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Old 3 Mar 2013
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Does TEFL work?

I know that teaching TEFL classes won't make us a fortune but am wondering if it's worth looking into as a way of staying in an area (Asia or South America), for a while to get a better understanding of the country and culture whilst not costing us anything and very slightly topping up our travel fund! Has anyone got any experience of this?

Thanks, Beej
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Old 4 Mar 2013
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Works well in China

Generally you will sign a 1 year contract.
They give you apartment.
Pay is enough to save some.
Some guys I know get about 5000 RNB from the school or college.
And then some o more part time classes as well.

My American friend earns around 9000 rnb a month (with a paid apartment) and he saves around 4000 rnb a month.
His wife is from Philippines, and is at home all day.

From what he tells me, there is much better chance to teach English in China than any other country, as the Chinese see English as a "must have " language now.

Motorbikes and scooters are cheap here,

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Old 4 Mar 2013
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My son did it in China as a gap year activity before uni. He made contact with some of the many agencies advertising for TEFL tutors and found that they all wanted at least a basic qualification before they'd accept you. He found a part time course near us (in Oxford) that took a couple of months (although there were others - the shortest being just one weekend) and that got him in.

The agency got him a few months work in Pudong (part of Shanghai) and then two more placements in more rural China. Once there he got loads of offers of more teaching work ( all offering around 4-5000 RMB / month) and was the english voice on a Chinese language CD which paid quite well, but there were "freelancing" restrictions on his visa so he stuck mainly to whatever the agency came up with.

While teaching english he was learning mandarin and getting to know the country. He really enjoyed it and may well go back for a while after uni.
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Old 4 Mar 2013
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This is my daughter's experience.

Having done marketing jobs, pub jobs, local council jobs, in UK and Spain, decided to try teaching. Did a little freelance private English teaching in Spain. (No tefl qualification).

Before 30 years old, obtained the 1-yr working visa for Canada.
Over there, did a Cambridge University tefl diploma (don't know which one, but fairly advanced). And worked in a language school teaching English to Chinese, during and after the tefl course.
Returned to UK and got a decent job straightaway in a private school teaching mainly rich Arabs.
Went off to Africa with me, got a job offer from the British Council in Sudan (Khartoum), via local contacts at the University. (Who we met at the campsite).
Returned to the private UK school for a couple of months, packed up and moved to Khartoum.
Did well there, and moved up to a management job (still some teaching) at the Brit Council school in Rwanda (Kigali), where she is now.

A tefl qualification certainly seems to be a passport to international opportunities. And you definitely get into the local culture. She now privately employs two staff (local people) to look after the sizeable house she rents in the city. And all the students are local workers, as Rwanda recently changed from French to English as the official 2nd language.

In Sudan she travelled a lot to Juba in the south for Brit Council work, and now spends some time in Bujumbura (Burundi) setting up a new school there.

Good luck with your plans!
TTR250 - London to Cape Town
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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Thumbs up

Thanks for your replies... sounds very promising and that tefl is definitely worth thinking about to enable us to experience some countries & culture's better. Will need to have a better look into what the course and jobs are like so that we can decide if this is a good way for us to go! Thanks again. :-)
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Old 24 Mar 2013
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did a CELTA in Oxford, travelled to africa on the bikes (gambia) and have two jobs teaching medical students Medical terminology , English . Also have another job teaching mechanical english to auto mechanics . Well worth doing as a good back up and usually word of mouth and just turning up worked for me .Saving now to leave next year to keep bouncing around looking to go to the italy maybee.....
take care Sean and Mary Logan
bloggy thing Adventure Motorcycling & Mugs of Wine
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Old 24 Mar 2013
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Sure does.

I know two ladies who traveled for ten years around the whole world just teaching English on their TEFL courses.
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Old 24 Mar 2013
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After working in IT for 13 years, I got tired and bored with it and wanted some adventure. I quit, got a 4-week TEFL certificate, and then spent a year living and teaching in Indonesia, followed by three years teaching at a university in Mexico.

I found that I made enough money to rent a modest apartment with furnishings, food, and bills. In Mexico I also made enough to buy a cheap 200cc motorcycle. I had enough money after covering expenses to do a bit of travel during my holiday breaks.

I enjoyed the experience very much, but after 4 years, I looked at some of my older colleagues and realized that as they had no savings, they will work until they drop dead. I left teaching and returned to IT work in Canada about 6 years ago.

I think if you are just looking for something to get by for a few years, it will work for you, but you won't get rich and likely won't be able to put aside much towards savings.
Bruce Clarke - 2020 Yamaha XV250
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Old 25 Mar 2013
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Thanks for your replies... this confirms to us that TEFL could be a way for us to experience life in one place whilst covering our expenses and maybe adding a little to the pot! Just need to work out if it's the right way for us! Beej
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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Thanks Beej for asking this question - something I considered a few years ago but lift got in the way, may look into it again. Good Luck with your plans

Striving to live the ordinary life in a non ordinary way
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