Katherine Bohan; Teaching Internationally


Luka Vaicekauskas

Posing by her desk, Mrs. Bohan is getting ready to start teaching her class. Katherine Bohan is the newest addition to Plant High Schools’ social studies department, teaching the AP Psychology course offered.

Katherine Bohan is the newest addition to Plant High Schools’ social studies department, teaching the AP Psychology course offered. Before returning to Plant in 2023, Bohan was an international teacher teaching overseas and specializing in economic and business studies. 

But teaching wasn’t Bohan’s initial career, and she got a masters degree in education to best adapt to her life in Tampa years ago.  

“Becoming a teacher was a career change for me. We lived overseas for a long time, but when we moved here- back to Tampa- I had little kids and I wasn’t sure on what I wanted to do career-wise, so that’s when I got my masters in education,” Bohan said.  

When Bohan became certified to teach, she always had the idea in mind that when her children graduated, she would love to teach in the foreign lands. 

“Because we had  lived overseas before, I so was familiar with the international school system- even my own kids studied at those international schools in Singapore. So taking their experiences into account and my newly born passion for teaching, I thought that it would be very cool to work in that field overseas,” Bohan said.  

Having a plan in mind on how to achieve her goals, Mrs. Bohan was ready to pack her suitcase and move out of the United States for five years.  

“My plan was to teach overseas for the last five years before retiring, and I went to Vienna. But then Covid-19 hit, and I only ended up teaching one semester in Vienna. I taught 11-12 graders from all over the world Business and Economics,” Bohan said. 

But Vienna was not Bohan’s first place living overseas.  

“We lived in Singapore almost 10 years, in Vienna for almost a year, in college I lived in Spain, and then I traveled with this educational program and we went all over the world as well. I loved Singapore, because that’s where my children grew up, but my favorite place we lived was Switzerland- it is beautiful and especially because I am outdoorsy person and love to hike, that was perfect for me,” Bohan said. 

When asked if there were any evident cultural differences that she spotted between students in the United States versus the ones across the ocean, Bohan gave a surprising answer. 

“Actually, there are not many differences, students in general want to do well. The student across the world do see the world a little bit different, because American students live in their own “bubble,” whereas European students see the world perspective in a more open-minded way, but overall, there are many more similarities than differences which is very interesting and cool,” Bohan said. 

Living overseas can bring many challenges, as homesickness, cultural differences, and language barriers. But while Mrs. Bohan was teaching students that were required to know English, she would have liked to learn the spoken language to better blend in with the locals.  

“If I had stayed, I would have learned German, but there weren’t many language barriers, because at international schools, everyone is required to know English fluently, however, everyone in Austria knows how to speak German, so it would have been nice to know some German and better blend in with the locals,” Bohan said.  

And while currently teaching at Plant for almost three months, Bohan has been enjoying her time teaching and getting to know her students.  

“My experience at Plant has been great! I like my students and department a lot, and it has been very good. The students here are hardworking, and take more AP classes than I feel they should, but their ambition really inspires me,” Bohan said.