The personal benefits of working overseas including getting out of your comfort zone, learning more about your self, your abilities, your hangups and your strengths. It really does change you.
You get to be immersed in a culture for a long period of time and this will help you to become more internationally minded. It will give your children a global perspective and help everyone in your family become more tolerant human beings.
The travel opportunities are one of the biggest benefits of teaching overseas - My home country, Australia is such a long way from anywhere except New Zealand and Bali. But while living in Hong Kong I can take a 3-4 hour flight and and be in any of 10 countries, 4-7 hours I can be in India, the middle east, in 10 hours I can be in Europe, 12 I can be in the USA. And, the best part is that you will have the money to do it.
You will meet new friends from all over the world who will enrich your lives beyond expectations. However, they may also break your heart when they or you have to leave.
The cultural rewards are too numerous to extoll - you will become a part of the culture whether you try or not. It becomes a part of you just by living in it. You will experience things you never thought possible, and, it will change you.
Working in an overseas school library is an amazing experience. Generally, the budget
The collection includes resources from all over the world as we need to order from all over the world to fulfill our curriculum requirements, but also for cost, this a truly a rich opportunity for the students at these schools to have resources sourced globally.
The students and staff are amazing. Generally there are few behavioural problems in an international school, the students are avid readers and very demanding pushing for more and more. They are switched on with mobile devices, laptops, e-readers all the gadgets, they are eager to learn and are supported by their parents. The access to digital resources can be overwhelming and become every day expectations depending on the school. Our school is 1:1 from year six, with the ratio for the other years being 1:3 we also have 60 ipads, ipods and ereaders. It will be hard moving to another place with less. This access and our budget allows us to offer exceptional digital resources to support the learning.
The professional rewards are many. In many cases you have the opportunity to forge your own paths, do what you want, take risks and create your own challenges in your library programme.
The professional learning opportunities can be amazing. Conferences and workshops are held all over the world throughout the year, and the PD budgets
Your exposure, reliance and hence capacity with digital technologies will increase depending on where you are, enhancing your employ ability elsewhere.
You will also be exposed to different curriculum, if you are lucky the IB curriculum. Learning about new ways of learning is always good. This again gives you new skill sets. A good TL should be able to learn and adapt to any curriculum.
So, you are now ready to pack your bags & shift your family - how to find a job?
There are a number of organisations who are professionals at finding work for international educators. Some cost money to submit your resume, others are free to teachers, but charge the schools. Some hold employment fairs around Christmas time which are worth attending if you can.
International School Services
The International Educator
Teaching Jobs Overseas
Teacher Recruitment International (Thanks to Angela for this suggestion.)
Another excellent tool is the European Council of International Schools Moodle (ECIS) -Look for the Library section. This list serve has educators all over the world sharing and job vacancies are posted often.
I hope these blog posts have given you some insight about working in a country other than where you call 'home', there is more to just picking up your suitcases and moving to another place, but if you approach the change in your life as an adventure and a personal journey of growth, it will be one of the best experiences you will ever have.