Hi, welcome to another live session. My name is Linda and I'm here for ITTT. Today we are going to talk about 10 questions you should ask before accepting a teaching job abroad. You should ask these questions to your potential employer before you finalize things, before you sign the contract, to make sure everything is in order, to make sure you know what you're getting into and that everything is all good and okay. Basically, that's what we're going to talk about today.
We've talked a lot about how to find a job, how to find a job in different regions, how to find a job in Europe, how to find a teaching job in Asia, different teaching programs, all of that kind of stuff. We also talked about how, or no, we talked about the most asked questions that you will be asked during a job interview. So now we're going to talk about what you should ask in a job interview.
Yes, of course, you are getting asked a lot of questions, but at the same time, you should also be asking some important questions, right, and these 10 are the most important questions you should be asking before you finalize it, before you finalize the contract, etc. All right. Yeah, before we jump into it, please let me know where you're watching from today. I'm in South Korea, it is 10 a.m Friday morning. I'm super excited to be here. I have my little morning coffee right here so I'm going to take a sip. Sometimes don't mind me if you also want to get yourself some drink, um, beverage of your choice, some snacks. Usually, our live sessions take about 45 minutes, even an hour up to an hour, no more than an hour, but you can always come back and watch the replay. We always keep our live sessions very neat and organized in a playlist on Facebook and on YouTube. So, you can always come back and watch the replay. That's usually how it goes.
We also do these live sessions every week, so I highly recommend you like and subscribe so that you never miss any of our upcoming live sessions. This is a weekly thing, totally for free, everybody can join, no strings attached. Basically, um, yeah, every week this is happening here. And if you have any topic suggestions, something you want me to talk about in the future, just let me know, and I will prepare a live session around that topic. We also, this is one of the first things I want to mention today, we actually have a 30 off opportunity, excuse me, 30 off opportunity off of any tefl or t-cell course from ITTT. So if you go to ITTT’s website, teflcourts.net, you may already be a tefl course graduate from ITTT. I don't know, you might be new to it. Oh, excuse me, I have something I throw now.
Anyway, we have a lot of different tefl courses, and you get 30 off any of our TEFL courses, whether it be a 120-hour course, a 220-hour course, the diploma course, an in-class course, you get 30 off on the deposit of an in-class course. So go to teflcourse.net and check out what courses we have and also reach out to us. I'm going to be sharing our email address, and we will help you figure out the best course for you, right? Depending on where you want to go and teach, what your goal is, you should pick a different kind of course. So go ahead, [email protected], speak with us, and um, yeah, use the code. You can scan this QR code and get 30 off, or we also have a 30 off link that I'm going to share in the comments. You can just copy paste this link, and you can get 30 off. It looks like this, it ends with Facebook live minus Linda. This is the 30 off link, so if you copy paste this, then you will get 30 off your next tefl course.
Okay, great. And then back to my question, where are you watching from today? Where are you right now? What time is it there? How are you feeling? Let me know. I am, like I said, I'm in South Korea. It is 10 a.m Friday morning. Um, feeling pretty good, but now I don't know what's wrong with my throat. It wasn't here before, but now as we start this live session, it's a little scratchy in here. I don't know why, but we're going to get through it, we're going to get through it.
Let me know where you're watching from, and 30% off again. I'm also going to be mentioning this later one more time as more people are joining. Um, so then they can also have this opportunity. You can also throughout the entire live session, you have this QR code up here in the right hand corner, you can scan it throughout the entire live session. Um, if you feel like it. And now I just want to introduce myself real quick and please keep your comments coming, but where you're watching from. I'm very curious, I'm a very curious person. I always want to know who I'm dealing with here. I can see how many people are watching, but I cannot see who you are unless you leave a comment. Um, so yeah, if you want to share, I would really appreciate that.
All right, let's have a look at who I am. Maybe you don't know yet who I am, maybe you're watching for the first time. My name is Linda, and I am a travel writer and content creator, among many different things, um, but yeah, this is one of the things that I do.
My blogging name or Instagram name is Linda Goes East. So if you're interested in Asia, particularly South Korea, and I also spent some time in China and I travel all over Asia anyway. If you're interested in that part of the world, specifically living there, teaching there, or whatever, go ahead and check me out on linnigosis.com and also on Instagram.
I always love to connect with you guys. Also, if you have a question that maybe you're not comfortable asking here in front of everyone during the live session, you can just send me a private message on Instagram and we can have a chat over there as well. I'm originally from Germany and the US, so I have dual citizenship. My mom is German and my dad is American. I spend some time in both countries, but I am based in South Korea.
I've been pretty much living in Asia for 10 years now since 2012. I started out in China, and then I met my husband and he's Korean, so I moved to Korea and here I am. I've been here for 7 and a half years now.
Time really flies, so yeah, I have been teaching English in China. I taught English in China, and have been teaching English in Korea ever since I got here, full-time. Then, after I started working for ITTT, which is on the right side here, the other part of what I do mainly is I've been teaching side gigs, part-time children, business English for companies in Korea, summer camps, winter camps, whatever.
And during or because of the pandemic, I started teaching English online, and a lot of my students are actually from Japan or from China, from Korea mostly. Asians, because that's just the platform that I work for. But yeah, that's also what I've been doing. And now let's have a look at ITTT. So if you don't know what ITTT means, it stands for international TEFL and TESOL training. And we offer TEFL TESOL courses of all different kinds for people who want to teach English as a foreign language professionally abroad or online or in your home country, whatever it is. We can help you achieve that goal.
