What to Know about Clothing as an ESL Teacher in Vietnam
There are primarily five categories of schools that offer ESL programs in Vietnam:
- Public Schools
- Private Schools
- Language Centers
- International Schools
For women, the accepted attire in Vietnamese schools are pants or knee-length or longer dresses with long or short sleeve tops with a standard neckline. The shoulders should be covered.
For men, they can wear trousers, button-up dress shirts or collared shirts, either polo or long-sleeved.
Shoes for both men and women should be close-toed. Sneakers and sandals are not acceptable.
You’ll need to adapt to your specific school’s dress requirements.
Be mindful of images and messages printed on your clothes, especially when it comes to politics, religion, profanity, and sex. You should be respectful of Vietnamese culture and norms as well as command respect by your students, parents, and school administrators.
When thinking about what to wear, also think about your comfort. You will likely be animated when teaching, so you’ll want to wear clothing that allows you to move around comfortably.
There are times when teachers will be required to dress more formally, such as business luncheons or ceremonial functions. It’s a smart idea to have some formal attire handy for such occasions.
Seasons and Climate
Vietnam has a tropical climate with high humidity. You’ll want to have clothes that will be suitable for the different types of weather depending on the region where you will be teaching.
The winter season is from November to April and is typically dry. The northern region of the country can be cold.
Vietnam receives the majority of its precipitation during the monsoon season, which is from May to October. A monsoon brings extremely high winds with heavy rain.
As in any country, weather depends on your region, but generally, Vietnam enjoys a warm, sunny climate with varying temperature fluctuations.
Your hair should be well-groomed and at an appropriate length. You can dye your hair, but be careful not to be too outrageous with your color choices.
Your hair should be well-groomed and at an appropriate length.
Facial hair is acceptable in most schools in Vietnam; however, make sure you keep it neat and trimmed to maintain a professional look.
Tattoos are becoming more common among Vietnamese people; however, they are still considered inappropriate for the classroom. Your specific school may ask you to cover any visible tattoos.
In general, earrings and piercings are acceptable in most schools; however, large or excessive jewelry may be considered inappropriate.
It may be hard to find extra-large sized clothing or footwear, so it’s best to carry some with you if you have difficulty finding these once you are there.