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  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1189

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2019, 09:45:34 am »
I'm planning to do 1 more contract at the end of my current contract. After that, maybe do a year or 2 in Japan, then I plan to go back to university and study Japanese (unless I get can it to a high level before that point). Once I'm done teaching, I'm thinking about working as a translator. Haven't really looked into work opportunities about it but, I think it could be enjoyable. :D

If the work opportunities aren't good. I plan to go back to my home country, and maybe become a high school Japanese, or computing, teacher. :p

Or think of something else. I have a lot of things I'm interested in job wise, but it's difficult trying to decide which I'd like to pursue more.


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 308

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2019, 11:44:51 am »
What country?  Need EU passport, correct?  Sounds too good to be true.  5600 Euro.. then 50% taxes..  so 2300 EURO?

Holland- But the shortages are widespread all over the EU  -UK, BELGIUM, GERMANY, SWEDEN etc- max would be 3530 at 35% tax+ pension/insurance fees. Food is much cheaper here, too. 1 kilo beef= 9 euros
1 kilo Gouda cheese 6 euros. Chardonnay= 3 euros Heineken Beer=0,80 Starbucks=2 euros 10 apples=1 euro, 10 oranges 2 euros, cucumber 0,70 ct pine apple 1,80.
Lease car 250/month.
Korean prices 2010 (when I left) beef=80.000  Real Gouda (itaewon) 60.000 well for the rest I guess you know better than I now... 8)

There are some schools looking for US/UK native speakers but you have to enroll at an educational degree programme at the many semi online Colleges of Teaching  here as well to get a Bed/Med.while teaching here. I have met 6 at college and currently work now with 3 other native speakers. They have a slight preference towards RP. (UK accents)


To compare, min. wage is 900 euros.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 12:06:45 pm by SanderB »
green everything


Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2019, 11:54:20 am »
What country?  Need EU passport, correct?  Sounds too good to be true.  5600 Euro.. then 50% taxes..  so 2300 EURO?

Holland- max would be 3530 at 35% tax. Food is much cheaper here, too. 1 kilo beef= 9 euros
1 kilo Gouda cheese 6 euros. Chardonnay= 3 euros Heineken Beer=0,80 Starbucks=2 euros 10 apples=1 euro, 10 oranges 2 euros, cucumber 0,70 ct pine apple 1,80.
Lease car 250/month.
Korean prices 2010 (when I left) beef=80.000  Real Gouda (itaewon) 60.000 well for the rest I guess you know better than I now... 8)

There are some schools looking for US/UK native speakers but you have to enroll at a Teacher's College as well to get a Bed/Med.while teaching here. I have met 6 at college and currently work now with 3 other native speakers. They have a slight preference towards RP. (UK accents)


To compare, min. wage is 900 euros.

That sounds very attractive.

Do you mean that they take people without teaching certificates initially?  Then assist you financially while you study?


  • debbiem89
  • Super Waygook

    • 424

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2019, 12:33:47 pm »
What country?  Need EU passport, correct?  Sounds too good to be true.  5600 Euro.. then 50% taxes..  so 2300 EURO?

Holland- But the shortages are widespread all over the EU  -UK, BELGIUM, GERMANY, SWEDEN etc- max would be 3530 at 35% tax+ pension/insurance fees. Food is much cheaper here, too. 1 kilo beef= 9 euros
1 kilo Gouda cheese 6 euros. Chardonnay= 3 euros Heineken Beer=0,80 Starbucks=2 euros 10 apples=1 euro, 10 oranges 2 euros, cucumber 0,70 ct pine apple 1,80.
Lease car 250/month.
Korean prices 2010 (when I left) beef=80.000  Real Gouda (itaewon) 60.000 well for the rest I guess you know better than I now... 8)

There are some schools looking for US/UK native speakers but you have to enroll at an educational degree programme at the many semi online Colleges of Teaching  here as well to get a Bed/Med.while teaching here. I have met 6 at college and currently work now with 3 other native speakers. They have a slight preference towards RP. (UK accents)


To compare, min. wage is 900 euros.

