Help us choose our new charity!

This week we need your help. Every year we support a different educational charity, and it’s time to choose who is next! Who better to help with this, than our international community of teachers? Being stationed all around the world, you know where the help is most needed.

schoolbooksWhy do we support charities?

We strongly believe that all children from all backgrounds deserve great teachers and a good education. However, most of our income is generated from international schools that educate more privileged children. By giving to education projects in developing countries, we can also enable thousands of less privileged students in developing countries to gain access to a quality education as well.

How do we support these charities? 

We support in two ways.  Firstly, we commit every year to give 10% of our profits to our chosen charity. Secondly, we raise awareness and promote the work of the charity on our website. We give them free advertising space and communicate their message through blogs to explain the good that they are doing. Finally, we like to spread the word personally. Through direct emails to teachers and schools, we make everyone aware of the impact that they are having just by being part of our community.

Read more about how and why we support charities in this blog. 

 

Who have we supported in the past?

camboThis year we have been supporting a charity called Tea Leaf Vision. This is a charity that is having a huge impact on young people in the tea plantation region of Sri Lanka. TLV provides English classes to some of the most impoverished children in Sri Lanka providing them with the employability skills they need to broaden their horizons. For every teacher that is hired through Teacherhorizons this year, we have committed to supporting a student in Sri Lanka to study English for six months.

In the past we have also worked with Helping Hands in Cambodia. This is a grassroots organisation which runs a school for 300 children in rural Siem Reap, and educates mothers and care-givers about health, hygiene and nutrition. Teacherhorizons part-funded Helping Hands’ initiative to provide students with solar-powered reading lamps in order to let them study in the evening, as many homes in rural areas have no electricity supply.

 

nepalWe have supported Teach for Nepal and Teach for Cambodia. These amazing charities are starting a movement to end educational disadvantage and inequality in both Nepal and Cambodia.  They work with outstanding university graduates and young professionals who commit to two years of fellowship teaching in public schools. In doing so, they bring about academic achievement and have a transformative impact on their students. At the same time, they harness their leadership skills through the teaching experience and intensive development training and support.

 

Finally, we work with smaller projects too. For example, we enjoy helping the Giant Puppet Project – a local children’s community arts project that promotes education and self-expression for disadvantaged children. The project holds a spectacular parade through Siem Reap each year (where our office is based), with impressive giant puppets representing environmental and educational themes.

Read more about how we help Tea Leaf Vision by reading our blog here

 

tea leafWhat are we looking for?

We need you to give ideas of charities which are close to your hearts. The charity must be an international education charity, or helping education in some way. Ideally, they should be helping a developing country, but they must be registered in the UK.

What you need to do.

Please send an email to info@teacherhorizons.com with the subject title ‘Charity idea’. Give the name of the charity, a link to the charity website (if possible) and a brief explanation of why you think we should support them.

 

We know that as teachers, you impact children every day, but this is a great opportunity to widen that impact. By giving us ideas, you have the chance to make a big contribution to a charity you really care about. We look forward to hearing from you.

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

10 things to pack when moving to teach abroad.

We all know how to pack for a holiday. If you are anything like as forgetful as me, you actually have an excel spreadsheet which you use as a checklist every time…(really? just me?) in fact, we have probably all moved house at some point, maybe even twice. However, there’s something a bit different about packing to move to an international teaching job, in a new country. It requires that extra little bit of preparation in order for you to have the smoothest ride out there. Here is a little list of 10 things I thought you might find useful to pack..!

 

clothes1) The right clothes and shoes

First, check the weather! Take suitable clothes for it. Some places are swelteringly hot all year round, others have extreme seasons which you need to prepare for in advance. As part of this, consider essential footwear. Flip flops or sandals for South East Asia, and if it’s a colder country like Korea, China or Japan, don’t forget a pair of warm boots!

Next, check the local cultural norms! Some places will require you to cover shoulders and knees, or even your head as a female. This often isn’t enforced everywhere, but it will certainly be in parts, so ensure you have suitable clothing with you.

Finally, check your school’s dress code. And if you are not sure, dress up, not down!

Despite all this checking, it’s actually important not to panic and over pack. You will find when you arrive,  lots can be bought or tailor-made very cheaply.

 

plug2) A universal plug adapter

This one is obvious. Firstly, your country won’t have the same plug sockets as you at home (well, it’s unlikely!) and secondly, if you make the most of your time abroad, you will be dashing about from country to country seeing the world whilst you’re there… and everywhere will have different sockets. Take a multi-country adapter so you can charge your phone or straighten your hair wherever you are.

3) Your favourite toiletries

It’s unlikely you will find that face cream you love, that mascara or the cleanser which keeps your skin looking so fresh. So take a big stash with you. I have run out of face wash in Asia before, and found hundreds of alternatives. The only issue was that they all contained a whitening additive which lightens the skin – fashionable in Asia. You also find it in deodorants and moisturiser. Save yourself the stress of being sweaty and smelly, or just plain pasty, by bringing a years supply with you.

