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Getting a Job Teaching English Overseas

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

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Getting a Job Teaching English Overseas

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:42 am

Many travelers and Expats get part time work teaching English as a second language. I tried it and it is not as easy as it sounds.

Do you actually remember all those parts of speech and grammar we studied in High Schoo? Me either. So when i tried to teach english i could only have them repeat words of things and phrases.

Some Language schools in places like Ecuador (where i taught) or Thailand, will pay foreigners under the table in order to learn from a native speaker. No degree is necessary, but if you do have a college degreee you can earn substantially more. But the biggest thing is to have a certification to teach English as a Foreign Language or Second Language.. ESL, TESL, TEFL etc.

This used to be expensive and you had to attend somewhere.. NOT ANY MORE! I got mine through an online course for under $300 but prices online vary. You will find links on transitions abroad website.. teaching english page... http://transitionsabroad.com/listings/w ... ndex.shtml

It is really worthwhile.. you get jobs fast and schools want you and you take it wherever you travel. It is something I got the certificate in a few weeks and can carry a small notebook easily for reference. I minimize my living costs by teaching part time. It is not for everyone, you have to be patient, have a sense of humor and like teaching.

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Re: Getting a Job Teaching English

Postby gits » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:36 am

First of all, it seems like you might be selling something here.

2nd, I'll check your link

3rd, I've been teaching ESL since 1996 and have about 4000 hours of in class experience (probably more now, because I'm doing it again)


The money is good in Taiwan, Korea and Japan. I hear the pay is about 3000usd and up in Japan per month. In Taiwan, you are lucky if you get 2000.

There may be money in other countries, but mainly China, Thailand and the Philippines only will pay you about half of the above.

Also, if you like teaching kids, and are relatively young, you can get a job quickly. Same day quick.

You need a BS degree to work legally in Taiwan as a Teacher but I know how to get around that. You like flying every 30 days?
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Postby Grunt » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:27 am

Ive given strong consideration to teaching English in Japan but information is scarce at best, and I dont have airfare to simple go check it out on my own.

3000USD per month is adequate for a newbie teacher, but thats less then my VA pension and I can only hope thats after taxes.

I think one of the biggest gray areas is not knowing if a TEFL cert is adequate, or is a degree needed. Getting a TEFL is simple enough, but it would be a shame to shell out the money for it only to find out its not enough to secure a decent job.
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Postby Winston » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:46 am

Those parts of speech are usually only necessary in American schools. Foreign schools don't usually utilize them. When I taught in Moscow, something different was used, but I forget what it was. It was a different system, probably based on the British system.

You can teach English without a TEFL degree if you go to mostly small towns and provincial areas where they are desperate to hire native English teachers.

But yeah, a TEFL will help you earn more.

I'm looking into that myself, but not sure if I really like teaching English or not. Unless it is an adult conversation class, that I wouldn't mind. Or a critical thinking class of course :)
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Postby Grunt » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:23 am

I totally agree, but perhaps teaching english to kids is a foot in the door?

I have a mind to start teaching in one of the larger cities in Japan, then after a while create my own computer business catering to english speaking businesses.

I have a suspicion most companies in Japan would flock to a company run by an American when the computers go down, but I could be all wrong.

Wouldnt be the first time I misread the tea leaves.
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Postby hornyabc » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:44 pm

I've thought about doing this as well. When I was in Hong Kong a couple years ago, I met some American and Canadian expats who were my age (early to mid 20s) who taught English there. I just got my BA and am thinking about taking a TEFL class and giving it a shot. I was thinking of going to China since I'll get a much better opportunity to learn Mandarin.

There's this HUGE ESL job listing site that looks promising: http://eslcafe.com/
In general it seems like countries like Japan and others that have had more exposure to English speaking people have higher demands while places like rural China or Eastern Europe have lower requirements. Although the problem with a large and free job listing site like that is there's bound to be scams, so be careful!
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Postby tjh14 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:56 am

I teach English for a living, and it is not an easy gig in many situations. Don't let the TEFL certificate providers and schools sell you a pipe dream. They are only interested in making money. There is a high turnover and failure rate and they need an endless stream of fresh meat. Unless you have a quality certificate, a CELTA or TESOL with 120 hours of training and supervised teaching, your certificate is invalid at the better schools. Online or 1 week courses are a waste of time. Whether or not a 4 year degree is required depends on the country. The days of anyone who can speak English getting a job are fading fast.
I would not recommend teaching illegally in any country, because you have no rights and there are many unscrupulous schools out there who will simply rip you off, pay you partial wages or not at all. And if you are working illegally, what are you going to do about it? Nothing, that's what. You are just like some Mexican who has crossed the border for work and you have no rights at all.
In the 90's it was possible to show up in almost any country and find a job. It may still be that way in South America and a few other places(Ukraine is one), but if you aren't qualified to meet the standards for working legally in a country, you are going to be taken advantage of at some point. Unlikely you can get a high paying job in Japan without a degree and a cert.

