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Newbie Here - Looking for a bit of knowledge

 
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animaltested



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:19 pm    Post subject: Newbie Here - Looking for a bit of knowledge Reply with quote

Hello all, I am currently exploring the possibility of teaching English abroad, and would love a bit of information, and maybe, a nice little nudge in a potential, possible direction.

I am a 25 year old male with a BA in Global Studies from the U of Washington. My ethnicity is your run of the mill, German-Irish pale face.

I have seven years of work experience (in customer service) but, unfortunately, zero teaching experience. This is where my quandary lies. Im wondering where to start, and what country could possibly be the best option for a wet behind the ears newbie. Id prefer SE Asia, since I do have a bit of language and history experience in that part of the world. Overall though I'm pretty much open to anywhere, doing anything (private, public, adult ect.). Given my lack of experience, id love to just get my foot in the door, and am kind of overwhelmed right now by the amount of information contained in this lovely site.

My second part of the inquiry is given my lack of experience, and low level of particulars, whether a recruiter would be the best option once I have a country narrowed in.

Anyway, thank you undoubtedly to any and all who bestow whatever knowledge and time they have upon me. Appreciated greatly.
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naturegirl321



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

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie Here - Looking for a bit of knowledge Reply with quote

Getting a TEFL cert would greatly help you, since it would give you a foundation to stand on. Where in SE Asia are you looking at going?

Recruiters are ok, some are horrible, some are great. Thing to remember is that they don't work for you and in the end, often don't care about you. Just collect their money from the school.

What you could do is try to apply directly to schools and use a couple recruiters. LIke I said, there are good ones out there, but it depends on where you're going.
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie Here - Looking for a bit of knowledge Reply with quote

animaltested wrote:
Hello all, I am currently exploring the possibility of teaching English abroad, and would love a bit of information, and maybe, a nice little nudge in a potential, possible direction.

I am a 25 year old male with a BA in Global Studies from the U of Washington. My ethnicity is your run of the mill, German-Irish pale face.

I have seven years of work experience (in customer service) but, unfortunately, zero teaching experience. This is where my quandary lies. Im wondering where to start, and what country could possibly be the best option for a wet behind the ears newbie. Id prefer SE Asia, since I do have a bit of language and history experience in that part of the world. Overall though I'm pretty much open to anywhere, doing anything (private, public, adult ect.). Given my lack of experience, id love to just get my foot in the door, and am kind of overwhelmed right now by the amount of information contained in this lovely site.

My second part of the inquiry is given my lack of experience, and low level of particulars, whether a recruiter would be the best option once I have a country narrowed in.

Anyway, thank you undoubtedly to any and all who bestow whatever knowledge and time they have upon me. Appreciated greatly.


Things to look at:
1) Do you have $3000+ in the bank
2) do you have large student loans to deal with?
3) do you need/want/require a large salary?
4) do you actually like kids?
5) are you i) a morning person or ii) do you like to party-hardy?
6) have you ever been away from home before?
7) do you have any blemishes on your criminal background check?

You don't need to answer me but you do need to answer to yourself.
IF 1 is yes then pick a country (travel brochures are nice to look at).
If 1 is no then you are headed for Korea (register on the Korean forums).
IF 2 and/or 3 are yes then look at Korea (register on the Korean forums).
IF 4 is true then see #1.
If 5 is i) then look at schools in China, Thailand, Korea,
IF 5 is ii) then look at language academies anywhere (mostly afternoon, evening or weekend work).
6) culture shock IS an issue. Be aware of it.
7) if yes, go to Mexico.

Whether to use a recruiter or to just get a tourist visa and hit the ground running will largely depend on the where you want to go.

.
.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie Here - Looking for a bit of knowledge Reply with quote

tttompatz wrote:

Things to look at:

7) if yes, go to Mexico.



