Landing a teaching position abroad is an exciting time but also a little nerve racking. Getting everything prepared and figuring out your plan for the next year can get a little complicated. The first thing to make sure to do is to look over your teaching contract before you sign and accept a position.
One of the first things you should look at listed on your contract is what your salary is going to be. It is important to figure out if what you are going to get paid is going to support the cost of living in that country, leave you with money to travel or save, as well as if you’ll be able to afford rent and a flight home.
Another key thing to look at is the benefits that come with your teaching position. Rent can take a huge chunk of money out of your paycheck every month. Some teaching contracts provide you with housing, or help you find cheap housing close to the school and are you’ll be teaching at which is a major benefit. Going to a foreign country, you most likely won’t be able to apartment hunt beforehand. In addition, check to see if schools pay for flights there and home which can also cost a good amount of money. One of the main reasons you are teaching abroad is probably because you want the opportunity to travel, therefore it is important that you note if you get any vacation time so that you can achieve these travel goals. Other benefits included that can cost a lot if you have to get them yourself are: visa work permits, moving costs, medical exams, travel insurance, and paid sick days.
Contract length is another thing to look at in your teaching contract. While most contracts last about a year, some contracts require 2 or 3 years. Looking at the number of hours you will be working is important as well. Naturally, you’ll want downtime as well as time to plan lessons since this will most likely be a new experience for you. Some schools require you to work weekends as well as different hours like night classes or stay for after school meetings. It is important to be aware of these things before signing a contract. In addition, looking at contract termination fees should you have to leave early is equally as important to take a look at.
Getting a teaching abroad position is definitely an exciting but also nerve racking time. It is important to go over details of a position before jumping into things too fast.