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Careers after teaching abroad
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arh555



Joined: 16 Sep 2012
Posts: 1
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Careers after teaching abroad Reply with quote

Has anyone successfully leveraged their teaching abroad experience into a different career?

After researching intensely, I donít see myself teaching English permanently, but rather as a means to get established in a foreign country, learn the language, network, and have some adventure.

Can teaching abroad open the following opportunities? If so, what advice can you give? If not, is there another route you suggest? Hereís what I want:

1) Asia
2) Where there is opportunity and demand for Americans in the private business sector
3) Network with business people, eventually getting into a consultant or executive position
4) Effectively learn the language
5) Save money (20k student loans)

Qualifications: graduating college in May, Political Science. 5 years of business experience (insurance), and now on the Board of Directors of a small company. U.S. native and passport.
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's probably best to start teaching English abroad first. Then you'll have a better of idea of whether you want to continue at all.

In and of itself, teaching English abroad won't bolster your chances of finding a different job later. Being in the insurance industry and on the "Board of Directors" of a small company isn't that useful unless you have some specific skills that can transfer.


Last edited by Henry_Cowell on Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4355
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Careers after teaching abroad Reply with quote

arh555 wrote:
After researching intensely, I donít see myself teaching English permanently, but rather as a means to get established in a foreign country, learn the language, network, and have some adventure.

(Sigh) If only TEFL was that glamorous... Perhaps you should drop the idea of teaching altogether and focus on other types of jobs overseas where your current skills can be utilized. But then, maybe you could teach business English.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a similar vein to what Henry just wrote, I will say this. Yes, people have switched from teaching to another sort of profession while abroad, but you still have to demonstrate the necessary skills and language ability to do that. It may also involve proper networking and dogged determination, unless you really have a background that allows a smooth transition (e.g., 10-15 previous years in some industry).

So, if you think that teaching alone affords the chance to segue into another career, the answer is yes, but a weak yes. There is still a lot to consider to prepare yourself for that switch, more than just being on the ground in that foreign land.
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

l----------l
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l <.......... ladder of life
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l
l----------l <------------ start here and work your way up.

There is no short cut.

You need relevant experience (the US financial and insurance sectors have a pretty black eye) to get into those "executive" and "consulting" positions and a degree in Poli-Sci won't get you any farther than rung 1.

The good news is that, with your degree and US passport, provided you don't get into trouble between now and then (even a DUI or some misdemeanor at a grad party can screw you up) you can at least get a LEGAL job in Asia (with appropriate visas and/or work permits) and pay off those student loans in 2-3 years.

The best bang for the buck to get your feet wet is Korea. (They accept newbies with no training or experience and the pay is OK with the added benefits of airfare and housing added to the mix). Go register on the Korean boards if you want to know more.

Anywhere else, where you may hope to move out of EFL and into the business sector, won't pay enough at the entry level to cover your debts.

.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see why it would be too difficult, though I can it happening more organically (= unplanned) than that. Go to Asia, learn the local language (which I think could be the hardest part) and then consult for US companies back home wanting to do business in your Asian country. For that you'd need local connections, language and culture skills, and business skills. (Agree that just being on the board doesn't necessarily give you those. What else do you have to offer?)

Or go and teach, then get work for a US company operating in your country.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asia is rather large, and most of it wouldn't offer the networking or business opportunities you're looking for. So, IMO, narrow your field down to the kind of places that have international businesses and expat populations. Most likely this means the capitals and international cities, the most obvious contenders probably being Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and a few others.

I'd say yes, there's a chance of side-stepping away from TEFL and into other types of work if you're in these places.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9002
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Re: Careers after teaching abroad Reply with quote

Nope, but I'd like to. It's hard. The more you TEFL, the harder it can be to stop for a variety of reasons. You get very involved in TEFLing, spoilt by the TEFL life, too old, too little experience in other jobs, etc.

