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Need some advice where to go with MA+1 year exp

 
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aaronsevilla



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject: Need some advice where to go with MA+1 year exp Reply with quote

Hello guys,

I'm writing because I would like some advice on where I should go next year. I currently have an undergraduate degree in English from a UK university (passed with a 1.1, the highest possible classification in the UK), a master's degree in English (in research and it was fully-funded) and I am currently teaching English in Spain. This is my first year of experience and my contract will finish in June. However I do not have any type of TEFL certificate. I would also like to add I am a UK citizen and I am 24 years old. (I think the latter fact is important because in the Saudi forum almost everyone said I am definitely too young and inexperienced to teach there).

When my contract is finished I would like to go somewhere else to teach English and earn good money. This is absolutely necessary as my family are experiencing severe financial difficulties and I need to help them over the next few years.

From what I've seen the best option at the minute seems to be in Korea. This appears to be the best place to save as much money as possible. However would it be possible to get a contract in a school starting from July? If not, are there options for summer work there as well. With my background would it be possible to get a job at a university in Korea as this will be very beneficial in the long-term as I would eventually like to go to the Middle East.

However other options I have seen may include other places in Asia such as Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. I would also like to ask about other areas in the Middle East. I recently saw a job advertised in Kuwait that only asked for a MA in English. Am I too young and inexperienced to apply for this? For these areas I would like to ask the same questions.. How much would I be likely to save per month? Would a university position be possible? Would I be able to start in the summer?

So yeah there are a lot of questions here and I would appreciate some advice and help from people with experience teaching English abroad.

Thanks! Smile
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3581
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll need to go to the Korea jobs forum (http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/) with your Korea-specific questions. It's separate from these forums and requires registration to post.

In regard to TEFL in Kuwait, I suggest you post on the Kuwait forum, or better yet, the general Mid East forum. But as many of us on the Saudi forum advised, Asia would be your best bet for building experience and maturity (age) before heading to the Arabian Gulf. You need to consider getting a CELTA or equivalent TEFL cert as well.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12085
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea seems to pay well, but be aware that a spell in Korea on your CV could be the kiss of death. That applies to longer spells in Saudi too.

Many employers will dismiss out of hand teachers with lengthy expperience in Korea or Saudi.

Have you considered one of the UK universities based in China ? Nottingham Ningbo is one. Liverpool Uni has a base there too.
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aaronsevilla



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies so far. I know there is a separate Korean forum however we can focus on other options outside Korea I suppose.

Out of curiosity, why is a long stint in Korea/Saudi regarded as a negative thing by some employers?
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaronsevilla wrote:
Thanks for the replies so far. I know there is a separate Korean forum however we can focus on other options outside Korea I suppose.

Out of curiosity, why is a long stint in Korea/Saudi regarded as a negative thing by some employers?

My first guess would be that it's because getting a job in those countries requires and Anglosphere passport, a college degree and ideally a pulse, but then I realized that he omitted China, where getting a job is even easier.

So at a guess, I'd say that it has to go with country-specific teaching habits.

I know that in one stint in Korea, I picked up a number of bad practices which my employer mentioned she has to eradicate from all teachers who come to Turkey from Korea. I'd suspect that it gets harder to rub those out the longer a teacher has spent there. Since both Korean children (from experience) and Saudi adults (from these forums) are often very spoiled and unmotivated, your job in those countries is often likely to amount less to "teaching English" and more to "babysitting," with little actual use for whatever grammar and pedagogical methods you learned in your original teaching courses.

But that's just a guess. I'm not sure why in this case a potential employer wouldn't grill the teacher on grammar and methods and/or ask for a sample class (even via Skype), since there are some good schools in Korea, and I'm sure there must be some good ones in Saudi as well.

~Q
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Need some advice where to go with MA+1 year exp Reply with quote

As with regards to your original questions, I've got a couple I'd like to ask you:

1. What weather do you like?
2. What do you like to do in your free time?
3. Do you prefer teaching children and adults?
4. How many hours are you willing to work?

