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Soon starting my long journey to TEFL....
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 447

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given everything you've written on this thread, I'm going to suggest another approach entirely. Instead of pursuing a career in teaching because it will allow you to live in Asia, I suspect that you would be much happier in the long run if you were to study something that genuinely interests you, and then try to carve out a career in that field.

Quote:

The subject i plan to specialise in is Digital Media, i know its not related to teaching but i have a passion for it and really i want to study something i have interest in because otherwise i probably won't finish.



So specialize in digital media, gain work experience in the field, and after a few years parlay that experience (along with fluency in English) into a job in Asia. You'll have several years in which to network, and to research opportunities in Asia and determine how to best position yourself in your field in order to take advantage of them. And while you're acquiring a degree in your chosen field, and some entry-level work experience, begin studying the language of your preferred Asian country.

Frankly, it strikes me that you will be much happier doing something you really love--and then figuring out how to do it in a place that you love. Teaching English just for a visa and residency permit? Nah!
.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peco wrote:
Glenski wrote:
peco wrote:
-Well this is my big predicament, I don't know if im big on teaching because ive never done it before, i can imagine it to be rewarding and if paid well could definitely dedicate my time to becoming a good teacher.
If you are in it only for the money, as this statement suggests, then don't go into it.


Give me a better option to live out there and ill do it.
I'm not a job counselor, and the only information I know about you is what you posted here. You said you have a passion for digital media. Fine. Go into that, and if it means doing more to prepare for entering such a field in a foreign land, then do that!

Quote:
Teaching definitely seems like the easiest to achieve in terms of education, easiest to get into, very good pay. Its even more than what i'm earning here in the UK
In my case, I came to Japan in search of a biotech job and used TEFL to get my foot in the door. I had biotech experience and related degrees, but landing an English teaching job was comparatively easy. I took a 50% pay cut, but I'd been here previously for my old company, so I knew more about what I was getting into. Not knowing enough of the language prevented me from getting my biotech job, and I learned to adapt in TEFL.

So, you and I are a little the same and a lot different, but perhaps that will give you some perspective.


Quote:
I want to live in Asia, simple as. That's the real key point, i don't really care what job I do, if it pays the bills and allows me to save money ill do it.
Asia is a big place, and customs and lifestyle will vary with every country. I think you are grossly imagining what it will be like here (Asia) for that reason.

Also, to say you don't care what job you get is a bad sign. Can you see that?
Quote:
Thanks for the input, What about Korea, China, Thai ?
Go to their respective forums and ask. I don't know anything about work there.

Quote:
Quote:
I hate my job here, doesn't mean im going to quit it....it pays the bills, hating my job in asia will be a bit better because at least ill be in an environment i prefer.
This is a really unrealistic POV, especially for the sake of your students and coworkers.


Quote:
Why is it unrealistic? Its merely an observation of my life.
Because you are making grand statements about all of Asia as if it was the same from country to country, and more importantly, you are making grand statements about living in Asia forever yet are not vocationally prepared for the type of job you would have in it.

Quote:
I know that I can be very good at anything i put my mind to. If i know teaching will benefit me in terms of allowing me to stay in asia and also make me money then I will be good at it.
Good attitude, but have you actually pursued the education needed or learned what the market is like in "Asia"? It doesn't appear so.

Quote:
Once i set my mind to something I am extremely dedicated. im pretty sure it will beat the job im doing at the moment.
You can't know that at all. Sorry, but it's true. This is a statement of blind faith that can get you into big trouble (and seriously affect your students and the perception of foreigners by the staff who work with you.

Quote:
Student finance really isn't that bad from what ive heard, every student i speak to says they hardly notice it coming out of your wage, plus you only pay on what you earn over a certain amount.
But if you are in an Asia country that doesn't pay much in the first place (Thailand, e.g.), it WILL be noticed.

Quote:
For a starter wage in a teaching job.....i don't know the average wage but i would say $1500 per month. but the wage doesn't really bother me. What im more concerned with is my quality of life and how much I can save.
What does $1,500 per month mean? That much to SAVE? The salary is somewhat unimportant as a take-home figure in itself. How much do you want to SAVE (and how much in student loans will you have to REPAY) per month?

Quote:

225,000 YEN is about $2500, wow that's a very good starting wage. Its numbers like that that make me want to get into TEFL
May I ask how old you are and how long you've worked in your current career? That sort of pay is peanuts, especially if you land a job in a big city in Japan.

Quote:
In order to reap the benefits now i guess i must put in the hard work.....but on the flip, i don't want to fail, mess up getting any degree and being stuck here for the rest of my life. I hope you can understand my predicament.
Yup, a bit. But the problem is you really don't seem to know what you want or how to get it. In Japan, where the type of degree you have is unimportant to employers for entry level work, lots of people fall precisely into that trap. They work a few years in low level jobs (because that's all they qualify for), then realize they have no skills or experience to use back home, and they have done nothing to advance their situation here, so it becomes a bleak life full of complaints and living from paycheck to paycheck. Enter a spouse and kids, and it gets far worse. This is often the case even with a bachelor's degree in some EFL-related area, simply because a BA is a very low level degree, a dime a dozen, and to move up you will need more.

Please think this through more.
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golsa



Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peco wrote:

wow that's pretty amazing

and does this apply to most Asian countries?


