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Should I move back to the UK?

Should I move back to the UK?

Old Jul 23rd 2020, 8:08 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Hindsight probably tells you that you should have stayed in Japan ! Did you burn your boats there ? Get back into it and do an MA in Applied Linguistics/TEFL by distance learning from a UK University.
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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Hindsight probably tells you that you should have stayed in Japan ! Did you burn your boats there ? Get back into it and do an MA in Applied Linguistics/TEFL by distance learning from a UK University.
I didn't burn my boats there. Wouldn't be that hard for me to move back in some ways, once the borders open again.

But I am leaning more towards the UK/PGCE route right now.

It is difficult to know if I think I should have stayed in Japan, since I was miserable enough at the time to pack my bags and leave and I contemplated doing so for many years. If I had never left Japan, I would always be thinking 'I need to leave here someday' or 'why do I just stay here because it's comfortable and easy?'

Now I've left, I'm thinking 'how could I leave something comfortable and easy?' I have actually forgotten how miserable I was at times in Japan.

So yeah I guess I just need to realise no matter what I choose there is going to be regret and thoughts of not having something else.
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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 8:44 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by Zeppo595 View Post
I didn't burn my boats there. Wouldn't be that hard for me to move back in some ways, once the borders open again.

But I am leaning more towards the UK/PGCE route right now.

It is difficult to know if I think I should have stayed in Japan, since I was miserable enough at the time to pack my bags and leave and I contemplated doing so for many years. If I had never left Japan, I would always be thinking 'I need to leave here someday' or 'why do I just stay here because it's comfortable and easy?'

Now I've left, I'm thinking 'how could I leave something comfortable and easy?' I have actually forgotten how miserable I was at times in Japan.

So yeah I guess I just need to realise no matter what I choose there is going to be regret and thoughts of not having something else.
If you were planning on coming back to Canada to teach, a PGCE may not be of much use to you. . https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Teaching_in_Canada

What do you think is making you feel so unsettled where-ever you move to - the grass doesn't appear to be that much greener it seems?
Decisions, decisions..
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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
If you were planning on coming back to Canada to teach, a PGCE may not be of much use to you. . https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Teaching_in_Canada

What do you think is making you feel so unsettled where-ever you move to - the grass doesn't appear to be that much greener it seems?
Decisions, decisions..
I don't think I would come back to Canada.

Good question. I think it is different for each place. But the problem is probably within me as much as any place.

Japan obviously had massive language and cultural barriers plus was a very isolating and lonely experience. But I was paid pretty well and had a decent life in terms of days off/benefits. You are sort of living in a bubble over there.

Canada I have felt much less lonely (until covid) but really struggling financially/not saving/no benefits. BUT I also grew quite a bit professionally with new work challenges and more responsibilities.

I left the UK when I was 20, but I was always a bit of a loner and struggled to make friends. Sorry to be pyschodramatic here, but I think becoming an expat for me at least is linked to this side of me that feels that I don't belong. I don't know if going back to the UK is going to solve that or not, or perhaps just bring it into much sharper focus.

I suppose lack of stability and security are the two biggest problems I have had living abroad. Emotional and financial more than physical. Will going back solve that? I don't know.
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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 9:05 pm
  #20  
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by Zeppo595 View Post
I didn't burn my boats there. Wouldn't be that hard for me to move back in some ways, once the borders open again.

But I am leaning more towards the UK/PGCE route right now.

It is difficult to know if I think I should have stayed in Japan, since I was miserable enough at the time to pack my bags and leave and I contemplated doing so for many years. If I had never left Japan, I would always be thinking 'I need to leave here someday' or 'why do I just stay here because it's comfortable and easy?'

Now I've left, I'm thinking 'how could I leave something comfortable and easy?' I have actually forgotten how miserable I was at times in Japan.

So yeah I guess I just need to realise no matter what I choose there is going to be regret and thoughts of not having something else.
How is your Japanese? If you were just working in Eikaiwa then returning to that after your time in Canada may feel like a step backwards unless you have a long term career goal to go with it. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how competitive it is to get above the bottom levels there though.

I've noticed you've said you were paid quite well. Were you on JET? Because most of the regular EFL jobs in Japan don't pay too well these days and you could probably earn more just doing online classes from Canada or the UK.
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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
How is your Japanese? If you were just working in Eikaiwa then returning to that after your time in Canada may feel like a step backwards unless you have a long term career goal to go with it. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how competitive it is to get above the bottom levels there though.

