Off Topic: Teaching English Abroad
I'm not sure if this is the right sub-forum to be posting this in, but it sounded the least inappropriate compared to the others. I was wondering if any of you have taught English abroad? And, if so, would you mind sharing your experience with me?
I'm an American in my mid to late 20s, and I really want to live abroad and experience a new country and culture. More specifically, I am interested in moving to Japan, Shanghai, or potentially Seoul. So if anyone has visited or lived in any of these places, feel free to chime in about life there in general.
I teach English, but I live in Italy, so I cannot help you with the questions about Asia. But I can give you some general tips:
1. For your sake and for the sake of those that follow you, be professional, do not see it as a one year yahoo experience. The more professional you are, the better opportunities (professional, pay, personal) come your way.
2. Find out what the requirements are to teach. What is the preferred certificate. In Italy it is CELTA, yes other certificates will get you employed, but the CELTA is taken seriously. Stay away from courses with the online component, they are a waste of money. Look for a course that is internationally recognised. Who knows where you will end up?
3. Do not have affairs with your students, it will catch up with you. If you really like them, stop the lessons.
4. Do your paperwork.
5. Take the low paying job, that will give you experience and perhaps prestige, I teach 3 - 5 year old at a private school, not the best paid, but I now have experience and have some very good paying privates with that age group. For your first year you want experience, look for the school with the good reputation, good teachers that you can learn from.
6. Get yourself a business card. You will look a cut above the crowd.
7. Try and learn the local language, at the very least you will understand what your students are going through!
Remember, people will be paying you good money to teach them a language that they need for their professional lives. It is important that you take that as seriously as they do, this does not mean you cannot have fun, but try your best not to be the slacker teacher, that is there for the ex-pat nights.
I have heard there is good money in the places you want to go to and that they are a lot of fun.
If you take it seriously, even for one or two years as a way to pay for your travels, you will really enjoy it and meet great people.
Life. Be in it.
My wife and I lived in Taiwan for a year. Send me a PM with questions, as there's too much to just vomit out at you right now.
I've spent time in shanghai and if you're looking for a 'foreign' experience dont bother, you could be in any big city pretty much anywhere in the world - the same starbucks, mcds, ikea, and the rest. It's full of non-Chinese too, both on holiday and living and working there. There's nothing unusual about being a big white guy there, and a lot of the people speak English. It's a great city though, with a fantastic nightlife and the locals are incredibly friendly - I loved it as a business trip.
I guess it depends what you're looking for, but if it were me, I'd be heading into the western bits of China (or parts of Russia, or Vietnam / Laos / etc) where it isnt yet fully developed and 1/2 the people dont already speak English. Much more of an adventure that way!
you must go to africa, this is the most benefit