Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

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Thelonious Kwiggz
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Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby Thelonious Kwiggz » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:22 am

Does teaching abroad provide a comparable boost to the boost adcoms give for Teach For America? I will begin teaching in Hong Kong this upcoming August and was wondering wether the "boost" that TFA provides is comparable to teaching in a foreign country. I understand the primary difference is you are also helping American underprivileged children, also there is a certain amount of prestige that comes with being admitted into the TFA program. That being said do you think the potential boost from teaching abroad in Asia is comparable?

Thank you for your time

Sincerely

Thelonious Kwiggz

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby FantasticMrFox » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:14 am

No. Compared to TFA, you earn much more money teaching English in Asia (I'm assuming you are teaching English and that Hong Kong is similar to Korea and Japan), and so there is not only a difference in "prestige" (as you've mentioned) but also how it's perceived.

TFA is more like a volunteer program when compared to teaching in Asia.

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heythatslife
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby heythatslife » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:49 am

TFA is a program that is widely recognized for its public service orientation as well as its selectivity. On the other hand, for most English-teaching gigs in Asia pretty much anyone with a college degree can show up and get the job. Even in the (unlikely) case that your employer in HK does actually run some kind of selection process and requires good academic credentials, it's going to be hard to dispel this general impression about language teaching jobs abroad, especially if the position is not at a recognizable academic institution. (And I assume you are being paid, because a fresh college graduate with no savings can hardly afford the cost of living in HK without some kind of compensation.)

So, to sum up, it's probably better than nothing but no TFA.

Thelonious Kwiggz
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby Thelonious Kwiggz » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:19 pm

Thank you both for your answers, I suspected as much. It's ok a year in Hong Kong will be fun :)

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Leaborb192
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby Leaborb192 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:27 pm

Thelonious Kwiggz wrote:Thank you both for your answers, I suspected as much. It's ok a year in Hong Kong will be fun :)



I'm currently looking into teaching abroad for after I graduate for 2014-2015 school year. My friend is currently scheduled to start teaching English in Spain through the BEDA program. I will apply in November as I too have an interest in teaching in Spain. However, I don't want to limit myself to just teaching in Spain. I have browsed various program's websites and have found some good information -- mostly here are the fees, here's what you'll get paid, etc.-- but I thought I'd consult this website to see if anyone has taught abroad? If so, where? What program did you go through? How much did it cost to get over there? How much did you get paid? Where did you live? What was it like? Did you like it? And if so, would you recommend it? Or if not, why not?

I am just tired of reading this pact, promotional "Oh yeah, this program is great! It really enriched my life." I want to hear the good and the bad of such programs.

Personal info:
* 23 -- will be 24 next summer when I'd leave
* Have a BA in Spanish; will have a Master's degree in teaching
* Will have student taught, grades 1-6
* Fluent in Spanish; hence, my desire to teach and live in a Spanish speaking country
*LGBT (so I'd need a friendly place)
*Want to teach as long as possible, Spain's BEDA program is one year
*Should have NYS teaching certification by May 2014
*I'm ready to go! I need to spend time abroad! I don't even care where at this point
*Heavy student loans, will need a program that pays so I can start repaying

Thanks guys.
:)

09042014
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby 09042014 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:46 pm

Teaching in Asia is the millennial version of riding the rails as a hobo. You are quitting life.

I wouldn't hire an English abroad teacher to pour coffee.

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paglababa
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby paglababa » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:05 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Teaching in Asia is the millennial version of riding the rails as a hobo. You are quitting life.

I wouldn't hire an English abroad teacher to pour coffee.


But it's fun as hell. Being a hobo doesn't appear fun.

notalobbyist
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby notalobbyist » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:13 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Teaching in Asia is the millennial version of riding the rails as a hobo. You are quitting life.

I wouldn't hire an English abroad teacher to pour coffee.


I hate to say it, but unless people had experience to prove otherwise, I assumed this when reviewing resumes after I phone interviewed a few of them. There were people who were motivated but just wanted to dick around for a year, but in general the year abroad thing was an indicator of aimlessness to me.

