Stephen is a teacher originally from Canada, he moved to Melbourne, Australia for a new teaching experience! Read his story here:
Why did you decide to teach in Australia?
There would be a few reasons as to why I decided to teach in Australia. During teacher’s college, a group of friends and I were talking about going overseas upon completion of our degree to gain some experience. Originally I was against the idea, but came to the realization that teaching in Canada would always be here, and if I was going to have an opportunity to teach and travel at the same time, I might as well take it now before settling into the role as a teacher in Canada. Little did I know, it would be the best decision of my life.
How did you find the transition and registration process with anzuk?
The transition process was extremely easy. After an initial phone call I was able to ask questions which were all answered extremely well. I left the phone call feeling happy, excited and ready to go from that moment. Anzuk provided detailed steps to allow myself to get my visa, and all documentation ready. They also put me in touch with a bank in Australia and that was easily set up upon landing. Honestly, it was the smoothest transition and anzuk definitely removed a ton of stress that I would’ve had, had I done it alone.
What are the biggest differences you have found between teaching in Australia and Canada?
One of the biggest differences I noticed right away in the elementary school setting is the majority of schools I worked at used the open class layout. This would have two, sometimes three classes in a big open space. This was an eye opening experience as I am used to having my own four walls and my own space. It took some getting used to, but found the concept very intriguing. I was able to work really closely with teachers and focus on the team teaching component instead of having to do things alone. I also enjoy the layout of the school year in Australia with the four separate terms, with term breaks in between. It is a great way for students and teachers to have a mental break before coming back refreshed for another term!
What did you enjoy most about teaching and living overseas?
I enjoyed the freedom I had. Being a CRT (Casual Relief Teacher), I was able to work whenever I wanted (albeit just about everyday) but know if I wanted a day off to explore the city, I could. I was fortunate to live super close to Flinders Street Station so for me, just taking a short walk to the city and exploring Melbourne was simply a dream. Being on your own, figuring out the way the city works, I learned a lot about myself. Also, working with Rob Evans as my contact through aznuk, I knew I was in good hands. Rob was amazing in providing me with many different opportunities at many different schools. I was able to explore all over Australia, explore myself as a teacher, try new things, and learn heaps (as the Aussies would say) to bring back to Canada.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of making the move overseas from Canada?
DO IT! Just go. Don’t even think twice about it. The experience is next to none and really just helps further your teaching pedagogy. It’s an experience you won’t have at any other point in your teaching journey and you have the opportunity to learn so much more! I have told everyone who asks about my time that they have to go, and have to use anzuk. As mentioned, not only do they make it easy, but it is fun as well as they host social events with other international teachers. I felt a part of a family while being in Australia and it is one I would love to experience all over again!