…Our recent Survey (How Long Do International Educators Stay Overseas?) reveals that the majority of Educators who go International, stay International and do so for the greater part of their careers, if not for their entire careers.
…Over 700 International Educators took our Survey. More than 400 report they’ve been living and teaching abroad for 7+ years. The 20+ years overseas group tops the Survey chart, making up 16% of the total responses. This is followed closely by educators falling into the 11-19 year groups.
…A logical sequel to these results is to look into what motivates so many educators to go overseas and stay there. Could it be that educators go abroad because jobs are scarce in their own countries; and when jobs do become available their years of overseas teaching are not recognized? ISR hypothesizes: Teachers go abroad for adventure and stay when they discover they have more freedom in the classroom, minimal discipline problems, and a far higher standard of living/savings than in their own countries. Do you agree?
…If you are in the 7-or-more years overseas categories, we invite you to Share what motivated you to go International and what later inspired you to stay overseas.
Please scroll down to participate
4 thoughts on “Survey Results: Overseas for 20+Years Prevails”
As a 23 year old in 1971 at the beginning of my teaching career in South Australia I read some research about British Public Servants who retired at 65 but on average enjoyed their retirement for only 2 years. The Australian dream then was to work to 65, pay off the house, educate the kids, and then in retirement take the BIG TRIP overseas with the wife. Bugger it, I thought, I’m not waiting that long and then falling off the perch at 67! After 5 years teaching I applied for and received “one year’s leave without pay for overseas travel”. This guaranteed me a job on return to South Australia but I could be working anywhere in the state. That year of travel convinced that I wanted to work out of Australia. I departed in 1998 and have been working in several countries since. I am 69 now and looking for 3 more years in Saudi Arabia before returning to Adelaide for my decrepitude.
I’m an expat Canadian, who has been teaching overseas for more than 20 years. My love of travel and an exciting offer from an old university roommate gave me the impetus to start my overseas teaching career. I headed home for one year (following my 7th year abroad), and what a shocker that was to be once again in the public school system. Large class sizes and constant “crowd control” characterized that year, so when the same university roommate offered me a job in her school in Johannesburg, SA, I jumped at the chance. I have managed to save for a comfortable retirement, but am still teaching because I love it! i have had so many amazing adventures teaching abroad, and it will be a tough decision to finally move back home . . . or not.
Ditto what SuzieQ says. Due to a shortage of suitable native English speaking teachers where I live, I’ve been able to move beyond what I would have been ‘allowed’ to do in the US or even EU, simply because of the obsession with certain certs over actual experience. I’m in my 15th year now, pushing 65, but could be allowed to stay on many more years unless the school collapses for reasons of student recruitment or something- always an issue in countries which have moved beyond developing to developed. Today, youth and tech abilities seem to be far more prized in the US than experience, so I wouldn’t even consider leaving my lesser paid but very satisfying position.
Do I qualify? This is my 5th year overseas but I plan to work here until I must retire at 67…. which would make my expatriate career 12 years.
I love teaching, and I love educational admin (developing and implementing policy, getting it right and seeing schools change for the better) but found on my return to may home country that my OS experiences were not valued. The system that had nurtured my development as a teacher also felt parochial, and I was unable to find a permanent placement.
Children are children, and high quality schools share the attributes of committed, idealistic staff. It is a privilege to have a career that lets me work in so many different around the world, in an honourable capacity, to learn about cultures first hand, and to work with diverse teams. It has kept me energised. Not many careers give you this opportunity.
I think I have finally found my ‘forever’ school.
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