Teaching abroad for Newly Qualified Teachers

Teaching Internationally as a Recently Qualified Teacher

….. for those with fewer than 2 years of experience at the start of contract

Every year thousands of teachers make the decision to go abroad soon after their teacher training. Sometimes it’s the culmination of a lifelong dream to teach overseas and sometimes it’s to find a full time teaching job when you cannot get one at home.

Whatever the reason, if you have fewer than 2 years of post-qualification teaching experience,  Edvectus can help you pick a suitable school that will provide a solid foundation for your future international teaching career. Please read on for our advice and tips on making your first job a success.

Where can I teach?

Most teachers want to teach the subjects and levels they are trained and qualified to teach, and Edvectus believes that this is the best career move in the long term.

Many countries require teachers to have at least 2 years of post-qualification experience in an international school setting. These include China, Malaysia, Thailand, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Oman. Indonesia requires a whopping 5 years of post-qualification experience, and Egypt requires 3.  Whilst a number of opportunities exist for less experienced teachers to teach English as a foreign language only in many countries worldwide, we do not recommend that newly qualified K-12 teachers take this route as most international schools do not count this experience as relevant and it won’t help your career.

In addition, many schools simply prefer teachers with more experience and ,as an early career teacher, the fewer schools that will consider you, the more competition you will face.   We find that the vast majority of suitable opportunities for teachers who have limited experience are currently in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. 

It's important to understand that most international schools prefer teachers with post-qualification experience, even if they are legally allowed to hire new graduates. Why? Because supporting a new graduate takes more effort and time from the leadership team, and because they are unproven, new teachers are riskier.  Therefore, as a new graduate your options are much more limited and you might not get considered until much later in the recruitment season.

In what kind of school will I be teaching?

Local International Schools

Most schools that hire newly qualified or less experienced teachers serve host national parents who want their children to have an international education, and these kinds of schools, called Local International Schools, make up more than 70% of all international schools worldwide. Edvectus visits our client schools in the Middle East, and we regularly get feedback from teachers we place. We place newly qualified teachers only in schools we select for their ability to support our teachers and which enhance their careers.  You can expect to find other like-minded teachers with similar qualifications and experience to your own, which makes finding new friends much easier.  

Local International Schools more closely reflect the local culture and teachers are advised to make full use of the Edvectus Learning Portal to access videos and documents created by our Middle East office to prepare before you go.

English Language Learners

Although all or most subjects are taught in English, Local International schools have a high proportion of English Language learners. Teaching children who are learning English requires a modified approach so we recommend that newly qualified teachers visit the Learning Portal to access tips to help you succeed.

Schools that have a more modest fee structure are usually more willing to hire new teachers, and their salaries will reflect their lower cost basis.

Typical Salaries for Recently Qualified Teachers:

- Kuwait: 8,400 – 9,600 KD per year (approximately US$28,000 -31,000), tax free, single (non-shared) 1 bedroom or studio apartment, Benefits: Free furnished housing, flights yearly, local medical coverage, end of contract bonus of about ½ month per year of service.

Once you have 2 or more years of post-qualification experience teaching in an international school you can expect your salary to increase by 30 to 40% and you will have a much wider range of locations and types of schools from which to choose.

I'm British. Can I do my ECT (Early Career Teaching) years abroad? 

International schools must be inspected and approved by organisations like British Schools Overseas (BSO) to support a new teacher's ECT induction. You can find a list of schools here: https://www.cobis.org.uk/professional-learning/itt-induction/ect-induction .  Most international schools prefer not to support ECT teachers due to the time, money and effort needed so these posts are highly competitive. We normally recommend UK teachers look to complete their ECT induction at home before looking to work abroad.   

How will teaching abroad help my teaching career?

For most international schools, having 2 or more years of solid, consistent teaching experience in the subject and level for which you are applying is a minimum requirement.

Getting a good foundation with a well-respected international school will enable you to master preparation, planning, reporting, assessment, classroom management and teaching English Language learners with your own class. With a solid professional grounding, newly developed cultural awareness and good references based on a consistent job and assessable results, you can expect to have your choice of new opportunities in any variety of settings.

Teachers with over 2 years of post-qualification experience at the start of contract should focus on quality schools in:

Almost anywhere!