With an economic growth of 6% on the past four years and a young population, this country attracts more and more foreign entrepreneurs.
But before you go to Vietnam, let’s get informed of what is life like on spot.
There are natural risks in Vietnam, notably during the rainy season (from May to September). It frequently leads to floods and landslides. Flood risk is noticeably high during summer, in the Red River Basin in the North (from Hanoi to Nam Dinh) and in the Mekong Delta (South).
Foreigners are also particularly vulnerable on roads. Road infrastructures are in poor condition and the traffic regulations may differ from those in your home country. You’ll need time to adapt to the high density of scooters on roads, whether you are a pedestrian or driver.
Vietnam is a safe country overall, with a really low rate of violence. Despite that, petty crime appears in touristic cities (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City). There is a rise of snatching in cities, often done by two-wheel riders.
Also pay extra attention while using cash dispensers, robberies are getting more frequent.
The cities attracting most of expatriates are Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the most « western » city in Vietnam. It hosts the biggest expatriates community in the country and the largest number of foreign companies. It is a modern and vibrant city, with numerous facilities benefiting expatriates. Climate is always warm, but there is a rainy season in summer.
Its weaknesses are the traffic density and its pollution, as well as noise.
Hanoi is the administrative and political capital city. The culture and people are more traditional, and expatriates like its historical architecture. Located in the North of Vietnam, the climate is composed of four seasons.
It’s a dynamic city, but smaller than Ho Chi Minh, so traffic density is even worst.
Other cities may attract your attention: Ha Long, Hué, Da Nang and Nha Trang are frequently listed.
Once you’ve decided on your location, turn to real estate agencies or social networks to find your perfect housing.
Cost of life is lower than in most Western countries. Same goes for house rental.
Housing is relatively cheap: around 250€ for a studio (one-room flat) to 800€ for a larger apartment. But prices are increasing in downtown areas.
Leases are signed for one to five years, and the housing is usually furnished. You will most probably have to pay an advance on rental for up to three months.
Water and electricity are not included in the rent. Electricity fees might climb real fast if you use an air conditioner to face the country’s warmth and humidity.
While choosing your future housing, make sure to check if an air conditioner is installed. You might also anticipate the purchase of a dehumidifier to improve your comfort at home.
Vietnamese schooling system is as follow: elementary school lasts 5 years, middle school 4 years and high school 3 years. At the end of it, students have to pass the Vietnamese equivalent to A-levels.
Universities are selective and students have to pass entrance exams to be admitted.
School year starts in September and ends in June.
There are international schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. You might refer to your home country Embassy to know if one of these school follows the educational program of your country.
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