Teaching Abroad

This time next year….teachers get planning for international opportunities

It’s not an easy time of year for teachers. The summer holidays are over, the academic year ahead seems daunting, and bad weather is just around the corner. Not so for Physics teacher Gerry Young who is enjoying the sunshine in Bangkok and loving his work.

Four years ago, Gerry was in Lanarkshire, Scotland and not so happy. “The rain was battering against the roof of my lab and the wind was rattling the windows. It’s no secret that Scotland isn’t a nice place to be just now if you’re trying to find a [teaching] job.”

It was enough to inspire Gerry and his wife Jane to look further afield and as a result, they discovered the extensive opportunities available to qualified, skilled, English-speaking teachers and school leaders in international schools.

“We never realised the possibilities that were out there to develop our careers as well as to travel and see different countries and cultures – to live them rather than just pass through them,” he says.

Gerry and Jane have since spent three years teaching at an international school in Mauritius; “Where we worked with a staff body pulled from lots of wind-swept and interesting corners of the globe,” he says. “The lifestyle was completely different.

We spent most of our free time outdoors, in the sunshine, on beaches and there are huge benefits to be gained from a rich career spent teaching and living overseas…in a word, adventure!”

This summer, Gerry and Jane have relocated as a teaching couple to Harrow International School in Bangkok. “We moved from a sleepy little school of 260 pupils to one of the biggest names in international education with almost 1200 pupils, and traded mellow Mauritius for bustling Bangkok – a different corner of the world and a whole new adventure,” says Gerry.

With over 6,000 English-medium international schools to choose from, making their move could have been quite a daunting prospect for the Youngs. “What is often a traumatic experience was transformed into one where excitement and anticipation were our main emotional states,” explains Gerry who says the recruitment approach that Harrow International took was supportive, informative and reassuring.

Andrew Wigford from Teachers International Consultancy which is the sole recruiter for Harrow International Schools says “The number of international schools is growing at a phenomenal pace. Finding the right school to match a teacher’s specific skills and experiences, that supports their career growth, is a reputable establishment, and offers them the lifestyle and location they choose can be a challenging matching-up process.”

As a specialist recruitment organisation for international schools, Teachers International Consultancy works with many schools throughout the world and places hundreds of teachers each year. “There are currently over 280,000 expatriate teachers working in international schools around the world and there’s still a demand for more who have great skills and teaching experience.

Our advice to those considering this as a career move is research the schools as much as you can. Look for accredited schools or those with a very good reputation and get your applications in early. Most international schools start their first round of recruitment in January and February so now is the time to get registered with a recruitment organisation and to find out as much as you can.

Agencies that specialise in the international schools market should be able to help you through the whole process; right from preparing your CV appropriately, and reputable agencies do not charge candidates for this service because there is such a demand for quality teachers.”

If you would like to find out more about the opportunities available for working in international schools, Teachers International Consultancy regularly hosts free informational webinars and will also be hosting a free seminar providing advice about teaching in international schools on Saturday 17th November in London. For more information visit www.findteachingjobsoverseas.com

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