but also wanted to make it interesting. Looking at primary age. Can you suggest a few easy ways to interact with the children and in turn teach them English. I thought the language barrier would be difficult. I really appreciate your time and thank you for sharing your experiences…….

  7. Hi Siobhan.

    I would like to teach English in Vietnam, and I have a degree (in English. However, I am 61 years of age. Do you think this would be any barrier to finding a job?

      • At the moment, I would like to teach Vietnamese for foreigners with no money through youtube channel. So I need a native English friend together with me, so if you’re interested. Please help to contact me via my facebook account: sentc1210@gmail.com and pls tell me to know that you’re a person who read my msg here.
        I have this idea during the time I’m studying Korean language and I found a useful website where I can learn as much as I can, so I know that my idea will great success if I have someone together
        btw, I’m living in a South of Vietnam. My house is in Bien Hoa City, It’s far from HCM city approximately 1 hour by motorbike
        Thank you

  8. Coming from the UK should I have my certificate and police check notarised or anything before I arrive? I’ve read so much conflicting information online! I understand that the documents need legalising by the Vietnamese Embassy, but should I just bring originals or notarised copies as well?

    • I arrived from the UK in January. You just need to bring your original documents and you can get them notarised here in Vietnam. I got mine done at the British Consulate General in HCMC.

      • Hi Clare, is getting your degree notarised in Vietnam as simple as it is in Thailand, where you go to the British embassy and they photocopy your degree attach a seal and signature?

    • Hi Siobhon,
      Your blog is most inspiring, thanks. I have been teaching in Bangkok for 1 year but I fly out to Hanoi on Thursday in 2 days time my friends are going to join me later on. So I’m pretty excited to be going to Hanoi after hearing so much about it, it sounds like a good opportunity for sure In thailand I have been making about $7 an hour but I did enjoy the experience. Well I just hope for this adventure to continue.
      All the best, and thanks, Mark. S.

  9. Thank you for the article, I have one question for you to answer. You mentioned you brought a copy of your certificate with but further in the article you mentioned they want the original should I bring a copy or the original. Thank you again.

  10. Would like to apply for teaching position
    I am currently working as an Aupair.
    I am divorced and looking for new challenges and experiences.
    I have a passion to teach children about life and all they need to know.
    How do I go about to make this possible?

    • Hi
      Am a Ghanaian but studied education in South Africa. Do I qualify to teach in Vietnam ?

  11. Hi Siobhan

    Thank you for this article. I have decided to leave Korea and take a short break back home then pursue opportunities in Vietnam (I want to explore a wilder side of Asia) thank you for this article. It is very helpful and has given me the confidence in need to make this change.

    Thank you again!

  12. Hi,

    I graduated from Uni last summer studying English and Linguistics. I am wanting to teach in Hanoi for about 6 months minimum from September. I haven’t got a TESOL/TEFL/CELTA qualification yet. I am currently looking at what option would be best. Are online qualifications okay for teaching?

  13. I am a degree holder in Ghana. I want to teach in vietnam. I have Bachelor degree in Education.
    I want to know if I am ellegible to teach in vietnam.

  14. The Hunter Traveller

    Hello Siobhan,

    Thank you for sharing such an informative and interesting article. I have found it so useful as I begin my search for teaching jobs. But I have a bit of a predicament and I was wondering if you could offer some advice?

    I have recently completed my TEFL. I am 32 years old, have a BA Degree & Masters in Fine Art. I also have experience of tutoring at a university in London and teaching at a high school in Germany. Just under one year of teaching experience in total. So right now I am torn between Thailand (my current location) and Vietnam.

    As a new EFL teacher I would like to teach in a public school and experience this sort of working environment as opposed to teaching in Language Centres. I just feel that I would benefit from the long-term experience as a new EFL teacher. In your article you mention that the first option is ‘schools’ which I am assuming are public and international schools in Vietnam. From your experience or people that you may have met along the way, what do you think the chances are of me finding a job in this sector in regards to my qualifications and experience? Is there a specific route I should go down or ways in which to target these positions? I have heard that in some cases these schools are difficult in which to find jobs even for TEFL/Degree holders. Where as here in Thailand is seems more accepted with nothing more than a TEFL in regards to public school teaching.

    I love Vietnam after a month travelling there and in regards to living & lifestyle I feel like I am more comfortable with Vietnam and the prospect of living there alongside teaching. They also seem really keen on learning English which is a great factor to be there! But I guess it is the relocating with the uncertainty of finding a teaching job in a public school that is holding me back. Am I being unrealistic arriving with public schools in mind?

    If you have a moment to share your thoughts or any advice then I would really appreciate it. I will also give your article a mention via my social medias.

    Many thanks,

    • If you want to teach in public schools, try Language Link as they have a Schools Link program. They’re a decent enough employer offering jobs to entry level teachers, which is reflected in the salary.

  15. Hi Siobhan Smith!

    You’ve mention in your article that a Filipino fluent in speaking English might have a hard time landing a job. I am planning to work in Vietnam as a am English teacher. I am a BS Biology graduate from one of the state in the Philippines, had a call center job but no teaching experience. I will be starting my online TEFL course from mytefl next week.
    All that being said. I just would like to ask what do you think I should do to land a job though am a Filipino with no teaching experience? Ang recommendation of schools that mostly accepts Filipinos or applicants with no experience ? (I will be visiting Vietnam next month and hope I can find a job) thanks for he response ?

