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11 posts • Page 1 of 1
Sup. I'm a 32 year old black male living in the U.S. South and I'm hoping that someone who's traveled a path similar to mine can point me in the right direction.
I'm currently an English teacher; at this point it may be the most that I can do with my English degree since my last journalism jobs didn't pan out and the state of journalism isn't "ideal" for me right now anyway. To be honest, I don't enjoy teaching English for a lot of reasons, but it's the best I've been able to do right now.
I'm single, and for years my attempts to correct that situation haven't only been unsuccessful, but I'm not sure if I'm really making any progress. I go through the same cycles no matter how many PUA books I read, podcasts I follow, etc. I have no problems approaching women and have bedded many, but I've never had an LTR. I'm no longer interested in anything PUA, but finding a partner is the big priority in my life right now besides building up a writing/teach writing career. I'm not willing to "change" myself further; at this point, I'm happy with the man that I am. I've accepted myself.
So, it's come down to me weighing several options:
== Going back for my master's degree
== Using my English degree/teaching experience to live abroad as a teacher while looking for a partner
== Staying in the U.S., moving to my preferred region of the country, and continuing my search for a partner
Part of me thinks that going to another country to teach is risky because a) I don't know how to sustain a living in another country and b) There's no guarantee the dating situation will be any better there. It might also be difficult to settle down once if I do find a partner; from what I'm seeing, teachers don't make that much more in other countries than they do in the States.
I don't want to go back for my Master's degree because I don't want to spend the money and then wind up making not much more than I am now. I've yet to get a return investment on my Bachelor's.
I could stay in the U.S. and continue building up my career while searching for a partner, but that's been the plan from the start...and it's not proving effective so far. I'm a firm believer in changing your plans if your current plans aren't working out.
I'd appreciate any good game that someone can throw my way regarding my situation.
Well, most everybody who comes to this site is going to recommend choice B, because that's what the site is about. As far as making a living abroad, if you aren't able to find a job teaching English at, say, an international school abroad, you can always teach English as a foreign language in most countries. To do that, ordinarily you need to take a four-week certification course, which are offered all over, and cost in the $1K to 2K range. These jobs don't pay a lot, but can give you a foothold abroad to decide if it's for you. If it is, with your experience you could probably transition to a regular teaching job at some point.
As far as moving to a preferred location in the U.S., I'm inclined to think the potential there for desired change is limited. The population has become pretty homogenized through the different regions, and, while there are always that handful of winners lurking out there somewhere, by and large this culture just isn't producing large numbers of females who are LTR potential. Just about everyone here would say you're more likely to find those abroad. But keep in mind that we are a self-selected group who developed this premise, for one reason or another, and are working it like a dog with a bone.
I'm doing my CELTA now, and I'd say definitely look into getting the CELTA, TESOL or equivalent. It really does prep you for the classroom, giving you experience at writing lesson plans, making fun and engaging lessons, and learning from your mistakes.
As to moving abroad, try to go somewhere less popular. I'm in Barcelona now, there are lots of teaching jobs but also much competition since so many people come here and never want to leave such a vibrant city.
Just look at reducing your expenses as well. Cooking at home saves loads of money.
Welcome to HA.
GSJackson's summary is spot on. Option B, forget the others. Half-measures don't cut it. Believe me, I speak from experience.
Since you don't like teaching that much, and love writing, there are two niches.
(1) High school kids need to learn writing, in English, in international schools, where the elite and employed expats send their kids in all foreign countries. They would prefer a master's, but sometimes they need to fill a postion and will take who the can get. The fact that you have real-life teaching experience in the AngloZone uts you at the head of the pack. Highest pay will be in the Persian Gulf states, i.e. the Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, several others), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman. From there you can go bride-hunting to White, Black, Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Easily. In Dubai, the different nationalities will already be there waiting for you.
(2) High school kids in all foreign countries need to write essays to get into American universities. Their parents will pay for tutoring/assistance with this. China would be best, because Chinese people have a hard time thinking in English, and because there is a lot of money in China.
