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Looking to teach English in Hong Kong

 
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scottburs



Joined: 16 Dec 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:51 pm    Post subject: Looking to teach English in Hong Kong Reply with quote

My name is Scott and I'm interested in teaching in Hong Kong. I'm 33 years old and a graduate of the University of Southern California with a bachelor of arts in Theatre and Political Science. I don't have much teaching experience, but I am expert in public speaking, working in the past as a speech coach and as an actor, mostly in theater and in a few commercials. Currently I've been working in sales the last few years at Zillow, so I was hoping to find some solid advice because I know there's a lot out there and some companies that might take advantage of you.I do want to save up some more cash and travel. Any suggestions where I should start?
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:48 am    Post subject: Re: Looking to teach English in Hong Kong Reply with quote

scottburs wrote:
My name is Scott and I'm interested in teaching in Hong Kong. I'm 33 years old and a graduate of the University of Southern California with a bachelor of arts in Theatre and Political Science. I don't have much teaching experience, but I am expert in public speaking, working in the past as a speech coach and as an actor, mostly in theater and in a few commercials. Currently I've been working in sales the last few years at Zillow, so I was hoping to find some solid advice because I know there's a lot out there and some companies that might take advantage of you.I do want to save up some more cash and travel. Any suggestions where I should start?


Best bet would be to visit HK and start knocking on doors. You can use various websites such as JobsDB, Classified Post, CareerJet etc etc to search remotely for new vacancies but it's a tremendous advantage to be here 'on the ground'. You can also join the various Facebook HK Teaching groups, I see new positions posted up daily.

There are too many schools and language centres here to offer specific advice on individual places. I would say, the more concerned the employer is about your qualifications and experience, the better they will be. It's the employers who are only concerned about your skin colour and whether you look 'western' that you should be worried about.
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Kowloon



Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Difficult situation. Basically from most EFL employer's perspective you have a BA and that's it. Will be difficult for you to come straight in to a job where you can expect to be saving enough for extensive travel. Average salary about 22-24 a month and rent will be 7 a month (shared) maybe 8k including bills. Eating out and supermarkets aren't all that expensive IMHO...so if you are frugal and don't drink out in western bars too much then actually maybe you will be ok.

I know Monkey Tree (gasp) offer a package of shared housing + a reduced salary. Not ideal but would be a way in with guaranteed work and then you would hit the streets looking for an upgrade after you arrived.

I did 7 months at a rival of Monkey Tree's when I first arrived. Paid the rent and bills while I looked for a public school.
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Mingvase



Joined: 19 Jan 2016
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:34 pm    Post subject: ref Reply with quote

Won't you need to go back to your country to get a work visa though? Or can you just do a day trip to Shenzhen?
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Serious_Fun



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 1171
Location: terra incognita

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: Looking to teach English in Hong Kong Reply with quote

scottburs wrote:
Any suggestions where I should start?


go back to school and earn a degree in something useful.
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Kowloon



Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: ref Reply with quote

Mingvase wrote:
Won't you need to go back to your country to get a work visa though? Or can you just do a day trip to Shenzhen?


Macau
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metopia



Joined: 20 Jul 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did 7 months at a rival of Monkey Tree's when I first arrived. Paid the rent and bills while I looked for a public school.[/quote]

Kowloon, I noticed you are now in a nice public school gig, so I guess leaving your previous school before the year was out didn't have much of an adverse effect?

This is both surprising and reassuring news about HK.

Very different from Korea where one's employer/sponsor of visa has to give a letter of release before it is possible to get legal work elsewhere. It was never really a problem for me as I had jobs I was happy with, but had I wanted to leave one early, it would have been a different matter.







[/quote]
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Kowloon



Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a notice period of two months at the language centre and the school I was going to were willing to wait for me for an extra month so I just submitted my notice and applied for a change of employer at immigration. This does require you producing the same documents you need when applying for your first job but there are generally less taxing than what Korea requires.

Another factor making it easier is that everything at HK Immi can be done in English. In saying all of that I did need a signed resignation letter from my current employer so they could have made life difficult had they wanted to.

In total I did 7 months in a language centre, then a year as a NET (but not on the EDB programme) in a local school, now I'm EDB PNET at a different school.
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metopia



Joined: 20 Jul 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for clarifying that, Kowloon. You seem pretty clued in to a lot of things I'm researching on HK right now.

In my experience, it certainly helps to make your departure easier if you appear to be upgrading and upgrading to a place that your current employer is not in competition with.

E.G. from a high school to a uni in Korea and I guess in your HK case, from a private to a public school.

At the moment, I'm just looking for a way to get my first job in HK at a place that won't mess me about, gives me a light workload and pays enough not to lead as one employer in Japan said 'a cheese and bread life'.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: Looking to teach English in Hong Kong Reply with quote

scottburs wrote:
I don't have much teaching experience, but I am expert in public speaking, working in the past as a speech coach and as an actor, mostly in theater and in a few commercials.


A thought just occurred to me. There is a strong demand for teachers who can coach and guide students in preparation for the various speech festivals that are held frequently here (for many students attending these speeches forms a part of their 'portfolio building' which they believe improves their chances of school admission). A speech coach or someone who has public speaking experience might be able to leverage that and tap into a niche in the market. I know I've been asked several times to help prepare private students for these speeches. Naturally, this won't be your primary job (unless you become a Permanent Resident or otherwise gain the right to work freely) but it could certainly be part of some very lucrative side work.
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nabeelanjum



Joined: 19 Dec 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does one approach these students (or their parents/schools). I'm really unfamiliar with the debate and public speaking circuits in Hong Kong, but I'm really interested in working as a coach (I've been a public speaker and debater for 10+ years, and a coach for more than 5 outside of HK)
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finding students is a case of advertising yourself well. Some advice I would give you:

Think carefully about the design of your promotional materials - they should be distinctive yet clear (simple) designs (preferably in both English and Chinese)
Carefully choose an area to work in and target that area heavily
Promote yourself via all mediums (physical flyers, online ads, talking to people)
Be prepared to give it time (it won't happen quickly, it takes time to build up a decent student base)

After you have established your initial student base, if you are any good then word-of-mouth referrals will start to kick in.
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