Educated Vietnamese feel that their country is behind educationally because of the French occupation and then the Vietnamese War (what they call the American War) . Schools were closed, students were left in limbo and the intelligentsia want to catch up as quickly as possible, thus the emphasis on education all up and down Vietnam. You cannot walk through any town, without seeing storefront schools where students are sitting from 5 pm until bedtime in neat rows studying either English or Math. There is always a teacher up front and the students studiously copying in their books and this is after their regular school!
The Good the Bad and the Ugly
Vietnam is a Communist country. I was quite amazed to find out I could not take any books into the country, especially about politics. You have to understand that everything is tightly controlled. I could not even download books on my Kobo which was blocked. For me, individual freedom is very important so I was not pleased with these restrictions.
I also hated the noise of the constant traffic of mopeds. It is impossible to cross the street if you wait for traffic to stop. It never does! What you have to do is simply take a metaphorical leap of faith, hold your breath and start walking. It will be similar to the experience of the Jews walking into the Red Sea to escape the Egyptian slavery. The mopeds part like the waters did.
The good thing about Vietnam is the cost of living. You will be able to save most of your money since it is difficult to spend it The students work very hard and the parents will ensure that homework is done ALL the time. There is a long lunch period and sleep time for at least 90 minutes so it should not take you that long to get into a snooze habit at lunchtime. You can go to the library and sleep on the floor, as long as you are careful not to step on bodies already there. People hate being stepped on, even in Vietnam! Students usually sleep right in their homeroom with mattresses brought in
Vietnamese writing uses the Roman alphabet so you can read signs and so on and if you have a good ear you can learn to speak,but beware there at six tones which should keep you busy keeping out of trouble since you might have the right word but the wrong pronunciation which can sometimes land you in hot water.
Should you teach in Vietnam?