Teach English in Vietnam After the Pandemic

By Geddy Gee
Teach English in Vietnam

Teaching English in Vietnam

It was on the 22nd March 2020 when Vietnam suspended the entry of all foreigners because of a global pandemic. This marked the start of a 2-year shutdown of multiple industries and a worldwide lockdown. Aeroplanes were grounded, borders closed, and multiple local businesses closed, and of course, schools were closed

This meant that students had to remain home, and teachers had to do the same. At first the situation was still new and many thought it would just disappear after a few weeks so many teachers were just on a break. Some schools were quick to adapt and started conducting online lessons. Others were slow, but once they realised that covid-19 was here to stay, they had to adapt to setting up home-based schooling. Those that couldn’t adapt were forced into closure and had to let teachers go. Those teachers quickly started to seek jobs with online companies such as VIPKID and iTutorgroup, but due to a new law passed by China, most of these companies had to limit lessons and close down within a few months. Because of this many teachers were forced to leave Vietnam and return to their home countries if they couldn’t continue teaching from home.

After a few months passed by, schools started posting ads for English teachers again. Teachers were now able to apply for jobs and teach from their homes via Zoom, until students returned to their school grounds, which happened in February this year (2022). And now, just a few months later, Vietnam is open as usual and schools are eagerly looking for teachers. So if you have been stuck at home for way too long and been thinking about moving to Vietnam, schools are eagerly looking for teachers so all you need to do is pick a location and start applying. The most popular locations are Hanoi, the political capital in the north of Vietnam; Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon; and Da Nang, the bustling beach town in central Vietnam. 

Teach English in Hanoi

Hanoi is the second largest city as well as the Capital of Vietnam. It is located in Northern Vietnam, near the Chinese border. People speak Vietnamese here, but some also speak Mandarin and some English, although not too many, but that is changing. Many people are learning English and there is a huge demand for English teachers. If you choose to work in Hanoi, you could get by with just English, but learning a few Vietnamese phrases goes a long way. Hanoi is often coined “Paris of the East” because of the French styled buildings and tree-lined boulevards. The city is filled with many lakes, making some great spots to enjoy coffee and a book when you are not teaching. One of the things many teachers love about Hanoi is that there are 4 distinct seasons – Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. This is something that is not so common in Southeast Asia. Although Hanoi still receives rain throughout the year, and mostly in Summer, it’s a fantastic location should you decide to teach English in Vietnam.

Teach English in Ho Chi Minh City

This is probably the most popular location in Vietnam to move to as an English teacher. Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. Being a big city, you can imagine that there are a ton of schools and language centres located here. Saigon is also the business capital of Vietnam. Because of that, there is a greater demand for English language skills as jobs require employees to know English. The jobs here also pay the most. The average salary for an English teacher here is between $2000-$2500 per month, which is pretty high compared to the cost of living, making it a very attractive option. Unlike Hanoi, Saigon is located in Southern Vietnam and experiences a tropical climate, with hot weather throughout the year. The seasons here are dry or wet, with the wet season having more rain, but both seasons have hot weather. If you are worried that you will be stuck in a polluted city, you will be glad to know that Saigon has really nice parks and green spaces, which are great for walks. You will also struggle to find a road with no trees, they are all over. And after all the walking you will be doing, be sure to try some of the amazing street food.

Teach English in Da Nang

Da Nang is a really amazing city. It’s located in Central Vietnam and experiences hot tropical weather throughout the year. It’s also extremely popular with Korean and Japanese tourists and has a great stretch of beach. Usually a beach town has the beach and nothing more, but this is not the case with Da Nang. Here you have it all, a bustling city with lots of cafes, bars and restaurants with amazing beaches and mountains all within a few minutes. It’s common for English teachers to get around with motorbikes here, so when not in the classroom working, you could easily go hiking or spend some time on the beach. The air is just so much fresher throughout the year.  Da Nang is even cheaper to live, than Ho Chi Minh City, but there just aren’t that many jobs around, and the salaries will be slightly lower. But if you can find a job in Da Nang, you will love it.

How to find a teaching job in Vietnam

In Vietnam, it used to be common practice for teachers to come to Vietnam on a tourist visa and look for a job, then once a school is ready to hire you, you would do a visa run and convert to the work visa. Usually it’s too much of a risk for schools to apply for a visa for a teacher in their home country as they might get the visa and not end up working for them, but since covid times, schools are more open to this. Else, right now Vietnam has a 30 day e-visa, which you can apply for online, and more visa options should return in the future. But no matter which option you choose, you can start browsing for jobs and here are some of the best places:

Be sure to send over your CV and include all your qualifications and experience, as well as a recent photo. If you completed a TEFL course, make sure to include that. Then in no time, you will be an English teacher working and living in Vietnam.

Written by Geddy Gee for TEFL.NET July 2022
Ex-teacher, unvaccinated traveler and amateur writer

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