Frequently Asked Questions
Please search before you ask. If you have any further questions, please send an email, and also include your nationality, quailifications, type of TEFL held and how long you intend to come to Vietnam, so we can best answer your questions
What exactly can TFV do to help me?
Here at TFV, we help with many things: Jobs, accommodation, transport, visas, recruitment requirements, work permit advice, discounted Vietnamese lessons, discounted travel services, avoiding scams, introductions into Vietnamese life, lesson planning tips, professionally written articles, advice, support and assurance. The list goes on and on. We suggest you look at our packages by choosing the ‘What We Offer’ menu option to see our available options.
Do I need English teaching experience or qualifications?
The law has recently changed in Vietnam. In order to teach here legally you must now have a 120 hour TEFL certification with at least 6 taught lessons observed by a trained ESL professional. Ideally this should be conducted face to face. Online courses are often not accepted by major language centres and schools, especially if you have limited experience. Trying to get a work permit (required for working legally in Vietnam) without the support of your language centre/ school is extremely difficult. Example accredited courses would be the CELTA/ TESOL courses which take 4 weeks to complete and cost between $1600 and $1700 US dollars.
Note: Occasionally, licensed native English speaking teachers who are certified with teaching qualifications from their home countries for Primary and Secondary education may be able to get jobs without a TEFL qualification, however he jobs are hard to come by. The best time to apply for these jobs is in July/ August for September/ October start dates.
Less than a 120 hour course will not be accepted for the work permit without a vast amount of experience- five years or more.
The 120 hour TEFL course, a clean police check from the last six months and a three year degree are now compulsory in order to get a work permit and work legally in Vietnam.The degree can be in any subject, it does not have to be in an English related field.
The demand is so high here in Vietnam that there are still many jobs available to people without these qualifications, however, they are not legal. It is illegal to work in Vietnam without a work permit, and although many expats do this, and you are likely to find work, it is not something which we, Teacher’s Friend Vietnam, promotes.
It is illegal to work in Vietnam for any amount of time on both the Tourist and Business Visa without having a work permit in process.
For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When emailing us with any enquiries, please state exactly which type of TEFL course you have (how many hours, online or face to face), if any, so we can best help you.
I am moving to Vietnam really soon, will you still be able to help me?
Yes, you can sign up at any time! From five months away to five minutes away, even if you’ve already arrived. Our help and support will be useful for you both before and during your time in Vietnam. Needless to say, the earlier the better, because we will have more time to make sure everything is right for you and runs as smoothly as possible.
I am an extremely experienced teacher, with five years plus experience, but I don't have a TEFL certificate, is this OK?
Unfortunately, many language schools and centres will not accept even the most senior of teachers and professionals without a 120 hour TEFL certificate, as this is an international certification which proves that you have been trained specifically in teaching English as a second language.
However, some of the international schools will accept qualifications such as a PGCE or equivalent teaching qualification from your home country. It is very hard for us to know whether you will be accepted by schools without a TEFL certificate until we begin the application process, which takes time and effort on our part. Therefore, we can offer to find you work before you arrive in Vietnam once payment is made and the contract signed. If we cannot find you five promising interviews before you intend to arrive in Vietnam then we can offer a full refund for the package.
Teachers will need to have a minimum of three years experience in their home country to be considered for positions in Vietnam without a TEFL qualification through Teacher’s Friend Vietnam.
The best time to apply is in July/ August for September/ October start dates.
I am an older teacher, will it be a problem finding work in Vietnam?
Unfortunately, for irrational reasons, it is harder for us to find anyone work who is over the age of 40, as many language centres and schools will not accept anyone above this age. However, if you have teaching experience, a degree, a 120 hour face to face TEFL certificate and are a native speaker, we will gladly apply for jobs on your behalf and if we can’t find you five promising interviews, then we will offer you a full refund for the package. It is also likely that smaller provinces will be more inclined to hire older teachers, as the amount of qualified teachers available in smaller cities is far less.
