i am a 30-year old advertising copywriter based in manila, philippines who is seriously planning on making a career change to english teaching.
i am currently torn as to where to take the course and eventually, have the best options for a job after. i have narrowed down my options to either bangkok and china (hopefully, shanghai).
bangkok because it is the more affordable place to be (cheaper courses and standard of living, plus the weather is just like manila) however, from a long term perspective, china might be the bigger market. my problem with china is that the schools that offer TEFL/CELTA there are way more expensive (they charge in euro!) and of course, the culture shock (language, weather).
can anyone give me advice? i still have a ton of questions even though i've done some reading on other EFL forums such as this. some of my other concerns include -
- how important is a TEFL?CELTA certificate? i have people saying you don't need it, that they have gotten jobs even without it...this has me thinking, am i just wasting my money by investing US$1000 or so in even doing a TEFL course?
- those who've gotten teaching jobs even though they aren't certified have gone as far as saying it's coz they are caucasians. is the racism really that bad in the world of TEFL, particularly in the countries i am interested in (bangkok and china)? and if that's the case, do i even stand a chance being a brown-skinned asian, even though i have a college degree and an excellent command of english?
- any advice on applying for jobs in either country? what is the salary range for TEFL teachers in china? what about bangkok?
- lastly, does anyone have info or feedback regarding the following schools? these are the ones that i am already considering for enrollment:
in china -
1. the boland school, su zhou, jiangsu province, china (4-week intensive TEFL course. basic course fee - 1000 euros all materials included; registration fee - 250 euros; accomodations, 170 euros for 1 month)
2. language link, beijing - intensive 4-week CELTA course. course fee US$1,350; Cambridge testing fee $178; student responsible for other materials; accomodations range from $200-400 a month)
1. the TEFL institute - 6-week TEFL course; course fee Baht38,500
2. ECC Thailand - 4-week intensive CELTA course; course fee $1,400
- what is the difference between CELTA and TEFL anyway? is one better than the other?
- is paying in advance to the school really necessary and advisable even though one is not in the country yet? i am just nervous about sending over money to people/institutions i do not know especially since ALL of them have a "no-refund" policy...
any info, advice and tips would be highly appreciated. thanks so much.