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Asian-Canadian woman teaching in France?

 
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citruscinders



Joined: 27 Oct 2004
Posts: 49
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:41 am    Post subject: Asian-Canadian woman teaching in France? Reply with quote

I'm an Asian-Canadian woman planning teach English in either France or Italy. I'm a little concerned that I might have difficulty getting hired because I am of Asian descent, even though I was born and raised in Canada.

I have a TEFL certificate and have taught in Buenos Aires for one year. I don't speak French but, I do speak Spanish and I intend to spend the first month learning the local language. I will be coming with a working-holiday Visa.

I'm wondering how difficult it would be for an Asian woman to find work as an English teacher in France.

Any comments or experiences with this? I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks!

p.s. I'm also posting the same question in the Italian forum.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9375
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your problem will not be ancestry, per se, but the fact that if you are a Canadian citizen, and do not have a passport/citizenship from a European country, you will not be eligible for legal work permits in either France or Italy.

Most of the Western European countries limit English teachers to UK (and other EU member) citizens. North Americans, Aussies, and Asians simply cannot get legal work permits for most of the EU member states, regardless of your qualifications.

You would still be eligible for work permits in most of the 'new' EU member countries, such as the Czech Rep, Poland, Slovakia, etc. But France and Italy are near-impossible to get work permits in for non-EU member state citizens.
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citruscinders



Joined: 27 Oct 2004
Posts: 49
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I should have clarified by what I meant when I said working visa.

There is a bilateral agreement between France and Canada for Canadian youths to obtain a one-year, working-holiday Visa.

In addition to France, there are a few more EU countries that have agreements with Canada. Details can be researched here:
http://www.international.gc.ca/iyp-pij/description.aspx

So, Visa aside, would there be unbearable challenges for an Asian female teaching English in France?

(Side note: In Buenos Aires, I found work fairly easily... although I seemed to have taught a lot more grammar classes than conversation classes than my non-Asian colleagues.)
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9375
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I see.

Well, the legalities being taken care of, the job market is a legit concern.

The short answer is that the economy is tight in the region, and there simply isn't a lot of work around. There are lots of teachers with local reputations and local language skills competing for what jobs there are.

I expect that you could likely find something, but my guess is that it's going to be tough to find anything much.

As for the Asian aspect, I know a couple of Asian-American teachers in the Euro region - not France in particular - and they had some problems with credibility, but not anything insurmountable.

I reckon the France specialists will be along soon - I can only speak for the region in general.

Good luck!
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rogan



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 416
Location: at home, in France

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should have no more difficulty than any other applicant.

Racism does exist in France, as demonstrated by some successes by the Front National. There is even one local Council that is controlled by the FN, down in the South.
However, the complainers tend to blame N. African "immigrants", especially Muslims, rather than having a pop at brown skinned people in general.

The real 'crise' is economic rather than racial.

I was a little surprised by your statement that you would spend the first month learning the language - are you a natural linguist? I have been here for more than 15 years and I am not yet fully fluent.
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Majuro



Joined: 21 Oct 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can pretty much ignore everything that Spiral78 says, he's been roaming this board for years spreading mis-information. You CAN find work in France without an EU passport, EU decent, EU husband/wife, or exceptional qualifications. I am living proof. Yes, it was difficult, yes my employer had to wait two months while I went home to get my work visa, yes, he had to pay a special tax for me, no, not every language school will do it, but it is possible. Just because Spiral78 hasn't figured out how to do it doesn't mean it can't be done.
In any case that's not your issue, with a WH visa you're fine. With regards to work prospects, things are picking up again. In fact my school is desperate for new teachers and we can't find any good ones. If you'll be in Rhone-Alpes in the next few weeks, you might be able to find something.[/i]
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9375
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprised

I live and work in the Netherlands on an exceptional work permit.

However, I know very well how rare my status is. Yours, too.

For a newbie level teacher to get an exceptional permit for most Western European countries - the chances are very near nil, short of marrying a local.

I'm not a newbie - I earned my exceptional status through postgrad and specialist quals.
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hughesie



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Majuro wrote:
you can pretty much ignore everything that Spiral78 says, he's been roaming this board for years spreading mis-information. You CAN find work in France without an EU passport, EU decent, EU husband/wife, or exceptional qualifications. I am living proof. Yes, it was difficult, yes my employer had to wait two months while I went home to get my work visa, yes, he had to pay a special tax for me, no, not every language school will do it, but it is possible. Just because Spiral78 hasn't figured out how to do it doesn't mean it can't be done.
In any case that's not your issue, with a WH visa you're fine. With regards to work prospects, things are picking up again. In fact my school is desperate for new teachers and we can't find any good ones. If you'll be in Rhone-Alpes in the next few weeks, you might be able to find something.[/i]


In my opinion, Spiral78 deserves a medal and is the one poster these forums cannot do without. Every five minutes, some yank dream merchant will turn up and state their desire to work in France/Spain/Italy or wherever and end up getting upset real quick when Spiral78 outlines the FACTS.

