Applying for academic posts in Southeast Asia: checklist

imeldablaze 6 years ago 0

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment based in Australia, thank the guardian for the following comments

Do your research
Collaborating with an overseas university first is a great way to get to know them if you are considering moving abroad. Paul Matsudaira started his career at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, before accepting the position as head of biological sciences atNational University of Singapore in 2009.

While he was still at MIT, Matsudaira taught biology to students from two Singaporean universities via an online videolink. He also travelled to Singapore several times in the summer holidays to teach at study camps. He says his family really enjoyed their trips to Singapore, and this made it much easier for him to make the decision about accepting the offer of a full-time post.

Go for it wholeheartedly
Once you have made the decision to move, make sure it is a clean break. Matsudaira says the biggest mistake he saw others making was expats not really committing to the move. Warning, it can be very stressful trying to run parallel lives – particularly across different time zones. It can also lead your new employers to question your commitment to the job. He said a "go for broke" attitude is essential to succeed.

Don't be put off by the paperwork
Job interviews often take place in London. The employing university liaises with the immigration department and it usually takes less than four weeks for a work permit to be issued. Pay In general HK/south-east Asian universities pay better than European institutions and about the same as US universities, but tax is much lower.

Check for allowances
Academics with children should also check on the availability and costs of places at international schools and whether the employer provides any education allowance.

Look into accommodation
Accommodation is very expensive in many of south-east Asia's densely populated cities so colleges often provide it as part of the package. But if living cheek-by-jowl with your colleagues does not appeal see if the university will contribute towards an alternative. Look out for scams in working with accommodation agencies. There are few places where you can place a complaint.

It will be a positive career move
UK universities are still keen to attract overseas students, so academics with experience of working overseas and with good contacts abroad are likely to be in demand.

It's a great place to be
Tom Vinaimont teaches finance at City University in Hong Kong. He says: "Both HK, Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore are seen as transitory destinations; places to get your career on track (research funding is pretty generous here) and then to move on from. But many people stay. I was planning to stay for three years. Now I've been here for 10, and I've just bought a house."