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Over 55 ESL Teachers... seeking your stories

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Joined: 30 Mar 2003
Posts: 4
Location: Seoul, SK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 12:33 pm    Post subject: Over 55 ESL Teachers... seeking your stories Reply with quote


I am writing a feature article about people over 55 or those who retire in their home country and then travel overseas to teach English. I would love to hear from anyone willing to share their experiences with me.

I am currently in South Korea and last year I taught in China for a while and met quite a few people in their sixties who were having the time of their life teaching English at universities. I am particularly interested to find out your reasons for going overseas & working (financial, experience, cultural, something you always wanted to do...), your general location, conditions of employment, how long you plan to teach, what you were doing in your home country and anything else you would like to share about your experience.

What kind of employment opportunities do you think exist for older teachers in the ESL world? Do you think it's harder for an older person to get a job where you are? The reason I ask is that in South Korea, the language schools tend to prefer younger teachers and some teachers over 40 are forced to lie about their age to their students.

Please send me a PM if you don't wish to post your thoughts publicly or send me an email to [email protected]

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Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2003 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not my own story, but that of a man I knew and came to respect even though he was in some ways difficult to live with.

He came to China in February of 1994, and we shared a flat at our school. He had this missionary zeal that sometimes unnerves non-Americans - making it plain to me that he preferred teetotallers out of Christian concerns.
But he was not absolutely anti-good life himself. Although aged 58, he had a keen eye on ladies. At the same time, he told me he was married, and 'happily' so, with two kids back in the States!
So, why was he here in China, without his wife?
He said he could not lead a decent enough life on his old-age pension funds back home, so he had come to China , waiting for his wife to join him.
She did come several months later, and they seemed very happy at that time during a few weeks she spent on holiday in China. She said she would return, after having sold their house in America.
But my friend's needs for female companions worked in mysterious ways. One day, I received a call from a Chinese girl that had been in touch with me by telephone for a while. My American friend picked up the receiver, and I was surprised to hear him speaking with her for such a long time, not minding it a bit.
A week later, she sent him a picture of herself, and from then on it was all written on the wall: They were going to be partners!
He was 58, she was exactly 29, and he ditched his wife of 15 years to marry her.
He spent a further three years teaching in various colleges, before he abdicated as a teacher, saying he had had enough!
Did they move to the USA, as his young wife probably hoped?
He moved to Hainan, to run a farm, which he could not own legally! Thanks to his wife, and to some guanxi and baksheesh (he claimed it cost him 'several hundred' US-dollars!, he was given a plot of land - to farm!
It was his choice, and she helped him. I don't know what became of them, though!
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