Pilar Fernandez,
from the USA,
teaching in Doha, Qatar.

If you were giving advice to another teacher moving overseas to work, what would you say are the five ‘must have’ things to take with you when you move abroad to help you settle into your new home and/or school?

1.  Medicines that you might think you need. I do Homeopathy so this is important for me and others with the same habit.

2. Just the books you are really going to need.

3. Clothes for both hot and cold weather. A coat, comfortable dresses, and shoes.

4. Your computer and a flash memory with all you have accumulated electronically. Your camera

5. Pictures of your family in your computer

Pilar overseeing the class during Earth Day

Pilar overseeing the class during Earth Day

What would be your top three pieces of advice to other new teachers in order to help them settle quickly into their new international school environment?

1. Talk to local or returning staff about the everyday life.

2. Take it easy, you need time

3. Rest the first few days as much as you can.

What have you done in the past year to help you settle into your new culture, or what activities would you suggest to a new teacher starting at your school to help them settle in to their new country?

Get a map and have a walk around your new city. Look for the local stores and explore them. See if you know someone already in this new place. Go to the international church. Talk to other teachers from other schools. Invite people over or take food you cook to school to share. Make friends with the staff and the people in the school in general.

Thinking back to your first two days in your new location, what advice would you give to other new teachers about settling in during the first couple of days? For example, how did you find out about shopping, travel, communication, places to socialise, and what things did you find most important to have immediately at hand, etc?

The first two days here, the school had left some food and organized a driver to show us around. Try to find out where are you located for the next store within walking distance.

Other than that just take it one step at a time, you are too tired and jet lagged.

Talk to other teachers for tips on where to shop or to go in general.

The children of Pilar's class

The children of Pilar's class

What do you consider to be the five most important things for a new teacher to do on arrival at their new international school?

1.  Become incorporated into the new routine

2. Take it one day at a time

3. Get acquainted with all the members of staff

4. Get a sense of the school and the general environment

5. Unpack your stuff

Do you think you have changed in the way you think about and view the world as a result of this past year? Have you become more internationally-minded and if so, in what ways would you say you have become more internationally-minded both in school and socially?

The last year was very interesting as I was in the middle of the Egyptian revolution, so this changed my life radically. I had also recognized a true international setting, where all the expats acted in most of the cases, as one. We looked after each other from we were located and we also integrated more with the local people, not so much with the local teachers.

I was already use to international settings in my country, so for me was not difficult to get along with other peoples nationalities, as the local teachers did, for them it was very difficult to integrate with us, with any of us.

Upon my arrival, I got acquainted with teachers from other schools that lived in the same area, from there we branched out to other groups.

We hope you had a positive experience with TIC during your recruitment process. Is there anything more that TIC could have done to help you during your recruitment process?

TIC has been the best recruitment agency I have come across. There is a sense of responsibility and commitment I have not felt from any other agency. I have been very lucky as I have been treated with respect and the people in changed have been very diligent in getting me posts and look after my interviews and even after a few months in the job, they are still present asking about you. You get this feeling you belong to a family and they look after you.

Back to Case Studies

Want to share this content?