Overseas and Over-50: Ask a Question, Share Experiences, Advice and Support

over-50-2512686International Educators aging on the circuit report it’s becoming increasingly difficult to land positions. Age-related visa limits, health insurance restrictions, schools that hire less experienced teachers to cut costs and a variety of other unforseen obstacles are factors affecting aging international educators.  Here’s the place to  share experiences, advice, support and ask questions on being Overseas and Over-50.  Also see our Visa/Age/Country Chart.

579 Responses to Overseas and Over-50: Ask a Question, Share Experiences, Advice and Support

  1. JB. Please be careful spending money on TEFL courses. There is a post on Linkedin offering work if you do the course for a month at the persons school who is offering the position. Reputable English organisations and the British Counncil will not take any of these qualifications. Yes thousands of people are travelling around China and other places all armed with questionable certificates that they obtained from the Internet or other places. If you are prepared to live cheap, backpack if you are young, be paid unqualified wages and some would say have lots of fun then go ahead. if you are a professional and want to truly teach Engllsh in reputable organisations then you will do yours in a Cambridge approved country and the course and attend practicum and be assessed teaching,

  2. JB says:

    Well, I must say I am more than disappointed. I was all excited to start my TEFL career in 4 years at age 53, but after reading all the negative experiences with ageism – along with the fact I’m not college degree’d – I believe a different course of action is needed. Too bad, too, because everyone I know personally and professionally – educators included – all, to the person, say I would make a wonderful teacher.

    Of the two countries that allegedly accept non-degree’d but TEFL-certified teachers, Thailand seems out because of ageism, and information on China couldn’t be more contradictory. Central/South America is out because the pay is too low and I won’t yet collect social security. No interest whatsoever in Europe. I’m open to new things, but find myself asking if it’s really worth the trouble of taking a TEFL course all in vain. Of course, TEFL tells me I’ll have no problem at all finding employment, but they have their own interests, of course, and can’t logically be counted on as objective. But do I really want to be in a foreign land bleeding money for who-knows-how-long looking for phantom work? My sales background has ingrained persistence in me, but I’m also smart enough to know a losing battle when I see one.

    Anyone care to change my thinking on this?

    Respectfully (and ruefully),

    • Brenda says:

      JB-You don’t need to go to a TEFL school. The teachers in my school in America took all of their courses, just three, on line, through a university. I took my three courses at the university, and now, I understand you can take a state certified test. Unfortunately, the stories you are hearing about ageism are all true. I taught in Austria when I was in my early 40’s. For the past couple of years (I’m 63 now) I tried to get on with schools abroad and was only offered two jobs. Both were from schools in China that had horrible reviews. I spent a small fortune on hiring fairs with no success. I found the job in Austria on my own, but I was younger then. I just retired in America from teaching, so I have my teacher retirement and social security. I just spent a few months in South America and LOVED it. I met a lot of American teachers there and I may go back to teach part time. You are right..the pay there is terrible, but it hardly costs anything to live there. There are masses of private English schools who will hire you with only an American college degree of some sort and the ability to speak native English. If you could work in America just until retirement and social security benefits kick in, you could live like a queen in South America and only teach part time if you choose to for extra spending money and to mesh with the community. I’m planning on moving there shortly.

      • Elsie Dannhauser says:

        Brenda, which South American countries are you referring to?

        • Brenda says:

          Cuenca, Ecuador. Also, Bariloche, Argentina. Google Teaching English in Bariloche. It’s like a little Switzerland. Good Luck.

      • Cecelia says:

        Seems like you have a wonderful life. I am seriously thinking of teaching overseas. I am a career changer from sales to teaching. I have a BA and wonder if I need the CELTA. I am over 55. So, I want to get going now, as I feel the time crunch, even though I look and act younger than that age. I am dreaming of getting out
        and experiencing the world outside the the US.
        Would you think someone has to have the CELTA to get a job?

  3. John H. McCann says:

    You ahould change the name of the blog then, because it states; “Ask a question, share experiences,advice and support” which implies individual experiences that will help a lot of people, I dropped out of this path, and have other ways around this: work within an established NGO or church. I have had success, and I am 66.

  4. Catherine says:

    Where are the editors you ask?? Well I can tell you they are working very hard to help new graduates or Teachers going overseas for the first time. I have been contributing for some years and YES there is the odd post that is a off the mark but the vast majority are nothing but the truth. If you had a positive experience then good for you but it is what most of these schools do not tell you that is the problem. Even when you ask them when you are trying to make the correct decision you get no answers or very vague ones. So many people are out of work and they decide to take the position because they want to work and they want to believe that their new employer is honest. So to use your fancy word that infers that this comment should not be published is way out of place. Keep up the great posts all Teachers who have experiences that they want published.

  5. Deborah Rowson says:

    I wish to work in education in the UAE. Please someone tell me where to apply and I am 61.

    • robsg says:

      I have been in international schools teaching since 1970 (44 years). I just semi-retired in Washington state at the age of 67. Last year I finished up at a very good school in Singapore.

      I could still go a few more years, but the grind of having 110+ lab reports, quizzes, tests, or home works to grade can be a bit grueling, boring, tedious, and not fulfilling. The actual teaching is great.

      I have joined international supply teachers. They hire teachers like myself to teach in schools overseas as relief teachers a few months to a year. That is something you might also consider.


      • Gym White says:

        Good Morning Rob. I am 63 years young and on my fourth year teaching in Korea. Would you please share with me how I find more information about being an international supply teacher? I would love to hear some of your experiences as a supply teacher.

      • nans says:

        At what point (age) in your career did you feel the supply teacher gig was the way to go?

        • robsg says:

          I decided that 65 years of age was the time to be a supply teacher. BUT… if a teaching position came open in the sciences in Central america or Mexico, I’d want to experience that. It’s the one part of the world I’ve yet to teach.


  6. Catherine Blackmore says:

    Dear Rod,

    Thank you very much for your warm response. I am still working overseas and if you want to know specific questions then perhaps you could email me. catherineblackmore2@gmail.com I am willing to try and help if you would like some information. Catherine

  7. Jan McKeogh says:

    Jobs overseas are available, you just need to be vigilant, professional, energetic and willing to cross your comfort zone. Once you get established, a good teaching record and rapport with your students and colleagues, will bring you even more opportunities.
    I am just taking a break from my overseas posts and am 66.

    • Jan McKeogh says:

      Sorry, I forgot to mention that certain parts of China offer some of theist rewarding teaching opportunities and life experience one could ever wish for. Age for getting an
      FCE ( Foreign Expert Certificates) are not granted beyond 65 though. That is for Primary or Secondary teachers. There is a little more leeway with Tertiary. A good tip would be to start a few years before turning 65 and if you are good, your Chinese hosts will make it possible for you to stay.

      • John McCann says:

        This is such a waste of talent. People at 60 are often at the top of their game. Most all corporate CEOS are in their 50s, 60s and some in their 70s! I am 66, am an art historian, cultural preservationist, and museum specialist, so the Chinese are very interest in the body of knowledge I posess, so I am sidestepping all of this stuff. I am sponsored by a corporation and will probably go there to teach, and am developing a syllabus for a course in American-style philanthropy. My grandfather was a missionary in China and my father grew up there, I am concerned about the air quality. I hear that the Olympic buildings are already starting to crumble. And why someone would want to go to the Emirates or Saudi Arabia, is beyond me,

        • Jan McKeogh says:

          Absolutely John, I totally agree with you and wish you all the best if you get to the Middle Kingdom. We had two wonderful years there and will return soon if possible.

          • Marian Blair says:

            Hi I’m in Kuala Lumpur training Malaysian teachers to teach English for the British Council, I was 59 in September! ( :

            Apparently the cut off point in Malaysia is 60 but apparently our contracts are being extended for another year …so watch this space!

        • Deborah Rowson says:

          I agree with you wholeheartedly, because I just got my doctorate degree and have been in the educational arena for many years. I am 61 and feel better now than at any other stage in my life . I wish to work in a leadership position in The UAE. Please give me advice, because I am clueless . (Thank you)

  8. Catherine Blackmore says:

    The information is coming from Teachers who have had all these experiences described. Believe me these factors have caught Teachers who would like to teach in the Middle East and other places. Many of these Teachers are highly qualified and have years of experience teaching in diverse places and classes but age is the factor that has put them on the unemployment lists.

  9. Round trip says:

    Oh,yes, 53 may as well be 23. Don’t drag your heels though because once you hit 60, you might as well be 80. I agree that Search Associates is the best.

    • Elsie Dannhauser says:

      What is ‘Search Associates’? How does one register? I registered with Teach Away and was informed that we might not register anywhere else?

      • carminaburana says:

        Actually I found Search Associates very unhelpful,,,,,I met one of the associates in Spain to discuss a Reception Post and he more or less told me I had no chance (I am 60) and not to bother!

  10. Brenda says:

    Singapore does not have an age restriction and their schools are very forward thinking. Pay is decent, too.

    • Sue says:

      My understanding is that the law changed about two years ago and that one cannot get a work visa if you are over 50. If this is not the case please send me a way to verify that it might still be possible for me to get a job in Singapore. Thank you.

      • Catherine Blackmore says:

        At the beginning of this post there is an excellent link to all of that information. China will not and the best schools in Singapore are quite fussy. If you have excellent experience and a CV and are under 60 then Singapore would be interested as several by of my colleagues work there. One found his job as a Music Teacher through Search associates and others by applying to the schools.

  11. Brenda says:

    I have blonde hair, blue eyes Nd fair skin, but I couldn’t get hired there either. I’m glad it worked out that way now.

  12. JILL B says:

    Sorry meant who fight for a position??

  13. Lyn says:

    Has anyone taught in Turkey at age 65?

    I have a doctorate and was interviewed today by a director of ESLI to teach English at Uskubar University in Istanbul.
    Does anyone know much about ESLI? Or prejudice against older Ph.Ds in Istanbul? I think the Director wants to hire me but said his higher-ups like young, blonde, “very American-looking” candidates. If I do get an offer, I would feel terrible if I am the grandmother over there contrasted with younger teachers in their thirties!

    Also, I have never taught abroad and am wary somewhat of adjusting there at this age, as I own my own home and would have to rent it out.


    • Kim says:

      Count your blessings that at least he was honest with you! But, offer to help like crazy with all the special skills you have. Probly none of the cute younguns with BAs can start creative writing magazines, put on a play, revamp entire curricula, write EFL/ESP courses, do trainings, etc.

      That said, you gotta be “up” on technolgy and dress and act as lively as you can muster. I’m 61…learned by chance that being seated while students wrote was deemed “lazy”–by them! geesh!

      I also keep hair more blonde than gray/white and try to dress fashionably. Is it fair to be judged for this? No, but I want to keep the job! There are many good things about grandmothering. Younger ones might be afraid or jealous until you just encourage them and help them…
      Good luck. It will be an adventure for sure!
      Mimi in Saudi

    • Brenda says:

      Mimi, try out South America. It’s a wonderful lifestyle and the private schools don’t care how old you are.

      • JILL B says:

        Mimi in Saudi
        Did they disclose to you if they can get you a visa because this is sometimes the stumbling block in countries and oftentimes it is promised but then after weeks of communicating one is advised it is not possible. So check this out as a first consideration and then if this is OK go ahead. There are thousands of us who write regularly on this site who are healthy, active and excellent educators for fight for a position because of age. Good Luck

    • Been There.... says:

      Ah, that explains why I could never get a job in Turkey. I thought it was my age or qualifications, but as soon as I sent them a photo, I never heard back. I have dark hair and olive skin. Come to think of it, a colleague in another school had worked in Turkey and aside from being younger, he was tall and blonde but had the same qualifications. Lucky you are blonde!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I spent a week giving ADEC all of the required information, copies of my passport, family information, everything, then never heard from them. When I finally contacted them, they said I was too old. They told me the age cut off was 59!!! Why didn’t they tell me that to begin with. They had my resume and could clearly see when I graduated from college. Now I worry that I have given out all of that information. South America is a MUCH better place to teach and live. Check it out. You won’t make the money that you can sometimes make in the Middle East, but you will live on 1/3 of what it costs to live in America or Europe, the people are warm and friendly, and your quality of life will be 100 times better than it would be in the Middle East. This is just my opinion.

    • Linda says:

      Any suggestions for which country in South America would be best place to teach. I’m 70!! But extremely active, former college professor and business owner looking for another chapter in life. I really do not want to apply for a zillion jobs all over the world. I plan to visit San Miguel, Mexico in another month, but would prefer South America. Would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ecuador is a wonderful place to live, and also Argentina and Peru. Don’t let the salaries turn you off. Also, remember that there are private English language schools like CEDEI you could apply to.

        • Michelle says:

          I am so glad I finally found an informative site for older teachers. I am in desperate need of advice. I will retire next year and then hope to teach English, preferably in Ecuador. I anticipate certification in Oxford TESOL in September. Will this certification along with my Bachelor’s. be enough to secure a teaching position. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

          • Been There.... says:

            Please do not get TESOL certification from Oxford. They are one of the many quickie firms that offer this certificate, and one of the certificates that are sometimes not accepted. If you can, please try to get a proper CELTA certificate. When I began teaching, it was not offered in the US. It is now, through a concern called “Teaching House” in some US cities. I also saw that it was offered in Ecuador. The cost for the program is the same wherever you take it. I will be teaching in Ecuador in September, and have gotten employment with just a bachelors and a TESOL certificate from another terrible quickie school, but if I had the choice I would definitely go for the proper CELTA. It will make your life-and work easier.

            • Linda says:

              Do you have any information about how the Teaching House Celta compares to the International House Celta?

            • Been There.... says:

              No, but it doesn’t matter. A “CELTA” is a CELTA. I just know that the one offered in New York was run by an organization called “Teaching House”, perhaps they changed their name? I’m not sure what city you are in. There may be some variation in how the course is taught, but as it is a standard certificate (Cambridge Equivalency etc.) the material covered should be the same. I would suggest that you do some research and contact the main organization (CELTA) in England and they can give you more details. I think they set the price, as it was almost the same in New York, and Riyadh where the program administrators of the school where I worked were going to offer it. Perhaps, the price is set by the Cambridge people. Also, I saw a group offering it in Ecuador, and the cost for the course was also around 2,000. Hope this helps.

            • Susan says:

              What is a proper CELTA? How does one know the difference?

            • BeenThere says:

              A “proper CELTA” is exactly that. A school like Oxford, e.g. will not (cannot) claim their certificate is a “CELTA”. They offer a TESOL or TEFL certificate. If in doubt, I suggest you contact the Cambridge Equivalency organization (I’ve forgotten the full title) in England. However, most organizations that offer a CELTA can only do so with the approval of the main organization in England. I suggest you google it. Also, a CELTA certificate takes at least 6 weeks full-time, whereas the other quickie certificates can take as little as a week-end online. Definitely not enough time for you to learn anything.

          • Brenda says:

            Michelle, I just returned from Cuenca, Ecuador and had the opportunity to meet several English teachers there. They all taught for CEDEI and loved their jobs. I am a retired English teacher in America, and traveled to Cuenca to see if I wanted to move there. I am ESOL endorsed in America. The ESOL endorsement only requires three courses (which can be taken mostly on line). through most universities. The ESOL endorsement can be used for the TESOL or CELTA.

            The pay at schools such as CEDEI is very low, but in Ecuador you can live well on it. I loved Cuenca. By the way, I met teachers who were in their late 60’s and early 70’s who had no problem finding teaching jobs, but some were tutoring on their own. One friend is making $15.00 an hour tutoring a young girl. She tutors her two hours a day, three days a week and the pay is in cash. Jobs like this are ideal if you are already receiving a retirement check from your home country.

            • BeenThere says:

              Nonsense! I am now in Cuenca and regretting it mightily, as it cost me a fortune. You CANNOT live in Cuenca on the salary that CEDEI pays! Then, there is the issue of health insurance. What the school offers is worthless. Not only do they refuse to pay for pre-existing health conditions, which after a certain age is just about everything, but the school offers little assistance and I’ve had to make two trips there. Ultimately, after 4 hours of pleading with them and trips to get more documentation, I wound up getting paid about $50 of an $89 bill. In addition, if you don’t have a pacemaker and knee replacement before you work there, you’ll need one after as there is no elevator and the classrooms are on the third floor of an old colonial building.

              The school also offers little assistance in finding housing, and due to the influx of retirees the rents are close to US prices. Generally, it will cost you almost the same as the US to live here. Also, the vaunted weather is a bust. Think Canada in July, not San Diego. It’s cold and the sun rarely shines…and then there is the pollution.

              Finally, the prep time for classes is extensive. Then there are the “split shifts” which force you to teach a morning class, then hang around or go back home for a few hours before your next class. All this for less than you would make as a grocery clerk in US,UK, etc. I’m leaving and suggest others skip this place.

            • Brenda says:

              Been There- I’m sorry Cuenca didn’t work out for you. Everyone’s situation is different. If you are looking for a school in South America to completely take care of you, you would be better off going to Europe or the Middle East, and that will only probably happen if you are under 50. CEDEI is a good deal if you are already getting your retirement and/or your Social Security from America. It’s true that CEDEI doesn’t pay a lot, buts it’s a nice little supplement to use for spending money. I loved the weather there, but then again, that’s a personal preference. The days were cool and sunny, evenings dropped down to the 50’s and it rained for about 30 minutes or an hour each night. My friends rented very spacious homes from $350-$600.00. Utilities were dirt cheap. Maybe you would like Peru.

            • BeenThere says:

              Yes, I agree CEDEI is strictly for rich retirees and trust fund hippies, or new grads who can call up Mom and Dad for extra money. You will definitely NOT be able to afford an apartment that cost $400-600 on a salary of $200-325/mo. And I would still caution older teachers with health problems about working here, as the stairs in all of CEDEI locations are difficult for anyone but the very young. I was actually getting chest pains and shortness of breath and have to rest every flight-and I’m “only” 63. I got jobs in the Middle East when I was in my late ’50’s and in KSA when I was 60, so I think ruling out anyone over 50 for a job there is not accurate.

            • Brenda says:

              I’m neither a rich retiree, nor a trust fund hippie…just a retired teacher who has worked hard and made sound decisions about preparing for these late years in life. I am not a liar. The situations I relate are situations I have observed personally. If you have health issues, you probably should wait until healthier and happier times before you make a move out of the United States.

          • Brett Douglass says:

            That is plenty for teaching in any area. I am teaching in China, have been here since I was 60 but now they are not renewing my contract because of the new age limit in Hunan which is 62. I have also been turned down at a few other universities in China but I am not ready to give up yet. I have an Oxford TESOL and it has never been an issue. It will not be an issue in south or central america as Oxford has many clients in the countries there including Ecuador. Good luck, if i can’t find a university here that will hire a 63 year old, I’l be joining you in Ecuador or maybe Chile

  15. Jo says:

    Jo asks:
    I have applied for a teaching post with ADEC about 2 months ago, but haven’t heard from them since. Should I contact them and inquire whether they received my application? Can anybody please explain to me what procedures I should follow, if any? Does anybody have their contact information? I registered with Teach Away, but cant find their contact details on their Website.

    • JILL B says:

      Dear Jo,

      I hope this is helpful but ADEC outsource all their positons to Teachaway (they have the contract) and it is TA that you should contact if you want to know what progress your application has made. It can take manyh months at this time of the year because the positon will not start until August. I agree that they should give you an answer and if your experience fits the description on their website then you have a very good chance. You have to remember that the recruiting team possibly send hundreds if not thousands of documents back to be processed to a main office. Teachaway in every country in on their website so take the matter up with the office you contacted in the first place and get an update. I also think a colleague who worked in a very high position with them told me that all applications have to go to ADEC for approval but not sure at what stage of the process so make some inquiries and hope you are successful.

  16. constantly i used to read smaller articles or reviews
    that also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this piece
    of writing which I am reading now.

  17. carminaburana says:

    what exactly is your job I gather you are….Polish? Do you have a story to tell ?

  18. Sophie Hamilton says:

    My word! What an eye opener. I would like to take a course on teaching English abroad. Currently, I’m a Brit living in the US ( now a citizen of both countries). However, I will be 70 years old and the future I envisioned looks a trifle dubious. I have no interest in China but really would love to hear any feedback re living conditions, accommodation etc on ANYWHERE that has accepted oldies as I have a mind to continue on with my plan. There are abbreviations used here that I’m not familiar with so clarification would be good. TEFL or Celta ( degree is in Interior Design). So, fellow adventurers, please feel free to mail me. I thank you you in advance and look forward. My contact address is sophiehhamilton@gmail.com

    • robsg says:

      I’mm 66 and been teaching in international schools since 1970. Still a full time teacher in Singapore.


    • Anonymous says:

      Sophie, check out all schools, public and private in South America. They respect older teachers there and the lifestyle is wonderful, especially if you are in a mountainous area that is cool.

      • Been There.... says:

        Glad to see this. I’ve accepted a job in Ecuador and while it seems ideal in many respects, the salary is barely enough to cover expenses. The very nice interviewer even alluded to having other income (which I took to mean Social Security), so yes indeed I don’t think advancing age is going to be a problem. My last job was in KSA and despite the high salary, a horror in every other way. So, I decided if I couldn’t be rich, at least I’d be happy. Besides the money, my only other concern is the visa process (I’m going in on a Cultural exchange visa). The consulate doesn’t answer their phones and I picture having to trudge into Manhattan more than once in the dog days of summer. Anyone out there have any experience getting an Ecuadorian work/culture exchange visa?

        • Brenda says:

          Hi Been There, I was reading some old posts and came across this post by you…I hope you are enjoying Ecuador. Might I ask where you are teaching? I just returned from a three week vacation in Cuenca and thoroughly enjoyed it. I went to see if I wanted to move there now that I have recently retired from teaching in the U.S. I’m 62 now and would not have had problems finding a teaching job in Cuenca. True, the money isn’t great for teachers there, but if one is receiving retirement and Social Security from the States, it’s more than enough for a great lifestyle in Ecuador. Most of the teachers I met there were in their late 60’s, early 70’s and teaching for CEDEI. I’m planning on returning to Cuenca, then Quito next year. Happy teaching.

          • Been There.... says:

            Hi Brenda:

            I will be will be teaching at CEDE in CuencaI. I am happy to see the positive comments about it and Cuenca. Despite needing to put in a few more years of working at a good salary, willing to change my plans for the right spot, and this sounds like it!

            • Brenda says:

              Yes, go for it. There are thousands of Americans living, working, and retired there. Go to the California Kitchen to meet a lot of them. The owners are Californians and cool. They have fabulous American food and entertainment. Where will you be staying? I stayed at the Hostal Macondo and that was sufficient, but don’t take a room in the main old building. The newer rooms in the courtyard are better.Beakfast is included. Tell Jessie at the front desk that Brenda says Hi. I had to come back to Florida to stay with my mother who is 92 and not feeling well.

  19. iTeach says:

    I am 53 years old and have IB experience. I have applied to lots of International schools in Singapore but haven’t heard back from anyone, even the ones that emphasize “IB experience an advantage”. I can’t help but wonder if it’s the age or the race the factor!

    • robsg says:

      Hi. I’m American and have lived in Singapore for 25 years as a teacher, although I’ve left now and then to teach in other international schools in Asia and Middle East.. I’m currently 66 years of age and working full time at an international school in Singapore. I know that most of the schools the age limit is from 62 to 65. I am able to teach here because technically they hired me as part-time, but I work full days.

      Here is my suggestion. Apply to TIE online, and get the latest openings, and some of them have been in Singapore. Go to the school web sites, and apply to schools only if they have openings in your fields.

      BTW, I am hoping to enjoy life a little more next year. If I could just teach without the meetings and grading, I’d teach until I was 90.

      Best of luck, and hope something turns up.


      • iTeach says:

        Thanks for your reply. I have been going through TES and through the school websites for the relevant positions. It seems most of the school have HR (who are probably not educators) who are hiring. I can’t seem to go past them :-) Still, I will keep my chin up and hope for the best. Thanks again.

    • boomerexpat says:

      Age is a big issue over in Asia. I’m in China teaching business English and business strategy along with it. Very eye opening. You really start understanding the age discrimination issues when you begin to understand their views on age.

      I had one class of 9 professional, college educated women in their 20’s and 30’s. All wanted to be dead by the time they were 60 because at that age you are simply too much of a wreck for life to be worth living. Yow. Made me wonder if, at age 59, I should just fall on my sword or shuffle on.

      Another business planning workshop comes to mind where adult students came up with the idea of clothing for “old” people who are retired. Their definition of old was 50 or older. They could not see the need to segment their market and saw no difference between people in their 50’s and 80’s. In their words: “they are all old.”

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s horrifying! I was 57 when I was in China and didn’t feel any problems. All I heard were stories of 70 year olds teaching, etc. Things have changed a great deal since then (2007). When you consider how hard the Chinese work (often 6-7 days/week with few holidays), it’s no wonder they are burnt out by the time they are 50! Another reason they may feel they are “simply too much of a wreck for life to be worth living” at age 60, could be their horrendous medical care. I had two encounters with it and consider myself lucky to have survived them. It put me off China regardless of age.

        • boomerexpat says:

          Things have changed. Many provinces don’t even give visas for people, including teacher kind of people, who are over 55 and 60 is usually a no no. If you are of the older persuasion you usually have to go to less desirable places that are not flooded with younger people – the teacher of choice. Nothing is impossible but I’m being realistic.

          I agree with you that Chinese seem to prematurely age – something that is common in developing countries. Most, especially the women, look warn out at 40 something. Too many hours working, not enough fun…maybe pollution, lack of exercise, and quite possibly the dreadful healthcare too.

          That said, healthcare is improving. There are some top notch doctors in China but overall doctors don’t make much money so you will also find doctors:
          A. proscribing the wrong medicine because that is what they get the kickbacks on
          b. insisting on a bribe if you want a “good” operation
          c. performing the wrong operation because that pays money.
          I know people who have had one or more the above experiences.

          There is also an appalling low level of hygiene in medical care. Chinese in general don’t believe in washing their hands with soap because they believe it leaves a harmful residue that is worse than the benefits (I’ve almost never seen a Chinese wash with soap and have been told about their belief in soaps harmful effects by Chinese and expats who have married locals).

          Even in the dental hospital where I got my teeth worked on (great job by the way) there was no soap in the washroom. While doctors wore gloves those same gloves and the instruments were handled by nurses who don’t wash their hands with soap. When you think about the super bacteria that is resistant to current antibiotics, it becomes very scary.

          Things are changing quickly in China for the better and worse. But it is hard for Chinese to change their beliefs because they tend to believe there is the Chinese way and the wrong way to do things. Their educational system is built on students regurgitating what teachers tell them and abusing students if they get anything “wrong” and that sure doesn’t help them think in new ways.

          • Anonymous says:

            Fascinating. Thanks for the info. Yes I was told they don’t use soap to wash their hands, but not why. When I had minor surgery, they made us void (empty our bladders) first, but there was of course no soap to wash our hands with afterwards and we went into surgery like that. Most likely the surgeon didn’t wash his hands either, nor did he have any idea of how to close a wound properly,not to mention that he took out the wrong thing and the whole surgery was unneccessary.

            Surprised your dental work turned out well. I wound up loosing a tooth after foolishly agreeing to a most likely unnecessary root canal in a filthy dental office. Two countries and seven dentists later I gave up and had what was left of it pulled. The original cost of the root canal? $12. The cost of an implant? $3,000!

            I wouldn’t worry about superbugs as they develop as a result of overuse of super antibiotics (Vancomycin, Methycilln) and I had an impossible time finding even basic penicillin in Luoyang, Henan province after my root canal became infected (surprise, surprise).

            Again, thanks for sharing.

            • boomerexpat says:

              Good news though. You can come on back to China! Now they have antibiotics!

              Last year the government announced that 10% of all the cooking oil sold was made with a combination of real oil and sewage runoff. People were arrested.

              This year the Chinese government has announced that (I’m not making this up) innovative entrepreneurs are making antibiotics with that same sewage runoff!

