ILA Vietnam

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If you are looking for full-time teaching opportunities starting immediately, come to Vietnam. ILA has positions teaching adults, young learners and corporate clients starting immediately, with 12 month contracts available. ILA offers highly competitive salary and benefits, world-class facilities, exceptional support and development, and opportunities to volunteer in the community. If you are looking for an initial language teaching qualification, ILA offers the Cambridge CELTA course every 5 weeks.

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Questions & Answers

They prefer one year contracts, but I would say it is possible. There is high turnover of staff and if you willing to accept a job at a location further away from Saigon or in high season, like Summer, it is possible. It depends on how many teachers they need at the time. Make your conditions clear, then go ahead an apply. There are also many other ESL schools in Vietnam where you can also get...
Hi Andrew, Officially, to gain a work visa in Vietnam an applicant will need to be a native speaker with a bachelor's degree. A criminal background check is also required. A TEFL certificate or work experience is not mandatory, however, it may help you get a job. You can find more information on our guide to teaching English in Vietnam here:


based on 12 reviews
  • Benefits 6.6
  • Support 6.3
  • Fun 7.3
  • Facilities 6.8
  • Safety 6.7
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
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After landing in HCMC, I was thrown into my CELTA a whole 24 hours later. (In hindsight, not the best idea I've ever had. You should leave at least 36 hours). The CELTA itself was as full-on as I expected it to be, I feel more so for people with zero teaching experience, such as myself (perhaps due to confidence in front of a class, lack of ideas for activites etc). I feel there is more to be gained from the CELTA at ILA if you already have even a tiny bit of experience teaching. The CELTA program seemed well organised and efficient. The teacher trainers where always on hand to help if you asked for it. Not much slack is given for any mishaps, family deaths, muggings (about a 1/3 of us got mugged at some point in that first month of naivity about D1 of HCM), it has to be said. I can't say I ever made it out of D1 in that month of the CELTA - long days at and evenings full of lesson planning where the main focus. Anyway, we all survived, we all passed, and a fairly large proportion of us went on to work for ILA around Vietnam. Still here, truly having a ball!

How can this program be improved?
Turning this into a 5 week course would make a vast difference to the level of enjoyment that people get out of doing it. The level of pressure is extremely high, and a lot of people suffer a lot from it, or drop out altogether. Allowing 5 weeks instead of 4 would ensure that everyone gained a lot more out of the program, and came away with a more positive attitude about the course, and their future teaching career.
Yes, I recommend this program
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I did the CELTA course back in Feb 2013, It was a challenging course. The programs started at from 7am to 5pm in the afternoon and homework was given. This kept me busy for the duration of the course. The course formatted so that the student teachers would practice theory in the morning and teach all afternoon. As the program progressed the amount of hours for theory would be reduced until we were teaching all day long. There was support available if one didn't understand but being independent was a key aspect of the program. Funny story, I broke my leg before the course started, the handicapped facilities are limited in Vietnam are limited, so every morning was a painful commute. I had to drag myself up the stairs to get to the elevator. That wasn't too fun but it happened, now that I look back on it, it made me stronger, now I complain less when problems arise.

How can this program be improved?
I would make it a little less independent especially for those that have little or no experience. Either create a pre-course that teaches you baby steps or incorporate a further support system. One of the problems was that if you had a question after hours for the assignment the next day, you might not get a response in time.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Stay away! They'll rip you off.

I started working for ILA after doing the CELTA. They told me about all of the documents I needed to work there, and I happily provided them, incurring all of those expenses myself without reimbursement. However, they were never able to get me a work permit, so they could not set up a bank account for me. Eventually I was denied renewing my visa because it turns out that their HR department lost my BA, which would take me three months to replace. I had to leave the country on short notice and pay a large fine at the border because they indicated that everything was alright with my visa and that it was just being "processed." Unfortunately they had done nothing and by the time my passport was returned, I had overstayed my visa. They now refuse to send me my final pay because I was never legally employed by them. I'm worried that I may have been scammed, but there's nothing I can really do about it. I'm working in Cambodia at the moment until I can save up enough to buy a plane ticket home.

No, I don't recommend this program
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When you've worked in other language schools you appreciate ILA

Having worked in a few countries in Asia teaching English I was sure that Vietnam was going to be the same; overcrowded classrooms, no support, no resources and no pressure to deliver a good lesson.

