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Taking the plunge (Thailand/China/UAE)

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by MathematicianBatman, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. MathematicianBatman

    MathematicianBatman New commenter

    Hi all after many years of teaching abroad being a distant pipe dream on the horizon - Im now actively looking for roles for August 2018.
    I know very little about it past what iv read online and most of that is conflicting info/opinions

    I am looking at roles in;
    Thailand - Bangkok
    China - Shanghai
    UAE - Dubai

    Thailand being number 1 for various reasons but open to the others.

    My biggest concern at the minute is basically i feel like im applying for jobs blind!
    I dont know what the pay is or what the accommodation looks like and i wouldn't want to be tied into a contract for two years in accommodation and pay that means I end up regretting it. How did you all reconcile this apparent leap into the dark?

    Thanks
     
    shazzaa65 likes this.
  2. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    join Search associates. it is a fuss to get on but totally worth it. it will give you an outline of salary expectations, savings potential (usually lower than what can be achieved), and what is included in the package. all of this is massively helpful information for everyone, and i have no idea why TES does not do this.

    regards to accommodation, it really does depend on the school, but any decent school will assist you with the process, and show you a number of options. i have lived in some truly amazing apartments, a MASSIVE improvement on anything i have ever lived in the UK. bangkok is a massive city, you will have a huge array of choice. bangkok is also one of the popular destinations, with some very high paying schools, much higher than you would earn in the UK, so VERY competitive when it comes to recruitment. if you teach shortage subjects like Physics, then you will be fine.... if you teacher English or Humanities than you will be competing against 100's of very experienced people. i am taking a stab at you being a maths teacher... you should be ok, but again a LOT of people want to work there.

    good luck
     
  3. MathematicianBatman

    MathematicianBatman New commenter

    Thanks for the info
    I should add where i'm up to with things at the minute yes i am 95% complete on SA (Looooong process). Have heard good things about them also so going to stick with that.
    I have also tentatively emailed a few schools and already had an offer from one but id like to hold on for BK.

    I notice there isnt much advertised currently for BK would SA have access to a larger pool of vacancies than TES?
     
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    SA has a very large pool of school, and mainly covers IB schools, and other curriculums other than British curriculum, although still has some. remember that there are a lot more IB schools out there than British curriculum schools.

    TES seems to have cover the British schools well on the international scene.

    best of luck
     
  5. MathematicianBatman

    MathematicianBatman New commenter

    Thanks will stick with SA and TES !

    Happy to have any more advice from anyone based out there/has been to any of these
     
  6. schmedz

    schmedz Occasional commenter

    Accommodation and packages vary from school to school and there is a lot of choice in Bangkok for a wide variety of budgets. Most important is to find a school with which you're happy and are satisfied with the contract details/interview and website information. Joining ISR might be worthwhile for feedback on certain schools.
    There is a Bangkok job fair and lots of ads at the moment, depending on what subject/phase you teach.
    Even armed with the best information in the world, teaching abroad is a leap of faith to some extent - until you arrive and live somewhere, you have no idea how you'll react to certain things. If you decide nothing is 'good' or 'bad' in the first 6 months, but just 'different' that can help. Unless of course it's highly illegal or unsafe - then, call a spade a spade.
    Happy job hunting.
     
  7. MathematicianBatman

    MathematicianBatman New commenter

    Thanks Schmedz - isnt the Bangkok fair actually in Bangkok? there is a SA fair coming up in London soon which im planning on going to.

    ISR took some googling - not a fan of not being able to talk about schools etc on here not very helpful
     
  8. tjh102

    tjh102 Occasional commenter

    Hi.

    We can't comment publicly, but several of us are in Bangkok, and we will happily give you our opinions on schools to go for and schools to avoid. You can start a conversation directly with us so it is in private.
     
  9. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    You can pm me as well, I'm in BKK too.
     
