David Frey, the co-CEO of Teach Away Inc., says his company has seen a 68 per cent increase in applications from Canadian teachers looking to work at schools overseas. He says current labour unrest in education is wearing some teachers down and making international jobs more appealing.
"The increase in teachers is two-fold: one, the opportunities are more accessible, and two, the job market isn't quite what it was before," he said.
Frey says there's a financial incentive for teachers to work abroad as well. He says many of the schools his company works with offer paid accommodation, allowing teachers to save money faster.
"After working as a substitute teacher or a teacher on-call and getting up at 5 a.m. waiting for that phone call every morning, teachers thought it'd be good to get a steady paycheque and to be in an interesting locale with a rich history," he said.
New teachers keen on teaching abroad
Jason Kobelka says he is not surprised teachers would want to find work overseas. Four years ago, he could not find a teaching position in B.C.
"Coming out of my practicum program it took me quite a while, much longer than expected, to find a job," he said.
"I've had friends who've gone to Korea and taught, and I kind of picked their brains and they had wonderful experiences."
Lured by the promise of adventure and steady work, he decided to move more than 8,200 kilometres across the Pacific Ocean to teach in South Korea for several weeks.
When he returned, he got a substitute teaching job with Vancouver School Board. But he was still struggling to pay the bills.
"I just wasn't getting enough work to pay off my student loans, and pay for all the things that I had kind of racked up."
So Kobelka went back to South Korea for a year. He says he's not surprised more teachers are travelling abroad to teach, particularly when they are just starting their teaching career.
Kobelka now has a contract position with the Vancouver School Board, and says he's happy teaching here at home.