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Teaching in Spain, China, or Thailand

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Joined: 15 Jan 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Panama and USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:31 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Spain, China, or Thailand Reply with quote

Hi everyone:

I'm looking to teach EFL in Spain, China, or Thailand. Can any of you recommend a reputable company to apply with? I know there are a lot of them out there and want to make sure I go with a good one.

Also, for those of you who've done it, any experiences you can share with me will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, everyone!
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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11534
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Each country has its own various requirements.
Spain requires that teachers hold a passport from an EU member country. If you are a US citizen, there are very few ways you can legally teach in Spain. Most involve studying full time and teaching on a student visa.

There is no company that 'places' teachers worldwide.

You will get better info here if you tell us a few vital details:
what passport/s do you hold
what qualifications for teaching English do you have
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Joined: 17 May 2018
Posts: 36
Location: Scotland...for now

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've taught in 2 of the 3 countries.

I really wouldn't recommend China for more than a year, especially if you want to teach in the western world in the future. Your experience in China can actually be detrimental as what works there when it comes to teaching (drilling, repetition etc) is not looked upon well in the west. My tendency towards excessive teacher talking time to get by in China actually made the CELTA harder than it should have been.

China was good for me financially. The cost-of-living was low so long as you were willing to live outside of the megacities and the workload was pretty light. There were plenty of opportunities for part-time work and private classes if you know who to ask. Unfortunately, teaching can be a bit unfulfilling at times. If you work in an academy, you're pretty much a mule for the school. If you work in a university, you're often stuck teaching conversational English to 60+ students who refuse to even open their mouths. I had classes that I loved but classes that I couldn't wait to leave.

With Spain, you're living paycheck to paycheck. You work hourly and the workload is pretty inconsistent, especially in your first year. Your contracts won't cover the summer. So you'll have to find summer work or save up to cover those two months and suck it up. If you're willing to put in the years in Spain, build up local contacts and learn the language, you can work your way up to a better position. That's not really the case in China if you're forced to leave the country every year to redo your work visa.

That said, I found teaching more fulfilling in Spain than China. The students are way more talkative (perhaps too much so at times) and overall are enjoyable to teach. The lifestyle is pretty easygoing and it's an extrovert's paradise when it comes to going out.

If you want money, go to China.
If you want to enjoy your job with less hassle and money is less important, go to Spain.
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