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Success Finding Work in Northern Europe?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Sileas, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. Sileas

    Sileas New commenter

    I've been trying for a few months to find work in Northern Europe without any success. I'm 30 years old and married with no kids. My husband can only really work in places like Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands etc. but I am having no luck applying to international schools in these countries. I've been teaching for seven years in Scotland, have good references and exam results under my belt and I am involved fully in the wider life of the school. I run lots of extra-curricular clubs, including debating, the student council and the school newspaper. I can also speak a bit of French. However, I never have any luck, not even a reply to tell me I've been unsuccessful.

    I've been offered jobs in Bangkok and Italy before, however I can't work in countries without socialised health care (I can't get private insurance because of a health condition. It doesn't affect my work but I've found that private insurers seem to be incredibly strict about these things) and my husband can't work in Southern Europe. I'm beginning to think I'll never have any luck.

    I know that these countries are really competitive and I have not yet taught internationally and have no experience of the IB (although I have signed up for an IB course which starts next month). I've also signed up for job fairs in January. Is there anything else that I can do? Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. pgrass

    pgrass New commenter

    If you are writing "Northern Europe" in your covering letter when applying for these jobs then this may be the problem. One part of one of these countries could perhaps be considered as Northern Europe.
  3. TonyGT

    TonyGT Established commenter

    Unfortunately you're limited to the countries which are most desirable with the least staff turnover which may be the only reason you haven't heard anything back (although it's definitely worth getting someone to look over your CV and covering letter too).

    I don't really understand why someone wouldn't be able to work in Southern Europe but could work in Northern. I mean, where is the dividing line?
  4. karel

    karel Occasional commenter

    Well first of all its a bit early for jobs in general to be advertised. The main recruitment phase won't start until Dec/Jan. In the places that you mention things are a bit different than some other places, where according to the local labour laws teachers may only need to give 3 months notice. So what sometimes happens in these schools is that the administrators attend job fairs or jobs are listed with one of the main recruitment agencies, and the jobs are listed as 'tentative'. Meaning that a teacher is looking to go elsewhere but unless they secure another job and actually leave the school doesn't know if that vacancy will exist. This is a very normal situation in the best schools in Germany, Belguim, The Netherlands. As already mentioned these places do tend to have low staff turnover with many teachers staying long term. Myself, I've worked in 2 different schools in Germany and one school in NL Currently I'm in Eastern Europe. I'm happy to share my experiences in these places.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Of course, you could always send a PM to an overweight and smelly pachyderm.
  6. Sileas

    Sileas New commenter

    Obviously I am not writing 'Northern Europe' in my covering letters!

    I am not limited exactly to countries in Northern Europe but my husband would find it much more difficult finding work in countries such as Spain and Italy. I used the term loosely but there are certain countries we probably can't really move to, unfortunately, as much as I'd like to.

    I know it's early for next year but I had no luck last year at all, although admittedly I was applying directly to the schools only because I hadn't really heard of recruitment agencies and job fairs. I'm now signed up to these and will attend a couple of job fairs in January.

    Karel, I had no idea that notice periods were so long. Thanks for that information.

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