  16. Hi,
    I am a 20 year old native speaker from Cali and I have my Associates and my TEFL. I am also fluent in Vietnamese but i was told to keep quiet about that. I’m wondering how difficult it would be for me to obtain a good job?

  17. Hi Siobhan,

    Interested in this opportunity to possibly work in Vietnam.
    I have a 2 and a half year old and my hubby who is in Finance.
    Besides Hanoi, would there be something more rural/ suburban where I could teach, he can be with Mad in the day, be party of a small community of locals, learn self sustainability, have a few animals/ life stock, that sort of thing?
    Do you know the rules for brining pets over, we have a Doberman and a cat?

    Your post was very informative, thank you!

    • Taking animals is fairly easy… they do need certain injections in advance plus a certificate from your vet. I can email you the requirements??
      Then for more rural…look at Danang or Hue.
      Even Vung Tau. All at the beach but smaller!!

  18. I’m contemplating getting a TEFL certificate from the University of Toronto. Does anyone know how widely TEFL certificates (vs TESOL, CELTA, etc) are accepted in Hanoi?

  19. Thank you Siobhan.

    This was really helpful and has made me feel really good about my decision to give this a go:)


  20. Hi i want to deepen my experience teaching tefl. I want to have my experience in Vietnam. I have my tefl certificate.

  21. I am a 66 y.o. american and semi retired, I have a BSME (mech engr) and a BA in History from US universities. The TEFL course I can handle when the time comes…

    Would anyone my age have difficulty in finding employment teaching English? I have worked in VN as an engineer and from those experiences I know that the local VN managers can unfortunately be ageist…any examples of persons my age actually working as English teachers that anyone has observed?

  22. Have you noticed any children traveling with their parents who are teaching English? Are their schools or nannies in S. Vietnam, particularly Hanoi?

  23. Hi Shobian,

    I just read part of your awesome blog about living and working in Vietnam and just wanted to say thank you! I still have to continue reading the rest of the info you’ve provided, but it’s amazing thus far

    So thank you!

    Are you still living in Vietnam as we speak?

    I’m exploring my options and teaching English in Vietnam is up there on the list. I’m not a native speaker though and don’t have a TEFL certificate (yet) however I do have a BA in international business and I’m a near native English speaker. Do you think the second option (I’m looking for a more carefree lifestyle type of job- so I can write) would be a viable one for me in my current situation?

  24. Stuart Williamson

    Hi, I found your blog very interesting, I am currently working in China and signed on for another year however I do feel that I need to go to Vietnam and teach there hence exploring the country. I worked in Thailand for one year and finishing off my first year in China. I really love most of the countries in South East Asia and feel I have a connection with it. I am a South African citizen, have a Bachelors Degree and both a TEFL certification from South Africa plus a TESOL qualification from Thailand. Please tell me more details on it and if I qualify as a South African citizen. In China I am a recognized NES teacher but wasn’t in Thailand. I wrote a TOEIC examination then got my workpermit in Thailand.

  25. Hi Siobhan,

    I loved this. Thank you for all the information. I have a HR management diploma and I’m fluent I’m English as it’s my first language and I’m from the UK. Would I find work in Vietnam even though I don’t have a TEFL qualification?

    If it is a requirement to have a TEFL qualification can you recommend places where u can obtain this & how much it will cost me?

    Thank you

  26. Hello Siobhan!
    I have a mental illness which I manage with medication and was wondering what it is like obtaining medications which are a little bit outside the norm in Vietnam?

  27. Frances Abernethy

    Hello Siobhan – your blog is interesting and has a lot of useful, factual information – thanks.
    Can you offer any advice, I am 55 years old and live in UK, have completed the TEFL 120 hours. I don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, but have a HND (Higher National Diploma). Would appreciate any advice.

  28. Hi Siobhan,

    I am a core Grade 8 teacher with the Toronto District School Board (15years), qualified to teach middle and high school. I do not have a TEFL diploma or certificate. Do I need this to teach in Vietnam, Thailand or South Korea? I have degrees in Economics and Sociology in addition to my teaching certificate from Catholic University in New York. I was recently in Malaysia and Cambodia.
    However, teaching in the Far East came as an after thought. Looking to teach in reputable schools directly or through reliable organizations. However, I am only looking at very short stints … not exceeding three months.

  29. Hey Siobhan,

    What a brilliant blog!!

    I have been reading mixed reviews on Vietnam as I choose where to go to teach English. This has really put my mind at ease.

    Just wondering, are there may Buddhist/yoga activities in Hanoi or Saigon? I am massively into both and would like to live and work in a country where those things are popular or at least easily accessible.

    Also, if I were to live in a large city such as Saigon or Hanoi, how far am I from some of the more rural, scenic areas or beaches?



