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US Job Situation vs. Teaching ESL Abroad

Discuss personal development, self-improvement and motivational psychology.

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Think Different
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US Job Situation vs. Teaching ESL Abroad

Post by Think Different » June 27th, 2011, 1:54 pm

OK, I left the US after searching for job (after a layoff) for 1.5 years without ANY luck and scarcely an interview. I have an undergrad degree and a Masters in IT, as well as 13 years in the IT field. In the US, it didn't matter what my skills or experience were, and I quickly found myself in a survival situation, with a mortgage, a child, and a wife.

We risked it all, sold everything (house is being leased) and moved to Europe to live with her family. Yes, we have less room, but we also have built-in grandparents to help with the child, to help with cooking and with cleaning, etc.

I arrived here June 1, and had a job interview within 2 weeks. I just got word today that I have been accepted for a full-time teaching position at a private language school. I am about 1/3 of the way through completing my online TEFL course and things are starting to look up. Pay won't be as good, of course, but it'll be sufficient, plus it's better than living like a poverty-stricken bum in the US, where there is no more hope for people like me.

My point is this: if you want to get out fast, have an undergrad degree in ANYTHING, do your online TEFL course (a 120 hour course costs about $400) and start looking abroad. This is in Europe, where jobs are tight and preference is given to EU citizens, not Americans. I can only imagine how much easier it would be to find work in Asia or South America. It's a great way to get out and start your happier life abroad. IT CAN BE DONE!!

Time spent unsuccessfully looking for ANY work in the US: 1.5 years.
Time spent successfully looking for a new career abroad: 1 month.

LIFE ABROAD/THINK DIFFERENT: SCORE 1
US SHITTY SYSTEM THAT CHEWS YOU UP AND SPITS YOU OUT: SCORE 0
Last edited by Think Different on June 27th, 2011, 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr S
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Post by Mr S » June 27th, 2011, 2:13 pm

Myself and Ladislav have been telling people on this discussion board for years to do that, but few listen. You are one of the brighter ones it seems and has taken our advice to heart and actually "DID" something to make their lives better, like sell everything off and move overseas.

I did that and I'm sure Ladislav did that as well in the past and it paid off in major dividends...

Teaching English or other subjects overseas as a native English speaker is quite easy to do. You're not going to get rich but you will be able to have a comfortable life as well as make connections with others that may be able to help you out at a later time.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.

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jamesbond
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Re: US Job Situation vs. Teaching ESL Abroad

Post by jamesbond » June 27th, 2011, 9:33 pm

Think Different wrote:My point is this: if you want to get out fast, have an undergrad degree in ANYTHING, do your online TEFL course (a 120 hour course costs about $400) and start looking abroad. This is in Europe, where jobs are tight and preference is given to EU citizens, not Americans. I can only imagine how much easier it would be to find work in Asia or South America. It's a great way to get out and start your happier life abroad. IT CAN BE DONE!!
I have a bachelors degree in psychology (which I never used because it is worthless here in the US). I am wondering after I got my TEFL how much money I could earn teaching English in eastern Europe, like in Ukraine? I have no idea how much money I would be making, would I even have enough to pay my bills?

Also, how long does it take to get a TEFL, a month or so? Even after I get it, I would have to apply for teaching positions overseas and find a way to do that. Would I have to interview in person for a teaching position? Of course there is also the problem of having to find a decent place to live as well.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"

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Adama
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Post by Adama » June 27th, 2011, 9:46 pm

I dont have the personality to be a teacher. Besides that, I think English is the Femsprache and would have a moral dilemma spreading it. It's like the virus that causes feminism and Americanization.

Think Different
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Post by Think Different » June 27th, 2011, 10:00 pm

Adama wrote:I dont have the personality to be a teacher. Besides that, I think English is the Femsprache and would have a moral dilemma spreading it. It's like the virus that causes feminism and Americanization.
If you teach English in non-feminist countries, then you won't have to deal with that mentality. Focus on the Anglo-Saxon/Old English/Warrior aspects of English. You don't have to teach them the politically correct shit. They'd think you're crazy by doing so.

