Signing a contract to teach in an international school means so much more than just accepting a teaching position. Once overseas you enter into a world of excitement, travel, new friends and new experiences. Daily events are far from predictable and the newness of your surroundings makes even the drive to and from school a wonderful experience of exploration. Living in a foreign country as an international teacher means you become part of the neighborhood you live in. You come to know your neighbors, local shopkeepers and the children on the block. You get invited to parties and weddings and to dinner. You make friends and you invite them to your house. You become completely immersed in another culture in another land. Signing a contract to be an international teacher is just the start.
Many international schools provide teachers with free housing and often times a car. Tuition for the children of international teachers is usually free and round trip airline tickets are almost always provided for the entire family. Since the cost of labor in most countries is inexpensive international teachers usually have maids, cooks, drivers and gardeners. Many couples with young children hire nannies to look after their kids during the school day and those evenings when they want to go out on the town. Is international teaching for you? If so, keep reading.
If you have children the experience for them is beyond compare. The international schools I have taught at were top notch academically and I’m convinced my son and daughter received an education only available at the best of the private schools in America. Put this together with the travel experiences they have had and the friendships they have formed with kids from around the world and you have something that will truly impact their lives in a way beyond what any Stateside education could ever provide. International teaching is a way of life.
Extensive travel is possible for international teachers during the winter, Easter, summer and other vacations. Along with my and kids, our family has traveled in well over forty countries including, Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia, Nepal, Greece, Turkey, Dominican Republic, South Africa, Egypt, Holland, Spain, and Poland. Flights are not expensive when you’re working in a nearby country. Still with me? If this type of lifestyle sounds good to you, you already know you want to be an international teacher.
If you’re single, married, or married with children there is an international teaching position for you. You may be qualified for international teaching even if you don’t have a teaching credential. And you don’t need to be an American. I have worked with Canadians, European and Australian teachers. Being older than forty is not a problem. I have worked with international teachers from twenty years old to retired teachers in search of adventure. If you’re married or single, with or without kids, it’s all the same. Everyone can teach overseas. There are already thousands of teachers living overseas, and since most contracts are for two years with an option to renew, international teachers move around. This means there are always plenty of job openings. Just be sure that plenty of jobs doesn’t mean that teachers are fleeing a particular school. Be sure to check out our International Schools section to get the answer.
In the classroom international teaching is entirely different than teaching in America. The student population of an international school is normally made up of children from no less than forty countries. Gone are the discipline problems associated with teaching in America. You’ll be happy to know that most cultures highly honor, respect and support teachers. Teaching children from such a background means you spend your days actually teaching and not acting as a referee. The challenge thus becomes to keep the students educationally stimulated. Be sure the international school you’re considering is actually academically sound and not in the business of selling diplomas.
If you’re dreaming of a lifestyle filled with adventure, excitement, and financial, as well as personal rewards international teaching is for you. The world of international teaching may really be just an interview away. You won’t know until you try.