[Video] Teaching English In Asia - TEFL Facebook Live

Teaching English In Asia - TEFL Facebook Live

Salaries, job markets, TEFL certification & classes... International TEFL Academy Advisors talk about their English teaching experience in Asia. Watch them share tips and advice about teaching English in South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Thailand!



Here is a transcription of the video: 

Erin: Hi, everyone, this is International TEFL Academy. My name is Erin. I'm a student affairs advisor here at International TEFL Academy and I am with my colleagues, admissions advisors, and student affairs. We're gonna be talking to you today a little bit about teaching in Asia. I spent three years, over three years in Hong Kong myself. A lot of my colleagues have been all over Asia. We're really excited to talk to you as well as bringing a little bit of a spin about the Winter Olympics. So, we're so excited to get some questions from you, so feel free to ask any questions that you'd like. Like I said, I'm gonna go 'head and start introducing some of my colleagues. We're gonna start over here with Jeff.

Jeff: Hi, my name is Jeff. I am an admissions advisor and I help to manage the admissions team a bit here. I taught in South Korea for a little over two years many years back and I've been here for about seven years.

Teaching English in Asia China

Amanda: Hi, guys, I'm Amanda. I'm an admissions advisor here at ITA. I am also a member of the ambassador department. I taught in China in the northeast, in Yantai for two years. So, I'm excited to talk to you guys about China.

Erika: Hey, everyone, I'm Erika. I am also a student affairs advisor here at ITA. I lived and taught in Bangkok for four years and then I came back to Chicago and taught a little bit here as well and then been at ITA for about a year and a half.

Tyler: I'm Tyler, I'm an admission advisor here. I also taught in Hong Kong where I was lucky enough to meet a friend that wanted to work with me twice believe it or not so I now am here. Would love to talk about a lot of things.

Rose: Hi, everybody, I'm Rose. I'm also in the student affairs department. I taught in South Korea, in Seoul for a little over two years at a private academy called the Hagwon and worked with elementary aged students.

Andrew: Hi, guys, my name is Andrew. I am an admission advisor here at ITA as well. Just like Rose, I taught in South Korea except I was in the southern part of the country in Busan. So, we'll kind of talk about the differences there later on, but it's a really great place to be, for sure.

Teaching English in Asia Korea

Chelsea: And I'll wrap it up, I'm Chelsea. I taught in the middle of nowhere in Japan in a city called Kochi for two years with the JET program. I taught at two different high schools and after I came back I joined the team here at ITA. I'm one of the admissions advisors.

Erin: Great, well thank you guys for joining us. We're really excited. For those of you just tuning in, we're ITA, International TEFL Academy. Today we are talking about teaching in Asia with a spin on the Olympics because as we know, right now the Winter Olympics are currently happening in Pyeongchang. I hope that's right for those of you who taught in Korea, okay.

I love the Olympics and what's really exciting is actually the next two Olympics are going to be held in Asia. The next ones are going to be in 2020 in Tokyo, the Summer Olympics and then right after that, the next Winter Olympics are back in Beijing. They did the Summer Olympics back in 2008, I think. So if you're interested in the Olympics, interested in Asia, this round table discussion is going to be great, alright 

So, guys we're going to go ahead and jump into some of our questions. Like I said, let's talk a little bit about sports. So, right off the bat I am looking at Rose. Rose, you're wearing something interesting, can you tell me what you're wearing and why you are wearing this? What's the national sport of Korea?

Teach English In Asia - TEFL

Rose: So, I think the actual national sport of Korea is Taekwondo, but that's beside the point. When I was living in Korea, I got really, almost to an embarrassing amount, got really into Korean baseball. I don't know, if you haven't been to Korea, you might not be familiar with it. It differs from American baseball in many ways. There is a large emphasis on the audience participation. Each individual player has particular songs that you sing for them, there's cheerleaders, there's a cheer master, it's this whole big thing and it's a lot of fun.

