Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Finding work as a non-native with no BA
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Asia Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
youxia



Joined: 07 May 2018
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:23 am    Post subject: Finding work as a non-native with no BA Reply with quote

Hi folks,

I love Asia and have always wanted to live here. Currently in Taiwan on a holiday, starting to look for work as an ESL teacher.
As stated in the title I am not a native speaker - EU citizen (44, male) - and haven't got a degree (highest edu: a 2 yr Junior College diploma). Obviously, it's a serious impediment, but I'm quite determined.

On the plus side, I do have a "good" TESOL (Trinity College, obtained in London), Cambridge Advanced C2 cert and speak fluent English with neutral(ish) accent, since I lived in London for ~20 years. I'm not a hit'n run backpacker - quite serious about teaching and can commit for longer periods. I'm also okay with earning less than standard and living in some non-trendy locations.

Currently considering Vietnam-Thailand-Cambodia, in this order, based on my knowledge about the on-the-ground situation in these places. This knowledge is fairly limited though, hence me posting here - any advice regarding working/living in these places (and possible alternatives*) would be most appreciated.

*I wouldn't mind going to South America or Central Europe (not Eastern though)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

youxia wrote:
I am not a native speaker - EU citizen (44, male) - and haven't got a degree (highest edu: a 2 yr Junior College diploma). Obviously, it's a serious impediment, but I'm quite determined.
....
I'm not a hit'n run backpacker - quite serious about teaching.

If you're truly very serious about teaching, you'll need to get a BA mainly for immigration purposes and to compete for jobs. Frankly, a lack of a degree is a major barrier for many countries even for native speakers with the right passport.

Anyway, others will chime in on your prospects for legal TEFL work in Asia.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youxia



Joined: 07 May 2018
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, but obtaining a degree is not an option, unfortunately.

Like I said, I don't mind earning less and generally existing in the grey zone, for some time at least. Not thrilled about it of course but there seems to be no other way. If I can complete a contract or two and get references from real schools then my situation will improve anyway.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do yourself a favour and search "teaching in Asia as a NNET without a BA" both here and on google. You will see that in your situation you are automatically excluded from over 90% of the ESL positions available out there. Furthermore you are excluded from over 99% of the 'decent' ESL positions and perhaps that's being generous.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

youxia wrote:
Obtaining a degree is not an option, unfortunately.

Like I said, I don't mind earning less and generally existing in the grey zone, for some time at least. Not thrilled about it of course but there seems to be no other way. If I can complete a contract or two and get references from real schools then my situation will improve anyway.

Keep in mind that working illegally puts you at risk for deportation. Plus, a school that knowingly hires newbies to work "in the grey zone" isn't likely to honor any so-called contract.

What precludes you from obtaining a BA? If you have money to travel outside of Europe, surely you have the funds to finish two more years of university.

Additionally, why not look for TEFL jobs in your passport country?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11498
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Central Europe (where at least you might not have visa issues - I obviously don't know your country of origin so can't say for sure) would be do-able though quite tough. The lack of a degree wouldn't be a deciding factor here.

The job markets in major cities (Prague, Warsaw, etc.) are pretty full of qualified native speakers, and the locals under 60 generally speak decent English already (more work to be had polishing already-good skills at very high levels), so a non-native speaker is at a significant disadvantage. But in smaller towns, you could find openings for someone with your background and skills.

Asia is more lucrative, and it would be probably a more feasible course of action to get a degree and go there, but if that's 100% off the table for some reason, then a second-tier city/town in CEE is probably a feasible, if financially frugal, option.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Do yourself a favour and search "teaching in Asia as a NNET without a BA" both here and on google.

There are several fairly recent newbie forum threads about issues/barriers for non-native speakers seeking TEFL work.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 891

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bottom line for the OP: LEGAL work (defined as having a proper visa and/or necessary permits) is NOT an option for him anywhere except Cambodia and Myanmar.

In those 2 cases he can fly in, find work, do a visa run to buy a business visa and return to work. A degree is not (currently) needed.

