Teaching English Abroad
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Sep 21, 2012 6:45 PM Last Post By: thelocaldialect
Sep 18, 2012 4:43 PM
Teaching English AbroadI am a recently college graduate with a BA in English Creative Writing and am wanting to teach English abroad, but I am curious about a few items.
First, do I need any certification outside of my English Degree, if not, will additional certification be redundant, or act as resume padding, allowing me to find better jobs?
Second, I have a felony drug conviction on my record. I was arrested 5 years ago, convicted 4 years ago, and finished my supervision and drug classes 3 years ago. Since I was arrested, I have gone back to school and graduated with honors. I have not been convicted of a crime, not event a parking ticket, since that time. How will this effect my employment opportunities? Are there ways to mitigate the stigma that comes along with this conviction? Will gaining more certification help my cause?
Third, my girlfriend recently bought a groupon for an online accredited and reputable TESOL course, and she would like to join me teaching English abroad. How do various schools and/or countries deal with couples teaching as far as housing, etc?
Any and all input would be valuable, so please feel free to share any info or opinions.
Sep 19, 2012 12:24 AM
1So, in doing some quick and dirty research, it seems higher end locales like Korea and Japan are off the table, as my criminal record would prohibit me from obtaining a work visa (though I could get an FBI background check to be sure). What are some of my other options for quality teaching locations (livable pay, non-excessive hours, cool culture and scenery)? I also have a minor in Spanish, do the Latin American countries require background checks?
Sep 19, 2012 4:04 PM
2There are countless threads here on TEFL and taking the time to read some would probably give you answers to everything except the drug conviction issue.
For example, you mention a groupon 'accredited' online course your girlfriend has bought. There is no such thing as an Internationally recognized TEFL accreditation governing body. If they say a course is 'accredited' the question is by whom? Themselves?
Since there is no international recognized accreditation body that means that each school must decide for themself whether or not to RECOGNIZE and accept any TEFL certificate you show them. If you have a CELTA or TESOL certificate you can pretty much be sure every school will accept it. If you have some mickey mouse online course certificate some schools may accept it and others will not. I'll leave it to you to guess which kind of schools will and which kind will not. ie. the worst or the best schools.
Your criminal record will follow you everywhere for the rest of your life and obviously as you are now discovering will impact your life in various ways. You can't for example (assuming you are from the USA) even drive across the border to Canada for a weekend break.
It is sometimes possible to apply for a pardon and have your record expunged. I don't know if you can for a drug conviction but it is worth finding out. Talk to a lawyer. If you can get it expunged you basically answer that recurring question, 'do you have a criminal record, have you ever been convicted of a crime' with a NO. There is no longer any way for anyone to find out differently.
Sep 21, 2012 5:27 AM
3To get into China you can buy your visa in Hong Kong...done in 1 day. I personally know a guy from Australia with a very dubious background who lives/works in China & he has also been in trouble with the Chinese police. He gets his visas in Hong Kong too.
Re work in China.....www.bucklandgroup.com
Sep 21, 2012 3:43 PM
4I agree with #1 on most things.
What qualifications you need? Look back over the last 6 months of posts here for lots of answers on that.
Online Certs? Same answer.
Convictions; each country has different visa rules, but many need police checks. I don't know which country you are from, and even so I do not know each country's rules on 'spent' convictions (i.e., after what length of time they 'drop off' police check reports).
Only you can find out about that, online or by speaking to a lawyer.
The visa rules for countries you might go to; look on eslcafe.com 's country-specific forums for experts on that.
Re; #3, you can get a Chinese tourist visa in HK, but work visas takes more effort.
Sep 21, 2012 6:45 PM
5To work legitimately in China you need a BA, 2 years of work experience after your BA, and some provinces are now requiring a TEFL cert as well (although for visa purposes any TEFL will do). There are also age restrictions for some provinces, wanting you to be over 23 and under 60.
Yes you can get a tourist visa in HK for China but I wouldn't recommend it. Working illegally in China is not really a good idea, as you could find yourself kicked out of the country and slapped with heavy fines if you're caught. People do it but these days China is not really the same as it was 10 years ago when it was this perfect work destination for anyone who could scrape together enough money for the plane ticket over.
As for the felony, you could try China but if they found out about it your visa application would be rejected. Some provinces will require a criminal background check, others won't bother. So it is sort of a gamble. You could try, but no guarantees.
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