Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reader Question about What Country to Teach In

These ones from Britton:

"The places we have looked at primarily are: Taiwan, Thailand, and China.   How are the job markets for teaching English in the various countries?  Is there still high demand? Is there anything we should seriously take into consideration concerning any specific countries before we go (neither of us have ever been to Asia)"

Britton is coming with his brother.  He is interested in the experience of living in Asia, while his brother is most interested in saving money and not working horribly long hours.  

I've never taught in these countries before, but I have followed the job boards for a few years now and have talked to lots of people who have taught in these places.  And, I've traveled to these countries during my time here in Korea, so hopefully my thoughts are helpful!

Taiwan: you'll work harder for the money that you make.  Think $15/hour as compared to $30-50 in Korea.  Plus, you'll be responsible for your own housing.  I've heard that the crappy jobs like Hess are plentiful but to get a decent job in a public school or something can be quite hard to do if you're not a qualified teacher without substantial experience.  However, in my brief travels there, I enjoyed it a lot.  The people are friendly and relaxed, the food is excellent and cheap and there is no "winter!"

Thailand: I wouldn't really consider this as a place to teach ESL because the pay is so little.  You're competing with hordes of backpackers willing to work for almost free in exchange for housing. If you want a paid vacation of sorts, then this is the ultimate place to teach ESL for sure.

China: there is a huge demand for teachers.  You should be able to find a decent job there in days.  Salaries have increased greatly over the past few years and you should be able to save a reasonable amount of money working here.  However, while China does have an interesting history/culture, I didn't really enjoy my time there.  The government seems to exert way too much control for my liking.  Facebook censorship, regulations about how much money you can send home, red-tape to do almost anything, questionable human rights.  It's not for me. 

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