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Where would you go? (SE Asia)

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by mollymillions, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    I've been offered interviews in two schools and I'm waiting to hear back about a third. I'm well aware that getting an interview isn't the same as being offered the job but should I be in the extremely lucky position of having to choose, I would like to like to have them in order of preference in plenty of time in case I have to make a snap decision.

    If you had the choice of teaching in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Bangkok which would you go for?

    I have a non-teaching partner who will be looking after our daughter and we have a full-sized dog. Which one would you go for if you were me?

    I've done a lot of research into all three places and the schools and there are up and down sides that I can see to all of them. Any feedback from people who have first hand experience would be very helpful.
     
  2. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    I've been offered interviews in two schools and I'm waiting to hear back about a third. I'm well aware that getting an interview isn't the same as being offered the job but should I be in the extremely lucky position of having to choose, I would like to like to have them in order of preference in plenty of time in case I have to make a snap decision.

    If you had the choice of teaching in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Bangkok which would you go for?

    I have a non-teaching partner who will be looking after our daughter and we have a full-sized dog. Which one would you go for if you were me?

    I've done a lot of research into all three places and the schools and there are up and down sides that I can see to all of them. Any feedback from people who have first hand experience would be very helpful.
     
  3. Hi there,
    These 3 places are great places for families. I have friends with kids happily living in all 3 cities. I'm a city girls with 2 kids and if I had to chose I think I'd go for KL or Singapore. Only because we currently live in HK so I would not want to move to BKK. Saying that, my friends who teach in BKK enjoy wonderful travel opportunities. So if you like to get away on weekends it's a great place.
    I think the social networking will be good in all countries and it will be good for your non teaching partner but if she/ she wanted to find some work I 'd consider the country with opportunities.
    What about your dog? How easy it is to go through the immigration progress of each of these 3 countries. And what about the apartment on offer? If you were moving to HK for instance finding a place suitable for a pet would be very difficult.
    Good luck with the interviews.

     
  4. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    Thank you for that.

    Getting the dog in and out of all three would be fine. I'm more concerned about places to walk her. I'd get an accommodation allowance rather than an actual property and there are places which are happy for you to have a dog in all three too.
     
  5. I'm living in BKK now and have applied to KL, but not for the location. I've loved my 4 years in BKK and know that families really enjoy the travel opportunities right here in Thailand. The city itself is wonderful, but there are times when you will feel it's a disaster - protests, flooding and H1N1 were three of the things we experienced while here. You will be safe enough, depending on your school and its location, but it can be inconvenient.
    I've always wanted to live in Singapore, but I hear a lot about the high cost of living and, unless you are talking about a top tier school, it seems to be difficult.
    Here's hoping that KL is a great place to live as well (for me and mine), but BKK is a great city and I'd recommend it whole-heartedly, for the travel opportunities alone.
     
  6. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    First of all my get out clause. I have only ever worked in KL and Bangkok. I have driven, got the train and cruised to Singapore and to be honest that's the way I like it! I wouldn't work there for love nor money. It's full of Anal retentives and the prices are daft. Think London and double most things. You want to do that on one salary? Good luck!
    Kl was fun but very Colonial, playing cricket in front of the RSC was fun, 15 years ago. They actually have a sign on the bar door saying no dogs or women, in that order. On the other hand it is small and green with plenty of green spaces for the dog, or spouse to lollipop around in.
    Doubtless you can tell that I live in Bangkok. For us it has always been the most fun as well as the cheapest place to live. For 50000 Baht a month, housing allowance for many couples, you will get a four bed detached house with a pool. Try that in Singapore! We spent a lot of time traveling and although it has gone up petrol is only about 50p a litre. We also imported our beast from China, the cost? 100 Baht or 2 quid!
    I hope that you do well and are offered countless jobs, to be spoilt for choice would be fun!
     
  7. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    Thank you all three, it's massively helpful to hear from people that are able to make a comparison.
     