I became a big fan of the Doosan Bears which is the jersey that I'm wearing right now. My favorite player, Kim Hyun-soo actually got signed with the MLB the year I returned to the United States, so I continue to follow him in the MLB. But, I just got super into it. I even entered a Korean speech contest and did a five minute speech on my obsession with the Doosan Bears and my obsession with Korean Baseball.

Andrew: In Korean.

Rose: In Korean, yes, ending up winning that. So, like I said, I had taken it to a level that is slightly embarrassing, but it's amazing and I encourage anyone that's in Korea to go to a baseball game for sure.

Teaching English in Asia Japan

Jeff: Instead of hotdogs, you can get octopus.

Erin: Fried?

Rose: The food is, yeah, interesting.

Andrew: And you can also bring your own food to the games which is also different than in the US too, save a bit of money.

Erin: Awesome, that's awesome. How 'bout you Erika in Thailand?
What is the official sport of Thailand?

Erika: So, I think it's Muay Thai which is a form of boxing and it's actually super, super cool to go watch. I actually tried a Muay Thai class once. And the guy just really took me for a spin. So, if you decide to try a Muay Thai class in Thailand, don't wear your glasses. Dress appropriately and, yeah, it's a lot of fun. The fights are cool to watch and there's a lot of like, kind of like a religious type of spiritual element to it as well.

Erin: That's awesome, that's awesome. So, kind of switching gears, has anyone here participated in a sport abroad? Were you on a team or do anything while you were teaching abroad?

Having Fun As An English Teacher in Korea
Andrew: I played on a soccer team while I was in Busan. It was actually for the city just north of Busan 'cause that's where my friend was playing, so I played on a team and I traveled to a different city in Korea about, it was in the second half of when I was there, so I played just about one season, but it was a lot of fun. It was cool, a mix of foreigners, Koreans, mostly Koreans, but our team was mostly foreigners so it was a good chance to sort of play against some Korean people.

Erin: Awesome, anyone else?

Tyler: I played basketball in a basketball league and then I tried to play pick up soccer games, but was told I couldn't play in the competitive leagues. So, was not good enough for the Hong Kong soccer league.

Erin: Awesome, really cool. So, I'm gonna be coming back asking you guys a little bit more about the Winter Olympics in the end, but let's kind of jump into teaching in Asia, 'cause obviously, that's what we all did and all of us for a couple years which is pretty cool. So, Chelsea, how did you choose Japan or how did Japan choose you?

Living in Korea As a Professional English Teacher
Chelsea: It was kind of random, actually. I just, one day I Googled "interesting things to do with an English degree" and the Jet Program specifically came up. And at the time, I wasn't super sure how to actually go about teaching abroad and they did a really good job of organizing it and telling me what I needed to do. So, I got my TEFL certificate and I applied to it and it was a really long process, but eventually they told me where I was gonna end up and the city that I was in, I Googled it, and it only came up in India because it doesn't exist in Japan.

And when I got there and I traveled around, people would ask, "What are you doing here?" 

"I'm an English teacher."


And I said, "Kochi." And they're like, "Why?" 

But I loved it, it was a lot of fun. I got to work with high school students and I have no regrets. I had a fantastic time in Japan.

Teaching English in Asia Thailand

Erin: That's awesome. So, switching gears over to Amanda, you kind of have an interesting story of where you taught. How did you find your job and where did you teach in China?

Amanda: So, I taught in China and ended up teaching in a Korean high school in China. It's an hour away by flight from Seoul, so a lot of Koreans go over to China to study there. It helps them get into college. I found the job, actually, through Googling things online. I did not know very much, similar to Chelsea, and started Googling. And if you Google online, you'll find lots of recruiters. Some of them are legit, some of them are not, which was my experience.

My high school was great. It was super fun and interesting to get the Korean side and the Chinese side. However, I didn't get a choice of where I was teaching or really any kind of decision of how I was teaching or my hours or my contracts, so that kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but it didn't ruin my experience.

