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Author Topic: Teaching English Overseas
Babbler # 569

posted 08 May 2003 12:37 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
(I did a search of this topic just to make sure I wasn't reopening an old discussion...)

I am seriously looking into this as a career option at the moment. I need overseas work experience if I am going to be considered a serious candidate for humanitarian work during my lifetime, and I have a $30k student loan that's not going away.

Does anybody have any experience with this? I have a pretty good idea of the basics, and I'm not naïve, but I'm also still at the information-gathering stage. Any help or suggestions will be much appreciated.

From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 490

posted 08 May 2003 01:56 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've heard it's a real hit and miss proposition, especially since so many scam artists work this gig, fleecing desperate students who see easy money in a low-cost country ($3k a month Canadian goes a looooooooooong way in a place like Venezuela, Chile, or South Korea).

A common scam that has variants in the mail-envelopes-for-$$$ area runs as follows:

You see an advertisement for teaching English in some other country. Vague promises of easy money and all the paperwork being handled for you are on the ad.

You call in. They figure they've got you hooked. They wow you, ask you to come in, maybe.

Here's where they spring the trap. They need, oh, $200, let's say, to "expedite the paperwork and cover incidental costs" or some piece of flim-flam.

You never get your walking papers and a month, two months rolls around before you realize you've been had.

If you do choose to do this I would suggest doing a buttload, and I do mean a lot, of research on whoever you choose to use to have you placed with an ESL agency on "the other side".

And don't quit your day job until you're damn-all sure you're gonna get paid when they say they'll pay you.

From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 569

posted 08 May 2003 03:54 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, that's a start. I'm only investigating leads that are backed by a person who I know is reputable, even if it means more work on the front-end. I'm a very careful person ...most of the time. My two top destinations at the moment are Korea and Turkey (because of solid leads to solid language institutes).
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2406

posted 08 May 2003 04:05 PM      Profile for smcniven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you're interested in Japan, then my friend worked with with GEOS for 4-5 years and for the most part loved every moment of it. GEOS Corp

There is another program run by the Japanese goverment. I think it's called the JET program. It's the same idea, teaching English to Japanese people, except for it's a government program (GEOS is a private sector business).

If you want additional information, you can check out Ni-Ka Online, which is maintained by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs, or go to the Japanese Embassy in Canada's website (look for Exchange Programs).

Be careful though, I've had several friends move to Japan and they all become very attached to the country. One friend stayed there for 5 years, another for 4 and another went off in 1996 and we never heard from him again. I've gone over twice (once for pleasure and once for business) and I was enthralled by the place.

Edited to add: I notice you mentioned Korea and Turkey as your top candidates. While I don't have any info on teaching in Korea, I believe that this guy might (don't quote me on that!). For Turkey, while not a teaching position Imaginative Traveller is a UK-based company that runs adventure travel trips to Turkey (among other places) and hires westerners to act as tour leaders. My wife and I went on one of their tours (to Turkey) for our honeymoon and our tour leader hailed from Australia.

[ 08 May 2003: Message edited by: smcniven ]

From: Ottawa | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2883

posted 08 May 2003 04:26 PM      Profile for scrabble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
verbatim, teaching english overseas might not be the best way to break into the world you want. "Teaching english overseas" can mean everything from an ancillary duty for a community development project in Zambia, to playing pattycake with spoiled private school teens in east asia - and guess which end of the spectrum puts your resume in the circular file?

I know a few people who found international work with the UN, straight out of school (early 90s), even without the real-world legal and outreach experience you seem to have. They started in support areas like conference organizing and logistical support for humanitarian aid; one of the main requirements seems to be a willingness to travel.

And with all your smarts (!), they'd be lucky to have you for a while. What do you think?

From: dappled shade in the forest | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged

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