With TESOL/TEFL training schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Australian Vocational Skills and Education (AVSE-TESOL) is seeking adventurous folks, young and old alike, keen on pursuing a Gap Year opportunity teaching English in Vietnam. Perhaps you just completed high school, but college or university isn’t on your personal agenda at the present time. You may be a corporate high-flyer, who is looking for ‘me-time’ away from the hustle and bustle. You might be a ‘grey-nomad’ who finds the idea of covering your travel expenses with paid-teaching work, an attractive proposition.


At AVSE-TESOL, we use the expression ‘Gap Year’ loosely. Your Gap Year might be a ‘Gap Three Months’, a ‘Gap Six Months’ or perhaps even a ‘Gap Who Knows How Long’. The decision is yours to make. We’re sufficiently flexible to present an opportunity for you to do paid-work teaching English in Vietnam over a period that fits in with your plans.

The first step with AVSE’s ‘Gap Year’ initiative involves equipping yourself with the skills, knowledge and internationally recognised certification that’s needed for teaching English in Vietnam. AVSE-TESOL offers an Australian Government accredited TESOL/TEFL training programme over a period of 4 weeks in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. While the TESOL/TEFL programme at AVSE comes with a fee, you’ll be pleased to know it includes accommodation for the entirety of the 4-week Australian Government accredited course. The fee also covers a welcome dinner and drinks on the Saturday evening before the course starts, a bus tour of downtown Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (depending on where you choose to complete the programme) on the Sunday before the course starts, all materials and equipment – and the cornerstone of the ‘Gap Year’ experience, that all-important paid job teaching English in Vietnam.

The second step with AVSE’s ‘Gap Year’ initiative is all about transitioning from the TESOL/TEFL programme in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to a paid teaching job. When you’ve finished the 4-week TESOL/TEFL programme, you have the choice of moving straight into a teaching job or taking up the job guarantee component of the ‘Gap Year’ package at a later date. Post TESOL/TEFL programme, some folks are determined to hit the ground running teaching English in Vietnam, immediately utilising the teaching skills and knowledge they’ve acquired. Others opt to do some travelling in Vietnam prior to commencing their first teaching job. It’s personal choice. Either is absolutely fine. There are jobs available the length and breadth of Vietnam, with the number of vacancies outstripping the number of TESOL/TEFL qualified people many times over.


Teaching placements typically come with a salary of US $17.00 +/- (net) per hour, depending on work location – rural, regional, city – and the availability of non-cash benefits such as complimentary accommodation. You can expect a workload of 20 to 25 classroom hours a week. When you multiply the hourly rate by the number of hours that are worked each week, you will see that a monthly salary of around US $1,400.00 +/- (net) is on offer through teaching English in Vietnam. With the cost of living in Vietnam being much lower than in Australia, the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa and many other countries, you can realistically expect to save (after meeting all living expenses) at least 50% of your salary without cutting corners. Frankly, I don’t know of anyone in my native Australia who can save between US $500.00 to US $1,000.00 a month working full-time hours, let alone only working 20 to 25 hours a week.

To summarise, if you’re looking for a ‘Gap Year’ experience, regardless of your age, background or the  specific timeframe, 3 , 6 or the full 12 months, teaching English in Vietnam is a great choice and with AVSE-TESOL in your corner, a realistic proposition. There’s no doubt the TESOL/TEFL course at AVSE in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City involves some ‘heavy lifting’, but you’d expect nothing less from certification that’s Australian Government accredited. You can be assured that AVSE-TESOL will be by your side every step of the way. The TESOL/TEFL programme at AVSE will provide you with the skills set and a firm grip on what’s required to be a brilliant English language teacher. On top of all this, you have the Employment Guarantee – which AVSE-TESOL takes very seriously – that comes with the TESOL/TEFL programme. As they say in that famous advertisement – Just do it!

About the writer: Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Peter Goudge now calls Ho Chi Minh City home. More than a decade ago Peter Goudge set up the Australia-Vietnam School of English (AVSE) and his business interests have grown to include Teacher Training Schools (AVSE-TESOL) in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh. If you’d like more information about teaching English in Vietnam, feel free to reach out to Peter via email: peter@avse.edu.vn