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Re: US Job Situation vs. Teaching ESL Abroad

Post by Think Different » June 27th, 2011, 10:07 pm

jamesbond wrote:
Think Different wrote:My point is this: if you want to get out fast, have an undergrad degree in ANYTHING, do your online TEFL course (a 120 hour course costs about $400) and start looking abroad. This is in Europe, where jobs are tight and preference is given to EU citizens, not Americans. I can only imagine how much easier it would be to find work in Asia or South America. It's a great way to get out and start your happier life abroad. IT CAN BE DONE!!
I have a bachelors degree in psychology (which I never used because it is worthless here in the US). I am wondering after I got my TEFL how much money I could earn teaching English in eastern Europe, like in Ukraine? I have no idea how much money I would be making, would I even have enough to pay my bills?

Also, how long does it take to get a TEFL, a month or so? Even after I get it, I would have to apply for teaching positions overseas and find a way to do that. Would I have to interview in person for a teaching position? Of course there is also the problem of having to find a decent place to live as well.
I think others on here have posted some good links about this stuff before. Check out http://www.eslcafe.com to look for ideas, job postings, and just google it with the country you're interested in, such as Ukraine. Also, check out http://www.teflonline.com and http://www.onlinetefl.com for recommended schools. I was told by the language school director that a good school will expect you to have completed a 120 hour course (however long that takes you...my guess is about 6 weeks). Other lower-brow schools will take someone with just a 40-hour cert, but they may not be as good about working with you, helping you grow and develop your skills, or give you guidance or help. I know that the school I got hired at was doing interviews via Skype. Yes, the pay should be enough to give you a decent standard of living for that locale, but won't get your rich. You will be able to be comfortable, though. Many schools will pay to fly you to that country and back, as well as help you find a place to live. Just look around online. You have to remember that outside of the US, education is considered a valuable thing and teachers are usually well-respected (unlike in the US). So, don't take it lightly, but be professional about it, and don't view it as a bogus/loser thing, because in the rest of the "normal" world, it's not.

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Post by odbo » June 28th, 2011, 12:53 am

Adama wrote:I dont have the personality to be a teacher. Besides that, I think English is the Femsprache and would have a moral dilemma spreading it. It's like the virus that causes feminism and Americanization.
Maybe you could teach it while periodically reminding the students it is a sodomite's tongue which will rot your brain, suck out your soul and leave you a hollow shell.

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Post by Heart of Shadows » June 28th, 2011, 8:36 am

Very inspiring story Think different(Despite the Apple motto lol).

I got some of my dads family who is close to him living in new Zealand but the thing is I fell out with my dad a bit as he tries to control us and tell us how to live our lives(He lives in Texas and I stay with my moms side) and all he cares about is making money and occasionally acting like a player and tries to instill that same mentality.

Right now I'm close to getting an HIT associate and I wouldn't mind teaching English..

Thing is I only know a bit of Chinese and Japanese(had a tutor in high school) and I'm not sure those would do me much good.

Only thing I got so far here is an interview that got delayed to Friday and I've been out of work since February of 2010(had temp jobs here and there).
"It is a sign of creeping inner death when we can no longer praise the living."
Eric Hoffer

"If human beings were shown what they're really like, they'd either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves."
Aldous Huxley

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Post by ladislav » June 28th, 2011, 9:05 am

I worked in the Middle East and I have an MA in TESL- everyone thought it was a stupid degree to get because with it, in the US, you will get a backroom job at some trade school teaching Mexican people plus you may qualify for some part time hours here and there. That is what I thought it would be.

Anyway, when I was in California, I worked for an airline school full of gorgeous stewardesses. My salary was $2200 a month but it was in the 80ies so it was not so bad. Then I went to Japan and worked there for 2 years and then Thailand. In Japan they were paying us $2500 + an apartment plus 2 months off paid vacation. So, I was able to travel all around Asia doing all kinds of wild things. Then I went to Thailand and spent 3.5 years there- made some $1400 a month which was not enough but I always had work. I was teaching nurses- classes filled with some 100 per class 18-22 girls. So, it was a pleasant place to be. Then I went to Saudi- they were paying $2666 a month + food, clothing, tickets and housing free and 42 days vacations per year. Not so bad.

I went to Oman, they were paying some $3700, but I had to get an house and a car, but still saved a bit. I left Oman with $98K in the bank. Then, my last job in Saudi paid $4800 a month + housing but the people were lousy- a British company and they did not like Americans, so both me and my buddy got fired under some lousy pretexts. When we got sacked after one year +, we did not come home crying. We had so much money saved up, he went to Egypt to dive and then knocked around Europe for a year; I went to Jordan, Turkey and Ukraine and then flew to the Philippines from there.