Read a blog by one of your fellow teachers, whow gives advice on how to settle into your new surroundings

 

currency4) A top-up multi-currency card

Before you go out, make sure you have some cash in local currency. If you are going to a country where the currency is hard to get (Kazakhstan for example, or Cambodia where some still use Rial) then the next best thing would be US dollars.

Secondly, my advice is to get a multi-currency card, that can be loaded with any currency you need. You simply load the card up with money before you go to each new country and then use it like a debit card. You can keep going to the bank to make free cash withdrawals. Also, if you lose it, your cash is protected. As you get the rate on the day you load your card, not when you spend, you are not affected by fluctuations in exchange rates.

However, do be careful because there are a few places that don’t accept them – when I turned up in Cambodia last year, I traipsed from ATM to ATM and could only find one which would accept the Caxton. Our top pick is Caxton as it has decent exchange rates and low/no fees. FairFX is also good if you’re loading £600+, as it gives an extra £20 of currency. The Monzo card is a great option too. You don’t load a currency but you do get free withdrawals.

Have a read of our 5 tips for managing your money when abroad.

 

cadbury5) Home comforts

Dairy Milk Dairy Milk Dairy Milk! You may not find it there, and if you do, it will be stupidly expensive and also taste weird.  I actually googled this as it upset me so much… I think it has something to do with the temperature out there and stopping the chocolate melting in the heat. Either way it won’t be the same as if you brought it with you. Take your favourite types of coffee, tea, and biscuits. The only brand I have found which has made it fully international seems to be the Oreo. Well done Oreo!

6) An unlocked phone

First, it’s worth checking whether your mobile network provider already includes free calls to and from the country you are going to. If not, it’s worth getting an unlocked phone. If you are on a contract in the UK with companies like EE, Vodafone and O2, your phone might be ‘locked’ to that provider and only work one of their own SIM cards. In your new country you might want to get a local SIM to save money making calls, so take a cheap and  ‘unlocked’ phone, or buy one out there. You may still want to use your own phone for WiFi, photos and music though. Make sure you and your friends/family have apps like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, or FaceTime before you go so that you can avoid incurring any long-distance charges!

 

bedroom
7) Photos and room decorations

As snazzy as your accommodation might be, I guarantee it will feel alien and weird to begin with. Make it homely by taking the photos from your current home, and putting them on the wall in your new place. It will feel much more welcoming with pictures of your favourite faces all over the wall. Other things I took with me were pretty decorations like fairy lights, bunting and a few trinkets. Do consider space in your luggage though, and remember the new room might not allow for too much stuff. Maybe leave the lava lamp at home!

8) Documents

Keep a copy of your important documents – passport, degree certificates, security checks, visa information and your contracts. Take hard copies in your hand luggage, along with the school phone number, email and address in case you get stuck. You could also back them up securely online or on a memory stick.

Enjoying this post? Have a read of one of my other posts, 10 things to love about Cambodia 

 

pants19) Resources

Even though your new school may run a different curriculum to the one you have been teaching, it’s worth taking all your resources with you. You can easily adapt to suit a new curriculum, and it will make your life much easier. Utilise all possible sources, get as much as you can, and put it all on a memory stick.  Obviously, if you can find someone who has already taught your new curriculum then that’s more than ideal!

10) Enough pants

I’m serious! My poor mum forgot her knickers last year when we went to Spain on holiday. We had to go on a wild goose chase to find pants that fit! Be warned… you may be entering a country where the people are much smaller than you and me (and my mum) and you won’t find big enough pants anywhere. So stock up on multi-packs at Marks and Spencers before you get on that plane!

 

I hope this helps a little when putting together your packing list. If you have any questions or think something should be added, let me know on  editor@teacherhorizons.com. We would also love to publish some of your own blogs, with ideas and advice for other teachers. Just send over your thoughts and we can get the ball rolling!

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

Happy teachers about to start their adventures!

As another year of recruitment draws to a close, we find we have beaten our record again, placing more teachers than ever before! This successful bunch are now getting ready to board that plane and start afresh in a new school, in a new country.  We want to share with you some feedback from them about how their process with Teacherhorizons was, and what exciting adventure they are looking forward to.

 

Kristen HughesKristen is venturing to Vietnam!

As I had already completed my profile and my references were in place prior to looking for a new role, I found the entire recruitment process from start to finish went incredibly smoothly and quickly. Anisha (Lead Recruitment Consultant) was very supportive and professional. After a Skype discussion, Anisha was able to recommend roles which she felt were particularly suitable for me.

Anisha, was great. She telephoned me when I had not replied to an interview offer (as it had gone into my junk mail) and without that personal touch I would not be starting a new role in Vietnam in January. I also really liked the fact that she considered roles that were suitable to my teaching style and philosophy so I didn’t feel I was being pushed into applying for unsuitable jobs.

I am really looking forward to getting to know my new class.

Read about some outreach projects in Vietnam that you could get involved in.

