Doper advice for a successful life: Go teach English in Asia!

I taught English in Asia and I loved it! If I had been working for better people, I’d probably still be there, but that’s a different thread entirely.

You are right, Americorp IS different. I was thinking of the “less committment” U.S. based volunteer activities - the ones that don’t pull you out of your comfort level - or if they do, you can just stop showing up - two shifts in the rape crisis counseling center and then ‘I don’t want to do that, its depressing.’ And I’m sure that there are other volunteer activities in the U.S. that also force the perspective change.

Nah. I’ll live my life as I see fit.

Before 1997, I believe the common acronym for some folks in the Commonwealth was F.I.L.T.H. – “Failed in London? Try Hong Kong!”

I’ve heard that quoted as recently as last year - but it was from a Cityboy, and I assumed it was just finance slang. Interesting that it applies to teaching too.

Do you want to see the price of native-speaker ESL classes rise by about 1000%? If not, then you’ll have take what you can get. Supply and demand, charlie.
I had zero training when I became an ESL teacher. I did it for three years and by all accounts was at least decent. Frankly, any intelligent, somewhat creative person could do a good job teaching conversation classes. I’ve recommended people try it, and will continue to do so.

As mentioned in another thread currently running, I taught ESL for over 14 years, but in Germany and Switzerland, for VERY good money.
However, it was pretty cutthroat there. Lots of competition (especially as an American vs British instructor) and you had to be a damned good teacher, fully aware of retention rates and student comments, to keep your job and get other work.
Trust me when I say no slouch would ever have lasted very long in either location if they were not great, let alone just “good” or worse.

I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” and if those Asian schools are just out looking for any native English speaker with a pulse, they deserve what they get.

[Personal Anecdote] I finished an English MA in 1995, couldn’t find a job for almost a year with what seemed a worthless qualification, despite applying for every job available, and at the age of 27 was $18,000 in debt and living under my parents’ roof with only a broken-down car to my name. I found a teaching position in Japan, turned out to be extremely good at not only teaching but training and management, and I not only saved a great deal of money and did a lot of really cool travelling but picked up a lot of valuable life and work experience. And last but not least I met and married the kindest, gentlest, toughest strongest and smartest woman in the world, and our son is now seven and I have to oick him up from a Wearable Art show at his school soon. Best thing I ever did was borrow the money for my plane fare there.[/Personal Anecdote]

I actually don’t think you’re too off base - NCCC is quite different from what everyone else does in Americorps/Americorps*VISTA. I served just one county over from where I live, and that was hardly unusual. I don’t think I served with anyone who actually had to move to do so.

This thread makes me feel like a kind of a bad person :frowning: There’s a guy that I’m thrilled to hear might be going to teach in China (he’s fluent in Chinese) and I do hope he’ll find a nice girl there…and stop pestering me. I can picture him marrying a nice Chinese girl, not using her and leaving her behind, though. Sorry to hope to send another social misfit your way, Aankh!