Covid has closed Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Covid is the new C word. it used to be cancer. ( I am not being flippant, as I have had and survived this ‘C” word.). But in Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam, this has closed the city. The general populace are quite poor by European standards, and 6 weeks off work has made a lot of people desperate. Schools are closed, shops are closed, businesses are closed and people here are hurting. The last 6 weeks have drained peoples bank accounts and wallets. A lot have come to the stage where they can not afford rent and food. Over this time some of us have been able to help those in need.
But there are no teaching jobs in HCMC unless you wish to teach on line. if you look at my other posts I provide a list of schools and sites where you can apply to teach over the web. However if you have a school (like me) things become a bit more challenging. ( I will provide a post at a later date how to set up your own school). My fixed costs are about $1,500 per month, not including wages. So I am hoping for a quick resolution to open our schools again.
But at the momeny there are no positions available for teachers in Ho Chi Minh City. At the same time the government is cracking down on those “teachers” who have expired visas and even illegal visas. There are some unethical companies that will supply a visa for the right amount of cash.
The bad news and the good news.
The bad news is you can not get into Vietnam and even if you could there are no jobs available in Ho Chi Minh City. We are still in lockdown mode. My wife, Nga, and I were unlucky enough to live in the first district ( They are called districts not suburbs) to suffer from lockdown. It has now been in effect for the last 6 weeks and will probably extend out for another 2 weeks. During this time the number of covid cases has risen every day. We had a “hem” ( A small alleyway) only 2 streets away that was sealed off because the people there had covid. The police had the “hem” sealed off and a police officer posted outside to make sure nobody entered or exited. A bit too close to home for me.
The “good” news is that schools and private ESL (English as a Second Language) schools are now advertising for teachers to start from July (optimistic) to September ( More realistic). September is when the new school semester starts. So I believe this time frame makes more sense. There have been no official announcements as to when teaching and classes will start again. The other “good” news is that because there has been an exodus ( I have a sudden urge to play some Bob Marley) of teachers the demand for teachers will be high. I am already getting a lot of schools contacting me. Also the pay rates should rise. I have seen some recruiters offering $25 $27 per hour.Most recruiters and schools talk hourly rates. The standard has been between $17.00 to $22.00 per hour. So supply and demand will benefit those who can get here or are here. All wages should be advertised in Vietnamese dong ( the official currency) although a lot still advertise in US dollars. This is technically illegal. 1 US dollar equals 23,000 dong.
If you are already looking for a teaching position there are some things to be careful about. Firstly beware of recruiters who offer upfront bonuses. You will be paying for it in reduced hourly rates. The more professional campanies offer bonuses for completing a 12 or 18 month contract. Secondly, read your contract ( It should be in English as well as Vietnamese). I have read some very bad conracts in the last 15 years. There are some schools that have a penalty clause. If you are late for class (read 3 minutes or more) the school can penalise you by deducting 2 periods of pay. So, if you are late for 3 minutes you may have your next pay reduced by 1 1/2 hours. Again..three minutes late and one and a half hours of pay taken out. And with the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City being diabolical in morning peak hour, it is common to be late for class at least some days. Power English are experts in this field. Also if you have been quoted in US dollars be careful that the conversion rate is accurate. All too often I have seen the conversion rate lower than it really is. In my other posts I have provided a list of English Facebook groups which can provide you with a wealth of information about recruitment companies and jobs. Another thing to think about is teaching in public schools lucrative enough? Now we have covid induced holidays as well as normal school holidays the amount of time you are teaching might be as little as 8 months a year. Make sure you have another revenue avenue to cover those months where you do not have a day job. Working extra hours at a private school is well advised. Do not think you can just walk in after you have done your 8 months in a public school and expect to be employed. Put in a few months prior to you wanting a night/ weekend teaching job. Once again I have provided information about private verse public schools and money and times as well as class sizes etc. So please read and decide what you want to do. Another way to earn extra income is to become an Affiliate marketer. I have done this with a company called Wealthy Affiliates and it is a great way to earn extra income on line from home.
If you are serious about coming to teach in Vietnam it is a great idea to learn some basic Vietnames. It also helps you immensely in the classroom. Choose a language learning sight like ” Mondly” to give you the basics in Vietnamese.
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