 

J Tomlin and penguin
Judson will sing our praises from Singapore

So many positives about my experience with TH. I think the biggest thing was that Tiffany actually took the time to get to know me a bit by email and over Skype and listened to what I said I was looking for in a potential school. Instead of throwing every available school to me, she would match me with schools that she thought were a good fit for me and was able to clearly articulate why she thought each school matched what I was looking for. Additionally, there was great support going into interviews–simple things like quick, positive emails of encouragement, along with brief follow-ups and a few really useful logistics, like linking to a short video on how to create a professional setup for a Skype interview. The other big positive I would highlight is that I never felt inundated by emails from TH–no marketing stuff, no unnecessary communication–everything that came through was personal and pertinent to me…and, as soon as I accepted a post, the weekly emails with new vacancies stopped without me having to take any additional steps. I really felt like TH valued my time, which is a huge help for busy teachers.

I am looking forward to being able to do more fieldwork with my students in some interesting locations throughout Southeast Asia!

Judson is going to teach at one of the best international schools to teach at in the world.

 

Talim ArabTalim will be tripping to Turkey!

TeacherHorizons gave me step-by-step information on finding a job overseas. An initial interview gave me clarity about what was required teaching in an international school. My consultant was incredibly informative and helpful. At no stage did I feel pressured to take a job and actively advised to think carefully before committing to the interview process.

Since there are no job fairs, Teacherhorizons offer a far more personalised service. I felt like I was being taken care of every step of the way from recommendation to accepting a position. They are super friendly and very down to earth without sacrificing professionalism.

I can’t wait to start teaching the IB curriculum!

Check out the schools we work with in Turkey

 

meganMegan is moving to Morocco!

My advisor worked hard to understand exactly what it was I was looking for and then helped me to find the perfect job in my dream location. I was contacted by various schools and also put myself forward for a couple that worked for me. Within around a month I had secured a job in a location I hadn’t even considered.

Making a profile on Teacherhorizons instantly gave me access to a wealth of incredible opportunities, without having to fill out lengthy applications or repeatedly pester my references for each different role I was interested in. My advisor worked hard to understand exactly what it was I was looking for and then helped me to find the perfect job in my dream location.

I am excited for a challenging new role, career development, an interesting culture / location and a new climate.

Want to join Megan? Have a look at schools in Morocco.

 

If you’re inspired, then why not browse our latest jobs in South AmericaAsia or Europe? Visit more of our happy teachers blogs to read more testimonials and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries.

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

Hot jobs for August 2018!

Are you still looking for a post to begin in August/September this year? As the recruitment season starts to wind down, we are left with some really exciting last minute posts. You will kick yourself if you miss these. Have a look and get in touch with your subject Recruitment Adviser if you are interested!

 

sishk1) Various Science posts and PE – Singapore International School – HONG KONG

This school is a non-selective, caring and inclusive school, with sound reputation for high quality holistic education, academic rigour and bilingual programme. The curriculum is designed to stretch the students academically and intellectually. Testament to the school’s academic excellence is the commendable grades that students achieve in their IGCSE examinations and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.  The students are confident, respectful and responsible world citizens with sound moral values. They are equipped with strong language competencies in both English and Chinese (Putonghua). The school also provides extensive professional development opportunities for all staff members. They are looking for a Chemistry teacher, a Physics teacher, a Maths and Science teacher and a PE teacher.

Things to know: This school will ask your salary expectations, be prepared by checking out the cost of living, and other Hong Kong salaries. Check out our other schools in Hong Kong.

 

ism2) Head of Science – International School of Milan – ITALY

This well-established school is based in the heart of one of Europe’s most beautiful and vibrant cities.  ISM offers the IB curriculum to their pre-school to high school students and has an excellent reputation in Italy.  It offers a dynamic and progressive educational environment and has full IB accreditation, the school offer IB training to all their teaching staff.  They are looking for a strong IB Head of Department to see them through the next few years at least!

Things to know: EU passport holders only, IB experience necessary.

 

ish3) Various jobs – International School of The Hague – THE NETHERLANDS

There are many jobs going at this amazing school, as they are expanding. They need Primary teachers, a Music teacher, a Drama teacher, an Economics teacher, a PE teacher, a Visual Arts teacher, a Maths teacher and an ESL teacher!! With over 80 nationalities in their student body, they foster and embrace 21st Century education through the IPC curriculum in the Primary School and the IB MYP and Diploma in the Secondary School. The Hague is the political centre for the Netherlands and the city is known as the city of ‘peace and justice’. It’s a very eco-friendly school – 80% of their students cycle to school!

Things to know: EU passport holders only, IB experience preferred.

“The school is a well run, fully international school. The staff are supported and valued by the leadership team. There is a good balance between planning time and teaching time and the students are very respectful.” 07/01/2017 

 

nlcs4)  Computer Science Teacher – Noth London Collegiate School – DUBAI

North London Collegiate School Dubai offers an academically ambitious education in keeping with the aspirational ethos of NLCS (UK), and the same impressive range of extra-curricular activities, to foster well-rounded individuals who are capable of becoming leaders. The School is a coeducational ‘diamond structure’ day school for pupils aged 3-18 years, situated within the prestigious Hartland development in Dubai. While ensuring academic excellence and intellectual challenge, NLCS Dubai is equally concerned with supporting the development of the whole person and aims to inspire confidence, individuality and self-esteem.

