What do international school teachers do in their spare time?

Published on 26th May, 2016 by Andrew Wigford. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

Teachers from around the world reveal expat life outside international schools

International school jobs provide amazing opportunities to travel, experience new cultures and try things that you’ve never had the chance to do before. Here, a few expat teachers talk about what they’ve done when they are not busy teaching:

I launched Bermuda’s first female roller derby team!

“I started Bermuda's first female flat-track roller derby team!” says Mhairi Flood-McCaw, a teacher from Halifax, England who moved to teach at Somersfield Academy, an international school in Bermuda. “I played roller derby for two years in Yorkshire and was sad to give up the sport when I moved away. Starting the team here, I've met so many wonderful people and have even been on TV promoting the sport. Forty-two women signed up at the start. We train at a beautiful, outdoor skate rink by the sea.”

I’ve visited some awesome places

“I’ve been to the Great Wall of China,” says school librarian, Barbara Albury from the US who is now working at Keystone Academy, an international school in Beijing. “It was an amazing experience to stand in wonder and to think of the incredible human feat of building such a structure. I’ve also visited Jeju in South Korea. These are both places I’d never have visited if I hadn’t moved here.”

I got married!

“I’d met a beautiful Chinese girl, Celine, in a Glasgow bar,” explains Maths teacher Ian Robertson from Glasgow who is now teaching at the British School of Guangzhou in China. “She was coming to the end of her three years studying in the city and was soon to return to China. We missed each other immediately. This pushed me to finally start looking for a job teaching internationally. I’ll always remember the Skype call with Celine when I told her I was coming to live in China! We travelled back to her home town Shenzhen to get married. It was a wonderful experience.”

I’ve discovered rural Hong Kong

“You can find genuine wilderness, abandoned villages and empty beaches that make you feel anywhere but busy, cosmopolitan Hong Kong,” says Brian Murphy a teacher from Belfast, Northern Ireland teaching at Harrow International School in Hong Kong. “Behind the school is a 100km long hiking trail through multiple national parks and we also have a beach 10 minutes’ walk away.”

I’m living a life of luxury!

“My living arrangements are fantastic,” says Janet Berg a teacher from Merseyside, England now working at the Doha British School in Qatar. “I have been given an allowance from school and have moved to a gorgeous apartment on the Pearl. It really is luxury living with a beautiful private pool area and gym. My balcony overlooks the Marina and then out to the Arabian Gulf. I'm living the dream and I feel extremely lucky!”

I’ve learnt to ski – in Dubai!

“I've taken up skiing - there's an artificial ski slope in a shopping mall here!” says Sarah Brown a Maths teacher from Nottingham, England teaching at Latifa School for Girls, an international school in Dubai.  “I've also travelled to all the different Emirates, Lebanon and to Australia too.  Most school holidays I go somewhere else - Dubai is a great base as everywhere is so accessible from here.”

We’ve travelled to so many countries

“We've been to 19 countries since we started teaching overseas and have still managed to save money on top of that,” say Ronald Saw and Ursula Inta, a couple from New Zealand who are both teaching at ABC International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. “Travel is so much cheaper here. Since working in Vietnam we've been to Cambodia and lots of places in Asia. There's so much opportunity for travel here.”

These are just some of the great things that TIC teachers have recently told us about, since they’ve settled into their teaching jobs overseas. TIC not only works with you to help find the best international teaching job for you (all support is free of charge), but we also keep in touch and make sure things are going well. You can rely on the TIC team to be there for you at any step through your international school experience. Tell your teaching friends about us today!

Check out our latest international school jobs in our Vacancies section today! You can read more about teachers' experiences in international schools in our Teachers' Stories section.

You might also be interested in these informative articles:
Can teaching in an international school help you get a better job when you return?
Why teachers are quitting to work overseas
Visiting international schools in the United Arab Emirates

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Andrew Wigford

Andrew is Managing Director of TIC. He has been involved in international education both as a teacher and Headteacher for over 25 years and has worked in Germany, Colombia and Austria. He set up TIC recruitment in 2005 to help teachers find great jobs in great international schools.