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ESL teachers on HGTV live in EU rolling in $$$?

 
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esl4everever



Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 38
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: ESL teachers on HGTV live in EU rolling in $$$? Reply with quote

Going back...



When I was in ESL school they made it sound like we could get a job anywhere in the world.
The world was our oyster.



Once we started looking for ESL teaching jobs abroad it started to slowly sink in.
It was close to impossible to land ESL work in Europe with the visa requirements.
The hoops to jump through are endless for Americans.
And even if I were to get work there the pay seems to be an issue.
It's hard to have enough to get by, pay bills & save.
The pay seems to be almost to low for the job teachers are doing.
Real people I know who are American teachers seem to be working paycheck to paycheck.
And they freelance teach only.



For now...



I've come to terms I will never be able to work in Europe in my lifetime.
I'm dealing with it.
Me & my husband to be are teaching in Mexico.
I will be making less than $ 7 dollars per hour.
And I probably won't be working full time.
We will be living in the ghetto.
It is fine.
This is real life we live in.
Our bedroom will also have a stove & freezer in it -
again - real life.
Me & my husband to be are going to enjoy the area & each other & live our lives & we will do what we need to do to get by.



HGTV international house hunters...



I do not know whats going on with ESL teachers on HGTV.
They always have American ESL teachers who have unlimited funds-their rent is being covered by school they are working at!
An ESL teacher last night was in Spain & had $ 1,300 dollars a month rent she had to play with that her school was hitting her back for.
She was looking at places with french glass doors separating rooms, inside pools, 14 ft ceilings & locations in the heart of town.
This teacher was American from Chicago.
She was not married.
And she did not have a dual citizenship.



Last week HGTV had an ESL teacher looking for place to live in the Philippines.
This is also a hard place to land work.
She was American and had over $ 1,200 dollars rent her school was covering her for every month.
Again she was looking at only the best of the best places to live.



What teaching jobs are these people getting?

Where are they working to have this kind of cash flow?

How are Americans getting work in an EU country when visas are almost impossible to get for teaching?

Do they have credentials beyond the TESOL certificate & BA,
if so what do they have?
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What teaching jobs are these people getting?

Where are they working to have this kind of cash flow?

How are Americans getting work in an EU country when visas are almost impossible to get for teaching?

Do they have credentials beyond the TESOL certificate & BA,
if so what do they have?



It doesn't sound as if House Hunters International is making it clear that they are producing fiction. HGTV should make it obvious that the show is fiction when they air it. (But of course they are in the business of misleading people, so that would defeat their purpose, and isn't about to happen.)

.


Last edited by AGoodStory on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9595
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The television shows are fantasies, and the TEFL course providers are notoriously selling dreams to the unwary.
Honestly, that's the bottom line.

Some 'real' international schools and actual universities pay decently in the EU. You need teacher certification (plus huge luck) for the int. schools; openings are very rare (understandably) and usually taken by people with local contacts. The university jobs require related MA and some sort of specialisation - better yet, related MA + Phd and specialisation. PLUS huge luck.

My work history is a good illustration: I have worked in Western Europe on and off for over 8 years now on an exceptional visa. My educational background and MA all focused on the sorts of methods that are specifically used at the university where I've been based. I also had a tremendous amount of luck:

I got the original job at this university because my EU spouse was based there for work. I was eligible for a work permit through spouse's international company's agreements with the government.

I left and went to Canada, but was able to return later on an exceptional visa based on my qualifications - which no EU candidate for the job genuinely had, based on my years of study and experience with specific approach and method. I also by that time had friends and contacts at the institution who were willing to jump through the considerable legal hoops to get me the exceptional visa.

I was by no means the only American around - but the vast majority of the others were married to locals.

Getting legally into Western European countries is not impossible, but it is indeed rare, outside of work/study programmes and short-term volunteer or camp gigs. I don't think there is any course of action one can realistically take to ensure that one gets in. Meaning, I don't think that aiming for related MA/Phd would by any means guarantee eventual success.

