Working and finding a job abroad can be daunting. Although in reality, it is much easier to move to another country than to another state. My family all the time tells me of jobs or teacher shortages in other states. However, I think the cost of living is usually higher than abroad. I also know teacher internationally gives me an allowance for housing or free accommodations. The school does all the hard thinking and work for an international hire. As long as the school is honest and transparent, teaching abroad is less paperwork and way less stressful inside and outside the classroom.
Make sure you graduated as an Education Major and you have your degrees. Also, you should have your transcripts. The schools want 2 or 3 years of experience. They take years of experience from your home country as well as less desirable international teaching jobs. Schools that do not want the 2-3 years of experience may need a lot of new teachers. This means the school is new or the school is run more like a business. This either suits a teacher or you find the way administration handles situations awful. Some schools require 2-3 years of experience because of the country’s visa policy.
Check the school’s reputation onInternational Schools Review. It gives a review of all international schools.
Another way is to join International School Fairs. I have never gotten a job this way. However, this is a popular way amoungst international teachers.
Think about your top choices in countries. Europe generally does not supply housing. The Middle East and Asia generally pay the better salary versus living expenses. South America and Africa generally pay a salary where you come out even. Also, I like living in obscure places. So sometimes it is knowing what countries have to offer and what you want. Kuwait, for example, is one of the easier countries as the first international experiences. The main reason is they have everything you may think you need. Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse and much more. If certain comforts are needed they most likely have the same brand or similar quality.
Say yes to a job. Sometimes this is the hardest part. International schools like to give you a short timeline. Breathe and reflect if the country a good fit and if the school is a good fit. Ask for more time if you need it. Be honest with the reasons why you need time. I find when I tell them I have other interviews and want to see other offers first, the school does wait.
Contact the embassy to the country you are moving to. Prepare all your paperwork. Many countries require a health check, an STD check, and FBI check. http://www.stdcheck.com/?coupon=10OffOrder By clicking this link, you receive $10 off your STD check.
While preparing paperwork, keep in contact with the school. Request to speak to team members. Request to speak to other teachers. Get a general idea of what you are walking into. I have not done this with the current school I am at. I actually never have done this until the current post I will be teaching at next year. I am emailing a co-teacher already, 3 months in advance! I know certain items to buy in the summer for my experience to be the most comfortable. I know more information than I ever had for a job and it is comforting. For Venezuela, I wanted to keep a blindfold on. I did not want to be scared out of my position. I choose to be surprised.
Find out what you need to pack. Many countries do not have or offer what America or western cultures have available. What are you most items? Is shipping accessible in the country you are moving to? How long do shipments take? Peter love his Yorkshire tea. I make sure we have a half year supply when we go over. This gives enough time before shipments can arrive, which has more Yorkshire tea. Believe me, after a long workday having a comfort makes you feel normal.
Decide if you are a two suitcase kinda person or do you need everything. I met both kinds of teachers. Peter and I are two suitcases type of people. Get vacuum air bags and begin packing. Start with things you need but you don’t use daily or weekly. Packing slowly I found to be less stress than trying to pack the day before.
Tie up loose ends in America or the west. Or tie them up as best as possible. The less you need to worry about the better. The fewer liabilities you have in America or another western country the better. If you can’t sell a house, contact agencies to rent your house for long contracts. Another way is to make your home available for AirBnB if you have a family member or friend willing to help.
Skype accounts need to be ready. You should speak to family and friends and know how to keep in contact. When Asia, weekends my evening time were the most convenient for family members and myself. If you have a pattern it will feel normal after a few months.
Finish packing. Throw a going away party or meet up for dinner. Saying goodbye is always the hardest but this is what you need to get used to as an international teacher. That is why I always say, “See you soon.”