What documents should I bring to Vietnam?
For the majority of teaching posts in Vietnam (and in order to get a work permit) you will need to provide original copies of:
- Your passport
- Your degree
- Your university transcript if available (A transcript is an official record from your current or former institution giving a breakdown of the marks or grades you have achieved during your study.)
- Your CELTA/ TESOL/ 120 hour TEFL qualification
- A police clearance check from your home country dated no later than six months previous- if available. It is best to get this certified in your home country.
- Two recent passport sized photos
With the exception of the Police Check, all of these documents can be notarised and certified either in your home country or in Vietnam. It is a simple and easy process to get them certified and notified in Vietnam. The police check must be authenticated in your home country.
You will also need to complete a Medical Check but this can also easily be done in Vietnam.
I don't have a 120 hour face to face TEFL qualification, can you help me?
Yes, we can guide you on the best TEFL course to take and where to take it, as well as giving details about pricing etc. We can provide information on TEFL courses in your home country (depending where this is) and in Vietnam. World recognised CELTA courses can be completed in Vietnam, and many reputable language centres who provide training will offer you a job upon completion of the course. Completing a TEFL course in Vietnam will also give you time to adjust to the culture before beginning your new teaching job!
Why should we use TFV rather than another recruitment agency?
We are different from other agencies in that we offer a very personal service. The average time it takes for us to reply to any enquiries is 42 hours or less. It is a service run by teachers for teachers. This puts us in the unique position of knowing exactly how to make things run as smoothly as possible. After talking to you, we use our extensive knowledge of Vietnam to make sure that you don’t just have ‘any old job’ or ‘any old house’- we aim to make sure that you start a life here that really suits you. Both myself and the previous director have worked and lived extensively in Vietnam and so really know the country and it’s people. To add to this, we offer a very reasonably priced package in comparison to other similar programs, and we do not take a cut of your hard earned cash once we’ve accepted you onto the program. Many similar programs offer you a guaranteed job, but you will then receive a much lower wage than should be expected, as the company will take their “cut” from your wage. I found this out the hard way when I first came to Vietnam, and so wanted to offer the support and guidance that people often require when moving to a different country, without losing your hard earned money, or eating too much into your savings.
We have excellent reviews which you can check out using the link below and we regularly receive very positive comments about our excellent customer service which always goes above and beyond the teachers expectations.
Can TFV find me work if I am not a native speaker?
The main reason schools and language centres in Vietnam ask for native English speakers is because English pronunciation is very difficult for Vietnamese people, so they hire native speakers of English mainly to focus on pronunciation, dialect and accent. By no means do all but often many non-native English speakers still have a foreign accent, which is why native English speakers are preferred.A native English speaker has gained their accent over 20, 30 or 30 or 40 years (sometimes longer) and was surrounded usually by other native English speakers. Therefore it is highly difficult for non-native speakers of English who haven’t been immersed in an English speaking country from a young age, to achieve a native English accent.
Also, there is not a shortage of non -native English teachers in Vietnam because many local Vietnamese people train for four years or more to become English teachers, and so given the choice, schools tend to hire local non-native English teachers over foreign non-native English teachers. The pay for local non-native English speaking teachers from Vietnam is drastically lower than the pay for Foreign Native-English speakers.
Do I need a degree to buy one of your packages?
Unfortunately, having a degree or equivalent qualification is one of the requirements for the work permit, which is required in order to work legally in Vietnam. Many expats in Vietnam work illegally on a tourist visa, as the laws are very relaxed in Vietnam, however we do not advocate this and so cannot accept anyone onto our program who doesn’t have a degree.
How do I know this isn't a scam?