It applies to everywhere in the world because to hire a qualified teacher (i.e., B.Ed., QTS, and 2-3 years experience in their home country) you must pay them at least as much money as they could earn in their home country.

TEFL is a very different field and you can pay a TEFL teacher far less than a qualified teacher.

I know that I keep bringing up this international school idea, but only because I'm confused about what exactly you want to do. Do you want to be a professional teacher (i.e., someone who holds QTS or a teacher's license) or do you want a TEFL job in Korea? Most TEFL jobs in Korea and China are very different jobs than what qualified teachers do. For example, in Korean public school, you would effectively be an assistant to the local teacher. If you worked at a private cram school, you would be one part babysitter and one part singing-dancing-monkey. Would you be satisfied with either of these roles? If so, there is absolutely no reason you should obtain your QTS.

If you have QTS and a few years of experience teaching at home, you can earn a salary similar to what teachers make in your country while living in Asia. This rate is at least twice what a TEFL teacher in China, Korea, or Thailand earns.

Here is my basic point: if you go to university, complete a PGCE, and gain QTS, there is no reason for you to take a TEFL job. You will be paid less, work in worse conditions, have less job security, and won't take advantage of your PGCE or QTS.

If you simply want to be a TEFL teacher and work somewhere in Asia while saving a little money (i.e., $10k per year), then go get any Bachelor's degree you want, take the CELTA or Trinity Cert class, and fly to Asia. In this case, I suggest you forget the PGCE and QTS because gaining these qualifications will take you much longer than a Bachelor's + CELTA.
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And just to add a bit to the above post:

An average EFL teacher in Asia (generic, non related degree and a TEFL cert) will receive a remuneration package (wages + benefits*) in the range of US$20K-40k per year.

A certified teacher (B.Ed + license, PGCE + QTS) should be looking at a package (wages and benefits) ranging from US$35-60k in most places with remuneration packages in the top jobs hitting the US$100k mark.

*may include: airfare, housing, medical, severance, pension, etc.

**may include: airfare, housing, medical, severance, pension, transportation/car allowance, professional development, family relocation, etc.

.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AGoodStory wrote:
Given everything you've written on this thread, I'm going to suggest another approach entirely. Instead of pursuing a career in teaching because it will allow you to live in Asia, I suspect that you would be much happier in the long run if you were to study something that genuinely interests you, and then try to carve out a career in that field.

I agree. However, I think it could be very frustrating if you decide later that you do want to pursue a PGCE only to find out your degree is not in a school teaching subject. I think you can do a PGCE in a subject youíve studied 50% of the time, so a double major is possibility. Perhaps something design related with Photoshop/ Quark etc.? (Publishing design software Ė not the cheese!) It would cross over into two school subjects in the UK: Art & Design and Design & Technology. I recommend you make appointments to see course advisors at whatever institutions where you think you may study. Again you will need to check with PGCE course providers as well about what degree subjects they accept and if a particular combination of subjects is a good idea. Presumably all this will have an impact on whatever pre uni courses you need to take.

The one thing you are clear about is a strong interest in digital media and wanting to sustain enough motivation to complete a degree. So go with that, but see if you can combine with something else you would also find interesting. Maybe you could also find a degree course in one or more chosen subject(s) that offers some kind of exchange programme/ scholarship or one year internships with Asian counterparts? It's worth checking out all the possibilities for study before you begin.
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peco



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just like to say firstly, thanks to everyone for their input so far, really made me think more heavily about my situation and plan so this is very constructive Smile

Secondly, and i should have made this clear in the beginning, when i talk about 'Asia' im not referring to the whole continent im more specifically referring to the particular countries that i travelled to and fell in love with. most notably Vietnam, Thailand, China, Hong Kong and the 2 countries i want to visit Japan and Korea.

So whenever i say 'Asia' these are the countries i specifically mean. I just couldn't be bothered to keep writing out all the countries Smile


AGoodStory wrote:
Given everything you've written on this thread, I'm going to suggest another approach entirely. Instead of pursuing a career in teaching because it will allow you to live in Asia, I suspect that you would be much happier in the long run if you were to study something that genuinely interests you, and then try to carve out a career in that field.

Quote:

The subject i plan to specialise in is Digital Media, i know its not related to teaching but i have a passion for it and really i want to study something i have interest in because otherwise i probably won't finish.



So specialize in digital media, gain work experience in the field, and after a few years parlay that experience (along with fluency in English) into a job in Asia. You'll have several years in which to network, and to research opportunities in Asia and determine how to best position yourself in your field in order to take advantage of them. And while you're acquiring a degree in your chosen field, and some entry-level work experience, begin studying the language of your preferred Asian country.

Frankly, it strikes me that you will be much happier doing something you really love--and then figuring out how to do it in a place that you love. Teaching English just for a visa and residency permit? Nah!
.



==============

I know for a fact unless you are extremely skilled in the field you won't make much money in Asia. i know because I work with a lot of designers in Asia, and I know how much they all work for. Its very low wages compared to teaching that's for sure.

Design work has been overtaking in recent years by the online world. Alot of design work is outsourced to asian countries now for much cheaper and the quality is very good. I really couldn't and wouldn't want to compete in this field, even if it was my passion.

I have a lot of friends in the design field and all of them tell me how hard it is and you just simply have to network and build you 'showreel' or portfolio. This takes years and really I would like to get out to Asia sooner than the time it takes to try and carve a career out of media.

