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Can't cope overseas

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by musicismyreligion, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. musicismyreligion

    musicismyreligion New commenter

    Does anyone else feel totally overwhelmed and unable to cope at the moment?
    I don´t know how to cope anymore! I did a number of years in the UK, moved overseas to America for a long time and now teach in Europe. I know everything needs time and it will take a lot of adjusting, but I am finding it so hard here!! I feel teary all the time. The school is ok, has its problems (what school doesn´t?!!) and the city is obviously vibrant and fun but I am like a different person this year. I´m constantly worried about money - as the salary is lower here - don´t speak the langauge and am seriously missing my last post and home.
    Anyone else feel like they can´t cope? Any advice? I´m so not myself right now and I don´t know how to be myself again.

     
  2. musicismyreligion

    musicismyreligion New commenter

    Does anyone else feel totally overwhelmed and unable to cope at the moment?
    I don´t know how to cope anymore! I did a number of years in the UK, moved overseas to America for a long time and now teach in Europe. I know everything needs time and it will take a lot of adjusting, but I am finding it so hard here!! I feel teary all the time. The school is ok, has its problems (what school doesn´t?!!) and the city is obviously vibrant and fun but I am like a different person this year. I´m constantly worried about money - as the salary is lower here - don´t speak the langauge and am seriously missing my last post and home.
    Anyone else feel like they can´t cope? Any advice? I´m so not myself right now and I don´t know how to be myself again.

     
  3. I am sure that other people will be able tio give you better advice than be......but it does sound like a combination of culture shock and isolation. Being far from home with not much money to visit friends and family does indeed suck. Add to that other financial worries and it just intensifies the situation.

    Are you able to identify the root of your feeling of being unsettled? Is it one thing? is it a combination of things? It may be that there is something you can do (learn the language, meet some non-teacher friends etc). Not having the language can really exaggerate a feeling of isolation and culture shock.

    My advice would be identify the main areas of concern. If they can be resolved with time and effort, then great. If not, then maybe you need to consider your next step sooner rather than later.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Moving to a different country is never easy and I can understand how you feel. I moved to England a few years a go and I was happy in the first year as I was busy with my PGCE, but as time went on and I started working in school and had to slot myself into the culture I felt increasingly desperate for a number of reasons. I had no close friends: my colleagues in school were much older than me and in different family situations; my friends in Germany couldn't quite empathise with me as my situation was very different from theirs. I had a culture shock and couldn't marry up my expectations of others, how they saw me and how I wanted to be perceived. Money was a worry.
    There were times when I felt ready to pack my bags and catch the next plane. It sounds corny, but I didn't give up. I wanted to make this work for me and I am now in a position where things have fallen into place and I feel much better about me, my life and work.
    I guess the question you have to ask yourself is: how badly do you want it to work out? Do you feel committed enough to see it through? If not, then start looking for alternatives. If yes, then start to change your situation. Join a club, find some other expats or find some friends outside the school. Going home helps and travelling around the country takes your mind off things providing new experiences and insights. I joined a gym when I felt really low, working out and then relaxing afterwards often put things into perspective.
    Hope things are looking uo for you soon.

     
  5. miketribe

    miketribe Occasional commenter

    Where are you? Have you tried getting in touch with some of the other music teachers around the city? There may be several of them with similar feelings of isolation and you could help each other out...
     
  6. Are yiu sure that you´re okay in general? Culture shock is one thing, but depression is something else.
    Do tell us where you are..there´s bound to be someone who knows something about your location, and we might be able to help you.
     
  7. Go to the doctors. It may not help but it is a reasonable step. It is important to find somebody reliable who can listen to your description of your situation and give advice.
    If it is simply a case of coming to terms with things and getting on with it do join a club - any club - where you have an interest (Geog society, reading circle, dance) and ideally one with nothing to do with your school. I appreciate you might be very limited where you are.
    You have my sympathy. Lack of money brings its own pressure and lack of choice.




     
  8. Alphaalpha

    Alphaalpha New commenter

    Listen to Rach 2 and write a couple of Bach chorales. If you are a music teacher, remember unless you are teaching at Well's Cathedral School or St. John's in Cambridge, 80% of what you do is remedial music. However (as Churchill ofter said) enjoy the 20%. Get onto Sibelius and write that cantata, symphony or opera you have always been meaning to. Worst case scenario, PM me for further talks. Good luck!
     
