Educational Related Advice

Why Should I Get an Associates Degree?

An associate degree is a type of academic degree that precedes a bachelor’s degree in some universities.  While the associates degree is the “lowest” degree you can earn from college, it still brings with it a number of benefits.

One of the greatest benefits of earning an associates degree is the fact that it is often enough to get your foot in the door of a new career.  If you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree after earning an associates degree, you might choose to take on a position in the field while going to school.  Working in the field while going to school to learn more can be a highly valuable experience as you bring knowledge from being “out on the field” into the classroom. There are also many certification and training courses available that you could take while working, such as online tafe business courses.

Associates Degree

Earning an associates degree can also help put more money in your pocket.  On average, a person with an associates degree earns $8,000 more per year than a person with only a high school diploma.  In addition, you will be more attractive to potential employers that are faced with choosing someone with just a high school diploma versus someone that has earned an associates degree and has a higher level of knowledge.

Pursuing an associates degree also provides you with a certain amount of flexibility.  In many cases, you do not even have to determine a major in order to earn an associates degree.  Therefore, you can take the first couple years of schooling to determine what it is that you would really like to pursue.

If you were in the military for at least four years and have passed the 5 General CLEP exams, earning an associates degree often requires taking only a few additional courses.  Therefore, going for your associates degree after completing your tour with the military can be a wise and money-saving decision.

Do You Really Need TEFL to Teach English Abroad?

TEFL or “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” is often used as an acronym for the qualification or certificate itself. TEFL is not one single qualification but is a term used to describe courses normally similar in length and depth, most notably CELTA and Trinity. They are designed as entry level courses although experienced teachers often take them to improve their career prospects. Being TEFL certified is by far the most useful qualification for new teachers. This is now widely regarded as the industry standard.

From the employers’ point of view, the most respected, for new teachers is a certified course lasting between 100-130 hours which includes some (usually 6 hours) actual teaching. These courses typically take place over an intensive 4 weeks. Some centres have a part-time option, spreading the programme over a number of months.


A lot is crammed into a tight schedule. TEFL courses will cover language analysis, teaching methodology, observations of experienced teachers and actual teaching practice, amongst other things. Some find it hard going but almost all come away feeling it was well worth the time, effort and money and are ready to teach English abroad.

There is no escaping the fact that TEFL is expensive. Courses range from $1300 to $2000. Inevitably this puts many people off. There are cheaper options but they will not be as comprehensive and will not help your prospects of finding a good job nearly as much.

The standard 100-130 hour intensive TEFL course is also sometimes distinguished from shorter ones by being referred to as “full TEFL”. This is the area most covered in this chapter. (more…)

Applying for Teach English Abroad Jobs

It sounds pretty obvious, but to teach English abroad you will need to conduct an organised campaign. Have all your information to hand, just as you would for any other job. If you are posting out letters have at hand copies of your resume, cover letters, passport photos, photocopies of your qualifications/certificates as well as stamps and envelopes. If you intend using email organise folders on your PC. Get scans of documents and photos if you don’t already have them.

All teach English abroad applications, whether speculative or in response to an advertisement, need to contain an introduction, which is a cover letter either in letter or email form at, and a resume. It may be tempting to make a template and use it for most of your applications. This will likely just produce a large number of ineffective applications. Each needs to meet the requirements of the specific job, whether it be advertised or not. Visit the employer’s website, see what they do, the courses and classes they offer and think about the profile they are looking for in an ideal candidate.

Teach English Abroad Jobs
Make sure you keep records of all the applications you make, both direct and to other organisations like recruitment agencies, in order to coordinate follow-up letters and phone calls later. Register the date sent as well as the contact person if there was one, and any follow-up or response. It can be easy to confuse the names of different schools and staff, particularly when teaching English abroad as you will be dealing with a foreign language. Keep all the info in one place, a log book or Excel file on your pc.

Check and double check anything you write and/or get someone else to check it. When sending out a number of similar emails or letters it is easy to make silly errors. More than in other lines of work, poor grammar, misspellings and typos need to be avoided like the plague.

Make certain you clearly specify the date you can start. One of the first things anyone reading an application for a teach English abroad job will check is availability. Also make sure you state the minimum time you are likely to stay. Putting your availability as being less than 10 months may damage your chances.

