There are plenty of teaching opportunities overseas; however, many people get a little intimidated when they start looking for jobs. If you’re considering moving abroad to teach English, make sure that you don’t just look at your potential monthly paycheck. The experience offers a number of advantages over just a regular paycheck.
Why The Paycheck Isn’t The Most Important Thing
Many teaching opportunities overseas are in countries with a much lower cost of living then the United States or Canada. This means that if you do a straight comparison of paychecks, you could get a skewed point of view when it comes to how much disposable income you’ll have each month. Also, in many cities, teachers find that it’s unnecessary to own a car, which reduces their monthly expenses quite a bit. Instead, find a cost of living calculator online and get an accurate picture of what your financial situation will be before you commit to teaching opportunities overseas.
Consider Where You’ll Live
Many companies that connect teachers with teaching opportunities overseas will help them find a place to live. Before you sign a contract with a placement agency, find out if you’ll have your own home or apartment or if you’ll be required to share a living space with other teachers. If you’ve never lived with a roommate or it’s been a while since you’ve had one, it can be difficult to adjust to living with a stranger. On the other hand, if you do live with a roommate, you’ll instantly have someone to help you learn your way around your new city. Either way, consider what is the right situation for you and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your placement agency — that’s what they’re there for!
Be Flexible When Looking For Teaching Opportunities Overseas
If you’re not exactly sure what country you want to live in, being flexible can mean that you find a position more quickly than someone who knows exactly where they want to teach. Many teaching opportunities overseas are in countries in the Middle East or Asia — positions throughout Europe can be harder to find. If you have your heart set on a particular country, realize that it can take a longer time to find a position. However if you’re flexible and open to multiple locations, you may find a job more quickly.
Can Your Family Come With?
Many people who move abroad to teach English are single, but that doesn’t mean that married people or parents can’t apply too. If you have a family, make sure to apply for jobs that allow your family to go too. Many agencies will help with passports, visas or other entry requirements and some may even be able to help your spouse find his or her own position as an English teacher.
While a paycheck is important, many teachers report that it’s not the most important thing to consider when looking for a job abroad. Also consider where you’ll live, what country you’ll be teaching in and if your family can come along before you accept an assignment.