Actually it's the complete opposite in my brain, i would much rather be in a country I prefer and then figure out what im going to do haha. Most people, including me probably, never find what they were 'meant to do', hence why I see so many people every day on the way to work stuck in a dead-end job, wasting their lives away, ill waste my youth before I have an epiphany and know what direction to take.


============================


golsa wrote:
peco wrote:

wow that's pretty amazing

and does this apply to most Asian countries?


It applies to everywhere in the world because to hire a qualified teacher (i.e., B.Ed., QTS, and 2-3 years experience in their home country) you must pay them at least as much money as they could earn in their home country.

TEFL is a very different field and you can pay a TEFL teacher far less than a qualified teacher.

I know that I keep bringing up this international school idea, but only because I'm confused about what exactly you want to do. Do you want to be a professional teacher (i.e., someone who holds QTS or a teacher's license) or do you want a TEFL job in Korea? Most TEFL jobs in Korea and China are very different jobs than what qualified teachers do. For example, in Korean public school, you would effectively be an assistant to the local teacher. If you worked at a private cram school, you would be one part babysitter and one part singing-dancing-monkey. Would you be satisfied with either of these roles? If so, there is absolutely no reason you should obtain your QTS.

If you have QTS and a few years of experience teaching at home, you can earn a salary similar to what teachers make in your country while living in Asia. This rate is at least twice what a TEFL teacher in China, Korea, or Thailand earns.

Here is my basic point: if you go to university, complete a PGCE, and gain QTS, there is no reason for you to take a TEFL job. You will be paid less, work in worse conditions, have less job security, and won't take advantage of your PGCE or QTS.

If you simply want to be a TEFL teacher and work somewhere in Asia while saving a little money (i.e., $10k per year), then go get any Bachelor's degree you want, take the CELTA or Trinity Cert class, and fly to Asia. In this case, I suggest you forget the PGCE and QTS because gaining these qualifications will take you much longer than a Bachelor's + CELTA.


Ah i see that makes sense, that kind of salary alone has really boosted my arguments behind taking the teaching route.

Re being confused about what exactly i want to do - I would like to live in Asian for a long amount of time. I want to live in different asian countries (the ones i listed above) for 1-5 years. I want to work and earn good money while I am there, partly because i need to think about my pension and also because I want to have a relatively enjoyable life and not worry about money. I would also like to do something fulfilling - Teaching seems to tick these boxes and is why I have been looking into this path as a means to get out to Asia.

Professional Teacher or TEFL.......basically whatever pays the most and allows me to get good paying positions in my countries i want to visit.

Thankyou for describing the 2 options for teaching, very black and white and exactly what i needed! Would it be possible to go the professional teaching route with a media degree and then a PGCE?

================================


tttompatz wrote:
And just to add a bit to the above post:

An average EFL teacher in Asia (generic, non related degree and a TEFL cert) will receive a remuneration package (wages + benefits*) in the range of US$20K-40k per year.

A certified teacher (B.Ed + license, PGCE + QTS) should be looking at a package (wages and benefits) ranging from US$35-60k in most places with remuneration packages in the top jobs hitting the US$100k mark.

*may include: airfare, housing, medical, severance, pension, etc.

**may include: airfare, housing, medical, severance, pension, transportation/car allowance, professional development, family relocation, etc.

.



Thanks for this little breakdown certainly put a lot in favour of getting the education degree! It can lead to a much better wage and benefits I see.

As i said above can you still qualify for these higher wages if you had the following - (Media Degree + license, PGCE + QTS), with a few years of experience in Asia eventually equal out the fact i didn't have a degree in education?

I just want to get an idea how important Experience compared to Qualifications are in Asia.
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thatsforsure



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
a BA is a very low level degree, a dime a dozen, and to move up you will need more
Hogwash. A BA is a low-level degree only because of education creep or degree inflation or whatever you want to call it. Now we have people walking around with utterly useless MAs and no means of paying off the debt. Literally, they will die in student debt. The majority of master's degrees will never pay for themselves.

Granted, in EFL/ESL, they sometimes do pay off -- namely, if you want to teach in the Middle East and possibly Hong Kong, Korea, or Japan. EFL might be the field for you, but from your posts, I'd say probably not. Why not develop a skill you can do freelance, at home, and then you can live anywhere you want, whenever you want?

I think you'll do best if you look at where your current interests and skills are and build on that. It may entail a trip back to the classroom, but most likely not. For example, in the case of digital media the field changes so quickly that by the time youíre learning it in graduate school, itís outdated. Tons of online modules are available, many of them for free.

Check out this article.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-07/trapped-by-50-000-degree-in-low-paying-job-is-increasing-lament.html
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

golsa wrote:
peco wrote:

wow that's pretty amazing

and does this apply to most Asian countries?


It applies to everywhere in the world because to hire a qualified teacher (i.e., B.Ed., QTS, and 2-3 years experience in their home country) you must pay them at least as much money as they could earn in their home country.
This does not sound right or reasonable. Cost of living varies from country to country, for one thing. Here in Japan, the law states that foreigners must be paid the same as Japanese who have equivalent jobs. That's all, and that makes more sense to me

thatsforsure wrote:
Quote:
a BA is a very low level degree, a dime a dozen, and to move up you will need more

Hogwash. A BA is a low-level degree only because of education creep or degree inflation or whatever you want to call it. Now we have people walking around with utterly useless MAs and no means of paying off the debt. Literally, they will die in student debt. The majority of master's degrees will never pay for themselves.
I think we are saying the same thing here. I don't understand the "hogwash" remark.