If you have arrived and are looking for teach English abroad work, get a cellphone/mobile. Not only will you be able to respond to calls immediately, it will show you are organised and easily contactable, two things which are very important to any employer. It is well worth making follow-up enquiries, especially if you applied from home and have now relocated. It is essential to update any phone and address details and make it known that you are available for interview immediately or give a date on which you will be.

Where to Teach English Overseas

There are many reasons to teach English overseas such as seeing the world, escaping the rat race or just wanting a new experience. Few occupations give you the flexibility to choose where you live and how you work. Another major attraction is the relative accessibility of work. Unlike in other professions, initial training is usually short, typically a few weeks, although learning and acquiring the skills to teach successfully can take much longer.

In most teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) jobs there is a degree of uncertainty. Each student and class is different and no two days are the same. Furthermore, starting a new job in a far-off land you may not have been to before, starting a new job can be daunting especially having few or no contacts there.

The job can be certainly challenging. The key to finding work as well as teaching itself is keeping an open mind. With good planning and preparation the rewards more than outweigh the challenges. Teachers enjoy the satisfaction of seeing pupils improve, developing their own language skills, meeting people from all walks of life, some of whom may become lifelong friends, as well as the flexible lifestyle and the opportunity to travel and see the world.

Teach English Overseas

There is a huge variety of potential work for anyone who wants to teach English overseas. Teachers for classes of different sizes and levels are needed for schools, companies, language academies and universities. A job instructing a company director in downtown Tokyo will be quite literally a world away from one teaching in a village school in the Peruvian countryside. Knowing all the options from the outset puts you in a position to choose who and how as well as where you teach. (more…)

Easy To Follow English Speaking Tips

If you are new to an English speaking country or you simply want to polish your English speaking skills, there are some great tips that are available to help you out.

For those that are not native born English speakers, it can be difficult to learn a new language fluently without coming across many speaking road blocks along the way.

Learning to speak English fluently can be easier than most might think. It just happens to be the universal language around the world which makes it one of the easier languages to master. Below are some great English speaking tips to help you become a more confident and fluent English speaker.

Listen To The Language Daily

One of the best ways to learn a new language is to spend a lot of time listening to it being spoken. Learning a language completely by using a textbook is not the best way to get a good grasp of it. You will not be able to learn the correct way to pronounce words through just reading them. Make time every day to listen to some form of audio in the English language.

By watching English speaking shows and movies, you will be able to better build your accent and improve on your vocabulary. Take note of the way the speakers pronounce their words and watch closely how they move their mouth when they speak. Then, you may try to imitate their words on your own for practice.

Don’t Dwell On Grammar

One of the next top English speaking tips to take into consideration is that you should not overly consume yourself with following all of the proper grammar rules. Even though it is important to learn the basic grammar rules of the language, paying too much attention to it will take away from you being able to learn how to speak it fluently.

Many people tend to put too much concentration on not committing any grammatical errors when they are talking and it can make their accents come out stilted. You want to speak English without it sounding forced or overly proper.

Practice, Practice, Practice

As with learning to do anything, consistently practicing the English language is the key to learning how to speak it properly and fluently. Research studies have shown that it requires at least 20 minutes of practice for at least three months in order to get a decent grasp on the language and gain strong mouth muscles required to speaking a new language.

An excellent way to practice would be to spend some time speaking the language with your friends and family. Also, if you are able to, spend as much time as you can speaking with a good English speaker to help you with your usage of words and forming complete sentences.

Think In English And Be More Confident

One of the best English speaking tips is to do your best to “think” in English. What many people do is think about what they want to say in their native language, translate it and then say it in English. This can be a mentally exhausting thing to do. If you want to speak English fluently, you should practice speaking it without thinking. With a lot of practice, it will become second nature to do.

Confidence is also directly linked to how well you grasp a new language. All of these English speaking tips will be in vain if you are not confident in your English speaking skills. It is very common to commit many errors while still learning a new language. Even native English speakers make grammatical mistakes here and there.

Take your time when speaking and try to stay relaxed. If you do make a mistake, try not to dwell on it. Many times, the person you are talking to will either not notice or they will still understand what you are trying to say.

Teaching Jobs in Thailand – Private or Public Schools?

