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Protocol Testimonial: Alana & Rory (Australia)

17/08/17

   

Alana & Rory - 2 new grads from the University of Newcastle who moved into a 1 bed flat in Shepherds Bush at the start of 2017

What made you decide to teach in England? 

Primarily, I decided to teach in England, (and also I’m sure the same for every other overseas trained teacher), for the amazing travel opportunities and for the  simple fact that London is one of the most amazing cities in the world. It has been an enormous personal ambition of mine to work and travel overseas, to which England provides some of the best opportunities to achieve this. Fortunately, my partner and I both shared these aspirations and also have the same teaching qualifications. This made the decision extremely simple for us- move to London! The school year is also very convenient for our lifestyle, every six weeks you receive one-week holidays, Christmas and Easter you receive two weeks each and generally have roughly six weeks holidays throughout  July and August. These holidays allow us to travel regularly and experience everything England and the surrounding countries have to offer. This past half term break we visited, Tower of London, London Bridge, Westminster (Big Ben/London Eye), Portobello  Road (think coloured buildings!), Camden Markets (Most amazing culinary experience of my life), Stonehenge, the city of Bath, the British Museum and Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park.


Why did you choose Protocol Education as your agency?

I chose Protocol as my agency because they seemed the most authentic and genuine. I joined numerous online Facebook groups for Teachers in London/England  and obsessively read through the FAQ section. From this and asking questions, I compiled an extensive list of questions (about 15) and emailed them through to numerous agencies. Subsequently, I received responses from numerous agencies and my partner and I ultimately decided on Protocol. The ability to have Guaranteed Work, a competitive wage, flexibility, being paid through PAYE (rather than an Umbrella) and honest staff were the major winners for me. 


How did you find the process of registering in Australia?

The process of registering with Protocol while still in Australia and still at University was exceptionally easy and straightforward. I had a phone interview with Mitch, (a senior consultant in Australia) and was basically emailed a checklist of documents and things that needed to be completed to both register with Protocol and apply for my visa. Also, the fact that Mitch is available virtually 24/7 (and even while we are in London) to answer our endless questions, made us both comfortable in communication and set our minds  at ease that we chose the right agency for us.

What are the biggest differences you have found between teaching in England and teaching in Australia?

Personally, I feel that the school system: curriculum-wise and expectations of teachers is quite different. The various structures of lessons are very organised and usually there are ready-made lessons available to be taught. I’ve also found the daylight/sunset times to be a huge adjustment but am slowly adapting. I have also found that the students are exponentially more respectful of teachers. In Australia, I feel that students have a laid-back attitude and sometimes lack of respect (I sound 80!). The opposite could not be more true and I have had enormous support from schools when dealing with those few and rare challenging behaviours.

Tell us 3 things you enjoy most about living in England?

Three things I enjoy about living in London would have to be the accessibility, culture and food. Public transport is amazing compared to Australia, which allows you to avoid the expense of a car. Also, being able to fly or train somewhere in a few hours and being in a totally different country. London is extremely culturally diverse. We walked along the Thames on a Sunday and saw these amazing Jamaican acrobatic performers. The area where we live has so many different nationalities and we really enjoy the  interaction and new experiences. THE FOOD! OH THE FOOD! Camden Markets and Brick Lane, go there on a Sunday and fast for approximately three days beforehand to make the most out of life.

Any travels tips or advice to teachers planning to making the move?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be critical. The amount of pushy agencies who looked at us and saw a couple of dollar signs is ridiculous. Research, join social media pages, talk to people who have made the move and make a list of questions! The list sounds silly, but out of emailing about fifteen agencies, only three responded with actual answers instead of “Hey, what’s your number and we can chat on the phone?.” You don’t have time to be on the phone and be pulled into their spiel. You should feel comfortable with your agency and know that they will support you and have your back.


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