Why leaving the UK to teach in Malaysia was one of the best decisions I’ve made!
Luke Blackburn is a Humanities teacher from the UK. This year he moved to Malaysia, to teach internationally for the very first time at Tenby International School Setia EcoHill in Selangor. We’ve followed Luke and his young family’s journey; as they prepared to leave the UK, to the big move itself. Here Luke shares his reasons for leaving the UK, as well as his initial thoughts about life working and living in Malaysia:
Before the move…
“I believe international teaching is the ideal melting pot for learning about different cultures. It’ll allow me to combine my love for travel, and humanities subjects. I’ve always been inspired by travel writers, and I travelled the world for years before becoming a parent. Now that my children are 2 and 5, it seemed like the ideal time to see more of the world whilst being able to earn an income; I’m so lucky to work in a profession where this is possible.
I hope I’ll be able to live a more relaxed pace of life in Malaysia, and that the move will reduce the stress that comes with modern life. Of course, it’ll be difficult not seeing my friends and family on a regular basis but I’ll have more free time, and more money to spend each month. My children’s lives will benefit greatly from the move; they now have the opportunity of a private education at the school, and we’ll be able to have family holidays exploring South East Asia.
A few months later…we’re finally in Malaysia!
It’s great to be in a place where everything is new! The range and affordability of food is great, the weather is lovely, and there’s a wide variety of places to visit. We are equidistant between the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur and the beauty of the countryside and beach - we have everything on our doorstep! I’ve already established good friendships and have been out to watch live music and football. I took the time to socialise with the other international teachers, to make sure I formed strong social bonds from the very start.
I’ve settled into the school fairly well and since being here I’ve already been promoted! Of course, there have been some challenges; I’m waiting for some ICT equipment to be installed in my classroom, so I am temporarily having to reimagine my teaching style. But it’s been fun going back to basics!
I receive much more respect from students and parents at Tenby International School, compared to the UK schools I’ve taught at. It feels as though teachers here are held in the same regard as solicitors and doctors, so it's been rewarding to feel a greater sense of value from the school community.
Moving with a young family
My family are settling well. The moment we arrived in Malaysia we were greeted at the airport and taken to our hotel. The school had also arranged for two large soft toys to be given to my children, which was a nice touch! It's still early days, but my daughter appears to be much happier here than her school back home. She’s already making friends.
Overall, the school have done everything they can to help us settle and accommodate our needs.”
TIC helped Luke to find his job at Tenby International School Setia EcoHill in Selangor, Malaysia. To read more teachers' experiences, visit the TIC blog here.