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Pondering the next step...Info needed on teaching in China and the Gulf States.

Discussion in 'The Teachers Lounge' started by DigitalGypsy, 4 Jan 2017.

  1. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Apologies if this has been covered before, I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I hope it's OK to post it here also - I wasn't exactly sure where to put it.

    The various ongoing threads about career uncertainty in Thailand, educational progression scenarios etc has got me thinking about other options, such as China and the Gulf States. So, just wondering if anyone has any pointers where I could locate some useful information on both so I could do a little research.

    By that I mean the best places to source jobs, or information on life as a teacher in these areas. Are there any Facebook groups or dedicated forums for such places? What about visa info, food, career ladder info and so on?

    Basically, what are the go-to sites for these locations for anyone considering a move / future job hunt?

    Thanks in advance,

    DG
     
  2. muppetminder

    muppetminder Active Member

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    I'm unaware of any websites that offer solid advice for serious, expatriate teachers. Double so for fb. Occasionally you can get lucky on TV but it's a swamp.

    Personality, skill set, paper, adventure or lack of it.

    IMO Vietnam looks very sketchy. Korea if you could deal with the cold and Korea. China similarly. You can carve out a reasonable life in China. Demand is high. You can make money if you're ambitious.

    Thailand - no future
     
  3. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    What types of jobs are you looking for? Private, public, international schools, etc.

    This site has some reviews for different schools, internships and recruiting companies in different countries. Not sure if it is what you are looking for.

    Teach English Abroad | Teaching Jobs & Reviews | GoAbroad.com
     
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  4. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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  5. gungchang

    gungchang Well-Known Member

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    Korea seemed to have the most time consuming hoops for a US citizen to jump through, in particular the police check if one is already outside the US.

    For me, China was a bit of an ordeal. I am the first foreign expert at this school in a long time, and it was no picnic for them either. (My soap opera of the month is about flying back to Bangkok for a week to take care of of hiccup in my paper work that should have been caught in July 2015.)

    One of the teachers at my last school in Bangkok worked in Q8. He cautioned that if you're American you should keep quiet about it. In spite of the US role in the liberation of Q8, the locals hate Israel and don't even show it on maps, so he reported, and by extension they hate the US for supporting it.

    He was good with a Prometheus interactive white board. We had one in Bangkok, but I don't recall that it ever worked. I would have been way over my head in Q8.

    Regarding KSA: false paradise and one can save money. Unconfirmed: if you're a booze hound, a pharmacy will sell you brewing supplies. I'm not sure how I'd feel about chop-chop square.

    Japan wasn't on your list, but neither was the ROK and it's popped up. The start up costs have always put me off, though the idea of having serious students is appealing.
     
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  6. IntEdSource

    IntEdSource Member

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    Purely for ESL teaching, Korea treated me well when I moved there back in 2008. At that time I started at 2.2 or 2.3 million won if I recall correctly, and by the time I left three years later I had found opportunities that helped me earn another million on top of that. The weather didn't bother me too much since it can get very cold where I'm from in the US, and I loved the food.

    The reason I finally moved on was just the culture. Many in the older Korean generation were still very clearly racist or at least unaccepting of foreigners. (In one instance I can still vividly picture in my mind, a middle-aged Korean woman stepped onto the train and turned to sit in the one open seat next to me, saw my face, and immediately pivoted and stood instead.) I met a lot of great people, but most of the expats just wanted to drink and had little ambition to do anything else.

    I did consider China, but I've traveled there multiple times and decided against it. The bottom line is that it also really doesn't appeal to me culturally. The spitting, rudeness, noise, pollution... I think I'd go a bit bonkers after a while. I know the same can be said of many other places as well, but I've just had really bad experiences, particularly on flights.

    Thailand may be a much harder place to build a career, but if you can do so, I find it to be a great place to live.
     
  7. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    I thought the OP was looking for websites....

    I have experience both in China and the Middle East. I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you have. You can post them here or pm me.

    Cheers
     
  8. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

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    I sourced my current position in an international school from an advert on dave's esl cafe website.
     
  9. stfranalum

    stfranalum Well-Known Member

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    OP- what are your qualifications and general experience?
     
