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.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street


Written by fabiorojas

July 1, 2016 at 12:13 am

Posted in academia, uncategorized

One Response

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  1. There are at least three more reasons to move: Since jobs abroad are less competitive, with the same CV, you might be able to get a lower teaching load abroad than in the US, so you should have more time to do research. Funds are also less competitive, with the same CV you might be more likely to get a grant abroad, at least a moderately sized one (although if you publish a ton you might be likely to get NIH, NSF, or similar grants, which are usually larger). In addition to the immediate retribution of being able to do research, these two factors also make it more likely for you to get a job back in the US than being an adjunct would. Third, because jobs are less competitive, you can often get tenure working less than in the US, meaning that you might have more time for your family.

    I’d also make a correction to the original argument: in many countries the salary to cost of living rate is actually higher than in the US, especially if you consider the many subsidies you receive, such as free or cheaper healthcare, free college for your children, etc. (a point Micheal Moore makes about Europe in his last movie)



    July 2, 2016 at 2:46 am

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