TEFL In Vietnam | Smaller Earth US


FROM $999 / 5 MONTHS

Work and Travel Vietnam as a Teacher

Vietnam is an incredibly diverse country with an affordable cost of living and growing transportation network. From the sandy coastlines to its mountainous interior and cosmopolitan cities, it is an increasingly popular destination to work and travel. Living abroad as a teacher in Vietnam gives you opportunity to truly embrace the unique culture, food, and people.

This particular program is uniquely designed for people who have already received their Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL/TESOL) certification.  It is also designed for people who want to spend extended lengths of time in Vietnam. You will have the opportunity to explore Vietnam in a way that many tourists cannot. After orientation you'll head to your placement location to begin work as a full time teacher, fully immersed into your new community.

Training and Orientation:

Participant orientation will take place in you arrival city, either Ho Chi Min City or Hanoi.  Participants will be advised upon acceptance whether to fly into Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City. During this 6 day intensive training period you will be introduced to Vietnamese culture and history, a welcome dinner, social and cultural activities, city tour and one half day trip, airport pick up, accommodation and all meals, support and emergency services.


Placement Locations:

Unfortunately, applicants are not able to choose their location.  You will be placed based on the requirements of our placement partners and suitability for certain schools. Job locations include but are not limited to:

  • Southern Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, Mekong Delta)
  • Central Vietnam (Hue)
  • Northern Vietnam (Hanoi and Hai Phong)  

Some placements are in more urban areas and some rural, though you will always be placed with or very close to other program participants.

Regarding specific job preference you will be able to indicate a preference for the age of the students you would like to work with in Vietnam. Age groups are:

  • Primary Schools: 6 – 11 years
  • Secondary Schools: 12 – 18 years
  • Vocational Colleges and Universities: 18+

The internship placement in Vietnam is linked to your visa therefor you will be required to sign an agreement with the school to validate your visa. This agreement is a standard contract that outlines duties, accommodation, transport, and termination clauses.


Responsibilities will vary from school to school; however, below you will find a common guide.

You will usually start work around 7:30am and finish at around 4:30pm although this does vary depending on your school. You'll work 5 or 6 days a week with up to 20 teaching hours and 15 hours of classroom preparation, administrative duties meetings.

Don't worry - although you will definitely be working, you will also have plenty of time to socialize within the local community and with other teachers. Once a month, all the teachers placed in your region will get together for the weekend in order to catch up, debrief, and have fun!

Don't forget that you'll have been fully trained, so although it may appear a large task right now, you'll have been given all of the preparation you need before hand.


You'll be paid in Vietnamese Dong, the equivalent of $700, in cash once a month between the 5th and the 10th in arrears. You should allow for the fact that your first pay packet may be up to 5 weeks after commencement. Upon successful completion of your internship, and provided you haven't missed any teaching days, you will be eligible for a $700USD bonus!

Due to the low cost of living in Vietnam, your wages will go a long way and should allow you to save some money to travel with. We suggest you bring at least a few hundred US dollars to cover the first month of expenses before getting paid. Vietnamese Dong cannot be bought outside the country and cash should be brought in as US dollars. We advise against bringing large amounts of cash, so use travel money cards or credit cards. Traveller's checks are not widely accepted. 

Location & Accommodation

During your internship, the school you are employed by provides accommodation. Some schools and universities have on-site accommodation for teachers consisting of a single and basic furnished room. Some schools and universities lodge teachers in shared apartments or guesthouses with amenities near the schools (apartments will be shared by teachers on the program). All accommodation whilst on your placement is single rooms, although bathrooms may be shared. Basic cooking facilities are often provided but may be limited to a small fridge, sink and cooktop. Not all placements are equipped with cooking facilities.

You should be aware that we do not quality control our accommodation, but it will be considered basic by Western standards.

Age and Required Experience

Due to recent changes with the Vietnamese government, this program is only available to individuals who hold a bachelor's degree. A copy of your degree is mandatory to receive the work visa permit that is mandatory to get a job on this program. If you do not currently hold a university degree but want your TEFL certification, you might be interested in Smaller Earth's TEFL Course in Prague.

  • TEFL or TESOL Certification
  • University Bachelor degree
  • Native English speaker 
  • Experience working with children
  • Mature, Flexible, and ability to adapt to changes
  • Good communication skills
  • Travel Experience a plus
  • Must submit a background check
  • You must be between the ages of 20-45 years old


Meals are not provided during your internship. Many schools and universities have school canteens and you are welcome to eat there at a very low cost per meal...$2USD is the average! Schools will also provide guidance and assistance on where you can eat a range of foods in the local area. 

Make Your Positive Impact

With one of the highest growth rates in Asia, Vietnam is currently reforming its education system with a focus on preparing students for the increasing usage of English as the language of business. As more international travelers visit Vietnam, the government is committed to globalizing the curriculum to maintain and grow a competitive workforce. As a teacher abroad in Vietnam, you will be contributing to this long-term growth.  

When to apply

For the September 5th, 2016 start date, the booking deadline is June 30th, 2016 and all documents must be in by July 7th, 2016. 

How to Apply

Once you have completed your application, the next step is to pay your $250 deposit. After a Smaller Earth representative confirms your application you will need to provide the following:

  • Character reference
  • Proof of highest education diploma
  • Copy of your passport

We will then set up an interview with our partner in Vietnam to formally accept your placement.

The Teach Abroad in Vietnam program next start date in 2016:

Date: August 20th, 2016- January 13th 2017

Length: 5 months

Cost: $999


What’s Included

  • A guaranteed semester teaching placement in a Vietnamese school or university
  • Orientation to Vietnam
  • Vietnamese lessons and phrasebook
  • Social and cultural activities (some with additional cost)
  • A trip around both Kuala Lumpar and Ho Chi Minh City
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • Transportation to your teaching placement
  • Visa assistance & invitation letter
  •  24 hour emergency service and support, 7 days per week

What’s Not Included?

  • Flights
  • Travel/ Medical insurance
  • Public notary fees
  • Visa and entry fees ($250 USD)
  • Work Permit Fee ($45 USD)
  • Travel expenses during free time
  • Meals during your placement
  • Lunch and dinner during training 

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