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Moving Overseas to Work

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
It seems that our economy is fucked... That and I need a change. I have always wanted to work in different countries, cultures and so on and yeah... I've considered TEFL.

I was wondering if anybody else has done work abroad, or can make any suggestions or ideas?

My flatmate, an aussie, said that Australia is great at the moment and I'd be able to get a bar or admin job easy.

Obviously I've made a thread for TEFL. I love working with younger people and English is a skill I have.

I have a degree in human rights... A bit of a waste of time if you ask me. I haven't had a chance to use it and I am feeling like I never will...

Anybody who has any ideas... I'm all ears.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    It seems that our economy is fucked... That and I need a change. I have always wanted to work in different countries, cultures and so on and yeah... I've considered TEFL.

    I was wondering if anybody else has done work abroad, or can make any suggestions or ideas?

    My flatmate, an aussie, said that Australia is great at the moment and I'd be able to get a bar or admin job easy.

    Obviously I've made a thread for TEFL. I love working with younger people and English is a skill I have.

    I have a degree in human rights... A bit of a waste of time if you ask me. I haven't had a chance to use it and I am feeling like I never will...

    Anybody who has any ideas... I'm all ears.

    Bear in mind the economy is pretty much fucked everywhere...

    But if you don't mind a taking low paid jobs I'd try to Australia for a year. You're not going to get that good a job, but it'll give you experience of being aborad and shows you are open to change and taking some risks, which never does harm on your CV

    ETA - and the most important bit is that it'll be fun
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wouldn't go to Australia.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Moving from one location to another is quite a tough task to do; especially moving internationally is a very difficult procedure. There are so many things to be taken care; the most important thing is to move all our items. *spam removed*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    you wont get much work TEFL in australia ;)

    Youd probably also hate the racism
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    On the other hand the australians do keep on bragging on how their economy is recession proof so there is teh possibilities for lots of work - buuuuuuut i would see it more as a working holiday more than anything else as the visa you get means you have to change jobs every 3 months so you don't build up any useful experience - unless you have any suitable skills which mean you can get a proper visa.

    TEFL might be useful but a proper teaching course so you can teach children or adults might be more useful
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Update on this...

    As of tomorrow, I am officially debt free :cool: Which means I can start saving up!

    I've decided on TEFL and also on Latin America... Obviously, I'll need to save up money to get out there (would say... £4K be enough?). I think it'd be good to learn a second language and am interested in the region in general.

    So, gonna be living as cheap as possible for the next year. Will probably cancel my gym membership or at least cut it down substantially so I can save more and will probably return to Wales a month-5 weeks before I fly out, to do a course, so I can live for free and study and see my friends.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    fabulous. Good luck sel x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've just done a working holiday in NZ and loved it, i dont have a degree so i just got a admin temp job which was fine :) I spent all in all (holidays from NZ, rent/food/nights out/travel etc etc) about 5k in a year.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was gonna wait until next year to go abroad and teach English, but I'm actually considering going this year if financially viable (my job is starting to get unbearable)...

    Say I went to South Korea to teach, how much cash would I need stored away before I go?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd recommend spending a year working abroad to anyone. Besides broadening your horizons, I think it's always good to have a change of scenery and experience life in other places. Plus, think of the SUN! I plan to move somewhere warm when I finish my PhD (California maybe).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How much money you need depends entirely on the job and country.

    You've basically got four main costs:

    - flights
    - initial living costs
    - bureaucracy
    - training costs

    The latter of the four is very dependent on the country you want to teach in, and can basically be split into countries which require certification, those that don't, and those that officially do, but you can still get work without it (albeit at the bottom of the barrel). But if you need qualification, it basically means you need a CELTA or equivalent. Prices for that are here. As you can see, they vary massively, but are fundamentally the same certificate everywhere in the world.

    So then you're down to your basic start-up costs. Again, it depends on many different factors, and you often have different norms in different countries. In some countries (Taiwan, Korea, China and the Middle East, typically) it's possible to get jobs that will pay for accommodation and flights, but as you might expect, these aren't generally the best-paying schools. In Japan, some schools will offer you accommodation without the large costs usually associated with moving into a new apartment (security deposit, X months rent in advance, etc), but you have to pay for flights, etc. In countries like Vietnam or Thailand, it's not unreasonable to move there first and apply from within the country, but you're less likely to get any of the other perks (though my school does offer a $750 relocation allowance for people hired from outside the country).

