Any Baha'is live in Cook Islands or Malaysia?

Aug 2014
1,424
Blue Planet
Allaho Abha everyone.

first of all, I should apologize for my little contribution to the posts here. I don't know if you have heard the news or not, but my country is, at the moment, experiencing severe problems, everyday riots, mass killings, etc etc, and it has made it hard to think peacefully about an ordinary kind of life which is usual everywhere else on earth.

Next, I'd like to ask if anyone here has ever lived (or is currently living) in Cook Islands or Malaysia? I'd like to try my chances to go to one of those two places permanently. Those are the only two countries which permit me to enter without a Visa (and one or two more countries). So, I was thinking to go to one of these countries, on a visitor visa, and then find a job and change my visa to working class. So I thought maybe if someone is familiar with any of these two countries, can tell me if jobs are easily found there, and if the plan is generally possible. My occupation is English teacher, but I was thinking I can do all kinds of jobs which don't need any academic diplomas; say taking care of children and such.

I'd appreciate it if anyone who has lived in any of these two countries, can give me a general idea of how things may go there. I could surfe the net to find what I am looking for (and I did), but I thought to ask from real people may be much better.

Thank you everyone, and sorry if the topic is so irrelevant to the Baha'i faith :D
 
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Jul 2017
378
Kettering, Ohio USA
first of all, I should apologize for my little contribution to the posts here. I don't know if you have heard the news or not, but my country is, at the moment, experiencing severe problems, everyday riots, mass killings, etc etc, and it has made it hard to think peacefully about an ordinary kind of life which is usual everywhere else on earth.
I know all about that. I've been following the news. There are other countries though in that region such as Syria and Yemen that are having severe problems. Don't think you are alone in this. In my country we have a political crisis you may have followed and my country came pretty close to making war with your country. I doubt that you are among those that mourn Soleimani, but killing him was a stupid thing to do. Conflict continues between our countries.
 
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Aug 2014
1,424
Blue Planet
I know all about that. I've been following the news. There are other countries though in that region such as Syria and Yemen that are having severe problems. Don't think you are alone in this. In my country we have a political crisis you may have followed and my country came pretty close to making war with your country. I doubt that you are among those that mourn Soleimani, but killing him was a stupid thing to do. Conflict continues between our countries.
No, indeed I wasn't among the mourners of S; to me, he was a terrorist. But the government's brain washing was so deep that even many people who are completely opposed to the policies of the government went for Soleimani.
But since then and even before that, the country is really unrresfult. There is already an ongoing antigovernment riot going on here .
 
Sep 2010
4,661
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
Allaho Abha everyone.

first of all, I should apologize for my little contribution to the posts here. I don't know if you have heard the news or not, but my country is, at the moment, experiencing severe problems, everyday riots, mass killings, etc etc, and it has made it hard to think peacefully about an ordinary kind of life which is usual everywhere else on earth.

Next, I'd like to ask if anyone here has ever lived (or is currently living) in Cook Islands or Malaysia? I'd like to try my chances to go to one of those two places permanently. Those are the only two countries which permit me to enter without a Visa (and one or two more countries). So, I was thinking to go to one of these countries, on a visitor visa, and then find a job and change my visa to working class. So I thought maybe if someone is familiar with any of these two countries, can tell me if jobs are easily found there, and if the plan is generally possible. My occupation is English teacher, but I was thinking I can do all kinds of jobs which don't need any academic diplomas; say taking care of children and such.

I'd appreciate it if anyone who has lived in any of these two countries, can give me a general idea of how things may go there. I could surfe the net to find what I am looking for (and I did), but I thought to ask from real people may be much better.

Thank you everyone, and sorry if the topic is so irrelevant to the Baha'i faith :D
Great to hear from you, yes the times of great change is fast approaching. It is great you teach, very wonderful occupation.

I lived in Malaysia in Penang Island for 2 1/2 years as a child. Fond memories, very tropical climate, which is hard if you do not like hot humid weather.

Penang is a beautiful place and very colourful people.

I will offer prayers to aid in your decisions. The best guidance I can give, is always consider the motivation you do anything for.

Stay safe, stay happy and all the best.

Regards Tony
 
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daniel

Forum Staff
Mar 2006
187
Seattle, WA
I have spent an extended amount of time in Malaysia, living in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Kuala Lumpur is a well developed large city, with an excellent transportation system for getting around and everything you'd expect from a typical big city. And as you get into the expanded area around KL, there's many more options and areas.

Penang is a smaller city, significantly cheap cost of living, and a beautiful countryside surrounding the area. Penang has positioned itself as a small city full of arts, to attract tourism, and most of the tourists passing through are doing quick visa runs from the surrounding SEA countries (Thailand, Vietnam, etc.)

I have always enjoyed my time in Malaysia. If you have any specific questions about the areas, post up and I will try to assist.

One of my places to go for 2020 is Langkawi, Malaysia for a few days. It's smaller than Penang, but there's some fun hiking adventures I hope to trek.
 
Aug 2014
1,424
Blue Planet
Great to hear from you, yes the times of great change is fast approaching. It is great you teach, very wonderful occupation.

