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Is Vietnam Competitive?
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TheSeekerDude



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:33 am    Post subject: Is Vietnam Competitive? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone!

I'm really interested in teaching abroad and out of all of the popular countries for TEFL newbies, I like Vietnam. However is Vietnam getting more competitive than it once was? I have a BA (with high academic marks) but no certificate and it seems like all the online job postings for Vietnam (and most SE Asian countries) require a TEFL. I'm taking a cheapo online course, but my understanding is those are about as useful as writing "TEFL Certificate" in big letters on a piece of white computer paper.

I have considered finding a way to get over to Hanoi or HCMC, but I'm nervous about landing there, finding nothing and being SOL.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks everybody!
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vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:39 am    Post subject: Ignorance is bliss Reply with quote

Dear OP,

I think there is a job for every type of, 'teacher' out here and no I do not think it has become more competitive. I cannot speak for HCMC, though. I guess it will always be competitive for the best university gigs and international schools as there are only a handful in the country. As for the rest, consider it open season.

It is a belief of mine, the fresher you are to the country the more employable you are. Once you have a few battle scars on you, both parties must begin to, 'negotiate' more effectively, and it becomes tiring. It then depends on whether or not you want to continue doing this or bugger off to somewhere else.

The Vietnamese govt. will accept your TEFL on a blank piece of paper, but the foreign run schools will make a hoo-ha about it not having gold leaf lettering.

Once February is done and gone there will be lots of work to choose from.
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deadlift



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 257

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The previous post is correct.

Certain places are very competitive and an online cert will not cut it.

But there are schools that will employ anyone, so you'll not be in danger of not finding anything. So if your resume isn't great, the real consideration comes from Groucho Marx: "I don't care to work at any language school which would consider my application".
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP,

You haven't stated if you want to come to Vietnam for the "experience" or if you're serious about teaching. If it's the former, an online cert will do, but you'll probably find yourself open to being taken advantage of. If you spend the money and do a CELTA, you'll have several more options including the big mills who might take you.

I've heard that HCMC is more competitive than Hanoi due to more people wanting to live there; the better weather and more Western mindset of the locals seems to be the reasons why.

In any case, it's best to have an escape plan; that it, the funds to be without work for 2-3 months and money for a ticket home. I advise anyone in your boat to have some money behind them, as I would anyone coming to a foreign country to teach EFL. One must have a decent amount of funds ($3000+) and a plan B. I practice what I preach and always have money for a rainy day.

Good luck.
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TheSeekerDude



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the replies!

If I fall in love with TEFL I would definitely go for the CELTA or Trinity, however I don't have the money nor do I want to invest in an expensive certificate without at least experience teaching.

I want to do this both for the teaching and the experience abroad. I want to experience a different culture but also give back to that community. But I have no illusions that I'm going abroad primarily to teach first, and explore second.

I really want to avoid jumping on a plane to Hanoi without at least making a solid attempt to find job while I'm here in the states. Is this possible? When the best time to look for job listing? I've scoured various TEFL job sites and it appears listings for Vietnam are scarce.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly I think you (the OP) have zero chance of finding a job from overseas without a proper TEFL cert.

But you have a very good chance of picking up bits and pieces of work within a few days of landing in Hanoi and after about a month or two assuming you can do the work (a question of attitude more than anything) you will have as much work as you can physically do...

A problem is that evening work and weekend work dominates and there is not much daytime work about. So you are limited to about 20 hours a week at 15-20USD an hour. If you can manage on that you will be fine.
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deadlift



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 257

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skarper's right. The few schools that will seriously and honestly recruit from overseas will require more than what you have.

The schools that are likely to hire someone with zero experience and an online cert are the ones that hire primarily from the pool of in-situ teachers to cope with their revolving-door staffing, which is caused by a combination of crap hours / conditions / materials and incompetence, treachery and mendacity on the part of the management.
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
Honestly I think you (the OP) have zero chance of finding a job from overseas without a proper TEFL cert.


I agree with this.

Quote:
But you have a very good chance of picking up bits and pieces of work within a few days of landing in Hanoi and after about a month or two assuming you can do the work (a question of attitude more than anything) you will have as much work as you can physically do...


I think he'll fine *some* work, but it may not be very good work.

Even the lower-tier schools are requiring a celta or 120 hour certificate.

The Hanoian market has tightened due to declining enrollments, IMO. He'll find work, but it may at a dodgy school.

Quote:

A problem is that evening work and weekend work dominates and there is not much daytime work about. So you are limited to about 20 hours a week at 15-20USD an hour. If you can manage on that you will be fine.


Hard to find day work unless you can get a job at the upper-end private primary and secondary schools, but they won't hire him.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP,

I think you won't fall in love with teaching if you work for a crap school with poor facilities, management and resources. You might like it if you find a good school with good working conditions. You have a higher likelihood of finding a good school with a CELTA. As some other people have mentioned, you will find work of some description, but that nature of that work might scare you off teaching for good.

From personal experience, you're better off doing a proper teaching certificate before you start working or else you'll find yourself in a position of having no idea what the hell you are doing. You might still find yourself saying that after the CELTA, but at least you'll have a few tricks up the sleeve.

Try the New Hanoin website for jobs, as well as Dave's.

In short, people in your position are everywhere. Good gigs are hard to find, even with experience and qualifications.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Vietnam is very competitive. We all make $20 and hour, eight hours a day, five or six days a week. We are all treated like a god. You could even say it is paradise, paradise.
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Durian Tango



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 65
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto to what Kurtz said. If you really think you have the desire to teach and would probably do a pretty good job of it and believe doing it for at least a year or two is realistic, then I'd put the money down on a CELTA course. It will make you more employable, increase your chances of earning a higher wage, help you to be able to apply for jobs while abroad and most importantly, actually contribute significantly to you being a better teacher; one who is confident in their abilities and road tested.

Good luck and I wish the best for you
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vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:03 am    Post subject: CELTA Reply with quote

The Celta trainers also teach you how to strip, reassemble and fire a Lee- Enfield rifle. Right after that you go and do a 20km hike through the mountains with full webbing - Only then, are you ready.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need a bachelor's degree, a TEFL or equivalent and a clean criminal record check from your country to work here. If you don't have those then you are at the bottom of the barrel and at the mercy of every employer. They will take advantage. If you've never worked here before then everyone will hold that against you and you'll be at the bottom of the barrel.

Bottom of the barrel is $15 per hour or less for maybe 20 hours a week if they like you. Then you have to pay for accommodation, a bike or driver to get to work and back (public transport is wholly unreliable). So maybe you'll come out with a 6-8 hundred bucks net a month.

That's if the place isn't competitive. If everyone and your sister thinks coming here is a good idea then you won't get 20 hours a week. You'll have to scramble to find hours. Scramble faster than you lose them because the kids in your class don't like you or the TA thinks you're a hack, or your employer gets a kick out of firing people.

This isn't the place to land and make a living. This is the place when you have a pension and want to work for costs.


Last edited by VietCanada on Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry Vietcanada that your working life is so poor. Am I to believe you have 10+ years of experience and you're subjecting yourself to those sort of conditions?
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:
I'm sorry Vietcanada that your working life is so poor. Am I to believe you have 10+ years of experience and you're subjecting yourself to those sort of conditions?


Why on Earth would you think I'm talking about myself? I am reporting what I've seen and heard newbies endure in this country. That's not me as you pointed out.
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