Completed another Specialist Module…

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Well, I have completed another Specialist Module from i-to-i!! I have finished the Teaching in Spain Specialist Module; so I am now up to 110 hours (if I have worked it out properly). I have been thinking about what I am going to do when my mum retires…I want to save her as much money as possible and TEFLing around the world sounds like an amazing thing to do and save her money at the same time; as I will be living in another country.

As mum retires in April; I could apply for an internship through i-to-i. There are many places I would like to visit: China, Poland, Thailand and Vietnam. These are the places where i-to-i have internships in.

China is not until August 2014; the monthly allowance is 2,000RMB (which is about 202 GBP) but before I even start the internship I would have to budget 2,400RMB (about 242 GBP) for visa costs; however there will be a 2,500 RMB (about 252 GBP) bonus from the school at the end of the internship. So far so good…but I don’t know if I would work for 202 GBP each month. The cost of living is low in China and I would be all okay with that; as I would bring “British” things with me (like pain killers and tea bags) and only ask mum to send over some other items every now and again. However; I don’t need a degree for this internship, but if I was to apply for a job in China I would definitely need my degree then.

Five and half months in Poland sounds more my things; as it is a short flight and I could still talk to my family on the phone or over Skype. A living allowance of 7500 Polish Zlotys (which is about 760 GBP) split into 5 monthly instalments, and receive a 1000 PLN (100 GBP approx) bonus from the school at the end of the internship. I have been to Poland before with University and I would love to go back again. Five and half months away is not that much; I would gain experience and I would be able to apply for jobs further afield. I have been trying to learn Polish while I am working at my current job – it is difficult as I can only listen (“learn”) at the weekend. A private room in a shared apartment does sound appealing though…24/7 support in the country is also something that I would love as if I had any problems I would go straight to them.

 

  • A reputable teaching placement set up for you You’ll be placed with at least one other intern in your area
  • A monthly spending allowance for your living expenses You’ll receive a 12,000 Thai Baht every month as a living allowance. You’ll also receive a completion bonus of 5,000 THB at the end of the program
  • Accommodation provided You’ll live in a private bedroom in shared accommodation
  • Full in-country support With airport pickup and transfers, a full orientation upon arrival and a school contact to help you get settled, you’ll get all the support you need from the minute your plane touches down!
  • Fantastic 6-day orientation Your chance to mingle with other interns, enjoy a welcome dinner and a Thai cultural show, learn some basic Thai phrases and try some Thai dancing lessons!
  • City tour of Bangkok Visit some of the Key temples in this bustling city, combined with an afternoon in Khaosan Road

This is something more my thing; but I do not know if my mum could handle me being over there…I would be careful of the food but then that can happen anywhere…

  • A reputable internship setup for you 3.5 – 4 months teaching in Vietnam and heaps of practical teaching experience
  • In-country support + local support This is where you’ll see the benefit of travelling on an internship program. TTV are there to support you throughout your placement. You’ll also have a local contact at your school to help you with any issues
  • Monthly spending allowance You’ll receive a monthly allowance of 6million Dong + a further 6million Dong bonus from your school at the end of your internship. This allowance will be prorated (e.g. if you were to work half a month, for example, you’ll receive half a month’s allowance). It’s important to note that the cost of living in Vietnam is considerably lower than that in Western parts of the world – a bottle of mineral water can cost less than 10,000 Dong
  • Accommodation You’ll have a private room in a shared apartment with your fellow interns.
  • Comprehensive one-week orientation in Vietnam TTV will run you through the essentials of living and teaching in Vietnam, including in-depth presentations and workshops to ensure you’re ready to start teaching in Vietnam. TTV will also provide you with all of your meals during this period
  • 2 days of practical TEFL training When you arrive in Vietnam, i-to-i will provide you with the 20-hour Classroom Course during your orientation program – this way you can be sure that these essential, practical skills stay fresh in your mind!
  • Fun Vietnamese lessons You’ll have conversational Vietnamese lessons during your orientation to give you basic language skills to enjoy day-to-day life in Vietnam
  • Explore Vietnam – On arrival in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, you’ll go on a tour of the city with our TTV partners! After your tour you’ll also have one free afternoon to explore – use your time to discover yummy Vietnamese street food and explore the bustling Asian streets – or if you’d prefer you can join our staff on a visit to a local market. If you’re still not tired then get ready for the evening entertainment ‘Vietnam style’, it’s the perfect chance to get to know the other interns (and make some good friends)!
  • Airport pick up and transfers to your school
  • Visa assistance TTV will help arrange your visa.
  • A network of new friends You’ll be joined by interns from the USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Europe, and you’ll also definitely be placed with at least one other intern so you’re not on your own – unless you want to be!

