If you are considering taking an international teaching job, you will need to make sure that you will be able to handle such a drastic lifestyle change. On the surface, teaching abroad can sound like a great life adventure, but it’s not for everyone. Before accepting the job, you should make sure that it will benefit and accommodate your living situation.
You will need to weigh the benefits of teaching abroad against your living situation. If you are married to another teacher, this will tend to make finding jobs a lot easier. Schools like to hire teaching couples as they are the most cost efficient option since they are hired together and require only one room and board. If you are applying to schools as a couple, make sure that you make this evident in your applications and apply early on in the process to ensure that you both end up with positions in the same school.
Being single is another attractive option for schools. Single teachers tend to be able to fill spots at the last minute, as they don’t have dependents to worry about, making them ideal candidates to fill unexpected or unfilled vacancies easily. They can also share housing, making it cost efficient for the school. If you are applying as a single teacher, you will find that you have the option of applying anytime during the application process.
If you are travelling with children, you may have more obstacles to overcome. A lot of schools will be willing to provide extra accommodations for families with children, but if you have more than two, you may not get anything extra for them. If you are a single teacher traveling with children, it may be harder to find employment in some countries, like throughout Europe for example, because the wages are not enough to support a family on a single income. So make sure that if you are the single breadwinner, that you thoroughly research your cost of living before accepting the job.
Lastly, if you are a married couple and your spouse is not a teacher, you will have the extra responsibility of finding a position for your non-teaching spouse. There are always opportunities overseas for non-teaching partners, but they may not be what your partner is accustomed to. If he/she is willing to branch out a bit, then there will be lots of different jobs for him/her to choose from. The key is to keep an open mind, and remember that this is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you and your partner will experience new things. And for your partner, that may mean a whole new career experience. Sometimes, your spouse may be able to gain a non-teaching position at the school you will be teaching at. Some positions that might be available include: teaching assistant, sports coach, building manager, admissions officer, or activities coordinator.
No matter what your living situation is, you can find great international teaching opportunities. The key is to take your living situation into account when searching for positions, and make sure that the school you choose is right for you.
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