Teaching overseas

Teaching abroad holds great appeal, and understandably so. With the opportunity to experience a new country, culture, language, and people, while developing your career, it can be personally and professionally enriching to make the move overseas to teach.

Starting the process to teach abroad

You can start your Overseas job search quickly and easily with us. The Educator have  world-wide jobs listings and you can apply very simply and easily. To ensure potential employees can find you with suitable vacancies, we have created a database where your CV can be accessed by potential employers. This facility frees you from the often time-consuming job hunt.


In addition to signing-up with us, you can register with international teaching agencies that specialise in recruiting for overseas positions. It is also worth attending job fairs to meet potential employees, network and explore your options. Help and advice about selecting the right agency can be found here.


The Council of International Schools is holding their next recruitment fair on 14 January 2016 in London, with a December 2015 deadline for registering. Recruitment fairs also offer the opportunity to interview for vacancies, so go armed with your CV and ready to impress.


You can get in touch with a school directly for information on vacancies. If a school is not advertising or hiring, then a speculative enquiry can put you on file should a position arise in the future.

Interviewing for overseas jobs

The majority of interviews for overseas teaching positions are carried out via Skype. If schools are recruiting on a larger scale, then a school’s representative may carry out interviews in person at a recruitment fair in the UK. Remember to treat interviews as a two-way process and have a list of questions ready.


If you can speak to teachers at the school you are applying to before signing a contract, it is worth doing. Their experience and insight can be invaluable.

Your qualifications abroad

With the exception of TEFL, teaching positions abroad usually require you to have a Bachelors Degree and PGCE (post graduate certificate in education) or its equivalent, as well as QTS (qualified teacher status). Some schools will also ask for at least 2 years’ recent teaching experience in your subject specialism at the level you are qualified to teach.


If you are an NQT (newly qualified teacher), it’s advisable to be as flexible as you can with regards to location and choice of school. While it’s not impossible for a teacher with minimal experience to teach overseas, there are fewer opportunities, so the process can take longer.


Research the country of your choice, their school system and how your qualifications are recognised abroad by visiting the education section of the relevant government department’s website.

Overseas schools and curricula

There are five categories of overseas schools; broadly international, local international, bilingual, original expatriate and state schools. Accredited schools teach the UK, American, IB (International Baccalaureate) or local curriculum, with some schools adopting a blended curriculum. More information on different types of international schools can be found here

Where in the world

You may have your heart set on a country, in which case the choice as to where you want to concentrate your job search is a lot easier. If, however, you are undecided or have a shortlist of prospective countries that needs to be whittled down, here are some pointers to help you decide.

Asia, Middle East and Africa

Asia has long been the first choice for British teachers wanting to teach abroad. Many international schools use the English national curriculum, making it much easier to settle into a new school. China and Malaysia can offer experienced teachers competitive packages with return airfares, medical insurance, CPD (continuing professional development, accommodation allowance, and a schooling allowance.

 The on-going recruitment drive for British teachers confirms the Middle East as the first choice for many, with the UAE’s emirates Abu Dhabi and Dubai in particular regularly recruiting qualified teachers. The best packages and benefits will include free accommodation or an accommodation allowance, airfares, medical insurance, relocation allowance, annual bonus, and a tax-free-salary. Teachers typically sign up for a 2 year-year contract.

Actively recruiting at present, Nigeria and Egypt offer generous packages for teachers, including a proportion of your salary tax-free, airfares, paid accommodation and utilities, annual bonus, and health insurance.

Europe and Latin America

Europe has a lot to offer UK-trained teachers, and its close proximity makes trips back home more practical and affordable. Countries such as Spain and France often have large expatriate communities, which can be a great support when you are a new teacher starting out abroad.

European schools can be selective, however, with plenty of applicants to choose from, competition is tough. On the face of it, packages may not seem to be as be as generous as those offered by the Middle-East and Asia, but experienced teachers can receive a competitive salary, in addition to a housing and relocation allowance, health insurance, annual airfare, and CPD opportunities.

International schools in Latin America recruit UK-trained teachers, and if you speak Portuguese or Spanish you have a definite advantage. The best teaching contracts in countries such as Venezuela and Brazil will offer accommodation, health insurance, return airfares and end of contract bonus.

On the face of it, a tax-free salary sounds very enticing, it is important to note, however, that you may still have a tax liability in your home country when teaching abroad.

Before you go

Before committing to any contract, consider not only the material benefits on offer. Ask yourself is it a country you can life in harmoniously in terms of your personal ethos and enjoy, while calling it home for a few years. Are you and the school a good fit for each other, i.e. do you share a common view on education, can you see yourself supporting the school’s objectives and vision for their students.

On a practical level, it is essential to check the visa requirements of your chosen country, as well as your eligibility to teach with your current qualifications. Some countries have upper-age limits, and require pre-health checks, as well as a certain number of years teaching experience.

Helpful resources

Teacher reviews of international schools such as https://internationalschoolsreviewdiscuss.wordpress.com/ and teacher forums can provide you with helpful information. A supportive online community is also a great resource when taking the first step to teaching abroad.

The Ultimate Teaching Overseas Checklist

More Links:

Overseas job search

Recruitment fair


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