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  1. #1

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    Teaching Abroad Advice

    I have decided I need to make some fairly radical changes in my life as my current situation is just not working. I really miss teaching and I would love to be able to travel, so I'd like to start the process for teaching abroad next year.

    I do have some concerns about how legitimate some services are. I understand the application fee, but some are upwards of 1500, which I can save up for, but if I pay that much I want a guarantee of placement. Reviews are generally mixed so I thought I'd ask the great FSU.

    Here are some requirements/wishes on my end:
    Reliable public transportation and phone service.
    Near a city large enough to have an airport
    I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, so Northern Europe is out. I would ideally like a place with no or very little snow, but that's negotiable so long as it's not weeks without seeing the sun.
    I would prefer a small stipend w/ a furnished apt rather than a larger salary and on my own for accomodations.
    I don't have to have American style kitchens/closets/bathrooms, but I don't want to sleep on the floor either.
    No Middle East.

    I have five years teaching experience 6-12 and seven as a community college adjunct. I'm certified in 4-8 General Science, 4-12 English, 4-12 Social Studies. Special cert in World Geography and World History. Igave a Master's from LSU and the equivalent from The Youth Institute of Moscow. My language experience is French and Russian, some German, and very basic Spanish and Italian.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  2. #2

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    I would sign up with joyjobs.com. It think it's $40 for a year, and they list almost all open jobs all over the world. They help you with your CV, if you want, and the used to set up a website for you. They also tell you where NOT to apply, which is good. I got my summer job in China through them.

    eta: some people swear by the UNI Interational Teacher's Fair. A friend of a friend is teaching social studies in Bulgaria right now, and that's where he found his job.

  3. #3

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    I would write to schools directly, and find out if you can apply directly (many you can now) or where they advertise/ how to apply. If you're interested in Beijing, let me know. All good international schools in Beijing pay salary + accommodation stipend, health insurance, moving allowance, travel allowance etc. Most put you in temporary accommodation (usually for 3 months), which you can choose to keep, or find your own during that time. I would not consider an application fee, unless it was under $50 and like PL said.

  4. #4

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    It's not an application fee with Joyjobs. It's just a website that lists all the jobs, so you don't have to go to each school's website to see what's open. You can search by region, grade, whatever. So much faster, and I never would've found my Shanghai job on my own.

  5. #5
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    If you've taught as an adjunct in post-secondary, try the ad jobs in the Chronicle of Higher Education or in any publication aimed at post-secondary teachers. At least in my neck of the woods, there are a number of colleges with overseas operations that are often looking for instructors to go overseas for a semester or two. You could also try identifying colleges with those sort of programs, in geographical areas that you are interested in, and contacting them directly.

    FWIW most of the programs of this sort that I know of either maintain a staff apartment, and whoever is teaching that semester stays there, or have an agreement with a local hotel or other type of long-term residence. So you wouldn't have to find your own accommodation.
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    It's not an application fee with Joyjobs. It's just a website that lists all the jobs, so you don't have to go to each school's website to see what's open. You can search by region, grade, whatever. So much faster, and I never would've found my Shanghai job on my own.
    I meant any fee. I wouldn't pay any fees at all, website, applications, job search, unless it was one or two and under $50. I'm such a cheapskate I don't think I'd pay any that didn't offer a job placement guarantee.

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    If you are interested in living, working and travelling Japan and/or Korea, there are many many opportunities to teach there with many different types of companies, some of which don't require a specific ESL TOEFL type certification, just a University degree. They'll sponsor your VISA and many will set you up in an apartment fully furnished, provide health insurance, they'll basically cover all your bases. PM me if you would like more information and I am happy to share with you my personal experience of teaching abroad. It was one of the most amazing adventures of my life. I have recommended it to anyone whose expressed an interest to me.

  8. #8

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    Does anyone have teaching experience in South America, particularly Argentina or Brazil? While I appreciate the information on China, S. Korea, and Japan, I don't know that those would be a first choice, but they definitely wouldn't be my last either. The language scares me, especially the tonal aspect and I'm completely intimidated by the idea of Japan's three different written languages.

    I don't mind paying a fee up to $100 to search, but if it's a higher fee, then I want a guarantee of at least an interview. I'll pay for convenience--I consider my time to be very valuable. I work 8.5 hours and commute anywhere between 2.5-3 hours/day for a job I loathe. I'm not going to waste more trying to find/researching schools that might or might not have an opening. If someone is willing to do the research for me, who am I to deny them a paycheck?

    overedge, I've never heard of the Chronicle of Higher Education but I'll definitely check it out
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    Does anyone have teaching experience in South America, particularly Argentina or Brazil? While I appreciate the information on China, S. Korea, and Japan, I don't know that those would be a first choice, but they definitely wouldn't be my last either. The language scares me, especially the tonal aspect and I'm completely intimidated by the idea of Japan's three different written languages.
    First of all, hiragana, katakana and kanji aren't languages. They are alphabets.

