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CELTA qualified teaching in Asia - with family

 
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Passion for ESL



Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:12 am    Post subject: CELTA qualified teaching in Asia - with family Reply with quote

I am looking for a little advice. I am really keen to pursue ESL as a career after volunteer tutoring ESL to migrants in my home country (Australia), and travelling to Nepal to do volunteer work in schools.

I have a bachelor degree and diploma in communications and writing and I have just enrolled to do the CELTA course as a start point. I am considering whether or not to spend a year or two overseas teaching ESL when I graduate from the CELTA course (assuming that I do).

The only concern I have is how viable it is to support a family while teaching ESL. I have a 2 and 5 year old so we were thinking it would be probably our last chance before they get into the school years to do something like this. My husband would be happy to do the childrearing for a year, and we could take extra money if needed. We were thinking somewhere in SE Asia, Vietnam or Cambodia appeals most.

We have done the volunteer work in Nepal, but that was before kids. Any thoughts would be so appreciated. If it's not really viable I would be happy to start teaching here, but would love the opportunity to do this.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no experience in Vietnam, Cambodia or SE Asia, but it would seem to me that those places have such a low standard of living that you wouldn't make all that much money, so it would be very hard to support a family of 4, especially after the kids start going to school. You certainly wouldn't make enough where I live (Japan)!
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:50 am    Post subject: Re: CELTA qualified teaching in Asia - with family Reply with quote

Passion for ESL wrote:
I am looking for a little advice. I am really keen to pursue ESL as a career after volunteer tutoring ESL to migrants in my home country (Australia), and traveling to Nepal to do volunteer work in schools.

I have a bachelor degree and diploma in communications and writing and I have just enrolled to do the CELTA course as a start point. I am considering whether or not to spend a year or two overseas teaching ESL when I graduate from the CELTA course (assuming that I do).

The only concern I have is how viable it is to support a family while teaching ESL. I have a 2 and 5 year old so we were thinking it would be probably our last chance before they get into the school years to do something like this. My husband would be happy to do the child rearing for a year, and we could take extra money if needed. We were thinking somewhere in SE Asia, Vietnam or Cambodia appeals most.

We have done the volunteer work in Nepal, but that was before kids. Any thoughts would be so appreciated. If it's not really viable I would be happy to start teaching here, but would love the opportunity to do this.


Is is do-able = yes.
Can you support a family = yes.
Will you get rich or save money = unlikely.
Can you live comfortably = yes.

I currently live and work in Thailand (having previously taught and worked in Korea, China, Macau (pre '97) and the Philippines). I have and support a family of 3 on a teachers wage (35-50k baht [AUD $1300 - 1850]). We live a comfortable lifestyle but don't live an extravagant lifestyle. We have a 3 bedroom (newer) house and pay b4500 for rent and ~b3500 for utilities (including aircon, cooking gas and internet).

We usually cook at home and spend about b6000 for food at the market (usually fresh veg and meats). We don't get a lot of "prepared" foods from the local Lotus/Tesco so our food costs are quite low. We spend another b5000 for entertainment, restaurants and misc costs each month.

Travel costs (domestically) are cheap. A bus to BKK is 86 baht and local hotels (3.5*and outside of BKK or a tourist trap) are about 1000 baht/night or less.

On a basic salary of 35-50k baht and NOT in BKK you can do OK.
If you want the distractions of the big city you will need to dip into savings.
If you want to live on the beach you will certainly need to dip into savings (salaries are LOW).

One BIG caveat in this is school (preschool) for the kids.

Sending them to an "international school" is cost prohibitive and not an option unless you are teaching at one (and get a significant staff discount or free tuition).

If you work at a private school it is OK (we pay 7000 baht per term for our daughter) but at least 1/2 the subjects will be taught in Thai. this is actually a good option for the kids and a great learning experience. We do this with our daughter.

Distance learning / correspondence from home is another option if you have a stay-at-home dad. Self taught for kindy-g3 is also an option with the plan to re-integrate back into the school system on your return home.

Working in Vietnam is comparable (with occasionally higher "relative" salaries) but the visa requirements can be a bit of a pain sometimes. Check the Vietnam forum for more details.

I don't know much of anything about Cambodia.

.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tttompatz is your wife Thai?

OP, you could do it. Visas and housing might be an issue. YOu probably won't save, but with budgeting you could live within your means.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
tttompatz is your wife Thai?

