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  • Writer's pictureJ. Mallais

Top 10 Benefits of International Teaching Contracts

Teaching overseas has many advantages over working in your home country.

International teachers will frequently list travel, adventure, discovery of new cultures & languages, amongst the top reasons why they prefer teaching abroad. However, in this article, we will examine many of the benefits that are strictly finance-related; essentially, what you should search for and consider in your international teaching contract.

Here are the top 10 financial benefits to look for in your international teaching contract:


Gold Standard

Average Offer

Red Flag


Transparent salary grid, depending on your level of education and years of experience; salary increases each year.

Salary range, open to and dependent on your negotiation skills; set salary for the duration of your contract.

Warning about keeping your salary and benefits confidential from other school staff; no increase in salary for the duration of your contract.


A transparent and set monthly stipend, from which you can pocket any savings. If you find cheaper accommodation, you can also pay utilities from your stipend.

Housing is provided by the school, depending on your family needs (single, double-contract, children). Utilities may or may not be paid for.

On-Campus Housing, depending on your negotiation skills for number of years before you may move off-campus


A set stipend that amply covers your return flight each summer, including the summer between your 1st and 2nd year of your contract. If you find a cheaper flight, or decide to use your flight for a vacation instead, you have the freedom to use your flight benefit as you see fit.

​A return-ticket is paid for each summer, from the closest airport to your hometown on record to the school's city. You may or may not have the opportunity to choose your dates of travel.

One return-ticket is provided at the beginning and end of your 2-year contract - no summer travel is paid for in between your 1st and 2nd year.


​A guaranteed, set stipend is available for each teacher, with the possibility to defer one year's PD funding to the following year for a more expensive conference or course.

​PD funding is accessed through an application and decided on a case-by-case basis.

​No PD funding is offered; only In-House PD is offered.


​World-wide coverage for teacher & dependents, including dental and vision coverage; no co-pay necessary

World-wide coverage except for USA, with teacher needing to pay in advance and making a claim for reimbursement

Local medical coverage only, with prior approval by insurance company; many procedures not covered


Transparent and set shipping allowance to and from the school & settling-in allowance in local currency to help cover incidental costs upon arrival

​Shipping allowance up to a certain amount with receipts TO the school's city only (ie. no shipping allowance at the end of contract) & settling-in allowance is actually a small advance of 1st month's salary

Two suitcases included in your flight ticket, but no additional shipping allowance. No settling-in allowance mentioned


Transparent and set stipend for any activity or coaching done after school hours

​Some stipend offered, with admin approval, when your required and contracted minimum activity hours are surpassed

Expectation of coaching and activity hours, including some weekends, without any additional renumeration


All children's tuition costs are covered by school. Some additional benefits might be meals, transportation, textbooks, uniform, and field trips.

​For a family of four with two teacher contracts, two children's tuition costs are covered by school. Any additional children are covered by the family.

Children's tuition is offered at a discount to the teacher(s); no additional coverage of costs is offered.


A certain percentage of your salary that you save and invest is matched by your school in lieu of a retirement fund.

​The school offers a set amount (sometimes a portion of a month's salary) for each teacher in lieu of a retirement fund.

No retirement matching is offered.


​At the end of your initial contract, a re-signing bonus is offered for any additional years you continue to work at the school. Some schools offer a bigger bonus for an additional 2-or-3-year upfront contract. Additionally, your salary goes up each year, ie. you get a raise.

​At the end of your initial contract, you may be offered a re-signing bonus and/or a raise.

No mention of a re-signing bonus or raise in your contract

Do you wish you could have someone's expertise and support to take a look at a prospective teaching contract? I can help you navigate the terms of your contract, outlining all the benefits listed and what may be missing. I work directly with you - please feel free to contact me to learn how I can assist you to obtain your dream job! Check out the different services offered here:

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