Digital Nomad’s Guide: Teaching English Online in Vietnam

Teaching English online in Vietnam can be a rewarding and lucrative job due to the country’s low cost of living.

Earn the dollar but spend in the Vietnamese Dong (VND; ₫). That’s a 1 to 24,385 exchange rate (roughly, as of 2023.)

But how can we do this?

Step by Step: How to teach online from Vietnam

Here are the steps you can follow to get started:

Qualifications and Requirements

First, ensure you meet the necessary qualifications to teach English.

Typically, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree (in any field) and be a native or fluent English speaker. Some online teaching platforms may have additional requirements.

While not always mandatory, having a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification can enhance your chances of finding students and getting higher-paying gigs. Many online teaching companies prefer or require these certifications.

Choose an Online Platform

Decide whether you want to work with a specific online teaching platform or offer your services independently. Some popular platforms for online English teaching in Vietnam include VIPKid, iTalki, and Cambly. Each platform has its own requirements and payment structure.

Set Up Your Workspace

Create a suitable teaching environment at home. Ensure you have a good internet connection, a reliable computer, a webcam, and a headset with a microphone for clear communication.

Create a Professional Profile

If you’re using an online platform, create a professional profile that highlights your qualifications, teaching experience, and availability. Include a friendly photo and a brief introduction.

Market Yourself

Promote your services through social media, forums, and teaching directories. You can also consider advertising on local classified websites or reach out to language schools in Vietnam for potential students.

Set Your Rates

Determine your hourly rates for lessons. Rates can vary depending on your qualifications and experience. Research what other online English teachers are charging to stay competitive.

Schedule and Availability

Be clear about your teaching schedule and availability. Vietnamese students often prefer early morning or evening classes to fit their time zones.

Prepare for the Interview

If you’re applying to work with an online teaching platform, be prepared for an interview and possibly a demo lesson. Show enthusiasm, professionalism, and teaching skills during the interview process.

Manage Payments and Taxes

Ensure you have a system in place to manage payments from your students. Be aware of any tax obligations in your home country and Vietnam, as you may need to report your income. Remember, if you are in the USA you will get double taxed. That’s right: you have to pay taxes in the US and in Vietnam.

Continuous Improvement

Stay updated with teaching techniques and materials. Attend webinars or workshops, and seek feedback from your students to improve your teaching skills. I suggest networking with other teachers to stay up to teach on your teaching.

Depending on your location and the platform you work with, there may be legal requirements or visa considerations to teach English online in Vietnam.

It’s essential to research and comply with any applicable regulations around your VISA or residency.


Remember that the demand for English teachers can vary, so it may take some time to establish a steady flow of students. Be patient and persistent in marketing your services and delivering quality lessons to build a successful online teaching business in Vietnam.

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Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL
Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL

Ingrid Maria Pimsner has been teaching for over a decade in various universities, nonprofits, and private academies. She has taught English as a Second Language for Lutheran Children & Family Service, Nationalities Service Center, Lernstudio Barbarossa Berlin-Tegel, and more. In addition to her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification, she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from Maryland Institute College of Art.