Teach English in Vietnam

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  • Overview

    Questions or concerns about the coronavirus? Please read our blog about it here!

    Teach in Vietnam and immerse yourself in a completely new culture! The low-cost living and laid-back lifestyle are very appealing to travelers, making Vietnam a highly sought after destination. The country is known for stunning places like Halong Bay and popular dishes like phở and bánh mì, but Vietnam has so much more to offer. As an English teacher, you will be making a huge impact on your student’s lives while having the time to explore.

    Greenheart Travel’s program is ideal if you are:

    • Interested in Vietnamese history and culture
    • A new teacher and want a ton of support in the classroom
    • Want to live in a city – most placements are in or around Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi!
    • Want to earn a competitive salary

    Program at a Glance:

    • English teaching positions, primarily in and around Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
    • Monthly salary of $1,200 – $2,000 USD
    • 12 month (private language centers) or 6-12 month contracts (public schools)
    • Group orientation in Ho Chi Minh City upon arrival
    • Option to add an in-person 3 week TESOL Course upon arrival
    • Placements in public schools and private language academies
    • All-inclusive program with add-ons packaged in: airport pickup, extensive emergency medical insurance for one year, accommodation for your training period in Ho Chi Minh City, all orientation excursions, and more
  • Program Dates

    For each start date, there will be a 5 day orientation, followed by the option to add on a 3-week TESOL certification course for those who are not yet certified. Everyone will still start the orientation on one of the start dates below, and those that add on the certification will have their orientation followed by 3 extra weeks of coursework.

    Orientation and the course are held in Ho Chi Minh City, but placements will be all over the country.

    Intake Dates:

    Start Date
    November 27, 2023
    February 26, 2024
    May 27, 2024
    July 22, 2024
    August 19, 2024
    February 24, 2025
    April 21, 2025
    May 26, 2025
    July 21, 2025
    August 18, 2025
    November 3, 2025


    *Please note that teachers should plan to arrive in their course location at least one day before the start date.

  • Eligibility

    • Native English Speaker
    • Citizenship from USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand
    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • 120 hour TEFL/TESOL Certification required regardless of other qualifications (i.e. Education degrees, online TEFL certifications, teaching license, etc.)
      • This certification can be done in Vietnam upon arrival
    • 21-60 years old
    • Adventurous, mature, flexible and open-minded
    • Due to the challenges of living and working abroad, any health conditions, whether mental or physical, may affect your eligibility
    • Fully vaccinated against COVID-19*

    Still need your TEFL/TESOL certificate?

    Add on a 3-week 120 hour TESOL certification course on ANY start date. A TEFL/TESOL course is a requirement for the Vietnam program. Become prepared to step in front of a Vietnamese classroom, and make friends during your first month in Vietnam. You can add an on-site TESOL certification course in Ho Chi Minh City to the beginning of your program for $750 more.

    Why should you take the course in Vietnam?

    By taking the course in Vietnam you will get hands-on experience with Vietnamese students and the Vietnamese curriculum, as well as personal and helpful guidance from your TESOL teachers. You’ll also get to spend 3 weeks with all of your new friends taking the course before you spread out into your placements – and it’s a lot of fun!

    If I need to take the TESOL course, do I arrive 4 weeks before my chosen start date?

    No, we have TESOL courses on EVERY start date listed on the website so the date you choose on your application will be your first day in Vietnam. Everyone (regardless of if they need to do the course) will do the 1-week orientation together, and those taking the course will stay an additional 3 weeks after orientation.

    Accreditation Information

    This TESOL course is internationally accredited by Accreditat and will qualify you to teach anywhere in the world that requires or prefers a TEFL or TESOL certification. The certification lasts for the rest of your life!

    *We can accept unvaccinated participants on a case-by-case basis, but 90% of schools still require teachers to be fully vaccinated. Please reach out to travelapplications@greenheart.org for more information. 

  • Costs and Inclusions

    Teaching Placement Only: $2,080 USD
    Ideal if you’re already TESOL certified or have teaching credentials

    Teaching Placement +  Online TESOL certification course: $2,330 USD
    Ideal if you don’t have a TESOL yet, or don’t have classroom experience

    Teaching Placement +  TESOL certification course: $2,800 USD (Offering a $100 discount on this option for all 2024 start dates)
    Ideal if you don’t have a TESOL yet, or don’t have classroom experience

    Packaged into the Price:

