Nearly everyone who has taught English in Vietnam raves about how great it is. And that’s for very good reason, it’s a teacher’s paradise. There are countless benefits of teaching in Vietnam, and each teacher’s experiences are unique, but here are some things that everyone appreciates.
Cost of living is very low. You can lunch on a delicious bowl of pho and one of Vietnam’s famous ice coffees for a couple of dollars. You can find a great room in a converted French colonial building for a few hundred dollars per month. And there are plenty of cheap travel options to the rest of south-east Asia.
What makes Vietnam unique is not its low cost of living, but the combination of low costs and high wages. Classes range from anywhere between $18 and $35 per hour. That’s a lot of coffee and noodles! It also means that you get to decide your own work-life balance appropriately. Some teachers survive on minimal classes and keep the rest of their time for exploration. And who can blame them?
The range of salaries also represents the diverse teaching opportunities that Vietnam offers. From total beginners to seasoned experts, Vietnam’s wide array of options ensures that there’s the perfect class for everyone, if you know how to find them. From private-classes and home-tutoring, to state-schools and universities, Vietnam has options for everyone.
What is more, as a teacher, you are treated with respect. Vietnam truly values its teachers as they realise the value of education, a trait that is being lost in much of the western world. On Teacher’s Day, you can expect to be showered with gifts, food, and flowers. A symbolic token of the generosity that you will receive throughout Vietnam from its warm and welcoming people.
Vietnamese people have a great sense of humour and will welcome you into their homes without question. During my time in Vietnam, I was continually impressed by strangers going massively out of their way to help me. I experienced a level of hospitality that made me feel ashamed of the welcome Vietnamese people likely get in return when visiting my own country.
Unless you’re really in the middle of nowhere, you’ll also have access to a great group of fellow expats and a lively social scene. Many of the home-comforts that you might crave after a long time abroad are all easily accessible. From roast dinners to open-mic nights, Vietnam pretty much ticks all the boxes.
Though for many, the real joy of Vietnam lies in the adventure it offers. From towering rice paddies that terrace hillsides like the seats of a coliseum, to the karst limestone mountains that jut out of the sea. North, south, east, or west, adventure is everywhere in Vietnam. There is enough wildlife, culture, and stunning scenery to keep someone satisfied for a hundred lifetimes. And it’s oh so easy to find. Take any road and you’re bound to find something of interest. Overgrown temples, forgotten villages, war relics, storytellers, new friends, all ready to be found.
Vietnam is a country of memories lying in wait for you to discover them. So what are you waiting for?
Written by Alex Sinclair Lack for Teacher’s Friend – Vietnam