LanguageCorps Asia FAQ

What is unique about LanguageCorps Asia?

LanguageCorps Asia offers a variety of programs for talented people who are interested in living and teaching English abroad. All LanguageCorps Asia programs include an intensive, four- week TEFL/TESOL training and certification program, pre-departure support, and job placement assistance. Some programs include local language and cultural training, guaranteed job placement, accommodations, excursions, and other support services (programs vary by country - see individual country Program pages for specifics).

LanguageCorps Asia' MISSION is to offer participants a rewarding experience living in, working in, and learning about a new culture; affording them a unique opportunity to learn and apply new skills and challenging them to develop a wider, first-person perspective about the diversity of cultures and populations around the world.

LanguageCorps Asia' GOALS are to:

• Empower our Teachers with training and support, focusing on streamlining the process so our Teachers can focus on the experience of living as professionals abroad
• Challenge our Teachers to learn and apply new skills, while making real contributions to the success and well being of others in the world
• Help mitigate the risk often associated with living and working in a new part of the world, far from home - allowing our Teachers to enjoy a secure, rewarding adventure
• Work for our Teachers, not for the schools which employ them
• Facilitate the development of culturally responsive "citizen diplomats," who appreciate different cultures, foster mutual respect, and encourage understanding among culturally diverse peoples


What is the difference between the various LanguageCorps Asia programs?

LanguageCorps Asia offers several different programs for adventurous people interested in living and working in a different culture. The programs offered vary by location.

Our TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs are a four-week, intensive TEFL/TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification course, conducted in many different countries. During the program, you will learn the skills and methodology needed to be comfortable and competent teaching ESL (English as a Foreign Language) abroad. You will also receive job search assistance, and, job placements have been very successful in all locations. Accommodations can be arranged in all locations for an additional cost. In addition, 30 hours of local language training is included in the TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The TEFL/TESOL Plus Program is offered in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. This combines the 4-week TEFL/TESOL certification course, local language training, and job placement assistance, with a more comprehensive set of support services including accommodations and airport pick-up.

And for those who only have a limited time to spend overseas, we offer a short-term Volunteer Program in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. These programs include abbreviated TEFL/TESOL training or full TEFL/TESOL certification, accommodations, placement in a volunteer (unpaid) teaching position, cell phone, excursions, and local support while in country.

Are there other costs in addition to the Program fee?

You must provide for your own travel from your home to your arrival point and for your own travel back home at the end of your teaching assignment. (NOTE: Some hiring schools may offer partial or full reimbursement of airfare costs as part of your overall compensation.)

In some teaching assignments, you may have accommodations, and/or free access to dining facilities, as part of your compensation. But more commonly, you will have to pay for your own food and rent. In addition, an apartment you select may require additional "up-front" payments such as security deposits and fist-month's rent. As in all walks of life, be sure to have enough funds to get through to your first monthly paycheck!

How does LanguageCorps Asia help me find a teaching assignment?

During your in-country training program, the local staff will begin working with you to develop a CV and contact schools. For TEFL/TESOL Certification and TEFL/TESOL Plus Program participants, you will be given job search assistance and the names of schools to contact. In all locations, job placements for those who are serious and flexible have been very successful.

For Online course participants, centralized placement support can assist you in determining the overseas location that best meets your goals and qualifications and you will have access to our world-wide directory of more than 8,000 ESL schools.

LanguageCorps Asia does not offer guaranteed job placement for TEFL/TESOL Certification or TEFL/TESOL Plus Program participants. However, you will receive job search assistance, and we have been very successful with job placement in all locations.

Do I have to be able to speak the local language?

No. Schools hiring ESL teachers do not expect that they will speak the local language. They are more concerned that their teachers are native or native-level English speakers, and that they have been thoroughly trained in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages methodology. They (and LanguageCorps Asia) prefer an immersion approach to teaching ESL, in which only English is spoken in the classroom. Schools can be concerned that if an ESL teacher is also fluent in the local language and uses that common language to communicate during class, students may not feel the same incentive to really learn English. If you do know the local language, that is fine, but be sensitive to a school's request that you speak English with your students.

As part of the TEFL/TESOL Program, you will receive local acculturation and language training, both as a learning exercise for you, and to help you acclimate yourself to the local area. Also keep in mind that your assigned Corps Advocate is always nearby to help you.

Many schools offer additional free or low-cost local language training.

Is LanguageCorps Asia a recruiter?

No! LanguageCorps Asia is a full service provider of TEFL/TESOL training and certification, and as part of our programs, we also provide job placement assistance, and local support for ESL teachers, who are our clients. While recruiting new teachers is certainly a part of what we do, paid recruiting of teachers is not a part of our business model. Recruiters, or recruiting companies, get paid by a school (their true client) only when a teacher (like you) accepts a job there. The recruiter's primary incentive is to serve its client school - and to convince you to accept whatever job is available from the school that pays the highest recruiting fee, whether or not that job meets your preferences. Our objective is to help our teachers have a rewarding international experience by providing thorough training, support, and assistance finding a job that best meets personal preferences.

