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Thinking of moving from MGL. Prospects in Vietnam?
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:21 pm    Post subject: Thinking of moving from MGL. Prospects in Vietnam? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm an English grammar teacher currently working in a Russian international school in Mongolia. I've worked in Shanghai elementary schools for 1 year (1st to 5th grade) and 3 years in Mongolia: 2 years in language centres specializing in TOEFL and IELTS preparation courses and business English (adults and Uni students). I'm finishing up 1 year in a Russian high school which could arguably be considered international. I teach English grammar and writing to 10-12th grade.

I'm a 50 year old male, living single but actively dating. I'm a white guy from England, healthy, fit and pass for younger anywhere. My deal is pretty good in Ulaanbaatar: US$2500 net pay, 24 contact hours, free apartment and roughly 4 weeks paid vacation. I also lived for 22 years in Los Angeles doing computer graphics for movies but I'm out of that and I prefer teaching. My qualifications are an HND in computer science, BEd in English and TEFL certificate from the Philippines. I've got 4 years teaching experience under my belt and I'm looking to offer my skills in another Asian country. Mongolia pays well (US$2500-4000 sometimes including apartment) but I'm tired of it. Except for the local women, who are spectacular, there's not much to do here. I typically save $2000 per month.

What are my options and prospects in Asia? I'm not willing to take a big cut in my pay and I'm also interested in good nightlife and dating scene as I'm single. I've been thinking about Korea, Taiwan or Vietnam.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:11 am    Post subject: Re: Thinking of moving from MGL. Prospects in Vietnam? Reply with quote

EmGee wrote:
Hi all,

I'm living single but actively dating.


Good to know.

EmGee wrote:
I'm a white guy from England, healthy, fit and pass for younger anywhere.

I envy you.
EmGee wrote:

Mongolia pays well but I'm tired of it. Except for the local women, who are spectacular,

Could you expand on this statement? What do they do that's spectacular? They are great students that make good progress or are you referring to sexual relations?

EmGee wrote:
I typically save $2000 per month. I'm not willing to take a big cut in my pay

avoid vietnam, cannot save near that much.
EmGee wrote:
and I'm also interested in good nightlife and dating scene

I can't comment on this as I don't have any experience in dating or nightlife in Vietnam.

Sounds like you got a pretty good set up where you are. The grass always looks greener doesn't it.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Tigerstylone. The women in Mongolia are both good students and great looking. They make good companions too.

I know the grass can seem greener but I'm not looking for greener grass. Just similar grass Very Happy I don't necessarily expect to be able to save as much as I can in Mongolia. Do you think it would unreasonable to expect to earn $2000-2500 and maybe save $1000 in Vietnam? For example, one or more jobs making $20 each?[/quote]
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your set-up in Mongolia sounds really nice. Not sure why you'd want to leave it behind unless your looking for sandy beaches and year-long summer temperatures. I know if I was in Mongolia, I wouldn't make it through the winter.

To answer your questions... your qualifications are good, but coming to Vietnam you'd still probably start at entry level work which would mean a big cut in pay. You're also not going to get paid vacations, and it's unlikely you'll find a school that will pay for your accommodations.

Vietnam is fun. The country and its women are beautiful. You can have a fun/laid-back lifestyle here for little expense. But you're going to have to work, network, and be patient if you want anything close to the working conditions you're enjoying now.

The exception would be if you got a position in an International school. Your BEd should be sufficient for that in Vietnam.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The job is good on the surface but the devil is in the details. I could get a better job in Ulaanbaatar (UB) but I'm just tired of this city. UB is a hardship posting which is probably why it pays well. There isn't much competition.

When is the best hiring time for international schools in HCMC?
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2113
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EmGee wrote:
The job is good on the surface but the devil is in the details. I could get a better job in Ulaanbaatar (UB) but I'm just tired of this city. UB is a hardship posting which is probably why it pays well. There isn't much competition.

When is the best hiring time for international schools in HCMC?


Let's trade jobs Razz
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gladly Prof.Gringo if you have a good job in HCMC Wink
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is it exactly that you're tired of?
Do you feel you should earn more? Are you unsatisfied with only 4 weeks of paid vacation time? Do you only want to teach adult business English instead of high school grammar?
Are you lonely there, women not taking to you?
Is the crime rate high ?
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"What is it exactly that you're tired of? "

There's not much to do. UB is a small city with very few activities, restaurants, sports, etc. The countryside is nice but there's little transportation to get there. Also, winter lasts about 9 months and gets to -40C in January so outdoor stuff is limited.

