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Teaching English Abroad
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redneckpunk Offline
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Post: #76
RE: teaching english abroad
good points Jdreise

2 things he mentioned that are imprtant:

1) How you present yourself is everything in Asia, look the part and they will hire you. Probably applies everywhere. They want white and clean cut.[/align]

2)Jdreise landed this sweet gig (Thailand) by going somewhere off the beaten trail, (100,000 people). Less supply, still a heavy demand.

Only thing I would disagree with is I think TEFL is worth it, but if you're broke and only planning on a year then maybe not.
03-09-2012 08:53 AM
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AlphaTravel Offline
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Post: #77
RE: teaching english abroad
Quote:It sounds like faking a diploma is my best bet then.

I wouldn't be so quick to get a fake. I seem to remember a post on DavesESL (I think it was here) a year or so ago about a long time teacher in Thailand getting pulled in by the cops / immigration over a fake certificate. He'd been working there for years with no issues and suddenly was in the shit. If you do want a fake, they sell fake everything from driving lisence, student cards, certificates and passports in Kowsan road. No idea on the quality.

Quote:For example, I live in a provincial city (pop. 110,000) and live very well on 11-12k baht per month.

Where do you live out of interest? You talk about going out 4 or 5 times a week and nightlife but I can't imagine there would be much in a city of 110k, what's it like?

A few days ago I met a girl who's just moved to CM from BKK. She lives just on the outskirts of CM (near the Big C supermarket if anyone knows it) and her basic apartment costs just 1000B per month. There was nothing wrong with it either. Makes you think how cheap Thailand could be if you were willing to live like a local.
03-09-2012 09:02 AM
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Rurik Offline
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Post: #78
RE: teaching english abroad
(03-09-2012 09:02 AM)AlphaTravel Wrote:  
Quote:It sounds like faking a diploma is my best bet then.

I wouldn't be so quick to get a fake. I seem to remember a post on DavesESL (I think it was here) a year or so ago about a long time teacher in Thailand getting pulled in by the cops / immigration over a fake certificate. He'd been working there for years with no issues and suddenly was in the shit. If you do want a fake, they sell fake everything from driving lisence, student cards, certificates and passports in Kowsan road. No idea on the quality.

Quote:For example, I live in a provincial city (pop. 110,000) and live very well on 11-12k baht per month.

Where do you live out of interest? You talk about going out 4 or 5 times a week and nightlife but I can't imagine there would be much in a city of 110k, what's it like?

A few days ago I met a girl who's just moved to CM from BKK. She lives just on the outskirts of CM (near the Big C supermarket if anyone knows it) and her basic apartment costs just 1000B per month. There was nothing wrong with it either. Makes you think how cheap Thailand could be if you were willing to live like a local.

I wouldn't worry about getting arrested for having a fake diploma, I mean, what the the hell are they going to do? The rule itself is fucking stupid, I have no qualms about breaking it.

South Korea sounds pretty sick. Korean chicks are hawt.

But I'm craving white ho's, so Korea's a no go.
03-09-2012 10:58 AM
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AlphaTravel Offline
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Post: #79
RE: teaching english abroad
I don't know what the final outcome was of the guy who got caught but he seemed to be in big shit and was worried. Probably best to go over to DavesESL or any other major TEFL / teaching in Thailand forum and see if they have any information on what happens if you get caught with a fake degree. I personally wouldn't want to get thrown in jail for fraud in Thailand.
03-09-2012 11:11 AM
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jdreise Offline
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Post: #80
RE: teaching english abroad
(03-09-2012 09:02 AM)AlphaTravel Wrote:  
Quote:It sounds like faking a diploma is my best bet then.

I wouldn't be so quick to get a fake. I seem to remember a post on DavesESL (I think it was here) a year or so ago about a long time teacher in Thailand getting pulled in by the cops / immigration over a fake certificate. He'd been working there for years with no issues and suddenly was in the shit. If you do want a fake, they sell fake everything from driving lisence, student cards, certificates and passports in Kowsan road. No idea on the quality.

Quote:For example, I live in a provincial city (pop. 110,000) and live very well on 11-12k baht per month.

Where do you live out of interest? You talk about going out 4 or 5 times a week and nightlife but I can't imagine there would be much in a city of 110k, what's it like?

A few days ago I met a girl who's just moved to CM from BKK. She lives just on the outskirts of CM (near the Big C supermarket if anyone knows it) and her basic apartment costs just 1000B per month. There was nothing wrong with it either. Makes you think how cheap Thailand could be if you were willing to live like a local.

