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to consider moving to Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Doha to teach (sorry - long)

(119 Posts)
IrishTeacher Wed 02-Dec-15 10:29:16

Posting here for traffic. AIBU seems to be more active than the Staff Room forum.

I recently qualified as a geography teacher. I'm 38. I'm Irish and live in the Republic of Ireland.
It is VERY difficult to get full time work here as teacher. The system here is vastly different to the UK.
A permanent job? Just forget it.
At the moment, I can't even get some subbing work. There is none to be had.
I'm claiming social welfare and my savings are dwindling.
Living in Dublin is out because rent is sky high, housing is in short supply and I might as well go to Manhattan, in that case.
I do not wish to teach in the UK because the education system has been run into the ground there and teachers are leaving in their droves.

I'm considering moving to Dubai or the ME, where there seems to be plenty of work.
From there, 2 years down the line, I'm considering applying for the skills visa to Australia and settling there.

The only things that are stopping me are:
- My parents are getting on in years - 75+. I do have a sibling and their family who lives near them, so they would not be left alone. They are good health at the moment.
- I do feel that if I go this time, it is permanent. So i need to be sure. I have lived abroad before.

The things pushing me to go are:
+ There's no work here for teachers and it could be another 5-10 years before I get a permanent job, if ever.
+ I have no home of my own here. I rent.
+ I'm terminally single and child-free.
+ Friends all married off, so its "mission accomplished" for them and they no longer need a social life.
+ I'm not young any more and I need to settle down and make a living somewhere.
+ I have lived in Australia before and I loved it.

If anyone has been in a similar position - I would love to hear from you.

So - do I stay or do I go? WWYD?

BlueJug Wed 02-Dec-15 13:10:51

Go. But maybe I'm just saying that because I envy your freedom. Your points are all valid.

ME isn't always as easy at it might seem. Are you sure about that bit of it - or is it just a stepping stone for Australia? (Go direct to Oz?)

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 02-Dec-15 13:12:55

Go, but can't you miss out the ME step? Not a nice place to be IMO.

TendonQueen Wed 02-Dec-15 13:17:37

I'd go straight to the Australia option too. Fantastic place. I would be very wary of moving to the ME as a woman.

KittyVonCatsworth Wed 02-Dec-15 13:18:23

Go. The ME will allow you to make good money, tax free, but be prepared for a high initial outlay as most landlords request one years salary up front. Try not to get dragged into the Friday brunch scene as it could drain the cash. If it's going to be 2 years, make sure it's 2 years. IMO, 2 years is long enough in ME (having only done a year!).

Good luck on your adventures, wherever they take you!

PrimalLass Wed 02-Dec-15 13:25:41

Go. Doha is fine (but the traffic is awful).

IrishTeacher Wed 02-Dec-15 13:27:43

Unfortunately - I can't go straight to Australia because I need one full year's teaching experience to qualify for the skills visa there.

I can't get that one full year's experience here in Ireland. There is simply no work here. Jesus - it's pathetic really.

Going to the ME would give me the full experience I need to then qualify for the skills visa.

I've been turning this over and over in my mind for 4 months now, so any advice at all is welcome.
Please keep it coming. Thanks.

Redskyatnight01 Wed 02-Dec-15 13:53:09

Best friend moved to Dubai last year to teach in a school out there, she LOVES it. Gets her apartment paid for etc, just needs money for food and a couple of bills.

So, I would say, go for it. Do it for 2 years (that’s the duration of her stay) perhaps save ½ your earnings each month and then in 2 years you should have a deposit together for a house, somewhere, be it Ireland or Aus or wherever.

Reading your post did make me sad though, I’m from Dublin originally, have toyed with the idea of one day moving there but if employment and jobs are thin on the ground, I can’t see it happening sad

Can I ask why there are no permanent teaching jobs? Are the jobs just so wonderful that people stay in them forever more?

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 02-Dec-15 13:55:30

I think moving to a country that treats more than half its population as less than fully human is unreasonable. Regardless of the job situation where you are now.

lilydaisyrose Wed 02-Dec-15 13:58:13

Teaching is not the same all over the U.K. - would you consider Scotland? Completely different government and education system.

Alternatively, in your position, I'd do it. I envy your freedom and employability (albeit, not employable in Ireland!)

KeepOnMoving1 Wed 02-Dec-15 13:58:39

I think you should go to. It would only be one year which will set you up for the future. Such a small price to pay for the long run.

LIZS Wed 02-Dec-15 14:00:17

Have you checked whether schools in ME will recruit nqts and whether Geography is in demand. Many international schools , for example, would not cover the subject in the same way.

BadLad Wed 02-Dec-15 14:04:35

Dubai and Doha are great places to live. Do it.

fatowl Wed 02-Dec-15 14:06:44

Would you consider Asia? I teach ESL in Malaysia, lots and lots of mid range international schools chasing expat staff at the moment. Granted most want a few years experience, but you might get lucky.

