It’s a New Year: welcome to 2019, a time for change, new beginnings and taking a chance on an adventure. A chance to teach the world and of course, to live the dream! Cheesy right? Well, it’s true! If you are at a crossroads and are looking for a change then why not move abroad to teach, travel and grow? Your kids might have just moved out or you might be just finishing school and looking for an opportunity and a chance to shine. We can help you with your leap abroad and make sure you find the right school, location and role for you.

Most people don’t know their options or what is required for the schools and countries they are interested in teaching in. So, to help you out, here is what you need to know about visa restrictions, qualifications and what schools are looking for in your experience in order to gain an understanding of where you can go and what you can teach abroad!

Our top tips


Visa Restrictions

When looking abroad you need to know if you meet the requirements, both of the school and the country you’d like to move to. This simply comes down to age and teaching experience. Many countries have maximum age requirements as well as require a minimum amount of teaching experience. In addition to needing 2 years of consistent, full time (post-qualifying) teaching experience you cannot surpass the age restriction of 60.  In some locations it’s even earlier, so do your research or ask us! For new teachers locations are limited, so you might not get your first choice. But, if you are open minded, we can work with you to find something or give you tips to gain what you need to make you the right fit.


It would be great to say you can live and teach in any country you’d like, but there are ministry stipulations that can often be a barrier. Especially in the highly desirable UAE. If your Bachelors degree and education license do not coincide with same subject, you would not meet the ministry requirements set in place in the UAE.  Masters and Doctorates in Education unfortunately do not supersede this regulation.

Acceptable Qualifications:

Elementary Teachers
1. Bachelors degree, major in Elementary Education (4 year degree) + Elementary Teaching license
2. Bachelors (BA/BS) Maths, English or Science + Elementary Teaching license 

Secondary Teachers
1. Bachelors degree, major in Secondary Education (4 year degree) + Teaching license in the same subject of study
2. Bachelors (BA/BS) in teaching subject combined with same subject teaching license (BA/BS Maths and Teaching license in Maths)

If your Bachelors degree doesn’t align with your teaching license you would not be able to teach in the UAE or Kuwait. There are always exceptions to the rule but this has been our experience with our partnered schools. Luckily you can look at other locations such as: Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, China, South Korea and all of Southeast Asia as this same regulation does not apply.Note: All our partnered schools require a valid teaching license within your home country to be considered. TEFL and TESOL alone would not suffice. 


Schools look at full time teaching experience, to international schools the only experience acknowledged is post-qualifying. Unfortunately, ESL, volunteer and practicum work are not recognised. They look for experience in the role they are hiring for so although you may be qualified in the subject, have you been teaching it? Schools also prefer that your knowledge and background follow the curriculum of the school you are applying to. Although most teachers can adapt to a new curriculum (given the chance) schools still desire and show a stronger preference for those trained and experienced in their specific system. Which means your best chance at securing a role will be in a school that follows the same curriculum as your current experience. Note: Details to include on your CV: you should always highlight the curriculum under each role you’ve had as well as specific grades or subjects taught. Don’t assume they (schools) know anything about your home country. Details are important! 

Broken contracts and lack of consistency

Schools are making an investment in you as a teacher so when you apply you need to be ready to commit to a minimum of a 2 year contract.  This means doing your research on the school, being confident in the locations you want to consider and making sure this is the right time in your life for the adventure. They are looking to invest in applicants who are dedicated and loyal. They look for those who have committed and fulfilled all previous contracts whether it’s in their home country or abroad. Consistency within the same school is a plus! If you’re currently abroad, completing your current required contract is advantageous to show you can commit and be immersed in a different school and culture. Make sure your CV doesn’t have gaps, patchwork experience should be explained whether you signed terms for a 1 year contract or you took a gap year to travel- again, include details! It’s better to identify it so it leaves less questioning for the schools you are applying to. 

Note: One year contracts are uncommon due to costs associated with obtaining visas and flights.

Being Prepared

The idea of going abroad is exciting; meeting like-minded individuals, travelling, learning a new language all while doing what you love but you are moving to a new country so you need to be ready for change. Embrace the new culture and respect the laws of the country. You must be open to learning, and adaptable to educational philosophy’s that may differ from your own. It’s a journey, and one very exciting adventure but there will always be pros and cons to each experience.  You need to be ready for that!

Before you start applying make sure you are 100% ready and committed to the process. Research countries and specific cities thoroughly to have an idea of where you want to be but don’t close yourself off to locations because you hadn’t thought about it previously- often these can lead to the best opportunities! When you get to the interview stage, you need to be prepared. This means doing your research, know about the school’s ethos, location, curriculum, and most importantly, be passionate about the subject you teach. It is important to show the school you’ve given this some considerable thought so they take you seriously. 

Want to kickstart your international teaching journey? Click here to share your CV with us, or reach out to one of our specialist consultants today.