I'm in Phitsanulok, about 4 or 5 hours north of BKK and about 4 hours south of CM. Nightlife here can be surprisingly good because there are two huge universities that are both majority women. I live near the largest university and if you go down to the bar street there around 10:30 pm or so, it's usually going off seven days a week. Lots of nice little skirts.

The only problem is that it's a Buddha town so in the city center they have been reluctant to allow any development of a centralized bar district that you'd find in most other large Thai towns. You have to have a motorcycle or car to get from bar to bar or basically anywhere for that matter.

Yeah, Thailand can be insanely affordable. I have a one bedroom apartment, with a living room, kitchen, bath, and patio that runs me 2800 baht a month. After utilities the bill comes to about 3100. It's only two years old also so it still has that new feel. Some of my colleagues have 2 or 3 bedroom houses with gardens that they're renting for 3000 baht a month.

Here's the discussion about the fake degree:
http://www.ajarnforum.net/vb/the-staffro...ost1191666

http://www.ajarnforum.net/vb/the-staffro...court.html
03-09-2012 08:47 PM
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jdreise Offline
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Post: #81
RE: teaching english abroad
Dammit. It didn't post my entire comment. Anyway, I'll rephrase it.

If you're thinking about living in provincial Thailand, then you're definitely going to have to learn to speak some Thai. In BKK you can get by without knowing a single word, but here you have to adapt. A lot of the educated younger generation can speak at least some English but are usually too shy to try, so a few words in Thai go a long way to break the ice. I've had two lays where I've spoken more Thai than she did English. It's not super hard to learn basic communication points but if you want to be really good at it, then you're going to have to develop an ear for the tones. I'm still struggling with that.

If you want to avoid getting ripped off left and right at bars and restaurants, you have to learn to read too (this is basic traveller's knowledge). It took me about 3 months to get to the point where I could read pretty much anything but I'm a visual learner so I tend to pick up new scripts pretty fast. Even now, after they've just witnessed me order from a Thai-only menu, the bill will sometimes come back with another 30 or 40 baht tacked on. I don't know if they can't get it through their heads that I can read or if they just think the rich foreigner's going to just hand them money without looking at the bill. It's not about the $1 extra or so, it's about the principle. No one likes being taken advantage of.

On a typical night out I'll usually hit 2 or 3 bars and probably spend between 150 and 300 baht in total. Like I said, it's fucking cheap here. If you have a bottle of whiskey most bars will allow you to bring it in free of charge and then sell you buckets of ice at 20-30 baht each, and soda water at 10-15 baht a bottle. It's a cheap way to roll that allows you invite others over to your table to share a drink. It's a good ice breaker. If you want to drink beer, it's going to be a little more expensive but not much. Maybe 50-60 baht a bottle in most bars. All of the college bars close at about 1 am, but there are after-hours bars on the same street that stay open to 5am and have better music.

On nights that I don't go out, my expenses are extremely low. Food's cheaper up here than in BKK and I can usually eat healthy on about 100 baht a day. If I just feel like taking it easy I usually call up one of my girls and we throw a movie in.
03-09-2012 10:15 PM
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Post: #82
RE: teaching english abroad
jdreise,
I enjoy reading your posts about your insight into living in rural Thailand.
Btw, kudos on the great gig you got yourself. After how long of teaching in LOS were you able to get something that sweet?
Also, re-kudos on learning Thai that soon. I lived in BKK from Oct 2010 to mid Feb 2011 and I can barely speak 2-3 words of Thai. Mind you, I didn't even try, was always hanging out with my fellow French expats or other people speaking English with them all the time. Any good schools/courses you'd recommend to learn the lingo fast there?
And the rate you're getting for your appart I assume you signed a 1 year contract to get that rate? Also, how approachable/friendly are the girls in those smaller towns to foreigners? Also, in BKK, the good and upper middle class girls avoid being seen with foreigners, is it the same with the girls in the smaller towns?

Thanks man.
03-09-2012 11:24 PM
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AlphaTravel Offline
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Post: #83
RE: teaching english abroad
Solid info, interesting to see that in such a small town you can find a party every night and even after hour joints. I'm struggling to find a decent party or even a busy local bar midweek in Chiang Mai. Are there many other farang in Phitsanulok? Are the girls fairly open to being with a farang, and is it more long term dating they want over sex?

Thanks for posting a link to that discussion, it was on Ajarn right enough. I don't know what the outcome was because the thread seemed to go on for ages and I lost interest.