              Glass half full: antibiotics are available

              Glass half empty: well, before taking said antibiotics it might be best to find what drug is good for treating you from the effect of putting sewage runoff in your body.

      • Sunny says:

        Hi, this may be too late for an answer since it is Nov. 2013, you may have left China but if not let me know. What part of China are you teaching in. I am about an hour from Shanghai. I would like to touch base with expats in this area. If you have any info please let me know. So far my experience has been positive here.

        • boomerexpat says:

          Hi Sunny, I was in Wuxi. I’m now in Mexico. Glad to read your experience has been positive. I’m glad I spent the year in China. China was fascinating and living and working there was quite the learning experience. However, I’m also glad to be out of there. During the time I was in China, I saw real blue sky (as opposed to grayish blue) only twice for brief glimpses only. I’m happy to be acquainted with the color blue again when it is above me.

    • teacherofacertainage says:

      I would suggset registering with Search Associates and wait for vacancies to arise at the last minute. Schools are far less particular as the end of the year approaches. They will contact you if you fit their needs. 53 is still young!!! I have been hired internationally 3 times since that age by good schools.Now 63 and working full time.

  20. AnnieL says:

    Hi, everyone. Though the children there can be very undisciplined and the school ambiance colourfully chaotic, try the Erasmus Schools in both Offenbach and Frankfurt Germany. They have hired teachers 60 years old and up.

  21. Brenda says:

    There are several positions in Kazakhstan and age doesn’t seem to be a problem. Go to the SeriousTeachers site.

  22. Brenda says:

    I live in Thomasville, Georgia. I’d love to talk with your friend to see how she is getting these positions. I have no dependents, so it would be easy to pick up and leave. Good luck to you.

  23. Brenda says:

    I would go with choice 1. In this economy, I don’t think it would be wise to give up a paying job unless you have another teaching position lined up. I’m 62 with great credentials and references and I can’t even get any feedback from my letters of interest that I send out. I can retire in America in two months and wanted to move overseas again to teach. Have you checked to see if other administrators are over 60? I was interested in getting my administrator’s certificate, too, but what would the point be if I couldn’t get hired after 60?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Brenda,
      Thanks for your reply. Where are you living right now? I have a friend who is 67 and who continues to get teaching jobs overseas. She has a TESOL degree and teaches elementary. I will take your suggestions.

  24. tazzamirTucky says:

    Hi all over 50s,

    I am a 57 year old American woman currently teaching foreign language at an International School in Chennai, India. I am thinking about 3 options:

    1.) Staying here one more year. to save money and to be in one place for 3 years. Going into Admin by taking summer courses at PTC. I’d get the certificate at age 59, then try to get into a school, as an ass’t principal anywhere before I am 60.

    2.) Leaving at the end of the year and still trying for the above.
    3.) Focussing on getting TESOL and teaching ESL and or teacher training in Mexico and S. America.

  25. Brenda says:

    I’m so aware of this. I can retire in America now and wanted to go back overseas, but can’t even get a response from anyone. It’s disheartening.

    • Dr. J.P. Singh says:

      This fact is the biggest problem of today’s old energetic and full of experienced person.The longivity of life has increased all over the world but the old age concept of denial of the work opportunity to old people still persists. Present generation should think about it as they also gray their hair over a period of time.

  26. Brenda says:

    To all who have tried in vain to get a job via Internet, maybe it’s time for Plan B. When I got my job in Austria, I didn’t use the Internet. Principals get so many applications that way that they just quit opening their mail if it seems to come from a candidate. I knew I wanted to work in a German speaking country, so I made 12 packages with my photo, resume, past recommendations, and my educational philosophy and sent them to my targeted schools in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The Headmaster of a school in Austria called and hired me on the spot. It was a great year. I was in my 40’s then, but there were teachers in my school there who were in their 60’s. You might also take a vacation and go knock on a few doors. That has worked for a lot of people. Don’t give up.

    • Expat from MN says:

      Times are very different now. Just in recent 3-5 years age limits have hit the international teacher market.

      • Been There.... says:

        Yes, as I posted recently, I see that KSA ( a place of last resort) is now asking for teachers under 55 which they never did before. Finally saw an ad for Turkey, which I have been wanting to teach in for a long time that did not require a degree in education per se, but they clearly state that 60 is their age limit and I am now 62! Am looking in S. America where the salaries are low, but they seem to be aware that retirees (i.e. people over 60-62 with retirement income) might be their ideal choice as younger people could not afford to work there.

        • carminaburana says:

          Is this a new age limit in KSA? I am 60 and have just had my contract renewed here in KSA

          • Been There.... says:

            I was wondering that myself when I saw that. It probably is the preference of the employer. If your contract has been renewed I wouldn’t worry about it. As far as I know, the labor law read that the official retirement was 60, unless with the consent of both parties, the person wanted to work longer. KSA used to publish a very lengthy explanation of their labor laws on Dave’s ESL Cafe. I quoted it as an example of increasing prejudice against older workers. On the other hand, I do know that Oman (a much more pleasant place to work) does have a strictly enforced age limit of 60.

    • Been There.... says:

      It sounds like a plan, but how did you find your target schools?

  27. Brenda says:

    Have you tried Africa? I understand there is no age limit and some of the locations of schools are beautiful.

  28. Catherine Blackmore says:

    Regarding the comments about the employment opportunities for Dr. Singh. Some of it is correct and some of it is just not correct. The
    remarks re Qatar. Oman, China and other places all have strict rules re age. The UAE Labor Court put up the age from 60-65 around 2 years ago so if I was in his position I would personally visit all the colleges of higher technology or universities in the UAE espefciallty in Abu Dhabi or look most of them up on the web. I would also use any recruitment company that appreciated my skiils knowing what my age was from the start. i have been rejected twice this year from Saudi at the last minute both by recruitment agencies when they found out I was over 60. i was told by one company that the person in the position was turning 60 and could not stay even though the school loved her. So……………..Dr. Singh try the above and take advice from colleagues who have been down this road, it is true that in some places if you get in by 59 they will continue to employ you but as you have passed this age you must now concentrate on the UAE or further places to secure work.

    i hope that this advice helps.

    • Dr. J. P. Singh says:

      Dear Ms. Catherine Blackmore. I am highly grateful on account of your valuable advice which has saved my time. I would try my luck there.

      • Catherine Blackmore says:

        Dear Dr. Singh,

        It is my pleasure to be able to help in any ideas. I have been in the UAE for the last 5 years to I have heard the comments of my colleagues and know quite a lot about the systems and schools. If I can be of any help please let me know.

        • Dr. J. P. Singh says:

          Thank you very much. If you can enlighten me on some Business Management Institutes who hire expats. I am basically a Business Management Professor.

        • Brenda says:

          Hi Catherine~ Just checking in to see if you had made a decision about the upcoming year. I’m still searching for a position.

          • Dr. J. P. Singh says:

            Thank you very much. My concern is the employment at the age above 60 yrs despite being highly experienced and qualified.

            • Catherine Blackmore says:

              Hi, My life in the last few months has been rather hectic with lots of travel and changes of accommodation. Can you let me know who you have put applications into in the UAE and have you ever taught Education or English as an additional language to adults etc. Do you use agencies or recruitment companies or how do you find possible positions? Regards Catherine

            • Anonymous says:

              A friend of mine, over 50, claims that there are a lot of jobs out there for the over 60 crowd, IF you are willing to go anywhere, and take a cut in pay.

  29. It’s wonderful that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our argument made here.

  30. Edward Woods says:

    I have enjoyed reading your posts, Catherine. I am 65 and currently working in Ghana. There is no age restriction in Ghana. There are few age restrictions in all of Africa. There is a brand new recruiting fair that vegan last December in So. AFRICA. If you have any interest in Africa, it’s a good place to start. I am trying to get back to Asia. I have enjoyed Ghana, but want to end my career in Asia. I was particularly interested in Thailand and curious about your remarks on Malaysia. Any info would be great. My email is egmwoods@gmail.com
    In general there seems to be more of us that are now in our 60’s and hitting what appears to be discrimination. I am grateful that there seems to be more dialogue around this issue. Thank you all for sharing.

  31. Nancie M says:

    PS…BTW I was 46 when I came to Korea. I am now 57. I have friends, and know of many other teachers who are older than I am (ie. in their 60’s).

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve tried many, many times and avenues to get a job in Korea and either have had no response or a change in a school or recruiter’s interest in me once they hear my age. More than a bit discouraging.

      • Been there.... says:

        I had similar experiences and am completely mystified by the posters who maintain that age is not an issue in Korea. In my experience, as well as that of some others it most certainly was.

      • Catherine says:

        As far as Korea is concerned the reason one can work there is because they started well before 55 or 60 and they are a known person to the school and authorities. This subject is about teachers who are trying to get employment in this place and other locations who have turned 60 but are still vibrant and active and want to work.

  32. Nancie M says:

    Contrary to popular belief, it is not that difficult to get a job in Korea. Chances are you will probably have to start in a private institute, where hours can be long and vacation short. However, once you are in country you will have a chance at the better jobs, once you complete your first year. Sometimes it’s even possible to change before the end of your first year. The trick is to find a good private school. There are many, but there are also many that are not good. Do not take the first job offer that comes your way, and talk to as many former teachers as possible. Do not ignore their comments. If they are negative about a particular school, just move on. There are lots of jobs here.

  33. julianne hall says:

    i am 56 and have decided to teach overseas. Not really worried about where i end up, looks like l am going no where. I live in
    Australia, and have been teaching casually for the past two and a half years. I was going to complete a masters of tesol. After reading all the comments and bogs I have no idea what to do.

    • Been there.... says:

      56 is still young enough. I started working overseas when I was 57 without the master’s in TESOL. Glad I did not pursue one after all,as I discovered I did not like teaching ESL. I think with your teaching experience you could just get a (proper) CELTA and do well enough. If you find you like the work, then you could alway get the Masters. I don’t know about Australia, but in the US there is a demand for ESL teachers at the community college and library program level, so if you can’t get a job overseas again, you could always do that. But I would definitely test the waters first with a smaller commitment (CELTA).

    • Catherine Blackmore says:

      Dear Julianne,
      I am an Australian woman who has been teaching in the Middle East for the last 5 years but now that I am over 60 the age reqirements have caught up with me. I am presently on holidays in Brisbane and looking for a new position. CELTA seems to be the qualification in demand because of the teaching component?
      With your present experience you could try all the Emirates or Oman or Qatar but take advice from a Teacher who has worked in the schools because some things are the same and some schools take no notice of the Labour rules and hope that new teachers are unaware of their rights. It is a good experience if you like to travel as it is not far away from most of Europe. I am aware that there will be many positions this year for Primary Teachers as there is a shortage in the middle east so do not sign the first offer that comes your way.
      Look for the TES positions and also Reed.com in England advertise some good schools and positions in the ME. Thanks Catherine

    • John Mccann says:

      ouYou arein Asia, there is a great need forteachers, be imaginative, go through NGO’s , taith based (if youhave a church), they can often do the heavy lifting, and you will be under their protection, try for universityteaching, or collegelevel, unless youhave a track recond wth youngkids. I am developing my own syllabus for Peking University and others, in my background, which is business related.

  34. Anonymous says:

    That’s fabulous to hear. I think there is such a stigma attached to the number “60”. I have a Masters in German, have prior overseas experience teaching in Austria and great recommendations coming from 18 years in the classroom and never got as much as an acknowledgment letter from any school in Europe. I’m 61 now. Back in the ealy 90’s, I made up about 12 packages with my photo, resume, letters of recommendation, etc. and mailed them to 12 schools in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. About two months later, I got two offers and took the one in Austria. It was fabulous. Maybe I should go back to the old fashioned way of reaching people. Heads of Schools probably receive over 100 electronically generated “shows of interest” for each vacancy. They probably just start deleting them without even opening them. Looks like I’ll be spending another year teaching in America.

  35. Anonymous says:

    If you have thousands of dollars that you don’t have another use for, by all means go to a hiring fair, but I would be right up front on the age issue with your recruiter and the person you may get an interview with. Time is of the essence, so no use wasting your time in an interview with a school who is really looking for a 30-year old.
    Don’t waste your time with Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or Japan. They like them young.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Well, any job offers in the 60+ group?
    We made a good run at it, but no offers…will probably try a different approach next year…is a recruitment fair the way to go?

  37. Bear says:

    I was told directly by a Search Associate rep that I was too old for a school I had applied to. It was in Saudi Arabia. I am 57.
    I think if schools recruit in the US they should be required to follow the laws of the country they are recruiting in. No discrimination on the basis of age.

    • Catherine says:

      Yes I agree entirely. that is why the Anti-Discrimination Act was brought in because some employers used every excuse they could find. So…………….If you have been a Teacher all you life and have mastered the art of teaching well now you can look forward to being on the scrap heap or taking a job that uses your talents but significantly underpays you. If you have changed careers the University or organisation that you studied at told you nothing about this situation but they eagerly took your money. I am in the same boat as you but only worse. I lost a job in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago because when the recruiting agency found out my age 62 they would not or could not recommend me. I feel angry and anxious every day now and will have to continue the search for a job in my holidays. So i will be unable to spend any money or enjoy even the smallest treats because my home payments will have to be paid in September somehow. Cheers

      • Anonymous says:

        Catherine, I feel your pain. I was contacted by a fabulous school in China yesterday. The director contacted me herself and told me how impressed she was with my credentials and wanted a Skype interview. After two more emails, she suddenly said that Chinese law wouldn’t allow hires of those over 60 and would that be a problem? I felt like someone had thrown a glass of cold water on my face. I had to write back and tell her I am 61. I never heard back from her. My father is with us and Hospice now and isn’t expected to live past today. This will leave my 91 year old mother, so I won’t be going anyplace, but later, if I choose to go abroad, I’ll go on my own terms and just find a tutoring job for a few months until I can find something with a company there. A friend of mine is making very good money teaching for a lady in Switzerland who opened her own private English school just for business executives. On another note, I understand that Africa will hire older teachers and there are some great assignments in Africa. Don’t give up Catherine. Have you looked at teachers-teachers.com? It’s free to register.

        • Catherine says:

          Thank you for your commnets. I find the KSA rules very confusing. The position I was going to be nominated for as Head of Early Years they even told me that the present incumbent had to leave as she was 60 and they could not extend her visa. They even went as far as saying that they were very happy with her. This discrimination on age alone is very frightening as recruiters claim they have to do as the client asks which makes sense but then again they back the horse that they think will win the race. I wonder if we will be good enough when they do not have their quota,runners or people who have signed contracts that do not turn up in late August or September. I will possibly have to wait until then to find out. So the next 3-4 months are going to be very stressful and full of anxiety as I have no family left in Australia and my very modest apartment is rented out and my tenant needs to stay in case I do not find a position and cannot pay it myself. I thank you for your wishes and hope to keep communicating. I appeal to anyone on this site that knows of any information that would help many people to let us know the name and place where we may also try.

        • Trav45 says:

          Actually, the rule in China depends on what you teach. I accepted a position in Beijing, and asked about having to leave in a few years at 60. I was told a) the age limit only applies to new hires and b) for hard-to-fill positions (and apparently librarian is hard to fill overseas!), they can get exemptions.

          • rod stuart says:

            My experience with jobs in China over the past few years is that some headmasters are not aware of the age limits. Still going strong at 67 in the American school in Taichung in art. There seems to be no problems with age in Taiwan international schools. I was hired at 61, having met the head but have had no luck with other schools and job fairs since then. My advice is to hold on to what you have until you get a firm offer at another school. However, this also limits your window of job opportunity as most schools want a commitment for the next year by early December.

        • Graham Coles says:

          I’ve been reading these posts with great interest. I am an Australian, now 63, and teaching since September 2013 in a great foreign language elementary school in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. I got a lot of knock-backs from schools and agencies in the more popular cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, but my current school organised all the paperwork I needed. I got a business visa in Melbourne to begin with, valid until November, and by that time I had all the necessary certificates, completely organised by the school, so I could travel to Hong Kong and get my working visa. After returning to Zhengzhou I got that converted to a 12 month residence permit valid from the start of the 2013 school year until September this year. My school is happy with my work, and wants to renew my visa for another year. I only have a Bachelor’s degree, together with 38 years of classroom teaching. I work 14 hours of face to face teaching time plus prep time, I have a Chinese teacher assistant in the classroom with me, and no setting or grading of exams. I get paid 8000 rmb per month plus 1000 rmb accommodation allowance. This is much higher than the average Chinese teacher, and is more than adequate for a good lifestyle in China, including the ability to save for travel, or to make up for the unpaid public holidays. However, I do get 70% of my pay for the Spring Festival holidays. The downside is that I do have some weaknesses in my knees, so climbing 5 floors to my classroom every day has to be done very slowly! I have a medical insurance plan organised by the school, so when I had to have an x-ray recently after a fall where I bumped my back pretty hard, I got 80% of the cost back. My back was okay. I admit I hate the smog and the traffic, especially the millions of e-bikes that are a law unto themselves, but the food is great, the people are friendly and respectful, especially if you show them a friendly attitude and make an effort to use a Chinese word or two. A smile can go a long way! So in summing up, you can get a satisfying job in China if you are prepared to persevere, and don’t give up after the first few knock-backs. And yes, you may have to be prepared to teach in a smaller city in the interior. Zhengzhou is a “smaller” city – only about 10 million people!

      • Been there.... says:

        I’m surprised your recruiting agency refused to hire you after 62 in Saudi Arabia. At the college level, at least, I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules about age and as I’ve mentioned before, I worked with many teachers above 60, including one man who was 69. If you are really set on teaching in KSA, please don’t get discouraged, I don’t think your age will automatically disqualify you with all schools.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t doubt what you say, but I spent hours with a top Saudi recruiting agency filling out paper after paper. When I didn’t hear from them in weeks, I called and they said “their school” had a cut-off age of 59. How absurd! The recruiting agency knew how old I was from jump one!

          • Been there.... says:

            I’m sorry you went through that, but it is better that you found out before you went. From my own experience with the Saudis and that of others, a job and a contract mean nothing and they can let you go simply because their nephew/niece needs your job, they found someone they liked better, or months after the fact they discovered something they found objectionable about you. Their excuses are legion. This can also happen in other countries, but I’ve only experienced it in KSA. Job security and employee rights (fair hearing etc.) as we know them in the US/UK etc. don’t exist in most other countries.

          • John Mccann says:

            I would look a other ways to teach. Through churches, I am 64, and am working on a feasibilty study for mission work for migraht workers, and additionally have come up with a syllabus to teach about American style fundraising in prestigioys B-schools in Beijing and Shanghai. My grandfather and father grew up in “Old China”, but I have found a way to use “niche marketing” with a special skill, that they dont give two hoots about my age. I think looking for jobs in Saudi Arabia is sheer desperation. why would you want to live in such a repressive country?? I was going to do the TESOL accreditation, bu after hearig all these stories, I dont think just “being overseas” is such a great thing. Think a bit more out of the box, unless teaching abroad is all you have done.

            • John Mccann says:

              Hi, Malaysia really intrigues me. I have an MA in Asian Art and Culture, and am working on a PhD. This may be surprising but “Art History” and the “art Market” are new areas of scholarship, which is why British schools are filled with Asian students studying their own cultures! My family grew up in East Asia, so I have a background in writing, lecturing undergraduates.
              Based on your knowledge, would anyone be interested in looking at me? I am 64, in good health in “prime time”.

    • Been there.... says:

      Ah, so it’s Search Associates that is saying this! It’s not the law. You can find the labor laws for KSA on Dave’s ESL Cafe. I am not sure if the cut off is 55 or 60, but it clearly states that individuals may continue to work after that age with the consent of both parties.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am at the University of South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. I am a tenured professor in the USA and other places here I am lecturer. I have two doctorates and was a fellow. Here a tutor can determine if something should or should not be done. Keep in mind the tutor has a BS or BA without any background in education or social science. They are mostly Indo-Fijians and very know it, very crude and take charge even when they are not capable because the university’s leadership is Indo-Fijian. In the year I have been here I have seen unbelievable things. People without a master’s degree teaching upper level courses. These people have no experience that would give them an advantage such as workforce or special training. If you are European or White American they respect you most of those here do not have terminal degrees. If you are dark you are NOT treated with dignity or respect. They act like CRABS and do everything to tear the things you do for the good down.

        An Indian professor from “India” was told to do as an Indo-Fijian (no masters degree or experience) assistant lecturer directs. The Indian professor is exceptionally bright, well accomplished and experience of 25 years or more. Head of School stood with the tutors and assistant lecturers in decisions, changes made and other things only a professor would know or do!


  38. Anonymous says:

    We tried for years to get a response from Aramco. (Those were the days when they did not attend recruiting fairs.) Meanwhile, we taught on three continents and had a great time professionally and personally. We finally were able to secure Aramco interviews at a job fair in Asia. We thought the interviews went well. We later found out they had hired two people that they had in mind for the positions that had worked for them previously.

    Getting jobs in our fifties (2 specialties) was not a problem…but at age 60+ changing schools is a bigger challenge than we imagined…

    • Catherine Blackmore says:

      I thank you for your comments. I had a position in Saudi Arabia as Head of Early Years until they found out I was 62. I am doing the same position in a GCC country at the present time and I have not had a single sick day since arriving in the UAE + in 2007. It is like you turn into some sort of liability once you turn 60. It is very distressing trying to find a positon for the next academic year and also do your present position. I had not planned to return to my home country and there school year is from late January-December so what am I expected to do!! Any ideas would be appreciated.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m so sorry, Catherine. I turned 62 and may as well be 82. I could easily retire today and teach abroad using my own insurance from my home country, but I’ve received not one letter of interest this year. Have you thought of trying for an on-line teaching position? Several of my colleagues in the States are doing that part-time for colleges in the states and abroad as they teach in the states full-time.. I am planning to retire next year, so will start looking now for an on-line position. The good thing about teaching on-line is, you can do it out of a camper by a lake if you wish or from a cabin on top of a mountain. I say, don’t worry about not finding a job overseas….chances are, they don’t deserve you anyway. Your best years are ahead of you and there are places where you will be appreciated and respected no matter what your age.

        • Catherine Blackmore says:

          Thank you so much for your encouraging reply. I do not think it has hit me yet as I was so full of enthusiasm a few months ago but now I am not even receiving an email from recruitment companies after spending hours after work sending CV’s and covering letters. Plus then they wanted the names of 3 referees and they sent confidential requests to some of them and they complied I believe as one told me I had to chase them to complete the reference form. what a waste of everybody’s time when we are concentrating on our present position and working very hard. I have a concert for over 370 KG and Reception students on the 29/6/2012 but unable to get a job for the next academic year. It is enough to make one sick thinking about the minds of those who are so inflexible and lack understanding of our abilities. Just because there own culture retires early then I feel we could be utilised as they are well aware of the retirement age in other countries. I thank you for your suggestion of on-line teaching and I will certainly make some inquiries when I am home in Australia shortly. I appreciate your help and support. Cheers Catherine

          • tck68 says:

            My australian friend just got a job in Khazakstan at the tender age of 65. That’s with QSI, I also have friends who are over 60 teaching in Sudan, Uganda, Bangladesh, Togo…… you’re sure to find something, there are a lot of schools out there :)

  39. Anonymous says:

    At 52 and with 30 years teaching experience, I was surprised by how difficult it was to secure my second International school posting to follow on from my first in which I have spent 5 enjoyable years. I wonder to what extent the subject and also the education system affects chances of success? IB v UK based systems for example? Primary v Secondary? My own subject has also undergone significant changes in recent years, too. In general I sense a tendency to recruit more candidates directly from the mother country on the basis that they are fresh with the latest ideas and methodologies.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I have read with great interest many of the comments here. I am over 60 and have worked in the “Kingdom” before. (Working in KSA is one of the best ways to help you “save” money.) I do wish to take advantage of an opportunity that I have found in my field (at Aramco). I work in a very specialized health field and believe truly that I will have a “shot” at the job since there are very few who meet the qualifications of the job. I more than meet the qualifications of the job and do hope to hear from “Houston” soon. Thanks to those above with encouraging remarks. I also believe that if they REALLY need you, then you will be successful!!!

    • Mimi in Saudi says:

      Anon– Give us hope! Let us know if you get the job…and, if you do, welcome!

      The Eastern Province rocks! Plus, as an “Aramcon,” you will be in the privileged few with fabulous housing, clean streets, decent driving, variety in supermarkets, and many activities.
      Let’s be honest, you will be hated by those of us out in the “real” world! Mimi

    • Anonymous says:

      I also am very qualified,but can not get a soul from Aramco in Houston to even return my calls or respond to my numerous job applications electronically. What is the secret to getting in touch with the recruiters there? I am highly qualified for their teaching positions.

  41. Janet says:

    I’m a Jamaican teacher 47 years old> I applied to schools in Canada and America and was given some flimsy excuses but I know it ‘boils down’ to the age factor.

    • John Mccann says:

      47 is not “old”. And who said that 65 is too old either. I think they want sort of “unmolded” twenty somethings, that can “play games’.
      I just thing its sort of a scam. No, Janelt, they don’t want you. And I detect a note of racism there, too. I am a member of a large Episcopal Church in Manhattan and one of our favoirite priests is Father Mark, wiith twinkling eyes, lots of gray in his beard, lots of wisdom in his preaching—- and a lovely lilting Jamaican accent. If you have a faith that has missions, you might try through your church or synagogue or mosque as opposed to public schools.
      Best wishes, but I would start looking at other career possibilities.

      • Janet says:

        Thank you for your suggestions John, I might just have to try other options

      • LeeX3 says:

        Why do either of you assume it automatically must be something to do with the age factor or racism? Are either of you aware of the current economic situation in the US, and how many states have slashed their education budgets? The US and Canada are FULL of experienced and credentialed teachers IN HOUSE (many of whom have “twinkling eyes,” I’m sure) who are looking for work as well. It likely has nothing to do with agism, or racism, or wanting only “unmolded 20 somethings,” and everything to do with the fact that there is no shortage of qualified teachers in the US and Canada at the moment. It would help all of you to quit looking for excuses and having such a chip on your shoulder, and to pay attention to the economic and hiring climate of the places you want to be hired. Yes, you may have dreams of teaching in other countries, but you also need to be smart enough to be aware of supply-demand.

  42. boomerexpat says:

    Regarding Mexico – do you find they view older teachers – I’m 58 – as a plus for the school or is it a case where they don’t really want us but will hire one of us if they can’t find the young fresh face? If that is the case then it sounds like “geezers” get exiled to the less desirable places.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I was told that Germany wouldn’t even consider anyone over 55. Would be very interested to know the name of schools in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland that would hire someone 61.

  44. international me says:

    I have been reading comments for a year or so. My partner and I have had contracts in 4 excellent schools since turning 50 – I’m now 62 and still going. It may be worth considering that some of the countries with a high cost of living often shunned by younger teachers,may have fewer age restrictions eg Scandinavia,parts of Africa,Singapore, Germany. You won’t save but you won’t starve or die in a ditch either, well maybe in Africa! Bangladesh and Sudan are other age friendly options, if you can handle them.

  45. Roundtrip says:

    Carminaburana, my comment was directed to Anon. Sorry for the confusion.

    • anon says:

      Well, KSA was 3 schools and years ago! We enjoyed the Saudi people — we became acquainted with locals through tutoring — they are forward and friendly people who love a good laugh. We lived in Jeddah where there were good restaurants, a great book shop and, of course, the Red Sea with pay for “western beaches.” Our students were truly international and the school had many activities for children. We made great friends who we still talk to regularly — the staff was always thinking up get togethers and game nights as we had to make our own entertainment. NESA was a yearly event and travel from Saudi was not difficult — when Eid was close to Christmas we had a long break to travel. The desert had its own beauty and camping in the winter was fine. Had we stayed I guess we could still be employed there. Teachers who turn 60 at a school are granted more years past the age limit these days, it seems. The pay was good and the housing was great!

