Nestled between China and India, Bhutan is a relatively simple and peaceful country where life slows down and is filled with culture and tradition. Buddhist values are highly respected and a big part of the culture. As a tourist, you must pay a $250 USD/day Visa simply to enter the country, but with teaching you are paid to enjoy the wonders of Bhutan.
The government provides free education to all students through Grade 10 and scholarships to students who qualify for higher and professional studies. There are a variety of job opportunities in different schools throughout the country. Read on to find out more.
The traditional “public” school system in Bhutan that provides the majority of the population with their education. As a teacher in these schools you will be teaching English and maybe other subjects. Resources will probably be limited due to lack of resources in the country in general.
The non-formal schools serve as a form of continuing literacy and numeracy education who did not receive a complete formal education. As a teacher in these schools, you will likely be teaching adults in more basic school subjects.
Boys typically join in between ages 6-9 and will stick with the monk life for life. Volunteer positions in monastery schools are widely available. As a teacher, you will be teaching these boys English as well as other school subjects (also in English).
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
The key for your job search is to find a job before arrival in Bhutan, as you must have a job offer and acceptance before you can apply for a Visa. Though paid jobs are not highly available, there are plenty of volunteer positions available to those looking to teach. There are two terms in the Bhutan school year, beginning in February and mid-July. If you are looking to teach, the best time to start looking is a couple months prior to the beginning of these terms.
Though there are no formal requirements for Bhutan, it is highly recommended that you earn a TEFL certification to give you a leg up in the job search process. It is just as helpful if you have a bachelor’s degree, teaching certification, or any experience in a classroom. There are positions for those with no formal training, so long as you have native knowledge of the English language. The more experience and enthusiasm you bring, the better prepared you will be for the classroom.
Salary & Cost of Living:
Your salary will be dictated depending on your position and qualifications. Should you be hired, expect to be paid around $450 USD/month which should be enough to get by. The cost of living is low, especially compared to Western nations. A nice, three course meal will cost one person around $40 USD. Health care is free and accessible to all foreigners.
Classroom & Work Culture:
Teachers can be placed throughout the country, in a number of locations, but the community will welcome you in wherever you are. As a teacher, you can expect a full schedule covering a variety of subjects, including the concept of Gross National Happiness. More recently, the teaching style in Bhutan has adopted more on a teacher-student interactive role, rather than a lecture style of teaching. It can be difficult to coax the students to feel comfortable speaking in class.
Women have more political and social rights in Bhutan than in surrounding countries and are able to mingle with men in affairs more freely than one may expect Bhutan does have a national dress code, which you will be expected to respect. The workforce has a young, but traditional spirit.