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US citizen, 50 yrs old, 7 years TEFL experience: chances???
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gloomyGumi



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 353

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 7:16 am    Post subject: US citizen, 50 yrs old, 7 years TEFL experience: chances??? Reply with quote

I got a Masters in International Marketing, a bachelors in English, and 7 years teaching in Korea/Turkey/Malaysia, the last 3 years at the university level. I do NOT have a CELTA or TESOL or any kind of cert.

What do I need to have a valid chance of getting a work visa/ fulltime teaching work in Poland? What would I need to make to be able to save , say, the equivalent of $500 US dollars per month, living frugally, approximately, more or less, plus or minus, in general, and til death do us part?
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 848
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 9:31 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

I think you'll need a CELTA as a kicking off point unless you try the Speed Callan schools and their ilk.
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Richfilth



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 225
Location: Warszawa

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To save $500 a month, you probably need to be bringing in 6000zl gross as a bare minimum. As an American without a CELTA, that isn't going to happen.

Americans are having an increasingly rough time working legally here (ask ecocks), and the kinds of places where the serious money is take time, credentials and contacts to penetrate. If you land here in September and get classes with the language McSchools, you might draw in 4000zl - a bit more in the capital, a bit less in popular towns like Krakow.

There's money to be made in Poland, but not straight off the plane, and not without significant amounts of perseverance and luck.
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gloomyGumi



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 353

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks everyone. Smile how does this plan sound? My wife and I (she doesnt work, will arrive in September and look for a McSchool (is that like a hagwon or cram school?) I can do a CELTA in POland. Finish it by end of year, and get hired in Jan/Feb. Is this crazy or feasible?
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 848
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Jan Feb is a terrible time of year to try and get hired. The winter break happens round about then and that's when teachers in the McSchools get their hours cut as people don't come back for the second term.

I hope you have some savings.

You might luck out in Warsaw but elsewhere? forget it.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 890
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richfilth wrote:
To save $500 a month, you probably need to be bringing in 6000zl gross as a bare minimum. As an American without a CELTA, that isn't going to happen.

Americans are having an increasingly rough time working legally here (ask ecocks), and the kinds of places where the serious money is take time, credentials and contacts to penetrate. If you land here in September and get classes with the language McSchools, you might draw in 4000zl - a bit more in the capital, a bit less in popular towns like Krakow.

There's money to be made in Poland, but not straight off the plane, and not without significant amounts of perseverance and luck.


To clarify: Working here legally was not the problem. Obtaining residence was the issue.
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 160
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Jan Feb is a terrible time of year to try and get hired. The winter break happens round about then and that's when teachers in the McSchools get their hours cut as people don't come back for the second term.


This hasn't been my experience. I've always been offered a LOT of extra work and plenty of places have been hiring in January as it's the start of the new semester. It's not as good as coming in August, but it's the 2nd best time to come.[/quote]
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 848
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:38 am    Post subject: but Reply with quote

However, you are established. This guy might not be.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 890
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oipivo wrote:
Quote:
Jan Feb is a terrible time of year to try and get hired. The winter break happens round about then and that's when teachers in the McSchools get their hours cut as people don't come back for the second term.


This hasn't been my experience. I've always been offered a LOT of extra work and plenty of places have been hiring in January as it's the start of the new semester. It's not as good as coming in August, but it's the 2nd best time to come.
[/quote]

I agree. Finding work was not particularly the problem.

While I wasn't looking at schools as an option, there are some who have canned somebody or needed to add a PT teacher.

The key though is getting the residence permit. The income is not a problem if you are a self-starter and get out there building your business.

Of course, jobs are not THAT plentiful. It isn't like there are ALWAYS jobs anywhere (except maybe Prague). Decide your [referred locations and get your CVs out. Stress that you expect work and residence permit support. Do your best.

PS - I would try to get the TEFL or CELTA out of the way sooner rather than later. One problem with your strategy is that many schools will simply tell you contact them after you complete the credential.

Best of Luck!
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 976
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: CELTA Reply with quote

It's significantly cheaper to do a CELTA in Poland than in the US. CELTA is only offered in a few US locations (Denver, California, New york. I think).

What's more, if you do your CELTA in Poland, you'll get to practice on real, live Polish students which will give you insight into what they're like, the kind of problems they have, etc.

CELTA only takes a month if you do it full time. Why now come in summer to do the CELTA (if there's one available then; you may be too late) and then look for work in Sept?

P.S. McSchool means a big chain school like Berlitz or Speak Up. These are ubiquitous in PL, but generally pay crummy and the working conditions are lousy. If they'll get you a work permit though it may be worth it.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 890
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: CELTA Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
It's significantly cheaper to do a CELTA in Poland than in the US. CELTA is only offered in a few US locations (Denver, California, New york. I think).

What's more, if you do your CELTA in Poland, you'll get to practice on real, live Polish students which will give you insight into what they're like, the kind of problems they have, etc.

CELTA only takes a month if you do it full time. Why now come in summer to do the CELTA (if there's one available then; you may be too late) and then look for work in Sept?

