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My experience moving to Vietnam
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:05 am    Post subject: My experience moving to Vietnam Reply with quote

So I previously taught in Korea and decided to move to Vietnam.

For reference I am a white male native speaker with a university degree, multiple years verifiable experience, teaching license from the states, and a 120 hour online TEFL certificate.

So I arrived in HCMC Feb 10th. I wanted to relax for the first month so didn't really look for any work.

After that month I sent out emails and or applied to all the major language centers in HCMC.

Most of them I didn't hear back from and a few told me they didn't need any new teachers atm. Only 1 school initially replied and offered me a part time job. I later when on an interview with a 2nd school but was not offered a job. But I think they wanted a full time teacher and I just wasnt a good fit. I wanted part time and preferred older students while they had mostly young students.

At the school that hired me, it took a lot of time to jump through all the hoops and begin teaching. About 1 month from my 1st interview until my first class.

After a month at this job another school contacted me and asked me to come for an interview and demo. They offered me a job.

This 2nd job is less funded and organized as my primary job.

Pay for each is about 18-19 dollars an hour after tax.

Been working now for a bit over 2 months. Currently at 22 hours a month.

But this changes due to classes only running 2-4 months at both centers.

You much be offered classes so stability is a problem here compared to Korea.

I was expecting to be hired or get more responses from the major centers.

Advice for teachers here, network network network. Hit the streets meeting people and going into lesser known language centers.

Working part time means no work permit so I have to leave the country and reenter every 3 months.

As for other aspects of life. Cost of living is dirt cheap.

Meat + rice + small veggie = 1-2 dollars

Soup / Noodle dishes = 1-2dollars

Subway sandwhich = .50cent

Renting a room in a house or apartment will cost 200-300 dollars. And you can find ones that are serviced for that price as well. If 250-300 id recommend finding a new or refurbished place. If you want more space then you can rent larger places or studios for 400-600. I lived at 3 places and paid 1 months deposit for each place.

You can either buy a motorbike used for 200-500 dollars or buy a new one 1,000-2,000 dollars. Or you can rent a bike for 50 dollars a month. Will need photocopy of passport and a deposit. My deposit is 50 dollars.

Public transportation is fairly good and cheap. Only like 5,000 dong. Google maps and a few Bus apps you can download for bus route info.

For banking most banks require your passport and a work contract to open an account. If you want to send money home you will need proof of pay / salary. If not you can just use Western Union for a fee of like 10 bucks or something.

For phones, you can get a prepaid SIM from any of the big yellow phone stores. 5 dollars will last you 2-4 weeks of data.

My primary job gives each class a feedback form and grades the teachers. Then uses that for giving teachers more hours or new classes. I am not the funny type lax teacher so I don't imagine I will be getting high marks. So that has me a little stressed and planning for possible backup plans.

Overall, I really like Vietnam. Offers a good lifestyle if you can manage the heat and rain.

Only other complaint is the nightlife. Very limited and over priced. Went to a place called Play last week and the cheapest drink on the menu for 10 dollars.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info.

I was recently speaking to a friend out there who lives off 10hrs of work per week: she was saying that she was earning 800$ per month and she is now only living off $700 per month.

Its crazy how low costs can be if you are savvy
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
Thanks for the info.

I was recently speaking to a friend out there who lives off 10hrs of work per week: she was saying that she was earning 800$ per month and she is now only living off $700 per month.

Its crazy how low costs can be if you are savvy


I could live comfortably off 700 a month. Not even being too savy.

Rent 300
Food 150
Fun 100
Misc 100

If I didn't care about the size of my room and was a homebody / didn't date, I could live off much lower, about 300-400 a month.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SinaloaParcero wrote:
tellersquill wrote:
Thanks for the info.

I was recently speaking to a friend out there who lives off 10hrs of work per week: she was saying that she was earning 800$ per month and she is now only living off $700 per month.

Its crazy how low costs can be if you are savvy


I could live comfortably off 700 a month. Not even being too savy.

Rent 300
Food 150
Fun 100
Misc 100

If I didn't care about the size of my room and was a homebody / didn't date, I could live off much lower, about 300-400 a month.


Wow, $500 was the lowest I heard of someone living off.

Renting a motorbike is sometimes a hidden cost as well
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:


Wow, $500 was the lowest I heard of someone living off.

Renting a motorbike is sometimes a hidden cost as well


Motorbike rent is in my Misc category.

Although honestly renting a motorbike is stupid if you are in Vietnam more than 3 months. Better to just buy one.

Vietnam can be dirt cheap if you want it.

150 for a clean cheap small room. (lived in one for 2 months)

100 dollars for food a month.

100 misc for a month

If someone didn't go out partying or many dates, can live off 300-350 easy.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 743

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess different people have different ideas of what "living" is. For me, I wouldn't consider staying in a tiny room and having no social life to be living. I think most people strive to live better than that.

But if most of your hobbies are centered around a computer and the internet, you could probably live happiply sitting in your room for most of yge day. Of course, that begs the question of why wouldnt you just go teach in KSA and make much, much more money?

I don't party at all anymore, but i do like to go out for a nice dinner with the wife each week. And I like to be able to afford to buy things when I like and travel on breaks. But tp each their own!
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExpatLuke wrote:
I guess different people have different ideas of what "living" is. For me, I wouldn't consider staying in a tiny room and having no social life to be living. I think most people strive to live better than that.

But if most of your hobbies are centered around a computer and the internet, you could probably live happiply sitting in your room for most of yge day. Of course, that begs the question of why wouldnt you just go teach in KSA and make much, much more money?

I don't party at all anymore, but i do like to go out for a nice dinner with the wife each week. And I like to be able to afford to buy things when I like and travel on breaks. But tp each their own!


