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I have my Masters, now what?

 
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themeepsong



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:45 am    Post subject: I have my Masters, now what? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I'm so unable to make a decision about my future, that I've decided to just share my situation and hope that someone can give some advice.

I'm 30 years old and living in Canada with my wife Sue, whom I met in Korea while I was teaching there. I graduated from a Canadian University with a degree in Communications, then I moved to Korea when I was 25 and stayed for over 4 years. I taught a variety of business ESL as well as elementary level ESL. Towards the end of my stay I began a Master of Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern Queensland. I'm expected to graduate this month, and I also have a TEFL certificate and I'm planning on completing the CELTA course at some point.

My wife and I are now working together in my family's wholesale business, but being this close to my family has driven me crazy. There are many family politics to deal with, which doesn't help me forget about all my positive memories of Korea and the independence I had there. My wife will move anywhere but Saudi Arabia or Japan with me, but we also have a medium sized dog and a cat.

My wife and I are both outgoing people and like to enjoy some beers and late night dancing. We also like the opportunity to meet new people and travel. Money is important to us because we'd like to start a business together at some point in the future. We'd also like to buy a house in Canada.

I've been considering Dubai, Vietnam, Oman, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and of course Korea. We're trying to avoid Korea if possible because we both enjoy the expat experience.

If you could step into my shoes and just pick a country, where would you go?

Thanks for any input.
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:14 am    Post subject: Re: I have my Masters, now what? Reply with quote

themeepsong wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm so unable to make a decision about my future, that I've decided to just share my situation and hope that someone can give some advice.

I'm 30 years old and living in Canada with my wife Sue, whom I met in Korea while I was teaching there. I graduated from a Canadian University with a degree in Communications, then I moved to Korea when I was 25 and stayed for over 4 years. I taught a variety of business ESL as well as elementary level ESL. Towards the end of my stay I began a Master of Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern Queensland. I'm expected to graduate this month, and I also have a TEFL certificate and I'm planning on completing the CELTA course at some point.

My wife and I are now working together in my family's wholesale business, but being this close to my family has driven me crazy. There are many family politics to deal with, which doesn't help me forget about all my positive memories of Korea and the independence I had there. My wife will move anywhere but Saudi Arabia or Japan with me, but we also have a medium sized dog and a cat.

My wife and I are both outgoing people and like to enjoy some beers and late night dancing. We also like the opportunity to meet new people and travel. Money is important to us because we'd like to start a business together at some point in the future. We'd also like to buy a house in Canada.

I've been considering Dubai, Vietnam, Oman, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and of course Korea. We're trying to avoid Korea if possible because we both enjoy the expat experience.

If you could step into my shoes and just pick a country, where would you go?

Thanks for any input.


Impossible to answer since you didn't say what you want to do:
i) teach EFL (and at what level - elementary, secondary, tertiary),
ii) move into research/academia, or
iii) move into mainstream teaching.

It will also depend on the passport your wife is carrying if you both want to work. If she has a Korean passport then work (as a teacher) may not be an option in several of the countries on your list.

Your dog and cat are also issues that will come into play if you plan to keep them.

.
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themeepsong



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll probably be able to give the dog to my parents, my dad loves the dog.

As far as what kind of teaching, I'm probably looking at getting into some kind of University program, possibly a military or technical institute. I'm not really interested in doing research or academia in the field of ESL or Applied Linguistics.

My wife is Korean and she probably wouldn't be working if we go anywhere outside of Korea. If she lands a big job in Dubai or something, obviously that would be great.

I'm approaching 3 years of being away from teaching, so I'm not really familiar with what countries ESL teachers are holding in high regard currently. Oman seems like an interesting place to me, there are entry level positions for around $5000 per month and beautiful scenery.

Thanks
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4325
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

themeepsong wrote:
Oman seems like an interesting place to me, there are entry level positions for around $5000 per month and beautiful scenery.

Entry-level TEFL jobs paying $5000/month don't exist in Oman. In fact, Oman pays the least of the Gulf countries while Saudi Arabia and the UAE boast some of the best salaries/benefits.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is unlikely that your wife will find employment. You might find work in the UAE but forget about your dreams of US$5000 a month.

You say "If she lands a big job in Dubai or something, obviously that would be great. ". That indicates to me that your feet are NOT on the ground.
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themeepsong



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
themeepsong wrote:
Oman seems like an interesting place to me, there are entry level positions for around $5000 per month and beautiful scenery.

Entry-level TEFL jobs paying $5000/month don't exist in Oman. In fact, Oman pays the least of the Gulf countries while Saudi Arabia and the UAE boast some of the best salaries/benefits.