    Bear in mind that competition is stiff in this sector at the moment, and there are a lot of people in your position. Somewhere where flights and accommodation are paid and no teaching qualifications are required is going to attract a lot of people just interested in getting out of the current economic situation. South Korea has always been a favourite of Americans looking to clear their student debts, because the pay is high and the entry requirements are low (and they're effectively locked out of large parts of the European market because of labour laws). And with very high unemployment among young Americans atm, I expect a lot of them will be looking at this career option.

    Oh, and as a feminist, you might be in for a shock in South Korea by all accounts. ;)

    I would strongly suggest you start reading the forums on Dave's ESL Cafe.

    Have a look at the job board to see what's expected in different countries:
    International
    Korea
    China

    But for low startup costs, I suggest looking at employers that hire abroad from Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. If you're looking at doing this slightly longer-term, I suggest saving up and doing the CELTA.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I used to spend quite a bit of time in Brazil. I found it a great escape at first and my mental health was much better when I was there. But eventually things caught up with me, it was the same crap just a different country.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    IWS, my mega feminist mate (she happens to be gay as well) told me about Korea. :p

    Do you think it's worth me trying? I currently have a government job which may look reputable, I am good at standing up in front of people and projecting my voice... I just haven't taught before, beyond assisting young people to find work (kinda teaching them).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The first rule of teaching ESL is to keep your mouth shut btw. ;)

    But yeah, I'd definitely do it. I would suggest that before you go to any interviews, you get down to International House London and ask them if there's any chance of you observing one of their lessons (preferably a kids and adults lesson, because they're quite different).

    I think your decision depends on how you view teaching. If it's just a way to get to live abroad for a year, then don't waste money on expensive certificates, but don't expect a job with rigorous professional standards either. However, if it's something you're genuinely interested in, and think you may do it for a few years, then get qualified before you start working abroad, and you'll get a lot more from the work part of your experience. I guess the third option is just use a year working in Korea or Taiwan to save up the money to get qualified.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am kinda considering a career in teaching... But maybe teaching politics or sociology in sixth form. I did want to do ESOL and adult literacy, but those jobs are dying fast due to the cuts.

    I do love working with younger people. To be completely honest, I'm aiming for somewhere in Latin America in the long run, both because of language and because I'm interested in the region. If I could do a year teaching in Korea or Taiwan, then afterwards, I could go to Latin America and then in a few years, do a Masters degree, hopefully being at least conversational in Spanish, but also hopefully having contacts, more knowledge and a bit of experience from my chosen country...

    Kind of a three year plan. :razz: One in a place I can save, two in a Spanish speaking country, then I'll return to the UK and see if I wanna do more, or study further.

    Ambitious, I know...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you're gonna do three years, then I think a CELTA would definitely be useful. Maybe between Korea and South America though. When you've done the CELTA, you really want to work in a school that will help you build on what you've learned, and give you a lot of autonomy. From what I hear, these sorts of schools are in the minority in Korea, so the last thing you want to do is spend all of that money on a CELTA, and then spend a year teaching in a school that doesn't let you use it.

    Oh, and bear in mind that South America has notoriously poor wages for ESL teaching.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there :) I am the poster formerly known as briggi! I'm teaching in a school in Mexico at the moment. It's not what I was doing back home which was working in a true ESOL context with refugees. Like you said the work died out a lot over the past few months and though I had a great job in an FE college before I left... the job isn't there any longer and even if I could have gone back to it, I love the life over here.

    I don't know where in the Americas you're thinking of, but there is a lot work. Like IWS said the pay isn't great but - at least here in Mexico - it's more than adequate for a single person to live and I have been able to support myself and the kids without relying on savings from back home.

    I have CELTA and DELTA qualifications but I am waaaaay over-qualified for this part of the world (the vast majority of jobs anyway). CELTA will help you immensely in terms of being prepared to stand in front of the class and understand the materials and what's required of you. My job and the content now are hugely different to what I was teaching before, but the basics are always the same whether it's kids or adults, business or general English. It's a great investment.

    If you have questions about teaching or about teaching in this part of the world in particular then I'm always happy to advise or share what I know. I know a lot of people here who have taught in Chile, Peru and Colombia so I can find out a lot about those places too if any of those spark your interest. Chile really appeals to me but, to be honest, I LOVE life here in Mexico.

    I hope you go for it as it's a life-changing experience, as cliché as it sounds. The people you meet - students, other teachers, locals, travellers and so on - are just fantastic. I never imagined I'd be in Mexico now but I'm so happy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just a thanks to the advice people have given.

    I am gonna do this, YEAH! :yippe:

    And am off to Spain for a couple of days in June with a mate, so we're gonna check out some language schools, maybe they'll even let me view a lesson or two and I'll get an idea of the place. If I like it and prospects look good, I'm signing up for Spanish lessons locally, putting cash in to doing a CELTA in the evenings around work and going for it in 2012.