Erin: Well, that's good. I'm glad that you still had a good experience as well. And something here at International TEFL Academy, we actually do provide job search guidance. We don't do any sort of placement because we want you to be able to choose where you wanna go, see what your hours are going to be and so we actually have two alumnis sitting with us today, both Rose and Andrew took our online course and then went abroad to teach in Korea. So, can you kind of tell me what your process was like with the online course, finding a job?

Teaching English in Asia Japan - Life As a Teacher

Andrew: Yeah, sure. So, while I was taking my online course, I used one of the recruiters that ITA recommends. They have a, we have have a list of preferred recruiters that we know are good that our students had good experiences with, me being one of those students. So, I entered with her, you know. She was great. She really got a feel for what I wanted, what kind of, where I wanted to be, what aged students I wanted to work with, what was really important to me with this whole experience and what my job was and then from there, she lined up some interviews for me, you know, some in Seoul, some in Busan.

You know, she was more than helpful, and you know, from there, I pretty much took it myself and ended up signing to the school in Busan and that was it. It was very, very smooth. You know, I didn't have to worry about being at a school where, you know, something's gonna go wrong because of you know, the help I had with ITA and I knew that I could trust this recruiter who I was working with.

Erin: Fantastic, and Rose I know you kind of utilized all of the resources here at ITA as well starting with the student affairs department which you are now in. Can you kind of tell us about that experience?

Rose: Yeah, so, what I think is really nice about, ITA's job search guidance and like Erin said, speaking from someone who used it as a student, I love that they provide you with all the resources that you need to be able to do it on your own successfully. So, like Erin emphasized and like Amanda talked about, you're not getting placed. You're not having decisions made for you, you're just being provided with all of the resources that you need to make appropriate decisions while you're being well-informed. 

Teaching English in Asia, China - TEFL
So, when I was working with student affairs, they had mentioned, "Hey, here's some recruiters that we recommend," like Andrew said, and I looked into a couple of them. I even did a little bit of research and looked into some additional recruiters that weren't on the list. And, you know, what I found is that you'll tell a recruiter what you're looking for and they'll either say, "Yes, we have it" or "No, we don't" and just because they don't have it doesn't mean that another recruiter's not going to have it.

They'll tell you, "Oh, you can't find that in Seoul." And I originally came back to my student affairs advisor and said, "Oh, the recruiter says they can't find this in Seoul," and my student affairs advisor, being knowledgeable and amazing was like, "Well, you know, just so you know, each recruiter has a specific group of schools that they work with, so maybe they don't specifically have what you're looking for, but don't take what that recruiter says as true for the entire city. So, continue to look at other recruiters" and work with a multitude to make sure that you're getting, you're being exposed to all the different opportunities that you can."

And so, I really appreciated that sort of insight along with a lot more during the entire process of finding work.

Erin: Okay, great. So, for those of you tuning in, like I said, we're International TEFL Academy. We're doing a roundtable discussion on teaching English in Asia and I kinda switched gears to some funny moments in classes because we all know that they happen. My good friend Tyler over here has a pretty funny story about what happened in class.

Traveling While Teaching English in Asia China

Tyler: So, when I was in school, I was known, I guess as a student that would make comments, like side comments and stuff. And the teacher would always yell at me and be like, "Tyler, if you have something to share, share it with the class." It was always embarrassing. I had to like come up with something and lie. So, I thought I would bring that to Hong Kong and it was a kindergarten class and I'm up there teaching and I hear these, you know, two students, these two girls, they were like whispering and laughing and I go,

"Okay, Cherry, in that moment, if you've got something to say, you need to say it for the whole class." Like what are you guys talking about?

And she stood up and goes like, "Well, my friend Hannah, here, thinks that your handsome."

And I was like, "Oh, that's a nice comment."

