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Teaching in Bali

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by surfingteacher, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. surfingteacher

    surfingteacher New commenter

    Hi guys
    Just a quick question - when applying for teaching jobs in Bali it states you much have 5 years experience as a qualified teacher. Does this include your NQT year?
    Many thanks in advance
  2. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

    I would apply you have nothing to lose
  3. Mr robinson

    Mr robinson New commenter

  4. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    In Indonesia the visa requirement, as far as I understand it, is 5 years' experience post PGCE in the subject you want to teach. So anything before that won't be counted. It's not a school requirement but visa one from the government, so yeah the nqt year will count.

    Do you have 5 years' post PGCE experience? Frankly speaking, I don't understand this rule. Indonesia is hardly one of the world's most desired countries to live in!
  5. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Ah, but Bali, a part of the country, very much is.
  6. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    As I am currently sat drinking in a bar in Seminyak... I can confirm, it is bloody brilliant in Bali!!
  7. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Mate, if you're sat in Seminyak and you think it's brilliant . . . that's very much the alcohol talking.;)

    Actually, Bali is one of those rare places that caters for such a wide variety of tourist though i do wonder sometimes at the holiday choices people make. Had a UK 'friend' go out there with his wife and admit they'd trawled the clubs and bars till their hearts content every day. I was of course left wondering if that was their idea of a dream holiday, why they hadn't saved the air fare and visited Spain or one of these European cities getting themselves a good night life reputation, like Prague.
  8. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    Yes of course, but my point is the country in general not one super touristy area. Do you know just to teach English in Indonesia legally you need

    A Degree in English
    A PGCE
    5 years' teaching experience post PGCE.

    ? My point is the country as a whole is hardly people's number one choice to deserve such requirements. I know a guy who's married to a local Indonesian and isn't even allowed to teach legally there as his marriage only entitles him to live there and not have a work visa.
  9. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    It may not be a popular choice for westerners, but perhaps people from poorer Asian countries want to work there, or maybe the government would rather locals are employed before foreigners and this rule helps that happen. Your point about the person you know suggests this is the case.
  10. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Tbh, I think that is pretty fair really. They probably work off the basis that you have to prove your skills are superior to a local and as such a specialist foreigner is needed for the post. I think that is how most countries work.

    When i worked in Indonesia, my teaching assistant was a qualified teacher with a first from his university. Now, let's not get into the 'standards' he is being graded by but the point is that he was a talented guy, with potential higher than my own, yet was being paid a pittance and not given the opportunities his ability could have handled. He had friends who worked in national schools and were paid 100 dollars a month. As he rightly said, not exactly a career incentive and hard to raise a family.

    Anyhow, i digress.

    Your friend will know the rules by which he can live in Indonesia and would have known them before he chose to live there. If he does not meet the requirements, he could apply for work overseas to build his portfolio or even become an Indonesian national if he sees his future in Indonesia. Once 'qualified', he can work at one of the may schools and would then be sponsored by one for the work visa. Has he applied? Is he willing to work for the salary offered, half of what he possibly expects, as only the top 3/4 offer the expected 'western' salary? Are there better candidates he is losing out to?

    At this stage, there are other options for him too and he needs to investigate them. His wife could set up a 'business' and employ him as a tutor. He can also tutor 'at home' (yes, it is a strange that he is unable to tutor outside his home) without the need for a work visa since he allowed to 'support his family', a small loophole in the system, but let's not debate the boundaries of that as no doubt it depends very much on who you ask and only a limited few in the country will actually know the truth.
  11. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    I'm talking about visa requirements for teachers not working visas in general (have no idea what visa requirements are like). But let's look at it. Average salary in Jakarta after tax according to Numbeo is 330 quid and in Denpasar, Bali barely 152 quid! Hardly enticing is it even if someone comes from an Asian country with worse average salary (taking into consideration cost of living of course)?

    Of course a rule that favours locals is fine, nevertheless it's not as if the English level is so high amongst natives in the sense that they don't need native English speakers. Take a look on EF's English proficiency index. Indonesia is 51st out 80 something countries, so their English ability is quite low.

    Anyway, my point is that these 3 requirements in theory are for language centres also (it seems?). Here I'm taking about cr&ppy language centres with little teacher development / career progression and not just international schools. So I was genuinely curious why and sincerely doubt it's because A - Bali is popular for westerners or B- that it's potentially popular for other Asians (we haven't even mentioned the language barrier).
  12. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    I don't know a single other Asian country with these requirements for teachers. Can you please tell me which exact Asian countries have such requirements? How many teachers working in language mills will meet those 3 requirements? As per my previous post if the natives' English was good enough I'd have absolutely no problem with these visa demands.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  13. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    By the way, thanks for the advice. He's not really a friend friend and isn't an ambitious person. Yeah I guess he could do privates but with such low salaries I doubt the hourly rate is very high. The setting up his own business sounds good but I doubt he has enough savings.
  14. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Strangely enough, i have no idea.

    I think you are entering grounds of sovereignty though. Indonesia has every right to apply whatever rules/laws it chooses. Not for us to argue. Had enough Australians crying about the death penalty for their drug smugglers assuming they can determine the laws that apply in Indonesia. The visa requirements of course tightened after the unfortunate 'abuse' incident in Jakarta when investigation revealed a number of unqualified 'teachers' in the country. Always a few spoil it for the many.

    Your second comment borders on prejudice. It amazed me how good the English skills were on the island and many were self taught from books, conversing with tourists or watching films. Sure, it isn't perfect, and you need to speak regularly with a high quality English speaker to improve, but a darn sight better than my Bahasa Indonesia. Thankfully they didn't bring in the rule where foreign workers had to be fluent . . . and yes, they were considering it.