That said, a lot of people do it and don't seem to mind going for visa runs every 3 months or so. But this will get old sooner or later.

Here is a not so rosy evaluation of the TEFL industry, which is a extremely negative. It's not that bad. The reality lies somewhere between this article and the glamorous lifestyle promised by the TEFL industry.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/3325192/The-slavery-of-teaching-English.html

But here are two articles which are pretty much spot on.

http://www.skateforfun.com/englishteacherx/backup/page30.html
http://www.skateforfun.com/englishteacherx/backup/page45.html


Am I trying to discourage people? No. But I suggest you do your homework and prepare yourself. I have seen some real horror stories, and lived through one. My first job was in Kiev, at a good school. But the economy collapsed in October, the currency devalued 50% and business dried up. Since I was the new guy, I was out in the street. Other schools there were shedding teachers also, so I fled to China where I have a good situation. But if I hadn't had a degree and a CELTA, and some savings, I might have been screwed. It was scary.
Another thing. Many women expect foreign men to be well off. I have had women really like me until they found out I was an English teacher. I had one promising lady actually flinch, and then get up an leave in Kiev. It's not a chick magnet being an English teacher. But not all girls feel that way.
The only countries that pay well are in Asia and the Middle East. And Americans can't work in EU countries legally.
But I am having a good time and it has been the adventure of a lifetime. Don't get into this for the money, though. You will most likely be disappointed. There have been times when I thought I was crazy for having done this.
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Postby Boner_Jones » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:16 pm

Isn't your salary "tax free" only if you don't bring that money back to the states? Wondering if anyone's ever set up an offshore account.
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Postby tjh14 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:08 pm

I don't think Tax free means no US tax. It think it means no tax where you earn it. But if you live overseas something like the first $30,000 is exempt from US tax, and you will probably only earn that much in the ME.
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Postby Boner_Jones » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:41 pm

tjh14 wrote:I don't think Tax free means no US tax. It think it means no tax where you earn it. But if you live overseas something like the first $30,000 is exempt from US tax, and you will probably only earn that much in the ME.


Oh i know it means no tax where you earn it. What I meant was that once you bring income that you earned overseas into the US, you're going to get taxed by the IRS. So inevitably you don't avoid paying taxes on earned income abroad, unless perhaps you stay overseas and set up an offshore account.
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Postby icarus » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:23 pm

Boner_Jones wrote:
tjh14 wrote:I don't think Tax free means no US tax. It think it means no tax where you earn it. But if you live overseas something like the first $30,000 is exempt from US tax, and you will probably only earn that much in the ME.


Oh i know it means no tax where you earn it. What I meant was that once you bring income that you earned overseas into the US, you're going to get taxed by the IRS. So inevitably you don't avoid paying taxes on earned income abroad, unless perhaps you stay overseas and set up an offshore account.


US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income. Whether or not the IRS will notice is another story.
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -- Albert Einstein
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Postby hornyabc » Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:33 am

tjh14 wrote:
Many women expect foreign men to be well off. I have had women really like me until they found out I was an English teacher. I had one promising lady actually flinch, and then get up an leave in Kiev. It's not a chick magnet being an English teacher. But not all girls feel that way.


I've heard that the guys who teach English abroad, especially in Asia, end up hooking up with students... I'd imagine it's with the older high school girls and college girls. Any truth to that or are they just stories that'll get you thrown in the slammer (or worse)?
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Postby Boner_Jones » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:13 am

icarus wrote:
Boner_Jones wrote:
tjh14 wrote:I don't think Tax free means no US tax. It think it means no tax where you earn it. But if you live overseas something like the first $30,000 is exempt from US tax, and you will probably only earn that much in the ME.


Oh i know it means no tax where you earn it. What I meant was that once you bring income that you earned overseas into the US, you're going to get taxed by the IRS. So inevitably you don't avoid paying taxes on earned income abroad, unless perhaps you stay overseas and set up an offshore account.


US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income.


How exactly would they be taxed if they don't report any earned income abroad?
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Postby icarus » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:40 pm

Boner_Jones wrote:
icarus wrote:
Boner_Jones wrote:
tjh14 wrote:I don't think Tax free means no US tax. It think it means no tax where you earn it. But if you live overseas something like the first $30,000 is exempt from US tax, and you will probably only earn that much in the ME.


Oh i know it means no tax where you earn it. What I meant was that once you bring income that you earned overseas into the US, you're going to get taxed by the IRS. So inevitably you don't avoid paying taxes on earned income abroad, unless perhaps you stay overseas and set up an offshore account.


US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income.


How exactly would they be taxed if they don't report any earned income abroad?


You're supposed to report it just like you're support to report any and all income (i.e. any accretion to wealth), regardless of whether it's reported to the IRS by a 1099, W-2, etc. Like I said, whether the IRS notices is another question.
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Postby gits » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:03 am

tjh14 wrote:I don't think Tax free means no US tax. It think it means no tax where you earn it. But if you live overseas something like the first $30,000 is exempt from US tax, and you will probably only earn that much in the ME.


it's now 85,000
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