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Mexico Advice

 
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LifterMan



Joined: 26 Nov 2013
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:38 am    Post subject: Mexico Advice Reply with quote

Hi first time poster here. I need some advice from Mexico vets. So I have a college degree + Celta + no experience.

My plan is to come to Mexico for various reasons (pay is not one of them), my goal is to be able to sustain myself without using savings. So it appears I have to be in country to get in the door. That's fine with me, but I have never done this. So what exactly do you guys with little to no Spanish do? Simply walk into schools and use broken Spanish to horribly explain you want a job. Give them my resume, smile, and walk out saying gracias?

Also, is there a lot of racial discrimination here? I would think not as I see some job posting seeking fluent Spanish speakers in ESL. What would most schools think if a black man or Asian man showed up at their school, is their a strong preference for white people?

Also, whats the deal with the visa, its all confusing to me? And how does renting as a foreigner work? Can I just hand over the cash and do a handshake deal?

Are the public universities open to foreigners? I have been thinking about going back to school for a Masters. And are Mexican universities a laughing joke amongst the world? It appears most don't transfer over well to the U.S.

Also, have any of you supplemented your income by working in a different English speaking job such as a call center or something similar?

How are ESL teachers viewed in Mexico? Would most Mexican women view this career as a joke or would they consider it on the same level as a waiter or bartender?

Thanks for your help
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody at the schools will usually speak English.

You'll get more respect than ESL teachers in China.

That's all I can tell you.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9395
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of questions...here are my 2.5 cents

First, what is your degree in? That will make a difference...Education? Very helpful.

Like johnpartee says, there's usually someone who speaks English, if not in HR, then a Dos or academic coordinator.

There is a degree of discrimination here against non-whites...it is most strongly directed at other Mexicans though. Race/skin color is trumped by capabilities in the classroom at schools where it matters most.

Quote:
Also, whats the deal with the visa, its all confusing to me? And how does renting as a foreigner work? Can I just hand over the cash and do a handshake deal?


Read through some of the other multiple threads on this forum as there have been a number of changes to the visa system. In a nutshell, you need a school to offer you employment and sponsor you for a visa. That may require a trip down first, particularly if you don't have an attractive CV.

UNAM is a good university, but you would face a lot of difficulty getting in unless you possessed some very very good credentials.

Quote:
So I have a college degree + Celta + no experience.


I wouldn't bother with any university at this point.

Quote:
Also, have any of you supplemented your income by working in a different English speaking job such as a call center or something similar?


I do all kinds of work, but all related to English teaching. Some others here might have something to offer up. I can tell you that call centers are not particularly good for pay, hours, or advancement.

Quote:
How are ESL teachers viewed in Mexico? Would most Mexican women view this career as a joke or would they consider it on the same level as a waiter or bartender?


Mexican women are as varied as the stars in the sky and as the ESL teachers who chase them south. Your character will define you far more than anything else here.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 825

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems you have some negative preconceptions about Mexico and ESL in general. For example, you ask if Mexican universities are a laughing joke, if teachers are considered the same as bartenders and their job a joke. I would suggest you do some research about Mexican universities, both public and private, as well as how various professions are viewed. I think most Mexican teachers, ESL or otherwise, would be insulted to be placed in the same category as a bartender, as would teachers in the US. You will have a hard time of it, most likely, if you know or understand little about the culture. At the very least you will probably offend people with some of your somewhat uneducated opinions.
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1819
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding racial discrimination, someone of Asia or African roots is often greeted with curiosity, but in a good way. Due to the demographics in Mexico, it is quite an insular society, but "different" people are welcomed with open arms. The worst one would have to endure would be regular questions about one's background, sometimes misguided, by always well-intentioned.

I have to say, one of the best teachers I know in Mexico - I've recommended him to 3 different companies - is Nigerian, and his students love him.
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LifterMan



Joined: 26 Nov 2013
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BadBeagleBad wrote:
It seems you have some negative preconceptions about Mexico and ESL in general. For example, you ask if Mexican universities are a laughing joke, if teachers are considered the same as bartenders and their job a joke. I would suggest you do some research about Mexican universities, both public and private, as well as how various professions are viewed. I think most Mexican teachers, ESL or otherwise, would be insulted to be placed in the same category as a bartender, as would teachers in the US. You will have a hard time of it, most likely, if you know or understand little about the culture. At the very least you will probably offend people with some of your somewhat uneducated opinions.


My intentions were not to offend anyone, I was just letting my thoughts flow. I have seen universities and high schools in Mexico and other areas of Latin American like Nicaragua, Honduras, etc and some appear to be run down and sometimes only consisting of one small building with basic necessities. This should go without saying, but I do know that not all schools are like this of course, Mexico City has some that rival the U.S. Now im not saying the U.S. is superior, as we all know its lacking, but our good ol' politicians will fix that soon. Now back in the U.S. when I think of a university, I imagine a big campus with many buildings, expensive labs with funded research, and dorms and millions and millions of dollars invested into it. Yes this is a skewed opinion, but that is why I would like to be informed properly.

I look at ESL teachers and it appears the career is not on the same level as "regular" teachers due to qualifications and pay. So I was just wondering how its viewed. I read online about people going down and teaching with no degree and in some cases no certification, that is why I wanted to know how the career was viewed. For example teaching positions in the U.S. are reasonably respected and something to be proud of. I just wanted to know if ESL is viewed the same, particularly by Mexican women.
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 853
Location: El 5o pino del DF

PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know some Mexican women who are ESL teachers and for them it is a serious career.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 825

PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

notamiss wrote:
I know some Mexican women who are ESL teachers and for them it is a serious career.



Right. I think it is more about your mindset and how prepared you are. Obviously thinking you are going to base a career on a 30 day course is not going to get you far, even if you are an excellent teacher, a lot of doors will be closed to you. If you have a related degree, post graduate training, and get involved in ongoing training, seminars, etc. you will BE a serious teacher and FEEL like a serious teacher. If you look at it as something to do for a few years, that will likely have an effect on how you see yourself, and how others see you.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
how you see yourself, and how others see you


Insightful. Attitude is everything (well, 90%; teaching skills will come in handy, too Very Happy ).
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2007
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LifterMan wrote:
BadBeagleBad wrote:
It seems you have some negative preconceptions about Mexico and ESL in general. For example, you ask if Mexican universities are a laughing joke, if teachers are considered the same as bartenders and their job a joke. I would suggest you do some research about Mexican universities, both public and private, as well as how various professions are viewed. I think most Mexican teachers, ESL or otherwise, would be insulted to be placed in the same category as a bartender, as would teachers in the US. You will have a hard time of it, most likely, if you know or understand little about the culture. At the very least you will probably offend people with some of your somewhat uneducated opinions.


For example teaching positions in the U.S. are reasonably respected and something to be proud of. I just wanted to know if ESL is viewed the same, [color=blue]particularly by Mexican women[/color].


OK. The OP is asking if Mexican women will date a foreign EFL teacher or see him as a complete loser.

Gotta find that one out for yourself... Cool
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