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.
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!