OP, you could do it. Visas and housing might be an issue. YOu probably won't save, but with budgeting you could live within your means.


No, she is a Filipina. We met and married when I was working there. Daughter is dual Canadian/ Philippine.

.
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Passion for ESL



Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:51 am    Post subject: Thanks for advice Reply with quote

Thanks for all that advice, it's great and encouraging to hear it's possible with family. With regard to educating the kids, I think we'd be okay because my husband would be a stay-at-home dad and he has done part of a primary teaching degree so we could home teach. I'd like the opportunity though for my eldest (aged 5) to mix with other kids and learn some of the language, so if it's an option it would be good to give her some formal education. I think it would make it a better experience for her. I have been looking at a website for teaching in Vietnam. I'm assuming this would therefore be affordable?? I liked the sound of Da nang, but being on the beach, would it be too expensive or have lower salaries? I guess I need to investigate that further. The school is called ILA. Does anyone have any information on it? The salary levels aren't posted but there's lots of information about the cost of living. Rent seems to be the biggest consideration on cost. Is it hard/easy to find housing that's affordable? We're happy to live fairly basic, looking at it more for the experience than anything else. Thanks again for the advice so far. Much appreciated.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks for advice Reply with quote

ILA is pretty good from what I've heard. I was going to work for them, but have to admit that money was a BIG factor and am making much more in Korea.

Ask about visas for your family though. I remember that I was going to have to jump through hoops to get my husband a visa, but that was 2 years ago and he's from a third world country. . . so apply and see what they say.

Good luck
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Passion for ESL



Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:49 pm    Post subject: Visas etc Reply with quote

Thanks for that, yes sounds from a few that visas might be an issue and I might need to look into that a bit more. Will refer back to the link you PMed me a while back Nature Girl - that was really useful. Korea or Thailand might still be a better option than Vietnam, though I'm a bit cautious with kids about the situation in Thailand at present.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Visas etc Reply with quote

Passion for ESL wrote:
Thanks for that, yes sounds from a few that visas might be an issue and I might need to look into that a bit more. Will refer back to the link you PMed me a while back Nature Girl - that was really useful. Korea or Thailand might still be a better option than Vietnam, though I'm a bit cautious with kids about the situation in Thailand at present.


Visas are not usually an issue (nor are they hard to get) for dependent family members.

In most cases, AFTER you have your work visa taken care of, the only additional thing to do is prove family dependence (marriage certificates and birth certificates for the wife and kids).

These MAY require legalization from your home country (apostille) or embassy/consular certification at the foreign embassy in YOUR country

OR

from YOUR embassy in the country in question (if you are already abroad) then legalization by the foreign affairs office in the country of residence.

It is not that difficult but may require a bit of running around (if you are not in your home country) and the extra cost (about $100) for getting all the necessary stamps on everything.

.
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Passion for ESL



Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:12 am    Post subject: Visas Reply with quote

Great, thanks for that info, I wouldn't have known to organise this. I'm in my home country at the moment, so getting birth & marriage certificates legalised shouldn't be too much of a problem.
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Zero



Joined: 08 Sep 2004
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to bring up a couple of points. Just things to think about, and I apologize if you don't want/need/like my suggestions.

-Do you have a plan, career-wise, for what you and your husband will do when you get back to Australia? And also, where to live? Because you have kids, re-establishing yourself might be harder, and yet all the more important.

-Do you have a plan for health insurance while living abroad? I'd make sure to get it, especially since you have kids. This will add to the cost of the overall adventure.

-Foreign guys are a hot item in all of the countries you mentioned. There are tons and tons of women who believe a foreign man is the ticket to a better future. They absolutely will not hestitate for one moment to put the moves on your man. Foreign guys are pretty popular even in more developed parts of Asia such as Hong Kong and Japan, I suppose because of Hollywood's influence (guys like Brad Pitt being held up as an ideal). They sometimes call Hong Kong the "graveyard of expat marriages." I don't doubt that your husband is 100 percent trustworthy. But as for me, if I were a woman with a western husband, I would not take him to Asia.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but I have to comment on the whole "don't take your western husband to Asia"

He's right in part, Lots of Asian girls go for Western guys. BUt everyone's different. You'll find marriages that break up because of it and you'll find other guys that couldn't care less and are faithful.
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