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Do I have a chance to teach abroad?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by linnasjere, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. linnasjere

    linnasjere New commenter

    Hello everyone!

    I am currently very interested in teaching abroad (mainly looking for positions in Asia or South America). I'm a Finnish teacher completing my second full-time school year as a secondary history and civics teacher. I teach in an international school with dozens of different nationalities and I also have a chance to teach in English. I'm fluent in English but I do have an accent. I have master's degree with major in history and minors in teacher studies, sociology and economics.

    My main concerns are:

    - How do I prove that I'm fluent in English? What certificates should I have? Will my accent be a big problem in job interviews?

    - What are good resources I can study to become familiar with the UK curriculum and the terms associated with it? I'm worried I will sound unprofessional in a job interview because I come from a different educational system.

    - Do I have enough working experience? I'm preparing for a year now, applying this time next year and hopefully will begin teaching abroad in August/September 2017. So I will have 3 years of full-time experience then. Also, I have held several part-time positions and I had an edutech start-up for two years - will these count at all?

    - What kind of salary and working hours should I expect? I know this varies greatly but I'd appreciate some examples.

    - Anything else I should know?

    Thank you in advance! I will appreciate all the hints and tips you can give me to help me be prepared!
  2. linnasjere

    linnasjere New commenter

    After reading a bit more I realized some of the questions I asked were not very good. I realize now that it's hard to answer a question about salary without going in depth about the living costs in different countries or cities. I also found plenty of examples by browsing this forum.

    Also one other thing that could be relevant is that I'm a teacher who does a lot of extra-curricular work (movie & debate club, student body, disciplinary board etc). Of course this is something I'd like to continue abroad.

    So maybe my main question is really this: Is there a lot non-US or non-UK teachers working in international schools? How are they received? Do they face difficulties getting in and what are the workarounds for those difficulties?

    I hope this second post makes it easier to answer my concerns. Thanks!
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. Quite a few questions here, linnasjere. Yes, I have taught in quite a few international schools where there were non-UK and non-US teachers. My present school in China has a mixed bunch of teachers: Swiss, Portugese, Brits, Americans, South Africans, Australians, Russians and some other odds and ends I cannot remember. Usually international teachers are a fairly tolerant, patient and broad-minded bunch of people, so teachers from other countries should not have too many difficulties. Of course international schools do come in many different forms, shapes, sizes, colours, flavours etc., so some are more flexible than others! Therefore my advice, linnasjere, would be to start applying for jobs and see how it goes. Scour the TES adverts and apply for anything and everything that seems to be a reasonably good fit for your experience and qualifications. Some schools will not even bother to reply. Some will send a robotic reply and then others will offer you an interview, at some point. If and when you get the offer of an interview, at that point I would start doing a bit more research into whether or not you really want to go to this or that school or this or that country.
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    putting this into a little context, i have only ever taught in IB schools Internationally, but so far for me UK teachers has always been the smallest group of nationalities at the schools i have been at, or associated with. there does seen to be a huge Canadian contingent out there, and Australian's are very prolific in South East Asia. i wonder what others experience is?
  5. Nezelette

    Nezelette New commenter

    Hi Linnasjere, I come to this a little late but just wanted to say that your qualifications are often more important than your accent. I am not a native English speaker and I too have an accent, but I have lots of IB experience so have never found it hard to find good positions. I also teach humanities, in English, so I know that it is possible! The big international schools often like to have various nationalities represented amongst staff. It would perhaps be more problematic with early years, as you would be teaching EAL kids how to speak English and they would copy your accent, but the older ones will be fine. Some older EAL kids also appreciate having an non-native teacher who understands their struggles.
  6. aussie_teacher_nt

    aussie_teacher_nt New commenter

    I think you'd be totally fine. Any one with even a basic idea of education knows the the Finns are always at the top of the PISA results and have a well respected education system in an international context. Anyways accents are sexy.... (LOL, except Aussie ones they're hideous), Just go for it put some apps out and see what bites then ask opinions (subtlety) on those bites from others on this site. Most jobs seem to want 2 years minimum so you should be fine on that account as well.

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