  30. Watch out for the in Bangkok, Thailand based fake teacher placement agency ‘Smartkurve’ or as one of its other aliases ‘ESLThailand’, ‘MEPPLUS’, ‘Edknovate’ and ‘Axiom Recruitment’ owned by Kirk Pathumanun scammer and father Suwit Khunkitti.

  31. Hi Siobhan

    Thank you for this awesome article.

    Just one Q.

    If a person were to go on a business visa it only grants you work for three moths at a time before it needs to be renewed.
    But, what happens in the case that you get work there with a contract?
    Can you then get a working visa there to replace the initial business visa?
    And what do they require for this? Just a letter from your School/employer there?

    Kind Regards

  32. This article is wonderful! Thank you so much for the links and advice! My boyfriend and I are in Laos about to head to Vietnam to look for work. We were in Thailand but didn’t have much luck finding work that was within a good distance from one another! Wish us luck in Nam! WOO!

  33. Hi, I’m very interested in teaching English in Vietnam (HCMC). I am of Vietnamese descent and am a born and raised Canadian. I only have a college degree and certificate in Travel and Tourism. I have no problem taking a TEFL course for a certificate though I am worried that because I don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree I wouldn’t be able to find work. Could you please give me some insight on the process and if this is a possible goal for me? Best regards, Vivian.

  34. I found this to be so intriguingly fun to read! Lately I been thinking about my life and where I want to see myself and I could honestly say this is exciting to even imagine myself. While I’m teaching, I get to embrace my roots (I’m of Vietnamese heritage born in Canada) and I’ve alway wanted to live in Asia!

  35. I majored in Teaching English as a Second Language and have experience teaching in the US and China. And for what it’s worth, I also have one of those 120-hour TEFL certificates. Am I eligible for considerably higher pay than the average foreigner? Also, would it be better to work in a public or private school? How do the salary and benefits compare?

    • BTW, I’m not the same Ryan as the one below me. I haven’t heard anything about teaching without qualifications. It seems risky to even try.

  36. someone told me to get into Vietnam to teach you didn’t need a University degree.

    here it states otherwise. Hoping your wrong, I don’t have any noteworthy post secondary education.

    • My daughter was in the same position as you and managed to pick up hourly rate work. You should arrive with enough savings to see you through but there’s definitely hope!

      • But she had a classroom tefl qualification. You should definitely look at getting some kind of tefl training even if it’s minimal (my daughter only did one weekend).

  37. Hi Siobhan, great article i was hoping you or anyone else on the site could answer some questions i had regarding TEFL qualifications.

  38. Thank you Siobhan for such an informative piece. I am currently living in Greece and have been teaching English in a private language school for the past 8 years. I hold an MA in Translation and a Greek teaching licence as well as a full UK passport.
    What is the best time of year to be looking for teaching posts? I am looking to move ASAP and have been attracted to living/working in Asia since visiting China/Hong Kong in 2005 and 2008.
    Any further pointers would be much appreciated.


    G. MacQueen

  39. Oh sorry, I meant an art and performance degree. Will they hire me if I have that bachelor degree?

    Thank you.

  40. Very useful article.

    I am trying to find some information on the degree thing. Basically I don’t have a “university” degree as I didn’t go to university but I do have a professional qualification (ICSA CQSQ) which means I am fully qualified chartered secretary. This is a level 7 qualification in the UK which took 4 years to complete and is the equivalent to a masters degree but all the advice seems so specific that it must be a bachelors degree or a university degree. I suppose a similar / equivalent qualification to mine would be a qualified accountant / ACCA. Does anyone know if my professional qualification would count for anything or not?

    Thanks, Bob

  41. Hi guys,

    I’m a bit worried about the whole thing about teaching in Vietnam. I’m really eager to work and live in Vietnam however by the time I get there I will only have the 120 hour TEFL certificate. I don’t have uni degree and I hold a Danish passport (non native English speaker, although I worked and lived in England for many years). Do you guys think that I stand any chance to find a job? I am not very demanding on the salary bit since I understand I’m not that qualified. I was also thinking on working some hours as private tutor.

    I will be looking pretty much for any job where I can earn money to be able to live there…

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance,


    P.S: my email address is Tom.a.storup@gmail.com if someone can give me tips or anything that can help me find a job please contact me there.

  42. Hi,

    I have an American Bachelors Degree from an American College and I speak good English. But my origin is from India. Will I be able to do a TEFL course in Vietnam and will it be easy for me to find a teaching job in Vietnam?

    • Hey Sujoy..

      I too am of Indian origin but have spent years in the US, have a bachelors degree from LA and was a Canadian permanent resident.

      Could you please let me know of any progress you’ve had since last year? I’m thinking of Korea and Japan as my 1st options but quite intrigued by Vietnam as well.. cheers.

  43. Hi Siobhan,

    Many thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive blog post on living and working in Vietnam. My boyfriend and I are both native English speakers form the U.S. (with degrees) excited to experience a new country and culture together!

    I have two questions:
    1- As an Asian-American, will I encounter problems finding work? *I worked in South Korea for a time and occasionally ran into prejudices despite my citizenship and experience.

    2- Any advice or resources on how to best transfer money out of the country? I will still have U.S. bills to pay…

    I appreciate your guidance!


