© 2023 internationalschoolcommunity.com

Sell Your Crap. Pay Off Your Debt. Do What You Love.

TED talks are pretty awesome. This one caught our attention because it is reminiscent of the life of an international school teacher.

Living in your home country, sometimes you can get caught up in materialism. You want to get your own big house. You want to get your own nice car. You want your own cool, huge television in your living room…along with all the other things in and around your house.

After “buying” all of those things, though, you might find yourself in some debt, like the guy in the TED talk. Living your life in debt, the credit card companies and banks are taking away a bit or most of your freedom.  Not the best way to live your life.

Screenshot 2015-04-12 17.16.41

But as an international school teacher, most of that materialism goes away. Some of us do not want so many possessions anymore in our lives. For the more possessions you have, the more you have to move to the next country! Kidding aside, our priorities seem to change to a different path.

There is a shift from wanting to be materialistic to wanting to get more experiences; the more experiences, the better!  We also want more freedom; more freedom to do what we want with our lives. Additionally, we want to go traveling more, to get more of those experiences; to explore the cultures of the world firsthand.

On a foreign-hired benefits package, we are now allowed to be more in control of our money situation. International school teachers are able to pay off those debts that we had in our home countries.  Furthermore, we can finally start to have some savings that we were not able to do so easily in our home countries. We can now make plans to use our savings to buy those big things without having to be in debt.

Screenshot 2015-04-12 17.14.39

Having the freedom to live our lives without always worrying about the bank and credit card companies is a dream that can actually become a reality in the world of international school teaching.

Of course not all international school teachers have the same result when they decide to teach abroad, but many of us do. It all mostly depends on what school you work at, in which country and what benefits package you have.  You also have to set personal and financial goals for yourself/your family (like the guy in the TED talk).  Once you have made some goals, you can work hard to achieve them.


We have a comment topic on our school profile pages. It is called – “Average amount of money that is left to be saved.” Knowing this information ahead-of-time will be one of the most important things to know when considering working at an international school.  Here are a few of the hundreds of comments that have been submitted in that comment topic:

“Relative in accordance to lifestyle and discipline with savings. There should be no problem saving 20,000 for those who enjoy their comforts of house cleaners and the weekend visits to Western restaurants. For those a little more attentive to how they spend their money, it is possible to save over $40,000 as a single teacher each year.” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea)45 Comments

“They match a certain amount of the retirement funds that you put away. I personally save about $800 a month, though I have a wife and two kids to support.” – KIS International School (Bangkok) (Bangkok, Thailand)61 Comments

“As a family of four on a single salary we managed to save about $20,000 USD in two years. However, it all depends of course on how frugal you are. Traveling in Japan is wonderful but trains and accommodation are expensive.” – Hiroshima International School (Hiroshima, Japan)64 Comments