FAQs

FAQs

We have attempted to cover as much as possible in each of these sections, so read on . . .

 

And of course, if you have a question which is not covered, we have an easy solution for you:  Ask us !!

GENERAL

How much money will I need to get set up and to live until I start receiving my salary?
It is recommended that you bring (or have at your disposal) a minimum of about US $1500.

Will I be paid in dollars, or in the local currency?
You will be paid in the local currency unless US dollars or another foreign currency is the norm.

What is the cost of living like?
While your salary may seem low by your home country’s standards you can live quite comfortably. Meals will cost between $0.80-10 – depending on the country. To ride the subway or bus can cost less than $1. So depending on your lifestyle, there is plenty of opportunity to come home with money saved. Your salary will be more than enough to live a comfortable lifestyle and save.

Do I have to pay taxes while I work abroad?
This may depend on the country.  Also, some countries do have reciprocal agreements regarding tax, so best to check with your home government's revenue service or tax agency.

Will I be able to save money or pay off student loans?
This is simply a matter of the lifestyle you are prepared or are able to live. Your salary doesn’t appear high, but remember the cost of living is much lower than in your home country. Also there are people who claim that trying to live off less than their monthly salary can be difficult, and yet there are teachers that are able to pay loan payments and live a comfortable lifestyle on the same salary. If you are able to adjust to the host country’s lifestyle, weather and food, then you will be able to save money. If you require a Western-style of living all or most of the time, then you could be waiting for pay day every month.

How can I send money home?
If you have all the documentation to legally work in your host country, then there aren’t usually any obstacles in sending money home. The best way is to wire the money from your bank account created in the host country to the one in your home country. Check with your bank at home who they deal with in the host country.

What if I experience culture shock?
Culture shock is a phenomenon that affects everyone differently, and for sure during the first few months in a foreign country, there will be the initial feeling of excitement but this will subside as you get into a daily routine. Try to also avoid criticizing your host country, get involved in your new community, and make local friends which will help you to adapt.

Furthermore, schools are well experienced in hosting foreign teachers and will make every effort to assist you in settling in. As long as you keep an open mind, stay as flexible as possible and set out to enjoy your stay, you should have the time of your life.

Do I need to speak the local language?
Only if you are dealing with the locals on a day-to-day basis outside of the school.  At school, it is desirable for you not to speak the local language.  This is because not being able to communicate with the teacher in their mother tongue forces the students to use English to convey what they would like to say.  You want your students to actually think in English, not just mentally translate English into their mother tongue. An all English atmosphere encourages students to think in English, like a native speaker!

Where can I find more information about my host country before leaving?
Visit our ‘Links’ page, you will find some useful websites there. Also feel free to contact us anytime. We are here to answer all your questions, concerns and worries. We have been through the same process ourselves, so we understand it can be confusing at times.

Will I have access to a computer and the Internet?
Yes, not only at work but there are also numerous Net cafes.

Is crime a concern?
Personal safety is a concern wherever you are, but worries about security in a foreign country should not prevent you from traveling or working overseas. Asian countries are extremely safe.

ABOUT TEACHING

How do I know I will be sent to a reputable employer?
Our goal is to match you with reputable schools and institutions that we and/or our partners have screened to ensure that you will be treated professionally as a qualified teacher.

What if I don't have any teaching experience?
If you have past teaching experience, great. If you don’t, an active imagination and a willingness to be creative is by far the most important characteristic of a successful teacher. Most of our teachers have no teaching experience before teaching abroad. They majored in Biology, Art, English, Accounting, Pre-law, Philosophy and probably anything else you can think of! The traits they all share are an open mind, an active imagination and a willingness to learn new things.

Furthermore, some schools and institutes we deal with provide orientation before you start, and you will also be provided with all the teaching materials you need. Many schools will require you to come in early to prepare your lesson plans. Use this time productively and you shouldn’t have a problem.

Before you get nervous, it is important to keep in mind that there are thousands of people just like you in Asia right now who went through the same thing and are now excellent teachers! Being creative and having an active imagination 
 

What is expected from me as a teacher? 
Teachers in Asia are respected a lot, dressed neatly, and possess a certain level of enthusiasm and patience. Teaching expectations will vary with the type of school, curriculum, and previous exposure to native English speakers. You will need to come with new ideas, make language points more effective, and activities more objective specific in terms of the students learning or using the target language. Good teaching requires careful planning of every lesson, the marking of homework, and obviously the presentation and delivery of lessons within the classroom.

