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Vietnam brings to mind stunning coastlines, bright green rice fields and mountains and the beautiful islands of Halong Bay. But this serene picture exists alongside rapid development and bustling cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Our paid English-teaching program lets you absorb the fast-paced life of Hanoi, Vietnam's capital city, as well enjoy vacation time (and weekends) to explore this beautiful country.
- July 11, 2016 to June 8, 2017
Frequently Asked Questions
Where will I be teaching in Vietnam and what will I be doing at my school?
Most placements will be in bilingual schools in Hanoi like Wellspring International Bilingual School, and teaching may be at any grade level, K-12.
Your hours most likely will be Monday through Friday, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., with roughly 22 hours per week of in-class time. In addition to teaching, you'll be expected to prepare lessons, track and report student attendance, provide written student evaluations, attend professional development courses, cover classes for absent teachers on occasion, attend meetings, including with parents and the director of education, observe other teachers' classes to exchange ideas, participate in extra-curricular activities, assist in administering placement tests, and handle other duties as assigned by school administration. Teachers are sometimes asked to teach subjects other than English if qualified (e.g. math or science taught in English), in which case a detailed curriculum will be provided.
How does the application process work?
Our online application is free to start and easy to complete. You will fill out a few web forms, upload documents including references, resume and certificates and, when you're ready, pay a $250 deposit towards the program fee (the balance will not be due until we confirm your placement). We're always here if you have any questions. Sign Up.
What happens after I apply?
After you submit your application, we'll make sure you've got everything in order and reach out for a video-chat interview. If we think you're a good fit, we'll pass your application to our cooperator in Vietnam. The school in Vietnam might want to interview you via Skype, as well.
What kind of visa will I need?
You'll need a single-entry, three-month visa. As of April 2016, the visa cost is $110. Once your placement is confirmed, InterExchange will send you specific visa application instructions. When you arrive in Vietnam, your school will apply for a work permit on your behalf, which will let you stay in the country for the duration of your contract.
What kind of TEFL accreditation do I need?
You need a certificate showing at least 100 hours of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) training. This can include online or live training. It may be possible to apply for the program with proof of enrollment in a TEFL course but placement may be provisional in this case. We offer an online TEFL course.
How will I be supported on the program?
We're here to help you with your application, provide pre-departure support and guidance and find the right school placement match for your goals and needs. Once in Vietnam, our international partner will pick you up at the airport, bring you to orientation and be there throughout your program to help with any issues that might come up. We also have alumni resources for you once you've returned home.
What will orientation cover?
Your two-week orientation with our international partner will include the following:
- Culture and lifestyle information
- Hanoi excursions so you can adjust to your new surroundings
- A Halong Bay tour
- An overview of the Vietnamese education system and how this program fits
- Historical information
- Basic Vietnamese language training
- TEFL training and classroom practice
During your first week at your teaching placement you'll receive additional orientation training, including:
- Information on curricula, teaching methods for children and evaluation tools
- Vietnamese students learning ESL: difficulties, pronunciation, discrepancies in language proficiency, behavior, discipline
- Classroom management
- Duties and code of conduct for teachers of ESL
- A teaching evaluation by the head teacher and head of department
How do you screen your school placements?
We work with our trusted international partner to find and thoroughly screen our partner schools. Our schools go through a vetting process before we even give them the chance to consider your application. Many of our schools repeat, so they understand the program and would love to welcome you into their community.
What will my accommodations be like?
Your school will provide you a private room in a dorm or shared house, depending upon availability. Electricity, water and internet are all included.
You also have the option to organize your own accommodations, in which case you'll receive $400 monthly toward the cost of housing. We recommend taking advantage of the accommodations provided during at least the first two months of your program, as this housing will be within close proximity to your school teaching placement.
What else should I know about being a paid English teacher in Vietnam?
What happens when I arrive?
Our international partner will pick you up in Hanoi and take you to orientation!
Can I be placed with a friend or partner?
Yes. We can work with our partner school to try to facilitate same-school or proximate placements for you.
Do I need to speak Vietnamese to participate on the program?
No. In fact, most schools prefer that their foreign English teachers are very foreign and local staff at our partner school can communicate in English. However, some Vietnamese knowledge will benefit your day-to-day life. You'll also learn survival language lessons at orientation and will have lots of time and opportunity to learn Vietnamese right in Vietnam.
Will I get vacation and sick days in Vietnam?
You'll be entitled to 10.5 days of leave with full pay, which must be taken at specific times (between December 25th and January 2nd; and between June 1st and June 8th). You'll also earn 5 sick days.
How much money should I bring?
We recommend that you have access to about $900 since you will not receive your first paycheck until after your first month of teaching.
Are my flights covered by my program fee?
No, please be prepared to pay the cost of your round-trip airfare.
What our participants are saying
Throughout the year there are many events celebrated at the school in Vietnam where I teach English and by all of the country. As a latecomer, the first one I experienced was Teachers' Day. Yes, they actually celebrate this holiday and in a big way. In the U.S., I was simply given a certificate to "reward" me for my hard work, but here in Vietnam, [my school] went so far as to give us the day off! The students showered us with gifts and parties all week long, the school put on a big party and performance for us on the eve of Teachers' Day, and then we spent the day off enjoying a nice lunch of Korean BBQ, karaoke, bowling and then dinner on the famous "chicken street." The week left all the teachers feeling appreciated and honored. Samantha
Whenever I need the help, I can count on Shadi to always answer my emails within 24 hours during the weekdays. She remembered me whenever I called and I truly felt like I was part of the InterExchange family. Especially when I received my InterExchange shirt and bag with a small postcard included. It felt personal and throughout my whole application experience, I felt completely assisted and never lost. I have emailed multiple times and I received much more help and happiness than I expected. I love InterExchange and soon I plan to use InterExchange again and travel the world with amazing assistance. Jennifer