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TEFL course in Scotland and moving to Mexico

 
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FloraG77



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:18 pm    Post subject: TEFL course in Scotland and moving to Mexico Reply with quote

Hi, does anyone have any experience or know of TEFL courses in Scotland? I've only been able to find on-line or weekend TEFL courses in Scotland yet some have mentioned 4 week courses, etc... (TEFL in Guadalajara for instance). Surely these cannot be equated to each other (2 days v. 4 weeks)?

I am planing to move my family to Mexico anywhere from 3-6 years from now but would like to do the TEFL training soon as there is an increasing number of children here for whom English is a second language.

I am not a teacher yet but will be attending Strathclyde University this fall to obtain my teacher training (primary education) after which I will go straight into my probationary year. (For any unfamiliar with the way it works on the PGDE course, there are 3 placements during the year at different primary schools at different stages and as long as you pass these you are guaranteed a job for your probationary year, which you also have to "pass" in order to be a fully qualified teacher. You have to already have a Bachelor's in order to even be able to apply for the PGDE, Professional Graduate Diploma in Education.) After the probationary year, you're on your own of course and qualified primary teachers FAR outnumer job vacancies (as in, you're lucky if only 30-40 other people apply for the job you want).

Perhaps I should just save my salary and do the TEFL course directly after my probationary year (which I am not guaranteed to "pass" after all!)?

Any advise would be welcome!

And just a few details about my education and circumstances:

I have a dual BA in Spanish and Theatre.
I am a US Citizen but have lived in Scotland for the past 8.5 years...I don't have a Scottish accent nor do I have an American accent anymore.
I am entitled to and will shortly be a Mexican Citizen (both parents are Mexican Citizens born in Mexico although one is now a US Citizen who will re-claim her citizenship this summer when we sort mine out) so no visa issues for me however...

My husband is a British Citizen.
Our son is a British Citizen and US Citizen.

The Mex. Embassy in London advised that they should enter as tourists and we then apply for a change of status once in Mexico, does anyone have any experience with this...would they be considered economic dependents? My husband is not university trained or skilled in anything that would get him a working visa, besides it's an FM2 they'd be going for since this will be a permanent move.

I spent a lot of time in Mexico until my late teens when I went off to university...granted it was in the border town of San Luis (Rio Colorado, Sonora near Yuma) and I always visit family when I find myself back in the states every 3 years or so.

I don't drive! Have never needed to due to where I've lived and thought of it more as an encumberment than a benefit...will this be an issue? (my husband doesn't drive either)

I think I'll cut it off here...guess I can type just as much as I talk!

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

Flora
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, what a big move you are going to make.

First, I can't help you with TEFL course in Scotland. But if you want to teach primary, you may not need that. Some others on the forum teach in bilingual schools and they can tell you more.

Almost everyone comes in as a tourist and changed status, but why not contact the Mexican Embassy and get the ball rolling on your citizenship right now? You can find information on this website.
http://www.sre.gob.mx/english/

Also if your move is permant, you son (and husband if he wishes) can also apply for citizenship in the future. But I would recommend that you give yourself two years in Mexico, before deciding anything about the move being permant--after all you are not alone in this. Spouces and children will adapt differently, and you may find that as a mother, you perfer what the UK has to offer your son, or you may find the opposite. Either way, give yourself a chance to try it out, then if any of you three don't like it, you can go back without the idea that you've "failed" but with the idea that you had a great experience in another country.

Here's an article in English that explains a lot of the different statuses.
http://law.richmond.edu/lawreview/Vargas%20424.pdf

Also here's the immigration offices web page
http://www.inami.gob.mx/EN/index.php

Good luck.

In most parts of Mexico, not driving is not a problem
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thelmadatter



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1209
Location: in el Distrito Federal x fin!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: mexico Reply with quote

Since your move is years into the future, I would not really work on a CELTA cert. For Mexico, you will have more and better opportunities with a primary school teaching certificate and perhaps a degree in English.

Meanwhiile, I dont know what the ESL employment scene for Scotland is, but check it out. I did a masters in TESOL assuming that I would be able to find work in the US since we have so many immigrants who need to learn English. I found out that except for working in public schools (which I refuse to do) job opportunities are pretty scarce. Basically, that is because while there are many students who need teachers, they generally dont have the money for such and there is little government money for such. So lots of work, but no pay.

