Opinion Requested: Racism and Ageism in Teaching in Vietnam


Marco Sison's picture
By Marco Sison - Posted on
14 April 2015

Sorry for the long post. I wanted feedback specific to my situation. TL;DR Can I live in Hanoi/HCMC on my savings and a full time teacher’s salary?

Thank you in advance for any insight and assistance you can provide.

Assistance Requested: Personal opinion on my specific situation from people with in-country experience

Should I be more realistic about my chances of getting a mid-high level teaching job, given my age, professional experience, and Ethnicity (details below)? Mid-high level as defined by pay range >$1500 per month + paid holidays, without wholly unreasonable requests for unpaid activity and/or commutes.

How much do I realistically need to make to be upper middle class in Vietnam?

I am no stranger to budget living. I have lived in the US on less than $25,000 per year. When I travel, I am more hostels and street food, than hotels and bistros. However, my plan is to increase my standard of living slightly by semi-retiring in SEA. Nothing exorbitant, but I am trying to gauge what is realistic.

Unlike prior posters asking about salary, I have saved up enough to never HAVE to work again. As long as I keep my expenses under $18,000 per year, I can live off my savings. From what I am reading, I can live okay in Hanoi/HCMC on $1500 per month ($18000/12 months). Taken in combination with the teaching salary question posted above, what kind of lifestyle can I realistically afford on $1500 per month + a full time teaching income?

Professional Overview:
Currently living in Rio De Janeiro as the Commercial Director of a US Publicaly Traded Helicopter company. I have held Vice President and Director level positions in Finance, Sales, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Business Development for multiple Fortune 50 companies.
I am a graduate from a US Top 10 Undergraduate Business School, with 4 degrees (Accounting, Computer Information Systems, International Business, and Operations Management) and 1 minor (Speech Communication). I plan to complete my CELTA either prior to arrival in Vietnam or shortly thereafter.

When viewed from a potential employer's perspective, will my professional accomplishments help outweigh my lack of prior teaching experience?

This is Professional landing page: http://www.marcosison.com (website is still WIP)

Personal Overview: I am a 41 year old, native speaker (US) with Philippine dual citizenship. I have significant travel/backpacking experience and have lived overseas in developing counties (Czech Republic and Brazil) for multiple years. My intent is long term semi-retirement in SEA, with teaching as a supplemental activity. However, I have been reading on these boards that Vietnam ESL programs have a STRONG preference to “White” and young teachers.

While I am not “White”, my mannerism and physical appearance is atypical Asian. My physical appearance has always been an advantage for me, not a drawback. In the same vein, my physical appearance, outlook, and attitude has never led anyone to believe I am over 40.

Can the discrimination I face be overcome?
What should I realistically expect to make with my background and circumstances? [/i]
My Personal Website: http://intelligenthustler.com (website is still WIP)

Read more posts about Vietnam

Search Expat Arrivals

Become our local expat expert for your area!

Become our local expat expert for your area! We are looking for contributors to help make this the ultimate guide for expats. Get in touch if you can provide useful info on your city or answer forum questions from new expats.
Find out more.

Got a question about your new country?

X
Login with your Facebook account (Recommended)