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Old 05.10.2010, 19:23
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How to earn a living in Geneva with an MA (Applied Linguistics) and 5ys teaching exp?

Hi, guys

I'm definitely not about to complain. Neither is this your average "give me a job" post. I'm just getting clueless as to how to earn a living, and would appreciate any helpful advice.

I've spent a couple of months looking for jobs and by now I can conclude that I'm either not doing something right or it's simply impossible to actually support myself here, with my qualifications. I'm working for a language school now, but it seems that with the tax refund my husband would get if I wasn't, I'm actually paying for my job... Not that nice, but I'd rather pay then be totally idle. But that's not the point, it's obvious that I need more work.

Well, for that I'd have to apply to tons of language schools, but there doesn't seem to be so many of them in Geneva. (And I'm looking for ones with decent salary offers.) Besides, they all can only give you a couple of classes. What limits my options further is that I'm technically not a native speaker. I won't go on debating that point, there's no denying it. And though I could do the job with my eyes shut, if their website promises learners a native speaker I understand that they expect one. Lying is not my kind of thing, so on we move.
The Uni of Geneva doesn't have an Applied Linguist lecturing there at the moment, and by the time one comes around PhD application for this year will be over. So that route's crossed out as well.
I could retrain to be a highschool teacher, but first I'd prefer teaching outside of that world, and most importantly this doesn't solve my earning-a-living problem.
I could go into administration. But... but... I really like teaching, talking about teaching, writing course material, eventually maybe training teachers, writing some informative articles/books... So all in all I can't really see a career in admin.
I've also checked the UN. The jobs they have in/around my field (I'm also trained in research) all require UN experience. I've thought of doing admin there for a couple of years just to "get in", but I fear that my teaching skills would perish away by the time I can put my hands on something more field related.

OK, that's my story. Sorry if it's boring or seems just a lot of blaaaaa. I'm really clueless as to how to go on and would appreciate helpful comments. Thank you for even reading it.
Have a very nice day!

flower
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Old 05.10.2010, 19:32
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Re: How to earn a living in Geneva with an MA (Applied Linguistics) and 5ys teaching

Oh dear, Flowerstar.

Reading your post, I had a sense of déjà vu.

I have a degree in Linguistics and 20 years teaching experience (TEFL in diff. countries).
I have gone through similar experiences with resulting options - retrain as a high school teacher, admin, etc - and at the moment, have a good teaching post in a college of further education, as well as a job in a wine merchant's (sales and admin.) So, I've had to put a lot of bits and pieces together to get a decent salary.

You have to be flexible, try anything and build up your practical skills and knowledge of German. It can be a bumpy road but don't give up. I wish you all the best.
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Old 05.10.2010, 19:44
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Re: How to earn a living in Geneva with an MA (Applied Linguistics) and 5ys teaching

Thank you ever so much!
The word déjà caught my eye instantly. That sounds promising. So I should be able to get past this. I'm also thinking of juggling around a couple of jobs, trying to teach as much as I can all the while... Maybe I'll be able to support my hobby that way. (I'm trying to suppress the feeling but it bugs me a little still that my choice of profession is such a hit in my country. )


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Oh dear, Flowerstar.

Reading your post, I had a sense of déjà vu.

I have a degree in Linguistics and 20 years teaching experience (TEFL in diff. countries).
I have gone through similar experiences with resulting options - retrain as a high school teacher, admin, etc - and at the moment, have a good teaching post in a college of further education, as well as a job in a wine merchant's (sales and admin.) So, I've had to put a lot of bits and pieces together to get a decent salary.

You have to be flexible, try anything and build up your practical skills and knowledge of German. It can be a bumpy road but don't give up. I wish you all the best.
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Old 05.10.2010, 19:52
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Re: How to earn a living in Geneva with an MA (Applied Linguistics) and 5ys teaching

You're most welcome.
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Old 09.10.2010, 00:26
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Re: How to earn a living in Geneva with an MA (Applied Linguistics) and 5ys teaching

Alright, so I've made a list of all the language schools in/around Geneva that I would work for. 90% of them only employs native speakers. They either promise this to clients or list it in their requirements...
Now I've decided not to give a damn. I'm applying anyway and we'll see what happens. I have a hunch what will happen, but still, before I become an amazing receptionist I'd rather give my career a chance.
This is just to let you know that if I never post again I either got caught and deported for forgery (I swear my mom's British! :P) or got locked up in an asylum for running around singing the American anthem and wearing nothing but the national flag.

