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Asian American here looking to teach ESL in Hong Kong

 
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justjack888



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:09 am    Post subject: Asian American here looking to teach ESL in Hong Kong Reply with quote

Hey everyone!

I am interested in teaching English in Hong Kong. I just finished my CELTA course and will start applying to schools as I am working on my resume and cover letter.

I wanted to ask for your advice.

- How "hard" is it to get a job as an Asian American? I am a native English speaker but I also speak Cantonese fluently.

- Is it better to be hired from overseas vs. job hunting on ground (visitor visa)

- What salary expectation should I have in order to survive my first year?

- What's the usual hiring season? I heard it was late April but correct me if I am wrong.

- I have a Bachelors in History, 2 years of market management experience, and a CELTA so my teaching is a bit lacking but my other soft skills are decent. Do I sand a chance in Hong Kong?

Thank you for reading, I hope you guys can give me some insight.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 662

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will be able to find work but you will have to work a bit harder at it and you will probably get paid a bit less (at least initially) due to the unfortunate preference for caucasian teachers.

I know some ABCs (American Born Chinese) and CBCs (Canadian Born Chinese) who are doing well here so it can be done. One in particular has a decent job at a reputable language centre and is very busy on the side with private students (charging min HK $600 / hr).

Best bet is to find work once you are here. Most centres / schools want to interview at short notice with an almost immediate start date. Applying from overseas is very difficult unless you have very good qualifications / experience.

I'd say you should be aiming for at least 20K / month as a basic salary.

Hiring season for language centres is all year round.
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justjack888



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jmbf wrote:
You will be able to find work but you will have to work a bit harder at it and you will probably get paid a bit less (at least initially) due to the unfortunate preference for caucasian teachers.

I know some ABCs (American Born Chinese) and CBCs (Canadian Born Chinese) who are doing well here so it can be done. One in particular has a decent job at a reputable language centre and is very busy on the side with private students (charging min HK $600 / hr).

Best bet is to find work once you are here. Most centres / schools want to interview at short notice with an almost immediate start date. Applying from overseas is very difficult unless you have very good qualifications / experience.

I'd say you should be aiming for at least 20K / month as a basic salary.

Hiring season for language centres is all year round.


Hey! Thanks for your response. I heard about that preference so I know I'll have to work harder to find a job, have to put those rapport skills into use.

I am happy to hear that you know some ABC/CBC teachers doing well. I plan on being in HK for a while, so the contract's shouldn't be a problem.

I'd love to look for work in HK but I heard it's illegal to look for a job in a tourist visa (I'm American) so would that be wise? I just want to do everything legally. I've been looking at the franchise language centers so far and will be applying ASAP.

20k sounds fair, I think a wise choice would be sharing a flat as that's where most of the prices are below 10k HKD.

Do you think I should go to HK late April then? Or earlier.

Thanks!
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 662

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

justjack888 wrote:

I'd love to look for work in HK but I heard it's illegal to look for a job in a tourist visa (I'm American) so would that be wise? I just want to do everything legally. I've been looking at the franchise language centers so far and will be applying ASAP.


You will be fine looking for work on a tourist visa. From the immigration website (http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html) the following can be found:

"Visitors are not allowed by law to take up employment (paid or unpaid), to establish or join in any business, or to enter school as a student, nor, except in the most unusual circumstances, are visitors allowed to change their immigration status after arrival."

To summarise you can't take up any paid employment under a tourist visa but there's nothing to prevent you from looking for work. Once you have found an employer willing to sponsor your visa (and said visa is approved) you will have to exit the country and then re-enter under your proper work visa before your first working day.

justjack888 wrote:
Do you think I should go to HK late April then? Or earlier.


I think you should base your arrival time when it is most convenient for yourself. For local and international schools and the EDB NET scheme there are definitely time-limited windows to apply. For language centres you can come whenever you like, they hire all year round.
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justjack888



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jmbf wrote:
justjack888 wrote:

I'd love to look for work in HK but I heard it's illegal to look for a job in a tourist visa (I'm American) so would that be wise? I just want to do everything legally. I've been looking at the franchise language centers so far and will be applying ASAP.


You will be fine looking for work on a tourist visa. From the immigration website (http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html) the following can be found:

"Visitors are not allowed by law to take up employment (paid or unpaid), to establish or join in any business, or to enter school as a student, nor, except in the most unusual circumstances, are visitors allowed to change their immigration status after arrival."

To summarise you can't take up any paid employment under a tourist visa but there's nothing to prevent you from looking for work. Once you have found an employer willing to sponsor your visa (and said visa is approved) you will have to exit the country and then re-enter under your proper work visa before your first working day.

justjack888 wrote:
Do you think I should go to HK late April then? Or earlier.


I think you should base your arrival time when it is most convenient for yourself. For local and international schools and the EDB NET scheme there are definitely time-limited windows to apply. For language centres you can come whenever you like, they hire all year round.


Thank you so much Smile

Is it okay if I PM you with any other questions?
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 662

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure no problem!
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