Teaching Language Abroad

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Mr. 26
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Teaching Language Abroad

Postby Mr. 26 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:38 pm

Because I love the beach and warm weather, I have decided to come to Russia in January to teach English to very eager Russians who simply love grammar rules. I teach both adults and children, in both a private 1-on-1 manner and group settings. The job pays slightly above the local average salary (I make more than a junior policeman), my expenses are low and the job keeps engaged enough that I don't spend my money on silly acquisitions that I will have to get rid of in a few months time.

There are downsides, but they are outweighed by the fact that I surprisingly enjoy teaching people things. I do not have any teaching qualifications beyond having a Bachelor's degree in Business from a middling American university.

Ask me questions, or share your tips. Preferably the latter because I usually answer questions with mild disdain, general apathy and passive contempt.
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Skywalker
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Re: Teaching Language Abroad

Postby Skywalker » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:42 pm

I landed a job in China, had my passport had everything I needed. Yet, I did not go. I could not go.

While I would love to teach English overseas, that is no longer a possibility. Life got in the way. If I went overseas to work, I'd much rather help people get into American universities than anything else. I have to do something with my MS in Higher Ed.

From what I remember you need a certification and at least a degree in something to teach overseas. If you want to teach in say the Middle East than a degree in education is a must. This is a great way to make money and see another area of the planet.
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Brewtality
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Re: Teaching Language Abroad

Postby Brewtality » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:57 pm

I think you can get buy without too many qualifications in a lot of places in SE Asia. I don't teach English as a Foreign Language but I'm in my 6th year of teaching abroad now. I spent 2.5 years teaching in Qatar and am now coming to the end of my 3rd year teaching here in Tanzania, where I will be calling time on my teaching career for the time being to run a business here with my friend.

I highly recommend teaching abroad but it is very important to do your research on you school and country first. So many people end up working in places they hate because they're not really 'travellers' and end up freaking out at the differences in lifestyle between their adopted and native countries.

Mr. 26, whereabouts in Russia are you? I was offered a job in Moscow when I came to TZ and I remember the salary was great but the cost of living looked to be very high.
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Mr. 26
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Re: Teaching Language Abroad

Postby Mr. 26 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:20 pm

Skywalker wrote:From what I remember you need a certification and at least a degree in something to teach overseas. If you want to teach in say the Middle East than a degree in education is a must. This is a great way to make money and see another area of the planet.


When I searched for a teaching gig in October 2016, qualifications varied from country to country. Most of the Pacific Asian countries are looking for people with at least a 4-year college degree in any subject and ideally a teaching cert like CELTA or TOEFL if you are not an education or English major. The Mid East looked to pay the most but also required serious experience to go along with it.

I'm not doing this for the money but genuinely wanted the travel experience and to learn another language. I am fortunate that the language school I applied for took care of the visa, is providing a flat, flight reimbursement, health insurance, free Metro pass (absolute essential to living and working in Moscow) and free Russian language classes. My salary is slightly above Moscow's average (I make more than a junior policeman or a rocket engineer) and is just enough to live on. My hard partying days are in the past and I choose to save my money for really interesting and worthwhile experiences rather than material possessions.

Brewtality wrote:Mr. 26, whereabouts in Russia are you? I was offered a job in Moscow when I came to TZ and I remember the salary was great but the cost of living looked to be very high.


I live in Moscow and was concerned about the supposed high cost of living until I realized that I because of certain lifestyle choices (vegetarian, cook meals at home, non-drinker, non-smoker, single) I can easily survived on the salary that I was offered. If you live within your means and don't attempt to keep up with the Joneses (or Ivanovs), you can easily survive in Moscow for at least a third less than what you make in the US. Food is inexpensive, most of the museums, theaters, cultural experiences are affordable, the Metro is cheap and can take you anywhere you want in the city.

Brewtality wrote:now coming to the end of my 3rd year teaching here in Tanzania, where I will be calling time on my teaching career for the time being to run a business here with my friend.


