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Vietnam Vs. Thailand - differences and similarities.
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Aelric



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:32 am    Post subject: Vietnam Vs. Thailand - differences and similarities. Reply with quote

So, I've done two years in Korea and three years in Thailand. Korea was a positive, wonderful experience where I made money. Thailand was a place where my jobs routinely disappeared from under my nose without warning regardless of my performance, the pay was just enough to get by under the assumption of never leaving and mostly illegal work because no one would bother filing my visa or work permit. Three years of being stuck.

I'm not done with EFL, but I'm done with Thailand. All of my old Korea friends have gone to Vietnam and they all seem happy, beckoning me, but they never worked in another SE Asian country and it's all still new and novel to them. I'm afraid of the similarities it may share with Thailand.

So the question is this: how is it, compared? Is the work more stable, are the visas actually processed? If the pay better good vs. the cost of living? Are the attitudes of the students and parents similar (Thai schools beings mostly daycares and not educational facilities)?

Most of all, has anyone made the shift from Thailand to Vietnam and how was it? Better? Worse? The same?
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vietnam and Thailand are largely similar. Like you mentioned, it's SE Asia in general that's like this. If you want nice, orderly, modern, and legal work... don't come to work here.

There is plenty of legal work available, but competition is fierce. The best jobs go to those who know the ropes or those who have good contacts.

Vietnam is a small step up from Thailand in my opinion, but I think you'll encounter a lot of similarities. A lot of signs seem to be pointing to the fact that in 5-10 years time, Vietnam's EFL scene will be identical to what Thailand's is like now.
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mk87



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the way I see it I think if you can get into one of the "national" schools (ILA, VUS, Apollo, Wall Street) then everything is totally legit and done for you, certainly my experiences working at one of those places were pretty positive...

I suspect Vietnam's government means it wont turn into Thailand to be honest, but that's without giving it too much thought - but then again I guess its what you are aiming for. If you aren't on a full time contract or at one of the bigger schools life maybe doesn't seem as stable here as it does to me
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 493
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mk87 wrote:
From the way I see it I think if you can get into one of the "national" schools (ILA, VUS, Apollo, Wall Street) then everything is totally legit and done for you, certainly my experiences working at one of those places were pretty positive...


That's probably not a bad way to start. I've spoken to quite a few teachers in Vietnam who have taught in Thailand and, whilst they all seemed to have enjoyed their time there, they found it difficult to make ends meet, let alone save. Generally speaking, when it comes to making money, Vietnam is a much better option than Thailand.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have friends on the ground, why not ask them for information?

What are your financial goals?

Personally, I would only work for RMIT or British Council if I was to do a stint down south, in general the pay is modest at best.

The established mills like ILA, LLV and APOLLO offer security but not a lot of money.

Perhaps return to the land of kimchi.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no money here and even less in Thailand. Every single EFL'er I've met from Thailand says that they were paid just enough to pay their rent and buy meagre groceries. Many VN EFLers try Thailand. They return here very unhappy, angry and poorer for the experience.

There is only one country where one can make money at EFL instruction. It isn't VN. It certainly isn't Thailand.

You do this job because you love it or because you want to experience living a particular country. You never do it for money.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VietCanada wrote:


There is only one country where one can make money at EFL instruction.


I had a good laugh at this quote. If you can't make money in EFL... you're doing something wrong.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VietCanada wrote:
There's no money here and even less in Thailand. Every single EFL'er I've met from Thailand says that they were paid just enough to pay their rent and buy meagre groceries. Many VN EFLers try Thailand. They return here very unhappy, angry and poorer for the experience.

There is only one country where one can make money at EFL instruction. It isn't VN. It certainly isn't Thailand.

You do this job because you love it or because you want to experience living a particular country. You never do it for money.


Yet, you remain to stay even though your shrill cry of "there is no money here" resonates like a power chord played in drop d.

Out of morbid curiosity, what do you call "money" in terms of money saved in USD per month whilst living a Western middle-class lifestyle?
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is little money in anything these days - just an economic fact of life in the 21st Century.

I can make a better living teaching EFL in many Asian countries than I can doing any job I could find in my home country. This is due to choices I made - many would say mistakes - but I don't complain and am happy enough.

I enjoy what I do. I live well. I have plenty of free time and zero work stress.

It's not paradise but it'll do.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The native (VN) English teachers do it for 1/10 of what we do. Plenty of folks from the Philippines and various other countries willing to do this work for half of what we get, and think they are doing great. Everything is relative.

