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Right lads, where do I start. As the title says I have been let go from my Project Mgt/Admin job in Dublin where I have been living and working for the past 6 years. I have been working with the firm for the past five of those 6 years. I was served my notice last week in my job that I am being let go at the end of July. I have been informed that because the project I worked on in ceasing earlier than expected (we finished ahead of schedule) I am to receive a pay off for from my employer. When severance pay is taken into account along with my salary, allowance and annual leave in lieu, I will walk out with approx €23-24k in my back pocket. The following day with all my documents I will sign onto social security and receive €188 per week. Due to a backlog in applications, I could be waiting for anything up to 4-5 weeks before I get it but I will backpaid on that amount when I do receive.

I have had enough with Dublin for the time being and I now plan on going abroad to teach English. This idea has been in the back of my mind now for the past year or so and now the opportunity to pursue that has finally arisen. A bit about myself. I'm in my mid 30s, in good shape, decent game as well as being financially sound in that I have no debts, no mortgage, no wife, no kids, nothing. I'm only renting an apartment and I pay €600 per month which covers most of the utility bills. The International House is currently enrolling for to do the CELTA course which is a month long, full time intensive course which when completed, will equip me to teach English to adults or children anywhere in the world. The CELTA is run and validated by the Cambridge University. As you know, I'm a Slavophile. I have lived in Bulgaria and traveled in the FSU as well. I have been to Kiev, Minsk, Moscow and provincial Russia (Ekaterinburg where I wrote a data sheet on).

I'm in a bit of a quandry of what to do and where to go. Any advice would be welcome. I have a number of places to go to. Minsk, Bishkek, Ekaterinburg or a major city in provincial Russia. Some of my mates who incidentally are married with kids and all that, have told me that I'm in a once off enviable position. I'm thinking this over and thinking very hard. Lads, the floor is open.
Answer: go where the pay is best compared to average wage. Also where the flat allowance is high compared to avg rental cost. For example, in Moscow it is common for schools to make you share a flat, that's far from the center. But in a cheaper city you can possibly get your own flat in a better logistical location.
For gaming your own flat is better...plus English teachers often lean towards freaky weird bunch lol.
(07-12-2013 03:28 PM)jimukr104 Wrote: [ -> ]Answer: go where the pay is best compared to average wage. Also where the flat allowance is high compared to avg rental cost. For example, in Moscow it is common for schools to make you share a flat, that's far from the center. But in a cheaper city you can possibly get your own flat in a better logistical location.

Jim, I'm planning on doing freelancing in that I could be working for 2-3 schools, maybe perhaps private lessons to supplement my wage. I have no intention of going anywhere near Moscow if I choose Russia.
I understand you're a slavophile, but you might want to consider SE Asia anyway. It would really keep your expenses in check, and they're always looking for English teachers.

Depending on where you decide to go, you could end up having a wide selection of different tourist chicks to choose from. That could help scratch your slavophile itch, and preserve your bank account.
The first thing you'd need to ask yourself is whether you want a break and go to a place to relax, chill and have a blast or are you looking for a complete career change? If you're looking for a place to chill and just have fun, then Thailand is very very hard to beat. You have a great lifestyle, sexy and beautiful girls, cheap cost of living, great beaches and be in a place that's at the heart of the SEA and where travel within the region is cheap and very easy.

Japan could be a fantastic option! It's an incredible place, the girls are among the sexiest and most fashionable in the world, the food is fabulous, there's tons of things to do and see and the pay is not bad. Mind you it's not cheap, but with a Celta and provided you have a uni degree, you can find a job that covers your expenses quite easily.

If you're dead set on making a new a career in teaching, then the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman) are great places as the pay is good with good benefits. And it's also in a very strategic location in the globe as Europe is a short flight away (around 3-6 hours); Russia and EE is right next door and SEA is within 5-7 hours flight.

Taiwan would be also a good option as it's a very fun little place, cheap and decent pay with sexy girls. Plus, it's very close to some incredible beaches in the region and other great sights.