Things to know: Must have a degree in Computing/IT, and links to the UK (taught there or lived there).

 

dulwich5) Female PE Teacher – Dulwich College Seoul – SOUTH KOREA

This is a ONE YEAR CONTRACT in South Korea. The school caters to the local expatriate community and is also fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), WASC and the International Baccalaureate. As a large school of nearly 500 students, professional and career development opportunities will be excellent.  As in many Asian schools, the job will entail hard work but will be very rewarding.

Things to know: Need to be able to differentiate for a broad range of abilities, need to be keen for extra-curricular activities, female only.

navarra6) Secondary Art Teacher – The British School of Navarra – SPAIN

This is a well-established school which is part of the British Schools Foundation.  The group has schools across the globe from America to Asia. The group are well known for providing excellent professional and career development.  The school follows the British National Curriculum including IGCSE and A level at secondary. A great location in the heart of Spain!

Things to know: Need British curriculum experience,  some experience within English and Humanities is desirable, on top of PE.

 

 

udine7) Primary Teacher – The Udine International School – ITALY

The Udine International School is a non-profit English language school for students of all nationalities, both boys and girls, committed to promoting international understanding and values. The school currently has 220 students on roll, predominantly of Italian nationality, from 2 years of age through to 14. The big sell on this job is the location of the school…it’s in North-Eastern Italy (near Venice, Austria and Slovenia), set on a beautiful campus with modern facilities, an hour from the sea, an hour from the mountains. The school was accredited by the Council of International Schools in December 2015 and maintains a strong, ongoing commitment to the process of school improvement.

Things to know: The salary is modest and would mainly suit single candidates. EU passports only.

If you are keen for any of these positions, email your Recruitment Adviser. Their name will be at the bottom of the advert for the job you are interested in! Want a job but haven’t signed up to Teacherhorizons yet? Create a free profile here. If you have any questions, email info@teacherhorizons.com.

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

Moving to Cairo – Are you mad?!

In this week’s short and sweet blog, Katherine Ellicott, one of our adventurous and spirited drama teachers, tells us about why she moved to Egypt, and why, despite the hype, she is so glad that she did…

IMG_3055

 

When I first proudly announced that I had accepted a job in Cairo, a look of confusion, worry and a faint smile was the common theme among friends and family. I will be honest, when Tiffany from Teacherhorizons told me about the job I was nervous, Cairo is somewhere I hadn’t visited and the only knowledge I had was from the media. However, after speaking to some other single women who were out at the school, I was sold! Year-round sunshine, cheap living and the opportunity to travel, what was not to love?

As I was moving out here alone, naturally people were nervous. As I boarded I must admit I was still unsure myself, however, when we landed and walked out into the glorious heat at 11 pm to the noise and chaos I knew this would be an amazing adventure.

I settled into Cairo living surprisingly quicky, the locals were exceptionally friendly and humoured my poor attempts at Arabic and often they wanted to practice their English. People often worry about safety but I can honestly say I feel safer walking the streets of Cairo at night than many places in England. Many of the locals want Egypt to be seen as a safe place, so they make an effort to smile and make you feel safe.

Another of our candidates is joining Katherine in Cairo, but as an over 60 – read her blog here!
katherine 1

 

There is lots to explore in Cairo itself and with the introduction of Uber, an affordable metro line and various other forms of transport it is easy (and cheap) to explore the city safely. In the expat areas (I live in Maadi) there are so many places to eat and you can buy alcohol from the local Expat clubs which are protected by guards.

So is Egypt safe? Yes. There are issues (like every country), however, the expat community and embassy in Cairo are vigilant and go above and beyond to reassure us. Plus, Egypt is an affordable place to live so the travel opportunities are vast and the cost of living is cheap.

I would highly advise singles to consider Egypt to their list of possible destinations! If sunshine and adventure is your thing, consider Cairo!

Katherine is working at New Cairo British International School, have more of a read about the school here. 

 

 

Thanks so much Katherine! If you want to join Katherine in Cairo, or anywhere else for that matter, it’s super easy… create a profile here, and then browse our jobs here.  Good luck!

Written by Katherine Ellicott, an adventurous drama teacher working at New Cairo British International School, and loving her time in Egypt

Timor Leste? It’s the best!

Hello Teacherhorizons community! My name is Nick Shearman, a high school teacher originally from New Zealand who has spent most of my teaching career in Indonesia.

Recently I took myself and my family to Timor Leste’s capital city Dili and taught at the International School there for a year. My two sons were enrolled in the school and really thrived socially and educationally in the supportive environment. As a member of the faculty, I was really satisfied and challenged being part of a very professional and motivated team. We will all miss Dili International School and the friends we made in and out of the school community. The following blog is intended to give an overview to prospective teachers.

 

diliIf you are looking for adventure and challenges at a well-managed and truly internationally flavoured school then Dili International School (DIS) is worth looking at. Dili is a small city nestled between a beautiful coast and mountainous ranges. The expat community is extensive and diverse with a mix of diplomats, NGO’s and business people all committed to developing the new and vibrant nation of Timor Leste.

DIS is an IB world school committed to creating global citizens that celebrate diversity. New teachers to DIS soon realise the multinational and multicultural student body makes this a realistic vision for the school.