    Secondly, hiragana and katakana only have about 50 characters each. You could learn each in about a week if you put your mind too it and knowing them would help a lot.

    Having said that in most major Japanese cities you can live quite comfortably not knowing or reading any Japanese whatsoever. Many English teachers I met when I lived there certainly never bothered. Also for better or worse, most Japanese people think their language is difficult too and don't really expect foreigners to learn it. If I had 100 yen for every time a Japanese person complimented me when I said "konnichiwa" to them....

    Plus it's probably the only country in the world where being obsessed about figure skating is not unusual.

  10. #10
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    Hiragana and katakana are super easy. It's been 4 years since I studied Japanese for 1 year, and I still remember most of the characters.

  11. #11

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    Matry, I think joyjobs is the website for you. I know it posts lots of South American jobs, but I never really looked at them. I was more interested in Europe and Asia.

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    I actually got some interviews for jobs (and found mine) just through google searches. And between now and March is the time to be doing it. I also paid (I think) $20 to register with the website International Schools Review. Teachers who have worked with various international schools review their schools on a scale of 1-10 for a variety of criteria. It can be quite informative.

    I was registered with Search Associates. It cost a couple of hundred dollars (for 3 years of registration), but I did like receiving emails telling me of available jobs for the levels I could teach and in the locations I wanted. I also received random requests for interviews and offers from schools in other locations through them. They hold recruitment fairs all over the world every year, as well.

    I spent 2 years searching for the job I wanted, because I was being picky. I almost accepted a different job, somewhere I didn't really like, but I held off, and shortly afterwards got this one, which I'm loving. I did also deal with some douchey schools, though. One school postponed my phone interview for 3 months (without giving reasons). During the actual interview, basically informed me that the position was mine (that my info just had to be sent to HR). After about 2 weeks I emailed them to see how things were going and received a rather snarky reply. After another month I emailed again and was informed that 'they had no positions meeting my skills.'

    Through my experience, my advice is to be picky - go with what you really want, and make sure to research the schools if you can.

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    Is it possible to teach for a summer if you are 6 units from graduating? My son is thinking about S Korea or Thailand when he graduates (Eng major) but I'd like him to go for a summer first. His idea is to take a gap year between getting his degree and working on a masters.

  14. #14
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    Most overseas jobs that I'm aware of require a completed bachelor's degree at least. This might have something to do with the visa requirements to get the person into the country, though, rather than with being able to do the job.
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

  15. #15

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    Most overseas schools, at least reputable ones, want experienced teachers. Some schools require five years, most want at least two.

  16. #16

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    I registered with Joyjobs today!! They told me I'm allll wrong--I need to look at the SCHOOL, not the COUNTRY.

    I'm still looking at country. I might like Budapest.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  17. #17

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    I totally went by country. Though I did look through all the listings.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    I registered with Joyjobs today!! They told me I'm allll wrong--I need to look at the SCHOOL, not the COUNTRY.

    I'm still looking at country. I might like Budapest.
    Don't give up your dream Matryeshka. I wish you all the luck in the world!
    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    Most overseas schools, at least reputable ones, want experienced teachers. Some schools require five years, most want at least two.
    Thanks! He has been a TA for 2 years at a high school, but not teaching on his own.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    Most overseas schools, at least reputable ones, want experienced teachers. Some schools require five years, most want at least two.
    Only if you're talking about international schools, where you need to be a qualified teacher. Local schools and/or English learning centres in China, Korea and Japan at least, take native English speakers without teaching experience or credentials. They prefer a completed degree but will almost always also take a TEFL/TESOL/CERTA certificate in lieu of a degree. When I first came, for local schools, it didn't matter that I am a 'real' teacher, I needed to get a TEFL certificate! It pissed me off, but I ended up doing a quick one online. In China now, you're supposed to have a degree and have graduated at least two years ago, and have two years post graduate experience in order to get a work visa (and foreign expert certificate), but really, it's easy enough to get around for a bigg-ish school, or one with a good reputation, especially if you have a TEFL certificate. It really depends on who (and what) you want to teach. For teaching English to Chinese, Japanese or Koreans, a TEFL certificate and being a native English speaker is enough.

    TheGirlCanSkate - there are plenty of short-term teaching jobs in Asia, and a lot of them are teaching camps (do activities in English and learning through immersion rather than actual sit-down lessons, or in addition to sit-down lessons).

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