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Another Newbie Post

 
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togna



Joined: 15 Oct 2016
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:46 pm    Post subject: Another Newbie Post Reply with quote

Hello all,

My name is Tony and I'm a 31 year old white male from the U.S. I earned a B.A. in creative writing from a public university in 2007 and a 140 hour online TEFL certificate from i-to-i in 2015.

Most of my career so far has been in tech support and advertising, but I'd like to make a switch. My goal is to immerse myself in another culture for a year or two while teaching English and furthering my education in programming and computer science in my spare time.

I'm pretty sure that I'd like to teach in Asia, but beyond that I have no idea. I love Japanese comic and video game culture. I have friends that absolutely adored teaching in Korea, and it sounds like that's where I can save the most money. Taiwan sounds like a tropical paradise.

I have three main questions for you all:

1. Do my current credentials qualify me to teach in any of the listed countries with no experience?

2. Is it foolish to rely on a recruiting agency (such as reach to teach, etc)?

3. Are any of my assumptions about the countries I'm considering incorrect?

I'd be open to any anecdotes or advice you'd like to share. I'd be especially interested in hearing about real experiences with recruiting agencies. Thank you in advance!
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 543
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked as an Assistant Language Teacher through the JET Programme in Japan. It was a good experience for me.

It may be something for you to look into, but the next application period for the next intake (Summer 2018) for U.S. citizens would be this upcoming Fall 2017. The JET Programme can be considered to be the best entry-level type work program in Japan so it may be worth the wait to apply.

http://jetprogramme.org/en/

To answer your questions:

1. I would say your current credentials can qualify you for entry-level work throughout Northeast Asia; however, do you have the chance to gain any teaching experience in the interim?

2. I am not sure about recruiting agencies as I have never gone through one, well, I guess the JET Programme could be considered to be a type of recruiting agency. Here in China, if you are interested in the Middle Kingdom, it is generally recommended to avoid the recruiting agencies.

3. While comic books and video games are a nice way to pique one's interest in Japan, I would recommend to you to broaden your further interests in a country's people, history, culture and language.

And now for something completely different...

Would you be interested in taking 27 months off and joining the Peace Corps? Peace Corps is now in more than a few countries in Asia and the Pacific, from Mongolia to Myanmar to Micronesia:

https://www.peacecorps.gov/

https://www.peacecorps.gov/countries/#asia

Also, some recent exciting news, Peace Corps will soon go into Vietnam as well, but I wouldn't expect the first group to go in for another 2~3 years (2018?):

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/peace-corps-launches-english-language-program-in-vietnam/

I mention this because, while people don't do the Peace Corps to pocket big sums of money, they may do it for the experience and then for their future career prospects. The Peace Corps Fellows program always seems to be expanding and it offers a number of attractive master's degree programs coupled with intense and valuable work experience after the Corps. These programs can offer reduced tuition for successful applicants. This may or may not be something you are interested in, but I feel it is good to be aware of its existence for possible consideration.

https://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/university-programs/coverdell-fellows/

https://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/university-programs/graduate-school-partners

The Peace Corps experience should afford you enough spare time to continue to further your education in programming and computer science as you desire, but you would need to bring your own resources to make that happen.

NOTE: I am a former Peace Corps Volunteer (China 2000~2003) and I did complete a Peace Corps Fellows program teaching in New York City and earning an M.A. in TESOL and a K-12 New York State teaching license while at Teachers College, Columbia University.

twowheel
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togna



Joined: 15 Oct 2016
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twowheel wrote:
I worked as an Assistant Language Teacher through the JET Programme in Japan. It was a good experience for me.

It may be something for you to look into, but the next application period for the next intake (Summer 2018) for U.S. citizens would be this upcoming Fall 2017. The JET Programme can be considered to be the best entry-level type work program in Japan so it may be worth the wait to apply.

http://jetprogramme.org/en/

To answer your questions:

1. I would say your current credentials can qualify you for entry-level work throughout Northeast Asia; however, do you have the chance to gain any teaching experience in the interim?

2. I am not sure about recruiting agencies as I have never gone through one, well, I guess the JET Programme could be considered to be a type of recruiting agency. Here in China, if you are interested in the Middle Kingdom, it is generally recommended to avoid the recruiting agencies.

3. While comic books and video games are a nice way to pique one's interest in Japan, I would recommend to you to broaden your further interests in a country's people, history, culture and language.

And now for something completely different...

Would you be interested in taking 27 months off and joining the Peace Corps? Peace Corps is now in more than a few countries in Asia and the Pacific, from Mongolia to Myanmar to Micronesia:

https://www.peacecorps.gov/

https://www.peacecorps.gov/countries/#asia

Also, some recent exciting news, Peace Corps will soon go into Vietnam as well, but I wouldn't expect the first group to go in for another 2~3 years (2018?):

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/peace-corps-launches-english-language-program-in-vietnam/

I mention this because, while people don't do the Peace Corps to pocket big sums of money, they may do it for the experience and then for their future career prospects. The Peace Corps Fellows program always seems to be expanding and it offers a number of attractive master's degree programs coupled with intense and valuable work experience after the Corps. These programs can offer reduced tuition for successful applicants. This may or may not be something you are interested in, but I feel it is good to be aware of its existence for possible consideration.

https://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/university-programs/coverdell-fellows/

https://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/university-programs/graduate-school-partners

The Peace Corps experience should afford you enough spare time to continue to further your education in programming and computer science as you desire, but you would need to bring your own resources to make that happen.

NOTE: I am a former Peace Corps Volunteer (China 2000~2003) and I did complete a Peace Corps Fellows program teaching in New York City and earning an M.A. in TESOL and a K-12 New York State teaching license while at Teachers College, Columbia University.

twowheel


Thanks, twowheel! I was under the impression that one needed a master's level education or to be in an engineering field in order to volunteer for Peace Corps, but you've given me something to think about.

As far as furthering my education while abroad goes, so long as I am situated in a place with reliable electricity and internet access I should be good to go. I'll be doing some research about this today. Thanks a lot for your insight.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 543
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually the cycle for TESOL Volunteers would be: bachelor's --> Peace Corps --> graduate school, so you could be all right.

Regarding the personal further education, I figured that, you'd just need electricity and Internet, which you could get of course.

Definitely something to think about, lots of stuff out there, good luck with everything.

twowheel
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schwa



Joined: 12 Oct 2003
Posts: 154
Location: yap

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how the Peace Corps allocates placements but I do know a number of Peace Corps volunteers in Micronesia who work on small islands where there's no electricity or internet.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 543
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

schwa wrote:
I don't know how the Peace Corps allocates placements but I do know a number of Peace Corps volunteers in Micronesia who work on small islands where there's no electricity or internet.


Very good point, getting adequate electricity and the Internet for one's needs is very much on a country-by-country basis.

The Peace Corps has changed its application process. Before, one selected a region of the world on their initial application and hoped to get into a country in that region (lots of stories among my fellow Volunteers about how they really wanted to go to Africa and ended up going to ... China).

However, now, one keeps an eye on the website and then directly applies for a particular position in a particular country (just like a "normal" job application process).

Do keep an eye out for openings and attempt to figure out when the application process would begin and end for a particular country, e.g., positions for China leave in June so back that up roughly one year and be ready to apply around September of a previous year.

I, for one, have this obsession with doing Peace Corps in Myanmar were I ever to re-apply.

twowheel
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