As for MA degrees, I wouldn't know, and I'm not sure where you are coming from. Most people in TEFL (here in Japan, anyway) seem to have their MA in a TEFL related field. What has been your experience with "useless" MAs?
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peco wrote:
Thanks for this little breakdown certainly put a lot in favour of getting the education degree! It can lead to a much better wage and benefits I see.

As i said above can you still qualify for these higher wages if you had the following - (Media Degree + license, PGCE + QTS), with a few years of experience in Asia eventually equal out the fact i didn't have a degree in education?

I just want to get an idea how important Experience compared to Qualifications are in Asia.

I think at this point you need to do some further research on your own, Peco. I've already suggested talking to course providers, but even if it's just looking at the relevant websites of what's available, that would be something.

I can understand doing a degree out of interest in pursuing a career out of it (however challenging it may be) and/or because you want the motivation of teaching something you really enjoy doing to others. But doing a degree purely out of interest and then going off in a totally different direction is not my idea of a good plan. It's your business, but presumably you want ideas, opinions and information here. Both HLJHLJ and I have raised questions over whether you can do a PGCE (secondary) after doing a degree in just digital media. It's unlikely you'll get an answer to such a specific question on a site geared for TEFL teachers.

I have a feeling your level of motivation in finding out about course requirements, and what's available to study, probably matches your real interest in doing a PGCE. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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peco



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
I'm not a job counselor, and the only information I know about you is what you posted here. You said you have a passion for digital media. Fine. Go into that, and if it means doing more to prepare for entering such a field in a foreign land, then do that!


Teaching just seems a more concrete, stable fashion to do so.

Glenski wrote:
In my case, I came to Japan in search of a biotech job and used TEFL to get my foot in the door. I had biotech experience and related degrees, but landing an English teaching job was comparatively easy. I took a 50% pay cut, but I'd been here previously for my old company, so I knew more about what I was getting into. Not knowing enough of the language prevented me from getting my biotech job, and I learned to adapt in TEFL.

So, you and I are a little the same and a lot different, but perhaps that will give you some perspective.


I see cool, so are you still a teacher, or have you moved into your field now? Would you prefer to stay out in Japan and teach English or head back home where the language isn't a problem and maybe land a job in your biotech field?

Glenski wrote:
Asia is a big place, and customs and lifestyle will vary with every country. I think you are grossly imagining what it will be like here (Asia) for that reason.

Also, to say you don't care what job you get is a bad sign. Can you see that?


Of course I can see it, but do remember - i don't WANT to be working in a crappy job that i don't care about, who would......but hey....ive been doing exactly that since i left college here in the UK. So the thought of doing it in Asia isn't really that much of a turnoff (specially seeing as teaching wages are more than what im earning and saving in London) if anything it should show how determined i am to get out there.

Glenski wrote:
Because you are making grand statements about all of Asia as if it was the same from country to country, and more importantly, you are making grand statements about living in Asia forever yet are not vocationally prepared for the type of job you would have in it.


Ive cleared up my 'Asia' description, sorry for being misleading i did actually know what countries i was referring too Smile

Not vocationally trained.....yet......trying to fix that in the next 4-5 years Smile

Glenski wrote:
Good attitude, but have you actually pursued the education needed or learned what the market is like in "Asia"? It doesn't appear so.


Pursued education...no not yet, figuring out what to do at the moment, but ill definitely be going to Uni to do something to help me live out there. Re market research - reading on here for a few weeks and obviously the time i spent living out there previously

Glenski wrote:
You can't know that at all. Sorry, but it's true. This is a statement of blind faith that can get you into big trouble (and seriously affect your students and the perception of foreigners by the staff who work with you.


I guess so, but hey, you never know till you have tried it. Its hardly going to be THAT big of trouble. If i don't like my life teaching ill just come back home and get on with my life and find something else to do (doubtful i hope lol)

Glenski wrote:
But if you are in an Asia country that doesn't pay much in the first place (Thailand, e.g.), it WILL be noticed.


No because in UK you only start paying once you earn over roughly the $30k threshold (our student finance in the uk is actually quite good i think). So regardless of where i am in the world, if im earning crap wages, i won't have to pay my fees.

Glenski wrote:
What does $1,500 per month mean? That much to SAVE? The salary is somewhat unimportant as a take-home figure in itself. How much do you want to SAVE (and how much in student loans will you have to REPAY) per month?


1500 per month as a wage, but as i said i don't really care about wage, im more bothered about how much i can save and my quality of life, take-home figure, which you also point out, it is unimportant to a degree.

as i said, if i can save $10k per year initially i will be very very happy. After reading a lot on this forum 10k is very possible, some even more!!!

You don't realised how good that is for me. I live in London and if i was renting a place (im living with parents atm coz i can't afford to move out) and in my current job i would probably barely save $3k a year!

Glenski wrote:
May I ask how old you are and how long you've worked in your current career? That sort of pay is peanuts, especially if you land a job in a big city in Japan.