  44. Not sure if they operate in Vietnam but in case you’re planning to come to Thailand watch out for this HUGE Education Scam: Kirk Pathumanun, Smartkurve, Suwit Khunkitti, Edknovate, Axiom Recruitment, Mepplus, Double Knowledge, Quest Club, ESL Thailand, Sarawittaya School, Streesmutprakan School, Chanhunbamphen School.

    These agents and schools haven’t been paying salaries to teachers for years!
    You can Google it on the internet…

  45. Hi

    I am new to this scene. I am a South African young female with no degree. Very patient and a peoples person. I have been in Vietnam in 2010 and found it to be an eccentric country with so much culture and diversity.

    Please advise what is my first step. Ps. Just have passport for now.

    Looking forward to words of advise
    Cindy Chetty

  46. Hei, what an excellent website!

    For the last few days I have researched quite a bit, into the possibility of getting a job as an english teacher in Vietnam. And it seems that being a native english speaker and having a bachelor is pretty much a prerequisite for getting a job. Me however, is neither a native english speaker nor do I have a bachelor degree. I have just finished my third at law school, but in Norway there are no such thing as a bachelor degree in law. My question to you then is this; if i were to get a TEFL certificate, how would my prospect for getting a job in Vietnam look like?

    I am an Norwegian law student who wants to teach english in Vietnam. the problem is when I have rese

    • Hi,

      The requirement for a degree is in any field of study. It can be in Science, Law, Engineering or Arts etc. All that matters is that you have a degree. Secondly, non native speakers of English can get work there; but it is generally a little more difficult (depending).

      If you have white skin it is easier – as there’s a lot of prejudice against non white skinned people.

      ESL Zone Vietnam (Channel on youtube) has great videos explaining this issue for non native speakers of English.

      But certainly you can get a job with any degree and as a non native speaker as these videos explain.

      Best of luck

  47. Hi everyone 🙂
    My name is Kim I am from the Philippines.
    I am a degree holder and a licensed English Teacher with teaching experience especially with foreign students.
    I am about to enroll in a TEFL course and planning to teach and travel at the same time once i’ll get my tefl cert.
    This would be my first time traveling abroad(solo)
    I am just confuse which is the best country. I heard of Thailand and Vietnam. Can anyone here give me any opinion?
    I would highly appreciate.
    Thank you.

    • Hello,

      There are a lot of language centers in Vietnam hiring Filipino teachers. But of course, don’t expect that you will get the same rate as that of the Native speakers. Nonetheless, there is a lot of opportunities to earn money here. You also have an option to teach in a Kindergarten. From what I’ve experienced, TEFL or TESOL cert is a plus but it is not actually a must especially if you are a professional teacher.

      • Apple; may i know how do you manage or have you ever experienced some sort of rejection when the schools had noticed you’re a Filipino like me….

  48. Thomas Hainsworth

    I’ve a BA in English literature and philosophy and a TEFL certificate. I have 3 years’ teaching experience in China. Truth be told, China is an awful place to live. To be fair, north China is awful whereas southern China is much nicer, but Vietnam looks like an ideal place to work. Would it be easy for me to get a job and find temporary accommodation there? I’m thirty years’ old.

    • Honestly if you think China is awful Vietnam is much more awful. As a country to travel it is interesting, full of history and really cool to have a look. But if you work there are many problems. In China there are buses and there is underground. In Vietnam city buses as far as I know are only in HCM city and Hanoi, ah and recently few buses appeared in Nha Trang.

      Teachers usually work until 9pm and in HCM city for example the last bus leaves at 8pm but there are some buses that the last one is at 5pm. Yes I’m not joking, this is sick, that’s why all people must have a motorbike. Needless to say, there are no street rules, when a street is one way, people will still travel both ways and if they can’t they will ride on the pavement (they will do it anyway because they can). In most places you cannot walk because there are millions of motorbikes either parked on the pavement or people just drive there and block whole pavement and make it very dangerous to walk. I was hit while walking on the pavement and trust me, this is not something that happens only sometimes.

      Vietnam is very dangerous because people don’t understand that they can kill somebody with their motorbike. They just press a button and go as fast as they want and in any place they want and nobody can stop them. I had some accidents in VN and I was so afraid to live there that I decided to leave my job and go back to civilization. I really loved my job but it was too dangerous to live there. Many times per day I saw accidents and sometimes even deadly accidents involving motorbikes or a bus hitting a motorbike or a bus hitting a child on a bicycle etc. This country will never be good as long as people will not learn how to be careful and obey the rules.

      • yes, you are right, i am vietnamese and what you said is the trust in vietnam, i wish vietnam will be better in future (but in my mind vietnam will never change)

        email : len.soi.bmt@gmail.com

  49. milk_with_herring

    Hey guys!

    Thanks for useful article!

    I was offered a contract for 6 months in Hai Phong city (kiwi English center). But the salary there is 600 usd/month for 80 hours +housing+transportation. At the same time I’ve got another offer from HCMC with 800 usd/60 hours (+15 usd for 1 extra hour) but without housing and transportation. So now I’m curious which offer is better (if any?) or these salaries aren’t good at all. Here I need to mention that English is my second language and I don’t have any certificate,but have teaching experience.

