As many as 75,000 foreigners from over 60 nations are living and working in Vietnam, according to recent statistics.
The main reason is living cost in this Asian country is much lower than in many other countries. And it’s relatively easy to find a job elsewhere.
“I like working and experiencing new food here. Vietnamese people are usually very friendly, I have the chance to make friends with many Vietnamese and other foreigners,” said Noel, an English teacher from Ireland.
Of course, there remain certain differences, either interesting or not. For instance, “visas and work permits” in Vietnam are expensive and difficult to get. It is very noisy here. Sometimes it’s also difficult to get a straight answer from employers,” Noel said.
Jeffreyson Liu, (36) who is from China said “I find Vietnamese people very hardworking; the food is good and suitable for my taste. Some staff members can speak fluent English and other foreign languages.”
Having run a travel agency for 5 years, he agreed that “Vietnam is an emerging economy, and there is great potential growth. Living in Vietnam is relatively safe”. Besides, he also mentioned some difficulties he has met while doing business in Vietnam such as complicated procedures and unclear policies that tend to overlap.”
In Vietnam, many foreigners have actively engaged in social activities. James Rhodes, Fulbright scholar at the Academy of Journalism and Communication (AJC) said, “I love working with the Friendship Village, my book on my personal war and AO experience should be out soon with all proceeds going to the FV to assist Vietnamese victims of herbicidal poisoning.”
When asked about his impression of Vietnam, James Rhodes said “Vietnamese are friendly and hard working; I love being among them even though their culture, tradition and manners are quite different.”
James Rhodes shared the same opinion with Noel, “Vietnamese people are not direct in many of their responses to foreigners and many times do not express their true and real feelings, we hate that. They think they are polite but we look upon that as being dishonest. This is a huge cultural difference.” He cited “the common thing foreigners find frustrating about working in Vietnam, that is many Vietnamese are afraid to make a decision in fear of displeasing someone higher up.
Therefore, he stressed, nothing seems to get done on a timely manner for fear if something is not right they will be blamed. Foreigners find this process to be extremely irritating.” James then added, “We love people to ‘take the bull by the horns’ and ‘run with it’-if it was a mistake, learn by it and keep going ahead without anything amiss.”