That's not to say that people haven't transitioned out. Here's one example, http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=95142&highlight=congrats

AS for blending in, learning the language, connections, etc. It depends on you and how much of an effort you make. Also depends on the country. Some are easier than others.

Saving money: try Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, or the MIddle East. Those seem like good places to start.

Don't forget linkedin for netwroking.
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thatsforsure



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

basically i dont think so. you need to get with a us company and get transfered. they jobs you get locally dont pay good. and tefl is more a mark against you than an avantage. people figure if you were any good at business, you wouldnt be in efl
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another OP who never returns after posting an initial question... Rolling Eyes
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General Disarray



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just finished teaching English abroad after a fantastic two years, by far the best two years of my life and I'm absolutely delighted I took that path.

I'm a bit sad living back in England now and can't wait to leave. Heading back to the country I left in a couple of weeks to say hello to old friends. Even learnt Spanish while living there, loved and lost twice (one Hungarian, one Mexican).

But I'm at an old age of 24 and have decided I should teach a subject which I actually know in depth so have returned to UK to get a PGCE in Mathematics (The £20k tax-free bursary also helped persuade me). Im hoping in a couple of years to be able to travel the world teaching in International schools to teach a subject I am passionate about. Thankfully, from what I hear, a subject that will always be in demand somewhere! (Hopefully S.America).

Most of the people I saw who had left English teaching to do other jobs had jobs such as;

Journalist
Translator
Middle-man for pay checks from Language schools to teachers

I did get offered a job in a company as a data-analyst but on local wages which would have been a huge pay-cut and a rise in hours.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9002
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

General Disarray wrote:
I did get offered a job in a company as a data-analyst but on local wages which would have been a huge pay-cut and a rise in hours.


That's one of the problems I'm dealing with. There are local jobs, but longer hours, less vacation, and often for the same or less pay. It's pretty easy to get used to a TEFL teacher life
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

General Disarray wrote:
But I'm at an old age of 24 and have decided I should teach a subject which I actually know in depth so have returned to UK to get a PGCE in Mathematics (The £20k tax-free bursary also helped persuade me). Im hoping in a couple of years to be able to travel the world teaching in International schools to teach a subject I am passionate about. Thankfully, from what I hear, a subject that will always be in demand somewhere! (Hopefully S.America).


You're doing the right thing getting your PGCE and taking the international schools route. If I could have my time again that's what I would perhaps do. Curious about the PGCE bursary - as I understand it the UK PGCE no longer comes with a grant ie. now you have to pay for it yourself. Correct? Or have I got that wrong?
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 372

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A small minority of clever people have been able to do this... The trick is to stop and do something else before you get too far in like myself. I know websites will go on and on about transferable skills and so on, but the reality is that companies aren't interested in creativity and would far rather hire cookie cutter straight from school with field appropriate intern experience.

You may need to come and do teaching, and then go back and do a master's in whatever interests (MBA, MA, or go to law school - although I hear that is frightfully expensive and doesn't compensate nearly as well as it used too...)

What else can I say?

Good luck!
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General Disarray



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perilla wrote:

If I could have my time again that's what I would perhaps do. Curious about the PGCE bursary - as I understand it the UK PGCE no longer comes with a grant ie. now you have to pay for it yourself. Correct? Or have I got that wrong?


I have to pay tuition fees of £8,500, but the Student Loans company will pay that for me boosting my student "debt" to around £30k although I'm not too sure. The conditions of my student loan is a lot lot lot better than the conditions of the American Student loans though. I just see it as a number on a screen these days that I will unlikely ever to pay off.

Depending on the subject you will be teaching, depends on the bursary you get. Maths is a subject with a demand for teachers so I am getting paid the most while a subject like Citizenship is getting £0.

The new government also believe that the people with the best grades make the best teachers, so I am also getting an extra £5k because I got a great grade at university.


I am missing the life abroad though a lot and sometimes think I didn't make the right decision but in the long term it should work out.
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