If you're into Latinas, then Colombia and Brazil would be the obvious choice. However, keep in mind that teachers' salary are not high there and obtaining a work permit is next to impossible in Brazil as an English teacher. Yeah, it's not cheap as it used to be, but it's an incredible place: great culture, fantastic food, amazing music, unbeatable partying and incredibly sexy and fun girls. However, lifestyle wise, nothing comes close to Brasil.


If you're looking for a short term deal into teaching and then, parlay and leverage that into other opportunities both within teaching management and outside of it, would be China. China, would be more of both, a great place to chill and a career booster/hacker and a terrific place for networking your way into new and bigger opportunities (even into starting your own biz there, why not between Russia/Bulgaria/EE and China, just throwing that as an idea!). China is an incredible land of opportunity like few if any other in the world at this time. I've written extensively in here about the merits and advantages of China for us guys, and specially someone like you, who has more or less the same characteristics as me.

All in all, the world is your oyster Partizan. It's up to you to decide what you want to go for at this time: fun or a change of career in a fun setting? The above is a very short list of countries that came to mind right away. Needless to say, you'd need to do your own due diligence once you've narrowed it down to what you're looking for.

All the best and let us know what you've decided.

Cheers!
Taiwan gets my (biased) vote for it's all-roundedness

As much money as Japan and Korea, but no bullshit xenophobia, no negative exotic capital in terms of the ladies there, and way way way less foreigners. There's no winter here, the transport is excellent and Taiwanese/Singaporian guys in the club will do anything to be your wingman (providing you're not one of the douchey guys who goes to a high-end club in shorts and a wife-beater). Yes there is a lot of rain, and yes, the food is bloody terrible, but it's a small price to pay.

Also, as an English teacher in Taiwan, you earn as much as accountants, insurance workers etc. The economy is strong, but in Taiwan, this does not filter down to the people. A girl I was seeing went to the best university in the country and was working in insurance but she was earning 2/3rds of my wage. This means that you are not seen as the lowest rung of society if you are an English teacher here. In Korea, you earn well and get a free apartment, but you are seen as sub-human. Koreans stick with Koreans, if you go to a club outside of Seoul, you will see men on one side and women on the other, like a school disco. Taiwan is far more open and Taiwanese girls seem to actually want a foreign boyfriend.
(07-12-2013 06:57 PM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote: [ -> ]The first thing you'd need to ask yourself is whether you want a break and go to a place to relax, chill and have a blast or are you looking for a complete career change?

I have no idea mate but I'm looking right now at a career break. I have been working continiously since I graduated from uni in 2005 (I have honours Uni degree) so I think its time for chill out and have a blast.

Quote:If you're looking for a place to chill and just have fun, then Thailand is very very hard to beat. You have a great lifestyle, sexy and beautiful girls, cheap cost of living, great beaches and be in a place that's at the heart of the SEA and where travel within the region is cheap and very easy.

Thailand has never appealed to me to be honest. Every man and his dog has been there and smashed. Yes it has lovely beaches and climate and I would go there for a holiday but I wouldn't live there.

Quote:Japan could be a fantastic option! It's an incredible place, the girls are among the sexiest and most fashionable in the world, the food is fabulous, there's tons of things to do and see and the pay is not bad. Mind you it's not cheap, but with a Celta and provided you have a uni degree, you can find a job that covers your expenses quite easily.

I have been reading Sargon's fantastic and in depth account of Japan and while Japanese women are undoubtedly beautiful (up there among the best in my book), he describes how hard it is to crack open those legs even with the language. Not many Japanese speak English and with the difficulty of the lingo, I'm not sure it would be worth the effort. I had a workmate who came back from a two week trip to Japan (Osaka, Kobe, Tokyo, Yokohama) and he's still raving about it. That said while the lifestyle might appeal to me, I cant say I'm a big fan of Japanese food. Sake on the otherhand, me likey.

Quote:If you're dead set on making a new a career in teaching, then the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman) are great places as the pay is good with good benefits. And it's also in a very strategic location in the globe as Europe is a short flight away (around 3-6 hours); Russia and EE is right next door and SEA is within 5-7 hours flight.