You also need to realize that the job of a teacher is far more respected in all other countries. US teachers whine about low pay, because the administration, bureaucracy, and lowlife students all make their workday hellish. Pay wont be better overseas, but the status will be better.
BTW............ if I were a Black man, or anything other than mainstream White, personally I would make sure the prospective employer saw a photo of me on FaceBook, or Skyped with me. So that way I would know the prospective country would be welcoming. That way you weed out the "haters" up front, make your life easy. As you would advise a friend to do. Life is too damn short to keep doing things the hard way (again, personal experience).
"Well actually, she's not REALLY my daughter. But she does like to call me Daddy... at certain moments..."
Welcome OP. Fellow teacher here. My original plan was to teach in the states, but it didn't work out, and I knew I wanted to travel. So I finally went to teach in China two years ago, and glad I did. If you teach in New York City or Chicago, you'll probably never make as much money teaching abroad. But if you're teaching in Middle America, it may be slightly less or on par. And don't forget many countries will pay for your apartment while there.
And of course since this is Happier Abroad, I and most others would suggest going abroad.
What races of women are you most attracted to?
I used to teach English overseas, but I had a bachelors and no teaching certification. If you are certified to teach in elementary, middle, or high school in the US, you've got good qualifications to go work somewhere in Asia.
I'll be honest with you. But in some countries, being a black man doesn't help you much. I've worked in Korea and Indonesia. A lot of Asians see blacks presented as thugs in movies and think of Africa as full of developing countries. But that doesn't mean you can't find a good job or find an attractive wife overseas. I'm assuming you are looking for a wife. If you want a really high quality woman from Asia, she's probably going to want to marry.
In Korea, it would be a lot harder for you to find a wife than it would be for a white man. When I was there in the 1990s, Koreans marrying internationals was rather controversial with whites. I didn't actually know a lot of black folks there. I can think of one. I don't know if he had a girlfriend. One of my fellow American English teachers was a former military man who'd been stationed there, and he was talking about his former colleagues in the military who were black who would spend a lot of money on their women if they'd sleep with them. Some of the women in the base where he lived would get soldiers to buy stuff from the PX so they could sell it. There is a black market for PX goods, or was, there. They had a little shop with goods bought from the military in the town I was in. But you could get Danish cheese in the grocery store, so I didn't really have a need for that stuff.
Anyway, in Indonesia, I knew some black people, mostly Africans though. I had a friend who grew up partly in Nigeria and partly in South Africa who was black. I didn't see him with a steady girlfriend in Indonesia and he moved away and married a Polynesian woman on some island, who was quite large by the time I saw her picture. I also knew another Nigerian who got put on death row due to some drummed up drug charges (or I believe they were and so did some other expats who were trying to help him.) The guy who set him up to put in him in prison was dying of AIDs and I saw his girlfriend, who was reasonably attractive woman. I've seen other Africans there who had local wives and girlfriends.
If you lived in Indonesia and looked around, you could probably find a decent woman to date and marry. They were colonized by the Dutch and think of westerners as rich, high class, etc. Foreigners in general can have prestige, but the probably look down on Africans as less developed than they are. So I don't know how that would work with African Americans. Indonesians generally consider a 'nose that sticks out' as attractive, along with lighter skin. Those are cultural ideals of beauty that help Caucasians be considered attractive there. But that's true of a lot of Asian cultures besides Indonesia. Still, there are probably individual women who like black men there. There are also dark-skinned tribes from the eastern portion in New Guinea.
Indonesian women tend to be traditional and marriage minded. The ones that work out of the home still seem to place a lot of value on cooking and taking care of the home. I used to work with a bunch of middle aged women writing and editing text books. They'd talk about cooking and house-wife sounding stuff in the office quite a bit. If a marry a middle class or poorer girl who didn't have a maid to wash her clothes, she'll probably be a harder worker than some girl who spent her life on Ipods and Ipads here in the US. They are also marriage focused. Virginity before marriage is the expectation for both genders. Even jokes about sex are mostly in the context of marriage. There has been some research in the US that indicated that women who were virgins at marriage had much lower divorce rates than those who had had other sexual partners. Also, if you are going to buy a car, and a new car is the same price as a used one, which one would you choose?
