Author Topic: Teachers badly needed  (Read 4908 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

Teachers badly needed
« on: September 17, 2012, 05:14:08 PM »
the Education Ministry's Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) reported that a total of 58,805 teachers are needed to fill the vacancies in schools across the country.

The Obec listed the number of experienced teachers needed for each subject.

Mathematics ranked first with 8,255 vacancies to be filled.

English language came a close second with 7,884 vacant positions.

The rest of the subjects and vacancies are listed below:

3. Thai language - 7,611

4. Science – 6,815

5. Social studies – 5,314

6. Arts education – 5,109

7. Computer science – 4,925

8. Physical education – 3,947

9. Nursery and elementary education – 3,580

10. Student development specialists – 2,498

11. Special education specialists – 1,851

12. School administration staff – 1,016

The Obec said it had raised the issue with the Office of the Civil Service Commission, which had agreed to supply 3,913 additional teachers for schools this year.

The ministry planned to hold public examinations to recruit more teachers soon.

Bangkok Post 5/09/2012
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

sicho

  • Guest
Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 06:15:41 PM »
How do that many vacancies arise? Are teachers leaving the job, has demand grown unexpectedly (should never happen) or haven't enough been trained? And what's the point in looking for that many experienced teachers?
 

Offline Roger

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 06:53:15 PM »
Certainly, the best way to fill the shortage in English Language teachers would be for Thailand to allow expat residents with sufficient experience and aptitude, to teach up to even 10 hours weekly without any need to change their Visa status to a Work permit.

For all the other subjects, as Teaching in Thailand seems to be a high status role, I wonder if the Schools could get more effective hours from those Thai teachers already in place.

The kids certainly put in the hours.....
 

sicho

  • Guest
Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 07:24:35 PM »
I think that, by and large, any expat. who wants to teach English already is. Some, I understand, shouldn't be teaching even if the paperwork requirements were relaxed. One thing that shouldn't be relaxed, and perhaps should be tightened up, is character background checks.
 

Online Taman Tun

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 06:41:52 AM »
Not to mention checks on grammar, spelling and pronunciation.  Wouldnt want a whole generation of Thai kids growing up with an Essix accent. 
“No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the record for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.” - H L Mencken
 

Offline Roger

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 08:58:16 AM »
Good morning
About background checks I agree...
As to the teaching, a few months ago, I watched a couple of English lessons at a local school, (falang + a Thai teacher) and I thought it left a lot to be desired.
To teach English, accents close to BBC speak and regular talk, (not slang), are a good thing (no Essix please). Best to avoid, (examples only for the sake of argument), broad UK accents that many Brits would struggle to understand or Southern USA drawls etc.
Was offered 4 hours a week which I would have done for fun, but it didn't seem worth turning in a treasured 'Retirement Visa' and going the work permit route - on this front, I'd be interested to know what other falang do visa wise for part-time teaching.
Roger
 

sicho

  • Guest
Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 09:14:00 AM »
Roger, I agree that strong accents are undesirable for English teaching. The combination of, say, the otherwise beautiful Geordie accent with a Thai accent would result in something incomprehensible. I would venture to suggest that anyone who studied English and learned how to teach it would lose most of any regional accent along the way. As for the BBC as an example, you should note the split infinitives and confusion of singular and plural on the box these days.

I think that the foreign teacher community, as regards visas, is made up of some that have the appropriate visa and work permit and others who do not. Some schools, I hear, don't want the expense of either checking that diplomas are genuine or paying for work permits and health insurance.
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 01:51:23 PM »
Three months ago news sounded like there were more teachers than needed:

"Nakhon Ratchasima's Primary Educational Area 5 Office saw as many as 4,306 applicants vying for 14 positions."

http://koratfart.com/education-and-teachers%27-forum/examinations-held-for-teaching-assistants-nakhon-ratchasima/
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

Offline takeitor

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 02:59:43 PM »
Not to mention checks on grammar, spelling and pronunciation.  Wouldnt want a whole generation of Thai kids growing up with an Essix accent.

