Experience Teaching Abroad – worth it or not?



photo credit: Pixabay (license)

An article in Education Week (see link below) says that when a group of teachers spent time abroad they were much more employable when they returned to the US than a comparable group who did not spend time abroad.

The actual figures quoted were 20% of graduate teachers who had not experienced life abroad got jobs whilst 100% of graduate teachers who had spent time abroad had found work when they got home.

Now this seems a little too simplistic for me. Unfortunately the article doesn’t give more details about the two groups so it’s hard to judge. And you have to PAY on the site to leave comments which seems a bit rich to me.

I wouldn’t ever deny that spending time abroad is good. Experiencing new cultures can only be a good thing in my opinion. But in my experience those people who head off to live in another country have generally got that extra bit of gumption about them. They’re go-getters and aren’t content with the usual 9-5 life. They want more. They’re the kind of people who want to see what’s on the other side of the proverbial hill.

And they’re the kind of people who, when they return home, are probably more employable than those who sit around and are perhaps a little more staid.

So possibly the article has it wrong. It’s trying to make a connection where one doesn’t exist. Those teachers didn’t get work because they went abroad. No – they went abroad because they had the gumption to go abroad. And because they were the kind of teachers with a bit of get up and go     they were the kind of teachers who could find work anywhere.

Useful Links

An Introduction to Teaching English around the World

Original Article in Education Week.

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