A guide to get started in Vietnam as an ESL Teacher
Do you want to move abroad and start teaching in Vietnam? Then this guide is for you. How can you get started, tips, and things I wish I knew before I moved to Vietnam.
I currently live in Vietnam, as an ESL teacher and a writer. I arrived here not really knowing how to get the job search going, where I wanted to live, and even what my plan was when I arrived in Vietnam. If you are an ESL teacher and are looking for something new, consider Vietnam and I am going to tell you why. Why Vietnam If you are thinking of coming to Vietnam to work and become an ESL teacher this is for you. Vietnam is an appealing country to live and work in for English teachers. This gorgeous country has a lot of nice people, abundance of English teaching jobs, good cost of living, delicious food and more. Here are my top reasons you should come to live and work in Vietnam. 1. Cost of living Vietnam for foreigners has a low cost of living compared to Europe or other Western countries. Generally, Southeast Asia has a lower cost of living, and it is a reason enough for many travelers and expats looking to teach somewhere new. For those who work as a teacher here, you can afford a very nice life, save, and travel very comfortably. 2. Abundance of teaching jobs Vietnam is changing and developing, this means that English teachers are growing in this country. The need for English teachers is high here and finding a job will be fairly easy. Do your research on where you ideally would want to live and then do some job searching. I recommend Facebook groups for the particular city you are interested in or Vietnam Teaching Jobs | ESL Jobs Vietnam | Working in Vietnam.
3. Nature, trips, and holidays Vietnam has some absolutely breathtaking untouched nature, beaches, caves, deserts, islands, big cities, and more. There is so much to see and explore here. From pristine beaches, bustling metropolises, breathtaking rice fields, and glowing deserts; there is a lot of adventure to see here on holidays and trips.
4. Southeast Asian culture Vietnam is a coastal Southeast Asian country located near China, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Vietnam has its own unique culture to learn and experience here. And as many of the Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam has a slower pace of life, diverse foods, and kind people.
5. Vietnamese food Vietnamese cuisine is fresh, diverse, spicy, herbal, and has a variety of unique flavors using shrimp paste, red chilis, fish sauce, rice noodles, bone broths, and a wide variety of unique flavors. Here is a look into some of the Vietnamese cuisine.
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Now, that I have convinced you to come to Vietnam here is what you need to get started as an ESL teacher in Vietnam. Grab your downloadable guide here.
When moving to Vietnam as an ESL teacher here is what you need to prepare. 1. Prepare your documents for teaching This includes your documents to apply for jobs and to apply for the work visa. You will need a bachelor's degree legalized from your home country, original certificate of degree, TEFL certified, a certified police clearance, teaching experience, and a valid passport. Organizing these papers before you come will help the process of getting your work visa.
2. Pick the city you will live in What city will you live in Vietnam? This depends on your choice and what you prefer. Most of the jobs are located in HCMC/Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. There are many jobs in other popular places too such as, Hue the historical city, Danang, Can Tho, and Hai Phong to name a few. It is possible to be placed in a rural more remote area in Vietnam, but HCMC or Hanoi seem to be the most popular. Once, you pick the city you can start to search for things to do there, job searching, and pack your bags.
3. Have funds and a bit of savings When moving to any country, responsibly you should have some funds before you move there. Why is that? Well, you need at least 2-3 months of living because of apartments, visa costs, and settling in before you get paid. You will probably get paid in cash until your bank account opens and there are a lot of beginning costs when you first move abroad. As well when you get paid, you must wait until the entire month has gone by and you get paid at the end once a month. Having a bit of savings ensures a safety net to help you get started in a new country.
4. Have an open mind When moving abroad to a new country it is essential to have an open mind. Things will be different, it will be challenging, thrilling, and completely new. Enjoy the adventure and be willing to learn about a new place, culture, try new foods, and get out of your comfort zone. There will be lots of challenges and learning curves along the way, but the stories and what you will experience makes it worth it.
5. Prepare your belly Vietnam has some amazing and diverse foods. I love Vietnamese cuisine and am learning about new dishes and flavors it seems every day. The cuisine is truly unique, complex, and flavorful. There are many amazing foods you can try such as: banh mi, my quang, cao lau, goi cuon fresh spring rolls, banh loc, bun cha rice noodle dish from Hanoi, and so much more. As a precaution the street food is not always generally safe, just be cautious and have anti-diarrhea in the worst-case scenario. When I first arrived in Vietnam, I stuck with mostly pho, banh mi, and mixed rice, or fried rice when I arrived. I then cooked my own foods and was able to eat more and more of the food with no problems. When traveling to new places most people have a bit of tummy issues at the beginning. Just make sure you are cautious where you eat, but most places are truthfully fine. As you can see Vietnam is a great country to relocate to for people looking for something new and want to come teach abroad here. For more about my travels and more about Vietnam check out my newsletter and subscribe so you don't miss out on any new blog post.
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