Survey results are in: Where are you spending your ‘extra’ money while teaching abroad?
September 15, 2012
I guess it comes as no surprise that international school teachers are traveling a lot. If we have the time and means to do it, then we often take advantage of this time in our lives (because it might not last for ever!). We love the fact that we are getting more time for holidays throughout the school year (than maybe you would be getting in your home country). Some international schools are also celebrating up to three countries’ national holidays! Being that many of us don’t have family living where we are currently living in the world, there is sometimes no good reason to stick around our host city during our vacation time. When holiday time comes around, we are all asking each other “Where are you traveling to?”
At one point in my international school teaching career, I was traveling so much that I was averaging 12 new countries a year! New countries! And I was at a placement with the lowest salary of my teaching career. I guess then it all depends on your location in the world and how well that city’s airport is connected to other cities in the world. Sometimes the cost of living in the city can play a factor as well to how much money you have left over for traveling. If you pay rent in your current placement, having a roommate too can help you put more of your earnings towards traveling instead of a higher monthly rent that you would be paying if you were living by yourself.
There are many factors to consider. Knowing about all this information about traveling before you sign a contract can quite important then…that is if traveling is one of your top priorities while living abroad. Luckily on International School Community, we have a Travel Section in the comments and information part of each school’s profile that discusses this very topic. There are four topics in this section:
• Sample travel airfares from host city airport to destinations nearby.
• Describe proximity of major airport hubs to the city center and give sample taxi, train, subway and/or bus fares to get there.
• Popular travel websites to buy plane tickets or tours that are popular for expats living in the city and/or country.
• Places to travel to outside the city by bus or train.
There have been many comments and information submitted in the Travel Section on numerous school profiles on our website.
One International School Community member said about working at American School of Barcelona: “It is easy to get to almost every European city from Barcelona for a decent price. You do have to shop around and it is better to book ahead. A flight from Barcelona to the east coast of the USA at Christmas costs around 500-900 Euros.”
Another member said about working at American School of Asuncion: “It is very difficult to travel on a regular weekend, since Asuncion is basically in the middle of nowhere, and flights to the closest cool cities (Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro) are expensive. It is also becoming more and more pricey with the Visas required for Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. They range from $60-140.”
Another member submitted a comment about the traveling opportunities while working at Kodaikanal International School: “KIS is fortunate in having a fully staffed Travel Office to coordinate student, staff and community travel. Our travel partner ‘Around the World Travel’ is an India-wide agency with decades of experience in providing national and international travel options to and from KIS.”
We also have other comments and information topics in the City Section of the school profile pages that are related to clothing and food. One of these topics covers the best places in your host city to find good deals on clothing and other shopping. We all can benefit from hearing about places that are good to go to versus spending time and energy going to ones that aren’t so good in our host city.
For those international school teachers that put going out to eat a lot as a top priority while living abroad, there are also topics that discuss the best places in the city to go out to eat. We even have a topic that is about restaurants that appeal to the expat community living in that host city (we all want a little ‘familiar’ food every now and then!).
Some of us spend our ‘extra’ money buying imported goods. Typically the food sold in the local expat grocery store is at a very high price, prices you would never pay if you were living in your home country. But because of the ‘extra’ money that many international school teachers have while living abroad, we can afford buying these products. Well we can often buy these high-priced products, but maybe not live on these products!
So what are ou spending your ‘extra’ money on while living abroad? With the appeal of being able to travel to most places in the world and being able to go out to eat more often, it is indeed difficult to save your ‘extra’ money at times. According to the survey results though, there are some international school teachers that are saving their money. Some schools actually force you to save in a way, when they transfer part of your salary into your home country bank account while they transfer another part into your local bank account. Typically you can live on the money transferred into your local account, letting you save the money in your home country bank account very easily and make is ‘less accessible’ to spend too!
To save or not to save…that is the question!