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Out of touch with western salaries

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:01 am
by sense666
I've looked at a lot of those foreign offerings regarding teaching english and most of them are ridiculous as far as americans are concerned. The foreign countries in question say that with the money that the teachers are paid, the teachers are able to live comfortably in the foreign country. So what? Flipping burgers at "white Castle" restaurants pays a teenager 6.50usd. You foreigners are thinking about how the teachers live in foreign countries but what about when they returnn to the us? What will the teachers have to show for their efforts living in a foreign country? they can say that they lived well on the money that you paid them but they have nothing or something ridiculous like 3,000usd to show for living and teaching in a foreign country.
The us government should ban all foreign countries from hiring English teachers unless they are guaranteed at least 2,000usd a month, food, and descent living quarters. How absurd some of the foreign offers of 600usd a month are. Let the teachers live a little instead of throwing them back in the rat race in the us with nothing after spending a year or two of their lives with nothing to show for it. Come on be fair to the westerners.

Re: Out of touch with western salaries

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:03 pm
by Ben
You've really hit the nail on the head. I mean, teaching is one of the best paid careers you can have in the US. I know loads of teachers who are banking $2000-5000 per month after covering their living expenses. The huge salary is why I got into TEFL teaching in the first place, that and the respect and admiration I get from the man on the street. Why should I give up buckets of cash just to experience a different culture and the appreciation of people who don't even speak English? :shock:

Re: Out of touch with western salaries

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:01 am
by Heads Up Eng
Yes, the EFL industry can be hugely and horribly exploitive. But there are a lot of good schools and programs which offer fair salaries coupled with the chance to live overseas. It's the responsibility of the would-be teacher/traveler to research the school, which is the same advice any jobsite offers when applying to a company. In addition, research the country, too, and what kind of problems others have faced.

I've written an article on my website with more ideas:

http://www.headsupenglish.com/index.php ... &Itemid=75

Chris Cotter
http://www.headsupenglish.com - English materials based on current events. Just print, and teach!

Re: Out of touch with western salaries

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:25 pm
by Kevin Vosper
Dear all

I have to disagree with a lot of the above. It's easy for rich countries to pay TEFL teachers high salaries and if money is what you are interested in I would recomend South Korea or Taiwan, though be aware though that both of these have a hire and fire culture. It is unfair to blame poorer countries (who often treat their TEFL teachers much better) for not being in a position to pay high salaries, at least compared to the rich west. Rather than look at salaries in terms of dollars it is much more important to look at salaries in comparison to the average wage and the cost of living. For four years I taught in Poland during the winter and in the U.K. during the summer. In the U.K. I was paid four times my Polish salary but to be honest my standard of living was less.

A good question to ask before accepting any job is the price of a number of common items such as bread or a bottle of beer (useful knowledge even if you don't drink since I've never found it never varies much in comparison to the average wage). Find out also what the average wage is and then you'll know if you're being offered a fair one. The locals survive on this, why can't you? Of course you may have to adapt to buying local rather than expensive western, or for that matter eastern produced goods but in my experience this is no bad thing (yes it is possible to survive without a McDonalds every day).

The real problem are schools which don't see you as a "real" teacher and think that you are just traveling around a bit before getting a "real" job. Avoid these schools since they regard salaries not as payment for your profesional knowledge and abilities but as "pocket money."

I do accept that there are problems for people returning to wealthy countries but I think it's unrealistic to expect ten, fifteen or twenty times the salaries paid to local teachers.