The major religions there teach women to submit to their husbands, and it's part of the culture. They aren't doormats, or some of them aren't. There are lots of people-groups. Javanese are known for being polite, hospitable, and also for keeping feelings inside. Wives are known for being submissive. Batak are a bit more outspoken about their feelings and a lot of the lawyers and preachers are Batak. Manadonese seem to have almost a Spanish culture about the importance of looking good and putting on a show of wealth (thinking of Philippinos spending too much on parties. Manado people remind me of that.)
The divorce rate in Indonesia, I read, was around 10%, but I'd expect that to be much lower among Christians. Sundanese typically have high divorce rates. The vast majority of them are Muslim, though, like a lot of people-groups. Christians are more common among Batak, Javanese, Manado, Ambonese, and the various Papuan people-groups. Also, some areas around Flores and Timur are heavily Roman Catholic. A number of Manado people are Catholic.
I think Indonesia is probably a bit dangerous of a place for blacks, but that's probably true for Nigerians. It could be that it's not a problem at all for Americans. An American black guy I did know there (who seemed to be trying to be a con man) wore a half fro so he wouldn't be considered Nigerian. My South African/Nigerian friend had difficulty getting taxis to stop. About 10 years ago, Nigerians were getting to be famous for running scams. Someone even tried to get me with a blue money scam but me and my wife got out of it by pointing out that some of her relatives were police. A lot of them were drug dealers. Police were rounding up Nigerians. I don't know if all the charges were true. My guess is they wouldn't try that stuff with American citizens if the charges weren't legit. Our embassy fights for our people more, probably. You might have some difficulty getting taxis if you are out alone there.
But there are Indonesians who 'look black.' There are the tribes from Papua who look like Australian Aborigenes. I had a lot of acquaintances and three I'd consider friends from there, Aya Maru and Dani people. One of them was our maid for a while, and she wasn't bad lookin', but by now she might be a bit old for you if she isn't married.
But Indonesia would be a good place to work for someone with your qualifications if you are a certified school teacher. There are international schools. The top end is Jakarta International School where oil people send their kids. They pay quite well, probably as much as teachers would make in the US or more. Then there are other international schools that pay pretty well, too. Then there are national plus schools that probably pay a notch lower. National plus schools were created when the government outlawed local students going to international schools. So nonprofits were created to bring in native speaker teachers and offer foreign education in country. But even if you work at those schools, pretty much all these schools provide you with housing. Most of them would probably pay for airfare.
If you got a job there with housing provided, you'd have to work a lot of hours as a school teacher, but the pay is decent. If you are in Jakarta, the air is lousy. I think there is a Bali international school. IMO, Bali rivals Hawaii for beauty, and though they are both tropic islands, they look different. The air would be clean there, though. Air in the suburbs of Jakarta might be tolerable. With housing provided, you could probably save quite a bit of money as a single man at an international school. And then you could start asking English-speaking women out on a data. I could probably think of a dozen women I worked with or just knew at church or in other social circles when I was single who seemed to show hints of being interested in me, and I became very selective.
I'm married to an Indonesian woman now for over 15 years, and I'm very happy with my choice. Of course, my wife is quite a prize, not only in looks, but also in character, even for an Indonesian woman. But generally, I think they make good wives. I know of one split-up in a marriage between westerners and foreigners out of 50 or so couples in 7 years in the city I live in in the US. My guess is Muslim girls divorce more often.