Quote:Food's cheaper up here than in BKK and I can usually eat healthy on about 100 baht a day.

I usually don't spend much more than 100B a day on food even in BKK though that's not including a coke or fruit shake with my meal. Only when I fancy some Western food do I end up spending more and usually instantly regret it because it was terrible.
(This post was last modified: 03-10-2012 12:07 AM by AlphaTravel.)
03-10-2012 12:05 AM
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Post: #84
RE: teaching english abroad
Damn, 100B a day on food in BKK? Where are you guys eating? I was eating in small thai restaurants at times and most times, at decent restaurants and quite often, at foreign restaurants and was paying on average 300-400B per meal.
03-10-2012 12:27 AM
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AlphaTravel Offline
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Post: #85
RE: teaching english abroad
I eat at small, local, restaurants or places that are just a stove and a wok up an alleyway with some plastic seats and tables on the street. The food is always much tastier than any of the nicer places I've went to. If I eat Western food I'm spending more than 100B per meal too.
03-10-2012 12:33 AM
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jdreise Offline
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Post: #86
RE: teaching english abroad
(03-10-2012 12:05 AM)AlphaTravel Wrote:  Solid info, interesting to see that in such a small town you can find a party every night and even after hour joints. I'm struggling to find a decent party or even a busy local bar midweek in Chiang Mai. Are there many other farang in Phitsanulok? Are the girls fairly open to being with a farang, and is it more long term dating they want over sex?

Thanks for posting a link to that discussion, it was on Ajarn right enough. I don't know what the outcome was because the thread seemed to go on for ages and I lost interest.

Quote:Food's cheaper up here than in BKK and I can usually eat healthy on about 100 baht a day.

I usually don't spend much more than 100B a day on food even in BKK though that's not including a coke or fruit shake with my meal. Only when I fancy some Western food do I end up spending more and usually instantly regret it because it was terrible.
The scarcity of farang in Phitsanulok is definitely one of the negatives. It’s not that I want to be around a ton of foreigners but it’s always good to have a decent expat community just to be able to converse about what’s going on in the outside world. Asians tend to have little concept of anything past their borders and I find myself having the same conversations over and over again.

Most of the farang here tend to be older and married, Filipino, or your stereotypical “can’t get laid back home” awkward type. I work with a couple of those guys and have extended the olive branch to them, offering to go out with some of my Thai friends, drink, and chase girls. They’ve almost always declined so that they could spend their evenings talking to girls on Thai dating sites. Fuck ‘em. I have no sympathy. I’ll just stick with the Thais. I go to Chiang Mai or BKK every three or four weeks so I get my farang fix then.

As far as girls… if you’re a teacher, you’re in a solid middle class position in Thai society. The average university educated Thai professional makes 8k baht a month compared to 30-50k for a foreign teacher (90-120k for int’l schools). It seems like most of the middle class girls are fairly open to being seen with you if it’s obvious that you don’t fit the sex tourist profile. The percentage of girls that will consider a foreigner here is much, much higher than it was in Korea. If you’re older, ugly and/or fat, that might suggest to other Thais that your girl’s a hooker. If you’re young, don’t worry about it. One of my regular girls is the daughter of rich lawyer here. Her mother lends money in their village. From what I’ve gathered, it’s completely possible that they’re mafia loan sharks. This chick has TWO late model Acuras that she comes and picks me up in. So, yeah you can get things going with middle and upper class girls here (although I’m not going to cross this one).

Relationship wise… I have a couple of “gigs,” or fuck buddies . They’ve been open about it from the start that all they want is a fuck buddy. I also have a couple girls that have insinuated that they want more so I have to keep a handle on them and let them know that we’re moving slowly. One chick was talking about what our half-breed baby would look like and how she wanted it to grow up and be a famous Thai actor/actress. That was an automatic disqualification. I haven’t talked to her since.
(03-10-2012 12:27 AM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote:  Damn, 100B a day on food in BKK? Where are you guys eating? I was eating in small thai restaurants at times and most times, at decent restaurants and quite often, at foreign restaurants and was paying on average 300-400B per meal.
I try to diversify my diet so that I’m not eating tons of carbs. If it’s a week day morning, I’ll wait until I get to school and get some noodle soup in the school canteen for 20 baht. A large size soup will run you 30 baht in a regular local restaurant. Weekend mornings, I usually just grab some fruit and yogurt. That’s 20 baht right there. For lunch, I usually get some grilled chicken from a street vendor and fruit. That’ll set you back 30 baht .

