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Costs, certifications, locations, 6mo contract

 
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kehaumartinez



Joined: 26 Sep 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:08 pm    Post subject: Costs, certifications, locations, 6mo contract Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

I need all the advice youve got Smile Heres a little background:
I have a BA in Communications. Ive been out of school for a few years and am looking for a change in careers. Ive always wanted to live abroad and have considered teaching as a career but wanted to try it out before going back to school and getting more loans. Im in the US (spouse is military so we move around a lot - Im trying to figure out how to time this with the moves/deployments). No kids. I want to do a 6 mo contract instead of a year bc of the military aspect. I am trying to save up for this adventure but Im really not sure how much I should save.
It seems that a cert is about $1,200, then airfare, plus $1,500-$2,000 for the first months cost of living - this is what I have read is a good amount of cash to take with you.

Here are my basic q.s:
1. Does approx $5,000 seem like a reasonably amount to save? More? Less? Are there ways to do it cheaper? Do you make enough money to pay yourself back the out-of-pocket costs usually?
2. I really would LOVE to have a place that covers airfare - any thoughts on the best location for that? Im flexible with location for the most part. Just want to be in a safe area and Im not interested in the Middle East. Other than that I could go anywhere.
3. I need some income that will cover my cost of living while there and give me enough to pay my loans while Im gone (couple hundred a month in US dollars). Do you think this is possible? Best location for this type of income?
4. How far in advance should I start applying? Is it a long process usually? Or just a few months?
5. Ive read that some places do not supply housing. How do you go about finding housing and transportation in that situation?


I am looking at getting a cert -I saw that Oxford has one (http://www.oxfordseminars.com/index.php ) and seems like a good program but I also saw that Tesol Training Int'l has one too (http://tesoltraining.net/).

Im having a hard time choosing which one would be better. Any thoughts?

Thanks so so much! Im sure you get tons of questions. I really appreciate your responses!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11454
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some things to consider:

- At minimum, most contracts are for an academic or full year.
- Depending on the country, visa processing may not make it worth the hassle.
- An employer may be hesitant to reimburse airfare for someone who intends to be around for 6 months.
- It's tricky to time a 6-month contract to your family's moves/spouse's deployment.
- Depending on where you want to teach, be aware some jobs are only obtained while in country (i.e., pounding the pavement and knocking on doors).
- To be competitive, get a CELTA or SIT TESOL or at least an equivalent 120-hour, in-class TEFL cert course that entails 6 hours of supervised teaching practice with real students.
- Most of Europe is off the table unless you also possess an EU passport.

You main question is really where you can teach as a newbie and for just 6-month stints. I suspect China and Thailand may be a possibility---there are other countries, but again, it depends on if you can secure a short contract that fits your timeframes.

A related thread with similar discussion links: "Countries with short term contracts?"
http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=107907
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 731

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. You are not likely to make enough to pay back your start-up costs in six months, especially since you are including the cost of an initial certificate course. Korea is your best option to earn enough to do this.

2. For you, this will happen only in China or Korea, and no employer is likely to cover airfare for a six-month contract. Keep in mind, however, that a "one year" contract may be only 10 months, sometimes 9.

3. Again, Korea, or China. Possibly Thailand.


Neither of the programs you mention are worth your money. While you don't need a CELTA, Trinity, or SIT cert for "trying it out" for less than a year, if you DO decide to stay in the field, then you would benefit from having one under your belt. At least take a look at a couple of these programs, so that you can compare other generic courses you may consider, and will have some idea of what the curriculum should look like. Check to be sure that a prospective course includes the elements Nomad Soul listed.

.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to what others have already said, you might check out this discussion in progress on the Latin America forum re: short term employment and/or volunteer opportunities.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=108694

If you have a specific area of the world in mind, you could also try posting a similar inquiry about short-term opportunities on the appropriate forum.
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kehaumartinez



Joined: 26 Sep 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that the "one year" would be shorter - although it makes sense since its a school year. I had just assumed it would be 12 months. Is that something that would be discussed anywhere online about the jobs? Or do they usually just say "one year" and you have to contact them to find out?