My wife is Batak. Bataks can make good wives. I also think Javanese girls could make really good wives as well. Any ethnicity can. But I think both people-groups have some positive marriage-related values. Batak are heavily against divorce, traditionally. Also, the man is in charge, traditionally. Javanese men are also traditionally in charge. Javanese women tend to be kind of reserved and demure. But overall, Javanese and Indonesians in general seem to be a lot more jovial and a lot less stiff than Koreans and Chinese.
There are a lot of English institute jobs in Indonesia, but the last I checked several years ago, we are talking $700 to $1000 a month plus housing, while international schools pay something similar to what you get back home. National Plus schools might not pay quite as much as back home, but the cost of living is cheap and housing is provided, so it can still be a good deal.
Jakarta and Bali are good places to live for eating at American restaurants, too. Indonesian food is very good with different cuisines for local ethnicities.
What is pay like in China for English teachers? Is it still around $400 a month? Is it up to $1000.
Some of the salaries sound low, but if you can pocket $500 a month off of a $1000 a month salary when you are just breaking even at the end of the month with a job in the US, the overseas job may be better. It makes sense to put together a spreadsheet with expenses (e.g. apartment in US v. free overseas) and calculate how much cash you have at the end of the year rather than just looking at a salary and saying, "That's not enough." Of course, if you fill out an application for one of those obnoxious employers who asks your previous salary, the higher number looks better. In that case, you assign a dollar figure to the apartment.
Thanks for your very informative replies thus far.
I'm not terribly picky as far as wife potential, but I have a strong preference for white, latina, and spanish women. Not much of an interest in asian women. I'm very much interested in traveling to/teaching in Brazil, but the costs to get there even to look for teaching work will require some saving even with the lump sum of teacher pay I'm getting for the summer.
I want to do more than just teach TEFL--working in a real international academy sounds very appealing and seems like it could be a jump-off into a "freelance" teaching career. I'm not just considering this for the women, but for myself because I've been a traveler since I joined the USAF from 2000-2004. I trained and served across the country during that time, and did a year's tour in S. Korea. I never dated a Korean woman, but I served with several black men that did. I've no idea if they married any of them or brought any of them back, but I doubt it. Korean girls seemed to be very polarized in terms of black men--either they loved them or they didn't want to go near them.
The hands-down best place to be a black man I ever visited in the military was Canada. It was incredibly easy to pull attractive Caucasian women over there, especially when I was with my crew. Part of me thinks that's because the women knew that I was military, though.
Because of my preferences, I'd probably only be interested in places like Europe or Latin America. I have roughly two years of teaching experience, strong references, I've worked with ESL kids (ever though I don't have formal training), and a temporary teacher certification with plans to get my full cert this year. The things that would stop me from doing this are a) I might need a Master's in English or Ed to truly make this work b) I have no idea of this particular plan to advance my career and marriage prospects would be effective. Some might consider expatting to find a spouse when I have a somewhat-stable (though not very enjoyable) career in the States in a region full of beautiful women (FL) to be an extreme measure.
Also, I have outstanding car/student loans that might make it harder to save money if I work overseas.
"The grass is always greener on the other side until you get there."
Could this plan be effective in getting what I REALLY want? Based on my own travel and life experiences my answer to that right now is "maybe." I can't say for sure it'll work and I can't say it will...which for me is enough to at least stick my toe in the water.
When was it $400 a month? In the 70s or 80s?
I'd say take no less than $1500 a month these days. Unless you were going to work at a university, in which case $900-$1000 a month is fine.
Spain is good (I'm doing my CELTA here now) but the teaching work is fairly seasonal. You can find jobs here though, although world class cities like Barcelona are popular with wannabe teachers.
My old Chinese university paid (I think) about $800 a month BUT you got accommodation and the teaching load was VERY light and the students were effortlessly easy to teach. Plus they were up to their eyes in phone calls from companies wanting to hire English teachers for $$$$$. And that's before you consider private tuition.
I would recommend getting a CELTA if you can as even experienced teachers will learn A LOT on the course. And with backing from Cambridge University, it's a great thing to put on your resume.