I found a job that offers 1900 Omani Riyal, 1,900.00 OMR = 4,939.70 CAD.

I mean, am I wrong here?

Not trying to be offensive, but this looks like 5 grand, even if there's no apartment.
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themeepsong



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
It is unlikely that your wife will find employment. You might find work in the UAE but forget about your dreams of US$5000 a month.

You say "If she lands a big job in Dubai or something, obviously that would be great. ". That indicates to me that your feet are NOT on the ground.



Oh, really? Oh, my god! What can I do? My feet are NOT on the ground?? Panic!!
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things are not always as they seem and look at the WHOLE remuneration package and not just the base salary.

$5000/mo sounds like a lot until you start forking out for airplane tickets, housing / rent, FURNITURE, phones, internet, rental deposits, visa costs, etc.

You'd almost be better off working for 3 million won + benefits in Korea.

.
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themeepsong



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tttompatz wrote:
Things are not always as they seem and look at the WHOLE remuneration package and not just the base salary.

$5000/mo sounds like a lot until you start forking out for airplane tickets, housing / rent, FURNITURE, phones, internet, rental deposits, visa costs, etc.

You'd almost be better off working for 3 million won + benefits in Korea.

.


You might be right. It seems like there is a pretty clear consensus that the salary at the least won't feel like 5 grand when all is said and done.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about using your business English to do some work in a capital city such as Kiev or Moscow? Who knows, maybe your wife could also find some work capitalising on her experience (I don't know what this is) and her being Korean. Or how about Turkey perhaps?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4325
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tttompatz wrote:
Things are not always as they seem and look at the WHOLE remuneration package and not just the base salary. $5000/mo sounds like a lot until you start forking out for airplane tickets, housing / rent, FURNITURE, phones, internet, rental deposits, visa costs, etc.

I concur. Some recruiting/contracting companies in Oman tend to lump the various living allowances, airfare, and whatever other costs they can together with the base salary. You really have to read the job ads carefully. You'll also discover that the better employers in the Gulf only count post-degree experience when determining salary---your previous teaching won't be considered. Anyway, if Oman still interests you, I suggest you take a look at its designated jobs discussion forum.

Frankly, I agree with tttompatz that Korea is probably your best bet for building your savings (and experience). Once you get some solid, post-MA experience under your belt, you'll be in a better position to compete for those good jobs in the Gulf.


Last edited by nomad soul on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Oh, really? Oh, my god! What can I do? My feet are NOT on the ground?? Panic!!


themeepsong: actually I think you owe Scot47 an apology.

Really, these sorts of pi**y comments are unhelpful and make you sound like you're shooting the messenger.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You won't be eligible to teach at universities in Taiwan with a distance master's degree. The MoE in Taiwan does not recognize any form of distance or online learning and so they will not issue you the required certificate of lectureship all university teachers most have.

Japan has the highest salaries and benefits for tenured and even many contract fixed-term, full-time university teaching positions. But they can be difficult (not impossible) to get. And you said your wife won't live in Japan, so that limits a lot of opportunities for you.

Why not Korea, then? You can still find university-like working conditions with long summer and winter breaks and you could most likely pick up extra work on the side. Short work weeks of 10 - 15 contact hours make it a good choice, especially since you're married to a Korean.

Next, I guess I'd suggest the UAE. Read up over on the UAE / M.E. forums here and see what people are saying.
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madrileno



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 154
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

themeepsong wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
themeepsong wrote:
Oman seems like an interesting place to me, there are entry level positions for around $5000 per month and beautiful scenery.

Entry-level TEFL jobs paying $5000/month don't exist in Oman. In fact, Oman pays the least of the Gulf countries while Saudi Arabia and the UAE boast some of the best salaries/benefits.


I found a job that offers 1900 Omani Riyal, 1,900.00 OMR = 4,939.70 CAD.

I mean, am I wrong here?

Not trying to be offensive, but this looks like 5 grand, even if there's no apartment.


I'm assuming you're referring to the positions advertised for the new Military Technical College. If that's the case, your current credentials DO NOT qualify you for this job. The best Uni positions in Oman go to those with a minimum of three years experience post MA. Your experience so far will no be counted.

Also, I'll echo the sentiments already posted by others in this thread that overall salaries in Oman tend to be lower than advertised when you factor in housing and transportation costs. Muscat is expensive.

I've friends at the Sultan School who despite receiving 1700 RO/mo, end up taking home only about 1000 RO after their car payments and paying rent for their flats.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"themeepsong" is like many posters. He wants advice but only the advice that he agrees with.

US$5000 in Oman is worth how much if you have to pay for accommodation, health care and tickets for two ?
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