You're not the only one Roger.  I would be interested in part time teaching, but am unsure of how many hours would be required to qualify for a work visa.  Has anyone got any idea?
 

Offline thaiga

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 04:07:36 PM »
i found this quite amusing

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO FAIL.

My life as a farang teacher

You or your readers might find this little cautionary tale amusing. Despite it all, I still love being a teacher here! Enjoy

I probably should have seen the writing on the wall when I was asked to sign a contract in a foreign language, without a translation. I should have just slowly backed away and then run for the hills, but I was a new Farang teacher and so happy just to have gotten a job! One term later I know that in the future I should always trust my instincts. When I first moved to Thailand I had no intention of becoming an English teacher. I was actually looking forward to an early retirement here in the Land of Smiles. I have always loved Thailand and had visited many times before. My darling wife was Thai, and after spending six happy years living in America we decided to move to the city of L. (and its not Lamphun) We both liked the North, but didn’t want to live in Chiang Mai. For us, L. is perfect; not too big and not too small. We quickly settled in, made many Thai friends, and built a lovely home. In short I was here to stay!

It wasn’t long that people starting coming out of the woodwork, asking me to teach themselves or their children English. Of course I was happy to do so. I wanted to be a good neighbor and perhaps rack up some good karma. Often I did so at no charge. Of course my wife, like most Thai women, controls the purse strings, and quickly decided that if I was going to be teaching, that I should be paid for it. So why not apply for a teaching position at one of the local high schools. Why not indeed? I have a degree in Education so I might as well put it to use. It wasn’t long before I was joining three other Farang teachers and preparing for my first day of class. Two of them, Ajarn M. from Australia and Ajarn D. from America had started here last year. Ajarn R. from Australia, like me was a newbie. All of them were first rate educators and great people. It was nice to make some Farang friends. I love the Thais, but sometimes you just want to talk to some folks who share your background and interests.

The Thai members of the English department seemed friendly enough, but from the very beginning were useless as far as giving out any practical information. Was there a syllabus? Were there text books? No, just make it up as you go along. Okay, no problem. I have plenty of ideas and there is no much information on all the ESL web sites. What were the policies and procedures that needed to be followed? No answer, even from the department head. Okay….just use my best judgement and common sense. Can I have a copy of the academic calendar? To date I still don’t have one! The only way I know if there’s an upcoming day off is when I say to a class, “See you next week”, and the students tell me that there is no class that day. Ajarn M. and Ajarn D. have been as much in the dark as myself. They told me never to hold my breath waiting for any information what so ever, because it would never arrive. They of course have been 100% correct.

Work permits? Five months have gone by and we still don’t have one! There is always one excuse or another, but the end result is always no work permits. Ajarn M. and Ajarn R. have wound up in plenty of hot water because of the school’s inability, (or unwillingness) to fulfill their legal obligations. Ajarn R. had to fly to Lao last month and spent quite a lot of money out of his pocket. Since the teacher’s visas are tied to the contracts and work permits, not having the required paperwork is completely unacceptable. But try telling that to the school officials. All you’ll hear is that we are a bunch of ingrates. That they have done everything for us and that all we do is complain! Luckily, I’m married to a Thai national, so I simply went and got my own Visa. But if I had waited for the school, I would be in violation now and would have incurred an astronomical fine!

To say that there is a lack of communication here would be an understatement. We have been in full mushroom mode since day one. Perhaps it is because when you come down to it, the Thai teachers resent the presence of Farang teachers at their school. We get paid more than they do, we have more freedom than they do, and of course we know more about teaching English than they do! This brings us to the actual job of teaching. This is where most of my real headaches begin. I’ve been teaching 18 classes, one period per week. Most of they are Matiyam 4, with a few Matiyam 3 classes. The average class size is close to 50. I of course knew that because of cultural differences that there would need to be some adjustment as how to communicate. My Thai is extremely limited. When I want a good giggle out of the class all I need to do is speak some!

