Questions about Teacher’s Friend and general FAQs
What exactly can TF do to help me?
Here at Teacher’s Friend, we help with many things depending on your country of choice: jobs, accommodation, transport, visas, recruitment requirements, work permit advice, discounted language lessons and travel services, local contacts, avoiding scams, introductions to life in your home country, lesson planning tips, professionally written articles, advice, support and assurance. The list goes on and on. We suggest you look at our packages by choosing the ‘What We Offer’ menu option to see our available options. We offer free job placements for experienced and qualified teachers as well as full relocation packages to the country of your choice and accredited TEFL certification.
Who are you, exactly?
My name is Georgie Snape, I am 31 years old, I have a degree in Community Drama, a CELTA teaching qualification and a qualifaction in training and assessment to allow me to be a TEFL teacher trainer.
I lived and worked in Hanoi for one and a half years, then left and went backpacking across Asia before returning for a further 8 months. During my time travelling, I also taught English one on one in Malaysia. I then taught in Australia and New Zealand, before living in HCM for 1.5 years and Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam for a year. During my time in Vietnam, I also travelled extensively in Cambodia and Thailand.
I took over this business as the owner of Teacher’s Friend five years ago because I want to share with others the amazing experience that I have had while teaching abroad. I want to make it a fun, enjoyable and stress free process, and will offer you outstanding customer service.
You can find us on Skype (Georgie5534), Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.
We have reviews from paying, satisfied customers on our partner sites, Go Overseas and Go Abroad as well as numerous references on websites such as What Kate and Kris did, Our Big Fat Travel Adventure, ESL expat and The Career Shifters websites. I am happy to put you in contact with other Teacher’s Friend teachers, who are delighted with the excellent friendship they have received from us- myself and my local team.
For any further information, please email me at email@example.com,
I look forward to hearing from you.
What documents do I need to teach abroad?
For the majority of teaching positions abroad (and in order to get a work permit for working legally) you will need to provide original copies of:
- Your passport
- Your degree
- Your CELTA/ TESOL/ 120 hour TEFL qualification which must be accredited from a recognised body
- A police clearance check from your home country dated no later than six months previous.
You may also need:
- Your university transcript
- Recent passport sized photos
It is best to get all of these documents notarised in your home country before you travel. It may be possible to do so in your host country, depending on where that is. For example, it is a simple and easy process to get them certified and notified in Vietnam. However, the police check must be authenticated in your home country.
You will also need to complete a medical check but this can also easily be done in your host country.
Why should we use TF rather than another recruitment agency?
We are different from other agencies in that we offer a very personal service. The average time it takes for us to reply to any enquiries is 42 hours or less. It is a service run by teachers for teachers. This puts us in the unique position of knowing exactly how to make things run as smoothly as possible. After talking to you, we use our extensive knowledge of Vietnam to make sure that you don’t just have ‘any old job’ or ‘any old house’- we aim to make sure that you start a life here that really suits you. Both myself and the previous director have worked and lived extensively in Vietnam and so really know the country and it’s people. To add to this, we offer a very reasonably priced package in comparison to other similar programs, and we do not take a cut of your hard earned cash once we’ve accepted you onto the program. Many similar programs offer you a guaranteed job, but you will then receive a much lower wage than should be expected, as the company will take their “cut” from your wage. I found this out the hard way when I first came to Vietnam, and so wanted to offer the support and guidance that people often require when moving to a different country, without losing your hard earned money, or eating too much into your savings.
We have excellent reviews which you can check out using the link below and we regularly receive very positive comments about our excellent customer service which always goes above and beyond the teachers expectations.
Can TF find me work if I am not a native speaker?
The main reason schools and language centres in Vietnam ask for native English speakers is because English pronunciation is very difficult for Vietnamese people, so they hire native speakers of English mainly to focus on pronunciation, dialect and accent. By no means do all but often many non-native English speakers still have a foreign accent, which is why native English speakers are preferred.A native English speaker has gained their accent over 20, 30 or 30 or 40 years (sometimes longer) and was surrounded usually by other native English speakers. Therefore it is highly difficult for non-native speakers of English who haven’t been immersed in an English speaking country from a young age, to achieve a native English accent.
Also, there is not a shortage of non -native English teachers in Vietnam because many local Vietnamese people train for four years or more to become English teachers, and so given the choice, schools tend to hire local non-native English teachers over foreign non-native English teachers. The pay for local non-native English speaking teachers from Vietnam is drastically lower than the pay for Foreign Native-English speakers.
I am moving to Vietnam really soon, will you still be able to help me?
Yes, you can sign up at any time! From five months away to five minutes away, even if you’ve already arrived. Our help and support will be useful for you both before and during your time in Vietnam. Needless to say, the earlier the better, because we will have more time to make sure everything is right for you and runs as smoothly as possible.
Send Us Your Questions
Education / Certification
Do I need English teaching experience or qualifications?
