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visa confusion
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Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

24 contact hours per week, but I will be expected to stay on campus 8hours per day. I guess that's the big downside to this job. I hope it will be bearable.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, also, how many days in a week? You can find that some of these places can keep you so occupied that the effective rate drops to half of what the advertised rate is. One other point, you may not find that the social life there is very compelling, and with the accommodation provided, you may also find that is not conducive to some of your social activities as well. Anyway, as you state you do not have good job options in your native country, this may be a good enough place to get started, and then work your way towards something that will be more fulfilling as time goes on. Or, it may actually work out. Not saying that I see big warnings (other than they are hiring you to teach English and you are not from a native English speaking country, which is a bit of a question mark). But just the learning curve here means most of us will just hire into something that does not work out on our first job. Hope it works out for you.
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manaroundthetown



Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do not need a work permit to work in Vietnam, all you need is a visa.
Most of the English teachers that I know do not have a work permit and many of them have never had a WP but have been teaching in Vietnam for many years.

Your salary of 2000 plus 300 housing allowance is very good for an English teacher. My suggestion is to spend about 500-600 USD for a nice apt and your total expenses will be a maximum of 1000-1200 a month. you will be able to save 12000-15000 a year, not bad. Oh well,
I hope you can manage and i guess life is a beach.

I hope that English teachers salaries are reduced in Vietnam, way too much money, the salary should be similar to Thailand about 1000 USD a month enough to have a good life.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 396
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manaroundthetown wrote:
You do not need a work permit to work in Vietnam, all you need is a visa.
Most of the English teachers that I know do not have a work permit and many of them have never had a WP but have been teaching in Vietnam for many years.

Your salary of 2000 plus 300 housing allowance is very good for an English teacher. My suggestion is to spend about 500-600 USD for a nice apt and your total expenses will be a maximum of 1000-1200 a month. you will be able to save 12000-15000 a year, not bad. Oh well,
I hope you can manage and i guess life is a beach.

I hope that English teachers salaries are reduced in Vietnam, way too much money, the salary should be similar to Thailand about 1000 USD a month enough to have a good life.


You need a WP so you can get a B2 visa and work here LEGALLY.

Yeah, I agree, let's prepare good lessons, do all the admin work, put up with @&#&# from students and live like a poor student for $1000 Rolling Eyes
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Jbhughes



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B2 is for the foreign owned schools and B3 is for the rest. Not that it really matters, of course.
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manaroundthetown



Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foreigners who are planning on working in Vietnam should uderstand the cost of living in Vietnam. So, I pay 500 USD for a furnished two bedroom apt in Dist 7, the apt is very nice and has a swimming pool. Other expenses include food, beer, transport etc, this costs about 600 USD a month. This is for two people, includes eating out 3-4 nights a week and a lot of beer-beer costs less than one dollar and im not talking about bia hoi grap. We do not really have a budget, but we dont go to expensive bars or restaurants, but eat good food. Anyway, if thats how a student lives more power to them. I thought that most people who have WP dont get visas but get a non residence permit isnt that the main reason to get the wp so you can get the permit and not hasle with the visas and the non residence permit is much cheaper than getting visas.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 396
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, you can live well for $1000 a month, but I don't want to be working when I'm over 60ish and as there's no pension plan here, you need to be saving for the future. On a wage of a grand a month you'll be singing for your supper when you're old.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valaki wrote:
24 contact hours per week, but I will be expected to stay on campus 8hours per day. I guess that's the big downside to this job. I hope it will be bearable.


How many hours of admin work are expected? Can you get it all done during the 8 hour day or will you be putting in a few hours every night and Saturday? Some schools here will suck the life out of you. This is a place where people often work 12 hours a day for 7 days a week for a few hundred dollars a month. A 40 hour work week doesn't seem very realistic.
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Oh My God



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valaki wrote:
24 contact hours per week, but I will be expected to stay on campus 8hours per day. I guess that's the big downside to this job. I hope it will be bearable.


Sounds like one of the Leescam schools. I would avoid Dr. Lee at all costs!
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Rabbit81



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:
Sure, you can live well for $1000 a month, but I don't want to be working when I'm over 60ish and as there's no pension plan here, you need to be saving for the future. On a wage of a grand a month you'll be singing for your supper when you're old.


It think A LOT of people should be listening to this post.

I have personally witnessed people going broke after years and years of teaching - and it is ugly. Frightening.

I know a few people who were literally walking down the street asking me for "anything." Anything I could spare. 20K Dong. 50K 100K, to eat.

It is OK to "srew off for a couple of years, but make sure you at least save. And by "save" I mean at least $1,000 USD per month, and put the money somewhere.

As you get older you will NOT get many jobs teaching if you stay in EFL and you will have a LOT of difficulty getting gainful employment in the West, where everyone has a dollar placed on their head.

It is very easy to fall through the cracks.

A motorbike accident. Diagnosis requiring an operation. Havine a child. And honestly, even getting married.

Many of my friends that married Vietnamese women work a lot of hours. Some are directors. And many of these friends of mine will be on the streets of Asia in their 60s begging.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh My God wrote:
Valaki wrote:
24 contact hours per week, but I will be expected to stay on campus 8hours per day. I guess that's the big downside to this job. I hope it will be bearable.


Sounds like one of the Leescam schools. I would avoid Dr. Lee at all costs!


I know some teachers who've worked there.