She goes, "However, I think you're too short and too weak to be handsome, so I said you're not." And I went home, I was like through. So, don't ever ask them what they're talking about.

ESL Classroom in Asia Korea

Erin: You're perfect as you are Tyler.

Tyler: That's all I needed today.

Erin: On my left, Erika also has a pretty funny moment that happened in class. Disclaimer, something gross might be happening.

Erika: Yes, this is a poop story. So, I taught kindergarten as well. And this class was about maybe 30, 35 students. I was teaching, I had a Thai teacher and then an assistant Thai teacher as well. And I was teaching at the front and I came to realize due to my senses that it smelled like poop.

And I was like, "Oh gosh, okay, well, someone clearly pooped themselves." So, I broke it down to the kids and I was like, "Guys, who pooped?" They just sat there and they were sitting on the ground. And I was like whatever's happening in there isn't gonna be good 'cause you're sitting on the ground.

Exploring Asian Food While Teaching English Abroad

And I was like, "Who pooped?" No one says anything. "Okay, if you pooped, just go." No one moves. So, then the Thai teacher and the assistant teacher just start going up to the kids and just checking the bums to figure out who pooped. And the kids were all mortified because it was like, "I didn't poop" and the Thai teacher's like, "I have to check." And so, they found the one that pooped and when he stood up a mess was made. So, I was like, everybody outside, get outside, cause we had to clean it. So, you know, Thai teacher takes the kid to the bathroom to clean the child and I'm there with the other Thai teacher trying to clean the classroom. The kids are like on a rampage in the hallway, like, "Poo-poo!"

And then I get it all cleaned up, they come back in, and then I think it might have been like a day or two later, I was looking at my phone and the kids had taken my cell phone, gone out into the hallway and their rampage was actually just them taking selfies of each other. So, I had like all these cute selfies of like these monsters they were like on benches, it was really cute.

Teaching English in Thailand

Erin: That's awesome. And you still have those pictures today?

Erika: Absolutely, yeah.

Erin: And so, a funny moment with a nice keepsake at the end. Very good. So, switching gears kind of again. Obviously, there's some amazing things about teaching abroad. We all know that. Jeff, what was one of the best moments that happened while you were teaching?

Jeff: Best moments while I was teaching? You know, I feel like everyday, especially because I was teaching kids anywhere from five years old to 11 years old, there would be a student that would make your heart melt. And so, sometimes, they would say things that you know you taught them, so I don't know if there's one specific moment, but knowing that you had an impact on a six year old and you clearly taught them something because there's no way that anyone else would have said a certain phrase, having moments like that, getting to experience that and seeing that you had that impact was pretty awesome.

Teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand

Erin: I love those little moments. I remember I'd say, "Oh, my" in class so I had a three year old who just kept saying, "Oh, my!" when anything would ever happen. I learned I needed to tone that down. I still do it, but "Oh, my." Those little moments are definitely something that you will always treasure. And so, with that, obviously teaching isn't always glamorous, it's not roses, sometimes it's poop. Amanda, was there any situations that were tough or a rough situation while you were teaching or just teaching in China in general?

Amanda: So, specifically teaching in my classroom. Of course, when you're teaching students who don't speak English as their first language, there can be a lot of frustrations and I remember I was teaching Korean students and I had little, little ones. They were about five years old and the cutest things. And we were singing songs in one of the afterschool programs and this student couldn't get the song. So, all of the students were singing, they just couldn't pick up those words in English.

Tears start forming and it breaks your heart because they're trying and the other kids are getting it and this poor little girl just couldn't get the words and tears ensued and, you know, it's then hard to manage the students that are doing well and then the student who was breaking down and it breaks your heart when you see them wanting to try and failing.

Erin: Definitely, definitely. And so, obviously outside of the classroom, there are some tough situations just when you are in a foreign country, language barriers, visa, paperwork, things like that. I know Chelsea had quite the time figuring out all of her paperwork.

