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Teaching Abroad - Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Bentley89, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    Whilst there are many positives to teaching abroad, I have been advised by a Senior Management Team staff member that teaching abroad could have a diverse affect on your CV and your overall chances of gaining employment on your return to the UK.

    His grounds for argument was that you would be behind on British procedures and protocols, whilst being out of the loop would make you a potential burden to any possible employer...

    Are there any members on here who has experienced this, or any Senior Management who can support or reject this?

  2. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    A member of the SMT in a UK school?
    Does the UK school send you on every training course for every initiative?
    Going abroad can give you the chance to add great things to your CV, for instance
    "supervised student trip to the great wall of China" type thing.
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Whilst there are many positives to teaching in the UK, a member of the SMT of my international school told me that returning to teach in the UK would damage my sanity. This is because of all the useless British government policies in education, redtape, endless paperwork etc. The Senior Management Team member also said that I would be behind on British Income Tax, Council Tax, VAT at 20% on everything, the stupid Olympics and rain, rain and more flipping rain. His grounds for argument was that teachers are regularly insulted, pilloried and villified in the British media, while there still are some countries in the world where teachers are actually respected.
  4. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    One major consideration, depending on your current age and years teaching, will be your teachers pension, or any pension provision.
    Make sure you address this in some way from the outset as a '2 year stint' can suddenly find you 10 years down the line, still enjoying the expat life and wishing you had sorted something.
    A number on this forum go for the option of buying, usually cheaper, property overseas (usually Europe somewhere) and seeing their days out there.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    As regular readers of this forum will know, Mrs Hippo and I bought a house in mountains, near the border with Serbia, for twenty grand and two years ago we also bought an apartment in Veliko Turnavo, the old capital of Bulgaria.
    A former colleague and old friend from college tells me that the teachers' pension scheme in the UK is not what it was. You pay in a lot more and you get out a lot less.
  6. mrswallow

    mrswallow Occasional commenter

    Well, it would certainly make your CV more 'diverse' and give you valuable experience of different learning environments and cultures and expand your classroom teaching tool kit, as well as being a valuable life experience and other such happy interview quotes.
    Do you mean- or did the exalted SLT mean- an 'adverse affect'? Depends on the small mindedness of the person reading the CV. It may be related to the level of jealousy of people who are to hidebound to make such a move. I'm sure some would see it as an advantage, and some as a disadvantage. I'm fairly sure however, that years abroad do not automatically count towards pay scale progression, although I am happy to be wrong on that. The SLT may be telling you this because they don't won't to lose you.
    Is it worth moving abroad? I thought so, but I'm not intending to go back.
  7. squeakyhaggis

    squeakyhaggis New commenter

    I moved abroad at the end of August, so I'm not in a position to comment on trying to find a job when you go back.
    I am in a position to say that my initial contract is 2 years, and if the last two months are anything to go by I now have no intention of returning for the forseeable future.
  8. in my experience...
    state comprehensives (you know - academies, community schools etc) often have staff who are least flexible in their thinking. this often translates to working practice. (not always but they tend to be under a lot of external pressure and havent all experienced walking the Hindu Kush for themselves)
    an independent HT or perhaps even a grammar HT is more likely to say "3 years in the Congo, eh? makes you proud to be British" - possibly because they are interested in a more holistic approach to education, and if your academic credentials are good you should be up to the teaching side of things.
    if you go to a good int school they should be willing to invest in courses for staff which are recognised in the UK. not a bad idea to use your time abroad to actively improve your CV by becoming an examiner/ MA ed or leading from the middle student (dont know so much about this one).
    also, are you in a shortage subject? do you have a strong cv anyway?
    whatever the orthodoxies of employment random opportunities do come up to get back in to the UK system but it may take a little time.

  9. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Just idle curiosity. Do you speak Bulgarian, and if not how widely is English spoken.
  10. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    Apologies. I did mean adverse...

    In my current position, I am an NQT, specialised in Primary School Teaching.

