What are the top 4 reasons to teach overseas?


Did you know that you can teach in a foreign country, in your area of expertise, without having to learn a language? To experience new cuisines and cultures and meet people from diverse backgrounds. A chance to explore the local environment, and venture to other international destinations….to get out of your comfort zone and have an adventure!

For over two decades, Nick Kendell has worked with international educators. They’re inspired to pack up and teach in exotic locations for many reasons.

Not only did I find ancient culture, I landed in a dynamic and inspiring teaching environment.  Abundant resources, unparalleled professional development opportunities, supportive parents, engaged students and inspiring colleagues left me awestruck.  I was hooked on life as an international educator. 


When Nick asks teachers why they started their journey overseas, the top 4 reasons to teach overseas are –  

1. To grow professionally  

️Top international schools attract educators from all corners of the globe. They all bring their unique perspectives from their different backgrounds. Teachers collaborate and share their educational practices, philosophies, cultural perspectives, and experiences. Each staff meeting is an opportunity for reflection and personal growth. Sharing practices from home leads to a consolidation of the best that is currently offered.

Once you’re in the international school system you can move with more ease between schools. With over 13000 schools to choose from, you can find one almost anywhere.  Once you’ve got your initial entry into the system it’s much easy to transfer, especially if you’re doing a good job.

Teaching overseas gives you a global network of friends. You become part of a unique group of teachers, who share a common language of travelling, schools, and experiences.

2. To experience life in a different culture and to live in a different place

Nick says it’s the day-to-day experiences that shape you as a person and help you learn about the world. 

ToTop 4 reasons to teach overseas Search Associates ANZ loving couple enjoying their overseas exploration

While not always easy, experiencing all the richness and variety of life overseas will create memorable moments and the biggest life lessons. He once spent 5 hours in immigration at a Saudi airport with a special visa and when he tried to make the process smoother was threatened at gunpoint by immigration officials. In Hong Kong, he had to take the day off work just to get his driving license at the motor vehicle board. He learned about ‘Cairo time’ –  the washing machine repair man would say he’s coming to fix the washing machine on Tuesday. He would make sure someone was home…but he didn’t specify which Tuesday. Little things, like not paying a bill because he couldn’t read it lead to someone not just turning the power off, but actually cutting the power board and taking the whole thing away in his car.

Nick says that seeing tanks outside his house in Egypt and getting evacuated was difficult when being responsible for a school and his own children. You’ve got to go into your time overseas with a sense of adventure and that flexibility to be able to cope when things don’t necessarily work out. 

I feel honored to have had the opportunity of living abroad and I seek to share with my students what I have learned through my adventures. These past few years have been an extremely rewarding experience as I continue to learn new things about the culture in which I live as well as the many cultures of the student’s in which I teach. Teaching truly is a noble profession and as teachers, we touch many lives. In doing so, we are making a meaningful contribution to society; and with each individual whose life we have enriched, we are making our planet a better place. Meredith 

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3. Travel opportunities

Opportunities for travel are incredible.  Living in isolated countries like Australia and New Zealand means that travel time to anywhere else in the world is extended. 

Nick says if you relocate to Asia or the Middle East you’re close to so many places to travel to. You can jump on a flight on a Friday afternoon in Hong Kong and go to nine different countries in two hours and be back on a Sunday night ready for school on a Monday morning.  

International teaching allows us to have a life we couldn’t have elsewhere. In less than 12 months we have had some amazing adventures in 4 different countries and have also made it to the finish line of the Great Wall of China half marathon. Why go and lie by a resort pool? Ruth

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4. To get ahead financially

Salaries vary between schools and countries, but teaching internationally offers an excellent opportunity to save money. Most overseas teaching contracts include flights, housing, medical coverage, and bonuses. Some salaries are tax-free, depending on your country of origin. The vast majority of foreign countries also have a lower cost of living than Australia and New Zealand.

Most initial contracts are for two years and many include round-trip airfares, health, life and dental insurance, baggage and relocation allowance, free housing or housing allowances, flights home, contract completion bonuses, contract renewal bonuses, sick leave and retirement plans.

Many international teachers are able to save a large percentage of their salary, even while traveling the world and living a great lifestyle.

Why are international schools so different?

“International schools have more autonomy around curricula choice, operational structures, facilities and budget due to their independent status and fee structure. They have the potential to adapt more quickly to new educational developments and solutions. Competing for student admissions and staff means that international schools must maintain good educational standards which drives up quality. Accreditation is popular within the international schools sector to help raise standards and provide a quality mark.”  [Source: ISC Research white paper ‘What makes the international schools market different?’ Aug 2022] 

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If you feel like there could be more to life than teaching in your home town, and are looking for a complete lifestyle change where academic standards are very high, class sizes are often small and resources are plentiful, where families value education highly and classes are a pleasure to teach consider contacting Nick Kendell to find out more.

A final word from Beth:

Teaching overseas was life-changing for me. I never imagined that teaching could take me all over the world, and I’m so glad it did. The professional opportunities, cultural experiences, diversity of colleagues and community, along with international travel all led me to amazing experiences and valuable perspectives once I returned to the U.S. The families I met overseas strongly valued education and were demonstrably grateful for the educators working with their children.

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