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I'm 19... Where do I even begin?
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paopaoduoduo



Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: I'm 19... Where do I even begin? Reply with quote

Hi there, I'm interested in moving far away from my home country in a few years. My girlfriend is Chinese and we'll probably end up moving to China... I want to teach English. I've wanted to do this ever since I can remember. The problem is, I'm currently studying something I'm not sure if I enjoy(journalism), and a bachelor degree is required(at least so I've heard) in order to find legitimate work teaching English as a second language.

My college only offers 2 years of journalism for an associates degree, and if I want to get my bachelors, I will need to take an additional 2 years of schooling at university... I'm not sure if I want to do that much schooling... I just want to go.

My college offers a TESL program, here's the link on requirements for entry:http://www3.algonquincollege.com/languages/teach-a-language/teslfl/canadian-students/full-time/dates-fees-req/

However, one of the requirements for entry is an undergraduate university degree... Would an associates degree at the same college count for this? I'm going to go down to student services and ask tomorrow.

What else can I do? Do you suggest I finish schooling? I already am at my breaking point and it's my second semester... However, this is a dream of mine. I'm willing to do anything to obtain it. I live in Ottawa, Ontario... Any suggestions on how I should go about getting to China and finding a great job?

All feedback is appreciated.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: I'm 19... Where do I even begin? Reply with quote

You certainly have a lot of issued to contend with.

Don't rush into things.
Don't expect an AA degree to be equivalent to a BA. It isn't.
Yes, I suggest finishing schooling. If you DO go somewhere with your girlfriend, you might wind up needing to support her, and a BA is almost always a minimum requirement.

paopaoduoduo wrote:
Any suggestions on how I should go about getting to China and finding a great job?
Post this in the China forum.
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paopaoduoduo



Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: I'm 19... Where do I even begin? Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
You certainly have a lot of issued to contend with.

Don't rush into things.
Don't expect an AA degree to be equivalent to a BA. It isn't.
Yes, I suggest finishing schooling. If you DO go somewhere with your girlfriend, you might wind up needing to support her, and a BA is almost always a minimum requirement.

paopaoduoduo wrote:
Any suggestions on how I should go about getting to China and finding a great job?
Post this in the China forum.


It's a requirement even if I have something like CELTA?
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of _____) is REQUIRED for legal work in mainland China and a large part of Asia. China also requires a valid TEFL course for a "Z" visa as an English teacher.

You CAN currently get work in Taiwan IF you hold an Associate Degree AND a TEFL (CELTA or other recognized brand).

As of 2015 you will need a degree in ALL of the ASEAN block as well as well as mainland China, Korea, and Japan (with a few minor exceptions in Japan).

If you don't like journalism then change to something that you can use for transfer credits to a B.Ed. It will open a LOT more doors for you.

If you don't take the time now to get your degree you WILL pay for it later (in so many ways).

.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9510
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A CELTA is a 30-day entry level course. No, it would not make up for the lack of a four-year degree.

Ditto any other TEFL course.

Don't let a course provider scam you into thinking that a 19 year old with no degree will be able to get any kind of reasonable EFL job if only you have their cert.
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cmp45



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 1378
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you feel the urge to travel-work abroad then by all means go! There is nothing wrong in gaining some life experience. However keep in mind you will be extremely limited in terms of places and salary. Perhaps you might want to look into possible volunteer positions? If you go now, you will be faced with the stark reality after the novelty wears off that you will not have much money to do the things that you want to do and will eventually have to go back to school to get the proper credentials. The longer you put off education the harder it is getting back into it.

The mature approach is to get the proper qualifications NOW and then you will be in a much better position to get the job that pays well and eventually as you gain experience will also move up in terms of salary.
1. Get the proper credentials now
2. Then get the job abroad!
3. More experience = more money
4. More money= more happiness
4. older and wiser= more maturity in making sound life decisons

You will regret it later in life, if you don't get the necessary qualification first! Bite the bullet and stay in school; the jobs will still be there when you graduate and you will be in a much better position to pick and choose. Your quality of life will be soooo much better I can assure you!
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1906
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:07 am    Post subject: Re: I'm 19... Where do I even begin? Reply with quote

paopaoduoduo wrote:
Hi there, I'm interested in moving far away from my home country in a few years. My girlfriend is Chinese and we'll probably end up moving to China... I want to teach English. I've wanted to do this ever since I can remember. The problem is, I'm currently studying something I'm not sure if I enjoy(journalism), and a bachelor degree is required(at least so I've heard) in order to find legitimate work teaching English as a second language.

You'd be teaching English as a FOREIGN language in China.
Quote:

My college only offers 2 years of journalism for an associates degree, and if I want to get my bachelors, I will need to take an additional 2 years of schooling at university...