  10. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Hi stfranalum,

    Apologies for the delay in replying. My experience and qualifications are as follows (I think I might have outlined the below in another thread we chatted in a few weeks back)

    Age bracket: a couple of years shy of the big 'four-oh'

    4 years teaching experience (1 year at a government school teaching basic conversation - and yes, a complete lack of professionalism rendered this a joke, but it was a good entry point for a new teacher, and 3 years at a Prathom private school teaching a prescribed Oxford Uni Press curriculum, which has been an excellent experience in comparison and tested both my adaptability and creativity).

    A decade+ of work/life experience in int. banking

    BA degree (Library and Info Studies) 'Ass on seat' degree at a respected uni in my home country, GPA 3.65

    Currently at thesis stage of an M.EdTT (Teaching and Technology) at Assumption Uni, Bangkok (yes, I know Thai unis may not hold much weight but it was a fantastic learning experience for me and my first foray into the world of research so a personal gain if nothing else)

    Next step, 'online' MA in TESOL with Uni of Southampton / British Council

    You suggested chasing the CELTA / DELTA route previously, it's def on my to-do list but almost impossible to achieve with my current school schedule and location.

    What's your verdict then? Is there potential for me in China / Gulf States, before or after the MA in TESOL?

    I know your mantra is to return to home country and attain QTS but that's not an option right now, at least not for a couple of years / Might still be doable in my early 40s if this is not too late....

    DG
     
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  11. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    With a BA and four years experience in Thailand, you should be able to land a job in China. Do you have a TEFL or CELTA? There are many site for jobs out there.. have you tried seriousteachers.com. That site has many recruiters, but there are some decent recruiters who will tell you what type of jobs are out there.

    I have used decent recruiters in the past to get jobs. Here are some agencies that list jobs and give information about the country.

    Teach English Abroad - free application & flights | Footprints Recruiting teaching English abroad jobs (list jobs)
    Goverseas.com Vacation Rental Booking Services (check it out - lots of good info)
    Dave's ESL Cafe China Job Board - China Job Board
    Teach English in China - English Teaching Jobs in China
    Teach in China - Teach English in China - Teaching in China | Teach Away Inc.
    Jobs for Teaching English Abroad, International School Employment - Teaching Nomad
    Teach Abroad - Teach English Abroad - Teaching Overseas - Teaching Abroad

    These companies are well known agencies and I've used a few.

    Check them out.
     
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  12. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    I have taught English in South Korea, China, Thailand, and Japan.

    China has some nice teaching jobs. Some are over 100K Baht a month. I have written quite a lot on the topic of making the move to China. You can see it on this website. The culture might take some getting used to: spitting, coughing, yelling, the filth, the horrible driving, what we think of as rudeness, the heavy pollution, the relationship building, the focus on making money and hard work, the uncompromisingly high academic standards. Underneath the pushing and shoving and cigarette smoke, they treat you well and don't rip you off. After spitting and yelling they will laugh about something, that is China. They are decent people, in general. I am going to stay for one more year. I cannot stay longer (where I am now) because of the air pollution. My current job is the best one I have ever had as far as the people go. I have been treated extremely well, and that was a welcome change from the land of smile. China is also a lot safer, almost no drugged-up kids and Lao-kowed folks careening down the road. Also, they have real medical care for Joe Schmoe. One more thing I will say about China is that they cherish their kids.

    To be frank, don't go to South Korea if you are black. Go to Japan instead. It is just a regrettable feature of Korean culture--you cannot change it. For me, South Korea was really positive and it was a nice place to live. Very modern and it was enjoyable.

    Full-time teaching jobs are becoming much less common in Japan. I am in love with Japan, but you have to be honest and admit that they have one segment of the population that is dyed-in-the-wool racist, and those fellas and gals will let you know. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating place with a distinctive culture.

    Thailand has postive aspects. So it is up to you. It is good to move around in Asia and see different countries because you can then compare them. You can compare the people, the students, the schools, how you were treated, the values, etc. It is interesting.

    Please enjoy the picture of my former students at my university in Isaan. One of them just posted this on her Facebook page.

    14639729_1789743511276035_7826588759338853661_n.jpg
     
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  13. SageAdvice

    SageAdvice Well-Known Member

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    When spoken English just isn't enough:smiling...
     
  14. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    True that.
     
  15. fred flintstone

    fred flintstone Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of folks here that can help. Alot would depend on what your qualifications are and what your looking for career/job wise.. If you're considering Korea, a spotless background check is required. If you have a DUI or anything else, you won't get a work visa.
     

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