In terms of savings, with your quals, you can probably save at least 500 USD a month in Indonesia (I'm managing that in Turkey, which pays about the same as the better Indonesian jobs I've seem but seems to cost a bit more to live in), and 1k/month in China or Korea. I know a guy who saved over 500 USD in Vietnam, but looking at the pay and stated cost of living, I think he could have mananged more if he weren't a smoker and heavy drinker. Taiwan I can't comment; surprisingly don't know anyone who's worked there. Also you might consider Thailand; we have one poster who insists you can earn surprising savings if you're professional, frugal, and don't live in central Bangkok, and if you like the tropics it's rather more developed than Vietnam or Indonesia.

China and Korea are definitely the easiest to make substantial savings, but you can make decent savings if you set down roots most places in East Asia, so I'd strongly advice taking other factors into account. I for example like bacon, western civilization, and four seasons, and thus I strongly prefer Turkey, which has two of those, over Indonesia, which pays the same but has none. You though seem to be into East Asia, and if you're a cold-hater who loves beaches though, you might make the opposite decision.

aaronsevilla wrote:
I recently saw a job advertised in Kuwait that only asked for a MA in English. Am I too young and inexperienced to apply for this?

I thought you said you only had a BA in English? If that's the case, and they hire you, then you're working a school so desperate they'll hire someone with less than their bare minimum specifications. If in fact you misspoke, and you have a postgraduate degree or the job only requires a BA, then the question is: how much does that job pay, and is the pay worth living in Kuwait?

You certainly have more options than I did, for example WSI and TBI: Indonesia's best schools want English majors, while Hong Kong schools often want their teachers to have a PCE's, which de facto limits those jobs to Brits. Of course the fact that you can teach there doesn't mean you want to. (I've decided I dodged a bullet in not getting jobs in either place, not least because I've decided I can't handle cities of much more than three million people.)

Regards,
~Q
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 860

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Need some advice where to go with MA+1 year exp Reply with quote

Qaaolchoura wrote:

I thought you said you only had a BA in English? If that's the case, and they hire you, then you're working a school so desperate they'll hire someone with less than their bare minimum specifications. If in fact you misspoke, and you have a postgraduate degree or the job only requires a BA, then the question is: how much does that job pay, and is the pay worth living in Kuwait?


He says MA in the title and the OP.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Need some advice where to go with MA+1 year exp Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
Qaaolchoura wrote:

I thought you said you only had a BA in English? If that's the case, and they hire you, then you're working a school so desperate they'll hire someone with less than their bare minimum specifications. If in fact you misspoke, and you have a postgraduate degree or the job only requires a BA, then the question is: how much does that job pay, and is the pay worth living in Kuwait?


He says MA in the title and the OP.

Ahh, I saw the undergraduate degree part and missed the MA part. Embarassed

I'd say go for it, if you think the benefits make it worth living in Kuwait.

~Q
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aaronsevilla



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Need some advice where to go with MA+1 year exp Reply with quote

Quote:
1. What weather do you like?
2. What do you like to do in your free time?
3. Do you prefer teaching children and adults?
4. How many hours are you willing to work?


Thanks for your very informative reply. I will reply with some honest answers:

I really don't care about the weather. My home city has extremely depressing weather so I am accustomed to living in arduous conditions. I would obviously prefer a sunnier, more benign climate but for me it is not so important.

I am hoping to work on a doctoral thesis that I will complete in the UK in the future. I spend most of my free time reading or writing and I will be happy to sacrifice a few years of partying to do this and potentially write my doctoral thesis in a different, tranquil place.

To be honest I prefer adults and would prefer to work in a university. Are university postings universally competitive?

I would be willing to work 6 days a week over the next two years. If this means more money I will be happy to do this for at least a year.


What do you think?
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Japan university postings are very competitive.

How much do you feel you need to be able to save for whatever purposes? People usually say the Middle East, the K country that should not be discussed, and Japan are the most lucrative situations.