Is there a dress code?
While institutes seldom have uniforms, most have a dress code. First impressions and professional stature are extremely important; therefore, no jeans, shorts, or other very casual dress. Men should wear nice dress pants and a tie or a suit; women should wear dresses, skirts, dress pants and blouses or suits. Also, men should be clean-shaven and have short hair. In other words, maintain a professional and tidy appearance. As a guide, use your common sense and understanding of Asian culture – when in Rome....

What is the class size and length of time of the class?
Class sizes vary widely depending upon the setting, and the length of time will also vary but usually 35 - 60 minutes depending on the position. 
 

Do I remain at the school the whole day, or can I only go to school at the times that I am expected to teach? 
You may have to be at the school for the whole day.  Start and end times will vary depending on the contract. 

Do the schools provide curriculums and programs?
Yes. When you arrive, the school will orient you to their program, textbooks, and supplementary materials. Also if you have some of your own, please bring them if you would like to share.

Am I provided with housing?
It depends on the position – some may be provided free, or you may be given a stipend. If given a stipend, the school will help you find accommodation.

What will my apartment be like (if provided)?
Housing will vary between single and shared apartments depending on the contract. Some single apartments are studio and will seem much smaller than what you are used to by your home country’s standards. All will be furnished with the basic necessities – bed, furniture, TV, washing machine, fridge, table and chairs. As for payment of utilities, this varies depending on the contract.

What holidays do I get?
Basically, you'll have the national public holidays, and the vacation period would depend on the conditions set out in your contract.
 

What happens to me if I leave before the contract is finished?
Some schools offer bonuses if you complete the contract. This could be in the form of cash or a ticket home. If you leave early, you lose this and you may also have difficulty in finding another job – word gets around and you’d probably be blacklisted.
 

What kinds of opportunities and knowledge will I gain through my English teaching experiences in Asia?
You will have the chance to learn and study a new culture, taste exotic cuisine, observe traditional ceremonies, and maybe even learn a new language. Most of all, you will learn how to live harmoniously with people who have different ways of thinking and living. When it is over, you will have become more aware of the world around you, more understanding, tolerant, and adventuresome. The living experience in a foreign country is good for resumes. Many employers recognize the value of international work experiences and the maturity it engenders.

What if I have problems with my co-workers?
Working with people who come from different backgrounds and have different opinions and perspectives than you or what you are used to can result in some problems. However, try to solve this in private and non-confrontationally. If problems persist, contact us directly, and we will do our best to help you out.

HEALTH & TRAVEL

Should I have a medical/dental examination before I go?
It is a good idea to have a medical and dental check-up before you go, and usually a check up is required for some countries to get a work visa. However, schools usually provide teachers with medical insurance and the level would depend on the contract offered.

Do I need immunization shots?
You might get a tetanus shot, as this is good for 10 years. 

Will I have health insurance?
This depends on a particular country and contract.

What happens if I am sick and not able to come to work?
Each contract varies regarding sick leave. In most cases, you will need to let your employer know in advance that you are not able to come to work and you may be required to submit a medical certificate.

Will I get paid for sick days?
Different schools have different rules. However, some schools will allow you a certain number of sick days per year that is usually stated in your contract.

Is traveling easy?
Yes, it's very easy and inexpensive to travel, as there are very good transportation links of trains, buses, and airlines to get you from A to B.

Do I need travel insurance?
It's an excellent idea to get travel insurance. It's very inexpensive and you can never be too careful.

Will someone meet me at the airport?
Yes, your school will arrange for a representative to meet you. Just make sure you give us your flight details, so we can pass them onto the school.

APPLICATIONS

What happens after I submit my application?
After we receive your application, we will review its contents and contact you. If you meet our application criteria, we will arrange a phone or Skype interview with you. After the interview, we will let you know if you have been accepted.

How long does the application process take?
Generally, the entire process takes up to 30 days.

Can I apply with a friend or significant other?
Yes, we welcome all applications from friends and couples. We will treat your applications separately. If you are both accepted, we will do our best to place you together. As with everything else, let us know your concerns and we will work on them for you!

What time of the year do you recruit teachers?
We recruit teachers throughout the year. Typically, our teachers arrive 4-5 days prior to their start date. If you are already in the country in which you want to work, we might have positions available. Check with us for vacancies.

Where do you conduct your interviews?
The majority of our interviews take place over the phone or through Skype because teachers come from all corners of the world. It is a good idea to mentally prepare yourself as you would for any other job interview.

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