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Looking To Move To Poland Within The Near Future. Teaching English or IT?


JimS 1 | 3
6 Nov 2012 #1
Hello,

this is my first post, so apologies if I get anything wrong.

My situation is that I'm living in Canterbury and looking to move towards Szczecin in the near future. A reasonable time frame would be within the next 2-3 years. I'm 22 and I've spend a long time messing around, trying to find out what I want to do with my life, making some poor decisions and generally being stupid, but I'm willing to put that chapter behind me now. I'm relatively unskilled and unqualified, with GCSEs only, but I've got time to study and get sorted out, I just need to find out what I can do to get what I want.

I speak a tiny bit of Polish, but I'm limited to some words and a few phrases. I want to learn the language fluently though and I've been looking at the evening classes they have in Folkestone. I think they'll be starting again in Spring, if I remember correctly.

I like the idea of teaching English and I have some aptitude for language, but I don't seem to meet the entry requirements for CELTA as they seem to want a degree. Is there another way of getting in?

I've also looked at starting out in I.T. with a view to getting into network engineering, which generally I have much less aptitude for, from what I can see. I feel very anxious about starting out from the bottom in this and I have little idea of what the job ultimately entails or what the situation with I.T. jobs are in Poland.

I would be grateful for any suggestions or help anyone could give.

Many thanks,

Jim.
Nightglade 7 | 97
6 Nov 2012 #2
I don't seem to meet the entry requirements for CELTA as they seem to want a degree

Nonsense. As far as I know - and it could be different, depending on the institution offering the course - there are no formal academic prerequisites. That said, you'll find that many of those who take the CELTA have completed studies at least at an undergrad level, as many of those on the course are already teachers and just want the piece of paper to buff up their CV. You could always take an adult's evening class at a sixth-form college in, for example, English. At the very least you'd need only qualifications that would enable you to enter higher education (typically 3 A-levels, but in some subjects exceptions are made).

My advice is: ask yourself what you 'really' want to do with your future career, is it really teaching? Many have said so, only for it to turn out to be the sole (read: easiest) option for an Englishman without a solid foundation in the Polish language. Spare yourself that packet of stale crisps.
Harry
6 Nov 2012 #3
I like the idea of teaching English and I have some aptitude for language, but I don't seem to meet the entry requirements for CELTA as they seem to want a degree. Is there another way of getting in?

There is no formal requirement laid down by the University of Cambridge that only people with a degree can do a CELTA.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
6 Nov 2012 #4
As Harry and NG both say, you don't need that to do a CELTA course. But you usually do need quite a thick wad of notes and a lot of faith that you'll earn them back later. At your age, probably your chances are higher than someone of my age.

However, before you tie up £1000 or so on a CELTA, try some tutoring to see if you enjoy teaching English to foreign students. See if you can get 10 lessons under your belt before deciding if it's for you. (Also note that some UK colleges do CELTA at concessionary rates if unemployed etc.)

I think I'm right in saying the level of English proficiency in your original post was excellent, not that I'm an expert, but noticable attention to spellin, your punk chew ayshun and good or even perfick grandma! (However you put a d in spent!)

Teaching any subject is, however, another story, and am not sure it's as easy as some make it look.

Best of luck.
InPoland
6 Nov 2012 #5
My situation is that I'm living in Canterbury and looking to move towards Szczecin in the near future.

Can I ask why you are looking to move there, of all places? Szczecin isn't particularly welcoming for foreigners, nor is it a particularly nice place to live. It's got all the drawbacks of big cities (no full time jobs, cut throat competition, etc) without any of the benefits of living in an ugly, deserted place.

If you want my advice, I recommend trying to find a job in a small town in Poland. You will probably be able to find yourself a full time job with accommodation and a bit of cash (1500zl-2000zl) in such a place - and they won't care for the CELTA, a degree or anything - they'll care about whether you can get the job done.

It's worth pointing out however that there are more and more natives here with education and real world experience - you're at a hell of a disadvantage with only GCSE's.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
6 Nov 2012 #6
Can I ask why you are looking to move there, of all places? Szczecin isn't particularly welcoming for foreigners, nor is it a particularly nice place to live.

Perhaps he has family or "a bird" there!

Was there not another poster here who made it big in a small town? If genuinely so, then your advice is better than mine. That other poster did unbelievably well, according to their account on here, with more students and dosh than I've had bowls of Winiary instant krupnik soup.
InPoland
6 Nov 2012 #7
Perhaps he has family or "a bird" there!

Moving for a girl is the worst possible reason, especially if it involves staying with her parents!

Was there not another poster here who made it big in a small town?

It's quite doable : anyone who has the drive could easily clean up in a small town. Word spreads fast, especially if you have the ability to teach kids properly.
OP JimS 1 | 3
6 Nov 2012 #8
I suppose that in my defence, I can say that I've tried a few different things and explored a lot of career options since leaving school. Graphic designer, Plumber and Healthcare Assistant to name a few. Call me a misery, but I've come to the conclusion that there's no such thing as a dream career. Anything for a reasonable wage is generally unpleasant - it's just all about having some aptitude and most importantly, the right attitude. I'd say that 9/10 of my failings in life are due to poor attitude and lack of confidence. I can honestly say that if teaching gave me what I want, I could stick it out and make a go at it. I'll admit though that there's a little haste and desperation in the mix because I've been scraping a living as a cleaner for over a year now.

