Teach English in Myanmar

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Teach and Travel in Myanmar – 2018 Program options

Thank you for your inquiry regarding our work and travel abroad program! We have some exciting new changes for 2018! 

Requirements

The Myanmar program is open to both degree holders and those without a degree.

  • Applicants must be open to placement throughout all regions of Myanmar.
  • Applicants must be in good mental health.
  • Applicants should be at least between the ages of 19 and 45 years of age. Couples and Friends can apply together!
  • Applicants need to have sufficient funds to pay for the program fees and other associated costs of the program as well as to cover the cost of personal living expenses including entertainment.
  • Applicants must participate in our 120-hour TESOL/TEFL and also participate in the orientation program.
  • Applicants must be native English speakers and hold a valid passport from one of the following native English-speaking countries: The United States, The United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, or Ireland.
  • Applicants must obtain a police clearance

Please note: If an applicant does not meet the requirements but we consider them a good fit, then their application may be considered for the program.

What is included in the program

  • Airport pickup (provided if applicant lands within four days of start date).
  • 1 x Free night at the Hotel in Bangkok.
  • Transfer from Hotel to Training Centre in Thailand.
  • In-Country set-up.
  • Assistance with opening a bank account.
  • FULLY accredited TESOL/TEFL course 120 hour in-class.
  • All cultural excursions in Thailand : Muay Thai, Rescue Pause, Elephant encounters, Thai Cooking class.
  • Five day cultural and language orientation in Myanmar with at least two cultural excursions, including a trip to the Shwedagon Pagoda.
  • Accommodation in Thailand – Sharing 4 weeks during the course with Breakfast included.
  • Job Placement.
  • Full background check on school/agent.
  • Contract negotiation.
  • Visa support and documentation.
  • Ongoing support once the participant is at their placement.
  • Starter Pack: NELC T-Shirt.
  • Starter Pack: Thai/ Myanmar SIM card.

What is not included in the program

  • Medical insurance
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Meals
  • Financial assistance
  • Day to day transport
  • Entertainment

Program Summary

Choosing to teach English in Myanmar offers teachers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves and experience a new
culture. Myanmar has only recently opened its doors to the outside world so visitors will find a rich history and vibrant landscapes
that have remained untouched by the West until now.

Myanmar is growing and expanding in many new ways, and teachers will be the ones to help it move forward. Our teachers
have the chance to pass along their knowledge of English and other subjects and topics to Myanmar children and adults,
who will use that knowledge to improve Myanmar in a major way. This teaching experience is an incredible chance for those
wanting to make a huge difference in the world!

Application Process

  • Step1: Applicants will submit their resume, photos, and contact details to a representative or agent partner for approval. Pay the R500 application fee which is refunded if an applicant is not approved. Once approved the applicant will decide on a month to join the program.
  • Step 2: Once the applicant is approved and has chosen their preferred month of travel, the participant pays a deposit of R7582 to secure their space on the course.
  • Step 3: The applicant will then be assisted to book their flights, once done visa docs will be sent over for a visa on arrival in Thailand. The applicant will also receive and email which contains the final debriefing on what to do on arrival and more.
  • Step 4: Our Partner team members will then complete their profile, working with the applicant to make a video and resume in the preferred format of Myanmar, and then market the applicant to our school network in Myanmar.
  • Step 5: Once the participant arrives to take their orientation and TESOL course in Thailand for 4 weeks, the Myanmar visa will be done.
  • Step 6: The applicant arrives in Yangon/Bangkok/Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi and is picked up at the airport by a representative.

Placements

Placements are mainly situated in Yangon, a bustling and steadily growing city. However, we also place many teachers outside of Yangon in small, medium, and large sized towns and cities. Placements are in language schools and private schools.

Teachers teach for anywhere from 15 to 25 hours per week and have two days per week off but the days may not be consecutive and those teachers working at language schools should be prepared to teach on Saturday and Sunday as those are the busiest days of the week for language schools.

