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It's a big world

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Catjellycat, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Catjellycat

    Catjellycat Occasional commenter

    Hello all,

    I've been reading here for a number of years out of sheer nosiness and I know that there's no better place to ask my questions now I've got my husband to think a bit more about an international adventure.

    But where to start. We have two children - one asthmatic and one with life-threatening allergies so I'm thinking some of the more polluted/remote places are out. I've found one positive review on *** - the rest are tales of misery and woe so hard to use for judgement. My husband isn't a teacher and to speak freely, is not qualified as anything so we'd be reliant on my wage and seeing what these actually are on adverts seems rarer than hen's teeth. I'm getting on a bit now which whilst bad for the wrinkles on my forehead means I've got a bit of experience behind me now and I'm fairly senior over here (I'm cringing a bit writing that, but I am, I suppose) but I understand this may not translate to a similar position overseas

    I am a little bit stuck. I would like to not consider the middle east for personal preference but where would be a lovely, family friendly place to go?

    Apologies for the my vagueness. It's all just a kernel of a thought at the moment.
  2. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Children with serious allergies need a country with decent medical care and where people umdertand allergies. Basically that means Europe or US or Aus. Asia no way.
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Singapore and Hong Kong are in Asia and are the top two in a recent survey of public health provision. The USA and UK come somewhere way down in the thirties. The USA has first class medicine IF you have a lot of loot or if your employer can afford the insurance. A footnote for dumbells: Spain's splendid NHS comes third after Singers and HK.
    lottee1000 and StrangePanda like this.
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Most decent-sized cities in Asia, Europe or ME should be fine.
  5. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    It's not necessarily about the medical care, it's also about the general appreciation for the seriousness of allergies. Let's say it's a food allergy, you have to trust that the local establishments will label their food accurately with every ingredient. In the EU it's the law but I'm not sure about most Asian countries.

    I personally would avoid Asian countries as there probably won't be such provisions in place to protect those with allergies since they do not seem to have the same rapid increase in cases that Europe has seen.
  6. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Yes, that’s going to be the problem with most of Asia. The health care may be there, but the food labelling isn’t.
  7. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Yes, HK has a great public system.

    I work with other teachers and students who have food allergies and they manage fine.

    You might be more reliant on imported food brands, but they are readily available.
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    The pollution in Singapore can be severe enough to close schools multiple times a year - not great for asthma sufferers
  9. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    To provide an alternative point of view on Asia, the medical care in Kuala Lumpur is excellent (a million times better than the poor NHS) and I know several adults and children here who have life-threatening food allergies and do fine. Free-from food is available fairly readily in supermarkets and many restaurants, especially chains, can provide allergy-friendly menus or have information on their websites. Smaller independent restaurants won't do this, but English is widely understood and if you explain in as dramatic terms as possible ("I will DIE here in your restaurant if I eat anything that has touched a peanut") then they will tell you if they can cater for you or not! Because of the variety of religions here, people are used to dealing with different food restrictions and having customers asking about ingredients. KL is also an excellent place to live!
    rosiecg likes this.
  10. worlo24

    worlo24 Occasional commenter

    Bangkok pollution wasn't great last year. Had several pollution index sessions inside and cancelled sporting activities etc, although their medical care is really good if it is included in your school package
  11. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    I'd say South Africa, but I'm not sure what, if any, teaching posts might be available. Otherwise it ticks all your boxes.
  12. WatchYourTongue

    WatchYourTongue New commenter

    Not to put you off, help for food allergies in many other countries could be much better than the UK I don't know, but you could always look overseas once your kids are old enough to go to uni or have moved out. Many people teach overseas to give their pension pot a boost, once their responsibilities have diminished to just themselves once more.
  13. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    I agree with @rosaespanola - KL has many dining and shopping options including free-from, vegan, etc. You would quickly learn where is ok to eat out and where not to bother. There is a friendly expat community here who would be able to offer advice and experience, and the medical care is fantastic (and cheap even if your insurance doesn't cover it).

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