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Trying to formulate a plan on teaching/ living in Mexico.
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Kine12



Joined: 29 May 2016
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:56 am    Post subject: Trying to formulate a plan on teaching/ living in Mexico. Reply with quote

Before I begin, my credentials. I'm 24, Male, a BA from USA and a citizen, TEFOL certification, and will be finishing up a year of teaching in South Korea. I'll be doing about 6-12 more months in Asia putting money into my savings and then I will try to make the move to Mexico.

I'm trying my hardest to get a plan going for teaching in Mexico. The more I read, this forum, other forums, the more information I see conflicting. I'm getting awfully confused and frustrated trying to figure out how to go about the planning stage.

I'm not going to Mexico for the money, as long as I can not worry about food and rent and have at least a little cash left over each month, that'll be okay. I've begun studying Spanish and want to hit an advanced level by the time I leave to Mexico- I know I can do this.

Here's my initial questions. What cities will it be easiest to find work? These are where I'll start researching extensively. I see there are many recruiters that can help me get placed with a job online- what's the consensus on them? Would it really be best to go down there in person and look for jobs? How easy would that be? That kind of nerves me out to do. I know pay isn't a lot, but how comfortably will I probably live with an ESL job? What are the hours like and how does the actual work there compare to Korea? Do they treat their English teachers with respect?

I also wonder how plausible it would be to break into other jobs once I've been there and made connections after a while, has anyone else done this? What industries or markets did you move around to? I really think I would like life there, enough to give it my all and try, and could work my way up to something very long term.

I know I'm asking a lot of questions, but these are things that I've been reading about the past few weeks that have no conclusive answers, really. I'd rather ask first hand so I can start to set clear goals, expectations, and strategies. Anyone's, not overtly pessimistic advice, would be much appreciated- especially those who are there now or have a lot of experience in Mexico.

Thanks a lot everyone.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1416
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:11 am    Post subject: Re: Trying to formulate a plan on teaching/ living in Mexico Reply with quote

Quote:
Before I begin, my credentials. I'm 24, Male, a BA from USA and a citizen, TEFOL certification, and will be finishing up a year of teaching in South Korea. I'll be doing about 6-12 more months in Asia putting money into my savings and then I will try to make the move to Mexico.


What sort of teaching have you been doing? Language schools? Kids? Business men? Uni? What sort do you want to do in Mexico?


Quote:
I'm trying my hardest to get a plan going for teaching in Mexico. The more I read, this forum, other forums, the more information I see conflicting. I'm getting awfully confused and frustrated trying to figure out how to go about the planning stage.

I'm not going to Mexico for the money, as long as I can not worry about food and rent and have at least a little cash left over each month, that'll be okay. I've begun studying Spanish and want to hit an advanced level by the time I leave to Mexico- I know I can do this.


How do you know that? Why do you 'want to hit an advanced level" It can be hard to learn Spanish when you are working teaching English full time.

Quote:
Here's my initial questions. What cities will it be easiest to find work? These are where I'll start researching extensively. I see there are many recruiters that can help me get placed with a job online- what's the consensus on them? Would it really be best to go down there in person and look for jobs? How easy would that be? That kind of nerves me out to do. I know pay isn't a lot, but how comfortably will I probably live with an ESL job? What are the hours like and how does the actual work there compare to Korea? Do they treat their English teachers with respect?


In person hiring has long been the norm. Now the visa requirements mean you have to leave to legally start working. The hiring people want to get a in person impression of you, plus many many people back out, and that's less likely to happen they are in country. Depending in what you are teaching you might get a job in a colegio or university in advance of your arrival. The best places also vary depending on who you want to teach. Business English? Queretaro, Leon, Mexico City. International school? Big Citys. Bilingual high school, much wider base of cities. Universities? Look to the south of the country. As do the hours (Business English is all over the place. Schools from 7 to 3, at universities you might have a split shift or just hours any time from 8am to 8pm. And teacher treatment? Also all over the place. The theme of Mexico is "that depends".

Quote:
I also wonder how plausible it would be to break into other jobs once I've been there and made connections after a while, has anyone else done this? What industries or markets did you move around to? I really think I would like life there, enough to give it my all and try, and could work my way up to something very long term.


