Hong Kong - Brian Murphy

Teaching abroad means excitement and spontaneity

Brian Murphy is a teacher from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has taught in Chile and is now teaching in Hong Kong. Here Brian tells us about his international teaching experiences.

I'd always liked the idea of living abroad. It was in America that I met a Chilean girl (now my wife). Meeting my girlfriend was a great incentive to move abroad!

After completing a PGCE in England and gaining a few years of UK teaching experience, I applied to schools in Chile and got a teaching job at The Grange School, a bi-lingual British school in the capital Santiago.

Developing my teaching skills

In Chile and now in Hong Kong I've had the opportunity to mix with a wide range of teachers who have taught at various levels in different schools all over the world. I've come into contact with teaching methods and ideas that I probably wouldn't have encountered, had I remained in the UK. In Chile I was lucky to get a lot of professional development related to technology. Here in Hong Kong I have technology at my disposal in the classroom (one laptop per child) and can put into practice what I've learnt in Chile.

Great friends, amazing travel

The best aspect of living in another country has been meeting new people. At international schools, the majority of people are in the same situation; they're relatively new to the country. There's a good social life and people are always ready to go out and try new things.

In Chile, the weather was like a perfect summer's day for about nine months of the year, which meant I led an active lifestyle – and that we had a lot of BBQs! I've enjoyed visiting new places and trying new activities. I also had the opportunity to visit Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba.

Now I'm in Hong Kong I can continue to travel. It's a great base for exploring South-East Asia. I've already booked many trips for the holidays. I'll be visiting the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Borneo.

I love Hong Kong because of the blend of Chinese culture with Western influences. There's so much to do in the city that almost every weekend I have somewhere different to visit. If you want to get out of the busy city, it's easy to find genuine wilderness, abandoned villages and empty beaches.

Future plans for teaching abroad

Teaching abroad has given me so many opportunities and there are a lot of other places where I would be interested in working in the future – Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro spring to mind. I think it would be hard to settle in to teaching at home when I’ve been used to the excitement and spontaneity of teaching abroad!

Help from TIC when I was looking for my teaching job overseas

TIC were very helpful. They were quick to respond to my initial questions about the position and kept me updated throughout the interview process. They even continued to check up with me after accepting the job in case I had any queries that the school hadn't dealt with. It was nice to feel supported by both them and the school.

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