If education is your forte, then there are few more enriching locations in the world to teach abroad than the archetypal global city of London. A hotspot for arts, entertainment, and cultural diversity, foreign teachers will find London to be a bottomless source of fun and fascinating adventures. From Parliament to the Tower of London, this city is its own best teacher, and the rich sense of history will never cease to teach you new things while igniting a flame under your desire to educate others.
Teaching Jobs in London
The nice thing about teaching jobs in London is that the curriculum is very close to other English speaking countries, making the transition to a foreign school district minimally abrasive. Also, because English is the language of instruction, Anglophiles can apply to teach a whole variety of subjects that they may be restricted from in other non-English speaking countries. Math and science are two subjects that foreign teachers are most highly sought after in the British school system, for example.
It might be hard to find a full time teaching job in London immediately after moving, but there are a few entry routes you can take to enhance your long term prospects. Substitute teachers (or “supply teachers”) are needed throughout the city, making for a good starting point. Organizations such as Teach First also have a large impact on the local educational structure, and can help you secure a teaching job in London’s most economically disadvantaged areas.
There are public, private, and international schools spread out all over the city where you can apply for to teach in London. Teaching jobs in London can be quite competitive, so qualified teachers with prior experience will generally be preferred. Usually it is best to apply two to three months before the beginning of a new term. English schools typically run on a trimester system, spanning from early September to late July with two week breaks separating terms.
Life in London
London has quite literally everything you could want in one place. A leading global city, you will discover cultural influences from all around the world building upon the core British identity of the city, making it a fascinating melting pot to explore (there are over 300 languages spoken daily in the city proper!). Seemingly every neighborhood you stumble upon offers something new and different, so take the time to get to know all the subtleties and hidden gems of your new home.
London’s efficient public transportation system, of buses, taxis, and railway lines, makes it easy to travel throughout the metropolitan area. The subway system, affectionately referred to as the Tube by locals, is the oldest underground railway system in the world, and the second longest. London Heathrow is also the busiest airport in the world, a testament to the importance and global centrality of the city.
Some of the city’s historically interesting spots to start your tour are Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, and the Tower of London. London is hugely popular as a tourist destination, so you will come to find that these famous sites are often bustling with sightseers from all over the world. Though the popular attractions are well worth checking out while teaching in London, you will soon be delving into the deeper well of theaters, restaurants, museums, parks, and pubs that locals spend much of their leisure time enjoying.
Salary & Costs
To be straightforward, London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Living and teaching in London will not be cheap, and expat workers from all over the globe are in constant competition for teaching jobs in London. Do not let the costs of living put you off however, like every great city it is possible to live a fun and thrifty lifestyle in London, by being smart with your budget and taking advantage of all the free entertainments. Salaried teachers can typically expect to make between $25,000 and $35,000 a year teaching in London full time, so you will be making plenty to get by.
Accommodation & Visas
Affordable housing in London is increasingly hard to come by, so you will want to get on the ball early searching for a place to live. It might be wisest to start by renting a single bedroom within a flat, then moving on to find your own place once you have felt out the neighborhoods and saved up enough money to live independently. Naturally, you can expect rent to be less expensive the further you live away from the city’s center.
Coming from outside the European Union, you will also need to obtain a visa if you plan on teaching in London for more than six months. Visas should be applied for before entry if you are planning on becoming a paid worker in England. Consult GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more visa information from the UK consulate in your home country.
Benefits & Challenges
Teaching abroad in London is a great way to experience one of the world’s greatest and most influential cities while making a positive impact on young learners. Do not expect it to be easy, teaching is a difficult job and finding teaching jobs in London can be highly competitive. However, teaching jobs in London are still as broad and diverse as the city itself, so if you are fully committed to the prospect, then your chances of finding employment are high.