Actually,
1. Algonquin offers a DIPLOMA in Journalism. Not an 'Associates Degree'. I know writing "associates degree" sounds closer to saying you have a degree, but that's not what Algonquin College even offers.
2. If you read the transfer credit with Ottawa U, it says you'll have to take 5 more sessions. That means that the two years at Algonquin do not count as equal to two years at a university... because they aren't. Sorry.
Quote:

I'm not sure if I want to do that much schooling... I just want to go.


"That much schooling" is the absolute MINIMUM that is expected of people in a lot of teaching contexts. Many of us who've been doing it for a while have quite a bit more. Maybe you might want to consider changing to Ottawa U or Carleton early next year and major in something more academic- like Linguistics, or English or something.

And, as you mentioned in your thread post, you're nineteen. You're not old enough to be considered legally an adult in some countries (you're not in Japan, for example). That would make it extremely difficult for you to get a job here because the amount of initial hand-holding that is required for newbies is already huge (it's not like just looking a word up in French) and if you add in 'not old enough to even go to a bar or drink in this country, but IS old enough to do that in his own' then that could sound like a major, major liability for a lot of schools.
Quote:

My college offers a TESL program, here's the link on requirements for entry:http://www3.algonquincollege.com/languages/teach-a-language/teslfl/canadian-students/full-time/dates-fees-req/

However, one of the requirements for entry is an undergraduate university degree... Would an associates degree at the same college count for this? I'm going to go down to student services and ask tomorrow.


You mean a two year diploma, not an associates degree, right? No, it probably won't. You have to have a degree to get TESL Ontario certification, which is what the TESL program is for. ALL of the programs in TESL offered in Ontario require a degree (and if you look, you'll see the vast majority of ALL of the post-grad certificates offered through Ontario colleges in any discipline require a university degree. Only a few will accept people with a college diploma... again, it's NOT an Associates Degree).

Teaching English as a Second Language in Canada requires a degree- that's why the programs always require it. But if you actually read the program descriptions, you'll see that they are primarily targeting people who want to teach English to adult immigrants in Canada, and in the LINC programs in Ontario in particular.

What this means is that even if they let you do the certificate, then it won't really be helping you. You wouldn't be able to teach in Ontario with it (maybe you could at some private language schools) and you'd be walking around with a one-year certificate when if you'd just done a short initial training certificate, and then done a one-year off-campus program (or part-time equivalent) from Australia, New Zealand, or the UK, then you'd have a masters degree in TESOL. Of course, most of the time, you need an undergraduate degree to get in to them, too. You can do a PGC(TESOL) at some universities without an undergrad. It's half an MA. And then do the other half of the courses to get the MA afterwards (if you go through the same university). But you'd still be running into the oddness of having a masters degree without an undergraduate degree (it's more than 'oddness'- you wouldn't be a very competitive candidate for most jobs that require a masters degree because just about everyone else would have an undergrad as well as their masters {and possible ALSO have other certificates, masters in other areas or even PhDs in other areas}), and you may not be able to get a work visa from countries that require an undergradute degree.

Quote:

What else can I do? Do you suggest I finish schooling? I already am at my breaking point and it's my second semester... However, this is a dream of mine. I'm willing to do anything to obtain it. I live in Ottawa, Ontario... Any suggestions on how I should go about getting to China and finding a great job?

All feedback is appreciated.


People are almost uniformly told to go finish their degree on this site. It's not like 'overseas' is going to go anywhere. And think about it- you want to work in a school, but don't want to do 'schooling' in order to prepare for it. That's weird. Language teaching is an education job. It usually requires... an education as a minimum for entry. Since you are nineteen years old, I'm guessing that you are in your first year of journalism. A lot of people drop out of school at the end of their first year of school. A lot more WANT to drop out but their parents basically force them to continue going to school until they've finished their degree or diploma. Do you have the grades to get into Carleton starting next year? They MAY give you some sort of (minimal) transfer credit for your journalism credits and then you could major in a subject that you're more interested in (Linguistics or double major in Linguistics and English would be more language-teacher oriented than journalism. You could also do Carleton's CTESL program WHILE doing your degree, then you'd have both when you were done).

You say you've wanted to teach English for as long as you can remember. Then you may have wanted to look up a kind of a career path for that work area. A degree is not always required, though it usually is (someone has already posted that it IS required in China. So there you go. You need a degree). Also, if you want to move up, then usually a masters degree in language teaching is something you want to invest in. Normally, they require an undergraduate degree for entry as well.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: I'm 19... Where do I even begin? Reply with quote

Quote:
People are almost uniformly told to go finish their degree on this site. It's not like 'overseas' is going to go anywhere. And think about it- you want to work in a school, but don't want to do 'schooling' in order to prepare for it. That's weird.
Yup, and unless people realize that, they will see TEFL only as a get-paid-quick dodge, while those of us who were serious enough to be educated and certified have to suffer with local repercussions stemming from that attitude, sometimes as long-term residents of the country.

