I’m teaching in Vietnam!

Published on 26th February, 2019 by Wendy Hartrey. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

Denise Clarke is from Ireland. She has experience living and teaching English overseas but recently returned to Ireland to train to be an art teacher. TIC helped Denise to get her first position teaching at an international school, at the British International School Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she has been teaching for six weeks. We recently caught up with Denise to find out how she is getting on:

“I first thought about teaching internationally while teaching English in South Korea. I enjoyed living in Korea but realised I wanted to be working in a more creative environment. I’ve always been passionate about art, design and making things, so decided to return to Ireland to train to be an art teacher. I knew I wanted to live and work overseas and because many international schools teach using the English National Curriculum, I completed my NQT in the UK to gain experience teaching GSCEs and A levels.

Opportunities to develop professionally

Working at the school, I’ve been presented with so many opportunities I would not have had if I’d remained in Ireland. I’m able to work with motivated students and teachers from a variety of different countries, which is always interesting! There are also many opportunities for me to develop as a teacher, including gaining experience teaching the International Baccalaureate (IB). I am starting an online IB course next month and am lucky enough to have the support of an experienced IB teacher.

Embracing the Vietnamese culture

I really enjoy living in Vietnam. The people are amazing! They’re friendly, educated, interesting, and not afraid to practice their English. I’m embracing the culture, and the food! I was here for Vietnamese New Year and spent it with a Vietnamese family, meeting local people. I also ride a motorbike in the crazy traffic, but it’s not as bad as it seems once you’re immersed in it. I have opportunities to travel and recently undertook a solo road trip to the coast; Vietnam is a beautiful country.

Adjusting to life overseas

For me, the biggest challenge of moving to teach overseas was adjusting to the heat of South East Asia. It was a shock coming from Ireland! I also have to make an effort to get out and about to meet people, but I enjoy doing that. I do miss my friends and family but it’s now possible to have easy contact through video calls.

Gaining from the experience

I’m gaining so much from the experience! I’ve lived in many different countries, and the culture of each place influences me and becomes a part of my life. I’m an immensely curious person and love new experiences so it’s great to learn about the Vietnamese culture; how the people eat, farm, fish, live…everything!”.

TIC helped Denise to get her first position teaching at an international school in Vietnam. If you are a teacher interested in working overseas, register for free with TIC now.

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Wendy Hartrey