      • mimi says:

        Saudi can hire people over 60 IF THEY are private, have influence, or? who knows? I have a friend who just got hired at age 70! Check out PMU in AlKhobar. Housing and transport rough, but very near Bahrain for sanity runs! Pays about US$3,000/mo (min) and free ticket home and back in summer. Two months paid off. About 20-22 hours/week required. Depending on subject, BA may be enough.

        There are also some decent institutes that may have freedom to hire who they want. Bahrain has good Amer. Inst. and a good-paying Banking Inst. Much better lifestyle available in Bahrain. Been here,there and done that. Mimi

  46. Roundtrip says:

    I can retire in October and will have my teacher insurance for the rest of my life, so that’s not an issue. Can anyone suggest a great school in the Middle East or Thailand that takes people 62? Anon, if you loved Saudi Arabia, why are you looking for another school? Just curious.

  47. PETER KALNIN says:

    To recap: Countries that seem to accept over 60 – India, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea (see “Been There’s comments above about Korea and Thailand), China (visa renewals depending on the province – some up to 65, but others are 60), Saudi Arabia, (depending on the school assignment), Pakistan/Bangladesh?, various African countries – depending – and central Asian countries. The insurance issue is what is hurting the over-60 crowd, and although a school may want you the local authorities issuing work visas can nix your opportunities.

  48. anon says:

    We worked in KSA 15 years ago (and loved it!) and now are over 60. Any suggestions as where to apply for next year in Saudi?


    • Been there.... says:

      Just curious, aside from the money, what is there to love about Saudi Arabia?

      • Carminaburana says:

        well so far, the wonderful accommodation and facilities, social life, TV and internet is excellent and its QUIET- away from the ratrace. I live in southern Spain and they treat teachers there dreadfully and the money is rubbish. I love living there but not to work. I am teaching something I really love too so what more is there? People are so greedy these days and their heads get turned by glitzy malls (lived in Qatar for 3 years), latest gadgets and 5* hotels. There’s more to life than this.

        • Karen W says:

          Is Saudi a good choice for a single woman pushing 60? thinking safety and social opps. Also what school are you at? Thanks

          • Been there.... says:

            Have you not read through these posts? Saudi Arabia is definitely NOT a good choice for a single woman of any age if you can get a job elsewhere. POSSIBLY, if you get a very good situation where you are housed on a large western compound with all amenities (pool, drivers, etc.) you may have an enjoyable life and a social life, otherwise forget it. Under no circumstances accept a position that houses you in hotels or makes you share. Investigate very carefully and refuse to go over on a temporary work permit, even if they assure you it can be converted, as assuming they honor their word, you will still have to spend months unable to leave the country, open a bank account, etc.

            • Karen W says:

              Was specifically thinking compound life and was surprised to see a positive post on Saudi Arabia. I am just starting this process and open to considering most places. Haven’t read a ton, but will. Appreciate your input.

            • Anonymous says:

              In Saudi, yes, agencies and even universities sometimes say, “Come on over on a business visa and we’ll change it once you get here.” And, yes, it screws up getting bank accounts and so on. I always ask for photos of housing and a local contact to email–a person who would understand my issues.

              As for total negativity for females, wrong! Older women (especially)can live a comfortable and safe life in Saudi–assuming you have lots of interior hobbies or like spending lots of time in your house. People have boyfriends, but you have to be quiet and sensitive to people who would be offended or spread gossip about you. Mimi in Saudi

          • Mimi in Saudi says:

            I’m 60 now and been in Saudi for 5, Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen before that. Other than job discrimination, life is safe and secure. As Saudi is a hardship locale, most foreign teachers ARE old-timers! Any teacher meeting has more gray hair than dark! I don’t go, but I hear the parties are great at certain male-dominated compounds. There are places with hundreds of men employed and few women. You learn where not to go and not to be alone much when you’re outside the house at night.

  49. Carminaburana says:

    I am working in Saudi Arabia and love it.

  50. Mikhail Branski says:

    Interesting site. I taught in Mexico last year for three months in Guadalajara. Lots of language schools but pay is low, administrators not an impressive group, city very polluted. People generally quite kind. I have been looking for work overseas but even though I have taught in the Peace Corps (ESL), more recently Mexico as I said above and a dozen years or so in the U.S. along with excellent English skills (I was a publisher and editor)……I get virtually no responses when applying for jobs overseas. I assume my age (61) and my unusual resume (no TEFL credential per se) hurt my chances. It’s weird in that many English speaking young people going overseas are vastly unqualified to teach (I met plenty in Mexico) but there seems to be a great bias against older teachers. On the face of it, it seems strange given the fact that experience and expertise SHOULD count a lot but then I realize in reading tons of posts how so many younger teachers really do not have a passion for teaching and are there to visit and party. Also, it looks to be (again, from reading a plethora of posts) that administrators in most countries DO NOT seem to care very much about QUALITY. Seems to be a tragedy worldwide. No jobs in the U.S. either. I think the only place to go is Thailand as I have heard they will hire anyone. Latin America has opportunities as well but pay is low.

    • Been there.... says:

      I’m sorry to hear of your experiences and agree with a lot of what you are saying, but Thailand is definitely NOT the answer. Like some other countries in Asia (Korea, Malaysia) they are extremely age and appearance conscious. They want someone who “looks like an American”, i.e. young, blond blue-eyed, 25 years old. Many countries have age limits and some of them are very low. I was told by a rare honest recruiter that Korea (or at least the commercial schools) are not interested in anyone over 30.
      The limit in public schools there was 55. The salaries in Thailand are very low and perks non-existent (you pay for your own airfare, housing etc.), so please give that up. Also, it is rife, like much of Asia with guys (young and old, married and single) taking advantage of the fascination with Western men.

      All is not lost however. The TEFL qualification can be solved easily by taking the CELTA course (the standard for ESL certification) which is now being offered in the US, takes about 6 weeks full-time and is reasonably priced if you live near one of the cities it is being offered in and don’t have to pay for accommodations. It satisfies the requirement in many countries.

      China used to except people up to 65 and still do in some places, but in others only until 60. I worked in Saudi Arabia with many people well over 60 and believe me, no one’s going to be partying in Saudi Arabia! Quality of teachers was very much an issue. Oman, unfortunately has a strict 60 ceiling, but some other countries in the Middle East may take older. Many jobs require a Masters in Linguistics, but not all. Life/work experience does not seem to count for much. I met people who had Masters in Education and were close to illiterate. However, if you have taught in US for years that should be in your favor.

      I am quite surprised that quality in Mexico was not an issue as all the jobs I looked for required a Masters. I guess it depends on where you work.

      Good luck. Hope to hear back that you got a job.

    • Roundtrip says:

      Mikhail, I am 61 and have experienced the same in age discrimination. I am certified in eight fields, every grade, and have wonderful letters of recommendation from my 24 years in the classroom. Additionally, I have a Masters in German, but have never had a contact from the numerous applications sent to schools in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. You would think they would jump at the opportunity to hire someone with a great track record and bilingual ability. It all boils down to age. I’m thinking of just retiring at the end of this year and going into another area of education. Don’t give up though. I understand from some of the posts that people in their 60’s do get hired in “hardship” assignments. I just don’t want to go to a country that is politically unsafe or polluted. I wish you the best. Keep us posted.

  51. RobSg says:

    I’m 65 and have been teaching since 1970 in international schools. After being at one school for 19 years in SE Asia, I left at the age of 60 and decided to accept teaching positions for only year long contracts. That led me to Jordan, Egypt, Vemont, Vietnam, and now Singapore. I’m semi-retired in Singapore, and love it.

    I am not wanting to teach full time anymore. I just don’t have the desire, and I personally don’t think it’s healthy. When you’re in your 60’s, grading papers, being on your feet 8 hours a day, preparing lessons, and dealing with the stress of parents and their concerns, I just don’t see all that as being healthy. Part-time work maybe is fine, but keep it minimal. Don’t you agree?

    If you like being overseas, go. Retire there, and do part-time work. I’m doing that in Singapore and love it. But full time work? No thanks.


    • Roundtrip says:

      Hi Rob,
      I’m considering retiring at the end of this year. I’m 61, but my job requires me to drive 78 miles every day to and from my school. That’s beginning to burn me out. I have 24 years in and will have a nice Social Security check when the time comes. I’ve thought of moving overseas to teach part-time. What do you like about Singapore? Can you earn enough part-time to live comfortably? My retirement check won’t be huge…I think about $2,300 a month, then Social Security a year or two down the road. I’ll turn 62 in October. Just wondering what the REAL story is for teaching part-time abroad.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi there-
        I am in Singapore as a relief teacher at a number of international schools, and while I say I’m semi-retired, working consistently everyday is not exactly semi-retired. The good thing is I take no work home with me.

        I’ve lived here for many years and am a Permanent Resident (like a green card holder in the states). I am able to work part-time. Unfortunately, you would not be able to come to Singapore and work part-time as a teacher. You’d need to get a job before-hand, and the school would arrange for the employment pass.

        The alternative is to actually apply for a retirement visa in Thailand or Malaysia. They both offer that opportunity. You’d be able to certainly work part-time then. That is the only way you would be able to do that.

        I hope you enjoy your semi-retirement as much as I am enjoying mine.


  52. Tricia says:


    Lots of great info here. Firt no one is giving details of their own qualifications and locations.

    For instance if you are European or British you can teach in the EU countries while Americans generally cannot legally do so.

    Second for Saudi Arabia, certain things might get you faster to that country – such as – are you Muslim?

    Also do you speak another language fluently – as in can be bilingual.

    Do you have a dual country passport?

    Are you teaching legally – as in getting the correct visa and documents and legal contract before arrival.

    For people who want to go overseas and start a school or tutor – can you legally do so? Check the laws.

    I am sending out my CV and being asked to fly over at my own expense without legal documents and no contract. I will not do so. You can be arrested and fined for this type of action.

    I am very hopeful to go over soon – but want to do so legally.

    In addition I do not have the financial resources to fly for in person interviews or job fairs – I think it is great that some of you do.

    I am getting plenty of low ball financial offers with no visa offered – and that I will not do.

    When I state I will not arrive without a contract and visa or foreign expert documents – the offer stops.

    I don’t see a lot of job offers for India – it sounds great though.

    As for Korea – very strict documents right now and they time out constantly and have to get new ones –

    I am quite interested in China – but legally only.

    • Been there.... says:

      Good for you. 25 year old backpackers can take illegal work, but no one else should. I have never been told to just come over without a contract at least. In China, I have been told (both after being offered a contract and while applying for a job) to come over on a tourist visa because a work visa can be arranged later and refused as this is not true. You would need to leave the country and go to Hong Kong-a very expensive procedure. Getting a work or Z visa for China in your own country is a pretty simple procedure. You have a basic physical form filled out, send (email scan) it to the school, they apply for the papers and send (or now email) you the necessary letter. You take it to the Chinese embassy/consulate, pay your money (quite stiff for US citizens,it keeps going up, was about $140) and walk out with your visa, all nice and legal. Thus, there is no good reason for an employer in China to refuse to do this. Lambton College is advertising again. They have locations in various cities in China and are a joint Canadian/Sino venture located in universities and were decent enough to work for at the Wuxi location. Salaries in China are pretty low, but you can still manage to save some. Avoid recruiters like the plague and most commercial English schools (Disney, English First).

      For the real money, you can go to Saudi Arabia, where I worked with many people over 60. However, I would not recommend it unless you need money to the exclusion of all other factors. The process for getting a work visa can be very simple if you are just getting a 3 month (renewable) “work visit visa” but insanely complex and expensive (e.g. they required medical tests so arcane, the lab didn’t even do them) if you want to go in on a permanent visa (known as an iqama) which will allow you to leave the country at will for travel, vacations and come back, open a bank account and other options not open to non-holders. I think the best solution, and it can be done, is to get a multiple entry work visit visa. If they won’t give this to you, or are unwilling to assist you in getting an iqama, tell them to fly a kite as you will be stuck in the country for 6 months, then need to leave to renew your work visit visa.

      Speaking a second language is not usually a requirement, although would be helpful, especially in the Gulf Countries. It would also help in a place like Saudi Arabia if you are devoutly Muslim as (a) it would give you a motivation to stay there and you could visit Mecca/Median (b) you will receive preferential treatment (c) you will avoid committing any faux pas which will get you expelled from the country due to lack of knowledge of the customs which all center around religion.

      Hope this helps. Also note, some employers now do Skype interviews, so there is absolutely no reason for you to have to fly somewhere for a live interview.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Mike 57 for your comment about the speech & drama teacher in her eighties. I teach drama & also work when I can in the land of theatre ( directing/mentoring mainly). I had always thought that it was possible to work forever in the theatre but it is as ageist as anywhere else- possibly moreso – so it was encouraging to read what you wrote. Thanks to whoever for the website – ageism is no less an evil than racism or sexism & talking about it is bound to help things change. MB.Scotland.

  54. I am disappointed to read a lot of the comments on this site, regarding older teachers. The best teacher I ever had was a lady in her eighties. She was full of enthusiasm for her subject (speech & drama) and continued to teach well into her eighties…………
    .Mike 57 (MA ELT)

  55. JP says:

    Here in China, ageism is alive. One int’l. school has told all teachers over 60 that they will not be renewed next year per govt. decree. “Sorry, nothing we can do…” I wonder, is that happening everywhere in China or is it a local smokescreen?

    Int’l schools do distinguish between old and young, weighing the pros & cons. Pros: no school-age dependents, no maternity care, experienced, often retired so not salary-driven, loyal, often come with teaching spouses. Cons: pre-existing medical issues, low-tech skills, can be inflexible. Each school considers the pros & cons but if the older teacher finds a good home, both they and their international community can be happy together for many years.

    ISR has offered guidelines on the retirement ages for various counties but ISR members usually respond with variations. Note: for the older teacher, attending expensive job fairs can be a waste of time and money. Deal directly with your schools of choice to get honest answers to age questions. But definitely go for it. In Asia, parents and students highly respect older, experienced teachers even if the school admin may not.

    • Peter Kalnin says:

      @ JP: China is a mixed bag, and international schools are subject to the irregular policies that exist province to province. This past spring I was recruited to teach in a high school in Sichuan, but had to be reassigned to a different school in Zhejiang province because the provincial law had changed: previously one could get a work visa renewed up until 65 in Sichuan but that was dropped to 60 this year. Zhejiang continues to renew up to 65… but that could change at any time, depending on the plans and whims of local ministries.

      The same issue happens in regards to public holidays – often school administrators don’t know far in advance when holidays are going to be observed and so school calendars can only be developed one semester at a time, and frequently don’t get made until the very last minute – just before teaching begins. It is not your school’s fault, it is the way business is done here. Another unusual thing is that if a holiday is going to be observed, sometimes one must work on a Saturday or even a Saturday and a Sunday to help “offset” it. We just had New Year’s holiday and we had to teach on the preceding Saturday (December 31) until noon to “make up for” having Monday AND Tuesday off. School administrators are at the mercy of this way of conducting business and must make the best of things.

      In regards to job fairs, you can attend them if you want to spend the money OR just do everything online through emails, web contacts, telephone and Skype interviews, which is how I got my current job. The International Educator’s resume service is particularly helpful, and at the current price still a very good deal.

      For us senior teachers, there are still some countries out there that will hire you past 65 but as time goes on they are decreasing in number. Best of luck to you and everyone searching for work. Stay current with professional development and take workshops to hone your schools as much as possible. – Pk

      • Been there.... says:

        Ah yes, I remember those long pre-holiday weeks in China. I think it was my very first job overseas and very first week of teaching that fell near a holiday and so I worked something like 7 days in a row. Almost didn’t make the holiday worth it!

        I can second the age situation in China now. Pity, as we were always told that it was a culture that values age and wisdom. However, as the retirement age for the Chinese is something like 50 for women and 55 for men, we seem like a very odd lot to them, wanting (or needing) to work at 60+.

        I can also second that the countries that hire older teachers are decreasing and add along with another poster, that those that do are places you might not want to work in.

  56. mimi in saudi says:

    I’ve been in Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi. As long as you remember you have half the US stress level and NONE of the taxes, it helps! I have enjoyed the shifts between desperate, poor, eager kids and spoiled rich kids. Challenges to me and them!
    GET CLEAR about immediate supervision. I love jobs where you can RELATE to your Chairs/supervisors.

    I got the TESOL MA but was unable to find FT work in US. That sent me overseas and I’ve loved it.

    There’s Soros Foundation for Eastern Europe.

    To me, it’s all about who is needy enough and what we are willing to put up with. (forgive grammar!) You can negotiate IF THEY ARE really in need. Hours, housing, classes: tell them what you want and get it in WRITING before you hop on the plane.

  57. Mai says:

    Thanks Roundtrip.
    It wasn’t my intention to be unkind, just realistic. Anyone who reads/watches the daily news would know that Saudi Arabia is infamous for its treatment of women.

    • Jazzman says:

      Contrasting to what I have been hearing about KSA, Lebanon, Beirut in particular, is a more open society. For example, not all women wear hijab (head or full). Women do drive their own cars and so forth; oddly they do not go into the public beaches of Beirut, however. Some cultural and religious traditions are still strong but not like in KSA, based on what I have followed in this discussion. My wife and I lived and taught there from 2007-2010. There is no age limit regarding teaching there.

  58. Roundtrip says:

    Been There, did you get out, or are you still stuck there?

    Mai, I thought your comment was amusing.

    • Been there.... says:

      I got out after 3 months, when the “expect the worst” part of my philosophy won out. I don’t regret my decision to go in the first place, as I made some money and quit while I was ahead. I have never been a quitter and honored all my previous overseas contracts, but KSA and my particular situation proved too much, even for me. Many others left as well and I still think Mai’s comment is irritating and unkind. I take it she has never worked in Saudi Arabia.

      • Roundtrip says:

        Been There, where did you go after the fiasco? I’m still trying to decide if the overseas gig is for me again. My mother is 91, so the decision to leave right at this time in her life is a tough one. I will probably stay here as long as she is. Then I’ll head overseas again. I have friends who are teaching English for individuals and they are making a small fortune. For those who aren’t being hired by schools, there are other ways to live the overseas life and still save a bundle of money and have a wonderful experience.

        • Been there.... says:

          I returned to the US despite being unable to secure a job in another country. I really hated teaching ESL, especially in the kind of programs I worked in for the most part: “PYP” (preparatory year program) in KSA or “feeder schools” in China (private colleges for students who could not get into the better public universities). I think these are the schools that are the most desperate for teachers-and the most difficult to teach in.
          I had elderly parents too, but as my father lived to be 100 (he passed away the week after I returned from my first job in China) and my mother who is now close to 90 is happy to see me go, it is not a consideration for me.

          So I’m going to try again to make a go in the US. After my experiences overseas, I want nothing more to do with teaching or education. What you describe is more what I had in mind- living overseas as an enjoyable lifestyle, and not as a substitute for joining the Foreign Legion (i.e. an act of desperation).

  59. mimi in saudi says:

    Saudi Arabia… nothing to do is the main complaint. No MOVIES, music, no driving for women. Seriously, you can go out to eat, stroll in endless malls or visit friends. YOU NEED HOBBIES BIG TIME to not go stir crazy. Dating? ha! Good luck! At worst, it’s illegal and you could be put in jail. Choose near Bahrain to have fun on the weekend!

    It’s either blazing or freezing, CONSTANT dust everywhere. Extreme frustrations constantly over crappy English skills/resulting misunderstandings. Basically, if you like TV and books, you’re good! Oh, there is decent internet.

    • Been there.... says:

      Actually, I think working in Saudi Arabia needs it’s own thread. Let’s see what I can add to your list:

      a) Impossible visa/work permit requirements/procedure (a malaria test?)
      b)Rude, viscous, disrespectful students that are coddled and treated like little princesses and cannot be made to follow any rules or even hand in work, lest they retaliate by making up stories about you and getting you fired.
      c)Sleazy, inept recruiting(I.e. management) firms who do most of the hiring and pay your salaries, housing etc.
      d)Disgusting housing (the WORST I’ve seen in any country)-and women cannot rent apartments so you are dependent on the above..
      e)An atmosphere of constant fear and paranoia lest you do something that is against one of their bizarre rules (Palestine is a country?) and find yourself either on your way home, if you are lucky, or in jail, or worse if you are not.
      g) Foreign women who go there so they can convert/practice Islam and then try to convert you or outdo the Saudis in their extremism.
      h)Christmas in a strange place is bad enough, but the lovely Chinese actually had a party for the foreign teachers. In KSA just SAYING “Christmas” in your classroom would get you fired if you had the kind of spiteful, malicious students I did.

      And on and on. No, my fellow aging teachers. As badly as you may want/need to work KSA is NOT an option.

      • Roundtrip says:

        Been There-thank you so much for the heads-up on Saudi Arabia. I am being actively recruited by a placement agency to go there to teach, but after reading some of the posts about KSA, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10ft pole. When WWIII breaks out, I certainly don’t want to be in the middle of it over there.

    • Mai says:

      Surely you knew all this before you went there.

      • Been there.... says:

        I HATE it when people say that. It makes me wonder if they’ve ever actually done this sort of thing before. No amount of research can prepare you for the reality of living somewhere. How can someone “[know] all this before [they] went there?” Do you really think a recruiter/school is going to say, “You will have a miserable experience that’s not worth any amount of money we will pay you. “? No, what they actually do is lie outright about things to get you to go there.

        In my case it was a question of “Hope for the best, but expect the worst”, a.k.a. cautious optimism. Sometimes the factors that make you take a position overseas against your better judgement and the experiences of others, like a long stretch of unemployment or financial need, can make you put aside things you might not like about a location/country, thinking that you can deal with it. Also, another person’s experience will not be your own, and often the only way “you’re going to know” is to actually go to the country.

        In the case of Saudi Arabia, I was actually told by a woman who was in her second year there: “Nothing can prepare you for living in Saudi Arabia”. Think about that, Mai before you make such a superior remark.

  60. Roundtrip says:

    Could you please comment on the pay and lifestyle there?

  61. Thanks Mimi and Jim. Can anyone recommend some of the larger international schools to look into?

  62. Global Roamer says:

    Great info, and thanks to everyone posting here.

    I’m hitting the big 5-0 this next year, and will be eligible to start a second career. I’m currently a diplomat with the US State Department, and teachers at international schools have always been a great crowd – so much so that for eight years I’ve been thinking about joining your ranks.

    I’ve a masters degree and experience teaching at all levels (from kids to soldiers to diplomats to foreign leaders), but no certification as a teacher. Many comments show a difficult job market: do I even have a chance w/o an academic certification?



    • mimi in saudi says:

      Hi Joe,
      I’ve been at it around the world,too, and you should rest easy. Depending on the region you prefer, the Master’s alone will be impressive. You can teach in that field at universities. Any native speaker of English (with some exp) is welcome at most Language Centers/Institutes. I’ve been in the Arabian Gulf a long time and, although you’d think the economy would have sent lots of people to us as teachers, it hasn’t. When they’re desperate enough (!) age is less important! Choose your region first and network like crazy.

      • Global Roamer says:

        Shukran, Mimi — shukran gazillan!

        Thanks for the very quick reply, and thanks for the encouraging information. My hopes are now up even higher, and I’m getting excited about the new opportunities! (And I’m starting to network where I am, as well as with colleagues in other regions I’ve enjoyed.)


        • Anonymous says:

          I agree with mimi, although I would avoid Saudi Arabia like the plague. Most hiring for universities is done through recruiters and special agencies and you are treated no better than any other foreign “guest worker” (i.e. you could get better housing and respect as a cashier at Carrefours). There is a reason they are desperate for teachers-few people want to put up with the brutal treatment for long.

          Without certification you probably cannot get a job at a British or American elementary/secondary school, but you can certainly get a position at a university, and probably anywhere you want. If you can get a job at a British/Australian/American extension, you will be far better off.

          As far as age goes…50 is a baby! I work (in KSA) with people who are pushing 70 and the retirement age in China is 60, in Korea, I believe 55 or older. You should indeed have no trouble finding a job.

  63. payday loan says:

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  64. Mimi in Saudi says:

    Hi Diane,
    Forgive my directness, but your problem will not be a bad job so much as just getting a job! At age 60, nearly all decent-paying countries no longer will issue work visas. The more desperate ones will… Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Korea and China, while eager, still have great age prejudice!

    And, contrary to previous advice, a ‘private’ employer is the only one who can document a special need for you and thereby get a waiver to the age limit. That’s how it works in the Arabian Gulf region where I’ve been 17 years. As for your qualifications, awesome, we all need help, but only the PE part will get you a FT job. Once you’re stiuated, you can do a lot to help/train for special needs. (Rare to find a place willing to hire anyone FT for just that.) Try larger International Schools.

    • Sue says:

      I disagree. There are many good schools willing to hire over 60, especially for special needs but they may be in unpopular places! Your biggest disadvantage is not having previous overseas experience.

  65. Jim (in Germany) says:


    It looks like you have some very appealing qualifications. If your recs are as good you should get some worthwhile offers. It’s a tough market for teachers right now so you will find most administrators being very tight on money offers, even the best ones. That said, schools generally try to make their package commensurate with the cost of living in a particular place. If you are able to save money as a teacher in California you should be able to save in most places – if you adapt to local conditions. Buying corn flakes in Khartoum is a budget buster, etc. and, yes, I taught there.
    As a P.E. and special ed teacher you are very marketable. The dance qualification is a plus but very few administrators go out looking for one.
    Expectations of teachers are quite high. Most of us put in a lot of hours. There are no unions and in most countries, very little if any recourse if you find yourself being treated unfairly. My personal advice is to stay away from any “school for profit” or from any school which is owned by one individual or family.

    Good luck!


  66. Diane says:

    Hello everyone. i am happy to find this site.

    I am a 60 year old teacher with K-12 credentials in Special Education, Physical Education and Dance. I also have a K-8 Multiple Subject (Generalist) credential. The majority of my teaching experience has been in special education, dance and physical education. I also have a California Resource Specialist certificate, an English Language Development/SDAIE certificate, and a state authorization to teach students with Autism.

    i have some questions, I am hoping some of you might be able to give me some feedback on:

    1. In what countries would the cost of living be low enough that a teacher might be able to put some money away for a rainy day?

    2. What countries or schools are more likely to look for teachers who can work with students with mild handicapping conditions such as Aspergers, ADD, Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities?

    3. How common is it, for schools to hire dance teachers or elementary physical education specialists?

    4. Do these schools have negotiated contracts for teachers? I’m concerned about getting into a situation with not so favorable working conditions. I have been reading accounts by international teachers on different sites.Though most, of the accounts, have been quite favorable, I have read a few, eye-opening, stories of teachers feeling they were not working in the kind of conditions they thought they would be. I am an efficient, hard-worker who puts in a lot of time as an educator; however, the demands and expectations of the teachers, in these negative reports, seemed way out of line. i got the impression they felt like oppressed slaves.
    Admittedly, these stories were few and far between, but I am erroring on the side of caution.

    To any of you who do respond, thank you for your time and input.


  67. Mai says:

    That’s great. Good luck.
    Let us know how it goes.

  68. Been There... says:

    I turned 60 in November. I also wanted a job in UAE, but nothing came of it and so I tried KSA. Also nothing came of that, except for one outfit. I am not sure how to describe them, other than they seem to be “sub-contractors”, i.e. they do the hiring and place you and pay your salary. They do not have the best of reputations and so I’m reluctant to actually recommend them until I know first hand. I did read a post on another site from some one who was 65 and got a job with them also.

    The labor laws for KSA are posted on Dave’s ESL Cafe. Interestingly they list the retirement age as 55 for women and 60 for men…UNLESS OTHERWISE CONSENTED TO BY BOTH PARTIES.

    Nonetheless, I had some tense moments after reading on this forum that a poster was declined a visa because she was over the limit. I got my visa without a hitch.

    I don’t know what age group you teach, etc. All I can say is normally, I would be more picky and demanding as I really know very little about the job other than basics, but given the circumstances (economy and age), I was simply glad to get a decent paying job.

