Fiona Patterson,
from New Zealand,
moving to Doha, Qatar.

Fiona will be working at the International School of London, Qatar

Fiona will be working at the International School of London, Qatar

What school are you presently teaching at and what subject(s) are you teaching to and to what age range?

Our Lady of the Rosary School in Wellington, NZ; Primary; all subjects; Year 7 & 8

What school are you going to work at in Qatar?

International School of London

What subject(s) will you teach in Qatar and do you know what curriculum you will be using?

Year 5 students. I think I’ll be teaching a range of subjects under the British curriculum.

How do you feel about this new teaching opportunity?

Excited, nervous… I can’t wait! I’ve already started making lists about what to take. At the moment every email I receive from the school is a major event in my life!

What do your family and friends think about this move?

They are very supportive and encouraging. However my mother is nervous about me moving to the Middle East and quite unhappy about having me move so far away, again!

How long do you anticipate working internationally?

Definitely one year even if I don’t like it. At the moment I’m aiming for two years.

Do you think this will be good for your career?

Yes. I think that an informed and well travelled teacher has got to be a good thing! The experience of living and working in a different environment I’m sure will be an eye-opener for me. I’m looking forward to learning different ways and new things from both my new overseas colleagues and students.

How do you think this experience will impact you personally?

I’m looking for an experience that will make me excited about life! It’s quite scary having to think about setting up a whole new life far from the life and the friends I am comfortable with now.

How did you find out about jobs in international schools?

Browsing on the internet.

What has made you decide to make the move?

A change in personal circumstances meant I was open to making outrageous decisions!

How difficult was it for you to find a job and what route did you take?

I was never sure how I would react gaining employment in Qatar, so I was happy for the process to go slowly- however once signed up to the agency it happened all too quickly and easily! Once offered a position you’ll be happy to hear that it felt right!

What advice would you offer to other teachers about the process to take for finding an international teaching post?

Research the area you are thinking of going to- and keep researching even if it’s hard to find detailed information. I found this difficult to start with but slowly found the right websites, blogs, etc. Talk to people- it’s amazing how many people know people who know

What advice would you offer to teachers (especially those at a similar stage in their career to you) considering teaching in an international school?

Go for it! (That kind of says it all really…)

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