Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

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London1804
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Joined: 19 Apr 2018, 18:26
Status: New Teacher

Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

Unread post by London1804 » 19 Apr 2018, 18:48

Hi,
Hopefully you will be able to give me a steer on next steps.

I'm a newly qualified TEFL in my mid 50s and looking for a first position.

My target areas are Latin America and Asia (It seems China is recruiting heavily?)

So as I'm new I was thinking of possibly trying for a short term contract to see if I like the job / region before committing to something longer. Do most countries offer these or do they require 12 month contracts?

Any advice on the regions above, any decent recruiters (EF seem to be quite big?) , best pay etc much appreciated

Many thanks
David
PS As I'm new I was thinking that I would probably be better with a company that offers good support to start.

Briona
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Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 20:33
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Re: Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

Unread post by Briona » 20 Apr 2018, 11:07

Hi there,
London1804 wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 18:48
So as I'm new I was thinking of possibly trying for a short term contract to see if I like the job / region before committing to something longer. Do most countries offer these or do they require 12 month contracts?
If you need a visa to work somewhere, you are unlikely to find a short-term contract. It's not cost-effective for an employer to bring someone in for a couple of months. Furthermore, employers and students want continuity, so contracts tend to be for 9-12 months to suit the academic year.
London1804 wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 18:48
My target areas are Latin America and Asia (It seems China is recruiting heavily?)
I have to say that I don't know too much about the TEFL market in Latin America as I've never been remotely interested in working there. The little research I've done suggests that salaries are subsistence level, and you're likely to be working under the table as few employers want to go to the cost of organising work permits.

The TEFL market in Asia is huge. However, you will need to be under 60, be in good health (mental and physical) and have no infectious diseases (HIV, TB, hepatitis, etc.), have a Bachelor's degree, and a clean criminal record to satisfy visa regulations. If you don't meet the above criteria, you stand little to no chance of finding legal work.
London1804 wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 18:48
Any advice on the regions above, any decent recruiters (EF seem to be quite big?) , best pay etc much appreciated
There is no one-size-fits-all with TEFL, not even within a particular region or country. An employer can be great in one country/city and horrendous in another. Personally, I wouldn't touch EF with a bargepole. That said, I have friends who have worked at their schools in China and Taiwan, and most thought they were OK.

Your potential salary will depend on your qualifications. If you don't have a Bachelor's degree, all the decent paying countries are off the table. If you do have a degree (which can be in anything), you will find that South Korea offers the greatest savings potential. China too offers ample opportunities to save, assuming you find a decent employer. However, there are so many scammers out there, I'm not sure that it's a great starting point for inexperienced newbies.

Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, please ask.

Briona
Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

London1804
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Posts: 5
Joined: 19 Apr 2018, 18:26
Status: New Teacher

Re: Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

Unread post by London1804 » 29 May 2018, 19:15

Thanks, You mention that you don't think Asia may be suitable for a newbie....why do you think that?

London1804
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Posts: 5
Joined: 19 Apr 2018, 18:26
Status: New Teacher

Re: Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

Unread post by London1804 » 29 May 2018, 19:16

Also where would you recommendations be as a starting country?

London1804
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Posts: 5
Joined: 19 Apr 2018, 18:26
Status: New Teacher

Re: Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

Unread post by London1804 » 25 Jun 2018, 18:40

It seems lots of jobs ask for Celta or Trinity (which I don't have) is there a way to save time and look for TEFL certificate accepted jobs?
Also I'd be happy to do a couple of months summer school to get experience....is there anywhere that specialises in short term placements?
Thanks
David

Briona
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Posts: 199
Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 20:33
Status: Teacher

Re: Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

Unread post by Briona » 26 Jun 2018, 11:01

Hi again,

I somehow missed the fact that you'd responded to my previous reply!
London1804 wrote:
29 May 2018, 19:15
Thanks, You mention that you don't think Asia may be suitable for a newbie....why do you think that?
I didn't say I wouldn't recommend Asia for a newbie, but rather that I'd advise caution when it comes to China. There are so many scammers out there who are only too willing to take advantage of inexperienced newbies. That said, if you do enough research, and only work with big-name schools with an international presence, you might be OK.
London1804 wrote:
29 May 2018, 19:16
Also where would you recommendations be as a starting country?
That's the million-dollar question, and one to which there is no answer. It all depends on what you're looking for, and only you know that.