Okay, so, if neither of those programs are worth the money do you have suggestions on others that are more generic but would help me land a job? It seems like there are a lot of scams and millions of options - tough to tell whats legit and whats not.

I really wanted to have job placement help through a certification since I think I would be completely lost without that.

I recently met someone who did this (6 mo contract) in Thailand. Im open to China, Thailand or Korea so thats not an issue Smile

Thanks again!!
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kehaumartinez



Joined: 26 Sep 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, one more Q - what about those two programs makes you say theyre not worth the money? Im just curious how you can tell so I know more.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11454
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaumartinez wrote:
Okay, so, if neither of those programs are worth the money do you have suggestions on others that are more generic but would help me land a job? It seems like there are a lot of scams and millions of options - tough to tell whats legit and whats not.

I really wanted to have job placement help through a certification since I think I would be completely lost without that.

....

Oh, one more Q - what about those two programs makes you say theyre not worth the money? Im just curious how you can tell so I know more.

As I stated in my initial post, to be competitive, enroll in a CELTA or SIT TESOL or at least an equivalent 120-hour, in-class TEFL cert course that entails 6 hours of supervised/observed teaching practice with real students. That's the industry standard for valid entry-level teaching qualifications and confirms to prospective employers that you've been properly trained on how to teach. This crucial supervised teaching component is missing from the two TEFL cert courses you mentioned.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaumartinez wrote:
Okay, so, if neither of those programs are worth the money do you have suggestions on others that are more generic but would help me land a job? It seems like there are a lot of scams and millions of options - tough to tell whats legit and whats not.


Try checking here:
http://graduate.sit.edu/sit-graduate-institute/sn/degree-and-certificate-programs/language-teacher-training/sit-graduate-institute-tesol-certificate/

Or here:
http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/celta/

Other certifications are fine (and, occasionally, a bit cheaper) so long as they meet the minimum requirements for equivalency that Nomad stated above. Other things to consider:

1. Is the program ACCET accredited (if located in the U.S.) or come under the accreditation of a college or university?
2. Do the trainers have MA degrees in TESOL?
3. Do the trainers have significant overseas teaching experience?
4. Is the program face-to-face? (Online doesn't count in many countries).
5. Have the trainers been through a rigorous training-of-trainers program?
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 916

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So to quietly cut through all the crap and since you mentioned Korea, Thailand and China specifically....

Passport from an anglophone country = check.
Bachelor degree = check.
clean FBI check (with Apostille for work in Korea).

For Korea TEFL cert with a minimum of 20 hours "in class" BUT only if you want to work in a government school. You only need to go to Dave's jobs lists and contact a recruiter for work in Korea. The ONLY thing you need to remember is that you should NEVER pay a recruiter anything for their services. They work for and are paid for by the school.

For Thailand (the academic 1st semester is from May to Sept) you are good to go. Buy a plane ticket and land in late April. You will easily find a job for 6 months but you won't make enough over that 6 months to pay for your airfare over.

China - you also need a police check and ideally a TEFL cert is required (but the Photoshop school of TEFL is used as often as any legitimate TEFL shop). Again, look at recruiters and the same caveat applies - NEVER pay anyone for anything. You will also not make enough on a short term contract to pay for your airfare (it's not like you are a certified teacher).

.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: Costs, certifications, locations, 6mo contract Reply with quote

kehaumartinez wrote:
I want to do a 6 mo contract instead of a year

From this and your other criteria, it sounds like Westgate Corp. in Japan might be a good fit. Contracts are 3-4 months and they reimburse flight costs (up to $1200). Pay is OK (275,000 yen/mo, around $2,550/mo). They supply housing (but you pay for it; 81,000 yen/mo, around $750/mo).
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