Not as iffy as the ME on the human rights front in many cases (though not perfect granted)

IrishTeacher Wed 02-Dec-15 14:10:07

There are no permanent jobs here for the following reasons:

- Teaching is a VERY lucrative job here - VERY well paid with fabulous holidays. hence - it is an attractive job.

- Each year, new teacher graduates from all the Irish universities enter the job pool and there is now an oversupply of young teachers.

- At the end of the last school year (June 2015) the oldest tranche of teachers were to be offered early retirement with a favourable pension. the govt then reneged on this agreement, saying that they didn't want schools to lose their most experienced teachers. so that older cohort of teachers did not leave. as if there are no perfectly competent senior teachers in their 50s and 40s who can do the job already! confused there's talk that very senior teachers might be offered early retirement in June 2016, but seeing as there will be a general election in Spring 2016, who knows what will happen?

- Some teachers who were already 60+ and in retirement with a 40 year full and lucrative pension were invited back to paid work in schools. angry this left less work for new graduates who are trying to get started.

- There is an under supply of schools and a growing school age population. Class sizes are becoming larger. Existing schools are bursting at the seams. New schools are earmarked to be built from next year, but not enough. There needs to be more new schools built to educate the growing population.

Things could turn around by say, 2030, but i can't wait that long.

hefzi Wed 02-Dec-15 14:11:03

The better international schools often require a decent chunk of experience: not telling you not to go, just a warning! And as a PP said - remember you'll probably need a significant chunk of cash for rent etc to get established: schools don't necessarily front this for you.

If you don't want to settle in the ME but get a year of experience for Oz, I'd seriously consider just knuckling down and getting a year in - however bad it is - in NI or the mainland.

itsmine Wed 02-Dec-15 14:12:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EnormousDormouse Wed 02-Dec-15 14:13:48

Well, I'm in my 40s and I moved to the ME in August to teach and I love it. I'm here on my own (Mr Dormouse is still working in the UK) and I feel safer here than in the UK. I'm in one of the more liberal states though, no way would I be able to cope with not being able to drive. I am not coining it in as I'm still maintaining my house in the UK, but should be able to save a fair bit now my start up costs (car, furnishings) are done. The school pay my accommodation, healthcare and one set of return flights.
It is also gloriously stress free (no obsession with data and Ofsted...) and I have a fantastic work/life balance. Last weekend I watched baby turtles hatch, and lazed on the beach. (Sorry all UK teachers!)

marcopront Wed 02-Dec-15 14:14:40

Have you actually looked at jobs in these places?
Most international schools require 2 years teaching experience. There are some that don't but they will probably not be good schools. I have taught in International schools for 17 years, in 5 schools and can't think of any NQTs. Also Geography is a subject that sometimes requires a local component to be taught, hence less overseas staff.
Look at the TES teaching overseas forum for advice on teaching in the Middle East.

yolofish Wed 02-Dec-15 14:16:36

I can understand re the Irish situation - every year our school sends SMT to Ireland to recruit NQTs, because we cant get enough staff here in UK.

GloGirl Wed 02-Dec-15 14:16:49

Get your years experience in the UK. You can see how you feel living abroad but still nip back if you are home sick. Lots of lovely places to teach in the North West with cheap living costs.

If you are happy, then you can go to Australia. Do it whilst your parents are young.

WhenTheDragonsCame Wed 02-Dec-15 14:18:21

I know a few people who have taught abroad. One lady (not a qualified teacher but has a degree in early years) taught in dubai and loved it.

I also know a drama teacher who spent a few years in an international school in Brunei and is now based in China, I can't see him ever coming back to the UK.

The only person I know who hated it was teaching in Saudi Arabia. She also isn't a fully qualified teacher but did a course that allows her to teach English as a foreign language. She is in Vietnam now and enjoying it much more.

If you have the opportunity I think you should definitely try it. If you hate it you can always come home.

roughtyping Wed 02-Dec-15 14:18:31

Agree with PP above who suggested Scotland - lots and lots of supply work here, lots of Irish teachers too! No, it's absolutely not a perfect system or a walk in the park, but frankly our conditions seem much better than those in England ATM.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 02-Dec-15 14:19:42

I know someone who has taught in the ME and Asia. He's stuck in that life, can't afford to come 'home', aging parents, single and childless, getting on. He has got way too used to the lifestyle, spends money on beer and leisure and can't seem to save and move on. I think he goes on holiday to Asia from the ME and does what repulsive men do there. So none of the expat women will touch him with a barge-pole. It seems a sad life to me.

winewolfhowls Wed 02-Dec-15 14:20:12

Are Irish teachers paid more than in the UK?

Agree with posters above who say that you usually need experience of a few years to get a job abroad

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