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SE Asia in general for teaching and family

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by tony110704797, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. tony110704797

    tony110704797 New commenter

    Hi All,

    First post so hope I do not break any of the rules. Teaching 5 years in Ireland and have a non teaching spouse and daughter...looking to make the move to an international school circuit and looking at SE Asia in particular. Also a cigarette brand school in Malaysia is advertising a lot of PE related vacancies (my main subject). Any advice on Malaysia or SE in general with a family thanks.
  2. MyOrchid

    MyOrchid New commenter

    Welcome to the forum, Tony.

    I used to teach in Malaysia and there were aspects that I enjoyed (mainly the food, ability to have nice beach holidays and the culture - I was in KL). However, the climate got to me after a while, as it's 32 - 34 degrees every day, and relatively humid. The PE teachers I knew either loved it or hated it - it's hard work being outside for several hours a day in those temperatures if you are not used to it. The school you refer to is in the south of Malaysia, close to the border with Singapore. I've not been through Johor Bahru recently, so I can't comment on what it's like there, but the proximity to Singapore is good for visits and travel via Changi airport.

    Regarding SE Asia, it's difficult to generalise too much. There are big differences in climate, pollution levels, access to "Western" products and language, lifestyle, religious and political systems, freedom of speech, food, cost of living etc, and that's even before you look at the differences between schools in each place. I've travelled relatively widely in Asia, and I would say that my experiences with my kids were very positive.

    If you have more specific locations in mind I am sure other people would be happy to give their own opinion, but bear in mind what suits someone else might be something you end up hating....!

    Best wishes,

    tony110704797, mermy and GeordieKC like this.
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    People in Malaysia are generally very friendly, and seem to really like kids. The food is great, and you can get food from all over the world. There are loads of places within the country you can travel to easily, quickly and cheaply, whether you want food, culture or beach. They have Tesco, and you can do online shopping with them. M&S, Debenhams etc. have western sizes. English is widely spoken, and you'll see it on menus etc. The culture is varied - Malay, Chinese, Indian etc. - so you will find foods from these places, clothing, music, temples and so on. I think it would be an easy destination for a first timer, apart from coping with the weather. I love it here! (I'm here right now on holiday)

    I haven't lived in Malaysia though; I currently live in southern China. China I find not very friendly, very insular, polluted and dirty. I am thinking of moving to Malaysia when my contract ends in China.
    tony110704797 likes this.
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    What qualifications does your spouse have or do they have any trade skills. Check out also if your spouse can work under your visa or would they have to obtain their own for any employment.

    The usual minimum qualification required for a work visa is a BA/BSc 3 year degree in most Asian countries. I know some spouses make a good living as hairdressers visiting expats in their homes, another as a fitter repairing caterpillar machinery to western standards.

    Your spouses may even become a supply teacher within your school to cover absent staff, may international teachers have started that way.
    tony110704797 likes this.
  5. tony110704797

    tony110704797 New commenter

    Thank you for sharing your experiences MyOrchid, Blueskydreaming & Fenruary31st. Yes it's true definitely that what might suit one might not suit another...My wife is a medical administrator nut our daughter is so young that we were hoping she could be at home with her ideally for a year or so, something we cannot afford to do in Ireland. I guess its about getting the right package and location...but I guess that is what everyone wants haha. Had looked at China but ruling out Shanghai, Beijing due to pollution issues but the fact I have experience of Irish Curriculum as opposed to British might limit my chances of a "good school" in a sought after country. If I don't get a suitable offer this year I am happy to wait until 2019. Have applied for a lot but no real responses yet, had to submit a video interview in HK but didn't get any further.
  6. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Look at IB schools. There are a hell of lot more of them than British schools, and on the whole from what i can see they provide a better package. My sister managed to travel the world and have 3 children (her husband worked) and they managed very well on one wage, well, after leaving Spain....so it is totally possible.

    Good luck
    tony110704797 likes this.
  7. tony110704797

    tony110704797 New commenter

    Hi Dumbells66. Thank you for that, good bot of information that I can use with regards IB schools and good to hear a success story with a big family also. I know its funny with regards Europe, packages usually do not seem great due to accommodation and cost of living issues...thanks again
  8. Capricorn2412

    Capricorn2412 New commenter

    tony110704797 likes this.
  9. schmedz

    schmedz Occasional commenter

    Tony, be aware that the location of the school you're referring to above will not be like living in a major city and much of the recreation will either be school-based, or require you to regularly (and time-consumingly) negotiate crossing the border into Singapore. With a non-working spouse and young child, this could be challenging. Unless you want to live at the nearby Legoland...
    tony110704797 likes this.
  10. tony110704797

    tony110704797 New commenter

    Thanks Schmedz...So many things to consider, Il see if I can get legoland on Airbandb ;). Id imagine as you said that is why a lot of people go to KL in Malaysia as more to do for families and much better transport links. Have onlt been to KL on a holiday and found it a bit busy and go go go but its trying to find the right balance between that and nothing to do. Thanks again
  11. missbrody

    missbrody New commenter

    Send me a message, I can provide some useful info about the area, etc
  12. tinker000

    tinker000 New commenter

    I am a Msian and I have lived in England for over 16 years. I might be biased but I have to say lifestyle in SE Asia is so much better than England esp. if you have a decent salary. If you have an opportunity to work in SE Asia, go for it, you will never regret!
    dumbbells66 and tony110704797 like this.
  13. tony110704797

    tony110704797 New commenter

    Thank you Tinker000
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hello, Tony! Yes, we were all new to this TES forum. (In my case, it was back in the arly 13th century.)

    Regular readers of the pachyderm's online ramblings will know that I have somewhat revised my opinions re. pollution levels in China. I am not saying, "No teacher should ever come to China", but I am saying that teachers with young children really ought to think twice.
    tony110704797 likes this.
  15. tony110704797

    tony110704797 New commenter

    Thanks Hippo:)

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