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Leaborb192
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby Leaborb192 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:22 pm

notalobbyist wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Teaching in Asia is the millennial version of riding the rails as a hobo. You are quitting life.

I wouldn't hire an English abroad teacher to pour coffee.


I hate to say it, but unless people had experience to prove otherwise, I assumed this when reviewing resumes after I phone interviewed a few of them. There were people who were motivated but just wanted to dick around for a year, but in general the year abroad thing was an indicator of aimlessness to me.


Yikes. I will apply for full time teaching jobs in every part of the state, the country, and yes, the world. I really just want to get a job after I graduate. I want to be one of those who are actually motivated, not just a twenty-something searching for "myself" on the horizon. :lol:

20141023
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby 20141023 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:53 pm

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:53 am

My cousin does this. She has a undergrad degree she has no idea what to do with, no real direction or focus, and is socially, er, quirky.

If you really just want to live abroad for a year and see the world, I don't think it's going to hurt you, really. If you have the numbers, law schools in general won't ding you just because you spent a year teaching English in Jakarta or wherever. I really wouldn't expect anyone to be impressed by it, though. I would expect it to basically be a wash.

notalobbyist
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby notalobbyist » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:37 am

Leaborb192 wrote:
notalobbyist wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Teaching in Asia is the millennial version of riding the rails as a hobo. You are quitting life.

I wouldn't hire an English abroad teacher to pour coffee.


I hate to say it, but unless people had experience to prove otherwise, I assumed this when reviewing resumes after I phone interviewed a few of them. There were people who were motivated but just wanted to dick around for a year, but in general the year abroad thing was an indicator of aimlessness to me.


Yikes. I will apply for full time teaching jobs in every part of the state, the country, and yes, the world. I really just want to get a job after I graduate. I want to be one of those who are actually motivated, not just a twenty-something searching for "myself" on the horizon. :lol:


If you do go abroad, PLEASE do something that strongly indicates that you weren't there to kill time. See if you can do some intercultural exchange program at the embassy or something, anything that shows that you're goal oriented and professional. Charity work probably won't kill this stereotype unless you're a very good interviewer, but at that point it makes me wonder why you didn't do the Peace Corps (which has similar issues, but is more respectable).

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worldtraveler
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:15 am

I taught abroad for 2 years, and I found interviewers were impressed by it and law schools seemed to view just like a study abroad. I had a million other softs on my resume so it's tough for me to know if it really made a difference or not. It's probably the only job you can get that is incredibly easy to get, easy to do, and yet there are still people who will look at it as a positive factor in hiring.

If you really want it to help your resume, pick up a foreign language while you're there.

Most English teachers in East Asia are fairly repulsive, but that's limited to mainly the men. Most I met were creepy weirdos who wanted to get drunk and hook up with Asian women or were just lazy and didn't want a real job. Most women I met went to school to be teachers or just really loved traveling and living in foreign countries.

I also don't really understand the stigma other people in this thread are referring to, and haven't experienced any negative reactions to my experience teaching abroad. That's probably more of a reflection of the general type of person who ends up in the job, and not what the job itself does to your resume. Most job interviewers I've had remark on working in a foreign country as a good thing. Baby boomers in particular are impressed by it, and they are the ones who do the interviewing.

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IAFG
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby IAFG » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:19 am

The minority of my interviewers were boomers. Mostly Gen Xers. WT, you weren't aiming for biglaw, right?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:28 am

IAFG wrote:The minority of my interviewers were boomers. Mostly Gen Xers. WT, you weren't aiming for biglaw, right?


No I was not. Only public interest and government. Maybe it's different in big law? I don't really know.

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IAFG
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby IAFG » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:29 am

worldtraveler wrote:
IAFG wrote:The minority of my interviewers were boomers. Mostly Gen Xers. WT, you weren't aiming for biglaw, right?


No I was not. Only public interest and government. Maybe it's different in big law? I don't really know.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if your teaching abroad experience was met more icily by firms.

