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Far away shores

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by annalein, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. I thought I'll start a thread to find out what people like about teaching in an international environment. What are the upsides? How does it compare to working in colleges and schools in the UK?
  2. I thought I'll start a thread to find out what people like about teaching in an international environment. What are the upsides? How does it compare to working in colleges and schools in the UK?
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    I taught in UK for 21 years before moving overseas in 2001. I had thought about it on at least 2 other occasions (thie first time beng 1983!).
    Why did I leave UK education?
    • To much paperwork, too many 'initiatives' which ended up literally being a waste of time
    • Poor behaviour from students, with an equally poor response to this from management
    • A poor ratio of teacher effort and passion to pupil enthusiasm and appreciation
    • Financially ****
    Upsides of overseas work? (I have worked in 3 very good schools in ME with good packages)
    • less beurocracy generally (though this is actually coming in to the school I am at the moment)
    • A much more appreciative audience (parents, children and management)
    • Great salary and package
    • good lifestyle
    • opportunity to travel
    • a much more 'can do' attitude
    • a cordial multi ethnic community
    • a much more varied experience
    • a kinder climate (though not in Sep/Oct/May/June) when it is oppressively hot.
    • Low crime rate
    Downsides of overseas work?
    • being away from home and family ie homesickness
    • constantly feeling like a 'visitor'
    • less culture and history (of the kind that appeals to me anyway)
    • No pension
    Overall I think a 10 - 15 year stint in the midpoint of your career is the ideal scenario
    I have never regretted doing it, I only regret leaving it so late.
  4. Thanks for that long reply stopwatch. I am pretty new to teaching and I feel very disillusioned sometimes (that's not to say that I don't have any good moments). I became a teacher partly because I really loved going to school and learning, being part of a special community and being enthusiastic about school. Now, that I am a teacher I would like the kids to have the same experience, but it is not really happening. There is a lot of negativity in the air when it comes to schools and I have been looking for a can-do place rather than a can't / won't. I was hoping to find that overseas as you hear the same stories from teachers in the UK wherever you go. Sounds like it is a possibility at least somewhere overseas...
  5. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    In your situation (ie new to teaching) if you do go overseas, I would give you one piece of advice - make sure you prepare in some way for retirement.
    It might seem stupid at this point in your life, but believe me you may find yourself 10 years down the line overseas somewhere with lots of great experiences, maybe even a property in UK, but no financial backing for post 55 +.
    It always seems like sometihng you will sort out 'later' but later comes quickly.
    Either invest in property (yes despite what people are saying), which will be paid off and bring in rental or in some other kind of financial portfolio (with the advice of a GOOD IFA - I know one if you need one).
    Regards the feelgood factor of teaching I think you are more likely to get that ovrseas than in UK.
  6. I have been paying into the Teacher's Pension and people have mentioned that it is a good one to have. Can I carry on paying into that fund from overseas?
  7. Also, what are hierarchies like in international schools? My current UK school is pretty top heavy with lots of chiefs (not enough Indians - as they say).
  8. 576

    576 Established commenter

    No you can't pay into TPS whilst overseas.
    There are exceptions to the pension rule though too.
    I am overseas but in a state school & the school makes pension contributions each month.
    When I leave the country I get to take it all with me [​IMG] and then I can put it into some kind of
    bond or something back in the UK.
  9. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    Is this in addition to a gratuity ot instead of?
  10. 576

    576 Established commenter

    As I said I'm in a state school - run on the British system so no gratuity - but I think the pension is probably worth more as the pension conts are equal to one 8th of my take home each month. So if you left at the end of the usual 2 year contract your pension contributions would equal nearly 3 months wage but you also get whatever it has gained in investment [​IMG]
    "A member of a pension fund can be entitled to a refund if the following conditions are satisfied:
    • A member’s employment is terminated.
    • That member ceases to reside in the Islands.
    • No contributions have been made to a pension plan by or on behalf of the member for a period of two years or more.
    <h3>What will the refund include?</h3>Under a defined contribution plan, a lump sum payment of an amount equal to not less than the amount of contributions made on or behalf of a member and the investment earnings on the contributions made under the pension plan. In the case of a defined benefit plan, the amount is a commuted value based calculation."
  11. That's all very technical [​IMG] At least I have heard that they exist.
    Are there some other people out there that would like to share why they chose to go international and how that kind of life has treated them?

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