Yeah, so that's pretty much it. And here we have Ally. I think Ali, or Ali, no Ali from Mexico. Hi, Ellie. How are you doing? Awesome. We have Laredo. Laredo. Oh my God, I hope I'm saying this right. Lorado, Lorado. Maybe I'm sorry if I butcher your name. Um, hello there. I'm in Africa, Botswana. Oh, very nice. Welcome, welcome. And we have Daniel here, reporting from Mexico City. Cool. So we have two people here from Mexico, one person from Botswana. How about the other people here? Let me know. Don't be shy. Let's connect. We are a very big TEFL family, and I always like to, um, you know, I always like to ask you guys also questions. So the first question I always ask is, where are you watching from, and what time is it there? So let me know where you are right now, what you're doing, and then we can jump in.
TEFL Interview: Check List
So the first thing I actually want to mention before we start with today's topic, right, um, it's sort of a TEFL interview checklist. Right? And this is basically what you should do before your job interview, when you're getting ready for your job interview, right? Um, so just quick, um, let's go over this list, and then we can focus on today's topic. So, what you should always do to just enhance, um, the interview experience is find a quiet and well-lit spot. Okay?
So here, for example, is kind of what I do for my live sessions. I am in a home office room, right in front of a window, so the window is right here, that's why the light looks very nice, and also because it's morning time, so the light is good. I also have a ring light, because sometimes I teach students in the evening, when it's already dark outside. So it doesn't matter if I sit in front of the window or not, it's dark, so I have a ring light also.
So just make sure it's well lit and quiet. For example, I also have two cats, and I don't want them to bother us during our live session or during my teaching or during a job interview. So I keep my door obviously closed, so they don't come in here. Quiet and well lit, very important.
Before a interview, and these are Skype or Zoom interviews, so you should make sure that your internet connection is good and that the programs are up to date. Right? There's nothing worse when you have an interview scheduled and then you turn on the computer and it needs to do a ton of updates, you'll be late. You want to avoid that.
You also want to make sure that your earphones and your microphone are working well, are plugged in, and you have them ready before you start the interview. And it's always a good idea to be online about 15 minutes before your interview starts, right? Just in case there is an update, or something is not working right, 15 minutes will give you a good amount of time to just kind of get prepared, and if there's something wrong, you can fix it.
Then also make sure that you dress to impress. So you should always kind of dress the same as for an in-person interview. Right? You should look nice and put together, so that's very important.
Obviously, what's great with these kinds of interviews is it kind of doesn't matter what kind of pants you wear. So that's also why I like these interviews. Whatever I actually wear, I wore good pants today, but sometimes you could literally just sit there with pajama pants, and nobody would know. But um, also, I would not recommend that for a job interview, because what if, for example, you need to go and get something? Right? If, for example, you have something in your throat like I do today, and you don't have water or something, and you need to go and get it, when you get up, they're gonna see your pajama pants. Not so cute. Okay, so just wear something good, wear something nice also at the bottom.
And then non-verbal communication is very important, especially online, right? Because there's a lack with the internet connection, or sometimes it's not working well. So it's very important that you always smile, you look happy.
I like to use my hands a lot, and this is also something that shows that you're a good teacher. Anyway, teachers should have very good non-verbal communication, they can use their hands. So that just makes a very good impression as well.
And in general, remember that you must communicate well. Right? Remember to use proper grammar, proper vocabulary, etc., because you are applying for English teacher jobs, so your communication, your English, should be on point. Right? If you're from somewhere, I don't know where, maybe you have a very heavy accent or a dialect, you might want to tone it down just a bit, not completely, because I'm a strong believer in accents are part of who you are. You should never mask your accents, but maybe just tone it down a little bit, you know, because they're also looking for a teacher who is clearly, the students can clearly understand.
Right, so um, yeah, so these are just my quick tips on what to do before the interview. Right? And now we're just gonna have a look at the topic for today. Oh, I also wanted to share this with you. So this is actually a live session I did in the past, these are the 15 most asked questions in a TEFL interview, so 15 questions that you will be asked likely during a job interview. And I'm going to share that with you also in the comment section, so you can have a look at that as well.
This might also be interesting. You should know what our TEFL employers typically ask. What do they typically ask during job interviews? And now, what we're going to talk about today is sort of what you should ask the employer before you accept a job offer. Okay, because that's also extremely important.
All right, and then I see we had a lot of people joining now, so let me know, guys, where are you watching from right now? Where are you? Let me know. I'm very curious. And we have Amitabha here today as well. Hello, how are you? It is 6:45 in Kolkata, India. Doing well, how are you doing? Great, great, great, awesome. Who else is watching? Let me know. I'm always super curious to get to know new people. Again, my name is Linda. You might have missed the introduction, not sure. Um, so yeah, this is today's topic. Thank you so much for joining. 10 questions that you should be asking before accepting a teaching abroad job offer. And let me know where you're watching from today.
And I also just want to say this again that we do have 30% off any TEFL or TESOL course. You might have missed that in the beginning, so if you use this link, and I'm just going to share that one more time to make sure everybody has access to it. It looks like this, and it ends with "FACEBOOKLIVE-LINDA" Like this, and you can copy paste this link and you can get 30% off any TEFL course from ITTT, because if you go to the website, you're going to notice there are a lot of different courses on there. So any course, you can use this link, and you can save 30%. This is during these live sessions. It's the only time we share 30%. Right? All the other times is usually lower. We never share this anywhere only during our live sessions.