Without the degree and with the wrong passport he cannot get a visa to work as a teacher anywhere else.

Vietnam requires a degree and TEFL cert to get a work permit. He would join the hoards of back-packers doing $20/hr piecework to make ends meet.

Thailand requires a degree to get a work permit as a teacher. Immigration is cracking down on illegal teachers and border runners. You are limited to 2 land border crossings per year (but you can fly out and in as often as you like).

China requires a degree, TEFL and 2 years of experience to get your "Z" visa and SAFEA cert. There are lots of people working under the radar as "interns" on improper visas. This is technically illegal (should they ever do a crackdown) but common enough.

Visa running and working at buxibans in Taiwan is an option although also illegal (as the OP is no doubt aware already if he is there). Legal work with a proper visa and permits is not possible.

Korea is out. E2s require a degree.
Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, etc also have similar (but more stringent) restrictions (specific BAs required).
The Philippines exports English teachers to the rest of Asia. There is no legal work option for a non-degree holding NNES.

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youxia



Joined: 07 May 2018
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:
Bottom line for the OP: LEGAL work (defined as having a proper visa and/or necessary permits) is NOT an option for him anywhere except Cambodia and Myanmar.


I'm aware of that and all other legal impediments. I'm also aware of the fact that a huge number of people whose situation is similar to mine teach in Asia anyway.

To reiterate, I'm interested in obtaining practical advice regarding working and living in Vietnam / Thailand / Cambodia under those circumstances.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one here can tell you how to work illegally and avoid deportation. Head to your top target country and seek out and befriend other NNES expats and tourists for that kind of "advice" if you're wiling to take the risk.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youxia



Joined: 07 May 2018
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
No one

I've perused these forums for quite some time before starting this topic and saw numerous posts regarding the subject at hand. It's a sole reason I've decided on posting here. Of course, these posts are not as crude as your "how to work illegally and avoid deportation" implication - but it is obvioulsy also not what I was after. I'd simply like to hear from people in similar position to mine and with relevant experience.

I'm not really interested in arguing with the regulars here - especially ones who equate the ability to travel with obtaining a degree (quite amusing concept, this). As it is with forums in general, there is of course certain embedded received wisdom angle here - namely, that if you're in situation similar to mine you shoud just pack up and go home. While this may sometimes be a good advice I think I've demonstrated in my first post that it's probably a bit misguided, since I'm already aware of the usual pitfalls & determined to make it work nonetheless.

Sorry to be blunt but I think it's better to save us all some time and effort. And if this topic and its premise violates in any way rules of this forum, or is simply unsuitable for them, I will fully understand if a moderator locks or deletes it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

youxia wrote:
These posts are not as crude as your "how to work illegally and avoid deportation" implication - but it is obvioulsy also not what I was after. I'd simply like to hear from people in similar position to mine and with relevant experience.
....
While this may sometimes be a good advice I think I've demonstrated in my first post that it's probably a bit misguided, since I'm already aware of the usual pitfalls & determined to make it work nonetheless.

I was being realistic. Seriously, if you choose to work in a foreign country via an employment-prohibited visa, you're in violation of immigration and/or labor laws. It's not what you want to hear but it is what it is; there's no way to sugar-coat it. BTW, posts about bogus documents are not allowed in any of the Cafe's forums. Keep that in mind in discussions with others who claim to be working under the table.

In addition to my suggestion about traveling to your top target country and meeting up with other NNES to talk about their TEFL experiences, you can certainly head to the Cafe's individual country forums for Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia and ask to hear specifically from others with your background. You'll still get comments about illegal employment and risk of deportation, but again... the elephant in the room.
.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 891

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

youxia wrote:
suphanburi wrote:
Bottom line for the OP: LEGAL work (defined as having a proper visa and/or necessary permits) is NOT an option for him anywhere except Cambodia and Myanmar.


I'm aware of that and all other legal impediments. I'm also aware of the fact that a huge number of people whose situation is similar to mine teach in Asia anyway.

To reiterate, I'm interested in obtaining practical advice regarding working and living in Vietnam / Thailand / Cambodia under those circumstances.


