Expatriate teachers and parents in India

With about 30,000 foreign workers, India is beginning to grow into an expat hub. Although it cannot yet compete with Hong Kong or Singapore, India’s foreign population is rapidly growing. Because of their profession or their family situation, many expats in India are sooner or later confronted with the critical decision of selecting a school for their child that meets with their preferences and preserves their ability to school their child without much adjustment, should they relocate to another country.

Teaching jobs are a very popular vocation for spouses of expatriates and travelers from across the world. International schools offer employment opportunities for expats in India especially those who  are English native speakers  and those with prior experience in international schools. In addition, there are many teaching opportunities for native speakers of foreign languages like French, German, Chinese, etc English is widely spoken in India’s academic and business environments. Thus, qualified teachers with a high proficiency of English are always welcome at international and public Indian schools.

Teaching experience alone is not enough. As an expat teacher at an international school in India, you will be confronted with many cultural differences and as you acculturate yourself, you will be expected to acknowledge and celebrate the cultural diversity that your students and colleagues bring to school. However with increased opportunities for immigration and professional mobility, this is a challenge that many schools all across the world are grappling with.

Public schools and language institutions offer teaching jobs as well. Foreign students, recent graduates, expat spouses or expats who travel a lot, often choose this option. It gives them the freedom to travel and explore India, while gaining first hand teaching experience in the classroom.

While you are looking for jobs like these, you may find that many teaching opportunities are on a volunteer basis. They are often offered in public schools which lack good teachers. Other options include teaching English at a private language institution or provide tutoring service from home. If you would rather work as a freelancer, there are companies that sometimes like to hire language teachers to help their employees learn or improve their English.

When it comes to finding the right school for your child, if you live in one of the expat hot spots like Mumbai, it may be quite easy to find ‘the right school’. Cities like New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Gurgaon and Pune have international schooling options that cater to the preferences of the big expat community living there.

In India, it is important to consider the school’s location and proximity to your residence, especially if you reside in one of the bigger cities. Mumbai or New Delhi are huge urban areas and choosing a school at the other end of the city would most certainly make for a very long and tiring commute for your child.

Other than that, international schools come in different sizes, with different academic focus and different programs. At the end of the day, it is up to the parent to decide which school will be the best choice for his child.

This article has been contributed by InterNations. InterNations GmbH is the international social networking service for expats and global minds worldwide. The members are diplomats, managers and employees of multinational companies, IGOs and NGOs, foreign correspondents as well as their families. InterNations is a place where they can interact with other internationally-minded individuals sharing the same situation abroad, similar interests, and needs and also meet up in over 270 communities on a regular basis.