I am in the Philippines now living next to one of the biggest red light districts in the world while teaching online. My friend went to Iraq and is now making 11K a month teaching ESL.

During all this time I would take months off- sometimes as long as 10 months without really working. Just traveling and dating cute girls.

This is an exciting career- I have been on a safari in Africa, dancing tango in Argentina,going to coffee shops in Amsterdam, skiing in NZ and whale watching in Oz. In Oman I rented a villa with 6 rooms! In Saudi, I was living in a hotel! And on one job I was living on a military base, had a jeep and would arrive, and the guards would raise the barrier on the base and salute me.

In the US even CEOs cannot have this kind of lifestyle.

Not bad for someone who is not even a native speaker of English. I am by nature never satisfied and always find something to bitch to myself about but now that I have put in writing what I have achieved in terms of lifestyle, hey, this looks like a pretty successful life. There have been some nerve wrecking times and some lows but now I don't even remember them. Most of all, I have dated and had sex with so many young ladies, I do not need to exaggerate or lie about my amorous adventures as some people wont to do. I am now content to stay home and surf the web most of the time.

So, if I could do it, you can do it too.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!

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Post by The_Adventurer » June 28th, 2011, 12:51 pm

Now THIS is what Happier Abroad is supposed to be about!! I had almost given up hope in coming here, since it seemed to be only rants about everything that's wrong at home, conspiracies about the end of the empire, and too much info about American women. It is awesome to see someone doing it.

It's a shame Globetrotter is not here to chime in. I seem to remember he wrote about creating what seemed like an awesome life for himself, most particularly because, aside from a good salary, based on his locale, he had so much of his time to himself. That's really getting out of the rat race!

I don't teach English, but I found my way out here too. I hope others, if they are really done with their homeland, will follow suit.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan

Jackal
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Re: US Job Situation vs. Teaching ESL Abroad

Post by Jackal » June 28th, 2011, 2:41 pm

Think Different wrote: I arrived here June 1, and had a job interview within 2 weeks. I just got word today that I have been accepted for a full-time teaching position at a private language school. I am about 1/3 of the way through completing my online TEFL course and things are starting to look up. Pay won't be as good, of course, but it'll be sufficient, plus it's better than living like a poverty-stricken bum in the US, where there is no more hope for people like me.
Congrats, TD!

But frankly, I'm surprised that you were able to get a job with only a TEFL certificate which you earned online. Does your employer know that you are earning your TEFL certificate online or did you leave that part out? Anyway, I hope things work out for you when you start teaching in person. Have you ever taught any subject before? My main advice is "speak slowly and act confident."
Think Different wrote: My point is this: if you want to get out fast, have an undergrad degree in ANYTHING, do your online TEFL course (a 120 hour course costs about $400) and start looking abroad.
Yeah, that's quite something if online TEFL certificates enough to get you a job. I had to drag my ass to a city two hours away every weekend in the winter extremely early in the morning to get my TEFL certificate in person in the US. Doing it online would have been much easier--and cheaper! I did get some good experience teaching during my in-person TEFL course, but honestly, a person could also get that same experience volunteering to teach immigrants somewhere.
Think Different wrote: LIFE ABROAD/THINK DIFFERENT: SCORE 1
US SHITTY SYSTEM THAT CHEWS YOU UP AND SPITS YOU OUT: SCORE 0
And if you are no longer paying taxes to the US, the US's score changes to -1!

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Re: US Job Situation vs. Teaching ESL Abroad

Post by Jackal » June 28th, 2011, 2:55 pm

jamesbond wrote:I have no idea how much money I would be making, would I even have enough to pay my bills?
Although the term "Eastern Europe" can be useful for us, it's really not all the same. Whether you'll make enough to live off varies by country. I think you'll make enough to live off in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Poland. But in Romania, you probably won't make enough to live off. I don't know about Ukraine.
Every country is a bit different. Sweeping generalizations about "Eastern Europe" are generally pretty useless.
jamesbond wrote: Also, how long does it take to get a TEFL, a month or so?
Yes, if you do it full-time. Part-time it takes a few months. In your case, I'd say just go for it!
jamesbond wrote: Would I have to interview in person for a teaching position?
Some places require you to teach a demo lesson in person. Others might be satisfied with only an interview via phone or Skype.
jamesbond wrote:Of course there is also the problem of having to find a decent place to live as well.
But if you find a job where they GIVE you a place to live for FREE, then this isn't a problem. So don't just look at the salary, but also take into account the extra benefits which are included.

