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Wanderlust - From Sydney to London



Yang-En decided to leave Sydney and combine all of her passions

- Traveling, Teaching and Art -

• What made you decide to teach in England?

Wanderlust! I’d been wanting to see more of the world

for a long time – but had become a bit stuck in my life

in Australia. I wasn’t particularly set on England necessarily,

but I was able to get an ancestry visa to the UK,

so the decision of where to go, was fairly straightforward.


• Why did you choose Protocol Education as your agency?

I didn’t really make a decision – I think I literally typed ‘Recruitment agencies for Teachers, England’ into Google!

However, I’ve been really happy with their service, and glad I stumbled across them on the internet!

One of the things I’ve valued most about Protocol is having a consultant who was previously a teacher himself – Mitch was able to relate to a lot of what I was looking for in a role. I never felt any sense that he was trying to meet any targets by squashing me into a role which would be a bad fit for me. I was able to be really honest and clear about what I did and didn’t want in a job, and I felt that Mitch understood and respected where I was coming from.

I also really appreciated how realistic Mitch was about my job prospects as an art teacher – there’s nothing worse than having unfulfilled expectations!! I was able to make some well informed decisions about what time of the year to move and how much I would want to have saved up before the move –because Protocol were so practical and realistic about what was involved in the process. Some agencies can be overly positive and optimistic – but in the end that helps no-one. What I wanted was some practical advice, and I wanted to know what I would be in for. In the end Protocol were actually able to secure me a block of art-teaching work in a really lovely school within my first week of arriving in London – so that was a happy surprise!!

Once I arrived in London I felt really supported by the staff at Protocol. At my first meeting, I met about 3 or 4 different staff members, who all had different roles within the agency. They were really professional, efficient and able to give practical advice about good places to live, how to set up bank accounts etc. My UK consultant Hannah was really supportive and called and emailed after my first few days at school to see how I was getting on. I enjoy the rapport I have with Protocol, I’ve felt incredibly supported by them, and I really do feel as though they have my best interests in mind.


• How did you find the process of registering in Australia?

It was fairly simple –Mitch, my consultant was great in getting me started on the process really early, breaking down the steps for me, and sending me reminders to organise my paperwork. It felt really manageable and I think I even ended up having everything organised well ahead of time. One of the benefits of having an agency is that my visa application required a UK address- and I was able to get things sent to the Protocol Office.


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

The Salary! The Cost of Living! Australian teachers are so much better paid, and many things are much more affordable in Sydney.

I worked in a very quiet, lovely, private all-girls school in Sydney, so the shift to a co-ed, state school in East-London school was very different! I have been you-tubing ‘East-London Accents’ to help me understand some of my students and colleagues better! I was ready to be shaken out of my comfort zone – so I am really appreciating how much I am learning about classroom management and working with students from a much different social demographic. My students are energetic and wonderful young people who enjoy learning. Having a long-term-supply role enables me to get to know them and develop rapport with them and I am really enjoying that. My head of department has been positive and supportive – I feel so fortunate to have landed in such a great environment for my first job.

London is such a huge city, that the long commutes are taking me some time to get used to.

It’s amazing to be an art teacher and artist, and to be able to see some of the worlds greatest art museums and artworks on my weekends. I keep pinching myself… I keep telling my students how lucky they are to live in London. I can’t wait to start taking trips around Europe – Everything is just so close!


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

- The beautiful parks and cooler weather
- The Art Galleries and museums
- Living just a stone’s throw from the rest of Europe


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

Step one is to find out whether you qualify for any sort of visa to work in the UK. Don’t get your hopes up if it’s not going to be possible!

Start talking to your recruitment consultant early – the sooner you start planning, the easier the process will be. Ask questions such as: When the best time of year to move is, how much you will need to pay upfront for the visa, the healthcare surcharge, the flights, the first month of rent etc – all this will help you work out how much you need to save up before you leave.

Talk to teachers who have done the move before and see what they liked and didn’t enjoy. Try to get a realistic picture of what some of the challenges of living and teaching in England will be – this will make it a bit easier to mentally prepare for them, or at least just not be shocked when you arrive! However I don’t think anything will ever truly prepare you for the cost of living or the low salaries in London!!

Don’t be anxious to get work lined up or a place to live locked in before you go – it can be really great to just get to know the city / country first before committing to anything.

Try to be open minded about where you might live, or the kinds of schools you would like to work at. At the same time – be clear with your consultant about what you aren’t prepared to do. Eg. If high school trained – would you be willing to take a job in Primary etc.

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