On days I don’t go out, I usually go to the night market by the university and buy from the vendors there. Lots of nice scenery there haha. There are tons of food options too and I usually only spend 40-60 baht. For example, I might get a large serving of somtam for 25 baht and a grilled chicken breast or pork filet for 25 baht. Throw in a quarter of a pineapple at 10 baht and you’re looking at a 60 baht dinner, 110 baht day, that’s completely nutritious.

It might not seem like much food, but after a while, the climate here changes your metabolism. I’m 6’1 205, muscular, and I don’t need to eat nearly as much as I did when I was living in a more temperate climate. Like I said, I also drink a few nights a week so that adds some extra calories. A diet like that has been working for me. Maybe I’ll have a glass of milk and an apple at home if I’ve had a tougher workout.

If I’m going out to meet a girl for dinner or pregame, I know a lot of good restaurants where you can have a delicious Thai meal with 4 or 5 entrees for maybe 180-220 baht total. If you split it amongst 2 or 3 people then it’s cheap. If you’re really hungry you can head to a “Mookata” restaurant, which is essentially a place that has a little barbecue/hot pot on your table, and an all-you-can-eat buffet full of raw meat cuts, vegetables, salads, and side dishes. Those places typically run 90-120 baht per person here in Phitsanulok. I haven’t been to one in BKK so I don’t know what they’re like there.
(This post was last modified: 03-10-2012 03:53 AM by jdreise.)
03-10-2012 03:04 AM
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Post: #87
RE: teaching english abroad
(03-09-2012 11:24 PM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote:  jdreise,
I enjoy reading your posts about your insight into living in rural Thailand.
Btw, kudos on the great gig you got yourself. After how long of teaching in LOS were you able to get something that sweet?
Also, re-kudos on learning Thai that soon. I lived in BKK from Oct 2010 to mid Feb 2011 and I can barely speak 2-3 words of Thai. Mind you, I didn't even try, was always hanging out with my fellow French expats or other people speaking English with them all the time. Any good schools/courses you'd recommend to learn the lingo fast there?
And the rate you're getting for your appart I assume you signed a 1 year contract to get that rate? Also, how approachable/friendly are the girls in those smaller towns to foreigners? Also, in BKK, the good and upper middle class girls avoid being seen with foreigners, is it the same with the girls in the smaller towns?

Thanks man.

I learned a lot about the angle I should take in getting a job here in Thailand from some of the guys I know in Korea. They'd previously been working here and went to Korea for an easy year to save some good money. I consulted them when putting in apps for jobs and ran each offer by them. I also used a couple of their friends that were still teaching here as references so I think that may have helped. My school didn't call to check but just seeing the names of other prominent Thai schools on the resume adds a big boost. When the department head was reading my resume I heard her mumbling the school names. Like I said, it's all about presentation.

So to answer the question, no experience working here in LOS. I had a 15 month ESL experience in Korea and about 6 months of working with Autistic kids back in the States. I also volunteered for 2 months working in a indigenous school in Ecuador so my resume had a fair amount of international work with kids.

When I came I just had my mind made up that I was going to hold out until I got a job with acceptable conditions. It's obvious that some people come and will settle for their first offer. That's a way to get fucked around and have a miserable experience. I've seen in first hand in Korea and Thailand.

If you do your homework, bring enough start-up cash, and present yourself well, you'll find something good. You also can't let Thai management or administration push you around. If there's something about a contract that seems unclear or a work situation that seems sketchy, don't be afraid to stand your ground or walk away if need be. Thais are expert negotiators and will take you to the cleaners if you're meek and naive. I haven't even been here 6 months yet, but I've seen or heard about it many times. You have to learn how to indirectly say "no" in Thailand. They aren't big on confrontation so they usually have a backhanded way of saying "no" with a big smile on their face.

As far as the language... I've learned the script quick because I'm a visual learner. If you tell me something, I won't remember, but if you show it to me or put it in writing I usually only need one glance. I'd look at the signs that have the Thai word transliterated into English and figure out which characters make which sounds. I also have a simple Thai phrasebook that's good for learning the characters. It's called "Thai Phrase Book" by Tiger Press.

For learning to speak I've been using a series put out by For You English School in Bangkok. The book is mainly intended for a Thai audience but says right on the cover, "Good for Thais and Foreigners." It's a three part book and CD set. The first two books are "Enjoy you English" I and II. There's also a book called "Question and Answer" that obviously deals with Q and A. The books have the phrase written in English, Thai, and a transliteration of how the Thai phrase looks when written with Latin script. On the CD, the woman says the Thai phrase and the man says it in English. It was recommended to me by one of my colleagues who's now fluent in Thai. Overall, I think it's pretty good.