As well as being a proud and dedicated promoter of Timorese culture DIS has a delightful distinctly Australian feel to it as the management and the majority of the teachers are Australian. This is further supported by the provision of the Victorian Certificate of Education in Grades 11 and 12 which is supported through Haileybury school in Melbourne via teacher mentoring, administration support and annual school trips both to and from Melbourne.

Learn more about teaching in Indonesia and find any Indonesian teaching positions here.

 

The DIS campus is small but very well shaded, clean and safe. Although facilities are limited for students and faculty, they are well maintained and opportunities are maximised with well-organised scheduling ensuring students get optimum use of recreational, artistic and academic facilities. Despite Dili’s remoteness providing challenges in resourcing a school, the DIS management does a fine job of stocking the school with resources for all curricular and extracurricular programs.

All teachers are encouraged to support the diverse extra-curricular program, which runs after school every day. Leadership asks teachers to propose the program they would like to offer and this system provides the student body with varied choices and allows teachers to follow an activity related to a passion. An afterschool homework club is also on offer, and is well attended by students, many of whom face home environments that may not be conducive to academic study.

Read about how other international teachers have developed their way of thinking and teaching in this blog
.

IMG_4257The culturally diverse and inclusive student body of DIS is one of the school strengths as the early childhood, primary and middle school programs are truly multicultural and multilingual learning environments. This diversity is easy to see at school festivals and walking around the campus listening to students and faculty speaking in Tetun, Portuguese, English or Bahasa. This multilingual flavour to the school is further visible via the displaying of the IB learner profiles in Tetun, Portuguese and English around the school campus.

DIS offers the IB for the Primary and Middle School Years program and the strong leadership ensures that the IB global perspective and learner profiles are promoted and developed via each Unit of Inquiry. Although teachers with IB experience are preferred DIS provides ample opportunities for teachers to develop their IB unit planning and assessment design abilities as well fully supporting attendance at regional IB workshops.

The secondary program offers the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) as a qualification for tertiary applications. The VCE is an internationally recognised, secondary academic qualification sat by over 50,000 students annually in the state of Victoria, and an increasing number of centres around the world. DIS has been offering the VCE since 2012 and applying secondary teachers to DIS should be encouraged by the fact that the experienced leadership in combination with the support offered by Haileybury College in Australia ensures administrational support and curricular guidance is excellent.

Like the sound of the international teacher lifestyle? Read more about it first hand from teachers such as Christopher Lyons, in South Korea. 

 

IMG_9883Life off campus provides teachers with plenty of scope for adventure and challenge. The physical environment in Dili and surrounds is dusty and hot however there is solace to be found at dawn and dusk with temperatures that are perfect for being out and about. In the mornings you will find a great number of locals and expats exercising on the expansive city water front which extends 15 km east to the iconic Chriso Rei statue. There are beautiful beaches west and east of the city which are easily accessible after school hours. There are also excellent options for weekend excursions along the coast, to nearby islands or into the mountains. Scuba diving and mountain biking are the two main activities of the expat population and the later part of the year features the ‘Tour de Timor’ a gruelling five day mountain bike race with an international field.

Has Nick answered some of your questions about what it is like to teach abroad in Timor Leste? If you still have more questions, have a look at our FAQ by Teachers blog. To get adventurous like Nick, just create a profile here. 

Written by Nick Shearman, a high school teacher originally from New Zealand who has spent most of his teaching career in Indonesia.

All you need to know about taxes for US expats

Your journey has just begun! You’ve decided to start teaching overseas, and although you may have left the US mainland, your US tax obligations still remain. This post by Ines Zemelman from Taxes For Expats will go over the basic tax information you need to know as an American educator abroad.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW FIRST? 

You must still file a US tax return even if you do not live in the states.

If you are a US citizen or Green Card holder, you must (assuming you meet the minimum filing thresholds) file an annual tax return reporting your worldwide income. Have a look at this table of minimum filing requirements for the 2017 tax year.

 

Filing Status Age Minimum Income Requirement
Single Under 65

65 or older

$10,350

$11,900

Married Filing Separately Any age $4,050
Head of Household Under 65

65 or older

$13,350

$14,900

Married Filing Jointly Under 65 (both spouses)

65 or older (one spouse)

65 or older (both spouses)

$20,700

$21,950

$23,200

Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Children Under 65

65 or older

$16,650

$17,900

Self-Employment Any $400
Although you have to file, you likely do not have to pay.

The good news is that most American teachers abroad don’t end up paying any taxes to the IRS. There are many tax deductions available which allow taxpayers to deduct more than $100,000 from their taxable income. But – they must continue to file. Failure to do so can lead to penalties.

Financial reporting requirements.

Aside from filing returns, you may also be subject to FBAR and FATCA (Form 8938) filing requirements. These forms do not generate tax due, but are simply informational — do not ignore these! Failure to file these informational forms may generate large penalties. FBAR is filed with the treasury and is required if the sum of your non-US accounts exceeds $10k USD at any point in the year.  FATCA (form 8938) has higher thresholds (depends on where you live and what your marital status is – see our full guide link above), and is filed as part of your tax return to the IRS.

pic3

WHEN ARE TAX RETURNS DUE?

