Hi friend,

I'm an Australian born Viet doing my 2nd year in a BA but have decided to defer and take some time off and try my luck teaching english in Vietnam.

However, before I go I wanted to do a english teaching course but am confused by all the choice out there. I've heard CELTA is the most recognised but its a little over my budget. I was thinking of doing a 120hr course with i-to-i. Do you know anything about this company and if their students find work easy?

Also, I have been reading some of your replies to the questions and in a lot of them you say they don't like ethnic looking people or Viet kieus?

Now not trying to sound vain or anything, just wondering about my chances of finding work, but in Vietnam and even here in Australia a lot of people comment on how I look like a half asian and in Vietnam I am considered especially attractive and always getting stares and compliments.

Alot of them don't think I look Viet at all and often try to speak english to me. Would this help me in securing a job at all. I'm really interested in work in Saigon, Da Nang or Hue as this is where my relatives live.

Thanks for any answer you can give this websites been really informative and helpful and a fun read.



Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Bizarre that you mention i-to-i. I recommend them all over this website.

You have to make sure to take the correct course because they offer a few different courses but the 120hr course is the one you want. Anything longer is unnecessary gravy.

Schools are really just looking for a teacher who has had SOME experience in the classroom. The 120hr couse provides that and i-to-i is a respected school that has both brick-and-mortar schools as well as the online arm.

They even offer classes IN Thailand where you assured work afterwards and assisted in settling in. It is expensive though and I am cheap, so I took the 120hr class and flew to Bangkok with just that in my hand.

CELTA is more recognized but I have never been refused because of my TEFL Certificate. CELTA is up to $2000USD but that is crazy. Many people do it because it is better recognized and people sometimes feel more secure if they spend more money. Not necessary.

Your 'In Class Demo Performance' will hold more clout than any paper. Impress and engage the students and you'll be hired. Yes, they will often (Vietnam) throw you in a class for 15 minutes to teach a grammar based topic such as present Perfect.

But that is most common for blue-eyed white boys. The students have created the prejudice because they ask for that kind of teacher. The students are prejudice and they don't want a Vietnamese teacher except for the first 5-6 levels.

About Your Race:

I am just going to give fact as I have seen. It is not that the Vietnamese hate Viet Kieu. I think it is partly just jealousy and Vietnamese people seem to just treat you like a tourist.

If I wanted to learn Japanese and a Canadian Guy showed up for my lessons, I might feel weird. I want to learn Japanese from a Japanese person. I don't know why. This will get in your way when you look for work.

Yes, you will be handsome to the Vietnamese girls. But the Vietnamese boys won't want you to becoming the apple of their girlfriend's eye.

You will also have some advantages. Just don't let them corner you into teaching with the Vietnamese staff to the level 1-6. Demand to teach the higher levels with the white boys.

You'll get work and the good thing is, you can afford to wait. If frugal, you can live in Saigon for $350USD a month but just barely as a tourist. If you stay with family it will be next to nothing for living costs.

Hue is boring and Danang is so polluted as an Industrial City that Saigon is better of the 3. Good luck, forget what you look like because that's out of your hands and get in the i-to-i Program.

Good Luck,


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Feb 21, 2011
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much for your reply! Sorry to be annoying but i do have another question.

I can do the CELTA in Australia for around $2700AU in australia or for $1500USD in Saigon and I'm wondering if either of these will get me further in finding a job than the i-to-i course. I really just want to do the course that will get me the highest paying job available in Vietnam.

Sorry if my question is a bit repetitive I just really want to be prepared as possible before I go.

Also just thought I'd let you know I'm actually female sorry if I came across manly.

Thanks for the help


Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com
A female going to Saigon worried about getting a job as a teacher! It is almost comical because us men used to complain how easy it was for the girls to get work than the men amongst us.

I recommend the CELTA to 50+ year old men that drink every night and come to work in faded, wrinkled shirts. They have nothing to say, talk too slow and have the breath of a freshly opened diaper in the home of twins.

If that is you then I would say ... Get a CELTA. It is the strongest option because it is most well-known and it's expensive.

You, whether a man or woman, don't need it. Especially a woman looking for work as a teacher in Saigon. Better advice to you is let the bidding war begin.

Don't take the first job. If the next job offers less, tell them others (Name the school) have offered more.

Print up some cards because if you are hunting for solid work at say $17USD an hour@ 30 hours a week. That will put $2,400USD a month in your pocket.

My advice is to forget your fear. A Celta won't get you a job you couldn't already get with the i-to-i TEFL.

$2700AU just to make you feel more comfortable. It is possible to negotiate more effectively with a CELTA but it would be minuscule. You would take a long time to pay back the $2700AU.

Plus you can always take it on the weekends or your days off in Saigon if your employer wants it.

Good Luck,


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