ACPI English Schools
Hi, I'm in Saigon and have been offered an English teaching job at a school ACPI.
I have no certificate or, work visa......I'm in Vietnam to finish a divorce. Does anyone know anything about this school and what to expect or, watch out for??
Canadian guy in Saigon==============================
Answer from Travel-Budget-Asia.com
Well, I went and had a look at ACPI (American College Preparation Institute) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and have some useful advice for you.
But I am also going to consider the fact that you are going through a divorce as part of my reply.
Sorry, I know it's none of my business but...
If you are not Viet Kieu and alone in Vietnam as a born and bred Canadian boy then you must be in a lot of pain with so little support around you in the form of family and close friends.
Being a foreigner in Vietnam means everything is your fault. Whole families join forces just to make sure you realize that, especially if there are assets to be divided up in the proceedings.
I watched a friend of mine go through a divorce in Vietnam and he isn't the same man because of it. The courts favored the Vietnamese family at every turn and in the end took everything from him (Including visitation rights for his Kids).
I think losing his kids finally broke him. So, I hope you don't have any kids or your situation is different in some way.
I say you get out of Vietnam (Unless it is court ordered that you stay). The city is such a stressful place to live on its own, especially if you drive your own motorbike to and from work everyday.
Take a return flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh is a very quiet place compared to Stress-Rife Saigon and the beaches in Sihanoukville and Kampot are beautiful.
I can also give you some names of people in PP who are in charge of hiring foreign teachers for their schools. Just ask. And I hope you take good care of yourself.
ACPI is just above the bottom-feeder English schools in Vietnam. They claim to run the same curriculum as El Camino College in California. I bet El Camino knows nothing of this.
This school mainly caters to children on weekends and a few evening classes for adults. The Adult classes will be the full-time teachers' responsibility and are most sought after.
They have 2 full-time teachers and then they hire as many other foreign teachers as they can and divide the hours up according to how popular you are with the students.
You will be 'Teaching English' starting at 8am on Saturday mornings with a class of 40 kids ranging in age from 5 - 15. You will be astounded at the amount of debilitating noise they can make.
So at worst you'll get 5 hours on both Saturday and Sunday and then another 2 hour shift or 2 during the week.
So 12 - 16 hours will be where you start. Never take less than $12 an hour unless you're really desperate because most schools will at least do $12 but offer $10 at first or even as little as $8 if you are not dressed well and look like a drinker.
Your best bet is to walk into the school, ask around for whom to talk to about a job and then get the details about the job. Don't phone them or Email them. Vietnamese people seem unable to envision a situation as real until they see it with their own eyes.
Send an Email and they just see an Email. Stand at the foot of their desks and they suddenly equate you as a real, breathing human. Dunno why. Culture?
Questions to ask:
How many hours a week?
How much per hour?
What time are the classes?
How old are the students?
You won't like the answers.
If you are going to stay in Saigon and want to teach English then start by visiting the schools we listed on the Teaching English in Vietnam Page.
Tell them up front what credentials you have because you'll get hired or not hired based on how well you perform in the "Demo Class", which is part of the interview process.
Here are the people, the contact information and everything you'll need to find out more about this school.
Good luck to you and I hope you end up with some good people around you, whatever you choose to do.
About ACPI (American College Preparation Institute)
Details of the "Man in Charge" at ACPI:
Bach V. Pham
33 Dinh Tien Hoang Street
Ward 3, Binh Thanh District, HCM City, Vietnam
Tel: (84 8) 841-2378
Fax: (84 8) 291-2641
Mobile Phone: 090 931 2886
If you are already in Vietnam, jump on a motorbike taxi and give him this address written in Vietnamese:
P. 33-35 Dinh Tien Hoang,
P. 3, Q. 3, Q. Bình Thanh (gon Cu Bông), TP.
Binh Thanh District (near the Bong Bridge), TP. HCM City