4 Considerations for Teaching Overseas in January

So you’ve been thinking about teaching overseas for a while and you’ve finally decided that you definitely want to do it. Now you’ve decided, you want it to happen right now, if you wait any longer something might come up and you may never do it! With the majority of international schools adopting the September through June academic year, is it possible to start a new overseas position in January?

The simple answer is yes, but, there are a number of things to consider. The following is written with the UK market in mind but you can apply it to your own market and relevant notice periods.

1.   Your notice period

To be available for January, teachers in the UK need to have already handed in their notice (31st of October for a December finish). If you have not already done so, then the next possibility would be to hand in your notice for April. However international schools extremely rarely employ people with an April start date so if you have missed the deadline for January, then it is best to wait until August 2017.

2.   How will it affect your school and class/es to leave mid-year?

Although international schools sometimes need a teacher for January, they don’t want to feel that the teacher is leaving their current school or class in the lurch mid-year. A supportive reference from your current Head teacher will be essential to reassure them this is not the case.

3.   Are you really ready to go?

January vacancies can come up very last minute, an unsuccessful probationary period, a teacher visiting home at Christmas and not returning, illness, etc. This means that schools often require that someone jump on a plane within weeks, maybe even days ( visa permitting), of having a job interview. Do you need to rent your house? Do you need to sort schooling for your children? Do you need to sell your car? If the answer is yes, again, it may be better to give yourself the longer lead in time for an August start.

4.   Have you found the ‘right’ opportunity?

Most international school contracts are two years, the minimum is usually a year. To leave a contract any sooner will reflect badly on your CV and future job applications so it is really important to get this move right. Because January is mid-year for most schools there are, generally speaking, far fewer January positions available than August. If you find an opportunity that ticks every professional box for you for a January start then great; but if not, don’t rush in to a decision when waiting those extra few months will afford you a much higher volume of choice.


It is entirely possible to start a position in January and Edvectus currently have a number of opportunities at excellent schools with this start date for 2017. Just bear the above in mind, and if January isn’t going to work for you, don’t hesitate to contact us for August positions instead. The good news is that schools are already interviewing for August next year, this peaks in January/February. So you can know you have a position sorted which will curb the excitement, but have time to plan carefully. Either way, whatever start date, it will be a pleasure to help you find your dream overseas teaching position. 


By Lisa Ichane, Recruitment Manager at Edvectus based in London


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