WHY CHOOSE A TESOL COURSE AT POWER ENGLISH VIETNAM?
- Power English is a unique branch of the TEFL International Organization in Vietnam, specialised in teaching TESOL courses
- Our intensive 4-week TESOL certification courses are internationally recognized and accredited.
- Our TESOL certification courses are externally examined and moderated by a Board of Academic Advisors (BOAA) and Lamar University in Texas, USA.
- Our courses include 120 hours of training with 6 to 10 hours of teaching practice with actual Vietnamese students of English.
- Our fees are all-inclusive so you won't pay extra for any course-related materials.
- Our school is well equipped with everything that you need on the course: spacious classrooms, a wide range of teaching materials and resources, free Internet access.
- Our teacher trainers are highly qualified and experienced TESOL professionals that are committed to teaching and training.
- There is a huge variety of teaching jobs available in Ho Chi Minh City, throughout Vietnam, and in the whole of Asia - including some of the best-paid jobs in the EFL profession. Moreover, living expenses here are a lot of cheaper than other countries.
- Regardless of nationality, age, gender or race, we welcome all applications from native-English speakers as well as fluent, non-native English speakers.
Vietnam is an exciting country of extraordinary beauty, culture and adventure. From cruising between the enchanting karsts of Ha Long Bay, to diving on the reefs of Hon Mun in Nha Trang, from cycling along the mountain roads among the Central Highlands, to letting loose in the cultural mecca of Saigon nightlife and entertainment; Vietnam has something for everyone.
Vietnamese are some of the kindest and most welcoming people you will ever meet. In the streets of Ho Chi Minh City you will be greeted everywhere you go by friendly people that are happy just to see you and always willing to lend a hand. Indeed, throughout the country you will meet people who will open their homes to you and show the meaning of Vietnamese hospitality.
It is also a young country. With over 40% of its 91,000,000 citizens under the age of 24, Vietnam is hungry for learning and education. The Vietnamese government invests 21% of revenue on education and individual families invest heavily in extra-curricular learning, especially foreign languages. This means a large an ongoing need for English language teachers.
Vietnamese students are highly motivated and hardworking. Literacy is over 90% and the country recently ranked 12th globally in science and maths. Teaching is an honored profession in Vietnam and students are courteous and respectful to the teachers. Even problem students are angels compared with what teachers from western countries would encounter.
HCMC (or Saigon as many of the locals still refer to it) is the economic and cultural heart of Vietnam. It is bustling metropolis of 8 million people, 10 million motorcycles and 1 billion coffee shops (you’ll see). It is quixotic mix of old and new, rich and poor, fast-paced and laid-back. If you want it, Saigon’s probably got it -- somewhere.
Saigon has two seasons: Hot, and Hot and Wet (please check here for more detail). Temperatures range from mid-20s to mid-30s throughout the year, and showers are usually under an hour, though when it rains, it pours. Humidity is light to moderate. Personally, it’s one of my favorite things about living here.
The Job Market
There are more than 400 public and private learning institutions in Saigon, and most of them offer English language courses to their students. This means that there are always positions available for teachers who want to work. The summer months are perhaps a slightly better time to look due to summer programs and preparation for the new school year, however there are always vacancies.
There are 4 major kinds of employers, language centers, kindergartens, grade schools and universities. Language schools tend to need teachers most during the evenings and weekends while the rest are usually looking for teachers to teach mornings and afternoons. Many employers hire on a part-time basis though there are plenty of full-time contracts around with some of the bigger institutions. In any event, expect to be looking at 15-25 contact hours a week from most employers.There is always the option of private courses and tutoring. Some teachers prefer this as it gives them more flexibility. Teachers with specific professional backgrounds can often find work at similar businesses to train staff or even lecturing on the subject, which can be quite lucrative. It will require some legwork to find enough students to be 100% independent.
Anyone who told you you wouldn’t become a millionaire as a teacher has never been to Vietnam. Because the exchange rate floats around 23,000 VND: 1 USD, you will be a millionaire by the end of your first day’s work. When compared with most other countries in the region, HCMC salaries are above average, especially considering the relatively low cost of living. Small cities and rural areas often offer somewhat lower rates, but this is counter-balanced by the significant savings in regards to cost of living. You might not mind earning a few dollars less an hour when your 4 bedroom house overlooking the river only costs you a mere $200 dollars/month to rent.
Average Wage in HCMC (in USD):
New teacher with degree and TESOL certificate: $15-20/hour
Experienced teacher with degree and TESOL certificate: $18-30/hour
Private Tutoring: $15-30/hour
Business Courses: $25-50/hour
Academic lecturing: $25-50/hour
Unlike some countries, Vietnamese contracts usually don’t include travel and accommodation allowances or completion bonuses (though they are a bit more common for employers who recruit directly from overseas). However, it is equally true that you are not as tied to your contract as you are in some places. Teachers in Vietnam are generally allowed to have more than one employer, and if you leave the employ of someone, you are free to remain in the country as long as your existing visa or residency card stipulates.