  69. Anonymous says:

    I am desperately trying hard to find an overseas job in either UAE or Saudi Arablia (teaching English) but am unsure of the ‘age’ cut-off point. I have read various comments on this forum – some saying 60 no problem and others saying 59 is the cut-off point. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Incidentally I was 60 in March this year!

    • Mimi in Saudi says:

      Did you try PMU? Prince Moh’d bin Fahd Univ in Khobar, KSA. As a private university, they have hired several people over age 60… It’s located very near Bahrain for weekend fun. Email: ibader@pmu.edu.sa — see website.

  70. Mai says:

    An afterthought- travel agents normally get 50% or more commission on travel insurance premiums. If you can’t negotiate a reduction, maybe you could carry your own insurance by putting aside a regular amount- you might go home to a tidy little sum.

    • Been There... says:

      Thanks for your suggestion, but travel insurance only covers you for a limited time in a very limited way. I did take out overseas health insurance (Medex) the first time I went overseas to China, and despite the predictable medical crisis (I’m healthy as a horse at home), it was useless.

      I think the best thing to do is just pay out of pocket, as medical costs in other countries are usually low. The only thing one really has to worry about is “repatriation” (i.e. having yourself shipped back home in the event of death or coma, etc.), but I’ll take my chances on self pay if I don’t have free insurance.

  71. Mai says:

    If you going to get sick, you’ll do it while working in a foreign country exposed to all those unknown germs. I’d ask your travel agent to look around for a basic insurance cover.

  72. Been There... says:

    Uh oh! I just accepted a job in Saudi Arabia (and I’m 60). I recall an acquaintance saying they did not want to hire people over 60 because they could not get medical insurance for them. I was surprised when they did hire me.

    My contract stated that I had medical insurance, but after reading your post, I may very well get there and find I am not covered, but it’s too late to back out now. I’m willing to do without as I have no medical conditions and really need the job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just read your post. So at 60 there is hope yet! I was 60 in March but finding it difficult to find Agencies that will accept. Any recommendations?

  73. Victor Godden says:

    The dialogue on the challenges faced by we over 60’s is certainly helpful and informative but I do have a suggestion for ISR. Would it be possible to reconfigure your country chart so that there is a clear distinction between those schools that “prefer certain ages”, i.e., those that practice age discrimination in one form or another and those schools that are legally bound by law (which are actually enforced of course) in the host country and are therefore unable to offer contracts to individuals over and above a particular limit?

    While much of this information can be derived from the chart and the various blog comments, it is time consuming and sometimes flatly unclear or contradictory. I’m 61 and thinking of throwing my hat in the ring again this fall and it sure would make my life easier if I could distinguish between those schools that are “unable” to consider me for legal reasons and those that would simply “prefer” I was younger. What I would love to see ISR post is a table that precisely indicated which countries have enforced age visa restrictions for foreign workers (with no exceptions due to “Wasta” or anything else).

    • Been There... says:

      Excellent suggestion. One hears so many different things.
      I was surprised to be offered a job in Saudi Arabia as I am 60 and thought 59 was the cut off point, but after reading the labor laws it seems 59(OR 60) is the retirement age UNLESS BOTH PARTIES AGREE OTHERWISE. I had avoided applying because I was told by a teacher that they didn’t like to hire people over 60.

      I did once waste a great deal of time applying for jobs in Korea, where both the preference and laws are in favor of younger candidates.

      So, yes ISR please follow Victor’s suggestions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I, too, think such a chart would be helpful. I’d like to suggest one other column for countries that will hire those of us who are over a “certain age:” ability to get (or ease of getting) medical insurance for people over 60 or 65. I’m finding that in a number of cases, the medical insurance that many schools purchase is not available when people pass a designated age.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Have you tried Africa?

  75. Anonymous says:

    Any last minute job suggestions or openings? I’m over 65.

    Thanks and take care.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Jan – Good for you! I will turn 60 in December and have just been hired to teach ESL in a school near Ningbo (just south of Shanghai). China is in need of lots of teachers, but each province decides on what the upper age limits for granting visas will be. Zhejiang province is one of the better ones. So – for those of you looking for work in China, I say GO FOR IT!

  77. Anonymous says:

    Hi Roundtrip, I applied to about 12 Chinese universities in clean-ish cities with climates that agree with me and accepted the only job offer I got. My Masters was completely disregarded and I got paid the same as a man from US who had no qualifications or experience in ESL. In fact I wasted two years getting the Masters when I could have spent that time teaching and living the life in the Inscrutable Orient.
    I think persistence is the key, along with strongly emphasising your ESL background. BTW they’re looking for teachers of German too!

    • Roundtrip says:

      Hi Anonymous~You’ve given me hope. Could you share with me the name of the University you are in. I’ll apply there.
      Thank you!

    • Jan Mckeogh says:

      Too young to give up

      My husband and I (turning 64 this year) are off to Shanghai next month to teach. We are very happy to have these positions doing excatly what we want and what we are good at in a country that is going to keep us busy for years!! My advice is do not give up and pursue every opening even though you know in many cases a job will not eventuate. A lot of recruitment organisations really do want to be able to offer more jobs to ‘mature’ employees but they are bound by governement regulations. I personally believe these rules will change with time-it is all part of globalisation but we have to preservere on a personal basis as well.
      We are looking forward to returning to Libya at 66 when our contracts in China are finished. There is a lot of unfinished work to be done!
      Keep your chins up!

    • Been There... says:

      I taught at two universities in China and they both paid higher salaries to people with advanced degrees-all schools that I know of do. Something is wrong with the school that offered you the job. I can sympathize with your need to take that job (I refuse to return to China and have had no luck elsewhere), but hopefully once you get your feet wet with that position, you can look around for better ones next year. Also, try negotiating a higher salary once there. It sometimes works.
      Good luck.

      • Roundtrip says:

        Been There~Just curious why you said you refuse to go back to China. Do the cons outweigh the pros in your university or is it just tough living in the Chinese culture?

        • Been There... says:

          The first time I was there, I developed a problem with my leg. I had a large swollen area that turned black and blue. I thought it might be a blood clot. I went to the hospital (which is how you receive medical care there) in Wuxi. The “Foreign Clinic” was closed and I was seen by a Chinese doctor who correctly diagnosed it as “some kind of tumor” after I had an ultrasound. He prescribed antibiotics and it appeared to be healing. I went back for a follow up visit to the foreigners’ clinic. The doctor I saw there said the lumps were “sebaceous cysts” and recommended having them removed. As I had no medical insurance in the US I agreed. I now think in retrospect that the man’s only medical training consisted of membership in the CP.
          He had no idea of how to dress a wound and the pain from the suture sight was awful. When I returned to the States, I saw a doctor who said the lumps were nerve nodes that had somehow become infected and NEVER should have been removed. I walked with a cane for a few months and still have a large (unnecessary scar). Oh, and by the way, pain killers are against the law there (codeine, etc.) and even for a major injury, like a broken leg, you are lucky if you get Motrin or Tylenol.

          The second time I was in Luoyang (Henan) and had a god awful toothache. I went with the school’s liason officer to a dentist at a local hospital. The dentist recommended root canal, I agreed (yes, I know, I must have been mad). Of course it became infected (no antibiotics-improperly done) and when I went back as instructed by the school, he removed a perfectly good filling in the same tooth and patched it badly. I had an impossible time finding antibiotics there and eventually left to return to a job and better dentists in the Middle East. Still, after seeing two more dentists there and two in the US, I eventually lost the tooth. A replacement (implant/bridge) is going to cost me $3,000.

          I’d have to have a death wish to return a third time.

          Overall, the medical care in China is non existent or will make you sicker than you were. The situation is not much better in the “foreign clinics” in big cities, as those doctors, even Western ones can’t practice in their own country and the fees are high. I really wonder if the unhealthy level of chemicals in the air and food (remember the milk scare?) did not contribute to my illnesses. Thailand has good medical care, but on the salaries the Chinese pay, it isn’t practical to go there.

          • Roundtrip says:

            OMG~You are lucky to be alive. I’ve heard such wonderful stories about the medical care in India and Thailand. I never thought about China having poor care. I think you are right about the bad air having an effect on healing. You should try to find a job in Austria or Germany. I loved it there and the air was clean and fresh. Thank you for opening our eyes on China.

  78. Old Canuck says:

    Iam a 59 year old College Counsellor with a trailing spouse and 2 school age kids. Last year I sent off about 20 apps and put my app in to ISS. I got 3 interviews without going to a job fair but no job. This year I sent about 5 apps off and I was offered 3 jobs and have taken a job in Shanghai. My children will go to school for free and I have a two year contract and can work till I am 65 if I want. So I’m pleased. There are jobs available for older people but it is dependant on what you teach and the year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Old Canuck~Did you find a position in Shanghai as a counsellor, or are you teaching courses? I’m happy for you and your family. What a great experience!!

  79. bcteach says:

    Over 60 and still looking…does anyone have a concrete lead on an open teaching position(s) for elementary teachers, preferably for first or second grade? Singapore would be great! hello2501@hotmail.com


    • roseeblue says:

      I am 55 and landed two jobs with the help of teachanywhere recruitment who are based in London. They were so easy to work with. Unfortunately I had to turn down the offers in the end due to an accident which has layed me off work for a spell. One job was in Egypt and the other in the UAE. It might be worth googling them for contact details as this is the time of year when people pull out from offers and there is a rush to fill vacancies. Good luck.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have been able to secure several Primary positions in excellent schools in both Africa and Asia, including Singapore, since turning 50,at 59 and most recently at 61. I don’t have an M Ed.
      American schools and American Heads seem to be least likely to interview older candidates in my experience.
      If you have an active file with Search Associates and immediate availabilty schools will contact you with last minute positions and mid year openings. Search will also send daily,details of all vacancies.

  80. Bob Canulla says:

    I tried to get a position in China and was told that the government will not issue a work permit for anyone over 60.When I attempted to confirm this with the consulate general in Houston, Texas where I live, no one would dare to answer my question!! Coming from a country with such great mentors as Confusious, I find it laughable at best! Something smells in China.

    Bob Canulla
    Houston, Texas

    • Jim says:

      You should have no problem getting teaching positions after the age of 60 if you are willing to market yourself as a teacher who will go at a minutes notice. I retired from an international school in Singapore after being there for 20 years, and opened myself up to emergency openings either during the summer time or early in the school year due to teacher resignations. That led me to teaching positions at international schools in Amman, Jordan, Egypt, Vietnam, and a little public school in Vermont, all for one year contracts.

      I’m now at home in Singapore where I have chosen to semi-retire. I may or may not be offered a position this next year, but if I don’t, private tutoring, subbing, or part-time teaching positions are always a possibility.

      For those of you over 60 anxious to get overseas to experience other cultures, it is certainly very possible. However, as I’ve mentioned before on this forum, the meeetings, curriculum development, grading papers, disciplining, and dealing with parents gets old after 40 years of teaching. I might just be contented being semi-retired and concentrate on health.


  81. Roundtrip says:

    Hi Mai, I would love to find a university position in China or elsewhere. I have a Masters in German though, which is probably not in demand in China. Could you tell me how you found your university position? Did they require a Masters in the subject you are teaching? I’ve been teaching ESOL for six years and have taught 23 years total. I’m 60.

  82. Mai says:

    Roundtrip- I wouldn’t wait too long or you’ll miss out.

  83. Roundtrip says:

    The directors said they valued experience.

  84. Pk says:

    My understanding is age restrictions depend on the province – some stop issuing work visas for foreigners at 60 and others at 65. Can anyone else verify this?

    • Mai says:

      I got a university job in China at 64 no problem but they wouldn’t keep me on after I turned 66. This was in Shanghai.

  85. Roundtrip says:

    I am sixty and had four interviews and two offers from China this last month. I’ve just decided to stay in the USA this year, then maybe retire overseas after retirement in about two years.

    • TM says:

      Wow…I thought China was being strict about no hires after 60. What did the school recruiters say?

      Which schools, if you don’t mind?

      • Roundtrip says:

        Clifford School in China hires people in their 60’s. I was just up front about it and asked if my age would be a problem. They said they prefer maturity and that 60’s were not a problem. I decided not to accept the position, but I see they still have openings. Some schools in Thailand also hire “mature” teachers.

  86. TM says:

    We had plenty of job offers in our fifties…never gave it a thought…
    However, I don’t hear of offers for the 60+ group.

  87. Roundtrip says:

    Bribery? Hahahaha. I used to work for the State Department. We interviewed a young man for a vacancy we had, and he showed up with a six-pack of imported beer for us. We were impressed by his guts and creativity (and resume), so we hired him. It was a hoot.

  88. Mai says:

    Has anyone tried bribery? That’s how things are routinely done in a lot of these countries.

  89. roseeblue says:

    I have had no problem with job offers (following telephone interviews) from the UAE and I am in my mid 50s. One in particular sounds like a great offer and will be hard to refuse. Have any over 50s here on the forum had experience there? I am a single woman and one of my main concerns is around a social life as the whole being alone senario will be be new to me. It seems like a place for the younger ones. The driving there is also a huge question mark at the moment. I not adverse to culture shock and have visited other M/Eastern countries, but living there would be quite a bit different then being a tourist. Any ideas would be welcomed.

    • Judy Barrett says:

      It depends on where you willll be in the Middle East-I was in Jeddah and it was fine

    • Nancy says:

      I’ve been living and teaching in the UAe for over 20 years, and it has its challenges, but overall is a relatively easy place to live. There is a lot of social freedom for westerners, and the driving is like in the US. There are a lot of young folks here, but at the end of the day, money talks. It is a materialistic place with an emphasis on shopping, so you have to hang on tho your ‘dollars’.

  90. bcteach says:

    Just saw an interesting post from the US government – to teach English at a U.S. Embassy in a country in Asia. The posting said that the maximum age limit was 60. As this is a U.S. government-related position, how can the government get away with such an age restriction?

    • Been there... says:

      Good question, but they do. I thought I could use my international experience in a US government job, working in the foreign service, but it very clearly stated that you had to be 59 when you applied, which I was. It didn’t do me any good.

      I think they plan on having people employed for a long time in a career path, and hence want younger people. As to the legality of it, I’m as mystified as you are.

      • Jazzman says:

        The disappointing response you received may be a function of the foreign hiring laws of the host country in question, U.S. Government job notwithstanding. I found that the international schools in Asia have an age ceiling at 60-year-old. I hope a country will find favor in you, regardless of your age.

    • JMS says:

      Some “U.S. Embassy” schools overseas are actually private schools who hold the embassy contract (partial funding from the state dept.) but these are not subject to U.S. public education laws. My understanding is that there are only a handful of U.S. embassy-sponsored schools left outside of DODDs, but even these schools may still be subject to the host country’s rules for entry and work visas. Often schools can work out a deal with the host country to make an exception for a visa, but a lot depends on how much the school wants to go through for it.

      • Been There... says:

        No, no, no to JMS. If you go to the State Department’s career website (www.state.gov/careers/) and scroll through the application for a Foreign Service Officer, or any of their other NON-TEACHING positions you will see that it clearly states” the applicant must be no older than 60 as of the date of their hire”.
        This rule has NOTHING to do with the policies of the host country and everything to do with the civil service laws governing pensions, etc. for US federal employment! It would be so much easier to believe that the US government is not the villain here, but delusional to think otherwise. Employees of the State Department are normally hired in the US, work for the US and not subject to the visa laws/restrictions of the host country.

        Incidentally, I interviewed for the position mentioned by Jazzman. The interviewer, an employee of the US embassy (Public Affairs Officer/State Department), told me that despite their not being able to issue me a work permit (I would have to enter the country as a tourist, and obtain a business visa through a local sponsor, good only for three months), my salary would be paid (direct deposit to a US bank) by the US, and I WOULD be an employee of the State Department. So much for your theory. Sorry, but WE are the bad guys here.

  91. Roundtrip says:

    Happy, you are going to love it. I taught in Austria one year many years ago and absolutely LOVED it. I’m 60 now and had a hard time getting a job. I was offered a job in China for this next year, but I turned it down. My parents are old and need me now, so I missed my window to go back overseas. I wish you all the BEST!

  92. happy says:

    My position is in China. In my original cover letter I didn’t mention anything about my trailing dependents. I changed my cover letter (after reading about trailing dependents in the ISR blog) to state that I may appear to be more expensive than other teachers, because of my trailing dependents, but that I would cover their costs. Yes, I’m super happy to have a job in this school. Good luck to you!!!!

  93. Nanette Moseley says:

    Where did you land your position?
    Also, what did you change in your cover letter saying that you would pay for?
    Thanks for the encouragement, I am going to begin applying in the near future so this is a good encouragement for me.

  94. happy says:

    I’m 56 and just accepted my first international teaching position. I have 2 dependents, husband and teen going with me. Thanks to the info on ISR I changed my cover letter to schools, stating that I would pay for them- I think that helped me get responses. I did attend a Search fair, had 3 interviews, no job offers. It was expensive, but worth the money, as I realized my interview skills needed some work. I felt really prepared for the Skype interviews I had for the job I was offered. I had pretty much given up on getting a teaching position, but the Search website was easy to use so I just kept applying anyway. So, my advice, don’t give up! Keep applying!!!

  95. roseeblue says:

    Where is your school Jude. I am a primary trained teacher, but would consider myself a literacy/reading specialist. I have completed a year long literacy training course and have taught as a support teacher as well. Am desperate for a post somewhere at the moment, so ready to for a challenge.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am in Seoul Korea in an International school

      • roseeblue says:

        I had not considered Korea for some reason. How difficult is it to get a position there and where do I start? Am 54 and first time searching the international circuit.

    • sp says:

      Which school in Korea? I’m also a reading specialist and am most interested. Will the schoool consider someover over 65?

      • Judy Barrett says:

        It is called Seoul International school and I was hired at 66 just last year. I would suggest you send me your references and let me take a look -send them to barrettj@siskorea.org which is my school email and I will see if you could get a skype interview if you look like a fit l-in the meantime check out the schools website and see if you are interested-another idea is to go to the June job fair for Search-sometime teachers bail and cut contract so schools are very interested in filling the slot right away-good luck!

        • roseeblue says:

          I didn’t know there was a job fair in June. Besides I am in Australia so if there is one it could be a bit out of the way at present. I have sent my CV through to you to take a look and will check out the school’s web site as well. Are you really happy and settled in Korea and with the school in general?

      • Judy Barrett says:

        sorry it was just taken inhouse-go tot eh june job fair and sign up for tie-on-line

  96. Jude says:

    Just wanted everyone to know a position just came up at my school for a teacher who would be a reading specialist in the middle school-anyone interested?

  97. Roundtrip says:

    I think you are pretty much limited to China or the Middle East. I’m not sure about Africa. I am 60 and was offered a position in China this year.

    • teachbc says:

      It appears that many countries limit work permits/visas to people to people over age 55 or 60. I think that China is one of those countries. Any other suggestions?

  98. sp says:

    I’ve found this website to be quite helpful. Thanks to the folks who started and continue to contribute to it.

    Question: In what countries/schools might someone over age 65 look for an international teaching job?


  99. roseeblue says:

    I have just returned to Australia from a stint teaching in the UK. I have been flawed to find I can’t get a permanent position largely due to my age as employers can hire younger less experienced teachers at a much cheaper rate. To me it is inconceivable that I have to scan the International job market to fight for an income in my own country. I don’t know if I have the confidence at 54 to do it alone in a totally foreign environment where I know nobody. It seems like such a huge emotional risk????? However it appears that I may have no choice.

  100. Chris says:

    EPIK (English Program in Korea) introduced an age limit of 49 in late December 2008. GEPIK (Gyeonggido English Program in Korea) currently have a limit of age 55 & are currectly restructuring hiring to start March 1st, & September 1st. Both are major hirers of foreign ESL teachers for Public Schools throughout Korea. SMOE (Seoul Metro Office Education) & BMOE (Busan) are the other 2, but most younger applicants in their 20’s & 30’s prefer these latter 2, so its tough for older applicants to get jobs in those 2 cities.

  101. Big Al says:

    I heard this too but I can’t find it written anywhere.

  102. jane onochie says:

    I have heard that from January 2011 the retirement age for expats in UAE has been raised from 60 to 65.

    • Too young to give up says:

      I am one of those teachers who is experiencing the age barrier for the first time.Both my husband and I are 63 years old and have been enjoying our second career as teachers for the past 16 years. We are well qualified and have held senior positions in middle management, and for the past 4 happy years we have been working in Libya.
      I can attest from first hand experience that I have incurred since we were evacuated from Libya end of February,that the age barriers are widespread for people our age.
      It is interesting too what is going on in other Nth African countries and in Saudi and the UAE. In one case I reached the telephone interview stage for an advisory job with ADEC (after being told that my qualifications and experience would put my in that job category rather than that of a teacher which I had first applied for), only to be told that the hiring age limit was 60. In another application which turned out to be placed by a scam company, they told me it was 75!! And so it goes on in the UAE. Some say the limit is 65, others say 60. Saudi is the same. In other countries, they do not even reply nor do many of the teaching vacancies when I write directly.
      I have completed every type of application one could think of. I have written directly to institutions and schools (we have experience in both tertiary and schools), to teacher recruitment websites, to language schools, you name it. Nothing.
      Does anyone know where we can try next?
      A word of caution to those of you in applying in Europe (especially Germany)-by ECC law you can only work until you are 65 so many schools do not want to give less than a two year contract. Otherwise under 63, they are quite accommodating.Turkey is another country which is accepting of older teachers but unfortunately we have not been able to secure jobs there yet.
      It is interesting to read what people say about recruitment fairs. I personally think that if you have a position as one is approaching our age group, then you hold onto it or you simply try to establish points of contact worldwide which is easy to do if you have been on the International circuit for years, but for people like ourselves who have only been doing in for 4 years you just have to plug along and keep on applying.One door is bound to open.

      • roseeblue says:

        Dear Too Young to Give up
        Do you know of a recruitment agency based in London called “Teach Anywhere”. I did make my first contact with them in the UK and although I am back home in Australia I am still working with them to secure a job in the Middle East. I have had one offer and am pursuing another at present just so I have some choice. I am not sure what the age restriction is in UAE, but they have been recruiting for that region lately. The other suggestion is Academic recruitment also based in London. They deal with most Middle Eastern countries and always have a lot of jobs on offer. Just google away for details of both these agencies – if you phone them during their office hours and give them your phone number, they will phone you back. Good luck.

        • Jan Mckeogh says:

          Roseeblue, I wonder how you got on in the UAE or the Middle East.. I too have been pursuing some of their poitions but have been told 60 is the cut off so you should be fine providing you meet all of the other requirements.Thanks so much for your advice with regards the Academic agency in the UK. We have actually got very good positions first in Shanghai for 6 months then moving to Hangzhou but still hanker for the ME or North Africa. I see that teach Anywhere are also advertising for college instructors in the UAE which would be such good jobs and I have written to them to see if they know of any changes in the age policy. On ISR I read that the UAE may have raised the barrier to 65. Good luck to you too.

          Too Young to Give Up

  103. Peter K says:

    My current job in California as an assistant principal at a charter school is folding up this June due to budget cuts. I taught in a Christian University in Taiwan 30 years ago and thought there would always be overseas jobs, but it appears much has changed especially for someone who is 59.5 with LOTS of experience. Thank each of you for sharing your experiences – it looks like I should continue using TIE and activate the interest button at particular schools, and possibly expect ISS to help get my information out there – but contacting individual schools, one by one appears to be a good method. I do not want to spend a fortune flying around to the few recruiting fairs that are left this year, so I am heartened by comments made by WIFE LED THE WAY.

  104. Wife Led the Way says:

    First of all, my husband and I wouldn’t spend money on job fairs. Our first time venturing into world of international schools was a result of us applying for positions posted in TIE (The International Educator) newspaper in the United States. We have friends who received jobs WITHOUT attending ONE job fair. We applied for positions via the school’s website, TIE and or via Search Associates. We also sent many emails.

    Sadly, this year is turning out be VERY difficult for the 60 + group. But some schools will hire you IF the school is truly looking for experience people with proven track records to EDUCATE.

    Long story short:
    Last year, my husband, 62, applied for a position in March of 2010 knowing that there was an age restriction. After a couple of emails to and from the school’s Director, he started to give up. I TOLD him to inform the Director of his willingness to visit the school since he couldn’t interview via Skype. We were going to pay for the visit. The Director was impressed and the school paid for the three day visit (flight and hotel). He met with every group in the school over a course of three days. About a MONTH later, he was finally hired.

    Don’t give up!! Yry something different to set yourself apart from others.

  105. Semi-retired says:

    We find ISR very interesting and useful and are especially interested in the ageism topic as my (teacher) husband and I are 62 and 63 respectively. And yes, we have encountered ageism in the international schools scene. However we are fortunate in that we taught in Canadian public schools for many years and earned pensions. So we continue to teach because we love it and also because we are not so keen on being tourists; we prefer working and living in an international location so that we are able to make connections with both the local and expat communities. We are registered with two placement agencies: SEARCH, through which we obtained our last long-term contract and IST, which linked us to our present, short-term fill-in positions. Both have been excellent. For us, international teaching has been a wonderful post-Canadian retirement experience and additionally, a way to increase our financial security in times that are economically worrisome for many, including retirees living on fixed incomes. As a result of Canadian laws regarding taxation and medical care, we now limit ourselves to short-term fill-in positions of less than 6 months. In this situation we have to be very flexible; ready to leave home at short notice (so no season’s tickets!), willing to work in locations that others may distain and accepting of low salary. However we will not work at any school that has seriously negative reviews on this site and we decline any offers to work where we feel safety is a real concern (said “No” to Libya a few months ago; good thing!). We feel strongly that school communities are well advised to have variety in teaching staff, including a variety of ages. We believe in our worth and the contributions we can make and shrug off those schools that do not share our view. Fortunate are we that we are not dependant on our international teaching income; we do realize that.

  106. Roundtrip says:

    Recently, I had an experience with a recruiting company, Carney, Sandoe & Company, that contacted me requesting information for this job or that overseas. After I completed the lengthy application process, I got a rejection email stating that I did not meet their standards. How interesting…Let’s see…I have three degrees, including a Masters, I’m certified in 8 fields in all grades, have prior overseas experience, I’m bilingual, have fabulous letters of recommendation, and I’ve been teaching for 18 years. I did just notice this evening, that this company does not require teaching certifications, yet they say I do not meet their standards? Oh, now I get it. By the way, I did receive an offer from a school in China, but decided it wasn’t a good match. Some schools are still looking for highly qualified teachers who are 60 and older.

    • Been there..... says:

      It would be interesting to know exactly what those standards are!

      • Roundtrip says:

        Hi Been There~ I think this recruiting firm brings in very young, inexperienced lads and lassies who will work for pennies, are inexperienced in life, and won’t rock the boat. I just wish companies would be honest and up front about their age requirements and stop wasting our time.

  107. TM says:

    Well, not much concrete information here.
    I came back to the states to top off my retirement in my old existing retirement fund. I plan on recruiting again next school year at age 64. Wish me luck…I’ll post any progress.

  108. Roundtrip says:

    I thought someone might like to know that I was offered a job at a very nice Chinese school recently, and I am 60 years old. Don’t give up.

  109. Roundtrip says:

    I know what you mean, Rob. I love children, but I’m sick of the paper grading, having a panic attack when evaluations come around, and putting up with smart mouthed teenagers. I should just get a job in an orphanage and forget the teaching. I slipped up and called an 11th grader a “Jack Ass” yesterday. I’m glad he didn’t hear me! :)

  110. Rob says:

    As mentioned before, it is not that difficult getting a position overseas. I am 64, and after I “retired” from an overseas school that I was at for almost 20 years, I decided to open myself up to any school that needed a teacher after the school year began. I was 59, almost 60 at the time. There are always teachers resigning,and other unexpected occurrences.

