Quit a life in EU and find a job in Southeast Asia
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Oct 21, 2012 11:48 PM Last Post By: waxybrushes
Sep 30, 2012 7:42 AM
Quit a life in EU and find a job in Southeast AsiaWe are a couple from Slovenia, Europe and we would like to quit our life here and move to Southeast Asia.
My boyfriend is 26 years old and currently has a job here in Slovenia. He finished a Bachelor degree of Business Administration in College in the USA, and also played basketball for a college team. Before enrolling to study in USA he passed a TOEFL test. As an ex-professional basketball player he could also train basketball or since he is exellent in english he could teach English as well.
I am 30 years old, unemployed with a Master's Degree in Agriculture and also a senior year of Master's study of Ecology and Biodiversity.
A few years ago I went to travel around Malaysia and Borneo and I really fell in love in that part of the World. Since then I have an undescribable feeling that I have to go back and try to make a life there. It is not because of money, it is because of nature, people, tropic climate, food. I am prepared that it will be tought to get a job there as a foreigner.
During my study I gained experience as a kindergarten teacher, babysitter, phone operater and administrative secretary. I was thinking about getting a job as an english teacher in kindergarten or in school or teaching Biology. Of course it would be my wish to work in my profession (Biology, Ecology or Agriculture), for example in national parks, research institution, etc. One option is also that I would do a final research for Master' s degree on an university in SE Asia (maybe it would be easier to find a job afterwards), but when I was sending an email request I didn't get any answer,
We already sent job applications. Response is not very good so far but we also decided to buy tickets and go to Kuala Lumpur, Thailand and Indonesia and try to find a job there.
I would like to ask You:
- Is it easier to find a job in Southeast Asia online or at location?
- Which english certificate makes it easier to get a job as an english teacher there?
- Is it possible to get a job even without a certificate and if you are a non Native speaker?
- Which certificate for English teacher is more recognized in SE Asia ( TESOL, CELTA or TEFL)?
- How much is the certificate course if you want to take it Malaysia?
- Which web sites for finding jobs in SE Asia do you recommend? (Until now I found Monster and Jobstreet)
- How hard is it to get a working permit/visa? Is this taken care of by the employer or by me?
We are not picky and we would even do other jobs. We are focused on Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand or Indonesia.
Does anyone have similar experience, any tips are more than welcome.
We would like to thank everybody in advance for the help.
Natasa and Mark
Sep 30, 2012 1:02 PM
1I am not a specialist in any of the areas you need but I have a few suggestions.
First and foremost, finish your degree and get that MA. Having those two letters after your name will make a huge difference to your later life and career. It may be best to leave for SEA after you get your degree. If you want to do a year in that region and no one is returning your emails, do the obvious next thing and start calling schools. I don't know if it is an age thing but I find that many younger people these days let unreturned emails discourage them. This is frankly silly or they lack motivation.
Second is to seriously consider marriage. Many parts of the world outside of the Western developed countries will not recognize common law marriages. So even if one of you succeeds in getting a job, the other may be locked out. If you are married the other can get a spousal visa. Everyone recognizes marriages.
Apart from the obvious English teaching jobs this is not an easy part of the world to get work for which you can get visas. English teaching may be hindered visa wise by the fact that you do not come from an English speaking country.
The best way to get jobs anywhere is to be a skilled worker. That means for you to finish your degree and apply in related fields. For your SO maybe it means utilizing his basketball skills and connections. I have an American friend whose brother did just that. He played in college, US, played pro in Europe and now has a nice career in Italy scouting, coaching and running a basketball camp. Southeast Asia may be just ripe for this kind of business. I think this is definitely something work looking into.
Sep 30, 2012 1:38 PM
Sep 30, 2012 2:50 PM
3I already have a Master`s degree (this would be the second one) and MA does not make a difference here. Unfortunately in our country there is really a lack of jobs because companies are going bankrupt. Each month there is less and less work positions and more unemployed people. Highly educated young people do not even get an opportunity for employment in their profession. Instead they can be more than happy if they are able to get any kind of a job.
