There’s more to being an expat than just teaching English

There’s more to being an expat than just teaching English

There’s more to being an expat than just teaching English

Teaching English overseas isn’t the only alternative for talented expats.

If you’re planning to teach English after you’ve left your home country and settled into your new location, it’s as good a start as any as regards paying your bills. However, as many reluctant expat teachers of English have found, it can be a stairway to a far more challenging and rewarding career overseas. The urge to travel the world can be irresistible, whatever your speciality, but just being there when opportunity knocks can change your life.

One expat English teacher in Prague had originally dreamed of working in international development or human rights, but was somewhat stuck until she was recruited by Medecins Sans Frontiers’ Prague office in 2012. Since she took the post she’s been sent on humanitarian missions all over the world in areas under threat of war, epidemics, disease, natural disasters and extreme poverty. Prior to landing the job, she’d thought the charity simply hired medical specialists but, after seeing its ad for administrators, she’d applied and changed her life as a result.

According to the Prague office of MSF, just 50 per cent of their hirings are of doctors or paramedics, with the remaining 50 per cent being non-medical but essential to the organisation. Sectors include logistics, project coordinators, engineers, human rights, architects and more, meaning expat talents across the board can get jobs within the international organisation. The English language is mandatory, with Arabic and French huge assets, and two years’ actual work experience is also important.

Once hired and trained, expat workers travel to missions worldwide including Sudan, Kurdistan, the Ukraine, Yemen, Syria and many other destinations where help is urgently needed. Adaptability is essential, as is being a successful team player as workers spend 24/7 with their colleagues. The workload is heavy and often challenging, and exposure to extreme weather is a real downside.

For those would-be expats who’re determined to leave the home country for whatever reason, working for an organisation such as MSF is one way to use the advantages of your home country to help those who’re in need, and it’s a lot more rewarding than teaching English! With world weather becoming ever more unpredictably dangerous and violence as well as political chaos seemingly the order of the day, the ability to make a real difference to those who need you is a precious, life-changing opportunity.

Related Stories:

Latest News: