Living in Vietnam can offer a true taste of life in the East. It is popular tourist destination because of its beautiful countryside and beaches. It is also a popular destination for business as its population of almost 90 million people and annual GDP growth of 5 – 7% position it as the next Asian Tiger.
Vietnam has become increasingly popular as an expat destination in recent years and it is now recognised as a safe place for foreigners to live and work. Expats are attracted by the dynamic pace of life, the low cost of living and lively culture.
“The Huc” bridge, 146 years old at Hoan Kiem lake-centre of Hanoi, Vietnam
Vietnam has a comparatively low cost of living and expatriates can live a very comfortable life here with a moderate expenditure. The main cost is accommodation where it is possible to source comfortable accommodation between $600 per month (usually a shared apartment) and $1,500. Once accommodation has been taken care of other living costs e.g food, drink, taxi fares are low compared to other developed countries.
Before or upon your arrival, British University Vietnam will arrange a good hotel for you to stay for the first two weeks. We also co-ordinate with good and reliable house agents so you can effectively prepare the move to the new home. Most places are already furnished.
The main downside to living in Vietnam is that some people can find the pace of life too frenetic. You can often find the streets buzzing with activity even at 9pm. As a fast changing developing country there are also some strains on the infrastructure which the Government is trying to get to grips with. Crossing the road can be an interesting experience in Vietnam.
English is widely spoken although we encourage and support our team to learn at least some basic Vietnamese. A good sense of humour is particularly helpful when communicating and is also handy for negotiating better prices.
Getting across town is not expensive by Xe-Om, literally translating to ‘Hug Vehicle’, which is a motorbike taxi. Many are often found on street corners and do not be surprised if they are calling you over to ask where you are going. The number of taxis has also grown dramatically over the last few years and there are many established reliable chains that are recognisable throughout the city. A Vietnam taxi is much cheaper than Singapore / London.
Many staff own or rent their own motorbikes, and this is a good independent way of getting around, once you are used to how the traffic flows. Licenses can be obtained locally and British University Vietnam can help you to process the paperwork.
In Hanoi the weather varies during the year. Hanoi has two main seasons, the northeast monsoon months of November to April and the southwest monsoon months of May to October. The northeast monsoon season can be further divided into a winter season from November to February, which sees the coolest and driest days with average temperatures of 10-15°C and only 20mm of rain. Springtime runs from February to April, when warmer temperatures are accompanied by more rain, up to 80mm in April. The southwest monsoon summer months of May to September can get uncomfortably hot (temperatures into the mid-30s) and humid with heavy rains, especially in July and August when each month gets an average 320mm of rain. The autumn months of September to November are generally sunny and mild.
Vietnam has a young population of almost 90 million people. In general they are very welcoming and hospitable to foreigners. Most students have a tremendous drive to succeed and the emphasis on education within Vietnam society is very high. Teachers’ Day is a major day in Vietnam’s calendar where all students pay tribute to their teachers / lecturers.
The Government wishes to clamp down on non qualified foreigners working in the country so anyone wishing to work in Vietnam needs to have original copies of degrees and qualifications. More details on what is required for work permits will be provided post interview.