How Long Do Intern’l Educators Stay Overseas?


The majority of international educators go overseas with the idea that they’ll check out international education, spend a year or so in some exotic location and then return home. Not surprisingly, 2 years turns into 3, then 4 and before you know it, it’s 8 years and counting!

Take our Survey to see how many years International Educators stay overseas. Clicking the “View Results” link at the bottom of the Survey will display up-to-the-minute results.

Take our Short Survey

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8 Responses to How Long Do Intern’l Educators Stay Overseas?

  1. I’ve been out of South Africa teaching in International schools is Burma, Thailand , Cambodia and the Philippines. I’m not sure that I’d want to go back into teaching on the State Education System in RSA. In any event, I am too old to do so now.

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  2. Antipodia says:

    Catherine and Judy, I agree about Australia. I was a permanent officer in a state system but when I returned after 3 years in Asia, I was told the reason I couldn’t land a permanent placement was because I’d been playing rugby while the rest of the team had been playing AFL (Australian Football League)!

    Three years later, I have been fortunate to have landed a position in a not-for-profit European school (playing football this time?) which is more open-minded. Yet philosophically, there seem to be very few differences in approaches to learning. I resigned and am looking forward to working here for years. So far, every day has been a ball.

    Like anonymous, I am a mature teacher with a secure pension waiting for me, but here I am also expected to contribute to the national pension fund. People working internationally should be astute about their employment conditions.

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  3. Global Nomad says:

    After 20+ years teaching in our home countries, we taught in the Middle East and Asia for fourteen years. Loved it! We now have friends around the globe, have lived in cultures we only previously visited, and travelled extensively. We are now retired in Asia, as that’s where we feel most at home.
    We kept up payments to existing pension funds, collected good end of contract bonuses from our overseas schools and also saved, so are financially secure. We still travel regularly. We have expat and local friends, good medical and dental care and can buy what we need to live comfortably.
    Our only regret is that we didn’t move overseas earlier!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    The problem with a young person staying overseas is that they lose retirement investment power through the loss of state funded retirement and or social security. Most educators that I talk to are clueless about retirement savings through a state funded program which offers a lifetime payout once vested. Once a person hits their 50’s they can’t go back and do things over again. The average retiree will spend $250,000 on health care. The time to start preparing financially for that is in the 20’s. Not the 40’s or 50’s. Some will say that the are saving money. the problem is, their saving is not a lifetime payout benefit. Sure it is fun to live overseas. But retirement age come faster than you think.

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  5. B says:

    It also doesn’t address the number of teachers who leave in the middle of the night- sometimes even before their 1st paycheck.

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  6. Catherine Blackmore says:

    I have found this survey interesting. I would like you to follow it up with the reasons why educators stay overseas. In many cases young graduates cannot get a position in my home country Australia and intend to stay a year or two but when they return home for holidays they find out that there are still no jobs in their category so they extend. It has its + and minuses because a lot of your service and experience is not recognised when you finally come home.

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    • Judy says:

      As long as you’re teaching in a recognised international or government school overseas, your years of service are recognised in Australia for your pay scale. You might have to do more paperwork to get your registration. (I’ve come back to Australia for a few years for my kids, but all my overseas experience was counted.)

      What I have found in Australia is a very blinkered attitude to syllabus experience and a tendency to assume that if you haven’t taught that particular syllabus, then your experience is irrelevant. Obviously the subject doesn’t change, just the order you teach it in and the weight given to different areas, but it can be difficult to convince some Australian principals of that, and I’d assume it’s even more difficult if you didn’t have Australian experience before you moved overseas.

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