"Do you feel you should earn more? Are you unsatisfied with only 4 weeks of paid vacation time? Do you only want to teach adult business English instead of high school grammar? "

The jobs are great for earnings and vacation. No complaints really, or nothing serious. I'm flexible about who or what I teach. I'd like to be able to save $1000+ per month because I'm a career teacher now and not just looking to finance travels and adventure.

"Are you lonely there, women not taking to you? "

Again no complaints. Dating has been great, in fact I've been dating a young woman for 1 year and it's going well but because of her situation she'll probably not be able to leave Mongolia.

"Is the crime rate high ?"

Street crime can be bad. 2 of my close friends have been violently mugged. There are also a lot of nationalists who threaten or insult local women who date foreigners. It makes going out in the city, especially clubs, stressful.

I suppose the bottom line is: I like change and it doesn't have to be better. I realize it could take time to get back to where I've reached in Mongolia but I've got time, willingness and savings on my side.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree that it sounds like you are better off there than you would be here. Many of us find we have to stay in our homes most of the time (other than working) unless we enjoy the heat, the traffic and the noise. Nature is like a foreign concept in the cities here. So the big entertainment is usually indoors, although we have a large contingent of guys who are entertained by boozing and hanging out where the beer is cheap and the relationships are also. In my mind, your deal sounds like it may actually be better than ours, though I would also say it depends on how well the heaters work in your classrooms and houses. Maybe also if you have much need for being around your fellow westerner, or are perfectly happy with your relationships with the natives. Lots of westerners to hang out with here, if that is what you seek.

The big wildcard is money. If you have enough for the rest of your life without needing income here (and are just padding your retirement or trying to pay for most of your local expenses), this may be the best place of all. Then you are in control, and you can take jobs and leave them at your discretion, it gives you the freedom to work your way to your real niche without being forced to put up with any more stupidity than you can stomach. If you need to actually save money from your income here, I do not suggest this place. Even with a large income and a conservative lifestyle, you can easily spend all your local money keeping up your little act. The only guys I know who save much of their local incomes seem to have some kind of zombie life, trooping all over the place 7 days a week. Not to say they all are that way, but the ones I know mostly are.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 408
Location: Off the beaten path

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Op,

You sound like one of the myriad of over 50 playboys looking to take advantage of vulnerable women; you will be fine.

As you have an actual teaching degree, perhaps investigating international schools would be a worthwhile avenue to explore.

Lastly, I suggest looking up how to join independent clauses.

Good luck!
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry Kurtz. I won't compete with you for "vulnerable" bar girls because my playboy days are over. I prefer wealthy, well-educated and independent women, like my current girlfriend.

Dating aside, Vietnam looks like a long-shot because everybody is saying the salaries are too low to save any money. I'm not willing to take a big cut in salary and lifestyle so I think I'll check out Korea instead.
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Daveric



Joined: 03 Jan 2014
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EmGee wrote:
Don't worry Kurtz. I won't compete with you for "vulnerable" bar girls because my playboy days are over. I prefer wealthy, well-educated and independent women, like my current girlfriend.

Dating aside, Vietnam looks like a long-shot because everybody is saying the salaries are too low to save any money. I'm not willing to take a big cut in salary and lifestyle so I think I'll check out Korea instead.

A no-brainer. Salaries are higher in Korea, they pay airfare, housing, health insurance, pension, and bonus. Friendly natives, too, although Nam has that also but none of the former.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 408
Location: Off the beaten path

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EmGee wrote:
Don't worry Kurtz. I won't compete with you for "vulnerable" bar girls because my playboy days are over. I prefer wealthy, well-educated and independent women, like my current girlfriend.

Dating aside, Vietnam looks like a long-shot because everybody is saying the salaries are too low to save any money. I'm not willing to take a big cut in salary and lifestyle so I think I'll check out Korea instead.


I would check out the exchange rate before heading over.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'll visit HCMC in june just to see if i like it. Ive already been to Seoul a couple of times and quite liked it. So, just for due diligence sakes, I should check out 'Nam. Thanks for the exchange tips. Isnt it possible to get paid at a USD rate?
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