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Working in the USA - please help!!

 
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Belinda1987



Joined: 21 Mar 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:01 am    Post subject: Working in the USA - please help!! Reply with quote

hi,

my friend and i are hoping to teach in the US (probably NY area) from September but i can't find a visa that seems appropriate to our situation! We're both British, have TESOL qualifications, BA degrees and about a year of experience.

If anyone has done this, knows what visa you need, if you need a job offer beforehand or just whether it's possible i'd be grateful for your advice as i'd really like to get the ball rolling asap...

thanks so much Smile
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's probably a bad idea.

British BA degrees are only 3 years and thus unless you have the 4-year Honours degree you would likely have trouble just being recognized as a college graduate.

Also, a TEFL/TESOL cert will only get you to the private language schools which are few and far between and pay close to minimum wage in many places. You certainly would never earn enough in NY to pay for your cost of living. Also, they have plenty of qualified Americans and Canadians (who generally have a more extensive grammar background from school) to choose from.

As for any sort of teaching in regular private and public schools, you'd need minimum a 4-year BA and a teacher certification course with most states requiring a M.Ed. degree on top of that. Most school systems don't recognize an MA TESOL as a valid teaching degree and none recognize a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA/DELTA cert.

You may want to consider teaching somewhere in Mexico or Central America, but even many of these places will require a 4-year degree. However, if you can find a school that is in need of teachers usually they will work around that.

Some university ESL programs do hire people with MA TESOL degrees or 4-year degrees with lots of experience, but these positions are almost always part time and rarely break the $20/hour mark on pay.

Not to sound all doom and gloom, but if you try to teach in the US you'd likely be very outgunned by people with stronger qualifications in a very competitive job market.
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Belinda1987



Joined: 21 Mar 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for this

we'd have family to stay with so very little rent - i was kinda hoping on the whole english accent thing, but i guess the american accent is also very sought after...

so you think central america is more feasible?

Thanks
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MeenBauChewYan



Joined: 22 Mar 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:02 am    Post subject: Don't give up just yet Reply with quote

I'm not sure I would give up just yet.

If you have your heart set on teaching English in NY, there are possibilities.
Private schools are not a bad option.

Since you are British, I would check with The British Council to see if they have a school in the area you want to go. There are quite a number of British based schools - LSI, LSC, International House.

Also, if you are a IELTS trainer, there may be a need for you as most Americans focus only on TOEFL.

Yes, you will probably need a offer letter first before you can get a visa.
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europal90



Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:09 pm    Post subject: re working in NY Reply with quote

Your BA won't help you much in the States unfortunately, as American BAs are 4 year programmes, however don't let that discourage you. Go anyway with the intent of getting whatever ESL position you can. Take whatever you're offered to build up your CV. You can do this two ways. 1. Find a private ESL school that will give you a job before you arrive. There are lots of schools. Google ESL United States, ESL New York. Boston... wherever... Just play with Google. It's the best. If you're English, as in from England and not Ireland, Scotland and so on, and have a good and proper English accent (close to Queen's English as possible) then this will help a lot. If you're fortunate enough to find a job this way you can then start applying for an American Work Visa while still in the UK. You will need to provide American Immigration with a work contract, proof of full health insurance coverage and a rental agreement. (or proof of residence with mailing address) or your sponsors information . Bear in mind though that most of us ESL teachers almost never find work this way. Who knows why... 2: Probably the best way. Just go. Go on a visitors' visa, visit the schools you've Googled, and look and ask around. Many smaller but good schools are not advertised via the internet. Have your CV and cover letter prepared "just in case", or for a " oh, by the way, I just happen to have a RESUME if you'd like..." Americans don't say CV. They say resume as in the French. Many teachers find their posts when they're already in the country they want to work in. If you're hired, then you will have to provide all the same information to immigration but can usually already start working while the paper work is in process, a procedure of about 8-12 weeks. Don't expect fantastic pay as noted by our friend in the previous post, but I doubt you would be expected to work for as little as minimum wage as most posts I've seen offer from 10 - 20 US per hour and more. I've yet to see one for 6 or 7 dollars which is a ludicrous amount to offer any educated person, crisis or no crisis. And don't forget private students... Most important thing to remember is this. Regardless of what happens, have fun, enjoy the country and keep a positive attitude. This will influence your success. Wish you all the best. Been there, done that...
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c.holden



Joined: 17 Apr 2010
Posts: 4
Location: North America

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lexicon is absolutely correct:
Lexicon wrote:
As for any sort of teaching in regular private and public schools, you'd need minimum a 4-year BA and a teacher certification course with most states requiring a M.Ed. degree on top of that. Most school systems don't recognize an MA TESOL as a valid teaching degree and none recognize a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA/DELTA cert.


It would be very difficult to find work in the US under the current conditions for someone in your position. It is not at all impossible though and it will likely take some major effort on your part. You should start by doing a massive amount of research regarding current potential employers both public and private. After you narrow the list as to who would consider hiring an applicant with your background, then it would be time to start setting up telephone interviews and such until you could manage to find a school who would want to interview you in person. At this stage, it will be necessary to meet the school administration face to face so that you can communicate your desire and abilities. Good Luck!
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