The world is your oyster…
A teaching qualification is your passport to a world of travel opportunities. But beware: working overseas could become addictive!
A teaching qualification is your passport to a world of career development and travel opportunities. Working in schools overseas gives people of all ages a different perspective on life, children and global education. It’s an invitation to experience first–hand the sights, sounds, people, culture, language and local customs of another country. But beware: it can become addictive!
A world of opportunities
There are around 5,000 international English speaking schools spread across the globe employing over 200,000 staff, and some 74,000 of these are UK trained. The opportunities for employment within the international schools’ market are excellent with qualified teachers from the UK and overseas held in high esteem.
From nursery through to sixth form, international schools, many of which are UK owned and function much like private schools, exist to educate both local children and the children of English speaking families living abroad.
Several prestigious UK independent schools sponsor or run replica schools abroad. These include Dulwich College, Haileybury, Brighton College, Harrow and Repton in locations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Bangkok and Almaty in Kazakhstan.
In addition, every continent has thousands of Teaching English as a Foreign Language schools (TEFL) where local people of all ages, backgrounds and professions learn English. For teachers it’s an opportunity to work with people of different nationalities in an array of fascinating locations.
Whatever the school, English speaking or TEFL, positions are usually for fixed contracts of one or two years.
Rewards and benefits
An overwhelming reason for teaching overseas is the opportunity to teach children from a diversity of nationalities. Teachers tend to find the experience intellectually stimulating and richly rewarding on many personal and professional levels.
The salary can be higher than in the UK, particularly if you are well qualified, with additional benefits such as accommodation, flights, health insurance and end of contract bonuses. Holiday entitlements are also usually better, with obvious opportunities for travel and learning local languages.
Often smaller class sizes and teaching assistants add huge appeal. For teachers it means easier class management, less marking time and more chance to concentrate on individuals. There can be specialist teachers for music, PE and drama even at primary level.
Many schools boast incredible resources and facilities – such as pools, theatres, gyms and dance studios. ICT can also be more advanced with interactive whiteboards and individual laptops. The opportunities to get involved in extra–curricular activities are exceptional.
Schools have autonomy over their choice of curriculum, giving staff more flexibility and freedom over what they teach. Many schools follow the UK curriculum or the International Baccalaureate, which is useful for your own career development. With teaching staff more transient and job opportunities coming up more frequently than in the UK, there are more chances of higher-level responsibilities earlier in your career. Most schools have good CPD programmes in place and offer opportunities for staff to develop.
Skills, qualifications and status
Teaching abroad suits people of all ages and situations. For English speaking international schools applicants will need to have recognised qualifications and meet a person specification specific to the post and visa requirements. For TEFL posts, certificates from CELTA or Trinity TESOL are the most highly respected, although qualifications from other bodies, and degrees in general will be considered.
Teaching contracts are available to experienced and newly qualified teachers. Applicants willing and able to offer a range of extra-curricular skills such as sport and drama are highly sought after as they add value to a school’s offer outside the classroom.
Whatever your skills and qualifications, it’s a fallacy to think that schools only favour the young and single. International schools benefit from diverse school workforces with staff representing different age groups, nationalities, ethnic backgrounds and marital status, and accommodation is often provided for singles, couples and families.
Another attractive benefit for teachers with families is that some, if not all, international schools will offer reduced, free or subsidised fees for their teachers’ children.
Choosing where to go
The Middle East, Asia and Europe are the top three destinations for UK teachers. Europe tends to be the first step as it’s closer, more familiar and easier to get to. Jobs in the Middle East are often tax free which helps young NQTs in particular build up reserves of cash for their return home. Asia seems to win the nostalgia prize. Those who have travelled to Thailand and neighbouring countries often fall under their spell and are keen to return. TEFL schools or centres are more likely to be in obscure, unusual locations as well as in the more well known cities and destinations of the world.
Sign up and search
Applying for jobs overseas couldn’t be easier through Eteach International. We are the voice of teaching overseas and the market leader in online education recruitment connecting teachers and educational professionals with schools across the globe.
With 450,000 job seeking members, we partner over 50 schools worldwide, advertising vacancies immediately they arise as well as alerting candidates to positions that match their profile. We are a free, easy to use, digital noticeboard for education jobs overseas – from NQT to senior level, management, and support roles.
Register online, sign up for weekly job alerts and visit our forum area, blog and staffroom section for handy hints and tips to help secure your next position. Call us if you need advice or more information. We can put you in touch with schools directly or liaise on your behalf.
Remember, our friendly, experienced team is here to help.