Exploring While Teaching English in Asia, China

Chelsea: The visa, I think for me, was one thing, but I think my most challenging paperwork or kind of bureaucracy thing was I actually got a driver's license in Japan. And I had only expected to be there for a year. And on a year, you can drive on a international license, but I loved it so much that I stayed a second year and like I said, I was in the middle of nowhere so I had a car, I learned how to drive on the opposite side of the road and after a year they said you have to get a Japanese driver's license. And the test is done completely in Japanese and they don't tell you why you fail.

So, it's not a test of driving, it's just this random test of memorization around a course where you have to memorize 10 minutes of driving and it's like drive straight 30 meters, then turn left, then go through this thing that has chimes and don't hit any of the chimes and you have to turn your blinker on and when you got in the car, it was like you have to put your seatbelt on and then check your passenger or else you get points docked off in this really specific way.

So, I failed it four times. And every time, they give you, they called it their one point advice, like literally in English, one point. And one of my one point advices once was just to relax and this was like on the third time I failed and I was like, "I can't relax!" The fourth time I passed it and I was just like hysterically crying and while I'm like getting my little picture taken and getting the license.

I see two of my colleagues who are Canadian and British just filling out paperwork 'cause for their countries, you can just transfer it. But all the Americans because all of our states have different regulations for how you pass it, they're like, "We don't know, you know, you guys just have to do the driver's test." I was like, so angry, but I kept it. I still have it in my little keepsake box and it's one of my most prized possessions. It was very difficult to get.

Andrew: You earned that.

Chelsea: I earned it.

ESL Teacher In China

Erin: Fourth time's the charm, in Japan, at least. Awesome, yes, some really great stories. Guys, like I said, if you are just tuning in, we're International TEFL Academy, we are a TEFL certification school. We have over 20,000 alumni. Every year we teach and certify over 5,000 alumni. We have classes online, onsite here in Chicago. That's where our headquarters is. We have two alumni right here.

We also have over 20 locations around the world. If you have any questions, please feel free to type them in the chat box. We are going to be doing some questions in just a little bit. But like I said, if you're just tuning in, we're talking about teaching in Asia. So, Jeff, kind of switching back to teaching, what is one tip or give some advice for teaching in Korea.

Jeff: Well, for the teaching aspect of things, something that I had to really learn and experience when working with children, one of the keys is patience because you can't, every kid learns at their own pace and they are on their own timeline and you can't force things with kids and so if there's one thing that I would suggest for people to embrace for teaching children and just teaching abroad in general, patience, and that's something, if there's one thing that I learned a lot when I was teaching abroad, it was the effectiveness of patience.

Erin: Definitely, that's really important to have especially when teaching kids even if English is their first language. So, imagine these students are native speakers of a different language, patience is really important. How about for you Amanda, about teaching in China, what's one tip of advice you'd give?

Food in Asia Korea While Teaching English

Amanda: For teaching in China, I would say, keep an open mind as far as teaching goes. There's just lots of different experiences in the classroom, you kind of have to learn about traditions and culture so that you are not saying something that goes against some of their beliefs or some of their traditions. Obviously, you wanna learn about maybe some of those things before you go, so that, you don't offend either students or offend some of the teachers as well.

Erin: Definitely, great.  And Tyler, I'm kinda scared to ask, what is one tip of advice that you'd give to those who want to teach in Hong Kong?

Tyler: Just be okay with the kids being smarter than you. I mean, that, that's okay. I gave a lesson on dinosaurs once. I walked out of that classroom with so many notes of things I learned, incredible. Don't worry about it, they know their stuff.

Erin: That is awesome, that's awesome. Alright guys, so it's kind of debate time. So, first, I'm gonna start off with these three in South Korea. Okay, we have two who taught in Seoul and one who taught in Busan. Which one's better?

Rose: Seoul.

Jeff: It's as simple as that.

Rose: Come on, next question.

