5 common misconceptions when teaching abroad


Teaching in the UK has hit a brick wall in the last couple of years, with a tick boxing curriculum taking dominance.

Teachers, no longer have the freedom to ‘teach’ and to inspire the younger generation, and the endless quarrelling between trade unions and the government has not reached an agreement to go forward with fresh eyes to educate to the highest quality.

More teachers have thus unfortunately abandoned their posts in the UK, and sought a career elsewhere. Teachers are looking to international schools across several first world and third world countries. Many teachers have been driven abroad by the persistent and worthless meddling of politicians as it causes friction, with no effect to change. In reality, a teachers’ ambition to teach is best tackled elsewhere.

When you go abroad, teaching in a school that isn’t what you’re used to has a certain ethos, charisma, approach and personality adaptation that is needed. International schools tend to be extremely diverse and celebrate a range of cultures that you don’t tend to find elsewhere.

If you’re considering a move to an international school and to teach abroad, whether you are just starting out in education, or if you’ve had to put an end to your home stress caused by a crippling education system, teachingabroaddirect can help. But first, there are a number of misconceptions that should be tackled. Many would assume going abroad is ‘fun’, or ‘hassle free’, or one ‘big holiday’, but it is so much more than that.

Here are 5 misconceptions de-bunked.

You must be qualified to work abroad as a teacher:

If you have been qualified to teach in the UK, you are more attractive to some of the best international schools abroad, as you will excel in teaching English, as a spoken and written language. However, if you are interested in becoming more qualified or suitable for a post abroad, a Tesol qualification, which is part of the Teachers of English to speakers of other languages will definitely improve your relationships with the staff and students you will be working with every day. Granted, when you move to a country where they do not speak good, or little English, the language barrier can be difficult. Before you start your new job, learn some basic phrases and words to communicate, and ask your new school for support to transition as easily as possible.

Teaching abroad is one big jolly holiday:

Work is work, no matter where you are. It doesn’t matter that you are flying to a new country, to live and to work and to experience a new culture. But the fact of the matter is, you’re there to do a job. When you work abroad, you will have similar expectations to meet certain goals and criteria for a curriculum taught, and this doesn’t change anywhere. Of course, out of working hours, you are free to explore, find new friends, communities and societal groups to help your integration. Not to mention, food and drink is a big part of going abroad, and no matter your hours of work, this is something you can’t escape from.

Once you teach abroad, you won’t get a job in the UK

This is definitively not true. However, that said, the longer you stay off the UK curriculum, it can become difficult to slot back. Any school you apply to work at in the UK, may be wary of hiring you again as your experience may be too ‘unknown’ for their benefit. Nonetheless, it has become known that teachers who work abroad, tend to move to independent schools when they return, as there are not many dissimilarities.

Teaching abroad in a country less-known can be dangerous:

This common belief when moving abroad can hold some truth, but in reality, if you have done your homework, you will be just fine. Interestingly, any area you move to that is not classified as ‘first world’, is in fact ‘safer’, than all major first world cities. Make sure you look up reputable international organisations that publish data for crime rates. For example, if you look at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), cities which are in Mexico have a lower crime rate than some cities in the US.

You will on a day to day budget:

Unless you work for top international schools in first world countries, where your expected pay passes any expectation, you are more likely to live as a local, and not a tourist. You will be paid for your work, and your income as an English teacher will provide you with the necessary livable amount to cover all your expenses. Some school may even compensate your accommodation and or travel. When you consider where is best to teach, consider the school’s location that have a huge demand for EFL teachers. That way, you will be negotiating a competitive pay package and it will help you save a little extra cash to travel with.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.