Important Visa Information:

You’ll enter Vietnam on a 3 month single-entry visa, for which TTV will send you a letter of invitation from the department of immigration which you print off and bring with you.

You’ll present this letter upon arrival and pay between US-$45-$50 in cash for your landing visa.

After 3 months, your visa will be extended in-country through sponsorship by your TTV program in association with the Ministry of Education and each participating school. The visa extension and work permit cost is US $350. This is payable in cash on arrival in Vietnam during orientation week.

You’ll also need to budget US$150 – $200 to have your documents notarised in your home country before arriving into Vietnam.

Sadly; the additional payments are something I would not be fully happy about. I would sell a lot of my things here in the UK; which I have already done…

What do you all think??

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2 thoughts on “Completed another Specialist Module…

  1. Hi, I’ve just found your blog through the Chalkboard and been reading a few of your posts about considering internship options through I-toI. My advice? Don’t go on an internship if you can possibly avoid it, at least not with this company. All negative posts are removed from the Chalkboard which is why you won’t find bad reviews. I’m on the Thailand internship atm and about to finish and can honestly say that in hindsight I would have just got on a plane and looked for work on the ground in Bangkok.

    The main reason I went on the internship was for the support but unfortunately the support is worthless.

    A few examples for you:
    1.The company holds your documents to ransom which is illegal and then they LOST my uni transcript.
    2. The amount of money you are required to pay is extortionate and it would be cheaper to arrange a job for yourself. The first thing after a 12hr flight from London to Bangkok was, “Hi. Do you have the money?”
    3.You are paid 12,000 baht approx £200 which means you will struggle to get by the whole time and only have enough money for food and none to save for later travelling or a flight home.
    4. There is no travel time! It’s teaching only, no time is allowed for travel – we were promised two weeks at the end of our school contract to travel and we’ve had to fight for that with both the school and the company but that is the only time available to travel.
    5. Our TTT contact left us high and dry in the middle of Issan with no support and then left the company, our replacement contact is based in Bangkok and we hardly see/hear from her.
    6. Expect to deal with problems with the schools yourself – also the schools are unaware how little you’re paid – they pay TTT 30,000 baht you get 12,000 so TTT make a profit from you working.
    7. Expect to be placed in a town in the middle of nowhere* (sometimes by yourself – not always with another intern) and if you are with other interns you’ll be living in accommodation that gives you no privacy, is outside of town by a good 20 min walk average and you’ll need a big stick because of all the dogs!
    8. We were working ILLEGALY from October until Christmas due to the company mucking up the visa process, every intern from the UK ended up arriving on a tourist visa which wasn’t converted until December and even now they are still holding onto everyone’s original documents (illegal) and our blue work permit books (illegal)

    (*Unless you’re based in Surin with about 20 other interns)

    This is my experience along with 5 other interns in our area, (one of whom was placed by herself an hours drive from us and had to buy a car out of her own pocket to get around – good job she could drive!) and this is the general experience of all 80 interns in terms of pay, visas and support.

    As I said, if you can possibly arrange your own job then do that! They’re crying out for native English speakers here, you could walk into a 30,000b (£600) job off the plane in Bangkok. We’ve also just arranged our own jobs in China (the internship set up is the same but I don’t know if it’s better organised – I doubt it) and with less than a years work experience we can walk into 7800RMB a month NET (£760) jobs. Go to websites such as TEFL.com or Dave’s ESL cafe and just apply for work with the big chains. If you’re looking at August time then you could synch up with the Chinese academic school year – even better.

    As an aside, with point 8 above about working illegaly – I’m glad we were in Thailand and not China for that! Obviously I don’t have first hand experience of their internship program in China but I do know it’s structured the same and so I’m glad I wasn’t working illegaly when dealing with the Chinese authorities as Thailand is a lot more laid back in that regard.

    If you do go on an internship with I-to-I (Thailand or not) at least you can be aware of the pitfalls. Take as much cash as you can and good luck!

    • Thanks for the heads up Sam; I have been surprised by the amount i-to-i have told me – two months wages for me and then another two for flights…

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