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.


photo of author
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
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