In this series we are outlining our tips for moving to Vietnam, to help you get set up and settled in as quickly and easily as possible. Our first week has almost seemed too easy and we are already loving expat life in Hanoi!
In this post I’m going to talk about finding a teaching job in Hanoi. Teaching English is what the majority of expats in Vietnam come to do, myself included, and there are a few ways you can go about it.
General advice for finding a teaching job in Hanoi
Move first, then find a job
First and foremost, if you are really serious about moving to Vietnam, I would recommend moving first and finding a job while you are here. This is so unlike the long and often complicated process of getting a public school teaching job in Korea and frankly feels so good.
While I did do a lot of research and watched job listings everyday, it’s been so much easier and made more sense since I arrived in Vietnam. It also means that rather than have dodgy Skype interviews, you can meet potential schools in person and understand a lot more about how they might run. We were so lucky with our jobs in Korea but really appreciate being able to choose for ourselves where we live and who we work with here in Hanoi.
Full-time, part-time or ad hoc
Something really important to consider is the freedom that can come with teaching in Vietnam as there are so many different job options to consider.
You can go the traditional ESL route and sign a 12-month contract with one language school that will give you set hours, pay and holiday. These types of jobs are what you’ll come across most often in any research you do online.
Or you could go freelance.
Many schools advertise for just a few hours a week and thus you could work for a number of different schools, creating your own schedule. Depending on the school, you will still be guaranteed a certain amount of hours a week for a certain salary but your time is yours to be flexible with. This frees you up to work as little or as much as you wish.
Lastly, you could go completely ad hoc and be something of a cover teacher, taking on classes day to day as they become available. There are a number of Facebook pages where teachers and admin will advertise needing a teacher that day for a few hours and as long as you fit their requirements, you go, teach and get paid in cash. This can be done alongside the above two options, or alone if you have another non-teaching job. This can easily be done if you are simply travelling here and want a little extra cash for the day.
With the first option, and sometimes the second, the school should help you to get a work permit. The latter options generally mean you will stay on a tourist visa and go on visa runs every few months. You may also be charged emergency tax of 20% without a work permit.
All these options have their pros and cons and once I’ve had more experience I will definitely write another post about which options I like best.
Where to look
I’m going to make this really simple for you by listing the websites I used and the schools I applied to, alongside just a few notes. There is so much information out there that it can be overwhelming so I want to make it as straightforward as possible.
Job listings online
This is the most comprehensive international job board online and is updated daily. There weren’t too many postings for Vietnam here but it’s still worth checking and may inspire you to look at other countries too. I had one Skype interview at home and one in-person interview in Hanoi through the ESL Cafe.
This is a site I only found recently and you can easily search it based on the city you prefer. It seems to be updated fairly often however to apply you have to register with the site. I haven’t yet as the schools I was interested in offered an email address in the description, thus I emailed directly.
This website is for all kinds of jobs in Vietnam and advertises in Vietnamese as well as English. There weren’t too many teaching jobs on here but it is always worth checking.
For anyone living in Hanoi, both the Hanoi Massive FB group and the Hanoi Massive Jobs FB group are so worth joining. They list everything from jobs (not only teaching), places to rent and local events. It is a closed group so you must join before you can browse the listings, and it does seem to have a lot of spam. Having said that it is incredibly comprehensive.
For Hanoi specifically, the Hanoi English Teaching Jobs Facebook group is the best for finding a teaching job in Hanoi. This is another new one I found whilst in Hanoi which has a huge variety of jobs offered each day. It includes all of the different types of jobs listed above so your options are much wider.
This became my go to in my first few days in Hanoi and I will keep checking in on it when I want to take on extra hours.
Schools I applied to when finding a teaching job in Hanoi
This is an international company and the first school I applied to through Dave’s ESL. I interviewed with them on Skype and, while it went really well, they were looking for head teachers rather than language assistants and wanted applicants who could sign two year contracts.
This is one of the biggest language schools in Vietnam and I applied directly through their website. At this time they didn’t have a position open for me but I have heard great things about the company from an expat I met who works there.
This is another huge language school and has an easy job listings page to search through. I applied but did not get through as my TEFL certificate did not have an in-class component. I find this really frustrating as I have still had a years worth of real life in-class experience in Korea…
While these are both language schools working under the same umbrella company, Language Link is an after school private program and Schools Link work with local schools and thus their teaching hours are in the day. Schools Link is quite unique in this sense as most ESL jobs are in the evenings and at weekends due to being outside of school hours.
Some other language schools also work with local schools within school hours so it is all relative to each individual company.
I applied for both Language Link and Schools Link through their websites and was sent on to do an online interview. This is quite an odd system I had never come across before and it did feel strange to video my answers rather than talk with a recruiter face to face.
I applied for APAX through Dave’s ESL and was offered an interview for when I arrived in Hanoi which was really great. I much prefer face to face interviews and this one went really well. APAX are another international company who are expanding in Vietnam so they are hiring loads of new teachers over the next few months.
This centre advertised on the above Facebook pages and, after emailing them my CV, they offered me an interview. It was a very quick interview, with a few other candidates before and after me, and I got a generally positive vibe. Their management are American and they seem to have a fun approach to language learning.
Other, smaller centres that I applied to that you may want to check out are:
Viet Talent Kids English Centre
SET English Centre
Boston English Centre
MOJO English Centre
So there you have it, a nice big list to get you started thinking about finding a teaching job in Hanoi. It’s by no means exhaustive but I know I would have loved a list like this to get me started, as it took a good few days to find it all, let alone apply for each job!
All the best with your job searching and if you come to Hanoi, hit us up!
Wait! What about my job you may be asking? I’m saving it all for the February update so look out for that at the end of the month! And in the meantime, check in tomorrow for our apartment tour going live on our Youtube Channel.
Looking for more travel tips and expat advice?