As educators, we encourage students to broaden their horizons, seek out new experiences and expand their understanding of the world they live in. It goes without saying that effective practitioners tend to walk the walk, as well as talking the talk – and many are drawn to the opportunity to teach overseas. 

That’s always been true. But right now there are several reasons that international teaching is an even more attractive option than usual… 

international teaching

Professional development

Unless you’ve worked spectacularly hard to avoid all forms of news media over the last few years, you’ll know these aren’t the rosiest of times economically. But not all industries have been impacted in the same way. 

International education has boomed over the last decade, experiencing 53% growth since 2013. This has been fuelled by rising demand for access to high quality education in areas of the world where earnings are rising – and a generally more global outlook. 

In any growing industry, competitors do their best to attract top talent – and, once they have good people, invest in them. Generally speaking, international schools invest heavily in PD and are open to supporting teachers who want to go out, attend training and bring new skills into their teams. 

Unfortunately, with state budgets under pressure – the same is not typically true elsewhere in education. To use the UK as an example, spending on teacher’s professional development fell by 40% between 2018 and 2021 – and while more up to date data isn’t yet available, there are good odds the drop has since accelerated. 

A stagnant economy doesn’t have to mean stagnant skills. Teaching internationally is a great way to take your career further – both in the literal and figurative sense. 

Turning economic adversity into an advantage

With inflation rampant, many central banks are rising interest rates. In the long term, this should ‘cool down’ economies and bring down the rate of rising prices. In the short term however, it makes borrowing – and therefore housing – much more expensive. 

The plus side of higher interest rates is that you earn more money back on anything you are able to save. In short, this is a great time to avoid housing costs and put away what you save. For many teachers, taking an international post allows them to do just that. 

Housing is often provided by an international school as part of your employment – so you won’t bear the brunt of rising rents. Depending on where you go you may find that your pay is higher than at home, and the cost of living much lower. As well as being a fantastic scenario in of itself, being able to save more just as interest rates are soaring could have a real and lasting impact on your financial health. 

A vocation with a side of vacation

Immersing yourself in a new culture, broadens your horizons and compels you to keep learning – something that’s vital for teachers (and for being a fulfilled, happy human in general). As an international teacher, you’ll not only have the opportunity to experience life in a new country; in the holidays you’ll be able to explore the whole region.

As you gain experience with global curricula and build your international network, you could find opportunities open up in places you never expected. Getting to see the world is incredible in its own right, but doing it as a valued part of a community – rather than a tourist – is so much better. 

If you’re ready to begin your journey, create a profile on our website and start looking for exciting opportunities! 

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Written by Camilla Cook
Camilla has been working in education for the past sixteen years, teaching English in the UK, El Salvador, Thailand, and Tanzania. She participated in the Teach First Programme in 2005, and went on to support another Teach First teacher in her efforts to set up The Literacy Pirates, an education charity working to develop the literacy, confidence, and perseverance of young people referred for extra support by their teachers. As their first Director of Learning, she was responsible for planning, leading, and evaluating the learning programmes. She has worked as the Head of Language and Literature in international schools for the past five years, and is now living in Brighton with her husband and two children, attempting to reacclimatise to the weather by cycling around as much as possible and eating lots of ice cream.
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