In the last few months it appears that an increasing number of people have moved to Danang in search of English teaching work. This is a brief guide to teaching English in Danang to let people know what to expect when looking for work.
If you have a question that is not covered here, please ask it in the comments and I will try to add it to this list.
Is it easy to get a job in Danang?
No. Danang is now a popular destination for English teachers in Vietnam. Most teachers in Danang have spent some time in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City and are looking to escape to Danang.
Due to more teachers looking for work, schools can now afford to be picky rather than accept anyone who walks through the door, as was the case a few years ago. Unless you work for one of the 2 major schools (ILA, Apollo) that offer good contracts and usually hire before arrival, expect to work for 3 or 4 different schools in order to get enough hours.
Obviously, the more qualified, experienced and presentable you are, the more likely you will find work. Fresh CELTA or TESOL graduates or anyone with less than 12 months experience will find it difficult to get paid well and to find enough hours.
How much is the typical hourly rate?
The typical rate for new teachers at most of the schools in Danang is between $12 and $16 per hour. If you work at a school for a while and build a good relationship, that rate can increase.
Even with a lot of experience and qualifications don’t expect more than $20 per hour, this rate may be typical in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City for experienced teachers but it is rare in Danang.
Also be aware that some schools will take tax out of your hourly rate while others may not. It is unlikely that schools which pay an hourly rate are passing income taxes taken from teachers onto the tax department.
Will my school organise my work permit and visa?
No. The work permit and visa situation is complicated, it always has been and always will be. The majority of schools in Danang don’t know how to go about getting work permits for teachers and it is too much hassle for them to figure it out.
Schools will lie to you. They will tell you that they can “assist” you with visa extensions and work permit paperwork. Very rarely does this assistance result in a work permit and a permanent resident card.
Let me be clear. IF YOU ARE TEACHING WITHOUT A WORK PERMIT, YOU ARE WORKING ILLEGALLY. It doesn’t matter what your employer promised you. It doesn’t matter if the paperwork has been “submitted”. It doesn’t matter if you are waiting for certified documents from home.
Which schools are the best to work for?
The best school to work for is the one that gives you good hours and a good hourly rate.
The Big 2 schools mentioned earlier are generally considered good but as a result teachers don’t leave those schools so they don’t hire very often. You are more likely to receive recommendations about which schools to avoid rather than which schools are good.
Check out two posts about English schools in Danang and look through the comments for recommendations from other teachers. Keep in mind the dates that comments were posted. A few of the schools mentioned have closed down or relocated.
It is hard to keep this list up to date as things change quite regularly, please be aware of this when reading others opinions of the schools listed.
Will I be a able to get private teaching work and not have to work for a school?
Probably not. Private teaching work requires contacts and good relationships with a lot of locals, that is hard to do for new arrivals. The private teaching sector is also becoming a bit crowded meaning that prices are getting lower.
Similarly, it is difficult to get private work teaching in hotels or companies because other teachers are already established in providing this service.
Is it easy to organise my work permit and visa on my own?
No. Don’t bother. If you are new to Danang you will need a very patient Vietnamese speaking friend to assist you. Or you could use a visa service but beware, many will promise more than they can deliver.
It should be possible to extend a 3 month visa for a further 3 months at the immigration department in Danang. This has changed since January 1st, 2015 and may no longer be possible.
Where is the easiest/cheapest/best place to go for a Visa run?
I don’t like giving advice about the visa situation because it changes every day. The suggestions here are my own ideas that are accurate (according to me) at the time of writing.
The most common Visa run is to fly to Ho Chi Minh City then take a bus to Cambodia. Beware that some visas issued in Cambodia may not be genuine.
There have been a few cases of people being stopped at the border with dubious visas. If your visa is for more than 3 months and quite cheap, be suspicious.
Laos is another option for a visa run but is better if a holiday is included. Travelling by bus to Laos is a long trip, about 20 hours to Vientiane. Vietnamese consulates in Laos are a bit hit and miss too. Flying to Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok are also visa run options.
If you are wondering about price, I have deliberately not mentioned it because of wild variations. The price of a visa depends on your nationality, the country you are applying from, length, type, time of year, weather, day of the week and what the consular official ate for breakfast.
Yes, some people will tell you how much it cost them but don’t expect it to be the same for you. Also don’t be surprised if a visa agency quotes you one price and then a few days later (once they have your passport) tells you the fee has increased.
Teaching English in Danang is not an easy option if you are here for the short term. If you want to teach for a few months to save some travelling money, then I suggest you try Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Those 2 cities have a lot more work available and the visa situation is a little easier there.
If you are planning on staying in Danang for a year or more then be patient and be prepared to earn your stripes. Good luck.
If you have a question that has not been answered please ask in the comments.
Do not advertise your English school, visa service or other business in the comments.