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The pros and cons of a career in international teaching

International teachers

International teaching has become an increasingly popular career choice for teachers looking for a change of pace, scenery, and culture. While it can be an exciting and rewarding experience, international teaching also comes with its own unique set of pros and cons.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of international teaching to help you make an informed decision before embarking on this career path.


Pros of a career international teaching

Cultural immersion

One of the most popular benefits of teaching abroad is the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. Living and working in a foreign country can provide you with a unique perspective on the world, enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of different cultures and customs.

Professional development

International teaching offers you the opportunity to develop your professional skills and expertise, working with students from diverse backgrounds in a different educational system. Taking on such a challenging but a rewarding experience can help you to become more adaptable, flexible, and resourceful, which can be valuable in any teaching context.

Financial benefits

Many international schools offer attractive salaries and benefits packages that can be significantly higher than those of domestic schools. Additionally, some schools may provide free or subsidised housing, health insurance, and other perks, which can help you to save money and live more comfortably abroad.

Travel opportunities

Teaching internationally can provide you with the opportunity to travel to new and exciting destinations during school breaks. This can be an excellent way to explore new parts of the world and learn about different cultures, cuisines, and languages.

Personal growth

International teaching can be a transformative experience that can lead to personal growth and self-discovery. Living and working in a foreign country will challenge you to step outside your comfort zones, take risks, and develop new skills and perspectives.


Cons of a career in international teaching

Culture shock

Moving to a foreign country can be an overwhelming and stressful experience, especially if you’re not prepared for the cultural differences they may encounter. Culture shock can be difficult to overcome and can make it challenging to adapt to a new school, community, and way of life.

Language barriers

Living and working in a country where you don’t speak the native language can be challenging and frustrating. This language barrier can make it difficult to communicate with students, parents, and colleagues, and may limit your ability to fully engage in the school community.

Distance from family and friends

Moving to a foreign country can make it difficult to stay connected with family and friends back home. Being far away from loved ones can be isolating and lonely, especially if you’re are not able to visit home frequently.

Limited job security

International teaching contracts are typically for a limited period, usually two to three years. This means that you may need to look for a new job and move to a new country every few years, which can be stressful and unsettling.

Cultural differences

Teaching in a foreign country can be challenging due to differences in educational systems, teaching styles, and cultural norms. You may need to adjust your teaching methods and expectations to fit the local context, which can be difficult and time-consuming.


A career in international teaching can be a life-changing experience with a range of benefits, from cultural immersion and professional development to financial rewards and travel opportunities. However, it’s important to consider the potential challenges, such as culture shock, language barriers, and limited job security, before making the decision to teach abroad.

By weighing the pros and cons carefully, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your personal and professional goals.

Ready to take the plunge? Explore international teaching jobs on Schrole.

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  • Access to our entire database of schools to discover your next teaching role.
  • Submission of three job applications.

We've relied on Schrole exclusively for two years now and have been very pleased with the Schrole Team's responsiveness, the overall quality of the candidates on Schrole, and the main tabs related to assessing candidate fit.

Paul Fradale Head of Hikarigaoka Campus
Aoba-Japan International School
Aoba Japan International School logo

Aoba Japan International School