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Done with China, heading over your side
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theoriginalprankster



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:35 pm    Post subject: Done with China, heading over your side Reply with quote

I never expected to spend 15 years in China, teaching all manner of students, from plebs to pilots. Time flies, literally.

China has become my 'comfort zone' and at 40 and I need to make a break, i need to try another country or two before I settle into late-middle age.

I'm thinking Vietnam. It will be challenging, it will be different, it will be a learning curve. China's just too easy for me these days - I order everything I want off a couple of apps, head out for a gentle stroll some days, some days just YT the hell out of the day.

Time to leave. I'm doing a summer camp here, and then ready to fly over. Best to secure a job beforehand? I reckon so.

Any other pro tips? I know I won't be earning as much, but give me a safe abode, a decent scooter, access to the beach and/or mountains, and reasonably non-retarded/spoiled students and I'm down.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1245

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you been to VN before? What specific questions do you have about the place?

Quote:
Best to secure a job beforehand? I reckon so.


Actually, for VN, you should arrive first and look around before settling on a job. You can contact schools before you come to put out some feelers. Nearly all of them have a website or Fb page. Numerous job ads can also be found online.

But there's no need to sign up before arriving.

The biggest market is kids and then there are also some IELTS classes.
General English, corporate and university work is around but minimal.
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theoriginalprankster



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Have you been to VN before? What specific questions do you have about the place?


Have I been before? Yes, two weeks, north to south about 4 years ago.

Specific questions - can I live a life of comfort I'm accustomed to in China (and save money)?
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1543

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The students in both countries are similar.
Not many opportunities for teaching in Vietnamese universities.
Most of the opportunities are in language centers and primary/high schools.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1245

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Specific questions - can I live a life of comfort I'm accustomed to in China (and save money)?


Well, you should realize that, other than a few exceptions (RMIT and ???) the vast majority of schools in Vietnam DO NOT offer full-time positions with salaries, visas, accommodation, flights, insurance or anything else. If you're lucky, you may get a locker to keep your stuff.

What you do get is about $20 per teaching hour and a large amout of freedom and independence, which appeals to some people.

So, you can just show up and try it for 6 months without having to commit to anything. Then, depending on how you feel, return to China or move on to wherever.
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theoriginalprankster



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So, you can just show up and try it for 6 months without having to commit to anything. Then, depending on how you feel, return to China or move on to wherever.


Perfect.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 518
Location: Phaic Tan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
Quote:
Specific questions - can I live a life of comfort I'm accustomed to in China (and save money)?


Well, you should realize that, other than a few exceptions (RMIT and ???) the vast majority of schools in Vietnam DO NOT offer full-time positions with salaries, visas, accommodation, flights, insurance or anything else. If you're lucky, you may get a locker to keep your stuff.

What you do get is about $20 per teaching hour and a large amout of freedom and independence, which appeals to some people.

So, you can just show up and try it for 6 months without having to commit to anything. Then, depending on how you feel, return to China or move on to wherever.


I interviewed with RMIT recently, and they weren't offering FT positions. They said that PT staff could move to FT after perhaps 12 months which didn't sound too great so I didn't continue with the process.

Moving to Vietnam to teach YL? Really?
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theoriginalprankster



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Moving to Vietnam to teach YL? Really?


I don't teach young learners. Middle school and above.
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coffeespoonman



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 510
Location: At my computer...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did this myself. Had enough of China, so after 7 years, my wife and I packed up and moved to Saigon. Been here for a month and a half, and so far, we love most things about it. Had visited here many times, so had some idea what to expect.

I did take the part-time RMIT offer. It's not as stable as I'd like, but I'm at a place in my career and age where I can still afford to be a bit flexible. And if we continue to love it, I can go full time in a little while. So far, I'm happy here, though I do miss the gobs of cash that China threw at us.

My feeling after being on the ground here is that there is lots of work, but as sigmoid said, you'll do a few hours here, a few hours there, mostly for 20-25 dollars an hour. The students seem to, generally speaking, be more outgoing, open and responsive than the Chinese, but that may just be my experience.