Can I talk to a LanguageCorps Asia teacher, and hear about the experience?

We'd be delighted to put you in touch with some of our past teachers. However, out of respect for our teacher's time, we prefer to give out contact information after your application has been accepted. You can read about some of the experiences and adventures LanguageCorps Asia Teachers have had by visiting our FACEBOOK page.


Living Abroad

Where will I be living? What are the accommodations like?

During your training and certification program, you'll live in a private room, hotel room, multiple-bedroom apartment or with a host family near the Training Center(accommodations vary by country). Our accommodations meet the upper standard of what is available in the host countries, including western-style bathrooms. For TEFL/TESOL Plus Program participants, accommodations are included. For TEFL/TESOL Certification Program participants, accommodations can be arranged for an additional charge which varies by country.

Once you complete your training and certification and leave the Training Center to begin your paid teaching assignment, you'll live in an accommodation provided by the hiring school, or in an apartment that you've rented for yourself. Generally, these accommodations are furnished apartments, with the amenities you'd expect. Often, these apartments are air-conditioned, and Internet connections can sometimes be arranged. In some cases, you may share an apartment with one or more roommates; but typically, you'll have a private bedroom and bath. Accommodations that are provided by the hiring schools tend to be located at, or very nearby, the schools. Obviously, an apartment that you rent for yourself will be located wherever you choose. Our local staff or Corps Advocate will assist you in finding accommodations.

What about the food? What will I eat, and where will I get it?

The local food in your destination will be - well, local. If you have an adventurous palate, then you'll certainly have ample opportunities to try new foods, and sample new tastes. At the same time, since all of our Training Centers and most schools are located in or near major cities, there tends to be a wide variety of restaurants, food shops and grocers that cater not only to local cuisine, but to western tastes as well. Be assured you usually won't have to look too far to find pizza, pasta, vegetarian cuisine, or an American-style barbeque!

What support does LanguageCorps Asia provide?

With all of our in-country programs, the local staff is very helpful in making your transition to living and working in a new culture go smoothly. In general, they want you to feel comfortable adjusting to your new location, and will assist as much as possible with your job search, and other logistics of living abroad.

Our Online Program participants will have access to our dedicated Student Services staff, who will provide them with assistance throughout the process.

How can I stay in touch with family and friends back home?

E-mail access is available through the Training Centers and usually at schools, and there are many inexpensive internet cafes throughout all countries.

For Flagship participants, and those in all of the Asia programs, you will be given a personal international cellular telephone and some "starter" minutes. Your Corps Advocate's phone number will even be set up on speed dial for you!

Note that dialing international phone calls can be relatively expensive, while receiving calls initiated by the other party is quite inexpensive (sometimes free). Be sure to tell your family and friends back home!


Life as a Teacher

How much will I get paid?

LanguageCorps Asia teachers work and live under the conditions of the localities in which they've accepted their teaching assignments. Generally, international ESL teachers are paid far better than similarly employed local workers, though salaries may sometimes seem small compared to potential earnings in America or Great Britain.

Our teachers are generally paid the equivalent of US$1000 per month, depending on the country, and the details and conditions of each specific teaching assignment (see Locations for more details - click the "Asia Jobs Information" link for each country). Often, when compensation is at the lower end of the country range, free accommodations, insurance or other services are provided by the hiring schools. Some schools offer additional compensation for specific added teaching services you provide (tutoring, for example). Other schools may offer a reimbursement for some portion of your airfare costs, based on your completing a given period of work (six months to a year, typically).

In all locations, you should be able to earn enough to live comfortably, although in Europe and most Latin American countries, you may not be able to save much. In Asia, you should earn enough to live comfortably, and save a few hundred dollars per month.

Ultimately, the decision about which teaching assignment to accept will be yours to make. But it's important to keep in mind that there will often be differences between "best available" opportunities and the "perfect scenario" you may have envisioned - a little flexibility and open-mindedness can lead to a wonderful, if not expected, overseas teaching adventure!

LanguageCorps Asia considers any form of direct pay, allowances or reimbursements you receive as compensation to you; we do not collect a portion of your salary as a fee, as many recruiters or placement agencies do.

How do LanguageCorps Asia Teachers compare to other teachers?

LanguageCorps Asia is particular about the applicants we accept. We require excellent English speaking skills and college degrees (no particular major is required and some locations do not require degrees). We look for true "global citizens" who can adapt to, and thrive in new surroundings. And we look for those with genuine interest in living and working in a different culture. Then, we put our teacher-trainees through intensive classroom training and hours of practice teaching, before awarding a TEFL/TESOL Certificate. As a result, hiring schools view our teachers as among the highest quality and best credentialed available, and continually contact our training centers looking for teachers. In addition, unlike some companies, LanguageCorps Asia does not take a percentage of your salary as a referral fee or subsidy. 100% of your salary goes to you!