Teaching Jobs in Thailand can pretty much be split into two categories, private schools and public schools, colleges and universities. Each have their own pros and cons and the type you prefer pretty much depends on you. It’s not really a case of which one is better but really which one is more suitable for you. One thing you need to understand though is that not all teaching jobs in Thailand are equal!

Public School Teaching Jobs in Thailand

Public schools, colleges and universities are government run. As a general rule they are very over crowded with even the more upper class ones having fifty or sixty pupils in a class! That may seem like too much too deal with and it probably is which is why you get a Thai teaching assistant to help you. A lot of schools will also provide a microphone and speaker.

With such vast numbers in your class it’s pretty hard to get anything done and the amount that the kids learn is really limited which is why so many parents send their children to private lessons after school. It also means there are lots of teaching jobs in Thailand!

At public schools you work Monday to Friday, from around 8am to 3pm. You have a syllabus to teach from but a lot of the time it’s up to you to prepare your lessons which means extra unpaid work. For these kinds of jobs you will need a teaching certificate and quite often a bachelors degree as well although in rural areas they might not require the degree.

Having a bachelors degree means that you can apply for a work permit though, which enables you to have 100% legit work. This is important for some people but others don’t seem to mind.

You will also get a contract which means you also get paid throughout the school holidays. This is a major bonus although some schools get around this by only giving you a 9 month contract which means you won’t be paid during the 3 month summer holiday. So that’s something to watch for.

Pros: Fixed pay, paid holidays, weekends and evenings off

Cons: Too many students, no air conditioning, no real sense of achievement


Private School Teaching Jobs in Thailand

Because the education system in Thailand is pretty poor, many wealthier parents sent their kids to study extra classes on the weekends and after school. This means there are lots of small private schools in Thailand but in particular, Bangkok. Most big shopping malls contain private schools where the parents drop their kids off while they go shopping. (more…)

Staying Focused in School – A Challenge Worth Looking Into

Are you thinking about ways to really stay focused while you’re working hard at school? You’ve come to the right guide. Let’s get into the finer details here so you can get back to work.

Procrastination is something we do when we’re unsure of what needs to be done. We know what to do, but we’re just unsure that we have a way of taking care of things that lets us actually handle the task effectively. Don’t get discouraged though — there are ways to beat procrastination. For example, if you have a detailed battle plan, you just can’t fail. You can’t get caught up in drama. You can’t get caught up in what other people want. If it doesn’t match your agenda, then it just doesn’t matter, now does it? You get to always figure out which direction you’re going to honestly go into. You might be tempted to go without a strong plan. This is a mistake. Procrastination is something that will eat up your dreams if you let it. You have to think — do you really want to lose a whole day trying to figure out how to make up for shortcomings, or do you really want to make sure that you’re going to be actually getting things done. The choice is honesty up to you. It doesn’t really affect anyone but you if you don’t meet your goals.

You might be used to teachers that hover over you and remind you that work hasn’t been turned in. Don’t get used to this. If you graduate and go to college, you’ll find many teachers that aren’t concerned in the slightest if you don’t turn in any work. This just means that you aren’t taking the class seriously. They have the power to actually drop these students from the registry. That can cost you scholarships and even actual money to take classes with from other sources. Even if you have student loans, they may have their terms changed if you can’t maintain attendance and grades properly.

Having a plan is the key to staying focused. Yes, there will be subjects that you’re not really into. That’s perfectly fine. You’re going to find that not everyone gets worked up about learning the same wars over and over again. But school isn’t where you’re entertained. You sometimes have to play the game in order to keep moving forward. If you can’t play the game, then school is going to be a rough place for you. (more…)

Have Confidence – School Isn’t That Hard!

If you’re thinking about a big change that you need to make in 2013, here’s one for you: it’s time to go back to school. Even though the news media outlets are talking about how college is getting harder and harder to be obtained, the reality is that it doesn’t have to be that way. A lot of the rising costs of college are for traditional college and universities. What about when you’re really trying to get things done with your life and you don’t have time to wait. You need to think about going to an online college. This means that you will be setting your own schedule and running the show for yourself. Employers aren’t judgmental — you’ll be able to still compete well in the job market. You just have to make sure that you’re not giving up on yourself.