June 15 is the filing due date.

For those working abroad, the first and most straightforward difference is the date when your tax return is due. If you reside abroad on tax day, April 15, you are eligible for an automatic extension to file until June 15. If you would like, you can also apply for an additional extension to file until October. Now – although you can file later with the extension, if you do wind up owing tax, interest will begin to accrue from April 15.

Note – starting in 2017, the date for FBAR is April 15 as well, but with an automatic extension through Oct 15.

pic2

WHAT TOOLS ARE AVAILABLE TO REDUCE POTENTIAL TAX DUE?

Exclude $100k of taxable income

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)The foreign earned income exclusion (FEIE) is the amount you can deduct from your foreign taxable income, during the course of filing your tax return, to reduce the tax you may owe. Ie – if you make 75k USD, you likely don’t owe tax, but you still have to file. Until you file and properly utilize the FEIE – it is not granted to you.

No double taxation

Tax paid to another country can be utilized via the Foreign Tax Credit,

Do you rent your apartment?  

You can deduct that, too. The Foreign Housing Exclusion allows you to further reduce your taxable income if you reside abroad.

pic1

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO FILE MY EXPAT RETURN?

Unlike a U.S. employer which will issue a W-2, which will be sent to the IRS and to you, your foreign employer will not provide you with such a form (and even if there is a local tax declaration, it does not get forwarded to the IRS). As such, you should keep accurate records of your finances.

Similarly, you do not need to send the Treasury your bank receipts for your FBAR, but you should maintain records.

If you do not have reliable mail in your location, you should be wary of using a US address on your return, as that may trigger unwanted letters from state tax authorities trying to claw back income that you have earned outside of their jurisdiction. You can look into a virtual mailbox for these matters. Please see Expats & State Taxes as well as Virtual Mailbox & Why You Should Have One

pic4

WHAT ABOUT MY FAMILY? I AM MARRIED TO A NON-US PERSON AND HAVE CHILDREN.

You do not have to include your non-US spouse on your US tax return if you do not want to. There are instances when it may be beneficial to do so, but in general you simply need to claim you are married (you cannot file single if you are married – only married filing jointly, married filing separately, or head of household).

If you have children who have a social security number, you may also be eligible for a refundable child credit, over $1000 per child.

 

It sounds complicated, but it is made pretty simple if you work with the experts! Contact them here. If you’re a US candidate looking for international positions we have more and more coming up each week. Have a look at our jobs here and start your exciting journey!

Written by Ines Zemelman

Merhaba from Istanbul!

Vicky Harris has been teaching Business Studies in Istanbul for almost a whole school year now. She has answered some of the important questions about what the area and the school is like. Have a read if you are considering taking up a position in Turkey and want to know more!

 

IMG_3602

 

Where are you teaching and what’s your school like?

I am working at The Koc School, Istanbul, Türkiye. I absolutely love it!

What is the city like? Is there an active expat scene? What do you do in your free time?

Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities, rich in its history and culture. I don’t mix with the expat scene in Istanbul, but international teachers are well looked after at Koc. We are quite spoilt and we liveout in the beautiful countryside. However, there is an expat community in Istanbul which looks very fun.

Which tourist sites or must-visit places are nearby?

All the sites in Istanbul are incredible…from Hagia Sophia, to Topaki Palace, Underground Cistern, the beautiful Bosphorus and many more sites to see just in Istanbul. However, the rest of Turkiye has many beautiful sites to see too.

Read all about how Teacherhorizons works. Schools can even search for you now (find out more about our explorer service).

 

IMG_3420

 

What is the climate like? Is there any extreme weather? If so, how do you deal with it?

It is lovely. This year, we experienced one snow day in Istanbul. We have central heating in the winter. Summers are very hot and you have a choice to have air conditioning installed at your cost.

What’s the cost of living like? Are you able to save money?

Definitely, we are paid in USD. On campus your housing costs are included in your package. Your power and water is minimal. You get a winter gas allowance for heating which you never go over. Your internet is free. We are quite isolated on campus but the school organises transport for shopping after school and day trips in the weekend. Food is very cheap.

 

 

IMG_3262

 

What is the food like? Is international food available? Have you tried any unusual local dishes?

The Turkish cuisine is cok guzel (beautiful). Istanbul has international cuisine but not that readily available.  The most unusual dish I have tried is tripe soup or cokorec (bbq intestines, served with bread). They also served stuffed rice in mussels which is also quite nice.

How is the culture different from your home culture? Have you experienced any culture shock?

Not particularly, Turkish culture is very similar to my culture as I am New Zealand Maori. They are very family oriented, passionate, friendly and fun loving people.

 

Have a read of our Happy Teacher Archives, for more happy teachers in Turkey and other locations.

 

IMG_3765

 

What’s the best thing about living and teaching in your chosen city? What have been your highlights so far?

The students, the school, seeing the sites in beautiful Istanbul and living in Turkey and being able to fly anywhere in Europe for a quick weekend away.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of coming to live and work in your current location?

