Moving To Vietnam

by Tash Young
(Fords Bridge, Australia)

I Give You Just One

I Give You Just One

Hi! My name is Tash.

My dad has lived in Vietnam for 3 years and I went and visited him for a month a few weeks ago, I only got back last week.... While I was over there I went shopping (duh) and a woman gave me her number at the markets and said when I was back next to contact her because some of her friends wanted to be taught English.

Now, I'm thinking "whoa. how easy is this!?". So I've come back to Australia and my boyfriend and I have been offered by dad to live there for the rest of the year (I will probably be there for longer, but Jack wants to join the Army next year, so he wont be able to stay)... and I've been searching my butt off trying to find places for us to work (I haven't said Jack will only be there for 3 months), but a lot of the places seem to not want to hire me because I don't have a degree.

I'm 18 and Jack is 19, and without sounding like a have a stick up my butt, we're both fairly good looking and fresh faced (not to mention not drunks, as I see you have mentioned isn't the best thing to be in your posts)... I'm sort of reluctant to get up the money to pay for flights ($1600 between us) and visa's and all the other stuff we're going to have to pay for if we're going over there without jobs waiting for us.

And I'm not sure how to convince my dad that it's a good idea either (us going over without jobs). How will we get one when we go there? And we wont have working visa's either, cause of the no degree thing. We can do the online course things that are like 100 hours or whatever.. but then some places said to have a minimum of 120 hours WITH supervision.

we live in the outback of new south wales so there's no way that's happening before we leave. I can't live here anymore. It's driving me insane. Going to Vietnam opened my eyes to how much I'd "settled" for where I am and what I'm doing (pretty much being a house wife, when I had a scholarship to do medicine at uni when I left school last year) and I'll be heartbroken if I took all this time convincing Jack Vietnam will be amazing and finally got him to say yes.. and then can't go...


x tash


Reply from

Wow. That's a lot to digest, Tash. Enthusiasm isn't something you lack. A little indecision perhaps but that is normal. You have already decided that you are going somewhere but I don't think you're so sure it will be or even should be, Vietnam as your destination.

Stop and think for a bit about Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia or even the warmer parts of China. All the things about Vietnam that seemed wild and crazy while on holiday quickly become somewhat different when you are tied to a routine that includes a job, a lease and a down payment (Damage deposits of up to 3 months in advance) on wherever you decide to live.

It's easier with you, though. The sheer mass of info you've given here tells me a lot. People seem to forget that presentation is so important and it makes a difference if you are Fat, Ugly and Old.

It's just reality.

I say let your brain cool a little, Tash. Your trip to Vietnam has opened your mind and stirred your curiosity. The entire way you once interpreted the world has changed so go slow.

I'll try to answer your questions point by point. To be honest though, every one of the 'problems' you've listed are easily overcome. So. Is your question just 'Should I do it?'

Don't Worry About The Degree

The schools can't legally advertise a job to a person with no degree. If you inquire, they will insist that you must have a degree. Once you get them alone in a private atmosphere, everything will change.

They will hire you long before they will a 42 year old man with a Master Degree in Teaching English; can also speak Vietnamese, and can even blow bubbles out of his ears.

The TEFL Course

It helps to have one. The 100 hour course can be done purely online but the 120 hour course requires you to be observed doing 20 hours of practicum.

It's cheaper to do it in Vietnam and many of the better companies will hook you up with work afterward. You can't do the CELTA without a degree but a TEFL will find you work faster and secure you a higher salary in Vietnam.

Worth getting if you have 0 experience. Just weigh the benefits first but it will make your life immensely easier for it. Do it and I guarantee you'll be working in days and within 3 months, making $1800USD a month on 25 hour weeks.

You'll have a palace of a home, drive your own motorbike and will be able to take care of your man if he's not going to work ... easily done.

You will probably be able to pocket $1000USD per month. The first few months won't be quite so easy until you prove yourself.

The Vietnam Visa

Just go in on a one month tourist visa. Then head to a travel agent ans shop around for the best deal on a six month multiple entry visa.

That is all you'll need but lately (August 2010) they (Travel Agents, Border Guards, Local Bread-makers) are really gouging on the prices. Some places will ask you for $250USD for that 6 month visa.

If you have a close look at the visa, you'll see the price is only meant to be $35USD or maybe $40 by now. Corruption is alive and well in Saigon!

Just keep shopping. Ask expat you will see everywhere in the cafes, dressed as teachers. They can be really helpful. Either way. I guarantee that you'll get that visa and it doesn't matter if you have a degree or not. Is all about the money.

That's all I got, Tash. Please feel free to come back here and tell us how it goes, maybe help some others out. Sometimes they just need reassurance and my lone voice can get tiresome to some.

Stay in the pan,


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Oct 21, 2011
Cost of Living Vietnam
by: Mylien

Hi, how it's going. My name is Marilyn and my Vietnamese name is Mylien. I'm a US citizen, born and raised in the US.

Anywho, its been 11 years sinced I've been to vietnam. It was an eye opening experience. And I'm considering to moved back to Vietnam, I'm 21 and my husband is 25. I have no certification for nursing yet but I'm taking classes.

I'm looking for an estimate on rent and utilities. So I can convinced my husband.


Reply from

You want an estimate on Rent and Utilities or cost of living in Vietnam? I can't really give you an answer because there are so many variables.

You have not been to Vietnam in 11 years. You will be shocked by the changes to the city and the cost of living increase since Vietnam signed entry into the World Trade Organization (W.T.O).

Do You Speak Vietnamese well enough to pass as a local?

That is an important question. Native Vietnamese people seem to dislike Viet Kieu, especially if they do not speak good Vietnamese. The result will be higher costs for you.

There are some huge Mansions with 6 bedrooms and 5 floors that people share (Mostly all teachers). They pay about $800USD a Month (For a foreigner).

With 4 people in the same house that brings it to $200USD a Month per person. Utilities usually run on average between $35USD - $80USD per Month. Internet will add another $60USD to that total.

This is all highly speculative. If you use your air-conditioner each night then that alone would double your electric bill.

$250USD a Month will get you a nice place in a decent location but I can't give you an exact figure unless you tell me exactly where you plan to live.

Location plays such an immense role.

I could get you a nice 3 bedroom, 2 story house in Go Vap District for around $150USD a Month. The same house in District 3 or District 7 (Phu My Hung) would cost you closer to $450USD a Month with utilities mostly unchanged.

Again, that all depends on how the local people view you.

If you want to live in a nice location and eat out every night then you could spend $2,000USD a month for the 2 of you. Many easily live on $600USD a month if they are not out at the bars and restaurants all night.

If you have any family there and you speak perfect Vietnamese then you should get Local Prices. Utilities and Rent for local Vietnamese is much lower.

A true foreigner or a Viet Kieu with no Vietnamese language skills will pay Foreigner Prices. It has got progressively more expensive in Vietnam since the good old WTO was signed into action.

Sorry, I can't be more help. There are so many factors that go into a calculation of living expenses in Vietnam and I know too little about you.

My most frugal friend tells me that he gets by (With Vietnamese Girlfriend) on $650USD a Month. He earns about $2,200USD a month.

Then again, it took him 4 years to get as well hooked up as he is.


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