What would you want to do?. Some of us translate, or work with the ELT publishing industry. There may be visa issues with other industries. Except pro sports, I ran into a bunch of baseball players at immigration years back, they were treated like royalty!

Quote:
I know I'm asking a lot of questions, but these are things that I've been reading about the past few weeks that have no conclusive answers, really. I'd rather ask first hand so I can start to set clear goals, expectations, and strategies. Anyone's, not overtly pessimistic advice, would be much appreciated- especially those who are there now or have a lot of experience in Mexico.

Thanks a lot everyone.


Try to make your questions more specific. And we will be able to be more specific in our answers. But Mexico is a fairly large and very varied country.
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Kine12



Joined: 29 May 2016
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:30 am    Post subject: Re: Trying to formulate a plan on teaching/ living in Mexico Reply with quote


What sort of teaching have you been doing? Language schools? Kids? Business men? Uni? What sort do you want to do in Mexico?


Language academies (schools kids go to after school, which are more or less mandatory in society here.) First grade, basically, through highschool.


How do you know that? Why do you 'want to hit an advanced level" It can be hard to learn Spanish when you are working teaching English full time.

I grew up around a Spanish speaking family and study languages in my spare time, I know myself and my motivations. I'll learn quickly (this topic isn't something I'm seeking advice upon, just a fact that my Spanish will be more or less polished by the time I'm there.)

In person hiring has long been the norm. Now the visa requirements mean you have to leave to legally start working. The hiring people want to get a in person impression of you, plus many many people back out, and that's less likely to happen they are in country. Depending in what you are teaching you might get a job in a colegio or university in advance of your arrival. The best places also vary depending on who you want to teach. Business English? Queretaro, Leon, Mexico City. International school? Big Citys. Bilingual high school, much wider base of cities. Universities? Look to the south of the country. As do the hours (Business English is all over the place. Schools from 7 to 3, at universities you might have a split shift or just hours any time from 8am to 8pm. And teacher treatment? Also all over the place. The theme of Mexico is "that depends".

I'm not sure what my job preferences are- I am willing to teach in a wide array of places, ages, and specialties. What I'm wondering is what jobs will be plausible to get- are all the types of schools, Colleges, international schools, bilingual high schools, simple to apply for and get a job in with effort? Are some closed off to only a specific set of qualifications? Preferably, jobs and cities further south would be best.

What would you want to do?. Some of us translate, or work with the ELT publishing industry. There may be visa issues with other industries. Except pro sports, I ran into a bunch of baseball players at immigration years back, they were treated like royalty!

That's what I'm wondering- what is available for me to do? Translation work would be awesome depending on how quickly I can become truly bilingual (which as I stated above, I have quite a bit of confidence in.) But with my college degree and skills in Spanish, couldn't I work in a wider range of fields? I just don't know what doors a foreigner can open in Mexico. Tough, moving on to other jobs wouldn't come until I'm comfortable there and have been teaching.


Thanks a lot for your reply though. I'll try to think of more specifics as they come to me, but you're already helping me brainstorm.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9628
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will toss in my two cents...

Quote:
I see there are many recruiters that can help me get placed with a job online- what's the consensus on them? Would it really be best to go down there in person and look for jobs? How easy would that be? That kind of nerves me out to do.


I am one of those recruiters. Based on the albeit limited info you've written, you would not land a job from abroad, so I think you're pretty much going to have to jump in and visit in person. Once on the ground, it's a simple matter of emailing, calling, catching the right person at the right time, then interviewing.

Quote:
I'm not sure what my job preferences are- I am willing to teach in a wide array of places, ages, and specialties. What I'm wondering is what jobs will be plausible to get- are all the types of schools, Colleges, international schools, bilingual high schools, simple to apply for and get a job in with effort? Are some closed off to only a specific set of qualifications? Preferably, jobs and cities further south would be best.


Some university work is possible, but unlikely unless you're already residing in Mexico. International schools are good if you have a state or national teaching license and two years experience on the right curriculum (think IB or common core subjects). TEFL does not apply in either case.

