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Teaching In Cambodia?

 
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JRJohn



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:39 am    Post subject: Teaching In Cambodia? Reply with quote

I am an experienced teacher from the U.K. I have a TESOL, a degree and in a couple of months I will have finished my year contract in Korea. Recently I went on holiday to Cambodia, and I am wondering if I CAN go back there and teach English, say for 6 months? I spent almost 2 years in China, and I have references from there. I also spent a year in Japan, teaching with Shane English School. My experience may help.

Therefore I might consider working with some of the better schools in Phnom Penh, such as Zaman University. I understand that I might have to go to Cambodia and knock on doors. When is the hiring season. What are the options for someone with my experience and qualifications?
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SethOsiris



Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:18 am    Post subject: Re: Teaching In Cambodia? Reply with quote

JRJohn wrote:
Therefore I might consider working with some of the better schools in Phnom Penh, such as Zaman University. I understand that I might have to go to Cambodia and knock on doors. When is the hiring season. What are the options for someone with my experience and qualifications?


I don't know about Zaman University being good. I worked at Zaman International School and met some people from the university. Generally they were Central Asians from places like Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan with poor English skills and a very limited knowledge of the world in general.

Perhaps the university is better than the school- which forces teachers to work 45-50 hours per week and fines them $1 a minute for being late- but then again Gulen institutions are pretty murky. The Gulen charter schools in the United States have been accused of cherrypicking exam results to make standards seem higher. Gulen prep schools have recently been banned in Turkey itself.

Furthermore, all Gulen teachers are members of "Hizmet" and pay a portion of their salaries to the cult leader, Gulen, who lives in a compound in Pennsylvania. Obedience to the theologian Mr Gulen is more important than academic credentials, or even any sort of general knowledge it seems. To say that these schools have sometimes been accused of "financial irregularities" would be putting it mildly. Zaman Cambodia is more of a revenue-raising drive for a cult- Islamist political party rather than a serious institution of higher learning.


Last edited by SethOsiris on Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SethOsiris



Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:18 am    Post subject: Re: Teaching In Cambodia? Reply with quote

If you have a CELTA you would be much better off going to ACE, as you are paid by the hour. This is better than Zaman where you have to be there from 7 a.m to 4.30 pm each day, Monday to Friday. If you work it out at an hourly rate, Zaman pays poorly for a school that requires you to be there 200 hours per month.

There are numerous other smaller language schools too which pay around $10 an hour, but when you factor in a surplus of teachers and Phnom Penh's ever worsening traffic, you aren't going to do more than pay your bills in this town in all likelihood. Many can't even do that. On the other hand, the city has a certain seedy, tropical appeal.
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GreatApe



Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 582
Location: South of Heaven and East of Nowhere

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting information.

--GA
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jijor



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:41 am    Post subject: Re: Teaching In Cambodia? Reply with quote

Zamman is one of the best schools in Phnom Penh as far as pay goes, but be warned, it's very easy to fall into the trap of not earning enough to leave in Cambodia. That's also the case for Thailand.

If you've got contacts, I'd look to Korea or Japan again. There is simply no money in Cambodia. $9 an hour is good, and it gets you to the next paycheck.

Lived there for over a year, and most other teachers had the same complaint. If you can afford it, they do need a lot of help, and there are many nice people there.
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jijor



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:43 am    Post subject: Re: Teaching In Cambodia? Reply with quote

Zamman is one of the best schools in Phnom Penh as far as pay goes, but be warned, it's very easy to fall into the trap of not earning enough to leave in Cambodia. That's also the case for Thailand.

If you've got contacts, I'd look to Korea or Japan again. There is simply no money in Cambodia. $9 an hour is good, and it gets you to the next paycheck.

Lived there for over a year, and most other teachers had the same complaint. If you can afford it, they do need a lot of help, and there are many nice people there. (Cambodians that is. Make sure you watch your back in Phnom Penh, especially if you go out for the night.)
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SethOsiris



Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with Zaman is that they make you work 50 hours a week, therefore 200 hours a month. If you work it out at a per hour basis, you are only getting $9 an hour too. You just get the pleasure of sitting around in the midst of a Turkish cult so long each week that you get a decent pay-packet.

In terms of Phnom Penh, it is the NGOs who have forced prices too high. You see these people renting colonial-era villas in BKK district and eating waghyu beef burgers and drinking organic coffee in expensive Western-oriented cafes. It is a scandal really how much aid money ends up being spent on drivers, nice houses, fancy cocktails and swank wining and dining by the NGO elite in Phnom Penh. Far from "saving the world" the NGO cream are living a cushy expat lifestyle in a country where malnourished children are still the norm in some provinces. A large chunk of aid money is disappearing into the pockets of the Hun Sen Regime and the very large NGO community in PP live a life of conspicuous consumption too. In the end this is all money that donors thought would be going to feed and school small children.

No country has received more aid money per capita than Cambodia over the last 20 years but the roads are still terrible, poverty is still rife, Khmers survive on $80 a month if they are lucky enough to have a service job and the NGO expats live like kings and queens, driving up rental and restaurant prices in PP.