  8. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Occasional commenter Forum guide

    I lived in Bangkok for just over 2 years and loved it but that was back when I was young, free and single. I left pretty much desperate to get away from the noise pollution, air pollution and the fact that if you understood more Thai than none, you realised that the smiles weren't always genuine particularly toward non-whites. Don't get me wrong - I lived with a Thai person who was my closest friend there and the travel opportunities are amazing but there is no way I would live there again with children. Thais love kids and treat them so kindly but I wouldn't want them growing up with the aforementioned pollution, the in-your-face sex industry and the goal of being as white as possible and for us, stories like this:


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8154497.stm


    I am hesitant even to write the next point but I feel it has to be said. While I was in BKK, there were plenty of examples of males having a 'good time' in the 'girly' bars with the attitude that it's not really cheating unless you 'go the whole way.' Also it was not an everyday occurrence, but a number of couples did split as men became enchanted by the Thai beauties constantly (and I mean walking-down-the-street-to-get-a-loaf-of-bread-type constantly) bombarding them with compliments and offers. I'm sure you trust your husband and like most that arrive he has no interest in Asian women but if you do end up in BKK, you need to get used to walking hand-in-hand and still having women approach him on the street, in bars...pretty much anywhere. Alongside the sex industry is the 'gik' culture where married men have mistresses so women don't necessarily see marriage as a barrier to trying it on.




    Currently in KL, we love it. It is not pollution-free but it is a lot, lot greener. Certainly not as lively as Bangkok, it can feel sedate at times but we're past all-night partying and there is a decent night-life - it's just not around every corner as it is in BKK. If you want to party all night long, you can do. Restaurants are varied and many so satisfying your palate's not a problem.

    They have the same attitude toward kids here as Thailand in that they love and cherish them and while there race-based social system here, it is not the kind that would make my kids grow up being ashamed of a non-white parent which is (perhaps selfishly) my priority. I'm guessing that's not an issue for you, but I can also say that KL is safe, green and has as many expat amenities as BKK (except Boots). It's very easy to be here and I seem to interact with more locals here than I did in BKK, no doubt due to the fact that English is an official language here. We still go to Thailand a lot for holidays but nothing calls me back to live.


    Another bonus of being in Malaysia is the EPF system whereby your employer contributes a minimum of 10(?) percent of your salary to a savings scheme and you can opt to contribute from 10% upwards too. It is deducted at source so you never feel it, but when you remember about it or receive the annual interest statement, it's good to know that on leaving (if you ever do) you'll be taking a sizeable lump sum.




    As for Singapore, I've only visited but it's very small and a friend who's partner is now working back in SG (after returning to Malaysia) has made the decision to move to Johor Bahru and travel into SG rather than live there. When I've been, it struck me as very clean, efficient and ordered with lots more theatre, entertainment options and shops, but it didn't appeal as a place to live. It IS very expensive but I guess you'd get a salary to accommodate that. The one thing you'd be unlikely to get in SG though is space. Wherever you lived, it would almost certainly be smaller than the BKK or KL equivalent. My thoughts on SG are purely based on conversations with people who've lived there or my own observations but lots of people love it there too.




    Hope this gives you something more to go on if you do end up in the lucky position of having to choose. :)
     
  9. loopyfrog

    loopyfrog New commenter

    I'm about to move to KL (with much really helpful advice from roamingteacher - thank you :) ) with my two small children and husband. We did consider BK and SG, but ruled both out. BK is very sex-orientated, and statistically not as safe as KL or SG. That is really important as a parent. SG (although I've not been there) seems too sterile, too small, and too expensive. At the end of the day, AirAsia allows you to travel cheaply around the area, so I don't feel limited by our choice.

    Malaysia is politically stable, quite moderate and simply beautiful. Health care is good, international schools have good reviews... I'm incredibly excited!
     
  10. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    Thank you for all your input. I'm pretty confident now that I could be happy in all three places with the right job to go to.
     
  11. Robin, how many threads have you spammed today with links to your book?
    Note the closing comments about spam - http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/writing/marketing-your-e-book-the-challenge.html
     
  12. Have visited all three and will be moving to KL myself pretty soon. I cannot wait! Singapore is great but damned expensive. Bangkok is great but crowded, busy, polluted and infested with mozzies everywhere you go! I vote KL.
     
  13. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    I have very pleasant memories of Melbourne
    or is this the wrong thread?
     
  14. Would love to vote KL as well, as I'm waiting for a reply this weekend!
     

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