For qualified teachers looking for a challenge, taking a job in an international school halfway around the world is a good start. The chance to experience a different culture is something many travellers seek, but living and working in a country opens up a whole new perspective.
Now previously unthought of destinations are opening up to the teaching abroad market. One such country is Kazakhstan. Situated in central Asia, Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country. With a growing economy and increase in international trade comes a demand for English.
UK teacher, Ian Shotter, has been in Kazakhstan less than a year but is enjoying it so much he plans to stay another five years, if not more. “I’m really enjoying the opportunities that the position has provided me with,” he says, talking about his job as ICT teacher at the NIS school in the Kazakh city of Semey. He has found the experience so far both rewarding and challenging.
“The way teachers teach here it is quite different to the UK way and you need to adjust to the language barriers but I think that I have adjusted reasonably quickly,” he says.
Working together in harmony
Corey Johnson is a social studies teacher, originally from Missouri, USA. He has been teaching internationally for seven years and currently works in Kazakhstan supporting local Geography teachers.
“The curriculum is very different from the one I used in America so I had to learn a lot about it very quickly,” he says.
“Doing this was hard work at the beginning, but I have quickly adapted. The teachers I work with are very diverse, also the students come from a different culture and background and this means I have to be aware of cultural differences, and adapt my teaching to fit my students. Even though all of these teachers and students come from different backgrounds they find a way to work together in harmony, and I think that is pretty amazing,”
Both Corey and Ian found their jobs in Kazakhstan through Teachers International Consultancy (TIC), an organisation that specialises in helping qualified teachers find jobs in international schools.