Sending out emails to learning centres with enquiries as we speak...
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
6 Nov 2012 #9
Moving for a girl is the worst possible reason, especially if it involves staying with her parents!

+1

Was there not another poster here who made it big in a small town?It's quite doable : anyone who has the drive could easily clean up in a small town. Word spreads fast, especially if you have the ability to teach kids properly.

I don't think I could face a small town, but I know some people can and if that sort of income then materialises, it's going to be easy to escape the place at weekends if not permanently
poland_
6 Nov 2012 #10
Szczecin in the near future

Why Poland, what is your motivation?
OP JimS 1 | 3
6 Nov 2012 #11
Can I ask why you are looking to move there, of all places?

Perhaps he has family or "a bird" there!

I've got some family and friends outside Szczecin, in a small town. Szczecin I just mentioned as I thought it would be more recognisable and where all the work would be at. True, it's not so pretty, but I prefer it to London. Gocław is not recommended though... I've been spending a lot of time with my folks there these past couple of years and just really fell in love with the lifestyle (although of course it's not without fault and there's obvious cultural differences). The improvement in the quality of food and women is a big bonus though!

I too have heard some stories about people earning a half decent wage teaching privately in small towns. There's a young guy who took a language course of unknown type, roughly about my age who's teaching privately to a woman who's English has become a bit rusty. Apparently he's making a living wage off of it. I'm currently trying to chase him up and squeeze some information out of him.
Nacjonalista 4 | 96
6 Nov 2012 #12
I would come and see if you can land a job first, then move for good. The situation here is grim. Not trying to rain on your parade just being realistic.
pip 10 | 1,661
6 Nov 2012 #13
do yourself a favour and go back to school. figure out what it is you like to do. really think hard. It took me a while but I got there. You don't want to be scraping by when you are 38- you should be settled by then. You are young enough to go back to school, find something you like and then move to Poland.

you don't want to be broke here. it is unforgiving and there are loads of people in the same position already here.

get the education first. or save enough money to open a business doing something you like.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
6 Nov 2012 #14
do yourself a favour and go back to school.

Also could be sage advice. I wish I was his age again - I'd go back to school in the blink of an eye.

who's English

whose ;o)
OP JimS 1 | 3
6 Nov 2012 #15
Ooops!

Thankyou for the advice given so far, ladies and gents.
smurf 39 | 1,981
6 Nov 2012 #16
The situation here is grim

Depends where ya live. In the cities around Katowice you can earn anything from 50-120zl per hour depending on how many people are in your class.

Szczecin

is grim though, awful kip, awful football team too.
But y'know chap if you ain't tied to Poland then why settle here when you can go somewhere and earn the big bucks like Korea? I've mates that did CELTA and got gigs over there and they're laughing now.
kaz200972 2 | 229
6 Nov 2012 #17
do yourself a favour and go back to school. figure out what it is you like to do. really think hard.

This is excellent advice! You may find that there is a particular subject you like, your career choices may widen.
To teach a language you have to be faultless in every aspect. Teaching is a very demanding job so it's worth doing some voluntary work in a school or adult learning centre, just to be sure it's something you're going to enjoy. Personally I couldn't teach a language but there are plenty of other subjects to teach especially sciences.

If you study Polish to a high level you could also consider translation work.

Korea?

My friend teaches there, it's a wonderful country, I visited her in 2011, the weather and food were amazing and the people really pleasant.
Good luck but if you want to teach please do it well because bad teachers exploiting people in other countries is contemptible!
Hope it all works out well for you.
TommyG 1 | 361
11 Nov 2012 #18
I would be grateful for any suggestions or help anyone could give.

Hi, Jim. If you really want to teach English in Poland then just go for it. I was in a simlar situation to you and I've been very fortunate. I think that other posters have already given you the best advice but here's my honest opinion on the subject:

- Go back to college and get some 'A' levels. I passed 4 on a one-year course. (Although, General Studies is just a 'freebie') I'm teaching without a CELTA or even a Batchelor's Degree. When your colleagues all have an MA and you don't... well, you get the picture.

- Take a CELTA. Don't bother taking a TEFL it's worthless. I should know, I took one and next year I'll be going to Krakow to do my CELTA course. However, if you're not sure about whether you want to teach, try it. It's just meant to be a taster course. Afterwards you will know whether you want to teach or not.

- Save up some cash. It's going to be an expensive initial outlay.
- Try to learn some more Polish. I don't have any problems talking to people or doing the shopping. Be prepared that some school Directors don't speak any English. Most do but some don't. And you'll definately make an impression if you can speak Polish. Also, when you get yourself registered, or get your PESEL, or deal with any bureaucrat it will help immensely. Also, if you decide to advertise and take on private students you might want to understand what the person on the other end of the phone is saying...

Was there not another poster here who made it big in a small town? If genuinely so, then your advice is better than mine. That other poster did unbelievably well, according to their account on here

I think you're probably talking about me:) Yes, it's definately easier in a small town. I would definately recommend going somewhere a lot smaller than Szczecin. You really want to go to the places where no other native-speakers go. Anyway, I hope my amatuer advice is useful for you. Personally, I think that I made the right decision coming here but it's up to you mate. Being a Southerner like myself should help you. Just try to shake off your cockney accent (if you have one) in class and try to speak with a neutral accent. Any questions, feel free to PM me.


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