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How to chose where you want to live?
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: How to chose where you want to live? Reply with quote

I'm finally finishing my university degree this spring and I've decided that I want to become an English teacher in Asia. I'm probably not as young as most TEFL teachers are, in fact I'm 29, but I feel that this is more of an asset rather than a hindrance. I've posted my information on various Facebook groups explaining that I've experience in sales and journalism, that I am British, and that I am about to graduate with a law and policy degree and I've been overwhelmed with job offers and interviews (I say overwhelmed - it was only 4 offers).

My current issue is deciding on where to move to. After some careful research I can see that the best job offers I had in terms of wages all came from China. Most of them offered over $1,500 per month, plus zero rent. I spoke to other language teachers over there and many of them were saving $800 per month each. This to me is a massive draw. However, there are concerns: pollution, Chinese government, chance of being scammed.

The two other countries that took my interest are Cambodia and Vietnam. Unfortunately after researching Cambodia I realised that the wages are half that of China, and the only benefits were better weather. So this left Vietnam, which offered $2,000 per month but no free rent (thus around the same income as china).

My issue now is deciding where to move - China or Vietnam?

Vietnam, more specifically Saigon, does look to have far better weather - can that be enough of a factor in deciding where to relocate to?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10829
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, you'll have to determine which country best suits your particular needs in terms of lifestyle, cost of living, career goals, etc. Keep in mind, the first TEFL job is generally about compromise.

Go to both the China and Vietnam forums for info and guidance from posters familiar with newbie teaching in those countries.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having such a hard time deciding. One position In Nanjing, China offered 10,000 Chinese yen per month - plus free housing, for only 25 hrs of work per week. Is that a good offer?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15083
Location: Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The currency in China is Yuan.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10829
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
I'm having such a hard time deciding. One position In Nanjing, China offered 10,000 Chinese yen per month - plus free housing, for only 25 hrs of work per week. Is that a good offer?

That question can be answered via the China forum.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've posted in the general section as I'm open to living in most countries.

My plan is to do this for 2-3 years and then come back to England and do a PGCE for 9 months.

I think the fear with China is that I'll get scammed somehow and arrive and find the job is really 70hrs per week and I cant complain because I don't speak Chinese. This is probably paranoid thinking but i'm just trying to be careful.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1304
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of your questions are subjective.

Saigon might have nice weather on paper, but do you really want to sleep in 35C at 95% humidity with no A/C? I can't imagine what that must be like (if you're fine with that, go for it). I've never been to Vietnam but I've taught lots of Vietnamese and would go in a heartbeat. Guangzhou and surrounding areas are IMO is a bit more reasonable though when it comes to weather.

There are okay jobs in China for an entry-level beginner such as yourself. If you want to avoid scams, make sure to vet the offers through the China forum and as much searching as you can do.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

santi84 wrote:
A lot of your questions are subjective.

Saigon might have nice weather on paper, but do you really want to sleep in 35C at 95% humidity with no A/C? I can't imagine what that must be like (if you're fine with that, go for it). I've never been to Vietnam but I've taught lots of Vietnamese and would go in a heartbeat. Guangzhou and surrounding areas are IMO is a bit more reasonable though when it comes to weather.

There are okay jobs in China for an entry-level beginner such as yourself. If you want to avoid scams, make sure to vet the offers through the China forum and as much searching as you can do.

Brilliant. Thanks for the advice.

I'm fine with the heat. In fact, its the cold that bothers me the most. Hence my grand escape from England.

Although having said that I will make sure to have AC in my apartment.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
I'm having such a hard time deciding. One position In Nanjing, China offered 10,000 Chinese yen per month - plus free housing, for only 25 hrs of work per week. Is that a good offer?


25 hours or 25 teaching hours?
25 hours is a sweet deal.
25 teaching hours is bog standard (18-22 classes per week in a regular school is normal) and when you add in things like prep, planning, etc... will bring you up to 40+ hours per week on the job. Ask before you sign on the dotted line what the extra, expected duties and actual work hours (start time - finish time) are.

Time to take away the rose colored glasses and do some research and due diligence on what being a teacher is really about.

It is not so much about getting scammed but not knowing what you are agreeing to when you sign on the dotted line.

.


Last edited by suphanburi on Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 560

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
I'm fine with the heat. In fact, its the cold that bothers me the most. Hence my grand escape from England.


Be careful what you wish for. It's one thing lying on the beach in hot weather, it's quite another enduring the daily commute to work in the sweltering heat and humidity. And when its hot, people sweat and people stink.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heat is great.

25 classes per week... do those in the mornings.
Then spend the afternoons at the beach and evenings in the dance club.

Being a TEFL teacher is such a great life.

Easy work, beaches, partying, elephant trekking on the weekends and lots of exotic culture to bask in.

There's no life like it.... Oh wait... that was the Army slogan.

Wink

.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1304
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suphanburi,

Family Guy made an excellent army recruitment clip (the end is the best).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv8gxbMERq0

In all seriousness, OP, part of vetting job offers is being realistic about what life is like teaching abroad. Choosing where you want to live also requires factoring in things like teaching hours, prep hours, commute, and other practical realities. Most people get scammed because they forget that this can be a challenging job. If you are realistic about it, that will help a great deal. Amazing jobs abroad are not generally offered to first-timers with no experience or credentials like TESL/BEd/MEd degrees.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few people are putting words in my mouth which I must say is quite bizarre.

I've just been offered a job in Chengdu in South-West China. It actually looks like a good city with a nice blend of new and old. Climate wise it is roughly 5-10 celcius winters and with summers going up to 30c. It looks similar to an English winter - maybe a little warmer - with a lot hotter summers.

The contract is 20hrs in class - but they say lesson prep and what not may take 5-10 hours. The wage is 1000rmb per month, which is quite low, but the rent and bills are free and its a lot cheaper there than in Shanghai.

There's a british woman who is recruiting me who says she saves £600 per month (750$) which I think is fantastic. As long as I can save £300 per month then I am happy.

The age group is mixed - but this is good because I don't know if I prefer teaching younger or older yet, so its a good way to find out.

I think I'm going to take it.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10,000rmb not 1000rmb!

There's plenty of expats there as well which will help me settle more.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1411
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a first TEFL job in this situation I think just find a reliable job that you are fairly certain is not a scam and go with an open mind. You will learn a lot, not just on the job, but living in a new place and you will also learn what you are looking for in a place. For example you might find you'd rather a warmer or colder place. Or a bigger or smaller city. You also might find you'd rather a different age group, not everyone is cut out for working with kids for example. There is also the possibility that you will quite like it just fine. It there are a lot of other foreign TEFL teachers they will also talk about the other places they have worked and you will get a good idea of what working in those places are like and make connections that will help you get future jobs. I have hired six or seven people over the years who get in touch with me because they are currently working with one of our former teachers, and frankly those are the hires who have worked out the best.
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