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I'm in Australia Can I get a realistic response to teaching

 
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TeachInVietnam



Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:28 am    Post subject: I'm in Australia Can I get a realistic response to teaching Reply with quote

Hi Guys,

I am new here, little about me I live in Australia no degree and work full time not in a teaching capacity, I'm currently looking at a change of direction, life experience and I thought about teaching English in Vietnam.

I have been looking at a few places here to complete TESOL and come across http://www.ataonline.edu.au (Australasian Teaching Academy) which seems a reputable teaching academy I spoke to them and they promise they could get me work in Vietnam as they have plenty available even without a degree, when in fact I know you need one.

I was told to email H.J consultancy Saigon who must look after ataonline.edu.au students once they complete TESOL which I did and here part of an extract from my email:

Me: I do not hold a degree of any sort , I am looking at teaching English in Vietnam for one or two years depending on how things go, I am little confused in relation to whether I need a degree or not to work in Vietnam.

Their answer: The government requires teachers to have a degree but we are placing teachers without degrees in specific areas. Its who you know and who is contacted to whom.

They sent me H.J Consultancy brochure which in it had Visa requirements:

For arrival and to begin work in Vietnam, *it is common to use a ‘tourist Visa.’ It is highly recommended that you apply for a 3 or 6 month multiple entry tourist visa not a single entry tourist Visa. This is so you can travel in and out of Vietnam. Also a 3 – 6 month Visa is suggested as this period of time will cover your initial workplace probation period and then latter application process for your work permit (as this can take from 4 -10 weeks). With your multiple entry tourist visa, you will need proof of an ongoing journey outside of Vietnam (a plane ticket to anywhere). Please note that your ongoing airfare does not have to fall between your initial tourist visa dates , as tourist visa extensions in Vietnam is quite common and can be done at local travel agents.

All I want to do is teach English overseas for a year or two not really looking at long term so there is no point spending alot of money to get a degree to teach, as long as I earn enough from teaching to cover cost of living and have some spending money ill be happy.

So you can see how this place appeals to me but I know these type of places offering TESOL like to sugar coat things after all it is a sales type environment for them.

Can I please get some realistic responses in what you think in relation to what they stated about working in Vietnam.

Thanks
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had a similar question about 4 months ago, though it was a lady with a child, I think she was from Oz and had no degree. Find that thread and you will get a lot of info on the topic. There are quite a few other threads that answer similar questions that are fairly recent. There is no one absolute answer. So much depends on you. There are folks without degrees who make a great presentation and end up with jobs. There are folks who have degrees but lack skills and make a terrible presentation. There are some very good jobs, but almost all of those will go to folks with some kind of degree. There are some jobs that are barely worth having which can be found by folks with minimal skills or qualifications. Even then, I see folks who look fairly good in real life and who do have some acceptable qualifications in some low end jobs. Even living here long term and watching the situation closely, one has to conclude that like many important topics, there is rarely a clear answer. Conditions change constantly, but not usually for the better. They just become more muddled or challenging.

I have stated many times that folks posting this basic question do not give enough info for people to be able to then give very meaningful advice. There are a lot of blank spots in your post. You do not mention your age, your gender, your financial profile or your past work experience.

My blanket advice for everyone regardless of profile: if you have enough money to live here without worrying about work, and if you want to work for fun and the income is just icing on the cake, come on over. If you have an actual need for the income, I do not recommend it. Too many people orbiting around who would love to stay a while and get paid for it. Times seem tough on the low end. Maybe if you are in a dismal environment with no prospect of income now, and your skills are adequate to insure some kind of work, then this may be a good gamble. For anyone with no degree, I would say it is a lot shakier.
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TeachInVietnam



Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Mark, I'll have a look for that post you mentioned.

I am 34 Male, no teaching experience at all besides training staff members not sure if that counts lol. I'm sure what you meant by financial profile?

The job I'm in at the moment I could take a career break of 6 months to 2 years which is what I'm planning on doing so if I return to Australia I still have employment.

