Teaching English abroad as a parent is indeed feasible. While not uncommon, educators with children should thoughtfully assess several key factors before embarking on this journey. These considerations include financial planning for potential income versus living costs, visa requirements that accommodate family members, and suitable educational arrangements for your children in the host country. With careful planning and research into these areas, teaching abroad can be a rewarding experience for both you and your family.
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Teaching English abroad with children involves careful financial planning. The cost of raising children is significant and varies globally, so it is important to evaluate if the salary from teaching English will meet your family's needs. Salaries for English teachers differ widely by region - while European and Latin American countries offer numerous opportunities, the remuneration may not be sufficient for a family. However, countries like China, South Korea, and Taiwan combine higher salaries with lower living costs, making it more feasible to support a family on a teacher's income. Before committing, compare the potential earnings and living expenses in your chosen country to ensure it is a financially sound decision for you and your children.
If you have a pre-school age child, the cost of daycare or a nanny will need to be considered and this will be much more affordable in Asian countries rather than in Europe, for example. If you have school age children you will need to do plenty of research to find out what options are available to you in your country of choice. In some countries you will be able to send your child to a local state school, while in others this will not be feasible. If it is possible to do this, you will still need to decide whether this will be a suitable environment for them to learn. If the child already speaks the local language to some degree then they should find it easy enough to adapt to their new environment, however, for the majority of children this option will involve having to quickly learn a new language. Young children often find it quite easy to pick up a foregn language, although for teenagers it can be a much more difficult proposition. If local schools are not a viable option, an international school is generally the only real alternative. These British or American curriculum schools offer a very high standard of education, however, the fees involved are generally beyond the reach of most ESL teachers.
The most affordable destinations for teaching English abroad are usually developing nations that often lack the high standard of health care that you might be used to in your home country. Having said that, many of these countries still have good medical facilities that are very affordable by western standards. In some countries it is routine for employers to provide health insurance coverage for their teachers and in some cases their dependants. It is advisable to research the contracts that you might be offered in different countries as free health care might make a big difference to your budget and your peace of mind.
If your teaching job comes with a work permit then you should find that you also receive a dependant visa for any children you bring with you. In countries where it is hard to get a work visa and teachers commonly work on a tourist visa, you will need to check how this might affect your child?s chances of enrolling in a local school. Before making any final decisions you should contact the local embassy to make sure you know exactly where you stand.