Question about teaching English abroad somewhere in Asia....

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Question about teaching English abroad somewhere in Asia….

Avatar for Kirakira
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I’m currently preparing to take a TEFL course so I can teach abroad somewhere in Asia next year and a little worried about being able to find a job. This might sound like a silly question, but am I going to have trouble finding a job if I’m not white?!

My mother taught english in South America a while ago and said so many of her students were just fascinated with her blue eyes and blonde hair. I also know someone who taught in South Korea and said that there’s a bit of racism there (she thinks part of the reason she got a job so quickly was because she is very “American looking”.)

I know I might just be paranoid, but I’m honestly curious, will it be more difficult for me to find work in certain areas because I don’t look like what they imagine a ‘typical westerner’ looks like? I’m aware that it’s probably not like this everywhere, but I won’t have my degree finished by then either, so I’m guessing that will also be working against me!

Any responses are much appreciated.


Kira

     
Avatar for Lunny
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Hi Kira.

I won’t lie to you, it definitely is harder to find a job in Asia if you aren’t ‘western-looking’. Korea is probably the worst country for it, as you mentioned. I knew some black and Indian people working there in public schools, but it’s much harder for people with dark skin to work in hagwons (private cram schools). Sadly, some parents will pull their kids out of the hagwon if the teacher is black, which means the school will lose money. As a business, most hagwons will not risk hiring a black/dark-skinned foreign teacher for that reason. How messed up is that?  :?

To be honest, looking at your picture, I don’t think you’ll have a problem finding a job. The fact that you are female will work in your favour, and if you want to work in Korea, being American also helps a lot. It’s only people with really dark skin that will encounter problems.

As for the degree issue, if you want to work in Korea you’ll have to wait till you finish your degree to do so, as immigration requires a degree for all teachers and it is rigidly enforced. It’s possible you could work in China, Thailand or somewhere else, but bear in mind you may be working illegally, as technically these countries also require a degree to work as a teacher.

     
Avatar for ambermarie
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Lunny beat me to it - I was just about to reply with something similar!

About your degree, why are you planning on teaching before finishing it? It’ll be a lot easier for you to find a job if you have a degree ... yeah you can work without one but it could be a bit dodgy if you were caught, plus the requirements of lots of language schools aren’t for TEFL qualifications, but for a degree.

I’m teaching in Japan on the JET Programme - if you are able to wait til you’ve finished your degree, you might want to look into applying to this as it’s run by the Japanese government so is all above board and legitimate, there’s lots of support, and the pay is very good too. JET recruits from countries around the world, although the majority come from the US. Because of this, JET itself doesn’t discriminate against people who don’t look typically ‘western’ ... that isn’t to say that once you arrive at your school in Japan, the students and teachers (and also people in the wider community) will necessarily be so open-minded. There is an element of racism in Japan, although this isn’t something I’ve experienced personally, apart from the occasional suspicion of foreigners in general.

A couple of years ago I spent 6 weeks in Hong Kong working at a language school there ... I would say this company wasn’t legitimate, and actually whilst I was there I did feel like my main purpose was just to be an example of a westerner that the school could show off to potential students. At one event the school had a stall at a careers fair type thing, and I was required to go along and just sit there ... when I asked if I was meant to be doing anything, the reply was ‘look British’. So, it definitely is true that some places want token foreigners that they feel represent English-speaking countries, and in many cases their image is of a blonde-haired and blue-eyed person. Of course, part of your job is to dispel that myth!

To be honest, I think the main thing that will make finding work difficult for you is not how you look, but the fact that you won’t have a degree when you start job-hunting. If you can wait til you’ve completed your degree, you will likely have no trouble at all.

     
Avatar for Lunny
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when I asked if I was meant to be doing anything, the reply was ‘look British’

LOL  haha, brilliant!

been in similar situations myself a couple of times!

