Teaching English in HK

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  1. #1
    MTR
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    Teaching English in HK

    Hello guys!

    Im new to this forum so please bear with me I have a few questions regarding employment in Hong Kong, specifically teaching English, but first a little background: Im 23 years old and from the UK, Ive been to HK to study Cantonese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for 5 months. I dont have a degree although I have studied at college for 3 years doing fitness, health & exercise, from this I have NQ, HNC and HND (Higher national diploma) which could enable me to go straight into the 3rd or 4th year of university. Working in HK is something Ive always wanted to do and I believe Id have a better chance teaching English than going into the fitness industry.
    Currently Im doing my 120 hour TEFL course and my question is:

    Would this be enough for me to find employment? Be it private institutions or state schools.
    What would the basic pay and hours per week be?

    When studying in HK I lived on a shoe string budget so I dont expect to earn a lot, live in a big house or buy the latest gadget every week. I have no debts to pay and my loving family could provide a small sum of money to help me start up living in HK. Im happy living in a small apartment, much like the one I lived in during my studies which I could basically jump from one end to the other! Earning enough money to pay the rent and feed myself is all I need, no need for fancy meals every week.

    If anybody has actual teaching experience in HK I would very much like to know about it!

    I would appreciate any response, thank you very much!

    MTR


  2. #2

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    without a degree you will NOT be considered by the EDB as any kind of teacher.

    without a degree, you will have a much more difficult time getting a visa, especially if you have no experience in the field.

    cannot say what "basic pay" would be for someone without anything other than an online tefl course....but it would likely be less than $15k IF you could find (1) someone to hire you and (2) someone to sponsor you and (3) someone at immig willing to grant you a visa.

    sorry, don't mean to sound harsh, but maybe you SHOULD do your last(?) year at uni, THEN think about moving across the world to work?


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by carang
    without a degree you will NOT be considered by the EDB as any kind of teacher.

    without a degree, you will have a much more difficult time getting a visa, especially if you have no experience in the field.

    cannot say what "basic pay" would be for someone without anything other than an online tefl course....but it would likely be less than $15k IF you could find (1) someone to hire you and (2) someone to sponsor you and (3) someone at immig willing to grant you a visa.

    sorry, don't mean to sound harsh, but maybe you SHOULD do your last(?) year at uni, THEN think about moving across the world to work?

    I agree with you. Minimum entry to HK through immigration to get a teaching job is degree plus at least 6 months paid teaching experience with a reference. I'm afraid HK is tightening up and rightly so....

    Good luck in your search, might make you more determined!

  4. #4

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    thank you, i know what i'm talking about. i've been teaching english in hk for 15+ years.


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    Two friends I've made here have got part-time teaching jobs without teaching degrees (both are here on dependent visas). Both teaching young children. Both have done on-line TEFL courses, and one has been accepted on to a PGCE course which she will take up when she returns home. Both got these jobs through an agency, I don't know which, but they said the agencies seemed to be crying out for english speakers to teach. Roughly 200/250 per hour through the agency, but they both said if you can get a job direct through the school from 350/400 per hour.


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    THAT is completely a different scenario! if you need a visa, then you will NOT get one without at least a degree and some kind of teaching experience.


  7. #7

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    I came to Hong Kong with zero teaching experience and got a working visa without an issue. Mind you that was in 2006, but I doubt too much has changed.

    I also did a TEFL online.


  8. #8

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    chigger, i think you were very lucky then... i've not heard of it happening before. you're the first.

    as i've said in the past, i HAVE tried to hire people WITH a degree, teaching experience albeit not teaching english AND a tefl (not an online one) and the visa was turned down. now, this was back in the early part of the decade, but still... we gave EVERYTHING the gov't asked of us and more... and we still weren't approved.

    now, perhaps it was because we were a small company, but still....
    oh, yeah, it took the gov't 8 MONTHS to decide against granting the visas!!!! we basically had to put all of our plans on hold for 2/3 of a year and then had to replan everything because the visas weren't granted!

    glad it worked out better for you chigger! hope work is still going well.


  9. #9

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    Well, we don't know the status of their visa as they don't say, so you assume they don't have one. I was offering advice on the basis that they perhaps did.


  10. #10
    MTR
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    Thank you everyone for your replies!

    From what I've been reading about other peoples experiences it seems to be divided. On one side people mention that you need a degree and theres absolutely no way out of it, but on the other side people have said they pretty much just crossed their fingers and sent the visa application away with no degree or teaching experience.
    I think the best option for me is to at least try and see what happens, only then I will know. There is no harm in trying.
    If the job I got was only paying HK$15,000 I would be fine with that, I am well aware of the cost of accommodation and other expenses. As I said in my previous post I'm willing to live on this kind of budget, IMO it depends on how 'materialistic' one is. I don't expect to transfer my living style of the UK to HK.

    Thanks again for input, it was very helpfull

    MTR