For housing, yeah, I signed a 1 year lease. You could rent for 1,3, or 6 months but you'd pay a slightly higher amount in graduated increments.

I realize I just answered the question about the girls in my previous post so you can look there for that one. Let me know if you need any other info.
(This post was last modified: 03-10-2012 03:58 AM by jdreise.)
03-10-2012 03:46 AM
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Post: #88
RE: teaching english abroad
(03-08-2012 09:24 AM)memcpy Wrote:  
(03-07-2012 09:42 PM)RioNomad Wrote:  
(03-07-2012 08:42 PM)memcpy Wrote:  I'll be teaching English in Japan, leaving this weekend. I signed a contract and the pay is around 230,000 yen. I found this company through craigslist Tokyo of all places, after trying the major English schools AEON, JET, INTERAC. Basically they don't want you unless you have experience and a work visa.

The pay isn't great but also not bad. It's basically enough to save and take a few small trips, and party.

From what i've researched most Japanese English teacher's are either:
1: the gaijin clown entertainer
2: the human pronunciation machine
3: have control over entire lessons

I hope I at least am not 1 or 2, 3 would be nice.

Once I get there I want to do some private lessons on the side, even though doing so is against my contract. I'm seeing lots of opportunities to teach on the side, once the school season starts in April you will start seeing people drop out, teachers getting sick, and posts go up wanting someone to take over their class for the day/weekend.

I've got business cards made up, got friends already over there, and I'm ready to see what I can get into.

That is $2,800 a month. Pretty good wage for most places, not sure about Japan though.

Got a few questions if ya don't mind.

1. Is your housing included like in S. Korea, or do you have to pay for that yourself? If you have to pay yourself, about how much will you be paying?

2. Which city will you be living in? If in Tokyo, are you close to good nightlife and the happening spots?

3. Have you taught English before elsewhere?

4. Do you a TEFL or other similar cert?

5. Do they provide a work permit, or will you be living and working illegally?

Anything else someone interested in this should know?

Hope you have a blast in Japan, bro!

1. The housing is provided and they set it up for you since it's hard for foreigners to find apartments in Japan. (Thank you money, Key Money, Finders Fee's, Japanese Guarantor).Some company's do this and some don't. The company apartment is 66,000yen which is kind of expensive. I found several apartments going for 30,000yen -40,000yen.

2. I'll be living in Mito City which is 2 hours north of tokyo by train. It's still a large town. The best places to work are Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa which are all 20 min train ride to tokyo and have cheaper housing than tokyo. Tokyo is Expensive so it's better to live in one of those city's that are on the outskirts and just take the train there since it's not far. This info was given to me by my Japanese friend who lives in Kanagawa.

3. I haven't taught English elsewhere

4. All you need to teach in South Korea/Japan is a piece of paper that says you graduated from somewhere and did something.

5. They give you a work visa, first you get a certificate of eligibility, then you take that paper to the nearest japanese embassy in the U.S. that piece of paper gets turned into a work visa and it valid for 1year.

The Japanese school year starts in April, so the best time to look for a job is now. You can still find positions open all year long. I would recommend finding a job online vs. going to Japan and looking. You should probably check out Craigslist:Tokyo since people don't really check it out to much but it has lots of postings. http://tokyo.craigslist.jp/edu/

Memcpy, when are you leaving for Japan? I'd be interested to hear about your experience there as I've been contemplating making it my next stop. I spent about 2 weeks there in the summer of 2010 while on vacation from my teaching gig in Korea and loved it. Tons of hot girls, great transportation, clean, good food, beautiful scenery, quality beer, and good nightlife. Let us know what it's like when you get on the ground.
03-10-2012 04:45 AM
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memcpy Offline
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Post: #89
RE: teaching english abroad
I just got here tonight it was like an 20hour plane ride, so i'm still jet-lagged, can't sleep still. It was a breeze going through customs. At Narita I saw lots of cute girls. My first impressions, I saw lots of people wearing business suits and dressed kinda a stylish, didn't see any flip-flops but it's cold here now. Everyone's really polite, i'm not used to it. Oh yea, and they will stare at you, but it didn't bother me. I'm not white looking at all. I'll be testing the suit game out here for sure, can't wait.
(This post was last modified: 03-10-2012 12:07 PM by memcpy.)
03-10-2012 11:58 AM
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Post: #90
RE: teaching english abroad
Thanks for the detailed reply jdreise, much appreciated.
I'm not looking to teach English at this time but heavily contemplated it a few years ago and almost went through this Tefl International that someone in here posted earlier (3 weeks in class training followed by 4 months in the boonies) and also almost went to Japan teaching. This was back in 2007. Btw, how does teaching in Korea compare to in Thailand?

