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How to teach abroad but still pay student loans/bills in U.S.


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I've been seriously considering taking a teaching job in China or Taiwan. I majored in Physics/Math and studied Mandarin for two years. Loved both. I've been trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with my degree, but feel really stuck in a job I took just to pay the bills, I send out resumes but the job market is still pretty tight, and as time goes on I feel like I'm getting further and further from making it happen. I taught labs and small lectures in college, and had the best time doing it. I also miss speaking Mandarin and would love to learn more about the culture.


Issue is: I have a good amount of student loans/small amount of credit card bills that I have to keep up on. Just the little bit of research on teaching jobs I've done, I've seen all sorts of different pay ranges/benefits. Best case, I would actually make good money (comparable to U.S.) and get a free living situation. So I can see how paying bills from abroad would work. But I really want to know what the norm is when it comes to the entire teaching abroad experience.


I would really like some examples/stories/anecdotes from folks who have gone overseas and were still able to pay off bills. Things to consider? Things to avoid? How to plan ahead? Anyone been able to make it work? Every little bit of advice would be welcome. Thanks!

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Best case scenario if you teach in China or Taiwan without a specific teaching degree and 3+ years of experience is that (unless your lucky/have connections/have some insane skill set) you get to work for one of the lower-middle end schools and probably make a semi decent wage to live, eat and play with a bit of travel to surrounding countries thrown in. Also your accommodation will most likely be partially paid for but without a teaching degree it's unlikely it will be fully paid for unless you are with a good school.

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What I've heard from acquaintances is that Japan offers decent money, maybe you should check out that. I taught a few years abroad, but paying off my loans was a struggle, and sometimes impossible. If you could get work with the British Council or AmidEast, that's one way forward, I think they pay decent wages.

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