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Teaching in Ho Chi Minh, with a CELTA, but no degree

Hello, I'm Oli 32, from London.

I have recently passed my CELTA, and I really want to teach in Ho Chi Minh, for about a year.

I love Vietnamese culture and the food!

My one problem is that I don't have a degree...yet!

Is it possible to find work without a degree, where should I look? Help me please!

Thanks Oli !

Hi Oli and welcome to Expat.com!

Hope that you'll soon be enlightened.;)

Harmonie.

u have to take an exam to get a degree TESOL, IELTS, TOEFL..
It's easy for u to do it..Fighting :)

Hi Olin, in short yes.

However chances are you wont get to work in the top schools or gain sponsorship\work visa's etc.
But you can find work teaching without a degree here and Celta is highly regarded in this area.

Any idea what schools ? Thanks for your replies so far!

It will be mostly the language centers and there are loads of them around. Some good and some not so good, you'll soon figure out which are which :)
when you coming??

As soon as I get my grade. Hopefully it will be a B, i've been doing more research and apparently I can enter on a tourist visa..then get a business visa via school, I think I should be OK, i'm only planning to be here for a year.....But I really need to find work before I leave.

So whilst I have been googling etc, and asking on places like this...I'm lost as to where might hire me..and which school is too big too small..etc haha.

lol don;t sweat it, just get over here plenty of people around to point you in the right direction and finding work is relatively easy. As long as you put the effort in :)

Cheers for your input!

It's definitely a working trip! I'm going to work very hard, as It's as much about gaining teaching experience as it is is experiencing Vietnam!

My funds are low though..so I can't risk flying out and not working...Hopefully I will at least get a temp work contract before I fly out.

Thanks Mark,

I'm beginning to realise that it may be better for me to find work out there, as oppose to getting work before I leave, especially as I don't want to be tied to a contract in a bad school.
Is there any particular reason you advise against it?
Also, when you say a lower then average wage, would it be around $20 a hour, based on 25 contact hours per week, or less?

Thanks again,

Oli

HI Olin!
You don't need to worry about this. There will always be schools offering ESL jobs in Vietnam without qualifications if you do a Demo Class and come off looking like a real teacher.

Salaries vary from $10USD an hour all the way up to $20 USD an hour.
It all depends on your experience, documentation and appearance. If you are well dressed and mannered; have a university degree in any field along with a T.E.F.L. or C.E.L.T.A certificate, you should push hard for the 20 USD an hour.
The hard part comes in getting enough hours. Every school starts you off with very few (Perhaps 10 hours / week). You'll need 30 hours a week if you want to save any real money.

But if you prove yourself quickly, (Students like you and you aren't drunk for class) you'll be at 30 hours a week in no time.

August or September may be the best months for finding jobs teaching English in Vietnam. (Students head back after a summer break) GOOD LUCK !

jollypham wrote:

You'll need 30 hours a week if you want to save any real money.

I hope thats not 30 hours face time ! Most teachers I know only work 20ish and live comfortably on that.

If your doing 30hour face time then thats gonna need at least another 15+ on top for prep work etc.

Yeah, u right here. I mean another 15+ for prep work. But I know some guys do nothing at all. They just come into the class, chatting with students and get the paycheck.

ah good old take the money n run.... I guess those guys who have been teaching for a long time can do that but I don't think anyone new to teaching should be doing that. Not if they want to be a good teacher at least.

However I'm also aware some places just want a "white" face to show off and that the teachers do get there classes switched etc.

My point really was should be looking for around 20hours face time to make an ok living :) Hopefully teachers will be professional enough to know the rest for themselves :)

Couldn't agree more!:) Some schools just need a white guy to show off. They dont care where u r from or whether u have any degrees or not.
That's why some guys take advantage of this.Poor my students!

Hi Jolly,
If you google "Rent a White Man", you will get a bunch of links about white faces being rented in China for events.  It seems to work the same way in Vietnam that people have the perception that anything white is worth more.  Bleach or whitening creams are selling well in Vietnam for women who can afford them.  I have heard of the Metro shopping club in HCMC that had rented a white face for their promotional events.  I am glad that you were accepted for your talent.  I am hoping that the Vietnamese people are smarter to recognize the difference or the truth.  It seems that "renting a white man" happens in Vietnam too but much less than China. 

In a different subject, I used to work in district 9 in the 90's and early 2k's.  So there is a big chance one of those staff of mine was your student.
Thanks for the real life information you provided.
Docwood

Hi Oli,
check out this link . . .

http://www.expat.com/en/jobs/asia/vietn … acher.html

Hello everyone.

Your responses were enlightening.