Sure everyone has different needs and wants.

Personally, I need an average size room and like to date a lot ie coffee, movies, bars, clubs, beach trips etc.

So for me I need to be in the 700-800 dollar range. However, if I was a homebody and just stayed on my computer or video games I could live for much less.

As for KSA vs Vietnam.

Pretty sure if is a little bit more difficult to get a job in KSA compared to Vietnam. Just my guess. Not even mentioning the difference in food.

Living at the end of the day is just being happy and satisfied in your life. Which can vary greatly.

People tend to think their idea of living is better than others.

Which is a bit foolhardy imo.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 1288

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

22 hours a month at 18-19$ is like $400.

If I were you I'd be worried. Although having looked around at various sites it does seem there is plenty of work going.

A problem does seem to be though that most places will give you say 5 hours a week, so you need to tie 4 or 5 of those together to get anything together.

Cost of Living seems super cheap, less than $400 is an unreal amount to be paying to live.
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LarssonCrew wrote:
22 hours a month at 18-19$ is like $400.

If I were you I'd be worried. Although having looked around at various sites it does seem there is plenty of work going.

A problem does seem to be though that most places will give you say 5 hours a week, so you need to tie 4 or 5 of those together to get anything together.

Cost of Living seems super cheap, less than $400 is an unreal amount to be paying to live.


That was a typo. 22 hours a week. Not a month.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 587

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serious question to the OP - how long are you planning on living / working in Vietnam?

In many ways I can see the attraction of working there. The overall lifestyle, the beaches, the vibe etc etc. Especially if you are young and want to try something different for a while. Or if you are experienced and tired of the western corporate grind.

But when you start to crunch the numbers, it does paint a rather scary picture for the long-termers. Unless you fit into one of the categories mentioned above, you need to be saving at least USD 2,000 per month in order to a) eventually retire at a reasonable age and b) be able to enjoy that retirement (I'm over generalising here but I believe my point is valid).

There are a lot of arguments about maintaining a good work / life balance and having a low-stress lifestyle, but all that goes out the window when you have to continue working past 70 years old with no safety net.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 1288

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree on the $2000 figure, after a year it's enough for a deposit on a home which can then pay off the mortgage on it etc.

However, I make around $2400 a month working online. If I made enough in Vietnam to live [say $800 or so] I could in theory save the chunk of my online money
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 587

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LarssonCrew wrote:
However, I make around $2400 a month working online.


That's in addition to the income from your 'regular' job right?
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jmbf wrote:
Serious question to the OP - how long are you planning on living / working in Vietnam?

In many ways I can see the attraction of working there. The overall lifestyle, the beaches, the vibe etc etc. Especially if you are young and want to try something different for a while. Or if you are experienced and tired of the western corporate grind.

But when you start to crunch the numbers, it does paint a rather scary picture for the long-termers. Unless you fit into one of the categories mentioned above, you need to be saving at least USD 2,000 per month in order to a) eventually retire at a reasonable age and b) be able to enjoy that retirement (I'm over generalising here but I believe my point is valid).

There are a lot of arguments about maintaining a good work / life balance and having a low-stress lifestyle, but all that goes out the window when you have to continue working past 70 years old with no safety net.


Only 1 year.

After I plan to go teach at International Schools in Middle East or China.

I will purchase a house and rent it out while I am teaching abroad.

My 20s was to have fun and travel. Now in my 30s I plan to save and invest.

Although, it is not really for retirement. I am thinking about business and investing wise. I don't plan on retiring. Will be working and earning money in some capacity until I die.

Even if I fail and lose everything I still wouldnt be too worried. The government doesn't let people die on the street. Not even including any kids one might have for support.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 587

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SinaloaParcero wrote:
Only 1 year.

After I plan to go teach at International Schools in Middle East or China.

I will purchase a house and rent it out while I am teaching abroad.

My 20s was to have fun and travel. Now in my 30s I plan to save and invest.

Although, it is not really for retirement. I am thinking about business and investing wise.


This makes a lot of sense. Good answer.

SinaloaParcero wrote:

I don't plan on retiring. Will be working and earning money in some capacity until I die.


If it's out of choice, I respect that. If it's out of necessity, I find that rather sad.

SinaloaParcero wrote:
Even if I fail and lose everything I still wouldnt be too worried. The government doesn't let people die on the street.


I'm not sure about this one. People die on the street all the time. Even in first world countries. I wouldn't rely on it if I were you.
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jmbf wrote:
SinaloaParcero wrote:
Only 1 year.

After I plan to go teach at International Schools in Middle East or China.

I will purchase a house and rent it out while I am teaching abroad.

My 20s was to have fun and travel. Now in my 30s I plan to save and invest.

Although, it is not really for retirement. I am thinking about business and investing wise.


This makes a lot of sense. Good answer.

SinaloaParcero wrote:

I don't plan on retiring. Will be working and earning money in some capacity until I die.


If it's out of choice, I respect that. If it's out of necessity, I find that rather sad.

SinaloaParcero wrote:
Even if I fail and lose everything I still wouldnt be too worried. The government doesn't let people die on the street.


I'm not sure about this one. People die on the street all the time. Even in first world countries. I wouldn't rely on it if I were you.


Working till I die is by choice. And by working I mean passively overseeing my investments. At least when and if I get to a point I can not move around good.

People that die on the street are drug addicts. There are homeless shelters and food banks to keep anyone going.

This is not even mentioning the welfare check and government housing one can get.

But hopefully a person has had some kids that will be able to look after them if they fall on hard times.

I don't plan on relying on any of it. But I aint gonna live my life scared and stressed over it either.

Life is about balance.
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