Just turned 26, starting working when i was 19, 2.5 years i travelled Asia, so ive been in my career for roughly 7 years.

Im earning peanuts...hence why these sort of TEFL wages are so enticing!

I earn approx $30k per year, $20k after tax, minus my monthly living expenses im left with about $1200 - to rent even a crappy 1 bedroom flat in London is going to cost you about $1200-1400......

As you can see my current situation, for my age, is quite frankly....SHIT

i hope this will help you understand my motives a bit more

Glenski wrote:
Yup, a bit. But the problem is you really don't seem to know what you want or how to get it. In Japan, where the type of degree you have is unimportant to employers for entry level work, lots of people fall precisely into that trap. They work a few years in low level jobs (because that's all they qualify for), then realize they have no skills or experience to use back home, and they have done nothing to advance their situation here, so it becomes a bleak life full of complaints and living from paycheck to paycheck. Enter a spouse and kids, and it gets far worse. This is often the case even with a bachelor's degree in some EFL-related area, simply because a BA is a very low level degree, a dime a dozen, and to move up you will need more.

Please think this through more.


"bleak life full of complaints and living from paycheck to paycheck" - pretty much seems like my life at the moment, i don't have much to lose really, hence why im willing to take a dive into teaching.

But yes you are right, you need to have a plan, no good just getting out there then working a low EFL teachers wage for the rest of your life. You want to progress.

Guess i need to talk to more people on here asking how they moved up the ladder in the teaching world, see if its something ive got in me.


One thing i know for sure - As it is, stuck here in my job im going nowhere and don't really have any skills that will make me move up the ladder, nor do i have the slightest bit of interest in doing so.

While teaching doesn't sound easy, nor do i know i will love it, it does seem like a plausible profession that

1) Will earn me ok money from the start and even more if I work at it
2) Relatively short time span to obtain the right qualifications and exp. (5-6 years isn't that long)
3) Most importantly will allow me to move to Asia and reside permanently while i am working
4) Allow me to live a comfortable life AND save a decent amount for future investments
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peco wrote:
Glenski wrote:
I'm not a job counselor, and the only information I know about you is what you posted here. You said you have a passion for digital media. Fine. Go into that, and if it means doing more to prepare for entering such a field in a foreign land, then do that!


Teaching just seems a more concrete, stable fashion to do so.
I don't understand how you arrived at that decision. Up to you to explain that or just let it go. I'm not pressing, but curious.

Quote:
I see cool, so are you still a teacher, or have you moved into your field now? Would you prefer to stay out in Japan and teach English or head back home where the language isn't a problem and maybe land a job in your biotech field?
I have continued to stay in TEFL. I moved from conversation school to private HS to full-time tenured university job. This is my "home". Moving back to the U.S. is not an option because of certain family obligations and feelings here. I certainly miss the biotech work.

Quote:
Glenski wrote:
Also, to say you don't care what job you get is a bad sign. Can you see that?


Of course I can see it, but do remember - i don't WANT to be working in a crappy job that i don't care about, who would......but hey....ive been doing exactly that since i left college here in the UK. So the thought of doing it in Asia isn't really that much of a turnoff (specially seeing as teaching wages are more than what im earning and saving in London) if anything it should show how determined i am to get out there.
I wish this could be a face to face conversation, because I'm very confused about your feelings. You seem to like the idea of a tech job, but don't want it in the UK, yet you also think that TEFL abroad is better financially and simultaneously call your current work "crappy". Is that only because of money you are making? What would it take to make more in the UK? There are a LOT of people in the IT industry who complain about their jobs and flee to places abroad with grand hopes of earning money because TEFL jobs in many countries don't require much in the way of degrees or experience. But, they become disillusioned quickly (1-3 years) and find they have that gap in their work record, can't move up in TEFL, and have little to go back to in their home country. IMO, if they would have toughed it out back home, improved their chances or resume (more schooling, certification, licensing, training, whatever), they could have avoided that. Please think about it in those terms. If TEFL was not even an option, what would you have considered?

I see below that you are indeed "trying to fix [vocational training] in the next 4-5 years". You won't be able to do that very easily while teaching abroad.


Quote:
Glenski wrote:
You can't know that at all. Sorry, but it's true. This is a statement of blind faith that can get you into big trouble (and seriously affect your students and the perception of foreigners by the staff who work with you.


I guess so, but hey, you never know till you have tried it. Its hardly going to be THAT big of trouble. If i don't like my life teaching ill just come back home and get on with my life and find something else to do (doubtful i hope lol)
Ok, but please take to heart what I wrote above. I've seen many people come to Japan with such high hopes only to be miserable because of unrealistic expectations and poor planning. Positive attitudes don't usually overcome them.

Quote:
Glenski wrote:
But if you are in an Asia country that doesn't pay much in the first place (Thailand, e.g.), it WILL be noticed.


No because in UK you only start paying once you earn over roughly the $30k threshold (our student finance in the uk is actually quite good i think). So regardless of where i am in the world, if im earning crap wages, i won't have to pay my fees.
That kind of salary is the equivalent of getting about 200,000 yen/month in Japan, a miserable wage. The standard used to be 250,000, but in recent years employers have gotten by with paying as low as 180,000 or so. If you figure 150,000 goes to basic necessities, that would leave you with 30,000-50,000 to spend on everything else in life. But, if you actually get a wee bit more in salary, you would have to pay those student loans, then, which would severely reduce whatever you could save. Please think about this! This is part of the market research you need to know! Just saying you will slug it out on the lower salary in order to avoid repaying student loans is admirable and strategic, but it gives you a very low lifestyle here. The allure of living in "Asia" drops when that happens because you can't see or do the things you imagined previously.

