Back home after more than a decade overseas..

6 messages - 7057 views Feed-icon
Hi all,

I haven't posted here in awhile. I have returned back to Edmonton after teaching and living in China for almost 13 years. I started with my Global TESOL certificate, back in Dec of 2003, and never turned back. What was supposed to be a 1 year "sabbatical" turned into a new career, family and life. I went from a $500 a month teacher in the countryside, to a highly paid IELTS Examiner for the British government. It has been an amazing ride! Not only did I make friends around the world, meet an amazing Chinese woman and start a family, but I learned to speak Mandarin Chinese and have seen wonders I never dreamed possible.

However, now, back in Edmonton for almost 6 months now, and I am almost regretting coming back. I have come back ahead of my family in order to get set up. Whereas in China I was a highly coveted teacher and had no lack of opportunities, here I am "just another guy". I feel distant from my old friends and family and although I love the weather, the space and the quiet of Alberta, I am not settling in easily. And even with almost 13 years solid and qualified teaching experience, without a piece of paper from the government saying I paid a crap-ton of money to be a teacher, I cannot be a teacher....

I feel stuck. Part of me wants to get back onto a plane to return to my family and friends in China but a bigger part of me wants to stay here and be successful, so when my wife and daughter do arrive, they will have a comfortable home waiting for them....

Reverse culture shock I guess....

Does anyone know of any resources available to Global TESOL Alumni who have returned and are having a tough go?

Any advice or assistance would be greatly appreciated!

If anyone is looking for any advice or insights on teaching in China, I would be very happy to give you my thoughts.

Have a fantastic day everyone!

Ant
what you are hitting is the closed shop mentality , you have to have a degree and I guess be a union member to get a job teaching in Canada.
The truth is they tend to favour their own home grown people , I know its blatant racism but thats Canada. Certain public civil servant jobs are always given to close family and friends.
I have a friend who got laid off in oil and gas , he was chinese , could not get a job in Canada so he went back to China within days of landing he had found a job.
What does that tell you hmm?
I know the feeling... I got my Global TESOL cert back in 2009 and I have been teaching in Asia also. Unfortunately I do not have a 4 year degree only a College Diploma which is not recognized. I am dreading having to return to Canada. The only issue is that teaching is the only job for expats out in Asia and I don't know what to do if I leave the education sector.
I wasn't overseas as long as you, but I've been "home" now (also Edmonton!) for about 15 months and there are still days I think about packing everything up and heading back to Russia. I've had an incredibly difficult time re-adjusting to everything here. Difficult to reconnect with friends and even family to a degree. I understand completely feeling "stuck." Even in my new job (which I DO enjoy) it just doesn't compare. I like to assume I'll go back one day, but I most often get hung up on the financial side: my salary in Russia was good for Russia but nowhere near enough for me to work toward retirement (still a long ways off) here.

Best wishes as you move forward here.

~ Tricia
I wasn't overseas as long as you, but I've been "home" now (also Edmonton!) for about 15 months and there are still days I think about packing everything up and heading back to Russia. I've had an incredibly difficult time re-adjusting to everything here. Difficult to reconnect with friends and even family to a degree. I understand completely feeling "stuck." Even in my new job (which I DO enjoy) it just doesn't compare. I like to assume I'll go back one day, but I most often get hung up on the financial side: my salary in Russia was good for Russia but nowhere near enough for me to work toward retirement (still a long ways off) here.

Best wishes as you move forward here.

~ Tricia
(Sorry for the repeat post. No notification of a successful post led me to believe it hadn't posted...)