The whole of Southeast Asia is currently a great destination for TEFL qualified teachers as demand is growing every year. Vietnam is right at the top of the list as salaries are steadily rising and the number of potential jobs continues to grow. In fact, the country is set to become one of the biggest employers of foreign teachers in the region in the coming years.
What do I need to teach English in Vietnam?
Official work permits for teaching English in Vietnam are not hard to secure, but you will need to be a native English speaker with a degree in any subject. Many employers also expect their job applicants to have completed a TEFL certification course of at least 120-hours duration. Some job adverts will specify that previous experience is required, although new teachers can often bypass this requirement if they are able to provide a solid interview.
What type of TEFL employer will I work for in Vietnam?
The majority of teachers in Vietnam are employed by private language schools that can be found in many areas, although the main centers are in the two big cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. In most cases these schools offer general English classes to either adults or young learners, while some also cater for more specialist needs such as test preparation, business English, or English for tourism etc. Teachers with previous experience might find there are a small number of openings in English-medium universities and within the public school system, although these positions usually have a strong level of competition. One other option that is increasingly popular is private tutoring, either full time or just to top up a salary earned elsewhere.
What about visas for teaching English in Vietnam?
As the demand for qualified teachers is very high, some employers will try to convince you that it is fine to work on a tourist visa. In reality, this is completely illegal and if caught you will face a hefty fine and deportation. To work legally as a EFL teacher in Vietnam you need to get hold of a business visa and an official work permit. Any reputable employer should offer to take care of all the legal requirements for you, so make sure you confirm this during the recruitment process. In general, most teaching jobs are filled following an in-person interview on the school premises, which means that most teachers arrive in the country on a standard tourist visa. Once you have secured a job offer, you can then apply for the necessary visa and work permit with the help of your employer.
How do I apply for TEFL jobs in Vietnam?
In the majority of cases, teachers arrive under their own steam in Vietnam and then start applying for jobs in their chosen area. The best approach is to visit as many potential employers as you can find as this allows you to get a feel for which ones you think would suit you best. Just remember that you will need to bring a range of documentation with you, including your TEFL certificate, university diploma, and a criminal background check. It is also advisable to check the latest visa information with a Vietnamese embassy or consulate before you get on the plane.
When should I apply for TEFL Jobs in Vietnam?
Private language schools have no set semesters in Vietnam, which means that job vacancies can be found year round. It is sometimes possible to arrange an interview via webcam before leaving home, however, most employers will expect to see you in person before offering you a job. If you want to apply for a job in a public school or university, the school year begins in August or September. Applications for these positions are often required as much as three months in advance of the start date.