All right, good. Then we have Pedro here, Pedro from Costa Rica. Hi Pedro, how are you doing? Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it. Awesome. Okay, good. Then I'm gonna keep an eye on the comment section, as always. You can ask me your questions throughout this live session. There will also be a dedicated Q&A section at the end, where you also have another opportunity to ask questions. Also, something not related to today's topic. Anything you want. And like I said, if you have a question but you don't want to ask in front of everybody here live, you can head to Instagram, you can DM me privately, or you can go ahead and email us at [email protected], and we will be able to answer your questions as well.
All right, good. Let's get ready to it, and I need more water. I think I left it. It's getting cooler in Korea now. The weather is getting cooler and I left my window open at night and I think that's why I have a little bit of something something here now. Daniel says, "I'm always surprised by the amount of TEFL related content you guys have listed on social media. Very useful." Thank you so much. Yes, so don't forget to like and subscribe, especially our Facebook page. It's a very good resource. We share content on there every single day for teachers: things you can use in your classroom, actually, or job offers also, or TEFL information. Literally anything, anything related to teaching and TEFL and whatever it is, anything. OK, thank you, Daniel. All right, and then I'm gonna make myself smaller and this bigger so you can read it better and I'm going to take one more sip of my drink, and then we can get into it. So, 10 questions you should ask before accepting a teaching abroad job offer. And Pedro says it's raining a lot here in Costa Rica. I'm sorry to hear that. I actually have a friend who's in Costa Rica right now on vacation. I saw it in his insta story. It looks really, really cool. Um, so sorry to hear that it's raining but I guess it's also warm though, right? Is it like a rainy season over there, or is it always raining a lot? Might be, isn't it very close to the equator? I'm so curious about South America and Latin America because that's just a region where I have not been yet. I'm super curious and that's a place where I really, really, really want to go so bad, but it's just so far and tickets are so expensive. So I hope and I pray that I will be able to go there soon.
Question #1: 10 Questions You Need to Ask Before Accepting a Teaching Abroad Job Offer
Okay, TEFL interview, what you should be asking. So let's have a look. Question number one, very important: what type of visa do I need? Okay, you should be asking that. But before already you do the interview, and once you have decided on what country you want to go to, you should do your research and you should learn about the country's work visas. What type of visa English teachers typically get and you should take note of the different rules and the requirements. Okay. And then, typically, the employer, if they have hired teachers before, they should be familiar with the visa process and they will be able to guide you and help you with that. But here is what is important: so if an employer says that you only need a tourist visa, you should be wary, right? You should know, if you've done your research, and it clearly states no, you cannot work as an English teacher with a tourist visa, but the employer proposes doing so, it's very likely that they want to avoid taxes and they will put you in this illegal position and basically they put you at risk as a result. So, I know this happened a lot, for example, in China where I taught.
That it was just because it's kind of a difficult process or a lengthy process to get a work visa, especially in China, and then a lot of employers were like, "Oh, you can just work with like a tourist visa. It's fine," and a lot of teachers got in trouble and are getting in trouble who are doing that and it can even lead to deportation. Right where you actually have to leave the country and then sometimes you're not even able to come back. So that would just be such a shame. So just make sure that number one, you do your research before the interviews. You kind of have an idea. You can also ask us at ITT what kind of Visa typically people get. You can reach out to others via the ITT community on Facebook or you know search for some bloggers or other people who live there who are English teachers in that country or country where you want to go to and ask them about it. There are a lot of blogs who explain these things. You can also call the Embassy of that country and ask to make sure. But the important thing is just, if an employer says no, you don't need a work visa. We can just do this with a tourist visa. You should just decline the job offer. It's just too much of a risk. You should not do that unless it really is an option, because some countries, again, every country is different. Every country has different regulations, different Visas. So in some countries, you can actually work with a tourist visa, but the majority of countries you actually cannot do that. You need a proper Visa, whether it is a work visa, whether it is a English teacher Visa. So Korea, where I live, they actually have a specific Visa just for English teachers. Um, so it depends on the country. Just make sure you know and you ask this question, because it's very important. And if done wrong, it can just get you in a lot of trouble. So you just want to get that right out of the way first.
Question #2: What’s included in my contract?
All right, this is question number one. Let's have a look at question number two: what you should ask. Very important as well: what's included in my contract. So the salary, any benefits like paid vacation, insurance, paid airplane tickets, housing, whatever. Okay, what you need to know is, TEFL salary often depends on where you're teaching and for how long. So do your research, so you have an idea of how much is the average in that country in that city for the type of teaching job you're going to do. Again, on our website, we have a lot of resources, a lot of information about these things already. So what you can do is you can go to teflcores.net FAQ. Um, we have a whole FAQ section where we have a lot of questions, 'How much can I earn in and then the country'? All right, so check that out. I'm just going to share the link with you guys so you have that.
FAQ: They're very useful. Always useful browsing that. So let me just share that with you, and literally yeah, we have one section here at the top it says TEFL, TESOL, salary. So you click on that, and it goes right down here, and literally every country is listed here. It says, 'How much can I earn teaching English in Spain, in the United Arab Emirates, in Japan, in Taiwan and Saudi Arabia, in Thailand and Cambodia and South Korea'? So every country is listed here, and then you can get an idea of the average salary, so that you already know. And then if the salary offered to you is way, way below that, you might want to clarify. You might want to be like, 'Oh, but I heard this, and this, and this is the average salary.' Can we match that, etc. 'How come yours is lower'? Etc. Just kind of negotiate. And then you should also clarify whether the salary stated by the employer is pre-tax or not.