Sorry but some of the countries you mentioned are SUPER expensive. I'm not sure if you're referring solely to Holland (which I've visited and it certainly wasn't cheap!). Sounds like your guesses are way off to me.

Korea is expensive in some ways (groceries) but then eating out is a hell of a lot cheaper. Swings and roundabouts (God I hate that phrase!)


Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2019, 01:04:15 pm »
Quote
eating out is a hell of a lot cheaper.

Depends what kind of restaurant. I assume you mean eating out at the bottom end of the scale. Eating out at a greasy spoon in the UK is comparable to Korea price-wise. Mid range restaurants are probably pricier if you include wine
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 01:21:08 pm by eggieguffer »


  • debbiem89
  • Super Waygook

    • 424

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2019, 01:20:21 pm »
Quote
eating out is a hell of a lot cheaper.

Depends what kind of restaurant. I assume you mean eating out at the bottom end of the scale. Eating out at a greasy spoon in the UK is comparable to Korea price-wise.

Hm I don't know if I agree. I'm not from London even and I find it much cheaper. Maybe some joints are comparable but overall I've noticed a big difference...I mean we don't even get free water at the places in the U.K...


  • Savant
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1892

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2019, 01:31:35 pm »
Quote
eating out is a hell of a lot cheaper.

Depends what kind of restaurant. I assume you mean eating out at the bottom end of the scale. Eating out at a greasy spoon in the UK is comparable to Korea price-wise.

Hm I don't know if I agree. I'm not from London even and I find it much cheaper. Maybe some joints are comparable but overall I've noticed a big difference...I mean we don't even get free water at the places in the U.K...

Never asked for tap water in a UK restaurant?


Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2019, 01:31:45 pm »
Sausage and chips for under 5,000 won?

https://regencycafe.has.restaurant/menu/



  • Savant
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1892

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2019, 01:34:55 pm »
Sausage and chips for under 5,000 won?

https://regencycafe.has.restaurant/menu/

Even Weatherspoons is decently priced if you go on one of their special food days.


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 308

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2019, 02:35:40 am »
Quote
Do you mean that they take people without teaching certificates initially?  Then assist you financially while you study?

Maybe it might be harder for US citizens. But native speaker job openings do come around each year.

Yes, with a Ba degree ofc. That's how my US/UK colleagues have started their careers.

If you are an English major it will take you 1 year to get your license, otherwise 4 yrs. Meanwhile, schools are allowed to employ you unaccredited. It is a lot more work than in Korea, because it is highly professional and differentiated towards the individual student, so no mass TOEIC review classes where the Korean teacher yells out ibon b, sambon a, etc.  but personal feedback and scaffolding to prepare students for the C2 CPE exam. Btw, Tesol is fairly useless here.

The shortages in elementary are even more acute. But wages are lower.

But before considering mainland EU, why not check out UK? I hear they have similar shortages and government grants for starting teachers, ofc. finding an English teaching job vacancy might prove challenging but they must be out there.
--------------------
Prices, yes I'm only talking about supermarket prices.
proof
https://imgur.com/N95EtmN

« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 03:39:57 am by SanderB »
green everything


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 308

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2019, 03:14:27 am »
.I mean we don't even get free water at the places in the U.K...…

I know right, I'm too embarrassed to NOT  order San Pellegrino each time I eat out, but tap tastes even better here... ;D
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 03:22:40 am by SanderB »
green everything


  • z80
  • Expert Waygook

    • 659

    • August 24, 2014, 07:34:50 pm
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2019, 08:23:08 am »
I have 6 months left and I'm really counting down now.


  • Observer
  • Waygookin

    • 21

    • February 04, 2015, 07:42:35 am
    • Great Lakes
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2019, 01:45:35 pm »
Like many others, I haven't been in Korea for years, but still on occasion read this forum. I don't know why.

