May comes to a close and as the Southern Hemisphere bids farewell to warm temperatures, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are getting our flip flops ready for the most loved season of the year— Summer!
In this month’s Teach Away Telegram, we bring you tips on how to research the cost of living overseas, and how to plan for saving overseas. We also explore the lucrative options of teaching English for special purposes, and our country spotlight is on Saudi Arabia where countless opportunities are waiting for qualified teachers.
Happy reading! —The Teach Away Team
The Cost of Living Abroad
When job searching you want to know what your duties will be, the location, and of course, how much you are going to earn. Choosing to open your horizons and teach abroad can be a very exciting opportunity culturally as well as financially; however, it can be hard to evaluate if that R$2,000 monthly salary in Brazil is going to enable you to spend the four days of carnival partying in the streets of Rio de Janeiro or if you will be stuck watching the carnival parades go by on TV.
Refrain from judging a contract on wages alone, as simply converting the foreign salary to your local currency is not an accurate depiction of what you will be earning. Instead, take into account the cost of living at your chosen destination by researching the cost of basic daily expenses such as transportation, housing, and basic groceries. On the Teach Away Community site, you can connect with many Teach Away teachers who are teaching abroad, who can help you determine if a particular salary will allow you to save money, travel, or both!
Kathleen Smith is a Teach Away teacher, living and teaching in Vietnam with her partner David Lang. Kathleen is able to save 40% of her income every month; however, she notes that the amount you are able to save depends on your lifestyle.
“There are many opportunities for foreigners to spend lots of money in the city: Western style bars and restaurants, nightclubs, etc. But if you do not do these things too often and live and occasionally eat as the Vietnamese, do you shouldn't have any problems with money,” Kathleen said.
Immersing yourself in the local culture will enable you to save money and have an incredible experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Whether you want to save money, travel, experience a new culture, or all of the above, you can start your adventure by reviewing our website to learn more about the countries and positions available, including details on remuneration.
Teaching English for Special Purposes
There are many ministries of education and governmental organizations around the world that hire foreign English teachers to teach within the public school system, but what if you prefer teaching adult students? The great news is that there are plenty of opportunities in private language schools in many countries such as Japan and China.
In some private schools you will be able to teach English for special purposes, which allows you to specialize in a specific area of interest. You can use your knowledge in that area to teach English to professionals who already have a fairly good grasp of the language but need to learn how to communicate using industry-specific language.
This is a great opportunity for candidates who have professional experience but lack teaching practise. If you are thinking about teaching abroad, your professional experience could give you a competitive advantage in certain schools. Currently, the most sought-after area is business, so any experience working in a corporate environment it can set you apart. Also, these positions sometimes offer better remuneration than teaching a general English class.
Because most of the time you will be teaching your students at their office or in their home after work, you must be willing to work evenings and weekends as well as willing to commute between your students’ offices or homes. If all of this got you exited to launch an international teaching career, check out our current teaching positions available in Japan.
Country Spotlight: Saudi Arabia
Located in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and an ideal place to learn about Middle Eastern and Islamic traditions. It boasts large cities with all the modern amenities you would find in any major city, as well as small villages in the desert were the Bedouin way of life can be witnessed first-hand. Since the late 1980s, Saudi Arabia has been investing heavily in its educational system and there are many lucrative options for foreign teachers in both private and public institutions. Most positions offer an array of benefits, typically including roundtrip airfare, health insurance, accommodations or a housing allowance, and contract completion bonuses. Salaries in Saudi Arabia are tax-free.
Saudi society is based on Islamic customs. As Friday is a holy day, the work week starts on Saturday and ends on Wednesday. Foreigners need to be aware of the local laws and adhere to all social customs. While most foreigners live in compounds, some might live on campus, or in the city where they work.