P.S. McSchool means a big chain school like Berlitz or Speak Up. These are ubiquitous in PL, but generally pay crummy and the working conditions are lousy. If they'll get you a work permit though it may be worth it.


Of course coming earlier is a great plan. My assumption is there was some reason (finishing your contract probably) that you were not coming until this fall.

Despite the increased cost you'll find it is still less than spending two months of downtime attending the training in a city where you may not be permanently based AND THEN trying to find a job in November or December. You're really looking at about 3-4 months of downtime. Where will you live while you look for work? Also, what is your spouse going to be doing while you are in class?

My advice is complete the CELTA in Korea (International Graduate School of English in Seoul or the Online Version from BC seem to be some options probably others) unless you can get over here in the summer for it.
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gloomyGumi



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 353

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: CELTA Reply with quote

ecocks wrote:
Master Shake wrote:
It's significantly cheaper to do a CELTA in Poland than in the US. CELTA is only offered in a few US locations (Denver, California, New york. I think).

What's more, if you do your CELTA in Poland, you'll get to practice on real, live Polish students which will give you insight into what they're like, the kind of problems they have, etc.

CELTA only takes a month if you do it full time. Why now come in summer to do the CELTA (if there's one available then; you may be too late) and then look for work in Sept?

P.S. McSchool means a big chain school like Berlitz or Speak Up. These are ubiquitous in PL, but generally pay crummy and the working conditions are lousy. If they'll get you a work permit though it may be worth it.


Of course coming earlier is a great plan. My assumption is there was some reason (finishing your contract probably) that you were not coming until this fall.

Despite the increased cost you'll find it is still less than spending two months of downtime attending the training in a city where you may not be permanently based AND THEN trying to find a job in November or December. You're really looking at about 3-4 months of downtime. Where will you live while you look for work? Also, what is your spouse going to be doing while you are in class?

My advice is complete the CELTA in Korea (International Graduate School of English in Seoul or the Online Version from BC seem to be some options probably others) unless you can get over here in the summer for it.


Actually in the 2nd year of a Mlaysian contract at a a uni here. IN a hurry, spelling is focked Wink.... wanna GTF out of Asia once and for all. That 1 year in Istanbul was great. Shoulda never come back here to SE Asia. So, I am American and I know it will be next to imposs to get the reisdence/work visa, and even if I do, will my wife then have an east time getting a spouse visa???? Shocked
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 890
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, thought you were still in Korea from your OP.

Does your wife teach too? Maybe you both should get CELTAs?

Maybe someone working at one of the schools could advise about bringing in a spouse for residency?

Speaking for myself I wouldn't feel Poland is all that viable for a non-Polish-speaking and non-working spouse situation unless you have a LOT Of confidence in your ability to build business.

Look to the near Middle East maybe? Turkey? Maybe consider Central America?
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 976
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: CELTA Reply with quote

gloomyGumi wrote:
Actually in the 2nd year of a Mlaysian contract at a a uni here. IN a hurry, spelling is focked Wink.... wanna GTF out of Asia once and for all. That 1 year in Istanbul was great. Shoulda never come back here to SE Asia. So, I am American and I know it will be next to imposs to get the reisdence/work visa, and even if I do, will my wife then have an east time getting a spouse visa???? Shocked
This may come as a surprise, but I've never even heard of someone bringing a non-working wife to Poland. So I've got no idea about getting her a spouse visa...

As ecocks says, even if you could get one, you'd have a major uphill battle trying to get a school to sponsor you, build up your teaching timetable AND support a non-working spouse. I'd cross Poland off your list if that's the case.

If both of you can work, however, that's a different story.
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Rusty77



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 44
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GloomyGumi,
I think that finding the work (in Warsaw that is) won't be a problem for you, even though you do not have a CELTA. Like the other teachers on this post alluded to, it's the quality and quantity of work that may disappoint you.
I have no CELTA, but I have a Master's Degree and plenty of ESL experience. And, I'm also North American. I survive OK on about 4 grand per month (in the local currency, that's 1,500 USD, in teaching income (I also work as a editor and translator part time). But I split my income between working for a private outfit and having students that I teach out of my own business. Also, I have 10 to 12 hour days and am willing to teach children, travel 1 hour (one-way) to teach a lesson, teach on Saturdays, and am very flexible when it comes to such things as students cancelling a lesson with minimal notice (and this will happen A LOT if you rely on private students). And it took me almost 4 years to build up reliable clientele (private students) My wife is a very patient and understanding person Smile.
The school that hired me last fall is pretty much on the up-and-up, but they pay is mediocre. Also, may be important to you that I did have the experience of getting hired without having a Karta Pobytu (a residency permit), because this school was willing to hire me on a different type of contract than those they give to Brits. Also, I had a work visa that I obtained back in Canada.
If you want to make a ton of dough, it will be quite difficult, me thinks, within the first year of arriving. Taking the CELTA in Krakow shortly after you arrive may be a good idea, if you can do it before September.
I know plenty of people who are always asking for their own private 'native speaker' teacher, but I can't teach them because my schedule's 'full'. School--contract--work may be a bit more difficult to find without the CELTA at this point.
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