My masters is worth something in Mexico, however.... and much better than a teaching certificate, esp. if one plans on being here long term/permanently. Having a foreign teaching certificate opens up opportunities such as the American School in Mexico City.

As for driving... in many places in Mexico, a car is unnecessary. Ive lived here for almost 6 years and while I have been tempted to buy a car (usually happens when Im lugging home a bunch of heavy cat litter) the fact is I dont need one. Public transportation here is far more ubiquitous than in the States. Perhaps a car is more necessary in very rural areas but if you live in a town of any size, you can get by without.

Also, having Mexican citizenship and being a native English speaker will be a big plus for you. Any school that hires you gets a native speaker without using their quota for foreign teachers, so it is definitely in your best interest (aside from skipping all that messy migra stuff) to get that squared away before you get here.

One other thing you should consider before moving here, however, is education for your kids. You will most likely want to put them in private schools, so you will have an expense here that you probably dont in Scotland. However, if your kids go to the school where you work, you can usually get a discount.
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FloraG77



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for your help.

I might just go for a masters in education rather and not bother with the TEFL certification after what you've both said.... I didn't know they had quotas for foreign hires either.

I'm hoping to sort out my Mexican citizenship this summer when I visit my family in AZ. There is a consulate in my hometown that should be able to process the paperwork, I'll be there for 5 weeks but I'm taking care of all the notarizing & apostille-ing (sp?) of documents by post from here before I land in July.

As for the move...it can be as soon as 2 1/2 years from now...it all depends on whether I can get a teaching position here after my probationary year. The PGDE course I'm doing gives me the option of doing some modules in English as a second language (amongst others like modern languages in the classroom, catholic certification, etc... but you can only choose one) so I'd planned to do that.

The ideal plan is 1 year study, 1 year probationary, 4 years full time teaching with at least 2 trips to Mexico in that time to scope out potential future hometowns. I'd love to move after 2 years regardless of the job situation here but I want us to have a nice level of savings (50k GBP) when we arrive there which is why I want to work here for 4 years (teacher's salaries are set in Scotland so you always know where you stand financially http://www.teachinginscotland.com/tis/119.29.32.html ).

We do plan on being quite flexible for the first two years although moving back here isn't really something I want (still, you never know, hence my reason for wanting a good level of savings before we venture forth). The only one I can forsee not adapting quickly is our son (I've already told him we're moving to Mexico, he didn't want to but seems happy enough if we holiday there first so he can decide for us... talk about alpha male complex... are all 6 year old boys like this?).

The only real question now is about their status...I assume my son won't be too much of an issue as he is a minor but my husband is another matter. He doesn't have a valuable skill for visa purposes so will he be allowed to work there or will he also be my economic dependant? I think this is one of those questions that will only be answered once we are there...ah, well it's a learning experience Smile .

Thanks again!
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thelmadatter



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1209
Location: in el Distrito Federal x fin!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:20 pm    Post subject: hubby Reply with quote

I assume your husband is a native English speaker so with a CELTA he would have no problems getting a job.

At the risk of being sexist here.... you do have to worry a bit about hubby ... maybe. He may have problems adapting to living in Mexico if he cannot have something of a career here. What does he do now?

Even without being an English teacher, those with technical skills can also get visas to work. I know a guy who is an nurse specializing in caring for AIDS patients who got a job in Jalapa. The guy doesnt speak any Spanish... yet.

Also, many bilingual schools hire foreign teachers for subject matters other than English, so that the subject can be taught in English
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FloraG77



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He is a native speaker and while he does have a Scottish accent, it's only thick when he's around his friends. Maybe he'd like teaching I'll need to ask (or persuade him). He used to be a nurse for the mentally handicapped and worked in a hospital over here...but left that profession over 12 years ago.

At the moment he just works in a large DIY store (B&Q the British equivalent to Home Depot). He does night shift and drives a forklift. He previously worked as a bicycle mechanic (and is into mountain biking) and is trained as a sign maker.

We've both done the stay at home parent thing in our time...me for nearly 2 years and him for just over a year. I couldn't do that again though, it was what I needed at the time but I like working and keeping busy. My husband is far more domesticated than I am...seriously, I was really spoiled for the year he was off. I do think he will need something to do though, maybe we can find somewhere I can work and he can cycle. He's pretty laid back, I guess one of us has to be!

