Teach in Vietnam
Explore the mystical and beautiful country of Vietnam as you teach English for a semester or more. Your training will prepare you for the exciting cultural differences and unique challenges involved in teaching English in this incredible country, while you explore the rich history, diverse landscape, delicious cuisine, and adventure on the weekends!
With full support from the Vietnamese Ministry of Education, this program is specifically designed as a cultural exchange program, allowing participants to help out local communities by providing English language teachers to schools that normally couldn’t afford the luxury. While contributing to your new community, you’ll have the opportunity to experience and explore Vietnam through cultural engagement, hands-on exposure to the history, and formal language training.
August 24, 2013 – January 17, 2014
Deadline to apply: July 24
- Native English Speaker
- 110+ Hour TESOL/TEFL Certification required (if you are not yet certified, add a TESOL certification to your program for $1,250)
- Bachelor’s Degree
- 20-60 years old
- Ability to commit to a full semester
- Adventurous, mature, flexible and open-minded
- Due to the challenges of living and working abroad, any pre-existing conditions, whether mental or physical, may affect your eligibility
- One semester teaching position (4.5-5 months)
- Monthly allowance of 6,000,000 VND (~$285)
- One week orientation and cultural program in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Accommodation throughout the program
- Meals during Orientation
- Welcome dinner upon arrival
- Workshop on education in Vietnam and how to adapt methodology to the local context
- Basic conversational Vietnamese training for everyday situations
- Basic Vietnamese phrasebook
- Social and cultural activities
- 1 day trip in and around Ho Chi Minh City (including a Saigon city tour and Cu Chi tunnels)
- Visa Invitation Letter & Work Permit Processing
- Accessing to teaching resources and tips throughout the course
- International medical/accident insurance provided through Greenheart Travel
- 24/7 emergency support and services for duration of the program
- Step-by-step guidance and support throughout application process, including pre-departure orientation
- Airport pick up
- The chance to meet and work with people from all over the world!
What’s not included: flights to/from Vietnam, entry visa fees, meals during your teaching contract.
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Will there be an orientation when I arrive in Vietnam?
Yes! You will have a very fun and thorough one week orientation in Ho Chi Minh City to introduce you to the culture, language and lifestyle of Vietnam.
Will I meet other teachers?
Yes, there will many other teachers arriving at the same time as you.
PLACEMENT & ACCOMMODATION
Where will I be placed?
Currently, we have placements in schools and universities in the south of Vietnam (which includes in and around Ho Chi Minh City, in the Mekong Delta and the coastal towns of Vung Tao and Phan Thiet); in the center of Vietnam on the coast in Hue and Vinh and in the north in and around Hanoi. Some are in more urban areas and some rural. You will always be placed with or very close at least one other program participant.
Will I be placed near other teachers?
There will usually be a minimum of two teachers from the program per school (either from the current or previous intake.) Applicants who apply towards the end of the application process may be the exception. Some very small schools may welcome only one teacher. However, another teacher will always be placed at a nearby school.
When will I find out where I will be placed?
You will receive your placement towards the end of the orientation period. Placements are based on the school’s selection process, combined with your age group preference and any previous experience/qualifications.
What will my accommodation be like during my placement?
Accommodation is included throughout your program. This is usually shared teachers’ accommodation, which is furnished (bedding provided), with a common living area, on the school grounds or near the school. This may vary from location to location. It must be acknowledged that Vietnam is a developing nation and at times the accommodation will be basic by Western standards.
The program staff will have inspected the accommodation in all locations that are designated for participants, but we cannot guarantee that this will not change without notice. Once you are at your placement, it is likely (but not guaranteed) that you will have a separate bedroom.
Are my meals included throughout my placement?
During your placement, a canteen lunch may be provided on campus for teachers, but this depends on the size of the school and cannot be guaranteed. However, Vietnamese food is very fresh, inexpensive and easy to obtain.
How will I get to school every day?
This will vary by placement and your accommodation location. Some participants may live on the school grounds and therefore will not need daily transportation. Or, the school may provide a bicycle for you or arrange for other transport to/from the school (often a motorbike taxi).
Will I have access to internet?
Yes, free internet access is provided for all participants in schools. WiFi is widely accessible in Vietnam, although Vietnam does block certain websites.
What will I be doing in Vietnam?
Your main role is to be an English conversation teacher in your school. Most of your focus will be on speaking, listening, pronunciation and conversation skills.
What are the Vietnamese schools like?
The schools in which you will work will vary. Some schools are well-equipped, but many are rudimentary by western standards. Most state schools are open 6 days/week from Monday to Saturday. However, you will be required to teach for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Class sizes will vary and may be up to 60 students. The quality and amount of equipment and resources will vary from school to school. Foreign teachers are not common in schools.
Can I preference which age group I’ll teach?