I've noticed you've said you were paid quite well. Were you on JET? Because most of the regular EFL jobs in Japan don't pay too well these days and you could probably earn more just doing online classes from Canada or the UK.
If you make the base salary of 250,000 yen in Japan, which isn't that much. You can still rent a place to live alone for 50/60 k that's not so bad.

In Canada, well I don't even make that base salary despite working a lot more and harder than I ever worked in Japan! And living alone? Forget it!

But as you said previously, this is more of a Toronto/big cities in the West problem than Canada specific.

As you said, I would have to go to Eikaiwa again, which would be hard to accept considering I did that aged 20 and worked my ass off to get out of it! I wouldn't be able to get my old job back easily or even at all.
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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by Zeppo595 View Post
If you make the base salary of 250,000 yen in Japan, which isn't that much. You can still rent a place to live alone for 50/60 k that's not so bad.

In Canada, well I don't even make that base salary despite working a lot more and harder than I ever worked in Japan! And living alone? Forget it!

But as you said previously, this is more of a Toronto/big cities in the West problem than Canada specific.

As you said, I would have to go to Eikaiwa again, which would be hard to accept considering I did that aged 20 and worked my ass off to get out of it! I wouldn't be able to get my old job back easily or even at all.
It is sounding like the UK could be a good option for you and the UK government are normally on a recruitment drive for teachers (I've seen a recent ad campaign for it) but I think that's often because it isn't an especially pleasant job to do in the UK.

I think what you have to remember with EFL in Canada is that you're in a mainly English speaking country and simply being fluent in English is a basic necessity in most of Canada whereas in Japan it's viewed as a skill. Have you not considered a potential other option like maybe Korea or Vietnam?

I agree with the other posters in this thread though. Whatever you decide ultimately has to be your decision. I have friends who've done a PGCE and they've all found it to be extremely rewarding but also one of the most difficult things they've ever had to do. Personally if I were you, I probably wouldn't go back to Japan at this point unless you have a long term plan like doing a masters in TEFL or something.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 12:35 am
  #23  
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

On the cost of living side, rent is certainly getting cheaper in Toronto and there are hundreds of 1 bed places for rent now that Airbnb is dead. You could keep making low ball offers until someone gives in.

On the con side, lots of places are closing for good - restaurants, bars, social activities, etc.

If you're feeling lonely, I'm happy to grab a coffee or a beer in the next couple of weeks. I moved to Australia by myself and I know how it feels.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 2:55 am
  #24  
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
It is sounding like the UK could be a good option for you and the UK government are normally on a recruitment drive for teachers (I've seen a recent ad campaign for it) but I think that's often because it isn't an especially pleasant job to do in the UK.

I think what you have to remember with EFL in Canada is that you're in a mainly English speaking country and simply being fluent in English is a basic necessity in most of Canada whereas in Japan it's viewed as a skill. Have you not considered a potential other option like maybe Korea or Vietnam?

I agree with the other posters in this thread though. Whatever you decide ultimately has to be your decision. I have friends who've done a PGCE and they've all found it to be extremely rewarding but also one of the most difficult things they've ever had to do. Personally if I were you, I probably wouldn't go back to Japan at this point unless you have a long term plan like doing a masters in TEFL or something.
I think the PGCE gives me more options and is something to fall back on. The masters in TESOL is good, but in Japan I think the uni gigs are equally about connections and publication. So it isn't like having the masters opens the doors to certain jobs. I have read horror stories about how hard the PGCE is though.

Korea or Vietnam? It's possible. I feel like in Asia it's all kind of the same experience. Of course the countries themselves are different but you're there, you're kind of alone with maybe a girlfriend/wife if you're lucky. You're accommodated towards which is pleasant but patronising. And there's always this disconnect between you and the world around you, which leads to a lot of moping around getting wasted with other expats to take the edge off.

People who go HAM and learn the language full hog and really embrace the new way of life are the people who do well. However, you need a single minded devotion to do that, which I never had. You can't force yourself to be curious about things without going insane. I'm not really someone who can just say 'okay, learning Japanese fluently will look good on my cv. I am going to do that.' I need something internally to drive me OR tremendous external pressure, and I didn't really have that in regards to fully embracing the local culture. Actually, my inner compass told me not to bother since it would take too much time and effort. And on the external side, in Japan everyone gives you a round of applause for learning how to say 'hello.' I should mention I did spend thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours studying Japanese all the same. But I didn't get fluent.

Maybe I am tired of being an expat to a degree. At least I think I am. Maybe I will be desperate to be an expat again after I struggle to assimilate back into UK society. Maybe I just need a break from it. It might even be 6 months to a year and I decide to get out again.

