How do I answer the “Why do you want to teach abroad?” interview question

It’s a question that comes up in almost every interview, but how are you supposed to answer it?

If you’re interested in teaching abroad, most conscientious employers will expect you to go through a series of interviews before you start booking your plane ticket. Teaching abroad is very different to doing so here in the UK and you’re likely to encounter some different interview questions. Candidates typically get lots of questions regarding experience and education, but one particular question seems to come up more often than not:

Why do you want to teach abroad?

Your answer will be personal to you, but here are seven popular answers that can help you think about what you’d like to reply to this interview question.

  • An opportunity to work somewhere you love

If you have always loved a particular city or country, teaching abroad could be an opportunity for you to spend time there long term. Don’t be afraid of sharing your knowledge of and passion for the school’s location with your employers as it can reassure them that you’d settle in well to the position.

  • To expand on your language skills

Teaching abroad is a brilliant opportunity to immerse yourself in another language and adopt it fluently. Learning a language in a country where it is spoken is infinitely better than trying to do it at home.

  • Be able to experience new cultures, food and traditions

Your new home as an English teacher abroad will be half a world away from life in the UK. This is a unique way to experience an entirely different way of life.

  • Meet amazing people from different backgrounds and form new work relationships or friendships

You’ll meet a new circle of friends amongst your fellow ex-pats working at the school or college. You may find you have a lot in common and bond over ‘back home’, or they may introduce you to their own culture and lifestyle. Either way, you’ll have the shared experience of teaching abroad together.

  • Not paying for housing so you can save more money and have stability whilst you work

Not all work placements include accommodation, but even if you’re paying out locally, you are likely to be spending far less than you’re used to. Housing can be a huge part of your monthly outgoings here in the UK and many teachers head abroad to ease that burden and save a few pennies.

  • Lighter teaching timetables or fewer working hours

English language schools tend to keep shorter hours than state schools in the UK, so you may find yourself with a much better work/life balance. You’ll often find yourself teaching smaller classes and doing a lot less administrative work as well!

  • Increased possibilities of career progression or development into other roles

Teaching abroad could be a doorway to a number of different jobs as well as a way of gaining valuable skills to further your teaching career.

Now when the “Why do you want to teach abroad?” interview question comes up, you’ll be ready! Head to our forums to find out how other candidates answered in order to nab the job.