Expat Life in Vietnam
What's it like to live & teach in Ho Chi Minh City?
Vietnam's largest city and the fourth largest in Southeast Asia is Ho Chi Minh City, also called Saigon. It's a thriving modern metropolis. You'll never get bored living in Ho Chi Minh City. It has some amazing restaurants serving foods from around the world, as well as a great nightlife scene. In Ho Chi Minh City, you can enjoy a high standard of living at a much lower cost than you would have in your home country.
Vinalearn ensures all of its teachers are prepared not only for teaching at their schools, but also for living in Vietnam. Two weeks after arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, we guarantee that all new teachers will have a sim card, a cozy apartment, scooter and the skills they need to live in the big city.
Salary vs Cost of Living
Our teachers find the salary here is enough to live a comfortable life while still being able to build their savings. The average salary for a foreign English teacher in Vietnam is between $1500-2000USD per month.
Many teachers are able to save between $500-1000USD per month. There are always opportunities to pick up more hours to make a bit extra money to fund your travels or save for the future.
Most teachers either live in a room in a shared house or in a studio apartment. The cost of your housing will range from 4-8 million VND ($175-350 USD), depending on your preferences. In addition, finding an apartment in a building with a gym and/or a pool is quite easy. If you want help finding your dream apartment, we can connect you with trustworthy agents.
With schools spread far and wide across the city, it is recommended that you receive your school placement before finding an apartment so you can choose one that is close to your work and social life.
Teachers find working with Vinalearn gives them a great work/life balance. Typically, the week for Vinalearn teachers involves three or four full days of teaching and one or two half days, or 18-22 teaching hours. There is plenty of time to work on lesson plans as well as enjoy Ho Chi Minh City's vibrant social scene.
A typical Ho Chi Minh City public school day begins between 7:00-7:45am and ends between 4:00-5:00pm. Halfway through the day there is a lunch break that usually lasts 1.5-2 hours. Many people can fit in lunch, a nap, or a trip to the gym in this amount of time.
Teachers at Vinalearn often get together on the weekends to relax after a long week of teaching. As an expat, you'll be able to meet people from all over the world in Ho Chi Minh City.
Additionally, we host several formal and informal social events during the school year to honor our teachers' achievements and to celebrate different holidays. These events are a great way for our teachers to socialize with each other and with our Vietnamese staff.
We encourage our teachers to fully immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture! Get on your motorbike and stop for a bowl of pho and ca phe sua da (ice coffee sweetened with condensed milk) before your morning classes. There are coffee shops and noodle stands almost everywhere you look, and you’re sure to find your favorite!
Motorbikes are the easiest way to get around the city. You can easily learn to drive a motorbike, and will be able to explore Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam at your own pace. We offer all teachers free motorbike lessons with a member of our experienced staff.
Those who don't feel comfortable driving can book motorbike taxis through one of several reputable apps. One trips usually costs between 25,000 VND and 50,000 VND ($1-2USD).
Vietnam is a beautiful country with a vibrant culture and rich history. The ease of travel throughout Vietnam enables many of our teachers to spend their weekends exploring other regions.
Among our teachers' favorite weekend getaway spots are Mui Ne for a relaxing beach getaway, Da Lat for hiking and enjoying nature, and Hoi An for a quaint and cultural getaway.
Traveling around Southeast Asia is a breeze with Ho Chi Minh City's international airport and several main bus stations!