The facts are - well, no - lets talk about life as a legal citizen in your own country - is life a bowl of cherries when you can speak the language and know the culture, have a bank account, social security and health care, legal rights, a roof over your head where you have safeguards as the tenant/homeowner, rights in the workplace - all those kinds of things and there are people who still dread the alarm clock going off on a Monday morning.

So, if life is a ballache being a legal in your own country - how crappier is life when you are illegal? When you can be sacked anytime for whatever reason, when your housing deposit is non-refundable and the landlord calls the police to get you deported when you make a fuss, when you can't go and get treatment if you are ill, where you are getting less pay than your legal colleagues and getting 'deductions' for the non existent tax you pay, you can't open a bank account or even join the library. Etc, etc, etc.

What Spiral78 does is a public service in opinion - if he/she has stopped one thick backpacking, Walter Mitty from making a big mistake and heading over to another continent to live a dream life for it then to all go *beep* up, then Spiral78 can feel proud his or herself.

Another thing as well - a lot of these people think teaching English is easy! It's funny that SMOE in Korea have had to recruit another two hundred or so teachers for this March semester as thats the number that has run from Korea after just three months on the job! And the people SMOE hired are top graduates from the United States escaping a recession! And they were legal to boot!

What makes me laugh is when Spiral spells all this out - the dream merchant involved always whines 'it's not fairrrrrrrrrrr' well, you know - life isn't fair! I would love to live in California and have an outside gym in the backyard of my house and live in the sunshine - but guess what? The US government do not want British immigrants unless they are top of their chosen field with at least 10 years experience or are in the medical fields - thats it! As a holder of just a BA degree - I can't live in America - it's tough titty - an adult changes their plans and finds something they can do legally - a child stomps their feet and tries to beat the system, only to start crying when they fail miserably.

Because you did it, doesn't mean 95% are going to succeed just like you - you either had a lot of money, had family in France who put you up or had extra qualifications to get the work visa - and if you say otherwise - you are nothing but a liar! My advice is to anyone who wants to teach ESL in Europe is this. Try and do it legally if you can, if you can't - save at least 15000 dollars and make it a holiday and get bits of work on the side. Try and get ESL experience in America - the people you will be teaching in Europe are usually adults and contary to all opinions stateside - they are not thick! They are paying a lot of money for you to teach them and they know when a 'teacher' has no clue what they are doing and you will soon be out on your ear.

I am sure none of the yank dream merchants who will read this will take any notice though but it is here for posterity - when your parents and friends have to bail you out via western union and you wail 'I didn't know they would detain me and make me pay all my medical/legal/deportation bills'

You did know. But like all spolit children with a bad case of entitlement -You just thought you knew better. Rolling Eyes

NB: None of the above is aimed at the OP who I wish all the luck in the world with her future endeavours in France.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9047
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Spiral deserves a medal too! In fact, I suspect he has already been awarded several.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9047
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for spreading disinformation, that's the job of my colleagues in the Kremlin.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9375
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys. Embarassed

I'm heading for a tough day in the real world this morning, and I feel a bit tougher myself now.

Anyway, the bottom line is that prospective newbs need to know what the reality is - it's always an option to come over and see if you can find a loophole, but to count on finding one leads people into trouble.
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citruscinders



Joined: 27 Oct 2004
Posts: 49
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your opinions and advice.

Due to events that have simutaneously scythed me and propelled me onto my springboard of life, I'll be heading to France for the summer (longer if possible). I recognize that this means that my chances of landing a teaching position at a reputable institution may be pretty slim, based on when I arrive and the length of time I'll be staying. Unfortunate.

That being said, I will still be applying for short-term contracts.

To rogan: No, I'm not a natural lingust - I work really hard at acquiring the languages because rote repition seems to be the only way I can keep those darn conjugated verbs in my head! I also need to learn the language in order to buy food, instead of gesturing with my fingers and making funny noises at the nice market vendors.

To hughesie: Agreed that none of this is easy but the all the hard work to get to live in another country to give the gift of knowledge is a small price to pay for those who really want to live this dream, non? Very Happy
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