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Teacher overseas - singapore or other

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by 1983teacher1983, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. 1983teacher1983

    1983teacher1983 New commenter


    We are thinking of moving overseas. Both my Wife and I are teachers and we have 2 young children. However, if we were lucky enough to be successful, only I would work as our children are not yet at school age.

    I just was hoping to hear about experiences of teaching overseas. I've look on *** at both Dubai and Singapore and reviews in general not seem to be glowing. Workload seems to be a huge factor as does lack of support and poor management.

    Any information would be gratefully received

  2. norfolktime

    norfolktime New commenter

    I can't speak for Dubai but I taught in Singapore for 4 yrs. It is a great place for a family and you would be a more attractive option if you both worked. Many families have a helper (usually they live in) to help with the children. Teachers with families had helpers and this enabled them both to work. If you work at one of the top schools you can afford a helper. Schools all have good and bad points and my golden rule is work in a not for profit as opposed to a for profit school. They are paying you well so expect a heavy workload, but we still managed to travel, have fun and plenty of family time. I loved my time there and it was a wonderful beginners Asia experience for my family. I would go back in a heartbeat.
  3. 1983teacher1983

    1983teacher1983 New commenter

    How does a heavy workload compare to teach here?

    I'm concerned that, even though we will be financially better off, I won't see the kids
  4. norfolktime

    norfolktime New commenter

    I don't know that anyone can answer that question as it is relative to your position and the school. You will have at least one staff meeting a week and 1 or 2 after school activities. There are really busy times of year and times where the load is lighter. I had work to do at home as well but we still had a great family life. My child was in primary so had lots of afterschool activities connected to the school. Your younger children will often have a busy social life too as helpers tend to meet up and the kids all play together. One challenge is you may not have a car, but many friends managed without. I went without the helper and bought a car. Public transport is fabulous and most of us lived within easy distance of our school for the first couple of years. Giving up a great job to teach overseas was scary and not without its challenges, but I think we came home with a wonderful understanding of international mindedness and what being a global citizen is really about.
  5. 1983teacher1983

    1983teacher1983 New commenter

    I think this really sums up the worries. It is the unknown. I've seen UWCSA has a good rep but workload seems to be synonymous with this.

    Thank you for your enlightening replies. One final question, if I worked but my partner stayed at home with the children, do you think that would be financially viable? I know that there are obviously lots of unknowns here, but based on your experience of Singapore, is this possible?
  6. norfolktime

    norfolktime New commenter

    I survived as a single parent on one wage but I didn't have the travel or social opportunities others had as I had mortgage commitments at home. You won't save much on one income. A lot depends on your financial commitments at home and the exchange rate. Rent is a big outlay but you will get a housing allowance, which you may need to top up. You will most likely be living in an apartment with no balcony but a great pool and other amenities. Food is reasonable if you are happy to eat asian (fabulous food). Transport is reasonable. You will get paid in Singapore dollars and the tax rate is so much better than many other countries, but you only pay tax at the end of the financial year so you do need to budget for this. Maybe think about why you want to work overseas. If it is to travel and save money etc try the stay at home parent for a year and then be open to both working if needed. Teachers are a wonderful social group and you will find they will be a great support mechanism for you all.
  7. 1983teacher1983

    1983teacher1983 New commenter

    Thanks Norfolktime,
    Your information has been brilliant. There are several reasons why we want to try Singapore: we both love Asia. However, here, we are are down to one wage. Childcare is prohibitively expensive so there is no point in her returning to work.
    I don't think we will make a fortune in Singapore but hopefully we will be marginally better off than we are here and have a great experience with it
  8. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    I am in Singapore now, one working teacher, one studying spouse, and one child - am more than happy to chat via private conversation. Will send you a message.

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