The truth is that going back to school can open up big doors. Even if you don’t plan to leave your current job, you’re sending the message that you’re not afraid to spend good money to educate yourself all over again. That’s something that can definitely make a difference. If you are going up for a promotion against someone that doesn’t have any type of extra training, you could end up beating them for the position that you really want. It’s going to be up to you to really make things happen. You can’t just get discouraged — that just wouldn’t be right at all. You’re better off making sure that you can focus carefully on the type of life that you want. Yes, this is a concept that bears repeating. SO many people end up trying to go to college for all of the wrong reasons. You’re better off making sure that you’re really focused on getting things done. There’s nothing wrong with making sure that you are going to be able to handle things in the right context. You just need to make sure that you are truly going to be able to get things done in a big way — why not start now?

Here’s what you need to do — you need to go online and read review about online colleges. You have to also think about the type of courses that you really want to take. Some colleges will be better than others based on what your actual field is. Keep in mind that if you’re going more or less for a vocational career, you need to find a vocational college that can accommodate you. Your local community college will most likely be the most inexpensive for this type of thing. You just need to explore it for yourself.

Don’t forget that you can indeed get loans for higher education. You will need to step back and make sure that you really are committed. It’s harder to go back to school when you’re an adult. There’s a lot more responsibilities on your plate. That can be really hard to deal with until you realize that you’re working for something greater. Sure, you might not be able to go see your friends, but you will be able to go build something that could easily make your friends envious. What will you do? If anyone has the power to change your life, it’s definitely you! Good luck!

Getting Your Business Degree Can Open Doors in a Troubled Economy

Are you looking at exploring new opportunities in the workforce? These days, unless you have your degree there’s very little chance that you’ll ultimately get where you’re going. Now, that isn’t to say that you won’t get hired somewhere. But you probably have your eyes set on higher goals than just getting in the door. Indeed, you want to have promotions and have more responsibility pulled in your direction. That’s how regular people make their mark on larger companies. You just need to believe that it’s possible.

You want to be able to start out with the right foundation. In our opinion, that is definitely getting a good degree. You might be a bit unsure on what to actually study that would crossover well into the business world. If you really want to have the broadest range of knowledge in the world of business, then you need to look at getting a business management BSc degree. It’s going to give you the skills of managing a team within the business world, as well as enough general knowledge that you will come off as a person willing to learn more, experiment with things and become better in general. What could be better than that?

You need to really think about all of the choices that you have on the table rather than feeling like you’re just spinning your wheels. Business management will give you the knowledge that you’re looking for, and the university expensive isn’t one to be easily overlooked. Instead of trying to learn on your own, you’re actually going to be part of a community. That’s worth something, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be better to really make sure that you’re going to have all of the resources in the world to mark a true mark on the world? You would be amazed at the connections you’ll make while in school. From professors to future business leaders, everyone has a seat at the table — they’re just waiting for you to join them.

You might feel that it’s “too late” to get your business degree. There’s no reason to feel that way at all. In fact, if you’re a non-traditional student you may find that you finally have the chance to slow down and really concentrate on your education. Check it out today!

TEFL Courses

If you’re on a gap year, looking to take a career break or just want to try something different, teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) could be the answer. It’s the perfect blend of travel, adventure and giving something back. And as an increasing number of people all over the world want to learn English, there’s no shortage of opportunities.

From teaching young children the alphabet to discussing international business with a group of adults, the chance to make a difference is one of the main attractions to TEFL. There’s no better feeling than when you see a student suddenly understand what you’ve been teaching them, and their face lights up. Knowledge is the greatest gift at all, and it’s right there to be passed on.

It doesn’t matter if you have any prior teaching experience or not, as a native English speaker you’re more than qualified. Of course if you’re a total beginner it’s probably better to start off with younger children who are less linguistically demanding than say a group of university students. Once you gain confidence in yourself and your ability to control a classroom, in addition to delivering fun and interesting material during lessons, then you can go almost anywhere.

An important point to consider is that teaching isn’t for everyone so you really have to want to do it. Standing up in front of a class can be daunting, so make sure you’re under no illusions as to what it entails. Don’t waste the students’ time either- they are there to learn and in some cases are only able to attend one lesson a week. If you can’t tell them something useful then either ask for some help or take yourself out of the situation. Before you jet off to exotic locations to teach, why not see if you can do it at home first? A few hours at a community centre or sports club can be invaluable experience. Suddenly realising what you’ve got yourself into halfway into your flight is a terrible feeling, so make sure you’re prepared. (more…)