Also like many others, I went to China because I couldn't stand Korea any more. I work in a high school in the West and make about 3.7 million a month equivalent (not including housing allowance) for 26 teaching hours a week, in a foreign program in a public school. And, I get 3 months paid vacation here--everyone working in public or private schools should get that, no deskwarming. People in training centers/hagwons get almost nothing of course, but you should never be working in those.

Like many others, I agree with the notion that living in China also has many issues. The Internet is a constant problem, yes, and the air doesn't usually make me happy in the morning. But it's better than Korea, in my opinion. The food is much better. The kids are better, less obviously spoiled. I get a housing allowance which buys me a much better apartment than the little crap boxes in Korea.

But actually I don't think this is a great position comparatively. For ESL with few qualifications, yes, it's very good, but there are much better jobs in this country. My friend works in a 100% foreign curriculum private high school in Shenzhen (they even have a school-based VPN) and makes well more than me, with smarter kids, same vacation, all kinds of nice benefits. He can get it because he has a US teaching license, which is what China is paying me to get starting in about 16 months (I'm going back and doing a physical in-person MA in a real university, none of this TeachNow or TeacherReady or online MATESOL crap that so many people waste their time with. Just do it the right way, you cheapskates!). I'm going to be a subject teacher and keep ESL in the back pocket if I ever need it. Like many others, I won't miss it much if at all.

I'll likely come back to Asia afterwards, I like teaching here. I like teaching in general. As for the posters going on about finance and tech jobs, yeah, I'm sure that if you are good with numbers or computers, you can get jobs that pay way more than teaching any subject in the West or teaching in Asia. But I hate working with numbers and sitting in front of a computer all day trying to manage accounts or code things would be just a notch up from prison in my eyes, no matter how much I'm being paid or how clean the local air is.
Quote
that sounds very attractive.

Do you mean that they take people without teaching certificates initially?  Then assist you financially while you study?
Please. People who are dreaming the dream of working in Europe. Come on. There is no way for Americans, for example, to work in the EU while being paid to study to get a teaching license. That's ridiculous on its face. While there is doubtless some random example that someone could show to 'prove' it's possible, there have been MANY threads about this on many different forums. This is not going to happen. Non-EU citizens teaching English in Europe are starving or supported by rich family. No one is doing it and making a living.

Trying to get a teaching license in Europe is even more ridiculous. An American would try to get a degree/license in the Netherlands? How's your Dutch? The nature of teaching in Europe is also totally different. My program here uses the UK curriculum and I have spent months trying to figure it out, and my end result is that I'm never teaching in a UK program again!

The bottom line is the same it has always been. If you want high pay you have to have high-grade quals or work in places that aren't very nice. If you want to work in Amsterdam you, well, can't (maybe you can if you are a highly qualified and experienced licensed teacher, although Euro positions for them are extremely competitive...100s applying for 1 opening). That's life. There's no shortcut to getting a good overseas teaching job, English or subject; you have to work, get the qualifications and be lucky.


Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2019, 02:45:29 pm »
Like many others, I haven't been in Korea for years, but still on occasion read this forum. I don't know why.

Also like many others, I went to China because I couldn't stand Korea any more. I work in a high school in the West and make about 3.7 million a month equivalent (not including housing allowance) for 26 teaching hours a week, in a foreign program in a public school. And, I get 3 months paid vacation here--everyone working in public or private schools should get that, no deskwarming. People in training centers/hagwons get almost nothing of course, but you should never be working in those.

Like many others, I agree with the notion that living in China also has many issues. The Internet is a constant problem, yes, and the air doesn't usually make me happy in the morning. But it's better than Korea, in my opinion. The food is much better. The kids are better, less obviously spoiled. I get a housing allowance which buys me a much better apartment than the little crap boxes in Korea.

But actually I don't think this is a great position comparatively. For ESL with few qualifications, yes, it's very good, but there are much better jobs in this country. My friend works in a 100% foreign curriculum private high school in Shenzhen (they even have a school-based VPN) and makes well more than me, with smarter kids, same vacation, all kinds of nice benefits. He can get it because he has a US teaching license, which is what China is paying me to get starting in about 16 months (I'm going back and doing a physical in-person MA in a real university, none of this TeachNow or TeacherReady or online MATESOL crap that so many people waste their time with. Just do it the right way, you cheapskates!). I'm going to be a subject teacher and keep ESL in the back pocket if I ever need it. Like many others, I won't miss it much if at all.

