A lot of people have expressed a degree of skepticism to me about whether TEFL is really viable as a long-term option. Truth be told, I am not entirely sure myself, and it is certain that things will change a lot over the next 10 years. The major thing that concerns me is pension planning, but I do think that’s an obstacle which can be overcome.
This is what I’m hoping to do over the next ten years.
Year 1: British Council assistantship in Germany (confirmed), followed by CELTA/CertTESOL
Year 2: Language school in Russia/CIS
Year 3: China, DELTA
Year 4/5: Arabian gulf (and try to save as much as possible)
Year 6: Primary PGCE in UK
Year 7: Work for an NGO
Year 8, on: International schools
I think this is feasible based on my own research.
As for saving for retirement, I think there are a few options:
- Paying directly into an international pension plan (not always affordable on teachers’ salaries).
- Take advantage of the LISA scheme announced in the last budget if/when it is taken up by other banks
- Buy up assets (an option I would honestly prefer to avoid for political reasons)
- Cash savings (but very poor returns especially on current rates)
- Settle into a job long term with an employer pension scheme for its expatriate staff
I’d be really interested to hear from people who’ve been through this about how they managed it and what options they worked out. Living abroad is a big step into the unknown, but as always, all you can do is do your research.