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littlelauren86



Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 84
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarolinaTHeels wrote:
the fun you can have in LA compared to a place like Korea is not even comparable.

i wanted to shoot myself living in Korea when I thought about the time I had in Colombia!


Haha, just one month left for me.

Quote:
Different strokes for different folks. I have a heck of a lot more fun here in Asia than I ever did in Latin America. I also don't have to worry about dogs or people attacking me at night in Asia. Being hit by a car or stepping in puke, yes. Being mugged or raped, no.


Yea, definitely. I've had a lot of fun here in Asia too, but I need a break from the region. The culture, food etc. Have gotten to me after awhile. I can see myself returning in a few years though, in hopefully a better position. I'll set my sights on LA for now to help ease my transition.
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CarolinaTHeels



Joined: 03 May 2011
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFLeducator wrote:
naturegirl321 wrote:
I have a heck of a lot more fun here in Asia than I ever did in Latin America. I also don't have to worry about dogs or people attacking me at night in Asia. Being hit by a car or stepping in puke, yes. Being mugged or raped, no.


Wow.


She isnt a guy so that doesnt surprise me.

For a single western guy that likes women, dancing, partying ect Latin America KILLS Korea.

I was shocked when I was in a night club and dudes were dancing with dudes and girls were dancing with girls in Korea. I dont even know if I consider what they do in Korea as dancing! lol
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8972
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarolinaTHeels wrote:
She isnt a guy so that doesnt surprise me.

For a single western guy that likes women, dancing, partying ect Latin America KILLS Korea.

I was shocked when I was in a night club and dudes were dancing with dudes and girls were dancing with girls in Korea. I dont even know if I consider what they do in Korea as dancing! lol


I still disagree with you. People who come to Asia often have "Asian fever" those who go to Latin America look for "Latin Lovers".

Again, different strokes for different folks. I have friends here who prefer Asia over LA and friends in LA over Asia.
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RJLatrans



Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Forget to check the post for a couple of days and it blows up. O_o

Well, to answer a few questions and to expand on why I want to head to Latin America-

I do aim to become fluent in Spanish while there. After going over numbers, I will probably not leave for at least another year so I plan to save and prepare in every way possible, including becoming better than a kindergartener's level in Spanish while in the USA.

I am NOT looking for a Latin Lover. I mean, sure, if I meet someone that would be great! But I am just as fine continuing being my single awesome self, rockin' out and being able to go wherever I want without having to check with someone else. (Basically, I am very independent. Which would probably not make me a good lover to most Latin men anyway, if cultural differences hold true.)

I also love the writing style of many Latin American writers, and hope to find some inspiration while teaching and learning in the country I end up in. (My super-realistic dream is to eventually become a novelist. So yes, I pretty much planned to live on ramen in the US, so might as well live on rich and beans elsewhere right?)

Right now Bogota, Colombia is my top choice after research and digging into things, though Mexico City is still a option as well as Santiago, Chile. I have been reading the different newspapers of each country and city, and checking out local's blogs to get a realistic picture of what I am stepping into. I am also going to start taking salsa classes and kick boxing classes- one for the night life, the other for self-defense. (Of course, I am already paranoid and would probably not be in dangerous areas at night anyway, but I feel like I can never be too prepared!) I also don't plan to go out and enjoy the night life until I have people who I definitely trust to go out with. Like I said, paranoid.

Naturegirl- After some debate I have scratched Peru from the list, in part thanks to some of your comments I have read elsewhere. Plus, I do want to live in a city, and none of the cities in Peru struck me as places I would enjoy living in. Thanks for your input. Smile
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RJLatrans



Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and forgot to mention- I will also be getting in contact with one of my old Spanish teachers who I was a favored student of when taking his class. He's originally from Cuba, but has traveled all over LA and has taken college students to various places in LA and Spain, so I trust his opinion on things. I hope to get some good insights from him, and perhaps some contacts!

So... Planeo mucho y esperanzo mucho para el mejor! <Aaand it took me about 10 minutes to decide between por and para. And still feeling like something is horribly wrong with this sentence. Le sigh... So much work to do. Sentence structure is my biggest failing.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8972
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RJLatrans wrote:
Naturegirl- After some debate I have scratched Peru from the list, in part thanks to some of your comments I have read elsewhere. Plus, I do want to live in a city, and none of the cities in Peru struck me as places I would enjoy living in. Thanks for your input. Smile


Peru was ok for me for the first two years. When I was in the provinces. I had a good job at a good uni. They treated me well and I had a special visa. Not a resident permit, but some type of diplomatic visa.