Live life to the fullest and experience all the opportunities. Life is too short!

 

Want to join Vicky in Istanbul?  To find out about this school and others, sign up here and have a look at our schools in Turkey.

Written by Vicky Harris, a Business Studies teacher, currently at The Koc School, Turkey.

Hola from Mexico City!

Interested in heading to the Americas as part of your next adventure? One of our very own Biology teachers, Paul Arnold, can give you the low down on life in Mexico City. He was actually looking to head to Asia but fate (and a great interview with Churchill College) brought him to Mexico. It’s a city of cultural heritage and culinary excellence. There are vast open squares, ancient canals and never ending museums. With a young innovative vibe the city is moving away from a rougher past and becoming more and more popular with expats and entrepreneurs. So what do you think Paul?

 

20171008_170151Where are you teaching and what’s your school like?

I am currently teaching in Mexico City at Churchill College, It is an IB School of around 150 students, most of which are Mexican but speak English fluently. I teach IB Biology and IB Sport, Exercise and Health Science, along with an IGCSE Combined Science course. I chose the school because it was fairly well established and therefore had experience delivering the IB course. The draw of the location was really to try something completely different, along with being able to learn Spanish and travel around Central and South America.

How did you get your job? What was the process like?

The process was really simple actually. As I already had a full-time teaching job in the UK, I didn’t necessarily have loads of spare time to fill out individual job application forms and mini-essays detailing my education philosophy! Teacherhorizons felt much easier and the help I had from Tiffany was fantastic. I initially filled out the online pages and uploaded my CV. From there, Tiffany spoke to me over Skype and gave me the lowdown on how the process worked. I then perused the job adverts listed on the website for my subject and chose three that interested me. Tiffany forwarded on my details and I ended up having interviews for two schools, before accepting a role at Churchill College.

Read all about how Teacherhorizons works. Schools can even search for you now (find out more about our explorer service).

 

20170819_150928
What is the city like? Is there an active expat scene? What do you do in your free time?

Mexico City really is an amazing city. It is huge and there are many places I have not yet explored. My school is quite small and is situated south of the centre so I am not near any active expat areas. I am lucky that I have met some fantastic colleagues at my school and I tend to spend most of my social time with them in nearby areas like Coyoacan, an area rich in tradition and culture. On occasion I will venture downtown or to areas like Condesa and Roma which have much more of an expat scene. I try and make the most of the weekends!

Which tourist sites or must-visit places are nearby?

Coyoacan is not too far away and is certainly full of history and culture. It has Frida Kahlo’s house, which is a very popular tourist attraction, along with Leon Trotsky’s house and Diego Rivera’s museum. It’s also just a really nice place to wander around the two main squares and peruse the local markets and restaurants. There are so many sites to see downtown, making it is hard to list them all, but I certainly enjoyed the Anthropology Museum and drinking a cocktail at the top of the Latin-American Tower.

 Another happy teacher, Eldon Pascoe, has taught in Mexico City  too; read his story

 

What is the climate like? Is there any extreme weather? If so, how do you deal with it?

The weather in Mexico City has surprised me. It is currently late January and I am sat wearing multiple layers in my classroom! As it is at such high altitude, it does get cold in the winter months and Mexican buildings don’t tend to have any form of central heating. It has barely rained in the last few months too and that seems to make the pollution slightly worse. The sun usually shines though, and that keeps you warm in the afternoon. I arrived in August and at that time it was much warmer and tended to rain on cue every day at about 4pm, usually in the form of a thunderstorm.

What’s the cost of living like? Are you able to save money?

Mexico City can be a cheap place to live. The salaries are perhaps reflective of that, though, so I wouldn’t say that I am able to save a huge amount. It probably is possible to save some money but I am too focused on enjoying my time here! If you go to eat and drink in the more expat/international areas then it is more expensive than staying in local areas.

 

imagesWhat is the food like? Is international food available? Have you tried any unusual local dishes?

Mexican food is not like the “Mexican food” I sampled in the UK. It is much better here for sure, and it is rare to find bad local food, regardless of the price. You can eat very cheaply from places off the street, usually in the form of tacos. But there are also a whole host of restaurants offering a wide variety of food from all over Mexico and the world.

How is the culture different from your home culture? Have you experienced any culture shock?

I can’t say I have experienced too much of a culture shock. The language barrier is certainly an issue at times but other than that it has been very easy to adapt to living here. It is a big city, after all, and most things from the UK you can find here somewhere.

Have a read of our Happy Teacher Archives, for more happy teachers in the Americas and other locations.

 

IMG-20171225-WA0010What’s the best thing about living and teaching in your chosen city? What have been your highlights so far?

One of the best things about moving out to Mexico City is that I now try to make the most out of my spare time, largely because there is so much to see and do! Every weekend is a chance to see something new in the city and have fun, while every school holiday is an opportunity to explore some of the amazing places the country has to offer. Certainly my highlights have been travelling around Oaxaca in October and the Yucatan region over Christmas; there’s nothing quite like spending Christmas day on the beach!

Are there any drawbacks? What kind of person would not be suited to this location?

