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Returning to the UK after working in Qatar

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by mkc21, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. mkc21

    mkc21 New commenter

    I’m looking at a move to Qatar to teach Primary for a few years next year. When I move there I would have 2 years teaching in an English school teaching the national curriculum. I only want to go for a few years and then return to the UK.

    I wanted to seek some advice from teachers, headteachers, deputy head teachers etc who have either experienced something similar or have employed teachers who have worked abroad.

    I am interested in finding out whether working abroad for a few years would affect my employability upon my return to the UK as this plays a huge role in a move abroad.

    I wouldn’t want it to affect my chances in the UK as a teacher.
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If you are already thinking about returning to the UK and you have not even left for Qatar, then perhaps the sensible thing would be to stay in the UK. Well, I am sorry if that sounds a bit negative. I am sending you a TES Conversation.
  3. mkc21

    mkc21 New commenter

    I wanted to go to Qatar for a few years for the experience and to be able to save up some money. I am only young and my plan to come home in a few years would be to get a house, get married, start a family... that’s why I would be returning to the UK.

    Nothing wrong with planning into the future.
  4. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

    Yea, I left the U.K. with no intent to stay or leave after my initial contract. I actually left after an extra year after contract due to family reasons. I stated a year and then returned on to the International circuit & never looked back. That was 9 years ago

    If you having a great experience abroad why go back to the U.K.?
  5. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    People's life situations aren't black or white though are they. The posters who say, 'why bother going out if you're thinking about coming back already' aggravate me because not everyone wants to be eternal expats. I lived in Korea and I would have stayed longer but my now husband wanted to come back. I'm desperate to leave the UK again and if it's only for 2 years, well that's better than nothing!
    ed717, Alice K, 576 and 1 other person like this.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I agree with you, adrixargentina. Not everyone wants to be eternal expats. You're absolutely right. If I could buy a nice house in the UK, and have enough to pay the Council Tax bills and all of the other outrageous taxes, then yes, I think that I might well come back and settle in the UK. But I can't.
    Kulmatie34 and adrixargentina like this.
  7. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I've worked with people who have secured jobs back home without too much trouble. I also know people who have struggled to do so...

    It's impossible to say as there are other factors like how good are you? How well can you sell yourself?
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, 576, and I have also known teachers who could not settle down in the UK after being overseas, so they left again after a few years.

    Making the move into international education is a little bit more complicated, milliecroft. There is the matter of becoming non-resident, in order to avoid paying UK Income Tax on any foreign-earned income, and then becoming resident again when you return.

    There is also the problem of getting a job back in the UK if you are in Qatar. Attending interviews might be tricky (and expensive).

    Another factor to consider is that your career progression would probably be better (and easier) if you were to stay in the UK. (Some heads in the UK might perhaps see some international experience in a positive light, but not all.)

    If you are young and interested in international education, then I would suggest that you ought to be looking at IB training, but that probably won't be much use to you if you are going back to the UK after a year or two,

    Some of these issues might not really be serious and in fact it all might go much more smoothly than you had thought it would. Or they might not. You won't really know until you open the Pandora's Box of international schools.
  9. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    I know married with kids and singles who went back home in the last two years. 3/5 of them financially planned their Kwata stays to perfection. They either had no mortgage to pay for or had a very sizable deposit for a property, location/counties of course differs. PLUS had (min) 6 months worth of UK wages to get themselves by. Finding a job varied, some applied using TES and got one before landing, others found one within 3 - 4 months.

    Of course each person is different, but the main advice I share with young'uns or newbies... Take advantage of the tax, bills and accommodation free salary.

    The 2/5 boomeranged back in the international circuit by Jan or the following August and were back in Hamad Airport in no time...
  10. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I left home to teach overseas for a couple years. Along the way I got married, raised kids, even bought a couple houses. Never did go back.
    One can plan, but life is hard to predict.
    Go on out for a couple years. Just don’t expect that everything will go the way you see it now.
    I suspect most people aren’t ready to chuck it all in for a permanent move overseas. Much easier to try it on for size first.
    Best of luck to you.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, as usual I agree with you, gulfers old chap.

    Mrs. Hippo and I said that we would go overseas "for a few years". That was back in 1998. Sometimes I do regret leaving the UK and I wish that I had had more time with my Mum before she died. But hey ho, life is indeed hard to predict, both the good and the bad.
    gulfgolf likes this.
  12. mkc21

    mkc21 New commenter

    I appreciate all of your comments. I’m still hoping to find teachers who have returned to the UK to work and whether this affected their employability upon return because I will be returning.
  13. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    One note of caution from me - there is a big assumption here about saving a pile of cash... there are a few schools in Qatar that will provide that opportunity - but you must do your homework before leaping into the first school you see advertising. Even though you will almost certainly have more money in your pocket, at the (many) lower paying schools, this will not be by enough - and living abroad somewhere like that is expensive... you need to sort in your mind what your rock bottom salary expectations are, and don’t accept below that... and be prepared to wait for the better schools... so it’s a continual gamble!
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    "I will be returning" : mkc21, perhaps you won't. People do change their minds sometimes. I have known some expat teachers who swore that they would never go back to teaching in the UK, but they did. An elderly (and ailing) parent is one reason that draws us back.

    On the other hand, I have also met plenty of young(ish) teachers who said that they would definitely return to Dear Old Blighty after "a year or two", but they didn't. It is quite possible to get married, buy a house and start a family without returning to the UK.
  15. abikuwait

    abikuwait New commenter

    Hi mkc21 I work in Qatar and have been here for three years now. I work at a good school and love my job and life in Qatar. That said, I worked in Kuwait for seven years and it's much easier in Qatar than in Kuwait - obviously my opinion! Luckily, I have been at good schools in both locations. My intention was to return to the UK after five years, however I caught the 'overseas' bug and shall not be returning at all.I cannot face the cold of the UK and earning half the salary that I earn here. Life is easy here with free accommodation and no bills, as well as hired help and a cheap ironing service who drop off and deliver! If this isn't my last overseas posting before early retirement, then I should probably try SE Asia next time. If you need any information about Qatar, please do message me directly.
    salamandes and mkc21 like this.
  16. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    I do agree with Abi, and can 100% relate to her views... but it seems we have both been fortunate to be in great schools, who also pay way above the salary in the UK.... but to emphasis my previous point... at the moment in Abu Dhabi, there are 18 classroom roles advertised on TES, in 7 different schools. I would only advice people to apply to one of the schools (which is really good, and you will earn easily £3000+ per month); and they only have a single job advertised - so therefore 17 jobs I would say avoid... that’s not good odds for anyone simply thinking ‘I think I’ll try working abroad, it’s much better and I’ll earn loads’ - simply not always true! Of course, needs must, and if you simply NEED a job, then these are better than nothing!
    abikuwait and Kulmatie34 like this.
  17. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I returned to the UK after 5 years in Qatar. No problem finding a job and I was picky.
    abikuwait and mkc21 like this.
  18. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    What is the age limit to teach in Qatar for a visa or work permit as I have been told it is 50 which I find rather low for Middle East countries.
  19. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    It is 60. It can be extended if a company makes a case.
    abikuwait likes this.
  20. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    Well I have just been told that it is 50 by a school's HR department. They said it is the MOE rules.

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