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Teaching English in Vietnam: All You Need to Know in 2023.

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) can be a great way to earn a living while traveling and experiencing different cultures. Many countries around the world, especially those in Asia and South America, have a high demand for native English speakers to teach the language to students. However, it is important to note that qualifications and certifications are usually required for teaching positions, and the working conditions and salaries can vary greatly depending on the country and institution you choose.

Expat Teacher Helping the Future of Vietnam. Source: Vietnam Teaching Jobs

Teaching English in Vietnam is one option for those interested in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). Vietnam is an incredible country with a huge growing demand for English education. Teaching English here can be a fulfilling and culturally enriching experience.

The Most Popular Cities for English Teaching in Vietnam are:

  1. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

  2. Hanoi

  3. Da Nang

  4. Nha Trang

  5. Hai Phong

These cities offer a good quality of life, with well-equipped schools, thriving expat communities and plenty of opportunities to explore the local culture. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other cities in Southeast Asia, making it an attractive destination for English teachers.

Wonderful Da Nang city in Central Vietnam, Quang Nam Province.

Why Teaching in Vietnam?

Vietnam is know for its rich culture, history, and stunning natural beauty. From the bustling cities of Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon, and Hanoi, to the pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes in the central and northern regions. Its people, delicious cuisine, and relatively low cost of living make my home country a popular destination for travelers and expats.

A fruit vendor roaming the streets of Vietnam's ancient capital, Hanoi. Source: Britannica

Job Opportunities are Increasing.

There is a high demand for English teachers in Vietnam. With growing economy and increasing emphasis on education, many schools and language centers are looking for qualified English teachers. Additionally, the Vietnamese government has made English education a priority, which has further increased the demand for English teachers in the country.

Low Cost of Living.

The cost of living in Vietnam is relatively low compared to many other countries which can make it an attractive destination for English teachers looking to save money while teaching abroad. Basic expenses such as food, housing, and transportation can be quite affordable, if not downright cheap. Although the cost of living can vary greatly depending on the specific location and lifestyle of the individual. Please keep in mind that you need to research the cost of living in your desired location and your personal lifestyle. Also, always have a plan for saving and financial flexibility for unexpected expenses.

  • See Vietnam's Cost of Living Breakdown on Numbeo.

Housing: You can expect to pay any where between$300- $400 for a one-bedroom, $500-$1000 for a 2-bedroom apartment in Vietnam.

  • If you're willing to pay $1000 for an apartment in big cities like Ho Chi Minh city, Hanoi, or Da Nang, you'll be in some of the nicest and luxurious apartment buildings, right smack in city centers, with amazing amenities and perks.

  • Here are a few resources to get started with your housing search in Vietnam:

Watch my cousin's, Trang Vergara, vlog reviewing a 2-bedroom Sunwah Pearl apartment in Ho Chi Minh city here.

$1000/month gets you a two-bedroom at the Sunwah Pearl, one of the most luxurious apartment buildings in HCM city. Source: Sunwah Pearl.

Food & Grocery: If you're planning on eating out every day, a meal in a big city can be as little as 2 USD. If you're cooking at home, the cost is significantly reduced. A month of grocery bought at local market only cost $200-$300 a month.

Transportation: A bus pass will set you back $9/month. But you're in Vietnam, buy a motorbike for about $900 and ride it around like a local.

Open-air market in Vietnam with fresh and cheap groceries. Source: GTS Blog

Advantageous Benefits.

Basic Benefits: Healthy insurance, at least 13 paid holidays, work permit and visa sponsorship, etc...

Depend on which institution you land a job at, you can also possibly receive other fantastic perks. Those could include:

  • Housing allowance: You can typically get up to 5 million Vietnam Dongs ($220) to cover your rent and accommodation expenses.

  • Traveling allowance: If you live far from the school, you can get gas allowance.

  • Tuition coverage for your children: Some prestigious schools, usually International schools, will cover your children's tuition should you choose to send them to the same school you teach at.

  • Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) bonus:

  • Contract Bonus: This greatly varies and ultimately comes down to your negotiation during the hiring process.

