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Moving to Penang Malaysia

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by tigerli11y, May 19, 2020.

  1. tigerli11y

    tigerli11y New commenter

    Thank you for the proactive advice and well wishes!
    We don’t drink either - so hopefully that helps with the budget.
    Grab - note taken!
    As well as job searching, my husband is also looking at CELTA courses too. So yes, we’re definitely open to that.
    Medical Insurance - great to hear that the medical care is good out there.
    Wishing you all the best too
    CocoaChannel likes this.
  2. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    What you have is the right attitude. You are grateful and humble but still willing to try and make things better.

    Many in the international circuit has been sploilt with the mentality that schools has to provide you with top class holiday money, housing allowance and ridiculous £££ to save every month.The reality is, that is not the case.

    Your contract for now maybe be deemed as very low by others but getting your foot inside the international door will open things up for you. We all have to take little steps. Many don't understand that. But judging by your comment, you have both patience and the understanding. Considering your international role already has middle leadership responsibilities, you should be confident this journey will lead you to other prospects.

    Penang and Malaysia in general will be good for your children. I've met many families over the years in the ME chasing the money. They didn't last long. They moved to Asia for far less money.

    Good luck to you and the family.
  3. tigerli11y

    tigerli11y New commenter

    Thank you for understanding me and our situation. Truly means a lot! :)

    Wishing you and yours the very best in life too!
  4. tigerli11y

    tigerli11y New commenter

    Great tips! Thank you
  5. IndigoViolence

    IndigoViolence New commenter

    BUT you don’t pay for school or medical insurance or flights or visas. You know where to shop, food is familiar and can be sourced cheaply as can children’s clothing. Plus you have the help of accessing credit for cars etc;

    Living overseas with a spouse who isn’t working is hard especially if they have left decent jobs. There are so many more aspects than packing a suitcase.

    yes it’s wildly exciting, of course we have all done it but do your sums.

    @Luvskiing makes very valid points.

    We used up all our savings in our first post abroad- rent- finding three months up front. Paying for medical insurance for dependents- only getting a % of flight allowance paid begin and end. So many learning curves.

    All I would say is school places, visa, flights and medical- everything else you can work out. That should be the minimum and basic.

    Good Luck
    adrixargentina likes this.
  6. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    We did it with a family of 5, one teaching spouse. We saved nothing. Similar salary and same situation with housing. We bought a car. Car prices are double if they are imported (including used cars) but cheap repairs. We lived near the school. My kids loved it there, us not so much because we were poor. But it was easy living otherwise. Everyone speaks English including the public bus drivers. The population is about 50% ethnic Chinese, 4% ethnic south-asian and the rest is Malays.
    Your husband can tutor or ask the school for some work. I knew trailing spouses that did non-classroom jobs (boarding house, CAS coordinator, ECA coordinator) but local hires (an locals that are qualified teachers) get about 5000RM a month or an hourly wage, so see if you can get something sorted before.
    After 5 years we left with about 140,000RM from the EPF.
    You can PM me for more info. We're very close to people that are still there.
    adrixargentina likes this.
  7. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    I am going to agree with both sides here, either to further confuse you (the OP) or to help you make the right decision.

    Agreeing with the naysayers: Yes, you can do much better package-wise elsewhere in Asia (or even within Malaysia - the better paying schools in Kuala Lumpur pay double and even some of the not so great ones pay more when you add up all the benefits).

    The package is ok. You won't save much, other than a not too stellar EPF payout.

    Living on an island popular with tourists and an economy partially geared to them can get a bit boring.

    If it's the school I think it is, it's not the worst but it's certainly not the best school to work at. Some teachers who have worked there don't have a good word to say about it.

    Agreeing with they yaysayers: You say you don't drink - alcohol is the only thing that is ALWAYS (well, actually not because there are, ahem, ways) expensive in Malaysia. Yes cars are too, especially the imported ones (but you don't need an imported one unless you are crashing every weekend at 140km/h on the highway in which case many second hand local models won't protect you), but they are a one time payment and they hold their value for resale when you leave. Petrol is cheap, very cheap. Everything else is affordable once you know where to buy it and who to buy it from (to be fair this is pretty much true of all of Asia, including the "first world" countries).

    The package is ok. You won't get a better one in Penang as a teacher unless you are a member of SMT/SLT/whatever they call it.

    Each to their own but I can't think of many better places to live in the world. The tourists are easy to ignore.

    If it's the school I think it is, it will be a good school for your kids and they will be happy there and receive a good education.
    grdwdgrrrl and CocoaChannel like this.
  8. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Totally spot on. lf it's the well establish school that used to be on a hill.
  9. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Would agree largely with Kemevez, especially concerning the booze and the car, go for a secondhand Proton or even a new one as the Saga is pretty cheap (or at least it used to be when I lived there) and they are cheap to fill (fuel subsidies) and repair, as they are ubiquitous.

    As for the school, if it is the one on the hill then it is well established but not as good as it used to be, the old head retired and the governors have made a few missteps, quite a few, recently over appointments and the new campus. In fact I think they are looking for a new Head of Secondary again??
  10. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    The old head retired over 10 years ago and whilst we were there they had 3 heads. The long time Head of Primary left a couple years ago replaced by someone that will be the next head of school. Still looking for a head of secondary and, I imagine, a new Head of Primary. Still, it’s a nice place for the kiddos. The school, in general is selective, so they expect results from the very talented local students that study there.
  11. TinyTeacher92

    TinyTeacher92 New commenter

    I spent part of my February break in Penang before the world was turned upside down. I absolutely loved it, it's got a good balance between 'town life' in Georgetown and a lot of nature that is easy to access. I think it would be a great place to raise a family but might be slightly boring for those who prefer the city life (like myself). If you have any questions about the island itself then I will do my best to answer. On a final note, the selection of food in the food courts was absolutely fantastic - I would return just for the food.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.

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