Why Teach in Vietnam?
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Why Teach in Myanmar?
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is an amazing country with a lot of history. The Burmese people have faced many adversities over the last few hundred years. They were a British colony until 1948 and are strong advocates of independence and freedom.
Myanmar also has over 1,200 miles of uninterrupted coast line. Making it a great place for anyone who loves nature! It is also covered in breath-taking buddhist temples and monasteries.
Being a buddhist country, the Burmese people have a great respect for Teachers. There is a clear hierarchy laid out in the classroom and students are expected to be respectful and follow the teacher’s guidance.
Qualifications to Teach in Myanmar
Native English Speaker: Required
Bachelor’s Degree: Required
Master’s Degree: Not Required but Favored
TEFL Certificate, CELTA Degree or Equivalent: Often Required
Criminal Background Check: Required
Health Check: Required
Citizenship of English Speaking Country: Required
*Filipino Teachers can qualify if they have a masters in a specialized field
Native English Speaker: Not Required
Bachelor’s Degree: Not required
TEFL Certificate, CELTA Degree or Equivalent: Not Required
Criminal Background Check: Not required
Health Check: Recommended (More info here)
Citizenship of English Speaking Country: Not Required
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Increase your chances of getting hired
Increase your value as a teacher and thus increase your pay
Allow you to land a job in practically any country in Asia
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How to Find a Job in Myanmar
First thing you should know about finding a teaching job in Myanmar: The majority of public schools lack the funds necessary to hire a foreign teacher. Therefore, most teaching jobs in Myanmar will be in private language schools or volunteer positions.
The next thing to know about Myanmar: High school students are required to study English, math and one discipline of science. That means that there are many more specialized teaching jobs in Myanmar.
We'll tell you how to find both. Let's get to your options...
You'll find the whole gamete of teaching jobs on the forum links below. There will be big schools that provide housing and a great salary for specialized teachers, and small schools for novice English teachers just starting out.
Sometimes you've got to be proactive and go straight to the source. Here is a link that will list some of the biggest language schools and international schools in Myanmar.
Apply directly through their site with your resume and information.
As the school year starts in August, your best bet is to apply at least 3 months in advance.
A huge portion of teaching jobs in Myanmar are NOT posted online. These jobs are filled via word of mouth or by "a friend of a friend" type of hook up. If you're finding your online leads bleak, just hustle your ass over to Myanmar and start hunting.
Get connected to English schools by making friends with local teachers and letting them know that you're looking for a job.
You can also gather a list of schools in the area, print out your resume, and literally show up to English academies in your teacher attire!
The other plus to this is that if you do apply to jobs online simultaneously, you are much more likely to be hired if you can swoop by for an in-person interview.
If you want to start your job search in Myanmar, you can obtain a 3-month business visa quite easily which we'll detail in the visa section below.
What's Included in the Job
Option 1: Scan Job Listing Forums
Option 2: Apply Directly to Private Language Schools Online
Option 3: Go to Myanmar and Search
Private International Schools & Language Schools
Average Monthly Income: $1500 - $2,000
Housing: Sometimes Provided
Flights: Not provided
Medical Insurance: Usually provided
End of the Year Pension: Sometimes provided
End of the Year Bonus: Depends on school
Vacation Time: Flexible
Contract Commitment: 6 months - yearly
Teachers in Myanmar who specialize in math, science, biology, etc., are highly sought after and therefore, are privy to more perks in the form of higher salary and benefits.
Visas for Teachers in Myanmar
Good New! Visas for teachers in Myanmar are easy!
Most teachers enter in on the Business Visa. They also teach on the Business Visa. So here's what you need to know about your new best friend: the Business Visa.
The business visa is good for 70 days (10 weeks). You can renew it 3 times to get another 70 days.
On the 4th time, you can renew your Business Visa and apply for a Stay Permit which allows your to stay for 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year (single entry use only).
Each time your visa expires, whether it be 70 days, 6 months, or 1 year, you'll have to go to neighboring Thailand for a "visa run" and re-enter the country in order to start a new visa.
You've got two options to get your Business Visa.
It all boils down to having a letter of invitation before you arrive in Myanmar.
Option 1: Visa on Arrival with Letter of Invitation
If you've already got a job, then your school in Myanmar will provide you with an official letter of invitation, thus fulfilling the "business" aspect of your visa.
Once you've got the letter of invitation, you can simply rock up to immigration on arrival in Myanmar (airport or land) with your letter in hand, along with the following documents (see below) and your visa will be processed on the spot in about 5 minutes.