Too bad he can't play the bagpipes...he could go out busking with his kilt Wink .

Flora
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

themadatter has a good point about your husband.
Mine is Mexican, so there is a different sort of baggage at work, but for the six months between the time he finished his MA and his PhD studies started he stayed home and took care of our daughters. While it was something he wanted to do going into it and we didn't see any point in his trying to get a job for six months, he underestimated the way his family, the neighbors, and society as a whole would react to a house husband. Granted we live in a small town so that was amplified in ways it wouldn't have been in a big city.
So teaching conversational English to adults might be a very good option for him. With a TEFL cert he could get a working visa otherwise he'd get a dependant visa that would not allow him to work. You son would need one also, even though he's a minor. They will cost the same as any other FM3, so keep that in mind. If you read up in the links I posted, you father can apply for citizenship for your son, as it goes two generations in Mexico.

IF you'd like to teach at a colegio in a big city, I think just the PGDE would be all the qualifications you'd need.
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FloraG77



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks MELEE

I didn't know my dad could apply for my son to get Mexican citizenship, that's pretty cool! He's already got dual citizenship though...USA and British. I decided not to give one up for Mexican citizenship for him, it's too important a decision and one he should make for himself when he is older. As it stands he could live & work in the USA or anywhere in the European Union and I can't justify taking either of those away (I'm a little jealous actually!)

I hadn't considered the cultural view on my husband staying at home...I mean, I know what it's like growing up as a Mexican and the stereotypes attached to the male and female role but I've lived in the UK so long now that it's easy to forget.

Good thing we've got a few years to iron out all the wrinkles in our plans.

Flora
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see absolutely no reason why your son can't have three citizenships especially from now until he turns 18.
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thelmadatter



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1209
Location: in el Distrito Federal x fin!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:30 am    Post subject: husband son Reply with quote

MELEE.. I wasnt thinking about how hubby would be perceived by the town as a househusband but then I live in DF, where that really isnt an issue.

I was more concerned about him being "stuck" in the house. If he is laid back, and you can earn enough for the family, then MELEE's suggestion of him teaching conversation or similar classes is a good one. If he has a nursing background and wants to pursue that again, he might want to consider more education in a specialty Mexico lacks.

The Scottish accent shouldnt be a problem. Being native speaker does. Besides, he'll hear a lot of how they prefer his "British" accent over the American one.

Check to see if your son can have three. The less you have to mess with migracion, the better. Remember, whether or not your son has Mexican citizenship is between you and Mexico. The US or the UK does not get a say.
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Mrs L



Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 72
Location: Rainy England

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For CELTA courses in Scotland I'm pretty sure Glasgow Uni does it (at least they used to), and so does International House in Edinburgh and I think Edinburgh Uni too. You've much less chance of finding work teaching English in Glasgow than you do as a primary teacher though, they want loads of experience, often an MA, and then don't offer permanent jobs, only hours here and there.

I think getting your husband into teaching is a good idea, if he's that sort of person (I know my hubby isn't). Don't worry about the Scottish accent, I worked with a Scottish lass in Mexico and everyone loved her voice. Out in Mexico my husband ran his own 'handyman' type business, fitting wardrobes and repairing things for people. All his work was word-of-mouth and while he didn't earn a fortune it was enough to live on, and for less hours than a regular job. He's Mexican though, there'd probably be restrictions on a foreigner doing that type of work.
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FloraG77



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MELEE I had a read through that document you posted a link to. I will, I think be getting my son Mexican citizenship however I won't be able to do that until he has been residing in Mexico for a year, but at least I know it's doable without loosing his other two.

Mrs L - Good to know about the CELTA course at Glasgow Uni, thanks for that, I really appreciate it!

I hadn't actually planned on teaching English in Scotland, my original plan was/is to teach primary school here with the small training in English as a second language that I could get through the PGDE course being more for the future than for actual use here in the UK (although still a useful skill here as there is a growing population of non-English speakers in Glasgow, at least in the east end where I live where housing's a bit cheaper than the more popular west end).

Thanks again everyone for all your advice!

Flora
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 862
Location: El 5o pino del DF

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few of us have sent/are sending our offspring to public schools, so if you want more information about the experience, do ask. Itís rather dependent on where you end up. In some places the public schools simply arenít a viable option; in other places they are.
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