Going to Lima was the point where everything started going downhill.

If you'd like to go to Peru, I recommend UDEP in Piura. If you want more info, PM me and I'll tell you who to contract.
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RJLatrans



Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:

Peru was ok for me for the first two years. When I was in the provinces. I had a good job at a good uni. They treated me well and I had a special visa. Not a resident permit, but some type of diplomatic visa.

Going to Lima was the point where everything started going downhill.

If you'd like to go to Peru, I recommend UDEP in Piura. If you want more info, PM me and I'll tell you who to contract.


i will definitely open my options up again then. So far have only checked out a few of the major cities, so I will definitely do some research and send you a PM. Very Happy

Also- just wanted to clarify to everyone that all the new reasons I posted are my secondary reasons for wanting to teach in Latin America. My main reason is that teaching English as a solid career is something I enjoy and am interested in (because let's face, becoming a novelist is something done on a hope and a prayer), and LA specifically because of the influences of the teachers I have had. Those reasons I just posted are more 'and these are all the other things that make me want to go.' Laughing
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look through the posts in the Colombia section for a good overview of the teaching English career path in Bogota.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1123
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I studied in Santiago, Chile when I was in University. If you are interested in literature and writers, that would be an excellent choice. It seemed like every 4th person was a poet. But I was moving in the circles of university students, not EFL teachers and it was the early 90s. Maybe things have changed.
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RJLatrans



Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanglish- already doing so! There is a lot of great information there, and so far it looks like it coincides with the kind of career trajectory I want. You all on there are incredibly informative.

MotherF- I think part of the current draw to Chile is in names like Neruda and Allende, so there probably is still a large writing tradition there. Plus, Santiago is gorgeous. So I don't think much has changed!
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rbc089



Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience of teaching in South America seems pretty typical. I usually earned about $700 a month, and had to dip into my savings a lot to enjoy a decent standard of living. However, I was teaching in Cuenca, Ecuador where opportunities are somewhat limited. There aren't many language schools there, and CEDEI seems to employ practically all the English teachers. That said, maybe if you decided to spend several years there, you could build up your connections and get a job in one of the Universities which do pay quite well. I suppose if you really love the culture in South America, it could be worth struggling for a few years in order to get a better job. Nevertheless, by the end of my year in Cuenca, I was pretty frustrated, because I knew I could be earning 2-3 times as much for the same amount of hours in Asia.
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kona



Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 143
Location: Busan, South Korea

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RJLatrans wrote:
Wow! Forget to check the post for a couple of days and it blows up. O_o

Well, to answer a few questions and to expand on why I want to head to Latin America-

I do aim to become fluent in Spanish while there. After going over numbers, I will probably not leave for at least another year so I plan to save and prepare in every way possible, including becoming better than a kindergartener's level in Spanish while in the USA.

I am NOT looking for a Latin Lover. I mean, sure, if I meet someone that would be great! But I am just as fine continuing being my single awesome self, rockin' out and being able to go wherever I want without having to check with someone else. (Basically, I am very independent. Which would probably not make me a good lover to most Latin men anyway, if cultural differences hold true.)

I also love the writing style of many Latin American writers, and hope to find some inspiration while teaching and learning in the country I end up in. (My super-realistic dream is to eventually become a novelist. So yes, I pretty much planned to live on ramen in the US, so might as well live on rich and beans elsewhere right?)

Right now Bogota, Colombia is my top choice after research and digging into things, though Mexico City is still a option as well as Santiago, Chile. I have been reading the different newspapers of each country and city, and checking out local's blogs to get a realistic picture of what I am stepping into. I am also going to start taking salsa classes and kick boxing classes- one for the night life, the other for self-defense. (Of course, I am already paranoid and would probably not be in dangerous areas at night anyway, but I feel like I can never be too prepared!) I also don't plan to go out and enjoy the night life until I have people who I definitely trust to go out with. Like I said, paranoid.