FWIW, I started out in Vietnam. It was my first time outside Europe, and it really was just a step too far for me, and I didn't particularly enjoy the experience. Fortunately, the contract was only for three months, and I returned to Europe at the end of it. I then spent the next seven and a bit years working there (Portugal, Poland, the UK, Spain). In January this year I moved to Qatar and I'm loving the experience, perhaps because I'm now much better travelled, and more familiar with different cultures.
London1804 wrote:
25 Jun 2018, 18:40
It seems lots of jobs ask for Celta or Trinity (which I don't have) is there a way to save time and look for TEFL certificate accepted jobs?
Contrary to popular opinion, the Celta and Trinity CertTESOL qualifications are, in fact, TEFL qualifications - they're just brand names. Most reputable employers will expect you to have one or the other (or an accepted equivalent). However, it is still possible to find work with a degree and an online TEFL certificate, especially in Asia. No job search that I know of allows you to filter jobs by qualification though.
London1804 wrote:
25 Jun 2018, 18:40
Also I'd be happy to do a couple of months summer school to get experience....is there anywhere that specialises in short term placements?
You've probably left it too late to look for summer work in most places. In Asia, summer jobs seem to start in May (or at least the one I had in Vietnam did), while in the UK and mainland Europe, it's late June. Likewise, the Middle East. I'm not sure about South America.

Briona
Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

London1804
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 19 Apr 2018, 18:26
Status: New Teacher

Re: Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

Unread post by London1804 » 01 Oct 2018, 16:34

Thanks Briona
Sorry not been on the site for a while.

Reason I'm looking at Asia is that they seem to provide accommodation (Europe doesn't seem to do this?)and salaries are higher.....I would like to be able to save some money and then return to teach in Spain (I've travelled in Asia quite a lot over the years)

Currently I'm using TEFL.com as my source for job alerts....could you recommend any others?

Briona
Top Contributor
Posts: 199
Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 20:33
Status: Teacher

Re: Newly qualified TEFL - Advice needed !

Unread post by Briona » 04 Oct 2018, 09:37

Hi again,
London1804 wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 16:34
Reason I'm looking at Asia is that they seem to provide accommodation (Europe doesn't seem to do this?)and salaries are higher.....I would like to be able to save some money and then return to teach in Spain (I've travelled in Asia quite a lot over the years)
If you're after benefits, you definitely need to look at Asia. You can expect to have housing paid for (at least in South Korea and China, and possibly Japan), health insurance, inbound and outbound flights, and a contract completion bonus. In Europe, you'd be lucky to find an employer who'd pay for your inbound flight! Note that where accommodation is included in a European contract, it's because the salary is far too low to live on. Caveat emptor!
London1804 wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 16:34
Currently I'm using TEFL.com as my source for job alerts....could you recommend any others?
TEFL.com has always been my go-to site, but it is mainly aimed at the European market. You probably need to look for country-specific forums for Asia, e.g., Ajarn for jobs in Thailand, Gaijin Pot for jobs in Japan, etc. I'm not sure what the Chinese equivalent is, but I'm sure there is one.
London1804 wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 16:34
...I would like to be able to save some money and then return to teach in Spain
The TEFL market in Spain is saturated. I spent the past five years teaching there, during which time the market deteriorated. Salaries are not just stagnant, they've actually dropped! Meanwhile, the cost of living has shot up. Accommodation in the big cities is all but unaffordable, especially for single TEFLers. Even flat-share, which at your age you might not want to do, is ridiculously overpriced.

Another issue is the fact that contracts are only for nine or ten months, leaving you with no income for the summer months. You can't claim the dole until you've worked and paid into the system for two years. Dole payments, which are taxable, are set at 70% of your average gross monthly salary for six months, and then the percentage drops until it reaches zero. After that, you need to pay in for a further two years before you can claim again. All in all, it's pretty dismal, and that's without taking Brexit into consideration!

Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, please ask.

Briona
Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

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