 

     
Avatar for Kirakira
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Thanks for the replies, guys! I’m wanting to teach before graduating because I’m just super burnt out on school and really need some time off from sitting behind a desk! I’m going to India for 3 months later this year, so that will be a nice break, but I really wanted to spend more time abroad. Maybe the teaching thing will have to wait until after I graduate though…

Does anybody know anything about teaching in Cambodia? If I can’t go to South Korea, than I’d really like to go at least somewhere in SEA. I was told through the company I’m getting my certification through that there are plenty of job opportunities in Cambodia, but I’m not sure if maybe their just saying that, because, well, they are a business! 

Also, I do have some experience in tutoring and I’ve worked as a nanny for the past two years. Do you think that will be any help?

I guess I’m just really scared that I’ll spend all this money on getting certified and won’t be able to find a job! Ahhh!

     
Avatar for James1985
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I’m going to India for 3 months later this year, so that will be a nice break

you will have a break of something! You will love it!

     
Avatar for Dinar
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Hi Kira ,

Dont worry bout you cant find job in asia. i think for western is easy for get job in asia !!

Im working In English First ( EF ) . EF is an international education company that specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs and cultural exchange ! if you need job as teacher in indonesia , i would love to help you !  . we need a native speaker . if you need a qualification , i will give you detail .  i agree with lunny , i dont think you will have a problem to finding a job . in EF there’s a black man who has british citizen but he get a job in EF .

you have experience as nany , it would be great because in EF you will teaches 4th years old - adult ! EF just need TEFL cert , and TESOL cert . you can get TEFL cert by online right ?

-dinar

     
Avatar for Lunny
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Hi Kira ,

Dont worry bout you cant find job in asia. i think for western is easy for get job in asia !!

Im working In English First ( EF ) . EF is an international education company that specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs and cultural exchange ! if you need job as teacher in indonesia , i would love to help you !  . we need a native speaker . if you need a qualification , i will give you detail .  i agree with lunny , i dont think you will have a problem to finding a job . in EF there’s a black man who has british citizen but he get a job in EF .

you have experience as nany , it would be great because in EF you will teaches 4th years old - adult ! EF just need TEFL cert , and TESOL cert . you can get TEFL cert by online right ?

-dinar

Hey Dinar. How much money does a native English-speaking teacher make in Indonesia?

 

     
Avatar for Dinar
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hi lunnny , in our company its like a bout 7million in IDR - 10 million IDR in a month . you can get return flight home- indonesia - home , and acomodation for 1 year .

     
Avatar for Garybliss123
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I’ve not taught in Cambodia but I have looked into it and it sounds a little tricky to work there.

I have heard that you have to go there to get a job, as they are almost never advertised online, and that the pay isn’t enough to live well on as the hours are so sporadic and the schools chop and change their teachers if a prettier one comes along.

If you are going to India for a few months, why not just spend a day or two popping in to businesses and seeing if they need staff?

     
Avatar for Lunny
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hi lunnny , in our company its like a bout 7million in IDR - 10 million IDR in a month . you can get return flight home- indonesia - home , and acomodation for 1 year .

sounds good.

now, for my next question…

why are you licking that man in your profile picture?  LOL

     
Avatar for Dinar
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hi lunnny , in our company its like a bout 7million in IDR - 10 million IDR in a month . you can get return flight home- indonesia - home , and acomodation for 1 year .

sounds good.

now, for my next question…

why are you licking that man in your profile picture?  LOL


HAAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHA , why am i licking that man ? should i answer ur question ? lol
nah , it just for fun ! that picture was taking in bounty bali . FOam party was really good ! lol
okay if you are interested working here , let me know eh ! would love to meet a new people . x

 

 

     
Avatar for Kirakira
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YES, i’m totally interested!!!!! :D Did you have to sign a one year contract? I start my online tefl course next week. yayyyy!

     
Avatar for Dinar
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YES, i’m totally interested!!!!! :D Did you have to sign a one year contract? I start my online tefl course next week. yayyyy!

ya , you have to sign one year contract ! i did sign until graduated , is like about 2 or 2.5 years !!

     
Avatar for lip420
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You might get some discrimination as many schools prefer Caucasians. But you won’t be the first non-white teacher there and actually you don’t look that dark according to your pic so I really wouldn’t worry about it.