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Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:03 am
by Helen Back
I'm re-doing my Search profile and came across this box. What is the purpose of this question?

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:43 am
by Thames Pirate
If you were in the Peace Corps or grew up abroad or lived in Peru for your husband's job or something.

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:49 am
by sid
So recruiters know how much international experience you have, even if you weren’t teaching. There’s a huge difference between the person who has never lived abroad and the person who spent a year researching razor clam habitats in Japan.

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 am
by fine dude
Razor clam habitats research sounds more fun than my EdD. I only know of grilling them.

Coming to the OP, if you have volunteered or took a sabbatical abroad learning a new language or starting a new business (a friend opened a wellness center), do mention in your bio/cover letter, how you could exploit these skills in offering a novel extracurricular or elective.

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:40 am
by Helen Back
Thanks, I figured that's what it was, but I just thought it was phrased oddly. Luckily it does put me in a good light. :-)

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:41 am
by Malarazz
Sooo which of these are marketable and I should incorporate on resume/interview, and which are pointless and recruiters don't care about?

* Grew up in Brazil until age 14, and later went back and lived and worked there for another 2 years (though I'm a Brazilian American dual Citizen, so maybe that makes this less cool).
* Studied 6 weeks abroad in London and later a semester in Australia
* Traveled to 18 countries
* Can speak 2 languages fluently and a 3rd "advanced" (maybe)

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:18 am
by fine dude
Language, if major, and studies abroad and how you have leveraged them so far for student benefit.

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:57 am
by Thames Pirate
Language and living abroad. Travel is irrelevant, study abroad only if you have no other experience living abroad.

People who live abroad, even as children or where they hold a second passport, understand that there isn't one way of doing things. The home country way isn't the "right" way to handle anything from rental contracts to driving to products available at the store. In other words, you are less likely to have culture shock the way many do their first time abroad. Sure, you might still, but given a choice between someone who has never lived in another country, even as a kid, and someone who has, the latter is the better choice. The former is more likely to throw in the towel or even pull a runner.

Language is of course both an example of commitment and a potential subject to teach. It should go on every resume, always, and not just for teaching.

There are so many ways to travel--and it's only relevant if you have no other experience abroad and spent the whole time backpacking. For all recruiters know, you have been on guided tours doing nothing but bus sightseeing. Nothing wrong with that, but irrelevant. Recruiters also know that international teachers like to travel--no need to highlight it. It just makes you seem like you are looking for your next adventure base camp rather than seeking to actually arrive in and participate in a country/culture. They want you vested in the school, and that means the latter. So save the travel for small talk.

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:52 am
by Helen Back
My spouse and I studied at a university in China more than 20 years ago. I owned a business exporting from Southeast Asia to North America. We met in North Africa and have lived in five countries (excluding our birth countries, which are different) since the late 90s. We both have degrees from Europe and one each from North America. Our kids are certified TCKs. Neither have lived in a western country for any significant time.

Hopefully this shows adaptability.

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:06 am
by FV2020
@ThamesPirate (and everyone)-- I've wondered about highlighting travel in a cover letter, so this is interesting. What do you think about mentioning travel to the country that the school is in? For instance, when I've applied to schools in cities/countries I've travelled to, I list in my cover letter how much I enjoyed my time there and that I would love to live there. I finally stopped putting that in my cover letter, and the school I work for now is one where I left it off and was contacted almost immediately for interview after applying. But, in my interview the principal seemed happy to know I had been in the country before and had a frame of reference for what my life would be like. Am I overthinking this?

Re: Years lived overseas in a non-teaching capacity - SA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:00 am
by Thames Pirate
Talking about it in an interview is fine, but your CV and cover letter are about professional you, not adventure you. Furthermore, traveling to and living in a place are VERY different. "I had a good vacation and now want to live there so I can feel like that all the time" is how it reads. It in now way makes professional you stand out, and it might make you sound naive. But mentioning that you've been to a place in an interview is different--it's a bit more of a "yes, I do know what traffic and pollution and local food are like in your country. It didn't scare me as a traveler, and I have a bit of an idea of what adventures might be in store."

Travel is not relevant professional experience unless it's organising international trips or exchanges with students. Even then, I'd probably only include it if your CV is thin.

Response

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:21 pm
by PsyGuy
The intent is to determine if you have OS living experience that would indicate your exposure to adapting to life and living in a foreign country.

@Malarazz

Living and growing up in Brazil in your cover letter.
Working in Brazil on your resume
Dual/triple language fluency in your resume.
Save the study abroad for an interview and only if its really on point.
The travel to 18 countries is something you can use as a lead in during the interview. Yes, youve been to the country and know a bit about how to get around and what to expect.

@FV2020

Concur with @Thames Pirate, professional you isnt traveler you, and traveler you doesnt add much value outside of a lead in during an interview, and further strongly agree that its easy to have traveler you come off as naive.
If you have extensive experience in organizing student travel its worth a line item on your resume regardless of how lite or heavy it is.