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Teaching abroad...

(24 Posts)
balia Sun 30-Mar-14 20:16:47

DH and I are both teachers. Obvs with things the way they are, we've been looking at alternatives - well TBH this is DH more than me, I love my job although can recognise the impact it is having on family life/health etc. One of the things DH is currently interested in is teaching abroad. This has a lot of support from my extended family, who are second generation, and feel we would be happier/less stressed in Europe. I don't know anything about working/teaching abroad, any advice/thoughts welcome. (Spain is the country we are currently most interested in, but not exclusively.)

Lara2 Mon 31-Mar-14 20:57:51

I worked in an international school in Spain when I was first married. Sounds quite posh? Think small school in a house! True, it did have lots of different nationalities amongst the pupils, but the staff were exclusively British apart from the Spanish language teachers. When we moved to a new building, we had to pack up and move everything ourselves! Lots of British kids coming and going - very typically families who'd come out on a holiday, decided to come back and live (often opened a bar or a restaurant because they'd enjoyed spending time in the Brit run establishment, forgetting that Spain is almost a 24 hour country and it's bloody hard graft), couldn't speak Spanish or get their children into the local school so sent them to us. They then realised that they couldn't afford the fees, the lifestyle wasn't one long holiday and would invariably skip,off back to the UK owing a lot of school fees. Consequently, there was always a lack of money for resources etc. The classes were much smaller, but almost so small they didn't have enough to gel as a class IYSWIM.
I'm sure the paperwork is much simpler now, but the pay was awful! I enjoyed Spain and still have DH's family there - but wouldn't even consider going back to live and work, ever!

jolufc Mon 31-Mar-14 21:18:10

You need to go Middle East or Asia for good tax free salaries, flights home and housing allowances.

balia Tue 01-Apr-14 18:24:22

Well def don't fancy middle east/ is the working abroad just a case of the grass is greener? DF is convinced Spanish schools are crying out for English teachers (entirely based on one of those 'holiday homes in the sun' type programs and wishful thinking, I expect)

NigellasDealer Tue 01-Apr-14 18:29:52

Spain is even more of an economic mess than here; 25 per cent youth unemployment, certainly no tax credits and CB.
Brits are literally running away from Spain in their droves and renting out their properties if they can.
International schools are not as fully enrolled as they were.
the average salary offer to work in a language academy is about 1000 euros a month.
if you are going to go anywhere, forget about southern europe.

NigellasDealer Tue 01-Apr-14 18:30:54

and i have never heard of spanish state schools 'crying out' for british teachers.
has your DH done his homework?

DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 01-Apr-14 18:35:08

Spain is crying out for TEFL teachers, obviously, but under the current economic climate I doubt that the international schools are over-subscribed.

I think the youth unemployment is higher than that Nigella. I'm sure I read somewhere it was higher even than 30%.

NigellasDealer Tue 01-Apr-14 18:37:07

gosh really.? that is terrible.

Slipshodsibyl Tue 01-Apr-14 18:41:39

Read the teaching overseas Internet forum in the Times Ed for initial research. You would need to pick your school carefully as some are a shambles. Appointments at reputable schools which pay well are very competitive and you would need to show that you have considered the move very carefully and have considered cultural implications since an unsuccessful assignment is very expensive for the school.

In addition, a good international school tends to be full of the children of well educated and paid professionals whose employers value them enough to pay the steep school fees or who are wealthy enough to pay them themselves. They can demand a lot so teaching overseas will be different but not easier.

You may not fancy the ME or Asia, but many of the plum jobs are currently in these countries.

NigellasDealer Tue 01-Apr-14 18:42:52

i would add to that, that the only plum jobs are in ME or Asia.

Slipshodsibyl Tue 01-Apr-14 18:43:17

Youth unemployment in Spain is between 55 and 60 % at the moment.

mercibucket Tue 01-Apr-14 19:50:46

go to the middle east

everyone i have ever met who teaches out there (schools not efl) loves it

balia Tue 01-Apr-14 20:03:31

It was DF who commented about crying out for teachers, not DH. TBH I think it is a mad idea, so I am glad to have this confirmed!

stargirl1701 Tue 01-Apr-14 20:05:46

Would you consider VSO?

NigellasDealer Tue 01-Apr-14 20:06:26

it is mad.
very attractive though.
I wonder what sort of teaching you have in mind? TEFL or school?
If you and/or DH have a masters degree you would clean up in the ME.

Slipshodsibyl Tue 01-Apr-14 20:23:41

It is definitely not a mad idea if researched and approached properly and if you are both very good at your jobs. You could receive an increase in salary, perhaps tax free if in the ME, paid-for accommodation, annual flights home and free or reduced-fee schooling for children you have. The children you teach will largely be the offspring of capable, aspirational families and though some will seem spoiled, they will generally want to do well.

balia Tue 01-Apr-14 21:02:59

Can't afford to volunteer and not interested in the ME, but thank you. I will check out the TES forum, though. It would be teaching in schools rather than TEFL.

ApricotExpat Sun 06-Apr-14 16:56:27

There are some great international schools in Europe, but Spain wouldn't be top of the list. Obviously there are more lucrative places in the world, but it depends on how you wish to live.

I spoke to someone at and discussed international schools in Eastern Europe and Switzerland. Might be worth checking them out.

Stripeyshoes Mon 07-Apr-14 17:06:13

Dh and I have been teaching overseas for 3 years, just leaving North Africa and moving to shanghai in the summer. Dd2 was born here - we know dd1 goes to a good school. Salary is good and benefits are great.
Don't think I will ever go home smile

Cerisier Mon 07-Apr-14 17:16:29

Try to avoid the profit schools. The trust ones have better facilities and better packages for staff IME.

CharlesRyder Mon 07-Apr-14 17:31:46

I know somebody who taught in a British school in Spain for a year and hated it. I think the school was small and skint so everybody was wearing 10 hats and there was no money for resources.

Have you considered going into a boarding school in this country? You could go in as a houseparent team in a prep- you would get a good house with all bills paid and loads of other perks.

Even if you just went in to teach you could get a good package of perks (keys to the wine cellar in one place we worked!!!) including free accommodation.

WhenASuitcaseJustWontDo Thu 10-Apr-14 16:59:31

I had a completely different experience teaching in Spain and think about going back now I have a family. No work to take home after school hours,no pressure and the children achieved similar standards to the outstanding school I now teach in. Yes,the pay wasn't as good as the UK, but job satisfaction was so much more.

netty36 Sun 13-Apr-14 07:45:57

I worked in Kuwait for 12 years at an English school and loved it... Everyone loves the gulf states... You have to experience it. I'm now teaching in NZ and live it here... Like the UK but more relaxed and creative.

BocaDeTrucha Mon 14-Apr-14 22:38:45

I work in an international school in Spain and love it. The pay is no way near like it would be if I was working back in the UK but I have no one breathing down my neck, checking my planning, doing in for observations etc so it's all a lot more relaxed. It's a trust school and although not doing with money, we at least have enough pencils to last a full year without using them down to the stump, like this last UK school I was in.

Downside is that CPD is nothing like it is back in the UK but if you are proactive, you can keep on top of things. The kids are about 95% Spanish and 5% other nationalities and definitely not children of daydreaming Brits who have come out to open a bar like in some places. They are children of parents who really want their kids to have a high standard of English.

It's not for everyone though and there is a high turnover of staff, but there are also others who have been there for years!!

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