    Would appreciate any answer and help.


  50. Hi Siobhan, I’m leaving for S.E. Asia next week and plan to look for work in Vietnam after I travel a bit. I still haven’t got my TEFL cert though – waiting about 7 weeks and I still don’t know if I passed or not! I have a Montessori diploma, BA in English and Philosophy and a MA. Can I still get a job without the TEFL cert?

    I’m also nervous about lesson planning and doing a good job basically! How did you feel before you started? I’m worried I won’t live up to the super TEFL teacher they’ll be looking for as I haven’t any experience! I think I would like to find work around Hanoi. Maybe Halong or Sapa. Can you advise? Thanks 🙂

  51. Great article! What’s the internet like there these days – my wife and I both do some online work and need a stable connection. 🙂

    • Internet is quite good in general, but of course depends where you are in the country. The 3g is fairly cheap if you are out in the middle of nowhere. Wifi is widely available. Prices are better and speeds are generally faster than Thailand, which is also quite good. One thing is, occasionally there is a break in the main undersea cable off Vietnam which can be disruptive. Google for that for more info.

  52. Hi Siobhan!

    I am choosing between getting TEFL certified in either Vietnam or Peru and then getting a job there. I have heard it is hard to get a teaching job in Vietnam if you have never had a job before. Have you found this to be true?

    Also, do you know of any reputable places to get TEFL certified in Vietnam? Ideally I would like to be based in Hanoi.

    Thanks so much!


  53. Looking for Opportunities in Hanoi


    Great article. 26 year old teacher here – TEFL certified, but no education background.

    (I was going for my bachelors but wasn’t able to finish due to a family emergency.)

    I am looking to teach English to children!

    If anybody has any leads, please email:


  54. Hi

    I had read your blog. I am a Filipina teacher teaching English, Math, and Science subject here in the Philippines . I am planning to be there in Vietnam this April for my TESOL training. I just want to ask if i have a chance to teach there as an English teacher if ever i will apply to schools after my training? Thank you 🙂

  55. Does a reputable school typically pay for the work permit and visas, or is this the responsibility of the teacher?

  56. Hi!quick question re teaching in vietnam.
    I dont have celta etc or a degree. I do have a diploma.
    Will this be an issue?
    I do also have a criminal record . Mostly low level things. Mostly 20 years ago . Excet for a charge of disorderly behaviour 2 years ago. Will this serve as a barrier?
    I have also been a media studies teacher for lids in my home country.

  57. Hi Siobhan

    Am so pleased have come across your blog! Have recently completed CELTA training and now seeking teaching role in Hanoi. What you say is really helping me to focus and take the next steps. Hope to be there very soon!

    With thanks.


    • Hi Tina,

      I don’t have the answers to any of your questions…because I have the same ones! I’m curious, have you found employment? I’m considering paying for a local course, that costs $1200 eeks! And then I guess I would just take the plunge and move, seems like thats the way to go but IDK. Let me know if you have an update!

  58. Hello 🙂

    If anyone can give me a bit of advice it would be great. I am currently a college student about to finish up with my associates degree in hospitality management. After I finish up with my associates degree, I was thinking about getting the TEFL certification and finishing my bachelors degree online while teaching English in Vietnam. Will I be able to find a teaching position in HCMC with an associates degree and a TEFL certification?

    I’ve spent about 8 weeks traveling around Asia within the last year. My girlfriend lives in HCMC. I love it here. I’m just thinking that I can teach English, learn Vietnamese, and finish my Bachelors online from Vietnam. Then I would be set to get a job in Vietnam in my field after I graduate with my bachelors degree. Does it sound like a feasible plan? If anyone could contact me by email it would be great. ericd937@hotmail.com



  59. Hey I am a case worker have I have 4 years experience working in the community with CALD people also I have experience in interpreting. I don’t have degree but I have completed a diploma in community development so is there any chance for me to get job in Ho Chi Minh city to teach English?

  60. Hey Siobahn,

    I’m trying to get a police check done from the UK but it seems like an employer has to apply for the form on your behalf. Do you have any idea how to get one done independently?


    • Hi Sadiq,

      I just got mine – Its not a DBS (formerly CRB) check, but a certificate. I asked my CELTA course mates and they told me about Disclosure Scotland. I filled in a form and paid £25 and got a certificate in 5 days….

      • Hi Ed,

        I’ve just seen this post and wondered whether you could help me… Do you have to be from Scotland / currently residing in Scotland to be eligible to apply for a Disclosure Scotland Form?

        Many thanks,


  61. Hi, I have been teaching for over 14 years in Taiwan. I don’t have any certificates or degrees. I am married here. so it works. But what about in Vietnam. Can someone teach without degrees or certificate in a secure way?I am from canada and I am 53 years old

    • Hi there, it really depends where you are in the country. It could be tricky to find work in Saigon in your position but you should be fine in Hanoi and the countryside.