How Much Can You Make a Month?

Generally, there are two types of institutions where English speaking foreigners can teach English in Vietnam: language centers and international schools/universities.

At a typical language center, you can earn an average of $1500/month for an English teaching job. There are also weekend classes where you can teach and increase your total monthly income to around $2000/month. It is not hard to get a job teaching English in Vietnam because there is a great demand for it.

For international schools/universities, you will be working with children of all ages. These schools are typically more prestigious and reserved for the affluent families. Your income here is a bit higher, at around $1800-3000/month.

Keep in mind, you can get a job teaching at an international school and also supplement it at a language school on weekends. There are also online classes you lead. All these options can greatly increase your monthly income.

Viet students love taking selfies with their teachers. Source: International TEFL Academy.

Requirements for Teaching in Vietnam.

There are several requirements for a foreigner to be get English teaching jobs in Vietnam, but most of them are obtainable. Most employers in Vietnam require these:

  • A 4-year university or college degree, or a pedagogical certificate.

  • Have a decent accent and a good command of English grammar.

  • An international English teaching certificate: TESOL, CELTA, TEFL, or PGCEs.

  • To have at least 1-year experience in teaching English as a second language.

Just know that the more specific requirement a job description has, the higher the salary probably will be. If you already have some experience teaching English as a second language (ESL) in Asian countries, you will have a great advantage while applying to teach English in Vietnam.

Also, there are criteria that some employers will also take into account when recruiting expat teachers, such as: nationality, background status, or other preferable characteristics of a teacher, depending on the type of job. For example, if you apply for a kindergarten teaching position, you must have the passion for teaching pre-school children, especially the patience to tackle any situation you may have with them. It is not too demanding to teach kindergarten classes. However, excellent soft skills are highly desired.

How can you resist those smiles? Source: Love and Road.

Requirements for Visa for Teaching English in Vietnam?

  • Guaranteed by organizations, enterprises or companies operating in Vietnam.

  • Having a representative office in Vietnam to guarantee.

  • Have a schedule to work or work in Vietnam.

  • Provide legal documents of the company or enterprise, including: Business registration certificate or. Investment certificate (for foreign enterprises need to provide both documents above) and company seal sample registration certificate.

The process to enter Vietnam:

  • Upon entry: Vietnam has now allowed entry to the country again. According to a dispatch on March 15, 2022, the government issued a decision to restore the entry policy to Vietnam for foreigners.

  • Consular legalization is when a competent Vietnamese agency certifies the seal, signature, title on the papers, and documents issued by a foreign agency to be recognized and used in Vietnam.

  • Get a work visa: It is compulsory for foreigners to have a work visa to work in Vietnam legally.

  • Get a work permit: Work permit is a legal document for foreigners working in Vietnam.

  • TRC- Temporary Residence Card: is a document you earn from an immigration management agency or a competent agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreigners must have one to reside legally for a certain period of time in Vietnam.

Can You Teach English in Vietnam Without a College Degree?

It is always advisable that you should have at least a college degree, a health check, a police check, an teaching certificate, or some sort of experience working with children.

Without a college degree, you can still get a teaching job in Vietnam. It won't be legal because you don't have a college degree. However many language centers or private classes are willing to overlook the college degree if you have other certificates, language proficiency certification for non-native teachers, and teaching experience.

  • Disclaimer: I am not promoting violating Vietnam's laws. You should respect and follow Vietnamese' laws when visiting the country. I am merely stating an observation of the reality in country when it comes to this topic.

Many expats find teaching English in Vietnam a wonderful experience. Source: Courtesy of Cleverlearn.

Teaching English in Vietnam is a fulfilling and rewarding experience, with plenty of opportunities for professional growth and personal exploration. With its vibrant culture, rich history, and friendly people, Vietnam is an attractive destination for English teachers looking to gain new experiences and broaden their horizons.

Whether you are a seasoned teacher or just starting out, teaching English in Vietnam is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and make a meaningful impact in the lives of others.


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