- You Will Not Get Rich
Unfortunately, you will not get rich teaching abroad. You will have to look for another career if you want to make a lot of money. Indeed, teachers do not get rich teaching overseas.
You can get housing, but this depends on the job location. It is more likely you will need to look for a house yourself.
You will have just enough money for bare necessities and never enough money for luxuries. If you are not frugal and you do not want to be miserable, confront this issue before signing up, especially if you do not want to learn how to be frugal.
It is much easier to find a position if your partner or spouse is transferred with their work because it gives you enough room. Also, finding employment can get easier because the firm of your partner or spouse may point you in the right direction and open a few doors for you.
- Be Open to Anything
Living in a new country can take you out of your comfort zone because a country like Bulgaria is not the same as the United States or the UK. You will find new foods, which you are not used to and some living accommodations may not have all the amenities, which you are accustomed to. People do things differently in these countries. But on a positive, it is adventurous because you will get to try new things.
The same things apply to the teaching environment. As a teacher with several years of experience, the school authorities may surprise or even puzzle you with the way they do things.
You may find that in some countries the local transportation systems are unreliable and power outages are very common. As a teacher, do not let these challenges stop you from doing an excellent job.
Focus on inspiring young minds and developing their imaginations. To know the experience of working overseas, read the What It’s Actually Like To Teach English Abroad website. TIC Recruitment provides good advice on what it is like to teach in an international school overseas.
- You Will Not Get First World Amenities in Third World Countries
The electricity service is not always reliable. If snail mail works, it is slow. The mobile phone service is good because this infrastructure is still new. There are internet cafes, but wifi is not available in some of them. Some secondary and tertiary roads contain potholes and ruts. Fortunately, some roads are well-maintained.
- Curricula is Not the Same as Those Taught Elsewhere
Do you want to teach in a state school? Then, you will find that there is a wide range of subjects and methods required. You will never find enough room for improvisation in most cases. You are required to follow all the directives as you are told to do.
Private schools may stick to the IB curriculum. Some private schools might offer a British or American curriculum if they have an ex-pat clientele. However, this depends on the country.
“What is okay in Western classrooms is not okay in classrooms in non-Western countries. I learned it the hard way. In most Asian countries, such as Japan, students do not put their hands up to answer or ask questions because they are not accustomed to it. These countries focus on group culture. Also, students do not want to be singled out because they do not want to seem less or more intelligent than their classmates. Instead, I used pair work to break the ice in the classroom. Pair work worked because it made my students comfortable, so they were more likely to share their answers with their peers.” (13 Things I Realized When Teaching Abroad by Suzanne Bhagan)
- Do Not Forget You Are a Guest
It would have been perfectly acceptable if you were a political activist back home. When you are a guest in someone else’s home, do not try to ‘change’ things. You can have strong opinions or better ways of improving things. It is important to keep them to yourself because it can lead to unpleasant consequences.
The reasons why you want to teach abroad are always the same. They do not change. You want to enjoy teaching and unleash the imagination and creativity in young minds while you are experiencing different cultures.