Quote:
Glenski wrote:
What does $1,500 per month mean? That much to SAVE? The salary is somewhat unimportant as a take-home figure in itself. How much do you want to SAVE (and how much in student loans will you have to REPAY) per month?


1500 per month as a wage, but as i said i don't really care about wage, im more bothered about how much i can save and my quality of life, take-home figure, which you also point out, it is unimportant to a degree.

as i said, if i can save $10k per year initially i will be very very happy. After reading a lot on this forum 10k is very possible, some even more!!!
I can't speak for exact figures from other countries, so I don't know if you will be able to avoid the student loan situation in them and still save 10,000 dollars per year. Let's look at Japan.

<200,000 yen/month (for reasons I described above)
minus 150,000 for basic necessities (food, rent, utilities, phone, insurance, taxes)
You have 50,000 for everything else. So, if you don't get sick, never go out for drinking or sightseeing or dating or ANYthing that requires money, this is in your pocket.
50,000 x 12 = 600,000 yen for the year. That's about 7,500 US dollars savings.

But trust me, you will spend part of that 50,000, so your savings will be greatly reduced! Earn more money, and like I said above, you will cut into that 50,000 with student loans.

Quote:
You don't realised how good that is for me. I live in London and if i was renting a place (im living with parents atm coz i can't afford to move out) and in my current job i would probably barely save $3k a year!
Living abroad has a glamorous appeal to it. Beware. You sound like a young person who is still in search of a career situation. All I can do is tell you that people throughout the world have suffered similarly. I advise caution and patience.

Quote:
Just turned 26, starting working when i was 19, 2.5 years i travelled Asia, so ive been in my career for roughly 7 years.

Im earning peanuts...hence why these sort of TEFL wages are so enticing!
Again, this is hard without a face to face conversation. What do others in your field do to get by and to move up? Have you done any of that? Fleeing abroad to teach a little is what many do, but what will you have when it's over?
1. a little money but no improvement in your current career prospects, and a gap of a few years on top of that.
2. a gap of knowledge in the career, too, and in the IT biz, that means a lot
3. perhaps even a foreign spouse who doesn't want to leave her/his country (or can't), leaving you without that original career you dreamed of having, poor wages in that country, and a family to support on it

Quote:
"bleak life full of complaints and living from paycheck to paycheck" - pretty much seems like my life at the moment, i don't have much to lose really, hence why im willing to take a dive into teaching.

But yes you are right, you need to have a plan, no good just getting out there then working a low EFL teachers wage for the rest of your life. You want to progress.

Guess i need to talk to more people on here asking how they moved up the ladder in the teaching world, see if its something ive got in me.
You really do have a lot to lose! Can't you see that?

Quote:
While teaching doesn't sound easy, nor do i know i will love it, it does seem like a plausible profession that

1) Will earn me ok money from the start and even more if I work at it
2) Relatively short time span to obtain the right qualifications and exp. (5-6 years isn't that long)
3) Most importantly will allow me to move to Asia and reside permanently while i am working
4) Allow me to live a comfortable life AND save a decent amount for future investments
I've just shown you that this underlined statement is not necessarily true.

Also, your statement #2 directly conflicts with the following irritating and shocking revelation.

Quote:
One thing i know for sure - As it is, stuck here in my job im going nowhere and don't really have any skills that will make me move up the ladder, nor do i have the slightest bit of interest in doing so.
Now this just ticks me off. I don't recall reading this from you earlier. I thought digital media was a career you wanted! Suddenly, you say you don't want it, or at the least you say you don't want to improve your skills in it. Pardon me here, but WTF?!?!?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 862

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:

Also, your statement #2 directly conflicts with the following irritating and shocking revelation.

Quote:
One thing i know for sure - As it is, stuck here in my job im going nowhere and don't really have any skills that will make me move up the ladder, nor do i have the slightest bit of interest in doing so.
Now this just ticks me off. I don't recall reading this from you earlier. I thought digital media was a career you wanted! Suddenly, you say you don't want it, or at the least you say you don't want to improve your skills in it. Pardon me here, but WTF?!?!?


I don't think he's working in digital media at the moment. I think he has some sort of unrelated (admin maybe?) job.
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peco



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to everything Smile

Glenski wrote:
I don't understand how you arrived at that decision. Up to you to explain that or just let it go. I'm not pressing, but curious.


well as i said teaching ticks the following -

- seems quite easy to get into (regardless if i like it or not), most asian countries just require you to have a degree, a degree can be obtained in 3-4 years
- basic wage is certainly livable on regardless of country in asia
- Get a working visa from it allowing me to stay in the country

That basically how i came to the conclusion that teaching is probably one of the easiest profession to get into to allow me to travel and live in Asia

Glenski wrote:
I have continued to stay in TEFL. I moved from conversation school to private HS to full-time tenured university job. This is my "home". Moving back to the U.S. is not an option because of certain family obligations and feelings here. I certainly miss the biotech work.