  62. Hi Siobhan

    I just graduated from university with a BA (philosophy) I’m very interested in living in Vietnam and teaching there. I’d like to teach ESL but I’m also interested in teaching introductory philosophy, in fact that would be my preference. Have you heard of any such positions in Hanoi? I’d be more than willing to live somewhere less urban, as night life and the like are of little concern to me. I also have a partner who is an excellent soccer coach and he’d also love to move to Vietnam. Neither of us have TOFL but I would undertake to get a qualification if it seemed necessary. I have a fair amount of experience with tutoring and teaching children and I am a settled down-type middle aged woman. Is it an issue for unmarried people to co-habitate in Vietnam?

  63. Hi,

    Thank you for a very informative article.

    I am currently on holiday in Vietnam and would really like to work here.

    I am a 55 year old English speaking South African with a diploma in electronics with 3 years lecturing experience but no teaching qualifications. What are my options?

    Best Regards,

  64. Beware of private tutoring, your Work Permit doesn’t cover this , I was fined 10 mil VND, and if it wasn’t for my wife, ” knowing the right people “, I would have been deported, ( even after living here continuously for 4 yrs ), I had never received 1 single VND for my Coffee Shop meetings, ( and I was invited every time, I can’t stand Coffee Shops ), it was the Police’s word against mine, ( but I never got to utter one word in my defence ). Isn’t this a great place to live????
    As for $20 an hour, only in the cities, where living expenses are higher, it can be lower than $10 an hour rural, sometimes even without free accommodation.

  65. Hi Siobhan,

    I found your article really informative and helpful! Finding it really difficult to get all the information I need from one place so this was a great help!

    I have a question regarding the business visa. I have been in contact with my Irish Visa Providers and they say I am unable to work on a Business visa. Ideally I would like to do what you did and get some part time work in a couple of different places. Also what clarifies you to obtain a 3 month business visa? We are flying into Bangkok in November with no return flights and are planning to arrive in Vietnam in January after having done our bit of travelling and hope to get some sort of work for a couple of months.

    Hope to hear from you as very unsure of what to do with the visa?! 🙂



  66. I am trying to find a school that will give me a start or at least some guidance as to who to get in touch with to take up TEFL as a career..

    I’m very new to this so I’ll need to look at course structures and availability for an Australian…I intend coming over to Vietnam as soon as I find a foot hold to get the ball rolling..

    Can you help??????????

    ps.. I haven’t found any of the schools listed off this page, that are willing to help me and I need some help… Thank you..

    • Hi Tony,

      Have you arrived in Vietnam since your post?

      I have been teaching in the south of Vietnam spending 2 weeks/month in Saigon and the other 2 weeks in a town called Rach Gia. The school I’m am working for in Rach Gia is expanding and have asked me to find someone to cover the 2 weeks/month I’m in Saigon. If you are still looking for work I’m sure they will be interested. It was quite easy for me to get my work permit and visa extensions done through this school. There are also many opportunities in this town and the demand for esl teachers is high as I’m the only one here at the moment.

      Please get back to me if you think this would interest you.



  67. Thank you so much you were very helpful!!

    I am an English native speaker, but I have a spanish passport, would that be a problem?

  68. I’m an American expat 36 years old and been in Nha Trang going on 5 months, I dropped off resume’s at the 5 schools located here and three months later was only contacted by one school that only offers me $10 per hour, I have a bachelor degree and a 120 Tesol certificate, and teaching experience so I think it had to do with them needing a native teacher and the school location not being in a common area ( trust me I had to search for it ) I’m given Friday Saturdays and Sundays to teach with no teachers assistant, the children are great for the most part but there are always 2 or three that persist in being disrespectful and insulting me in Vietnamese ( I’m fluent but they school and the children do not know it) the issue with the school is them never living up to what they say, originally I was told I would be given a contract, hasn’t happened, was told my residence would be sponsored “NOPE” none of the above, and that if hired my wage would increase ” not counting on it” I was recently offered a position in a town called Mui ne that pays $1000 per month food housing transportation medical and visa sponsorship provided as well all for $25 hours per week of my time. So I guess it depends on the school and who is running the show.

    • This article is pretty much true for your standard expat. I arrived five years ago as part of a student exchange program between my school UCSB and Hanoi University. So my experience is quite different from that of this article’s author. But I’ve had many friends come over in a similar fashion and can back up the gist of what she said: do it!

  69. Hi all,

    Hope all is well

    I am born and have lived in the UK all my life, am looking to go to Vietnam to teach however my Star Tefl is only 140 hours online and I have not done any training face to face. I do holds a BA HONS degree also can anyone let me know if I would qualify in teaching out there for a year or even longer if possible? I am looking to go ASAP does anyone know if the intake is all year round or just depending on semester’s? Also do you recommend North or South Vietnam?
    Look forward to any replies would be a major help.

    • Hi Susan,

      Have you arrived in Vietnam since your post?

      I have been teaching in the south of Vietnam spending 2 weeks/month in Saigon and the other 2 weeks in a town called Rach Gia. The school I’m am working for in Rach Gia is expanding and have asked me to find someone to cover the 2 weeks/month I’m in Saigon. If you are still looking for work I’m sure they will be interested. It was quite easy for me to get my work permit and visa extensions done through this school. There are also many opportunities in this town and the demand for esl teachers is high as I’m the only one here at the moment.
      Please get back to me if you think this would interest you.



