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Best Countries for us (me and my wife)

Discuss working and making a living overseas, starting a business, or studying abroad.

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Best Countries for us (me and my wife)

Postby Bane » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:00 pm

Hey folks,

I'm back after a long absence.

Well, I guess I'm creating this thread because I am thinking of making the move again, but I'm just not sure where. Just to give you a little background:

I lived and taught English in Guangzhou, China from 2006-2010. I met my wife while I was stationed there. I also have prior experience teaching English in Japan back in 2002-2003. My degree is actually in TESOL, so it is my speciality. I had a great time in Guangzhou, but after the Olympic Games in 2008, prices and living costs started rising rapidly, but my salary did not. For the last 2 years of my tenure, I had to take on 2 extra part time jobs in the evenings just to keep my head above water. By 2010, I was burnt out. Part of the reason I came to China was to enjoy myself and experience a new culture, but I felt I couldn't do that anymore when all I did was work day and night. My wife and I decided to go back to the States, because in 2010, we could still find jobs that helped us save some of what we earned (an incredible thought nowadays, I know!) The US was able to meet my financial needs for a couple of years, but then I lost my job in 2013. Unfortunately, I've been either unemployed or underemployed as a teacher since then, and the market for teaching doesn't seem to be getting any better over the next few years.

I would love to give China another try, but I am not sure about how the market is or whether or not things have gotten better. I've heard people are starting to save money again, but I'm not sure if that's true or not. What are some other good countries for teaching English? Also, what other jobs are popular overseas besides English teaching?

If I got another job, what kinds of special qualifications I would need? I've been researching other potential fields that have transferrable skills ( technical writing, corporate training, curriculum development, school counseling, etc.) but it seems like for all of these, I would need special certifications and degrees that will cost an arm and a leg. If I need to go back to school, would it be better/cheaper to get credentials from an institution overseas?

Any advice from you guys would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot!
"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." -Oscar Wilde

"Invincibility is in oneself, vulnerability is in the opponent" -Sun Tzu
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Postby publicduende » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:02 pm

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Postby publicduende » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:04 pm

Have you looked into software localisation? It has a lot to do with technical writing and blends elements of IT, user interface design and cultural mediation.
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Postby Ghost » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:04 pm

China is still great for English teaching. I'm planning for that to be my career, so I'm going back in the future after further travels and meeting some goals.

Your problem was that you lived in a first-tier major city. If you live in a third tier city, you'll make a lower salary but save more money. This is what I did for my first year in China.

I made $1500 a month and saved $1200 of it in a typical month. I might have been able to make $3000 a month with a good job in Beijing but saved little to nothing. It's not how much you make; it's how much you spend and save.
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Postby Bane » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:04 am

Thanks Ghost and publicduende for the posts.

Ghost, I think you are correct about the different cities. However, looking through the job boards, I am noticing some offerings between 12-16,000 RMB/month. Back in 2006-2010, it was rare to see someone making above 9000/month at a single job. (I was only making 7,000 at my main job) It's good to see the wages rising, but I wonder if the cost of living hasn't gone up even more than that since 2010. Since I'm already married and out of the dating scene, I most likely don't need to be in a big 1st tier city environment like I used to. Perhaps a smaller city is the way to go at this point in time.

Publicduende, I have a Masters and a TESOL degree right now, would I need to go back to school for umpteen years to get more degrees in software design, etc., or do you think my skills will be transferrable? Would you recommend going to school abroad or online to save costs?
"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." -Oscar Wilde

"Invincibility is in oneself, vulnerability is in the opponent" -Sun Tzu
Bane
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Postby publicduende » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:00 am

Bane wrote:Publicduende, I have a Masters and a TESOL degree right now, would I need to go back to school for umpteen years to get more degrees in software design, etc., or do you think my skills will be transferrable? Would you recommend going to school abroad or online to save costs?


Well, actually no, you wouldn't have to learn, or relearn software design, more user interface design, which has a lot more to do with how information is optimally presented and interacted with by the user, how it can best be presented to users of different nationalities and different cultures. There is certainly some knowledge revolving around the tooling to get the job done, from UI design packages to specific software tools that act as bridges between language assets (some dictionaries of all the translatables "things"), the media assets (the graphical user interface and the graphics in general) and the underlying software application.
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