Vietnamese-Aussie Teaching in Vietnam

by Tuan
(Sydney, Australia)

Hi Philip,

Your site has really clarified my vision enormously, the vision of teaching English in Vietnam. Thanks for that!!

My question is, I guess, many other Viet Kieus, have part similar worries....Viet Kieu teachers of English, maybe not the better options for the employers....

My girfriend is living in Vietnam, I will stay there with her for maybe 6 months. With this time, I have determined to see if I can contribute something to my country folks, by teaching English, for at least 6 months, if not 1 year (maybe more if suitable).

I have 2 degrees (bachelor of architecture, and Graduate Diploma in Interactive Multimedia), a TEFL certificate, and some university tutoring experience (1 year architecture).

I am 52 years old, I have just been retrenched from my senior position in Australia after 15 years as an architect, so I wanted a new beginning for myself.

I have read here somewhere, you mentioned that not to speak Vietnamese with the schools, and present myself as like a true-blue this also a good idea in my case? Are the odds in my favor?

Or do I have a bit of an uphill battle for a teaching post 30 hours a week on about $18/hr in HCM City? Is it also a feasible idea to open a tutoring service from home, advertise your service and teach in a SOHO situation? Thanks for any advise and insight you may have.



Reply from

Hi and welcome. The odds are not in your favor, Tuan. I apologize if my honesty hurts you in any way.

What the Private Schools are looking for (If they Interview Any Vietnamese) is the generation that was born in Australia and not those who were born in Vietnam. When I tell people to demand to be treated as a "True Blue Aussie" I mean Vietnamese born in Australia with no hint of an accent and a tad under 50.

30 hours a week on about $18/hr!? That is some pretty high goals that you could probably reach after establishing a 2 or 3 year long career. You will either be judged as a Vietnamese teacher or an Australian Teacher who speaks some Vietnamese.

You have about an 11% chance of getting those kind of hours and pay. I only began to make that kind of money myself after 2 years. And you want to get there in 6 months?

I only knew 3 Viet Kieu who broke into the "True Blue Westerner" schools with accompanying pay. All of them were born in their Adoptive countries, had studied to become a teacher, and held a degree in the field of Education.

Your expectations are way too high. I think you should not expect to earn more than $600USD a month, even if you had blue eyes. I have a feeling that you will not have an easy time.

Time and perseverance might get you there but with just 6 months in your stay, I don't have much hope for you.

Sorry, Tuan. You better start saving your money now if you want to impress that 23 year old girlfriend waiting for a Green Card into Australia.


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