International schools exist in nearly all parts of the world but the vast majority of them are found among the flourishing business and financial hubs like China, the Middle-East, and Europe. They generally cater to upper-class families seeking to better prepare their children for international business opportunities and eligibility to foreign universities. While these schools are usually privately-owned and set their own guidelines on who can teach within their institutions, it's not uncommon for government policy to further dictate those rules through a combination of visa restrictions and industry-specific foreign worker policies.
Two important and emerging markets for tapping into foreign talent are Australia and New Zealand. Certified teachers from both of these countries are highly desired by international schools due to their teaching styles, excellent English language skills, and ability to easily obtain work visas. One downside for the schools is how difficult it can be to attract teachers from Australia and New Zealand. They are well-paid and have stable retirement packages which can sometimes blind them from the benefits of going abroad.
If an Australian teacher looks into teaching jobs in Kuwait or Dubai, they may discover that the gross salary is $15,000 or $20,000 less annually than at home - a major deterrent. Still, they're missing the bigger picture since the cost of living is far higher in their home countries. Salaries in Middle-East countries are tax-free, plus they include free flights, free housing, medical coverage, end-of-contract bonuses, and even free tuition for their children to attend an elite private school. China is another similar option, and while it's not tax-free, it's a culture-rich country that offers great pay. In China, education is taken very seriously and there are nearly zero behavioral problems in the schools, making classroom management a much easier task. There's also a variety of options to work in either urban or rural settings, depending on the teacher's preference.
Thanks to the excellent benefits packages offered by these international schools it's much easier to save money, even when the salary is lower than a teacher would make in Australia or New Zealand. The only thing teachers really need to pay for is their food, entertainment, and personal expenses. When you actually sit down and put it all on paper - all your expenses at home - you quickly realize that you could be pocketing twice as much money while working abroad. That's a big difference in possible savings for such a short time period. Futhermore, you get that cultural experience, the personal growth, the new friendships, and priceless professional experience which looks excellent on a resume.
How many people get to live abroad for two whole years with their spouse and child, send their child to world-class private schools, dabble in a new language, expand their professional skills, eat new foods, see new sights, make new friends, and then return with more money than they'd have made by staying put? Not many. But it's pretty clear that most people would jump at the opportunity if they were properly informed and able.
Teachers from Australia and new Zealand offer great talent, are well educated, and international schools are eager to hire them. It's just a matter of showing these teachers about the wonderful jobs outside their home countries, and that they shouldn't be too quick to make assumptions based on salary alone. Teaching internationally is a great way to travel, grow, teach, and learn without falling behind financially. For most teachers it's the only way to live abroad for extended periods of time while still earning well. Why wait for retirement to travel the world when you can do it right now?
China and the Middle-East are both great options for anyone interested in working overseas. There is plenty of opportunity for educators of all ages and subject matter, including leadership and specialized positions. It's important to remember that while teaching abroad is a big step, it's not permanent. However, an extremely high number of first-time teachers who go abroad actually end up staying long-term, with over 50% continuing their careers in various countries for the next 5 to 15 years. It might end up being exactly what you were always looking for.
Edvectus specializes in international teacher recruitment and has 50+ years of combined experience working in Education. With 100% of our staff having lived and/or worked abroad for extended periods, there's no better way to find the support, knowledge, and assistance you need to teach abroad. Our service is free to teachers. Register with us today, and we'll match you with the job - and the pay - that you deserve. Not sure if you're ready to register just yet? Then take a look at all of our job vacancies and make a decision for yourself whenever you're ready. It might just be the best decision you've ever made.