    I’ve only accepted one year contracts, and so I’ve lived in 5 different countries teaching in 5 schools for the past 5 years. I’m curently in Vietnam in a nice school. However, I would not recommend this to many people. It’s getting harder and harder to learn new school policies, re-establish a good reputation, make new friends, and learn new customs. This is maybe my toughest year ever. It’s time to return to my adopted home (Singapore) and do what I should have done earlier- tutor, sub, and exercise. Life is too short. I hate with a passion grading papers and attending countless meeting. If I could just teach, I’d continue for a few more years.

    Take care, and know that if you keep trying, and can make quick decisions and be ready to go in a short period of time, you will find a teaching position.


  111. Mai says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Brenda.

  112. Mai says:

    Nope, no job. Have stopped looking (sob).

    • Brenda says:

      I’m sorry, Mai. Don’t give up. I’ll tell you how I got my job in Austria in 1992. I found the names of all the private schools in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and sent a packet via post to each one. In the packet, I had my picture, letters of recommendation, and all the other stuff we are supposed to send. I got about 3 letters of refusal, the other schools didn’t bother to even respond by a form letter, but there was one school in Austria that called on the land line to my mother’s house. I was lobstering in Key West at that time, but my mother called and gave me the man’s name. I called him in Austria, we talked for a few minutes, then he faxed my contract to the office of the hotel where I was staying. I signed it, faxed it back, then took the first little puddle jumper back to Georgia and moved to Austria 15 days later. It was the best year of my life. Now that I’m 60, things are not as easy, but I’m not going to give up. If I can’t find a job overseas before the end of the year, I’ll go the the county of my choice anyway this summer and vacation for a few months and look around while I’m there. I’m going to concentrate on Austria, because the people are gentle, the country is beautiful, I speak German, and I feel safe there. I wouldn’t turn down a job in Thailand though. I wish you the best. Don’t give up.

  113. Brenda says:

    Hey, where did everybody go? The last post on this blog was January 23rd. Mai, did you find a job? Rob, what have you decided to do? Hope you are all experiencing the good life. I would be interested to know about any of the 60 and up teachers who have found jobs overseas.

  114. Mai says:

    How about over-60’s teachers starting up their own schools, say, in China? Any thoughts?

    • Roundtrip (Brenda) says:

      I’m game. Let’s start some dialogue about it. We could all live together in a large boarding type house and have a blast. But please choose a local with relatively clean air, great shopping, simple , kind people, moderate temperatures,and a country that won’t kick us out when we hit 61.

  115. TM says:

    Did anyone get a fair book?
    Could you post the age restrictions?
    I am planning to apply overseas for the for SY 2012-13 so don’t have any current information.


  116. Roseann says:

    I will be 62 in 2012 and want to teach overseas with my husband. I hold a teaching degree plus 30 hours and have taught science at the junior high level. My husband has never taught. As older candidates, do we attend fairs or find names of private schools? Location is not important to us. The cultural experience is more so. Trying to start now to learn the ropes.

  117. TM says:


    I’m eagerly waiting to hear if anyone over 60 has been hired at the job fairs so far this year!

  118. Rob says:

    Hi all.
    I am currently teaching at a good international school in HCMC, Vietnam, but only agreed to be here a year. I am 64. I have been in the international circuit since 1969 when I was at my first international school, also in Vietnam. I’m making a complete circle with 8 other international schools between the beginning and end points. Vietnam today is so far removed from the Vietnam I used to know.

    I asked a colleagues recently at a school I taught at for 19 years in Singapore why he is still there. His answer was that he would not know what to do with his free time. There was no mention of a love of teaching, although I know he certainly does not mind it. It’s a fear of change, doing something that is different, or not knowing what to do with all that free time.

    I think that’s part of the reason I have continued until now. Anyway, I love travel and seeing other cultures, but how anyone can enjoy the meetings, curriculum development, grading countless papers, and all the other stress that goes along with teaching, I’m at a loss to explain. I hate all that, but do it anyway, and well I think.

    After 5 more months, I will continue to live overseas but shake things up a bit and get out of my comfort zone. I hope you all are not teaching because you don’t know what to do with your free time. After 40 years in education, I love being overseas but not teaching full time.


    • Maliamakita says:

      Hi Rob, saw some of your more recent posts. What are the websights you would recommend? Did you list them all? I am actually a school psychologist eager to become more and more multi-cultural. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated…You could email me directly @ malimakita@gmail.com. Thanks in advance for taking a little of your time! ~M~

      • Rob says:

        Hi Maliamakita,
        The one website I would recommend is TIE on-line. It is well worth the 50 dollars a year or so. You can get immediate job notifications for your teaching field, and you can apply immediately to the school by sending your resume through the TIE website. TIE is the acronym for “The International Educator”.


    • Jude says:

      Hi Rob
      I totally agree but have you taken a year off yet? I did it last year and went back to the beach cottage on the Cape for a year-did all kinds of interesting things but I am back teaching overseas again because I am such an ex-pat and dont know where I belong-if you figure that one out-let me know!

  119. Gloria E says:


    In fact I see there is a post on the first page of the Costa Rica forum – link above – that asks “age a problem?” The reply sounds like a happy one for you.

    Buen viaje!

  120. Gloria E says:

    Hi Holly,

    A good place to research (first), then ask your questions might be Dave’s ESL Cafe – in the Costa Rica section of the Job Discussion forum. The following link will take you there (I hope. The site has a good search function; you could try searching on “age” or “older”….:


    I am of the “just do it” frame of mind.

    Best of Luck,

  121. Please read “Anonymous says:
    January 2, 2011 at 10:50 pm” entry. Thanks.

  122. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know about age discrimination in Costa Rica? I’m an ESL teacher who very much wants to leave recession America and do a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of adventure again (last year I worked in China, but I DID have a contract that time). I’m 56 years old but feel somewhat like a 20-something year old kid ready to explore the world for the first time and on VERY limited funds. Any insights would be appreciated, thanks. hollykernst@gmail.com.

  123. Roundtrip says:

    JUST DO IT! My year is Austria was the most fantastic year of my life. If you don’t like it, you can always come back to America, but what’s the worst that can happen? Just keep one thing in mind though, the older you get, the harder it is to find a job overseas OR in America. If you over 50, you’re already going to be eliminated from some countries.

  124. Anonymous says:

    I’m a stateside teacher considering taking my show to the international circuit. What was the deciding factor that made people turn to an international teaching career? I am also concerned because I am considering this later in my career that jobs will be available.

  125. Jim says:


    All you’re spending at work is 20 hours a week? 20 hours actually teaching classes is one thing but I find that I spend almost that amount of time preparing for classes. Then there is curriculum revision and staff meetings, usually amounting to two or more hours per week. I could cite more but I’m not a “bean counter.”
    I decided years ago that I wasn’t interested in “pursuing” a PhD. I am interested in learning. I’m a life-long learner, however, most institutions that offer PhD programs simply teach people how to suck up to authority and jump through hoops.
    I have been teaching in international schools for fourteen of the the past twenty years. I love it and I feel fortunate to be able to do it. I have never made an issue of my pay check. In many schools however teachers are not being payed that well, especially if one considers what they are called upon or find it necessary to do!

  126. mimi says:

    Re: getting a PhD in middle-age…. I learned the small difference in pay and figured that no, it would not pay for itself. (Middle East Universities)Remember the lost years/money toward retirement!! In these last couple decades, every dinar earned is important. Some places just make PhDs work harder and worse hours than MAs.

    I hate to say how easy we (MAs) have it: I net about US38,000, get 2 months paid off, free ticket home and back every year and nice, furnished housing. This for only 18-20 hours a week!

    I find those who want an admin job just stay somewhere long enough to work their way into it.

  127. Sally says:

    Due to circumstances, wont have to pay to do so.

    Can you guys weigh in –– teachers and/or admins in the international teaching world – would the phD be an asset/worth the time?

    It interests me subject-wise…and also – getting older. I don’t want to ‘waste’ these years if it wont give me more options ie better chance for admin, should I want to go that route…or, better jobs…whatever. But will take me out of workforce for 4 years – I’ll be 51 when finish – eek!

    To date, I have teaching credentials and have been teaching abroad for a few years, still am. Also have an MA (obviously).

    Any and all opinions appreciated! Oh- and m xmas and h new years!

  128. presidentuni@gmail.com says:

    I was recently given offers in Saudi Arabia and Oman but then rejected because I was 64. I have applied for over fifty jobs recently (PhD, M.Ed (TEFL), QTS))and simultaneously as a poorly qualified inexperienced but beautiful young woman. Guess who heard nothing, and who got job offers by immediate return of email?

    • Nanette Moseley says:

      Thanks for affirming by your experience what I have suspected since I first started applying in November 2010. I do think there is a chance for us older ones, however I am regrouping my forces and have taken a free room and board position teaching Meditation and the occasional Yoga class in a wonderful Meditation Centre in Nepal. I love it and just might try and teach some english as well. Might as well do what you love and not worry too much about the money, who knows what will happen tomorrow!
      I also might just look at some locations that I like, go there, and look for work on the spot. None of the difficulties regarding age were mentioned to me to any extent at the TEFL School I attended. quite a wake up call.

    • Been there.... says:

      I can understand the rejection from Oman as they are uniformly strict about age restrictions, but Saudi Arabia? I was 60 and worked with a man who was 69 as well as numerous older (well into their 60’s) teachers there.

      I think your qualifications may have scared them off, as it would mean having to pay you a lot more and they don’t like to do this. Also, as someone with so much experience and credentials, you may have scruples and standards which would only get in the way of what are essentially baby sitting jobs. Consider yourself lucky that you didn’t get a job in KSA. I’ve written about my unfortunate experiences there recently.

  129. Marian says:

    Hi, I am in my mid fifties and hadn’t thought age may stop me from getting work teaching, but I did wonder if being an older female might mean that I don’t get a social life there’s very little social life in Manchester if your over 25.

    Turkey didn’t seem as ageist as this country although I haven’t worked in a big city just in fethiye which is a bit touristy and ex pat in places

    There are issues with residency and visas there though, I wondered if there were people out there who would like to form a group to go and teach and have adventures and travel as it’s all a bit new to me, and I’m not sure where to start

    There’s no work here in Manchester at the moment so considering renting my house out, so any suggestions of finding reliable trust worthy fun adventurous people to travel with would be good

    I am qaulified PGCE (FHAE) TEFL (TRINITY) ESOL Level 5, although to be honest Ii don’t think I’m the greatest teacher of grammar, I would love to incorporate music and singing and drama in my teaching as the way I was taught to teach is a bit dull to say the least

    • roseeblue says:

      Hi Marian. I have signed up with Teach Anywhere who are recruiting to the UAE at the moment. Age does not seem to be a barrier so far. It might be worth a go. I am in my mid fifties and share the same concerns as you in regard to a social life, so yes, I would be interested in keeping in touch with a group of like minding people who are still interested in travelling and teaching overseas.

  130. Rob says:

    I “retired” when I turned 60 after 36 years in international school teaching. After that, I left myself open to being hired after the school year began for unexpected “no-shows” or resignations. It has happened 4 times in 4 years for me by simply leaving my resume on TIE and indicating “available”. I’m currently 64 and teaching in Vietnam. Vietnam is beginning to tighten up on age restrictions, and my school had some difficulty getting a waiver, or at least that’s what they told me.

    This will be my last year of full-time teaching. I admire you guys that can teach into your late 60’s. Don’t you get tired of the grading, or the incessant meetings? I do. I figure I can still keep my hand in education by tutoring. I love teaching, but simply can’t put up with everything else (meetings, curriculum, grading, politics)

    For me it’s always been difficult retiring and knowing what to do with the extra time. It’s almost a fear of the unknown, and sometimes it’s easier to just keep working.

    However, there are jobs out there in schools that have resignations and “no-shows”. TIE for me has been the best vehicle.


    • Roundtrip says:

      Hi Rob,
      I was just reading these posts and read your again. I was just curious about what you decided to do. Did you decide where to go after this year? I can retire at the end of this year and just turned 60 in October. Ouch! Wasn’t I just 35 last week? I’m still going to try to teach for about 2 more years overseas if I can get hired. The thought of not working scares me.

  131. Roundtrip says:

    Hi Rod,
    You are right about the age problem. I turned 60 yesterday and have not had any responses from schools although I am highly qualified in many areas. What really bothers me is that companies like ISS and Search know full well of this problem, yet when they get a candidate who is a “senior”, they never mention this problem with age restrictions on work visas. I found out about it just recently after spending a fortune on applicant fees. I think your best bet would be to pin point some schools in the Middle East and go visit them if you have the funds to do so. TIE will send you an attachment with the age restrictions listed for each country. I want to go at the end of this year, too, but I’ve about given up.

  132. rod stuart says:

    I am searching on Tie on Line for a better position and will turn 66 in January. I have 16 years of international teaching in my area and have averaged 4 years in my 4 schools. Recently I got a letter from a school in Hong Kong that said work visas were not given after the age of 60 but this is also a decision district by district especially in China. This leads me to believe that going to a job fair at my age is not going to work. When I compared job postings from Tie and ISS there was only one job on ISS that was not listed on Tie. My head master also said most schools are using Skype interviews to save money. More news as the job season develops.

  133. Kim says:

    AT PRIVATE universities, schools or institutes in Saudi Arabia, I know of people hired near and at 70. Depends on your qualifications and their needs. They apply for X-many work visas by ethnicity. So, even if they like you, if they already have enough Aussies or Brits, for ex, for that year, you’re screwed. I know people involved in recruiting and hiring and they tell me this.

    Keep in touch for last-minute no-shows. They ARE COMMON!

  134. Roundtrip says:

    I taught adult literacy many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. My students were hard working and very appreciative of my efforts. The pay was fine, too.

  135. Anonymous says:

    Northern Italy, yum! Apart from the people, who I found last year to be sour-faced & haughty, the scenery food and art would make it a dream posting. Good luck Roundtrip.

    I’ve given up hope of getting another ESL job in China etc, and it’s their loss, but am thinking of moving to the UK (my dad was born in Scotland so have patriality) and maybe doing volunteer work as a literacy tutor. Has anyone made a switch from ESL to literacy teaching? Should I do a short course in the basics? (Have a Masters in Education specialising in ESL and years of ESL teaching).

  136. Roundtrip says:

    I would love to go to Northern Italy to teach, but I’ll be 60 next month. Any thoughts on that? Is Italy hiring oldies but goldies?

  137. Kim says:

    PEOPLE ! The desperate places, really desperate, will pay a ton. I have two friends who just got on in KABUL and in Viet NAM. BOTH WERE TOLD AGE IS NO PROBLEM.uNIV/INSTITUTE LEVEL. There are other good-paying higher ed jobs in northern IRAQ. If you can teach at college/univ level (and often that means just a BA to the locals), the main sites are DAVESESLCAFE and the CHRONICLE of Higher Education.

    • Roundtrip says:

      Thanks, Kim. I think I’ll try Viet Nam. Where are you teaching? I don’t really want to go to a country that is involved in a war right now. Do you know the names of decent towns in Vietnam where your friends are teaching?

      • Kim says:

        I teach in Saudi at univ level. My friends report that HCMC in Viet Nam is very professional and well-organized. Assume there is a website–big 100 teacher program, Australian-run I think.


        Rob says VN age restrictions are being enforced, and I’ve heard Saudi is cracking down as well.

        I hope all the people with BAs will at least try the Prep programs at universities; it is very similar to teaching high school! If you are a native speaker of English, and are flexible, they will make room for you.

        BTW, When I turned 50, my response rate to intl applications CUT IN HALF. I’d hate to see how hard it is approaching 60 now and I will just stay put.

  138. shalimar says:

    Just wondering … has anyone ever heard of a ‘new hire’– anywhere in the world — of someone aged 70? Or am I just being unrealistic? Got turfed from uni. teaching in China, because of age (was 68 1/2), but simply not ready to settle back in the old rocking chair and wait for the Grim Reaper. Even some of the volunteer orgs. around the world have age limits; those that don’t have age limits are basically voluntourism orgs and have their hands out for $$ in return for the privilege of allowing one to volunteer. Anyone have any comments/suggestions?

    • Roundtrip says:

      Hi Shalimar~Just curious. Did you find a position?

    • mimi in saudi says:

      Private unis in the Middle East can make a case with authorities…for work visa approval over 60…esp if they are having trouble finding new hires.

      Know of a man (a proven/known case) who was hired at 70 recently in best area of Saudi Arabia.

      • Roundtrip says:

        What is the best area of Saudi Arabia that you mention? I am being recruited for Riyadh. Anyone know anything about Riyadh?

        • Been there.... says:

          Best areas of Saudi Arabia? (There are none). You are being recruited for Riyadh? Uh oh. I do hope you are neither female nor being recruited by either Edex or Adwaa (SBC) to work at Princess Nora University for their PYP program.

          I have posted extensively on both this forum and the Middle East forum on Dave’s ESL Cafe regarding the miserable situation in that school and with recruiting agencies. There are postings by numerous unhappy teachers both at PNU and the other school (KSU) that hire through recruiting agencies-as do most Universities in Riyadh-so please take some time to do your research.

          Even if you are not female, you will not have an easy time of it. One of my colleague’s husband was teaching at King Saud University and in the first month, 17 teachers (male) left. Another teacher was transferred to an outpost when it was discovered that he was gay. He got off lightly as Saudi Arabia normally executes homosexuals.

          If none of this applies to you, good luck anyway as I have been traveling since I was 16, lived in 6 countries and visited countless others and was never so happy as the day I left Saudi Arabia (and I was in Riyadh!) after only 3 months. Other than the fact that they hire people well into their sixties and the money is decent, there is absolutely nothing good to say about this country or working there.

          • Mimi in Saudi says:

            I’ve been there, too. I call RIYADH “Stepford City” because the life is for robots. Extremely restrictive and conservative. The EASTERN Province–close to Bahrain–is much saner. I don’t wear an abaya and get no trouble. But, I also don’t stroll malls all the time or mix much at all.

            I’ve asked before to email others who work there. Research is a big help.

        • Mimi in Saudi says:

          More on Saudi– Some love the Eastern Province (Dharan, Dammam and Khobar) because it is so near to Bahrain. (Think Las Vegas! It’s that different from Saudi.)
          Some also love Jeddah…fairly open life, near Egypt, etc. Humid there though.
          RIYADH is modern ONLY in architecture! It is quite conservative…the Morals Police shout at you to “Cover your hair!”–it’s all the English they know besides KFC.

  139. Susan says:

    I turned 60 last December.I have taught in International Schools for 28 years and never had trouble getting a position even with my teenage daughter and even a non working husband tagging along. I was last employed at 58.I was desperately feeling a need to have some permanent roots somewhere and after my daughter finished school decided to try “retirement” in the country of my choice. I was then feeling rather tired. The extra committments and expectations (even social ones) are the problem. Though I must say, some younger less experienced teachers seemed even more tired!
    I was very irresponsible about my pension planning which I now regret. But I am fortunate to have had enough to buy a home and through other investments have just enough cash to get by. Medical insurance is the biggest issue as I don’t want to live in the UK and because I have worked abroad most of my life i dont qualify for UK health or pension benefits.
    It was really difficult deciding where to live having experienced so many countries but I have made a good choice I think. I am enjoying a rural life.
    However I really MISS teaching!After 15 months I am considering going to a job fair and doing another stint somewhere if possible and will have this place to go in the holidays.
    I am registered with Teachers on the Move for a year but only one offer-which I could not accept.
    Just thought I’d share this-has anyone else returned hopefully refreshed after a “gap year”???

    • Roundtrip says:

      Susan, do you mind if I ask you in which country you bought your house? I guess I would just start contacting schools directly overseas to ask about anticipated upcoming positions. With your prior experience, you should have no problems.

      • Susan says:

        Sure. I’m in France. Great place but very little work.I knew that in advance. I’m enjoying the challenge to learn a new language and I love it here. Not overly hopeful about new employment but from experience I think it is best to go straight to job fairs, especially the late ones.The biggest challenge is NOT working!

        • Roundtrip says:

          I know what you mean, Susan. I’m miserable when I’m not busy and working. I’d love to hear more about your experience living in France. You can email me at brendaclee3@gmail.com if you’d like. If I could find a job teaching in Northern Italy, I would go. It’s beautiful there and my German language abilities would be a plus.

    • Maliamakita says:

      Ok, So I have seen a few things from a few different folks about working as a school psychologist. I have my Ed.S. and am eager to get out into the world. I am only 39 and have only one child. PLEASE anyone, if you know what international job fairs or online sites to got to, please let me know. There is very little with NASP and next to nothing with ISPA. I do not desire doing an exchange. I want to go to work and live for a couple years at a time from one country to another. Thanks!

      • Wiseteach says:

        Several positions noted on ISS web site for school psychs. Try TIE on line as well and filter for position. Of course you must pay.

        • Mimi in Saudi says:

          First, I recommend you decide what type of country/region you want to live in. Then, is money very important? Professionalism or just crowd control? I’ve been at it for 21 years in 9 different countries. Once you have narrowed down what/where, your choices will be far smaller in number and your search can then be focussed! Good luck! International schools #1 Private universities next best…

  140. Lynn says:

    I am also in my 50s and looking for work overseas. Currently awaiting work documents – while continuing to apply for other jobs as well. Many ads do say they do not want to hire someone older – which at least is honest and I don’t have to waste my time applying to them. I do wish that Americans could teach in Europe!

  141. Roundtrip says:

    For those who are retired and would like to travel and teach, there is a company that only hires substitute teachers abroad. This way, it is possible to travel and teach regularly with them in several countries each year. The name of the company is Teachers On the Move. A friend of mine has a friend who has been teaching with this company for years and loves it.

  142. Rob says:

    I’m 63 and decided after spending 20 years at one school in Singapore and many many years overseas, I would see the world and try teaching in different countries for a year ata time. I taught in Amman, Jordan at a very nice international school when I was 61, and then at the age of 62 taught at a public school nestled in the mountains of Vermont. At the age of 63, I taught in Alexandria, Egypt at another international school.

    Now I’m semi-retired in Singapore (at 63) and hesitate to go back into teaching full time. I’m looking to tutor, sub a little, and do a lot of volunteer work. People teach overseas to go overseas, and if you can find a country to live in and retire there, the opportunities to grow abound. Those opportunities don’t need to be full time teaching.

    I am not the teacher I was when I was 30, so I need to lighten my load a little. Yet, older teachers have so much to offer, as my experience in my last three schools have shown just that.

    Regards, Rob

    • Roundtrip says:

      Hi Rob,
      I will be 60 next month and would love to teach overseas again. I did it for a year in the early 90’s and had a wonderful time. I feel so discouraged though when I hear of the multitudes of people in their early 60’s who are spending small fortunes to go to these hiring fairs and can’t even get interviews. Your post gave me hope. How did you handle the age thing to get into interviews? Also, were you hired at a fair? Do you have any tips for me? Thank you.

      • Rob says:

        Hi there-
        First of all, I would register with the TIE website, and even now, there are emergency openings for teachers. There are always some schools during the early, middle and latter part of the school year that have teachers abruptly leaving for a variety of reasons. If you were on TIE, you would get an instant job notification, and you’d apply for that position immediately. You might well be be very surprised at what happens. By the way, I have gone to two job fairs in my career, and only in the 1970’s and early 80’s. All my jobs were obtained through phone interviews or word of mouth.

        Second, join the international supply teachers(http://teachersonthemove.com )
        They especially welcome retired teachers, and every year there are schools that have emergency openings, and they go through IST to fill those positions. If you were a member of IST, you might well be kept pretty busy.

        Third, join this website (http://www.seriousteachers.com )
        They will send you teaching opportunities daily, but it’s not as good as TIE in my opinion.

        I’m 63 and taking some time off and living in my adopted home, Singapore. I’m having a little difficulty though. I like the structure of teaching during the day, and this is the first year I don’t have that. It’s nice to be subbing at the international schools in Singapore, but I might return to full time teaching if this does not suit me.

        We veteran teachers are a resource,but we are costly and supposedly have health issues, even though we don’t. I wish you the best of luck,and hope to hear you sharing your experiences overseas.


        • Roundtrip says:

          All great advice, Rob. I’m going to check out these sites. I know about TIE and will certainly take a look there. I predict you will be teaching full-time before long. Surely some great schools will realize the value of hiring Baby Boomers. Best of luck. Brenda

        • Been there... says:

          What is the full name for the acronymn TIE? I will be 60 in 3 weeks and going to Thailand to have a look around. Cannot find work in the States at my age (or even younger).

          This thread has been a godsend, but am still a little worried about finding a job. I would LOVE to retire and if you can afford it a great idea, but some countries will not allow you to retire and work on the same visa.

          • Rob says:

            TIE is the acronym for “The International Educator”. It’s where I have been able to find my last 4 overseas positions in international schools either during the summer or after the start of school.

            I would check that out. Also, I would check out another website for mostly ESL positions. I literaly get notification of new position available daily. That website is http://www.seriousteachers.com

            I wish you the best of luck.

            Regards, Rob

      • Susan says:

        hello Roundtrip
        You replied to me earlier. I have replied somewhere here-I’m a bit muddled how to reply to the right person!
        Don’t be discouraged. I’ve not heard the same about job fairs and have several friends who got offers over 60.Hardly anyone came away with no offer let alone no interviews. But those “contacts” are the biggest advantage for anyone.Which job fairs do you refer to? What do you teach?

    • Roundtrip says:

      Hi Rob, I don’t know the system for replying on this site either. Anyway, I teach ESOL and am pretty fluent in German. As for the hiring fairs, I simply don’t have an extra $1,000++ to spend flying someplace, paying for hotel, food, and the admission fee. It’s outrageous.

  143. Roundtrip says:

    Here’s a little bit of a different question. O.K., so we may not find a teaching job after 60, but does anyone know anything about retiring overseas? To heck with the schools. If we could retire here and move to a country, we could start our own private tutoring classes.

  144. Mai says:

    It’s very refreshing to find a site full of literate, thoughtful discussion (and no mis-spellings!).
    My own experience of ageism? I was kicked out of China on turning 66, a humiliating experience, but now count myself lucky I got that university job in the first place at 65. It was a year of memories to cherish.

  145. Chrissie says:

    It is heartening to find this site and hear your stories and experiences. I am looking now to teach ESOL overseas (with no experience) but qualifications. I am 59 and never thought about age being a restriction until looking for job possibilities in various countries. I see Bill had some good luck with no experience. I may have to look in Middle East? It is a little disheartening when you see an interesting job and then see a restriction on age..does anyone know how it is in South America regarding age restrictions there?

    • Jazzman says:

      I do not know anything significant about S.A. My wife and I returned to the States from Beirut, Lebanon, where there is no age limit. Many Middle
      East nations have limits at 60.

  146. Roundtrip says:

    This is great news about Norway. I’ll turn 60 this October and had given up on finding something overseas. I don’t really want to go to the Middle East. Living in south Georgia is even too hot for me. I would love to go to Norway. I’ll give it a shot after this school year.

  147. Esme says:

    Good news in Norway. Retirement age is 67. Once you have completed your probationary period (6 months) you are basically on a permanent contract. You also get a lighter load over 55. There is a strong union and working hours are set in stone – you cannot be asked to come in for special events, asked to cover classes, etc unless it has been agreed beforehand and is a part of your year’s working hours.

  148. alex says:

    Do you know of any social studies history teachers hired after they are 50?

  149. Bill says:

    I am 57 and just landed a job in Kuwait. When I was looking back in February, I did notice that my age was a problem in Asia. Particularly South Korea and Japan had age restrictions of 55 for a work visa. So did China but it seems that a public school could get you in.

    I was initially looking in Asia but did not get much luck until I expanded the countries that I was looking at. The Middle East seems to be more open to taking mature individuals. Plus, I had no prior experience (I switched careers) and I am sure that this was a factor as well.

  150. Juju says:

    I am 55 and have a BA in English. I do not have an education degree, nor a teacher’s certificate. However, I have either volunteered and worked as a teacher’s assistant in elementary and middle school classrooms. I have always enjoyed studying foreign languages and having friendships with people from different countries.
    I have taken some literacy courses in the past(Laubach and Literacy Volunteers of America), and have volunteered teaching English as a Second Language.
    What I would like to know is what sort of degree (i.e, MA) or certification would you recommend in order to qualify to teach ESL overseas? I met someone recently who is going to teach for a second time through the International Schools. Thank you for your help.