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Re: US Job Situation vs. Teaching ESL Abroad

Post by Think Different » June 28th, 2011, 3:24 pm

Jackal wrote:
Think Different wrote: I arrived here June 1, and had a job interview within 2 weeks. I just got word today that I have been accepted for a full-time teaching position at a private language school. I am about 1/3 of the way through completing my online TEFL course and things are starting to look up. Pay won't be as good, of course, but it'll be sufficient, plus it's better than living like a poverty-stricken bum in the US, where there is no more hope for people like me.
Congrats, TD!

But frankly, I'm surprised that you were able to get a job with only a TEFL certificate which you earned online. Does your employer know that you are earning your TEFL certificate online or did you leave that part out? Anyway, I hope things work out for you when you start teaching in person. Have you ever taught any subject before? My main advice is "speak slowly and act confident."
Think Different wrote: My point is this: if you want to get out fast, have an undergrad degree in ANYTHING, do your online TEFL course (a 120 hour course costs about $400) and start looking abroad.
Yeah, that's quite something if online TEFL certificates enough to get you a job. I had to drag my ass to a city two hours away every weekend in the winter extremely early in the morning to get my TEFL certificate in person in the US. Doing it online would have been much easier--and cheaper! I did get some good experience teaching during my in-person TEFL course, but honestly, a person could also get that same experience volunteering to teach immigrants somewhere.
Think Different wrote: LIFE ABROAD/THINK DIFFERENT: SCORE 1
US SHITTY SYSTEM THAT CHEWS YOU UP AND SPITS YOU OUT: SCORE 0
And if you are no longer paying taxes to the US, the US's score changes to -1!
Thanks Jackal! I appreciate that! I already have an undergrad degree, a Masters degree, plus I have 20+ years of real-life work experience in various fields, including about 1 year's worth of TEFL in Germany, Czech Republic, and Russia. As for the online TEFL courses, the school is the one who recommended that I do it. They said it's the basic requirement for their school, but that they also hold a higher standard and expect more from their teachers. They said there are schools here in Italy that will take you without a cert, but they don't give you enough hours, they don't help you out with materials, and they kind of leave you blowing in the wind. Another thing is that they wanted a teacher who lives here and has ties to the country, meaning they aren't just going to get up and walk away from the contract, as a younger person might. Since I moved here with my wife and son, we're pretty much permanent, which appealed to them (lowers their risk level).

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Re: US Job Situation vs. Teaching ESL Abroad

Post by Jackal » June 28th, 2011, 7:22 pm

Think Different wrote:Since I moved here with my wife and son, we're pretty much permanent, which appealed to them (lowers their risk level).
And I think you will find life especially satisfying when you see your son growing up there and becoming a bilingual, educated, international person. There are lots of great educational programs and scholarships in the EU. Also, the system is generally more fair in that the people with the best test scores and the best grades go to college and it's not about just sending out the right social class signals like it is the US ("Before taking the SAT IIs, I single-handedly sailed to the Puerto Rico where I completed a community service project for one-legged deaf gay children").

How does your wife feel about being back in Italy?

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Post by The_Hero_of_Men » June 28th, 2011, 7:45 pm

The_Adventurer wrote:Now THIS is what Happier Abroad is supposed to be about!! I had almost given up hope in coming here, since it seemed to be only rants about everything that's wrong at home, conspiracies about the end of the empire, and too much info about American women. It is awesome to see someone doing it.

It's a shame Globetrotter is not here to chime in. I seem to remember he wrote about creating what seemed like an awesome life for himself, most particularly because, aside from a good salary, based on his locale, he had so much of his time to himself. That's really getting out of the rat race!

I don't teach English, but I found my way out here too. I hope others, if they are really done with their homeland, will follow suit.
All I need is enough money and proper credentials (i.e. TEFL/TOEFL/whatever the hell it's called) and I can blow this popsicle stand for good :)
Wielding the blade of evil's bane, he sealed the dark one away and gave the land light. This man, who traveled through time to save the land, was known as the Hero of Men. The man's tale was passed down through generations until it became legend...

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