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Degrees: Copies or Originals?

 
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Dillinger



Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Vientiane, Laos

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:05 am    Post subject: Degrees: Copies or Originals? Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure this may have come up before, but my search proved inconclusive.

I'm about to head off and do the CELTA at the British Council in Kuala Lumpur. After that I'm going to be poking around the region looking for work.

My first two choices would be Malaysia or Laos. Understanding that those countries might not have any opportunities for me, I will then head up to Vietnam and perhaps SW China.

I have a BA and an MA. Do I need to bring the original degrees with me, or will photocopies be ok? The BA is no problem as its small, but my MA is not only large, but also framed. I also have some fear about losing the originals while moving about.

So what's the deal in the region?

Thanks.
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Rice Paddy Daddy



Joined: 11 Jul 2004
Posts: 425
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    What is your nationality - American?

    Which country are you going to work in?

    What kind of teaching position do you want (university, high school, etc)?

Your answers to these questions are important in determining whether you need bring the original documents.

Personally, I like to have original copies of my degrees and official academic transcripts on hand for when they are required for job/visa applications.
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Dillinger



Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Vientiane, Laos

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Yes, I'm American.
2. I think I mentioned the countries I was looking at.
3. I'm not sure what type of school I'll end up at. University level would be great, but since this will be my first teaching experience, I'll be happy to take any good offer.
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would never bring my original degrees with me on the road. I would photocopy them, notarize them and if they need something better, a family member can take your original to the embassy of the country you are going to and the embassy can notarize it.
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JosephP



Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 444

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did my RSA at the British Council in Kuala Lumpur in 1993. It was part time and was quite enjoyable. The one month intensive RSA I've heard is somewhat akin to boot camp.
Enjoy Malaysia. The food there is awesome. I recommend afternoon nasi lemak and kopi besar. And after you finish that, satu lagi (one more).
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Rice Paddy Daddy



Joined: 11 Jul 2004
Posts: 425
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dillinger,

if you chose to come to taiwan to work in a university, you'll have to bring copies of your original degrees and academic transcripts.

As per Gordon's comments - photocopies and notarized photocopies won't do the trick.

As well, you'll have to have these documents notarized and verified by your nearest TECO in America.

buxibans, or conversation schools, will accept a photocopy of your degree.

In fact, I know people who have successfully used fake degrees!
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rice Paddy Daddy wrote:
Dillinger,

if you chose to come to taiwan to work in a university, you'll have to bring copies of your original degrees and academic transcripts.

As per Gordon's comments - photocopies and notarized photocopies won't do the trick.

As well, you'll have to have these documents notarized and verified by your nearest TECO in America.

buxibans, or conversation schools, will accept a photocopy of your degree.

In fact, I know people who have successfully used fake degrees!


Notarization at the embassy in Vancouver worked for me for employment in Japan and Korea. Taiwan must be different.
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Rice Paddy Daddy



Joined: 11 Jul 2004
Posts: 425
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon,

I worked for NOVA in the late 1990s.

I applied for my work visa in Vancouver.

I still had to send my orginal degree to Japan to be verified by the Japanese government.

I guess there is more than one way to do it - or things have changed since then.
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Dillinger



Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Vientiane, Laos

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies guys.

So, I'm thinking that to be prepared I should just bring along the originals and make an extra special effort to protect them.

It's not like if they get destroyed I lose my academic standing, just a replaceable piece of paper.

Transcripts were also mentioned. How common is it in SE Asia to be asked to provide these?

Thanks.
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dillinger wrote:

Transcripts were also mentioned. How common is it in SE Asia to be asked to provide these?

Thanks.


I've never been asked about mine in 9 years in this field except when I applied for grad school. GPA or grades don't usually translate well because there are so many different ways to calculate your marks internationally.
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Rice Paddy Daddy



Joined: 11 Jul 2004
Posts: 425
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, in contrast to Gordon's comments, I've had to provide transcripts for university positions I've applied for in both Korea and Taiwan.

In fact, about 4 months ago I had to order transcripts from my university back home because I didn't have any and the jobs I was applying for in Korea and Taiwan were asking for transcripts.

So, yes, it is possible if you apply for a college or university position that you will be asked to provide a sealed copy of your official academic transcripts.

For a conversation school, it is unlikely that you will be asked for transcripts.

My best suggestion - bring all orginal documents as fraud in Asia is as common as a fake rolex watch or Louis Vuiton bag.
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rice Paddy,
We seem to have very different experiences. My current university position in Japan never asked for transcripts, nor did my employer in Korea, nor the 3 schools I worked at in Vancouver.

I guess it doesn't hurt to have official transcripts. They can take a long time to order them once you are overseas too.
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Rice Paddy Daddy



Joined: 11 Jul 2004
Posts: 425
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon,

I believe that your experiences were different.

I applied for about 3 or 4 faculty positins since August of 2003 in Korea and hade to include academic transcripts - 1 required sealed academic transcripts.

Taiwan faculty positions had the same requirement.

Japan - only ever really worked in conversation schools, high schools and corporate classes, and so never had to provide academic transcripts.

I only had to provide my original B.A. degree so that NOVA could apply for my work visa or permit.

Each of the countries in this region, as wells as each particular kind of teaching job, seems to have slightly different requirements in terms of documentation required for ARC, work permits and initial job-screening.

Also, immigration laws governing visas and work permits and student visas, etc change slightly from time to time.
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Dillinger



Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Vientiane, Laos

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again guys, thanks for the replies. Even contradictory responses help give perspective.

How about another wrinkle?

While packing up my boxes I realized that my BA was not in the box that I was so sure it was. So sure that I hadn't even bothered double checking.

As I mentioned, I do have my original MA. Can I assume that SE Asian schools would understand that to have an MA I would also have had to completed my BA? Or are they going to need to see a copy of my BA as well as my MA?

I'm sure I can get a duplicate reissued by the school, but god knows how long it will take to reach me in KL.

Thanks.
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look for it again. Don't think they will assume you have BA already. They will want to see it and immigration will not take your word for it.
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