Korea English Teaching Market

Jeff: It's clearly the top choice. It's the largest city in South Korea. It's got so much energy. It's a city that never sleeps. There's--

Andrew: Some people like to sleep, though.

Rose: Are you saying in Busan you slept the whole time?

Andrew: On the beach, under the sun, you know? The whole time.

Rose: That sounds so bad for your health.

Jeff: A cosmopolitan city, just a place I really enjoyed living in and I also know people that visited Seoul really enjoyed their experience there.

Rose: I obviously agree. I grew up in a really small town. Living in Seoul was kind of my first foray into city life which at the time didn't really seem like that big of a deal and I actually didn't realize it until way after the fact, but having Seoul as my first big city, I kind of got spoiled by it because it's huge, like Jeff said, it's huge, but it's incredibly safe, like ridiculously safe. Just like, you leave your cell phone at a restaurant, three days later, like, they're gonna have it for you. You know, different things like that. Crime's really low, the subway system is so extensive.

So, you're in this big city, but where I was actually living and teaching, I was one of the few foreigners. So, I also felt like I was getting immersed in the culture. I didn't feel like I was necessarily around a lot of expats, however, like two subway stops away, I could go to either Itaewon or Hongdae and those were great places to hang out with a lot of expats and a lot of different places to have fun and meet new people. So, there's just so many different options within that city.

You can get hole in the wall, Korean traditional food that's fantastic. You can go and get food from South Africa and food from Hungary and Bulgaria and all this, so you just have everything at your fingertips. That's what I really loved about Seoul.

Teaching English in Asia Japan

Erin: Any rebuttal?

Andrew: I'm not gonna sit here and bash Seoul because Seoul is an incredible city. I mean, I spent weekends taking the train just two and a half hours from Busan to Seoul. I mean, it's a very small country. You can literally go from one end to the other in 2-3 hours, but Busan's just a little bit smaller. It's still a city of about 3 million people so it's not like it's a small city by any stretch and you have the ocean. I think this is one of the biggest parts of Busan at least that I liked, is that you have the beach and you've got the ocean, the beaches are great. It's beautiful, people hang out there.

There's a lot of bars and restaurants, you know, sort of in these neighborhoods by the beach and it's just not quite as overwhelming. I mean, you look at the subway map of Seoul and you're like holy crap, this is like so much. And then Busan's is just a bit smaller. It's not that it's a small city, but it's just toned down a bit. And you can also go visit Seoul anytime and I think vice versa as well so, you know, either, wherever you decide to be, I think it's important that you do visit other parts of Korea because it does have a lot to offer. So, that was kind of my easy way out there.

Rose: I agree with you. I did a lot of exploring within the country itself. Some of the islands, some different areas. I spent time in Busan and they have a great beer, Galmegi Brewing, in Busan, so...

Andrew: Grab beer, come see Korea.

Rose: Yeah.

Traveling in Asia Japan

Erin: Well, I can't decide, so I'll let the audience decide. I'm gonna be partial. Alright, so in about 30 seconds guys, I want you to tell me why someone should choose to teach in your country. I want you to sell me and the people watching. Alright, and we're gonna start with Thailand.

Tyler: I thought she said, "Tyler."

Erika: Well, Thailand, I mean, a lot of people watching this have probably already decided that they're going to Thailand because it's by far the most popular destination I talk to people about on the phone right now. That might be because of me. The thing about Thailand is, you have the beaches, you have the cities, but the beaches are pristine.

The islands are unbelievable. You have scuba diving which people do, I didn't. You can sit on a beach for hours and hours and hours. People will bring you food. You can eat the most amazing seafood you've ever had. And then, you jump on an overnight train or a plane, and you're in the mountains.

And all throughout Thailand you just have this consistency of culture that is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. Thai people are the most generous people I've ever met. They will invite you into their homes. They will cook for you. You will make signs at them because you can't speak to them, but you'll have the most beautiful friendship regardless.

