should you move to another country?
At the website Chronicle Vitae, Scot Gibson, who took a job in Ecuador, argues that many humanities PhDs should seriously consider moving abroad. The core of the argument makes sense – the pay is often comparable to low paying humanities jobs in the US and you may be eligible for a lower student loan repayment plan. Also, given the ability of many scholars to access research materials online, moving abroad may not have a negative impact on your ability to do scholarship. And finally, there is the simple point that life should be about doing your job instead of looking for a job.
I have had a number of friends and colleagues be quite satisfied with jobs overseas. For example, I haven’t heard too many complaints from those in Anglophone nations. A few colleagues have tried schools in the middle east, such as the NYU branch in Abu Dhabi, but you have to be willing to live in a culture that is often in conflict with many liberal values. And many folks find work in the expanding universities of Hong Kong, China and Korea.
The bottom line is this. Academia is tough and a lot of good people don’t find jobs. At the same time, the costs of working overseas are not as high as they used to be. Salaries are creeping up as nations develop and universities aren’t so bloated and bureaucratic as they used they are in the states. Working overseas may a good choice.