I think advertising in California Universities for teachers and then firing them before they finish their first contract is the paradigm of what's wrong with just 'coming here' regardless of the country. I just can't imagine doing all the work and all the personal investment to come to a foreign country and then being fired and homeless with only the money in your pocket after a couple months. More or less. Young women seem to be the target. Its possible they will offer you a job at $15/hr for few hours a week if you write the good doctor a letter and beg. I wouldn't beg too much if female.

Every school has turnover. These schools have higher than average turnover compounded by frivolous firings. Teachers that leave do so when they discover they can make much more money with far less work. That's not as easy as it sounds. The place operates like a cult. You will be isolated and pressured to remain so.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:39 pm    Post subject: back to the OP Reply with quote

Getting back to the OP, I did the math, if this is 5 days a week, it is about 11.70 per hour. He is going to work at a uni, not a Lee Cam school. That rate of pay does not factor in the housing, which should be worth about another 1 or 2 an hour, you have to see the housing to be sure on that. There could be some good things about the job, but having looked at the deal online a bit, I rather get the feeling they are trying to find people who will look like native speakers without the financial demands of true native speakers. This may be good enough for you, considering the economy in your home country. It may actually be a decent job. But based on how most things work here, my guess is that it is more likely a deal where they are taking advantage of you. I see some places who go after the Filipino teachers directly as they cost less and know they have less leverage in the job market. One of them asks the applying teachers to "express their eagerness to work" when applying. Maybe that is just a goofy ad done by a Filipino already working there who has a weak grasp of English, or maybe that is what they really expect from these folks. I think it is pretty obvious that the job market is hardening into various levels. Some employers prefer these Filipinos and other nationalities specifically because they will work for less. Not sure how low they go, I think all the way down to 8 bucks an hour. Most schools are still seeking true native speakers from the desirable countries (who also look Anglo) because that is what they think an English teacher should be (and look like). Some schools want that, but are quite happy with those native speakers who are not that serious, just have the native accent and will put up with $15 an hour and whatever bs the school will dish out. There are a few places that really want quality employees, and they will pay more, how much more depends, but those start at about $20 and go up from there. Interestingly, teachers who are at that higher skill level may find that their resumes are ignored when applying to schools that are seeking these lower level workers. My wild guess:

10% of the jobs are these bs volunteer jobs, where they have minimal pay or even effectively no pay, God only knows what nationalities end up in those, but I do think they get mostly gullible young westerners. Some of these even cost the teacher to do the job!

15% of jobs are designed for the non native speakers from any western nation where they look like native speakers of English but they are not, as well as nominal English speakers from the Phils, Nigeria, and wherever else I forget to mention. $8 to $12 an hour.

60% of jobs are for the (mostly) young people from the U.S., U.K., Canada, maybe Ireland, oh yeah, Australia and New Zealand. These are the jobs for folks who do not stay in ESL for long, who often drink a lot, often smoke, who often forget to shave, who do not dress professionally, and probably who spend a lot of time playing games in their classes. $15 an hour, in the south, maybe $18 in the north.

15% of jobs are for folks from those same countries for people who are highly capable and serious. I think if it does not pay at least $20, it is not in this tier.

There can be some crossing over. There are a few non native speakers who are quite serious and professional who eventually get higher paying jobs, maybe teaching business skills or something other than pure English. Some of the Filipinos are quite serious and may work their way into the middle bracket, maybe even the upper one.

These are very rough numbers, I could be off somewhat, or a lot, feel free to chime in with your estimates on this.

I do think that the north pays another 10 to 20 percent, and should. Not the same happy life up there, though in some cases it can work out okay.
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Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't take the job after I requested an apartment from them instead of hotel accommodation (I need to cook at home - gluten intolerant).

They declined, saying only those with a work permit (which they are supposed to provide) can get one.

BTW TEFL is a side project for them. The company is one of the mega property developer conglomerates in Vietnam.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Didn't take the job after I requested an apartment from them instead of hotel ...
BTW TEFL is a side project for them. The company is one of the mega property developer conglomerates in Vietnam.


Well, sounds like you made the right decision, but I think the real danger then related to your last comment about mega developer. You may not know all this, not being here, but those folks are in a world of hurt right now (generally speaking, not saying I have researched this particular one). They have mostly gotten into various fields they know nothing about (like housing, when their expertise, if they have any, is something else), and then they have mostly tried to way overbuild high end housing in a low end country, and so now prices on this stuff are dropping upwards of 50% and projects are in suspense all over the nation.

Any guys coming over for a job should realize, it is all pot luck over here. You usually at least get paid for the hours you put in (although even there you can have a few surprises), but I would never come over from another country based on the promises of any one employer. If you are coming anyway and can afford to kick around until you do get this thing going for you, then that is another story. I continue to think the very best profile for working here is having enough passive income to survive without these guys, and therefor being in a position of strength. Teachers of the higher levels may find themselves looking around quite some time between better jobs, even being somewhat of a unique profile, the big majority of jobs is this mickey mouse stuff that wants the young person with a higher level of need that they can control (yea even jerk around).

OP, thanks for letting us know how it was resolved. It is always of value for us to see what actually happens, even though often folks do not want to tell the story, as it is often a disappointment. Sounds like "You made the right call."
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BenE



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When looking at the top 15% tier jobs in the North I think you'd be surprised to find that more people have access to them than you might think. Maintaining the demands for a job that pays $30 can be the challenge. RES is a good example for this as they hire and fire a large number of.teachers but have some of the best (related to student satisfaction) on $40 per hour. Vietnam AFAIK caters for a very broad spectrum of teachers. I really hope it doesn't become a '$1000 a month lifestyle choice' because this would scare off the good teachers here who see it as a profession.
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