Choosing Your Next International Destination
Updated: May 29, 2022
It's completely normal to feel both excitement and fear at the prospect of teaching overseas.
When considering your new destination, many questions will run through your head simultaneously: Where should I go? Where exactly will I live? Is it safe? How much money can I save? Will I need to learn the language, and if so, how? What will my new life look like?
And if you're traveling with a partner or family, the stakes are even higher.
According to the Millionaire Teacher, Andrew Hallam's latest book, Balance, there are
“four quadrants for a happy life:
1- Strong relationships with other people
2- Physical and mental health
3- A sense of purpose, and
4- Enough money.”
Let's take a look at each one of these and consider the questions you can ask yourself to help you decide on what should be your next destination:
Strong Relationships with Other People:
- How far is my new destination from my loved ones "back home"? How easy / challenging would it be to "go home" if there were an emergency? Will my new destination be a place that family and friends will want to come visit?
- How easy / challenging is it to make friends in my new destination? Can I get to know my neighbours? Can I make friends with locals to better learn their culture? How will I learn the local language to be able to communicate my basic needs on a daily basis? Is there already an expat group with whom I can connect? Are there already groups I can join to meet new people outside of my school community, such as InterNations?
Physical and Mental Health:
- How safe is it in my new destination? Can I walk around freely without worry of physical danger, crime or harassment? Can I pursue my sporting interests and possibly discover new ones? How's the air / water / noise pollution, traffic and poverty in my new destination?
- How's the medical care in my new destination? What does the medical insurance policy cover? Will it be easy to find a doctor, dentist, etc. who speaks my language?
- Can I easily continue my hobbies and interests for the sake of my mental health? Can I find like-minded people who also enjoy the same interests? What are the opportunities to seek help if I need to talk to someone professionally? Are there local or international travel opportunities available to "get away & relax"?
A sense of purpose:
- Will I find satisfaction working at my new school? Will my skill set, experience and education be valued at my new school? What type of school would be best for me? (for example, local vs. international, non-profit vs. for-profit; click on these factors to view related blog posts) Will I have an opportunity to give back to the local community? What are the present circumstances for people in this new destination and how do I feel about that?
- Will I earn enough to enjoy a similar or better lifestyle than I'm presently living? What's the cost of living at my new destination? Are there raises or stipends (coaching, tutoring, extracurricular activities, etc.) available to me? How much can I save for my future at my new destination? (More about this in upcoming blog post.)
Keeping all of these factors in mind when looking for your next destination will help you make a better choice for yourself. It's important to do your research before considering and applying for a new position in a region that might not be suited to your needs. Not sure where to look for a new job? Check out my recent blog posts: "Where to find an International Teaching Position" and "How to Find an International Teaching Position".
When you are ready to take that leap into the international circuit, feel free to contact Jacqueline at JPMint. Consulting to help you prepare before you apply. Take a look at the many services available to help your candidacy stand out and land you the job you've always wanted. Looking forward to hearing from you!