I'll likely come back to Asia afterwards, I like teaching here. I like teaching in general. As for the posters going on about finance and tech jobs, yeah, I'm sure that if you are good with numbers or computers, you can get jobs that pay way more than teaching any subject in the West or teaching in Asia. But I hate working with numbers and sitting in front of a computer all day trying to manage accounts or code things would be just a notch up from prison in my eyes, no matter how much I'm being paid or how clean the local air is.
Quote
that sounds very attractive.

Do you mean that they take people without teaching certificates initially?  Then assist you financially while you study?
Please. People who are dreaming the dream of working in Europe. Come on. There is no way for Americans, for example, to work in the EU while being paid to study to get a teaching license. That's ridiculous on its face. While there is doubtless some random example that someone could show to 'prove' it's possible, there have been MANY threads about this on many different forums. This is not going to happen. Non-EU citizens teaching English in Europe are starving or supported by rich family. No one is doing it and making a living.

Trying to get a teaching license in Europe is even more ridiculous. An American would try to get a degree/license in the Netherlands? How's your Dutch? The nature of teaching in Europe is also totally different. My program here uses the UK curriculum and I have spent months trying to figure it out, and my end result is that I'm never teaching in a UK program again!

The bottom line is the same it has always been. If you want high pay you have to have high-grade quals or work in places that aren't very nice. If you want to work in Amsterdam you, well, can't (maybe you can if you are a highly qualified and experienced licensed teacher, although Euro positions for them are extremely competitive...100s applying for 1 opening). That's life. There's no shortcut to getting a good overseas teaching job, English or subject; you have to work, get the qualifications and be lucky.

Good post...insightful. 

I'm sure it is a matter of time before the usual suspects get on board and try to one-up you on something....


  • Oupa Grey
  • Adventurer

    • 35

    • January 29, 2019, 10:56:47 am
    more
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2019, 07:45:36 pm »
Like many others, I haven't been in Korea for years, but still on occasion read this forum. I don't know why.

Also like many others, I went to China because I couldn't stand Korea any more. I work in a high school in the West and make about 3.7 million a month equivalent (not including housing allowance) for 26 teaching hours a week, in a foreign program in a public school. And, I get 3 months paid vacation here--everyone working in public or private schools should get that, no deskwarming. People in training centers/hagwons get almost nothing of course, but you should never be working in those.

Like many others, I agree with the notion that living in China also has many issues. The Internet is a constant problem, yes, and the air doesn't usually make me happy in the morning. But it's better than Korea, in my opinion. The food is much better. The kids are better, less obviously spoiled. I get a housing allowance which buys me a much better apartment than the little crap boxes in Korea.

But actually I don't think this is a great position comparatively. For ESL with few qualifications, yes, it's very good, but there are much better jobs in this country. My friend works in a 100% foreign curriculum private high school in Shenzhen (they even have a school-based VPN) and makes well more than me, with smarter kids, same vacation, all kinds of nice benefits. He can get it because he has a US teaching license, which is what China is paying me to get starting in about 16 months (I'm going back and doing a physical in-person MA in a real university, none of this TeachNow or TeacherReady or online MATESOL crap that so many people waste their time with. Just do it the right way, you cheapskates!). I'm going to be a subject teacher and keep ESL in the back pocket if I ever need it. Like many others, I won't miss it much if at all.

I'll likely come back to Asia afterwards, I like teaching here. I like teaching in general. As for the posters going on about finance and tech jobs, yeah, I'm sure that if you are good with numbers or computers, you can get jobs that pay way more than teaching any subject in the West or teaching in Asia. But I hate working with numbers and sitting in front of a computer all day trying to manage accounts or code things would be just a notch up from prison in my eyes, no matter how much I'm being paid or how clean the local air is.


Agreed on most of what you say, especially the bit about teaching ESL being far better than a regular office job. The Chinese job market: absolutely, 100% better and the above figures are accurate enough (but I wouldn't say the norm for what most people can get - you mentioned it takes the right qualifications and some luck though). Some motivation for people who find these type of things motivating: I recently visited a friend who was just hired as a subject teacher in Shanghai and is getting (converted) 4.5mil krw a month with good benefits. He is not a certified teacher - but has 2 MAs. He works hard but of course if you want decent money and a stimulating job, working hard is part of the package.

You do have to keep in mind that places like Shanghai and Shenzhen that pay that are quite a bit pricier to live in than Korea and most importantly...they are in China and the deal breakers for me are not worth the paycheck. It's no secret that I am not a fan of living in China though (I won't give reasons why - I mentioned enough in a different thread).

And I will add that it's annoying when people call online degrees crap. It is more about selling yourself and who you know than where you studied. To do an in-person degree, put yourself in debt, kill a year or two of work experience and then go work in ESL or think it will be the key to a massive career change....it's just not something I see as not very smart (unless mum and dad are paying for it and you have the time to kill I guess). It just makes no sense when you can get the same piece of paper PT while making money, gaining experience and paying it off for a fraction of the cost.

To each their own - do what you want. But there are a fair number of people who feel the need to put down others degrees, and particularly ones related to ESL, to...I don't know...give themselves some type of ego boost? Whatever MA you get, and wherever you get it from (assuming it's accredited of course), it is no easy accomplishment and will definitely improve your job prospects. I would however recommend that people go for something that isn't as narrow as TESOL (unless you 100% want to remain in this industry), but honestly, sell yourself right, make some contacts and leverage your experience and you can make ANY MA work for you.

And yes, person in the back who will probably bring up some high paying job that only accepts in-person MAs but is some horrible thing in the middle of the desert that no one wants long term anyway...yup, noted. Thanks.


  • kangsheng
  • Adventurer

    • 27

    • November 26, 2017, 01:02:06 am
    • Yongin
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2019, 09:55:39 am »
Online MAs from good universities--excellent. The UK schools are particularly rigorous. Big American universities are easier to complete but still have name value.
Maybe the person meant online only schools like Phoenix, Walden, etc. Crap.


  • Observer
  • Waygookin

    • 21

    • February 04, 2015, 07:42:35 am
    • Great Lakes
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2019, 12:00:36 pm »
Quote
Maybe the person meant online only schools like Phoenix, Walden, etc. Crap.
As 'the person' in question, I'll just mention a couple things.

I'm not really indicting online degrees in general. Although they don't work for me, they may work for others.

But it depends a lot on the subject. For a technical subject online may be fine. But on this forum we're talking about teaching degrees. I personally believe that a teaching degree is more than a 'piece of paper' that somehow magically entitles you to a higher-paying job or an escape from ESL.

I think the value of the degree comes from being in a room of people with different experiences and learning from them, having skilled and experienced professors who can show you things you don't know (in my case, that's a lot!), and most importantly, time in a real classroom where you are getting feedback and knowledge from doing the work of teaching in a serious way (ie, not the ESL BS that most of us do most of the time).

I had a colleague once who did the TeachNow online cert. He was Canadian. He now has a DC license, although he has never for one minute taught in a US or Canadian classroom. He said he learned very little from doing the cert, that it was shallow and basically just a means to get the 'piece of paper' that could be used to get a better job. His job now isn't the best, perhaps because really good schools may not trust someone who has a piece of paper that isn't backed up with actual experience related to the piece of paper.

I don't want to pay for a piece of paper. I want to be a professional teacher. I've never been taught how to do this job, same as most of us. I've learned everything I know just from figuring it out on my own. I want to know how to do things better than I'm doing them now. The way to do that is not online, if you ask me.
Quote
It just makes no sense when you can get the same piece of paper PT while making money, gaining experience and paying it off for a fraction of the cost.
It's not the same. If you think it is, fine. I don't. A lot of schools out there also don't.