Teaching English in Asia Thailand

I spent four years there. I was originally planning on spending six months and I think that says something. Also, you can get paid a good amount of money. I was able to pay back my student loans while I was teaching. Mind you, I was on whatever lowest plan humanly possible at the time. You're not gonna make a ton of cash, but I made enough where I could travel, do cool things and meet some amazing people. If you dig kind of a rasta like reggae vibe, chill, Thailand is for you and really just whoever you are, Thailand is probably for you.

Tyler: Thirty seconds, huh?

Erika: You got somethin' to say, Tyler?

Tyler: Yeah, I'm going the exact same time.

Erin: Alright, well then I guess that's good. Why Hong Kong, Tyler?

Tyler: Well, let me tell you Erin. If you're anything like me or if you're probably not, but it's very important to have options and choices, like whatever it is you do. Like maybe you love the beach, but do you want to spend everyday at the beach? Like taking a two-hour ride to this huge city? I mean, that's cool, but that's two hours. Thailand, the beaches are pristine, but you were quite away from them, right? Or overnight train to the mountains, Hong Kong, you can literally within probably an hour you're, I'll go 30 minutes, you're at the beach, you can surf, you can hike the mountains, you can spend all day swimming, you can go to the islands, you can do cultural things.

If you wanna go see Buddha temples, you wanna go see all of that, you want to go get pizza, you wanna go get Mexican food, it's all right there. Great, they have a cat café which is pretty amazing. I think it's called like, Meow, Meow, Meow or something like that, but basically you go and like, you get to speak to the cats. You're like, "Meow." It's crazy, so they have like literally everything you need. You don't have to leave the city. You can get around Asia, it's fantastic, Google it.

Teaching English in Asia Thailand

Erika: Erin, can we get a fact check? Facebook, can we get a fact check on the name of that cat café?

Tyler: It was something like that.

Erin: Awesome, Chelsea.

Chelsea: Well, if you're into cat cafés, per capita, Japan has the most.

Tyler: Fact check that, 

Jeff: It's probably true.

Chelsea: I think, you know, a lot of these countries are similar in that you can do a lot of things, there's beaches, there's mountains, they're all in the same part of the world so there's similar topography. For Japan, I think something that makes it different is the culture. It just has such as interesting, unique culture, and living there changed the way that I saw things. It was like this big picture thing? Japanese people are so appreciative of so many things.

They're appreciative if you're in a store, they're appreciative of you as their customer and you get this insane level of customer service that just spoiled me rotten. When I came back I was like, "Why is this person being so rude to me at the airport?"

They weren't, they were just being a regular person, but they weren't, like, you know, you go to the convenience store and order, like get a burrito and they would, you'd hand it to them and they'd be like, "Is it okay if I heat this up for you?" And you're like, "Well, sure" and they're like "Is it okay if I cut the corner of it?" And then they'll like, you know, jazz it all up, and they'll give you all these things with it, and they'll apologize for taking too long and like bring it to you in your car and just do crazy stuff.

Teaching English in Asia China

Tyler: That's so great.

Chelsea: And I just, you know, you felt very, very appreciative of that and then it's like all year round. When the seasons change, they're so appreciative of their country and what they have and they'll go out and look at cherry blossoms and then the leaves change and in the fall season, my landlord made me take a day off of work so he could bring me out to the most beautiful part of the area that had all the fall leaves changing and, like, we had this beautiful meal.

You just spend like three hours eating and it's all arranged, it looks like art. It doesn't even look like food. And having those experiences just made me appreciative of being able to travel and you know, speaking English. Like, that was what allowed me to go have that experience, that I got to go teach it and I really loved that how it made me so appreciative of life and like the little things and just slowing things down a little bit.

Erika: I kinda wanna go teach in Japan.

Tyler: 'Cause she went over the 30 seconds to tell you why.

Erin: And Amanda, why China?

Teaching English in Asia China

Amanda: Saving the best for last, right?