Right. Um, just clarify that. Sometimes they try to be tricky perhaps, and state something higher, but then you get there, and then you get a lower amount. You're like, 'Yeah, what is that?' Well, the price or the salary quoted was pre-tax. Oh, okay. You should know these things before. Um, and then you also have to look besides the salary. You have to look at your compensation as a total package. So what is included? Is there insurance included? What about the housing, lodging, airfare? Any other things you need to know these things right, and just be prepared to negotiate for any additional benefits to sweeten the deal. So if again, do your research. If in that country where you want to go, people typically get paid airfare, but it is not offered in your contract, you can be like, 'Oh, I heard typically, or I have spoken with people who teach English in blank, and typically airfare is offered. Can we also add that to my contract'? Etc.
You just have to negotiate, obviously. Again, a contract or like a job interview is also a negotiation, right? So, Danielle says, 'I must admit that I'm not that knowledgeable about negotiation stuff.' Yeah, and I see this, and you know, I've been there too. If you are going to a country that you've never been to before, um, you might not know these things right. You might think, 'Oh yeah, that's normal right, this and this and this, what's stated in the contract, that's normal.' Um, because you don't know better, because you've not not been there, this is not your country, you're not familiar with these things. Um, that's why it's just so important to do as much research in advance as you can, and that's why you are here. You watch these live sessions, you read blogs, you um speak to us, our advisors, you check out our FAQ sections. You just do as much research as possible, so that you know, and then you can negotiate these things.
Yeah, so this is a very important question to ask. Yeah, Pedro also says negotiation is tricky. It is tricky, but you should also not just say yes to everything, and I think that's something you'll also learn the more, um, you do this kind of thing. Um, I think especially with the first TEFL job, I think almost everyone I know with their first TEFL job, they just said yes to everything, and then after this first job, you know better. You'll learn a lot in your first teaching job about how things should be done, and you learn from that, and then the next one will be better. Yeah, sometimes it is like that. So that's all I can tell you right. So do your research, know what is normal, what kind of salary is not normal, what's the normal average salary in this place, and what kind of benefits do you typically get. And if that is just way, way off in the offer that you get, ask definitely ask. You're like, 'Oh, I thought typically the average salary is this. How come yours is so much lower'? Blah blah blah, and then they can probably match that a little bit better. Try definitely, you should try that.
I've recently had a couple of things, a couple of like side gigs or jobs, and um, I've been doing this for so long that I don't say yes to everything anymore. I would in the beginning just say yes to every kind of opportunity that came my way, um, but I just realized that that's not always the best thing. And I only want to say yes to projects that really, you know, fit into my schedule. I don't have to, they're not, they're not like making my life harder, but they're actually making my life easier. So um, and one way of doing that, of weeding out the things that kind of annoy you or the bad offers, is just by negotiating and standing up for yourself, and yeah, asking for that kind of price or salary or pay or bonus that makes you happy. And if, and more often than not, I've actually had people match that offer, um, so yeah, this is my recommendation. Be more bold. It worked out. It really works out and if it doesn't, it's like okay, well the next one will work out. That's also I think one thing with teachers, um, we're so excited to go abroad and teach that we just kind of cling on the first job offer that we get thinking that we will not get anything else. Um, I don't think that's true. There's so many job offers that the demand is so high, there's always going to be a next one. There's always going to be a next one, but I know we feel like there's this big, and some people are more than others, this fear of missing out, right? You feel like, 'Oh, if I don't accept this offer, I'm not gonna get another one like this', but I've realized that that's actually not true. I've gotten so many offers. I've gotten especially in Korea, you know, where the demand is so high in a place where the demand for teachers is so high, um, you literally get more offers than you could ever accept. So, yeah, just be aware of that. Don't cling to the first offer.
Even if you're not 100% happy with it, but you just do it because you think nothing better is going to come around, there's always something next. I hope that makes sense. I don't want to ramble too much, but this is from my personal experience over the past two years where I kind of changed my mindset, and it really worked out well for me.
Question #3: Who pays taxes and how?
Let's move on to question number three, important question: who pays taxes and how? Okay, so this also varies from country to country. Again, and you should clarify, clarify from the beginning, who's responsible for any tax obligations. You know, um, in some countries, it's just deducted from your salary automatically. I think in most countries, it's like that, but um, in others, in some other countries, they actually don't even have any income taxes, or you have to pay this like later. It depends, so just make sure again, you can research this beforehand, but you can also um, just ask your employer, um, and then in some places also, again, like Korea, for example, a portion of your taxes is deducted, the the tax deducted from your salary is actually refunded to you at contract completion. So that's also something very, very interesting, and if you don't know about it, you're going to lose a lot of money. So for example, um, when I was teaching in Korea, or if you're teaching Korea, like full-time, if it, even if you just work for a year and then you leave, you get to collect this money back. This is actually from the pension. Everyone pays into the pension scheme in Korea, also foreigners, but if you leave, obviously you're not gonna get a pension later when you're not going to retire in Korea. Many people, so you can actually get that money back, which is super awesome. Um, and I believe, I'm not 100% sure up to date on how, how much the amount is but if you teach like full-time for one year and then you leave, it's about two thousand dollars that you get back.The longer you teach, the more money you're gonna get. So if you teach for five years, you might be going home with 10K, so that's a lot of money, a lot of money, and um, yeah, your employer should tell you about those things, right? So ask about that, because that can also be a very determining factor, whether or not you want to work in this country. A lot of people really like that, um, about Korea as well, so yeah, make sure you know about the taxes. And I also know for Americans abroad, you also need to do your taxes, um, even if you don't work in the U.S, you need to do your U.S taxes if you work in a different country as well. Um, but there's always like a lot of support groups as well. Your employer probably doesn't will not know how to do taxes in America for you, um, but there's so many support groups of other expats living abroad who also have to do those taxes, file the taxes, and they will be able to help you with that too.