Naturegirl- After some debate I have scratched Peru from the list, in part thanks to some of your comments I have read elsewhere. Plus, I do want to live in a city, and none of the cities in Peru struck me as places I would enjoy living in. Thanks for your input. Smile


I thought I would throw my two centavos into the ring on the subject, but take everything I say with a huge grain of salt as I'm new to the field as well (others can correct any inaccuracies I may have). First of all, as far as certification goes, I would say that the CELTA beats a TEFL certificate, and is definitely worth getting. Why? Because the CELTA is recognized independently by cambridge university in the UK, where as a TEFL cert has no independent regulating body to govern its content. That means different TEFL programs have different curriculum, whereas the CELTA is more standardized. What makes this preferable is that some employers, definitely not all, will recognize the CELTA as a stronger qualification than the TEFL (and it also can potentially open up opportunities to get into the British Council, probably the highest paying language institute you can find anywhere; they have offices in many countries, including Bogota). Also, the CELTA can lead to a higher certificate qualification called the DELTA, which can potentially be very useful later on (depends on where you want to go and who you want to teach for).

I personally have a TEFL certificate, but have seen that the CELTA, overall, gives you slightly better opportunities than the TEFL. With the CELTA, at worst you will have qualification that is just as good as the TEFL, and at best you will have a qualification that can open up doors for higher paying language institutes, and with experience may give you the opportunity to get the DELTA, and even better paying positions.

But, one good thing about a TEFL certificate is that they can be pretty cheap. The online one I'm pretty sure is worth nothing in Asia, and may be worth something in LA, but not too sure. But I know an in person course you can take for $1200 in Guadalajara, Mexico, at canadian language institute. PM me for details (I don't think I can post its name on here). That is significantly less than what you would pay at other places.

Also, another thing to consider is that if you do decide to get another certificate, try to do it in the country that you think you will be staying in, because your TEFL/CELTA course will be a great opportunity for you to make contacts and connections for job opportunities.

To me, the only countries that seem to have any worthwhile upward mobility in LA in terms of work is Mexico, Colombia, and I think Chile. These countries all have their pros and cons, and when you look into them you might be able to find what suits you best.

I lived in Guadalajara for about 6 months (really not that long) but had a great time, even though it wiped me out financially (didn't come over with enough savings, don't ever forget HOW IMPORTANT A $$$ CUSHION IS). The good thing about Mexico is your never too far away from the US, so a flights are much cheaper (hell I got my return ticket in '09 for $220). In chile, your going to need a $1000 to get back to the US, and probably anywhere between $500-$700 for bogota (spanglish will know more about this), so thats something to consider as well.

Also, if your flexible with who you teach (i.e. you don't mind teaching in a k-12 bilingual school and flexible about what age you teach), then you can get a much more consistent paycheck as opposed to the language institutes. I know people that only had BA+TEFL cert, no exp, and they got in with some bilingual schools in guadalajara, and another couple got a position up in guaymas (northern mexico, but probably the safest region of northern mexico excluding southern baja), and they had mediocre (for gdl) to great things (for guaymas) to say about their work in those places. and one final thing to say about mexico: DF has way more opportunity than GDL, so you can always get certified in GDL and then head on over to DF.

also, if you want to learn spanish, get spanish speaking roommates. if you look in classifieds there are plenty of college age + looking for female roommates and they would be great people to connect with to a. get cheap housing, and b. get plenty of time to practice spanish. i did it that way (with a local guy and girl) and my room cost 2000MXP, less than $200 a month in one of the nicest parts of GDL (chapalita).

oh yea, and Mexico also has its fair share of brilliant writers and artists as well, something definitely worth to take note of.

anyways, that was a long post, and kinda stream of consciousness so i hope you can glean some useful information out of it. best of luck with whatever you end up doing!
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RJLatrans



Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rbc- Thanks for the info! I do plan to try and stay for a bit, and although I want to be able to save while living comfortably-ish after a couple years, I am not a person to whom money is that much of a priority right now. Enough to survive and pay off bills for me! In a couple years I might be feeling differently, so we'll see. Smile

Kona- Thanks for the ton of info! I found it really helpful. I'm glad to see that my three top options are places where there is a upward track, so that was a big bonus. I am definitely going to look at the possibility of rooming with someone, though I think (as I am probably going with CELTA at this point) it will depend on who I room with there while taking my course, who I get to know, and what areas attract me. And there are so many great writers from all these different countries, so my literature loving heart is a bit torn!
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