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Teaching in SE Asia - Malaysia

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Redders180, May 30, 2019.

  1. Redders180

    Redders180 New commenter

    Hello everyone,

    My partner and I are considering moving to South East Asia in a year of so - perhaps July 2020. We are both Primary school teachers. My partner trained in New Zealand (but has worked in the UK) and I have always worked in the UK (5 years).

    We are thinking that Malaysia will suit us best. Can anyone recommend a teacher agency we could contact? Or is it better to deal directly with school? Also, is it crazy to be looking to move in the summer when the school year begins in January?

    Finally, we are really at the start of our research so if you have any pointers on where to find info about teaching in SE Asia it would be greatly appreciated!


  2. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    The local Malaysian school year starts in January but the international schools start in August/September.
    You can apply to many schools directly, also through the FOBISIA website, TES, join Search Associates, ISS or other. We got our jobs in Malaysia by applying to schools directly. If a school is part of a company like Nord Anglia, then they have a central job site. Unfortunately, it's a bit bogged down in there so I would go straight to the school as well as the website. And there's Schrole, but I don't know which schools in Malaysia use that.
    Redders180 likes this.
  3. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I doubt you'll need to look anywhere other than the TES adverts. Expect to see them appearing from late Sept onwards.
    As the previous post said, international schools (apart from the Australian one I think) follow the UK school year.
    There have been a lot of threads about Malaysia on here recently, so I'd suggest having a read through them.
    Redders180 likes this.
  4. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    If you don't have children in tow, then the purely primary school in Penang is a great place to look at - it's the patron saint of travelers school. Not loads of money, but a great lifestyle.
    Redders180 likes this.
  5. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Prince of Wales Island International School is opening their primary school in Tanjung Bunga on Penang. I know a couple former SCIPs teachers have moved to there. A bit better package.
  6. Redders180

    Redders180 New commenter

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. Great to get info from people with experience. You have given us lots of tips to start off with.

    We will definitely research Penang. It looks like our kind of place!
  7. rideemcowboy

    rideemcowboy Occasional commenter

    A Primary teaching couple will be in demand in Malaysia. It will depend upon what quality of school you can push for. Alice very common name school is the best option of the British schools. Do your homework on any of the for profit schools. There are some very ordinary options/ traps.
    I would suggest targeting specific schools and contacting their Head of Primary and HR directly very from mid September.
    KL is a great city - leave Penang for weekends away.
    snitzelvonkrumm likes this.
  8. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    Bear in mind that if you're on Penang, depending on which school you're at you could be in Georgetown (Malaysia's second largest city), in a small tourist resort with not much there, or pretty far out from everything. I've known several people who hadn't done their research very well move to Penang thinking that they were going to an idyllic tropical island and end up living in the middle of a big city, or alternatively not realise that they were going to be a 1.5 hour bus ride from Georgetown in a small place with very limited shopping, entertainment and transport options. Different things suit different people, so make sure you're happy with the location you'd be moving to.
  9. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    anyone got the latest info on the 'up the hill' school in Penang? The received wisdom is that it has gone downhill quite a bit - sorry about the pun!
    Aim4Jannah likes this.
  10. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    The report is that it is still sinking. It's a sycophants dream. However, the starting salary increased quite a bit except for the local teachers.
  11. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    There's some new competition from POWIIS. That might make things improve.
  12. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I know someone who works at the hill school, he enjoys the job and finds it a good place to work, but complains about the pay. Personally I don't think his salary is bad considering the cost of accommodation on Penang compared to KL, and his level of experience. It's less than at most schools in KL, but his rent is half what it would be here and he doesn't need a car, so I'd say it balances out.
  13. gibling2

    gibling2 New commenter

    Hi guys. Just wondering if anyone could give me information on salaries in KL. I've six years experience and have been offered RM11,300 per month. Would this be enough to have a fairly good standard of living while also managing to save? TIA.
  14. reg_mcledge

    reg_mcledge New commenter

    Is there any accommodation provided or an allowance provided on top of this? What are the school's other contributions/benefits like such as EPF? If you are able to send me a message/conversation with details of the school etc I am happy to try to give you a better indication.

    NB - please don't believe certain posts saying that circa 20K MYR a month is the bare minimum you should expect. It's nonsense!
  15. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    Also happy to give advice via PM if you let me know if this figure includes allowances and so on.
  16. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    This seems quite low to me but it depends if housing is included. I started on 15,500 with 3yrs experience, which included housing. That was a few years ago now.
    gibling2 likes this.
  17. GuyMT

    GuyMT New commenter

    Hi all, my family and I are off to KL mid-August to start work and just wondered if anybody could give any recommendations / warnings about any decent shipping companies? Budget fairly low!
  18. GuyMT

    GuyMT New commenter

  19. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    We and many of my colleagues have used Seven Seas and would recommend them. Their prices are extremely competitive (aka cheaper than most other quotes) but theirservice is excellent. If you have a lot of stuff, look at getting one of their cubes rather than sending boxes individually, it's easier and can work out the same price or cheaper.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  20. GuyMT

    GuyMT New commenter

    Amazing thanks very much! We will check them out

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