I lived in Malaysia in Penang Island for 2 1/2 years as a child. Fond memories, very tropical climate, which is hard if you do not like hot humid weather.

Penang is a beautiful place and very colourful people.

I will offer prayers to aid in your decisions. The best guidance I can give, is always consider the motivation you do anything for.

Stay safe, stay happy and all the best.

Regards Tony
Allaho Abha Tony and thanks a lot.
I think I'd like the weather there, because I hate cold weather and I love warm weather. as for motivation, well.... I like to be able to live somewhere where I can freely speak about my faith, progress, and have an ordinary life; not amid all kinds of civil and international wars. maybe it's a bit worldly; I don't know.
 
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Aug 2014
1,424
Blue Planet
Oh, thanks a lot Daniel. your reply made me think that I may be able to find a job in Malaysia if I go there. that kind of experience you have, living there, is very useful. thank you for your help.
 

daniel

Forum Staff
Mar 2006
187
Seattle, WA
I have been in Southeast Asia the last few years, and there are always jobs for English teachers. Seriously. I probably get asked a couple times a month, and I have to proclaim that I already have a full time job and no desire to be an English teacher. I have zero experience teaching, or trying to teach, English so I'm somewhat hesitant at giving advice towards this career path. That said, this has been my observation as an expat living in SEA:
  • Prior teaching experience helps, but is not necessary. There are too many jobs for teaching English.
  • Everyone talks about having the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) accreditation. From what I understand, this is not necessary if you have a Bachelors Degree from a English speaking university. But even the Bachelors Degree doesn't always seem to be necessary. Many people seem to be hired based upon just having a normal conversation, depends on the school or institution hiring.
  • The highest paid English teachers, from what I can gather, are the international private schools. They also provide more structure, set days off, etc. The smaller English learning centers (not full fledged schools) seem to have a wider schedule and more erratic working hours. Your results may vary.
Keeping all that in mind, and being completely ignorant of visa rules for your passport for the different SEA countries, I would encourage you to also expand your search into Bangkok, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. In the beginning, you'll probably only allowed to stay for 90 days, but once you get hired, they will take care of (nearly) everything and you'll only have to renew your visa every year (very easy to do a quick visa run). Immigration is better in Vietnam (compared to Thailand), but Thailand is much more mature with having an infrastructure to house teachers for free, get them teaching, etc. For Ho Chi Minh, target District 2 (this is where the large expat community is and many prestigious international schools) and District 7 (this is where the rich Japanese/Korean communities are primarily living). And not sure what grade you're willing to teach, but the demand is there from preschool all the way through high school. For Bangkok, it's a wide open area with probably the largest pool of options.

For Malaysia, you're probably best looking in the Kuala Lumpur area, and the expanded area around KL (it's quite vast). I do agree the easiest visa is Malaysia, even for me, but I personally prefer Vietnam and Thailand more.

Singapore is another option, but given that it's a very expensive country, everyone says you don't have much money after it's all said and done, and it's a much more difficult working environment.

And the last thought I'll throw out there... if you genuinely like children, there's also an equal amount of nanny jobs for English speaking people. The affluent in these countries want someone to live with them in their house, so your room and food is free, and you take care of the child in the morning (before their driver takes them to school), and you can do anything you want during the day (free time) until around 4pm when the driver brings the child back home and you take care of the child in the evening hours. The high demand is for people who speak English, because they want their child to grow up comfortable speaking English. And you are not required to speak the native language because they don't want the child to speak the native language anymore than they need to. Because English is one of the native languages of the Philippines, many Filipinos come to these SEA countries to teach English or be nannies to families. And these rich families will pay for everything to take care of the working permit and visa, which will be renewed every year, and they will ask you to sign an annual contract, otherwise you will owe some money if you exit the contract early because of the money they spend for acquiring the visa, etc. And everything I said above about each country for teaching also applies to being a nanny.

Again, I am not a teacher, nor have I ever been a teacher, so I have zero experience in this field. This is what I've gathered over the last few years in SEA, from talking to people who get paid under the table to those who have signed contracts and worked for years in this area.

Hope that helps. Just my two cents worth.
 
Aug 2014
1,424
Blue Planet
WOW! Daniel, I really don't know how to thank you for the very great explanation you wrote for me and the time you spent on writing it; I really really appreciate your help and your kindness.

Vietnam...that seems nice. I should check to see the steps to get the visa. My country's passport is almost useless; to enter Vietnam, I need to have visa beforehand (that is, I cannot get visa upon arrival), So I should just check to see the steps.

and that was a great idea about being a nanny... Children usually like me a lot; I don't think I have any problems regarding this job, and it looks interesting. once I tried to be a nanny in England (any cities) and since there everyone's mother tongue is English, I thought I could teach their children about our myths, stories, poetry, even maybe the language, and many different games. but England is maybe the hardest choice, so I didn't think about it more.

let me ask you one more question, and I hope you know the answer. Do you think, since I am not a native English speaker, I can still find job (as English teacher or English speaking nanny) as easily as a native speaker can do?