Participants can indicate a preference for the age of students they would like to teach. However, we cannot guarantee that participants will get their first preference. Age groups are:
1 Primary school: 6-11 years
2 High school: 12-18 years
3 University / College: 18+
Please note that applicants often put primary as their first choice because they think that this will be the easiest age group to teach. In reality, each group has its own challenges and primary is really no easier than university. In fact it can be more difficult if the teacher does not have previous experience of working with young learners in some capacity.
What kind of commitment am I making?
You will be under contract to the school for the semester (typically 4-5 months). You will have an important role in your school and a responsibility to teach the classes you are assigned to. All teachers will be required to sign an agreement with the school to validate their visa. This will be a standard contract that outlines duties, accommodation, transport and termination clauses.
What will my duties be during my contract?
The following are the key duties expected of you. These will vary slightly between schools, participants and programs. Classroom duties as a teacher intern include:
- Teaching conversational English to a range of classes at the school for up to 20 hours per week OR as an assistant to a local teacher delivering English classes.
- Classroom administration (such as taking attendance, marking homework, reporting grades etc.)
- Preparation of teaching materials and lessons.
- Attending meetings as required.
- Participation in after-school activities and cultural events.
The total time these duties could take is up to 35 hours per week. Some interns may choose to become involved in other activities at the school such as a sport or music. This is welcomed by the school and is an excellent way to become even more involved in school life and the local community.
It is the expectation of the school that teacher interns will maintain a high professional standard at all times and actively contribute to the life of the school.
Can I bring my children? No.
Can I bring pets? No.
Will I have access to a phone?
It is very easy and cheap to get cell phones in Vietnam. Phones cost about $30, and then it is pay as you go. You can also bring your own cell phone and just buy a new SIM card, which is only $2 or $3.
What should I bring as a gift for coworkers?
It’s nice to bring a few small gifts with you to Vietnam as a friendly offering! The best gifts are those that represent your home town or country!
LIVING IN VIETNAM
What language do they speak in Vietnam?
The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese.
I am a vegetarian – will this be a problem in Vietnam?
It can be very challenging to be a vegetarian in Vietnam. Most of the food in the restaurants contain some sort of meat, or are prepared with fish sauce. Participants on this program will have access to the guest house kitchen, and will be able to prepare their own meals if necessary. There is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in the markets!
What should I wear?
While teaching, you should dress “business casual”. Women should wear skirts/dresses that are knee length or longer, or nice pants. Tops should cover your chest and shoulders. Men should wear trousers with collared shirts (polos or button-downs).
Outside of the classroom is more flexible, but you should keep in mind that the Vietnamese are more conservative than most Western countries, especially in the rural areas outside of the city.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Will I need any vaccinations or immunizations to travel to Vietnam?
We recommend visiting your own doctor or a local travel clinic for updated advice on recommended immunizations. You should visit a doctor a couple of months before your program.
Here is some health information for Vietnam: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/vietnam
Is Vietnam safe?
Vietnam is generally a safe place to be able to explore. Walking the streets is non-threatening and the Vietnamese generally go about their business. In tourist areas street hawkers will approach you to buy their goods but a firm ‘’khong” or “no” is enough to put them off. As with all cities there are places to avoid, and you should exercise caution at all times. Bag snatching from foreigners is common in tourist areas of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
What happens if I need assistance or if there is an emergency?
Each school will have an emergency contact for participants. This person will be bilingual and will be able to deal with day to day issues. In addition, program staff will offer 24 hour emergency contact and support to assist with major concerns.
How much will I be paid? Will it be enough to live off of?
A tax-free allowance of 6 million Dong (~$285) is provided monthly to participants. This is a higher wage than a Vietnamese teacher would receive. The average wage in Vietnam is 3.8 million Dong per month. This monthly allowance will allow for a participant to have money for spending, but cannot be regarded as a high salary. Western items are expensive when compared to this allowance level. A bonus of 6 million Dong is also paid upon completion of the teaching program.
How much money should I bring with me to Vietnam?
It’s best to have about $1,000-$2,000 USD in the bank for the program. It is unlikely that you will use it all, but it’s good to have additional funds for unexpected expenses and travel.
Can I use my credit card in Vietnam?
The use of credit cards in Vietnam is rare. Some higher end or touristy places will accept cards, but it is mostly a cash based culture.
Is it expensive to live in Vietnam?
The cost of living in Vietnam is very low, and most of your expenses will be covered by the program.
Should I exchange for Vietnamese currency before arriving?
There’s no need to exchange your money before arriving. We recommend that you bring some cash ($200-300), and that you exchange it for Vietnamese Dong at an exchange kiosk in the airport upon arrival. Many ATM’s in Vietnam also take major credit/ATM cards and you can withdraw Dong from them when you get there.
What is the visa application process?
You will enter Vietnam on a business visa. The program will arrange your visa invitation letter for you. Program staff will work with the school to process all of the paperwork for your work visa once you arrive.
You can apply with my friend/spouse/significant other but we cannot guarantee placements in the same school, but you can certainly do the program together and be placed near each other.