Your nominal additional experience has little or no value if you're just doing everything the same way you did it before, which is what most people, including me, do.

The making money/paying off a lower cost argument is short-term thinking at its worst. Things that are cheaper than other things are cheaper for a reason. Things that are easier than other things have a trade-off that is real.


  • mr
  • Veteran

    • 123

    • October 31, 2012, 07:47:33 am
    • Seoul
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2019, 02:58:10 pm »
I left Korea after 8 years and made the move to Guangdong province in Southern China. I came to Korea as an ESL teacher, but studied further and qualified myself as a registered elementary school teacher while in Korea. My wife is Korean, but we both agree that living here in China is better and it's a lot less stressful and friendlier here. We go back to Korea once a year to visit family and friends, but will never want to live there again.

I'm almost at the end of my second year, and will extend for at least two more years. Life here is good. ( I still check in on Waygook every now and then to remind myself why I left :)

Income: KRW 4 000 000 after tax (excluding housing allowance)
Health insurance: paid by school
Career growth opportunities: better
Vacation time: three months a year
Desk warming: non-existent
Air quality: better
Food delivery options: better ( and cheaper)
Walkability of my city: good, but share bike is much better

Standard of living: Much better. 2 bedroom, 120 square meter apartment, two swimming pools in estate.(covered by housing allowance). Hong Kong is under an hour away , or I can ride my bike to Macau if China gets too much.
Workload: 17 hours a week
Weather: 6 months of spring like weather, followed by 6 months of humid inferno interrupted by a typhoon or two.
Internet: AAAARGH!!!


Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2019, 03:26:07 pm »
I left Korea after 8 years and made the move to Guangdong province in Southern China. I came to Korea as an ESL teacher, but studied further and qualified myself as a registered elementary school teacher while in Korea. My wife is Korean, but we both agree that living here in China is better and it's a lot less stressful and friendlier here. We go back to Korea once a year to visit family and friends, but will never want to live there again.

I'm almost at the end of my second year, and will extend for at least two more years. Life here is good. ( I still check in on Waygook every now and then to remind myself why I left :)

Income: KRW 4 000 000 after tax (excluding housing allowance)
Health insurance: paid by school
Career growth opportunities: better
Vacation time: three months a year
Desk warming: non-existent
Air quality: better
Food delivery options: better ( and cheaper)
Walkability of my city: good, but share bike is much better

Standard of living: Much better. 2 bedroom, 120 square meter apartment, two swimming pools in estate.(covered by housing allowance). Hong Kong is under an hour away , or I can ride my bike to Macau if China gets too much.
Workload: 17 hours a week
Weather: 6 months of spring like weather, followed by 6 months of humid inferno interrupted by a typhoon or two.
Internet: AAAARGH!!!

If you're comparing this with people who work as assistant teacher in Korean public schools, it's not really like for like. You can get working conditions like the ones you describe in Korea if you're a certified teacher at a real international school
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 03:52:37 pm by eggieguffer »


  • Oupa Grey
  • Adventurer

    • 35

    • January 29, 2019, 10:56:47 am
    more
Re: Life after teaching in Korea
« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2019, 05:57:33 pm »
Quote
Maybe the person meant online only schools like Phoenix, Walden, etc. Crap.
As 'the person' in question, I'll just mention a couple things.

I'm not really indicting online degrees in general. Although they don't work for me, they may work for others.

But it depends a lot on the subject. For a technical subject online may be fine. But on this forum we're talking about teaching degrees. I personally believe that a teaching degree is more than a 'piece of paper' that somehow magically entitles you to a higher-paying job or an escape from ESL.

I think the value of the degree comes from being in a room of people with different experiences and learning from them, having skilled and experienced professors who can show you things you don't know (in my case, that's a lot!), and most importantly, time in a real classroom where you are getting feedback and knowledge from doing the work of teaching in a serious way (ie, not the ESL BS that most of us do most of the time).