See also this thread in the Newbie forum.
http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=94266

In Japan, you can work on the side legally and earn more than just on one salary.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Need some advice where to go with MA+1 year exp Reply with quote

First a disclaimer: I somehow managed to miss the mention of your MA in both the title and the post. That changes my reasoning somewhat in that:

1. Some of the better jobs in the Gulf States are open, should you decide you're interested.
and
2. Some companies will pay you significantly more if you have an MA. Unfortunately, outside the Gulf (where companies usually explicitly advertize different pay ranges for different levels of education), I can't tell you exactly which countries are likely to have such companies. (I can say though that in Turkey, there's generally little if any, benefit salary-wise, to being an MA holder, though it does get you jobs with better hours. However the best jobs here are teaching kids, and require home-country teaching licensure. But then you didn't ask about Turkey anyways.)

aaronsevilla wrote:
Quote:
1. What weather do you like?
2. What do you like to do in your free time?
3. Do you prefer teaching children and adults?
4. How many hours are you willing to work?


Thanks for your very informative reply. I will reply with some honest answers:

I really don't care about the weather. My home city has extremely depressing weather so I am accustomed to living in arduous conditions. I would obviously prefer a sunnier, more benign climate but for me it is not so important.

I am hoping to work on a doctoral thesis that I will complete in the UK in the future. I spend most of my free time reading or writing and I will be happy to sacrifice a few years of partying to do this and potentially write my doctoral thesis in a different, tranquil place.

To be honest I prefer adults and would prefer to work in a university. Are university postings universally competitive?

I would be willing to work 6 days a week over the next two years. If this means more money I will be happy to do this for at least a year.


What do you think?


I think that if you want to teach adults, you should cross Korea and Taiwan off your list. I'm sure there are some uni jobs, but in Korea those generally went teachers who'd been in the country, had connections, and decided to upskill to an MA to take advantage of those connections. I imagine it's much the same in Taiwan, from what I've read here.

There seem to be a lot of people who teach at "universities" in China, and though that isn't generally counted as uni teaching experience by Western universities, you might not care.

Here in Turkey (again you didn't ask, but I'll tell you), most uni jobs are prep school jobs taught by both BA and MA holders, however you might be able to get a real university job if you were to decide to come here, since I don't meet too many MA holders here.

Based on what I've read of the Gulf States here, the uni situation seems to be really competitive in the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain, but less so in Oman and Saudi (not sure about Kuwait), with even BA-holders teaching at those unis.

I don't know about the Vietnamese or Indonesian uni situation, but I'd note that while those climates are certainly sunny, they're not benign.

Personally if I were in your shoes I'd probably go for a Chinese uni in a small city, enjoy the simpler things in life, work on my thesis, and save a bit of money. But then I don't hold an MA myself and am mostly basing this on what I've read or heard, so I'll try to shut up now.

Regards,
~Q
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15851
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaronsevilla... you said an MA in English (in research).

I'm not sure what that means, but as to the Middle East, they want a related MA... in Applied Linguistics, Language Teaching, TEFL/TESL.... something like that.

At your age (it's tough to be young and starting in the field), a university level employer would want to see experience (of which you have only one year) and they would want 2-3 years of "related experience."

You really need to add a CELTA to your credentials too.

Not to be repetitious... but I think you are also too young for Kuwait. It is little different from Saudi... just smaller in geographic area and a bit freer for women.

VS
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I currently have an undergraduate degree in English from a UK university (passed with a 1.1, the highest possible classification in the UK), a master's degree in English (in research and it was fully-funded) and I am currently teaching English in Spain..

When my contract is finished I would like to go somewhere else to teach English and earn good money. This is absolutely necessary as my family are experiencing severe financial difficulties and I need to help them over the next few years.


If you've got a first in English and an MA, why did you decide to teach English in possibly one of the least well-paying countries if you need to earn good money? I know that sounds over-curious (and you don't need to "share") but surely your top research skills would have shown you that the better paying jobs are not in Spain (and sadly not in Italy) but in places in Asia.

