ESL Jobs: When to Go Where (Part 1)
So where does this leave you? Well, in Korea and Japan, where hiring goes on year-round, the new school semester for University and public schools has already begun, which means finding the highest paying job in a reputable school will be very difficult if you’re starting your search today. But not to fear! Asia and many markets around the world have teaching positions available for inexperienced and experienced teachers alike throughout the year. You just can’t be that picky about certain things like city location, apartment size or the extra hundred dollars of salary you want.
So if you’re desperate to start teaching today, or if you’re looking for a position in a few months time, check out the list below for a brief guide to the hottest-times of the year to head to these countries. Remember, private schools hire year-round. But if you want a very good job, then be patient and wait for the right time to visit these countries.
If anyone has any further dates, additions or comments to add please feel free to do so at the end of the article.
When To Go:
January / September: The two biggest international starting months for school semesters. Never forget to watch these months for job offers. Usually the best positions at the most reputable, well-established schools become available for these months. Start looking at least two months earlier for these positions, as they are very competitive. There are also many winter camps in Korea and Japan which provide month-long gigs to teachers looking for extra income.
Countries: Korea , Japan , Hong Kong , China , Taiwan
When Not To Go:
Late-January/February: Only travel to Asia in late-January or February if you already have a signed contract and a visa with a school. The Chinese New Year in 2008 begins on February 8th. The vacation time for this festival stretches from days to weeks depending upon the country and few jobs are available at this time. As well, there is the major Tet festival in Vietnam that coincides with the Chinese New Year in Late January and Early February. In general, it is a poor time to travel Asia looking for ESL work.
Countries: China , Hong Kong , Taiwan , Thailand , Vietnam .
When to Go:
May – August: This is a good time to find teaching positions in private academies. There are summer camps in Korea and part-time work in Japan and Taiwan . Schools often extend teaching hours and add more staff in the summer as full-time teachers and students go on vacation and parents send their children to more academies. If you are hired during the summer for a short contract, available in countries such as Taiwan , Thailand, China and at the present time Korea, there is a good chance you could sign-on for the fall. Also being in the country allows you the opportunity to network and interview with other schools to find a position that suits you.
Countries: China , Thailand , Taiwan , Vietnam , Cambodia , Laos , Korea , Japan
When Not to Go:
March, April/ October-December: These months are usually the off-seasons for most ESL markets. The semesters for Universities, public and private schools are only mid-way through. Generally, only private language academies hire teachers during these months and even then the jobs available will not be the best ones. However, if you are desperate for a job, it is still possible to find teaching positions in a select few countries during these times.
Countries: China, Korea , Taiwan