Teaching abroad is a transformative experience that can significantly impact your personal and professional life. When I first accepted a teaching position at the Singapore American School, I was filled with excitement and a bit of apprehension. Born and raised in Canada, I earned my B.Ed and taught in public schools in Scarborough for three years. Moving to a prestigious American school on the other side of the globe was a bold step. Within a week of arriving and meeting like-minded colleagues from around the world, I knew I had found my calling. The decision to teach internationally has been the best choice of my career. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should consider teaching overseas:

1. Enhanced Quality of Life

Teaching abroad often comes with financial perks. Many international schools cover major expenses, including airfare, housing allowances, and medical insurance. Additionally, income earned overseas may not be subject to Canadian income tax if you declare non-residency. With a potentially lower cost of living in many locations, you can save more and enjoy a better quality of life.

2. Abundant Vacation Time Equals More Travel Opportunities

International schools typically offer generous vacation periods. This allows teachers to spend holidays with family and explore new regions. In China, schools often shut down for the Lunar New Year, providing additional travel time. During my tenure in China, I travelled extensively across Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, making the most of these extended breaks.

3. Manageable Class Sizes and More Planning Time

International schools usually have smaller class sizes, ranging from 15 to 22 students. This allows for more personalized attention and deeper connections with students. Additionally, these schools provide ample planning time, enabling teachers to create engaging lessons and collaborate with colleagues.

4. Better Classroom Resources

With higher tuition fees, international schools can afford top-notch resources. Unlike many public schools in Canada or the U.S., where teachers often purchase supplies out of pocket, international schools ensure their teachers have all the necessary materials, including state-of-the-art technology.

5. Motivated Learners and Supportive Parents

International school students are often highly motivated, and their parents are usually well-educated and supportive. This creates a positive and engaging learning environment where high expectations are met with enthusiasm and commitment.

6. Excellent Professional Development Opportunities

International schools strive to attract top talent by offering extensive professional development. Throughout my career, I attended workshops and conferences in countries like India, Thailand, Singapore, and the UK, all funded by my schools. This ongoing development makes you a better educator and enhances your career prospects.

7. Cultural Immersion

Living abroad immerses you in new cultures, offering a unique opportunity to learn about different traditions, foods, and languages. This cultural exposure enriches your life and broadens your understanding of the world, making you a more adaptable and empathetic educator.

8. Global Perspective

Teaching internationally provides a broader perspective on life and education. You gain a deeper appreciation for diverse cultures and challenge your own beliefs and values. This global outlook fosters understanding and acceptance, contributing to a more peaceful and connected world.

9. Lasting Friendships and Relationships

The bonds formed while living and working abroad are often lifelong. The shared experiences and challenges create strong friendships with colleagues, students, and local community members, enriching your personal and professional life.

10. Career Advancement

International teaching experience is highly valued and can open doors to advanced career opportunities. The skills and knowledge gained from teaching in diverse environments make you a more competitive candidate for leadership positions in education.

Teaching abroad challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, fostering personal growth and self-confidence. The experience is incredibly fulfilling as you make a meaningful impact on student’s lives and expand your own horizons.

Living overseas is one of the best professional decisions that I ever made. It expanded my worldview and allowed me to improve my professional practice. I am forever grateful for the experience.

📣 Search has announced a new lower fee of US$100/yr for new candidates and US$75/yr for returning candidates.

🇨🇦 Please contact me for special pricing if:

• We met at a Canadian Teachers’ Conference or at a University

• You’re currently enrolled in a B.Ed or M.Ed program in Canada

• You’re a Queen’s B.Ed student or a Queen’s alumni

All other Canadian-certified teachers, contact Gary MacPhie at gmacphie@searchassociates.com and visit https://ca.searchassociates.com/ to learn how you can join Search Associates and explore teaching opportunities at top international schools worldwide.

For teachers outside Canada, visit http://www.searchassociates.com to find an Associate in your area.

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