Visas, Visa process, and visa trips

Foreigners who work in Myanmar must hold a Business Visa, which allows them to stay in the country for 10 weeks at a time. Then, they need to leave the country and fly to Thailand to renew their visa and re-enter Myanmar. We will arrange the necessary documents for you to apply for a business visa before you come over to Myanmar or, depending on which country you are traveling from, you will be given the guidance for the visa on arrival. For those from USA, Canada, UK, Australia, or NZ you can apply for a business visa on arrival. Once XploreAsia has received your flight details and passport we can prepare the proper paperwork for you. You will then be sent a filled-out application form, letter of invitation, and 3 other documents. Before you depart for Yangon, you will need to print out a copy of each of these documents, have 2 passport photos, and bring USD 50 in clean, crisp condition. It is very important that the USD has no bends or tears in it as immigration will not accept it.

Important Note: Participants from South Africa will need to apply ahead of time at the closest Myanmar embassy for a business visa. South Africans cannot get a visa upon arrival. Application is done in Thailand with the support of our team.

Visa Trips

With the business visa, you will need to leave the country and re-enter with a new visa every 70 days. Your school will assist you with new paperwork before you leave the country. Many of our teachers fly into Bangkok and back, or to another nearby country. You can go and come back the same day, or make it a weekend excursion. School may help pay for the visa trips to Bangkok (they usually

Country/Culture Overview 

Our comprehensive 5-day cultural immersion course is held in Yangon and designed to help orientate participants to their new surroundings and give them an in-depth understanding of the history, culture, and people of Myanmar. The orientation includes in-class learning about geography, politics, culture, and language. In conjunction with classroom learning, participants will also take part in excursions to significant sites around Yangon.

The excursions include:
• Guided tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda
• Walking tour of downtown
• Circle Train
• Lethwei class (Burmese Boxing)
• Intro to Buddhism and meditation
• Excursions are subject to change based on your program and weather

The accommodation during the orientation and course is located at our office and residence. Please note that rooms may have to be shared depending on availability (with someone of the same gender of course).

English Proficiency

Myanmar people understand English is very important to their future and seek ways to learn English inside and outside of the school system, raising the demand for English teachers. Many turn to English language institutes and private tutoring classes because the methods of teaching in public schools do not focus on proficiency in speech and conversation. English communication skills are also crucial to young professionals entering the job market. The level of English proficiency in Myanmar is higher in urban areas than it is in rural areas, but the desire to learn English is equally high across the country.

Religions and culture

The dominant religion of Myanmar is Theravada Buddhism followed by Hinduism and Islam, with a vast number of religions that vary greatly from tribe to tribe. The Shwedagon Pagoda, which is located in Yangon, is considered the holiest Buddhist pagoda in the country. It is also known as the “Golden Temple,” because the spire is made of gold and the temple is embedded with gold, rubies and other precious gems.

Life in Myanmar

Myanmar, formally known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia that is bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand, creating a unique blend of cultures and religions found nowhere else in Southeast Asia.

The Myanmar population is estimated at around 53 million people. Within the past two years, tourism has increased exponentially. It is fast becoming a hotspot for adventure travelers. In late 2015, Myanmar held its first democratic election in nearly 40 years and the country now enjoys the status of being the only democracy
in mainland Southeast Asia.

The main language spoken in Myanmar’s large cities is Burmese. However, there are many ethnic groups in different regions of the country that speak their own languages.

Myanmar still lacks technological development; it is not surprising to see people travelling by horse and buggy as well as by bicycle in the rural or small-town environs and trishaws (tricycle modified to carry passengers) in the larger towns and cities. ATMs are only available in the major cities in Myanmar, making the country particularly attractive if you are looking for an escape from modern technology.

Internet access is constantly improving, especially in Yangon, although connections may be weak at times. In conjunction with that, most but not all accommodations come with air conditioning. While the living conditions might be rustic, Myanmar is a very safe place to live and work. It is very important that the applicant must feel comfortable living in circumstances that are not to the same standard as they may find in the West. Mobile internet is 5G and is very fast.

