Hannah Louise James

Teach Enrich Empower

Another Hanoi-ing TEFL Story

I graduated from the University of Leeds with a first-class degree in English Literature and History in 2015. I knew from my year abroad in Germany that I loved the experience of living and working abroad. Initially, I spent 12 months in New Zealand on a working holiday visa which was a fantastic experience.

However, my TEFL course has allowed me to pursue a career option as well as travel. I am in my mid-twenties, and the option of gaining skills working abroad and travelling was a no brainer for me. Once I completed my 120 online TEFL course in Cardiff, I decided to book a flight to Hanoi with my partner and look for a job on arrival.

Firstly, the TEFL course was really interesting and engaging. On my weekend classroom session, my TEFL teacher was really charismatic which was very motivating. The TEFL Academy and my TEFL teacher were more than happy to answer any questions I had and provide helpful websites and solutions to finding work and further qualifications.

I arrived in Hanoi with the intention of seeing how it went for 6 months. By the end of my first week in Hanoi, I was teaching in a fantastic school and putting everything from my TEFL course into practice. I have now been here for over 6 months and have signed a year’s contract with my school.

“My TEFL course has allowed me to pursue a career option as well as travel”

It might all sound a bit straightforward, but I am not the exception. Fortunately, for native English speakers, TEFL teachers are in high demand in Vietnam. This makes finding work very easy, and the pay more than reasonable. I teach about 18 hours a week (not including lesson planning), but more often than not you have the final say on how many hours you choose to work.

Living in Hanoi itself is a fantastic experience. No moped ride is ever the same, and there is always something to see on each street. Some people say it is a city with a village feel, and that is one aspect I really enjoy about it. It is a modern, quickly developing city and buzzing with history and culture. The food is great. I am a vegetarian, my partner isn’t, and the menu here satisfies herbivores and carnivores very well.

Travel opportunities are also in abundance here. The bus, rail and domestic flight links are regular and reasonably priced. We tend to go away and visit somewhere new every couple of weeks, and the landscape spoils you from beaches to mountains to jungles to caves.

What next? I don’t intend to stay here forever, but my TEFL qualification allows me to teach elsewhere or take the transferable skills into another career path. Personally, I love teaching and would eventually like to train as a primary school teacher, but for the next couple of years at least I will continue to travel and work as an EFL teacher where possible!

If the thought has crossed your mind to try out a TEFL course, it will only open doors for you!

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