Let me tell you my situation.  I am becoming an expatriate from USA, arriving in HCM City in December.  I am a 66 year-old retired clinical/forensic psychologist (Ph.D.).  My teaching experience is many years at the university level

I will be taking the 4 week course to receive TEFL certification, as I want to teach after I arrive.  Why... because I could never just retire.  I must be active and engaged.  What's the chances an "old" psychologist with certification getting a teaching position???

Dan

Olin wrote:

Hello, I'm Oli 32, from London.

I have recently passed my CELTA, and I really want to teach in Ho Chi Minh, for about a year.

I love Vietnamese culture and the food!

My one problem is that I don't have a degree...yet!

Is it possible to find work without a degree, where should I look? Help me please!

Thanks Oli !

Hi Oli, what do u mean with passed the Celta but don't have a degree? which degree? I'm working partime as a teaching assistant in ILA ( u can google it ^^), and as the teachers there they're foreigners and so far as i know they only need to pass and get the CELTA certificate so that they can apply to many English centers easily, they can even work in ILA after taking CELTA at ILA as well. So, what's ur problem? R u having the job yet?
Hope things r going well. Good luck ;))

Hi Dan, you shouldn't have any problems. I have friends of similar age to you who teach :)
With your qualifications and experience I would say you will not have a problem getting a job teaching.

Cheers
Sean

Sean, thanks for the "faith."  I was concerned about the age issue. 

Dan

Hi Dan,
Actually there are many age discrimination for both blue and white collars in Vietnam but Teaching English seems to be an exception.  Teachers are revere here.  Vietnam is one of a few Asian countries that still honor Confucius Teachings.

Hi Oli,

Im in the same boat as you at the moment, want to teach in HCM, Have a CELTA but no degree. can you give me a quick update as to how your getting on?

thanks
Hannah

we offer enlish teaching job with good salary and stable hours of work. Pls send your CV to talenteduvn[at]gmail.com. We need English teacher for new school year so if you know anybody who looking for this job, pls introduce them to us. Thanks!

usalax98 wrote:

Hello everyone.

Your responses were enlightening.

Let me tell you my situation.  I am becoming an expatriate from USA, arriving in HCM City in December.  I am a 66 year-old retired clinical/forensic psychologist (Ph.D.).  My teaching experience is many years at the university level

I will be taking the 4 week course to receive TEFL certification, as I want to teach after I arrive.  Why... because I could never just retire.  I must be active and engaged.  What's the chances an "old" psychologist with certification getting a teaching position???

Dan

Age is my experience relevant here (for a man), as the age adds towards your reputation and the legitimacy of that, what you say. In fact, it might be an advantage, as for the job itself.
For a woman, virtually, the opposite seems to valid.


The legal side sees it a bit different.
As from January 2013  - no work permits will be granted to persons over 50 years of age.
How that will reflect on people staying already here is not clear yet, as well of the implementation of that above.

laidbackfreak wrote:

Hi Olin, in short yes.

However chances are you wont get to work in the top schools or gain sponsorship\work visa's etc.
But you can find work teaching without a degree here and Celta is highly regarded in this area.

You just referred to it as if it were an entity too, just like the drones at Apollo!  "CELTA doesn't like it when you do that." Give me a break!  I'm not saying you're a drone LBF, I think you know that. :D

OP Yes you can find work.  You're looking at $12-15 an hour, IMHO.

usalax98 wrote:

Sean, thanks for the "faith."  I was concerned about the age issue. 

Dan

I spoke with the director of TEFL International's HCMC branch yesterday and he said with an educational Phd, no problem.  Without, you will need a TESOL or CELTA. You DO NOT need a CELTA and don't go with Bridge!

I'll message you.

- Mark

Minh Tuyen wrote:
Olin wrote:

Hello, I'm Oli 32, from London.

I have recently passed my CELTA, and I really want to teach in Ho Chi Minh, for about a year.

I love Vietnamese culture and the food!

My one problem is that I don't have a degree...yet!

Is it possible to find work without a degree, where should I look? Help me please!

Thanks Oli !

Hi Oli, what do u mean with passed the Celta but don't have a degree? which degree? I'm working partime as a teaching assistant in ILA ( u can google it ^^), and as the teachers there they're foreigners and so far as i know they only need to pass and get the CELTA certificate so that they can apply to many English centers easily, they can even work in ILA after taking CELTA at ILA as well. So, what's ur problem? R u having the job yet?
Hope things r going well. Good luck ;))

1.)  Who would want to work for ILA?  That's from my point of view, as a foreign teacher!

and

2.)  The law says you need a BA/BS or higher, or 5 years of experience.



Congratulations on making it through the CELTA.  Now get ready to teach more children than adults.  ILA probably requires the CELT-YL too, since they're the only one in Vietnam that offers it.

