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Advice Needed from Teaching Couples

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by skeptucator, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    It has always been a dream of mine to live abroad, so I consider myself incredibly lucky to have a career that will allow me to do just that.

    Currently the only spanner in the works is that my partner is not quite as keen and has some reservations. Unlike myself, he is not well travelled and has only left Europe to visit New York (and that doesn't really count, in my books).

    For me, the more exotic the location the better... I want to be out of my comfort zone and I want adventure. He would prefer Europe, which I know is only for a fear of the unknown.

    Do any teaching couples have any advice?

    How did you manage to reconcile over which posts to apply for or accept? Were you on the same page from the start or did someone win out?

    Any advice on where might be a happy medium that could suit both of us?

    I don't want to cause resentment or bitterness between us, but would equally rather not have to make a decision between career move and relationship.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  2. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    I think you both need to be100% it's a big move, maybe get him on here to ask some questions about what's it like to live abroad.

    You need to sell him the dream, weather, 5/6 holidays a year etc. Worst case it's only 2 years of your lives.
    skeptucator likes this.
  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Have you considered perhaps offering a compremise location. What about Eastern Europe, or at least get out of the Euro zone. You will avoid the ribbish packages of western European schools, its a little more adventerous, but wont be a complete culture shock like Asia. Its also on a short flight home.

    If he can manage that for your first school, then maybe you could be more adventerous later on.

    I would echo willows comments though, he really needs to be fully on board with this before you move.
    skeptucator likes this.
  4. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    Thank you both, Eastern Europe would be a great compromise and both of us would love to work there. Whether it's realistic for us to get our first posts somewhere so competitive though...

    I was thinking perhaps we could go for the more exotic places (and I would guess less competitive?) for the first contract so we would have a better chance of securing something in Eastern Europe next time round.

    We have applications in for schools in Latvia and Bulgaria at the moment though, fingers crossed.
  5. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    It really would depend on how "exotic" and adventerous you mean. There are plenty of countries in Asia that would completely out strip Eastern Europe in the competition for jobs. Im pretty sure Latvia is not right up there on most peoples list of desirable places to live. Been there many times myself and its a great country, so dont worry about that. Air baltic also fly cheaply to loads of countries from there.
  6. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    Great news! Thanks for your insights @dumbbells66 helpful as always
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Latvia is lovely, actually. Like most of the lesser-discussed countries in Europe, it has much to offer.
    Definitely get on the same page. "Fear of the unknown" may be silly to you, but fear is fear, and not to be underestimated. Imagine confronting your deep fear by moving in with it for two years, no escape.
    skeptucator likes this.
  8. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    I've always wanted to live in Latvia. Nearly did in the late 90s when my mum was offered a job at an international school in Riga. It's still on my list of places to at least go to on holiday.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Good luck with Bulgaria! It's lovely. The local plonk is pretty good and of course there are piles of yummy olives because Greece is just round the corner. Here is yet another photo of Bulgaria. This little river is the Nishava and it is about five minutes' walk from our villa, about 60km north of Sofia.

    skeptucator and ejclibrarian like this.
  10. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    My partner and I know that at some point one of us may need to compromise. We're ok with that. We will do our best to find something that works for both of us but sometimes it's not always possible to get the perfect situation. At the moment we're both employed in our preferred jobs, in schools we both like, and in a country that we love. Having looked around before Christmas at jobs on offer, there weren't many schools advertising that had posts for both of us. Just means we have to be flexible next time we job hunt. If you're not on the same page with your job hunt, it's going to make things difficult and could mean you end up moving back to the UK after a misadventure. Will moving somewhere/taking a job he's not 100% happy with end up working out? Probably not. You need to have a very serious conversation about your decision to move abroad. It could be that a stepping stone somewhere in Europe with some holidays to Asia will quell his fears. I wish you luck with it.
    skeptucator likes this.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Mrs. Hippopotamus has more or less given up on the piano teaching, but she has discovered a new career as a model. She has already done several "shoots" and last week she was in HK to do some sort of art exhibition thing. 2,000RMB for a few hours' work!
  12. lottee1000

    lottee1000 Occasional commenter

    Do you know anyone abroad you vould visit to see what it's like? Last year we had my boyfriends' cousin and his wife stay with us, she was keen to move abroad, he was not. He was so impressed with how much time I had in the evenings (they usually only see each other for an hour or so before bed), and the range of opportunities to explore on the weekend, it really changed his mind. Plus he realised that out flat, car and general standard are living are way higher than they would be in the UK.
    They have both just accepted jobs in South America, and are super excited about it.
    skeptucator and ejclibrarian like this.
  13. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    Thank you everyone, some really helpful stuff.

    The issue is complicated a little by me teaching a core subject so getting interview offers fairly readily... yet he teaches a very competitive subject area to get into and has only relatively recently secured his first permanent post in the UK. So I can understand his reluctance to give that up after so many years chasing for it.

    We do have friends teaching at international schools in Vietnam, Malaysia and Lanzarote, @lottee1000 that is definitely something we need to do. If only we hadn't already booked trips for every school holiday between now and the summer!! Can't grumble too much at that though :D
  14. TheIrishTeacher

    TheIrishTeacher New commenter

    Myself and my partner teach in Qatar and we love it. As there are many Irish, American and British people over here, you can emerge yourself in a community that can make you feel at home. If your other half is afraid of the unknown, it may be a massive culture shock. However, the closer you relate to a community of people from your area, the less 'scary' it can seem.

    This was a big move for us, but we couldn't be happier :)

    Best of luck.
    skeptucator likes this.
  15. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    You might consider staying in Blighty but getting a more exotic partner.
  16. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    We are both teachers and when I had the chance to get into our dream organization we took the chance that she would be able to work her way in eventually. It worked out for us and we are now in our dream jobs in our first choice city in the world. We were both very keen to go overseas in the first place though which helps to avoid resentment and finger-pointing when you hit a rough patch (which will happen even at the best schools/most preferred locations).

    You can keep chipping away, doing your research and presenting the benefits of such a move (financial, travel, cultural) but it sounds as though his attitude about the whole venture will have to evolve a bit before it can become a reality for you.
    skeptucator likes this.
  17. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    This can actually work in your favour. If you are the one the schools will target, then if they really want you some will try to "make it work" for both of you. He might have to accept that he'll be doing cover, for example (and I understand his reluctance) with a small timetable in his own subject, but it's a foot in the door.

    You also say that he's only recently qualified - for some schools / countries this is a problem visa-wise as they require a set number of years (usually 2, though it's 5 for China.) You may have to wait a couple of years.
    skeptucator likes this.
  18. skeptucator

    skeptucator Occasional commenter

    Thank you everyone, once again and @kemevez for the giggle, no one is perfect...right?

    @amysdad he qualified 13 years ago, but teaching a very competitive subject in this area of the country he went from supply work to doing one year contracts and maternity cover posts, even in the school we both currently work in he worked 2 years on temporary before they gave him a permanent post. So it's the job security that he's relatively new to rather than the job itself.

    He's definitely willing to do cover, teach combined subjects or even work in pastoral or boarding supervision... he is being very flexible about his role if not location so that's something.
    ejclibrarian likes this.

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