What I encountered on my very first day was enough to drive one to tears…or to drink! With all the Wais Thai’s perform everyday, one might think that the typical student would be more polite and respectful than his or her American counterpart….well you would be wrong! My first classes were complete and utter madhouses! The students would not even lower their voices to listen to me. I was reduced to practically shouting to be heard. I thought, well maybe they are just giving the new teacher a little initiation. Next time it will be better. Wishful thinking on my part. When I commented to the department head on my problems, I was told that I don’t understand Thai culture. Why would I expect the students to be quiet? And after all, they probably just didn’t understand me, and were discussing among themselves what I was saying! So begins the real trip down the rabbit hole.

Among the other things I “learned” from my Thai supervisor during the following months were: The reason they are doing other teacher’s homework in your class is that that is more important than what you are trying to teach them. The same is true as to why they are not doing the homework you give them…and why are you giving them homework anyway. You were brought here to teach conversation. (maybe because the amount of English vocabulary they understand is pathetic?)

I should say that in the end most of my students were fine. After a period of adjustment most of them learned to appreciate my style of teaching. Out of over 700 + students, 70% wound up getting a good or excellent first term grade from me. (of course I was a VERY generous grader.) But the other 30% were simply taking up space, if they bothered to show up at all. When they did, the girls spent more time putting on make-up and doing each other’s hair than listening to me. Or they were playing with their cell phones, reading Anime books, or just plain old gossiping. The boys spent most of their time simply being surly. Any and every attempt I made to discipline them was met by a stern rebuff from the English department. Of course as a faring I knew I could not use corporal punishment, so I tried all kinds of other techniques. I had them stand in the corner of the classroom, until I ran out of corners. I tried marching them up to the English department, hoping that they would at least receive a lecture on respect. Of course they didn’t even hear one sternly spoke word, and once out in the corridor simply laughed at me in a mocking way. I had them write 1000 times: “I must be quiet in Ajarn Larry’s class”, or “I must do the homework for Ajarn Larry’s class”. Needless to say that I was told from the powers to be to stop this “cruel” punishment. I tried simply throwing them out of the classroom so that I could teach those students who wanted to learn. Not allowed. I have lectured that there are no naughty students, that I am simply not “motivating” them! Sometimes I feel that I’ve been sentenced to some kind of Orwellian alternate reality, where Ignorance is Bliss. We Farang teachers often joke about this school as being the Ministry of Love.

Fast forward to the time for giving out grades. We were given a flash-drive with a grading program completely in Thai. No one, despite many requests would show us how to use it! Ask Ajarn M. I was told, he was here last year. I’m too busy. Unfortunately Ajarn M. had only the vaguest clue how to use it! Somehow all of us stumbled through the process without having a clue of whether what we were doing was correct! When I handed in my results, I was in for another nasty surprise. Apparently this school has top ranking in the area, and so NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO FAIL. That includes the 90 students who I gave a score of zero. These are the sweet boys and girls who: came to class only if they felt like it, and then came 15-20 minutes late; would not pay the least amount of attention; disrupted the class continually, and finally did not hand in even ONE piece of homework for 5 months! I was told to change these 90 grades, not only from zeros, but to passing grades!

