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Coming to Mexico in August and Im confused

 
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Pete Brown



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 2:48 pm    Post subject: Coming to Mexico in August and Im confused Reply with quote

My friend and I are looking to teach in Mexico starting in September, But not in Mexico city as Im a country lad at heart Laughing
Are qualifications and back grounds are as follows

Ive a TESOL cert and 6 months exp teaching here in Madrid and a BA(Hons) Degree
My friend she has a CELTA cert and 3 years exp in Italy and a BA(Hons) Degree.
Ive a number of questions, Sorry for the large number but Ive been steadly getting more confused the more I research.

1) It looks as if Im not going to have a job before I come out there, so will be entering on a tourist visa, Do I have to have a job before I get an FM03 work permit, and how do I go about getting one once I have a job? Is the FM03 transferrable to other jobs/schools, if not why get one once I have a job?

2) Am I right in thinking that to get a work permit I have to have my certs notorised by the Mexican embassey and is this best done before I get to Mexico?

3) Ive seen various posts about how liveable Mexico is on a teachers wage, I understand that its a big place with many jobs but are there teachers out there making ends meet and having a good time with simular experience/qualifications, preferably by the coast?

4) My Spainish is very limited, hopefully improving in the next few months, how hard will it be to get by on only a little Spainish out there.

Thank you anybody who can provide information on the above, Im really looking forward to getting over there.
All the best

Pete Cool
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inmexico



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 110
Location: The twilight zone

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am no expert on the FM3 but as far as I know you should have your credentials apostilled in your home country. There are ways around this, it really depends on which immigration office you go to get your FM3. Once you find a job (which I am sure will be no problem with your creds.) you will need to get a letter from the employer stating that they want to hire you, most schools will help you out with this. As far as I know, it takes about 6 weeks to get your FM3 from the time you first apply. Again, it depends on the office. As far as transferability, I believe that you only need to inform immigration of your new employment and/or address.
Spanish, although helpful for day to day living, is not necessary in most cases.
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Coming to Mexico in August and Im confused Reply with quote

These are a lot of questions, so I won't reply to them all at once. Part of the joy of living in Mexico is changing your perception of time Very Happy
And doing the easy things first.

Pete Brown wrote:
4) My Spainish is very limited, hopefully improving in the next few months, how hard will it be to get by on only a little Spainish out there.

Pete Cool


It totally depends on where you end up. Both in terms of region/city and job. We've had some teachers leave because they felt they weren't learning any Spanish because they didn't need to learn Spanish here. We have 15 English teachers, we work full time and all the same hours, and we speak to each other in English. We live in a town with a large migrant worker population, many people go the the US for five or more years, save up money then come back here and open a shop or restuarant with the money that they saved. So you walk into half the places in town and the owner speaks English. (Or in some cases just tries to speak English Wink )

If you feel nervous about not speaking Spanish, look for a job in a big school in a touristy area. If one of your main goals is to learn Spanish, then look for a part time job and shun English speakers (Which can be harder than you might think).

I'll answer more of your questions, but possibly manana, cause there is always manana...

MEL
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2003 2:19 pm    Post subject: A few answers Reply with quote

I won't attempt to answer all of your questions. However, I'll share a few comments for what they're worth. Keep in mind that my Mexican experience is limited to SE Mexico.

I'm not sure just how country you are. I understand that you aren't interested in living in a huge city like Mexico City. However, at least here in SE Mexico, you'd have to settle for a small city (probably at least a quarter of a million for population) as opposed to a little village if you wanted to find a job teaching EFL. Towns with populations of a few thousand just don't have much for EFL teaching opportunities in this part of Mexico.

In general, the more touristy an area, the higher the demand for English. However, there's also more competition for EFL teaching jobs in tourist areas, and it's harder to make ends meet financially. More competition for teaching jobs usually keeps wages down, and cost of living is higher in tourist areas.

Quote:
Are there teachers out there making ends meet and having a good time with simular experience/qualifications, preferably by the coast?


Yes, but most of them are working one heck of a lot of hours, and they're having a good time, because they enjoy doing things that are cheap or free.

Quote:
My Spainish is very limited, hopefully improving in the next few months, how hard will it be to get by on only a little Spainish out there?


A lot depends on where you locate. In the city where I live, you could get by without speaking Spanish. Everyone I've met who doesn't speak Spanish finds it quite frustrating much of the time, however. It always surprises me the places in this city where you can find people who can speak English quite well. One of the guys who works on the garbage truck that passes by my house has a very good level of conversational English. The manager of a little mechanic's shop down the street and a guy who sells hotdogs on the corner a couple of blocks from my house both want to practice their English with me every time they see me, and they do quite well with it, too. However, if you go to the local immigration office, take someone with you who's bilingual, because hardly anyone working there can speak any English at all. Go figure.

Quote:
Is the FM03 transferrable to other jobs/schools, if not why get one once I have a job?


The simplest answer is because you can't work legally without one. A work visa in Mexico is job specific. It doesn't give you permission to work anywhere you want whenever you want. However, it's possible to add, delete, or change jobs on your work visa once you have it.

If you have further questions that I might be able to answer, feel free to PM me.

Best wishes!
Smile
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Pete Brown



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 11:43 am    Post subject: The shadowy mist that surounds me begins to clear Reply with quote

Thanks Ben and Mel for the answers above Very Happy

[I'm not sure just how country you are.]

When I say country I mean, the population in my home town is greater then a Guy named Joe, two pigs named Sue and Helen and a horse. The Pig named Sue being the local talent!!
(My town has a sheep as well! Wink )
No a city round about 30K would be peachy. I just didnt hack London when I was there and suspect Mexico city would be even more intense.

I thinking of heading to the west coast which of the citys out that way have you heard good things about and which should I avoid?

Thanks again.
P.S Weather here in Madrid is sweet Laughing Hope things are as good for you
Pete [/quote]
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Coming to Mexico in August and Im confused Reply with quote

Pete Brown wrote:

3) Ive seen various posts about how liveable Mexico is on a teachers wage, I understand that its a big place with many jobs but are there teachers out there making ends meet and having a good time with simular experience/qualifications, preferably by the coast?

Pete Cool



I'm not sure you can get a solid answer on this (or anything about Mexico, really). But I will say that about the teachers I personally know. Usually the more desirable the location, the harder it is to live on your wage. For example teachers in Oaxaca City make less than teachers in other parts of the state of Oaxaca. But they get to live in Oaxaca City, which many find ideal. With B.A. degrees and TEFL/CELTA certs it is completely possible to get good jobs, but it may take time and footwork.

I've mentioned in the past that if you plan on coming to Mexico for less than two years, you should value the experiece over any finacial independance or gain. If you plan to stay in a country for a year or so, you don't expect to set up house, you expect to get out and experience as much of the country as possible. Working instead of just travelling opens up some oportunities. 1) all the money you spend is not coming from savings, so you pay your way and can stay in the country longer than most travellers. and 2) you meet people in a different way than travellers do and thus get to know locals better and have more insight into daily life.

If you stay beyond your second year, it is much easier to start living well and even saving money. The major expenses in setting up house are one time expenses, so you've paid for them by now. A lot of things in Mexico work through connections, so you establish relationships that will help you move into a more desirable apartment, get a better job, and private classes.

I love Mexico, so I'm not the best to ask, but I think a Mexican experience is worth the price.

Good Luck,

MEL
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