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Teaching English Abroad

Teaching English Abroad

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Posts: 558, Visits: 93
to get some kosher UK refs you could try aqnd get some experience volunteering with a local refugee/asylum seeker scheme or an organisation like refugee action, or the Big Life Co.

Dave's esl cafe's useful for info

Well, to be honest they’re not really looking for the type of references the UK would be. They might even wonder why you were a volunteer and unable to find paid work, being a professional? They certainly wouldn’t have heard of ‘Refugee Action’ and ‘Big Life Co (I haven’t) and suchlike and probably wouldn’t know what they were. (Hint) You weren't a HGV driver, you were involved in International logistics?! :-)

A good character reference would be handy though, leaving out any mention of the past of course. What you are trying to put yourself across as is a professional type of person and refs from any other professional person will impress. They will often be more interested in the letterhead than the contents! :-) Your old Uni lecturer who’s now a Professor would be great even if it’s just to say he knew you. Following a three month volunteer position in-country will add another one . . . and so it goes on. I think the trick is to lose the UK mindset of everyone demanding to know your most intimate details, because they will be concentrating on what you can do, whilst you will be concentrating on providing a service and building a reputation.

Concentrate on building up a portfolio of activity based lesson plans. Brush up on your grammar for free online, particularly the structure and nouns, verbs, adjectives plus tenses which all Asians have a problem with. Give the impression you know what you’re doing, bags of self confidence, observe the teaching methodology of others and adapt it to suit your own teaching methods . . . . . and away you go.       


I’m not prepared to divulge the short cuts, but it can be done.

Let’s start and go through it quickly. The East too is heading into a recession and Thailand is just about played out now. I already work elsewhere and use it as a holiday and eventual retirement destination. You can still get a job there but the wages are low, average 30k baht and you’re worked like a buffalo! No questions asked in most places, but a professional appearance is a must. TEFL required, plus original degree, or a transcribed sealed copy from your Uni. Experience is usually needed, but you can talk your way through it and you will be invariably asked to give a demonstration lesson. (Dodgy degree copies from Khao San Road in Bangkok have been noted and will no longer pass).

China: Strict medical as in very strict. Two years experience usually required. Evidence of clean criminal record usually required. Schools will require a check, but the private language mills might not be too fussy. Schools pay extremely well with short hours. China and South Korea are currently the good ones, with Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam opening up as well. Laos is useless, too many U.N and Peace Corps backpackers.

You could do a CV listing jobs and not necessarily positions, or to be honest, make them up as you go along. Who cares whether you worked for Microsoft or KFC six thousand miles away, or what your position was there. Yes, be careful not to mention manual work, it’s looked down on. Most get their positions in Thailand through but you have to be in country to apply. I know a few people with records, all either alcohol or drugs related and they’re kept very quiet. If you declare, you don’t stand a chance and for certain offences you’ll hit the news headlines, aka Gary Glitter.

Play by UK rules and you might as well not bother. The East is not the UK; go your own way, think positive and you’ll usually succeed. :-)


References? Slip me a tenner and I’ll do one for you. lol That mate you’ve got who went bankrupt a year ago will also do one for you. Or you can get a template off MS Word and do one yourself! Wow, am I serious? Who cares what you did in the UK, the first question you will be asked is, ‘where did you teach previously’? You will give them the name of the school in Thailand you’ve just been a volunteer in and where you’ve updated your teaching practice for three months and that they will check. No one knows or cares about Bill Smith’s haulage and wouldn’t even know what it was.

Once you leave the UK it’s a different ball game. No one is interested in what you did or where you lived; they are interested in whether you can teach or not and are safe around young people. The first they will test you on, the second they will observe over a period of time. As you work through a few schools you will build up a reputation and within five years your UK CV will be redundant because it will have been filled with Asian jobs and references from Police Chiefs to leaders of LEA’s and so on. References? Tell ‘em you were a Woolworth’s Manager! They’re not interested. Your personal conduct and appearance is what they are looking at.

Mostly, what I’m saying is this. Once you get out of the UK the world is a different place. No one could be really bothered who you are. In the East there is no health and safety, no risk assessments, no government interference; you stand, (or fall), on your own two feet.

After a probationary period of a year in Thailand with someone like Sarrasas who take just about anyone on and work you to death; thrown in at the deep end for a one year contract you’ll either sink or swim. You can then take that experience to places like China or Vietnam for a much better salary and shorter hours and maybe get into a p/t business as well, which is what I’m doing. You get access to cheap items which you can export, do your own private lessons in your own time and generally start to make a really nice living.