Going back to China may be an issue though. I'm not sure about getting a Z visa from here. You may need to go back home to jump through all the hoops if you decide to bail.

If you have specific questions, feel free to PM.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1245

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Been here for a month and a half, and so far, we love most things about it.


Just curious... Does life in Saigon really compare that well with China?

What things do you love/see as an improvement?
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coffeespoonman



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 510
Location: At my computer...

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends where you're coming from in China, and where you live in Saigon, but for me, yes. My reasons:

- No (or minimal) spitting
- People smile instead of staring
- "Thank you"
- Holding open doors instead of letting them slam in your face
- No "me first" smashing into you in elevators, buses, etc.
- For around the same price, much better quality flat with a pool and a gym
- Delicious coffee everywhere
- Very little censorship
- Actual life on the streets
- Happy people who enjoy life and care about each other

It's not perfect and it's not for everyone. Traffic is a mess and there is little to no public transportation. If quiet, comfort and safety are priorities, China is probably better. But I was tired of being constantly annoyed and disgusted all the time by pretty much everyone around me, and I don't have that problem here. At least not yet.

Some people love China and have had great experiences there. I didn't (except my job). So for me, Vietnam is an improvement in most ways. Not all, but in most of the ways that are important to me.
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Elicit



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 225

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes the people were more smiley... until I put my wallet away.

In my experience of living in both, China has the edge in this regard. That is to say no smiles but not too many people chasing my dollars. Here in China they’re too busy trying to keep up with the Jones’ to worry about destitute English teachers.

However, for everything else Vietnam no contest.
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CKM



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coffeespoonman wrote:
Depends where you're coming from in China, and where you live in Saigon, but for me, yes. My reasons:

- No (or minimal) spitting
- People smile instead of staring
- "Thank you"
- Holding open doors instead of letting them slam in your face
- No "me first" smashing into you in elevators, buses, etc.
- For around the same price, much better quality flat with a pool and a gym
- Delicious coffee everywhere
- Very little censorship
- Actual life on the streets
- Happy people who enjoy life and care about each other

It's not perfect and it's not for everyone. Traffic is a mess and there is little to no public transportation. If quiet, comfort and safety are priorities, China is probably better. But I was tired of being constantly annoyed and disgusted all the time by pretty much everyone around me, and I don't have that problem here. At least not yet.

Some people love China and have had great experiences there. I didn't (except my job). So for me, Vietnam is an improvement in most ways. Not all, but in most of the ways that are important to me.


Each to their own and all that, but (having lived and worked in both countries) this rings SO true for me...almost exactly my thoughts!
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psychedelicacy



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 176
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know Beijing and the big Chinese cities are different to the rest of China, but to me, living in Beijing is like living in a developed country. It reminds me sometimes of Seoul or New York. In some ways, Beijing is more highly developed than the West.

I've also lived in Hanoi. That was in 2011-2012, so things may have changed, but I see that Hanoi still doesn't have a subway. When I was there, everyone agreed that the city was desperate for a subway, because every man, woman and child in a big city using a motorbike clearly isn't very efficient or pleasant, but at best it's got the beginnings of a subway 7 years later, which tells you all you need to know about the pace of development in Vietnam.

To me, while living in the Chinese capital is like living in a developed country, living in the Vietnamese capital was like living in a developing country - the Third World. It reminded me a bit of India. But some people like that. Good luck to 'em. But it wasn't for me.
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coffeespoonman



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 510
Location: At my computer...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're totally right about the level of development of the countries. China feels like a developed country, in many ways more so than the West, but with almost totally undeveloped people.

There were some conveniences that I loved about China - Taobao, Wechat Wallet, mass transportation - but after a few years the disadvantages began to significantly outweigh the advantages. I just could not stand the people (or at least the VAST majority of them).

I'm sure living in a developing country will have its fair share of difficulties, and I may not last past my initial contract. But for now it is a real relief to be around (mostly) pleasant, polite, friendly people.
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