Let's not forget these are times of covid and NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED like this if not for this situation. It's just brought a LOT of things to the surface and has taken away literally every single reason I would ever want to be an expat (travel/doing new things/meeting new people/going to new places). Also, it's made the idea of having stability and security that much more appealing since it's brought into focus how unstable everything is.






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Old Jul 24th 2020, 3:47 am
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

This too will pass..........

If you are not happy with your life you are the only one who can change it.......... but you can't continue to run from pillar to post and back again, going in circles with no destination or goal in mind - perhaps try and think about what it is that makes you feel so unsettled and 'detached' no matter which country you are in...... I think once you can get your head around that your decision on what to do next may be a little easier.

Stay strong
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 4:42 am
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by Zeppo595 View Post
Maybe I am tired of being an expat to a degree. At least I think I am. Maybe I will be desperate to be an expat again after I struggle to assimilate back into UK society. Maybe I just need a break from it. It might even be 6 months to a year and I decide to get out again.
This is an important consideration. Don't underestimate the impact of reverse culture shock. It's something I experienced when I moved from Canada to the UK several years ago and I still regularly struggle with it now. Everyone is different though.

The good news though is that Asia will still likely be an option for you even if you return to the UK and think you may have made a mistake. I've never taught EFL myself but I know people who have and it seems that experience counts for a lot in that line of business.

You're still very young from the sounds of it and have quite a lot of opportunities open to you so it's OK to make a minor mistake from time to time.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 4:45 am
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

I am one of the many who fled teaching in the UK to do EFL overseas because teaching in most schools in the UK is a misery for teachers. It is probably not much fun being a pupil there either ! teaching in Africa and then in the Middle East was a liberation for me. It is a commentary on modern Britain that Arab teenagers are easier to teach than the Yobs who are in the British classroom ! The lyrics of that song say it all - "We don't need no education."
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 4:53 am
  #28  
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I am one of the many who fled teaching in the UK to do EFL overseas because teaching in most schools in the UK is a misery for teachers. It is probably not much fun being a pupil there either ! teaching in Africa and then in the Middle East was a liberation for me. It is a commentary on modern Britain that Arab teenagers are easier to teach than the Yobs who are in the British classroom ! The lyrics of that song say it all - "We don't need no education."
Yeah I have to admit that when my uni tried to push the teaching career path at me when it came time for graduation, as they do for most British graduates these days and especially from STEM subjects, I just laughed. There are very few professional jobs in the UK that I would least rather do and in my case the pay was already much less than I could make from working in private sector IT anyway.

Everyone is different though. I know people who have done the PGCE and gone on to teach in the UK education system and would never consider doing anything else. My only concern with the OP here is they may have forgotten just how truly awful many British children can be, especially when compared with kids from Japan and Canada.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
Yeah I have to admit that when my uni tried to push the teaching career path at me when it came time for graduation, as they do for most British graduates these days and especially from STEM subjects, I just laughed. There are very few professional jobs in the UK that I would least rather do and in my case the pay was already much less than I could make from working in private sector IT anyway.

Everyone is different though. I know people who have done the PGCE and gone on to teach in the UK education system and would never consider doing anything else. My only concern with the OP here is they may have forgotten just how truly awful many British children can be, especially when compared with kids from Japan and Canada.
Yeah that's a good point. I might have forgotten that. As horribly as teaching CAN be at it's worst, I am not qualified to do anything else. I do have some passion for it. I get into a flow state in the classroom and time flies. It forces me out of my head, which is good for an introverted overthinker like myself. But is it my dream job? No, it's a compromise to a degree.

That being said, TESOL with adults is a different thing and I am somewhat tempted to focus more on the masters degree path, which would be less stress overall. But also less of a reward.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: Should I move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by Zeppo595 View Post
Yeah that's a good point. I might have forgotten that. As horribly as teaching CAN be at it's worst, I am not qualified to do anything else. I do have some passion for it. I get into a flow state in the classroom and time flies. It forces me out of my head, which is good for an introverted overthinker like myself. But is it my dream job? No, it's a compromise to a degree.

That being said, TESOL with adults is a different thing and I am somewhat tempted to focus more on the masters degree path, which would be less stress overall. But also less of a reward.
Have you considered teaching in Canada at all? Right now it could be difficult and/or expensive but if you had PR then theoretically you'd be eligible for the same teaching programs and fees as any Canadian. I'm not sure how it works over there but some other people on here might be able to advise you.
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