Oh, I see. This is how the school has such a high ranking! It gets even worse than this. Ajarn R. teaches Matiyam 6. When he gave his classes a test for written English, 75% failed. The Thai solution? Post the test in the hallway, so that the students can learn the correct answers, and then retest them! Not surprisingly, every student received a perfect score! Guess which test results were recorded? I have steadfastly refused to change ANY of my grades. If the administration wishes to do so, they can go ahead and do so, but I won’t be part of that little scheme!

there's more
http://www.ajarn.com/ajarn-street/postbox/my-life-as-a-farang-teacher/
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline Roger

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 07:58:47 PM »
Hello Takeitor
I believe that if you even think about work or even work one hour - you should have a 'Work Permit' - if not you are exposed in theory by breaking Immigration Rules - (I had a friendly chat with a Senior Bod in Immigration at Chok Chai about this). To apply for a work permit I think you need to have a contract from the School so the School does have to commit to you. What School will give a contract for 1 hour a week ? Or 5, 10, 20. I don't know.
Some months ago I consulted thailandguru.com about this and they advised me just to work and keep my head down - dodgy ? The Schools tend to say that if it is only part-time, its not a problem. Ha Ha - I think they mean it is your problem not theirs (when Immigration call), and in Law I believe it is exclusively your problem not the Schools at all. After being approached again to do 4 hours weekly at a local 'military' school, I was tempted again this week to do it on the 'head down' basis. Then I read the post from Thaiga.
Hello Thaiga,
Thanks for your amazing post. Can you get this posted on Ajarn or Thailand Guru as I think it would help many people prepare for teaching work here.
Hello Saf.
Thanks for the comment. May I in all sincerity ask you if you can explain for a dunce, where an effing apostrophe should go. I get the it's usage etc but in the other senses I am missing this knowledge. From reading Thaiga, I think this gap in my English would have been no disadvantage as a teacher !!!

For myself, as I have already constructed a busy retired life, I think I'll give teaching a miss.
Thanks all....
 

Offline takeitor

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2012, 08:18:36 PM »
Hi Roger

Thanks for the reply.  I am looking at teaching as a way of getting a work visa, so as to stop messing about with the countless visa runs an underage tourist like me has to do!  Most of what I have researched on the subject concurs with what you (and Thaiga's post) has said - namely that it will be difficult to get a work visa based on part-time work only - but I will live in hope and keep looking.  I have a decent income for the UK, so it is not for income, just for enjoyment and ease of visa.

BTW, I used to proof-read a lot in my old job and was called the apostrophe police (when they were being polite!), so I could go on about apostrophe usage all day...but this site does it so much better!

http://www.eng-lang.co.uk/apostrophe_rules.htm
 

Offline Roger

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2012, 08:39:19 PM »
Takeitor - thanks for that.
I'll look at the link re ' tomorrow.
Roger

 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2012, 11:15:32 AM »
You can try your luck there:

http://en.snru.ac.th/components/news/detail_news.php?id=112

They're looking for 2.

Note the qualifications required though:

1.1 Be native or near native speaker of English

         1.2 Hold M.A. in English, English and/or American literature, applied English linguistics, Curriculum and Instruction in English Teaching, or related fields

          1.3 Have teaching experience in university level preferable

          1.4 Have computer literacy

          1.5 Have good working skills as well as be able to coordinate effectively with others and to work as a team

          1.6 Be able to communicate, transfer knowledge and give advice to others

          1.7 Have a good personality, good attitude and wills
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

Offline Baby Farts

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 11:31:51 AM »
A couple of thoughts on what's been said.  At AUA they used to employ native speaking teachers from several countries in order for the students to get exposure to the different types of accents.  I remember one teacher who had such a heavy accent that it was even difficult for me to understand what he was saying at times.

On work permits.  Any work you do requires you to have a work permit irregardless of the number of hours you work.  You can't work on a retirement visa, but if you are married you can change it to a Non-O.  Since the financial requirements are less than a retirement visa, there should be no problem.  The only downside is that there is a waiting period of about four weeks before you get the Non-O visa whereas the retirement visa is typically given to you the same day.  You can also obtain a Non-O if you have children that are Thai.  If you're single, you're going to have to go the Non-B visa route which is typically a 90 day multiple or single entry depending which embassy you get it at.  Once you get that and all the required paper work from the school for a work permit, you go back to immigration and apply for a one year extension.  The downside is that if you lose your job, you have seven (7) days to find a new job or you have to leave the kingdom.  That's the nice thing about a Non-O.  If you do lose your job you can still remain in the kingdom.  The reason for this is if you have a Non-B visa and lose your job or if the school decides not to rehire you, the school cancels your work permit which effectively also cancels your one year extension.  Then you're back to border runs again, and if you do border runs to get a tourist visa, you will not be able to obtain a work permit as work permits are not issued to people holding tourist visas.