My name is Georgie Snape, I am 26 years old, I have a degree in Community Drama, a CELTA teaching qualification and I lived and worked in Hanoi for two years. I took over this business as the Director of Teacher’s Friend Vietnam because I want to share with others the amazing experience that I had while teaching in Vietnam. I want to make it a fun, enjoyable and stress free process, and will offer you outstanding customer service.
My personal email address is email@example.com, so please feel free to send me a message and our company website email is firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a page on LinkedIn and I have a personal page on LinkedIn also, which details my teaching experience.
We use Paypal for all of our payments, and so pay 3.5% to PayPal from all payments received to help insure your purchase. For more information please click on the link below:
We have reviews from paying, satisfied customers on our partner website, Go-overseas.com, who are an internationally recognised company. I am happy to put you in contact with other Teacher’s Friend Vietnam teachers, who are delighted with the excellent service they have received.
I am also happy to call you personally on the phone or via Skype. My Skype name is Georgie5534.
For any further information, please email me at email@example.com.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I've been warned never to pay to get a teaching job?
Yes, you should not pay for a company to find you a teaching job because a reputable recruitment agency should get a high commission from the schools or language centres which they work with, so there should be no cost for the teacher.
However, we are not a recruitment agency. We are an organisation which helps teachers move to Vietnam. We offer relocation packages which include assistance finding a job, as this will be a huge part of your new life in Vietnam.
As well as job placement for the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh packages we offer other services such as assistance finding a motorbike and free lessons, a reliable mechanic, assistance with accommodation, help applying for visas, professionally written documents on life in Vietnam, lesson plans, a meet and greet city tour, a language exchange, discounted Vietnamese lessons, discounted tours and travel throughout Vietnam and excellent service and support throughout your time here. All of this is provided from people who have lived, taught and travelled extensively throughout Vietnam. So, you are also paying for our experience and expertise, ongoing support and excellent contacts.
Again, you are not paying to get a job, you are paying for an entire relocation package which offers a number of services.
This service is very similar to an “Internship program”, offered by many other internationally recognised companies. However, many “Internship” programs will take a large cut of your salary which is paid by the school and make huge profits- at your expense. I know, because this is what happened to me when I first moved to Vietnam. I do not think this is fair and so want to offer a service where people can get genuine, real help and advice and be given excellent, trustworthy contacts when in Vietnam, without having to sacrifice their hard earned salary.
Teacher’s Friend Vietnam does not take a penny of your wage. We also do not charge schools or language centres in Vietnam for our service (although we do offer Premium Rates if the schools wish.) We believe that schools and language centres in Vietnam should be entitled to FREE, QUALITY teachers, who will give Vietnamese students the best possible education.
If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you save in Vietnam on a Teachers wage?
Yes, you can save money in Vietnam depending on your spending habits. I taught about 22 hours a week with a large language centre and then another 10 outside the classroom (which you’re not technically meant to do on a full time contract but everyone does). These extra ten classes were paid at $25 per hour, cash in hand. On this wage I was SAVING about £1000 GBP a month and still going out, eating what I liked (both Western and Vietnamese food) and also I had a gym membership. Not everyone saves that much but they also don’t usually work that many hours either. My boyfriend spent about $800 a month, including accommodation and going out drinking most nights. I would budget for $1000 a month for general living costs.
Hanoi is particularly good for savings because if you have the time/ energy then there are always extra private classes to be taken. If you took on just four extra teaching hours a week, which paid $20 per hour, then you’d be making an extra $320 a month, so you can see how it all starts to add up quite quickly. I did ten extra hours on $25 an hour, so was making an extra $1000 a month…
Getting private classes in HCM is perfectly do-able but slightly harder. Getting private classes in smaller towns is way less likely but you will also be spending a lot less.
So yes, the wage will be absolutely fine, although everyone has different spending habits and living standards. This is based on a house share price of $200 per month for rent. I lived in an apartment with my boyfriend which was $400, but because we split the rent I still only paid $200 per month. If you wanted your own apartment, you’d be looking at $400-500 minimum for rent.