I have been looking into the ME and while the money is good along with logistics, with the exception of Oman and Abu Dhabi, it does not really get my fires burning. There is no way on God's green Earth would I be caught dead in a medieval hell hole like Saudi where as a foreigner you woudl be required to live in an isolated compound away from the locals, social life is zero and your chances of scoring are somewhere between extremely slim and none. Although the money would be excellent, the quality of life would be shit. I have been doing some background work on Oman and it sounds very exotic. Naughty Nomad did a report from there and he gave it good reviews. That said, I would take what NN says with a pinch of salt.

Quote:Taiwan would be also a good option as it's a very fun little place, cheap and decent pay with sexy girls. Plus, it's very close to some incredible beaches in the region and other great sights.

Interesting choice. Taiwan never came up on my radar. How receptive are the girls? I like Asians and once dated a Chinese girl. Very sweet and submissive she was. However wouldn't Taiwan be very Americanised/Westernised given its history since 1949 and heavy presence of Yanks both military and civilians on the island. Taiwan would have a high English language knowledge so there would there be any need for blokes like me?

Quote:If you're into Latinas, then Colombia and Brazil would be the obvious choice. However, keep in mind that teachers' salary are not high there and obtaining a work permit is next to impossible in Brazil as an English teacher. Yeah, it's not cheap as it used to be, but it's an incredible place: great culture, fantastic food, amazing music, unbeatable partying and incredibly sexy and fun girls. However, lifestyle wise, nothing comes close to Brasil.

I'll keep that in mind.

Quote:If you're looking for a short term deal into teaching and then, parlay and leverage that into other opportunities both within teaching management and outside of it, would be China. China, would be more of both, a great place to chill and a career booster/hacker and a terrific place for networking your way into new and bigger opportunities (even into starting your own biz there, why not between Russia/Bulgaria/EE and China, just throwing that as an idea!). China is an incredible land of opportunity like few if any other in the world at this time. I've written extensively in here about the merits and advantages of China for us guys, and specially someone like you, who has more or less the same characteristics as me.

Now we're talking, the PRC. I am looking at provincial China, outside of the big metropolis like Beijing (with its pollution), Shanghai (too many Westerners). What provincial cities would you recommend? Have you done reports from the provinces? What is the situation there in relation to the local scenes, culture, vibe, food, logistics etc.? I have heard some good things about Sichuan Province and its capital Chengdu in relation to its food, culture, things to do and women.

Quote:All in all, the world is your oyster Partizan. It's up to you to decide what you want to go for at this time: fun or a change of career in a fun setting? The above is a very short list of countries that came to mind right away. Needless to say, you'd need to do your own due diligence once you've narrowed it down to what you're looking for.

It sure is mate, who are you telling. Mate, I'm a Slavophile. My journey to the Balkans in 2003 opened up a whole new world for me. I am torn between doing a one year sabbatical in China/ME before venturing into the Russian provinces or plunging head first into provincial Russia. I'm a realist and will go to the place where my options are real and feasible in terms of lifestyle and earning a salary resembling something liveable. However ask yourself this question. Would you prefer to be surrounded everyday with Western feminazis with a massive sense of entitlement or these bunch of sweet, good looking and feminine provincial Russian ladies.

Hen party from Ekaterinburg. I smashed the bird on the far left.
To add some other points about teaching and China:

I'm currently in Shanghai after having arrived here on Thursday morning from Cambodia (I took a look at doing some entrepreneurial things in Cambodia but decided to pull the plug and go for the quick money in China instead). There is definitely English teaching and other work for expats in abundance here. Take a look at some of the job boards like echinacities.com, chinahot.com, cityweekend, thebeijinger, etc.

Yesterday I made a profile/resume on echinacities and sent out some application emails. I got a few responses but nothing that I was really interested in. The few offers I did receive were in the 8-11k RMB range ($1300-1800) + free housing for 16-20 or so teaching hours per week. I have about 3 years of ESL/SAT/AP exam teaching experience in Korea, Thailand, and the US but no CELTA or TEFL. Now that I know I can easily get these kinds of offers I'm going to set my sights a little higher.