    I therefore have a weak CV. Would leaving to teach abroad, with hardly any British teaching experience, be of benefit to me in the long run?
  11. Do a couple of years in the UK first. Good international schools tend not to be interested in NQTs. Not so good ones might be.
    Get your probationary period (or whatever it's called now) out of the way and then look at your UK/overseas options.
    I'm with a couple of posters above; buy property, UK or abroad and look into the pension thing. I don't know where I will end up but I'm not doing this just to be away from the UK - I am doing it because it is better than the UK (too old to go back anyway). You might feel the same if you get a stint abroad and find going back to the ed system back home.....undesirable.
    Bulgaria eh? Isn't that where Borat's from?
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Don't know about other subjects, but for maths (and most likely the sciences too) national curriculums are a festering pile of *****. Any good maths teacher knows exactly what they need to cover for each year group. Although technology may have changed things a bit, not much has (or should have) really changed in a long time. Even if there is a need to enumerate what topics should be covered, this could be done in 10 to 20 pages rather than 100 to 200: or are these bureaucrats on a secret mission to destroy our remaining forests.
  13. The hysteria surrounding the Olympics is a good enough reason to emigrate. I'll be writing my Masters dissertation on a Greek island whilst London heaves with all that optimism and enthusiasm (bah humbug!)
  14. Well, I think that many responsible hardworking people are going to get a nasty shock when they find out what their pension actually turns out like. Me, I'm happy to be abroad and have no intemtion of ever returning to the UK.
  15. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    You are probably right regards being shocked. 'We' certainly aren't going to be the Golden generation when it comes to getting the most out of the UK government.
    However, not all people want to live the years out away from the UK. In this case, it probably is prudent to look at arranging some kind of provision, whether it be a teachers pension or a 1 bed flat to rent out for income.
    What are you intending to do when you are (presumably) in your 70's and 80's? This is a serious question as there is a current trend for many of the expats who went off to live in Spain in the 70's/80's to come back now that they realise that the best health care they can get is actually back in the UK.
  16. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Obviously I may have got some 'facts' wrong. Are you saying that there isn't a current influx of elderly returnees from Spain and that as an older (ie 60+) person they are not better off in UK?
    My original comment was referring to the concept of being an older person in a foreign country, not just Spain, and the related health concerns/how well they might be addressed in other countries (and of course how expensive this might be).
  17. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I heartily endorse Jeremy's comments on the Spanish Health Service from which Mrs M and I have experienced first class treatment over the past six years both at GP and specialist levels. I won't knock the NHS either but both my UK-based sons find it patchy and that is a politer term than the ones they use.
    Let us be clear that 'influx' means 'in-flowing'. It doesn't mean 'flood'. It is true that some expatriates have returned/ are returning from Spain to the UK. The reasons are complex and varied but there are two underlying themes. One is the Brit's traditional resistance to any language but his own and even for those who are competent in a second or third tongue it is a well-documented fact that as we get older we tend to revert to our linguistic roots. A second theme is panic. There is a financial crisis affecting the 'western' world and the euro zone is the current area of concern. When we feel vulnerable the natural instinct is to run for home but there is very little logic in it. I see the same panic in residents here whose income is entirely in sterling which will presumably be 'worth' more to us if the euro collapses. But what do I know of economics? Probably even less than the economists.
    I do not rule out an eventual return to the delights of the British climate (I'm typing this in November at three o'clock in the morning in pyjamas and dressing gown in an unheated living room in a stone farmhouse two thousand feet above sea level) but I find it difficult to see how at this point
    I would be
  18. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Thank you for clarifying M
  19. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    De nada. Like Hippo with his Beauties of Bulgaria I like to bang on about my adopted country.
    I was chatting to a new Brit acquaintance in the market yesterday morning (brilliant sunshine, ruined castle on a hill in the background, lake gently lapping at our feet). Defiantly determined never to abandon Andalucía for the delights of Aberdeen or Andover, he enthusiastically affirmed all things Spanish. 'Well, I replied, 'I've never fancied bullfighting and flamenco makes my teeth ache.'
    He stared disapprovingly at me as if I'd uttered an obscenity. 'But flamenco is CULTURE,' he told me. I read a book. There's a Spanish word for it. 'Donde'.
    'Could that be 'duende', perhaps?
    'Possibly. Anyway, they've got it in spadefuls here. Unlike the Brits who don't have any traditional music.'
    'What about all those wonderful English folk songs collected by the likes of Vaughan Williams?'
    'You're into that kind of stuff are you?'
    'So you play the guitar?'
  20. I have just had a week's holiday. It has gone very quickly and I am back in tomorrow!
    I worked at several schools in the UK before and between international stints and going back into school after holidays was hardly a 'joyful thing'. However, where I am now, it is. Hard work, sometimes challenging kids, but a very good school. And the weather here in pyramids' land is perfect.
    Is it 'worth' living abroad, implied financially and the replies addressed the question as such. But is it 'worth' it because it is just great to work in a lovely climate, in a vibrant and challenging environment? Obviously, there are some nightmare schools out there, in fact there are hundreds of them so where you apply to is crucial; but avoid them, get the right school, then 'yes', it's definitely worth it.


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