Cool, so do you have those feelings of being stranded in paradise?? Do you feel trapped, wish you never left?? Seems to me like its turned out not too bad for you as surely you would have left to go home.

Glenski wrote:
I wish this could be a face to face conversation, because I'm very confused about your feelings. You seem to like the idea of a tech job, but don't want it in the UK, yet you also think that TEFL abroad is better financially and simultaneously call your current work "crappy". Is that only because of money you are making? What would it take to make more in the UK? There are a LOT of people in the IT industry who complain about their jobs and flee to places abroad with grand hopes of earning money because TEFL jobs in many countries don't require much in the way of degrees or experience. But, they become disillusioned quickly (1-3 years) and find they have that gap in their work record, can't move up in TEFL, and have little to go back to in their home country. IMO, if they would have toughed it out back home, improved their chances or resume (more schooling, certification, licensing, training, whatever), they could have avoided that. Please think about it in those terms. If TEFL was not even an option, what would you have considered?

I see below that you are indeed "trying to fix [vocational training] in the next 4-5 years". You won't be able to do that very easily while teaching abroad.


ok first of all i work in the post room/general office admin so yes i would call my current work crappy. So yes i do see TEFL work better financially because the wages im on now are low plus living expenses in London add to that.

Im not in the IT industry, nor have any skills or desires to get into the IT/tech world here in London.

I just simply do not like UK too much, sure if i was in a £100k job then i'm sure London would be enjoyable, earning peanuts that i am now its crap.

Leaving the country for a few years really wouldn't tarnish my career if i ever come back to London....simply because I Don't have one. I could take 2 years off and go back into an office admin job right away (if i found a job in this climate that is).

I hope this gives you a better understanding of my position, you seem to be confused thinking im in some media job current with some actual career prospects

Glenski wrote:
Ok, but please take to heart what I wrote above. I've seen many people come to Japan with such high hopes only to be miserable because of unrealistic expectations and poor planning. Positive attitudes don't usually overcome them.


True, im a realist and Im fully aware that I may get there and just be pissed off doing another 9-5 job that i was doing back in London only difference being in a hot, sweaty country. Its all perfectly reasonable. But then again I may get there, love it (which i know i already do) and want to stay there and have a drive to obtain an even better life.

My expectations are not too high really, i will admit i have a golden tint over the countries i stayed in because i was just travelling and chilling out with no work every day. I guess working everyday will take that tint off, but at least ill be earning money which will allow me to explore asia which is what i want.

Glenski wrote:
But if you are in an Asia country that doesn't pay much in the first place (Thailand, e.g.), it WILL be noticed.


Yes true i see what you mean.

All i know now is that there is no way i could afford my own flat and save $10k per year living in london.

Now it seems possible to save $10k per year working in say Korea, then minus about $1500 from that per year for my fee repayments.

Lets round it off to $8k savings per year. Still a lot better than what ill be able to do here in London.

Yes those are very rough estimates i know. But im very very good with my money, being a non drinker, smoker...completely t-total means I always save a big chunk of my wage Smile

Glenski wrote:
That kind of salary is the equivalent of getting about 200,000 yen/month in Japan, a miserable wage. The standard used to be 250,000, but in recent years employers have gotten by with paying as low as 180,000 or so. If you figure 150,000 goes to basic necessities, that would leave you with 30,000-50,000 to spend on everything else in life. But, if you actually get a wee bit more in salary, you would have to pay those student loans, then, which would severely reduce whatever you could save. Please think about this! This is part of the market research you need to know! Just saying you will slug it out on the lower salary in order to avoid repaying student loans is admirable and strategic, but it gives you a very low lifestyle here. The allure of living in "Asia" drops when that happens because you can't see or do the things you imagined previously.


Oh no i wouldn't take a lower paying job just so i didn't hit the threshold, i would take the highest paying job I could find. Im pretty sure I could handle the fees coming out of my wage, most my friends say its about £100 per month. I can handle that, plus i have £15k in my savings that im saving for a rainy day that can always help me out.

But yes wages and the student fees are definitely something i need to research more

Glenski wrote:
I can't speak for exact figures from other countries, so I don't know if you will be able to avoid the student loan situation in them and still save 10,000 dollars per year. Let's look at Japan.

<200,000 yen/month (for reasons I described above)
minus 150,000 for basic necessities (food, rent, utilities, phone, insurance, taxes)
You have 50,000 for everything else. So, if you don't get sick, never go out for drinking or sightseeing or dating or ANYthing that requires money, this is in your pocket.
50,000 x 12 = 600,000 yen for the year. That's about 7,500 US dollars savings.

But trust me, you will spend part of that 50,000, so your savings will be greatly reduced! Earn more money, and like I said above, you will cut into that 50,000 with student loans.


Thanks for the breakdown, Japan seems a lot more expensive thank Korea, ive seen people list what they spend and save whilst in korea and its somewhat different, ive always know Japan was expensive, i guess ill head there after a few years once i have some experience Smile

Glenski wrote:
Living abroad has a glamorous appeal to it. Beware. You sound like a young person who is still in search of a career situation. All I can do is tell you that people throughout the world have suffered similarly. I advise caution and patience.


Ive been thinking about this long and hard since ive come back from travelling, pretty much every day, going over what i can do. Ive been thinking this over for about 1.5 years. I came to the conclusion that whatever i do i will need to get some further education.

