Ask any International Educator and the chances are good they’ll tell you the most compelling reasons for going international is the potential for nearby travel adventures, total cultural immersion, and the opportunity to form new friendships with colleagues, parents and host nationals, alike. Considering COVID has all but put an end to this, the question remains: Are the sacrifices you make to go international still worth the costs it can impose on your future?
An ISR Member Comments: Upon returning to my home country it took 3 full years to be employable again. Employers simply do not take international teaching seriously. Although some acknowledge intercultural skills could have been developed, most just see the overseas experience as a flight risk and an experience that is less relevant and verifiable.
It has been a difficult journey and one I will never recover from financially. All those years of working for meagre pay and not paying into my national pension plan will leave me working until 70 at least. Now, I’m working under people much younger than me. Most of my friends are earning 6 figures and well invested in local real estate, while I am entry-level and renting a shabby apartment.
Would I do it all over again knowing how difficult it would be to reintegrate, and knowing what I was giving up for my future? Maybe. Would I do it now, though, with all the restrictions due to COVID? Not a chance in hell!
Consider the following:
Schools are indiscriminately breaking Contract due to low enrollment. Closed borders are preventing teachers from leaving their host country because reentry is/may be blocked. Scores of teachers have not seen family or friends for more than 2 years. Quarantine requirements at open borders can make leisure travel to neighboring countries prohibitive. Social distancing makes cultural immersion and forming new friendships all but impossible. Lastly, but certainly of utmost consequences, virtual teaching from a hotel room, as a number of international educators have reported, is not an International experience.
ISR asks: With a global pandemic diminishing the essence of the International Teaching experience, is going International still worth it?
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