What’s it like to teach overseas for the first time?

We recently caught up with three teachers who we helped get teaching jobs around the world, to see how their first year of teaching overseas is going.
Adam, Jack and Rachel moved to international schools for many different reasons; for the chance to learn a new curriculum, a new language, to progress their careers, have a better work/life balance, travel, experience fantastic weather, and enjoy a new culture. See what they have to say here:

Adam Ferns is a Primary teacher from the UK. He is currently in his first-year teaching at Colegio Inglés Zaragoza in Spain.

“I wanted to teach at an international school in Spain so that I could learn a new language. Spanish was my ideal choice, so I didn’t think twice about moving to Zaragoza.

My experiences of the city and school so far have been great! Zaragoza has a lot going for it; good bars and places to eat, especially for tapas. The people are very friendly, and it’s not very touristy. There are also lots of opportunities for travel here; I’ve already visited Barcelona, San Sebastián and Bilbao.

The school I’m working in is very friendly and the staff are incredibly welcoming. The students are intelligent and really eager to learn. It is quite different teaching here compared to England. I’ve never taken books home here, and I’m not expected to do much work at home at all. This is a huge bonus in terms of achieving a good work/life balance. I now wake up at 8am (instead of 6am) for work!

I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Zaragoza and I would definitely recommend teaching in Spain to those considering teaching internationally.”

Rachel Reynolds recently qualified as a History teacher from Ireland. In 2016 she moved to teach at Uptown School in Dubai.

“I wanted to work overseas as a teacher to have the opportunity to teach the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. After comparing it to the British and the Irish education systems, I could clearly see how progressive the IB was and how much more I could learn by being part of it. The Uptown School community is a positive one. I’ve been offered opportunities to develop professionally; helping me to craft my teaching skills.

One of the things I love most about Dubai is the large international community. The majority of people in Dubai have been in the same boat as the ‘new person’ at some point. It was challenging and overwhelming at first, but I have made the most incredible friendships. Everyone is away from their families and so we have become each other’s ‘family’.

I’m never bored in Dubai. The warm weather in winter helps people to feel more sociable. There are also great opportunities to travel. I’ve visited parts of the world I would never have dreamed of visiting while I lived in Ireland.”

Jack Higson is from Cornwall in the UK. He is currently in his first year of teaching Physics at Warwick Academy, Bermuda.

“Teaching at Warwick Academy in Bermuda is certainly different from teaching at a state school in the UK. There is a much larger mix of demographics and nationalities at Warwick Academy than in my previous school. As a result, I’ve had to adjust to how I plan and develop my lessons, which has been an interesting challenge.

This experience is already teaching me to become more independent and I’ve also had the opportunity to get involved in many extra-curricular activities. I’m already coaching a football team, and will soon be going on a school ski trip!

I’m really enjoying how friendly everyone in Bermuda is – a welcoming attitude is part of the culture here. It’s been great to break from the norm of living in the UK and experience a new way of life.”

Want to share this content?