Does international experience improve your teaching?

international experience makes you a better teacher| Search Associates ANZ| colorful hands around the worldTeaching overseas can provide many opportunities for personal and professional growth, which can ultimately make you a better teacher. Many teachers tell us that moving to an international school is one of the best work and life decisions they have made.

Top 5 areas of development

  1. Cultural Awareness: Teaching in a foreign country exposes you to different cultures and ways of life, helping you to better understand and appreciate cultural diversity. These insights guide teachers in creating effective classroom practices. This can create more relevant and engaging opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.
  2. Adaptability: Teaching overseas often requires adapting to new and different teaching environments, including new curricula and educational systems. This flexibility can help you to become a more adaptable teacher and better equipped to handle challenges in the classroom.
  3. Communication Skills: Teaching in a foreign country often requires you to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds, using different languages and communication styles. This can help you to develop stronger communication skills and the ability to connect with students from diverse backgrounds.
  4. Professional Network: Teaching overseas can provide opportunities to connect with other teachers and educational professionals from around the world. This professional network can provide support, advice, and inspiration, making you a more well-rounded and informed teacher.
  5. Personal Growth: Living and working in a foreign country can also provide opportunities for personal growth and development. This can help you to become a more confident, independent, and culturally sensitive individual.
    international experience makes you a better teacher| Search Associates ANZ| men dance in traditional costume

Teacher comments

A counsellor friend, recently returned to Melbourne. He convinced the administration at his old school that it would be good to work with some of the ethnically Chinese students after his many years in China. The students really welcomed that they had a counsellor who had some cultural awareness of their backgrounds, the pressures on them and the responsibility they have to their families.


From my point of view it definitely makes you a better teacher.  Especially in terms of cultural awareness plus just being able to teach with far better resources and more time just to teach.


We certainly had a variety of amazing international teaching experiences! The diverse opportunities compared to those at home were immense.
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.
Principals should value the experience that comes from working in a different environment and, indeed, many do. Hopefully, as recognition becomes wider, so too will the opportunities for students to benefit from the experience of others.
I totally agree with the notion of living abroad. I have for the last 11 years. I am a teacher that travels. Not a traveller who teaches. And I wouldn’t change a thing!!
Thanks for helping us find our new spot in Korea, Nick! It’s been a great start and makes sense to mix it up, and for educators to consider these tremendous international opportunities!
international experience makes you a better teacher| Search Associates ANZ| colorful lamps on display in a marketTeaching internationally can provide a unique set of experiences and challenges that can help to develop and enhance teaching skills, making you a more culturally aware, adaptable, communicative, and well-rounded teacher. 
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