Travel, Teach, Live in Asia
I have been in Hanoi for 6 months now after spending 2 years in China. As much as I love the Vietnamese people, when it comes to business and money they cannot be trusted at all. This is something they have learnt from their northern neighbours, which is a shame. Contracts here are not worth the paper they are written on. The language centres are full of big promises that are in fact nothing but big lies. At least the students are far more dedicated than the chinese. Though I seriously question the students being given the choice of whether the teachers get a job or is fired. Of course the 15/16 year olds do not want to do any work they just want to play games. If you do not play games for the whole lesson, they will complain and you will be fired.
I recently had a job with a language centre. They gave me work at one university, the students were great and everything was fine. The language centre then offered me more work at another university, which I accepted. I asked what I thought were relevant, and important questions regarding the new job. Such as, what is the address? what building? which room? what level are the students?, what book are they using? and is there a projector available? My questions went unanswered, so I followed it up with another email. Yet again unanswered, so I sent a text message, unanswered. I sent another email to two people at the office, no answer. I called and left a message, no reply. I spoke about this with a friend and she called them twice to ask why wouldn't they answer my questions, no logical reason was given. I sent another email and this time I got a reply. I was told I was unprofessional, impolite and asked why do I keep asking those questions????????????????????????????? I was fired.
This is normal behaviour with the language centres here in Hanoi, normal yet truly strange. Then there is the problem with language centres that love to hire the backpackers as they know they can get them at a cheaper rate whilst still charging the students an outrageous fee. Then the is the other problem with the larger international schools, they have a couple of americans in the office, therefore they hire more americans irrespective of qualifications.
Clearly this country needs to clean up its act, but I doubt this will happen anytime soon. Corruption is too widespread, kickbacks for this, that, and everything. My advice to you if you are thinking of coming to Vietnam to work. Ignore promises of contracts and full time employment, its just not true. Expect to work one or two trial lessons so the students can evaluate you, most do not pay for these trial lesson. To them its just a chance to make some money, students get charged for the lesson but you dont get paid. Simply do not believe anything they tell you as there are always hidden extras and you may sign a contract today and be fired tomorrow. They dont care as they will just get another backpacker to replace you. Otherwise I love the Vn people, they are friendly and helpful much more so than those horrible chinese.
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- Teaching in HCMC Viet Nam -- Jody