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ESL Saigon


19 year old Canadian to teach ESL/EFL in Vietnam

This email comes from one of my YouTube viewers who asks few interesting questions that might be useful for other prospective ESL teachers.

Hi Dan,
I am fan of the videos you make. You have inspired me to come to Vietnam to teach instead of Thailand. My first thought of you was that you might be Hungarian because your accent sounds so much like my grandfather who is Hungarian but then you mentioned in a video you are Romanian which is also just as interesting.
My name is Sean, I am white and 19 years old born in Canada. My plan is to enroll in the CELTA course at ILA. It seems very difficult from what people are saying.
Do you think that the CELTA will create more opportunities than a TESOL for me if I do not have a degree and want to teach in Vietnam? Also, would you know if there are teaching jobs in Nha Trang for someone like me? I want to teach there because of the beautiful beach. What do you think I can expect to make?
I think this topic would make for a great video on your youtube channel and I give my permission to use this information if you decide to do so.
If you have time to answer this, I thank you in advance Dan.

First of all, I do believe that Vietnam is a better teaching market than Thailand. I think the salary one can get in Vietnam is higher than in Thailand and everything in Vietnam is cheaper (update 2016 - I think Saigon is a little bit more expensive than Bangkok).

Many people would say that I am Russian because of the strong /s/ and /t/ sounds I produce when speaking English. Nobody has told me before that I sound Hungarian. Interesting!

CELTA is a difficult course but it isn’t something very difficult. As I said in other videos, if you focus 100% on the course during the four weeks it lasts then you won’t have any problem completing it. I know many other people who took the CELTA course as a joke, in the evenings they were always drunk, and those people found it very difficult. As I said, CELTA is better than TESOL because of the same reason an Apple computer is better than a Windows one.

With or without a university degree, a teaching certificate like CELTA or TESOL is very useful. CELTA, for example, is very practical and if you don’t have any teaching experience then I will say that it is a must have certificate. However, I know for sure that at a point in time, you will miss some good teaching opportunities because of not having a university degree. You should think of getting one in the near future.

There are teaching job opportunities in Nha Trang but the salary is very low in comparison with Saigon or Hanoi. If Nha Trang would offer the same teaching opportunities as Saigon or Hanoi then probably everybody will move there. Personally, I recommend Saigon or Hanoi if you want to make money. If money is not important then You might want to try Nha Trang or Da Nang.

In Saigon you can easily make $15/hour and you can easily work 25 hours a week. Bear in mind that as long as you are here, teaching English and building your relationship with other teachers, better job opportunities will come your way. It is always like that!

Hopefully, other prospective teachers are in the same situation and can benefit from the information provided here.


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