Home > Discussion Topics > Why do people leave international school teaching to go back to their own country?

Why do people leave international school teaching to go back to their own country?

Thought-provoking topic found here at the Some Tech Sense blog.

I also wonder what stops international teachers teaching at international schools.  I have seen people leave for many reasons to be honest.

Most of the families (ones that have two children for example) leave because the school they are at is not paying them enough money to cover their family expenses; something they really couldn’t anticipate when they initially signed the contract.  It is a difficult situation really.  The single or couples without children are using their extra money each month to do trips around the country or to other nearby countries, going out to restaurants more often, etc.  While the couples with children are not going out to eat so much or maybe can only travel 1-2 times a year (besides going back to their home country).  I think maybe they would like to “live the international teacher life” a bit more since that is typically one of the top reasons people get into international teaching.  When the going gets too much for them, it is usually time to move back home.

With regards to the single teachers, it seems that many of them move back to their home countries for reasons not necessarily related to money, but for love as well.  I’ve known some teachers that have told me that “they aren’t getting any younger” to get married and have a family.  They usually believe that the only way to achieve that goal is to leave the world of international teaching, especially if they are in a place where in their eyes the prospects are slim. One friend of mine actually left her job at in an international school (in a wonderful city mind you) to move back to the U.S. with the main goal to get married.  Low and behold, she actually accomplished that goal within 1 year!

The other common situation to occur, when thinking about why people stop international teaching, is when a single teacher moves abroad, finds love and gets married to a local.  I would say 50% of those new couples end of staying in the host country for the rest of their lives; staying 25 or so years at the same international school.  The other 50% move back to their home countries with their foreigner partner.  They (including the former international school teacher) become quite happy and content to permanently stay in the home country for the rest of their lives.  Kind of an interesting turn around for the non-international school teacher’s partner, who now is the expat and experiencing the thrill of culture shock firsthand and traveling around in an unknown country.

I’m sure the list of reasons go on more.  I wonder what will end up being the reason I stop international school teaching in the future.  Maybe it will happened to me in the near future, maybe never.  What do you think your reason will be?

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