Are you heading home by choose or necessity? Depending how long you have been away you may find the hairdresser or favourite shop has closed. What do you mean I am not entitled to free healthcare? I am British and I paid my taxes. You left the country and now returning to the UK & adjusting after teaching abroad find things are not the same.
Each person going home to live has their own personal requirements and plan to integrate back in their own country successfully.
Plan before returning home after teaching abroad
With access to the internet today it is much easier to plan each step of moving back to UK. Four times I have returned to the UK from countries travelling or teaching abroad including North America, Kuwait and Qatar. Yes, you guessed it I just booked a flight at short notice with no plan.
Arriving back home from another country means the next stage of your life. This could be a change of career or finding a new teaching job at a school or college. Apply for jobs in advance before arriving back is a good idea. Network and market yourself online, recruiters and schools for continuing in the teaching profession. Think about updating skills and qualifications ready for the job you will be doing back home.
Where are you and family going to live? You own a property? Well that is good. Renting through an agent involves reference, work status, right to live and reside in the country checks. Also look at private landlords via classifieds and newspapers as landlords tend to have less rigid checks and criteria for tenants than agents.
Finding work back home
With a strong CV you will have a very good chance of transitioning smoothly into a job in your home country. Continuing a career in teaching with prior experience of UK, Canada, Australia school teaching shows employers that you have the required qualifications, skills, experience and reference contact details to be a suitable teacher in state primary teacher or independent school positions at home.
Add the successful teaching experience you have gained teaching abroad to your skills, knowledge, cultural and languages you have gained could benefit you in the next job role.
Not all schools will see teaching abroad, and in certain countries as similar experience and rigour to western countries. Be prepared for this. Have you been teaching a range of age groups and not your specialist subject for years? This could be a negative for gaining a new teaching job back home. Headteachers & principals may see you as not up to date with the curriculum, teaching methods or just out of date. What technology in the classroom have you recently used?
Looking to change career after returning home from abroad? You have valuable transferable skills and experience. Skills you have include: Presenting, training, problem solving, organising, time management, writing, analyser, communicator at different levels and possible language skills.
Jobs sectors you could apply for work in are sales & marketing, charities, local government, utilities, non profit ngo and other. Empathise your prior experience and transferable skills.
Many jobs, even minimum wage employment require a basic licence or certificate such as a security guard or a driver in the UK for example. You will also encounter job descriptions of “Must have recent experience and 2 references”.
Like me, if you are 50+ years and looking for a career away from teaching after returning home finding a full time jobs that pays a good salary is going to be much harder. Be prepared to lower your expectations for the type of jobs that you will be offered.
Entitlement to assistance
Check entitlements before arriving back. The first 3 months of being back in the UK for instance you are not allowed access to the NHS healthcare, benefits/welfare, social housing, student loans and other public funds or services. You will not meet the habitable resident test for at least the first 90 days, another minefield.
Finances, money for a few months back home
Lets face it living in western countries costs 100’s per month for even a basic standard of living. Possible change of wardrobe coming back from a different climate. Enough savings for 6 months is a good start. Rent deposit, travel, interview expenses, food, and other general living costs before you receive the first months wage from your new job is required. You require medical cover also for you and family members.
Register with authorities, doctor, schools
Returning home will involve informing the tax authorises you are resident in your home country again, well in UK at least with HMRC. Once you have an address register with a doctor and other agencies depending on your needs. Schools you should have contacted in advance before returning, although you should update the school on your new address and contact details.
Open a bank account and send your driving license away to be updated to DVLA so you have official proof of address. Register online on the electoral role.
Reverse culture shock
You could have been living in a totally different country for 6 or more years and return to your home town to find a few changes. Things will be different to how you last experienced your local area. For the past years you have seen and experienced another countries culture and lived a different lifestyle. Friends and family have moved on or at least have changed. From speaking another language, not eating the same food, laws, religion and customs you have experienced teaching abroad which is not the same as your home city or town.
Daily routines, expectations, work, friends and your way of life abroad will all change after moving back home. For me I fitted right back in for most daily life experiences after jetting back from overseas, although I found securing a suitable paying job in Scotland a challenge.
Loss of status in relation to being far more worth in a foreigner employers eyes than in your home country has affected people I know.
Returning with a partner and family
The wife tells you, let’s go to your country to live and work!
You could be one of the may UK nationals returning home each year with a foreign partner and children in toll. Sponsoring a non EU partner and family members to live in the UK starts at £18,400 and additional for each child in annual salary or you could sponsor your family with savings in a bank account of at least £63,000. In addition, you require a suitable home for you and your family to live.
Most things and arrangements are within your control, although laws, regulations & immigration are not, especially for the UK. British citizens are returning home without their families, and in some cases unable to financially sponsor their wife and children or met another requirement.
An option is for you to return home first, secure accommodation for your family, obtain a job that meets the income requirements and family sponsorship criteria for your partners & children’s visas.
Are you ready to return home to your own country and successfully reintegrate? Start by planning the move and save in advance. Think about you and your families life in the future.