  151. alex says:

    What about history teachers being hired after age 60

  152. Jim says:


    Keep your file open with Search and let them know that you can be ready with a couple of weeks notice (if you’re willing to do that). Positions do pop up at the last minute or during the school year. My first offer ever came in a September. i had already signed a contract in my home school district and I didn’t break the contract but the offer was there.

    Good luck.


  153. mary rosen says:

    Hello To All My Fellow Gray Hairs,
    I need your advice. I’m an active, toe-dancing 67 year old with 32 years of Early Childhood and Primary Teaching under my belt. I’m struggling to accomplish my last big dream—living and teaching in another culture. I went to a Search Associates Job Fair last Feb. and got lots of interviews, but when my age was discovered they said I couldn’t be hired because of my age. This is something I want so much and I keep sending out resumes, etc. I don’t want to end up working half days in a private ktg. Please…… Advice!!!!! Mary I’m still so alive.

  154. mimi in Saudi says:

    That sounds great…there are so many 5-star hotels and big health clubs in this Gulf region, I’m sure he can find a job as a tennis coach. If he can also offer picture-taking for the PR function, so much the better. If you want sun and sand– and money — head for the Gulf countries I mentioned above. Mimi

  155. Kathy says:

    my husband is a freelance TV cameraman and also a tennis coach .He plays tennis for Ireland [veterens of course!] so I reckon that if there was not much cameramwork he could probably do some coaching.

    I have been looking in the UAE and in fact was offered a few posts there that I did not take as i read alot of really bad stuff about the school.
    I have also been told that if i get a job it does not mean my husband gets a visa automatically so maybe another issue as i am probably the one that could get the job the easiest.

    Anyway ..thanks for the advice and I shall just keep on looking and one never knows.

    If he could get a job in TV then I know that i would find it easy to get a teaching job.

    We are both looking!

    • jamiep says:

      i am in the UAE, my wife got a job here first., me and our children got visas through her and i got work later, no problems

  156. mimi in Saudi says:

    You didn’t mention what kind of job your husband can do. Depending on that, try tiny Bahrain or Kuwait. Both are “open”- type Muslim countries and sunny 98% of the time!!! A teaching couple for any school or institute is highly desired. Modern Knowledge is a good place to start in Bahrain. The best dentist there is South African and most of the office staff, so Med Ofc jobs available.

    Husband considered MAIN job-holder, then he makes sure he gets family status and housing and that YOU CAN WORK also. Health care in Kuwait or Bahrain is fine…especially private. Bahrain just voted the Friendliest Country in the World! (Other Gulf states with great sun: Oman, UAE, Qatar. See internet for MANY Job placement sites in the region.) Good luck.

  157. Kathy says:

    I have just loved reading these comments! and meeting people in the same boat .
    I am in a rather differant scenario. I am 55 and started having children late so I have two teenage daughters aged 14 and 15 …ugh! I coordinate the Health and Care in an FE college in N.Ireland and although I enjoy my job I do not like the lifestyle back in the UK . I have lived in a few countries in Africa [boarding school kid] and also lived in S.Africa for 22 years .Have only been back in UK last 9 years and trying to get out last 3!

    I was offered a job in Vietnam and did not take it as my daughter is Diabetic and I was worried about medical for her. Of course a few months after turning the job down I found out thet the Diabetic expats fly to Bangkok every three months for check ups .

    Am I kicking myself now …well yes just mildly!

    As well as teaching I have also worked in the medical Industry in a Multinational and bring that experience into my teaching [Biology]

    Ok now to add to those factors I have a husband that does not teach.
    My husband [S.African] and I hate the climate in the UK. We love the outdoors are keen tennis players and I would love to land a position in a family freindly country with a good climate.
    Money is not paramount to me as i know that with big packages there comes big pressure and I am just at the stage where i have some sort of life outside the classroom.

    Through my research i have identified Brunei as a great place to go but have discovered too old?

    Anyone any ideas or just keep applying. Have a possibility at the moment in Bucharest?

    great to read all your comments!!!

  158. Olderwiser says:

    I have found jobs the last two years part way thru the year as people left unexpectedly or were heading for a maturnity leave.

    My point is that if a school has an unexpected opening they may be more open to consider ‘mature’ or ‘experienced’ candidates. So look for openings at odd times, not just the beginning of a term or school year.

  159. Roundtrip says:

    Congratulations, Composingnewlife! I’m 59 and have just sent out letters of interest to a few schools. I will turn 60 next October, so I’m a bit worried. Can you tell me if you were hired at a hiring fair? Which country will you be traveling to? Thanks for sharing.

  160. composingnewlife says:

    I accepted a position! I am excited about it and hope the air pollution won’t be overwhelming. I look much younger than I am and am fit. So it was just age on the passport. The market is getting tighter for those over 60..don’t be fooled into thinking it is not. I have great qualifications, experience and recommendations, a can do attitude, technology skills, willing to live in unusual places. So the fact that this year was a hard one to find a new job tells me much about what is happening in international education.

    • Brenda says:

      Hi Composingnewlife~How are things with your position? I last read your post on March 2, 2010. Just wondering how things are going. Are you in China?

  161. Nsncy says:

    I’m 68 and going back to India. Some private schools, will continue to ask you to teach, lead, or consult for them if they know your expertise. it also helps if you have been in the country and school system before. My friends tell me it is only a number. It also helps if you are fit and don’t look like a fossil.

  162. jani1103 says:

    I’m 55 and a school counselor — also a licensed elementary teacher. I’ve got tons of US experience (at several levels) and spent a year in western Europe in an international school. I retire from my US job soon and am hoping I can go for another experience maybe in Asia, SE Asia or South or Central America. I know there aren’t a lot of counselor jobs so I’m also interested in teaching english or elementary school. Would love to hear of some great places to work in these areas. I’d also go for Europe again if I could find something. Your thoughts and ideas would be welcome. Thanks

  163. JazzFan says:

    I can identify with you re limitations applied this year contrasting with the past. At my age, I am keeping an eye on the the environmental issues, too, e.g., air pollution. And like you, I continue to apply and wait.

    • Composingnewlife says:

      Any luck yet? So far I am still in the running for two but they are hardship posts with low pay….so….

      • JazzFan says:

        Nope. I am heading back to the States, anyway, to apply for teaching jobs there in case there are no international jobs. My home state is planning to cuts funds for basic education. Surprisingly, many of the local school districts passed their replacement maintenance and operations (M & O) levies. These funds go to subsidize programs, such as the arts, physical education, etc. So, wait I shall.

  164. Composingnewlife says:

    More and more countries are limiting the age for work visas…new this year and some within the last month. I read of exceptions but they will be fewer and fewer due to the increased cost of visas, shortened length for work visas, and perhaps health insurance costs as well as the salary. I am discouraged and I am very qualified with international experience. 3 job fairs later and no offers yet. I do not look my age and many were surprised to find out my age. Math and science seem to be the exception area. Couples are prefered over singles due to housing costs. Note many jobs are in very polluted air areas…costing years off our life. I continue to apply and wait.

  165. Noor says:

    Thanks for your help.

  166. Mimi in Saudi says:

    There are many private-type “colleges,” institutes and programs now in China catering to the rising middle class. I found them generally so glad to have anyone who knew English and teaching that I got a lot of respect and was afraid of nothing (except their health care and street food.) Think hard first about time of day, children vs. adults, and proximity to major cities.

    “Stand a chance”? Hmm, are you breathing? China is not (yet) demanding. They assume anyone who speaks it can teach English. GO SEE ESL CLASSES being taught. GO SEE beginners especially, because they can be daunting…as can children with their infamous attention spans. In China you may not even be given books or any materials, so go visit an ESL program to see what they do.

    P.C. is great for training and support, but is 2 years and you have to live with a family, too, and speak the language. It is a great IN TO future intl jobs of all kinds. YOu might try it first to see if you even like EFL. Good luck! Mimi

  167. Jim (in Germany) says:

    As a TESOL teacher you would very possibly be without the support system that many international schools provide. The Peace Corps at least has infrastructure and a certain sort of clout. How adventurous are you? How self-reliant? How practical and adaptable?
    If you speak Mandarin fluently I would say go for it. It could be truly life-changing, in a good way. You speak of dong this for “one year”. If you are like most people who consider an international experience one year will probably not be enough. The first year most people spend “spinning their wheels” and getting their bearings. It is extremely rare for a first year teacher to hit the ground running and in focus. This often remains the case to some extent even for experienced teachers when they move to another country.

  168. John McCann says:

    I am 62, and got my MA in East Asian Art History at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)in 2006. I was born in tokyo, ny father was born in Beijing so there is a long family history, and culture in East Asia. I have a long career in fundraising in the arts and cultural world, and have a great interest in teaching English as ESL in CHina for a year. MY father went to Luhe High School in Tongzhou, Beijing, and they have recently advertised for English teachers there. Would I stand a chance in China— I am seeing a great need for Enlish teaching there, and wondering, if their”laws” have any flexibility before I go to expense of investing in TESOL course. Another route I have thought of is going the Peace Corps route, which has made a special effort to recruit older American citizens. Advice????

    • Hello John.

      I took early retirement as a school psychologist for the purpose of going into Peace Corps. As you know PC has been “agressively recruiting” the “valued”, highly, experienced professionals. Please dont’ be fooled.

      I applied for PC 2 years ago. I was 58 at the time and in excellent health according to my physician. Everything went well until it came to getting the Medical Clearance. After having: 1) $10,000 in dental work done; 2) an EKG ($150.00), a nuclear stress test ($2,200.00), and a Heart Catheterization ($15,000.00{this is my best guess as bills seemed to come in for the next 6 months}, 3) providing letters from my physician and the cardiologist, both stating to Peace Corps that I was in good health and that there is no health reason preventing me from serving anywhere in the world. I was not taking any kind of routine medication for heart or any other condition. After 4 months and 10’s of thousands of dollars, I was put on a “deferment status” for 12 months at which time I could request a review/reconsideration of my application. After the deferment period 12 months later I contacted them and the demands for additional tests began again.

      If you would like to read about other nightmares about trying to get a Medical Clearance from PC, check out via Google: Peace Corps Medical Clearance or Medical Clearance Peace Corps. The last time I checked with Google, there were over 200,000 (no exageration) people who had nightmare experiences with PC Medical Services.

      During the application process for medical Clearance, I called the PC Medical Services offices to ask them if I was wasting my time with this application. They consistently assured me that I was not wasting my time. They just “wanted to be sure it would be safe for me to serve”. I asked if Peace Corps has a policy of not telling anyone: “Thank you but we do not want you”, but instead they discourage people by continuing to increase the demands on the volunteer until they give up. I was of course assured that that was not PC policy.

      After the deferment period I told them that nothing had changed (medically) and asked them if anyone there would be honest about the chances of getting cleared. I finally got in contact with an honest, brave soul who told me that continuing with the process (ie., getting additional testing) was probably a waste of my time and money. This was the most forthcoming person I spoke with through out my application process.

      It appears to me that PC wants highly educated, highly experienced professionals with a body of 22 year old.

      If you wish to try PC, do not let them tell you, “Well, in order to clear you, we need this additional test”. From my experience they are just trying to tell you “please go away” but do not have the decency to tell you.
      Indeed, my experience is they will demand every kind of information from but will not share anything with you. My experience with PC is that it is an infantilizing process.

      Since applying to PC, I have been to the Peoples Republic of China, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. I am starting a new job in the Dominican Republic this August, at 62.

      Best Wishes.

      If you decide to try PC, please accept my best wishes.

      • Bill says:

        I, too, applied to the Peace Corps and was turned down because I had been diagnosed with depression. The PC Medical team claimed that I could not handle the “stress” of an overseas assignment.

        I had appealed their decision on the basis that their policy was unlawful. I took issue with it because depression was one of the ailments that were listed in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now, at the time of this denial, I had mild depression my entire life and had submitted letters from psychologists that attested to my fitness.

        Consequently, my appeal was denied. I was even advised by a PC representative to drop my case!

        So, I went on to serve a year in AmeriCorps and am now at 57 starting a job teaching third grade overseas. I don’t have time to dwell on the past. I prefer to look ahead. The PC’s loss will be others gain!

      • Maliamakita says:

        So, How have you gone to all of these countries as a school psychologist. I am finishing my third year as an Ed.S. and am ready to go see and do everywhere. I just turned 39 and single and free to go where the wind blows me and of course where I choose. I would love to go to Peru, Chile, Argentina and even the DR. How did you get started? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Are you teaching or working as a school psychologist. I would love to be bilingual in Spanish and have a good basis to build on. Please let me know ASAP. I’ve had this itch my whole life and am ready to take care of it. Thanks in advance!

      • Expat from MN says:

        Thank you for sharing. It will save me time and I will skip to the other ideas I have for my life from 64-80!

    • Mai says:

      John, there don’t seem to be difficulties in China till your mid-sixties when visa restrictions kick in. I got a job in China at 65 but the next year they wouldn’t renew my contract because of my upcoming 66th birthday. Some birthday present!
      It would be lovely if you got a job at your father’s old school.

  169. Still Young! says:

    I’d just like to say to everyone that although I do not fit into the “older experienced teacher” title quite yet, the advice I have received from maturing teachers in International schools that I have taught in has been invaluable.

    My more experienced friends are unfazed by new challenges, have smart answers and gave me the best advice…get the work/home life balance right. Something that they noticed but I was too preoccupied to notice. Thank you, it changed my life!

  170. Jim says:

    Jordie, I’ve been overseas since my fist experience in Vietnam in the early 1970’s in a small international school there. I had to be evacuated out of the country in April 1975. 9 countries later, with 20 years in Singapore, I’m now in Egypt in my mid 60’s. I’ve saved well for retirement, but that has involved having a retirement plan and consistently adding to that. I’ve also been fortunate in that some schools I’ve taught in overseas have contributed to US social security.

    I have had no trouble getting overseas posts even after 60. Just stay healthy and fit. However, the only concern I tell teachers contemplating a move overseas is to make sure you have a solid retirement plan. I’ve met more teachers that I care to mention that have to teach well into their 60’s and 70’s because they’ve spent so much time traveling that retirement planning has been a low priority.

    Good luck in your search.


    • Brenda says:

      Jim, you certainly did play your cards right in life.. I am 61 and can retire starting this October if I so choose. I have my retirement insurance for around $80.00 a month for the rest of my life, military insurance for life if I so choose, and I’m fully vested in social security (hope it will still be around for at least the next 40 years.) I also have an annuity. I can now work without the pay and benefits being the major draw. I hope our younger teachers will set down goals for their financial future and security now, because the age can sneek up quickly.

  171. Jim (in Germany) says:

    Schools differ widely as to how much and what kind of support they give new teachers. You should be given guidance about housing. A committee, colleague or admin person such as a secretary should be designated to show you around and be available to you when you have questions or problems setting up the basics at home and at school. Even if the aforementioned is quite good how successful your experience will be will be based on how self-reliant and adaptable you are. Be prepared for some bumps and frustrations. You’ve got to adapt to a new school culture and a new country culture at the same time at the same time you are doing the job you were doing before you moved. This is especially challenging during your first year. As Dorothy said “This isn’t Kansas anymore!”

    1.Read as much as you can about the place you are going, both history and current news.
    2. Start learning the language, even if it’s just yes, no, please, thank you, how much? where and when? the numbers, and the days of the week.
    3. Walk everywhere you can and start using local transportation to see as much as you can and how it relates to where you live and where you work.

    Chances are, nobody will know or care much about your retirement system. Sort out the financial issues on your own before you even sign a contract.

    and good luck!

  172. Jordie says:

    I have read all the posts on this blog (overseas and over 50), with great interest. I am a veteran (19th year) elementary, public school teacher interested in doing my homework on international teaching. I would very much appreciate some feedback on what qualities are advantageous to having a successful experience as an international teacher. What helped to make your experiences successful when you were a new teacher in a new country? Did anyone navigate through the potential downsides of leaving the public school retirement system?

    • John Mccann says:

      I am bypassing the usual route to teaching in China. I am now 64, and am working through my church, so I am advising and writing a Feasibility Study for our Episcopal parish to do work in China.We have many volunteers who are 65 or older, and at present I am wrtining a syllabus on a course that China’s several prominent Business schools are chompingat the bit to implement.
      I woould be going to CHina as an “adsvisor” and don’t need medical coverage, nor am I planning a long stay there. I have a rent-stabilized apartment in New York, which is worth its weight in gold, so I dont want to give that up. I think to use that tired phrase “thinking ou of the box” can get people out of the rut. I am trying a new model,onethat I hve helped create, to fit my life style.
      I am bothfaith-based, business based, and am working (still) on a PhD on CHinese art and archeaology. Try to mix it up a bit

  173. Brenda says:

    Liam, I think Thailand is pretty strict, but like the others “in the know” have pointed out…if the director/principal really likes you, and you have something to contribute to their mission, they could probably get you in. I would just be up front and contact the schools you are interested in and ask them.

  174. Liam says:

    My question to anyone is…I am 62 and want to teach at an international school in Thailand. Does Thailand have an age restriction policy and if so is it enforced by the government or does the school make their own policy?

    • barry says:

      Liam – I have been offered a job at an IS in Thailand. Age is not seemingly a concern. I will be 61 upon arrival there. ONe thing I want to know is this: How many countries employ people over 60 but do not recruit over 60? You see the subtle difference?

    • Expat from MN says:

      It is ok to work there until 65…then forget it.

  175. Brenda says:

    I want to teach in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, but I just turned 59. Does anyone have first-hand experience/knowledge about schools in these countries hiring old farts like me?

    • Olderwiser says:

      Just select a job or a location that you are interested in and have a go at it. I seldom if ever include the date of my graduation from universities…I let them figure that out if they choose to. Sometimes their need is so great, or your skills and experience are so ‘right on’ that they will waive any interest in the matter of age. I just give them as much info as possible on my extensive background and let them decide if they want to persue the matter of employment. I’ve just turned 66 and turned down leadership positions in two countries I didn’t want to spend two years in and accepted a job in a place I wanted to be for a while.

  176. JMW says:

    Thank you JazzFan and Oldwiser for your responses which hearten me. I shall keep browsing and asking questions. So far it just seems everywhere I have looked that 60 is the bar. Never mind, I’ll widen my searches and keep dreaming. Thanks.

  177. Olderwiser says:

    I turn 66 on Friday. Today I began my new career at a very good international school in Germany. If you have the skills they need and the experience and present yourself as a vital capable candidate you can get a job offer in many places no matter what your age.

    If you see a position that you like, apply for it. Sometimes you might get the nod as the best canadiate.

    I have picked up contracts in the last two years because a school needed a teacher at an odd time. We have also turned one job ad into a positon for my wife as well in the last two years…as she had the skills needed to solve a problem in the school.

    • Brenda says:

      Hi Olderwiser,
      I am very anxious to return to either Germany, Austria, or Switzerland to teach, but I am 59 and am aware of the age restrictions. Could you recommend some popular schools for me to contact that don’t have a problem hiring older teachers? I have excellent credentials and a Masters in German. (I’m registered with ISS). Thank you. Roundtrip

    • Rountrip says:

      Thanks, Olderwiser,
      You’ve given me new confidence. I think I will go back and take the graduation dates off my resume though.
      Hope you are having a good year.

    • Nancy says:

      My uncle is 90 and has 12 music students. He is in Californina. His retirement is covered by his government pension, but he is still in demand as a teacher!

      Sounds like you have the right attitude.

  178. JazzFan says:

    Yes, quite a number but not all countries. On the Search Associates web site, age limitations posted by schools are listed. Peculiarly, two schools within the same country may have two different limitations: no limitations or and 59, such as some European nations. (Switzerland comes to mind.) KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) or UAE will not issue work permits to foreigners who are 60-years-old. Lebanon has no age restrictions. This matter is variable in Asia. Not all countries advertise the age restrictions for issuing work permits.

    Quite a number of countries I have researched are jumping on the IB bandwagon, but this is a different kind of “limitation,” unless a teacher has training in IB (or PYP or MYP).

    From my point of view, refer to Search or conduct your own search through Google or Yahoo. I hope what I wrote is informative and less unclear to you. Bon chance!

  179. JMW says:

    Are there any countries out there that will happily employ teachers over 60 who are still motivated, interested in working and have excellent health? Please name countries, and schools if you are able. Many thanks.

  180. Elizabeth says:

    What about if you are looking for a career change, I am 60, kids grown and looking to start a career as a ESL teacher. I do not have teaching experience. Too drastic? I do love kids, have lots of energy and changes in living conditions would not bother me.

  181. Kim says:

    I just realized most refer to “schools” and thus men will have an advantage, age be damned. (I work in universities.)

    For more like PART – TIME work, virtually anyone can get some hours at “Institutes” which are everywhere. You just tell them you only are available for mornings or evenings…or… and flexibility is appreciated. Of course, there are good and bad aspects to institute work…

    Once you’ve listened and learned and researched, it is obvious that there are many desperate regions of the world—thankfully, places that will take a chance on “outliers” of any kind. God bless ‘em!

    Once in China, I was offered 2.5x the salary to just stay! They knew they were desperate for people who knew the job.

  182. Ray says:

    If a school has a real need for a teacher there is a good chance they will waive any concerns about age. Schools that lose teachers mid-term due to illness, unexpected departures or maternity leaves are more open to accepting ‘mature’ teachers. I’m old enough to collect my national and old age government pensions and I’ve been offered two positions in the last three weeks. Along with my age I have excellent experience in the classroom and in administration, I’m flexible, have taught in five countries, can work with anyone anywhere, like kids, am a team player, have a positive attitude and am low maintenance for the administration once I arrive. Those are the qualities that land jobs. Keep applying to places where you want to teach and something is bound to come up. In my last two jobs, altho there was only one job posted, I have been able to organize jobs for my spouse as well.

  183. Lynne Adrienne says:

    I am a 57 yr old female and I have a B ED degree, Dip TESL qualification and I am a trained kindergarten teacher and have New Zealand teacher registration.
    I have taught ESL across all age groups in Middle East, Asia and Cameroon. My 2 year contract in Cameroon ended after 6 months through mutual agreement – I was not happy with my work and living conditions and my Manager was not happy with my lack of advanced grammar teaching experience (my previous experience has mainly focused on a communicatve approach).
    I am currently relieving early childhood teaching in New Zealand but I am interested in teaching in a primary school in Brunei. Is there any possibility of over teachers over 55yrs getting teaching jobs in Brunei? Do I need a Primary Teaching diploma if I have a kindergarten teaching qualification and if I’m a registered teacher?

  184. Joy says:

    FYI: Just a word about school hiring limitations. There is a webpage where someone has made a list. Sorry, I thought I had it bookmarked, but can’t find it now. But with a little searching you shold be able to find it. I wouldn’t start there, but it’s a good way to avoid wasting time with schools that aren’t going to consider you. I think it’s better to just choose some good targets.

  185. Jim says:

    Jim (in Germany),
    The type of work you are doing is ideal for one in his 60’s and 70’s. There is something about working full time in your 60’s that doesn’t seem quite right nor appropriate. You are expected to do the extracurricular activities, show up for meetings, and probably needing to work on weekends grading and preparing lessons. If you’re like I am and have been doing that for more than 38 years, it’s time to, as you say, “lighten up”.

    Of course I plan on teaching a little in the future or doing something similar to what you did in Venezuela, but to take on a full time contract means you either (1) love teaching with a passion and want to die doing it OR (2) need the money OR (3) need health insurance. Most older teachers teach becasue of 2 or 3, and that’s been my anecdotal experience.


  186. Jim (in Germany) says:

    Jim (the other Jim):
    I spent three years away from teaching. During that time I realized that I still wanted to work as a teacher.
    One of my most satisfying jobs was spending two years in the mountains of Venzuela working in a village enrichment school. It was more or less like a Peace Corps job and very rewarding. I lived in a cabin with a tin roof and walls that let in “the nature” at every crack. i was paid the equivalent of $200 a month so I ended up “subsidizing myself” as the school was run on a shoestring.
    In my present job I decided to “lighten up” two years ago and asked for an 80% contract which was granted. I end up spending most of that time at school anyway doing things at a more leisurely pace. In this situation I have found that I am more effective than I have ever been before, giving my students a deeper, more thoughtful experience.

    Jim (in Germany)

  187. Jim says:

    For those of you that prefer not to have full year contracts, you might consider International Supply Teachers. I have been a member of that group for a number of years and have been offered position anywhere from 3 months to a year as a substitute teacher (with all benefits). It’s something to consider.

    Finally, I’m 63 and amazed that there are still quite a few teachers my age and older that are teaching full time. I will stop this year though, as my savings for retirement is solid, as is my health insurance.

    I wonder how many are teaching that simply have to teach. I’ve met a number of teachers that are teaching at 60 and above simply becasue they need the health insurance, and some have planned so inadequately that they do not have enough money to live comfortably. When you are retired, you can still experience other cultures through travel and volunteer work. I just think that teaching FULL TIME in your 60’s and 70’s is not exactly how most people want to spend the rest of their lives.

    Jim (the other Jim)

  188. JazzFan says:

    Hello, Brenda.

    Your folks gave you their blessings “to follow My heart and take each day at a time without fear.” Consider that; it is kind of “permission” from them for you. It may also be a statement for you to let them go.

    We moved to the Middle East and are 10 hours ahead of our families in terms of time. It is difficult to leave aging parents at home. Health issues are real. (It still is a concern for my wife, whose 85-year-old father is the remaining parent of ours. He looks terrible on paper but is a vibrant curmudgeon!) Depending where you land, you can still keep in touch with them by using a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), such as Skype, Koala, Vonage, etc. With a webcam, a VoIP also allows callers to see one another–webcams can produce images that lag a bit behind the conversation, however.

    Aside from that, is a trustworthy support system for your folks in place? (I am referring to other siblings, close relatives or friends, and the like, as well as a reliable health care provider.) Having that in place may alleviate any anxiety you may have about their safety and welfare. Anyway, only you can decide what is best for yourself. Bless you for caring about your parents.

  189. Brenda says:

    Hi Picasso,
    I’m proud of you and all of the rest of you who have not let yourselves be defined or discouraged because of maturity. I decided this week to go for it. I only have one reservation…as a baby boomer, I fear leaving my parents who are in their late 80’s. They are in great health now, but what if something happened to them and I were overseas? They have encouraged me to follow my heart and and take each day at a time without fear. I wish I had returned overseas 10 years ago. I can’t do anything about the past, but I can move forward in a more enlightened path. Do any of you have input to the situation of aging parents as it relates to your leaving the country? I just feel so guilty.

  190. Picasso says:

    I am a 63 year old female teaching middle school and have had no problem getting jobs in Asia and Eastern Europe. It can be tiring as you get older if you join a school that expects you to work weekends and take on extracurricular activities on a daily basis. As long as they keep hiring.. I guess I’ll keep working.

  191. Brenda says:

    Jim~I think it is fabulous that you are 72 and still teaching abroad. You’ve given me new hope. I may make a list of the schools in my target areas, contact them, and ask if I can pop in to meet them a week before or after Christmas. I don’t have anything to do during Christmas anyway, and our school gives us two weeks off. I’ll read the school reviews first. If you have first-hand accounts of some wonderful schools, I’m open for suggestions. Thanks you.

    • Jim (in Germany) says:


      In reply to your message today, i don’t have any really specific information to add to what I have previously written except to say that our director polled us about 10 days ago about our plans for the coming academic year. We were to have responded to her no later than yesterday that we were either 1. planning to leave 2. planning to stay or 3. undecided.
      I would imagine that most administrators world-wide have done the same. These things are not “written in stone” but they do often indicate a kind of trend. We had a teacher announce this week that she was leaving in January as her husband had taken a job elsewhere. And so it goes.
      I’d be curious as to how things work out for you. It sounds to me like you have real possibilities for success. Good luck!

