Vietnam One of the Best Places to be An Expat in the World!

practicalities - Vietnam: July 10, 2019

Vietnam’s low cost of living and high wages are unrivaled.

Jobs abound in a country with a growing economy and limitless career opportunities.

A modern, convenient lifestyle in Vietnam is not only accessible--it’s the norm.

Meals for $1, weekly transportation for $10, rent for $100, and a minimum monthly salary of $1000... sounds impossible, right? In Vietnam, not only is this possible, it’s reality for many expats! Major cosmopolitan hubs like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang are some of Vietnam’s most popular gathering places for expats from all over the world seeking low cost of living, an abundance of career opportunities, and the famously friendly welcome of Vietnamese locals. Vietnam is a country that beckons expats from all walks of life to jump right into the middle of the action. Read on to find out why Vietnam is consistently ranked one of the world’s best places to be an expat.

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High Salary, Low Cost of Living

For expats looking to save money, Vietnam is a financial paradise. Last year, Vietnam jumped up 3 places on the 2018 InterNations survey of the world’s best countries for expats, ranking 9th overall, and climbing all the way to 4th for countries with the lowest cost of living. Expats living in Vietnam consistently report more savings, more expendable income, and lower expenses than almost any other country in the world.

What exactly can you expect to earn in Vietnam? According to a 2018 Go Overseas survey, most expats are English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers earning an average wage of 22.7 million VND (US $1,000) to 45.5 million VND (US $2,000) per month, which places Vietnam in the world’s top 9 countries paying the highest EFL salaries. A 2018 HSBC survey found that, taking all professional fields into consideration, the average annual expat income in Vietnam is $90,000 US. Coupled with the cost of living, Vietnam ranks first in the world for increased savings and expendable income.

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Housing in Vietnam is incredibly easy to come by as cities like Ho Chi Minh are rapidly expanding, with new houses and apartments flooding real estate listings daily. Almost all housing available to expats includes furniture, parking, western appliances, and weekly or daily cleaning services (often including laundry service). For all of these perks, plus utilities, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 US per month for a private room, including an en-suite bathroom, in a comfortable house share near the city center. Of course, those looking for a little more opulence can rent spacious modern apartments at a monthly average of $500-$1000 or more, depending on what your budget allows.

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How about meals? Street food in Vietnam is the cheapest way to go, with a delicious and freshly-prepared bowl of noodles usually averaging less than $2 US! Gone are the days where eating out is a luxury. Many expats prefer eating out as it is comparable in cost to buying groceries, and saves precious time for those with busy work schedules. With an endless variety of mouth-watering local dishes to try, you’ll not only save money on meals in Vietnam, you’ll discover and crave new foods you never knew existed.

With less money spent on cost of living, most expats in Vietnam experience unparalleled financial freedom, allowing them to travel more often, repay debts like student loans, and set aside money for retirement. It is, without a doubt, the number one reason anyone should consider moving to Vietnam.

Career Opportunities in Vietnam

Vietnam is also a fantastic place to build a career, and though most expats teach EFL for a living, there is a growing and thriving community of expats in a variety of professional fields such as business marketing and advertising, graphic design, hospitality, physical and mental well-being, real estate, non-profit organizations, small business ownership, and many more.

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Vietnam is the world’s number one country for expats to find a job, according to the 2018 InterNations report. Not ready to commit to a job remotely? No problem! Expats routinely move to Vietnam on a tourist visa and find themselves newly employed within days. 

How is this possible? Coupled with an unprecedented economic growth, Vietnam’s booming business sector is constantly on the hunt for foreign experts to take critical roles in young companies experiencing rapid expansion. 

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The nation’s education system is expanding and improving rapidly as well, with new job openings not only at traditional schools, but increasingly popular language centers offering classes on weekday evenings and weekends. Not only are low-experience or first-time teachers welcomed here, but seasoned academic professionals looking to fill higher positions at prestigious private and international schools are highly sought-after as well.

Professional opportunities abound for expats in Vietnam. As of June 2018, an estimated 105,000 expats lived and worked in Vietnam. With that number set to increase dramatically year over year, there is no better time than now to take advantage of the fertile job market and exciting career choices available to expats in Vietnam.

A Fully Modern Lifestyle

Anyone moving from their home country will consider to some degree what they’ll miss about the comforts of home. Fortunately, foreigners living in Vietnam report very little compromise for the incredibly low cost of living and comparably high salary. In major urban centers like Saigon, Hanoi, and Da Nang, there is no shortage of modern amenities like convenience stores, grocery stores, and shopping malls stocked with familiar Western brands and products.

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Among the greatest concerns for any expat is safety. Vietnam not only ranks as one of the world’s safest countries for expats, but also as one of the top 10 friendliest places on earth according to the 2018 InterNations report. 

Health-conscious individuals, those with sensitive diets, and self-proclaimed gourmands increasingly have access to hundreds of modern restaurants featuring high-quality ingredients and international cuisines ranging from Korean to European, even Mexican! 

Most importantly, the nation’s healthcare system has dramatically improved over the last few decades, with modern facilities and a variety of private Western hospitals and clinics staffed with international experts in major urban centers. 

Vietnam is Waiting for You!

There are few places in the world with comparable amenities to Vietnam. Numerous expat surveys from the world’s biggest expat networks including InterNations, Expat Insider and Go Overseas, consistently rank Vietnam as one of the world’s best countries for expats thanks to the famously low cost of living, fantastic career opportunities, and a fascinating and friendly local culture comfortably coupled with all the modern amenities a foreigner could want for.

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