One very alluring aspect of Myanmar is that the country has many beautiful temples. Bagan, in particular, has the densest concentration of Buddhist temples and pagodas anywhere in Southeast Asia.

General

The people of Myanmar are hard-working, but live a relaxed lifestyle. Whether on the streets of the cities, or on the dirt roads in the rural farm lands, markets are flooded with vendors selling and trading their goods. This is also the main source of income for the lower classes.

For leisure time, the Myanmar people like to relax and converse in local teashops, as tea is a major commodity. They also play traditional games, like takraw, where a small reed-woven ball is passed to each other using only their feet. Volleyball and football are also very popular sports.

Because there are many bordering countries, regional foods vary depending on location. A large influence of curry dishes in restaurants dominate the West while in the East, traditional Chinese and Thai food are the predominant food. Mohinga, a fish soup, is the country’s customary breakfast.

Many of the women wear thanaka, which is an off-white paint that is spread on their cheeks and down the bridges of their nose. It’s used cosmetically as well as a sunscreen. A longyi, which is worn by both men and women, is a traditional long-cloth skirt that varies in colour and pattern.

History 

The former name of Myanmar was the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma. The capital of Myanmar was changed from Yangon, the largest city, to Naypyidaw in 2005. Myanmar gained its independence in 1948. From 1962 to 2011 the country was ruled by a military regime.

Since the election in 2015 a civilian government has been installed, although the military still has a large influence. Since 2011, Myanmar has been making major efforts to improve ties with the West, and because of this, and the country’s immense beauty, Myanmar’s tourism sector has experienced a major boon. There are higher numbers of Westerners visiting the country than ever before and this has dramatically increased the demand for English language education.

Climate

The country is located in the monsoon region of Asia, where the coastal regions receive over 196.9 inches (5,000 mm) of rain annually. The southwest monsoon season starts between mid-May and mid-June and lasts through October.

The rainy season peaks from July through September. Northern regions of the country are the coolest with average temperatures of 70 ºF (21 ºC) and the coastal and delta regions average at around a maximum of 90 ºF (32 ºC). During the month of March, temperatures generally reach their peak. Temperatures in Yangon can reach 104 ºF (40 ºC), while other areas can reach even higher temperatures.

Money 

You can exchange money at the airport or any official, licensed currency exchange outlet in Myanmar. We strongly recommend that you use only licensed exchanges.

You may want to bring cash in USD 100 bills and exchange these for local Myanmar Kyat (approximately 1:1335 at time of writing). Dollar bills should be in pristine condition: unfolded, clean, and not torn. You can also bring your bank debit or credit card, but we cannot guarantee if all or any of these will work. Most mainstream cards are accepted but you may need to phone or visit your bank in your home country to “unlock” your card for use in Myanmar.

On arrival in Myanmar be prepared to spend money and remember you won’t receive your first pay check until the end of your first working month. You will find that day-to-day living can be cheap and inexpensive if you are happy to live without western luxuries.

Education System

Many young Myanmar people need English for educational progression, for work, and for communication. Entrance to courses (from medicine to engineering) in Myanmar and abroad can hinge on English language skills. In any job where employees communicate with foreign staff, English is key. As such, your role is to:

• Improve their understanding and use of English in the “Four Skills” – reading and listening (receptive skills) and writing and speaking (productive skills).
• Expose them to Western styles and standards of education (games, interactive learning, peer support, critical thinking, self-reflection etc.).
• Prepare them to interact with and understand the culture of foreigners (both your own culture and other cultures).

There are four types of English language classes for adults: general English classes of maybe 10 to 30 students; private tuition classes of 1 to 10 students; specialized classes for Business English, Hospitality English, Tour Guide English; and English specifically for the IELTS exam, TOEFL exam, SAT tests, and similar. Children and teenager’s classes use only general English.

