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Couples abroad (non teaching spouse)

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by oni44, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I was just looking for some general advice.

    My boyfriend and I have been looking into moving aboard. I had my heart set on Dubai although you have to be married to cohabit. Which is in the pipeline but not right now.

    We are now thinking about Thailand or Singapore.

    Has anyone had experience of/ or know of unmarried couples that have moved away and have been able to live together in the facilities provided. If so which country and what was the job market like for there spouse to find work.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I do not know much about Thailand or Singapore, but I can tell you that here in China things are pretty strict and getting stricter. Yes, it is possible to work here without a proper work visa (the bluey-greeny residence visa). However, I would not recommend it and you can get chucked out if they catch you.

    In the ME, the problem may well be an issue of sponsorship, rather than cohabitation. When Mrs H and I were living in Doha, we did know one or two unmarried couples who were cohabiting. It does happen. The naff schools are perhaps prepared to turn a blind eye to this sort of thing. However, getting into the country without a company to sponsor you would be more than a little bit difficult. It used to be the case that husbands could sponsor wives, but I think that girlfriends cannot sponsor anyone.

    Mentioning that you are planning to cohabit with your visa-less boyfriend might be a deal-breaker with quite a few international schools and I am not just taking about ones in the ME. But maybe I am mistaken and perhaps my information is out-of-date.

    I am not quite sure why so many young (and some not-so-young) teachers have a Dubai fixation.
  3. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    Thanks for that.

    So for example. If I got offered a job in China with accommodation, would he be able to stay/ (visit) until he found work and had a work visa.

    How long have you been in China? Would you recommend ?
  4. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

    Whilst what you suggest may be possible at some schools, if getting married is in the pipeline, then do that before moving overseas. There is absolutely no way any school will view an unmarried trailing spouse as a positive when reviewing applications! Of course you can apply as a single teacher and give the school a very unpleasant surprise at some point, in which case they may not be very supportive.

    If you are determined to try moving overseas without getting married then do not underestimate the costs involved for your boyfriend, that the school are highly unlikely to cover: flights, medical insurance, visas, visa runs, ...
  5. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    This is untrue. There are schools where this isn't an issue. Some of them are good schools and some are considered tier 1 and all that.

    (Agreed) However, you open yourselves up to far more schools if you are married. If it's in the pipeline then what are you waiting for?

    To answer the OP's question - not a problem in a country like Thailand, there are ways and means and ways again around living together if only one of you has a work permit and residence. More of a problem in a country like Singapore but again not really - you can do it anywhere in the world it just incurs a bit of expense.

    So when's the wedding?
  6. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    I'd be wary of thinking you can get a job and he can join you and look for work. Unless he has specialist skills in demand in that country it simply won't happen with language and regulations both barriers. Some schools in the more affluent locations may be able to consider him as a assistant in school if local work rules allow it, but not where local hire is cheap. In SE Asia you can find locally qualified teachers acting as classroom assistants for £250 a month in some International schools, and very content with that salary.

    A good friend of mine landed a dream job in a very exotic location a year or two ago. A location of such magnificence, one may even consider longer term residence and retirement. Her husband followed her and within 6 months was bored stiff despite a multitude of leisure pursuits on offer. It's not quite that easy if you cannot speak the local language, are not legally allowed to work, and your daily interaction is with a partner who comes home tired from school with a priority of planning, marking and sleeping.
    katrinahuish likes this.
  7. igvram

    igvram New commenter

    Thailand is out. Unless he wants to constantly travel across a border to get a new visa and, because of a crack down by the junta here, even that is limited. Used to be easy but not any more. Maybe you need to wait until after the wedding?
  8. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    Thanks for all the informative feedback.

    Would it give us a better chance if he did TFL training ?
  9. igvram

    igvram New commenter

    Hundreds if not thousands of those here. However he might get a job at a local school. 40 to a class and 20 odd thousand baht a month.
  10. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    If you go to a country where you need a visa, it is a lot easier if you are married. If you are set against marriage at the moment, then you should look at both searching for jobs and coming to the country as individuals. I have a friend who did this with her boyfriend - both secured work in the country, both companies offered accommodation, but they opted to rent their own place where they could live together. Other companies might be more flexible about living arrangements.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some sensible (and practical) advice from Kartoshka.

    I have had several colleagues who have done a CELTA qualification and at one point I seriously considered doing one myself. A CELTA is the best TEFL qualification and, according to my sources of information, getting this qualification just about guarantees a job, somewhere in the world. Whether it will mean a reasonably-paid job in the country of your choice might, of course, be another matter. A CELTA course costs about a thousand pounds. It takes at least a month and it is very hard work. Incidentally, not everyone passes the course. Non-native speakers of English usually find it easier, as so many Brits are totally ignorant when it comes to the grammar of their own language.
    Kartoshka likes this.
  12. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    This is what we hope to do.

    Which country was it and do you know what area of work ? Thanks in advance
  13. oni44

    oni44 New commenter

    Thanks. We will look into that
  14. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    If you want to look at this long term, then I would suggest that if he has the ability, for him to do a distance learning degree in Physics. It will take 3 to 5 years which will, if finances are not too great a concern, give him something to do that is intellectually challenging.

    Once he has the degree, you may find that schools look upon you both rather favourably.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some wise words from Karvol. Physics or Chemistry. "Looking for hen's teeth" was the phrase used by one principal I knew well to describe what it is like to recruit a Chemistry teacher. Regular readers of my ramblings on the TES will know that when I was teaching in the UAE, a Chemistry-teaching colleague resigned because of the school's unsafe fume cupboard. Within a few hours, he was being phoned by principals of international schools all over the world.
  16. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    Hi - just some info on Singapore. If you are Brit, then you need to be married to your partner for them to get a dependants pass - you used to be able to get one when not married but the rules changed a couple of years ago. The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has a list of jobs which they are more likely to provide a visa for - my husband got a job in a biotechnology lab. Singapore can be tricky on one salary but is definitely do-able whilst your partner looks for work. Feel free to PM me if you'd like more specific info on Singapore :)
  17. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    My partner got a job here in Taiwan and when he told the school that I would be coming with him they were perfectly happy with the situation. Living together here when you're unmarried is not a problem for our school and in fact there are a lot of couples here who are cohabiting and not married. I was very lucky that the school helped me get a job so I was able to get a work visa. If not I would have had to leave every 90 days and come back in again on a tourist visa. A place worth considering. Great country. The people are great, food is amazing, cost of living is good. Lots of things to do and see - great night life and sporting opportunities.
  18. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    It was Russia. One half of the couple was a teacher, the other got work in a school as a teaching assistant (didn't need a qualification).
  19. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    Re the lack of Chemistry and Physics teachers - do schools employ people without a teaching qualification but with a Chemistry/Physics degree? My partner and I are in the early stages of looking at moving abroad, and our main concern is being able to find a job for him that would be relevant to his field (Chemistry & Physics - currently working as a uni lab tech while finishing his degree) and useful experience for future work. I don't feel it's fair for him to have to put his career on hold while I get to continue in mine. He does quite a lot of work with students and has previously worked in a school so is it likely he might be able to find a teaching job?
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Dear lucyrose50, my guess is that many international school principals would be very flexible / amenable / helpful in a situation like yours. Regular readers of my ramblings on the TES will know that, in my experience, Chemistry and / or Physics teachers are in such short supply that many schools will fall over themselves to offer them jobs. Minor difficulties like the lack of a teaching qualification can usually be sorted out.

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