So that is question number three: who pays taxes and how? You can also ask how much is the income tax and what exactly is deducted, health insurance, the pension in Korea, for example, you should already know what to expect.
Question #4: What are my housing options?
Good question number four: it is also very important to clarify what your housing options are. You should clarify whether housing is provided by the employer or not. Sometimes, if housing is not provided, you might be able to get a housing stipend - a monthly stipend. Some schools already have housing for their teachers, and if they do, you should also ask whether you will be sharing the space with other teachers or other people, or if this is your own apartment. You should also ask how big it is and if you can see pictures beforehand. You could also ask about cooking facilities. In some countries, there might not be any cooking facilities in the apartment, so it depends on the country too. Always check on things like the kitchen and bathroom. These two things - the kitchen and bathroom - are very important. You can determine whether or not it is okay for you to live there.
I've seen many apartments in different parts of the world - they look very different in other parts of the world, especially the kitchens and bathrooms. So, it's just best if you ask for pictures. You know, that's great. And then, if they don't actually provide housing, you should ask them if the school knows of any local resources that can help you with your housing search. Right? Typically, if they don't offer housing, there will be someone from the school who will help you. That's also from my experience when I worked abroad in some places. They didn't offer free housing, but they helped me find housing. So, you can also always reach out to a community - again, Facebook groups. There are probably also other platforms. I am already old, I think, so I am the Facebook group generation - that's why I bring this up a lot. There might be now another way, like telegram groups. I have no idea. But, any kind of community groups - there will always be groups like expats in Korea, expats in Costa Rica, whatever it is. You can reach out there and ask for tips about housing as well. But during the interview, you just need to make sure that you know if it is included, if it is not included, is there a stipend, and how much is the stipend.
Will I be sharing the apartment? Will I live there alone? What does the apartment look like? Can I see pictures? That's what you should take away from this. Okay, those are the important things.
Questions #5: How will I travel to and from school?
All right, then let's move on to point number five. And I'm glad you're still here and paying attention, Pedro. Thank you, I appreciate that. Pedro also says, 'Facebook groups are great.' They are great. Okay, I'm glad we are on the same page. We all agree here, awesome. Okay, question number five. Once you have determined about the apartment where you'll be staying, the next question to ask would be, 'How will I travel to and from class or to and from school?' So, if they have an apartment for you that they're going to give to you, you should get an idea of how close you'll be living to the school, right? Or, if they don't give you an apartment and you need to find one yourself, make sure you ask them what kind of neighborhoods they recommend that are closed to school, so that you can have an idea. Some cities are super super big. Other cities are more compact and smaller, so you should be aware of kind of what you are getting yourself into. If you are in a more remote region, you might need to think about getting a car or a bike, a motorbike, or anything like that. You should also ask about that. And then, if you, for example, live very far away from school, or for example the school is sort of in the outskirts, except kind of outside of the city, but you prefer living closer to the city, you might want to negotiate any transportation costs or bonuses before you accept a job. This is actually very common, um, because obviously a lot of teachers don't want to live out in the boonies.
They just prefer living in the city, but then maybe you have to commute outside of the city to get to a more um, rural school. But then, in that case, in order to make them more attractive, they can possibly give you a transportation bonus. So, that's another point to consider and ask about. So, you get an idea of how big the city is and what part of the city your school will be in. You can also ask about this part right, what kind of neighborhood is the school in? What is it? What is there? Is there a big supermarket? Are there any shopping malls, etc. or not? You know, how far to the next big supermarket? How far to the next hospital? Are there any doctors nearby? These are all things you should be asking to get an idea of where you will be living and if that suits your needs and preferences. All right.
Question #6: How many international teachers are at your school?
Good and then next question, question number six, also very interesting and important: “How many International teachers are at your school or just how many teachers in general and then how many foreign teachers right?” If you're someone who's comfortable working alone or being the only foreign teacher there then great because some schools they actually only have one foreign teacher right and then all the other teachers will be local teachers from that country. So if that's something that doesn't bother you that's great, but if that's something that does bother you maybe this school is not for you then you can look for other schools, bigger schools or like chains they are likely to have several International teachers.
So when I was working, yeah I think so in Korea, again I talk about Korea a lot but I just live here that's why I know, but you can apply this to any country. Typically, like the public schools, they likely only have one foreign teacher and then this one foreign teacher teaches all of the grades English right.
This is very common whereas like international schools obviously or private language schools they will have more than one foreign teacher. That's kind of usually how it goes but also again not the norm there are exceptions but this is something you have to ask through a job interview if that's something that's important to you right and also think about if you're going to a school let's if you're going to a new country where you literally don't know anybody and then you are at a school where you're also the only foreign teacher it might be a little bit difficult then to make friends and especially if you don't speak the language yet might be challenging.
So maybe a school where they have a couple of other International teachers, teachers from other English-speaking countries or from your own country that can help you kind of break into the expat community already make friends. They will be able to show you around, they'll be able to help you with where can I buy foreign food for example or where do all the foreigners hang out in the city etc. So you will just already have like a little bit of a network there um might be easier but some people I've met many people who were the only teacher at a school and they were also great, they loved it um so it really depends on you know your preference what you prefer. So that's something to make sure during the interview and Pedro here has a really good point or good question, Pedro wants to know is it necessary to learn the local language. So it's actually not necessary to speak the local language if you want to teach English abroad in a different country okay because you're the English teacher.