Take heed.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 509

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to come off as old and stodgy, I'm not that old. But honestly, you're 19, cool you're jets. You want to get out and see the world, great! Take some vacations, do study abroad etc. if you have the means. Like others have said, you need to put in the time and work at home first. Do your degree and in a few year's time you can be decently equipped to spend the rest of your life abroad if that's what you like. All in good time...All in good time...
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9584
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am middle-aged and very stodgy. But that doesn't mean that the advice given so far is unsound. Stay home, finish your education, then try for a job in EFL. Travelling halfway around the world with the expectation that a great job awaits is a stretch even under better circumstances.

Sure, there's a girl involved - and that is wonderful. But not so wonderful is finding that you cannot support her financially.

Now, I'm going to shuffle off and write my memoirs, filled with bitter anecdotes about all the women who left me, and the opportunities I missed because of the gaping holes in my CV. I'll publish it under a nom de plume. Cassandra, perhaps...
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jpvanderwerf2001



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Posts: 1077
Location: New York

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finish the Bachelor's (at a minimum) now. Otherwise, you will surely regret it later on (and I'm not even talking about teaching English here).
In fact, if you really want to make a go of it at teaching English, I would suggest getting a B.Ed with certification (don't know if that's required where you're from) while you're at it. The best teaching abroad jobs, for the most part, require a teaching certificate.
Heck, better yet, go ahead and get a Master's; they're the new Bachelor's anyway. You could be all done with your schooling by 23 and the (teaching abroad) world will be your oyster.
Good luck.[/i]
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 854
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm one of those people who jumped ship and dropped out of college at 19. I finished my BGS (Bachelor of General Studies in TESL) at 27. Still young, but with a child in tow. How I *really* regret not finishing at 21-23! Do you know how much fun it is to write lesson plans from 2pm-11pm for an upper-level TESL course when you have to take care of a baby? Now I'm looking to do my MA/provincial certification at 30 with two babies in tow. Yikes.

And that boyfriend at 19? Who knows where he is now... he is not my husband Laughing

If you are anything like I was at 19, you won't listen to me anyways, you'll learn the hard way. So, why not travel to China with your girlfriend? Travel to Cuba? Europe? Get a working holiday visa and go to Australia or something? Lay on the beach, have a few drinks, get some student loans and finish your degree. Have fun & be fruitful. But don't skip out on your education.

Other Canadians- Is Athabasca University an option for him? But I agree with some of the others- a BEd is a wise choice. Wiser than a BGS Embarassed
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1906
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

santi84 wrote:

Other Canadians- Is Athabasca University an option for him? But I agree with some of the others- a BEd is a wise choice. Wiser than a BGS Embarassed


Athabasca would be an option for him, if he could pay for it. But since you cannot (or at least could not) get student aid while you are out of the country, and Athabasca is expensive (not to mention out-of-province for him- though I'm not positive that makes any difference), and he doesn't have a degree so he'll likely be blocked from anything other than low paying jobs- then probably it won't be an option for quite some time.

In Ontario, the B.Ed is not actually a 3 or 4 year degree. It's a one-year 'degree' (called a PGCE in the UK) that you take either concurrently with your undergrad (you have to guarantee that you will have the required 'teachables' by the time you finish) or, far more commonly, consecutively to your degree (requiring that you already have the teachables in order to apply).

A TESL Ontario certificate is likewise a one-year program you do either concurrently with your degree or, far more commonly, consecutively to your degree. But they can be done at the community college level as well as the university level (so can nursing and journalism, BTW). He was talking about doing the one at Algonquin College (an English-medium community college in Ottawa).
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 268
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I studied abroad when I was 21, and to be honest I wasn't really ready for any long term commitment then. I'll be 25 this year and the extra time did help me come to a decision to do this. So just calm down, finish a BA or BS and then go for it.
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Ixchel



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 155
Location: The 7th level of hell

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
I am middle-aged and very stodgy. But that doesn't mean that the advice given so far is unsound. Stay home, finish your education, then try for a job in EFL. Travelling halfway around the world with the expectation that a great job awaits is a stretch even under better circumstances.

Sure, there's a girl involved - and that is wonderful. But not so wonderful is finding that you cannot support her financially.

Now, I'm going to shuffle off and write my memoirs, filled with bitter anecdotes about all the women who left me, and the opportunities I missed because of the gaping holes in my CV. I'll publish it under a nom de plume. Cassandra, perhaps...

Laughing ROFLMAO
I was living in Mexico at age 19 and in love with my soulmate. I thought. I wanted to stay there forever. With him. Two husbands later (neither of them him)...ahem. Don't race into anything.

"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." Bob Dylan (My Back Pages on Youtube)
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