For guys scrambling from one place to another for 15 bucks an hour, yeah, you are not really padding your retirement, you are just paying for your life, and a lot of those guys spend a pretty big chunk on booze and the kinds of relationships one enters based on that lifestyle. So yeah, not much left (if anything) if that is your profile.

I have always thought this place is best for those who do not have to work. Then you are in the position of strength, you can take your time, work on your skills, find your niche and turn down employers who are only seeking maximum profit without regard to quality. As most schools do not really care about standards, it is up to us what standards we maintain for ourselves. Despite all the westerners floating in and out, a good school still has trouble finding a first class teacher. Not sure how this will all shake out over time, but I do see a very few quality operators who care about their product and are not afraid to pay up for it. In the long run, the extra expense is worth it to their reputation and ability to attract customers, but for the most of the VN managers, the long run is the current tank of petrol, beyond that is unimportant.

Whoever says there is no money in VN is either not very perceptive, or he means there is not much money for the average teacher. There is lots of money here, but it is certainly concentrated in the hands of the elite (like everywhere else in the world these days). But over here, the average citizen (or average teacher) does not have the same feeling of general well being that the average European or western teacher probably has. Over here, to be rich is to be exalted. To be average is to be poor. To be poor is to be wretched.
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psychedelicacy



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 44
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExpatLuke wrote:


Vietnam is a small step up from Thailand in my opinion


Not Hanoi though surely.

Hanoi is a step up from Mogadishu and Pyeongyang, but not much else.

Kurtz wrote:
Personally, I would only work for RMIT or British Council if I was to do a stint down south, in general the pay is modest at best.


I second this to an extent, but since the BC have so many other destinations to choose from, there seems little reason to go to Vietnam. However, certainly, RMIT is top-notch, although there was a little too much take-home work to do for my liking.
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Anh Dep



Joined: 16 Mar 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Bangkok Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
The native (VN) English teachers do it for 1/10 of what we do. Plenty of folks from the Philippines and various other countries willing to do this work for half of what we get, and think they are doing great. Everything is relative.

For guys scrambling from one place to another for 15 bucks an hour, yeah, you are not really padding your retirement, you are just paying for your life, and a lot of those guys spend a pretty big chunk on booze and the kinds of relationships one enters based on that lifestyle. So yeah, not much left (if anything) if that is your profile.

I have always thought this place is best for those who do not have to work. Then you are in the position of strength, you can take your time, work on your skills, find your niche and turn down employers who are only seeking maximum profit without regard to quality. As most schools do not really
care about standards, it is up to us what standards we maintain for ourselves. Despite all the westerners floating in and out, a good school still has trouble finding a first class teacher. Not sure how this will all shake out over time, but I do see a very few quality operators who care about their product and are not afraid to pay up for it. In the long run, the extra expense is worth it to their reputation and ability to attract customers, but
for the most of the VN managers, the long run is the current tank of petrol, beyond that is unimportant.

Whoever says there is no money in VN is either not very perceptive, or he means there is not much money for the average teacher. There is lots of money here, but it is certainly concentrated in the hands of the elite (like everywhere else in the world these days). But over here, the average citizen (or average teacher) does not have the same feeling of general well being that the average European or western teacher probably has. Over here, to be rich is to be exalted. To be average is to be poor. To be poor is to be wretched.



Agree with what you have posted here. Luckily I work here just to keep busy and pay living costs. I only work a very limited amount of hours as I have money invested in my home country. I know guys here who are earning 70 million a month, due to the fact they are doing 50 hours a week. At the end of each month they are crying poor, how the hell can you spend that sort of money each month. In Saigon it seems that many of the younger teachers are hell bent on getting off their face every night,which is not cheap when you start drinking spirits and heading out to nightclubs.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you're working 50 hours a week, going out a drinking afterwards might be required. Razz Can't imagine the stress of that. But you're right, it would get expensive fast, even in the land of $1 beers.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose if guys are eating western style (5 to 10 dollars a meal vs 1 to 3), going out to cafes, going to clubs and bars, traveling, and paying for women, living in expensive houses or apartments, then the money can go quickly. Still, 70M is a lot for vn. It seems like one should be able to be save at least 1000 usd a month making that much money while still going out lots.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

70 million for 200 hours is about 17 USD/hour which is pathetic money.
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