Wish me luck (or watch out for the news in the Tribune )!
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Old 12.10.2010, 23:36
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Re: How to earn a living in Geneva with an MA (Applied Linguistics) and 5ys teaching

Out of the schools I've hunted down, only like 3 were actually recruiting people. One of the others has already replied saying that they don't have any vacancy right now. Which is good. Not the lack of vacant positions but the fact that they replied. Either they're supernice in general or they actually treat me as a person. Well, it feels better already. I know that somewhere along the way I'll hit the jackpot and won't have to resort to any extreme measures.
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Old 15.10.2010, 11:12
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Re: How to earn a living in Geneva with an MA (Applied Linguistics) and 5ys teaching

People say that it's best to resign or give someone the sack on a Friday, as then one has a weekend to celebrate or to cheer one on, meet friends, etc.

I seem to follow the same route, I always make these decisions on Friday. I guess during the week I'm just open to calls and opportunities that may come (but somehow never do). I don't work on Thursday, so I start feeling the pressure, and by Friday morning I feel really pushed to do something, to make my next week better.

So now I'm taking a turn again and going in a couple of other directions. First off I'll have a look at the qualifications I'd need to teach at high schools. Though my experience is more related to teaching adults, I have no doubts that I could excel with the younger age group. It's not so much the teaching that I'm concerned about, but I'll have to look into the requirements and administrational aspects. I know my HS teachers worked more after classes than during. =)

The other option is going freelance, which, to be honest, gives me a headache. I'm reading through the thread on freelancing, I've downloaded the manual, and I hope I'll be able to get my head around all this stuff. I don't want to post for help there as I haven't read everything as yet. But if you're reading this and have some time, could you please tell me what the easiest way is to go freelance and teach private English classes? (Like helping kids in the evenings and the like.)

OK, I'll stop blogging here. =) But I hope, at the end of the day, when I win my battle, this will be a nice tutorial to success for anyone who's wondering how this could be done. I'm one of those who've not come to Switzerland as native speakers and realized that teaching English might be a good option. I wish them all luck and I know many of them will become excellent teachers! But I want to show that if you've actually been trained to teach English for years and years, and even have some experience, there's still a chance to pursue a career here. I hope I'll have a success story to write and you'll be able to shortcut and shoot to the stars.
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Old 18.10.2010, 18:09
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Re: How to earn a living in Geneva with an MA (Applied Linguistics) and 5ys teaching

I've found out something amazing and I'm really surprised nobody has mentioned this. I've just been to ORP Geneva, and I really like the system so far. But it's astonishing that with all the information out there I didn't know about them!

During the weekend I was talking to a (Hungarian) friend about the difficulty of finding a job and how I'd need some really expensive further training, and so on and so forth. And she told me that when she moved to CH (at the time married to a Swiss), she was on ORP funded trainings for more than a year. And maybe I should check them out. Well, why had no one tell me about this earlier?

I went to see them this morning, had an orientation session in the afternoon (a 90 minute long presentation of the system and the general options), and I'm going back next week for a personal appointment when I'll get registered. Note that I'm not doing it for the money, though it's good to know that I'm eligible to the 70% of my Hungarian salary. Which will be a small pocket money here but still it's something and it feels good to be taken care of this way. So guys, before you wave away the thought of getting unemployment benefit without ever working in Switzerland, check with them.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the whole experience. I've never been officially unemployed, and as the money doesn't count so much (I'm not starving or anything and what I really want is a nice permanent job), I'm not even worried about their rules.

I'll look around on EF and if there's a niche for this I might actually write a longer post on all the info I got. It was really worth it and I really think you should check ORP out if you haven't already. Because even if you think you're not eligible to anything, you might be in fact.

Have a nice week.
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