While Vietnam was once famous for undocumented teachers, that is becoming less the case and many employers have been making sure their teachers have a valid work permit. This means you should arrange for a national criminal background check from your home country and have originals of your degrees and diplomas certified by your foreign affairs department before you come. It will save you a bundle on expensive courier costs.
Living arrangements are easy to organize from overseas and there is a wide range of quality and prices to suit anyone’s needs and expectations. Some areas of town like An Phu in District 2 and Phu My Hung in District 7 are more Western in feel (and price), but are about 30 minutes away from our building. The Pham Ngu Lao area in District 1 is a popular backpacker quarter which has plenty of restaurants and late night establishments, but can be a bit noisy if you are close to Bui Vien Street. There are affordable hotels all over the city but we generally recommend staying in either District 1 or 3 so that you are close to our office.
While prices vary depending on location, here are some general price ranges you can expect (in USD):
Backpacker-style bunkrooms: $8.00+/night
Monthly room in shared house: $250+/month
Monthly one-bedroom apartment, furnished: $300 - $500/month
Vietnam is a foodie’s paradise. Besides the now world famous Pho, there are hundreds of dishes to try from around the country which can all be found in HCMC. You could eat for months without trying the same thing twice.
For the less adventurous, or for those who just want to have a taste of home, HCMC is packed with excellent cuisine from around the globe. Burgers, pasta, BBQ (American, Brazilian, Korean, and more), Pizza, Sushi and modern fusions are all available at reasonable prices (in fact downright cheap compared to many eateries in other major cities). We even have a decent range of international fast food outlets across the city for those who can’t do without their Big Mac (or Whopper; we have both). For those wishing to self-cater there are plenty of markets (for the adventurous) and supermarkets (for the lazy) as well as some specialized import stores for those comfort foods you get cravings for (Branston pickle on Lay crisps anyone?). Finally, if you can’t be bothered to go out, we have several online delivery services (www.vietnammm.com/en/)to bring everything to your door.
Have special dietary requirements? Vietnam has you covered, whether you are gluten-free, vegetarian, Halal or low-carb. Click on the links for your diet of choice for more information (you low-carb people can just follow the smell of grilled meat when you get here).
You can’t walk 5 minutes in HCMC without passing a dozen cafes full of Vietnamese whiling the time away (you might start to wonder when people actually work!). Many of these stay busy all day long and have long been the heart of Vietnamese social life. Local coffee and fruit shakes are a must try while you’re here.
Whether it is morning, noon or night, beer flows freely and is amongst the cheapest in the world. Although the preference is for local and regional lagers, there is a growing craft beer scene. HCMC has a wide range of establishments to choose from: street-side stalls to pubs to roof-top clubs overlooking the city. There is always somewhere to wet you whistle no matter the time or place.
Average price for a meal (USD):
Street food: $0.50-2.50
Traditional Vietnamese restaurant: $2.00-5.00
International cuisine restaurant: $4.00-20.00
Soft Drinks $0.50-1.50
Local Beer $0.50-5.00
Imported and Craft Beer $2.00-$10.00
Getting around HCMC city can be an adventure. The city streets are chockablock with motorcycles at rush hour but traffic moves steadily in most areas, if somewhat slowly. For someone used to a quiet city it all seem a bit hectic, but for anyone used to cities like Shanghai, Bangkok, London or New York, it will be a breeze. Your choices of transportation include motorbike, taxi, motorbike taxi, public bus or on foot. Our office is about 4km from the popular Pham Ngu Lao area. Based on how you choose to do it, your travel time should be between 15-45 minutes, assuming you are comparable distance away.
Motorbike Taxi $2.00-2.50
Monthly motorbike rental $80-100
Saigon is the heart of medicine for Vietnam. Many of the best hospitals and clinics are situated here and provide affordable care. The city is also home to several international clinics and hospitals such as SOS International and Franco-Vietnam Hospital that can provide similar services to those found at hospitals around the world, often at a much lower price. Most modern medicines are available at pharmacies though if you have very specific needs, you will want to confirm its availability first. Many alternative treatments like acupuncture, herbal remedies and therapeutic massage are also found here. As with all international travel, we strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive health insurance just in case.
If you prefer to avoid doctors by not needing them in the first place there are plenty of options. Swear by professional facilities? There fitness centers ranging from the basic room full of free-weights to top-notch multi floor complexes. The top-end cost less than $1000/year (or around $100 for a month long pass). Prefer to do it yourself? Then join half the city for daily calisthenics in the local park at the crack of dawn (or if you are not a masochist, go by yourself in the evening). More of a sports fan? There are many local and ex-pat sports clubs and leagues you can join. None of these suit you, but still want to stay thin? Those hospitals I mentioned offer liposuction.