I have a holiday planned in late October for 4 weeks in Vietnam and a brief visit to Cambodia my plan was to get the TESOL certificate and canvas the area while I'm there on holidays hoping I make a good impression that someone might make me an offer in the new year, although I wouldn't be heavily reliant on the income it would still be nice to have.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Financial profile refers to assets, liabilities, income streams, and ongoing expenses. For example, some of the guys coming over to teach have student loans they have to pay off, they have little to no liquid assets. (Well, maybe they have some liquid assets sitting around in bottles, but that is another topic). Not a good position to be in.

Even if one is shrewd, it is easy to run through a couple of grand a month here, without going crazy in bars or expat hangouts. It does cost some extra money to keep yourself employable with housing, clothing, transportation and other expenses. My guess is that the average teacher is netting about $1,200 or so now. Guys who are on this board may say that is low (like so many things, the truth is likely not known), it is low for guys who have been here a while, but add in the masses of people who are sloshing around calling themselves teachers, that may be about average. This includes folks from all over the world, and no degree means you are competing against them, they may not be true native speakers, but they often have some kind of degree.

Anyone (one, not a family) who can count on 1,000 a month or more from his income streams should be able to survive here. 2,000 or more, you should be able to survive and have fun. Then, income from work is just icing on the cake, and you are in a position of strength, you do not have to put up with a bunch of foolishness from an employer. Of course, it takes a year or so to find a decent job and to develop your skills, find your niche, your best location, a good deal on housing, as well as some other parts of life here that take time to get dialed in on.

I personally would not recommend 6 months. If so, I would just come for the fun, not for the work. It takes most folks longer than that to make it pay off well. Yeah, you may find something, but most will not find anything that great in such a short time. I am sure some hop off the plane and get hired the first week, but even those still have to go through the learning curve on everything else. It took me well over a year to find a decent deal on housing, with a good location, good price and adequate space. Most guys also go backwards in some of their other personal dealings for some time, before they get it figured out.

Someone making you an offer is not as formal as you make it sound. Instead, it may be someone willing to pay you something if you can start this evening, and you may not find out how pitiful the deal is until after you are in it. Again, not every job is this bad, but again, consider your lack of degree, which means you are not in the high end of desirability for employment, especially when you first arrive.

If you have the money in background, come for the fun, work if it works. If you need the work, not the same deal. Young people from all over coming and going. You have to have a long term commitment to life here for it to work best. A few do well from the beginning, but most of those are more outstanding candidates in terms of qualifications.
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TeachInVietnam



Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again Mark you make a very informative post and some good points.

I did read the other thread you referred to and notice one similar thing you mentioned all the TESOL schools are crying out for teachers in Vietnam and how many jobs are available this is one thing which got me interested. I spoke with Australasian Teaching Academy they advised me everyone who completed their course ended up being placed in work in Vietnam if that was their destination of choice.

They even invited me to a information night specifically about teaching in Vietnam because there are so many jobs they need more people to fill them!

It's funny I read this forum and see how hard it is for people finding work in Vietnam yet I seem to get a sugar coated version from Australasian Teaching Academy.

Are you serious when you say a couple of grand a month? costs me less to live here in Melbourne than that surely that can't be right.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything is GENERALLY SPEAKING. What matters to you is what happens TO YOU. I am one of the more careful ones, but I also have enough resources that I do not try to go for the absolute lowest cost life. I pay about half of what most guys pay for rent. I eat out about half the time, food is a bargain here, but I do pay for my partner. We go to expat places about once a week, and go to mid range native places most of the other times. Expat food can cost 8 bucks a meal or so, native gruel can cost a buck or two. Low end is less, but not many teachers go for less than that. Housing is likely where guys get hurt, also relationships, boozing and transportation. You get a motorbike, you can do better. Taxis will eat you up pretty quickly.

I suspect the low end teachers spend about a grand IF they share housing and do not get too wild on expat food and beverage. They can really get taken for a ride on relationships until they figure that part out. Guys who have good income and money in reserve can spend 2 grand and not have a flashy life. There are constant extra expenses one does not factor in. Yeah, you can sit in a room forever and save money, but then what is the point of being here? You likely are not paying for a partner's expenses in Melbourne on your less than 2 grand a month. I imagine most guys over here are, or would have that as a goal. Notice, I said you could survive on 1 grand and have fun on 2. Maybe big fun.