Sorry Aaron in Seville, but your post is (perhaps completely unfortunately) very similar to a number of previously troll like posts. The OP has clocked up four posts on Dave's, asks a big, huge question, and then sits back to watch people waste their time.
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aaronsevilla



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you've got a first in English and an MA, why did you decide to teach English in possibly one of the least well-paying countries if you need to earn good money? I know that sounds over-curious (and you don't need to "share") but surely your top research skills would have shown you that the better paying jobs are not in Spain (and sadly not in Italy) but in places in Asia.

Sorry Aaron in Seville, but your post is (perhaps completely unfortunately) very similar to a number of previously troll like posts. The OP has clocked up four posts on Dave's, asks a big, huge question, and then sits back to watch people waste their time.


I really really have better thing to do in my time. My father recently lost his job this year and their savings will not last forever. This year I wanted to move to a different country, improve my Spanish and live in a culture I love. However when my contract is finished I simply need to start earning.

But thanks for your message.


[/quote]
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kona



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teacher in Rome wrote:
Quote:
I currently have an undergraduate degree in English from a UK university (passed with a 1.1, the highest possible classification in the UK), a master's degree in English (in research and it was fully-funded) and I am currently teaching English in Spain..

When my contract is finished I would like to go somewhere else to teach English and earn good money. This is absolutely necessary as my family are experiencing severe financial difficulties and I need to help them over the next few years.


If you've got a first in English and an MA, why did you decide to teach English in possibly one of the least well-paying countries if you need to earn good money? I know that sounds over-curious (and you don't need to "share") but surely your top research skills would have shown you that the better paying jobs are not in Spain (and sadly not in Italy) but in places in Asia.

Sorry Aaron in Seville, but your post is (perhaps completely unfortunately) very similar to a number of previously troll like posts. The OP has clocked up four posts on Dave's, asks a big, huge question, and then sits back to watch people waste their time.


I think it's pretty obvious that anyone would choose Spain (or Italy, for that matter), not because of how much money they planned on making, but for quality of life. For a guy in his 20's, I don't blame him wanting to be in Spain, especially if it was right after an arduous graduate program. Furthermore, sometimes, financial hardship comes unexpectably, especially when it comes to finding out someone else may be in need of your help. Doesn't seem like trolling to me, but what do I know, I'm still a newbie.

And because of that, take what I say with a pinch of salt. If you're looking for work that will pay enough to send back money home with, than, IMHO, Asia really is the place to be looking at the moment, especially considering your credentials and lack of experience (actually, very similar to my own: I have an MA TESOL, but only had 6 months EFL experience (not including practicum) before coming to Korea). I'd say, your best bet is to take scot47's advice and look at the Joint Venture (JV) universities in China. They have solid pay, and seem to be expanding overall. Here's a thread about the higher paying jobs in China (and around the rest of Asia) http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=98553, these are the places to be looking at.

Since you're completing your contract in June, you should be lined up well for the fall semester, which is the usual hiring time for China and I believe Vietnam (unlike Korea or Japan, who's hiring season is mainly right now).

There's also the Royal Melbourne Institute of Tech in Vietnam (RMIT), which has generous pay scales as well, but may be a challenge to get into. I would definitely check them out, and apply. Nothing wagered, nothing gained. These seem to be the best places to save up some that can be sent home (RMIT even pays 80% of your salary in USD, maybe GBP too if you ask for it).

IMHO, having a look at the Taiwan forum, most there would say it's not worth it, especially given your credentials. China and Vietnam may be your best bet, but only if you get on with the JV universities.

The best advice I can give is to get your documents in order for every country you plan on applying to (all apostilles, notarizations, certifications, etc), stick a bunch of irons in the fire, and put a nice CV together, with a bunch of professional looking pictures of you in a suit and tie (image is really important in Asia).

Best of luck to you mate.
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