Teaching English in Laos

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Laos Overview

Laos is one of the most laid-back countries in which to teach, although it can be difficult for first-timers to find anything more than offers of part-time work paid by the hour. A small number of education centres will offer full-time contracts and pay for visa costs for teachers who are experienced in teaching in the Indochina region. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer in more rural areas, but almost all paid positions are in the rather sleepy capital of Vientiane.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres 800 – 1,500 (DOS) Various 2 weeks plus national holidays
International schools 1,500 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Vientiane.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate, local interview preferred.

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Tips

1. Be prepared to survive on a part-time salary to begin with.

2. Expect students to be shy until they get to know you well.

3. When in Laos, check out the jobs section of the Vientiane Times.

Red tape

Most employers will arrange a visa for you. It is normal to enter on a tourist visa before applying for the work visa. Some employers will expect you to pay for your work visa (approximately 300 USD per year).

Cost of living

The cost of accommodation in Laos is low, but rising in Vientiane. Local food and transportation costs are very low.

Tax and salary information

Schools usually pay in US dollars. Employers are responsible for income tax.

Summary

Compared to many capital cities in Southeast Asia, Vientiane is truly idyllic and relaxing. Difficult to find a job unless you are already in Laos as very few vacancies are advertised online.
There is a growing demand for English language studies. Teachers without much experience or any contacts will probably be paid by the hour for part-time work and potentially work split-shifts.
The local beer is the finest in the region! If you are single you should be aware of strict laws in Laos regarding personal relationships between locals and foreigners.

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6 Comments

  1. tony yang says:

    What are the requirement “degree/type” to teach English in Laos? I’m interested in being an English teacher as I’m Hmong and speak a little Laos.

  2. A F says:

    I have been teaching in Thailand for almost a year and am interested in moving onto Laos. I’m after any helpful information about the necessity of degrees for English teaching jobs. I do my job well and passionately, so please spare me the lecture on teaching without a degree. I’ve had more than enough work experience and little opportunity to study. I am just after the facts about Laos’ attitude in this regard. Thanks in advance.

  3. Louis Harvey says:

    I currently have teaching assignment with private students in Saigon. I have been here three years and lokking for a new environment.
    I am a certified Oxford ESL teacher with TOEFL and Business specialization. I was teaching in China in Nanjing for two years at the Deler International Institute at the Nanjing Railroad institute. Teaching Western Business and Toefl.

    It is harder Insfor me to relocate becasuse of my age. I am 72 Years old and in good health. I currently teach 60 hours per week from begdinning to advance university levels.
    I am retired and have good pension and I teach only because i love to teach.

    I plan to visit Laos in the near term also.

    Thanks for ypur kind interest.

    Louis Harvey

  4. Username* says:

    love to know more. i am 62 years old and just beginning.

  5. david says:

    I would like to teach in laos ,I am belgian dutch french speaker also english
    My goal is to live in laos and run a business over there while i teach english in part time

    Friendly regards

    David

  6. Vivian Tan says:

    I would love to teach in University in Laos I had experience in teaching more than 10 years.I have BA. Major in English and MA.Education (TESOL) I can speaking Thai& English if you want University Lecturer please contact me

    Best Regards,
    Vivian Tan

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