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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby 20141023 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:51 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Study abroad isn't impressive either. It just has no stigma.

linkx13
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby linkx13 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:44 pm

Any opinions on how Peace Corps affects applicant chances?

20141023
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby 20141023 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:45 pm

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worldtraveler
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:57 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:I taught abroad for 2 years, and I found interviewers were impressed by it and law schools seemed to view just like a study abroad. I had a million other softs on my resume so it's tough for me to know if it really made a difference or not. It's probably the only job you can get that is incredibly easy to get, easy to do, and yet there are still people who will look at it as a positive factor in hiring.

If you really want it to help your resume, pick up a foreign language while you're there.

Most English teachers in East Asia are fairly repulsive, but that's limited to mainly the men. Most I met were creepy weirdos who wanted to get drunk and hook up with Asian women or were just lazy and didn't want a real job. Most women I met went to school to be teachers or just really loved traveling and living in foreign countries.

I also don't really understand the stigma other people in this thread are referring to, and haven't experienced any negative reactions to my experience teaching abroad. That's probably more of a reflection of the general type of person who ends up in the job, and not what the job itself does to your resume. Most job interviewers I've had remark on working in a foreign country as a good thing. Baby boomers in particular are impressed by it, and they are the ones who do the interviewing.

Sorry, but the repulsiveness of people teaching in Asia isn't limited to just the men. Although the women weren't necessarily creepy like a lot of the guys were, they actually seemed to have less of a clue of what they wanted to do with their careers than the guys. Also, it seemed like a much smaller percentage of the women actually studied the language of the country they were in than the guys (although I'm not sure why... if I had to guess it would be because they guys were more interested in talking to local chicks). This may not have been the case for you, but unfortunately this is usually the way that most people in the professional world view English teachers in places like Asia; I would honestly be surprised if someone considered such a job to be anywhere near the same level as a legitimate study-abroad program.

EDIT: Now that you mention PI / government work, one of my friends who taught English in Korea ended up working for a non-profit in DC; maybe non-business employers are more into "that kind of people." :P


Most 22-25 year olds don't know what they want to do with their lives or their careers yet. I don't see why that's such a bad thing.

notalobbyist
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby notalobbyist » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:39 pm

linkx13 wrote:Any opinions on how Peace Corps affects applicant chances?


IMHO, similar stigma (although less), but with more upside.

If going into non-profit orgs, it can go either way: they typically didn't fit the culture at my NGO, so while they weren't disqualified they were scrutinized more than somebody who had relevant office experience. The PC guy we did end up hiring was...a mistake...

On the other hand, Peace Corps alums are out there, and love it. Not sure if other people who taught English will have the same sense of camaraderie, but I doubt it.

TL;DR Peace Corps>Teaching English, but employers will probably still label you.

20141023
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby 20141023 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:14 am

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dr123
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby dr123 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:33 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:Most 22-25 year olds don't know what they want to do with their lives or their careers yet. I don't see why that's such a bad thing.

First of all, I wouldn't say that's necessarily true, and even if it is, that doesn't make it "right." If someone has been in school for almost two decades and still doesn't have any idea of what they want to do in life, then they probably need to get with the program.

Even so, let's say that someone has made it all the way through college and for some reason they still don't know what they want to do with their career. Instead of working at a rudimentary job where the only qualification is being able to speak one's native language, why in the hell would they not at least try to work in a position that would be somewhat intellectually-stimulating, or even slightly challenging? In fact, if someone's goal was to teach English, why would they not major in education and become a licensed English teacher? Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that English teachers in Asia are looked down upon is because they need absolutely no background in teaching or English education because the classes they teach are not rigorous whatsoever (many of them are closer to "English conversations" than "English classes"); a lot of the students that attend these schools just want to hang out with foreigners, and a lot of the foreigners that teach at these schools just want to be liked, which is easy to do in Asia as a 'Murican.


You wouldnt say that 22-25 year olds who have a solid life/career plan are in the minority? Really?

20141023
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Re: Teaching Abroad provide a similar boost to Teach For America

Postby 20141023 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:16 am

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