      • Brenda says:

        Hi Jim in Germany,
        It’s Brenda again. I just reread your email above after a few years. I will be turning 62 in October and have decided to put in for retirement at that time. I am reluctant to do that though since I don’t have an overseas position yet. I am going to take your advice and start composing a package to send out to schools in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to let them know I could be available in January. In the meantime, if you hear of an upcoming opening, please private message me at brendaclee3@gmail.com. Would love to hear from you anyway to hear about your life and experiences in Germany. I studied at the Friedrich Alexander Universitaet in Erlangen and have spent many months on and off hiking in Tirol (where I lived) and in the Dolomites. Loved, Loved, Loved Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and plan to settle down there someday.

        • Marilyn Byers says:

          Hi All;
          At 71, I applied for a position in Cairo Egypt teaching Kindergarten.
          They must NOT have looked at my passport closely. My age was there. I very much enjoyed 2 years teaching Pre-Kindergarten. They did not renew my assignment even though the parents and children loved me.
          The next teaching assignment told me the answer.
          Another country e-mailed me and said that I had the qualifications to be Principal of Kindergarten and would I accept. I said YES!!
          It was a 2 year contract..I was then 73. I had sent my Passpost info.
          After 2 months the Director came to me and said…”My you look good for your age.. I didn’t know how old you are!..I knew something was up…He said “We can’t get you group health Insurance …Meaning the GROUP HEALTH only covers up to 60.
          But don’t worry..Manana!!! We will get you some!!…After 2 months I finally had Health Insurance.

          • Been there.... says:

            I cannot find your post, but thank you for sharing with us. What a lovely and inspirational story. You must be a very good teacher to inspire such devotion.

        • Jim in Germany says:

          Best wishes, Brenda. It takes persistence and patience.

  192. Jim says:

    Brenda, schools usually ask staff to declare in December whether or not they intend to return the following September. Administrators attend job fairs beginning in late January trying to fill positions they expect to be vacated. Sometimes they don’t know of all of the positions which will need to be filled but that is the usual procedure. Most positions are filled and contracts signed by April. Statistically, January and February are the prime months. Sometimes things happen after that but not so many. So, although it might not be as relaxing weather wise I would say make that a winter vacation and go knocking on doors in early January, before the administrators trudge off to the fairs. Many of them hate to make these trips which are as exhausting for them as for teachers if not more so. Most are happy to have only a few positions to fill by the time they get there.
    Switzerland in particular offers some great train tours in winter. I’m not a skier but I was there last January and really loved tromping around in the mountains near Flims.
    As for my school we have four or so people “of a certain age” so the administration does give consideration to older teachers. at 72 and in my fourth year at our school I am by far the oldest.
    In addition to JFK you might try Dresden and Leipzig, and the schools in Vienna and Salzburg. Switzerland has so many schools I wouldn’t know where to start.
    Whichever firm you are registered with make sure that they have your dossier marked “active”
    p.s. There are two guys named “Jim” on this blog but that’s probably obvious already.

  193. Brenda says:

    Thank you, Jim. I do know about the JFK school in Berlin, but do you think they would consider this old fossil? I taught for a year in Austria back in the early 90’s. Unfortunately, the school closed due to financial problems, but it was one of the most rewarding years of my teaching career. I’d go back in a heartbeat. Maybe you could ask your school in Germany what their stand is on age. I might just get bold and contact some schools and ask them. I’ve heard it is sometimes listed in their benefit package explanations on their web sites. I plan on spending this summer in Austria just hiking and relaxing. I think I’ll take some supporting documentation and knock on some doors.

  194. Jim says:


    First, good luck in your search. The bad news is, the financial crisis is definitely affecting hiring and keeping positions at international schools. Going to a job fair is expensive but it can be the best way to get yourself recognized and make an impression. That said, I came away from several with nothing. Also, the past two jobs I have had came, at least in part, through the internet so make sure you are connected. Several colleagues including the high school principal where I teach have joined “Linked In” which is an internet site for professionals in many fields. It’s free.
    I am working in Germany and your Deutschsprechen qualifications as well as others should be helpful. If you want to be in Germany, Austria or Switzerland I would focus on those places. Have you contacted the John F Kennedy School in Berlin? They require new teachers to have taught recently in the U.S.
    Again, good luck!

  195. Takeheartover6o's says:

    I saw my sixtieth birthday several years ago and in the last three weeks have managed to find three schools in Western Europe and one in South America interested enough in my credentials and experience to short list me or to grant me an interview. I picked up a five month contract in Central Europe last year when someone went home at Christmas and decided not to return. I trust I’ll land at least one of these positions. Joyjobs is a great source for jobs, send off your details to anything that looks remotely interesting, you’re bound to get a nibble.

  196. Brenda says:

    Finding this 50’s blog has been a Godsend for me today. I registered this summer with a recruiting firm, then heard through the grapevine about this age restriction thing. I am concerned that my recruiting firm (one of the best known) never mentioned the age problem when they took my money. I’ll be 59 next week. Since my target countries were to be Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, I’m just glad I found out “on my own” about those countries’ limits before I spent over $1,000 going to a hiring conference. This has been a tough summer. I was one of the thousands of teachers who lost their positions in the reduction in force. I have 7 fields of certification, a Masters in German, 22 years of experience, and excellent recommendations. I’m just hoping I can find a school abroad that can appreciate what I have to bring to the table. I’ll check out some of the areas you all have suggested. Kim, thanks for the tip on Yerevan. Never heard of it, but it sounds pretty. I’d still love to get into Germany or Austria since I’m fluent in German. Thanks to you, CelticSong, for your positive note. I’m not going to give up. By the way, any tips on the best hiring conferences to attend?

  197. Renee Crawley says:

    My husband and I taught in Abu Dhabi for 4 years. My husband turned 60 while working there and received visas after that, although the law states 60 is the “end”. If a school wants you there are ways around the rule. After our 4 years, we were hired to teach in Hyderabad, India. My husband is now 63 and I will be 58. We have 2 year contracts and are planning on staying longer. Experience seems to be valued on the International scene, unlike home, USA, where districts are watching their “pennies” and resist hiring teachers with many years on the job because we’re too “high priced”. We plan to stay International until we’re ready to retire, which won’t be soon. Take heart over 50’s! There are wonderful schools and jobs for you to enjoy!

    • Nanette Moseley says:

      I am so glad to hear this. I graduated from TEFL training in Dec. and have been applying since then, online, not an encouraging endeavor. I am 62 with a Degree in Education, little experience, except in the Outdoor tourism field in Canada. I am feeling discouraged.

      • Carole J says:

        I can sympathize. I am 58 and would like to apply when I turn 60; I’m concerned, due to the age issue. I really want to go overseas, and teach to have an income. After reading all these, not sure what to do.

  198. Dan(iel) Yeargain says:

    I am a 70 year old teach with an M.A. in Spanish and a TEFL certification.

    I arrived in Bogota, Colomia, in 2005, got my TEFL cerfification and began teaching in one of the local institutes. I taught mainly to the professionals of Chevron-Texaco, Noika, Nokia-Siemens, Bavaria, etc. which I enjoyed immensly.

    The pay was low by U.S. standards but the students were great and very dedicated to learning English.

    From 2005 until 2009 I worked for 3 different language institues and one bilingual high school and in every case I had to fight to get my pay. Often it was late and sometimes I was underpaid.

    I attempted to get hired in Korea, but apparently I am past the retirement age. Does anyone know where a 70 year old dedicated, experienced teacher can get hired and treated well?

    • Joy says:


      Yes, 60 is the official retirement age in Korean public schools. My school allows you to stay until 62. Small private English institutes will hire older teachers and I do know of a few teachers who have been hired at universities.

      I suggest getting a job at a “hagwan,” on of the language institutes and then exploring other possibilities for the next year. Try to stay in touch with other older teachers. We are in the minority, but we help each other out.

      • Jude says:

        I am 67 and am working in an International school in Korea. I dont think Korea has an age limit. It is a great place to live-cheaper than Japan and very easy to get around

        • frances says:

          where in Korea are you teaching and what is the name of your school. I have been trying for a year, and once they discover my age, I am dropped like a hot potato. I want to get to Korea, as I have a place to live in Ilsan and would love to spend time with family there.

          • Been there..... says:

            Again , Jude I think you are the exception as far as Korea is concerned. I would not encourage people to look there unless they are very young. Most people over a certain age , myself included, are rejected by Korean schools and I gave it several tries. The last time I was jerked around for 3 months by a large concern who kept issuing contracts, which I would sign,then telling me they had fallen through. I did not bother with public schools as I was over the legal age (57) at the time. I really don’t recommend trying Korea to older teachers.

          • Mike says:

            I work in Thailand and a few years ago, one of the western managers lost his position at the school that I worked at that time. The reason was they wanted to get a Thai in the position that was related to the owner. Anyway, he had plenty of experience & was a good manager & popular with the staff. As what eventually happens to older teachers here, he couldn’t get anything decent here for his qualifications. So, he applied to KOREA for a management position by email & success-he got it! Or so he thought. He paid his own money to fly there & he was met at the airport by the school’s reps. But then they went aside and began some sort of heated discussion about what to do. After awhile, one of the school reps took him aside and gently explained to him that they would be unable to honor their job offer because he “walked with a limp.” So, he had to get back on a plane & fly back to the USA empty handed. I hear many stories like that about Korea from young & old teachers. They are supposed to be bastards to work for.

        • Roundtrip says:

          Hi Jude,
          Do you feel safe in Korea? I’ve just turned 60 and am trying to get back overseas. I’ve always heard how great Korea is, but I concerned about the relationship between North and South Korea.

  199. Kim says:

    She could work in a place like Kuwait in a good-paying school or institute…and then head out on weekends to see the beduin (semi-nomadic still) people in the desert. There is a female crafty connection with weavers and dyers of camel hair–seriously! Small but active (foreigner) groups have revived tribal handicrafts.

  200. Marge says:

    Lots of good facts on this site-thank you so much! It’s been a discouraging journey thus far for me, a recent TEFL certificate holder, due to my age of 50 plus.

    I have nearly a year of solid experience teaching adult immigrants but it is a VOLUNTEER position, that somewhats burns me because my TEFL classmates, with the same degree of experience and talent, progressed on to PAID jobs worldwide; they were in their early 20’s and 30’s.

    I also have a hefty school loan to repay and was searching for a country that would allow me to do this and sustain myself frugally. Anyone have any ideas for me, please? I’m willing to travel to remote, rural areas or to bi cities. My heart’s passion is to teach nomadic families as they follow their herds.

    Has anyone here ever done this or could hook me up to possible contacts who have?

    Thanks, Marj

    • Savyjobseeker says:

      Marge- Get real! Why would nomadic tribes want you to teach them English and how would they pay you? Have you ever lived with no electricity, water and choices in food as well as with no privacy. Try the Peace Corp if you want an alternative life as it could be a better match. The EFL/Esl jobs are for those who want to seek a job which uses English or which requires English to get the job. Families who pay for lessons are hoping for a return on their investment in English for their children and thus to themselves. Corporations hire those who are familiar with their training models. Missionary schools expect you to raise the funds for your stay and a heafty committment to staying in remote places learning the local language. What other work experience do you bring to the table? Pairing ESL/EFL teaching skills with it may be the answer. Good luck.

    • Joy says:


      Do not be discouraged. It’s true, you may not be able to teach a nomadic tribe; but if you are willing to teach in a rural are you should have no problems. I understand about wanting to volunteer, but having student loans to pay off. I might be in a different location myself if I could afford to volunteer or teach for a nominal salary.

      The best places to teach ESL are still Korea and Taiwan. China is easier to get into but the pay is low. It’s a far wage for the cost of living, but may not pay your student loans.

      If you say you are willing to go to remote areas, it will definitely help your chances. Have you tried DavesESLcafe? That’s where most of the ESL jobs are posted. If you’ve tried that and had no luck, you might a recruiter; just be cautious and don’t expect after service. I wish I could recommend a recruiter, but the one I use originally has grown and along with the growth service has declined. Once you land your first job in Korea, it is easy to find other employment on your own.

  201. Jim says:

    I have been in international schools since 1970, and at the age of 63 have never had difficulty getting into another international school. I am going to retire at the end of this year from my current school in the Middle East. I’m amazed at how teachers my age can continue to teach into their 70’s full-time.
    I find that at my age I can’t let flaws and mitakes go unnoticed, so this year I’m speaking my mind, which many of the younger teachers do not seem to do. They say your should not burn bridges, but if you are, it’s a good idea to do it in your 60’s.
    I’ve had the good fortune to have a wonderful retirement plan and am a permanent resident in Singapore, so I’ll substitute teacher in the international schools there and be a science tutor. I’m looking forward to being productive well into my 70’s, but part-time only. I’ve seen t0o many teachers overseas love what they are doing but so inadequately prepare for retirement that they must continue to teach late in life. I do not plan on teaching for that reason.

  202. Kim says:

    Joy can quit her Korea job and forget the letter issue–so long as she doesn’t return, I guess. She can focus on a certain country in Eirope and research/network like crazy—and probably find something. But, yeah, I have always looked for ‘high end’ jobs in nether regions, like Ray.

    — Joy and Ray…. you gotta see Yerevan, Armenia to believe it. It has a high quality American University. Former Russian influence, Christian, food Middle-Eastern, and also quite East European–all at the same time. Fascinating.

  203. Ray Varey says:

    I’m seeing more and more “EU passport required” on jobs that are in Europe. There are increasing restrictions on who can be hired without a great deal of legwork and paperwork to get a visa. Sometimes these visas are unobtainable for non-EU teachers. This, coupled with age restrictions are making it more and more difficult for a ‘mature or experienced’ teacher to land a job at a presitgious school in Western Europe. The further east you go towards Central Europe the less stringent these restrictons seem to become or the less they are enforced. I’ve taught in both Slovakia and Kosova and have seen these restrictions developing. I’m interested in positions in the nether regions of Europe, places that still have babushka ladies in the market place and cheese that does not have to be blessed by the EU mandarins in Brussels.

    • Anonymous says:

      Consider the Baltic States of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Outside the gorgeously preserved historic areas you’ll find a wealth of local and Soviet-influenced culture. The schools are small but don’t appear to discriminate on the basis of age. Prior to leaving Latvia the school hired a 72 year old maths instructor.

  204. Jim says:

    Kim, I’m not sure what you are referring to but I am at a school in Europe (Germany) and the staff include at least nine other Americans. And it’s not a “funky institute”. It’s an IB World School which is fully accredited. Maybe the number count isn’t as high at other schools in Europe but I’m certain that it is possible for American teachers to work in Europe. It took persistence for me to get here, years of it, and when I had decided it almost certainly wasn’t going to happen it did.

    • Rountrip says:

      Hi Jim,
      I think we’ve conversed before. I am beginning to contact prospective schools this weekend to secure a teaching position for next year. I have a Masters in German and I’m certified in 7 areas(including ESOL). My target countries are Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, but because I have just turned 59, I’m concerned that I will not be considered. Do you have any inside information on any schools which may be interested in me? I have prior overseas experience and excellent recommendations. Thank you.

      • suze says:

        You are starting too late! International schools start thinking about their staffing much earlier.

        • Anonymous says:

          Suze-I’ve actually been trying to get a job overseas for the past three years, but have not had any luck. I’m sure it’s my age. I did get an offer from a school in China last year, but the school had numerous poor reviews. Now that I’m 61, I feel I may as well be 81 in the international job market.

  205. Kim says:

    Europe is closed to Americans unless you work at a very funky institute. Save money to travel for a few months after you get off the weird-schedule thing. Choose a country or type of job you really want, then go for it. I’ve been at it for a long time; there is almost NOT a “regular” English teacher job anywhere…anymore. It is always a plus to know what to do with non-native speakers. Got an MA in it and am having an excellent life—all over the world–at 55+.

  206. Joy says:

    Experience is certainly as much of a factor as age. I got my high school teaching credential at 52 and was turned down over and over for positions in the US. I ended up teaching ESL in Korea to get my foot in the door. I worked kindie/afterschool academy for one year, moved to a public high school for two years, and finally to a private high school where, at last, I get to teach composition in addition to the usual English conversation classes. My ultimate goal was to teach at an international school where I can focus on literature and composition, which is more my area.

    I really like my school and have been asked to stay on another year, but I am worried that every year I stay in a traditional Korean school my chances of getting hired as a regular English teacher over ESL are going down. I am thinking the ESL might be useful because some international schools have ESL intensives for students who aren’t quite ready for US or Brit grade level English classes and I could teach part-time ESL and part-time high school level English lit and comp.

    Also, Korea is on a March to February calendar instead of a September to August calendar. If you break the contract, even with notice they usually won’t give a release letter, which means you cannot legally work in Korea until the original contract runs out. I am not sure how to get off that merry-go-round, but really want to try Europe, so maybe it is not an issue.

    Any comments or sage advise about this?

    • Barbara says:

      At the international schools where I’ve taught, the majority of students speak English as their second, or even their third or fourth language. Intensive English experience is not only valuable, it’s mandatory. Also, you might try getting a job in Europe in a non-EU country, which can be a great back door to traveling in the EU countries. As a plus, the exchange rate against the dollar is much better than it is in Euros.

    • Molson says:


      Right now you are on an E2 visa. International schools use an E7 visa. I am not sure if you quitting would make a problem for the obtaining of an E7 visa.

      I can say, international schools in China are filled with Korean students and it was on the basis of my ESL work in Korea that I landed a job at a school in China. I teach English and it is funny but there are only a couple of us with an ESL background or awareness. The students really need the type of teacher that can accommodate them, as well as understand their cultural norms.

      You might want to look at moving to China. Though, in China the cut off is 60, so if you are nearing that age, it is decision time.

    • Jude says:

      Try the International schools in Korea

  207. Ben Morris says:

    From reading all of the previous posts, it sounds to me as though there is yet a wealth (much of it perhaps untapped!!) of energy, desire, commitment and teaching expertise among the over-50 (like myself) AND over-60 expatriate teachers of the world. I expect to be in no position to retire any time soon, so I plan to teach abroad for as long as I welcome to do so. Of those who have offered comments in this thread, I can vouch for Ray Varey!! I had the distinct privilege of working with him during the 2009-2010 school year in Kosova. I have learned ways of improving my practice of our craft from Ray’s example and occasional wise words of counsel. Some very fortunate school will be very happy once they have scooped Ray up, and the same must be true for so many of you (and hopefully also myself in the fullness of time). Stay with it till you find that job the world would have you think you are too old for!! Retirement can wait. The best possible education available to our children cannot!

    • Catherine Blackmore says:

      Ben Morris,

      I very much appreciate your comments. I have just written to Ray Varey to ask for the full title of QSI. I am 62 years of age and have not had a single days sick leave since coming to the Emirates in 2007. I am presently in Kuwait and have to leave because they cannot get me a visa.

      catherine Blackmore

      • Janet says:

        I’m in my 40s and have 16 years experience in the early years primary teaching at ot one school. I would really like some international experiences now.

        • Catherine Blackmore says:

          I worked in the Emirates before coming to Kuwait which was a huge mistake. The place where we live is filthy and a lot of the schools are not International schools at all. They like to use the name but they are nothing more than Arab schools using parents to pay sometimes large fees with carrot that they will teach your child English. In my experiences this year they are looking mostly for Primary Teachers beause there is a shortage of them and if you come from English you are certainly in favour with the better schools. If you have experience of using the British curriculum this is favourably looked upon. There are still lots of positions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. These places would be my pick if I was your age. I would need to know more details such as are you single? or would you be looking for a package that offers discount for children to attend the school you would be teaching at? Let me know and I will try and help you.

          • Janet says:

            I am single, I have 2 adult children. My youngest child is in his 20s.

            • Catherine Blackmore says:

              Thanks for the email. You will have a really great chance of getting a job in Dubai or Abu Dhabi which are the pick of the places if you are single and have an Education Degree or PGCE. There are still lots of jobs on TES for these places. They provide packages that include a good standard of accomodation and your salary is tax free. I think that ISR have an article on packages and what to expect or what you will accept. In the Middle East I would advise you to always ensure you sign a contract in English before coming here but then once you get here they will present documents to the appropriate department in Arabic so you need to be careful. The better schools do not take advantage of their employees as much as those whose empioyees get ripped off year afer year. Some of this is they come on an offer and no contract and then once here they find out the full facts. Find them out and get them in writing in English before you accept the flight ticket. I hope this helps. The labour court in Dubai is now very much on the employees side which is a huge chance from a few years ago. They act swiftly and they know all the schools that regularly cause trouble.


            • Janet says:

              Thank you so much Catherine. You have given me some hope.

  208. Sylvia Martin says:

    I have been teaching internationally for 30 years. I am now sixty and thinking about recruiting. Is there a list of schools or countries that discriminate according to age. It would be good to know this so one wouldnt have to waste valuable time talking to them. Anyone know of such a list?

  209. redpen says:

    I have been teaching overseas for over 23 years– in my late 50’s now. I need to leave the present school before they tell me to leave due to being too expensive.(past history indicates this will happen at this particular school) I am not 60 yet but know if I want to interview for a new international post, it is best I do it this year than later. It is so ironic how we as eductors encourage each other and our “clients” (the students) to keep going to school; yet, it can work against us educators for being too expensive for a new position. The with the age factor, why is an energetic 50, or 60 year old looked upon by some schools as “not desirable”; meanwhile, we find an older, more experienced lawyer, doctor, accountant, or even a plane mechanic more desirable for his/her services than a younger one?

    • Jude says:

      Try Korea
      no age limit

      • Been there... says:

        I’m sorry, but are we talking about the same country? Do you mean North Korea perhaps! Korea is one of the most agist countries around (not to mention racist and sexist). After not getting anywhere for months, a recruiter was finally honest with me and told me they wanted people in their twenties and thirties. I was in my late 50’s at the time. The public school system has a mandatory retirement age of 55.

        They also have very peculiar ideas of who they will and won’t hire based on set values of beauty (their preference is for blonde haired-blue eyed 20 somethings). In addition, I was told by an African-American woman who was working there through the University of Colorado that the Koreans ideal beauty was someone who had a “small face and big eyes”. As that is exactly what she had, people were always coming up to her to sigh over her “small face, big eyes”. She also said that if someone arrived and they did not like their looks (too fat, not pretty, too thin, etc.), the school would find a back office or out of the way to put them so they wouldn’t be seen.

        Korea has no age limits? Please!

  210. Florence says:

    I retired at 55 from a full career in North America and then taught two years in South America and two more in SE Asia, going home for family reasons though both schools lobbied hard to keep me. Upon reapplying at age 60 I’ve had zero expressions of interest. Many countries, including especially Middle Eastern and some Latin American countries, have published age restrictions ranging from 45-60. By the way, though my younger colleagues at both international schools regularly took “sick” days, of the real and virtual types, I missed a total of 6 days in four years, as well as working longer hours and volunteering for the weekend and evening activities to be found at these schools. Perhaps the older generation has a different sense of commitment while younger colleagues see it as a job; I’m not sure which is a healthier attitude. But I do know that schools and students get more than their money’s worth out of mature teachers.

    • mary says:

      I agree with you. I just turned 60 and have had many interviews and it always came down to aga and health insurance. Some middle east countries put right on their application form that nobody over 52 need apply.

  211. Susan says:

    jeaddhg I just read your post and was really surprised by it! I was offered a nice contract, via a recruiter, to teach at an international school in Taif, Saudi Arabia. However, I was told that the embassy turned down my visa because I was a female over 55 – men could receive visas until they were 60.

    Was I lied to?

    Thanks and I would really appreciate a response!

    • Donna says:

      Susan, don’t apply the Western concept of “lying”. Rules in such countries are not hard and fast, and are not created by Embassies. They didn’t want you, and are too polite to say why… maybe the owner’s daughter’s girlfriend requested your job. It could be quite complicated due to INTERNAL cultural obligations. You might apply to another institution there and get a long-term contract! It also depends on the “influence” (wasta) factor of the institution seeking to employ you. There are a lot of jobs in Saudi Arabia, due to its huge youth population. Try a Saudi institution rather than an international school.

    • maria says:

      Susan, hi I am maria. would like to get a job in the middle east as well, but I have not have any luck because I am 61. I believe the age limit in the middle east for women is 55. I work in Bahrain. it is so frustrating because I feel at 61 full of energy and I am fully qualify to teach. Let me know if you find something else. my e-mail is 9mariamaria@gmail.com. thanks

  212. Annemirl says:

    What might keep you from getting a job in the US is not your age, but your experience in years. If school boards have to pay you at a higher step on the salary scale due to your years of experience, they will often opt for a beginner who will work at base salary.

    I am over 60, retired in the US and have been working in international schools for the past 8 years. I wish I had started decades ago, because I really love the experience.

    My health is good, and I would love to keep going, but
    realistically I know my chances are slim of finding another job after I complete my present contract. I have run into too many instances where age has been a barrier. Some schools will be right upfront about it, and ask about your age at the sign up for the interview.

    In one instance I had a very positive interview, and felt that my chances were very good. I knew that an administrator I had worked for in a previous school was at the interviewing school and was pulling for me. The following day I was told by the Director in an email that he felt I “might not be the person they were looking for”. I think that really meant that I was too old.

    Luckily for me I was hired by a very good school in a country that does not seem to have age restrictions, and I am happy to be here.

    It is true that QSI schools do not consider age in their hiring practice, but the downside is that they strongly favor couples over singles.

  213. Ray Varey says:

    Shortly before I retired I attended a job fair but wondered why an international school would want to hire someone of my age? As I stood in line to talk with various school administrators I listened to the questions being asked by young teachers and those candidates fresh from teachers’ college. In their questions and concerns lay the answer to my question! As an experienced, mature teacher you have so many more skills and so much more experience than many beginning teachers. These are exactly the qualities that international schools look for. They want teachers who are flexible and who are not going to need much support, teachers who can be excellent in the classroom with or without the best textbooks or curriculum and sometimes challenging timetables, those that have survival skills and are self sufficient. Since that job fair I have been a director for a QSI school and taught history in Kosova when a young beginning teacher went home becasue he couldn’t adjust to teaching overseas. I’m experienced, excellent with kids, full of energy and ideas, know how to solve problems and I’m looking for similar assignments again in spite of my age.

    • Donna says:

      Ray Varey, are you from Hamilton, Ontario?

    • Summer says:

      Hi Ray,
      Where are you now?

    • Catherine Blackmore says:

      R Varney

      Would you please let me know the full name for QSI as I am having considerable trouble finding a position for the 2012/2013 Academic Year. I am 62years of age and will be that age when the new teaching year starts. I have been Head of English in the Emirates of Dubai and at present I am Head of Early Years in Kuwait so have to leave because of visa restrictions. I would appreciate your help very much. I have not had a single sick day since I arrived in the Emirates in 2007. I am very healthy and energetic.

      Catherine Kuwait

      • Janet says:

        Hi Catherine, Do you think they would accept a Jamaican teacher in Kuwait?

        • Catherine Blackmore says:

          Hi Janet,
          The age that schools accept Teachers here varies from school to school. Some say 57 but the norm is 60. If you are looking at Cambridge English School on TES forget it but if you want to share with me what school you are looking at I will reply with any information I know. Thanks Catherine

  214. chowmein says:

    A few years ago, I interviewed for a job (in Dubai)that became available at a job fair. The first question the interviewer asked me was, “How old are you?” It was good thing I was not 60-years-old at the time. I took and am still at a job somewhere else where age is not an issue. I am concerned, however, whether I will get a job in another international school or in the US, given my age and the current economic circumstances.

  215. jeaddhg says:

    There is no problem in Saudi Arabia until 60. Even then if you are in post- and the school want you, you can stay. We have a very spritely 74 year old( i think) she is atill a great teacher – the kids love her- so why would the school get rid of a good member of staff. my husband started at 59- he has even been poffered promotion- I feel in saudi that if you are good age is not a problem- BUt you must get your first post under 59 I think.

