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Taking CELTA at IH Riviera Maya; post-course suggestions?
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csr8953



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:11 am    Post subject: Taking CELTA at IH Riviera Maya; post-course suggestions? Reply with quote

Hello all!

This is my first time posting on the site. I am enrolled in a CELTA course that will run from November 4-29 through International House Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I am a 24 year old American male with a B.A. degree and no real teaching experience. I have only a basic level of Spanish, but am currently trying to improve as rapidly as I can.

For now, I am interested in teaching English as a means of supporting myself while living abroad for at least a couple years. However, I do see the field as potentially highly rewarding and would prefer to work somewhere where I actually make a difference for my students rather than simply getting a paycheck for myself. If I enjoy the experience, I feel there is a strong possibility that I could pursue TEFL as a career.

Assuming that all goes well and I obtain the CELTA, does anyone have any suggestions for finding my first teaching job? I will most likely go to Mexico City and search there. I know that there is money to be made teaching in Asia, but I have a little over $4,000 US saved up after flight and course expenses and would really prefer to teach in Latin America for the cultural experience and to develop my Spanish skills. From reading through the forums, I know that I will likely have to support myself at least in part from my savings while I get set up.

Everything I've read about Mexico City makes it seem like a great place to start. My big concern is with the new difficulties in obtaining a work visa, where I will need to be in country to find a decent job but will then need to leave the country for a month or two in order to get a work visa for this job. Would it still be worth committing to Mexico, or would I be better off heading south to somewhere like Colombia or Peru where there aren't these difficulties?

Thanks for reading. I'm kind of nervous, but really excited to finally dive into TEFL after simply reading about it for so long.
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Tretyakovskii



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Cancun, Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My big concern is with the new difficulties in obtaining a work visa, where I will need to be in country to find a decent job but will then need to leave the country for a month or two in order to get a work visa for this job.

You don't have to spend that time you mentioned abroad, you could spend it in Mexico.
Quote:
Would it still be worth committing to Mexico...?

That's really up to you to decide.

If you are from one of the countries that has visa free entry to Mexico for tourism, upon entry you would be given up to 180 days to remain in Mexico.

Once you secured a solid job offer, the next step would be up to the employer, who must request that INM approve their hiring you, and the issuance of a visa for you. During the time this will take, you could remain in Mexico, provided you still had sufficient time left on your entry permit.

Once INM sends their notice to the consulate or embassy at which you're going to apply for the visa you could travel to that place, and complete your application for the visa. Only a few days are needed for this to be done, and the visa issued, at which point you would be free to return to Mexico to start work.

From everything I've read on this forum, Mexico City has serious advantages to offer in terms of getting started, and there are plenty of posters here who know the ins and outs of it.

Good luck with your training, and with your job hunt.
__________________

Just a rumination: if you will be getting a visa to study on the IH course, this visa can be converted into a working permit, in Mexico, eliminating the need for leaving Mexico to get yet another visa. Even if IH doesn't normally require that you have a student visa to attend their course, they might help you arrange one, with a sufficient period of validity to give you time to find a job and apply for a work permit, in Mexico.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


Just a rumination: if you will be getting a visa to study on the IH course, this visa can be converted into a working permit, in Mexico, eliminating the need for leaving Mexico to get yet another visa. Even if IH doesn't normally require that you have a student visa to attend their course, they might help you arrange one, with a sufficient period of validity to give you time to find a job and apply for a work permit, in Mexico.



This is something I wasn't aware of. Someone on a student visa can apply for a work permit without having to leave Mexico? Are you reasonably confident about this, T? It opens up interesting possibilities, at least for those taking a TEFL course. I wonder if student visas are given for Spanish language classes. Of course, who knows whether this process is even more cumbersome than the other way, (but of course not having to leave Mexico is a big plus.) In many countries you can work while on a student visa, but that doesn't translate into a work permit once the course is over (and a residence permit is then needed.) So, conceivably after the course you would still have to leave Mexico to finish the residence permit application?

At any rate, it sounds as if it's worth looking into. Do you know any more?

ETA: Sorry, OP! I didn't mean to derail your thread! I know this a tangent, so I'll take any further questions I have off to one of the "visa" threads. Good luck with your course--I hope you find you enjoy teaching and living in Mexico. And congratulations on all the preliminary research you have done so far. It shows!

Regards,
Xie Lin
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Tretyakovskii



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Cancun, Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So, conceivably after the course you would still have to leave Mexico to finish the residence permit application?

No, having entered Mexico with a student visa, and then having received the temporary resident student migratory document from the INM within Mexico (application for this must be made within the first 30 days after entering Mexico on the student visa), you would then apply for a change of status to temporary resident with permission to work after getting the job offer I spoke of earlier. It's all written into the law and the online forms provided on the INM website. www.inm.gob.mx

It has been said by others on this forum that a student visa is unnecessary, in many cases, to attend short training courses in Mexico; while that may be true it fails to take into consideration the advantage of having a student visa, for those who wish to stay, and work, afterwards.

If I were bent on coming to Mexico, I'd find a training program that offers visa support for those who wish to attend. University sponsored Spanish Language training programs would be a good place to start.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, T--this is certainly an idea that merits looking into. We who were caught off-guard by the Nov 2012 changes in the law salute you!