For the humble ESL teacher, you are on $9 an hour in a country where a basic apartment will cost $250 a month and where supermarket groceries cost much more than in Cambodia's richer neighbors. If you get 20 hours of classes a week (and you will have to be resourceful to do this quickly), you will need a week and half's work just to pay your rent each month. In order to scrape by, you might learn to haggle in the marketplace for vegetables like a local, which means you can escape the NGO expat price bubble, but you will soon realize that you would have a better lifestyle working in Burger King back home. Do not come to Cambodia expecting the high life on ESL wages. PP is priced for the free-spending, high-living NGOs who claim to be helping to save Cambodia.
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jijor



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:08 pm    Post subject: True Reply with quote

I couldn't have said it better! It was really disturbing watching most of the NGO staff living in what amounts to mansions and driving 80,000 Mercedes SUVs. It made me pretty angry and disgusted.

It happens here too. My mom works for Habitat, and her boss lives in a mansion as well.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 815
Location: Henan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Teaching In Cambodia? Reply with quote

JRJohn wrote:
I am an experienced teacher from the U.K. I have a TESOL,


What does 'I have a TESOL' supposed to mean? Not attacking the OP, definitely not, but I have three university credit hours in TESOL as an elective course. It was hard work and very demanding. Do I 'have a TESOL' as well? I have two BA's, one in a foreign language, and I've taught English as a profession for over twenty years. Does that make one pass go or do I need to 'have a TESOL' no matter what?
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Neutrino Girl



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:03 am    Post subject: Re: Teaching In Cambodia? Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
JRJohn wrote:
I am an experienced teacher from the U.K. I have a TESOL,


What does 'I have a TESOL' supposed to mean? Not attacking the OP, definitely not, but I have three university credit hours in TESOL as an elective course. It was hard work and very demanding. Do I 'have a TESOL' as well?


No....'I have a TESOL' means 'I have a TESOL Certificate.' A three-credit course would be worth listing on your CV, but if an employer specifically wants that certification (whether because they need it to process a visa or because of their own stipulations), then you'd be out of luck.

You mentioned in another thread that you are just looking for part-time work making just $500 a month, so I don't think that any of this is really an issue for you. I can't imagine any school being able to process a visa for you as a part-timer (and they wouldn't need to if you are on a student visa), so sell your experience and credentials and I'm sure you'll get work without a problem. Typically the visa is the issue; some governments do not allow visas to be processed without specific credentials. In your case, this wouldn't be an issue.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 815
Location: Henan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Teaching In Cambodia? Reply with quote

Neutrino Girl wrote:


You mentioned in another thread that you are just looking for part-time work making just $500 a month, so I don't think that any of this is really an issue for you. I can't imagine any school being able to process a visa for you as a part-timer (and they wouldn't need to if you are on a student visa), so sell your experience and credentials and I'm sure you'll get work without a problem. Typically the visa is the issue; some governments do not allow visas to be processed without specific credentials. In your case, this wouldn't be an issue.


Just to throw this bit of info on China out there. Although technically speaking there have been changes in the law practically speaking there is no way your school will let you take on a job part-time or otherwise (regardless of what it is). This means effectively you cannot work legally while on a student visa in China and are expected to be self-supporting. Now, and I probably shouldn't be sharing this, people do take on private arrangements and I've never heard of anyone having problems over that, but...caution is the better part of not getting yourself deported!

The reason I'm not enrolling this term is that I haven't passed the HSK yet, so I don't want to enroll in school to study things I can study on my own for free. If I can't get working on a degree, there's no point in enrolling and spending money with no guarantees. I will be working on an MA in SE Asian languages, so I could go pretty much anywhere in that periphery and get experience. The best thing for me would have been to have a college contract in Kunming, but that didn't work out for me this time around.

I do believe- at least it's been my experience- that as little as 12 class hours per week can be considered full-time (that's my arrangement here). I don't know about Thailand (I know Vietnam seems very strict), but it seems that neither Laos nor Myanmar (probably Cambodia as well) have strictly specified guidelines in this regard, other than that you need a sponsor (i.e. an employer). I don't know about Laos, but it seems in Myanmar you have to be careful re the contract you accept as you can be at the mercy of the person who employs you, but I haven't learned much beyond the scope of this forum. Anything else you know would be greatly appreciated. The area of China I'm focusing on if not obvious already is Yunnan. If you just choose China, as in the whole Middle Kingdom, there are tons of jobs out there but you limit yourself to a place like Yunnan it's a lot more difficult (unless you work at mills, yuck.)

My philosophy on language mills is that if they're small and private (private schools then) they can be a blast but I try to avoid aggressively marketed chain schools like the plague. Still, if it's the only work you can get you might just have to sweat it out (focus on the students!) and I believe it's better to work in a mill in a country you've never been to before (and probably are not planning to remain in) than one you're familiar with (for me, mill in Kunming = BORRRING). Would much rather have privates like you said.

OK, that's enough blabbing on for me!
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 985
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teaching Khmer refugees on the Thai-Khmer border is still a very rewarding experience....although the pay is low .Nowadays Phnom Penh is overflowed with EFL teachers looking for work...best bet is to teach English in the Khmer countryside...and stay away from the tourist traps! Good luck. Smile
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