    • Guaranteed teaching placement in Vietnam with a monthly salary of $1,200 – $2,000 USD (pre-tax, depending on qualifications and number of teaching hours)
    • Visa Paperwork (if applicable) and assistance with visa application process
    • Work Visa arranged by the school
    • 6 months of Medical Insurance
    • TESOL Certification Course (if chosen): classroom, instructors, learning materials
    • 1-month of accommodation  during orientation week and TESOL course in Vietnam
    • Airport pickup and transfer to hotel
    • One-week group orientation upon arrival including all excursions
    • Access to Greenheart Travel Facebook groups to connect with alumni and others on your start date ahead of your program.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program 

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Visa Assistance in applying for the visa ahead of arrival, including visa paperwork and extensive directions and support.
    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from Kara, your program manager! She will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and your arrival in Vietnam.
    • Online webinar logistical orientation before you leave
    • Highly experienced team of 20+ in-country support staff members
    • 24 hour in-country and emergency support for duration of the program, including 24 hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.
    • Free Program Extension – You never have to pay a program fee again if you extend your contract past your first semester – it’s a one-time fee!
    • Lifetime job placement assistance in Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, China, or Myanmar upon successful completion of first contract.
    • Opportunity to apply for a Greenheart Grant to give back to your community at home or abroad

    Additional Expenses You’ll Need to Cover (Estimates):

    • Airfare to Vietnam ($800)
    • Visa fee or any costs associated with obtaining documents required for the visa ($100)
    • You may also have to do a visa run after the TESOL course that will cost $150-$200; this cost is your responsibility.
    • Meals ($5-$7/day)
    • Rent during your teaching contract ($250 – $450 USD per month)
    • A deposit for your orientation or course accommodation electricity and water usage ($70). Just don’t use your air conditioning like crazy and you should get most of this back 🙂
    • A laptop:  Teachers are responsible for bringing a laptop computer to Vietnam with them for lesson planning
    • Startup cash to hold you over until your first paycheck ($2000-$2500)

    Payment Details:

    • $300 Application Fee due to move onto the interview  
      • Refunded if you are not accepted 
    • $300 Commitment Payment due after acceptance 
      • Confirms your spot on a start date 
    • Remaining Balance Due 60 Days Prior to Start Date:

    Wondering where exactly your program fee goes? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Placements


    • Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and surrounding midsized cities around these areas are the most common
    • Teachers will always have at least one other foreign teacher in their placement city
    • Cities in the center of Vietnam are not common

    Contract Length

    • 12 month contracts available year-round in language centers, public schools, and a combination of both
    • Contracts shorter than 12 months have their length depending on when you begin, as a commitment until the end of the school year (May/June) is required

    Work Schedule

    • Language schools: teaching in the afternoons and evenings + weekends. You will still get 2 days off per week, but they might be a Monday and Wednesday for example.*
    • Public school hours: only weekdays in the mornings and afternoons*
    • 15 -25 total teaching hours fluctuate from week to week
    • Teachers will get two days off per week but may not be consecutive
    • Paid holidays
    • Vacation leave (amount varies from school to school)

    *Note that many teachers work a combination of public and private school hours, or work in a public school during the school year and then in a private language school during the summer break.


  • Accommodation

    Once you’re placed in a teaching position, you’ll move to your long-term accommodation, generally near your school.

    Accommodation is sometimes there waiting for teachers but not always, more often than not teachers are housed for a few nights by the school and then they need to find their own accommodation for long term. We will provide full support and guidance on finding accommodation.

    There are two very typical accommodation arrangements for teachers in Vietnam: renting a studio apartment or renting a room in a shared apartment, typically with other teachers on the program. Both options will come furnished, and it’s fairly common for teachers to hire a cleaning/laundry person to come a couple times a week, which is very affordable in Vietnam.

    Rent is typically $250 – 450 USD per month

  • Orientation

    All participants will participate in a week long group orientation upon arrival, whether you are taking the TESOL course or not.

    At orientation, you’ll have the opportunity to meet many other new like-minded and adventurous teachers who have also just arrived! Since most teachers are placed in and around HCMC and Hanoi, you’ll get to know a few people you’ll be spending the coming months with! Orientation includes important activities and classes on what to expect on your program, the Vietnamese language, and local culture. Shared accommodation is included for the duration of orientation, as well as for the duration of the course for those staying an additional 3 weeks for certification.  Meals are not included, but there are many inexpensive, cheap options in the area.