You are spot on about the good middle class girls not wanting to be seen with the average 1-2 weeker/cheap backpacker or sex tourist.
Speaking of eating less while in LOS, I also noticed that. When I was living there, I only ate once a day, either a big breakfast or a big dinner and I was full the entire day and lost weight without doing much, just naturally. It's the weather, environment and stress free lifestyle that does wonders to your mind and body. Can't wait to return there.

membcpy,
you'll fall in love with Japan. Keep us updated on how it goes. I LOVE Japan and one of my dreams is to live there. Which part of Japan are you going to be living/teaching?

P.S. Roosh, detailed, helpful posts like the ones on this thread, deserve a +1 so bring the rep system back instead of that lame ass gay chocolate/candles and diamond ring. Seriously dude.
03-10-2012 02:28 PM
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Post: #91
RE: teaching english abroad
Awhile back I was surfing a dating site. I found 2 profiles of girls in China that stated on their profiles that they wouldn't date English teachers. Never did figure that one out.
03-10-2012 02:32 PM
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RE: teaching english abroad
(03-10-2012 02:32 PM)Aliblahba Wrote:  Awhile back I was surfing a dating site. I found 2 profiles of girls in China that stated on their profiles that they wouldn't date English teachers. Never did figure that one out.

haha, there is a very good chance I know one of those girls if it was in Shanghai. Girls who write that are looking for money, and an English teacher doesn't cut it, they want engineer or manager.

Most girls aren't like that there, but there are always gold diggers, shanghainese have a rep for that.

An English teacher is still making more than 90-95% of people there.
03-10-2012 05:34 PM
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RE: teaching english abroad
Quote:Asians tend to have little concept of anything past their borders and I find myself having the same conversations over and over again.

Yeah I find this with the Thais I know. I try talking to them about anything major going on in the world and they look at me blankly as they've no clue what I'm talking about. I even try talking to them about Thai news like the bombs in BKK last month, they obviously don't pay any attention as they had no opinion on any of it.

Quote:You have to learn how to indirectly say "no" in Thailand. They aren't big on confrontation so they usually have a backhanded way of saying "no" with a big smile on their face.

It annoys me that a lot of Thais won't simply say no. They'll beat around the bush for ages instead of just saying that they can't / won't, I've began to recognise it for what it is and can tell when they're simply afraid of saying the word 'no'.

Quote:It's the weather, environment and stress free lifestyle that does wonders to your mind and body. Can't wait to return there.

It's constantly too hot, the place is chaotic, over crowded and polluted and if you had to go work a regular job here and weren't just on holiday you'd surely be stressed. Especially in BKK. I don't eat as much here either, usually 2 meals a day that consist of some rice and meat and some fruit. I drink too much though so definitely not going to lose weight.
03-10-2012 06:44 PM
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redneckpunk Offline
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Post: #94
RE: teaching english abroad
saying "no" in Asia is considered rude. They don't communicate directly. Saying no is seen as confrontational, they don't like confrontations, they like harmony.

Beating around the bush is how everyone communicates in Asia, and it is annoying to Westerners (myself included)

It would be inconvenient, etc etc. means no, other Asians undersand this, Westerners don't. You have to learn to read between the lines.

Learn the culture and things will work much more smoothly. Of course this takes time...lots of time.
03-10-2012 07:09 PM
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AlphaTravel Offline
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Post: #95
RE: teaching english abroad
Like I say I understand now when they're saying no even though they aren't directly saying no.
03-11-2012 12:03 AM
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jdreise Offline
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Post: #96
RE: teaching english abroad
(03-10-2012 02:28 PM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote:  Thanks for the detailed reply jdreise, much appreciated.
I'm not looking to teach English at this time but heavily contemplated it a few years ago and almost went through this Tefl International that someone in here posted earlier (3 weeks in class training followed by 4 months in the boonies) and also almost went to Japan teaching. This was back in 2007. Btw, how does teaching in Korea compare to in Thailand?
No worries. I’m glad I can contribute something to the forum. I’ve been getting more out of it than I’ve been giving back up until now.

Compare Thailand and Korea….hmmm. Where to start?

