TEFL Qualifications Vietnam

by Kylie
(Leicester, England)

Hi,


My boyfriend and I are both looking to go to Vietnam in September 2011 to teach English.

We are both 28, White British and have a Bachelors degree. I have worked in education since I graduated in 2005 although not as a teacher. I have experience supporting students with English as a second language in the classroom, have completed a 40 hour online TEFL course and attended a weekends TEFL Training.

My boyfriend works in travel and has no experience of TEFL.

We ideally would like to spend the next couple of years travelling the world, teaching English to fund our travels. We have decided to start our experience in Vietnam because it seems like a fascinating, beautiful country and everyone we know who has been has loved it. There appears to be a high demand of English teachers and it seems we would be able to save money to fund our travels.

We were looking to do a 4 week TEFL course that includes at least 6 hours of teaching practice when we first get to Vietnam. We were looking at the CELTA course but it is very expensive considering our limited funds and seems very intense. We are not afraid of working hard but if we could get a similar qualification for less money that would be ideal.

Could you recommend any other TEFL courses in HCMC?

How easy would it be for us both to get a job at the same school?

Once we have 1 years experience teaching English how important is the TEFL qualification that you have?

I'm sorry about the long post but i figure the more info you have the better! This sight has been by far the most helpful and informative of all the ones I have looked at, I look forward to your reply!

Thanks,
Kylie

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Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Hi, Kylie. I wish I could bottle the reason why people on vacation have such fun compared to those who live and work in that very same country. I almost never give personal opinions and usually stick to only answering people's questions.

But...

Why Vietnam? You could make $4,000USD a month over in Korea. Then to South America from there. Ho Chi Minh city has to be the most stressful place I have ever worked.

I had to leave the country every three months of the 3 years I was there, just to gain back my sanity and purge some ulcers. I stayed for 3 years because I got blinded by the cash. I was putting $2,000USD in the bank, every month!

And because they allowed me 2 weeks holiday between semesters, and the money was so good, I stayed a little too long.

Not anymore. The pay has dropped dramatically in the last three years. When the WTO came into Vietnam in 2008, prices soared on everything. So it's gotten more expensive as well.

If your boyfriend can get a job then you'll be fine. With your qualification, I don't really see why you have a question. If you need reassurance, I can help but you have pretty much covered all your bases.

Forgive me, Kylie. That was my last personal remark.

Your Three Main Questions:



Could You Recommend any Other TEFL Courses in HCMC?

There would only be 2 benefits from taking a TEFL course in Vietnam.
1. You would get actual teaching hours in the classroom and
2. You'd get your foot in the door because taking a TEFL earns you exposure in the form of a 3 month guarantee of employment once you've completed the course (So, you basically buy the guaranteed job placement after the course. Get noticed and you won't have trouble finding The Best jobs in Saigon ever again).

But my advice, Kylie, is to lie (Embellish?). The only thing you lack is in-class experience and you can manufacture that with ease. You Said; "I have experience supporting students with English as a second language in the classroom".

No, Kylie. That was 6 months of experience in class teaching students English as a second language. It's not even a lie. That is what you'll write on your resume as experience.

So, now you got it all. You have a degree, experience and an online TEFL. Of the 3, it is the experience that will get you a job. If you did a TEFL then you know how to make a lesson plan.

So, ou write a lesson plan and follow the book they give you. Easy as growing lawn.

Now you are in the driver's seat. Remember, Vietnamese school owners need you. You are a perfectly qualified female. You could get schools fighting over you if you play it right.

The best school is simply The Royal Melourne Institute Of Technology. Best pay, Nicest university and full benefits. That is where, based on your qualifications, you should be setting your sights.

You are a model for what an "In Demand" English Teacher looks like to the Vietnamese. Not only because you are female but because you have a Bachelor's Degree, TEFL and strong experience.

If you decide to take a TEFL, put it out of mind until you arrive in Saigon (HCMC). You'll be in a much better position to wade through the many schools that advertise daily in the Saigon Times.

You won't believe the different pricing once there than you see online now. If you spend any time in the Pham Ngu Lao area, you'll see teachers everywhere about 1pm, wearing their un-ironed white shits, ties and slacks.

Ask them where they work and if they needed any qualifications to get an interview. Most will say 'naw, I just got a High School Degree and I'm on a 3 month tourist visa.

How Easy Would it be for us Both to Get a Job at The Same School?



If you aim to your best potential, meaning one of the top schools in Ho Chi Minh city... nil chance. If you decide to lower your standards and work in a private school, then there is a pretty good chance that both of you could work in the same school.

Something like Cleverlearn (Name of School) would accommodate you both.

Please do not send your resumes off to the 2 schools I've mentioned above. They will take no notice of your resume without you standing in front of them (It's a culture thing). It might also hurt your future chances when you do make it there in the future.

Once We Have 1 Years Experience Teaching English How Important is The TEFL Qualification That You Have?



Once you have 1 years experience in Vietnam, none of your papers matter. Who you have worked for, letters of recommendation and so forth is required.

Good Luck. Your trip is doable and if you pick the right spots to work and know when to take some time off, you'll be OK. In most cases, you will be forced to pull more of the load than your boyfriend.

Philip

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