In Cambodia I was teaching upwards of 40 students with no help and no air-con. In Korea they only cared about having a white person standing in front of the class.

When I got interviewed for ILA I was told that some centers did have classes at government schools and that these would be busier than those in ILA centres. I was given a choice of whether I wanted to teach these classes or not. I decided after teaching so many students in the past I would like to experience a different style of teaching.

I had 14 students, a fantastic teaching assistant and enough resources to take on cover classes with little preparation. The cover was optional and a good way to earn overtime.

If you've experienced teaching in Asia before then this is a nice surprise as the cost of living in Vietnam is very low and the quality of life is high for a teacher. There is pressure to perform good quality lessons and there are a lot of observations and workshops which you must complete but for the career teacher this is a goldmine. For those just looking for short term jobs to fund travelling this is probably not the place for you. There are plenty of schools in Vietnam that don't care about their standards and pay cash in hand. If quick money is what you are looking for then these schools are probably a good bet.

As with all big companies there are some issues but the ones I had were always dealt with, although not always in a timely fashion. Once again, if you've worked in EFL before this is nothing new and at least you get paid on time.

Working in VN can be hard as the work permit process is a nightmare and can take a long time.

How can this program be improved?
It would have been nice to have 2 consecutive days off but in some ways it was nice to get the bulk of the hours done at weekends and then just have 3 evening classes a week.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Best School to work for in Vietnam

Maybe some centres are different to others but my experience couldn't have been more different from those written below.

I had 2 years of post CELTA experience and was offered a payscale suited to my experience which was more than I was expecting. I was also given the opportunity to learn how to teach all age groups including exam classes like IELTS.

They reimbursed $150 for my document notarisation and also an $800 relocation allowance. I got paid on time and didn't have much to complain about. Like I said earlier, this may be different for each centre as they have quite a few.

The kids were great and my colleagues were always helpful and fun to work with. After 2 years I was made a senior teacher and thanks to this I gained employment with the British Council in Barcelona when I left another 2 years later.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Not quite a scam, but not quite a real job

Working here has been absolutely horrible, and it seems like things started to go downhill around when I started. Apparently the original owners sold out and a lot of things have been changed from how they originally were. It used to be a good place to work by the sound of it from ILA veterans. It is not a good place anymore.

In my experience, the management has no regard for the teaching staff. They basically treat us like migrant workers. I came here with a PGCE and previous experience teaching in SE Asia and the UK, but none of that matters to them. When you start working here, you will be inundated with inaccurate information and they will attempt to make up some reason to put you on the lowest pay scale. For me, it was that I didn't have the "correct" documents proving my work experience, even though I gave them valid contact information for all of my previous employers. They had even phoned HR at all of them and told me I wouldn't need to provide any further information! And then they wouldn't reimburse any of the costs associated with getting my visa.

The only thing worse than the bureaucrats are the working conditions. The first week I started here, I caught pink eye from a child. I had even tried sending this particular child home because he obviously had pink eye, but the academic manager just escorted him right back to class and said to deal with it. Nearly a half dozen students caught it as well. I was quite appalled.

The management is very insular. Most of the people who have become managers have done a certification that they've bought from ILA and stay because they hope ILA will eventually reimburse them. I have found the management quite hostile toward ideas outside of their narrow scope. Asking for any type of explanation behind a certain methodology always leads back to the certification they've bought from ILA. I don't think I can advance my career here at all because I haven't bought into everything they pontificate. It feels like a pyramid scheme sometimes.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Wish I'd worked somewhere else

I've been teaching EFL for a long time, and I don't think ILA is a good place to work whether you have experience or not. They don't really give you what's advertised. I was under the impression that I'd be making more money when I started this job based on estimates their HR coordinator gave me, but I probably made about 65% of what they put on, and they were completely unwilling to offer any of the reimbursements they offered when I took the job. Moreover, working there has been really unrewarding. Many of my coworkers were given a non-performance based $800 bonus earlier this year and I wasn't because my contract started in a different month.