I just applied for a history teacher position that pays 23,000 RMB/month and accommodation but asks for some kind of teaching certificate. On my cover letter I tried to explain how my knowledge/experience in AP history exams and honors degree in history plus teaching experience should be enough but we'll see. That would be a nice salary in China.

Worst case scenario, if I do have to take a job in the range of 10-14,000 RMB, I still know that I can raise my monthly income another few thousand by teaching an hour or two in the afternoon/evening every day at an academy or taking on Saturday ESL or SAT work. The going rates I've seen for part time ESL work is around 150-220 RMB while SAT can be upwards of 300-400/hour.

You're Irish so SAT teaching is probably not an option for you. I'm not sure what the British university entrance exam is but if you get a copy of one of the practice books and learn the material, there should be no reason why you couldn't teach it to high school kids (I'm not discounting the Irish exam, there's just probably not as high of a demand for it). I was organizing my own SAT tutoring sessions in California on craigslist and charging $50-60 per hour. Rich parents will pay good money to make sure their kids get into good universities.

With all of that said, I'm thinking I should be able to pull in at least 16-18,000 RMB/month + housing if I play my cards right. Maybe the other guys teaching in China will be able to weigh in on that and tell me if it's reasonable goal. From what I've seen, read, and heard, it is. Granted, I'm going to set up in affluent, first or second tier Eastern Seaboard cities. I don't think you'll make that type of money in backwater provinces.

After having been in this game for awhile, it's my opinion that you should get the certificate if you do want to try it out for a couple of years. All of the better paying jobs are going to ask you for it and it's most likely going to help you in the classroom for your first couple of months. In addition, the course will help you network with other teachers who might set you up with good references and job opportunities down the road.

I got a phone call yesterday (about 15 minutes after submitting an application) from a recruiter trying to fill a position in Shanghai paying 16,000 RMB/month plus housing. His fourth or fifth question after experience, degree, nationality, age, was if I had a certificate. I said, "No, but I can get one if you really need it." He just called me again as I was typing this so maybe it will materialize.

I tell you all of this but at the same time I'm trying to get out of teaching (maybe not hard enough haha). I really only want to teach in China to set myself up with business contacts and develop some products that I think will sell in the US. I have some things in mind that I will have to explore. If that doesn't work out, I might be faced with a scenario where getting a CELTA is the next step. I'll cross that bridge when I get there...

As for being a Slavophile:

I know a pretty Ukrainian girl from previous travels that lives here in Shanghai that I was hoping to meet up with but alas, she left the day I arrived to go back to Ukraine for the next 6 weeks. Anyhow, I'll see her when she gets back. She's a nice girl. Pretty, intelligent, likes to travel, from a good family. Possibly girlfriend material. She hangs out with a bunch of other Russians and Ukrainians so I know there are Slavs here in Shanghai along with other foreigners from all over the world.

(On a side note, there were some fine-ass Turkish-looking girls from Switzerland that were checking out of my hotel as I was checking in. I chatted them up but found out they were on their way back to Beijing. They were just in Shanghai for a few days. I know there's a large and diverse foreigner scene here in the big Chinese cities, I'm just going to have to find it.)

I actually like Shanghai a lot more this time around than I did two years ago. I guess as I'm a bit older, I've started to enjoy comfort and convenience a little bit more. On my last trip through China I enjoyed the rougher and more frontier aspects of the central cities but I'm unsure if I'd be okay with staying in a place like Xining, Qinghai (just an example) for an extended period. First or Second-tier China is where you have to be.

The big negative about China (in my opinion) is not the pollution, spitting, or lack of internet access. The pollution in Shanghai right now is rather negligible and you can get around the firewall with a simple VPN. Rather, I think a huge negative for me is that Han Chinese women (as a whole) are the least attractive in East Asia. Granted, there are 1.4 million people and 52 (?) minority groups so you get plenty of variety and there are lots of good looking girls but, after having lived in Korea and Thailand, the ratios of good looking women/average/busted in China are worse.

From what I experienced two years ago and what I've read on this board, a significant number do have a thing for foreigners though. You should have no problem finding a Chinese girlfriend and, if you get in with the Russian crowd, maybe you can pick off some Slavic pieces also.

