Newbie needs the latest Sept2009 advice re:certs/countries

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Newbie needs the latest Sept2009 advice re:certs/countries

Unread postby AlanR » 10 Sep 2009, 03:36

Hi all,

I am looking into being a TEFL teacher. My motivation is to get out of the US and be able to live and work legally overseas. (preferably Eastern Europe or East Asia, but will settle for S.America)
The biggest strike against me is that I have no college degree and can't afford to get one. (a real one anyway)
I have a high IQ and book smarts but no related experience and a pretty pathetic job resume. I also just turned 40.
I've read some of the more recent threads here but I know that international laws and standards can change quite often. So does anyone have the latest info on what countries would be easiest for someone like me to get work? I know that Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Western Europe, and now Thailand require degrees. But other than China, Indonesia & Mexico (3 countries I'd rather avoid), what countries are still accepting non-degree holders? And with this global recession, has supply exceeded demand, thus making potential employers much pickier?

I'm also very confused by the myriad of options for getting a TEFL cert. Even though it's cheaper, I'd prefer not to get it online as I believe in-person training would be more useful. But where can I find the best deal that is also reputable? Should I train before I leave the US or should I take one of the overseas courses? For example, there's a 30-day TEFL course here in Madison, WI but it charges $2600! I know there's got to be cheaper ones elsewhere. There's at least a couple in Prague that look very attractive (TEFL Worldwide that I see advertised everywhere & "LanguageHouse") and charge around 1400 Euros. Then there's the ones in Thailand that are very affordable (around USD 1200) but I heard you now need a college degree to teach there.
My biggest fear is that I'll spend the money to fly over & train only to run out of money & have to crawl back to the US for lack of legally available jobs.

If anyone can give me some up-to-date advice I'd greatly appreciate it.
AlanR
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Re: Newbie needs the latest Sept2009 advice re:certs/countries

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 10 Sep 2009, 10:19

Virtually all countries require a degree and TEFL certificate as their basic qualifications to teach. There are jobs available if you don't have a degree but generally they fall into two categories:

1) Jobs where there is no legal requirement for a degree; the problem here is that these are few and far between, in limited countries, and it is likely to change in the near future.

2) Jobs on the "black market" as it were. These are going to be in schools which are desperate for a teacher and who will hire anyone who speaks English well enough. The problem here is that you will be working illegally which means that there's no recourse if your boss doesn't pay you and likewise the standard of the school is not going to be that high.

The way to get these jobs is simple; you need to be there! So, at minimum get yourself a TEFL Certificate to have at least one qualification you can show, then get over to where you want to teach with enough back up money to get you out if things go wrong.
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ICAL_Pete
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Re: Newbie needs the latest Sept2009 advice re:certs/countries

Unread postby AlanR » 10 Sep 2009, 15:18

Thanks, Pete.
You've pretty much confirmed my worst fears. I definitely don't want to deal with the stress of essentially being an illegal alien and at the mercy of unscrupulous employers, in constant fear of arrest or deportation.
You say "virtually all" countres require a degree now. But does anyone know specifically the few that don't? (other than China, Mexico, Indonesia)

thanks
AlanR
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Posts: 2
Joined: 10 Sep 2009, 01:18
Status: Prospective Teacher


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