Teaching in Vietnam
I didn’t want to continue being a solicitor and I wanted to live abroad.
Time for a Career Change – Time to be a TEFL Teacher Harriet Parker
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A journalist who wrote a new story as a teacher Paloma Tiba
Everyone mentions it, everyone talks about it, but you don’t quite understand it until you’re excited, nervous and eager, slightly terrified, but definitely ready to start your new job.
While instead you end up being late, lost and stranded with a broken-down motorbike in a country where you definitely do not speak the language.
Before I moved to Vietnam I was teaching in Scotland, loving my job but wanting to travel. I knew that if I hadn’t done it then it would have never happened.
I am a qualified teacher, but I decided to do a TEFL course to ensure I had every route covered before I went away.
The hardest step was committing to saying yes, however having my TEFL course behind me made this a little easier. It seemed that once I’d completed my course and booked my flights everything else fell into place.
Living in Vietnam has ticked off a lot of firsts for me: the first time I’ve seen an entire family fit on a motorbike, the first time I’ve worked 5+ jobs at one time and the first time I’ve laid by 5 star pools all day thinking how this can be my life.
The Vietnamese life is easy. The people are friendly; the weather is great and the country is beautiful. The people here value the small things, the place they live and the people around them. Living here teaches you to appreciate those too.
I chose Vietnam for a couple of reasons but one of the main reasons being that TEFL teachers were and still are in high demand. For Native speakers finding work is very easy. Work is plentiful, the pay is good and in general you can teach around your own schedule.
Before I left I didn’t have anything but a hostel booked. I decided to go and see what happens instead of committing to too many things beforehand. I still believe that this was one of my best decisions to date.
My plan was to live in Hanoi for six months and then move on. I stayed in Hanoi for two weeks and have now been living in Da Nang for over a year. Having no commitments when I arrived meant that I had the option to travel around and see what I liked, find an area that suited me and what I wanted out of my trip.
Teaching here has taught me a lot. It has taught me that there are many ways to do the same thing. That different people value different things as they teach but at the end of the day kids will be kids. The children I used to teach are extremely different to those I teach now but every child just wants the opportunity to learn.
Living in Vietnam has opened so many doors for me. One of the best things about being in South East Asia is that you’re in South East Asia. You know you’ve made the right decision when a weekend trip to Bangkok is always an option.
So, my only question is, if you don’t do it now when will you?