How much will it cost to live abroad?

Living costs depend on a number of factors including the country you are working in, the region, and personal spending habits. In general, our teachers are able to earn enough to live comfortably. In Asia, most teachers are also able to recoup the program fee, and still add to their savings. However, the LanguageCorps Asia program is not for people who are strictly interested in "making money", but rather for those who are excited about the opportunity to live and work in another culture.

What is the length of my LanguageCorps Asia teaching commitment?

Our in-country TEFL/TESOL training and certification programs last 4 weeks, and require your full-time commitment to attend classes, and participate in all other training and community activities.

What if I only have a few weeks or a few months available to spend overseas?

Occasionally shorter term assignments are available, and we also offer short term Volunteer Programs in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

What is a normal workweek like?

A teacher's work schedule typically encompasses 6 hours per workday, five days per week. There are sometimes requirements for weekend or evening class sessions.

Depending upon the local practice, there may be multiple holidays and vacation periods during a longer-term teaching assignment. Many of our teachers have ample time to take excursions or tourist trips based on the class schedules of their assigned schools. But, you must be clear on this central point: You will be working in a paid job as an ESL teacher. Your hiring school - and LanguageCorps Asia - will expect you to abide by your commitments as an employee and professional.

Can people visit me during my teaching assignment?

Sure! But when planning for visiting guests, keep in mind that you are responsible to keep your regular work schedule at your paid teaching assignment. Your guests must make their own arrangements for travel, visas, accommodations, etc. While our staff will be happy to offer you informal advice, we cannot accept any obligation for service to or support of any persons who are not LanguageCorps Asia teachers. It will be your responsibility to check the rules and restrictions of your particular accommodations, to determine whether it is approved for you to have guests stay with you.


Locations

Where are training programs held? Can I select where I will teach?

Certainly you will select your host country. We currently offer our TEFL/TESOL Program in Pattaya, Thailand; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In almost all cases, program participants will live and work in or nearby the city in which they trained.

Why train in these overseas locations?

Experience has taught us that our LanguageCorps Asia teachers are best prepared when they are trained in, or nearby, the local area in which they will teach. General TEFL/TESOL methodologies can be adapted in small ways to become even more effective in a particular locale - for example, it's easier to appreciate students' different responses to such things as humor and pop culture.


Safety & Security

Do I need vaccinations prior to my teaching assignment?

Some of our host countries do require immunizations or vaccinations prior to entry, but these health requirements frequently change. Please check with your primary care physician or local travel clinic for the most current information about the country you plan on teaching in. You can also visit the Center for Disease Control's website at www.cdc.gov/travel for current recommendations.

How safe are the locations in which LanguageCorps Asia teachers live and work?

All of our Training Centers, most schools, and teacher accommodations are located in or near primary and secondary cities in our assignment countries. We take care to place our Centers in fun, attractive, safe areas, and work only with select schools that operate in similarly attractive, secure locations.

It's only prudent to be vigilant in avoiding petty theft, and to watch out for vehicular traffic which doesn't follow the same patterns we are used to in the US. Presuming that our teachers exercise appropriate good judgment and caution, we believe that the levels of personal safety and well-being they enjoy are as high as in most US cities.

What is LanguageCorps Asia drug and alcohol policy?

LanguageCorps Asia enforces a strict requirement that our teachers not indulge in illicit drugs of any sort, not only out of concern for your safety and well-being, but because we know that the local penalties for illegal drug possession and use can be quite harsh. Laws governing alcohol consumption in our assignment countries tend to be similar to those with which you're already familiar at home. While we do not enforce any specific rules regarding drinking after class hours, we do expect our LanguageCorps Asia teachers to act as responsible, professional adults, and behave in a manner that will reflect well upon them, their employing schools, and upon our organization. We depend upon an informal honor system to govern the good behavior of our LanguageCorps Asia teachers and staff.

How can I tell if I'm ready for an overseas teaching adventure?

It's a big decision to live and work overseas for a period of time - and you want to be sure you're "up" for it before you find yourself far away from home, and unhappy to be there! Successful teachers include those who've already spent some time in a country and culture other than their own - and are anxious to do it again! Other strong candidates are those who are genuinely interested in seeing and experiencing new things, interacting with new people, and living in and learning about new cultures.

Are you flexible? Able to adapt easily to a new environment? Are you independent-minded? Are you excited by the idea of leading a classroom of eager students who want to - but don't yet - speak your language? Are you comfortable being the center of attention? If so, then you're a LanguageCorps Asia teacher! To get a better perspective, go to our Reality Check page to read about experiences and adventures of some of our LanguageCorps Asia teachers.




                         

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