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Thinking of moving from MGL. Prospects in Vietnam?
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mongolia has terrible problems with nationalists. My Mongolian girlfriend has been insulted so many times even in the city center in the middle of the day. We almost got into a fight with 2 different groups of Mongolians in a pub 2 weekends ago. It's one of the reasons I want to leave because it's hard to relax when I'm with her in public.

I imagine Korea and Vietnam would both be better than Ulaanbaaatar in that regard.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you got your priorities in order. Many creepy guys post only about girls, dating and social life in the Vietnam thread, but good that you're asking all the questions about curriculum, materials, management styles, classroom culture as it pertains to Vietnam. Razz Razz Razz Razz Wink

Many teachers who move to Vietnam after working in a proper school, with good benefits and materials find Vietnam disappointing. We've had a few MA TESOL teachers come and quit in a short amount of time.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tigerstyleone,

Everybody's personal life is different. I'm sorry if the dating questions make you think I'm "creepy" but as a person living single it's very important to me. Maybe you're a happily married guy so you don't care about the dating scene. Good for you, if that's true. I've had a Mongolian girlfriend for over a year but it's unlikely she can join me in Vietnam. Hence my interest in the dating scene. I'd be just as happy if there was a decent expat dating scene as dating locals, but I don't think I want to live like a monk. Sorry if that offends you.

Furthermore, every school is different and I've already taught in schools with no materials, no training and generally poor resources so that doesn't scare me. My current school is like that. I prepare my own curriculum, lesson plans and materials.

My main concern would be if the school has air conditioning. Sweating profusely while working is my worst fear. Do private schools usually have a/c in HCMC?
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TS1 likes to pull people's chains - don't take it to heart.

A/C is pretty standard in private schools because the students are used to it and would complain if it was too hot.

An issue can be power cuts if the school lacks a powerful back up generator - and most do AFAIK. Power cuts are getting less of an issue but back when I worked at Apollo they had no generator and frequent power cuts over the early summer months.

But it's better now - power cuts are much rarer.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anybody know anything about the Singapore International School in Vung Tau, on the coast south-east of HCMC? I have an opportunity to teach there. I've done some research and SIS seems not to have a great rep but the Vung Tau campus is fairly new. A friend of mine and his missus got jobs there as principal and Chinese language teacher but haven't started yet. Their salaries are very good.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore International is under the umbrella of Kinderworld corporation. In many of the smaller cities in Vietnam, they offer the best job opportunities. The one in Danang has a great reputation, and it's very difficult to find jobs with them as their teachers usually stay around for years and years. I've heard from some of my friends who teach there that there can be a lot of politics involved, but is still a great place to work overall.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know, Expatluke. I read some bad stuff about the Hanoi campus especially but I'm not interested in working there. I wonder if these campuses are franchises? That could explain how different campuses have different reputations.
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bmaw01



Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree with Ralph's statement. I worked in South Korea for 2 years. It was an academy. Although the hours were long I was always paid on time and I got my end of the year contract bonuses. I had a fairly good time in South Korea and I wish to go back.

I also know teachers who were dating Korean women while I was there. At times they had been harassed but it's nothing that they couldn't handle. When I was there I didn't date Korean women. My girl is form Thailand! Very Happy

Sadly age can be a factor is South Korea, but this is only the issue if you're going to work in a hagwon. You have a teaching degree so I don't think you want to stoop so low. Try your luck at an International School. You might have to wait until next year though.

Take what people say on this forum with a grain of salt. There are a lot of miserable forum members who have a grudge against South Korea. Maybe they got beat up by an ajumma during their stay in Korea. Laughing

I teach special education. I went on a Thai forum and asked if there were openings for special ed teachers in SE Asia. I got a few nasty responses. I had people tell me that my degree was useless and they don't do special education in Asia. They were wrong! I have an interview with an International School located in Vietnam this week. The pay is $2,200 USD a month. I was making about the same in Korea.

Finally , I will leave you with this. Life is short. Think about that for a minute. You said that you're 50. Barring any illnesses you can expect to live mid 70's. That's only 25 years and they go fast! My mother died when she was 65. She was sick for about 5 years, and she just died one night. It was quick. I'm 44 years old. I know I only have about 30-35 years left.

My favorite quote on making major life choices is by Steve Jobs.

Quote:
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand the feeling of being sick of a country. I'm sick of Mongolia but if someone asks, I try to tell them the good, bad and ugly sides of life here.

Korea is my second choice. I'm going to try Vietnam this summer, hopefully land an international school job, and stay as long as I enjoy it. If it doesn't work out I can try elsewhere, probably Korea.

As far as my age, I think I have a lot more years than 25 left, based on lifestyle and genetics. Barring accident or disease, of course. But working years is something I need to consider because of retirement issues.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, bmaw01
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bmaw01



Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emgee,

I was going with average life expectancy. Hopefully you'll live to be 100! Very Happy

Good luck!
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father died at 66 after only couple of years retirement from a job he had hated all his life - though TBH I think it wasn't much worse than most jobs - jobs are just no fun to do day in day out for 40 years.

That's why I teach English. It is as far from working for a living as I can get. It is still work of course but it is not irksome.

You can be lazy and get by on very little effort while spending your energy on something else you enjoy - or you can put more into teaching and get more out of it. In Vietnam you can work part time and still get by - which is useful.

I don't expect to live to a ripe old age - in many ways I don't want to. I'd rather enjoy life in my 40s-50s-60s than worry about my 70s and 80s.

Maybe that's foolish and the ants will doubtless tut tut at my grasshopper lifestyle. So be it.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Skarper, I left a high-paid and high-stress career to teach English. I used to make $150k (gross) in a good year but didn't enjoy the long hours and lack of free time. Now I'm lucky to make $25-30k (net) but the quality of life is better: I enjoy my job and have lots of free time.

The moral of the story is: money isn't everything.
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bentanddisfunctional



Joined: 19 Oct 2010
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EmGee wrote:
Anybody know anything about the Singapore International School in Vung Tau, on the coast south-east of HCMC? I have an opportunity to teach there. I've done some research and SIS seems not to have a great rep but the Vung Tau campus is fairly new. A friend of mine and his missus got jobs there as principal and Chinese language teacher but haven't started yet. Their salaries are very good.


yes I know a friend who has reasonably recent experience working at that campus.
didn't know the current principal was leaving- that may be news to him Shocked

Usual politics but working for a western boss and not having to deal with a vietnamese overseer is a plus.

Salary is OK although you're taxed at 25% Evil or Very Mad
A pretty good gig with the plus of living in vung tau Very Happy
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply bentanddisfunctional.

I'm not sure of my friend's exact position at the Vung Tau SIS campus. I believe it's some kind of management position. He said he'd be responsible for hiring new teachers in the future, so surely not just a teacher.

25% tax seems extreme for a developing country! What will I get for my tax money? First world medical care, great services and infrastructure? Haha, I'm sure I'll get nothing. I guess I should negotiate my salary in take home (net) terms. I'm aiming for $2700+ Month and free housing (or good housing allowance) because that's what I'm getting now in Mongolia which is also a poor developing country.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two tax rates - if you live here more than 6 months you are supposed to pay 10% - but what with the visa/WP shambles and widespread failure of schools to obtain WP for teachers - 25% is common. Often this money is deducted but just kept by the school - and there is nothing you can do about it. You get nothing for your tax as far as I can tell - same as most countries really.
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