6 good reasons for teaching overseas in Asia

Monday, October 30, 2017

Teaching overseas is an attractive opportunity, so more and more specialists from different countries decide or try it out. But here is a question. Why would someone want to leave their home country, together with the comfort zone and find themselves in a different surrounding, on the other side of the planet? There are lots of reasons to do so. Today Asian countries attract thousands of foreigners annually. Each of them has their story to tell and their reasons for choosing this particular region and this particular occupation. However, there are some common features in all those success stories foreign teachers have to share.

Explore new culture

Even though many people still consider Asiainfo-icon an alien part of the world, wild and hard to explore, times have changed throughout the last decades. Today Asia can offer much more than you would expect. For people teaching overseas, it is a great chance to explore a unique and exciting culture and immerse yourself into an exciting and colorful world. If you come from Europeinfo-icon or the US, you will surely go through some culture shock at first. Everything is so different from what most foreigners are used to. But over the time you get used to all the street food, endless sales, and noisy markets. Moreover, you start seeing beauty in all those small things which are so shocking at the beginning. Being a teacher at an international school in Asia will give you a chance to feel respected and valued since the Asians do have a special attitude to foreign teachers. You will be able to have an active and fun social life and experience the local lifestyle to the fullest.

teaching overseas

Get some unique experience

No matter if you have some teaching experience from your native country or you are a fresh graduate, your Asian experience will pay you off. The system of education here is so different. You might find it more “academic” as they tend to say. Kids start reading and writing much earlier than in most European countries. You will be surprised with the achievements of those 3-year-olds in Phonics and Math. They do have a different curriculum here, in Asia. For instance, Singaporean schools are known all over the world for their strong foundation in Math and Science. Some international schools follow British curriculum, and some prefer American style. However, it still is different from the approach they use in the other parts of the world. Most Asian kids learn several languages from the early age, which is also quite different. For this reason, Asian experience will give you a different perspective on teaching overseas and might make you change your teaching style and use some alternative methods of teaching. It broadens your views as a teacher and provides you with the new tools which you can use successfully when you decide to go back to teaching in your native country or any other country of the world.

Travel opportunities

If you work as a teacher in any Asian country you will have a chance to travel a lot, since teachers’ schedule is pretty flexible with lots of holidays and long weekends during the year. No matter what you prefer, busy Bangkok or rural life in the mountain village in Vietnam, you will always be able to travel around the country or visit the neighboring countries. Traveling around Asia is not expensive, and you will not have to worry about visas a lot, so it is easy to discover all the wonders the region has to offer. Do not forget the field trips and staff trips you are going to have taught overseas for an international school. Some schools even offer their teachers to take part in the seminars and workshops for teachers held in other countries. All expenses are covered by the school, of course. So, you get a chance for professional development together with an opportunity to see the world.

Enjoy low-cost lifestyle

Asia is known for the low cost of life. Foreign teachers do enjoy it. Teachers’ salaries vary from the country to country. It also depends on the location and reputation of the school where you work. For example, if we look into opportunities of working as a teacher in Thailandinfo-icon, you can find out that working as a teacher in some rural areas you will be able to get around 30,000 baht, which is around $800, while Bangkok based school will most likely offer the salary of $1,000-1,500 depending on your education and experience. But again, the cost of living is higher in the capital, so if you want to save money, you will probably look into finding a job outside the Thai capital. Some schools also provide free accommodation and a return ticket to your home country. If you are expecting a higher salary, you might consider other Asian countries. Foreign teachers earn more in Japanese and Korean international schools (teaching English in Korea experience), but the requirements might be stricter for the applicants.

Feel safe while teaching overseas

The old stereotype about Asia being a “wild” region full of danger for foreigners is not actual anymore. Even though there are places you would most likely want to avoid, most cities are safe to stay. Moreover, the increasing number of expats has shaped the Asian world, and today it is pretty safe, especially in big cities. Of course, it is advisable to do your research before moving. For example, South Thailand is good for the holiday destination, but some regions are not safe for the westerners. Same is applicable for the Philippinesinfo-icon and some parts of Korea.  

Open new horizons

Life when teaching overseas in Asia will never be boring. That is for sure. As an international teacher, you will find it pretty fascinating how people see the educational process in Asia. You will have a chance to learn a new language, and even how to bargain in that language. You will also taste the local life and feel the cultural diversity, which will surely be useful in your later career. So, get ready to broaden your horizons and good luck searching for a job in Asia.