Whatever your TESOL guys in Australia said, I would consider it to be marketing. If they are not here, they really do not know what is going on. Even if they do, their job is to sell their product, they do not put the best interests of their students as their highest priority, just as most of the VN managed schools here also do not. I do not think anyone here is going to tell you that schools are having trouble finding bodies for their positions. I will say that not all the bodies are well qualified, but the schools sometimes do not know who is capable. They should be able to understand that it is better to hire someone with a degree, even though they may not know if a guy without a degree is capable and the guy who has one is not.

If the TESOL providers pitch is what got you interested, that seems like a bad sign to me. I believe you have to have a commitment to life here because the life is right for you. Almost all your first choices (relationships, schools, housing) will not work out. To build your move here around some TESOL providers sales pitch seems like a big mistake. When they say "being placed" it can mean anything. It can mean they have some bs school that will agree to offer every graduate some bs job you would never keep in return for something, just so they can make the claim. These guys ARE NOT upstanding business people, this is one shady deal, with a very few exceptions. My guess is it means nothing.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hesitate to chip in only to echo M-I-S but be cautious.

Someone is spinning you a long line on the TESOL course which doesn't even seem to be worth having. Only a very limited number cut any ice with employers. Many threads on this topic.

I would say in the first 6-12 months it is hard to spend less than 2000 USD a month. Many of these will be one off expenses.

If you can find a good deal on housing it can save a lot because you will cook at home and have more of a 'home life' than a nightlife - but that can seem a little dull.

There will also be many trips around the country that you do in the first year but seldom bother with again. You will also have more expensive visa costs at first - and with no degree pretty much forever.

If you are quite frugal and boring you might live long term on 1000 a month. Again - many would question the point of such a humdrum existence.
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TeachInVietnam



Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys,

Thanks for your honest and realistic opinions I appreciate it.

I might start looking at an alternative place to teach where I may get work a little easier to begin with, like I said I have no ties or commitments here so I can pretty much go where I want to teach as long as there is work that doesn't pay to bad.

I'll probably still canvas the area while on holidays see if I can drum up any interest as ill be over there anyway can't hurt to try Smile
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 197
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to nitpick over every one but does it seem to others that the OP has an inordinate number of errors in his writing style? There are punctuation errors, run on sentences and shifting tenses. I know some people post from phones which can be difficult, but I don't think this is the case here.

I frequently point out to my classes that grammar is not absolute and that several technically incorrect phrases would be perfectly acceptable in conversations with native speakers. I also remind them that the written word is also not absolute but generally adheres to a higher standard. Posting on Dave's isn't writing contract law, but since the OP began with questions related to his not having a degree, it seems fair to question his basic skills.
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TeachInVietnam



Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I knew the grammar police were in town I would of wrote it better sorry about that mate.

I'm not saying my grammar is perfect I guess that's why I'll be completing Certificate IV in TESOL - 310 hours which includes a 20-hour grammar unit.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is a leg pull - very hot these days - some people have a strange sense of humour and I guess like roaches you see more in the summer.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 400
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
I think this is a leg pull - very hot these days - some people have a strange sense of humour and I guess like roaches you see more in the summer.


Indeed. Maybe our friend Mr Paradise Paradise!
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mushroom_season



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done the course. You can use the qualification to get a job and work permit with it in Vietnam I cant say about other countries but if you get it notarised it will improve your chances. I later used that course as leverage to get into a Masters of Arts in TESOL at Bond University (which is a fully accredited university in Australia) in Queensland. Its not too bad. However, this Cert TESOL is lesser known and CELTAs and then DELTAs are generally better respected.

ATA is in partnership with Bond University.
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mushroom_season



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the visa recommendations they are right. Generally you start off on a tourist visa or business visa until you are settled with a company that can process your work permit. Make sure you get a police background check before you leave and get that background check notarised. Also notarise all your degrees and certificates before you leave to save on convenience.
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