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Jump from China to Latin America - looking for advice

 
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onward788



Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:55 am    Post subject: Jump from China to Latin America - looking for advice Reply with quote

I'm hoping to get advice on a possible move to South or Central America. I've been teaching at a college in China for 3 years and considering a change. Briefly about me: native speaker from USA, BA a long time ago, CELTA 4 years ago. Enjoyed teaching oral english to college age Chinese. A little tutoring for business folks. A bit weary of China.
My questions: Best country in LA for someone in my situation? It looks like private classes pay the best and most schools pay poorly. I don't need to make a lot but the idea of working for $5/hour is kind of shocking. Are there places where I could get proper working papers to do independent teaching? What about teaching with a retirement status?
Countries I have considered (and read most of the posts about) are Mexico, Panama, Columbia and Peru.
Open to your suggestions and advice - including to stay in China.
Thanks to all posters here. I've already learned a lot from your experience.
One last thing - I've considered spending this summer traveling in LA to check things out and then teach another year in China before making a move. Any thoughts on that?
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1459
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went from China to Chile a few years back and went back to China. I taught in Santiago for about six months and found I missed China, even though I met some nice Chilenos and fellow foreigners. Now I'm considering Latin America again. I would consider Chile again and also the countries you mentioned. In fact I'm favoring Mexico at the moment. I don't think any comparable compensation is possible without stellar credentials and real ambition to move up. But for a change of pace it may be worth the lower standard of living. I hope so. Yes, a tour of the places you are considering is a good idea, but visiting a place and living there can be very different. I wish I had seen more of South America while there, but it didn't work out time-wise.

Good luck with your decision.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8931
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Peru you're not going to get a work visa or housing or flights for most jobs. Teaching with retirement status is illegal there. I'd say of your choices check out Mexico. Honestly it seems like China is up and coming for TEFL jobs why not stay? Maybe find a new job or city t live in.

Traveling could help you get a feel for places but being a tourist and living somewhere is very very different.
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onward788



Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your thoughts naturegirl. I was also thinking Mexico might be the best choice. I have traveled many times in Mexico and enjoyed my visits there although I know traveling as a tourist is much different from living someplace. A place I enjoyed visiting is Xalapa.

I may stay another year in China but I think long term it is not a good prospect. The environmental problems are pretty ugly. And people not very friendly. The money is good and I can add to my savings quite a bit if I work here for another year. As I mentioned, some exploratory travel this summer and then look at a move in another year.

Any thoughts on getting proper working status in Mexico? It looks like private classes and working independently might be the best but can I get proper working status without a school contract?
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8931
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny. I've been looking at china

Mexican visas. Nope. But check out the Mexican board. They've got an on and off topic board.
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just_a_mirage



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 154
Location: ecuador

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ecuador recently changed the rules about working on a retirement visa. It is now allowed. So you can get a resident visa if you get more than $800 in retirement funds permonth, and work as you like.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully Guy will come along with some visa info. My understanding is that the independent work visa is not a possibility any longer. And just a picky note, Mexico is not in Central America, it is in North America.
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Guy Courchesne



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

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The independent work visa in Mexico is now only possible after you've already acquired a work visa through other means, as far as I understand it. In other words, you get a visa through a job offer or through marriage to a Mexican, then you can change it to stay on your own dime and effort if that's your desire.
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