“It can be challenging but it’s very rewarding and how many other jobs give you the chance to go camping in the desert or have barbecues on the beach in your spare time?”
In the current economic climate, newly qualified teachers are increasingly looking further afield for job opportunities. But it’s not all about paying the bills – teaching abroad offers the chance to experience a different culture, meet a diverse range of people, learn a new language and develop skills and knowledge that are prized back in the UK.
Louise Rolf is one of many teachers who saw the opportunity to teach abroad as a once in a lifetime experience – and is now enjoying a challenging and rewarding international career.
After completing her PGCE at Edge Hill in 2004, Louise got a job in London as a History teacher and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming head of department at the school within two years.
“I enjoyed my job, but I’d always wanted to live abroad at some point,” says Louise. “My boyfriend was offered a job in Trinidad so, when we went over there to visit, I took the opportunity to look at some international schools. Trinidad turned out not to be for us, but it planted the idea of teaching abroad in my mind and I started regularly checking the THES for international teaching jobs.
“I wanted a change of scene, so when a job came up in Dubai, I jumped at it.”
Louise has now been teaching at a private international school in Dubai for the past five years. Despite taking a step down career-wise to move to Dubai, within a year she was promoted to her dream role – head of sixth form – a position that would take a lot longer to work up to in the UK.
“In Dubai you follow the same curriculum as in the UK but you have more freedom to teach it your own way and there is much less paperwork,” says Louise. “Because Dubai is such a melting pot of cultures, you also work with a really interesting mix of children who all want to learn.
“It can be challenging but it’s very rewarding,” she adds, “and how many other jobs give you the chance to go camping in the desert or have barbecues on the beach in your spare time?”
To find out more about studying this programme, please view full course information for PGCEs.