How to secure an ESL job in Vietnam

by Chrissie
(Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Hi and firstly I really like reading all your info about various experiences..

I am a native English speaker from NZ. I am not sure how up to date the questions and answers and other info is on here?

I am a teacher (60 yrs old) teaching ESL in Cambodia. I teach kindergarten in the morning and ESL to young learners in the afternoon at the same school. I have a BA degree as well as a certified TESOL from Trinity, London.

After reading about your information about opportunities in Vietnam and better rates of pay, I thought of trying teaching there. I have sent quite a few replies to job ads that have been posted on various sites but get very few replies even acknowledgement of application.

I am visiting HCMC next week and wondered if just showing up may be the best thing to do. Or is it my age that may be putting them off.

Any hints advice much appreciated.

Cheers Chrissi


Reply from

The information on this website is up-to-date but some posts are a few years old. If anything, the situation in Vietnam has become more in line with the questions and answers posted. The only difference is that work permits are much more widely used and where 6 months visas were once available, only 3 month visas can be acquired.

Are you working at Home of English? I am currently in Cambodia (April, 15th, 2012) and have a friend heading over to AUSP in Vietnam next month to work. He has found the pay here too low for him to save money and is leaving for the money alone.

Chrissi, they are not ignoring you because of your age. Vietnamese employers consider an Emailed resume as an insult.

They don't like to talk to machines in Vietnam. You are not a real person until you stand in front of the HR Staff and hand them your resume in person and give them a local phone number. Some schools will hire directly online but they are not the schools you want to work at.

AUSP would be a good school for you if you are interested in adults. IPS would be a good school if you are more interested in young learners. Both pay exceptionally well. $18USD-$22USD an hour is common but some schools will offer as low as $14USD an hour because you will not have a work permit.

Anyways, showing up is the best thing to do. It is the only thing to do. Look and dress as well as possible, take a resume that includes your experience, a photo and contact information. Get in a cab and go into a list of schools.

Hand your resume in personally and ask to see the manager. They won't even acknowledge your existence until they meet you. Only then will they consider you a serious candidate to fill a position at the school.

Good luck. Vietnam is a very different place from Cambodia. Life is hectic and noise pollution drives some people nuts. It is one of the best places to save money but it is also a more difficult and expensive way of life.


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Teaching English in Vietnam.

subscribe to our free monthly newsletter

The Most Recent Articles

  1. A Phnom Penh Cambodia Tour Guide to all that Makes This City Unique

    Jun 04, 20 04:09 AM

    The attraction to Phnom Penh has always been the freedom, the 50 cent beers, the warm weather, the beaches and the low cost of living

    Continue Reading

  2. Every Cambodia Embassy on the Planet with Location and Contact Info

    May 29, 20 11:07 PM

    The location and contact information for every Cambodia Embassy or Consulate on The Planet

    Continue Reading

  3. The Location of Every Vietnam Embassy Worldwide with Contact Info

    May 28, 20 10:38 PM

    A List of each Vietnam Embassy in the World and How to contact them

    Continue Reading

  4. The Cu Chi Tunnels and the 'Tunnels Rats'

    May 28, 20 08:22 PM

    We visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, just outside Saigon, to marvel at the engineered home to the Viet Cong during the Vietnam war

    Continue Reading

  5. The Best Vietnam Beaches known to Humans

    May 17, 20 03:29 PM

    Many Vietnam Beaches are fishing villages. We visit every beach from South to North Vietnam

    Continue Reading

  6. The Vietnam Train Stations and the Vietnam Train Schedules

    May 17, 20 04:55 AM

    Vietnam Train Stations; their locations, and their schedules

    Continue Reading

  7. The Most Complete Vietnam Travel Guide on the Web

    May 16, 20 04:17 PM

    Our Vietnam travel page offers more insider secrets than anywhere else with regular updates for people planning to visit and those planning to live there

    Continue Reading

  8. Victory Beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia is a Good Choice

    May 16, 20 11:59 AM

    Victory Beach does not have the most stunning beaches or Waters, but it is a Gem of Variety and Peace of Mind

    Continue Reading

  9. How Big is Angkor Wat Gets Answered

    May 10, 20 12:00 PM

    How big is Angkor Wat is a good question with an answer that will shock you

    Continue Reading

  10. The Shanghai Subway and Shanghai Metro System

    May 09, 20 10:48 AM

    The Shanghai Subway system is the only way to get around Shanghai

    Continue Reading