Bilingual schools are a good option, but none will hire you sight unseen. Your degree (in what?) will help or hinder here not only with the school but with immigration.
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abbott123



Joined: 08 May 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Queretaro, Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:10 am    Post subject: Since Mother F and Guy asked about thetype of teaching I.... Reply with quote

I will reply to your question about the best cities for jobs...In the following order I would rank the cities not only for the number of jobs, but also the livability factor. Queretaro where I live has both language schools, bilingual schools and several International schools. So a good variety to choose from. Queretaro is one of the safest and fastest growing cities economically in Mexico. Plus the livability factor is off the charts here. Good restaurants a good mix of expats and a growing shopping scene as well, if your into that.. Mexico City has the most jobs and the highest pay, but the livability factor is much lower than the other cities. Crowded subways, Metrobuses etc. People are to busy surviving. The commute between classes can be 3 to 4 hours per day along with 4 to 5 hours of teaching. The commute will be on the subway and buses as well. Plus there is the pollution problem.. I would stay away from Mexico City I lived there for 10 months not my cup of tea. Gudalajara is another option much smaller than Mexico City. I have no knowledge of the work there or the livability. Some other small to medium sized cities are also an option...Guanujuato, San Luis Potosi just to name a few.. I lived in San Luis similar to Queretaro, but not as livable not many expats.. I hope this will help you make your decisions.....
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 1183
Location: 24.18105,-103.25185

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree about Mexico City, it is an awesome city, with tons of things to see and do, but the commute time can be killer, the pollution is horrible (those were the two main reasons we moved away). But there IS a lot of work, pay is good. I wouldn't recommend Guadalajara, it is somewhat smaller, but public transportation is not anywhere near as good, and it is more expensive than Mexico City (my parents live there so I know firsthand). If you like something further south, maybe look at Puebla, it is the 4th ro 5th largest city, clean and safe. One thing no one has mentioned is the possibility of working online to earn some extra $$. A lot of places pay in dollars, and with the exchange rate right now that could work out well. Changes are you are going to be limited to working in education, in general you won't be approved for a job a Mexican can do, and even with a year of Spanish under your belt, translating might not be an option. It is not that easy, especially if you are translating technical documents. I think your best bet is to decide on two or three places you would like to live based on your interests. At your age Mexico City might be awesome, tons of night life, every kind of food you can imagine, and less culture shock, I think, because it is really just a big city more than a Mexican city if that makes sense.
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abbott123



Joined: 08 May 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Queretaro, Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:06 pm    Post subject: For a young person...Mexico city might work................. Reply with quote

BBB is right for young people Mexico City might work..although I would recommend a look at smaller cities such as Queretaro...I would also say that it depends upon the person and what they are looking for..Queretaro has turned out perfect for me...
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1416
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Trying to formulate a plan on teaching/ living in Mexico Reply with quote

Kine12 wrote:

I'm not sure what my job preferences are- I am willing to teach in a wide array of places, ages, and specialties. What I'm wondering is what jobs will be plausible to get- are all the types of schools, Colleges, international schools, bilingual high schools, simple to apply for and get a job in with effort? Are some closed off to only a specific set of qualifications? Preferably, jobs and cities further south would be best.


In addition to what Guy said, top university jobs require an MA but others do not. But MOST the time, across all the levels, the requirements are less, for the job, and more in line with who are you competitng with for that job? For example, if there is an immediate vacancy and a lesser qualified applicant, already has a work visa, suddenly they are more attractive. There are so many things that make you more or less qualified. It really takes a different personality fo excell at business English teaching than at a private primary school. And Mexican teenagers can be particularly challenging, especially those who go to expensive schools, the kind of schools that hire foriegn teachers. University students can be lovely but universities require teachers with extreme tolerance for bureaucracy.
Climate and culture vary greatly around the country, so another issue is narrowing down where you want to live then looking at what kinds of jobs are available in that part of the country. For example, Oaxaca has universities in small communties with native English speaking teachers, but very little Business English, and almost no opportunities for natives to teach kids.

Quote:

What would you want to do?. Some of us translate, or work with the ELT publishing industry. There may be visa issues with other industries. Except pro sports, I ran into a bunch of baseball players at immigration years back, they were treated like royalty!