I have so many questions because I have been thinking of making Africa my next destination (going from the Rocky Mountains to a Russian Metropolis made me realize that I need to be in a simple living situation with easy access to escape into nature).

(all questions will be specific to TZ, but if you have knowledge of how it extends to the larger continent, any information is appreciated)

How is the visa situation (difficulties, long process, etc)?
Salary enough to live off?
Housing?
Ease of fitting in?
General experience?
What kind of business are you starting? (if it is too personal to answer, how easy is it to start a business as a foreigner?)

Brewtality wrote:I highly recommend teaching abroad but it is very important to do your research on you school and country first. So many people end up working in places they hate because they're not really 'travellers' and end up freaking out at the differences in lifestyle between their adopted and native countries.


Important advice
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Brewtality
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Re: Teaching Language Abroad

Postby Brewtality » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:06 am

Mr. 26 wrote:How is the visa situation (difficulties, long process, etc)?
Salary enough to live off?
Housing?
Ease of fitting in?
General experience?
What kind of business are you starting? (if it is too personal to answer, how easy is it to start a business as a foreigner?)



Okay well, thanks for asking!

Visas: International teachers generally have no problems. However, the government at the moment is very keen to promote Tanzanian jobs for Tanzanians. As such, if they feel that you are applying to do a job that a Tanzanian could do, they'd be inclined to reject your application. This is what I am worried about with transitioning but I should find it a little easier being a shareholder.

Salary: My salary here has been atrocious when compared to those back home or elsewhere in the world. My employer has been particularly lean with the cash though compared to the other international schools in the area. Despite that, I was able to buy a car and run it with no issues. I also have plenty of money to entertain myself here and I can afford to pay for a beach house which I rent with some friends year-round. We have a brilliant lifestyle and it all comes very cheaply. This is Africa so if don't want to spend your money on the expensive imported groceries then you can feed yourself very handsomely for a couple of dollars a day. Beer is also around a dollar for 500ml. Nice.

Housing: I've lived in a few different houses here and they've all been very nice. The most I paid in rent was $500 though I did pay for a security guard and night and a gardener during the day. The price is very cheap and you can get some really amazing houses for very little rent. I certainly didn't think I'd be living in a house where I could see Mt. Kilimanjaro from the garden whilst watching monkeys playing in the trees above.

Ease of Fitting In: This one is all up to you really. Nothing here will come and get you. You need to go out and make things happen. For my first year, I was having fun but just couldn't find good friends. There were plenty of people but there are a lot of very rich Colonial types where I live and I just don't have an interest in spending time with them. But I persevered and found an incredible group of people who I enjoy amazing, fulfilling friendships with. If you want to get to know more local people then learning Swahili is a must. I have some great Tanzanian friends but definitely spend most of my time with expats.

General Experience:
I love the place. Tanzania is big and crazy and exciting and every day feels like an adventure. I learned to drive here, bought my first car here and have started the best band I've been in here. There are artists and people working to follow their dreams and travellers and free-spirits and a hell of a lot of unique people. Just last night I was having dinner with a friend of mine who is a cameraman for National Geographic who is off to film volcanoes in the Pacific later this week. My friends are from all over the world - from Brooklyn to Cape Town - we all live in a paradise. We are so lucky to be able to go on game drives to see elephants, lions, hippos and all that good stuff and then we can drive to the coast and go snorkelling or diving off pristine coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. This is the country of the Serengeti and Zanzibar so we have it all and I couldn't recommend it enough!

Business:
Well, we have come in to take control of an existent business which supplies solar installations. I've no experience in solar but my business partner is an excellent engineer. Fortunately for me, he's not great at sales, marketing or any of that presentational side of the business and I am. So I'll be heading up that side of things whilst he focuses on building amazing backup systems. We are then going to use the - hopeful - success of the solar stuff to build our industrial engineering business. Both businesses have a lot of potential and we are already well under-way with the solar stuff. Thanks for asking!
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