  9. Alphaalpha

    Alphaalpha New commenter

    For ofter read often, and I'm sure you love your A-2 work and band/orchestra. Try LvB No 9 or PC 5 and revive! Again PM me for support!
     
  10. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    Have sent you a PM
     
  11. millsandboon

    millsandboon New commenter

    Don't forget its the middle of bleak bleak winter in Europe OP- that's never nice. You'll be more tired out, not enough sunshine in the day. If you moved this academic year the culture shock dip phase might be kicking. I'm normally happy as larry 99% of the time, but this time of year, post Christmas, cold winter, etc leaves me a bit numb at times. I'm sorry that you're feeling like this, but it will pass [​IMG]
     
  12. grandslam2005

    grandslam2005 New commenter

    I have come across various people in the past who are suffering as you are. I agree with what other posters have said. If this helps maybe think about the following:

    <ol>[*]What made want to move to your new country in the first place?[*]Was it for a change of scenery, job promotion, or to experience a different culture?[*]How have your expectations not been met?[*]Have you many friends inside and outside of school?[*]Are their expat societies available to you in your city?[*]What outside interests do you have?[*]Could you pursue these at no excessive cost?[*]Where are you from originally?[*]How does it differ from where you are now?</ol>I would agree with what other posters say. There are places in winter that can be pretty grim, you have come back after the Christmas holidays and you get the January 'blues'.

    What I would say is that firstly, when the weather gets better you may see things slightly differently. If you don't as other posters have said speak to your colleagues, HOD or SMT and explain your predicament.

    If your school value you then I am sure some sort of 'support mechanism' could be put in place. I know that in one of my previous schools in Eastern Europe we had colleagues who felt totally isolated due to language and cultural issues and we regularly had people around for drinks, meals out and trips to tourist attractions.

    If the problems are more deep seated than this then as one previous poster suggested maybe you need to speak someone to get to the root of the issue.

    In hope that his advice helps and is not seen as being condescending. Keep your chin up, invariably things do better!!

     
  13. Join a club and meet some new people... meetup.com generally have groups all over the world. It worked for me when I moved to the UAE.
     
  14. So you do.
    What does that that feel like?

     
  15. Alphaalpha

    Alphaalpha New commenter

    Not sure, but I cry at happy/sad movies like' Love Actually'! Would you not also die for Erin Brockovich when she gets the big cheque??
     
  16. For Julia Roberts I would. Erin's a bit 'trailer' for my liking...
     
  17. Alphaalpha

    Alphaalpha New commenter

    And then in Love Actually, there is the reference to Colin's big ****! Very bold! What about Adam's wife getting shot in Spooks. Really guys - are you not bored to tears and other things during this situation. Mrs Alphaalpha and I are climbing the walls!! Read all our books twice and watched every DVD 3 times!!
     
  18. Alphaalpha

    Alphaalpha New commenter

    Come on FP, TT is a fantasy -- I bet you could nibble!!
     
  19. musicismyreligion

    musicismyreligion New commenter

    Hi all. Thanks for the messages! I was ill (probably also highlighted issues, things are also worse when poorly!)
    I&acute;m in Spain, don&acute;t want to say where precisely incase people read it who know me... I&acute;m in a city though, I have joined two groups with hobbies of mine and met numerous people not connected to school. I&acute;m going to language classes (its hard, so hard) and trying to embrace it all.
    I have lived abroad before, for 4 years and America was VERY far from home, so isolation isn&acute;t the main root of the problem. I guess that&acute;s the thing, I can&acute;t really identify what it is. it&acute;s a combination of things... I moved here to be closer to family - and cheaper to fly home- plus work in a bigger school with more career development opps. My job has changed in that I have no KS5 classes and I&acute;m building up a subject in a school where kids don&acute;t sing and strings and piano dominate (not a problem as such...) There are supportive staff here for curriculum and job stuff, but the little things... like asking for flu medicine with little Spanish are still hard.

    Meh, I don&acute;t know. Maybe I just need a different career. Maybe I need a nice Spanish man! but, your responses were really nice and I thank you all.
     
  20. rachel_g41

    rachel_g41 Occasional commenter

    You have mail
     

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