Teaching overseas is an exciting opportunity, and one that
is being increasingly sought after by educators, especially graduating students
or those who have been in the industry for many years. Unfortunately, many
people find the process of overseas job hunting confusing and complex. Job
seekers can relieve this feeling if they do some research prior to beginning
the job search process.
Searching for an international job is much like searching
for a local position. It involves planning and effort; after all, "looking
for a job is a job." Job hunting can cause tension and anxiety, so it
helps to think of the search as a challenge and a great learning experience.
Before undertaking your job search, be sure to read and research to find
opportunities. Talk to international recruitment or placement firms to learn of
job possibilities and obstacles you may face during your search.
There are unique considerations in conducting an
international job search. The market is extremely competitive. While some job
seekers will land jobs with ease, many will need to be persistent and thorough
to get what they desire. In order to be successful, you must be determined to
not give up.
Here are some important points to consider and research
before you begin your search:
Foreign language skills:
Depending on what country and what type of school you are applying to work
in, you may be required to speak the native language. Knowledge of the
language required could range from possessing basic skills to being
fluent. This is a definite necessary qualification to check into prior to
applying for a position.
procedures: Before beginning the application process, it is wise to
research into what will be required from you. Some application procedures
can be lengthy and involved, so it is best to look into what is needed in
terms of documents, records, and qualifications beforehand.
Overseas experience: Some
hiring companies prefer to hire professionals who have already worked
overseas in the past. That being said, there are plenty of opportunities
for new teachers or those new to overseas teaching. To avoid culture shock
and feelings of homesickness, make sure to fully research the areas you
are interested in teaching in. Read both the positive and the negative to
ensure that you will be comfortable in adjusting to a new culture and
lifestyle. Within a country, focus in on specific areas that interest you
the most as this will help to both narrow down your job search and ensure
that you will like the area you are sent to.
Differences in resumes and
correspondence: Before sending in your resume and other documents, it is
good to research the proper format for your career documents in certain
countries. Requirements for resumes definitely differ from country to
country, as does overall style and formatting. So in order to get your
documents noticed by the hiring committee, take the time to find out what
they’re looking for.
Interviewing: The interviewing
process can be quite different than a local hiring process. Many times
interviews are conducted over the phone, via the web, or if you are
applying through a large education company, you can also have regular
face-to-face interviews with traveling agents connected to the school.
These types of interviews will normally be conducted in a hotel and may
require you to travel to a nearby city.
Passports: Before looking to find
work overseas, you will need to invest in a passport. Many schools will
ask to see a copy of your passport as part of the application process, so
it is best to get one well in advance. As you need one to travel anywhere
outside of your country, it is a good investment on its own as well.
Visas and work permits:
Normally after you are offered a job, you will have to look into applying
for the correct visa or work permit that will allow you to work legally in
the country. Some countries and schools will specify which permit is
necessary, so make sure to ask your hiring contact beforehand. As there is
much variety in visas and permits, it is always best to check with
officials at the school to make sure you are getting the right one. It
also takes time to process, so ensure you have given yourself enough time,
as you will not be able to enter most countries without one.
Salaries, taxes, and the cost
of living: When looking for a job overseas, make sure to take into account
the cost of living as it applies to your salary. Many countries may seem
like they offer quite low salaries, but these same countries could also
have incredibly low costs of living as well as low tax rates. Some schools
will also offer to pay for your room and board, which will allow your
salary to go towards food and spending money.
Health concerns: Depending on
where you are traveling, there could be different diseases that you have
not been immunized against. Whenever traveling to a foreign country, it is
a good idea to visit your doctor to get any necessary shots, as well as an
overall check-up to ensure you are healthy before traveling. While in the
country, it is good to invest in some form of health insurance to protect
you against any misfortune.
Transportation: Depending on
where the school is located within the country, you can end up either
working in the downtown core, or in a very rural area. So depending on
where you are stationed, your transportation needs will vary. Find out how
well the public transportation systems are run and look into whether or
not you will need to purchase, lease, or rent a vehicle.
Women gaining respect in their
fields: Some countries, especially in the Middle East, are not as liberal
with equal rights as we are in North America and Europe. It can prove to
be much more difficult to find work in these types of countries as a
woman, and also difficult to find respect, as schools and classes are
filled with mostly men.
Finding employment is not the only way to expand your
overseas experience, and is not the only way to build your skills. Studying and
traveling can be great ways to follow your interests overseas, while gaining
credentials future schools will value. Check industry or trade journals, which
list available employment opportunities. Ensure that your teaching resume and
cover letter is up to date and positions you in the best light to secure an
International Teaching job.
Candace Davies is the owner of A+ Resumes for Teachers and is a Certified Resume Writer and Interview Coach Strategist who is dedicated to assisting teachers, administrators and other professionals within the education sector. Let her help you land your dream job: http://resumes-for-teachers.com