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Everything you need to know about Teaching English in Myanmar

Myanmar is an enchanting and mysterious nation that has a tumultuous background. Formally often known as Burma, Myanmar has been isolated from the rest of the world for the last twenty years due to internal political turmoil.

Lately Myanmar has opened it’s borders and joined ASEAN (Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations). They’re a nation on the rise, with each home and overseas buyers building a much bigger financial system.

With the speedy flood of funding and opportunity, and the truth that English is poised to be the official enterprise language of ASEAN, the demand for English language schooling is extraordinarily excessive in Myanmar. It’s no marvel then that Myanmar is turning into a scorching new destination in the ESL educating world.

On this article, I’ll cowl just about the whole lot you need to know about educating in Myanmar. So let’s start with the varieties of jobs obtainable.

Sort of Teaching Jobs Out there in Myanmar

In contrast to Thailand and different neighboring nations, authorities faculties in Myanmar don’t rent overseas English academics. Prohibiting the option of working at a public faculty severely limits the opportunities obtainable to academics, however there are nonetheless loads of good educating jobs out there.

1) Language Facilities

Language facilities are gaining reputation in Myanmar. Most of them are concentrated in Yangon, however there are different opportunities in cities corresponding to Tachileik, Napyidaw, and Mandalay. If you’re conversant in the language middle scene, you’ll know that the class sizes are usually small, and the educating surroundings is often centered around an individualized tutoring fashion of instruction.

The varied language facilities that operate all through Yangon cater to totally different ages and usages of the language.

NELC-Xplore is a superb language middle to work for. They’ve a superb fame in Yangon due to their focus in group welfare. Their academics typically go to nunneries, orphanages, and area people spots. Additionally they go on occasional cultural outings.

Wall-Road English is one other extraordinarily reputable language middle in Yangon. They give attention to business-English, and have a very corporate surroundings. They cater to adults and dealing professionals, and produce other language centers everywhere in the world.

I personally know people who have labored at each above faculties, they usually have been proud of their jobs.

Language centers will often need you to have a good TESOL certificate, and at the least a bachelor’s degree. Some of them might solely require a TESOL. Since most people attend language faculties outdoors of normal work hours, it’s possible that if you work for a language middle, your schedule won’t comply with your typical Monday-Friday 8-4.

2) Worldwide Faculties

Worldwide faculties will require a lot greater credentials. They often need to see a bachelor’s in schooling, a TESOL, a pair years of experience, and a background examine. Worldwide faculties will sometimes supply greater pay, and a traditional schedule.

Sadly, I’m unable to personally advocate a world faculty in Myanmar, but there’s numerous info about worldwide faculties in Myanmar online.

So those are your commonest, legal educating situations in Myanmar. There may be some loopholes out there to find several types of alternatives, but language centers and worldwide faculties are the locations probably to have official educating positions out there.

The Work Visa…
…There isn’t one!

At this point in time, there isn’t a work visa that permits you to stay in Myanmar for any extended length of time. A business can sponsor you for a 70-day business visa. The fee for the visa is $50 USD. If you come to the airport with the right paperwork, you pays for the visa on arrival. The visa workplace could be very strict on paperwork, and the situation of the money you use to pay for the visa with. If you get the business visa on arrival, you ought to pay for the visa in crisp USD. Make sure to doublecheck your paperwork, and that the money you use to buy the visa is untarnished.

Visa Journeys

Since there’s at present no work visa for Myanmar, and the maximum period of time you can spend in the country is 70 days, if you’re planning to train for any appreciable length of time in Myanmar, then you need to know that visa trips are going to be a frequent actuality. Luckily low cost flights to Thailand, Malaysia, and different neighbouring nations are available pretty much on a regular basis.

It’s essential to perceive that you need to depart the nation every 70 days to renew your visa, as it’s going to have an enormous impact on your way of life. If you’re a jet-setter who doesn’t mind leaping over the border for a weekend getaway every couple of months, then these journeys shall be no drawback; nevertheless, if commuting by aircraft or practice every two months for a border-bounce seems like a nightmare, then Myanmar won’t be the most effective educating destination for you.

One other necessary factor to mention about the frequent visa trip state of affairs is that it’s a good idea to make certain your employer either agrees to pay in your visa trips, or offers a stipend in your journeys. Making certain that housing is included in your contract will save you a lot of money.

Speaking of cash, let’s speak about banking.


Only Myanmar natives can open a bank account in Myanmar. Which means your employers will all the time be paying you in money. This additionally signifies that if you need to deposit cash in your house bank account, you could have to use a service like Western-Union or Money-Gram to transfer the money to a person in your home-country, who can then deposit the funds in your financial institution. It’s not troublesome to use these providers, however could also be an annoyance if you are planning to make frequent foreign money transfers again house, and an essential thing to know earlier than you transfer there to start educating!

Less Immigration Problem

While visa journeys in and in another country might look like somewhat of a problem, it’s nice to not have to continuously submit documents to the federal government, and wait in strains at immigration for check-ins. Additionally, the current system seems to reduce out a whole lot of the long waits for personal paperwork to be reviewed, since your employer is likely the one celebration who will evaluate your documents (diploma, TESOL, background examine).

