Do you have wanderlust?
International school teachers are a ‘self-selected’ group, adventurous and willing to think outside the box.” Only a small percentage of educators worldwide actually take the initiative to relocate for a teaching position abroad. The complexity and the intensity of the journey, notwithstanding, educators submit themselves to researching vacancies, studying about the school and country, preparing resumes, letters and documentation, collecting references, filling out endless forms, waiting in anticipation of a response, interviewing through Skype, Facetime or telephone, flying to job fairs in far-away cities, engaging in a roller coaster ride of a speed-interview in a hotel room with a stranger, deciding among offers, signing strange contracts, packing up one home and setting up in a new one, and, eventually, adjusting and acculturating to new location, new employer, new job responsibilities, new curriculum, new colleagues and new culture of school and country- far away from the familiarity of family, friends. Now add a pandemic into the mix and home starts to look a lot more appealing.
In spite of all these hurdles teachers are still applying to schools all over the world.
Here are the fundamental reasons for seeking out a job outside your home country as an expatriate. These have been taken from “CATALYSTS FOR A CAREER IN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS by ETTIE ZILBER.
- are you a third culture kid yourself?
- childhood fascination with history?
- passion for reading literature, history, watching particular TV programs?
- political science interest?
- fascination with languages?
- exciting stories relayed by family members/friends about their migrations, travels, and/or family history in foreign lands?
- multi-cultural school and/or neighbourhood community?
- early international travel experiences, particularly exchange programs?
Motivation: are you looking for –
- the excitement of novel experiences and adventure
- the joy of discovery
- the continuous desire to experience more places
- professional advancement
- financial incentives
- happy working climate of a school
- strong sense of job challenge
- strong staff development program
- high quality of staff, students and parents
- a school strongly centered on student learning.
- exciting and fulfilling/different way of life
- wider horizons for own children
- be immersed in and learn a new language
- explore one’s cultural heritage or search for identity
- professional growth
- improved economic remuneration
- elevated lifestyle
Inter-cultural readiness: how much do the following appeal to you?
- Interest in learning about cultural differences
- Broadening your perception of a world view
- The mission of internationalism
” Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” Mark Twain