Teacher Mark wrote:

you will need a TESOL or CELTA. You DO NOT need a CELTA

Agreed you NEED one or the other, but given the OP HAS his CELTA certification I did not feel the need to say btw you could have done the TESOL course. I figure anyone who is looking at TEFL can do enough research into which course they deem fit for them

He has sufficient qualifications to get a job, which is why I said he should have no problem getting work, why point out the alternatives now?

Olin wrote:

...But I really need to find work before I leave.
.

Wait until you get here.  You either won't be responded to, insofar as emails and you're taking a chance that the school is going to pull a fast one on you.

Then there's the matter of the degree....

laidbackfreak wrote:
Teacher Mark wrote:

you will need a TESOL or CELTA. You DO NOT need a CELTA

Agreed you NEED one or the other, but given the OP HAS his CELTA certification I did not feel the need to say btw you could have done the TESOL course. I figure anyone who is looking at TEFL can do enough research into which course they deem fit for them.

He has sufficient qualifications to get a job, which is why I said he should have no problem getting work, why point out the alternatives now?

I will point that out EVERY time I have a chance.

Ok I’m revisiting this post after a long while. I’m British, currently teaching in Jakarta, and still wanting HCMC. Still don’t have a degree... do have a CELTA... and now some teaching experience (under a year though)... If I break contract with the language school I’m with I probably wont get a reference either.. well not one I would be happy passing to a potential employer anyway. So advice would be appreciated.. what schools do you recommend? what should I avoid?

I'm going to add my story which might be helpful to some.

I came to HCM without a full degree and a TESOL. With hard work and a bit of luck I am now 8 months into my stay and have secured a 20 hour part time contract at a highly credited school.

All be it I was somewhat fortunate with timing but it is not impossible to be successful in Ho Chi Minh.

If you work hard you will make your own luck. At the very least you will be able to find a decent school with decent pay that will financially give you a comfortable lifestyle -It is a matter of persistence and belief in your ability as a teacher.

I wouldn't recommend looking for a job before you come. Make sure you have enough money behind you to survive for a few months and get yourself over here, at the very least you will find work that will lay the foundations for your future.

Good luck

What's this about no work permit for anyone over age 50 as of January, 2013???  What's up???

Dan

usalax98 wrote:

What's this about no work permit for anyone over age 50 as of January, 2013???  What's up???

Dan

One of my sources, very reliable has reported, that as from coming January no work permits for over 50's shall be issued - there is either a law or a directive coning into force. I also wish to have more details on that, as it could affect also my papers, therefore consider such hints only as "informative" - as a point to check on, when you prepare your paper work.

As for laws - they might not applied all in ones and like common, not equally enforced. And even if, this would not be Vietnam, if they will not be "exceptions".
Just prepare yourself, that here is nothing steady, apart from surprising changes.

Despite the "new" current immigration rules, in force since almost 3 years, I have seen just yesterday a still WET stamp, extending a 1 years visa for a further year. Those should not be existing anymore since 3 years.

Bonesy wrote:

I'm going to add my story which might be helpful to some.

I came to HCM without a full degree and a TESOL. With hard work and a bit of luck I am now 8 months into my stay and have secured a 20 hour part time contract at a highly credited school.

All be it I was somewhat fortunate with timing but it is not impossible to be successful in Ho Chi Minh.

If you work hard you will make your own luck. At the very least you will be able to find a decent school with decent pay that will financially give you a comfortable lifestyle -It is a matter of persistence and belief in your ability as a teacher.

I wouldn't recommend looking for a job before you come. Make sure you have enough money behind you to survive for a few months and get yourself over here, at the very least you will find work that will lay the foundations for your future.


Good luck

Well said.  :one

wyhsy wrote:

u have to take an exam to get a degree TESOL, IELTS, TOEFL..
It's easy for u to do it..Fighting :)

Non-native speakers may have to get an IELTS, TOEIC or TOEFL score to get a job teaching English. 

Native speakers may need a TESOL, TEFL, or some other type (that's filled with hype) of teaching certificate.

I'm interested in teaching English in Vietnam. So which do you guys feel is the best certification to go through with first? IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL, CELTA or any others? Also would having a combination help or not necessary?

The most important thing is your physical presence here.If you really believe that you have what it takes to be an English teacher- then you have nothing to worry about:)

Not being sarcastic but just relating realism. As long as. You are a NATIVE speaker of English i.e. from a Western country, you have a job waiting for you at HCMC to 'teach' English. No degree never mind, no certificates also never mind, The enlightened crowd here will welcome YOU with open arms! So all those facing unemployment in your home countries can flock here and enjoy life unlike in your native land, Ho Ho
A bit early but Merry Christmas!

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