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Horrified..

 
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 105
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:37 am    Post subject: Horrified.. Reply with quote

I am an American. I have taught English in Latin America (but I gave up..I want to be legal and even there that wasn't happening); facebook decided I would like TEFL international academy based on my past searches.

TEFL international Academy has testimonials from Americans who just flew to Europe and started job hunting!

Actual quotes:
Question: Describe the situation in Italy. (This is an American..or maybe Canadian)

Answer: I don't have a visa and admittedly it has caused tension. Schools refuse to even interview me without one, but they aren't forthcoming on how I can get one; even my current employers are vague on details..

The hard thing about living in Spain is I can't open a bank account. To pay bills I have to use a pay pal account to pay back my friends (who pay my bills from the states). But I restrict travel to the whatever (I forgot the name, sorry) zone-- like my TEFL international adviser said to-- and it's been totally fine.

People in Barcelona speak their own language called Catalan and they are very proud of their regional culture; I didn't know that before I came here..

Don't worry.. next is NOT "so can I really work in Europe with no EU passport??" Smile!

What I am curious about is this.. are there really a lot of Americans (or other non EU native speakers.. although my country seems to take the cake in terms of believing we always get what we want if we just "go get it") who just up and move to Europe to "find a job teaching English"? Have you encountered anyone not from Europe who is "job hunting" with only their native language and a resume? What do schools tell these job hunters?

If you want to work in Latin America you turn up, knock on doors, and assume that after you get hired the visa will get taken care of. I speak Spanish, so I tried working throughout the region multiple times (but always with a job lined up from the states); it took me years to admit that the "good jobs" offered there (if you are willing to stick with looking) are just a myth. Based on this job search model, perhaps many Americans so have the idea that "move first.. then job hunt on the ground" is a logical way to get work in Europe; it isn't fully their fault.

But I am curious as to if the movement of Americans to Europe to job hunt is really happening..or did TEFL international just manage to find a few clueless people who did this to advertise?

Thanks!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11511
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It used to be fairly common, back in the day before the Schengen zone laws went into effect. Back then (over a decade ago now) you could essentially just cross a border, any border, get a stamp, and return to the country where you were living with a fresh 90 day legal visa-free stay.

Now, no. You'd encounter significant risks and you would have no legal protection. Ido personally know of several people who were caught overstaying their 90 day tourist visas (just in the wrong place at the wrong time by accident) and who were deported and banned from the EU for as long as 10 years. Never mind people who aren't paid by their dodgy employers and etc.

These TEFL training companies are seriously misrepresenting the reality, IMO. 'Schools aren't forthcoming about how I can get a visa" because you can't get one - only a state institution could possibly apply for an exceptional visa for a non-EU citizen and they must show the national government why no EU member citizen was able to take the job.


Good news - it is possible to legally work in Germany (though it's very costly in terms of both energy and fees for health insurance and etc.). Non EU citizens can also get legal work permits in most of Central/Eastern Europe.

More on this on the Germany, Czech Rep, Poland, and other relevant boards.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11382
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: Horrified.. Reply with quote

lagringalindissima wrote:
But I am curious as to if the movement of Americans to Europe to job hunt is really happening..or did TEFL international just manage to find a few clueless people who did this to advertise?

According to their website:

Quote:
ELIGIBILITY: To take just the 4-week TEFL class (no Student Visa Progam), you must be a citizen of a European Union nation or otherwise possess a visa (working holiday visa, extended student visa or spousal visa) that provides legal working rights and residency in Spain.

Americans & others who may not meet these requirements should otherwise consider the Student Visa Program or our 4-week TEFL class in Barcelona, or one of International TEFL Academy's other TEFL Course Options.

However, from their FAQ page:

Quote:
Can Americans Teach English in Europe Even Without Citizenship from an EU Country?

Yes!
....

The Biggest Job Markets for Americans Teaching English in Europe

In Western Europe, Spain, Italy, and Germany are the largest job markets for teaching English and tens of thousands of opportunities can be found in Central and Eastern European countries like Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic. Some countries like France and Greece can be more challenging for Americans because of red tape and a strong preference for EU citizens. An exception to this is the French government's assistantship program, which recruits more than 1,000 qualified Americans to work as assistant English teachers in public schools. Spain operates a similar program. Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Romania also offer extensive job opportunities.

In some EU countries, including Italy, Spain and France, some Americans gain a legal right to work as an English teacher by enrolling in a study program (usually language) and receiving a student visa that grants working privileges.


Last edited by nomad soul on Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 105
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:14 am    Post subject: Thanks.. Reply with quote

I know this school is being very dishonest and that nothing they say is trustworthy; I would hope anyone looking at them sees the red flags immediately. And there is even more on the page than the quotes someone pulled. It says (I am paraphrasing) "You might have heard non EU citizens can't work in Europe due to visa laws and the preference for British English. But you can. The demand for English is huge and there aren't enough teachers; American English is also in high demand. Visas are issued." Another section says "Jobs would get you a visa if they could" but "it can be 40% cheaper for language schools--a business-- to hire illegal workers" and (best of all!) "We can't encourage people to break established laws.. but we can tell people what the cultural norms in each country are..".

