Why Vietnam teaching jobs are worth it 🇻🇳🍲☀️
Vietnam is a majestic, calming, and mysterious country, and a great place for both first time ESL teachers or for experienced educators eager to expand their career internationally. Requirements to teach abroad in Vietnam are lenient, yet there are still competitive teaching jobs in Vietnam for individuals interested in making a real living. From the pristine beauty and rich cultural history to dynamic colorful cities and world-class cuisine, Vietnam offers international teachers an experience not to be missed.
Vietnam is so amazing that many travelers wish they could live there permanently. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to do just that: finding paid teaching jobs in Vietnam! There are hundreds of schools to choose from, and with its prominence in Southeast Asia, English teachers are in high demand.
For those looking to discover all that this Southeast Asian country has to offer, teaching here may be the perfect way to immerse in the enchanting nation. Here's why teaching English jobs in Vietnam are some of the best in Asia!
10 perks to becoming an English teacher in Vietnam
1. Immersion Opportunities
As an English teacher in Vietnam, experience one of Asia’s largest, fastest growing nations, not as a tourist from the vantage point of hotels, tour buses, or hostels, rather as a local. Live in a typical Vietnamese neighborhood, shop in local markets, and break bread with colleagues, neighbors, and friends alike at corner noodle stands and coffee shops. Pick up some Vietnamese language skills, savor the cuisine, and enjoy travel opportunities that friends back home can only dream about.
2. Large Market for ESL Teachers
With a population of nearly 90 million and a traditional commitment to education with one of the world’s fastest growing economies – built largely on international trade and tourism – Vietnam offers thousands of employment opportunities to foreign English teachers each year.
Included are positions for those with little or no professional teaching experience. It is important to note that English teaching positions are typically reserved for native English speakers holding a four-year college degree and a TEFL certification. A national criminal background check (such as an FBI criminal background check) is often required as well.
3. Low Cost of Living + Good Salaries = High Standard of Living
Lucky for you, your English teacher in Vietnam salary is strong! A typical first-time English teacher in Vietnam can earns the equivalent of over 1,000 U.S. dollars a month. That might be poverty-level wages in San Francisco or New York City, but in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, where monthly rent for a furnished apartment ranges anywhere from 150 to 300 U.S. dollars a person, you will feel like you live like a king or queen. 👑
[You'll Love this Infographic: 6 Countries to Make (Serious) Money Teaching English]
Three meals a day can be purchased for under $10 USD, all in all making your English teacher in Vietnam salary significant. ESL teachers in Vietnam are able to live comfortably, eat well, travel on weekends and holidays, and still have the luxury to save. Vietnam teaching jobs = cha-ching!
4. Colorful and Vibrant Cities with a Touch of French Colonial Charm
From the maze of the legendary “36 streets” in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the imperial grandeur of the Temple of Literature to the colorful markets of Cholon in historic Saigon, Vietnam’s cities offer a wealth of history, culture, and charm. Bustling, dynamic cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (historically known as “Saigon”) offer everything one might expect in a major Asian metropolis; from an ever-growing forest of skyscrapers and sparkling new highways to world class dining, shopping, and nightlife. Unlike some other major Asian cities, Saigon and Hanoi have retained much of their historical character, including the architectural legacy of the French, who colonized the nation during the 19th century.
5. Amazing Food + Renowned Coffee
Vietnam, where one can eat a world class sandwich while drinking an exquisite cup of coffee on almost any street corner without ever seeing an international chain establishment. Combining traditional Chinese and Southeast Asian techniques and flavors with an extraordinary array of seafood and produce, Vietnam is an eater’s heaven. From hearty noodle soups (famously known as Pho), to fresh salads and mouth watering grilled fare, Vietnamese cuisine is balanced, fresh, healthy, and most of all tasty.
The country’s French heritage is evident in the breads and pastries widely found, and perhaps most famously in the legendary banh mi sandwiches, featuring uber fresh French bread loaded with fillings like roasted pork, chicken, and head cheese topped with cilantro and chilies. While many Vietnamese will eat anything that moves, given the nation’s ancient Buddhist heritage and abundance of fresh produce, vegetarians will find Vietnam to be more than accommodating.