Erin: Of course.

Amanda: One word, two words, street food. So, in China, they have the best street food and everything comes on a stick. So, meat on a stick, bread on a stick, fruit on a stick, potatoes on a stick, beer in a bag so you can walk with the beer, and noodles in a bag. Everything is mobile and it's everywhere and it's ridiculously inexpensive and it's delicious. So, I think that alone, you should go to China for. But going along kind of with what Chelsea said as far as the way that it makes you look at the world. The Chinese people are very much about mind, body, and spirit and I really like the way that they integrate that in their daily lives with Tai Chi and just the way they look at things. They integrate that in the school systems and how you teach and how you speak with children. So, I really liked that kind of slower, more paying attention to who you are kind of vibe that China offers.

Erin: Awesome, well I hope for those watching, you guys have an idea of what it's like teaching in these countries. I'm ready to go to all of them, even back to Hong Kong.

Teaching English in Asia China

Rose: I have one quick thing about Korea, just because it seemed like a popular topic. There are cat cafés in Korea, whatever, but guess what, we also had raccoon cafés and sheep cafés.

Erika: Sheep? Did you say sheep?

Rose: Yeah, sheep, and like wedding dress cafés, if you're like the type of person who wants to go in and just like wear a wedding dress while you sip your tea. I mean, they have every type of café.

Tyler: Is this just called an alley? Where were you going to eat?

Rose: It's a café.

Tyler: Somewhere that had wedding dresses?

Hong Kong English Teaching Market

Rose: Anyways, they have every type of café that you'd ever want. They have like 50 Hello, Kitty cafés if that's you're thing. I mean, they've got everything. So, if we're talking about cafés, I'm just saying.

Erin: Alright, well, we're gonna wrap up pretty soon, but I said that we would get back to the Olympics obviously to give nod to the Pyeonchang Olympics and the Olympics that will be in Tokyo in the summer in 2020 and the winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022. So, one word, Jeff, what's your favorite winter Olympics sport?

Jeff: Snowboarding.

Erin: Alright, Amanda?

Amanda: Curling.

Erin: Woo, okay.

Teach English in Asia Korea and See The World

Erika: Snowboarding.

Erin: Snowboarding.

Tyler: Oh, man, yeah, the half pipes.

Erin: Okay.

Rose: I would say the ice skating.

Andrew: I would say some sort of skiing where they're skiing like a million miles an hour down the hill, like on an ice sheet.

 Speed skating.

Chelsea: I like the one that's called the biathlon, I think. Is what we call the Norwegian Drive-By. They have to like ski and stop and shoot things and then they like ski more and shoot things. It's a weird sport, I like watching it.

Explore Great Wall Of China While Teaching English Abroad
Erin: Pretty impressive one.  I'm partial to ice skating as well. Great, well guys, thank you so much for taking time out of your work to come talk to me and come talk to our audience. As a reminder, we are International TEFL Academy. Thank you guys so much for tuning in. You guys have any questions, we are gonna be saving this video, feel free to ask questions or I recommend visiting our website, InternationalTeflAcademy.com.

If you'd like to learn more about teaching in Asia and connect with some of the advisors that you listened to today, please give us a call, visit our website, it will be appearing right below me right now, it's magic. And in exciting news, check out our Instagram at intteflacademy because on Saturday, we're having someone, one of our alumni take over at the Olympics, so you can kinda see, they're gonna be experiencing, I think snowboarding and some of the other events, so stay tuned. Again, thanks you guys again, thank you guys. My colleagues are amazing and yeah, see you guys later.

Andrew: You're amazing, Erin.

Tyler: Great job.

Learn more about Teaching English Abroad

Request a free brochure or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of TEFL certification and teaching English abroad, including the hiring process, salaries, visas, TEFL class options, job placement assistance and more. 


Related Articles:

New Call-to-action


Teach English in Asia

Check Out The ITA Resource Hub!