Covid 19’s Impact on 2021 International Teaching Jobs

What has Covid19’s impact on international teaching jobs in 2021 been?  Should teachers continue to seek out new teaching jobs in the second half of 2021?

Most international teaching vacancies with start dates in August or September have been filled by June.  But 2021 has not been a typical year when it comes to international teacher recruiting.

Factors That Impacted 2021 International Teaching Jobs:

Student enrollment is down which directly affects a school’s ability to budget and forecast teacher needs.  Furthermore, there has been lots of uneasiness among international teachers.  We’ve seen many teachers change their minds about their short and medium term plans.  After informing their school that they will be leaving for a new school, some teachers have had second thoughts. In 2021 many teachers decided it would be prudent to remain where they are. 

There are many considerations that must be considered before changing jobs and potentially moving to a new country. Now international teachers must consider the Covid situation in their current location as well as their new target destination.  Expatriate teachers must now also calculate potentially longer, more complicated and expensive travel arrangements.  Pre / post flight Covid19 testing and required quarantines – be it self-isolation or a strict government quarantine, are the norm.  These all add time, money and stress to any international travel.  Immigration, visa processing and entry permit requirements are also more complicated during a pandemic.  This year more than ever, increased market uncertainty can be understood. 

But what does that mean for you?  And is it still possible to secure a teaching position with a top international school?  The short answer is yes, there are still many international school teaching vacancies that need to be filled. 

International Teaching Jobs for 2021:

If you are still looking for new 2021 international teaching jobs – there are still many to consider.  But it’s important to move quickly.

At the best of times, international teacher recruiting can take a lot of time.  Interviewing, reference checks, contracts and visa processing normally take 6-8 weeks.  Visa applications and processing have become more complicated and take longer these days.  These days you must add on the need to arrive 2-3 weeks earlier to complete quarantine requirements. It’s easy to see why it’s important to secure your new job before the end of June.

Demand for International Teachers Remains High:

Need seems to be outweighing demand this year.  Visit the Open Roles page for just about any International School and you’ll see they continue to need professionally qualified teachers. At Byron Recruitment, we expect key teaching vacancies will remain open well into September and maybe even October.  Schools normally want all new teachers to join them at the latest for the start of term.  This year, schools need to be more flexible and take on new teachers whenever they are able to begin working. 

Target Schools Where You Reside

As we get closer and closer to the start of the new semester, schools will begin to feel they no longer have time to successfully recruit a teacher from overseas.  Many schools have already reached this conclusion.  More and more school administrators are only targeting teachers already living and based in the same country as the school.

Teachers should do the same.  If it’s late in the yearly recruiting cycle and you are still looking for a new international teaching opportunity, you should concentrate your search on local schools / jobs.  With no need for international travel or quarantines you will be an attractive candidate.  Both costs and risk factors are lower when recruiting locally based teachers.  Furthermore, locally based expat teachers have proven that they can obtain a working visa, they know the country and culture and it shouldn’t take as long for the teacher to settle in.

Teach Online From Your Home Country

When facing travel and immigration restrictions more and more schools are asking teachers deliver online remote learning from their home country.  While this is definitely not any school or parents’ first choice, for some, it has proven to be the only way to staff classes during the pandemic.  Some schools have hired foreign teachers to work from home until visas can be processed and normal travel has resumed. 

This often means teachers based in their home country or even those stuck in a transit country are required to teach at strange hours and through the night.  For some this is a brilliant solution and in the short term it can work for all parties.  It is physically and emotionally draining on students, teachers and admin whenever this arrangement is drawn out.  Teachers should weigh the pros and cons before signing up to something that could potentially last for months.  

If you want to find a teaching job abroad with an international school please email your CV to Or visit our Open Roles Page to view our current vacancies.

Bryon Recruitment
Supporting International School Teacher Recruiting

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