While it is true I've never been asked for a background check in more than 10 years in Mexico--I was also never asked for one when I worked in Japan.
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animaltested



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie Here - Looking for a bit of knowledge Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
Getting a TEFL cert would greatly help you, since it would give you a foundation to stand on. Where in SE Asia are you looking at going?

Recruiters are ok, some are horrible, some are great. Thing to remember is that they don't work for you and in the end, often don't care about you. Just collect their money from the school.

What you could do is try to apply directly to schools and use a couple recruiters. LIke I said, there are good ones out there, but it depends on where you're going.


Japan would be my first choice (one full year of college language courses under the belt) but from the sounds of it, not really an solid option for individuals in my position. Honestly, id be fine with Korea, Thailand, China, ect.... where ever my current skills could suffice and jobs are available.

The whole TEFL thing confuses me some what. I've read around these parts its not a big deal, or waste of time, other times its important. Kind of lost when it comes to that issue currently.

tttompatz wrote:


Things to look at:
1) Do you have $3000+ in the bank
2) do you have large student loans to deal with?
3) do you need/want/require a large salary?
4) do you actually like kids?
5) are you i) a morning person or ii) do you like to party-hardy?
6) have you ever been away from home before?
7) do you have any blemishes on your criminal background check?

You don't need to answer me but you do need to answer to yourself.
IF 1 is yes then pick a country (travel brochures are nice to look at).
If 1 is no then you are headed for Korea (register on the Korean forums).
IF 2 and/or 3 are yes then look at Korea (register on the Korean forums).
IF 4 is true then see #1.
If 5 is i) then look at schools in China, Thailand, Korea,
IF 5 is ii) then look at language academies anywhere (mostly afternoon, evening or weekend work).
6) culture shock IS an issue. Be aware of it.
7) if yes, go to Mexico.

Whether to use a recruiter or to just get a tourist visa and hit the ground running will largely depend on the where you want to go.

.
.


Hmmm...

So I do have 3000+ in the bank and my student loans are almost payed off. Mornings haven't bothered me (waking up at 5:30am for current job), and I have a crystal clean criminal record. Kids never bothered me, as long as I know I get to give them back at a certain time. From the sounds of things, Korea, China or Thailand might be the best option?

Once again, thank you guys so much for the info. I feel lost at sea with most of the info swirling around. lol.
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK.. so go to your local travel agent, pick up some travel brochures for East Asia and South East Asia.

Pick a pretty picture and narrow it down.

Korea has low startup costs, often includes prepaid airfare and has a decent salary package. It DOES have its downsides (go read the Korean forums).

Thailand has nice beaches (not that you would find a job near one).
It is tropical and not really hit by any typhoons (hurricanes to an American).
Downside is you won't make any money in your first year. Newbie wages are usually in the range of $1200/mo with no benefits. On the good side, the cost of living is also low so you can afford some of the distractions that BKK has to offer.

China is a mixed bag and could be considered as the "wild west" of the industry. Wage and benefit packages range from abysmal (3000 cny with few benefits in some out of the way place) to pretty good (getting close to Korea in terms of savings).

Japan is a tight market (from hearsay) but if you have the cash to cover your start-up costs might be a nice option for you.

The same can be said for Taiwan and Vietnam.

Look at the job postings, watch your timing (school years start at different times in different countries) and have all your paperwork ready and in hand. You will be on a plane within 60 days.

.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie Here - Looking for a bit of knowledge Reply with quote

animaltested wrote:
Japan would be my first choice (one full year of college language courses under the belt) but from the sounds of it, not really an solid option for individuals in my position.
Why do you say that?

You have a degree. The major isn't important here in Japan.
That's enough to qualify for a work visa. So, the barrier is now just getting hired.

Choose a time. Your best option is to apply for the JET program, but hurry, as application deadlines are fairly soon. Just keep in mind that the job itself begins in August next year. No sooner.

Quote:
I have seven years of work experience (in customer service) but, unfortunately, zero teaching experience. This is where my quandary lies.
Again, why? Most newbies have zero experience and a background unrelated to teaching.
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