Business Visa Application (download here)
2 Passport Photos
Passport with 6+ months validity
Option 2: Apply for an E-Visa Ahead of Time
If you don't have a letter of invitation or a job yet, you can use a (totally legit) online visa service that provides you with a letter of invitation.
Using Myanmar visa services online, such as eVisa Myanmar, is simple.
Step 1: File for a Business Visa online by filling out a form about the dates of your trip.
Step 2: Pay the $70-80 fee.
Step 3: Wait for the letter of invitation to be e-mailed to you within 3 days
Step 4: Present this letter at immigration and you'll get your visa on the spot!
If you're in a rush, try this site that will expedite your E-visa in 1 day.
Business Visa done!
Now, if you are planning to stay in Myanmar for longer than 30 weeks and don't want to keep doing visa runs every 70 days, you can apply for the Stay Permit. Th Stay Permit is not a replacement but rather an addition to your Business Visa and basically acts as an addendum to the 70 day limit.
Here are the documents needed to apply for a Stay Permit in Myanmar:
A recommendation letter from your school including details about your position, and intended entry and exit dates
Letter of Invitation from your school on its official letterhead;
Authorization letter notarized and legalized by the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate
Visa application form
Two recent passport photographs with white background size 35mm x 45mm
Passport valid for at least six months and a copy of the passport details page
You may hear rumors about needing a work permit to teach in Myanmar; ignore them. Work permits do not apply to teachers. Phew!
Myanmar Business Visa 101
How to Apply for Myanmar's Business Visa
Cost of Living in Myanmar
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The cost of living in Myanmar can be considered inexpensive when compared to western countries. The average monthly cost of living in Indonesia is only around $600, with rent being the biggest expense. If you live outside the main cities of Mandalay, Yangon, and Rangoon- you can expect your cost of living to be even lower. That leaves you plenty of money from your teaching salary to explore all that Myanmar has to offer.
Though individual spending habits vary, most teachers find it easy to relax, go out, and live comfortably on their teacher salaries in Myanmar. We've briefly broken down the average cost of living with prices in USD, according to numbeo.com.
One Bedroom in the City Center: $500
One Bedroom in Outskirts of the City: $300
Taxi (1km): $2.41
Gasoline (1 Liter): $2.49
Cinema- International Release (1 Ticket): $3.00
Milk (1 Liter): $6.86
Chicken Breast (1kg): $2.89
Loaf of Fresh White Bread: $1.21
Draft Beer (pint): $1.10
Restaurant Meal (average restaurant): $9.06
McDonald’s Combo Meal: $4.50
Day to Day Expenses
The Low Down on Myanmar
Currency: Myanmar Kyat (Rate here)
Type of Government: Democracy
Crime: Mostly petty crimes & low rate of crime against foreigners. Domestic crime is largely robbery. Check it.
Safety Concerns: Civil war in rural areas between ethnic groups. Read here.
Street Food: Very affordable and easy to find
Public Transportation: In rural areas you may only be able to find horse or ox carts. However, in the major cities buses and rickshaws should be abundant.
What's it like Living in...
Mandalay is the second largest and capital city in Myanmar. It is named after the great Mandalay Hill which is a pilgrimage site for many buddhists. Mandalay is also the location of the last Royal Palace of Myanmar, called the Mandalay Palace. There is also a number of pagodas and monasteries close to Mandalay due to its religious significance. Mandalay would be great for someone coming to learn more about the cultural and traditions of the Burmese people.
Yangon, also called Rangoon, is the former capital of Myanmar. It is also the largest city. It mixes the city life with nature perfectly. Yangon is a bustling city filled with markets and businesses. On the other hand you also have several pagodas and temples. The national museum, zoological gardens, and access to the Yangon river which feeds into the Andaman Sea and later into the Indian Ocean. Yangon is great for someone who wants to experience Myanmar but with most of the comforts from home!
Naypyidaw is the third largest city in Myanmar but considerably smaller than the other two. It would be more suited for someone who likes more of the rural scene. It boasts open access to Myanmar’s dense jungles. You can also find a museum and zoological garden there. Great for the rural explorer!
What's to Love about Myanmar?
● Teachers are highly respected in Myanmar culture
● Beautiful coastline, great for fishing or just enjoying the numerous beaches.
● Both street food and restaurant meals are super cheap
● Supreme opportunities for jungle trekking in Myanmar
What's to Dislike about Myanmar?
● As a developing country, some technology is harder to come across such as ATMs or SIM cards.
● Myanmar is currently facing a civil war between the government and the ethnic minorities. This mostly happens in the rural area where foreigners are not often allowed. Read up here.
● Visa runs can be inconvenient