I just want a career that will allow me to live in various countries in Asia, that's all i want to do for the next 10,20,30 years. I want to live in different countries, ive done it while travelling and loved it.

Glenski wrote:
Again, this is hard without a face to face conversation. What do others in your field do to get by and to move up? Have you done any of that? Fleeing abroad to teach a little is what many do, but what will you have when it's over?

1. a little money but no improvement in your current career prospects, and a gap of a few years on top of that.
2. a gap of knowledge in the career, too, and in the IT biz, that means a lot
3. perhaps even a foreign spouse who doesn't want to leave her/his country (or can't), leaving you without that original career you dreamed of having, poor wages in that country, and a family to support on it


again you seem to have been previously confused about the current career im in. there are no prospects.

ill never have kids unless im wealthy, i don't want to sacrifice my life and standard of living to have a child.

Glenski wrote:
You really do have a lot to lose! Can't you see that?


nope

Glenski wrote:
Now this just ticks me off. I don't recall reading this from you earlier. I thought digital media was a career you wanted! Suddenly, you say you don't want it, or at the least you say you don't want to improve your skills in it. Pardon me here, but WTF?!?!?


Hopefully we have cleared this up now.

Just to reiterate - Im in a dead end job, earning low wages, with no career prospects or desires to want to move up the ladder, not really sure where you can go from Post Room assistant lol
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peco wrote:
Cool, so do you have those feelings of being stranded in paradise?? Do you feel trapped, wish you never left??
No to both questions. 100% no. If you have more questions like this, please send a PM, ok?

peco wrote:
ok first of all i work in the post room/general office admin so yes i would call my current work crappy. So yes i do see TEFL work better financially because the wages im on now are low plus living expenses in London add to that.

Im not in the IT industry, nor have any skills or desires to get into the IT/tech world here in London.
But, how do you figure you'll be happy or even successful getting into that in a foreign land?

peco wrote:
True, im a realist and Im fully aware that I may get there and just be pissed off doing another 9-5 job that i was doing back in London only difference being in a hot, sweaty country. Its all perfectly reasonable. But then again I may get there, love it (which i know i already do) and want to stay there and have a drive to obtain an even better life.
Climate is certainly one thing to consider. Japan's summers in most part of the country are pretty hot and humid, and then there are the many annual typhoons and earthquakes...

peco wrote:
My expectations are not too high really, i will admit i have a golden tint over the countries i stayed in because i was just travelling and chilling out with no work every day. I guess working everyday will take that tint off, but at least ill be earning money which will allow me to explore asia which is what i want.
You may or may NOT earn enough to do that traveling. And, yes, chilling without work is a far cry from putting in the work hours at a job totally new to you, especially in an environment where you currently don't know what will be expected of you differently than you do now.

peco wrote:
All i know now is that there is no way i could afford my own flat and save $10k per year living in london.

Now it seems possible to save $10k per year working in say Korea, then minus about $1500 from that per year for my fee repayments.

Lets round it off to $8k savings per year. Still a lot better than what ill be able to do here in London.
Be careful that you are not drawn largely by some sense of money. Discussion forums abound with tales of sad experiences and complaints. Try to know more about what you would be getting into.

peco wrote:
Thanks for the breakdown, Japan seems a lot more expensive thank Korea
We are not supposed to talk about K outside the K forum, so I won't say more than you should go there and find out whether they pay your rent. In Japan they don't. Big difference.

peco wrote:
I just want a career that will allow me to live in various countries in Asia, that's all i want to do for the next 10,20,30 years. I want to live in different countries, ive done it while travelling and loved it.
Well, you will need at least that BA degree, but to do more than just survive for decades, you will need more. Move to a foreign country, and you may find yourself on the bottom rung of the hiring chain, too. Setup costs, flight fees, job hunting, etc. all cost money. Some people enjoy living out of a suitcase. Not me.

Glenski wrote:
ill never have kids unless im wealthy, i don't want to sacrifice my life and standard of living to have a child.
You may get surprised with a kid in your life unexpectedly.

Quote:
Glenski wrote:
Now this just ticks me off. I don't recall reading this from you earlier. I thought digital media was a career you wanted! Suddenly, you say you don't want it, or at the least you say you don't want to improve your skills in it. Pardon me here, but WTF?!?!?


Hopefully we have cleared this up now.

Just to reiterate - Im in a dead end job, earning low wages, with no career prospects or desires to want to move up the ladder, not really sure where you can go from Post Room assistant lol
Still unclear on one point. Why did you even mention a strong interest in digital media? What do you think you'll do with that? Are you planning to pursue it?

Quote:
Glenski wrote:
You really do have a lot to lose! Can't you see that?


nope
Then don't complain if it happens. Prepare yourself for the market you want to enter (teaching or DM), and best of luck to you.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll just jump in here quick with no experience in Asia. I would say that if you really feel that you aren't leaving anything good behind in the U.K. and truly don't have too many visions of grandeur in your head. Go! Go where you like try one country, try ten. If you decide that you really don't like teaching (many do), go home and take your boring old job back, if you can't get it back, work at McDonalds, it sounds like you wouldn't miss it much anyway. Who knows, maybe you will find that you love teaching and eventually come up with some great idea that makes you a million dollars/pounds whatever. Give it a try!
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