Monday, November 2, 2009

Filipino Teachers: Beware of US Recruitment

Dear fellow teachers from the Philippines,

I am teaching overseas right now. Please do not allow yourselves to be victimized by recruiters. Please read the article about Filipino teachers held in 'servitude' in the USA in the link below.

You don't need recruiters. You don't need middlemen/middlewomen. You can take control of your job search.

Let me share with you how I applied for my overseas job.

As an Overseas Filipino Worker, my first overseas job was a teaching position at the Da-Yeh University in Changhua, Taiwan. I taught there for 5 1/2 years. I applied online by posting my resume on Dave's ESL Cafe. It was free. Afterwards, Dave's ESL Cafe sent me job ads posted by schools and language centers.

I sent my application portfolio to several universities in different countries. After considering the offers, I chose to sign up with Da-Yeh University in Taiwan. Everything was free in the sense that I didn't have to pay any middleman/woman (the recruiter). Of course, I paid for my passport at the Department of Foreigh Affairs and my visa at the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Makati City.

I applied personally for my passport and my visa. I didn't allow any recruiters or travel agents to make money off me. I was a direct hire.

Right now, I am teaching at the National Institute of Education (NIE) in Singapore. How did I apply for this job? I surfed the web, found advertised job openings for academic staff in reputable institutions, and sent my application documents in 2007 to some.

After going through the usual interviews and waiting for several months, in November of the same year, I received from NIE an air parcel sent through a 24-hour courier. It contained my letter of appointment and other relevant documents. I signed an acceptance letter which I sent back through a 24-hour courier, too. A notice was e-mailed to me to pick up my air ticket from the nearest Philippine Airline sales office.

On Nov. 30, 2007, I flew to Singapore. I checked into the university's executive centre for free, then transferred to a faculty flat on Dec. 3, 2007. I received my first paycheck on Dec. 15, 2007.

I was a direct hire. I didn't allow any recruiters or travel agents to make money off me.

It breaks my heart when I hear of fellow teachers who are victimized by recruiters. I understand the dream that you dream. For heaven's sake, don't let it become a nightmare!


Carmelita C. Ballesteros


Gerard said...

Dear Dr. Ballesteros,

I've been there last month looking for a job, it's really competitive. Nevertheless, I am still planning to try my luck again. It is just that when I see in the ads "NIE trained teachers" that I feel a bit discouraged to apply for a teaching job there in Singapore. I've taught 2 years of High School Science in one of the Science High Schools here in the Philippines until I finally landed teaching into preschool and elementary handling English and Math. Could you give me some insights how I could land a job and increase my chances in being shortlisted in the Ministry of Education? I went to MOE last month and they told me to apply online. They also told me that if in case I will be shortlisted or if they will be interested to hire me, they will notify me in three to four weeks time. When is the best time to apply? (for I am still engaged in teaching until March 2010). I graduated BS Chemistry from UP Los Banos passed the chemistry licensure examinations and at the same time the licensure examination for teachers. I am planning to further my training in teaching at NIE if I could land a job there hopefully specializing in teaching for children with learning disabilities. I hope you could give me insights on how to look and land a teaching job in Singapore. Thank you so much.


Gerard Co
gerryb23 at

Carmelita C. Ballesteros said...

Hi, Mr Co.

Sorry for this late reply. I was away on my annual leave. I'll respond to your questions via e-mail.


Dr Carmelita