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Teaching abroad - advice

 
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Lins53



Joined: 17 May 2018
Posts: 5
Location: Brooklyn NY

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:58 pm    Post subject: Teaching abroad - advice Reply with quote

Hello-

I am a 47 year old based in NYC. I recently changed careers to teach ESL and I have been teaching at language schools for 6 months. I have a Masters degree in Museum Studies.

I want to teach overseas in the fall (2018) but I am a bit overwhelmed as to how to go about making this happen. I don't have a lot of savings, and I would want to have a comfortable living wherever I teach. I have thought about China, but it seems very intimidating and the culture shock may be too much. (Although I have traveled quite extensively and I consider myself pretty adventurous, I am not young and I have lived in NYC for 20 years.) I also am considering Japan, but the high cost of living is daunting and I am told the teaching opportunities aren't so great anymore. I would very much like to teach in Mexico, but that too seems out of reach in terms of making a decent living. Budapest, Czech Republic, and other Eastern European countries are appealing as well. But since I am not an EU citizen I hear it is difficult to obtain work visas and such. I would be willing to just go to the country and find a job that way if that is the best option, but I would prefer to land a job first before I go there.

If anyone can give any advice/tips on what would be good countries for me to focus on getting a job teaching ESL considering my background I would very much appreciate it!

Thanks so much, Linda
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 825

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you speak Spanish I think Central/South America would be a good choice. Even if you don’t speak Spanish I would still investigate the opportunities. If you are good with children then there would be a number of jobs available to you, I would think.

You don’t say if you have a TEFL cert. If you don’t I would get even an online one just to add something to your CV. Obviously, obtaining a CELTA or Trinity TESOL cert would be the best plan if you can do that.

Looking further afield, Korea might be somewhere to look at. Some jobs provide free accommodation which can be great for teachers just starting out.
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Lins53



Joined: 17 May 2018
Posts: 5
Location: Brooklyn NY

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:58 pm    Post subject: Teaching abroad - advice Reply with quote

Thank you for replying.

I do have CELTA certification. I am very interested in Mexico too as I speak a little Spanish and I have traveled there a few times. But like I said I am somewhat open. I teach mostly adult learners but I am good with children.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11481
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Budapest, Czech Republic, and other Eastern European countries are appealing as well. But since I am not an EU citizen I hear it is difficult to obtain work visas and such.


US citizens can still get work visas in most Central/Eastern European countries. Western and northern Europe is more generally unfeasible.

Hungary's economy is pretty dire right now and it's not an easy place to get a start. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and points east are do-able.

The usual route into the region is to come over on a 90-day tourist visa in the peak hiring season (first of September) and to interview in person. There are lots of teachers around, so reputable schools don't really need to take chances on someone sight-unseen. Once you land a job, the employer will generally assist with getting relevant visas. There are also services that assist expats with visa processes and housing, etc.

There are obviously start-up costs involved, and salaries are relatively low. You can expect to earn enough to live on modestly, and to enjoy the city and region you are living in, but not enough to save up much or to pay off any debts back home. Better jobs exist, but generally require local connections and reputation, so most people take a few years to work their ways in.

The upside is that if you come over in the correct season, pick a city, and pay some dues going to local schools, you will probably find something reasonable.

A CELTA is the basic entry-level qualification for this region. Most entry-level work is with adults, but there is a growing market for teachers of children (though many of those gigs require specialized qualifications). It's rare to be primarily based in a school; most work involves travelling to the offices of your students for lessons in the workplace.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11249
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lins53 wrote:
I don't have a lot of savings, and I would want to have a comfortable living wherever I teach.
....
I would very much like to teach in Mexico, but that too seems out of reach in terms of making a decent living.
....
I am very interested in Mexico too as I speak a little Spanish and I have traveled there a few times.

Mexico is a good bet since you're already somewhat familiar with the country and people -- the culture shock should be minimal. Plus, it's just south of the border, which shouldn't be a major hit to your limited budget.

BTW, wherever you go, keep in mind you can always supplement your income teaching online as long as you have a reliable, strong Internet connection.
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Lins53



Joined: 17 May 2018
Posts: 5
Location: Brooklyn NY

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:31 pm    Post subject: Teaching abroad - advice Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies. What is the easiest way to get teaching jobs in Mexico? I have read it's best to just go there and apply in person. Is this true?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11249
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lins53 wrote:
What is the easiest way to get teaching jobs in Mexico? I have read it's best to just go there and apply in person. Is this true?

I suspect that's the case -- that entry-level jobs are mostly secured in country.

You might not get a response on this forum. Head to the Mexico discussion board for info from those working there.
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