At Teacher Horizons we love to get feedback from teachers about their experiences all over the world. We recently sent out a questionnaire to get some of this inside scoop. We have already shared with you the answers to “tell me something you have learned” and “tell me a funny story”. Here are the answers to a question we think is very important for those teachers looking to go international for the first time.


This week we asked “Are there any misconceptions about international teaching? Any expectations that you had (good or bad) that haven’t been as you thought?” Have a read of the answers we got back…


“In the past there was a misconception that international teaching was a bit of a gap year and that you couldn’t find a job when you come home. Today many international schools are much more progressive than schools in the UK, and the experience actually opens more doors to better opportunities when you return.”

“I really thought that teaching is teaching wherever you go, and that it is a transferable skill. Well it is, to an extent, but teaching internationally was just the most different experience for me. It is progressive and dynamic unlike back home.  The schools are different, the teaching styles are different, and some of the skills you have learned before just get thrown out of the window! It’s an amazing experience and I have loved it, but it’s worlds away from teaching back home.”

“My misconception was that I would work less hard than I did in the UK. I was very wrong! Also, that there would be no social welfare incidents.”

“I didn’t realise that I would be able to be so creative with my teaching. I have developed more than I could ever imagine, because I am trusted. I take the students’ learning wherever I think is necessary, and I teach them in the way I want to teach. It’s amazing.”

“Some people believe that international teaching is like a busman’s holiday. it really isn’t. You have to work just as hard, if not harder overseas. However the rewards are excellent.”

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“A major misconception is that these bright and open minded international students will be more eager to learn. By and large, this is true, but sometimes students from affluent backgrounds can also be quite apathetic as they know Mum and Dad are wealthy enough to take care of them if they don’t do well in school. Or there is the “I will work for my Dad’s business after my iGCSEs therefore I don’t need to work hard” mentality.”

“I thought that parents would be much more intervening in international schools than they are in the UK, but I was only half right. Parents with children in international schools can be very demanding of the level of support they expect from teachers, but other times, their busy jobs mean they just don’t have enough time to intervene. Also what you don’t consider, is that having busy and wealthy parents can actually mean that children may not be getting the kind of attention they need at home.”

“I think people think it is an easy ride. But living in a new country, not knowing anyone and having to get to grips with a new curriculum is a real challenge.”

“Well, for me, I thought that to teach in an international school you have to be a UK qualified teacher. But it turns out this is not true; as long as you are well trained and hard working you can teach almost anywhere you want to internationally, especially using Teacher Horizons!”

“My misconception was behaviour…international kids can be naughty too!!!!”

Do you have your own misconceptions to discuss? Please feel free to comment below, or to contribute to our teacher questionnaire by clicking here and answering the questions. We would love to use your answers in our next blog!

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Teacher Horizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.
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