That's what I'm wondering- what is available for me to do? Translation work would be awesome depending on how quickly I can become truly bilingual (which as I stated above, I have quite a bit of confidence in.) But with my college degree and skills in Spanish, couldn't I work in a wider range of fields? I just don't know what doors a foreigner can open in Mexico. Tough, moving on to other jobs wouldn't come until I'm comfortable there and have been teaching.


You still failed to tell us what your college degree is in. A college degree is not a job qualification in Mexico any more than it is in the US. A top of that Mexico doesn't give out generic work in whatever you want visas, it give out visas for specific jobs and the employer has to prove that they need a foreigner to do that job. For example, if you are Cuban, you can get hired at a Salsa dance school because the school is able to justify that. If you are a Japanese sushi chef, you can get a job at a sushi place. But you aren't likely to get a job in a marking department of some midsized company. If you happen to be a dual citizen, you are going to have to go through a messy process of getting your foreign degrees recognized in Mexico. A poster named Freddy who hasn't been around much any more can tell you how to do that.
If you stay on and become a permanent resident or a citizen, then you could in theory move into other things--but it's not like the economy is booming, I know tons of Mexicans who are under employed. If you have money saved up from Asia, you could open some sort of small business if you were so inclided.
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Kine12



Joined: 29 May 2016
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Trying to formulate a plan on teaching/ living in Mexico Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:

You still failed to tell us what your college degree is in. A college degree is not a job qualification in Mexico any more than it is in the US. A top of that Mexico doesn't give out generic work in whatever you want visas, it give out visas for specific jobs and the employer has to prove that they need a foreigner to do that job.


My degree is in both criminology (more or less sociology,) and psychology. If I had to find work strictly based on my BA, I think I could find work at an embassy or consulate, but first I want to experience life there as a teacher. Queretaro looks amazing and like somewhere I'd want to try. Mexico city does seem less attractive to me, for a lot of the reasons stated above. A booming nightlife and tons of noise isn't my top priority at this point, during my initial experience I want to be moreso in the culture.
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abbott123



Joined: 08 May 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Queretaro, Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:04 pm    Post subject: If you decide on Queretaro send me a PM and I can show you.. Reply with quote

If you decide on Queretaro sendme a PM and I can show you around...I am in the process of getting my Residente Permenente...Once I have that I'll start looking into going more online. If you are also, looking for a teaching position my school is always looking for teachers we are growing fast...I would also give you applause for not going for the night life and noise of big city like Mexico City. A normal life is much more satisfying in the long run. You will also, experience the real Mexico. Smile Smile
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kona



Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 186
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're situation kinda mirrors the opposite of mine; I went to Mexico for six months in 2009, liked teaching, and ended up getting my MA TESOL, and moving to Korea for three years. I think you're plan is pretty good, but I'd like to give my two cents.

First of all, I lived in Guadalajara for the six months I lived in Mexico, did my TEFL certificate at ITTO, and then worked at a language institute where I worked on site, and then another business language institute that contracted me out to other businesses. I left because the money wasn't adequate for paying back student loans, but regarding the students, they were absolutely fantastic, definitely some of the best students I've ever worked with in education. They were also mostly adults (early 20s - 40s+), and a lot were either in college or were working professionals, and were almost all very motivated, creative, and engaged (this was in stark contrast to my students in Korea, though that may have been a cultural difference). That being said, I've heard bilingual k-12 colegios are a whole different ball of wax...

I did have the chance to visit a few places, and spent a week in DF (Mexico City), as well as a few days in Queretaro, Morelia, and Guanajuato. If I were to go back, I'd definitely go to DF; so much to do! Not just clubs and drinking, but there's tons of culture, museums, art projects, music scenes (all the most interesting stuff happens in DF, from ska, reggae, to jazzed out deep house electronic), a surprising amount of indigenous activism and restoration projects (really dug Xochilmilco), the list goes on! It's also the nexus of Mexico, and to a lesser extent, the rest of Latin America, so you'll meet people from all over there. A few people I met there also said DF has gone to extraordinary mean to curb pollution, so it's not nearly as bad it use to be, and I'd surprised if it was worse than Seoul. Guadalajara, in contrast, is more of the traditional Mexico (Mariachis, Tequila, Ranchero and Banda Music, etc), and the public transportation there is not as good, though I did have a great time living there.