    Orientation week is full of fun activities and excursions, which are included in the program (note that these will vary based on start date):

    • Welcome dinner
    • Vietnamese culture and cistory lessons
    • Vietnamese language lessons
    • Vietnamese cooking class
    • War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi tunnels
    • Market tour with the Vietnamese staff, to help learn basic phrases and how to buy items at a market
    • Local temple tour
    • Night market food tour

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    There are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from your program manager.
    • Our alumni recommend us! GoOverseas.com Reviews // GoAbroad.com Reviews
    • We make our program fees as inclusive as possible. We include things like extensive medical insurance for the duration of the program (medical maximum of $200,000 and prescription coverage with $0 copay) and accommodation for the entire TESOL course in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, so you don’t run into any hidden or unexpected fees down the line
    • Connect with alumni and others on the program via our Greenheart Travel only Facebook forums, before you even leave!
    • Exclusive access to the Greenheart Atlas, our interactive program that will guide you through your cultural immersion experience before, during, and after your program
    • Hands-on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission-based organization
    • Continued support throughout your contract

    We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel teachers and alumni!

    1. Greenheart Grants: Greenheart Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A Greenheart Grant is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.
    2. Greenheart Alumni Program: We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!
    3. Greenheart Global Leaders Conference: Each August Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to over 40 alumni to attend our annual conference in Washington, DC. Participants even get a chance to advocate for cultural exchange in a presentation to the US Department of State. You can see more about what GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.
  • FAQs

    Am I guaranteed a job placement?

    Yes, acceptance onto the program means placement is guaranteed once you are in Vietnam. We have a 100% success rate in placing our teachers, and would not accept you onto the program unless we were sure we could place you.

    When will I find out where I will be placed?

    For the placement only program, you’ll interview over Skype and get your placement assignment before you go to Vietnam. For those taking the TESOL course, you’ll interview with schools during your course and receive your assignment while you’re there.

    Can I choose where I'm placed?

    While we can’t 100% guarantee anything, the vast majority of our placements are in the HCMC and Hanoi area so it’s very likely you’ll be placed in one of these major cities. Teachers are currently in extremely high demand in Vietnam, so it’s very likely you’ll be placed in your city of choice!

    Will I be the only foreign teacher?

    Nope! You will be working at a private language school which employs multiple foreign teachers at a time.

    Can I apply with my friend/spouse/significant other?

    Yes! We’re able to easily place groups of 2, 3, even 4 friends in the same place!

    Are my meals included throughout my placement?

    You will be responsible for your own meals during your time in Vietnam. Vietnamese food is very fresh, inexpensive and easy to obtain.

    How do I get a visa?

    You’ll apply for a business visa and receive a visa stamp upon arrival. Once you start at your school, they will assist you with turning your business visa into a work permit.

    What if I want to stay longer than one contract How do I extend?

    If you’d like to stay at the same school, you can just sign another contract with them directly! If you’d like to move schools or towns, we can easily place you with another school at no charge!

    How will I get to school every day?

    You will be provided with a stipend intended to cover your commuting expenses. You may choose to take a taxi to school every day. Many teachers choose motorbike taxis as their form of transportation as they are very affordable. However, this option should only be taken after careful consideration of the dangerous roads and and very heavy traffic conditions in Vietnam. We do not recommend driving motorbikes in Vietnam.

    When is the first and last day of school?

    Since you’re working at a private language school, your first and last day will be outlined in your contract, not based on the school year (since classes run year-round).

    What holidays will I have off?

    You will have all Vietnamese public holidays off throughout the year, the longest break being Têt, the Vietnamese New Year, which is usually celebrated for 7 days, starting on the first day of the first month of the Lunar Calendar (usually late January/early February).

    Will I have access to internet?

    WiFi is widely accessible in Vietnam, although Vietnam does block certain websites.

    What will my duties be during my contract?

    The following are the key duties expected of you. These will vary slightly between schools, participants and programs. Classroom duties as a teacher include:

    • Teaching English to a range of classes at public schools and/or language schools for up to 25 classroom teaching hours per week
    • Classroom administration (such as taking attendance, marking homework, reporting grades etc.)
    • Preparation of teaching materials and lesson plans
    • Attending meetings as required
    • Participation in after-school activities and cultural events.

    It is the expectation of the school that teachers will maintain a high professional standard at all times and actively contribute to the life of the school.

    Can I bring my children or pets?

    We cannot support teachers wanting to bring children or pets on the program.

    Can I talk with alumni or current participants from the program?

    Of course! Please join our Facebook community specifically for teachers in Vietnam, or check out our reviews on GoOverseas.com!

    Will I have insurance?

    You will be covered by comprehensive international medical and accident insurance through Greenheart Travel for 1 YEAR as part of your program fee. This will cover you for most medical expenses you could incur, like prescriptions, ER visits, doctor visits, dental accidents, and hospitalizations. If you want to extend your coverage, we’ll provide the link to purchase additional coverage.