What is the current political situation in Myanmar?

Myanmar has recently transformed into a democracy. There are some humanitarian issues along the western border with a Muslim minority group being mistreated by the Myanmar military. While unfortunate, steps are being taken to address the situation. All teachers are far from this area and there is no risk to anyone placed outside this area.

How safe is Myanmar?
Yangon and Bagan are extremely safe. As with most areas of Myanmar travelers have reported that there is very little crime and that they felt safe. There are some areas in Myanmar that are not safe due to continued border problems or occasional political unrest. These areas have restrictions and Westerners are not permitted to travel there. We do not place teachers anywhere near these areas.
How are the authorities?
Kind and helpful, but take a hard line towards illicit activity.
Should I get shots before leaving my home country?
Though there are no required vaccinations, there are a few recommended shots that can be viewed here.
How are the medical services?

Though some medical centres do provide good medical care, they are not yet up to international standards. However, quality healthcare facilities are currently under development.

How are foreigners treated in Myanmar?

Foreigners are treated with kindness and respect. The Myanmar people are very curious and approachable towards visitors to their country.

Is it appropriate to wear shorts and tank tops in Myanmar?

Considering the conservative views of the locals, it is best to dress in non-revealing clothing.

Can I drink the water in Myanmar?

Only store-bought water would be considered safe to drink. Water is safe for use when brushing teeth and showering.

What are the travelling costs like in Myanmar?

Inner-city travel and travel between cities is inexpensive. In towns one mode of transport is bicycles. They cost about USD 25 per month to rent. Transport in Yangon is more expensive as people often use taxis. You can also use local buses as they
are very cheap but most of the buses are numbered in Myanmar script and it is best to carry around something to translate to make sure you get on the right bus.

What are the age groups you will be teaching?

All ages. You may end up teaching anywhere from kindergarten students to high school students. It depends on the school that is interested in your profile. When you take the TESOL course you will be trained to teach people of all ages and skill levels.

Working hours? And days per week?

The position is full time and will range from 25 to 35 hours per week in the classroom, five days of the week.

Is it possible to have medical or accident insurance?

Most international insurance providers will cover you in Myanmar. You should contact and ask them specifically if their coverage extends to this country.

What is the phone and Internet connectivity like?

Cell phone networks are in constant development, but used by the majority of locals in the main cities. Internet can be found in cafés in most major destinations with good ‘hotspots’ for data usage, but connectivity is slow. Out in the villages, internet access is very limited.

What if you are unhappy in a job? Can you get a new one?

Cell phone networks are in constant development, but used by the majority of locals in the main cities. Internet can be found in cafés in most major destinations with good ‘hotspots’ for data usage, but connectivity is slow. Out in the villages, internet access is very limited.

Dress code for teaching?

Professional dress unless otherwise negotiated with the school.

What is the level of English and behavior of students?

The level of English proficiency is generally beginner but some Myanmar people can speak English well enough to give you directions. Compared to the West, local children are much more respectful and disciplined. This is likely due to the conservative nature of Myanmar society and the strong respect for elders and family.

What sort of power adapter do I need?

Myanmar uses the same sort of adapter as other parts of Southeast Asia. These can be purchased at most electronic or travel stores.

How much is accommodation?

In the city, the price ranges from USD 200 to 350 per month.

What is the rainy season like?

In Yangon and surrounding areas, it is generally cooler during the rainy season, around 79 – 84 ºF (26 – 29 ºC). The rain starts in June, mainly in the afternoons, and is at its heaviest during July and August, (monsoon season). The rain continues
(though not as heavy) throughout September and trails off in October. Humidity can still be high during this period. You will need to bring additional clothing as it takes longer to dry items. Pavements and roads may be more difficult when walking
as they are not made to the same standards as in the West. More care must be taken due to potholes and large puddles, as well as mud. An umbrella is a must during the rainy season and can be purchased almost anywhere in the towns and cities.