What’s there not to like? The UK? Yes, you can get to the heights of a decent manual job, but you’ll rarely if ever get to profession status and you’ll always be a, ‘one of them’. Always looking over your shoulder, or be the subject of gossip if people know. I’ve never wanted to live like that, go cap in hand almost begging to be granted the privilege of a job; if taken on having to ‘prove’ myself, thinking myself lucky someone is letting me sweep their floor for a minimum wage . . . NO!      


Post Edited (IanC) : 07/08/2013 12:51:10 (GMT+1)


Q3 said...
Why anybody would want to teach these people anything is beyond me.


I certainly do not want to pack up my life in the UK and move my family next door to some Ladyboys or Group of Sex Workers.

I know, for some older men, the appeal of a Thai wife or teaching young Thai people may seem appealing, but the thought revolts me.

You will always be " one of them" as you are, after all a foreigner in their country,and as for "begging, and proving yourself", the job process seems no different than that in the UK.


I hope you feel "lucky" in being accepted by this country of "misfits".  

What a strange reply. Apologies accepted, or alternatively you might want to update your knowledge and thought processes. The OU do some good courses in current affairs and general knowledge.

If you have mental health problems forget the above, my apologies instead. rolleyes">


Some of which is true and a lot of rubbish included. The internet is a very useful tool, but its best not to believe everything you read? I could tell you that the recession has now officially ended, that Big Dave’s Society and his austerity is good for you, or that there is no mass immigration, they’re all tourists! All this mind boggling stuff can be found with a few mouse clicks, but for really good info it’s always better to go yourself or ask someone who’s done it?

Of course, you can always choose to live the rest of your life on the ROA, amongst the alcohol and drug epidemic, the inner city ghetto’s and ‘white flight, huge taxes and political corruption . . . and that’s something I didn’t get ion the internet!

P.S I‘ve owned a gun here and I’ll bet there’s many in the UK that wish they could. You talk about levels of crime? The UK I believe has the highest prison population in Europe. Bangkok? Been there often – I challenge you to walk the streets of Inner City Manchester after dark. Stop spouting nonsense mate, gate off your backside and stop scouring the internet for scare stories. Or perhaps sit in your politically correct cotton wool world if its too scary? lol

 *Add on a bit part*

If you can’t hack it and would miss the welfare society, or you’re a bit on the timid side and have to be constantly told how to sort your life out by the government then yes, best to lock the door and stay at home and do as you’re told. Perhaps I should have included a travel warning? A health and safety check, risk assessment . . . . . ?

Emigration is the highest in UK history. Now there’s a fact. Whether it’s Asia, the U.S or seemingly gentle Sweden, (massive street riots recently), you’ll get horror stories from anywhere if you search long enough. I have been in Asia for five years and never been robbed or been in any kind of trouble. Mind you, like everywhere else, if I wanted trouble I could find it easily enough – just like I could in the UK.

To take stuff off the internet and present it as knowledge you have to base it on either experience or comparisons which you haven’t done Q3. That leaves your post out in the wilderness alongside conspiracy theories and the “A bloke told me that . . .”. You cant challenge me on anything I've said, you've never been there and trolling the internet for scare stories doesn't count. If you're happy in the UK Q3 stay there, no problem, but then don't winge and whine tomorrow about how bad it is for you.

Post Edited (IanC) : 09/08/2013 11:26:31 (GMT+1)


Here's my story.

In the UK I had a very good manual job as a HGV1 driver for many years. I would still be working now, but probably at half the rate and my taxes would be sky high. I would not be able to get any higher as the ROA would prevent that. If I just wanted to plod on there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that, but I don’t and so . . . My lifestyle might sound rosy compared to the UK, but that’s because that’s the way I’ve made it and not waited for others to do it for me.

I live in Thailand and work in a communist country in Asia. I and my Thai wife (in her 50’s by the way), own a small two bed bungalow by the sea – just about paid for in five years. I have one cat, (the other had a fight with a snake and lost), a motorbike and I don’t pay taxes as I don’t work in Thailand. In a few days time we’re flying to Hong Kong and onwards to my place of work where after all the freebies have been factored in (and after 4% tax), I take home just over 1000 GBP a month, (my air flights and holidays are paid for twice a year – plus the local and national ones) and that’s for 15 hours work a week. (Everything, including food, medical and accommodation at work is free). BUT and let’s make some comparisons; I get a salary increase of around 8 to 10% a year, my ciggies are 80p a pack and petrol is about 80p a litre, plus my motorbike tax and insurance is about 9 GBP a year combined, no questions asked by the way. I just paid my months water bill here in Thailand which was 2.50 GBP and I expect my electric bill for my one month holiday to be around 20 GBP and that’s only because I’ve hammered the air con’. Later this year I’m going to do a bit of p/t tutoring and also hope to start a small p/t export business, which I’m hoping will double my income.

