Why Teach Overseas?

Why teach overseas?

This is probably the question I get most often.

I went to grad school in the US and my best friend studied education while I was in undergrad for four years. I know quite a few teachers.  Most of them think I am kinda crazy for living and working overseas.

As I write this it is in between texts and emails from people worried about the current situation in Venezuela.  There is a lot of unrest because the average people in this country can’t get a lot of basic goods (think: toilet paper, flour, sugar, coffee, chicken, laundry detergent, etc.).  I am fine however, because I am living the life of an expat international teacher.

You frequently find whole isles with either items you don't need (like an entire isle of mouthwash) or empty like this one.

In Venezuela you frequently find whole isles with either items you don’t need (like an entire isle of mouthwash) or empty like this one.

Teaching at an international school offers the opportunity to work with kids from a variety of different countries and to be immersed in an international environment, but it can also be challenging.  It can also be a challenge in that we have to become familiar with different cultures and to understand where they are coming from.  Sometimes conflict can arise from such rich mixtures and one of our jobs as teachers is also to be aware of their social environment.

While working as an expat at an international school has many benefits, it can isolate you culturally from the country where you are teaching when the main language is English and most of the people you meet are not from the country. One could spend their entire day speaking English and never interact with the local culture.  You need to pursue your hobbies and meet locals just like you would if you were living in the US.  I do this through salsa dancing and my love of cooking.

My answer to the original question changes everyday, but I will always say that international teaching is incredible!  With what other job can you touch so many lives? With what other job can you see the world while making a difference in so many young hearts and minds? Motivated students, adventure, high standards, available resources, learning about new cultures and places, all while developing my passion for teaching AND travel!


9 responses to “Why Teach Overseas?

  1. Pingback: Why I Stay in Venezuela SOL#8 | Teaching Wanderlust·

  2. Pingback: 5 Teach & Travel Blogs to Follow Now — Wanderdolls·

  3. Hi, I am looking at the idea of working abroad in an international school but have no idea where to even start! Any chance you could advise me?
    I also have a wedding to attend in the U.K. on 5th September so am a little worried I won’t get a job for this year…
    Any advice gratefully received!
    Thank you 😁


    • Hi Leanne,

      Most top international schools have all but the very difficult positions filled by this point (high-level math and science). There is still a chance that people will back out of contracts at the last minute, but you will most likely end up in tier two or three schools. I would get signed up with Tieonline.com if you are a first-year international teacher because most of these schools will have jobs listed on this website.

      Most international schools start orientation during the last week of July or early August so if you do want a job for the 2020-2021 school year just ask yourself if attending the wedding is worth the $40,000+ salary that you would be giving up. There is a chance that someone will do a runner and will leave the school after a few weeks and then you could get hired to fill their position.

      I have tagged several other posts to get you started: https://teachingwanderlust.com/tag/getting-started/ and a couple others about how to become an international teacher: https://teachingwanderlust.com/tag/how-to-become-an-international-teacher/.

      Best of luck!


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