Common Wage and Dwelling Prices

The typical wage for a instructor in Myanmar is round 800-1,500 USD a month. Lots of jobs will even embrace lodging.

Myanmar is usually a very low cost nation to stay in, particularly if you stay like the locals. Which means you should eat like the locals. There’s loads of overseas investment coming into Myanmar right now, and whereas things are usually low cost, there are many options to splash out a lot of dough.

Overseas meals can value virtually as a lot as it does in a variety of Western nations, and there are numerous eating places and cafés that cater to the uber-wealthy. Beer is extremely low cost, but a whole lot of the hip places to go out in Yangon are rooftop bars, and their costs tend to be high.

For these of you who’ve been to Thailand, I personally discovered the cost of dwelling cheaper there than in Myanmar. Then once more, I didn’t take pleasure in Burmese food as much, and I ate overseas food several occasions every week. If you are conservative together with your cash, and you eat regionally, I’d say it’s attainable to save round $200-300 USD a month.

Lease in Yangon

Lease in Yangon is atrociously expensive. There is a excessive inhabitants density, and a restricted quantity of housing, excessive demand and low provide. Even slum-style flats start at round $500 USD, and the worth only goes up from there.

One of many largest pieces of advice I may give to someone shifting to Myanmar to train English, is to ensure that your employer offers accommodation or provides you a stipend. It’s a good idea to kindly inquire about the circumstances of the dwelling area. Accommodations in Yangon (and the rest of Myanmar) might be rugged. If it’s a concern, you ought to ask about a western-style rest room, scorching water, and AC.

A Lovely and Rugged Setting

While Myanmar is a whirlwind of culture and wonder, it’s isolation from the remainder of the world, inner battle, wrestle for independence, and immense poverty contribute to a pretty-rugged setting.

The facility goes out regularly when it gets too scorching, typically for lengthy durations of time, your sink might or might not spit out black soot for a couple seconds earlier than streaming clear water, and you might get sick from the food. I’ve travelled to plenty of places, and Myanmar is for sure probably the most rugged place I’ve ever been. You’re probably to see youngsters working long hours in tea outlets and eating places, skinny canine in the streets, and if you go outdoors of the town, you’ll see groups of people that need basic items like meals and entry to clear water.

I know I’m painting a bleak image, however regardless of the issues that have plagued Myanmar in the previous, it’s a country on the rise and issues are rapidly altering. With the borders flung open, there’s an thrilling buzz of change in the air. There’s truthfully no better time to be in Myanmar proper now, as it blossoms into this monumental period of its historical past.

One other good cause to come to Myanmar is that there are one million ways that you may help contribute to the welfare of the country, and countless alternatives to volunteer and make a distinction.

Despite the rugged dwelling, I truthfully can’t wait to get again to Myanmar someday soon. It’s a tremendous place bursting on the seams with power and tradition.

Justin with Monks in Yangon

Pretty, Inviting Individuals

In all places I went in Yangon I met people who invited me to all types of events and hangouts. Locals led me to Buddhist celebrations, dinners, language classes, and hidden parks in the middle of the town. In a number of the other nations I’ve visited, it may possibly typically feel like there’s an invisible barrier between you and the locals, but this is just simply not the case in Yangon. I completely beloved the individuals I met there.

Whereas I had met some fantastic individuals in Bagan and Inle Lake, I found both of these places to have an aggressive give attention to tourism, which ended up tarnishing a number of the personal interactions I had. Yangon was nothing but feel-good associates all around.

What are Myanmar’s College students Like?

The students in Myanmar are very motivated to study English, and are extraordinarily respectful as properly. During my time in Myanmar I taught schoolkids, child-monks and nuns, adults, and I even did a one-day occasion at a world faculty; I’ve run a reasonably broad gamut of educating situations in the nation, and virtually each experience I’ve had has been overwhelming constructive. The students are nice.

Which metropolis ought to you train in?

The three major cities in Myanmar with educating positions obtainable are Yangon, NayPyiDaw, and Tachileik.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

• Yangon

Yangon is a really stimulating metropolis that’s on the rise. There is a good-sized expat group, and quite a bit to see and expertise. It’s also a simple hub for getting to different areas of the nation. This city has probably the most amount of educating jobs out there in the country. Yangon is likely one of the costliest places to stay in the country, however there’s entry to a lot more residence comforts, and you are less possible to cope with issues like frequent water and power outages, bug infestations, and black soot capturing out of your faucet (though I feel I handled all of those in Yangon as nicely!). Yangon can also be the only city with a real nightlife scene, so if you like to hit the town, Yangon will in all probability be your most suitable option.

Another factor to notice about Yangon is that there are not any motorbikes. Motorbikes are illegal in Yangon, and it’s uncommon if you see one lurking about the town. So if you’re a moto-fiend, this will not be the town for you. Taxis are just about your only choice for inner-city journey, which is one other factor that makes this metropolis costlier.

