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Considering Overseas Jobs Advice

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by chrisbarnes1, May 30, 2018.

  1. chrisbarnes1

    chrisbarnes1 New commenter


    I am considering applying for international jobs and wondered what the competition is like?

    I have a wife (non teacher) and 3 children (6,5 and 4 months) and also wondered if any places are best for families?

    We are really keen to make the move but any advice would be greatly received as it’s a huge decision!

  2. Millionsandmillions

    Millionsandmillions New commenter

    What is your background, what age levels do you teach? Subjects? Years of experience and level of education? Are you looking for teacher or leadership positions? Any preference to curriculim?

    I'm relatively new to this forum but I have heard that a certain hippo can be of help, I'm sure he will show up in this thread soon.
  3. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Having a trailing spouse and three children makes things tougher for you (rather unfairly). Schools generally feel responsible for finding adequate housing plus schooling for the sprogs. Many also provide things like flights and private healthcare for the whole family - which can all add up. It doesn't mean that you won't find something, but it will make it more of a challenge.

    Most good international schools are great for families, almost regardless of the location.
    chrisbarnes1 likes this.
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The standard practice is to send one of those TES Conversation things to a stinky old hippopotamus.
  5. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Having a trailing spouse and three children makes things tougher for you (rather unfairly).

    I am not sure that it is unfair, In most home countries your employer has absolutely no responsibility for your family, yet when families come abroad they often expect: free education for their children, however many they have, free or very cheap childcare if they are not of school age, free health care, different/special accommodation and even activities for their children to take part in, all of which are an added burden, nuisance and/or expense for the school and its administration.

    In my current school the children of the staff, and there are more than a few, are the worst behaved and most problematic students in the school by far.

    It will certainly be tougher for you and so it should be, as you will be more expensive and more problematic to employ than a single teacher or a child free couple
  6. sazad99

    sazad99 New commenter

    I managed to secure my first international teaching job and I have a wife and three kids also, so it's by no means impossible. I would advice to try and apply to a non for profit organiorgani, it will help you get more interviews.

    You need to ask yourself what locations you are open to as well. If you are not sure then do some research and start applying by October for the following academic year
  7. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Your wife should obtain a teaching qualification, doesn't matter what level as this will make her employable in the school/country you are working in. A national recognized Nursery Nurse qualification would enable your wife to be consider for employment in many schools. This would nearly double your monthly income and allow considerable money saving.
  8. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Many schools are happy to hire teachers with partner and kids. My schools seems to hire them almost exclusively! I believe they think that they are more likely to stay for longer for fear of uprooting the kids too often. I could be wrong but that's how it appears to me.

    All you can do is apply for jobs you're interested in and hope for the best.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I have had quite a few married colleagues with offspring. I do not agree with those who say that most international schools prefer single teachers. I do not think that is true. Many schools have good HR departments (our HR ladies here in SZ are wonderful) and so it really is not a lot of extra trouble for the school to hire married staff. Singletons often do not stay as long as married staff and I would say that married staff add an extra dimension to the staff room.

    Don't forget that hiring childcare is usually a lot cheaper overseas than in the UK, but please double-check the school's policy on fees for staff children. Some scummy schools only give you a discount, so you still have to stump up most of the ginormous school fees for your little darling(s).

    As a sprogless hippo, I could, at this point, be really mean and mention the cost of school uniforms in the ME. Words like "outrageous" and "extortionate" do not come close. And then they grow out of them.
    englishdragon likes this.
  10. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    My school definitely prefers to hire married people with kids, and they give a reasonable education allowance for parents with kids and families get a higher accommodation allowance.

    But a more cynical person might think that they prefer families as it means people are likely to stay longer and put up with more nonsense if their kids and family are settled.

    I like my job a lot, but I'm not sure I could recommend it for anyone else...
    snitzelvonkrumm likes this.
  11. snitzelvonkrumm

    snitzelvonkrumm Occasional commenter

    For most schools, 4 dependents puts you at the back of the cue. A good percentage only pay fees for 2. However, there are 'international' schools that struggle to attract English speaking international students. These schools may see your family as an advantage. Depending upon circumstances, you may not view this as an advantage for your children.
    englishdragon and ruthwill500 like this.
  12. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    There are so many variables, not only the family situation as people discussed their (differing) experiences in detail.

    What subject do you teach?
    What age group?
    What curriculum do you know?
    Where would you like to go or are you open to anything?

    If you teach a desirable subject, have a good CV and are happy to move anywhere, it shouldn't be a problem. If not, then it can be more difficult but not impossible.

    From a family perspective all I can say is: You will most likely not regret the move abroad and your children will have a whole new world opened up to them. It is fantastic taking children out at that age and immersing them into another culture and language and very likely their education will be top. So, definitely go for it and see what comes up.

    (and as a side note - with this post I shall be occasional commenter at last, hooray!)
    StrangePanda and Mr_Frosty like this.
  13. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    (@mermy - I think you need one more!)

    You will be an expensive hire for a school, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. You do need to check that the school would accept up to 3 children, so that when the little one starts you don't end up having to pay fees. (and @makhnovite when those fees equate to virtually your entire salary, then schools have to offer it otherwise their pool of teachers will fall.) Merny's points are good though - give us a wee bit more detail and we can probably help!
    tigi and mermy like this.
  14. chrisbarnes1

    chrisbarnes1 New commenter

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I am a primary school teacher with most experience in ks2. I have only ever taught in English mainstream schools so national curriculum.

    My specialist subject is art.

    I am open to all areas but thought perhaps Europe so that we were not as far away from family and friends. Visiting Europe would probably be possible but I don’t think anyone would visit us in China!

    It all seems a bit of a minefield! I am fed up with the education system, although I love the actual teaching aspect, and I was hoping this would keep me in the profession I trained in.
  15. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Supporting a family of five on one teacher's salary in Europe will be tough. Eastern Europe tends to pay better than Western Europe, and Northern Europe generally pays better than Southern Europe.

    I'd definitely recommend signing up with Search Associates asap (it's free from the UK, and lasts for three years), which will give you a database access to nearly 700 schools along with rough salary expectations and hiring preferences / practices.
  16. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    On a financial matter if the school has to pay flights for you and family thats 5x1000GBP, baby maybe cheaper. If the school does not pay you will have to take it oit your wages, 4000GBP.
  17. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    Definitely read the small print but be open minded and give it a go.
  18. chrisbarnes1

    chrisbarnes1 New commenter

    Does anyone know what Egypt is like?
  19. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    "and @makhnovite when those fees equate to virtually your entire salary, then schools have to offer it otherwise their pool of teachers will fall."

    Schools don't have to offer anything, they make a business decision that they believe is right for them and then supply and demand does the rest. That is why there are so mnay different packages available in different countries and even within the same country/city. Just look at what it says on some of the other threads about some of the new schools in Thailand, Malaysia etc etc. let alone the PRC.

    Finally, I was citing an extreme case to make a point but as the dachsund rightly says the number of children paid for varies (usually 1-3) but 2 seems to be the average these days, and in some top tier schools you might be asked to pay 1/2 or 3/4 fees! The OP will find it tough, but its not unfair, he has made a choice too.
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I do know what Egypt is like, chrisbarnes1. There's a big river.

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