I think if you're goal is to learn as much Spanish as possible (which I think is a great idea), then I'd save up as much money as you possibly can (especially now that the exchange rate works in favor of having a strong foreign currency), and sign up for the CEPE program at UNAM (http://www.cepe.unam.mx). It's really affordable compared to other language institutes, and I believe they can arrange a student visa for you. If you're going to have as much money as I think you're going to have (from teaching in Korea), then, with student visa in hand, I'd get all set up with a course, get on depa compartido and find a place to share with other Spanish speakers, and then you can take your time and fish around for some teaching work that works best for you in terms of schedule, location and pay. With the new visa regs (you have to get the fm3 work visa outside Mexico), I'd think many language institutes would be more than happy to take you on, though not sure of the legality of working on a student visa.

In any case, best of luck! Keep us posted on how it goes.
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22Yossarian



Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:31 am    Post subject: I'd like to piggy back on this Reply with quote

My girlfriend and I are fed up with China, and want to leave when my current visa expires in January.

I have a decent amount of money in the bank, and in the short term I am looking for subsistence wages.

I am a U.S. Citizen, I have an MA in history, I am a certified secondary history teacher, and I earned a CELTA several years ago in Playa del Carmen.

I have three years of fulltime experience in China, one as a high school history teacher, and two years teaching undergraduate credit courses in an American university prep program. I also was an adjunct in the U.S. For a year, before going to China.

My girlfriend is also a U.S. Citizen, has a BA and is a certified secondary English teacher, but she has no experience beyond freelance after school programs and tutoring.

If we could land a job at a bilingual high school in Mexico that would be fantastic, but our more realistic goal is to go to Mexico for 6-8 months, cobble together rent and grocery money in part-time gigs, while we wait to start our next decent salary contract in the Middle East or Asia.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10953
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: I'd like to piggy back on this Reply with quote

22Yossarian wrote:
Our more realistic goal is to go to Mexico for 6-8 months, cobble together rent and grocery money in part-time gigs, while we wait to start our next decent salary contract in the Middle East or Asia.

I don't want to hijack this Mexico thread but be aware you and your girlfriend would need to be married if you plan to live together in the conservative Mid East. Something to keep in mind as you think about where to go after your short stint in Mexico.
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22Yossarian



Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: I'd like to piggy back on this Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
22Yossarian wrote:
Our more realistic goal is to go to Mexico for 6-8 months, cobble together rent and grocery money in part-time gigs, while we wait to start our next decent salary contract in the Middle East or Asia.

I don't want to hijack this Mexico thread but be aware you and your girlfriend would need to be married if you plan to live together in the conservative Mid East. Something to keep in mind as you think about where to go after your short stint in Mexico.


Of course, we know that. Neither of us are particularly romantic, and figured we would get married either for a family visa, health insurance, or to live in a conservative place.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9628
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: I'd like to piggy back on this Reply with quote

22Yossarian wrote:
My girlfriend and I are fed up with China, and want to leave when my current visa expires in January.

I have a decent amount of money in the bank, and in the short term I am looking for subsistence wages.

I am a U.S. Citizen, I have an MA in history, I am a certified secondary history teacher, and I earned a CELTA several years ago in Playa del Carmen.

I have three years of fulltime experience in China, one as a high school history teacher, and two years teaching undergraduate credit courses in an American university prep program. I also was an adjunct in the U.S. For a year, before going to China.

My girlfriend is also a U.S. Citizen, has a BA and is a certified secondary English teacher, but she has no experience beyond freelance after school programs and tutoring.

If we could land a job at a bilingual high school in Mexico that would be fantastic, but our more realistic goal is to go to Mexico for 6-8 months, cobble together rent and grocery money in part-time gigs, while we wait to start our next decent salary contract in the Middle East or Asia.


I think the moment you mention this plan to a prospective school, you'll lose any chance at getting sponsored for a work visa and thus getting a job. They won't want to make the investment if you won't stay a full school year.
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