What type of shipping allowance and airfare does the school provide?
The school will reimburse teachers for airfare to Yangon from your home of record and then will provide return airfare at the end of each school year. The school does not provide a shipping allowance.
What is the length of contract?
What about health insurance?
The school pays for TIE Care health insurance. The ISM insurance policy has a deductible and does not cover outpatient prescriptions. Prescriptions can generally be filled cheaply in Yangon. This insurance policy will cover medical care in any country except the US or Canada. If a teacher chooses to upgrade their policy to include care in the US and Canada, then the teacher will pay the difference. Many teachers elect to upgrade coverage to a plan that covers emergency care in the US and Canada. There is also an option of getting full coverage in the US and Canada but many teachers find it cost prohibitive.
What if I get sick?
Health care in Myanmar is fine for minor problems but for major health issues, most people travel to Bangkok. Health care here is very cheap. Doctor visits for minor illnesses tend to cost around $30. Dentists charge $15 for cleanings. If you have major chronic health problems, Yangon is probably not the place for you.
Asia Pacific or the Pan Hlaing hospital or clinic will directly bill your insurance which makes it very easy for you. For any major medical care, it is recommended that you go to Bangkok. TIE care insurance will pay for treatment in Bangkok and may even pay for the travel depending on the circumstances.
There are a few western doctors in Yangon and an SOS clinic that is available but insurance coverage with them may vary.
What are some of the problems I can expect to face?
There are no McDonald's or Starbucks here which may sound great but be aware that around November you may be getting very tired of Myanmar products. There are a number of very good western restaurants and supermarkets are offering a growing selection of products.
The school will help you obtain a work visa but you need to leave the country to get a new visa every 10 weeks. Unless you have a multiple entry visa, you will need to visit a Myanmar embassy for a new visa every time you leave the country.
Both the country and the school have seen rapid change over the past few years. There are still occasional issues with internet connectivity. Teaching tools and resources (data projectors, document cameras, etc.) are increasingly available at the school but we do not yet have everything.
Will I be able to save money?
Most people do not have trouble saving money here. Taxis around town cost between $3 and $6 and it's less if you share with others. Dinners out tend to cost anywhere from $3-$10. There are other restaurants which offer more expensive food but at a good value, such as a Sunday champagne brunch for $25. Groceries can be very cheap if you buy fresh products at the markets or more expensive if you are buying more western goods like peanut butter or cereal. Obviously, the amount of money you save depends on the amount of energy you spend saving, but many teachers report saving around 30-40% of their salary while eating out regularly and going on vacations during the breaks.
What are some things I should know about adjusting to life in Yangon?
Some people love Myanmar food, others don't. There are many curries and noodle dishes. Some people say it is like Thai food with less spice and Indian food with a lot more oil. There are a number of good Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Japanese restaurants in Yangon. There are also a number of western restaurants here. Chances are good that you will not go hungry. Chicken and mutton is more common than beef, and there is plenty of tasty seafood available. For a country that is supposed to be mostly vegetarian, some vegetarians find it harder to get by in restaurants than they expected.
While it is possible to find most things that you may need in Yangon, it may be very challenging. You can expect to spend a few hours doing nearly any errand. Things do not happen quickly or easily in Yangon. If you have patience and enjoy a challenge, you will love shopping in Yangon.
The people Yangon are incredibly friendly and are optimistic about the future of the country. There is virtually no crime against foreigners, and it is rare to have anyone hassle you. There is a saying that if someone is chasing you down the street in Myanmar for money it's probably because they are trying to return some that you dropped.