A Great Place To Start Your Overseas Job Search
For more than a year I have been writing articles urging readers to consider taking a temporary overseas teaching job–what I like to call a working vacation. My articles discuss why a working vacation can be such an invigorating career break, why it is an equally wonderful experience for spouse and family, and why it is a financially feasible undertaking regardless of academic rank or teaching level. Now that I have (hopefully) convinced you to consider this travel option, let me address how to find a position. I discussed this issue earlier in a five-part series on Fulbright Grants, the largest and best source of overseas teaching opportunities. However, for those who might not want to bite off this major investment of time, there is another great place to start a job search, the website “Transitions Abroad,” at www.transitionsabroad.com.
Transitions Abroad (TA) was started in 1977 by Dr. Clay Hubbs, Professor and study-away coordinator at Hampshire College–a gentleman with extensive knowledge of educational travel options and ideas for living and working abroad. As stated on their website, “Transitions Abroad was created as an antidote to tourism, a magazine (it went on-line in 2008) with the specific goal of providing information to enable travelers to meet the people of other countries, learn about their culture, speak their language, and "transition" to a new level of understanding and appreciation of our fascinating world. We are committed to being the most comprehensive Web portal and webzine for work, study, travel, living, and volunteering abroad.”
The site is a cornucopia of information about teaching jobs, volunteer postings, study away opportunities, cultural travel, and living overseas. It includes helpful material on traveling with young children, traveling safely as an unaccompanied woman, obtaining overseas health insurance, renting your home, and finding accommodations overseas. There are articles by academics who lived abroad, returned to the U.S., and wish to share the knowledge and experience they gained. The articles are sorted by region and country so you can read stories about the specific places you are considering for yourself and family. For example, this month’s issue has stories entitled Teaching English and Living in Bangkok by Nathan Edgerton, and Paid Teaching Positions in Vietnam with Greenheart Travel (cci-exchange.com), to name but a few.
Buddha statue in Bangkok. Courtesy of Transitions Abroad
So, other than my own “how-to” academic travel book On The Other Guy’s Dime (sorry for the plug), Transitions Abroad is one of the very best places to start your search for that life-changing overseas job. Whether you are 25 or 65; whether you are new to the classroom or a 30-year veteran; whether you teach at an elementary school, high school, community college, 4-year college, or are a Nobel Prize winner at Harvard; living and working overseas, even for a short time, can be a truly transformative experience. As so beautifully stated on the TA masthead:
Travelers and tourists, the distinction is simple: Tourists are those who bring their homes with them wherever they go, and apply them to whatever they see. They are closed to experiences outside of the superficial. Travelers, however, leave home at home, bringing only themselves and a desire to learn.
Check out this website and learn how to become not just a tourist, but a true world traveler.
Michael Schneider is the Academic Travel Editor for Wandering Educators. You can read more of his work at http://otherguysdime.wordpress.com/, and learn more about his new book, entitled On the Other Guy's Dime: A Professional's Guide to Traveling without Paying.
Photos courtesy and copyright Transitions Abroad