Well, first of, maybe we can start with the kind of foreigners they attract. Korea has lots of kids right out of university that are only there because they can’t find a decent paying job back in the States or UK. I’m 27, so when I say kids I mean 21, 22, 23. I guess I was one of them even though I had a couple years of work and travel experience before I went. For some of them it’s their first experience abroad and I think that’s where you get a lot of the sob stories about people being miserable that are all over message boards warning people not to go to Korea. They don’t have any experience in other cultures so the culture shock that is East Asia is twice as bad for them. You also get lots of middle-aged people who would otherwise be working in a call center or cubicle farm back home. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but a lot of people there aren’t travelers. They’re there to work and save money and carry the notion that the economic situation back home will improve next year so they can start their nice little corporate career. They don’t take time to adapt to the culture and complain obsessively about you name it; Korean driving skills, Korean fashion, the language barrier, and lack of good Western food, for example. I remember reading posts from dashglobal complaining about the situation there and alarms were going off in my head…

You also get a lot of cool Westerners of all ages that are there because they like to travel and understand that teaching is a good way to save some money and immerse yourself in another culture. I have some friends that saved a good amount of money in their year or two there and are using it to fund their travels. I did the same. I used some of that money to take a 5 month trip through China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, then combined the rest of that money with my other savings and invested in real estate.

There are also some of the strange/dorky/awkward types that are there to find their Asian bride, but they aren’t as prevalent as here in Thailand. I’ll get to that in a little bit…

When I was in Korea, there was a foreigner male/female ratio of about 40/60. It’s good to be a decent looking, in-shape guy there because you can pull Korean honeys and the Western girls get dick-starved. Fucking expat chicks in Korea is extremely easy especially after they know that you’re regularly getting with K-girls. As we all know, bitches can’t control their jealousy. If you’re in a big city like Seoul, Busan, Daegu, etc., the expat teacher population is large so there’s always some foreigner event going on. The K-girls in big cities are predictably more open to foreigners also.

You can save good money in Korea too. Most people who finish their one year contract leave about $12,000-14,000 richer without really worrying about what they’re spending and not doing any extra work on the side. That’s the rule. I was the exception. I put away 21k in 15 months but worked hard to network some good side gigs and was conscious about my spending habits—not to the point where I limited myself though.

I’ll be honest about Thailand… It rightfully has a reputation for attracting the dregs of Western society. I don’t mean just sexual deviants, drugs addicts, idiots, and alcoholics, even though there are undoubtedly those, but I see a lot of the silent, social outcast types here. I work with a few of them and can see where the sexpat stereotype finds its legs. These are guys that don’t have the ability or drive to amount to shit back home so they’ll probably be here working for peanuts, treating their ESL job like a 9-5 gig, and living like outcasts the rest of their lives. I know a few guys that have been here for 8-10 years and haven’t even taken the time to learn how to read Thai, let alone speak it. It’s pathetic. I think you find these guys are attracted to Thailand because Thai society is tolerant of people that don’t cause problems and it’s much easier for them to find a girlfriend or wife. They’d die alone back in the States.

I'm not a pathetic loser so I’m getting along fine out here but sometimes wish I had a few like-minded friends to bounce ideas off. Even though I have Thai friends and more than enough girls on my plate, I feel a lot more socially isolated in Thailand. That's the big difference between here and Korea. In Korea, I could call up some of my teacher or military contractor buddies, head down to the bar, drink beer, play darts, shoot the shit, and watch baseball. You can’t do that in provincial Thailand.

Like I said, I’m out in the sticks so the situation is different here compared to BKK. That’s a global metropolis that has every kind of expat and expat comfort that you can imagine. I’m here until my contract is up but even with all of the perks of my job and a plethora of hot Thai girls, I couldn’t stay in rural Thailand indefinitely. I get bored easily so I have to get out of here every two or three weeks. I have a motorcycle so I like to head up into the mountains on rides and I try to go to BKK or CM every few weeks. Getting out of town is an added expense that I didn’t include when I said that I live well here on 11-12k. My trips to the city will usually run me 3000-4000 baht. Just something to think about.

If I was pulling in 90-100,000 baht a month I really do think I could live in BKK indefinitely but wouldn’t want to stay there long term on a salary like 60,000. It’s a transportation hub so it’s easy to take cheap flights all over SE Asia, which, besides BKK’s entertainment options is really appealing. Maybe in ten years when I have some more investments that are paying out every month I’ll consider settling in someplace like BKK or Phuket. Like it’s been stated here before: arbitrage. Right now, I’m reluctant to work in BKK for 40k/month even though my RE income from back home would make my actual monthly earnings more like 65-70k.

