Finding Work on Short Notice, w/out TEFFL/TESL


I have my Bachelors, a bit of teaching experience, and a lot of international NGO experience. I was looking at moving to vietnam in  a few months, saving up for TEFL certification, but the place I am currently living is being terminated so I now have only a month to get to Vietnam. I figured like most places the hardest step is just getting there, but once there I can figure most stuff out pretty easily.

If anyone has any advice on some different routes to take as far as finding work that would be great. I want to teach english, is it possible to find work without the TEFL while working towards and saving up for the TEFL while there.

If anyone has any experience working with:

Private Schools
Language Schools
International schools
private tutoring
Work with the embassy

please let me know what that is like, how finding work will be, or whatever other information you can help with, that would be amazing!!


You may get work at language centres but forget about international schools without experience. Try Vietnam ESL on Facebook., they have many jobs in places like Ha Noi, Haiphong and Hai Duong  places that most people don't want to go to work.

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Thanks for the advice. I don't think I mentioned that I have teaching experience. I do! My resume is actually quite impressive. I've done tutoring/mentoring at an orphanage in Ghana, taught and designed meditation/team building/creativity courses for ages 3 to adult in Jordan, the Pacific Northwest, and the East coast on three meditation tours with the NGO Meditate to regenerate, I interned at a community development center in Santa Ana, CA, for nine months and created/implemented creative self-expression courses to educate youth on community, opression and empowerment (as part of a year long research project)  and I have also given lectures on meditation and the central nervous system in University courses, as well as various seminars, meditation meetings and classes in 16 countries around the world, tailoring the courses to the audience's demographic. In total I've spent well over 300 hours teaching meditation classes to thousands of people (groups as small as 2-3 people to 400 people in a hall, from toddler to old age group ) I'm pretty sure if I package all that properly on a resume, I can get a job. What do you think??

To be honest I don't know as your experience is not really in teaching the English language , but more about other subjects. You certainly can give it a try,the language centres would be more suitable as the international schools will want to see actual references from other schools or have a teaching degree. If you can speak clearly and carry yourself well in front of students you shouldn't have too much problem, some language centres employ non native speakers so you're  in front straight away.

Thanks for the help. Another question: is it safe to send scanned copies of passport to schools? Some are requesting this, but I just want to be careful of sharing such information if it is not safe.

Why are they wanting a scanned copy of your passport?

I don't know I'm just searching online for language centers hiring and some request that. Do you happen to know any language centers as a recommendation ??

They won't hire you till you actually front up at the centre, dont worry about applying over the net. Look for schools in the area that you want to live and go from there.

Hello there, I think you will not have a problem finding work at the learning centers.  There are tons of them in Vietnam.   Start sending in your resume with a photo of yourself.  After you get here, you can start advertising in magazines for private tutoring, but the calls are slow at first.  But once you do get a few private students, they usually will refer you to other students.  And both the learning centers and private students don't ask for certs or degrees if you're a foreigner.

Happy hunting,

Hi Brennan

Demand for English teachers is fairly high, esecially in the the largest cities. There is an increasing number of schools in the smaller cities as well. You should note that there is a seasonal slowdown starting now as kids go back to regular school after the summer andthe numerous holidays until after Tet next year. Work is still available but the peak time has passed.

What you are doing is correct. Search for "Vietnam Teaching Jobs" and you'll find a number of sites. This site also some job ads, if you look at the top of the page. Contact schools to start a dialogue with HR managers, Directors of Studies, Head Teachers, etc. Sending a scan of your passport is normal proof of citizenship, usually sent along with scans of degrees, certificates, resume/CV, letters of recommendation, etc.

Most of the work is casual at the language centers, which has the benefit of being flexible. There are few true, accredited international schools in Vietnam, but there are many "international schools" that offer a curriculum in the English language. Many of them offer full-time positions with one-year contracts, etc.

In addition, it's possible to find private students for tuition. Most locals can;t pay much but there are Koreans, Japanese, etc. Network as much as possible. You could also set up meditation classes. It's really up to you. If you have an idea and put some effort into it, it can posibly succeed.

Anyway, if you can teach large groups of kids, you should have plenty of work. Be warned though that most places are pretty amateur and non-professionally run. You need a lot of patience anf flexibility, but avoid anything suspect to avoid getting ripped off.

If you have further questions, post away.

There is a fairly new English Language Centre in Dalat that is offering internationally recognised cert. TESOL courses and a guaranteed job on completion in their centre. Don't know how much they charge. It is run by a very friendly British expat & his VN wife. Look on facebook for "expat" & "foreigner" groups such as Dalat Expats etc & you should find it. Dalat is about 45 mins fly time from HCMC or 6 hours by the bus, is much cooler climate than HCMC. The employer should help you obtain a work permit & let you know what docs you need but usually itis : passport details, CV, Health check ( can be done at many local hospitals), translated docs & then stamped by local authorities. takes a littel time but most peeps start working first & sort all that out later...

Hello Brennan! (and any other potential applicants)

I'm currently looking for an expat profile to join my sales team.  Please review my post on here and let me know if you are interested.

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You definitely do not require a TEFL certificate with every organization in VN in order to get some English teaching work.


Don't sell yourself short. Get your CELTA/TEFL, which ever before coming here. The competition is stronger than you are imagining,

My 2 cents/dong, & best of luck to you.

Dr. G :

You definitely do not require a TEFL certificate with every organization in VN in order to get some English teaching work.

That's true, but with a certificate you're going to find work a lot quicker than without one.

Not necessarily true

Dr. G :

Not necessarily true

Yeah thats why most jobs ask for Celta/Tesol\Tefl in their job adverts. Of course you can get a job without one, but with one of these you get the better jobs and much quicker. To each his own, every job I have applied for has asked for some type of certification, maybe it's just me.

not necessarily true that you get the better jobs - more depends on other qualifications and experience.

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