Why I came to teach English in Vietnam, and Why you should too..

After I decided to go for a Teach Abroad program in Vietnam, the question I have been asked most frequently by almost every single colleague, friend or family was – why would you do that?! Really, why would anyone in their sound mind leave a good career and travel literally to the other end of the world alone, just by herself?
I gave it some thought and came up with some of the things that motivated me to go for it. I will be very happy if these will help you too if you are considering a similar adventure.

Teaching Abroad makes long-term travel possible!

I have always wanted to travel in Asia. If you live in Europe, short-term vacations to Asia are only a “teaser” – you get a taste of Asia, but a vacation is not enough to really experience the country and its culture fully. So doing a teach abroad programme in Asia is perfect from that perspective – you can travel long term, you can work while you travel, and you can see the country from the inside. Travelling and living in Asia is like finding yourself on a different planet. You suddenly discover that everything you have known all your life about how the world works, everything you have known about relationships with people, everything you have known about yourself and how you react to things is no longer as valid as you would think because you are in an environment that is totally different from what you have been used to all your life. This teaches you to open yourself up and start looking at the world like a small child who is just learning things from scratch, and this is an absolutely wonderful feeling!

You learn and practice new things every day -Teaching is a very creative job!

Doing a TEFL course and teaching abroad for me is a very fun and creative job when no two days are alike. You try new things in your work every day, you teach others and you learn yourself from that experience. You interact with all sorts of people of all ages and backgrounds, and you learn something about the country you live in and about yourself from all those interactions.

Teaching abroad allows you to earn well while living in a low-cost country! (You can save up for your travels and other plans)

Doing TEFL and teaching abroad is a very good way of earning money while you travel. It is a kind of a stereotype that you need to money to travel, this programme is there to break that stereotype – you can earn money WHILE you travel! If you chose to do the course in Asia, you will be living in a country with very low living cost. With a salary of an expat teacher, you will be able to afford a very good and fun lifestyle enjoying your life, experiencing the country from the inside while also being able to save money.

You get to live a very relaxed lifestyle!

vietnamOn a teach abroad journey, you get to live a totally different lifestyle compared to what your life has been before that in your office job. You have practically no mandatory commitments – you are free to choose how much time you want to work, you can finally get rid of the working-early-in-the-morning torture (at least for me it was a torture ), you get to have a lot of free time and you have a much more relaxed and slow life after all!

You get to try all sorts of exotic foods!

One of my most favourites – when travelling, you get to try a lot of exotic foods! Every new dish you try is a surprise – because very few people speak English, you can never know what your food is made of, so there is endless room for experimenting  I have been vegetarian for a very long time, and Vietnam is a paradise from that perspective – there are dozens of exotic fruits and vegetables you can try (I still don’t know the names of all of them). Also noteworthy, the food (and cost of living in general) is extremely cheap compared to anywhere in Europe.

Vietnam- Exotic foods

These are just a few of the reasons why I considered doing a teach abroad program. Four months into it, I have been enjoying every second!

vietnam sunset

Written by: Gayane Tonoyan, Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh paid job program April 2016