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Stay in China VS Come to Cambodia: Completely Torn!

 
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Tetris



Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Stay in China VS Come to Cambodia: Completely Torn! Reply with quote

Hello all. I've read many topics in this message board, and I'd STILL like the input of seasoned veterans.

I currently am working in small-town China; I've been here about 6 months. In all, it's a pretty sweet gig: more than enough money, non-exacting hours, housing provided, a manager who firmly safeguards the interests of the foreign teachers, etc. I can't complain about this situation at all, except for one thing--there's literally no social support and apparently, this has been taking its toll on me at work: my boss tells me I'm not putting on enough of a "happy facade". The fact is, I'm just depressingly bored and alone. Winter is now approaching, and this will not help.

I initially trained for my TESOL in Cambodia and have been longing to go back ever since; maybe not permanently but just to explore. I'd support myself through teaching; and after an unpleasant run-in with parents today, I think it really is time to move on.

That's where I need your advice: does anyone have experience in both countries? What sorts of work am I most likely to find (I've been teaching young rich kids with a limited sense of respect here)? What can I expect (in terms of hours, income, etc.)? Will it be a case of falling from the frying pan into the fire? I don't want to trade a rather dull experience for a miserable one. I'm completely torn!!

Thanks in advance for whatever information you can provide!
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Big Poppa Pump



Joined: 28 May 2010
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject: Re: Stay in China VS Come to Cambodia: Completely Torn! Reply with quote

Tetris wrote:
Hello all. I've read many topics in this message board, and I'd STILL like the input of seasoned veterans.

I currently am working in small-town China; I've been here about 6 months. In all, it's a pretty sweet gig: more than enough money, non-exacting hours, housing provided, a manager who firmly safeguards the interests of the foreign teachers, etc. I can't complain about this situation at all, except for one thing--there's literally no social support and apparently, this has been taking its toll on me at work: my boss tells me I'm not putting on enough of a "happy facade". The fact is, I'm just depressingly bored and alone. Winter is now approaching, and this will not help.

I initially trained for my TESOL in Cambodia and have been longing to go back ever since; maybe not permanently but just to explore. I'd support myself through teaching; and after an unpleasant run-in with parents today, I think it really is time to move on.

That's where I need your advice: does anyone have experience in both countries? What sorts of work am I most likely to find (I've been teaching young rich kids with a limited sense of respect here)? What can I expect (in terms of hours, income, etc.)? Will it be a case of falling from the frying pan into the fire? I don't want to trade a rather dull experience for a miserable one. I'm completely torn!!

Thanks in advance for whatever information you can provide!



I can empathize with the unrelenting grind of the Chinese winter. I can almost even guess which company you work for as well. Home office is in Dalian I bet?

If you did your TESOL at Languagecorp, which I suspect you did, you have an entire Alumni network you can call upon. Get in touch with some of those people and start networking now.

And push comes to shove, you go to Cambodia.. you give it a try.. if it doesn't work out the company you are working for now would be happier than a clam to hire you back so long as you leave on good terms.

Either way, I do understand about what a maddening place China can be in the winter. It is a dismal, coal soot covered, pit of despair and relentless depression.

My final bit of advice:

Stop thinking about it and make the jump because you can always come back.
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Tetris



Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Poppa, you have actually voiced what I have been privately telling myself for weeks and months. I guess we can't BOTH be wrong!
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MrMrLuckyKhan



Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 282
Location: Kingdom of Cambodia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Stay in China VS Come to Cambodia: Completely Torn! Reply with quote

Tetris wrote:
The fact is, I'm just depressingly bored and alone.


Those are 2 things you won't be in Cambodia, lol.

Speaking of LanguageCorps, I happen to know quite a few people who did that program here in Phnom Penh. They seem to all stay friends and help each other, so they should be able to help u a little more when u arrive.

You asked about hours....

Because you are working in China, you could be a certified teacher in your home country, or you could have only the tefl you did here. Let us know what quals u have because that might affect the options for you here.

For most teflers it is quite common to work early in the morning and have a 3 hour lunch break and then work a few hours in the late afternoon/evening. The going rate is ABOUT $10 per hour. U can teach adults or children.

I will soon be working full-time as a kindergarten teacher for $1000 a month with 2 weeks sick pay a year, visa paid for, and almost 2 months of paid holidays. I also teach one hour in the evenings at a school for $14.50 an hour. I work from about 8am-11am, then from about 1:45pm-4:45pm, then about 5:30-6:30pm, M-F. So I'll be bringing in a little less than $1,300 per month.

I used to do a lot of privates for about $13-$15 an hour, but I recently decided I'd rather work at a school instead of running around town during the rainy season, lol. I might keep one of my private students from China on my lunch break for an extra $300 per month, but since I really don't need it I will probably drop it.

I absolutely love it here! I've lived in Cambodia for almost a year now and don't have any plans to relocate.
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Tetris



Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you MrMr sir, I found your post very informative and helpful. My fears are 100% allayed. I'm headed down your way as soon as I can get out of China.
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MrMrLuckyKhan



Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 282
Location: Kingdom of Cambodia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tetris wrote:
Thank you MrMr sir, I found your post very informative and helpful. My fears are 100% allayed. I'm headed down your way as soon as I can get out of China.


Send me a PM when you have solid plans to come here! I've already helped a few people (some from daves and some i met in the real world first, lol) land jobs here in Phnom Penh.
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Big Poppa Pump



Joined: 28 May 2010
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was I right about your TEFL course and the company you work for in China?

Question
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seamallowance



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 151
Location: Weishan, Jining, Shandong

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Re: Stay in China VS Come to Cambodia: Completely Torn! Reply with quote

Big Poppa Pump wrote:
[ I do understand about what a maddening place China can be in the winter. It is a dismal, coal soot covered, pit of despair and relentless depression.
But is there a downside?
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tefl peasant



Joined: 09 Oct 2010
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both pay low, but China offers housing.

In Cambodia your options are limited, but in China you will have more opportunities.

Especially in a bigger Chinese city.
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bradley



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 235
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not come to the south of China? I'm in Shenzhen. I love it. Winter is not depressing at all here.
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timmy69



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping this thread because I am also considering doing the LanguageCorps program in either Thailand or Cambodia. Anyone do their TESOL program or have any additional info about them?

I had 2 additional Cambodia-specific question: 1) when does the school year start (the best time to look for work) and 2) how active is the ex-pat community in PP? I have live by myself abroad before like the OP (not as a teacher though) and I agree it can be very lonely and boring. Hoping PP has a strong ex pat social community and opportunities to interact with the locals. Any info appreicated.
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Tetris



Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Timmy, OP here.

To briefly answer your questions, 1. The school year in Cambodia depends on the school in question, and in my experience seems to go on a term-by-term basis rather than a year-by-year basis. And 2. I don't know--ever since I showed up, I've either been overworked, unemployed, or sick and my opportunities for socialization have been limited. That said, I am under the impression that PP is a pretty nice little party town. Certainly the expatriate community is as colorful as they come. I love it here.

If you read this message, I might have some more info for you regarding LanguageCorps. PM me!
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JohnnyTrippia



Joined: 19 Sep 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tetris wrote:
Thank you MrMr sir, I found your post very informative and helpful. My fears are 100% allayed. I'm headed down your way as soon as I can get out of China.

A very wise choice IMO. It doesn't get any better than Cambodia really. It's just a brilliant country. I'm thinking there or Myanmar for my next tour if I'm still going. I already went there on holiday twice and loved it, especially the first time, but both were memorable. China is a spiritless ghoul labyrinth by comparison.
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