So tell everyone to avoid TEFL international academy Smile.

But what I was wondering is if people with no EU passport actually do get a TEFL and then just job hunt and ultimately live in Europe illegally in large numbers. In Latin America it is quite common to meet native English speakers who just up and moved to job hunt.. and I always took jobs in smaller cities, so I wasn't even living in the major urban areas/hot spots where most job hunters go. Of course (unlike Europe) each country in Latin America has their own visa laws; this means that both TEFL providers and schools can mislead naive new teachers easily. Claims made include "in Costa Rica you can sell your services and work legally with no visa; you just get a tax number and leave the country every 90 days" and "in Ecuador teachers work on a cultural exchange visa; the government classifies your salary as a stipend (which means you sign a statement agreeing to work for free and your school sponsors you to come to Ecuador and perform a "cultural exchange activity"); this is perfectly legal..". But laws change constantly thorough out the region.. so even if the claims above are true as of Feb. 2016, next month the rules might change. That is not to mention the fact that before your visa is fully formalized you aren't working legally, so if a company bleeps you over you have no legal recourse. (In some countries you are also asked to leave your passport with the government for visa processing.)

So seeing people working this way was upsetting to me..but at least in Latin America you can leave any country in the region briefly and re enter, so teachers aren't (usually) living in Latin America illegally. Plus lets be real..unlike in Latin America, illegal workers in Europe are failing to pay high taxes; this the crime of working there illegally is more serious.

Thanks for the information Smile.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11511
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But what I was wondering is if people with no EU passport actually do get a TEFL and then just job hunt and ultimately live in Europe illegally in large numbers.


In large numbers, as I noted earlier, no.
A few do, but usually short-term.
The chances of getting caught and being punished in some way are pretty high here.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in England, since strict legislation was introduced in 2014, an employer can be fined up to 20,000 pounds for employing an illegal worker.

Equally, landlords who rent to an illegal immigrant may face a hefty fine and up to 5 years imprisonment.
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jm2505



Joined: 20 Jun 2009
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks.. Reply with quote

lagringalindissima wrote:
In Latin America it is quite common to meet native English speakers who just up and moved to job hunt.


Europe and the EU is not Latin America.

I am British with an EU passport and even I have to jump through an increasing number of hoops as legislation is coming into force - mainly aimed at stopping illegal migrants. Yes you could find work illegally so long as you are prepared to deal with the consequences if you are caught.

Also, as someone who is nearly 60 and has worked in TEFL for 10 years round the world, I have been fortunate enough to find good work as I have an IT and business background, but in terms of General English I have seen the market slow down as more young people learn English as school.

Finally, there are some good Language Schools, but there are some who will cheerfully lie and rip you off. Do your research carefully.
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reddevil79



Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 234
Location: Neither here nor there

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Of course (unlike Europe) each country in Latin America has their own visa laws


No, EU members (The European Union and Europe are two very different things) can still have different visa requirements.

Quote:
it took me years to admit that the "good jobs" offered there (if you are willing to stick with looking) are just a myth


Don't agree with this. Sure, it can be a challenge at times in Latin America, but for those with the right qualifications and requisite experience the opportunities are there. Like anywhere you have to pay your dues, make contacts and commit to a place. Latin America's an awfully big place to make sweeping generalisations.

I agree with the other posters who have said do your research carefully; there are many TEFL 'schools' that will put anything on their websites to get American dollars. Bear in mind that illegal teachers won't be too popular among the teaching community either and I have heard stories of legal teachers getting in touch with local authorities informing them of illegal teachers in their community.
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 105
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:30 pm    Post subject: Latin America Reply with quote

I know the online buzz is that to work in Latin America you move, take any job at first and "move up" after 6 months to a year. Since that is how most professions work that seems logical (although to me the "move with no job" part isn't). But I taught there ten times. It is just not true that the region is full of "good schools" that only hire teachers who have put in a year or so in their first job. In working in ten jobs (in 6 locations), I never encountered a school that did all of the following: pay fully and on time, do their part to get you a visa, give you basic supplies (like copies of your textbook) and give you a set working schedule (rather than keeping you on call). I have not only "put in my time". I consider all of this " must haves" in a job..so I gave up on the region. I have also had " good" jobbs. I was a classroom teacher at elite private schools several times, and I got a very coveted job as a teacher for hotel employees. I also got a job by contacting a school and they offered me a very competitive salary for the region (I had taught in the same city before.. this salary was well above market average..and I was hired from abroad). Native English speakers assume they can/will work at a less than great job for 6 months, find a better job, get a good reference and "move up". This is logical, because we take it for granted that that is how the job market works (no matter what culture you are operating in). This belief is further fostered by both tefl programs and jobs assuring us the job market does work this way in the region. But it does not.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15323

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Native speakers from the UK and RoI also often assume that they can get a job teaching English anywhere they want. I remember the one who could not tell me what an adjective is. Many have no experience of foreign travel and have no exposure to other forms of English apart from the variety they have used in their home town. Monoglossia rules !
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