    P.S. Does anybody know where I can find a CELTA course in London that's not on a week day?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Here are the part time ones. They generally run on weekday evenings and weekends.

    Example:
    Three part-time courses run at Earls Court. They start in January, April and September . The courses last for 12 weeks and take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6.30 - 9.30pm, and on six Saturdays (10.00am - 4pm). The courses are intended for those who prefer an extended period of study or who wish to continue earning while they follow a course.

    Just on Spain, International House Barcelona has a great reputation. Have you decided where you want to teach yet?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Apologies for resurrecting an old thread but I'm giving thought to doing a TEFL course and am getting a bit bogged down in the acronyms and the sheer abundance of courses and info that's on offer.

    Am I right in assuming that CELTA is the actual qualification that you'd gain (or one of the ones available) and that TEFL is a catch-all term?

    Also, how am I meant to distinguish between which colleges/schools run a decent course? In Brighton there are a number of places offering TEFL courses and they all charge different amounts for different length courses which seem to have different content. Are there choccy-teapot courses/schools/qualifications? Is there a central regulatory agency who keeps tabs on these people?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    TEFL is when you teach students overseas to speak English as a second language...

    CELTA is a qualification gained over one month intensive study (or part time) and is one of the most popular qualitications (apart from TESOL).

    I can't say a whole lot more sorry... I am hoping to do a CELTA course if/when I can afford it.

    ETA: That said, as of next month I am super frugal and have a temporary promotion... So I may start a full time course after I've done a marathon next May. Then I could try and use it to earn a bit of cash on the side, so I can save up and go abroad.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So you're not certain if there are any governing bodies or ways of establishing the quality of a course?

    Anyone else?
  • LauraOLauraO ********* Posts: 535 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hey CptCoatHanger :wave:

    I don't know too much about it myself, as haven't done a TEFL course, but have you seen this article on direct.gov? It has a pretty good explanation and links to more information about accreditation and a way to search for courses to find one that suits you.

    Hope it helps,
    LauraO
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    LauraO wrote: »
    Hey CptCoatHanger :wave:

    I don't know too much about it myself, as haven't done a TEFL course, but have you seen this article on direct.gov? It has a pretty good explanation and links to more information about accreditation and a way to search for courses to find one that suits you.

    Hope it helps,
    LauraO

    I hadn't seen that, cheers! It's a good starter for ten.
  • LauraOLauraO ********* Posts: 535 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    :thumb: No worries, hope it helps. Sounds like a very exciting course to do!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Right, there's only one rule. Make sure the course you do is 4 weeks long (full time) and includes at least 6 hours of teaching practice, where you're observed by an instructor. When companies, and more importantly immigration, ask that you have a teaching certificate this is what they mean. Anything less is a complete waste of money. If you're not willing to pay about £1000, then don't bother and just go to a country where they don't ask for a certificate. Anything on this list would be fine.

    Of the possible courses, the most widely recognised is the CELTA, followed by the Trinity Certificate. Anything else worth a damn will be roughly similar in price, so I would suggest you go for one of these two, because then there's no question in the employer's mind. Where you really get the price differences is in locations. I would seriously look at doing it overseas, because for the cost of a short flight to Poland or Hungary, you could be saving a lot on your course fees and living costs.

    But if you're interested in doing it in Vietnam, let me know, because I get money for recommending people. ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cheers for the info, dude!

    Are you saying that the only course I should do is a four week, full-time course? Or that any course I do should be the equivalent of a four week, full-time course? I'm currently in full-time employment and can't take four weeks off to study full-time. I have seen part time courses in Brighton that run over 12 weeks, but I'm not sure they add up to the same amount of being-taught time as a full-time course would.

    Are the courses on the list you linked bona fide recognised qualifications?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, 12-week part-time is fine too. But it's the 6 hours of observed teaching practice you should be looking at. And yes, the ones I linked to would all count as far as employers are concerned, but if you're looking at a small difference in price, I would still definitely choose the CELTA, because all other things being equal, I think employers would always pick it over an unspecified TESOL certificate.

    Where are you thinking of working when qualified? Do you have a degree, btw? Because that is also a requirement in most non-EU countries for visa reasons. Even countries that require no teaching credentials will demand a degree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cheers again for the info, dude.

    OK, cool - I'll make sure any course I do has the six hours of observed teaching practice included.

    I have a degree in Computer Science which seems to be fine as far as entry requirements go.

    I'm not certain about destination yet. I've been thinking about China, India, Vietnam or the Philippines.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Again, if you choose Vietnam, let me know because I get money for recommending people for jobs too. And I work for the best school (for a new teacher, at least).
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