This year’s 10 best cities to teach internationally
Where would you most like to teach? There are international teaching jobs available across the world, in some of the most vibrant and exciting cities. But how do you decide where to go? TIC have selected the top ten best cities to teach in this year:
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh is fast becoming one of the top destinations for teachers. The city has 67 international schools with over 2,500 expat teachers employed in the city. There are some great schools to choose from that offer a range of curricula and good salary packages. The city is popular because of its warm and welcoming locals, great cuisine, and because it is a good base from which to travel.
Many TIC teachers are working in the city including Ronald Saw and Ursula Inta who are teaching at ABC International School. Here’s what Ron and Ursula have to say about it: “We both like the pace of Vietnam, and especially of Ho Chi Minh City. There are so many people and things to do. You could never be bored living here! One of the highlights is definitely the Vietnamese food; I don't think we'll ever get sick of it!”
Hong Kong is an exciting and vibrant international city which has a rich heritage. There’s a great range of international schools for teachers to choose from; 185 in total, and over 7,000 teachers, mostly expatriates, work in the city.
The public transport is excellent and efficient, but Hong Kong is an expensive place to live so it’s important to negotiate the right package with a school. The city is known for its culinary delights; from street food, to interesting bars, to traditional restaurants. It is also a great base to travel from, and you can escape the city quickly to visit the outlying islands, beautiful beaches and quaint villages.
Teachers can enjoy a great lifestyle in Bangkok. There are 118 international schools in the city, many of which offer excellent salary and benefits packages. The UK curriculum is very popular in Bangkok, and the city has many top British schools including Harrow International School. The weather is sunny and warm and there are lots of interesting places to visit; from historical temples to beautiful scenery. It’s also a great location for travelling, with easy access to other places in South East Asia such as the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
One of TIC’s teachers, Richard Downs is a House Master and Economics teacher at Harrow International School in Bangkok. “I would definitely recommend teaching in Bangkok,” he says. “I am giving my family opportunities and a lifestyle that I do not believe they could get back in the UK. My children go to a world class school, we live in superb accommodation, eat good food, have fantastic holidays, are financially comfortable and have made good friends from a large variety of backgrounds and cultures.”
Kuala Lumpur has 40 international schools and is a big city with a small town feel. Over 2,000 teachers work in the city which has towering skyscrapers but still maintains a traditional atmosphere. It’s known as Asia’s ‘green capital’ as it’s environmentally friendly and has lots of park space. There’s a variety of delicious dining options, reflecting the best of Malaysian cuisine. The expat community is large and supportive. It’s not a place to get rich on a teacher’s salary but you can certainly live comfortably in this city.
The Colombian capital sits high above sea level and has a mild climate all year round. There are currently 34 international schools in the city, but numbers are growing. One of the most popular curricula in Bogotá is the International Baccalaureate (IB).
The city has a cobbled, historic centre and a mix of colonial house buildings, restaurants and bars. If you want a warm climate you can drive down to the plateau and experience tropical heat.
Salaries are not the highest here, but teachers can expect to live in a very interesting and exciting location with the chance to learn Spanish.
Mexico City is a huge metropolis but is made up of small ‘towns’ with their own character. There are currently 63 international schools in the city and numbers are growing. The salaries are not high here, but the cost of living is low.
Mexico City is both edgy and laid back and it has fantastic sites and an amazing culture. The country’s cuisine is also gaining global attention. The city is a great base to travel from, with opportunities to see other parts of the country at the weekends, or South and Central America during the holidays.
TIC helped Sean Clancy get his teaching job at Edron Academy in the city. Here’s what Sean has to say: “As cheesy as it sounds, there's something for everybody in Mexico City. I live in Coaycan, a beautiful part of the city. There are also some great markets nearby. You can get on the underground and go anywhere for 5 pesos. You can also visit some beautiful towns by luxury coach relatively cheaply. Come to Mexico! Come looking for a challenge and view it as an opportunity to develop.”
The beautiful city of Vienna has 26 international schools to choose from and is a city full of culture and history. The taxes are high, but you can still live very comfortably on the right package. The city has many museums, coffee-houses and bars. If you want a great standard of living this is the place to come to; the city is regularly voted one of the world’s top cities for quality of life. There’s plenty to do in your free time; in the summer, you can swim in the lakes around the city and in the winter, you can ice skate on them! It’s also a great base for travelling to other parts of Europe.
Teachers are spoilt for choice in Dubai. There are 296 international schools to choose from, offering state of the art facilities and lucrative salaries. The standard of living is high, salaries are good and more of your earnings are yours to spend or save. Dubai is a perfect place for teachers who like to travel and also to shop. The expat community is vibrant and there’s always a lot going on in Dubai.
Anthea Addison is a University Counsellor currently working at Greenfields Community School in Dubai: “I enjoy that Dubai has lots going on every day and every weekend,” she says. “I live in school accommodation and think this is the best part of living in Dubai. Our accommodation is great! We have a well-equipped gym, a gorgeous swimming pool and our common areas are well kept.”
This is the place to be if you want to get a real taste of the Middle East. You’ll live amongst friendly people, and have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a very different culture.
There are 48 schools in the city, with over 5,000 expat teachers employed. The salaries aren’t the highest, but teachers can have a great adventure here, especially if you love exploring culture and history. The city is an interesting mix of modern buildings which blend with the remnants of an ancient civilisation. At the bottom of the city’s many hills are spectacular Roman ruins, a brilliant museum, souqs and coffeehouses.
Amsterdam has 11 top quality international schools to choose from. Salaries can vary a lot, but the quality of life is great, as are the tax incentives in the Netherlands. Many teachers end up staying in the country for years. The city is a great choice for teachers who still want to be relatively close to family and friends in the UK. The city itself has a mix of history and culture with modern flair. Walk along the canals and you’re never far from a café, hidden garden, bar or museum.