Contrary to common belief, teaching English abroad doesn't always equate to working in under-resourced urban schools or remote villages. While such opportunities exist, there are also options that are miles away from this stereotype. One such option is teaching in international schools, which cater to affluent local and expatriate students. Here, you will find teaching opportunities in state-of-the-art environments with top-notch resources. If you haven't yet considered teaching in an international school setting, here are some compelling reasons to do so.
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Unlike most English teaching jobs that target local students with lower English proficiency, international schools conduct most of their lessons in English. To tap into this potentially profitable market, you will need qualifications in mainstream subjects like Mathematics, Science, Art, Music, Foreign Languages, Physical Education, etc. In essence, international schools deliver instruction in English for all the same subjects taught in English-speaking countries like the US.
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International schools typically house an ethnically diverse student body hailing from all corners of the globe. It is not unusual for these schools to host students representing over a hundred different countries. Hence, the choice to conduct instruction in English becomes logical, considering it is often the most common language among students, be it their first or second language.
The image of overseas teaching in old, dilapidated buildings with outdated amenities can be discarded when you are eyeing international schools. More often than not, these institutions boast exceptional facilities, often surpassing local standards. Expect to find cutting-edge equipment, well-maintained campuses, and high-tech classrooms that can compete with top private schools in your home country.
While standard overseas teaching jobs usually offer a salary above the national average, international schools tend to provide particularly enticing packages. Your remuneration could include a substantial salary and additional benefits like free housing, covered airfares, comprehensive health insurance, pension contributions, and an annual sign-on bonus. In some cases, mainly in the Middle East, your salary may even be tax-free, further improving your lifestyle and savings capacity.
International schools not only provide a comfortable work environment but also opportunities for professional growth. They bring together skilled educators worldwide to deliver top-tier education. Many teachers at these schools have international teaching experience, and the school principal is usually a highly qualified professional keen on enhancing the school community. Participating in professional development workshops and seminars is common, adding value to your CV and expanding your knowledge as a teacher.
While not everyone will qualify for teaching roles at international schools due to their high eligibility criteria, they offer excellent prospects for those who meet the requirements. Unlike other overseas teaching positions, you won't need to worry about language barriers as all your lessons, colleague interactions, and communications with students and parents will be in English.