It’s a great theory: broaden your horizons and kick-start your teaching career in a new country. We ask one Canadian teacher what it’s like in practice.
“Sam” grew up in Canada and graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BEd. Hourglass found him a long term temporary role in a West London school.
In spite of the common language, and cultural similarities, Sam found that there was a lot that was new to him as he started his new life in the UK. It took him a while to work out some of the details, but Hourglass helped with things like setting up a bank account, exploring London Underground, the currency, and even the best place to get groceries.
Once he started to settle in, Sam was able to reflect on some of the differences between life back home, and in his new community – some of them stranger than others!
The academic year and school holidays
The school year starts in September in the UK, just like in Canada, but they have a break just about every six weeks.
Sam was delighted to find that the Summer break starts at the end of July, and goes on throughout August. This gives plenty of scope for travelling, and if your time in the UK is limited, it means you can make the most of your time overseas.
The ability to travel was a great motivator for Sam and his friends. They always made sure to plan the next trip well in advance. By the end of year one, they had visited more than 10 countries!
Budgeting is important, and Sam found that sticking to a daily allowance worked well for him. Hostels are probably the most affordable places to stay, and a great place to meet fellow travellers.
Sam was careful to plan trips around events and calendar highlights. Experiencing the Theresienwiese fairground in Munich during Oktoberfest and spending Christmas in Finland when Canada was playing in the World Juniors were among his most memorable trips.