Of course there are drawbacks, as there could be with any location I would imagine. It is a polluted city with bad traffic and poor infrastructure in places. I was unfortunate enough to be here for two earthquakes, the second of which was felt strongly in the city and caused some serious damage and loss of life. I spent a few days aiding the relief effort and was certainly affected by the experience. That being said, witnessing the amazing efforts of people in the city to help was just incredible. Being open-minded to the possibility of something like this happening is certainly important for someone looking to move here, despite how rare these events may be.

 

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of coming to live and work in your current location?

My advice for someone thinking of living and working here would be to consider what they want out of an international teaching job. If a big city is appealing, then Mexico City is certainly an attractive place to live and explore. If earning big tax-free salaries is the main aim, then this is possibly not the place for you (school-depending obviously). I came here for the adventure and, so far, I have not spent one day regretting my decision. Viva Mexico!

Want to join Paul in Mexico?  To find out about this school and others, sign up here and have a look at our schools in Mexico.

Written by Paul Arnold, a Teach First graduate and international Biology teacher, currently in Mexico living the dream.

7 truths that international job seeking teachers should know

Working abroad as a teacher can be an exciting thought. The prospect of living overseas, learning about another culture and language, meeting new people, and molding the minds of students from another country can really be fascinating. Your interest in working in another country may even be further bolstered once you know that the pay grade is often higher, and you will enjoy more benefits. But before you start editing your CV and submitting it to various online job sites, you have to know what you may be getting yourself into.  This week, David Mackenzie (Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones) gives some important facts you have to be aware of if you want to teach overseas…

 

1. You need to meet certain requirements

Different countries and educational institutions set various requirements for international job seekers. As such, you need to read up on what these are and check if you meet them.

Some of the general qualifications schools look for in international applicants are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Two years of teaching experience
  • High level of fluency in English (especially if you will be teaching this subject)
  • Certification or license to teach for certain subjects or grade levels

Once you know what the specific requirements are and you meet all or some of them, you can then start applying for overseas teaching jobs you are interested in.

 

job 42. Knowing more about the countries you are interested in is a crucial step

To this day, numerous countries still look to international teachers to fill in their vacancies. But before you start sending your applications to different schools in various countries, learn more about your potential destinations.

Take the time to research the general pay ranges and benefits international teachers receive in all the countries you are interested in. Read up and get first-hand accounts on the average cost of living and quality of life in these countries.

Do some calculations as well. Keep in mind that even if some schools offer attractive salary packages, if the cost of living is high in these countries, you may not find the whole experience rewarding or satisfying.

We have so many blogs written by our teachers…have a read of this one about China.

 

3. It would work to your advantage if you start your application early

Once you already know which countries and schools you really want to work in, start your application as soon as possible. School terms begin at different months in different countries. As such, find out what the school year dates are in the countries where you might accept a job.

It is best to start applying for a teaching job abroad at least six months ahead of the time you expect to start. Bear in mind that there are several arrangements you will have to make before you begin your overseas teaching assignment such as getting an entry clearance visa, selling your home, etc. Be sure to take them into consideration during the job application process.

 

job 34. Making sure your application stands out is crucial

All schools and organizations looking to hire new employees always look out for applications that stand out for the right reasons. It is, therefore, important that you customize your CV to meet the particular requirements of a specific school.

Put to good use the research you’ve done before regarding the schools you are interested in. Make sure your CV highlights your qualifications, skills and experiences that align with the advertised job description. You should also explain in your cover letter what it is about the school that makes you interested to work with them.

 

5. You have to be prepared to undergo a stringent screening process

The internet has made applying for a job overseas easier and more convenient. However, it doesn’t mean that educational institutions have become lax with the whole hiring process.

Once a school shows interest in your application, get ready to undergo a meticulous screening process. You will have to go through several interviews by phone or video calls. You will have to pass certain tests as well.

Be ready to complete a lot of paperwork in support of your application and getting an entry clearance visa for your country of destination.

Your would-be employers will rely a lot on recommendations, too. As such, make sure the persons you provided as your personal references are aware that you are applying for an overseas teaching job and that your potential employer will be getting in touch with them.

Click here to read our blog: six reasons why schools might not respond after interview. 

 

job 26. It is important to scrutinize job offers

If you’ve passed the recruitment process and have just received the job offer, take the time to go over it carefully. Analyze the content and make sure everything advertised is in writing. Be on the lookout for legal loopholes such as whether promises are enforceable under the country’s laws as well.

 

7. Don’t take too long to get back to your would-be employer with your decision

Although you need to take the time to go the job offer and even have others go over it, don’t take too long with doing this. Your potential employer may get impatient and offer the teaching position to another candidate.

 

Applying for a teaching job overseas can be a long and tedious process. But pursuing your teaching passion in another country can be rewarding and a beautiful experience as long as you know what to do and expect before, during, and after the job application process.

 

Written by David Mackenzie, A recruitment professional with over twenty years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, David is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. In 2003, David set up Mackenzie Jones in the UK, growing the business across two offices in London and Birmingham. In 2005 David established Mackenzie Jones in Dubai to serve the Gulf region and neighbouring countries. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall