There’s something to be said for teaching. The skills you pick up from lion-taming — I mean, educating children — in the classroom are those that can set you up for a lifetime of success. Which is ideal if you fancy swapping the dull and drizzly landscapes of Blighty for warmer, brighter shores.
Attitudes in Britain towards spending longer periods abroad have changed dramatically in the last decade. What was once the preserve of the “gap-yah” student has become a real possibility for even broader segments of society. The chance to live, work and travel abroad is now a compelling reason for more and more of us to call time on our steady teaching careers and venture out into the unknown.
Whether you’re seeking a complete career overhaul or just a couple of years sabbatical from the grueling day-to-day grind of the British education system, there’s plenty to discover beyond the shores of our little island. Here are six of our favorites.
1. Teach in an International School
The most obvious alternative to teaching in a British school is, er, teaching in an international school.
First off, the similarities are pretty comforting. Most, if not all, are what we would consider private schools. They serve a varied range of international families, many involved in foreign service or just other expats seeking an English-language education for their children, based on the British or American curriculum.
2. Become a TEFL Teacher
Second on the duh, well obviously list of popular jobs abroad for British teachers is teaching English as a foreign language. Unlike teaching at an international school, teaching English abroad does typically require you to pick up an additional qualification, this time a TEFL certificate.If you’ve already got the pedagogy skills acquired from teaching in the British classroom, this should be a walk in the park. What’s more, you can either study online or in-person (check out the key things to look at before picking a TEFL course) and, if you’re raring to go, you could pick up your TEFL qualification in the country where you plan to teach abroad (such as Thailand).
3. Spend Time as an Au Pair
Keeping on the kids theme, another popular job to segue into abroad if you’re a teacher is an au pair. Obviously, this does mean you have to really enjoy spending time and educating children — there’s no handing them back at the end of the school day in this career — but it can be a hugely rewarding and educational experience — for all concerned.Former teachers will find their experience of working and disciplining children invaluable in this role, which requires just as much patience and diplomacy as any stint in the classroom.
4. Transform into a Tour Guide
If you have a head for facts and history or have a real love of geography and the world, getting a job abroad as a tour guide is an excellent way to combine some seriously hot presentation skills with global travel. Expect to be the envy of your friends and former work colleagues as you snap photos of you and your clients on location.You can either get a job with a large tour operator and lead their trips through countries or find your way onto the books of a company based out of one location, where you’ll take clients around your local area. While it might look to the rest of the world like the job of a tour guide is being on a permanent holiday.
5. Take a Working Holiday Abroad
Fancy a year “down under”? Like the thought of a year-long sabbatical rather than quitting your job for good? A working holiday visa might be right up your alley, particularly as a multitude of countries (not just Australia!) offer these to British citizens.Different countries have their own requirements for who can and can’t apply. You can get your hands on a 12-month visa for Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea, a 12-month visa (that you can extend to 24 months) for Australia and a 23-month visa if you’re aged between 18 and 30 for New Zealand, and, if you’re aged between 18 and 35, you can apply for a Canadian visa for two years.
6. Join the Remote Work Revolution
A final option — and an increasingly popular one — is to work remotely. There’s a growing trend of digital nomadism, aka remote work that allows you to travel and move around the globe at will. This is perfect for those whose itchy feet just can’t be soothed.
However, while it might sound like the dream job, remote work can be poorly paid and difficult to find. It can also take a good few months (or even a few years) to really establish yourself in this field, so a comfortable safety net of savings before you throw yourself in is sensible.