So from my experience, every school that I worked for, um and I'm just gonna make myself bigger real quick, every school that I worked for they really only wanted me to speak English with the students um and it just also helps with um having the students speak English more and use English more if they at least think you don't understand their native language. Maybe you do, but if they think you don't they try harder to speak in English because they really want to tell you stuff right. They always want to tell you what they did on a weekend and what happened to them, so they really they're eager to talk to you and if they think you don't understand them they will try harder in English and not use the easy way out and use their language. However, I think that knowing a little bit of the local language before you get there will help you. So if you do like a little bit of a like a basic language course or you get yourself like a self-study book and you know at least like how to say hello and goodbye and please and thank you, that just goes a long way and will make your life there a lot easier. But I also feel like once you are there you're gonna pick up some of that local language very very easily and very fast.
Typically people when they live in a place for six months or a year they will be able to order food, they'll be able to pay for things, they'll be able to take taxis, they'll be able to um yeah to all of these basic things right. This is just something people usually just pick up very fast but it's not necessary for the job unless specifically written down in the job offer. So some schools they really want someone who can speak the language but then it will be specifically written in the job offer. So ninety percent of the time you will not actually need to speak the local language of that country if that makes sense. And then we have Samandra, Samandra says it's so amazing.
Hi Samandar, thanks for joining. I'm glad you feel that way, thank you. All right yep, so this is a good point to consider how many teachers are at your school, how many foreign teachers, where are they from and also maybe with the school but this is there might be if you ask like if they have a preference for a certain kind of English you know but then probably they would. So what I'm saying is I'm rambling. Some schools, for example, they follow like a British curriculum so they want you to only use maybe British English right but then they would only choose an interview probably teachers with British English. But at a school that I work for they actually hired English teachers, teachers from all English-speaking countries but their curriculum was very American um but they did encourage also the non-american teachers to um teach the children like their way of spelling or they their way of saying words so um I thought that was really great but some schools you know have these preferences.
So maybe that's also a good question to ask, if they have a preference, you know British English over American English or if they follow like a British curriculum, American style School, whatever. Some countries may have preferences um but yeah maybe if you're not from that country then you could ask if they if they if the school expects you to change your spelling or if you can use your spelling that you're familiar with and um if you're happy with that answer you can work at that school. If it's not really your thing maybe you should look for a different school, so something like that.
Question #7: What teaching resources are available?
All right, number seven, question number seven: what you should ask the employer before committing to the job, what teaching resources are available to me. This is a very important question and some teachers completely forget about um this question. So important to ask, will you have to plan your entire Curriculum by yourself or our lesson plans provided to you. So some schools I've worked at they actually some schools they had the whole curriculum planned out even to the day, it was exactly on this day you need to do page 32 on the next day you need to do page 33, it was all planned out to the T. Some schools you need to plan everything by yourself, so it really depends really depends. And maybe if you have a preference maybe then that school is not for you or you just know okay this is what I have to do then um you just know beforehand and also one other thing, don't assume that your employer will provide the same teaching equipment that you're used to from back home right um maybe the school doesn't have a library of books, EFL teaching related books maybe they don't have a whole library maybe don't they don't have computer labs, maybe they don't have photocopiers, maybe they don't have TVs, projectors, or even smart boards.
You know kind of figure out what does your classroom look like, what kind of teaching aids, teaching equipment will be available to me. Figure that out during the interview before you sign so that you know what you're getting yourself into and if you like to work that way. So very important maybe here also another idea if you can ask to speak with other teachers about this, you know um to get an idea, that's another way. But just making sure that you know exactly what teaching resources you will have access to in which you don't have access to it might be very different from the school you're working at at the moment right. And then you just have to kind of adjust right but just knowing that before will be a great help or maybe they have all of these and more right and then that would be also very exciting just knowing that will help you in making that decision.
Question #8: What does a typical classroom look like?
Okay and then let's have a look at question number eight. Question number eight is similar, what does the typical classroom look like. But now we're kind of looking more at the students right, what kind of students will I be teaching? How big are the classes?
Perhaps you know what types of students do do you want to teach and what types of students are you expected to teach? Think about different age groups, how old will your students be? The backgrounds, subjects, and class sizes, you know is it a very small class only like six kids or 20 kids, very different um are they all mixed mixed level or are they all um kind of taking a level test and all kids at the same level are put together um what subjects are you expected to teach you know are you only there to teach English or are you also teaching other things in English?
You should know these things um and also one important question: will there be a local co-teacher in the room with you or will you be alone in the classroom. So some schools in some countries do this very differently. In Asia a lot of times you will actually have a local co-teacher there with you at all times to kind of translate and help with classroom management kinds of things.
But in some other countries it's literally just you in the classroom and you have to figure it all out and do everything everything the classroom management, the teaching everything um so just know that you know just asking that beforehand and knowing that will help you a lot in making that decision and just knowing what again what you're getting yourself into.
I repeat myself, but that's just important. So, yeah, what does the typical classroom look like? What types of students will you teach? Ages? How big are the classes? Etc. These are all important questions that you should ask before you commit to a job.
Question #9: How are teaching arrangements determined?
And now we're going to look at question number nine: How are teaching arrangements determined? Okay, so some language schools often implement a rotational system which allows you to see your students at varying frequencies.
