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Which Countries in Asia are the Best to Teach in?
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
I could get a job in a Japanese company- I'm sure of it. But why on earth would I ever want to? ALT sounds better!
Frankly, this attitude surprises me, coming from someone who has spent so much time in Japan. ALT agencies are dirt, and there are many reasons why other businesses are better. I shouldn't have to explain why.

Quote:
If I must state a philosophy, it's that there's a lot more to a job than simply a paycheck. I don't think I could stomach being a manager for an ALT agency like Interac for example
But you think being an ALT for one is better than any other business job in Japan...?

Quote:
(I mentioned ALT's in my last one- I didn't say I'd like to be one;
Just what would you like to do? Knowing something like that would really help people give you advice. You don't seem to like ALT work or eikaiwa work. Ok. You suggested that you no longer have a school of your own, but it's hard to read between the lines here, because you also talk about private lessons.

You have made a blanket statement about all other businesses in Japan not being worth looking at. Well, where are you headed at your age?

Quote:
Japan is fine, and I've been here a long time, but to be honest if not for my children I see nothing holding me here. I'd rather explore the world I think.
I really wish I could say I have any sort of answer for you. Your post has changed from a job seeking one to one that describes reasons to stay in Japan (although with the law being what they are, you know better than me how little you actually see your kids). Believe me, you have my sympathy on that.

As much as you sound as if you want to stay to keep in touch with them, I have to ask what their feelings are. Traveling the world still leaves one in touch with others via email and Skype and phone, but if your kids have grown apart from you to cut the cord, maybe the best / only advice to offer is to leave them on the best of terms possible and keep a channel of communication open.

[quot]Aside from that, I'm decidedly unattractive (truth is beauty:), 47, and getting older and even more unattractive. I am also amicable, highly qualified (though no MA), and have since age 24 devoted myself to English education. I may not have that MA yet, but I know my profession. I could publish- at least I could easily write a number of papers that I can think of off the top of my head. [/quote]None of us guys have the market cornered on a Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise look (they are the same age as you, which is why I bring them up). Forget looks. Go with everything else you have going for you. If you can mentally separate the anguish of home life that has divided you from your kids, then focus on job hunting only. Get those publications out. Plenty of journals (paper and online) available for that. Use your 20 years of Japan networking contacts. Get out of Kyushu if need be. As far as other countries go, I have to bow to their greater wisdom and experience, but my only advice has been offered.

I changed careers at 40. Drastic change. Rather than call it a midlife crisis, I preferred to label it a midlife course correction. Think of it.
Best of luck.
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creztor



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla, I think that if you want "more", and assuming that more teaching isn't what you want, then you are best to do as you mentioned and work on your own "thing". Your own thing could be privates, some other business, whatever. My point, I guess, is that anywhere you go it seems to all end up being the same. You seem to be very familiar with Japan, have lived there long enough that it seems "logical" you would have more chance doing your own thing there than in any country. I could be wrong, but I only say this assuming that you can find enough work in Japan. If work isn't there, then a move to another country will obviously be the right thing to do, but I wouldn't assume that things are going to get better. You'll probably find very quickly that all the "barriers" gaijin face in Japan exist in other countries. I can tell you they exist here in Taiwan. Do you want more teaching hours so you have a full-time job, or do you want enough hours to support yourself so you can develop some side ventures?
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 651
Location: Guangzhou, China

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

creztor wrote:
bluetortilla, I think that if you want "more", and assuming that more teaching isn't what you want, then you are best to do as you mentioned and work on your own "thing". Your own thing could be privates, some other business, whatever. My point, I guess, is that anywhere you go it seems to all end up being the same. You seem to be very familiar with Japan, have lived there long enough that it seems "logical" you would have more chance doing your own thing there than in any country. I could be wrong, but I only say this assuming that you can find enough work in Japan. If work isn't there, then a move to another country will obviously be the right thing to do, but I wouldn't assume that things are going to get better. You'll probably find very quickly that all the "barriers" gaijin face in Japan exist in other countries. I can tell you they exist here in Taiwan. Do you want more teaching hours so you have a full-time job, or do you want enough hours to support yourself so you can develop some side ventures?


Yes, I think this is very astute and sensible. When we're 'mid course' changing it's natural to ponder our possibilities, which I think you have assessed quite well here.

Threads meander, but originally my question was basically, 'what do countries in Asia have to offer for English teachers,' a kind of pro and con look at different people's opinions vis a vis various criteria. Somehow it's gotten bogged down in Japan. I'm not offering a strong opinion on that one way or another (er, guess I already have in posts above), and I already know what Japan is like. I just want to know what people like and dislike about where they are working in Asia. What's good about it? Sure, of course I'm thinking of teaching elsewhere but what I'll ultimately do I don't know. To me, moving again sounds both incredibly exciting but scary as well.

I take 'barriers' against foreigners for what they are- workarounds. I stopped complaining about that years ago- there's a difference between acknowledging and complaining! Even one's own country has tons of red tape and bureaucracy.

I appreciate Glenski's insights as well, and I think you're pretty sharp on the family situation too. I appreciate the sympathy and I'm sure others do as well. Obviously, being near your children and seeing them regularly is best but staying in touch like you said is very good as well. There's no easy answer.

Well, to talk about Japan again, Glenski is the man for detailed knowledge though he makes it seem easier than it is. And he's right about ALT's- I've never seen such a waste of money and time in education in my life and I am not promoting it! I merely said it was better than working in a company cause companies tend to work you to death. But that would depend on what you do as well. Anyway, I'm glad someone is out there to show us what's possible in Japan. The fact that nearly all my friends are out of teaching or desperately trying to get out leaves one pessimistic, and that's the last thing we should be.

