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 unforeseen 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.

Please see the 2019 Update to this article:
Is Ageism Keeping You From Getting Hired?

618 thoughts on “Overseas and Over-50: Ask a Question, Share Experiences, Advice and Support

    1. I have tried at Eritrea, but have not received any response. Some of the Universities in Ethiopia clearly mention the upper age limit as 60 years.

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  1. 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.

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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

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

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

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    6. 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

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    7. 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.

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  2. 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.

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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.

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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    1. 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).

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    2. 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

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    3. 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.

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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?

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  8. 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.

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    1. 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

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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.

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    4. 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.

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    5. 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.

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    6. 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!

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    7. 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.

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    8. 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!

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    9. 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.

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    10. 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.

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    11. 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”.

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    12. 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.

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    13. 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!

      THIS PROVES THAT DISCRIMINATION IS STUPID

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  9. 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…

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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

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    4. 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 🙂

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  10. 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.

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  11. 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!!!

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    1. 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

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    2. 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.

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  12. 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.

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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  13. 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.

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  14. 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.

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  15. 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.

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    1. 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!

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    2. 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

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  16. 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.

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  17. 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.

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  18. 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?

    Thanks…

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    1. 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.

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

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    3. 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.

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    4. 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.

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    5. 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

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    6. 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.

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  19. 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.

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    1. 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.

      Like

    2. 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.

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  20. 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.

    RobSg

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    1. 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.

      Like

    2. 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.

      RobnSg

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  21. Hello,

    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 –
    Expensive!

    I am quite interested in China – but legally only.

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    1. 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.

      Like

  22. 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.

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  23. 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)

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  24. 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.

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    1. @ 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

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    2. 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.

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  25. 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.

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  26. 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.

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    1. 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.

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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).

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  27. 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.

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    1. 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.
      f) NO MUSIC IN THE CLASSROOM
      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.

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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.

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  28. 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?

    Thanks,

    Joe

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.)

      Joe

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    3. 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.

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  29. 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.

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    1. 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.

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  30. Diane,

    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!

    Jim

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  31. 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.

    Diane

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  32. 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.

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  33. 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!

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    1. 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.

      Like

  34. 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.

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    1. 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.

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  35. 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.

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  36. 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.

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    1. 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?

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  37. 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).

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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  38. 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!

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  39. 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!

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    1. 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!

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    2. 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!

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    3. 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.

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    4. 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?

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    5. 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.

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    6. 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.

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  40. 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.

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    1. 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!!

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    1. Hi
      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.

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    2. 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.

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  41. 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

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    1. 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.

      Jim

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  42. 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.

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  43. 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?

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    1. 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.

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  44. 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.

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    1. 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?

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    2. 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.

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  45. 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.
    Any?

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  46. 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.

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  47. 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.

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    1. 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’.

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  48. 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?

    Like

    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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.

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    4. 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.

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  49. 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!

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  50. 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!!!!

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  51. Congratulations!!
    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.

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  52. 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!!!

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  53. 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.

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    1. 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.

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

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    3. 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!

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    4. 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?

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  54. 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?

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  55. 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.

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    1. 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?

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  56. 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?

    Thanks.

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  57. 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.

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  58. 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.

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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

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  59. 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.

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  60. 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.

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  61. 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.

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  62. 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.

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    1. 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.

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  63. 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.

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  64. 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.

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  65. 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! 🙂

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  66. 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.

    Rob

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    1. 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.

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  67. 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.

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    1. 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.

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  68. 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.

    Thanks.

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  69. 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.
    Roseann

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  70. 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.

    Rob

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    1. 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~

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    2. 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”.

      Regards,
      Rob

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    3. 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!

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  71. Holly,

    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!

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  72. 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”….:

    http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewforum.php?f=25&sid=b0221ed3b10fe06974ead03dc38a8997

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

    Best of Luck,
    Gloria

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  73. 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.

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  74. 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.

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  75. 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.

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  76. Mimi,

    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!

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  77. 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.

    Like

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