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Westerners Emigrating to Asia for Work

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Westerners Moving to Asia for Jobs

The great exodus eastward has begun. After a couple centuries of immigrants ever going West in search of opportunity, prosperity, and work, the pool is showing signs of drying up, the pie has been eaten down to crumbs.

“Go East, young man!” is the new rallying cry of the new age.

“With the economic crisis, Istanbul is inundated with Westerners looking for English teaching jobs,” a prospective employer warned me.

It is true, there is no reason why young university graduates from the USA should not travel East for work, as you can make far more money. I know that I can make far more money teaching English in Istanbul, China, Korea, or Japan than I ever could as a professional archaeologist in the USA. I am sure the same is true of other professions that can be enacted abroad.

I have the impression that we are entering upon a phase of time where an educated American can earn more money abroad than at home. The floodgates have opened, and the great exodus eastward has begun.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- February 19, 2009
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I was telling an Arab friend in Istanbul that I came here for work, and he just about croaked laughing.

“But you are from America, everybody from my country wants to go to your country to work! Can you really make more money in Turkey?”

It is true, I can.

I make between $10 and $15 an hour doing archaeology fieldwork in the USA. I have seven seasons of experience, and know where to go to make the most money. This is a job that requires a bachelors or masters degree and certification from a field school, so the amount of education that is needed is vastly disproportionate to the wages received.

In Asia, I can make between $15 to $35 an hour teaching English, receive a housing stipend or free apartment, and have my flights and work related transportation paid for. This is all because I am able to speak my native tongue.

I was making $20 an hour teaching in China, and I know that I can now make far more than this as I have obtained the proper credentials. I can now make a lot of money in Asia. I can now find work almost anywhere in the non-English world that pays more than what I can make in the USA . . . for now.

I have known this for a few years, but now it seems as if the secret is out: go East, leave the USA, teach your native tongue, make money.

Go East, young man. Go East . . . for now.

Related Pages:
Work while traveling the world
Studying to be an English teacher
Search for a job in Istanbul
How to get money to travel

Westerners Moving to Asia for Jobs

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Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3054 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap