Before I write any more about the challenges and experiences of my time in Vietnam, I thought I’d give you all some more information on what I actually do on my placement.
I’m on a working placement in Danang, Vietnam as an IELTS instructor at VNUK, a new, Western-style University partnered with Aston, and a day here is a lot different to a day as a university student.
6am: The Alarm goes off
The Vietnamese day starts a lot earlier than the British one, and I’m in work at 8am. (I’m never complaining about a 9am lecture again!)
7.45am: Coffee Time!
A Vietnamese coffee goes a long way to help me cope with such an early start. Stronger, sweeter and icier than the coffee I’m used to, I think I’m addicted.
After a quick moped ride, navigating the hectic streets of Da Nang, I get to the office at 8, check some emails and make some final preparations for that morning’s lesson.
10am: Lesson time
I tutor university students in English and it’s my favourite time of day. Despite all the challenges (I’m sorry to all my teachers for ever talking in class- it’s so frustrating!) it’s really rewarding to be able to see students improve every week. My students are friendly, engaging and fun to spend time with, saying goodbye to them will be one of the hardest parts of leaving this placement.
11.30am A snack and a nap
We are given a nice long lunch, so after a trip to my favourite restaurant (I don’t even have to order any more, they just see me walk in and my food appears) I give myself a refreshing nap – it’s like I’m still at university really.
1pm: Back to work
After I’ve woken myself up I finish up my lesson plan for the afternoon and catch up with any marking I need to do.
3pm: English Club
Once a week we run an English club called Tea Time Talk. This offers a more relaxed environment where we get to teach students about life in Britain, and help them improve their English with informal conversation.
5pm End of work – to the gym
Weekends are spent on the beach, which means weekdays are spent at the gym, and who wouldn’t want to work out to Vietnamese dance music next to a woman wearing denim shorts with no air conditioning?
7pm: Grab some street food
The best way to dine in Vietnam! Sitting on chairs that are way too small, eating delicious food of slightly dubious origin, drinking a cold beer and watching city life pass you by. This is the life.
I hope this gives a bit of an insight into how I spend my days here, after 6 months here (where did that time go??) I’m now used to all the subtle differences that working life in Asia offers. I don’t even look twice at the sight of a moped with 5 people on it and torrential downpours are really no biggie. And with a schedule like this, I have really been able to focus on refining my napping skills!
Thanks for reading!