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UK graduate teacher looking for opportunities in Singapore.

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ukteach
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UK graduate teacher looking for opportunities in Singapore.

Postby ukteach » Tue, 22 Jan 2013 5:45 am

Hello all,

I was wondering if I could have some help.

I have almost completed my Bachelor's Degree in Education in the UK and have a strong desire to work in Singapore, after spending a month there last year and I am also planning to go back this year.

However, I am not sure how many options I have open to myself.

International schools will not hire me because of the high standards demanded of teachers (multiple years experience) - nevertheless I will be sending off a few applications just in case.

From what I can gather, native English teachers aren't in as high demand in Singapore as in other Asian countries (China, South Korea etc). I haven't really found many of these jobs though.

Are there any other routes into Education that I could take as a foreigner? I know the Singapore Ministry of Education take applications from abroad and I'm planning to apply through there, but I'm not too confident.

I'd appreciate any advice or help - I will also be in Singapore in April to potentially follow up on any leads/attend interviews and so on.

Thanks!

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Postby harlyd » Tue, 22 Jan 2013 7:10 am

From my experience, you'll be lucky to get an interview lined up from abroad. You can even tell them that you'll be in SG soon but your resume will still be passed. I applied for many jobs abroad without a single reply but as soon as I was here and had an SG address/phone # on my resume, I got plenty of calls for interviews. In reality, teaching English without experience is limited to tuition centers and local preschools so be prepared to work with kids. A month may not be long enough to get a job lined up unless you're willing to settle for a tuition center (hours are usually late afternoon/evening and weekends). It took me 1.5 months to snag a job I actually wanted.

Good luck!

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Postby ukteach » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 7:01 am

Thanks for your reply.

I'm going to put together a resume/CV and apply to a few places, like the MoE and British Council.

I noticed you mentioned I Can Read in another post, do you have any more information about them?

Would it be worth first making the move to Singapore and then beginning to look for jobs? I don't mind this...but I'm hesitant to make such a big commitment without a guarantee of a job out there.

Can you tell me a bit more about the process you went through to get one, your background etc? Thanks!

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Postby harlyd » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 7:36 am

Hi,
So I have a TEFL cert from the US as well as a degree in Child Psyc. I moved here on a tourist visa (90 days). I just started applying like crazy when I got here since I only had three months. It was a leap of faith since I had no job and if I didn't find one, I'd have to return home in 3 months. I Can Read does have a website; they are a tuition center and have locations all around the island (didn't end up with them since I didn't want to work evenings). I honestly didn't have any replies to my resume while in the US. As soon as I was here and had an SG address and phone, I started getting interviews lined up.
In the end, it's all based on whether or not you want to jump into all that uncertainty.

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Postby ukteach » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 5:11 am

Thanks for the reply.

I don't have a TEFL/CELTA etc but I'm hoping my teaching degree will more than compensate for that.

I'm tempted to do what you did and just see what happens. My girlfriend lives in Singapore so hopefully we can figure something out. It's a pretty big gambl. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Reassuring to know that the jobs are out there though.

What was the process for you after finding a job? Did they sponsor your employment pass/residency etc?

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 6:01 am

Nobody who travels spends a month in Singapore. Why did you?

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Postby harlyd » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 7:20 am

They took care of everything after the contract was signed. All I had to do was show up at MOM to collect my pass.

JR8-I only ended up here since my boyfriend is working here as well.

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Postby ukteach » Sat, 08 Jun 2013 3:54 am

Bump.

I've sent off roughly 20 applications to a mixture of International Schools, preschools and english tuition centres in the past month, and I've only had 2 positive replies, one which led to an interview. Unfortunately I didn't get the job.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place because as a fresh grad, I'm inexperienced for most International Schools, and tuition centres seem to be limited to citizens and PRs. Presumably they don't want to sponsor work permits. I'm just struggling to find something that lies in between there, or a foot on the ladder.

I'm actually even considering TA jobs at International Schools. I'd much rather be a teacher but working as a TA for a bit might be the first step.

Anyone able to help me out? Really keen to live and teach in Singapore but my pool of opportunities seems to be drying up. Perhaps it would be better to come over on a 3 month visa and resend my applications? Then again, I don't want to waste my money as it isn't exactly cheap to fly over and stay there with no guarantee of finding work.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 08 Jun 2013 12:51 pm

Are you in Singapore?

I ask as in my opinion you'll have an uphill struggle getting hired with no experience, but even more so if you aren't here.

Perhaps you need to be here and get networking with some teachers to understand what it takes to get hired.

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Postby ukteach » Sun, 09 Jun 2013 9:33 pm

Not at the moment unfortunately. I have visited twice, for a couple of weeks each time.

I'm curious how exactly it would be easier. I get that I can be present for face to face interviews, but what do you mean by 'get networking'? If I come, I'm tempted to resubmit all my applications with the addendum "I will be in Singapore between xx and xx for and am available for an interview at your convenience" and see what happens.

But again, it's a gamble.

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 09 Jun 2013 11:13 pm

Bloke sitting in england dreaming of a job in Asia.

Probably applied for jobs all over, probably hasn't considered actually getting offered one and physically packing up and moving.

Delays, freight, months of lead-time.

Vs.

We need a person now: Here is a qualified person ready to start TODAY.

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Postby ukteach » Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:40 am

Got it. Appreciate your reply.

I'm going to continue applying, and then start putting stuff into place so that I can be there from July-Sept on a tourist visa. I just need to take that 'leap of faith' that harlyd mentioned.

Do you have any other tips or advice?

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:02 am

- Try and hook up with a local teacher or two beforehand. Get any tips you can on hiring-season (if any), and what they look for in candidates.

- Figure out where you're going to stay as accommodation in SG is not cheap. Consider staying somewhere cheap and nice in Thailand or Malaysia, and coming up to SG for interviews.

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Postby ukteach » Fri, 28 Jun 2013 5:58 am

Thanks for the advice JR8.

Earlier I booked my flights out to Singapore (next week!!!!), and I'm going to immediately start hunting for jobs when I get there. I have a few places in mind, so I'm going to resubmit applications (before I come) with my Singapore contact details. I'm also planning to approach some schools directly (is this a good idea?), and I've got in touch with a couple of expats who also work in Education. Hopefully they will be able to hook me up with something.

Feeling pretty confident about this, I have 90 days from entry to secure a job and EP. A big move, but my girlfriend is behind me 100% and I'm in a safe position financially. I've had nothing but positive attitudes towards me teaching out there, both from contacts out there and potential employers. Can't wait!

Singapore, here I come!

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 28 Jun 2013 9:24 am

Woo-hoo! Give it both barrels m8 why don't ya!


Well done, and best of luck, you've put a lot of work into it.... I (and I expect the other regulars here too) wish you the best of luck!

Please let us know how you get on !


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