• Naypyidaw

Yangon used to be the capital metropolis of Myanmar, till the government all of the sudden moved the capital to Naypyidaw with little or no rationalization.
The rumor is that one in every of Myanmar’s core politicians had a dream that the town can be attacked. Overnight he declared Naypyidaw the brand new capital of Myanmar. Others have speculated it was a bureaucratic transfer to establish a more aesthetic capital city that’s extra centrally situated.
Either means, Than Shwe, Myanmar’s leader at the time, set-up a sprawling capital in Naypyidaw, and constructed new government buildings there. The town is very large.

Despite the attract of the brand new metropolis, the native individuals of Yangon, having constructed their lives and companies in the previous capital, were not enthused with the thought of shifting to Naypyidaw. The new capital has acquired the nickname The Ghost City because of its large measurement, and small inhabitants density.

Since Naypyidaw is where all the federal government buildings are concentrated, the work you’re possible to find up there’ll almost certainly be centered around educating adult diplomats. The structure is beautiful all through the town.

• Tachileik

Tachileik is on the northern border of Thailand, simply five hours north of Chiang Mai. Of the three cities I’ve written about here, Tachileik is the place you’re doubtless to have probably the most rugged experience. There are a lot much less residence comforts obtainable, and it’s place as a border bounce city, and a historic opium smuggling hub on the tip of the golden triangle have given it a rough across the edges really feel.

My pals who have lived there had no problems making pals with the locals, and have typically advised me about their deep immersive cultural experiences there. Being close to the border can also be nice for the 70-day hop-over.

Meals in Myanmar

If I’m being 100% trustworthy, the cuisine of Myanmar is my least favorite of the area. I really like Thai meals, Malaysian meals, Cambodian meals, and Vietnamese meals, however I identical to Myanmar food. It might be that I acquired pretty tummy-sick from a batch of dangerous road meals the primary day I arrived, however who knows.

The food is a wierd mix of curries, breads, soup-noodles, and fermented salads. Most of the road eating places I ate at provided curries with mutton, hen, pork, or prawns. Shan noodles is a very fashionable soup dish.

There’s one dish that reigns supreme in all of Myanmar though, and that is the breakfast soup referred to as Mohinga. Mohinga is a fish-broth soup flavored with skinny noodles and crunchy soy topping. Each region of Myanmar has their very own special method of getting ready this morning staple.
Mohinga is one dish from Myanmar that I absolutely love. Mohinga is greater than a food in Myanmar, it is a lifestyle. Start your day the Myanmar method with a recent scorching bowl of mohinga, tea, and a Nambya (flatbread naan type bread) or Jagoiu (Burmese fritter-style doughnut).

Good Restaurants

Feel Myanmar Food is a massively in style restaurant in Yangon recognized for their high-quality authentic native food. It’s a delicious place with an excellent environment. An excellent place to take friends.

777 was one in every of my favourite restaurants in Yangon. Their meals is rich and delicious, and their menu is large. 777 can also be on a road that has a bunch of other good restaurants.

Anthony Bourdain has also finished a phase on Yangon, and it’s value watching as a result of the restaurants he mentions are nice.

The place to Reside in Yangon

There’s principally two places that expats reside in Yangon: Downtown, and the Dammayone district.

Downtown is costlier, however the structure and temples in that space are beautiful. I really like Downtown. There are lovely parks and plenty of cafés and eating places. Downtown is the costlier dwelling choice.

Dammayone is the place I stayed once I lived in Myanmar. It’s just a little extra rugged than Downtown, but there’s a cool gastro-pub scene rising. This is where a lot of the academics I know stay. Dammayone is cheaper than Downtown. One of many huge expat hangouts in Dammayone is the restaurant Pizza Manufacturing unit. They have superior pizza, they usually additionally serve combined drinks. Go there on a Friday or Saturday night time and you’re sure to meet a number of the local expats.

The Rohingya Battle

I’ve been asked about the Rohingya conflict quite a bit when talking about Myanmar. The Rohingya are a gaggle of folks that declare they are indigenous to western Myanmar. They are primarily Muslim, and the government of Myanmar doesn’t acknowledge them as Myanmar nationals, however as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Bangladesh also refuses to accept them as residents.

Both Myanmar and Bangladesh are accused of horrible mistreatment in the direction of the Rohingya. The battle is actively occurring in Myanmar now. Whereas it is a true tragedy, and I sincerely hope for issues to get better, there isn’t any hazard to expat academics if you keep away from out of the areas of the Rakhine State which might be occupied by the Rohingya.

In Conclusion

Myanmar’s deep and tumultuous history, curious and loving individuals, unique delicacies, and archeological wonders, make it one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. Despite the challenging dwelling standards, it’s a spot I can’t wait to return to.

If you love history and tradition, then there’s little question that you ought to think about educating abroad in Myanmar. There are over 137 totally different ethnic groups in the country every with their very own story and tradition. Not only is it an unimaginable place, however right now’s an unimaginable time to be there.

If you have any questions for Justin or would really like to add some further advice for potential academics please depart your reply in the comments part on the bottom of the web page.

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