Moving abroad to fill an International School teaching position comes with a certain degree of apprehension. Change is never stress free. Ask any seasoned, well traveled International Educator and they will tell you they still may experience a bit of disquiet as they plan for life in a new locale.
There are pros and cons associated with everything in life. International Teaching is no exception. What one educator considers a deterrent to leaving home may strike another as a strong motivator.
ISR asked a group of Educators in the United States if they had ever considered going International and what prevented them from pursing the idea? Discounting reasons like a spectacular job or school-age children they couldn’t bring themselves to uproot, here’s a short list of what Educators said keeps them home:
- Language barrier
- Feeling like an outsider
- Culture shock
- Foreigners may not be welcome / discrimination
- Missing my home country food
- Feeling like my life back home could be fading away
- I’ll be far away if my aging parents need me
- The weather might be depressing
- It could be more difficult to find a partner
ISR then asked a group of International Educators to share what motivates them to teach overseas.
Their answers, in contrast, to the say-at-home group are like day is to night. Here’s the Top 10 Reasons for going International:
- Learning a new language
- Opportunity to experience new cultures
- Making new friends
- Learning to adapt to new things
- Opportunity to try new foods
- Experience different ways of doing things
- Grow in character / overcome challenges / learn to depend on myself
- Leaving my comfort zone
- Travel opportunities
- Reassess my values
Clearly, what keeps one person home motivates another to make the jump! That’s not to say you can’t belong to the first group and make a success of the adventure. More than one educator has left home with one foot firmly planted in the say-at-home group and evolved into an embedded member of the make-the-jump group. How about YOU?
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