…Just in case you didn’t already know, Yin/Yang is the idea that all things exist with inseparable, contradictory opposites such as rich and poor, large and small, dark and light, truth and lies. Within that structure of opposites there exists balance. Teaching overseas is no exception
The rewards to going international (Yang) can be great, while the difficulties (Yin) may be enough to make some of us stay home. For readers contemplating a leap into International Education, ISR recommends you assess the potential Yin and Yang of your decision-making process.
The Yin of teaching overseas: Being away from loved ones back home during major life events, new-found friends and colleagues drifting away at school’s end, lack of a caring support network when things go wrong, a constant slight feeling of insecurity, difficulty getting by with limited language proficiency, the challenge of moving pets, hard-to-manage financial responsibilities back home, lack of job security and/or a pension.
The Yang: A decent paycheck and savings potential, eager students and generally great colleagues, interesting, nearby places to visit, breathing room from family pressures and expectations, personal growth from living in different cultures and languages, potential for living well above the socio-economic lifestyle of a teacher back in one’s home country, opportunities for lasting friendships with people of all ages from all over the world.*
…International Teaching, like all aspects of life, is about getting your personal Yin/Yang balance right. Can you deal with a polluted city as the trade-off to being near historic sites that make you swoon? Is a small school with few resources worth the struggle in exchange for the opportunity to teach well-behaved students with a passion to learn? For everyone, the sacrifices (Yin) they are willing to make for (Yang) pleasures will be different.
Of course, there is more Yin/Yang associated with moving and teaching overseas than mentioned here. Take your time and weigh your own personal Yin/Yang balance while making the commitment. Many International Educators say they were hesitant to leave their country behind but now don’t want to return. They’ve found their personal Yin/Yang balance. You can, too!
* from ISR Open Forum users
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