So far as wages, the regular private language school jobs that UK teachers take in Western Europe, and which non-EU teachers are eligible for in Central Europe - yes, wages are basically subsistence level.
The job market here is heavily weighted in favour of the schools, not the teachers. There are simply plenty of teachers around in most parts of the entire region. This drives wages down and makes getting any contract a very competitive process. Given the preference for UK teachers even in Central Europe (no paperwork hassles to hire them), it's just not nearly as attractive as Asia, where teachers are clearly in much greater demand.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9595
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, by the way, none of us at 'my' uni are rolling in euros - wages and benefits are enough to live modestly by US standards. Single-income teachers live in flats, not houses, and owning a modest car is a fair stretch but do-able if one really wants to sacrifice other things for it. Just as in most other societies, it's the two-income family that can actually afford to get ahead a bit.

Again, the televisions hows are utter fantasy, as are, sadly, the dreams sold by TEFL course providers.

I hadn't considered this before, but it could well be yet another reason it's best to take a TEFL course in the country where you want to start working. It would be far more difficult to sell inflated dreams if trainees saw on a daily basis how other teachers live.
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hollysuel



Joined: 07 Oct 2007
Posts: 217
Location: Idaho, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked in Finland for 11 years and have an MA TESOL. Most of my British colleagues had a BA with a certificate or an unrelated MA. I think I was just lucky and at the right place at the right time because the year I was recruited was the last year that they went abroad to recruit. From then on, they hired people who where in the country for some other reason like studying or a spouse (usually both) OR they got the rare referral. They would sponsor a visa for non-EU, but it was very rare and they had to prove that the person was needed over an EU citizen (usually they were known by another employee).

I was there much longer than any of my British colleagues because I knew that I was in a good situation and it would be virtually impossible for me to find anything better within the EU even though I am highly qualified. During that time, I never had a car and lived in small studio apartments--lived pay check to pay check and was never able to save. However, the last four years I was there I fell into an opportunity to get a mortgage and buy my own flat, which was very rare for someone with no ties to the country--many people were shocked! I was teaching at that particular bank and the bankers recommended me. My income was quite low compared to equally qualified colleagues in other parts of the world. I did luck out and was able to sell my flat for a profit and was able to come home with 'starting up money', which is very rare for TEFL and especially in Europe--I would probably still be there if I hadn't realized that I could make money on my flat... I think, though, that what happened to me is very rare and most Americans will find it difficult to find a company that will sponsor a Visa and saving money will also be difficult.

I've been back in the USA for about two and half years--am making double what I was making in Finland and am in the process of buying a three-bedroom home and have a car completely paid off--that would never have had happened in Europe, but I am no longer teaching.

I totally agree with other posters who say it is difficult to find a really good situation in Europe. It is not impossible, but very, very difficult. And if you are not highly qualified, you would be lucky to get anything--if you are highly qualified, then you need local contacts and the willingness to live paycheck to paycheck.

Just my 2 cents worth...
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 516

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the above. On the topic of "Where are these ESL teachers getting all of this money?" I would guess that they pretty much have to be teaching at official American schools (the ones partially funded by the State Dept.) These teachers make at least what a public school teacher would make in the U.S. and get housing stipends, I believe.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9010
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen a couple like that. Explanations?

Working for international schools
Have money to burn for a couple years and want to live well
Receive retirement funds to help pay for stuff
As for the school in the Philippines that pays over 1K just for housing I don't know: maybe the whole truth isn't coming out like other posters have said.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 383

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

$1k for housing wouldn't be massively unreasonable assuming they were paying for a family and not just an individual teacher. But yeah, it sounds more like an international school rather than a typical ESL position. But this is an advert for Saigon South International School:

Quote:
First-year salary ranges from $32,500 to $41,000 and benefits include housing (actual or allowance), travel allowance, relocation/settling-in allowance, health insurance, home leave, sick leave, personal leave, life insurance, disability insurance, a retirement allowance (10 to 12.5%), tuition waiver for up to two children, and staff development opportunities.


It wouldn't be a massive surprise if the top schools in the Philippines offered similar packages to highly qualified teachers.
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