Why we left our home countries to teach internationally

There are many great reasons teachers decide to teach internationally; the desire for a new challenge, the chance to develop their teaching skills and learn a new curriculum, and the opportunity to live and work within a new culture. We spoke to three teachers who we recently placed at international schools around the world and asked them why they had decided to make the move.

From UK to the UAE

Tom Scott is from Leeds in the UK. TIC recently helped Tom be appointed as Head of History at The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi. Here, Tom talks about his change of teaching location:

“I decided to teach overseas for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I love to travel and moving to teach at an international school provided me with a new area to explore. Secondly, after three years in my first school in the UK, I was ready for a change. A new school in a new location was the perfect setup! I expected an increase in workload but I have more freedom and spare time as there's less paperwork and a greater trust in my ability to get on and do the job. I feel more relaxed as there isn’t the constant pressure of Ofsted, which allows me to focus on the teaching. Teaching internationally opens up your horizons and is an experience which you won't regret.”

From Colombia to South Korea

July Bernal is from Colombia, South America. She previously taught Spanish and English at a school in the USA. This August, July moved to South Korea to teach at The International School of Koje (ISK), in the city of Geoje. Here’s what she July has to say about the experience:
“I wanted to challenge myself within a new context. I also wanted to improve my language skills, and learn Korean. I read a lot about other teacher’s experiences before deciding to teach at an international school; their stories made me determined to do it! Some teachers might be worried about living and working in South Korea. But there’s no reason to fear working here; so far, I can tell this is an extremely safe country. I love living here. The biggest challenge so far has been communicating with the locals; the Korean language is hard! But it’s also been fun. I love walking in the mountains, and the Korean food is also amazing. I really am enjoying every single moment here!”

From UK to Thailand

Leah Blackman is from Manchester, UK. She has been teaching in Thailand for several years. TIC recently helped her to get a position as a nursery teacher in Thailand, at Regents School Bangkok. She talks about life teaching and living in Bangkok here:
“I wanted to explore and live life in another country. I’ve learnt a lot about myself from this experience, such as the fact that you never know how brave or strong you are until you have no other choice. A lot of my friends and family say to me that they are not ‘brave enough’ to leave England and set up life in a new country. It’s not that difficult, if you REALLY want to do it. I’ve now made life-long friends from all over the world. All the teachers are in the same boat; all expats, and as a result I work with an extremely supportive and friendly team. We always share resources and ideas. I’ve lived in another culture and seen how things work differently. I’ve learnt that England isn’t the centre of the universe!”.

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