This means, for example, you teach this class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the other class every Tuesday and Thursday. So you have a regular schedule with the same students, or you teach your students every day, etc. But other schools have completely different systems where, for example, they run language courses that only last a couple of weeks or a couple of months, and then these students graduate and leave and you get a whole new set of students. So, one school you might be dealing with the same students over and over again, whereas at another school you might be constantly meeting new students.
Right, so you just have... again, this is personal preference. If it's important to you to make deep connections with your students and always having the same students over like the whole school year, then maybe a school where the students change a lot might not be a good fit for you. Right, but you need to ask these questions to kind of understand how this school operates before you get there. If this is something that is very important to you, that's an important question to ask.
Question #10: Can I get everything in writing?
And last question of today: Question number 10, can I get everything in writing? So, this is one of the most important questions. Once you have negotiated all the bonuses and all the other things, the most important details of your contract like the salary, the housing, paid time off, sick days, and insurance, and things like that, they should already be in the contract anyway. But if you have any additional requests, right, that you negotiate on top of all of the regular things, you need to make sure that you have that in writing as well. And so, what you can do is you can actually make these additional requests over email or just kind of when you have done these negotiations over in the interview, like face to face or like I mean I mean Zoom or Skype face to face. You can also make the same requests and send a follow-up email, so you have this in writing and you should then save the employer's response in case there is a future disagreement.
Very important, a lot of people don't do this, but you're gonna see that this is very important. Um, also from my own experience, there are some employers that promise a lot of things, but then they actually don't do it afterwards. So you always want to make sure that you have these things in writing. And if they refuse to give you that in writing, that's a big red flag because why would they refuse to do that? Um, so again, making any additional requests, we just kind of clarify these things, um, recap these things over email and saving the employer's response will be very useful if you have any future issues with that. So this is my final tip for you.
Issues with that, so this is my final tip for you. I think maybe I have some more tips on the next slide, but this is a very important one. Please don't forget to do that because then all of your negotiation and all your extra effort would be useless or wasted, right? Okay, so let's see, one last tip. I did have one last tip. Okay, so yeah, just before you sign the contract, if everything sounded good, the answers to your questions were satisfactory, and you want to sign, before you sign, just make sure you read the contract and you really understand every word, especially the fine print. And once everything has been discussed and agreed upon, it's time to accept and sign and you're good to go. And in order to make sure that you understand your contract and everything, where is that slide? I had one more.
No, I because I have one more video for you guys where I go over exactly these things and how to read your contract because I've done that before in a live session and I want to share that with you guys as well, so you can watch that and you can learn exactly what to watch out for before you sign. And we talk about the fine print, we talk about all of those things in this live session. So I just shared that with you guys in the comments, looks like this: Teaching contracts, what to watch out for before you sign. This would be a great video to watch after this, um, to really look at the fine print if you haven't seen that yet. Very important, so go ahead and check that out. And then we are in Q&A now. Let's see, we are one hour in. Like I said, it takes between 45 minutes and one hour, and now we have a couple more minutes to answer some of your guys's questions about TEFL, about teaching, about going abroad to teach, teaching online, whatever you want to know. I still have a couple of minutes because I still have a little bit of my drink left, so until that's gone, I'm gonna stay here and I'm gonna answer your questions if you have any. Let me know.
Let me know your questions, or if anything was not clear what I talked about today. Also let me know maybe let me know, but um yeah, just knowing what to ask during an interview because we all get so nervous obviously during interviews and then maybe we forget. So maybe it's a good idea to kind of write down these questions. I always do that. Um yeah, okay. Daniel said, 'I found number seven and number 10 very important to keep in mind.' Oh, I want to show you all what he said: 'I found number seven and number 10 very important to keep in mind. It really pushes us to do our research before accepting any job position.' Yeah, so number 10 was um just now what we had, yeah, can I get everything in writing? Absolutely, very important. And number seven, yes, what teaching resources are available to me? That's also very important.
Right, easily we easily forget these things for sure. So what I recommend, I think it it looks like Daniel did that, writing everything down. If you do that, and then you keep like a list, a checklist in front of you during the interview, it will help you not forget asking anything. That's always a good idea. That's also what I do during interviews or any important like phone calls or something, I always write that down, and so I don't forget because I do forget a lot. So, and when we are in an interview again, we we get very nervous and we just forget these things. And so writing it down, having it in front of you, or if you're just more of an online person, you know, having it in front of you like on a document, Google doc or whatever, um, can be a good way to go, or on your phone, the notes, something like that. Great. All right, any other questions or comments? Thank you, Danielle, for sharing which ones you, which points you like the best. I appreciate that. Let me know your question again. We have Q&A now, so um, let me know what you're curious about. Um, oh, all yours now for answering your questions. I'm just gonna see in the comments now if I have missed anybody's comment. I don't think I have. All looks good. Okay. Good. If I missed your question, I don't see it here. Um, just let me know and ask it again. Oh, Leterg is here. Hi, Leterg. So informative, thank you so much, Linda, for your tips. I'm quite late. All tips are nice. I like number 10. Awesome. Great. Happy Friday. Happy Friday to you too. Again, number 10 was can I get everything in writing? Very important tip, right, very important tip. So all your negotiating didn't go to waste.
You need to have it in writing. It only counts if you have it in writing. Unfortunately, unless you could, I guess, voice record perhaps, but again, writing is just better. Oh, Pedro says I am to take 220 hours ITT course. Congratulations! Are you getting ready? You already applied for it if not. You can use the 30 off opportunity Pedro, or maybe if you want to take an additional course, you can do 30 off.
