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new in Eastern Europe, 7 years in South East Asia,where?
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nnmartin



Joined: 25 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:49 am    Post subject: new in Eastern Europe, 7 years in South East Asia,where? Reply with quote

Hi, I need a change.

7 years in SEA for me now - 2 in Thailand, 5 in Cambodia.

I'd like to do 1 year in Eastern Europe, don't really care where, and only really looking for subsistence wages.

I like the sound of perhaps Hungary or Romania, maybe Poland.

where is the best and easiest place to go?

my brief details: British, Male, White, Celta, age 40

any suggestions? - cheers Cool
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9310
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any of the three will do; probably a bit easier to find jobs in Poland (bigger market). Timing is important; most contracts run Sept/Oct through June.

You're unlikely to find anything from abroad; pick a city and come over. This is because there are lots of teachers in the region already and reputable employers won't need to take a chance on anyone sight-unseen when there are candidates ready to do live interviews (and demo lessons).

Your East Asia experience isn't likely to put you much above newbies; Asian and European students are quite different in many ways. It will probably help if you can show some awareness of the differences in an interview
(eg. students are more likely to use English in real life for work/travel, they will likely be higher-level in general, more demanding, see teachers as service providers - respect not automatic - expect to get a return on their time/monetary investment - likely have clearer and more specific goals - will probably expect less entertainment and more meat in lessons, and etc.)
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Mike_2007



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attitudes in Romania have changed a lot in recent years. When I first came here almost a decade ago the typical attitude of potential students was 'how can a foreigner (i.e. non-Romanian) teach English?' The standard way of teaching at that time was through translation, so they couldn't see how a non-Romanian, someone who couldn't speak their language, could possibly teach English.

Nowadays, however, native speakers are in greater demand. As more and more Romanians travel abroad for work or study, they have come to understand the benefits of practising with a native speaker, especially one from their target country who can also give them insights into local dialect and culture.

Parents are also becoming more particular about their children's private classes. In the past, in was the norm for the student to take private lessons from their class teacher. Taking private lessons from your own teacher essentially guaranteed a good grade at the end of the year. The content or usefulness of the private lessons was irrelevant - it was essentially just a kind of backhander to the teacher. These day parents actually care more about their kids' ability to get into a good university where passing one of the language exams (TOEFL, IELTS, CEA, etc) is important. Similarly, more and more are going abroad to study and subsequently need real skills to get their certification and practise real-world skills.

As a result, there are more language schools than previously. Back when I first came here, there was the BC, plus a couple of local outfits that employed only cheap local teachers. Now there are a lot international high schools employing native speakers, quite a few of the international language houses, and even some of the regular high schools will employ foreign teachers. I would say, though, that the market isn't as developed as Poland or Hungary (for sure nothing like as many openings as Poland, but I know less about Hungary).

Salaries can vary. I know of people who have worked for private international high schools and have had great salaries (2K Euro+) and those who have worked for regular schools for salaries comparable with local teachers (3-400 Euro). There is probably quite a lot of competition for these jobs, so as Spiral says, someone on the ground who can do a face-to-face interview and is already established in the country is probably going to have a better chance of getting the job than an applicant coming from abroad.
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nnmartin



Joined: 25 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, thanks for the replies.

still at the planning stage right now.

any hassles with visas/work permits etc, ie: are there any restrictions for new EU states?

and how about places like Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia - how is the scene there for Tefl?

thanks
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12097
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked and lived in Bulgaria from 1991. Slim pickings then - even worse now. No restrictions on EU citizens working but you are unlikelyu to find a job that will pay enough. Much the same in Romania.

Serbia, Croatia are also grim for employment prospects. There are jobs still in Turkey.
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Mike_2007



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No visa problems in Romania - you can be employed just like a local. You would need to register within the first three months which will get you a five-year residence certificate.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9310
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Second the notion that Slovenia and Croatia are very slim job markets.
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nnmartin



Joined: 25 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard that Bulgaria is not so great for work.

and now a couple of you say Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia.

why do you think that is?

lack of demand for learning English, outside EU?

anyway, it looks like a choice between Hungary, Poland, or Czech Rep/Slovakia.

so I just need to keep narrowing down the options Cool
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9310
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia are relatively small in terms of population, and are relatively shaky in terms of economics.

I mean, obviously countries with, respectively 4, 7, and 2 million approximately can't compare to Poland's 38 million in terms of offering a job market in anything.

Their economies are also relatively shaky, so less extra cash around to fund EFL teachers.

I know teachers in both Slovenia and Croatia - and they say there are very few, and many positions are snapped up by well-qualified locals. There's less incentive to hire outsiders.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While it is true that the market is very limited in both Croatia and Slovenia, it is limited for different reasons in each country. Croatia's economy is in trouble, as already noted. "Grim," as Scot47 said. The unemployment rate is about 30%, and there is a pervasive anti-foreigner theme to labor policy. This makes it all but impossible to work legally in Croatia, EU accession or not (and there is lots of anti-EU sentiment about.)

The situation is different in Slovenia. Its economy is fairly robust--by far the best of any of the countries that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia. However, the level of English is very high, which means two things. Not many EFL teachers are needed; and the positions that do exist are largely filled by locals. The IH CELTA course in Ljubljana usually has many more Slovenian than native speaker trainees.

I can't contribute anything useful about the conditions in Bulgaria.

.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xie Lin wrote:
While it is true that the market is very limited in both Croatia and Slovenia, it is limited for different reasons in each country. Croatia's economy is in trouble, as already noted. "Grim," as Scot47 said. The unemployment rate is about 30%, and there is a pervasive anti-foreigner theme to labor policy. This makes it all but impossible to work legally in Croatia, EU accession or not (and there is lots of anti-EU sentiment about.)

The situation is different in Slovenia. Its economy is fairly robust--by far the best of any of the countries that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia. However, the level of English is very high, which means two things. Not many EFL teachers are needed; and the positions that do exist are largely filled by locals. The IH CELTA course in Ljubljana usually has many more Slovenian than native speaker trainees.

I can't contribute anything useful about the conditions in Bulgaria.

.


I should qualify this info by adding that it is about two years old. Things could have changed since then without my knowledge.

.
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nnmartin



Joined: 25 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, thanks for the info.

Hungary seems to be the place I wish to focus on now.

do you reckon that is a decent bet?

Smile
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9310
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I hear that Hungary is a very tight job market; I know one teacher who started there last Jan and had to hang it up in April/May, as he was only ever able to cobble together a few private students; no school work. He had a new CELTA, no local contacts, and his timing wasn't stellar, but I know he really worked to get some sort of steady work.
Poland is probably the easiest market you've named. If you have the funds, you culd target Hungary first and then migrate if you don't find enough work.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Subsistence wages in Eastern Europe? Come to Moscow and work for a McSchool. Visa is a hurdle, certainly not the easiest country to enter - but there is plenty of work. Will definitely be an experience : )

McSchools are: BKC-IH; Language Link; English First
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nnmartin



Joined: 25 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

English First - well, I have worked for them before, in Bangkok - was ok there but I know they are all different and only actually share the same name.

but now Hungary may not be so great as Spiral mentions - perhaps, I'll do as he suggests - give it a try and then if no good move on up to Poland or Czech.

next question:

how about the degree situation?

I have Celta but no degree - will that be a problem?

(I"m only looking for run of the mill work for 1 yr max - just for experience, but the wages must cover all my living expenses, modest ones albeit)
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