  70. I am a native English speaker (Australian) and have been living in HCMC for 3 months, finished my TESOL course and am looking for work, I just can not find any schools willing to employ me. I have no experience teaching and no degree, I have read blogs like yours many times that say how easy it is to get work here, it just is not true. Every interview I have been to they have said they need at least 1 years proven teaching experience and a degree for the work permit. I am getting married to a Vietnamese national in 1 month, but even this does not help.
    I am desperate for work so I can afford to stay here can someone pleas help!!

    • Hello Sean!

      I think if you can’t find a job in Vietnam you can also try to find a job in the Philippines. The Philippines is known for English learning country for Korean students. Some centers accept native speakers like you. Your Vietnamese wife can also work in the Philippines.

      • Thanks Mai but that is really of no help.
        I am now in the position where I have to return to Australia without my wife and I do not know when we will be able to be together again. I think people who write these kinds of blogs saying how easy it is to get work teaching in Vietnam should get their facts straight, at least give accurate information. I have applied for over 40 positions in HCMC but have only been asked to 4 interviews, all of which have asked me for a second interview but then have not gotten back to me. When I have finally been able to contact someone to find out why it always comes down to the lack of degree. Schools here are sick of the fly by night teachers and are starting to want quality education and they think a person with a degree can give them that. I have done a lot of research and I know having a degree is NOT a requirement for a work permit, so I do not understand.

        • I am a native speaker who has a degree, a quality teaching certificate and 5 years experience teaching in NZ, Korea and Thailand. The bottom line is you need to get a degree, it looks to me like you’ve read blogs about backpacker teaching jobs and that has been true in the past but the schools and governments are clamping down now. Really you just have to do the hard yards and get some university study under your belt. If you did that, I promise you will never have an issue finding work. You can get a job teaching in Thailand without a degree, many here do.

          • I have to disagree, I have a 120 hour TESOL certificate but no degree, I finished my TESOL certificate in Ho Chi Minh 4 weeks ago and got a decent job within a week, I now have 3 jobs and have just turned down a fourth. There certainly seem to be plenty of jobs around, some of the large Language centres got back to me saying that they required degrees though.

          • I am coming to S.E. Asia in a week to check things out. I am a union electrician, but never really liked construction work. I got sucked into the high wages, and did this work for almost 38 years.

            A few years ago, I went back to school to finish an Associates Degree I started right after I graduated from high school. One class at a time I finished it last June. I don’t have a CELTA, yet, but am planning on taking either a CELTA or TEFL course once I come over for good.

            My wife is a Filipina, and we would like to get closer to her country. I will be coming over first, potentially in another year or so, but I thought since I am off at the moment, it would be a great time to check out both Vietnam and Taiwan.

            I fly into HK next week on the 8th of October, and have been thinking of going to HCMC around the 27th, after a quick trip to the Phils to say hi to my in-laws. I was going to stay a week, then go to Taipei. Anyone have any suggestions on places that might be worth checking out, just to get a taste of the schools, etc.?

            I did help as a teacher’s aid and a tutor for the ESL department at my local community college for about a year and a half, and led discussion groups for a group that was tied into the school too. I am really looking forward to seeing what HCMC has to offer. This is just a quick little recognizance mission. Again, any advice, or if anyone would want to meet up with me when I get there, will be greatly appreciated!

            Sorry for the long-winded post.

  71. Hi,

    I work for a company who are migration agents and accredit to teach English and deliver a certificate recognized in Australia and other countries. The aim is to help secondary students to come to Australia for further study. We are thinking of setting up a school to teach English in Vietnam and are looking for a partner or some advice.

    Thanks, Robert.

  72. Hi, I am a fifty four year (young) teacher hoping to teach in Hanoi. I hold a BSc.(Hons) in Environmental Science, P.G.C.E. and various Building Engineering and H&S qualifications. I will be going to Thailand to do 120 hour T.E.F.L. course before I get to Hanoi. My question is am I too old to teach in Hanoi as I will be leaving my post of four years at my College here in the United Kingdom. P.S I have been to Hanoi before and is playing on my mind that I must go back.
    Thank you for any helpful tips!

  73. Hi,

    I am in Vietnam and had an unexpected job interview today at a language center in a medium sized city in Central Vietnam. I don’t have any teaching certificates and hardly any experience in teaching English. I’m not a native speaker but speak English fluently. I have a BA in psychology.

    They offered me no more than 13usd per 90 minutes. Scanning the internet this seems ridiculously low as I understand the average hourly rate is around 20usd.

    They were very eager to hire me (for 6 days per week, 90 minutes per day). No wonder, with such an hourly rate, hehe. Anyway, I’m thinking about asking 20usd per hour. And after negotiating ask at least 16usd per hour.

    Does that sound right or am I still aiming too low?


  74. Hello,

    I’m really wanting to live in Vietnam since I want to be with the love of my life. In order to become a teacher will I need to know the Vietnamese Language? And what happens if you fail? I live in the USA, native speaker of English, but I fear I may do something wrong. What do I do?