The facilities are really bad where I work. They go on about how you can use Ipads and interactive whiteboards in your lesson, but the IWBS are usually broken and actually using an Ipad is way more trouble than it's worth because a bunch of Vietnamese games have been downloaded on them, their wifi is always messed up, and the staff hardy ever charge the things. Moreover, everything has to be done through their server (e.g. printing, using Word, playing an audio track from a coursebook CD), and there's some kind of problem with it at least once a week. There's not enough equipment in the office where I work, so sometimes the lack of resources combined with their crappy server means that it can take 40 minutes to print a handout for my class. That's assuming all of their junk even works right. I've lost count of the times I've come into work early to do something specific and haven't been able to because of either some IT or facilities related issue. None of these things have improved over time; it actually seems like things have been getting worse because they keep trying to deploy new crap without really testing it first.

The classes are run like a business. I've done level testing there and have seen students put into classes two levels above what I assigned them to because there wasn't an open class and the front office staff just wanted their commission. The great part about that is getting to hear all of my coworkers complain about it and put the blame on "whoever did the level test." Anytime there's been a problem with one of the students in my class, the management has been reluctant to address it. I once had a class with a special needs student who regularly turned violent toward other students, and after addressing this with the management, it took over a month before they removed him from the class (hence the low safety rating I gave on here). This kid would hit other children unprovoked, try to knock over desks, and randomly take his clothes off. The only reason they removed him from the class was because I said I wasn't going to teach it if I went there the next day and saw him, and they probably thought it would be too much trouble to get anyone else to do it because the kid had already been passed on to me from someone else.

Moreover, a lot of people I've worked with don't take their jobs seriously. They constantly call in sick because it's raining or something and wing all of their classes, but I get treated the same as them. This place is a backpacker school intent on fleecing Vietnamese people. Don't work for them.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Excellent resources, but high pressure

Lots of resources to supplement your teaching.
Most colleagues willing to share ideas.

Management is quite demanding.
Work load is quite heavy on the weekends.
Management takes every complaint from students seriously.
They will take away classes after a few complaints.
Customer satisfaction survey is done every course. It has more to do with teacher popularity than teacher quality.
Observations are very rigorous and put a lot of pressure on teacher to perform. It is also a way for the company to avoid giving annual pay raises. This discourages teachers from staying longer than a year.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Professional, Organized, Feel-Good

My husband and I worked for ILA in 2009. We had a very good academic manager and thought the school was run smoothly compared to so many other places we had worked at. There were plenty of materials, internet, and support when we needed it from the coordinator and assistant manager. We consider ourselves lucky to have had such great admin when we worked there. I also thought the volunteer system they have set up is pretty awesome. They help the community, especially children, so much. I admire that in a company. If we ever venture back to the Wild East, we would consider applying there once again based on our first experience. Good luck!

How can this program be improved?
Every place has its pros and cons. I find no cons too big to mention.
Yes, I recommend this program
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A supportive community!

I worked for ILA for a year and a half and it was a good experience all around.

The management are aupportive and there are a lot of supplementary resources. There are lots of opportunities for professional development and career growth.

The teachers are all really helpful and share ideas and resources. There is also a really fun social element to ILA. Everyone hangs out together and ILA holds social events and has a community netowrk which is a great opprtunity to get involved with the local community!

Overall is was a good place to work - better than a lot of other schools!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Think twice before working here

I worked at ILA Vietnam from March till October 2011. The children were a joy to teach, generally fun and well behaved. The school was also relatively well equipped. However the management were unreliable and dishonest. They gave me a 12 month contract and then revoked it after enrollment dropped down. This was frustrating as I felt like I worked really hard while other teachers were slacking around.

My advice for new teachers in Vietnam is that you're not really hired to teach, just to be a white face. The main factor determining your employment success is who you go drinking with.

No, I don't recommend this program
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A good teaching option in Ho Chi MInh city

The school was very nice and they had tons of resources - yet they were poorly organized. They also had a good review and assessment program. In general - I liked working for them.

They required a long contract that I didn't like, but they did allow me to switch to part time - so they were willing to work with me.

The students were pretty good, but many of them weren't really bought into learning many times as their parents had just sent them there. I preferred teaching the adults since they were a bit more bought in.

I wasn't nuts about my working schedule and how the vacation time worked - so be sure to really understand how that works. I liked my manager, but I didn't like the people above him too much as they didn't seem very involved at all with the teachers. Probably pretty typical stuff when it comes to teaching ESL.

Yes, I recommend this program

About ILA Vietnam

ILA Vietnam is a foreign owned education and training company. We offer a broad range of educational programmes and services, including:- English language programs

- University pathway programmes
- Corporate training
- Teacher training
- Overseas...