    Will I have access to a phone?

    It is very easy and cheap to get cell phones in Vietnam. Phones cost about $30, and then it is pay as you go. You can also bring your own unlocked cell phone and just buy a new SIM card, which is only $2 or $3.

    What language do they speak in Vietnam?

    The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese.

    What if I don't speak Vietnamese?

    That’s totally ok! You’ll get some introductory Vietnamese classes during your orientation to help get you started. You’ll be expected to speak English all the time for your job, and for your personal life you’ll gradually pick up everything you need to know! A bit of preparation is always a good idea though! Even 10-20 minutes on Duolingo can do wonders.

    I am a vegetarian – will this be a problem in Vietnam?

    It can be a bit challenging to be a vegetarian in Vietnam. Most of the food in the restaurants contain some sort of meat, meat broth, or are prepared with fish sauce. However, there are traditional restaurants in Vietnam that serve strictly vegetarian fare. Look for restaurants that say “chay“ (vegetarian in Vietnamese) on the sign. In addition, there is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in the markets for those interested in cooking their own meals!

    What should I wear?

    Vietnamese teachers dress professionally. While teaching, you should dress “business casual”. Women should wear skirts/dresses that are knee length or longer, or nice pants.  Tops should cover your chest and shoulders. Men should wear trousers with collared shirts (polos or button-downs).

    Outside of the classroom is more flexible, but you should keep in mind that the Vietnamese tend to be more conservative than most Western countries, especially in the rural areas outside of the city.

    Will I need any vaccinations or immunizations to travel to Vietnam?

    All teachers need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving to their destination country.

    We recommend visiting your doctor or a local travel clinic for updated advice on recommended immunizations. You should visit a doctor a couple of months before your program.

    Here is some health information for Vietnam: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/vietnam

    Is Vietnam safe?

    Vietnam is a very safe country. However, just like in any country, you should exercise some caution: be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on your belongings, don’t walk alone late at night, etc. In tourist areas street hawkers will approach you to buy their goods but a firm ‘’khong” or “no” is enough to put them off. Bag snatching from foreigners is probably the most common threat in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.


    How much money should I bring with me to Vietnam?

    It’s best to have at least $2,000 USD in the bank going into the program. It is unlikely that you will use all of it, but it’s good to have additional funds for unexpected expenses and travel. You will also need to support yourself until your first paycheck comes through, often at the end of you first month of teaching. We also recommend having access to a credit card in case of  an emergency expense.

    Can I use my credit card in Vietnam?

    Day to day use of credit cards in Vietnam is fairly rare. Some higher end or touristy places or malls may accept cards, but expect to primarily use cash.

    Is it expensive to live in Vietnam?

    The cost of living in Vietnam is very low, and your salary will be plenty to live off of. The cost of a domestic beer is less than $1.00 USD, and an inexpensive meal can cost less than $2.00 USD!

    Should I exchange for Vietnamese currency before arriving?

    There’s no need to exchange your money before arriving. You can withdraw money from the ATM at the airport once you arrive, and throughout your stay in Vietnam. You can also bring some cash ($200-300 USD), and exchange it for Vietnamese Dong at an exchange kiosk in the airport upon arrival. However, exchange rates from ATMs tends to be better than at exchange kiosks. It’s good to travel with some cash to exchange in case you have any trouble with the ATM.

    I identify as LGBTQ+. How will I be supported?

    Our staff and in-country partners are also very welcoming and accepting of all gender identities. We can provide extra support if needed. 

    During the application process we are happy to provide information on the cultural norms of our destination countries and are prepared to advise you on the best programs based on your needs and interests. 

    Please read more here.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.

    2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.

    3. Submit your Application Fee: A $300 application fee is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your application fee in full.

    4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.

    5. Skype Interview: Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application fee, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    7. Commitment Payment: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment payment within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. Once you submit your commitment payment you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Vietnam!

    Required Documents To Apply

    1. Terms and Conditions (signed virtually in portal)
    2. Copy of Passport
    3. Resume
    4. Criminal Record Check – Greenheart Travel pays for this for US Citizens as part of the online application
    5. Copy of your University Degree or Transcript
    6. TEFL/TESOL Certificate (unless you plan to take the TESOL course in Vietnam)

    Physical Documents

    You will need to bring the following physical documents with you to Vietnam in order for the school to process your visa paperwork:

    1. Copy of your Bachelor’s Degree Diploma, notarized and apostilled
    2. Government Issued Background Check (local, state, or national level), notarized and apostilled
    3. Your original TEFL/TESOL Certificate
  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to the program manager? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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