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Any advice for a Newbie wanting to work in Southeast Asia?

 
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Jon86



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:55 pm    Post subject: Any advice for a Newbie wanting to work in Southeast Asia? Reply with quote

Hi ESL Cafe folks

Nice to meet you.

I've been occasionally coming to read the boards but only just signed up myself.

I'm a 27 year old, UK national, have an English-related BA degree, Cambridge CELTA qualification, and 5 years working in UK colleges (not teaching ESOL unfortunately).

I'm really keen to teach abroad in 2014. Having visited the area a few years ago, I'm interested in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia or Malaysia.

I've been looking online and there seem to be plenty of agencies and recruiters around, but I don't know how much I trust these guys and I get the impression from these boards that there are better ways to land a job in these countries.

I'd love to hear some advice from experienced ESL practitioners. I have enough in savings to get me out there and live for a couple of months, but if I was to do that with the intention of job-hunting wouldn't I need a visa?

I'm not really looking to make loads of money, it's all about the experience for me. Enough to afford rent, food and the occasional night out would suit me fine.

Any advice would be great, particularly on the whole 'finding a job' part.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1124

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've been looking online and there seem to be plenty of agencies and recruiters around, but I don't know how much I trust these guys and I get the impression from these boards that there are better ways to land a job in these countries.


Yes, you're right to be cautious plus recruiters are unnecessary. Also, do you really want to work at a school that is incapable of recruiting its own teachers?

Quote:
I have enough in savings to get me out there and live for a couple of months, but if I was to do that with the intention of job-hunting wouldn't I need a visa?


You will need a visa to enter the country just like you did when you travelled, but in Thailand, Cambodia and VN you don't need special permission to look for work. Malaysia I'm not sure about, but it's probably the same.

Thailand and VN are getting even stricter though about issuing consecutive tourist visas. You can a free 30-day entry stamp or a 60-day tourist visa upon arrival in Thailand. Cambodia has visa on arrival, but a tourist visa cannot be extended in-country. Get a business visa. The best place to get a VN visa is in Cambodia. VN still has no visa on arrival.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/index/pages/20131206-vietnam-drags-feet-on-visa-reforms.aspx


Malaysia used to issue a 90-day entry stamp at no charge. Not sure if they still do that.


Quote:
I'm not really looking to make loads of money, it's all about the experience for me. Enough to afford rent, food and the occasional night out would suit me fine.


You should be fine, but try not to accept below market rates or salaries. There are teachers out there working to feed their kids and put a roof over their heads. Many schools in VN these days are getting meaner and cheaper and will hire people based simply on how little they are willing to work for, rather than qualifications and experience.

Schools in Thailand and Cambodia generally don't pay very well.


Quote:
Any advice would be great, particularly on the whole 'finding a job' part.


You can start on the Internet by perusing the numerous job websites. Just do a search. Here's the job board for this site: http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/

You don't necessarily want to use those to find a job, but just to get information and make contact with schools you may be interested in and just to get a feel for things. You can also just do a search for schools (ex. "schools Cambodia"). Many schools have their own websites these days.

Anyway, do as much online research as you can, book your ticket and fly over. Hit the ground, knock on doors, line up some interviews and see what happens. A lot of good jobs aren't advertised though, so do a lot of networking as well. Get a phone, get some name cards, become an extrovert, hang out in bars, meet people...
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Jon86



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sir, are fantastic!

That's really good information. It makes me feel a lot more confident about my plans and about getting a decent job.

Thank you for your insight.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1124

PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome.

I should also mention that right now Thailand is having a major political crisis:

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-12-27/thai-army-chief-urges-calm-in-political-dispute


http://news.yahoo.com/one-dead-gunman-opens-fire-thai-protesters-021149482.html

Cambodia also is experiencing some internal conflicts:

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1312/S00479/call-for-calm-amid-daily-growing-demonstrations-in-cambodia.htm

http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/12/24/cambodia-opposition-march-over-disputed-vote/

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/833659.shtml

So, keep an eye on current news as the time for your arrival in SE Asia approaches.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2201
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:51 am    Post subject: Re: Any advice for a Newbie wanting to work in Southeast Asi Reply with quote

Jon86 wrote:


I'm a 27 year old, UK national, have an English-related BA degree, Cambridge CELTA qualification, and 5 years working in UK colleges (not teaching ESOL unfortunately).

I'm really keen to teach abroad in 2014. Having visited the area a few years ago, I'm interested in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia or Malaysia.

Any advice would be great, particularly on the whole 'finding a job' part.


1. You are qualified for a whole slew of "entry-level" EFL gigs. That doesn't mean you would want everyone of those gigs. Best to choose a target country (from your list) and then apply to some of the bigger (not always better) schools which will hire you sight unseen.

2. Where to teach:

Cambodia is not really a great EFL choice. I spent a few months there, and while the people are nice (many of them, esp. in the tourism industry speak much better English than in better paying Thailand and Vietnam) the country still has many deep rooted problems. Violence is real and political unrest continues.

Vietnam isn't the wide-open teaching paradise it was just 5 years ago. Jobs are harder to come by, but there are the 3 big name schools: Apollo, VUS & ILA are the schools that actually know what a CELTA is, for example and will get you a work permit.

Thailand: Wages haven't improved much in 20 years... Think about that. $1,000USD ($30,000 Thai Bhat) for a month of full-time work, it doesn't go all that far, esp. in Bangkok or if you must pay housing.

Malaysia: I can't comment much, but I've heard some good things about it. But jobs seem limited there, anyone feel free to chime in with more info, please.

3. You could get a year of good solid teaching under your belt easily in both S. Korea and China, as well as saving a bit of money up.

Good luck and let us know what happens!
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 881
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello there,

The best advice I can give a Newbie is keep your expectations low...especially in terms of salary and benefits while looking for EFL work in SE Asia. Also make sure you bring lots of money....SE Asia (ASEAN Countries) in general are ALL becoming more and more expensive to earn a living in as an EFL Instructor by the day... Shocked Shocked
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2201
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Hello there,

The best advice I can give a Newbie is keep your expectations low...especially in terms of salary and benefits while looking for EFL work in SE Asia. Also make sure you bring lots of money....SE Asia (ASEAN Countries) in general are ALL becoming more and more expensive to earn a living in as an EFL Instructor by the day... Shocked Shocked


Aim Low! It's the new motto of the: "Native-Speakers Teaching English in Poverty in SE Asia Association" (NSTEPSEAA) pronounced: "No Step Foot in SE Asia"

Laughing

It's a lose grouping of ex-pat TEFL'ers who meet on-line in such places as forums, blogs, social media and in local watering holes serving low priced booze & cheap "cuisine".
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Never get off the boat."
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can enter Malaysia for 90 days free of charge.

It's an expensive place, however. Maybe better looking elsewhere for an entry level gig.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 881
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best advice I can give a newbie who wishes to teach English in SE Asia who doesn't have any money is to find a RICH ASIAN wife to take care of him (in more ways than one). You will never ever have this opportunity of a lifetime in the west! Shocked Shocked Shocked [/list]
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