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SAnParis2 May 14th, 2012 07:07 AM

Teaching positions in the Caribbean
My girlfriend wants to explore teaching opportunities in the Caribbean, but info online seems to be scarce. Does anyone know of any good websites/blogs that would provide helpful information in regards to this topic ? Thanks very much...

RoamsAround May 14th, 2012 10:51 AM

Unfortunately, there's no single on-line source for teaching jobs in the Caribbean and as your girlfriend has already found there are very few, if any, places on line where she can find any job listings for teaching jobs. The truth is very few jobs on any kind for positions in the Caribbean are "advertised" on line.

One website she might check out is - it's geared toward financial jobs on Grand Cayman but occasionally they do have listing for positions in other fields and on other islands.

Getting a job in the Caribbean via the internet is often very difficult. Most Caribbean employers hire their workers from people who are "already living on the island". Why, the reasons are simple:

1) Over the years the employers have learned that a great percentage of people who say they are planning to relocate to the Caribbean for employment change their mind and never actually show up so most employers simply avoid this problem by interviewing candidates who are already there.

2) Most of the Caribbean Islands are independent countries and the local government requires that employers hire their own citizens whenever possible. Non-citizens cannot work on those islands without a Work Permit. To obtain a Work Permit the employer must first prove there are no "locals" qualified to fill the position.

Now, if your girlfriend is a US citizen she'll find it infinitely easier to find a teaching job in either Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques St. thomas, St. Croix or St. John as those are US territories and she already has citizenship status and will be allowed to work. Still, it will not be easy as the employers will, whenever possible, try to hire from a pool of candidates already on the island. Again, if your girlfriend is citizen she WILL NOT be able to work on any other island in the Caribbean without first obtaining a Work Permit for the particular island where their might be a job opening.

If the Work Permit is granted it is usually good only for a set period of time (usually one year) and renewal is not always guaranteed. There is usually an annual fee that must be paid if the Permit s granted. Your girlfriend should also know that Work Permits are not always granted even if she is qualified for a particular position.

You girlfriend might want to check out the U.S. Virgin islands Relocation website ( - it's geared toward living/working in the USVI's but much of what is written there is applicable throughout the Caribbean. It's a very comprehensive website and it will take weeks for her to read everything that's there. The site also has a very active forum with thousands of threads that deal with teaching positions in the VI's.

One other bit of advice, there is a"Catch-22" when it comes to living/working in the Caribbean - in general your girlfriend will find living expenses for housing, food and utilities will probably be higher while wages for comparable positions will be are lower than they are "back home".

After living in the Caribbean for more than 10 years the one thing I can tell you is that living here is far different than being here on vacation. So make sure your girlfriend does a lot of research. It is not always easy nor is it something anyone should do "on a budget".

Good luck to your girlfriend.

RoamsAround May 14th, 2012 10:56 AM

Oh, I meant to add - your girlfriend can research the legal requirement to relocate to and/or work on any of the islands in the Caribbean by going to the official government website for that particular island. Do a google search for "NAME OF ISLAND Government Website" and she'll find the proper link. Each site usually has a section with immigration information for that island.

SAnParis2 May 15th, 2012 08:31 AM

Thanks very much - I have explored this option in the past & did have an offer in St. Lucia that was inclusive of living quarters & a vehicle. I am sure it differs all over. Thanks for the info. We have a year to explore & reserch as she is obligated to her current school for another year but we expect the process to be involved & lengthy. We'll be down there in July so perhaps we can garner more info first hand. Thanks...

fishee May 17th, 2012 12:09 AM

wow, great info roamsaround -- I always love your thorough responses!

SAnParis2 May 29th, 2012 07:20 AM

ttt - others ??

sassy_cat May 29th, 2012 11:38 AM

I used to teach in St. Kitts 20+ years ago through VSO. It's still possible to live and work in the Caribbean under the auspices of a volunteer body such as Peace Corps or VSO but the 'salaries' are low if that matters to you.

SAnParis2 May 30th, 2012 10:56 AM

Thx sassy_cat - forgive my ignorance, but what is VSO ?

sassy_cat May 30th, 2012 11:47 AM

Voluntary Service Overseas

SAnParis2 May 30th, 2012 12:32 PM

Thanks very much...couldn't figure it

sassy_cat May 30th, 2012 12:40 PM

No problem
I think the acronym does get used for other stuff like the Vermont Symphony Orchestra lol!

SAnParis2 Jun 1st, 2012 10:44 AM


RoamsAround Jun 1st, 2012 12:34 PM

SAnParis2 - It's doubtful you'll get too many additional responses. This forum is frequented more by "travelers to the Caribbean" rather than people who actually live in the Caribbean (by the way, I'm one of them) and since the laws regarding living/working in the Caribbean are different on each island the best advice will usually come from island residents. Many "travelers" can only speculate on job availability and the legal requirements.

As I mentioned in my earlier response there are, few, if any "central clearing houses" for Caribbean Employment and even less for teaching positions. I can tell you on our island none of the government schools have any there "Ex-pat" teachers on their staff and there are only a few Ex-pat teaches on the staff of the two or three private schools. Most of those teachers are parents of students enrolled in the school.

Your girlfriend might have more luck if she tried to first identify a couple of islands where she might want to work. She can then research the private schools on that island (on most islands she'll have a better chance at finding a job in a private school vs. a government school - the pay will also probably be better, but not great, in Private Schools). She might want to look at islands that have a large number of "working" EX-Pats (rather than retired ex-pats) as those are the ones with more private schools and may have more employment opportunities. Look at Grand Cayman (known for its off-shore banking industry, Trinidad (for its , etc.oil refineries)

You mentioned "you'll be down there in July" but you didn't say where "THERE" is. Obviously, she could check on opportunities when you "get THERE" but whatever you find out about "THERE" won't necessarily apple to a different island.

Good luck in your search.

wliwl Jun 2nd, 2012 12:45 PM

I have an acquaintance who is a teacher in Coral Bay on St John. I have heard she is expecting a lay off at any moment...Apparently they have serious declining enrollment. She isn't terribly concerned because her H has a good business there.

SAnParis2 Jun 5th, 2012 10:36 AM

Headed (primarily) to Bequia. I would guess the larger islands would offer more opportunities. Am curious about PR as well, although I would think they would likely have ample resources.

RoamsAround Jun 6th, 2012 12:42 AM

Bequia is a tiny island - 7 sq. miles with under 4,500 population. I doubt they'd have any significant teaching job opportunities in the government schools and there probably won't be more than one private school (if any). You could always inquire while you are there but don't be surprised if you get a polite "No thanks" - many small Caribbean Islands really don't like having "outsiders"in positions that tell locals "how to do things".

Puerto Rico is a very big island with plenty of schools so finding a teaching position there will be like finding one back on mainland US. It would help if your girlfriend can speak Spanish as that language is very common. You are correct, there will be tens of thousands of qualified Puerto Ricans seeking teaching jobs.

diann24 Jun 6th, 2012 06:05 AM

Roamsaround, great info and help you are giving. May I ask out of curiosity, on which island do you live? I often see on Househunter International people relocating to a Caribbean island but most work at home from a computer which means they are still emmployed a U.S company.

RoamsAround Jun 6th, 2012 07:17 AM

I am retired and have a home on Nevis.

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