Sep 30, 2012 3:31 PM
4You did state that you were working on your second degree. I missed that.
You need to broaden your horizons outside of Slovenia. You have an EU citizenship which means that you can work in any EU country. How does the second degree contribute to your career and job prospects? You'll need to find out what job requirements are for your desired line of work globally. What was your goal in attaining these two degrees in the first place? Using this educational background seems like to me the better option of trying to move to SEA or anywhere else. Untrained TEFL is low skilled, low paid work. I can't see someone as well educated as yourself being satisfied with it.
Sep 30, 2012 10:53 PM
5The basketball route seems interesting.
Your partner had played for a college team in the US (What college? What conference?)
As former Yugoslavians, Slovanian basketball players have high reputation all over the world
because Yugoslavia had been for years the powerhouse of European basketball.
There a lot of them who live and work in Australia.
Is your husband a certified coach?
Oct 1, 2012 8:42 AM
6The Philippines is mad on basketball - not sure if there is any money in coaching here but could be worth trying that avenue.
Also, there are many aid/development jobs in SEA - have you got any international development/ community development element to your education? You could start by volunteering and then try to get paid work, if you have enough money to go that route. Agriculture is a good background for this kind of work.
Finally, good luck. I hope it works for you.
Oct 1, 2012 2:30 PM
Even though it is true that we have a legal ability to work in any country of the EU, we are still more interested in heading East to South-East Asia territory, because we are sure that the environment and people are much less stressful, impatient and fast paced than in Slovenia and the rest of the EU.
First he played for Marist College (Division I, MAAC Conference), and after that he played for Bloomsburg University (Division II, PSAC conference). In high school he played for Pivovarna Laško as a Cadett and a Junior. During that time he was on the list of the Slovenian Junior National Team and played on a Slovenian All Stars day two years in a row.
Unfortunately he is not a certified coach.
I heard somewhere that foreigners are not allowed to get employed in Phillipines. Do I maybe have wrong information regarding this?
Do you maybe know of a Phillippine website with a list of basketball teams or schools where I could find their contact information?
What exactly did you have in mind with international development/community development element?.
I would like to thank you all for helping us.
Oct 1, 2012 10:02 PM
Oct 2, 2012 3:43 AM
9I have a work permit in the Philippines, it is much like any other country - you must go through the permit process to prove you have skills that are useful/not available locally.
I dont know any basketball contacts sorry, try google. I just know that everyone follows basketball here.
If you have an agriculture background and are interesting in development there are many NGO's in SEA working at the grass roots to improve peoples production/knowledge and ability to make a living from the land (farming). There are many projects in SEA with the aim of reducing poverty and increase stability of food supply. If you have appropriate skills you could volunteer initially with the intention of finding work in the industry. Just another idea of ways to make a living in SEA.
Oct 21, 2012 11:48 PM
10Sounds like you two have an interesting mix of skills.
I second Alexander IV's recommendation that you get married, if you're up for it. If one of you is a student it may make it easier for the other to get a job, or vice versa. It's really helped my husband and me do things together in Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, etc. Next year it's my turn to sponsor the visa, we're pairing off here w/visa responsibilities.
Re. your degrees, they may well be in demand in Malaysia. Biodiversity there is of real concern to anyone with a pair of eyes, and agriculture of course is too. I was artist-in-residence at a gov't run research university in Penang last year, and they had significant resources. Look into bursaries as well if you'd like to do a PhD. Of course you'd have to get to know people first. A number of decent universities around KL, many located quite far from the center of the city.
Re. basketball coaching, it's huge in China too. Yao Ming's success spawned basketball fever here...loads of coaching positions open to qualified and connected people. Lifestyle-wise, however, China doesn't sound like what you're looking for.
Re. teaching, particularly as you're not a native speaker, I'd recommend a CELTA, as it's the most challenging cert, and there will be no objections to it. I received a TEFL ages ago from a generic institution in Thailand, but have a passport from an English speaking country.
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