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ESL/EFL Teachers – CELTA online and police report

This question comes from one of my YouTube viewers and it is about one’s ability to be hired as an ESL teacher in Vietnam if he has a CELTA certificate online (not in class) and a police report which is not, let’s say, clean. An important thing to be mentioned, the person we are talking about is a 36 year old American.

The email is divided into three parts and I truly believe that many people have these questions in mind, so here is my answer.

Question 1

“Is there any downside as far one’s ability to get hired for a job if they get their CELTA certificate online vs. in class (I know even the CELTA online requires some in class time and observation while teaching). Just wondering if that would ever come up in the hiring process or if it is more of a … hey, a CELTA certificate is a CELTA certificate, doesn’t matter if you do it online or in class.”

When it comes to finding an ESL teaching job, the teaching certificate is essential. All schools require it and many schools specify very clearly that an online teaching certificate is not accepted. Well, this is theory and the theory is not the reality.

I mentioned that the person who asked this question is a 36 year old American. For some reasons, Vietnamese like Americans. So, if you are American and just have an online CELTA certificate then for sure you will get hired. If you want to work for a famous school and get a higher salary then probably an online certificate won’t help you unless you have a university degree in Education field.

Bottom line, there are so many English teachers who don’t have a teaching certificate at all and they can find a teaching job. I think you should be able to find a teaching job easily.

Question 2

“As far as the police report is concern that you need to provide, I’ve had a couple of misdemeanor arrests in the last 10 years. Is having these 2 misdemeanors on my record something that would stop me from getting hired in Vietnam?”

There are very few schools that require a police report. Honestly, it hasn’t happened to me yet and I have been living and teaching English in Vietnam since 2005. If I were you I wouldn’t worry about that. Nobody asks for that police report. After six months of living in Vietnam, you will get that police report from the police guy who is responsible of the area you live in. So, if a school requires the police report then just walk away. For every school that requires a police report there are probably 50 schools that don’t require it. The police report is required by a school that wants to apply for a working permit for you. So, if you want to work legally then you need that police report to be clean as crystal.

Question 3

“On a more personal note, and if you don’t mind me asking. Do you see yourself living in Vietnam long-term or would you prefer to move back to Romania at some point? Seems like you have really committed to starting a life for yourself there with career and family. Just want to get a sense if you, or someone in your position, possibly me in the future, see yourself being happy staying there living the Vietnamese lifestyle indefinitely.”

This is a difficult question!
I would like to move back to Romania but I think that would never happen. I don’t mind living in Vietnam. I honestly feel like I live a never ending vacation. More than that, I have a good job that allows me to have a lot of free time.

My wife is Vietnamese and my daughter, although she is a Romanian citizen, studies in a Vietnamese school. She is just in the second grade now but 10 years later, if she is good enough, maybe we will move back to Romania for her to study (or somewhere else within European Union, if that will still exist). So, I prefer Romania over Vietnam but since everything is set up here I don’t see any reason to move back to Romania. But, never say never!


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