  216. MM Page says:

    I have argued with ISS about this issue. ISS says that they can’t publish countries that have age limits because schools don’t always funrnish this information and in the US it is called age discrimination and is illegal. It is very disconcerting to have an interview that seems to have gone well and then not hear a word from a school. They can’t tell you that they can’t hire you because of your age.

    I am a math teacher over 60 currently teaching in Ghana. The African countries don’t seem to have age limits. I am not worried about finding my next job because I plan to retire for good from here.

    With so many teachers reaching the magic number, I am confident that there will be easing of the age limits in the future, but that doesn’t help those of us who are now over 60.

    • Rountrip says:

      Hi MM,
      I wonder why the school would even bother to interview you if they were not going to consider you because of your age. They have seen your paper work before the interview, so they would know how old you were. I’m 59 and anxious about my possibilities, too. Good luck to you.

  217. Anonymous says:

    I’m swiftly approaching the “over-the-hill” age for women which in the US is anyone over 30! Mercefully, I don’t look that old. If I cannot find any work anywere I will step in from of the next bus. For me there is no alternative. If I can’t work, I can’t eat. So I’m willing to go anywere.

    If you know of countries who will grant work visa for teachers over 50 please publish the list.

    • Gloria E says:

      Hello Anonymous,
      I am a 55 year old female looking into teaching EFL in Russia – age there does not seem to be an obstacle. (Granted, these are not ISS positions, don’t know about that. No reason to ever step in front of a bus! I realize that you wrote your post quite a while ago and hope that you are by now well-employed. I wish you the best of luck.

      • AnnieL says:

        Better yet, get pediatric and nanny training so you can apply to be a private English tutor/governess in a well-to-do Russian family. The pay is excellent, usually your apartment is paid for, and often times travel internationally is part of the job. Some families prefer younger men or women, but I know of several trained teachers who got hired in their 60s!

        • Been there.... says:

          Where might one find out about these positions you mention?

          • AnnieL says:

            For high-paying anny/private tutor jobs in Russia as a job seeker over 50, there are some vacancies listed on the sites: 1) greatcare.co.uk 2) nannyjob.co.uk and occasionally at 3) http://www.tefl.com. Bear in mind that some employers would like applicants to have formal teaching and extensive babysitting experience. Au pair experience in your youth is also a plus. Most important are the courses in pediatric emergency first aid and core nanny training, offered on weekends regularly in London England. British training is preferred though Americans who have taken classes in England are also accepted. Some employers have strict age requirements and others prefer more mature candidates. Typically, employment agencies specializing in governess and/or private tutor placements are based in London and sometimes both London and Moscow. They help successful interviewees with the interview and visa processes, as well as post-placement follow-up. Best of success to you!

          • AnnieL says:

            MONGOLIA for older teachers. Hi, everyone. Just found out that anyone over 58 years old generally will not be granted a visa to teach at a Mongolian international school.

  218. ted nykiel says:

    I am 63 , soon to be 64 ( single). I am now teaching for QSI in Tbilisi and previously taught for them in Turkmenistan , on a temporary contract for 6 months in 2008. QSI hires ” veteran teachers”. They do not discriminate because of age, which quietly seems to happen with some schools ,boards or directors. You are hired by QSI because of ability and recommendations you have provided from your past administrators.

    • mls says:

      If the school has a policy of hiring “veteran teachers” then they clearly do discriminate on the basis of age; just in your favor in this instance, and against younger teachers. :)

      • Jim says:

        Can everybody see the fallacy in saying “If the school has a policy of hiring “veteran teachers” then they clearly do discriminate on the basis of age; just in your favor in this instance, and against younger teachers.”
        ??? If not, I will be happy to explain!

        • redpen says:

          Maybe that is a misquote, that QSI hires “vetern teachers”. They tend to hire older, experienced overseas teachers by taking advantage of them; for the pay package is not that great compared to other international schools. I imagine many younger couples would not want to work for QSI and the ones that do would most likely be the “rookies” who can be a “risk” for any overseas school. Since QSI schools are in remote places, many new overseas teachers may find these countries too big of an adjustment for them.

    • Noor says:

      I am 64 have been sending resumés for the last few months with no results. I just finished a three year fellowship to an Arab country and would like to continue teaching the rest of my life.I feel as if I have no chance and am about to give up. Any suggestions?
      I have a MA degree from 2005 and 5 years experience but many more from various professions and up until now do not fit with other people of my age…not my fault just don’t want to die yet!!

      • muscat marvel says:

        Try Universities in Oman. I was hired at 62 & although I resigned at 65, I was offered a contract renewal of 3 years.

        • Catherine Blackmore says:

          I am so sad to hear that you are having difficulties finding a new position with these outstanding qualifications. I could suggest Universities and perhaps you could apply for TF in Malaysia if you do not know anything about the new initiatives in that country. I am in the process of applying for a position and can give you the recruitment company who are placing staff in positions. Age over 60 I am told is not a barrier as the Malaysian Education Department are looking for experience. Please drop me an email and I will respond if you would like the details. I appreciate that all our colleagues maybe would like this information but I do not have the authority to broadcast it on this forum. Thanks Catherine Blackmore

          • Anonymous says:

            I am semi-retired in Singapore at 65 (almost 66) and keeping very busy as all the intrnational schools as a relief teacher. I have worked every day, and I’m glad it’s the summer break.

            I am curious about the opportunity in Malaysia, Catherine. I thought that there is a definite age restriction (60). I’d be very interested in knowing what opportunities there are for the over 60 group in Malaysia. I appreciate any feedback you have.


            • Catherine Blackmore says:

              Dear Rob,
              Thanks for the email. I assume that you arrived in Singapore before you were eg 58 or have connections with the local people?
              I have been told that the age limit is 60 but believe that some schools can apply to the relevant department for special consideration to fill a specific vacancy. I am so pleased that you are finding work in Singapore and you are living proof that people over 60 are capable of being reliable, efficient, and can work each and every day. I wish places would judge people on an individual basis as some may be beyound the task but the majority are not. Most of the Expats teaching overseas cannot return to their home country because they cannot claim any sort of benefit before they turn 65-67+ so they need to continue working. Even if they are 100% secure financial wise they still wish to continue to work. Malaysia has a new initiative to teach English to the locals students so that they can become proficient and stay in Malaysia to go to University. In the past I believe that they lost many of their students to universities in England, Australia and Singapore. I wish you all the best
              Catherine Blackmore

            • John Mccann says:

              Finsing niches: I am pairing my interest in stduy of CHinese art and culture, with an MA, starting to pursue a PhD, and also going to Seminary (episcopal). I just attended the World Council of Churches
              session in Nanjing, and there will be opportunities, if you “hitch your wagon” to an institution, or can offer an array of skills. I am 64, and hoave spent most of my career in NGO’s fundraising. I am close to
              teaching within a seminary setting, or Business school (I know the two are seemingly at odds)- but where there is a need, I am working on a syllabus for self help, in teaching Chinese best practices in American-style fundraising, which is grassroots based, and China i looking at the private sector. I have a long history with CHina, in that my grandfather was a missionary, and also worked for the ROckefellers, my father grew up there, and having the knowledge and respect for China’s 5000 year old visiual culture, and studyig the early 20th century mistakes, are positioning me to work in China through an Amercan-Chinese sponsorship. I dont expect, or want to teach English, but rather hope my Mandarin will be up to par. SO I think its often a matter of looking back at your array of skillls and finding the place where those skills are needed.

          • Anonymous says:

            Hi Catherine, I would really appreciate some contact information for securing a teaching position in Malaysia that you mentioned. I’m 61 with multiple certifications, but no one has shown an interest. My personal address is brendaclee3@gmail.com. Very kind of you to offer to help.

  219. 55 - to move on or stay? says:

    Interesting discussion here which cant be more timely for me. My very good school has a policy to retire teachers at 60. I will get to the end of my 2 year contract next year. I am 54 now and by xmas have to decide if should leave at 55 or sign another two year contract, to try to get another job at 57 or sign for 4 years and try to get another job at 59. I like where I work and would probably eventually choose to retire in this country (even if I do work a while in another country first). I cannot afford to retire at 60 so really need to go on until 65. When to move?

    • Donna Nyilasi says:

      Dear 55,
      Don’t worry about anything. Just stay where you are until you turn 59. I got jobs at 58, 59, and several offers after turning 60 last May. I have also been invited to apply for a position which starts next year, where I can stay until I’m too old to stand up, as long as I am a productive teacher. Not only that, but you will receive internal promotions. So if you like where you are… just STAY. Like in a marriage!

      • 55 - to move on or stay? says:

        Thanks Donna – very reassuring. I like the bit about marriage! ha ha !

      • Jimmy in Korea says:

        Donna-Where are you working?Are you teaching ESL?I have a teaching license in Elementary Educ from the usa 2001-2013.have been teaching ESL in Korea 2003 to now.They wanna retire me Jan 31,2010 when my contract expires with 5 years at same public school.I will be 62 in Jan.Any suggestions or advise truly welcome.I just wanna teach 1-2 more years in Korea and then retire to the Philippines.Other countries are an option too….Jimmy in Korea……jlewellen2003@yahoo.com

      • Olderwiser says:

        Donna, Ray Varey here writing to you from Weimar Germany. Glad to see you are still in the game as I am at 66. Love to teach, love to travel and you can end up in some interesting places.

        All the best…remember the staffroom in Room 15 at AH&VS all those many years ago?


        • Brenda says:

          Hi Olderwiser~Can you give me some school names in Germany that may consider my application? I’m 61, but will be 62 this October. I have a Masters in German and I’m certified in English, Social Studies, Gifted, and Elementary. I also taught in Austria for a year. I thought my age was doing me in, but you seem to found a nice job at your age. Can you offer any suggestions? I may retire in October when I turn 62 if I can find a nice job overseas. Our principal is urging the Boomers to retire and move on with his blessings.

      • Gloria says:

        where are some places?

      • Oldie says:

        Hi there
        I have been told that i will have to leave my job in Riyadh, Saudi in 2013 and by then i will be 68. I love teaching and have taught all my life and woud like to continue to do so. I am very highly qualified, fit and healthy and teach primary with a special interest in art. Where are you?

        • Anton Chigurh says:

          You were lucky to stay until 68. I taught in Bouraidah and my dept. chair had to leave at age 65. He found a job in Turkey.

  220. celticsong says:

    I am 64, and have been teaching in international schools for the past sixteen years. I can honestly say that my age has never been a factor in a negative way. Quite the opposite! I attended the Search Associate Fairs, and there were always five or more job offers to consider each time. Part of the rosy picture: I am a “proven product.” Administrative evaluations back this up, and the interviews are sincerely enjoyable, as the questions seem to at one time or another, involve real situations I’ve already experienced. And the self confidence and definite answers probably relect and reveal a veteran teacher.Another factor that contributes to smooth sailing regardless of age: I teach choral music and some years there doesn’t seem to be a lot of us out there. So, even though a given country might have age limits, (Germany for example) it didn’t effect either the job offer nor the working visa. This is my last year of teaching, however. But it is my decision to finally stop developing choirs. But I won’t retire. There are so many possibilities out there waiting to be explored! I also wanted to say that I did make sure to teach 21 years in the public school system so that at the appropriate time (age 65) I would be eligible for teacher retirement from the State where I taught. So, I think this issue has a variety of possibilities for anyone approaching the older age of the spectrum! I did land the job of my dreams, in Thailand and at the age of 60!

    • Another Music Teacher says:

      I am also a music teacher but 71 who loves teaching music and would like to continue. Do you have any suggestions? I’ve taught ES through college – general, choral and applied voice.

      • Krzys says:

        Hi, I just found an advert for a Head of Music in Oman, but, unfortunately, they say 60 is the age limit for employment there. I am an experienced teacher and ethnomusicologist who has already celebrated 61st birthday.

    • Roundtrip says:

      Hi Celtic, Your post has given me hope. I have a Skype interview next week with a school in Thailand and I just turned 60. How do you like living in Thailand?

  221. Barbara says:

    Two years ago I had a contract pulled for a Head of the English Department position at a girls’ school in Saudi Arabia. I was over sixty and the country would not grant me a work visa. In desperation I scrambled to get my profile together for Search Associates (which I highly recommend) and attended the last job fair of the year in June. Hours of work resulted in thirteen interviews at the fair and seven solid job offers. I don’t count three other offers where the recruiter was unaware that I was too old to get a work visa in his country. In addition, I had several other offers, both before the fair and after I had signed my current contract with Quality Schools International at Tirana International School in Albania. It is true that many countries won’t grant a work visa if you are over sixty and you probably won’t land the job of your dreams, especially in this tight economy. But your years of experience and your maturity and poise at interviews will pay off if you modify your expectations a bit.

  222. Marilyn says:

    Health Insurance can be a big problem.
    Even if you have your age on the web…sometimes Directors do not read all the information.
    Group insurance is difficult to get.
    Is anyone out there teaching in their 70’s?

    • Jim says:

      I’m 72. I was surprised to get an offer three years ago. I’ve sometimes wondered if I’m the oldest teacher out in the system.

      • Doug says:

        Hi Jim:

        It sounds like you are still enjoying yourself. I am 57 and looking for opportunities. Might you let me know where you are working.

        Thanks for this.


        • E says:

          Hi, Doug.

          I am another reader of this issue. To respond to your inquiry, look at Lebanon.

        • Judy Sutton says:

          Hi Doug and Jim, I am a very young 60 yr old female, just got the last two out of the nest, took a tesl course and wnt to travel and teach, any suggestions.

          • chelann9 says:

            Hi, Judy, Am in somewhat similar position and only wonder what progress you’ve made. I’m considering retiring from my 19 1/2 yr career in diagnostic ultrasound, and would like to do a TESL course this summer. But then I remembered that I’ll be 60 this Sept. So I found this blog and started reading! Not sure I would get hired as ESL teacher in the US, and love traveling abroad and speaking other languages. Hope you are finding encouragement and/or a job somewhere! Chelanne B.

            • Kim says:

              Also to Judy–
              I’m American and been international for 22 years in many places. You will be relegated to small, low paying or otherwise less desirable countries. If that’s ok, fine. In the U.S., many Adult School programs go beggin for PTers to teach ESL. If money’s not an issue, you can tutor and that is rewarding personally. I recently turned 60 and am literally STUCK where I am. Mimi in Saudi

            • Alia Parrish says:

              I was in a similar position-I needed a new career and wanted to teach ESL, but knew the requirements for US (even adult ed.) teaching were stringent and lengthy, so started teaching overseas at 57. My advice is if you don’t have the time to get a Master’s in TESOL or even an undergraduate degree in English (necessary and desirable in certain countries) make sure you take a worthwhile TEFL certification program. Many of them are garbage. Do NOT do an online program.

              The gold standard is CELTA, and it is now available in the US in certain cities. You could also take it overseas, which would be cheaper and easier than getting another degree. At one point, I tried to get a job at an adult ed program in the US. They were very enthusiastic initially, but after observation and presentation of a sample lesson, I never heard back. I used to work at a community college with a strong ESL program and know for a fact that they will not hire anyone who does not have a Master’s in TESOL.

              You have a lot going for you though. For example, you might be able to get work as an ultrasound technician in a Gulf country (such as KSA), otherwise, you could combine your background in health care with a CELTA and market yourself as a teacher of medical terminology, etc. Good Luck!

            • chelann9 says:

              Thanks to Kim and Alia for your detailed replies! Sorry I can’t figure out for sure how to say this to you! I will google CELTA.

            • Judy says:

              Hi Chelanne, it was great to hear from you. I am still in the process. The agency where I took my training guarantees a placement so I am counting on that. Although they did say that Saudi Arabia had requirements of experience teaching which I do not have. I have taught alot in my previous field but not as a teacher per say. So they are sending my resume to their contacts in China and Mexico. Will keep you informed. Any more thoughts on a career change? There seems to be many of us ESL teachers over or near 60, there must be something we can do as a group to improve the situation. Anyone have any thoughts.

            • Kim Lane says:

              Hi..you can get experience at any Adult School…or afternoon program in your community. Just find a nice teacher who will let you participate and give you a letter documenting your talent and time spent…
              As for us educating entire countries !! that over 60 ain’t dead yet, good luck. If they’re desperate enough, they’ll take us

              . Also, in the Middle East, PRIVATE universities and institutes can, with effort, get work visas. Being a native speaker of E really helps. If money not so important, you can go all sorts of interesting places!
              I’m jealous, Call me “Stuck in Saudi”…

      • Nordic soul says:

        Hi Jim,

        I’m 58 and thinking of moving on. Would you mind telling me which country you are in? I could stay on where I am but like the idea of exploring other options before I retire but it’s a bit scary resigning before I secure something. I still have lots of energy left and a wealth of IB experience.

        • Jim (in Germany) says:


          I’m in Germany.

          It’s always a gamble to resign first. In some cases heads expect you to, in others they are understanding or even supportive and give you some leeway. Good luck!

          • Anonymous says:

            I spent days giving ADEC all the information they needed to complete my application. After I gave them copies of my passport, social security number, address, parents’ addrress, and all of that information one really doesn’t want to give out, I never heard from them again. I might add here that I am highly qualified in eight fields and all grades. I finally called them to check on my status and was told the school in the UAE had a cut-off of 59. “59” ?????? I’m 60, so that was a slap in the face. I smell a fish. If ADEC is doing the hiring for these Middle Eastern schools, why don’t they just get the age preferences from the schools before they waste our time? If I were a recruiter, I would definitely ask the big age question when taking on their account.

            • Jim (in Germany) says:


              It may be because agencies want your business and schools sometimes want to “leave the door open” in case they are either desperate, (at the last minute, etc) or they have some criteria, for making offers or rejecting candidates, that they want to keep hidden to avoid candidates “filling in the blanks”, making their resume fit. That’s my guess anyway …..

        • Ann says:

          As one who is over 52 and so far can find work overseas, have you considered the UAE. They do hire older teachers. Look up ADEC (Abu Dhabi Education Council). Yes, you will have to first check out places & (entire pkg) where you could live (Dubai, AD, Al Ain, Al Gharbia) but the salary is good. Kids behavior is well…

          • Cheryl says:

            If you work in UAE as a woman can you get around and sightsee without restriction?

            • KizzieYa says:

              Yes, you can get around without any problems in the UAE. I was surprised at how open it is to western culture…however, if your dress is conservative (at least 3/4 sleeve and knee-length or longer bottoms) you shouldn’t have anyone bother you. Some people do wear short and camis, but the worst that happens is they are stared at, or asked to leave if they are in a mall or out shopping. The malls in Dubai even have dress codes before you enter the mall.

            • John McCann says:

              That is VERY depressing!!! WHy would anyone in their right mind want to go to a UAE country??? Does your idea of sightseeing consist of going to shopping malls in a burka?
              It all sounds utterly horrible to me,work through a church, or an NGO in the US, I have pparplayed my knowledge from years of philanthropy and fundraising and taught (in EnLisg in Shanghai Normal University, and later in Quinhua University, two of the top in China. I have a background in Chinese art and arc

            • Been There.... says:

              Why would anyone want to go to a UAE country (versus China say)? MONEY!!!! And decent health care. clean streets, Western standard restaurants, living accommodations, etc. Need I say more?

      • Gloria says:

        I d am trying to find a job in another country. I am a doctor (college) of business and 63 years old. I am healthy and can pass for 40. Any suggestions?

        • ksans says:

          South America has no age limits, and lots of possibilities.

        • MN says:

          South America does have age limits and more countries are adding them for work visa restrictions. Sometimes it is the school’s policy to add the age limits.I went to two job fairs and saw the age limits posted in almost every SA school. This was in Dec 2009 and Jan 2010. I heard this was new this year. Age limits were from 55 to 62.

        • Dr. J. P. Singh says:

          I am 62 years old from India. A Ph.D in Management with 40 years of wide and versatile experience including teaching and industry, finding not even a single interview call from USA despite having applied for may places and very few from my own home country. Situation is not glory for the aged people. There could be very few lucky to claim the job offer.

          • mimi in arabia says:

            In the Middle East, there are many colleges/universities DESPERATE for MA/PhD instructors…in all fields. Even institutes, as well. The knowledge level is low as is maturity, but the salaries are good. You get free housing and a free yearly ticket back home. I’m American and could never get as good a job situation (nearly guaranteed) as I do in Saudi Arabia. I have also worked in Bahrain and Kuwait. Focus on Gulf states with money! Good luck.

            • Been there.... says:

              I bet they pay really well in Libya and Egypt too, but really would you want to go there?

            • Mimi in Saudi says:

              Sure, sarcasm aside, there is also not much money available (M.E./N.Africa)except in the Gulf States, as I suggested before. Obviously, anyone who can stand the adventure can go to any number of weird and wonderful places, but for money, it’s the Arabian Gulf area (minus Yemen and Iran).

            • Been there.... says:

              Adventure is one thing, prudence is another as the recent tragic example of Mr. Stevens shows. Given the current climate of hostility towards Westerners, is it really worth your life in exchange for a high salary? I know of a teacher who was working in Egypt prior to the “Arab Spring”. When things went south she had to leave the country minus all the money she’d saved. It may be years, if ever that she gets it back due to international banking regulations.

            • Anonymous says:

              I work in Saudi Arabia and the moment my salary goes into my bank, I withdraw the cash and change into euros or £ at the earliest possibility. Ok am storing a lot of notes but at least if I have to make a quick exit I have my hard earned cash in my pocket.

            • Gail says:

              I’m wondering who you work for in Saudi! It sounds like some folks have a really rough time there. I’d been working in Oman, but my age snuck up on me, and I might not be able to get back in! Thanks for your posts!

            • Catherine Blackmore says:

              It is great to see many colleagues contributing to this blog. If you cannot get your visa renewed in Oman (60) I believe you will not get into Saudi at this age. I lost 2 great positions last year and one recruiter claimed that the incumbent person could not even get their visa renewed. There are many blogs on this subject about age limits in Saudi. I wish you all the very best in finding work as it is a terrible blow not to be able to work when one is capable, healthy and eager.

            • Jo says:

              How strict are the ADEC people on age? Is there any chance of getting in there at the age of 59?

            • Catherine Blackmore says:

              Dear Jo,

              Thanks for the question. It depends on what your qualifications are and especially if you are looking at Principal or D/P they may afford you a position. For the teaching positions if you get an interview they may offer a position. After you have been through the mill with TeachAway they will tell you straight out if you have any chance. Secondary Science,, English/Maths are in short supply so you never know. Do not mention it until they do but I believe the recruiters have been told in Dubai for the top schools nobody over 60. The cut off for ADEC is 60. If you got in before 60 years ago they are renewing for 1 year at a time my friends tell me. Hope this helps and good luck.

            • John McCann says:

              Count yourselve lucky!!! Why would anyone want to work in a repressive country like Saudi Arabia, where you have to wear a black shroud, and are treated as a second class citizen, and cant drive! That sounds like sheer masochism to me!

            • Catherine Blackmore says:

              The Abu Dhabi Education Council work out of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates so I do not know where you get the impression about Saudi Arabia. Also SA is strict but when in the schools one can wear there own sensible clothes. All expat staff live in very nice apartment complexes and no one forces anyone to work anywhere. if you choose to work there everyone should do their homework like you do for any position overseas.

            • Anonymous says:

              Hi John, I applied to the Abu Dhabi Education Council, which is not connected to Saudi Arabia.

            • Mimi in Saudi says:

              Re: Saudi Arabia. If you are young and want to be sociable, yes, this place seems terribly confining. They simply don’t approve of any gender mixing! (that they can see!) I’m older now and just enjoy a peaceful and low-crime society and a well-paying job. I try not to stress about all the inequities and frustrations. I need the job! After 60, there are VERY few choices…hmmm, Kabul? Iraq?

              TRY: Dammam Univ or Prince Mohd bin Fahd Univ. If you get in before turning 60, you’re ok to stay. At PMU, there are several employees who are OVER 70 years old!

              Besides, it’s not like there isn’t anti-female sentiment EVERYWHERE…just ignore it. I never wear the “hefty bag” covering! Never! Big deal; I wear a black dress now and then in a new neighborhood. With all the benefits, it is SO WORTH IT.

          • Anton Chigurh says:

            do not count on a job from American universities or colleges. Go to Chronicle of Higher Education and you’ll see that Ph.ds and MA instructors go on welfare and food stamps as they teach part-time. Some colleges pay $15 per hour to teach a class. No medical. No dental.

            • Anonymous says:

              true, Americans struggling to find work so likely not an age issue, rather a factor of supply and demand and a nervous economy..

        • k says:

          The Middle East is always looking for PhDs…try PMU in KSA or the large universities in Kuwait and Bahrain. Oman also pays fairly well these days. Qatar and Dubai may be more picky as to age…

      • Jude says:

        Hi Jill
        I am curious where you are at 72. I was lucky to get a job at 67 and am very happy here. We should compare notes

        • Gloria says:

          where are you teaching (country) for the over 60 age?

          • Nanette Moseley says:

            I, too am interested to know the answers to this question. I am 62, have little experience, although my Degree IS in Education and I am TEFL certified. My friends who are my age and working have good credentials, and tell me it is more the lack of experience than the age, but I have sent out SO MANY applications, none who are responding, or, say k.. too old.

            • Been there..... says:

              I am wondering now if the market has just not got tougher everywhere. I am 60 and returned to the US after teaching overseas for 3 years while I was 59. In 8 months of sending out applications for a job (ANY job) in the US, I’ve had one phone interview. As my age has not come up, it cannot be a factor-yet.

              I sometimes look at overseas postings and it seems to me that over the course of three years, the requirements for these jobs has gotten tougher and more specific and the salaries have gone down. The Middle East in particular now wants not only a Masters, but specific ones (linguistics seems very popular).

              Very likely other people-better qualified, younger, etc. unable to find jobs in their own countries are flooding the market, making it even more difficult to get a teaching job overseas.

              I don’t mean to be negative, just passing on my experience. I can tell you that there are certain countries to avoid like the plague-Korea and Thailand as far as the age thing goes.
              China will accept people who are older-the salaries are not great, but almost always they will provide a free apartment and cover some airfare costs.

              Good luck and keep trying.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am in South India. I began my contract at the age of 61, and I will be 63 in less than a year from now. India’s age limit is 68, and I have been on staff with three other woman over 60. I am in a high-tech (rapidly growing) city.

            • Anonymous says:

              Hi- I’m 66 with 6 yrs teaching in Korea behind me. Can you give me any advice on where and how to find an ESL job in India? Thanks, Bruce

        • Anonymous says:

          Jude, might I ask where you are working? I’m 61 and have not found a position yet.

      • Margaret Whittlesea says:

        Hi there can you let me know which country and which school you are working at. I am teaching in Riyadh, Saudi but fear next year maybe my last here.

      • Lee says:

        In what country are you teaching? I am 70, but look and act much younger, have a Ph.D. and 5 years teaching in College, plus 20 years owning and insurance agency – any suggestions for which countries would hire me for ESL or business?

      • Gail Du Guid says:

        Jim, where are you teaching? I’m turning 66 and running in to road blocks. Gail

  223. barry says:

    Horses for courses. I am 60 and working in Japan. The school, like others, has raised the final age to 65. IN keeping with the country’s laws I understand.
    I have also been offered a job in S.E.Asia at the age of 60.
    So they are out there. Some schools are realizing that older teacher know stuff and they ain’t sick so much.

  224. BK says:

    Hiring younger teachers may not be as cost cutting as one thinks. We have hired a teacher this year with no experience. The administration is paying several teachers to support this person and in addition has had to deal with parents that recognize the inexperience.

  225. Xpat Teacher says:

    It depends on the country. Most countries are fine to 60, then you run into problems. Some, if you are 60, but have been teaching in the country already, allow you to continue. Others, if there is a proven need and nobody else available to hire, will grant a visa for a teacher over 60. The bottom line is that sometimes there is no bottom line, other times there is. It is up to the teacher to explore where the age limits are.

  226. Anonymous says:

    Bahrein is particularly bad for this

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