Tourist police have carried out operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigners for over a year and so far arrested 1,088 suspects. 2 weeks ago they raided 125 schools and arrested 65 illegal teachers. Feel free to join the crowd.
https://www.bangkokpost.com/

Thailand is not a democracy. It is a military dictatorship and rules can (and do) change in a heartbeat. What was common 6 months ago will land you in a detention center today.

In Vietnam you can join the rest of the backpackers who have already been run out of Thailand. You can scramble like the rest to find enough part-time work to keep you busy. Facebook has lots of groups for "teachers in Vietnam" - all with the same story looking for some extra work to fill in their schedules and pay the bills at the end of the month and scrape enough together for a flight home at the end of it all.

Cambodia IS an option. Fly in, get a job, do your visa run to get a business visa and enjoy your time in the sun. Lots of ex-Thailand teachers there too. Join the crowd.
Myanmar is a similar option. Get a tourist visa, fly in, get a job, do your visa run and Bob's yer uncle.

With all of that said, if you have the ability to get a decent on-line teaching position then sitting on an METV tourist visa in Thailand or Vietnam CAN BE an option for you.
As long as you are doing it from the comfort of your living room you will be ignored by immigration and the labor office. Don't work in a call center or you may be arrested (like the center that was busted last year in Chiang Mai with 10 teachers detained, fined and deported.

.


Last edited by suphanburi on Wed May 16, 2018 6:40 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 891

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And if you paid big money for your TEFL cert on the promise of "teach and travel" then feel free to name and shame the course provider who lied to you about getting work anywhere once you were done.

Those cowboy TEFL cert courses selling dreams to people just to take their money need to be run out of town.

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youxia



Joined: 07 May 2018
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
It's not what you want to hear but it is what it is; there's no way to sugar-coat it.

You're wrong: it's not that I do not want to hear something - it's just that I know it already. And I already said so a few times in this thread, so there really is no need to go on about that - it only creates uselsess noise.

It's a similar thing with what suphanburi is saying - no need for such dramatics. I'm a 44 year old man who has spent half of his life as an immigrant, several of which as an illegal one in the UK before my country joined the EU. Yes, I'm aware of the political situation in Thailand/Cambodia, I'm aware of the risk of deportation, I'm aware of the fact that I will not find a job as cushty as probably most of of you have. I thought it could be gathered from my initial post, perhaps by reading between the lines if not directly, but it seems I was wrong. Life in general is not an easy ride, there are risks to be taken everywhere, you can get deported in Thailand, kidnapped in Mexico or ran over by a bus in London - but I'd rather leave these kind of exaggerated assesments to my mom and aunt.

There's also certainly no need to be so over-the-top with the "join the crowd" jibes - as I found numerous times before real life differs greatly from the pictures painted on expat boards (eg Taiwan, one of the better countries on this planet here comes across as a hellhole). It's also fairly easy to see that in the ESL community the "backpackers" and the rest of the rabble are looked down on by the Tier 1 teachers. Perhaps some of these sentiments are warranted, but as I've already stated (again, *sigh*) I'm aiming for something else than your run-of-the-mill gap-schooler looking for fun times in exotic places or being some naive john who thinks he'll make a bank teaching in Asia with no credentials.

And finally, I would not necessarily classify SGI London, a school offering Trinity College moderated full-time courses with real teaching practice as a "cowboy" one. The completely unwarranted assumption that they are is patronizing not only to them but me as well. Nobody there sold me any dream nor took me for a ride - to the contrary, they were all very realistic, but with the sort of realism which acknowledges that what I'm doing is possible, you just need to be aware of multiple caveats.

Btw, I am looking at online teaching also, but that's another story.

So, there, I said I don't want to argue with the regulars, ended up doing so anyway. Guess I'm only human, eh :) No more though, y'all feel free to reply but I won't carry on. Still hoping that perhaps somebody who actually read my OP and posseses a less fatalist and more realist (as in really real) outlook will stumble by.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Asia Forum All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2018 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China