Another thing.  If you do have a work permit, it is only valid for the school that is stated on the work permit.  It does not allow you to do other part time work on the side.  If you want to work multiple jobs that has to be amended and noted in the work permit book. 

If you want to work part-time check out the colleges and universities.  That's your best bet.

Hope this helps
 

Offline takeitor

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2012, 04:09:58 PM »
All useful info JF and BF - many thanks.  I think I may have to wait until I have a better reason for an "O" visa and put up with the visa runs in the meantime....
 

sicho

  • Guest
Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2012, 06:58:17 PM »
Agreed, very useful.

What are the penalties for the schools and individuals where foreigners teach with only a retirements visa and no proper credential at all?
 

Offline thaiga

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2012, 07:18:02 PM »
Students:  Good morning teacher!
Teacher:  How are you?
Students:  I'm fine thank you, and you?
Teacher:  Fine thank you.  Please sit down.

This silly little dialogue takes place at the start of just about every English class at every level in government schools throughout Thailand.  If you are going to teach in a Thai high school, get used to it because you will hear it over and over and over again!  As you enter the class all of the students will obediently stand up and go through this little routine like robots.  Failure to go along with it will confuse them!  I fought very, very hard to get my students not to go through this - and then found myself chastised by management for doing so!
from a blog stickmanbangkok
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline Baby Farts

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2012, 08:47:07 PM »
Agreed, very useful.

What are the penalties for the schools and individuals where foreigners teach with only a retirements visa and no proper credential at all?

Deportation and blacklisted after spending a week in the immigration holding prison in Bangkok.  For the schools, I'm not sure what the fines are.  20,000 baht seems to come to mind.  Any one of the police divisions can do work permit investigations although the majority of them are employed by the work permit office with the assistance of the police.  Most of the time they go after the illegal aliens from the neighboring countries like Cambodia and Laos. 
 

Offline Roger

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2012, 09:08:18 PM »
Takeitor the Visa runs seem a good option. Stick to it.
Baby F - I agree with you about the unlikely but bad results if one is found out.
I think I'll stay retired - confirmed finally finally and thanks to all for great info. and insights. For Th. - what a way to run things .......
Just have to enjoy myself instead.
Now where does that apostrophe go ?
GLA
 

Offline Baby Farts

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2012, 10:28:40 AM »
Yeah, the officials tend to leave the farangs alone unless pressed hard by someone.  Several years ago a very large and popular private language school used to put all their newly hired teachers on probation for six months before they would issue them a work permit, effectively forcing them to break the law for six months.  There's a true story of a lady who was turned in by a fellow teacher because they had gotten into a disagreement.  She was on probation.  She was arrested and deported.  Very nasty thing to do.  This was many years ago.  You'd be surprised how many people are working without work permits, even in Korat, or doing work outside of the scope to which the permit was issued for.   
 

Offline Baby Farts

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2012, 10:41:12 AM »
Students:  Good morning teacher!
Teacher:  How are you?
Students:  I'm fine thank you, and you?
Teacher:  Fine thank you.  Please sit down.

This silly little dialogue takes place at the start of just about every English class at every level in government schools throughout Thailand.  If you are going to teach in a Thai high school, get used to it because you will hear it over and over and over again!  As you enter the class all of the students will obediently stand up and go through this little routine like robots.  Failure to go along with it will confuse them!  I fought very, very hard to get my students not to go through this - and then found myself chastised by management for doing so!
from a blog stickmanbangkok

Yep.  The other phrase that's chanted is:   Teacher : "ARE YOU READY?"  Students: "YES WE ARE!"

