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Where to start in Vietnam?
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Where to start in Vietnam? Reply with quote

I'm flying to HCMC next Sunday (June 15th) and I'll probably stay 3-4 weeks. I plan to check out life, apply for jobs and meet some teachers in the HCMC area. I've never been there before so where would be a good base of operations. I hope to land a job for the start of the school year either at an international school or viet national school. I need to return to the UK for 3 weeks in mid-July for a family and document run.

I'd appreciate any tips on where to stay (district and/or good hotels).
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Districts 1 or 3 have the most schools (right guys?). Some folks (myself included) prefer the outlying districts for life, and can still get in to the center pretty easily. If you want to see masses of (so called) teachers, the backpacker's area has by far the greatest concentration of our guys, and has cheap accommodations. Lots of VN and expats willing to give you advice or some kind of service down there. Not that it is all correct or legit, but at least they will talk and offer. Outlying areas often have the intrepids who pretend not to see you when they spot a fellow westerner. Not all are like that, but a lot of them are. Takes longer to get into some kind of groove away from the center, but in the long run it may be better, it sure is for me.

Main thing, you have to have transportation. Taxis will cost, and they will try to take the long route too. If I were starting over, I would hire a NICE VN by the day (week or month) to drag me around. I used some xe oms when I first came, they are not the kind of people you really want to take you around. Plus, they do not know much about the schools, and they do not really speak English most of the time. You can rent a motorbike, but you still get lost for the first couple of months.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great advice Mark. So hire a Vietnamese driver and don't use "xe oms" (motorcycle taxis?)

Any basic but decent hotel recommendations in district 1?
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can use xe oms, but the problem is when you trust them for more than just point A to point B. So a specific address is somewhat okay, but taking you around to various schools is shakier. I bet there are some who could do it, but so many of them are so... And so many of them double as trying to find commercial "relationships", they are a pretty rugged bunch. I have one who is a friend, has been for years, but I sure would not want him to take me to schools. On the other hand, the valley of the shadow of death, yeah, he fits right in. So many of the VN want to act like they can do anything and everything, and obviously they live here and you don't.

Hotels are not the problem you might imagine. Just find your location you want to be, hotels everywhere, then hop around from one to another til you find one you like. If I were starting over, I would actually move around to various districts more. I regret that I stuck so much in particular spots, as it is fun to get to know various areas. I have a nice deal on a house now, plus am tied to my job, so I cannot really move over to each district for a week or two, which would still be fun. This is not a great tourism city, so might as well see the different angles of what it really is.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2029
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EmGee wrote:
Great advice Mark. So hire a Vietnamese driver and don't use "xe oms" (motorcycle taxis?)

Any basic but decent hotel recommendations in district 1?


Take the bus.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2029
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:39 am    Post subject: Re: Where to start in Vietnam? Reply with quote

EmGee wrote:
I'm flying to HCMC next Sunday (June 15th) and I'll probably stay 3-4 weeks. I plan to check out life, apply for jobs and meet some teachers in the HCMC area. I've never been there before so where would be a good base of operations. I hope to land a job for the start of the school year either at an international school or viet national school. I need to return to the UK for 3 weeks in mid-July for a family and document run.

I'd appreciate any tips on where to stay (district and/or good hotels).


Just go to Bui Vien/Pham Ngu Lao streets and get SUCKED in!

Have fun Laughing
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pinot



Joined: 11 Jun 2014
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without wanting to sound rude the true international schools (that teach the IB) will only hire teachers from an English speaking country who also have a teaching qualification from the home country that enables them to teach in public schools. Occasionally one of the 8 schools who are international will hire somebody without this to be an EAL teacher but will insist they get at least an IPGCE while working there. If they employ you in Vietnam and you do not already work in another international school then you will be classed as a local hire and get about £400 a month if you are lucky without any benefits, they did their hiring from September to March for next year and do so by going to international job firs, advertising in teaching journals etc. Any sniff of hiring unqualified people results in the degradation of the reputation so unless you are a fully qualified teacher then you do not have any chance of an international school, sorry just do not want you wasting your time
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'll see how it goes, Pinot. I think there are plenty of private schools that I could teach in that are lower tier than IB schools. I taught in a Russian school in Mongolia and got quite good salary and benefits. I certainly wouldn't consider working for $400 without benefits. I'm shooting for around the same as Mongolia ($2500 plus free housing or decent allowance).
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2029
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EmGee wrote:
Well, I'll see how it goes, Pinot. I think there are plenty of private schools that I could teach in that are lower tier than IB schools. I taught in a Russian school in Mongolia and got quite good salary and benefits. I certainly wouldn't consider working for $400 without benefits. I'm shooting for around the same as Mongolia ($2500 plus free housing or decent allowance).


Laughing ROFL!!!!

NO WAY! Not in Vietnam!

You will be lucky to get $1,500 a month and YOU pay for your own housing! And that will be one of the TOP language schools in VN working Saturday AND Sunday!

There are almost NO private schools in VN! Not in the K-12 area or even at the university level. Almost all K-12 schools and uni's are from the govt. Razz

You CAN work at a PUBLIC SCHOOL through an AGENCY.... I mean... your new EMPLOYER for $15USD per hour, then have them take out "tax", and those are classes of 40 students or more, with NO A/C, maybe NO VNese assistant teacher and NO support.

Enjoy those 333's on Bui Vien...

BTW Saigon Special or Green is the way to go Twisted Evil
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant quasi-international schools that aren't IB or accredited. SIS is one such place.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite right, schools like SIS can and do pay what you're looking for in salary. It's just getting signed up with them that's difficult. SIS requires an education degree to even consider you. Your average ESL teacher with a BA in Art History and the cheapest certificate he could find doesn't qualify.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 400
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the OP is trying to start where most people hope to end up.

Unless the OP is a certified teacher, or is lucky enough to get an RMIT gig or perhaps a spot with the British Council, he will be competing with the myriad of other pleasure seekers in Vietnam; good luck on that one.
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EmGee



Joined: 14 Mar 2014
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got an English degree with a teacher credential and a TEFL certificate. Plus 6 years experience in China and Mongolia. SIS is considering me (I had an interview with them) but I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. I'm not a pleasure seeker exclusively but I do enjoy some social life. I think Thailand or Indonesia would be better choices for a true pleasure seeker but the salaries there are definitely at the low end.
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pinot



Joined: 11 Jun 2014
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are talking about the Singapore International School considering you then you may wish to check out reviews on the paid site of international schools review as they have hired people with no teaching credentials in the past by mistake then when they land they have sent them home, you may also want to check if they are hiring you as a teacher or teaching assistant Unless it is to do some of their summer tefl courses of course but no they will not touch anyone who is not qualified in their home country as a teacher - if word got round the local populace they would be withdrawing their children as they are very picky and demand qualified, accredited teachers
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pinot



Joined: 11 Jun 2014
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a proper read on the review site - apparently they do recruit CELTA teachers for the EFL department BUT they get paid substantially less then the qualified teachers (who get paid $2000 pm) with no benefits included and only 30 days holiday plus have to clock in at 8am and clock out at 5pm. You have to pay for your own flight, visa and would need about $2k to get sorted out for your rental deposit and something to live on until you get paid and there is a clause in the contract that prevents you from working at another asian school for two years (how they do this I have no idea) and if you have been hired as another type of teacher they will send you packing if you are not fully qualified - all the best if you go, sounds like the deal you already have is better, sometimes it is better the devil you know
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