I’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg on what the social life is like in both countries but I could go on more about respective cultures, girls, working condition, logistics, etc. Compared to crowded Korea, Thailand feels wide-open. Once you’re outside of BKK there’s lots of space here. Korea is so developed that it can feel almost suffocating at times. I don’t have that feeling in Thailand.
03-11-2012 12:22 AM
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jdreise Offline
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Post: #97
RE: teaching english abroad
(03-10-2012 06:44 PM)AlphaTravel Wrote:  
Quote:Asians tend to have little concept of anything past their borders and I find myself having the same conversations over and over again.

Yeah I find this with the Thais I know. I try talking to them about anything major going on in the world and they look at me blankly as they've no clue what I'm talking about. I even try talking to them about Thai news like the bombs in BKK last month, they obviously don't pay any attention as they had no opinion on any of it.

Quote:You have to learn how to indirectly say "no" in Thailand. They aren't big on confrontation so they usually have a backhanded way of saying "no" with a big smile on their face.

It annoys me that a lot of Thais won't simply say no. They'll beat around the bush for ages instead of just saying that they can't / won't, I've began to recognise it for what it is and can tell when they're simply afraid of saying the word 'no'.

Quote:It's the weather, environment and stress free lifestyle that does wonders to your mind and body. Can't wait to return there.

It's constantly too hot, the place is chaotic, over crowded and polluted and if you had to go work a regular job here and weren't just on holiday you'd surely be stressed. Especially in BKK. I don't eat as much here either, usually 2 meals a day that consist of some rice and meat and some fruit. I drink too much though so definitely not going to lose weight.
(03-10-2012 07:09 PM)redneckpunk Wrote:  saying "no" in Asia is considered rude. They don't communicate directly. Saying no is seen as confrontational, they don't like confrontations, they like harmony.

Beating around the bush is how everyone communicates in Asia, and it is annoying to Westerners (myself included)

It would be inconvenient, etc etc. means no, other Asians undersand this, Westerners don't. You have to learn to read between the lines.

Learn the culture and things will work much more smoothly. Of course this takes time...lots of time.


I agree with all of the above.

It's funny that you mention being annoyed by how they won't directly say "no." It kind of annoys me too sometimes but I've started to get the feel of how they use subtle language to indicate "no."
03-11-2012 12:39 AM
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Aliblahba Offline
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Post: #98
RE: teaching english abroad
I noticed a lot of the teachers get a degree, and then one of the certs. How about one of us that have a solid technical background, and some college? As for teaching adults, wouldn't it make sense for someone that understands heavier subjects like schematics, or hydraulics?
03-11-2012 07:36 AM
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AlphaTravel Offline
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Post: #99
RE: teaching english abroad
Quote:You also get a lot of cool Westerners of all ages that are there because they like to travel and understand that teaching is a good way to save some money and immerse yourself in another culture. I have some friends that saved a good amount of money in their year or two there and are using it to fund their travels. I did the same

That aspect interests me, spend a year living in Korea. Get to understand the language, culture and women. At the end of it have a nice amount of cash in the bank and use it to fund further adventures.
03-11-2012 08:16 AM
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redneckpunk Offline
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Post: #100
RE: teaching english abroad
I think Jdreise's breakdown of expat teachers applies to most countries. Depending how much of a party country it is perceived to be will skew the scumbag ratio, much more in Thailand or South America vs Korea or China.

Only difference would be expat girls in Asia will be starving for weiner not so in South America, they are knee deep in dick there. In China I had decent looking expat girls buying me drinks, i took the free drinks and hit on local chinese girls. Oh how the tables have turned.

The type of expat teacher will depend on the economy. I started doing it in 04 and most of the 22-25 year olds went abroad for adventure or they smelled an opportunity. Since 09 I see more and more people doing it bc they have to. There heart isn't in it, so they complain more and quit faster. Korea is the #1 destination for them bc the money, but if they have no interest in Asia besides chicks and cash they fail...ie Dash's epic crash and burn there.

Back in 09-10 Irish were all over China teaching bc they were no jobs in Ireland. Good people but they were only there bc they had to be, they didn't learn the language or culture and had no interest in it. Jobs in Ireland improved and they left.

Jdreise- where are the western friendly Korean girls to be found in Seoul? I might have a project there in the future.
03-11-2012 09:36 AM
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