Here's how I used to break the students of the typical "I'm fine thank you, and you" routine.   I would have the class stand up.  Then I'd ask one student, "How are you?"  The typical first answer, "I'm fine thank you, and you?"  I would ask the student to sit down, then I'd write on the white board, "I'm fine thank you and you?"  I'd call on a second student and repeat the same question, "How are you?"  Always the same response, "I'm fine thank you and you?"  At this point I would point to the white board emphasizing that "I'm fine thank you and you" has already been said and that the student would have to say something different. Uh ok, "I'm great."  Then I'd write "Great" on the board.  Once a response has been said, it cannot be used or repeated again.  Do this until all the students have responded.  You'd be surprised what some of the students used to come up with.

I'm Ok.
I'm great
I'm so-so
I'm happy
I'm sad
I'm hungry
I'm tired
Not bad
I'm broken hearted
I'm hanging (very popular amongst the lads)
etc.....

It really does help break the "I'm find thank you and you" routine and gives them other options to use when responding to the gold old "How are you" question.
 

Offline thaiga

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2012, 11:14:44 AM »

a lady that lives nearby said to me that her daughter speaks english.

so i said to the girl  "whats your name"  she replied  "im fine thankyou"    :lol   thats true
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline Roger

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2012, 04:59:15 PM »
Takeitor - thanks for the link re.apostrophe rules - very clear. Took me 65 years to learn ! Roger
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2012, 09:08:36 AM »
There seem to be quite a lot of native speakers wanted as teachers in and near Korat. Have a look at that page;

http://www.teachingthailand.com/job/11755/3-native-english-speakers-for-thai-university-near-nakhon-ratchasima-at-efl-international/

Below that ad there are links to more ads for positions at schools in Korat.
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

Lebowski

  • Guest
Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2012, 01:29:50 PM »
From what I hear and see, there are some good teachers here but there are quite a lot of "teachers" here too that have no business being anywhere near a classroom.

We often hear about the shortcomings of the educational system here in Thailand and the inability of the authorities to instigate meaningful change that would bring about real progress but we all know it's never going to change. I often used to wonder how it could be so bad until I spoke with a teacher or two and they, for example, told me that when it comes to a final exam for college/university students they are still using multiple choice or single word answers for the questions.

They said not a coherent sentence in sight, let alone an essay produced and one of them said not to even mention the problem of rampant plagiarism. I suppose this is how incompetence is perpetuated into the system as those leaving with useless degrees go on to be useless in positions of government or industry. 
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2012, 10:42:01 AM »
Dear All CS,

Urgent!! Part Time Job for you.
Working+Travelling :)

We are looking for 10 Native Speakers( we request the certificate if you are not the native speaker) to join us "English Campus" for the country children.

Location : Udonthani Province.
Work Period : 22-26 Sep., 29 Sep.-2 Oct., 8-12 Oct., 15-19 Oct.
Working Time : Mon.-Fri. 6 hours.
Benefit : 1000 THB / Day, Free breakfast, lunch, dinner everyday and accommodation( stay at a nice hotel), Free transportation from BKK-Udonthani.)

It's not work ,only!! so if you are interested, please contact Jekky at 0838384379. (within Friday)


Thank you.
JK

http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=704&post=13240153

What could that be about?
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

Offline Baby Farts

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2012, 05:49:28 PM »
It's one of those events they call an "English Camp."  Lots of schools do them.
 

Offline takeitor

Re: Teachers badly needed
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2012, 05:56:05 PM »
The trouble is, surely, with work visas?!  BF, you said that a visa would need to be for a specific job and you cannot work, or even do charitable work, without one.  So how can anyone possibly, legally, sign up for this.
 :uhm
I appreciate that it is unlikely you will get pulled up, but it is surely not worth the risk.  It could be good experience to put on a potential CV I guess, if you were prepared to admit it.
 

 



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