CELTA / TEFL Courses in Vietnam?

by David
(Seoul, S.Korea)

Hi again Phil, Seoul Man here,

So I am really considering procuring a teaching certificate within my first month in South East Asia. I'm interested in a 4-week intensive course, and was wondering if you could recommend any specific schools that offer the CELTA or TEFL in HCMC?

I wouldn't be apposed to doing it in Thailand either, so long as it's not more expensive.

As I mentioned before, I am qualified in all areas (BA, experience, baby-blues) except for this teaching certificate... its no biggy in Korea, just an extra perk for your resume if you have one really, but it sounds like it's a big deal to have a 120-hour course for legit employment in 'Nam. I know that the CELTA is the 'top-dog', but any 120 TEFL certification is legit, right????

Also~ do you reckon that $3,500 is enough money to pay for the course AND survive in the city long enough to complete the 4 weeks, find a job after completion and make it to my first pay-day?

Thanks again my friend,



Hey, Seoul Man.

What the heck are you talking about? I don't recommend you seek out a 140 hour TEFL course unless you have Zero experience and don't know the difference between a noun and an adjective.

It is no different in Vietnam than in Korea. Your statement "It's no biggy in Korea, just an extra perk for your resume" is an apt description of what a TEFL is in Vietnam.

Unless you plan on applying to work at the very best universities in Ho Chi Minh City. My favorite example of the very best university jobs are at RMIT.

They are in line with what all the biggest, highest paying schools in Vietnam want. They want either the 140 hour TEFL or the CELTA. If this is what you want then get the TEFL or CELTA.

And do neither in Vietnam.

I was happy in a 30 hour a week @ $17USD an hour job. I gave them my resume, they interviewed me, had me do a 20 minute demo class based on the 'Present Perfect Tense' and then hired me.

The demo Class is the real test. You are screwed if you can bore 5 Staff Members you have never met in just 20 minutes.

Plus I started knocking on their doors at the very best time of the year. I probably could have had 1 eyebrow and they would have given me work!

So time your arrival well.

You could get a 30 hour a week @ $17USD an hour job and be happy or you can pay the money for the 140 Hour TEFL course.

If that is good enough for you then you don't need a TEFL. Some people do and rely on it but you don't.

If you can pass the requirement of Korea then you can pass them in Vietnam.

If You Want to Get the TEFL

This is the Company I went through to get my TEFL. They have Internships in Thailand but offer just about any format for doing the TEFL class.

They do online TEFL, In-Class TEFL and even Internships in Thailand and China. The internship Program takes care of all your needs including a month of study and then they guarantee you a 6 month Work visa and a good job teaching English in Thailand after your training.

They even pick you up at the darn airport.

The great benefit is the jobs they guarantee after your training. The TEFL Schools in Vietnam promise the same but rarely deliver. Look into it because I will not name any of the TEFL courses done in Vietnam.

I consider that a disservice to you.

I sat and listened to so many horror stories of the Vietnamese Based TEFL Schools. I don't think Vietnam offers any Foreign-Run TEFL schools so they are ripe for abuse with no standards or competition.

Best if you do it in Thailand.

A CELTA done in Thailand would be cheaper and the real deal.

Just come over to Vietnam, Seoul Man. If you really want the TEFL then there is no better place to research than on the ground, in the trenches and making $17USD while you're doing it.

I could have said all that in 1 sentence. I am out of it on this Friday, Seoul Man.

Do a CELTA in Thailand or Don't do a CELTA in Thailand. Those are the only choices. Do it right or don't do it at all.

Sorry to waste your time with extra info you didn't need or ask for. I only added it for the benefit of others who are lacking in any experience at all.

Parents will soon start shipping their kids off on China Internships once they graduate College and then threaten to move in with them.


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Oct 03, 2011
Teach Vietnam After TET
by: David

Thanks brother~ I am happy you took the extra lines to dissuade my leaning towards the TEFL in HCMC.

I recently learned that the TeT holiday kicks-off in late January this year! Better for me to just bounce in November ready to work


Thanks again,


Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Yup. January 23, 2012 is the start of the TET Holiday in Vietnam.

Most Schools close for up to 30 days so there is little reason to be looking for work before that time and until things return to normal.

That will start in the first week of March 2012.

Even though TET is just supposed to be 10 days long it ends up being a 5-6 week vacation for people teaching English in Vietnam.

Students are quick to get the holiday started ("Teacher! I must leave 3 days early to make the trip to see my family in (Insert small town in Vietnam here)")

Students are also very slow to return, both physically and mentally. They just don't get back to the way they were for weeks.

I don't know, Seoul. You might be too late by late November. Schools begin a slowdown as early as November. It will be tough for you to put any savings together before the big holiday hits.

I actually went over to Cambodia one year because we had 37 days off. Yes, 37. That is unusual but the point is that I took a job in Phnom Penh.

I remember well because just one month later I moved permanently to Cambodia.

It is a better place to live.

I know for a fact that ACE is Hiring. They are the best in Cambodia and pay $2,300USD a month.

Get there and you will be a happy man.

Just some more options for you to think about.



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