Well, you may have read a lot about how to work as an ESL teacher abroad but I will provide you the top 10 things that I’ve experienced and learnt teaching English in Vietnam for the first time.
1. The opportunities are endless
Economy of Vietnam is growing fastest in the world. Vietnamese are hunger of knowledge. Parents always want to give the best education for kids. It is not inflated to say that they may sell their house to spend money for the study of their kids. Consequently, English is the first priority in education of all Vietnamese. As a result, the demand for ESL teachers in Vietnam is huge, schools and English centers have to fight to get a good teachers. The excuse for not finding a job as an ESL teacher here could not be acceptable unless you don’t go out and apply for it.
2. Tesol or Celta or Telf is not everything
You will find that everything you learn to get one of those certificates is basically the foundation only and yet the demo class is totally a different thing.
No matter how many certificates you have, most of the employers will ask for a 30-minute or even 45-minute demo class before they give you the job. And the expectation for who in your demo classes and what they level is totally varied from center to center. Be prepared for demo classes, always.
Once you have a good demo, most of the time, you will surely get that offer.
4. Always find a back-up offer
5. Your passport does say something
It may sound quite negative but if you do not come from “native English speaking countries” as they often say, and that your skin is not as “white” then the chances to get a job offer seems less. Discrimination does happen. I totally understand it cause centers are driven by the market which is decided by the parents, so they could not do much. Educating the children but at the same, educating the parents may help?
6. If you want centers to act professional, be professional
I do find cases when some of my friends complained about centers act unprofessionally. Yes, I did have some bad experience with some centers but at the same time, I do see friends that often go to classes late, be unprepared and call in sick suddenly. My advice is that if you want centers to treat you well, be kind and be professional first.
7. Did You Choose Your Job or Did It Choose You?
My next advice is that while you may choose working as an ESL teacher to maximize your time traveling abroad or for whatsoever it is, do not forget that you have a job to be done and those who call you “teacher”. Teach with your heart and that’s you always get what you give.
8. Be smart with your salary
And while spending money in another country when the living standard is a lot lower, saving while earning is never out of date. You will never know what may happen, one day, you will be grateful for what you save today.
9. Care about your health insurance
You should buy a health insurance and may find flexible medical devices in Vietnam easily. Note that now the telemedicine in Vietnam become more popular.This will help you be more active in case you had trouble about your health or acident.