We're not saying the best part of teaching in Vietnam is the food, but we're not not saying it either. 😉
6. 2,000 Miles of Coastline & More Stunning Beauty
Living in Vietnam, one is never far from the coast. The nation claims more than 2,000 miles of coastline, including tropical beaches, traditional fishing villages, dynamic port cities, and ancient imperial capitals. The crown jewel is undoubtedly Ha Long Bay. Known as the “Descending Bay of the Dragons,” this stunning seascape of some 2,000 limestone islands and islets off the coast of North Vietnam makes for one of the most stunning sights to be experienced anywhere. The inspiration of many ancient myths and legends, Ha Long Bay has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is best explored by boat, which also provides a great means to discover other local attractions, including traditional floating fishing villages underground grottos and caves.
Life along the Mekong River during Vietnam teaching jobs is pretty sweet too. Like the Nile, the Amazon, or any of the great rivers of the world, the Mekong both gives and defines life for those who live along the banks. A journey through the Mekong Delta reveals a dazzling world of colorful floating markets, traditional stilted villages, magnificent beauty, and thousands of years of history and culture embodied in ancient pagodas, temples, and palaces.
7. Gain International Work Experience for Your Resume
In the globalized economy of the 21st century, international work experience and a proven ability to work and function across international borders are highly sought after characteristics by employers. As an English teacher in Vietnam, participants gain professional experience in the heart of one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions. The region serves as an exceptional platform no matter what professional or academic endeavors are undertaken.
There are plenty of transferable skills to a multitude of career paths after teaching abroad. Or, you might end up deciding to make an entire career out of teaching abroad. Sound too good to be true? It isn't! Pho real. ❤️
8. Fantastic Travel Opportunities in Vietnam & Around Asia
From the lush highlands of Sapa near the Chinese border to the imperial treasures of Hue and the sun-kissed beaches of Nha Trang, Vietnam is loaded with fantastic travel opportunities. In addition, situated in the heart of Asia, it makes for a great base for exploring other Asian nations.
Walk the beaches of Thailand, impersonate Laura Croft in Angkor Wat, see the pink dolphins of Singapore. Visit Mickey Mouse in Hong Kong (or Tokyo) or scale the Great Wall of China. It's safe to say that Vietnam is hella connected, so make use of your time off from teaching to explore (and eat everything!) in this amazing corner of the world.
9. You'll Make a Difference in the Lives of Others
Teaching English in Vietnam not only provides the means to live and become immersed in this fascinating country, but also provides the opportunity of a lifetime to make a positive impact on the lives of others. To millions of Vietnamese, learning English can open doors to educational and professional opportunities that may greatly enhance living standards while enabling a better future for their families. It is no small task to help English language students move from beginner to intermediate (and maybe advanced?!). Teaching in Vietnam could be YOUR ticket to meaningful and fulfilled life abroad.
Next steps to teaching abroad in Vietnam
Don't pack your bags juuuust yet. There are a few items on your teach-abroad-to-do list you should check off first.
Teach in Vietnam in 6 Easy Steps:
Decide where to go. Figuring out where to teach in Vietnam isn’t easy. The gorgeous Mekong delta? Somewhere in Sapa? Don't let the caffeine hold you back—choose a place that's right for you.
Get TEFL certified. Even if it is not required, this is a wise investment for future ESL teachers. It will give you absolutely everything you need to prepare for the classroom (well, except for an ability to think on your feet!).
Adults, kids, private schools, public schools? Spend time considering the type of teaching environment you'd most like to be involved in. You can choose from a range of ages, goals (for example, Business English versus Conversational English), and institutions, from one-on-one tutoring to university employment.
Choose from the best teach abroad programs in Vietnam. Pay attention to past participants’ reviews, your school and organization reputation, location, and your ease of getting started as a paid employee. Here are more considerations to make as you figure out how to choose the right teaching job for you. Pro tip: You can use MyGoAbroad to compare programs side-by-side.
Plan your finances. Sort out funding before you go to afford daily essentials and splurge in travel (in addition to program costs and airfare). Do your research to have an idea of how to pay for teaching abroad.
- Get prepared! You've done your research, chosen your program, saved up the money, and are entering your last weeks of life "at home" before you move abroad to find ESL teaching jobs. Well done! Here's our teaching planning timeline/preparation guide to help make this stage more fun and less stressful!
You're ready to teach in Vietnam, baby!
Are you ready for one of the most exciting chapters of your life? We think so. And we think Vietnam is the perfect antidote to a lackluster period as a young adult or someone in the middle of their career. Your future is bright if you opt to take a leap of faith and teach in Vietnam!