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Stay in Thailand or come to Japan?

 
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bkkgriz



Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:31 am    Post subject: Stay in Thailand or come to Japan? Reply with quote

I have been offered a teaching job at an eikaiwa in Chiba. From scouring the message boards it seems this school has a good reputation. I know you need to start somewhere and this may be a good place to get a foot in the door. I am just a little hesitant to make the move to Japan.

I am 44 years old and have been teaching for 12 years. I spent four years in S. Korea. I taught for two years at a hagwan and two years at a high school. I have been teaching for the last 8 years in Thailand at the same elementary school. I have a TEFL cert. and a BA.

What I really would like to know is if I have left it too late to move and live in Japan. I have a feeling that being in my 40’s is not exactly a selling point. If I make the move and complete my contract, what can I look forward to after that? Is it just going to be an uphill slog to find better teaching jobs? There is an MA TESOL course that I can take here in Bangkok and finish in 2 years. Would I be better off getting my MA and then come to Japan?

I look forward to any advice you can give me. Thanks.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 889
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your age shouldn't be a disadvantage.

I recommend the MA. It will put you in a much stronger position in the job market. Without it, your career options in Japan are vary limited.

As an aside, I don't think this is a good time to move to Japan (see this thread) but you'll have to reach your own conclusions on that matter.
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 960

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may be worth considering the accreditation (and acceptance) of the MA. It may be good for Thailand, but internationally it may not be looked upon as favourably as one from a western university.
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bkkgriz



Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shroob wrote:
It may be worth considering the accreditation (and acceptance) of the MA. It may be good for Thailand, but internationally it may not be looked upon as favourably as one from a western university.


The MA is through Framingham State University in Massachusetts. So accreditation should not be a problem. Thanks.
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Aelric



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd get out of Thailand, myself. I'm 33 and in a similar spot. After 3 years in Thailand with all it's instability, I just needed to get out. I'm in California now, looking for work in Japan and have had a few callbacks with westgate and a few Jukus.

I can't speak for life in Japan because I don't know it yet, but I can say that, unless one plans to retire and/or doesn't mind bouncing from school to school whenever the budget gets swiped by some corrupt director (happened to me 5 TIMES in three years, for god sake), no body should stay in Thailand long term.
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 653
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aelric wrote:
I'd get out of Thailand, myself. I'm 33 and in a similar spot. After 3 years in Thailand with all it's instability, I just needed to get out. I'm in California now, looking for work in Japan and have had a few callbacks with westgate and a few Jukus.

I can't speak for life in Japan because I don't know it yet, but I can say that, unless one plans to retire and/or doesn't mind bouncing from school to school whenever the budget gets swiped by some corrupt director (happened to me 5 TIMES in three years, for god sake), no body should stay in Thailand long term.


Thailand that bad? Damn.
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bkkgriz



Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aelric wrote:
I'd get out of Thailand, myself. I'm 33 and in a similar spot. After 3 years in Thailand with all it's instability, I just needed to get out. I'm in California now, looking for work in Japan and have had a few callbacks with westgate and a few Jukus.

I can't speak for life in Japan because I don't know it yet, but I can say that, unless one plans to retire and/or doesn't mind bouncing from school to school whenever the budget gets swiped by some corrupt director (happened to me 5 TIMES in three years, for god sake), no body should stay in Thailand long term.


Man, sorry you had such a rough go of it here in Thailand. There are lots and lots of bad schools out there. I think the only reason I lasted so long here is that my school always treated me fairly. I have been at the same school for all 8 years. I hope Japan is better to you.
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benshi



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, there are a lot more adults taking English classes in Japan the last few years (due to the poor global economy and increasing multinational commerce, a lot of the Japanese have finally awakened to the fact that they need English to compete), and a lot of eikaiwa are looking for older teachers because business people prefer them. You'll be fine. . .
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 889
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

benshi wrote:
Actually, there are a lot more adults taking English classes in Japan the last few years (due to the poor global economy and increasing multinational commerce, a lot of the Japanese have finally awakened to the fact that they need English to compete), and a lot of eikaiwa are looking for older teachers because business people prefer them. You'll be fine. . .

That's very interesting. I'm work in junior high schools, so I'm not always abreast of what's going on in the eikaiwa sector.

If you don't mind my asking: Is this a personal observation, or is it something that eikaiwa teachers are talking about everywhere?
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 224
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always did very well in Tokyo as an older teacher, especially teaching business English at companies. The agencies that sent me to companies were quite wary of young teachers. The young ones proved to be not too dependable and students didn't really "trust" them as an instructor.... I made quite a bit of money stringing together these type of jobs. Thank God, because teaching elementary, junior high, high school or even university students just wasn't for me.
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bkkgriz



Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the words of wisdom. Nervous about the move, but I think it will be a positive change.
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davidreese



Joined: 25 Jan 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:51 am    Post subject: Teaching Reply with quote

When you say older (as a teacher) - what age range?

Thanks-

David
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benshi



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came here when I was 48, and my company hires people in their late 50's and 60's from time to time.
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stumptowny



Joined: 29 May 2011
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MA matters not. its timing and like thailand, you gotta be here to get work..

your education for lower end job in schools or private language centers doesn't matter an iota and will never garner a pay raise from someone fresh off the plane with a photocopied fake degree/cert..

about appearance. some ekwais are selective is the impression and long standing belief in japan. if you are well kept for your age, not a slob, you should have no problem. most the ekaiwa teachers I ever knew/know were slender to average, not fat, save a few.

some of ALT's here are slobs! huge fatboys (like thailand) but not sure if they were hired like that or developed into during their time as an ALT and likely after marrying japanese robot wife.. most of the overweight gaijins in japan are married...
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