    You are welcome. It does sound as if your 'friend friend' hasn't planned ahead too well on his little adventure. Hope he hasn't married your typical expat wife as I doubt the marriage will be lasting long if he is skint.

    However the rate for private tuition is very good actually, about 25 pounds per hour, so perhaps there is hope for him after all. The local wage is much higher in Bali relative to the rest of Indonesia, which is why most of Java appear to be working there, but the Jakarta wealthy and expat community can afford to pay that rate of tuition on top of their $12k tuition fees per child.
  15. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I checked - the visa requirements are the same for all people wanting to work in Indonesia, not just for teachers. There is also a ratio of locals to foreigners that companies have to comply with, and companies have to offer local language lessons to foreigners, etc. As I said, I think they're protecting their country - you say it's not 'enticing', and they probably don't want it to be. If they felt that their visa rules were preventing the much needed employment of foreigners, I'm sure they'd amend them.

    However, if people in Indonesia would benefit from learning English from native speakers, as you say, would they not be better off being taught by people who are qualified and experienced? Companies like EF, which you mention, only require a TEFL certificate, which means that many of their employees have a very low understanding of the mechanics of English grammar, lesson planning and so on (they do also require a BA, but they don't specify the subject).

    You asked about other Asian countries - I've seen lots of adverts for teachers in India stating that a Master's is required - I think this is because they are not legally allowed to employ a foreigner over a local unless they are 'more skilled'. I suppose that in India this is proved by a degree, in Indonesia by experience.
    576 likes this.
  16. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    My point is you were claiming this was standard practice in other countries which is not necessarily true. In most Asian countries to teach efl a BA is sufficient to get a visa from the government.

    Of course every country has the right to create whatever visa laws, I'm simply saying I don't understand it. This is a discussion forum after all. Regarding the visa requirements I will meet them all in 1 year so it's not problem for me personally.

    This is in no way anti non-native speaker and not my personal prejudice but based on EF's study which tries to rank English ability in the world. Sure, there may be a whole lot of flaws in this classification but imagine it's more or less accurate in placement. Therefore, if they're 51st / 88 countries it implies there will be difficulties finding teachers with a good enough language ability. I don't think that's illogical, do you? I know that Japan, similarly placed on the EF index has a problem with the English ability of locals in teaching terms. But as stated above it's Indonesia's choice, they can do what they want, I was simply wondering why online on a boring Saturday, lol. As mentioned by the other poster it's to protect locals which is fine I guess. Their country their rules!

    I did hear about that abuse case but was under the impression it was actually locals who were convicted. But I don't know much about the case.

    Are you sure it's 25 gbp an hour? The person I know I'm sure suggested much much less. I live in France and where I live that would be the going rate.
  17. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    I think you've misunderstood me. The 3 requirements are

    Teaching license
    5 years' experience
    BA in subject you will teach

    So I'm confused how you say this applies to professions outside of teaching.

    Again, not sure if you misunderstood me. How many TEFLERS around the world teaching in a language mill do you think have a teaching license, 5 years' experience and BA in English? Let me rephrase that, if they did they'd be underselling themselves. Language centre jobs aren't that good and in some countries akin to working in McDonald's. But if Indonesia had qualified workers to work in those places then great.
  18. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Yeah I misunderstood. I thought you were a qualified teacher annoyed about the 5 years' experience as it seems excessive compared to other countries, especially as some will take NQTs.

    I meant the 5 years' experience applies to everyone, regardless of job.

    As for having to be a qualified teacher to work in a language centre, I don't think you need to be. EF don't say you need to be a qualified teacher to work in Indonesia on their website. I think employers need to show you are more suitable than a local person, so for a primary/secondary school you need to be properly qualified in your subject/age phase, and for a language centre you need a CELTA or a TEFL certificate. That's all. If you needed to have a teaching qualification to work at EF in Indonesia then they wouldn't exist in that country, because as you say it's a step down.

    Do you want to work in Indonesia? It's a beautiful country.
  19. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    The question was about earning potential in Bali and I have first hand personal experience. Bali is an expensive place for people to live in, with above average costs and income relative to the rest of Indonesia.

    Of course what one individual can earn based on their experience and qualifications may be different from what another can earn based on theirs. I know locally qualified teachers can earn 12.50 gbp an hour for tutoring. A UK qualified teacher can earn double. Given your previous comments from your 'friend friend', one would politely suggest he knows the square root of **** all and is a bit of an excuse maker.

    Sounds as if he needs to get off his backside and decide how he is going to make a living. If his earning potential is lower, he has the option of gaining more experience outside the country or gaining further training. If not, I guess he has to accept less than the amount suggested and build a career in a different market where the quality of the remuneration matches the quality of the teacher.

  20. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    I think you may have misunderstood my other point, or maybe in my attempt to briefly summarise, I wasn't clear enough: 'Tbh, I think that is pretty fair really. They probably work off the basis that you have to prove your skills are superior to a local and as such a specialist foreigner is needed for the post. I think that is how most countries work.'

    I was referring to the policy behind the legislation rather than actual choice of rules they have adopted. I think most countries work off a sort of criteria whereby foreigners can only get work permits if they offer skills which the local labour force does not. Obviously those with their own businesses, investing in the country, or married to locals may find the rules more flexible.

    Doesn't the UK take on a load of overseas nurses, because either ours have been attracted by better salaries elsewhere or the salary on offer isn't attracting new recruits, and as such we have a shortfall of skilled labour?

    Anyhow, we shouldn't be moaning really, but should be thankful. We are a very privileged bunch with a dominant language that affords us an opportunity to work in many countries overseas. French and Chinese speakers have one school option in Bali but everyone else falls into line and chooses from over ten schools teaching in English.

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