  10. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    I'm in the UAE. As above, accommodation standards vary. I'm in a 'not very good' school (I wish I'd given it more thought before coming....hey-ho), students fees are low(ish). I live in an ok apartment - it's small and boxy, but it's fine considering I don't pay for it. It's not luxury by any stretch. But the area....ugh!! It's filthy. The admin at my school said it's a location with high number of expats....does not mean Western expats. Not that I've got anything against non-Westerners, but I think the 8 or 9 of us that live here are the only Westerners. I walk to school - I like this idea; the reality is that I walk through disgusting dirty sand (which all the street cats use as a giant litter box), passed loads of litter (nobody cares), open dumpster trucks (they stink)....a rat walked in front of me last week, and I'm often stepping over dead rats. There is an option to take the housing allowance and find our own place, but being a newbie, this wasn't really an appropriate action for me.
    The pay is good, but it's probably only good because I don't have to pay rent.

    I am not in Dubai, but I hear that teacher accommodations tend to be a fair way out of the city. I don't know this for certain.
     
  11. rednelly84

    rednelly84 Occasional commenter

    I too am in the UAE, with friends in Dubai. In the near decade I've been here, there is certainly more choice in Dubai for top tier schools than in Abu Dhabi. If you are single and on a good package here, you can save handsomely if you don't eat out or brunch all the time. Dubai is more costly overall than AD for everything. Feel free to PM me for which schools I'd be applying to in Dubai. I'm looking to leave the ME altogether and the Far East is calling my name as your salary goes a lot further.
     
  12. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    Interesting choice of places to apply to. My wife and I have worked in all three, out of 19 years abroad we have spent 14 in Bangkok...there are reasons! Again feel free to message me if you want to with any direct questions but one thing which I would like to say in regard to the contracts. At a school that you are OK with the first year absolutely flies by. Term one is a whirlwind of arrival, banks, meeting new people and buildings finding somewhere to live, which at a good school is done in the first week by their admin. Induction, teaching going to the pub and assorted tropical islands and finally knackeredness (sic). Christmas tends to come quite quickly because of the pace of most schools. Term two is all about exam prep and term 3 lasts about 6 weeks so who cares?
    Also, you know what? If you do not like the place or they lie to you at interview just leave, life is too short to spend some of yours vacuously trying to make other people happy. I have done this twice, once at a Saintly school in Bahrain and also at a vegetable patch in Kuala Lumpur. Both times I was lied to at interview, and one of those was at a SA fair. I didn't just do a runner though, I booked an appointment with the Head and went and told him what the problem was and also that I would be remedying it by leaving at the end of my first year. I got a reference from KL and a minor meltdown from He Who Wanted To Be Obeyed in Bahrain. Lots of jobs in Bangkok at the moment dependent upon what it is that you teach, I am guessing Maths though, and, if you are any good, you can normally write your own contract if you teach that or Physics.......

    Anyway holidays beckon.....

    Perce
     
  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    1 and half days for me.....what about you Perce?
     
  14. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    Same....cannot wait.
     
  15. MathematicianBatman

    MathematicianBatman New commenter

    Yikes that doesn't sound great!
    Went to Dubai on holiday and was struck by how clean it was imagined that AD etc would be much the same

    Thanks for the info
     
  16. MathematicianBatman

    MathematicianBatman New commenter

    Thanks Perce

    I think we are moving towards BKK now rather than the other options for many reasons
    I cant see many jobs in BKK currently (You are right - maths is my subj) Very useful info that you have spent 14/19 years in BKK compared to the others.
    Good to know you can leave if its really not what you singed up for - its a long way from home if its not as advertised or horrible.

    Do you mind if i PM you for some further info??

    Thanks
     
  17. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

     
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    MathematicianBatman, perhaps Dubai is wonderfully clean because all of the eco-conscious Emiratis, who want to protect the natural environment and so they always dispose of their rubbish in a thoughtful and responsible manner.

    On the other hand, it might be so clean because an army of underpaid Nepalis and Filipinos are always picking up the trash that the lazy Emiratis throw onto the floor.
     
    binaryhex and rednelly84 like this.
  19. rednelly84

    rednelly84 Occasional commenter

    Sadly, this is the truth. A few people I know have since moved from the UAE to the Far East and struggled with the cleanliness, or lack of, of their new surroundings.
     
  20. MathematicianBatman

    MathematicianBatman New commenter

    Yeah sadly im under no illusion as to Dubai's sinister side - When on holiday there we saw bus loads of migrant workers arriving under cover of darkness for the less glamorous jobs and then bussed out again before tourists awoke.
     

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