Right, I'm just going to share that with you guys again. I know we have a lot of new watchers right now, I think a lot of new viewers. So, um, if you haven't heard, we do have a 30 off discount. You can either scan this QR code to get your 30 off, or I also have a 30 off link for you. You can just copy and paste this link. It looks like this and it ends with Facebook live minus Linda, and you get 30 off any TEFL or TESOL cores with ITT today. Very special, we only share these 30 off discounts during our live sessions, so you will not find this anywhere else. This is only during the live sessions. Awesome! Okay, ask me your questions, guys. Oh, patriots's I will start in October. Cool. Well, congratulations. This is also the course that I took, the 220 hour course. I think it's the best one, really. Um, for especially for beginning teachers. Yeah, yeah. Great. Danielle says, yeah, I didn't even consider what kind of English teaching materials they could provide us with once we accept the job. Exactly. But it really depends on the school. Many schools have their own. Some schools even have their own books that they especially like. The big chain schools, they have their own books, um, that they like, print.
The school that I worked for, it was a very, very big chain and they have their own like headquarters and they make their own books for every single subject. So, some have their own materials, while some um, obviously use other books like Oxford, Cambridge, um, any other like books, English books, so. And also like the the resources, some might have like these interactive boards and a computer lab and like a big library, while some smaller schools might not have that. So it's important to know, it's important important to know for you what you're getting yourself into, right, what how to plan your lessons, what is available to you. Very important. Great.
All right, couple more minutes. I'm here for your questions and your comments, so let's get some final questions in before I sign off, but I really enjoyed today's session. I hope you did too. So, thank you so much for being here today and taking some time out of your day, and I really appreciate all of you guys who are really staying here from beginning to end. This is so awesome. Daniel and Pedro, I know you've been watching the whole time. Um, so thank you so much for that. It's really, really nice.
Also Amitava, I think, was here the whole time. So, thank you so much. All right, Daniel says, "Is it possible for foreigners to get the Korean nationality after working for about let's say 10 years as an employee?" Yes, you can actually do that. So, um, there's different ways of doing that. You actually don't even need to wait 10 years. Um, obviously these regulations, again, they change all the time. Um, but you can do it after five years, even after five years and there is a point system. So, you get points like the more points you have, the better and the easier it is for you. So, if you speak Korean, you get points. If you had any education in Korea, you get points. Also depends on what kind of job you have, you get some points. You get points if you like own property, um, also like if you have your own business, something like that, you get points. 10 years, it's possible and you can actually become a Korean citizen. Yeah, you can do that. It's possible in Korea. Good question.
Okay, let's see if we can have one more final question of today and then I'm gonna sign off. Let's see who will be the last person to ask a question today, or maybe we're all satisfied. We don't have any open questions, that's all right too. I'm just gonna wait a little bit. There's always a delay, you know, between me talking and then you guys hearing it. It's about a 20 second, 30 second delay, so that's why I'm always kind of waiting here a little bit. All right, we have Amitava saying "Thanks a lot Linda for all of your deep insights and thoughtful research into the nitty-gritty of each live session questionnaire." Thank you, I appreciate it. I always try to make it as informative as possible and to really go down deep into the nitty-gritty and um also share my own experience. Again, this is my own experience. Everybody has other experiences as well. Um, they can differ from country to country and even in the country, obviously, many different schools, many different employers. So um, this is just my personal experience and things that I think are important and also what we hear, you know, from other employers and other teachers. So, I try to bring everything into these live sessions to make this as comprehensive and um useful as possible. Thank you Amitabha.
All right, well, if you guys leave a question after this live session is over, we will still get back to you in the comments. So, don't you worry and also just want to share this again. You can email us at any time. Where's the email address here at courses at teso minus tefl.com. Send us an email if you have any questions that are course related, ITT related, teaching abroad or online related. Feel free to ask away, and again, if you want, you can hold on, you can reach out to me directly via DM on Instagram, um, at Linda goes east if you have a question you don't want to ask here in front of everybody. Totally cool, you can just let me know and I will get back to you as well. Pedro says, "I just want to say it is a wonderful introduction. I have more information about teaching in foreign countries."
Thank you very much, thank you Pedro. That is so nice of you to say. I really appreciate that, and it was really nice seeing you here today, Pedro, from Costa Rica. Thank you. All right then, I think it's time for me to go. Thank you guys. I appreciate you so much. I know there are a lot of people who come here every single day, and not every single day, every single week, every single week, and, like Daniel here too, who says, "Same here, I'm always grateful for being able to learn from your experience. Thank you Linda." And I'm grateful that you guys are here and you want to listen. You know, I really appreciate it. That's why I'm doing these live sessions. Um, I think we're just really a really cool community. I'm really excited to come on here every week and to see you guys and talk with you guys and hear what you have to say, and we make some jokes and we grow to be this TEFL family, like I always say. So, thank you so much and I hope you guys um come back here next week. We will be talking about another cool topic.
And yeah, thank you again for being here and I hope you all have a wonderful day and wonderful weekend as well. I hope Daniel and all the people in Mexico will be safe from the earthquakes. I'm sorry to hear that, and the rain in Costa Rica and everywhere else. I hope you stay safe and I hope to see you all again next week. Thank you guys. And then I'm gonna sign off. Let's see. Where's my... Oh, there's so much to do here with this program. Okay, got it all right. Signing off now. Thank you and have a great weekend. See you next week. Bye bye. Thank you.