    • Hey Janet, my friend is teaching in Vietnam and is from Australia, most schools require you to speak Vietnamese, as you will be teaching them to speak English, but my friend told me that there are some teachers that don’t speak Vietnamese, hope that helps

      • This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, please ignore him. No one speaks fluent Vietnamese as an English teacher. No one. It’s definitely not a prerequisite, this guy just wants to sound clever but – unfortunately for him – fails miserably.

  75. Hello,

    I’m trying to find some advice and I really need some help. I know someone teaching in Vietnam right now who wants to stop for medical reasons, but has been threatened by her employer, told she cannot leave or quit, told she has to live only in buildings the employer approves of, and he’s even demanded her passport so she cant leave, and chained her bike up. She is scared for her safety, and unsure of the law in Vietnam for this kind of thing – in Australia this would be enough to arrest him, in Vietnam she’s not sure at all. She just wants to leave the country and go back home. I really need some advice but I’m not sure where to go, anything you can tell me would help a great deal. Thank you.

    • Hi Rey,
      Tell your friend to speak to a Vietnamese lawyer. It’s just a threat and your friend has to fight back. I’m Vietnamese myself and I sure know how it works.
      Good luck

    • Hey Rey if she’s from Australia, tell her to go to the Australian embassy and request for help, and if depends if she signed the contract or not, either way don’t give her passport to anyone!!

  76. Hey there,
    I am trying to fly out to Vietnam in March, and I was wondering if your TEFL certificate was online or in class. I have a 120 hour certificate but it is online. I have all of my other documents, but I was wondering if this might be a barrier to getting hired. Thanks!

  77. Hi,

    Really helpful blog!

    I am from Mongolia /non-native/. I have planned to teach English in Vietnam.
    I have BA degree in English teacher and TESOL 180 hours certificate actually I have not got experience to teach just I have 4 months practice to teach.
    I need some information for non-native English teacher in Vietnam
    pls reply me

    Thanks Puujee 🙂

  78. I don’t normally leave comments on this sort of thing but this webpage is so incredibly helpful, now I really want to teach in Vietnam. Thank you so much for writing this!!!

  79. Hi!

    I am a Filipino, and currently teaching at a reputable Korean-based academy. I have been teaching English ever since I graduated from college, though it isn’t my course of study. I am a Diplomacy major, but I chose to teach kids. I wonder if there is any chance that I can be accepted at HCM schools or tutorial centers? Hoping for your honest opinion. Thank you!

  80. Hi, I find your blog very useful. Thank you. Please, I’m a black African from Ghana with a degree in teaching (professional teacher). Do you think my services would be needed as an english teacher in Vietnam?

    • Dear Suale,

      I recommend contacting your nearest Vietnamese Embassy to determine the work visa options for Gharnaian citizens.

      Best wishes,


  81. Hello there,

    I am planning to take TESOL in one of the schools there in Vietnam next year. Can you please recommend good ones? Also, I have learned that these school will help you find a teaching job once you complete the courses/training. Is that true? What are the chances of getting a job right away for graduates of these courses? Thank you! 🙂

  82. Hello Siobhan,

    Your blog is very useful! Thank you!

    But I have a couple of questions. I am just about to do the CELTA qualification and I already have a BA in theatre. I am about to embark on a round the world trip and I have given myself three months in Asia to earn some cash teaching English. I think Vietnam is a real contender considering the short time span I will be there. You state in the blog that I can get a job once I arrive (most likely at a language centre considering my three month visit)… Does that mean I arrive on a tourist visa and then get a business visa once I get a job? (Because it says everywhere that I need a letter from a sponsor or employer to get the business visa, and if I arrive with no job I don’t know where I would get that?)

    Also is there a sort of 10 steps to find a English teaching job in Vietnam type blog that you know of? I think I just need some more guidance about how to tackle this adventure.

    Thanks Marit

  83. Hi Siobhan

    I found your article very helpful; thank you for posting this!

    I will be finished my TEFL certificate in a few weeks and I’m looking to fly out and begin teaching in Hanoi as soon as possible. I aim to arrive sometime in November (2013) ; I spent some time this year in Hanoi and travelled to Sapa and explored some of the surrounding North and I fell in love with N. Vietnam.

    I have a degree in MA Business Studies which should help in finding work in Hanoi; however, I do not want to sign up for a full-time job in a kindergarten, instead I’m inclined to find work language centre’s and agencies.

    Are you still living in Hanoi?
    If so would you be able to help set someone up, like myself, who will be arriving in a month or two with contacts for language centres who will be hiring?

    I am happy to come out without any work lined up, but of course it would be great to get in touch before I touchdown as well.

    Please email me if you would be kind enough to help answer some more of my questions!

    Matt (mattpwallace@gmail.com)

  84. Hi Claire,

    I would say the first thing you should look at is gaining a TEFL/CELTA or similar teaching qualification. It is possible to do this in Vietnam but it will set you up if you have it before arriving. Then it really is a case of either, applying for jobs before you go and then booking a flight, or just booking a flight over and looking for a job once you arrive. I highly doubt it would take you more than a couple of weeks to find a job in Vietnam. There are so many on offer and it is easy to set up a nice life for yourself.

    Hope that helps!


  85. claireoshea1988@gmail.com


    I found your blog interesting and is making me want to do it but where to start I would be great full of a little help



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