INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL JOBS FOR BRITISH, IRISH AND EUROPEAN TEACHERS
Where can I teach? What curricula are used? Can I do my ECT or Probationary Year Abroad? How much money will I make? What are the requirements? How to start?
British , Irish and European teachers have lots of reasons for teaching internationally. They save more money than at home thanks to comprehensive employment packages that include housing, higher take home pay and lower cost of living. They get to see more of the world and experience new cultures, broadening themselves personally. They work alongside teachers from all over the world and learn new teaching skills and new curricula. There are more reasons than we can count.
There are currently over 12,000 international schools around the world, however most Primary and Secondary teachers start their international teaching careers in the Middle East, Southeast Asia or the Far East. Why? Because these regions have the largest concentration of international schools, and they are used to welcoming foreign teachers. Most Primary and Secondary teachers teach for 2-3 years in these regions to get the critical experience and professional development they need, getting their foot on the first rung of the International School ladder. Then the sky is the limit.
European passport holders, especially those with British or IB experience, also have lots of international school jobs to choose from in Europe. Note that British teachers without an EU passport can sometimes have trouble finding jobs in Europe if they don’t have a Master’s degree.
Note that some countries require a minimum number of years of experience to get a visa, and some have a maximum or minimum age. Some schools require that you have experience teaching their curricula and some are more flexible. Finally, an increasing number of countries have requirements in terms of the education and teacher training you must have. The Edvectus team keeps up to date on all of these changing goalposts and is here to help guide you towards the right countries and schools that can and will hire you.
Over half of international schools use the national curriculum of England and Wales. About a quarter use the International Baccalaureate, and about twenty percent use the US curriculum. There are a few Canadian and Australian curriculum schools as well, but they are rarer. Regardless of the curriculum used, a growing percentage of international schools are also bilingual, combining the host country language and parts of their curricula too. There is a huge spectrum of combinations, which is what we think makes it so unique and exciting. Teachers from the UK or those with UK experience usually get their start in UK curriculum schools, whereas Irish teachers get hired by US as well as UK schools. Often, IB curriculum schools request IB curriculum experience so if you have a chance to teach the IB curriculum we recommend it because it widens your appeal internationally.
Not all British schools can or want to support Early Career Teachers or Probationer teachers. The schools need to be accredited by the UK government through BSO or alternative accreditation. Additionally, many countries require a minimum number of years of experience so the schools cannot get a visa for you even if they wished.
Edvectus recommends that teachers who definitely want to return home to teach do their probationary year/ ECT years before going abroad, unless they are the few who get picked up by the rare schools that can sponsor them. We do have schools that will take newly qualified teachers, without their probationary/ECT years being completed, but they cannot support you to get it done abroad and you must understand the implications of that pathway before applying. The choice is yours!
The three things any international teacher will need to consider are:
At home you are used to getting a salary and you know what the taxes will be. You know the cost of your housing, food, internet, utilities and more. When you go abroad, you need to redo those calculations because everything changes.
Every school has a different salary scale and benefits – some of which can make a huge difference- and every country and city has a different cost of living. A country with a lower cost of living means each dollar you earn buys more, so you spend less and save more. Let’s take some typical examples from schools that will hire teachers with 2-3 years of experience. You will note that the salary abroad seems lower but the tax (or lack of) and comprehensive package makes the difference to your wallet.
We’ll use UK teachers as an example:
In the UK
In the UAE
You can see how tax rates, employment packages and the cost-of-living variation affects your take home pay and standard of living and how the top line salary is not the only thing to consider. In all cases you should be able to save more by working internationally. And remember our examples don’t include benefits like bonuses which are common in international school packages so you might do even better!
Every country has different requirement, and every school has different preferences (which is why we are here to help!), but some basic requirements for international schools are:
Important note for Europeans without an Irish passport: Many countries have requirements that teachers either have a passport from a country with English as an official language or teachers have an IELTS score of 6.5-7.0. Some countries will not approve teachers from non-English speaking European countries to work as Early Years, Primary or Secondary English teachers. Every country is different, schools can have different licenses and hiring criteria, and the rules change constantly. Most require that you have taught your subject in an English speaking school environment using one of the top 7 international curricula- IB, UK, US, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand or Australian.
There are also some restrictions on age in several countries making it harder for those over 55. We don’t recommend you try to bring a pet abroad (more here ), and those with a partner and/or dependent children should read about some of the challenges here.
Registering with Edvectus is free, and all you need is a CV so we can see your education and experience. Don’t worry about having the perfect CV at this stage- we can help guide you along the way with tips and advice. Simply register and our consultants (who are internationally experienced ex-teachers themselves) will contact you to find out more about you and explain what kinds of opportunities we have. Most of our jobs are online here but we can help point you to the best jobs for your experience, educational background, personal situation and goals. Matching teachers to job is what we do.
UK, Irish and European Teachers – register with a click on the link below.
Your international career awaits.
5 minute Registration form: https://www.edvectus.com/CandidatePortalRegistration/Page1