When I moved to Australia with my partner we had no one on the other side to help us. Even though we had each lived abroad internationally previously—and
even though we were moving to an English-Speaking country—it was extremely intimidating. (But that’s another story you can read about in About the Teach’N’Traveller Blog!) We wanted to make sure we had enough money to set-up our new home and to tide us through the months where we might not have any income. We were so glad we did!
Initially I wasn’t making any money:
I signed up with a recruiting company at the time, but found the CRT work they gave me depressing, and in horrendous schools (where there was literally ZIPPO discipline and follow up from the school leadership). Furthermore, I had already done heaps of supply work in Canada as an “Emergency Supply”. I was tired of supply teaching and I wanted the opportunity to develop a rapport and to teach a full course.
If we weren’t making any money How did We Afford to stay in Melbourne?
First of all, there are a number of ways to conserve in cash, keeping money for the important things—like traveling Oz! But we’d planned for our trip overseas to be about traveling (even more than teaching). We brought with us some travel cash and some funds we saved in order to get us through the initial lack of income. There were a few start-up costs/differences to Canadian expenses that we hadn’t thought about either. You can read about those on this blog too.
How Not Planning my Schedule Around The Australian School Calendar Affected my Income:
Another reason I didn’t make any money was that I didn’t know about the teaching holidays when I came to Australia at the end of August. I arrived at the end of Term 3 (so I could enjoy my summer holiday in Canada). Naturally, the schools were going right into a 3 week break in September, returning in October I teach high school. Term 4 is consists of review and exams. (The Year 12s only have 2 weeks of classes!)
I Started Making Money…When:
I had to be a bit more flexible and take a job teaching Year 8 that I wasn’t
interested in so much—but I really wanted the money and ultimately, it was a great chance to get my foot in the door and get some experience with the foreign curriculum. It seriously enhanced my already-pretty-good-resume.
All-in-All, I recommend:
- You’ll have to also plan for the cost of flights and medical insurance. These can cost between $2000-3000. Usually this is the money you save first. If you have been planning to come to Oz, this money will be taken care of already. But what you should also bring is…
- Don’t stress about money when you arrive in a new country. Bring about $4000 start-up cash. Remember: you are coming to travel first and foremost. If you don’t have this attitude, you’d be better off staying in Canada to work.
- When you sign on a rental lease in Australia, you have to pay a bond. You’ll need to bring some money for this too.
If all this money saving scares you, you probably really need to re-think your reasons for moving overseas.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s TOTALLY possible to save money while teaching in Oz—I’m living proof. But, don’t forget: you probably get a job teaching in Timmins, Ontario – or any other small town. You are moving to Australia to TRAVEL and EXPLORE—do ease your adventurous side. The bang-a-rang kick is: that you’re a teacher, so you can make money in your profession at the SAME TIME! So save the peace-of-mind-cash and come and enjoy yourself. Because, this place is amazing. **NB: You can also save on these funds by coming at certain times of the year. Of course, you can also make more money at certain times of the year. Leading Out will tell you all about how.
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