The law has recently changed in Vietnam. In order to teach here legally you must now have a 120 hour TEFL certification with at least 6 taught lessons observed by a trained ESL professional. Ideally this should be conducted face to face. Online courses are often not accepted by major language centres and schools, unless it included 6 hours of teaching practice with ESL students and you have one year of post-TESL ESL teaching experience. Trying to get a work permit (required for working legally in Vietnam) without the support of your language centre/ school is extremely difficult. Example accredited courses would be the CELTA/ TESOL courses which take 4 weeks to complete and are face to face, or the online equivalent that includes teaching practice.
Note: Licensed native English speaking teachers who are certified with teaching qualifications from their home countries for Primary and Secondary education will be able to work in the international schools and some private language centres and schools without a TEFL certificate. The best time to apply for these jobs is in January-June for a September/ October start dates.
Less than a 120 hour course will not be accepted for the work permit without a vast amount of experience- five years or more.
The 120 hour TEFL course, a clean police check from the last six months and a three year degree are now compulsory in order to get a work permit and work legally in Vietnam.-unless you have over 5 years of ESL teaching experience. However, many language centres won’t accept teachers without a TEFL certificate. The degree can be in any subject, it does not have to be in an English related field.
The demand is so high here in Vietnam that there are still many jobs available to people without these qualifications, however, they are not legal. It is illegal to work in Vietnam without a work permit, and although many expats do this, and you are likely to find work, it is not something which we, Teacher’s Friend Vietnam, promotes.
It is illegal to work in Vietnam for any amount of time on both the Tourist and Business Visa without having a work permit in process.
For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When emailing us with any enquiries, please state exactly which type of TEFL course you have (how many hours, online or face to face), if any, so we can best help you.
I am an extremely experienced teacher, with five years plus experience, but I don't have a TEFL certificate, is this OK?
Unfortunately, many language schools and centres will not accept even the most senior of teachers and professionals without a 120 hour TEFL certificate, as this is an international certification which proves that you have been trained specifically in teaching English as a second language.
However, some of the international schools will accept qualifications such as a PGCE or equivalent teaching qualification from your home country. It is very hard for us to know whether you will be accepted by schools without a TEFL certificate until we begin the application process, which takes time and effort on our part. Therefore, we can offer to find you work before you arrive in Vietnam once payment is made and the contract signed. If we cannot find you five promising interviews before you intend to arrive in Vietnam then we can offer a full refund for the package.
Teachers will need to have a minimum of three years experience in their home country to be considered for positions in Vietnam without a TEFL qualification through Teacher’s Friend.
The best time to apply is in January- June for September/ October start dates.
Do I need a degree to buy one of your packages?
Unfortunately, having a degree or equivalent qualification is one of the requirements for the work permit, which is required in order to work legally in Vietnam. Many expats in Vietnam work illegally on a tourist visa, as the laws are very relaxed in Vietnam, however we do not advocate this and so cannot accept anyone onto our program who doesn’t have a degree.
I don't have a 120 hour face to face TEFL qualification, can you help me?
Yes, we can guide you on the best TEFL course to take and where to take it, as well as giving details about pricing etc. We can provide information on TEFL courses in your home country (depending where this is) and in Vietnam. World recognised CELTA courses can be completed in Vietnam, and many reputable language centres who provide training will offer you a job upon completion of the course. Completing a TEFL course in Vietnam will also give you time to adjust to the culture before beginning your new teaching job!
What about the visa?
You will need a visa to enter Vietnam. I can get it for you for $17 for a three month tourist visa. This is single entry, so you can’t leave Vietnam during this time. You could also get a multiple entry visa, which costs more. You then pay $25 US in cash at the airport. You can enter on a tourist visa and then change it to a business visa once you have a job. You may need to do a visa run before your tourist visa actually runs out in order to change it to a business visa. Or, if you come with Teacher’s Friend, you will have a job before you enter the country and so my partner language centre will provide you with the business visa straight away. Even with a business visa, to work legally in Vietnam, you will still need a work permit. My partner language centres will pay for and process this for you.
Who provides the visa?
If you come through Teacher’s Friend, my language centre will provide both the visa and the work permit for you.
Can I enter on a tourist visa?
Yes you can but will need a business visa and work permit to work legally, which is provided by the language centre. You will need to do a visa run to change your visa if you come in on a tourist visa and then get a job.
Which visa do I need?
You will need a business visa if you intend to work and then you will need to get the work permit. For the work permit you will need sponsorship from the language centre. If you come through Teacher’s Friend, I will sort all of this for you through my partner centres.
Do I have to pay?
Yes, you pay for the work visa and work permit. If you come through Teacher’s Friend, then this cost is covered for you by the language centre. It depends on the centre as to whether they 1) provide you with a business visa and work permit and 2) whether you have to pay or whether they cover it. A reputable centre should cover the costs for you.