One last thing:

If your housing is paid for, you could easily live quite comfortably on the equivalent of $700-900 per month here in Shanghai. I can probably do it on $500-600 but I'm a cheap ass who watches what I spend. I'm not someone who needs mint.com. I don't buy shit I don't need, I wait to shop for things until they're on sale, I learn the locations of all of the cheapest grocery stores and food stalls, I don't mind sitting on public transportation (<---when abroad. It's car all the way in California), and I enjoy cooking for myself. I hardly ever spend money on women. Instead, I just invite them over and cook for them or figure out a free activity that we can do together. They usually are the ones spending money on me.

I wouldn't suggest my lifestyle to other people who spend more freely and live paycheck to paycheck. Some guys on here astonish me with their spending habits. In California, I always shoot to save at least 50% of what I earn every month. When in Asia it usually works out to be way more than that just because everything is so cheap and there's no need to pay rent.

Just some things to consider...
China is great fun. I taught in a second tier city in Shandong for a period, loved it. The women are often attractive and if you go to English corner you will meet lots of groupies ( never the hottest types to be had but usually fun ). I could not live in China long term however, it was the kind of place that had me wanting to punch walls after a few months. The mentality can be incomprehensible at times, good people though, the educated provincial ones can be a lot of fun. I made some very solid friends there. Be ready to have men try to look at your cock though. It used to be a nightmare going to a urinal in a club as Chinese men would be craning their necks to see the size of your cock, I shit you not ( anyone experience this there? ). The great thing about teaching in China, especially second tier is the teaching is easy and not many hours. Often private schools just want your western face to look good on their annual prospectus. You usually get a decent apartment too on campus and subsidised food and if you want to do extra hours privately you can often get gigs at local state schools where the students are better and have a genuine desire to learn. BTW British Airways have just started a direct London-Chengdu flight so I plan to fly that route sometime as Sichuan is pretty amazing.

There is a lot of good advice here, VP as usual has spoken a lot of sense but this is my take...You are a Slavophile. What I have found is that in life we often push away what we most desire. I did it for years. I was a Slavophile, dreamed of living in the FSU, yet every time I had the opportunity to do so I went somewhere else, to SEA, India, China, Caribbean etc. anywhere but the FSU. It's as though sometimes we cower from what we desire most when it is presented to us. The thought of following through on a long held dream can sometimes be too debilitating and we look for a hundred reasons not to do it. So my point is you have to go to the FSU, where is not important, Kiev, Minsk, Moscow, Bishkek, third tier shit hole,etc. it is pretty irrelevant but you must go and do it, scratch that itch, get it out of your system. You will never have a better opportunity where all the stars are aligned in your favour. Believe me things change quickly. I was in your situation once and then suddenly I was in love, married and had a child in the flashing of an eye and my dreams had to be postponed seemingly at the time, forever. So seize the moment, until you do you won't be 100% satisfied with your life because you will always have that nagging doubt of what could have been in the FSU.

So my suggestion is get your CELTA and then go on holiday and spend a few grand seeing some great places, reward yourself for your hard work these last few years that got you to this position. Go to SEA and smash some women if you want, check out China and have your senses blown, fly out to Colombia or Brazil and party it up, but then when you are done go to the FSU and do a year there. You might love it and it might live up to your dreams or you might hate it and find that it isn't where you want to be long term, either way the important thing is you will know and you won't be one of those guys rocking on his porch thinking "if only I had...".
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Partizan, check out Daves ESL Cafe. The international board has a lot of FSU job postings. They are going to pay about half of what you would make in Asia. That said, the private tutoring markets in FSU can be very lucrative. Unless you are trying to make a career out of it, I wouldn't bother shelling out for a CELTA. The demand for English teachers is so high you can get a job without one. This blog might be useful to you...

http://www.england-moscow.com/2009/08/te...ly-in.html
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Damn.. I am in the same situation! Just got back from traveling in Philippines and there it is - I was let go because the company has collapsed financially. I got similar savings and options as OP.
The first thing comes to mind is to start collecting unemployment check while abroad in SE Asia...plus supplement with English lessons?
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