.
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csr8953



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does indeed sound like an ideal way to get around the trouble of having to change from a tourist visa to a work visa. I only have about a month left before I leave, however. What is the process for obtaining a student visa? Do I have a reasonable amount of time to get one? There's no Mexican consulate in my city (Nashville, Tennessee), so I'd have to plan a trip to somewhere nearby.
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Tretyakovskii



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Cancun, Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What is the process for obtaining a student visa? Do I have a reasonable amount of time to get one?

Good questions to ask the staff at whatever training program you choose. I mentioned university programs because, if they have to act this quickly, it´s going to have to be somewhere that handles visas for their students, on a regular basis, so as to have sufficient experience with it to be able to answer your questions.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1116
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:45 am    Post subject: Re: Taking CELTA at IH Riviera Maya; post-course suggestions Reply with quote

csr8953 wrote:


For now, I am interested in teaching English as a means of supporting myself while living abroad for at least a couple years. However, I do see the field as potentially highly rewarding and would prefer to work somewhere where I actually make a difference for my students rather than simply getting a paycheck for myself. If I enjoy the experience, I feel there is a strong possibility that I could pursue TEFL as a career.



I want to address this part of your post as I could have written it 15 years or so ago. I started off in Ecuador at a non-profit school and my income there was only supplementing my living expenses I was also using some savings (this was before the dolarization of the Ecuadorian economy and it was very cheap to live there at that time). Then I went to Japan because I was out of money. Japan surprised me. I was (and am) a total Latinoamerica-phile. But I loved Japan too. I found it enchanting in unexpected ways. The mix of uberdevelopment and traditional was surprising, it blew my ideas of "development" right out of the water. I also visited Korea for two weeks and found it very oddly "Latin American" in many ways. And if you are used to living frugally, you can save money that will later go a long ways in Latin America. Unfortunately for you, not as far as it did 15 years ago, but what can you do?
I currently have a job that I consider very rewarding and I like to think I'm making a difference for my students. I work at a public university in the state of Oaxaca. Most of our students are the first in their families to go to university and many have gone on to graduate degrees and/or high profile careers. BUT, it's not likely a job you can get fresh off a TEFL. Your first job might either not be as rewarding or not pay enough to live on. Just something to keep in mind.
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csr8953



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF, thanks very much for your reply. I am worried that I'll end up in a school that doesn't really care about the students, only the tuition. Still, I know I have to work my way up to the really good jobs. Would Mexico, particularly Mexico City, be a decent place to look for a first job? Or is there another country/city where it's easier to break into the market?

As far as finances, I'm planning on looking for a job in Korea or China after the money I've saved up gets low. Like I said in my original post, I have around $4,000 saved up to cover my start-up expenses and to supplement my income. Do you think this will be enough to last me at least a year? If Mexico City is too expensive, do you recommend anywhere else where my dollars will go further?
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Tretyakovskii



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Cancun, Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt that it's too late to recalibrate your plans to include a CELTA course, perhaps at a different location, where you could combine that preparation with a longer term study of Spanish, with a visa in hand, and start a job hunt- all in the same city.

When you made your plans you were not as fully informed of the particulars as you are now: stepping back, and rethinking this could be in order, especially if you'd really like to make a go of it here. Moving cities will cost you in time, money, and lost opportunities. Better to start where you plan to end up, or could imagine you could end up.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1116
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

csr8953 wrote:
MotherF, thanks very much for your reply. I am worried that I'll end up in a school that doesn't really care about the students, only the tuition. Still, I know I have to work my way up to the really good jobs. Would Mexico, particularly Mexico City, be a decent place to look for a first job? Or is there another country/city where it's easier to break into the market?

As far as finances, I'm planning on looking for a job in Korea or China after the money I've saved up gets low. Like I said in my original post, I have around $4,000 saved up to cover my start-up expenses and to supplement my income. Do you think this will be enough to last me at least a year? If Mexico City is too expensive, do you recommend anywhere else where my dollars will go further?


I didn't answer those questions in my first post because, having held the same job for more than 15 years, I didn't feel qualified to answer questions about job availability and pay.
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Tretyakovskii



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Cancun, Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how much effort the OP may have put into finding an educational program which will sponsor a visa for him, but when I looked at what the Mexican Embassy has to say about qualifying for a student visa the financial solvency showing required looked daunting.

Aside from my suggestion that the OP study for the CELTA in a city in which he intends to seek work- which, as a suggestion still has viability- he may yet be faced with having to make a quick trip home to pick up a visa, after securing a solid job offer here, and probably should just accept that as a cost of getting set up in Mexico.

http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/washington/index.php/en/component/content/article/169
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9398
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
he may yet be faced with having to make a quick trip home to pick up a visa, after securing a solid job offer here, and probably should just accept that as a cost of getting set up in Mexico.


That's tricky...at the moment, that is a 30-60 day wait back home, depending on the school doing the hiring, and the lawyer they use.

Quote:
but when I looked at what the Mexican Embassy has to say about qualifying for a student visa the financial solvency showing required looked daunting.


Can you expand on that? I'm interested in knowing about it...
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Tretyakovskii



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Cancun, Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
that is a 30-60 day wait back home, depending on the school doing the hiring, and the lawyer they use.

You missed a point that I made: waiting for those processes to be completed in Mexico, do not require his present in the states. He only needs to go there after those are finished, and this only to pick up the visa.
Quote:
Can you expand on that?

Guy, if you haven't already, click on the link I provided for details.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 831

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
[

Can you expand on that? I'm interested in knowing about it...


I think there was a typo. It said that student had to show a bank account with $98,000 dollars OR show income of 800 dollars a month. So I am suspecting that either the 9 or 8 doesn't need to be there.
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