I had a colleague once who did the TeachNow online cert. He was Canadian. He now has a DC license, although he has never for one minute taught in a US or Canadian classroom. He said he learned very little from doing the cert, that it was shallow and basically just a means to get the 'piece of paper' that could be used to get a better job. His job now isn't the best, perhaps because really good schools may not trust someone who has a piece of paper that isn't backed up with actual experience related to the piece of paper.

I don't want to pay for a piece of paper. I want to be a professional teacher. I've never been taught how to do this job, same as most of us. I've learned everything I know just from figuring it out on my own. I want to know how to do things better than I'm doing them now. The way to do that is not online, if you ask me.
Quote
It just makes no sense when you can get the same piece of paper PT while making money, gaining experience and paying it off for a fraction of the cost.
It's not the same. If you think it is, fine. I don't. A lot of schools out there also don't.

Your nominal additional experience has little or no value if you're just doing everything the same way you did it before, which is what most people, including me, do.

The making money/paying off a lower cost argument is short-term thinking at its worst. Things that are cheaper than other things are cheaper for a reason. Things that are easier than other things have a trade-off that is real.


I'm clearly saying experience, how you sell yourself, working hard and who you know is the important part - not the piece of paper. No degree is a substitute for experience - if you do your job right, any piece of paper will do. An expensive one isn't going to help you if you aren't willing to put all the other pieces together. Thinking it will change your life or make you magically know something that helps you to get the big bucks and a new career is wishful thinking, but the unis will gladly take your money if that's what you want to do.

If you are bad at your job and haven't opened a book to learn something, taken an additional course (online or in person) or just tried your best to learn as much as you can and expand into other areas and opportunities within your field - paying for a degree (online or offline) is not going to save you. If you do do the above - an MA will at least allow you to apply for better jobs - but it also means the degree itself doesn't matter. Just get the cheapest, quickest one and keep being awesome at what you do (without building up debt).

I left Korea after 8 years and made the move to Guangdong province in Southern China. I came to Korea as an ESL teacher, but studied further and qualified myself as a registered elementary school teacher while in Korea. My wife is Korean, but we both agree that living here in China is better and it's a lot less stressful and friendlier here. We go back to Korea once a year to visit family and friends, but will never want to live there again.

I'm almost at the end of my second year, and will extend for at least two more years. Life here is good. ( I still check in on Waygook every now and then to remind myself why I left :)

Income: KRW 4 000 000 after tax (excluding housing allowance)
Health insurance: paid by school
Career growth opportunities: better
Vacation time: three months a year
Desk warming: non-existent
Air quality: better
Food delivery options: better ( and cheaper)
Walkability of my city: good, but share bike is much better

Standard of living: Much better. 2 bedroom, 120 square meter apartment, two swimming pools in estate.(covered by housing allowance). Hong Kong is under an hour away , or I can ride my bike to Macau if China gets too much.
Workload: 17 hours a week
Weather: 6 months of spring like weather, followed by 6 months of humid inferno interrupted by a typhoon or two.
Internet: AAAARGH!!!

If you're comparing this with people who work as assistant teacher in Korean public schools, it's not really like for like. You can get working conditions like the ones you describe in Korea if you're a certified teacher at a real international school

Exactly. China is good because you can get jobs you would otherwise need very good qualifications and networks for in other countries - and lets be honest people having a good time in China: "relaxed" is just another word for "low standards". Nothing wrong with that - why want a stressful working environment? But call it what it is.

If you DO have the right qualifications you can get the same perks elsewhere in a better country that isn't run by the CCP. If you are certified or have an MA or Phd and can get the jobs most people don't have access to....Taiwan, Japan and Korea are infinitely better. Unless you live with blinkers on or always dreamed of experiencing 1984 for yourself.

Since this thread is about life after Korea I guess this could be off topic though. For me, life after Korea didn't mean life after teaching (as I still want to teach - but not ESL forever), it was 2 years in China. That will come to an end soon and the next phase is Japan. All this is next to other qualifications and business ideas I'm working on on the side that will gradually lead away from FT ESL or at least supplement it heavily...although I do like teaching so I'm not in the camp of wanting to "escape".