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Which PGCE for teaching abroad?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Zeppo6, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I am thinking of doing a PGCE to help my future career.

    The subject which most interests me is English, and I'd like to teach this at either highschool or primary level.

    I prefer older learners, so I am inclined to take it at highschool.

    Do you think this would be alright in terms of giving me opportunities abroad? I used to live in Japan, and I am thinking about moving back there in the future once qualified.

    Thank you,

  2. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    Sure, PCGE is spot on. Remember that primary teachers teach all subjects, not just English, so if you want to focus on one particular subject, you are immediately looking to teach older children anyway.

    Also keep in mind that:

    - some places in the Middle East need your first degree to match your subject. As you mention Japan, not an issue I would guess, but something to remember.
    - it is best to do your NQT year +1 more year as a minimum in an English speaking country and school setting. Most decent schools will ask for at least 2 years experience in a native speaking country. It's worth it.
    - English, historically, is a more competitive subject than maths or science, so any bells and whistles you can add to your CV (coaching, EAL teaching for example) will help make your application stand out.

    Good luck!
  3. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

    Thank you for your reply! Oh right yeah, I forgot that about primary. There is no way I could teach anyone else maths.

    Do you know how likely it is I'll get a bursary? I'm still in student loan debt, so I have no idea how that might effect my application.

    Thing is, I will have to pay international student fees because I've been out of the UK so long.
  4. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    Have you done your research on this? For English I have just checked and you can get a bursary of 12,000 GBP and a PGCE for an international student is £12,750. But you'll need to be able to pay for your PGCE before getting this bursary (at least when I was applying it was like this).

    I don't know if they've changed the way they give out the bursaries but for me it's nonsensical. I mentioned this on the government chat page and they said something like "the bursary isn't meant to pay for your PGCE, so just take out a student loan". But I was eligible for something like 20 or 25k (modern languages) and of course the intention was to use the 9k from that to pay for the PGCE, so why would you want to needlessly take out a loan? For me it would have been more logical for the government to transfer the 9,000 from the bursary directly to the university. So, if you're looking this bursary to actually pay for your PGCE think again!

    I'm a bit confused about your PGCE choice. What makes you choose English? You simply say it interests you. Did you do a degree in English? If I'm not mistaken English is probably one of the most applied for PGCEs. Also, you can't just choose highschool. If you do your PGCE placement you'll be given a placement in a secondary school and will need to do the years the mentor gives you.
  5. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

    I have researched it, but I read conflicting things and your post adds to that.

    Confused? I studied English Literature in University. I've been teaching ESL for 10 years. My hobbies are reading and writing. It's where my interest lies and it's what I'd find some joy teaching.

    I meant secondary school as opposed to primary school.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, a PGCE is a good place to start, if you are thinking of making your career in international schools. However, sooner or later you need to face up to the fact that many of the best international schools do not follow the British National Curriculum. Therefore some IB / MYP / PYP training should be the OP's long-term goal.
  7. lunarita

    lunarita Senior commenter

    I ddon't know where the OP has in mind, but in some parts of the UK, High School means exactly the same as Secondary school.
  8. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    Bursaries are weird, I agree. I got the core one, but didn't realise I missed out on additional grants because I self-funded and didn't take out a loan!

    So research the finances carefully! But you will need to be prepared to pay for everything up front though, either using savings or a loan.

    Also, you mention being out of the UK, but don't indicate if you're from the UK. You may still qualify as a UK student if you're a UK citizen, it really depends.

    I suggest identifying some of the courses that interest you and researching them individually, maybe even emailing the institutions to help clarify funding and costs.
  9. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    Hi Zeppo

    When I asked had you researched it, it was because you mention student loan debt. With the bursary only covering 95% of the PGCE (if classified as an international student), it means you'll need to have enough money to pay for your PGCE prior to the bursary (or at least 50%, though I'm not sure if each uni has a different way of getting the fees) and on top of that enough money to pay for rent, food, transport etc, all of which adds up with no income. So, you might need to take out a second loan (unless you have 10k+ knocking around!)

    Never heard of that before. As you know in some other countries secondary schools are divided into 2 parts: middle and high school, so I thought the OP had a preference for sixth formers, for example.
  10. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

    Well, due to the lack of finances aspect, it really limits where I could do it to Brighton. I could live with my parents for free and focus totally on my studies if I did it there. There is no way I could afford living expenses. I might be able to scrape the 10-15k together for the course just barely. It does seem like a bit of an insane move though, but I suppose never being financially comfortable is also a bit insane.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If you have never really done any teaching before, then perhaps a PGCE might be a big (and rather expensive) step. Maybe it would be wise to do a CELTA first and then think about a PGCE in a year or two. A CELTA is a lot cheaper than a PGCE and it is a very good qualification to have, if you are thinking of teaching in international schools. A CELTA just about guarantees you a teaching job and that is more that can be said for a PGCE.
  12. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

    I got my CELTA 10 years ago. 10 years of ESL experience since then. Highschool/University/language schools. Bit of everything.
  13. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    The key thing your CELTA experience might help you with is you might be able to use it to get away with just doing your NQT year in the UK.

    As you already have teaching experience, get the NQT year done and go. Some schools will look favourably on your CELTA background.

    It sounds like you have picked a university, so contact them and outline your situation. They should be able to let you know if you qualify as a UK student or not. I had been out of the country for 8 years, with no UK address (family abroad too) and still qualified as a UK student thank goodness!

    Also, ask them about any additional bursaries they might offer (my teaching school had additional funds for mature students) and how you would get them. As I said before, I missed out on one, because I hadn't applied for a student loan! I was kicking myself when I found out, as it was quite substantial! You might be in an even stronger position as you can use your parents' address.

    Good luck!
  14. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    Did you forget that you already posted in this thread a matter of days ago, right after the OP had written


    I understand. I guess that limits your choices as you will be aware and also need to be aware, say you choose a uni a bit further out from Brighton, that that university might send you to a school even further away making the commute quite lengthy (a PGCE is stressful enough as it is). Not sure how many unis are near you.

    I'm confused what you mean Ne11y. Are you trying to say someone could work in a state school in the UK with merely a CELTA? Unless there's some exception I'm unaware of this is 100% impossible.
  15. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    No, I just mean that once you do the PGCE and get your NQT year out of the way, your experience might be enough in some international places even when they ask for 2 years experience, as you have spent a lot of time in the classroom.

    PGCE or somesuch would still be a starting point.

    Have you considered a SKITT course of some sort, where you study and earn a bit at the same time? Some might be available around Brighton.
  16. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

  17. Zeppo6

    Zeppo6 New commenter

  18. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    Sorry I thought you meant that you could skip straight to the NQT year which I couldn't understand, haha.

    Yes, the School Direct scheme could be a good idea but OP needs to be careful which one to choose as not all are proper PGCEs https://www.ucas.com/teaching-optio...rect (salaried) is an,to pay any tuition fees.
    Ne11y likes this.
  19. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    True, research is a must.

    I just wanted to post a link that might be useful as the OP mentioned Brighton.

    They are usually quite open about what their SCITT courses equate to, in my experience. I had former colleagues discussing which version to take.
  20. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately, it's still the same. You'll be a trainee teacher during the SCITT (albeit working in a school and salaried) then have to do your NQT year.

    However, as finances seem to be an issue for you, this could be a way around it. Just make sure you research and do the right one - I can't remember the details, but you can either qualify to teach only in the UK, or do an additional element that makes it a full PGCE (allowing you to teach abroad).

    Good luck!

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