I happen to love teaching and don't want to stop, and I love business too. I hope that one day I can get my whole 'skill set' running in full gear.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
Well, to talk about Japan again, Glenski is the man for detailed knowledge though he makes it seem easier than it is.
I am usually the one who tries to give both sides to the job hunting story, and usually I get blamed for being negative because what I often do is point out difficulties as realities. Don't get me wrong here. I'm only trying to be supportive.

You have 2 decades of experience in Japan. That should mean lots of contacts and a strong language base. Even with "only" a BA degree, you have strengths that many do not. However, on the flip side, you realize how hard it is in today's EFL market in Japan. I won't kid you there, even for a veteran. And, yes, conversely to what I just wrote, having only a BA could be a barrier, but you seem headstrong to take on that challenge. Good for you.

Quote:
And he's right about ALT's- I've never seen such a waste of money and time in education in my life and I am not promoting it! I merely said it was better than working in a company cause companies tend to work you to death. But that would depend on what you do as well.
Yes, it depends. Now, what you have to do is decide what you have to offer a non-teaching position here. Is your background in the BA still solid enough? Do you want to translate or interpret? Can you use your BA and Japan experience in some related way on a more general scale (consultant, e.g.)? I will not praise Japan to someone such as you who is open to relocating, but consider that you would likely have to start all over again with everything if you go to another country. What are you going to need to do to establish a foothold there, and are you willing to do that? Plus, there will be another language barrier to overcome.

Quote:
Anyway, I'm glad someone is out there to show us what's possible in Japan. The fact that nearly all my friends are out of teaching or desperately trying to get out leaves one pessimistic, and that's the last thing we should be.
I came to Japan in 1998 as a major change in careers, not planning to stay more than a couple of years, and actually hoping to get something other than teaching as a long-term goal. I am a persistent person, and I managed to go from eikaiwa to PT HS to FT HS and then to university. Lucky in some respects, carefully planned in others. Your friends and I may have quite a bit different attitudes or life experiences or whatever. Don't lump all teachers in the same mold as your pessimistic friends. Some may have left for good reason. Others not.

Unless something else pops up here that warrants a statement about Japan, I'll stop hogging the thread and wish you well again. You can always PM me, too.
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wailing_imam



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 506
Location: Malaya

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore.
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KayuJati



Joined: 21 Feb 2010
Posts: 281

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
Malaysia attracts me too. How is the pay, on balance? Can you save?
Masala Dhosas and Tom Yam Kung in the same meal!


US$1k-4k per month depending upon location, type of school, and your qualifications. Outside the three big cities (KL, Penang, Johor), the cost of living is quite a bit lower and one is thus able to save a bit of salary.

Malaysia does have excellent food choices. Indian food is #1, followed by everything else.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 651
Location: Guangzhou, China

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about Sri Lanka? Brunei? East Timor? Polynesia from New Caledonia to Tahiti? Papua New Guinea?!
I don't see anything on these places.

I know Papua must be a real long shot, but you just never know!!
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bentanddisfunctional



Joined: 19 Oct 2010
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just about all of the countries mentioned in this thread have international schools

If you are a certified teacher ie:have a Education degree,PGCE or equivalent then you can work in any of them and earn more or less the same kind of bread and benefits etc..

Casting my net around and doing the figures I reckon Brunei would be the best bet for income vs cost of living.
However it could be a bit boring if you are a single..


Last edited by bentanddisfunctional on Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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celtica



Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Casting my net around and doing the figures I reckon Brunei would be the best bet for income vs cost of living.





Agreed. re Brunei answers to OP's question....


A decent wage, especially compared to the cost of living/income ratio. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy



- Good working conditions-Very Happy
job availability,Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
honest contracts,Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
friendly students and staff;Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
contracts easily renewable. Very Happy Very Happy
- Safety Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
and an openness to foreigners;
interesting culture. Very Happy
- Simplified visa process. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
- Natural beauty and climate. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy ...but not just Brunei - Borneo. Brunei limited!
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1001

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just five words for you:

Cambodia, try it and see. Wink
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bentanddisfunctional wrote:
Just about all of the countries mentioned in this thread have international schools

If you are a certified teacher ie:have a Education degree,PGCE or equivalent then you can work in any of them and earn more or less the same kind of bread and benefits etc..

Casting my net around and doing the figures I reckon Brunei would be the best bet for income vs cost of living.
However it could be a bit boring if you are a single..


I was under the impression that, since they use the UK education system, that they didn't hire Americans (or at least had a very strong preference for Brits) for teaching positions in Brunei.

.
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Irish Lad



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tttompatz wrote:

I was under the impression that, since they use the UK education system, that they didn't hire Americans (or at least had a very strong preference for Brits) for teaching positions in Brunei.



I have no experience in Brunei, but my recall of the vast majority of job ads I have seen over the last few years supports this impression. Most have indicated that the position is not open to an American candidate.
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dackinator



Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting topic - thanks! I'm currently weighing up where to teach in Asia - probably Taiwan, HK, or Japan - although thanks to this thread I will also investigate Thailand. i'd love to hear any more opinions!
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 651
Location: Guangzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CHINA Very Happy
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 680
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
CHINA Very Happy


Yeah, I remember last year you were talking about leaving Japan. And went to China, it appears. How's it going?

Good for you for making a (hopefully positive) switch!
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