Now for the downside and for the stick out my tongue and the ‘I bet you’ve not got . . . ‘ There are no chip shops here. It’s never ending hot. A cup of tea doesn’t taste the same and although its home, it will never be home if you know what I mean. Just about all western products are available, but expensive if you’re on an Asian salary, so a Pizza Hut or KFC is a once a week luxury, but for health reasons I suppose that’s all it should be really. Apart from that I miss the green fields that only England can produce – but not much else.

We’re on holiday at the moment and as an aside, we also drove up to the wife’s village up in the North of Thailand for a few relaxing days in the country. That’s where you’ll find me if the world’s economies collapse and it’s from where I can watch the nuclear mushroom clouds from afar, if it carries on the way it’s going.

I’m not a travel agent or the Samaritans; that’s how it is, that’s my life guys and I’ll just bounce backwards and forwards until I retire. It’s not just me; it’s what millions of others are doing. If you’re youngish, single, have an education or a saleable skill, my personal advice is to get out of the UK and preferably away from the EU as millions already have. Sure, it’s a bit nerve racking with plenty of ‘what if’s’ and yes, there are some that don’t make it, but they’re usually the ones who can’t adapt to an independent life free from a nanny state, or have addiction problems which they’ve brought with them.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed reading about one person’s voyage in life, away from the ROA, or at least found it interesting?

Q3, I’ll rate your above posts the most useless I’ve ever read on this forum, if only for their lack of knowledge which you’ve passed off as fact. What I’ve just posted is an insight to my life, not internet trolling for information which you’re told is fact. Now go and do something with your own life which doesn’t involve the rest of society having to hold your hand and then come back and tell us all about it? :-) Give us some information on how to improve lives or tell us what you've done to make yours better.

P.S These 'dream lifestyles' do not fall into anyone's lap. You work hard over several years to attain them, but unlike the UK, for many they are attainable. There are no easy answers or shortcuts to success, but if it's a question of trying or sitting and waiting for the government to do something, it's a no contest.   

Post Edited (IanC) : 09/08/2013 14:10:30 (GMT+1)


Fortunately I don’t declare. That gets me around the world. Travelling presents me with opportunities. Opportunities I’m not slow to grasp. It all fits in easily with my philosophy.

I live in a place where I can buy certain things cheaply and tried it out by taking an item back to Bangkok as hand luggage and made a huge profit. Already I’ve got some more orders from word of mouth, but I can only take so many back as they’re fragile and bulky and so I want to advertise to a wider audience and sell by Paypal or International money order. My products sell for between 25 to 100 GBP, so it’s not colossal amounts, but they are sought after items.  

I’ve found a web hosting site that will let me use their templates to make the site and host it for a few U.S $ on a one year rental. Cheap and easy, I think, but using meta tags for key words, or how to promote the site leaves me baffled. Fire away, I live and learn and perhaps this might give ideas to others also?

Just as an aside; many years ago I friend I had was heavily into car boot sales. One day I was watching him get ready and he had a piece of wood about 5” x 2”. I asked home what it was for and what he said has stayed with me since then. He said, “Someone in the world is making something right now and that piece of wood is just what they’re looking for. When I find them, or they find me, they’ll buy it because it’s what they want and they’ll pay me the price I want”! I found the product, now I want to find the man who wants to buy it because it’s just what they want.

la-kawn (Goodbye) sawatdee (Hello). Kap Kuhn Kap. :-)    


No Ader, I’ve never been back, can’t see the point of returning. Yes, you’re right, I’ll start another thread.


You have this slightly annoying habit . . . . . “ Oh, I’ve got lots of them. Yet as you say we can’t always have what we want, my reply was, Yes we can, within reason.

My implication of having to wait around waiting for something to happen, will happen if you obey the law to the letter. Just my opinion of course, but the squeaky clean you would run their lives according to the dictates of others are in for a long wait.

There is no ‘fantasy’ of running away to Thailand, or for that matter anywhere else. The fantasy, as you will discover on the forum, is that to stay in the UK is a dead end for many.

No Richard, I picked what I wanted to do and did it. What I wanted wasn’t achievable in the UK, so I went elsewhere and did it. It really is as simple as that. I wouldn’t even get a job sweeping the playground in any school in the UK, never mind teaching!

“ . . . you've chosen to take some extra shortcuts and basically commit fraud by falsifying documents.” Where on earth did you get that statement from? I can assure you I’ve never falsified a document. I have two Degrees (B.A and B.Sc) and a Masters (M.A) from UK Universities Richard and spent ten years at various ones. What stopped me from being a teacher in the UK was not a lack of qualifications, but my past - so I went elsewhere. Obviously you think I was born a HGV driver? What I recommended was that others don’t buy dodgy ones, not that I’d done so.

You say I read into posts what I want to hear? rolleyes">


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