Will you face discrimination as an ethnic minority while teaching abroad?

For a while now, I've been considering writing a blog entry on the topic of discrimination that English teachers sometimes face when teaching abroad (specifically in Asia). I guess I haven't written this entry yet because of the fact that I didn't really experience any harsh discrimination while teaching abroad. Don't get me wrong, I definitely stood out like a sore thumb in many situations, and I have often been treated as a novelty, but the level of discrimination that I faced certainly was traumatic. In fact, at times being an ethnic minority had it's benefits as people would go out of their way to help me, offer free food, put me at the front of a line, etc. What you should know about me though (if you hadn't seen my blog picture) is that I am a white male, with blue eyes and brown hair...pretty much the stereotypical ESL teacher in many Asian people's minds. Unfortunately during my time in Korea, I had friends who represented different ethnicities (even some Korea-Americans) who were subject to many different levels of discrimination. Some treatment that eventually they got used to (being stared at, asked ridiculous questions, being called inappropriate names) but at times the level of discrimination rose to being threatened or verbally abused and even physically abused (very rare, I promise, but it has happened).

Anyways, when looking into some research about what to write in this entry, I stumbled upon an article by Edward Young entitled:

Teaching English Abroad: Will I Face Discrimination as a Minority?

Edward is able to speak to this issue of discrimination in a way that I am not. I really enjoyed reading this article and hope you do to. You can read this article by accessing the link below:

And don't forget to check out my Facebook site for TEFL at UVic:


  1. Thanks for sharing useful post.


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