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Where is best?

 
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Where is best to start up?
China
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Thailand
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Taiwan
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Japan
50%
 50%  [ 3 ]
Indonesia
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Malaysia
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Mongolia
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Laos
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Hong Kong
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Other
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 6

Author Message
Flip-Flopper



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Where is best? Reply with quote

This question must come up a lot. What I'm looking for is which country is best to start up and why do you think so. I'm in my mid-20's, never taught before outside of volunteering and have a degree (non-teaching related) and I know some people will say it matters so yes I am white, average-looking and of average build. I am looking at Asian countries only, nothing in the Middle East (I like my beer!) or India (I like my beef!) and weather doesn't bother me at all.

Not worried about start-up money, but I do want to make decent enough money that I can save. Not a backpacker type at all so living day to day is not on my agenda.
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: Where is best? Reply with quote

Flip-Flopper wrote:
This question must come up a lot. What I'm looking for is which country is best to start up and why do you think so. I'm in my mid-20's, never taught before outside of volunteering and have a degree (non-teaching related) and I know some people will say it matters so yes I am white, average-looking and of average build. I am looking at Asian countries only, nothing in the Middle East (I like my beer!) or India (I like my beef!) and weather doesn't bother me at all.

Not worried about start-up money, but I do want to make decent enough money that I can save. Not a backpacker type at all so living day to day is not on my agenda.


Unless you are a certified teacher you can rule out HK. The NET program (for certified teachers) is nice but working in language academies is not.

The same can be said for Taiwan. Decent packages are available for certified teachers but working in a buxiban is what it is (a grind).

China is a mixed bag. For someone who knows what they are doing it is opportunity central (like Korea was a decade ago and Japan a decade before that). For the rest it is a decent living but savings when converted to off-shore currencies are next to nothing.

The same can be said for Thailand.

The money is OK in Japan but the market is tight with more teachers than opportunities and start-up costs are high.

Indonesia, in the major centers, is a lot like Thailand. Out in the rural areas it is a lot like rural Thailand as well (not a place where they roll up the streets at dusk and not where your average TEFLer wants to head for.)

Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos are comparable. The industry is in its infancy with all that goes along with that state.

I don't know about Myanmar or Mongolia.

Korea is a pain to get the paperwork done for but it is still the best "bang for your buck" for newbies in ESL.

Vietnam is comparable to the language center (hagwan) industry in Korea.

Bottom line:

Best savings are still in Korea for newbies. $1000/month are achievable. The packages typically include airfare and housing so setup costs are low (MUCH lower than elsewhere).

SE Asia are the worst for savings for newbies. Wages are OK for living but newbies typically save nothing (combination of lower wages and more diversions to spend them on).

China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Japan are somewhere in between.

So, in descending order (based on start-up costs and savings) ASSUMING newbie status:

Korea (free flights, decent wages and housing)

Taiwan, Vietnam (decent wages and lower cost of living)

China, (OK wages and low cost of living - airfare allowances and housing are often included).

Japan (decent wages but high start-up costs and high cost of living)

Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos (lower wages and low cost of living. typically NO benefits for newbies).

.
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