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The Journey to School: Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark)

August 28, 2014

The journey to work is indeed an important one.  The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers, when looking for jobs at schools and cities/countries to which they have never been.  So let’s share what we know!

One of our members, who works at the Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) described his way to work as follows:

2014-08-28 07.57.59-2In August, there is plenty of light in the morning; always good for putting a smile on your face and good thoughts in your mind. Also the weather is a bit fresh already in the morning, meaning you need a light jacket on during this time of the year.  As I leave my apartment building, I see a sea of bikes and people on bikes zooming by me. Gotta keep a keen eye on the street and the sidewalk to check for other pedestrians and bike riders otherwise you will be run over!

Next I get on my bike, glad that it wasn’t stolen the night before. I choose to leave my bike (locked) on the sidewalk every night, even though it is very common to get your bike stolen in Copenhagen. I have a place to put it inside my building, but it is more convenient to just leave it on the sidewalk. Also, I have never got my bike stolen, but many…many people here do. I got my bike for free actually (It was gifted to me when a colleague left the school to move back to his home country), so I’m not too worried about it getting stolen. It is definitely not the first bike that a stealer would choose to steal as it is pretty old looking.

2014-08-28 07.58.17As much as I would like to ride my bike all the way to school, I choose to just ride my bike to the nearest train station (a 2-minute ride). If I do ride my bike all the way to school, it would take around 25-30 minutes.  In a few minutes, I am at the train station. There is usually a space to park and lock my bike nearby. Then I walk up a few steps to get to a long bridge-like walkway.  The walkway spans 8 tracks I think. It is a big station. There are two ways I can get to the train station near to my school (Hellerup), the S-train and the regional train.  If you miss one train, there is always another one coming soon. The regional train might be a bit faster because it doesn’t make any stops to Hellerup, the S-train stops at two train stations in between my station and Hellerup.

The S-train can have a lot of people, so it can be crowded (not so fun), so when I can get on the regional train, I do that instead. The train ride is maybe 4-6 minutes long and then I’m at Hellerup. Many people get off here as it is another hub for many trains.  Typically I run into other staff members on the train or getting off at Hellerup.  We say good morning and then walk together to get to the school campus.  The walk from Hellerup to the campus is like 1 minute.  The current school location is VERY convenient to public transportation; super important when working at an international school.

2014-08-28 08.07.19  2014-08-28 08.07.11

My total journey to work, if I time everything right, is between 12-15 minutes. Super convenient. I forgot to mention that I could also take a nearby bus to work, but that would not be the best choice.  The bus can be very crowded as well and the journey is longer, maybe 20-25 minutes.

2012-05-29 18.35.40When it is a sunny morning (which it usually is during this time of the year), the journey to Copenhagen International School is a really great one. It is so relaxing usually and oh I forgot to mention you can watch the sea go by as you look out the window of the train!

Copenhagen International School is actually building a whole new, purpose-built school. It is going to be located even closer to my apartment!  The best part of this new school campus is its location.  The new location will be on the water. I can’t wait!!

Currently, we have 14 international schools listed in Denmark on our website.  6 of them have had comments submitted on them by our members. Check out which ones here by using our school search feature and ticking the box ‘schools with comments’.  Copenhagen International School is a very popular school profile page on our website.  It has 183 total comments on it (one of the most on our website so far).  It also has 11 members that either currently work there or have worked there in the past (which is the 2nd highest number of members for a school profile page).


So what is your journey to the international school you work at?  Earn 6 free months of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’.  Email us here if you are interested.

The Journey to School
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‘Where Our Members Have Worked’ feature update: Check out the latest stats!

May 20, 2014

Our 4324 current members (up 2175 members from March 2013) work at or have worked at 611 international schools(up 207 schools from March 2013)!

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 7.50.18 PM

How amazing is that?!  In just three years, our “international school community” has grown into an excellent network of international school teachers.  With so much experience and knowledge about life working at over 600 international schools on our website, the other members are able to stay updated and the most informed about schools in which they are interested.  Additionally, now it is even easier to find the right members to contact for networking purposes and for gathering more information about the specific questions you may have about working at a certain international school.

This useful feature page lists all the international schools that either our members currently work at or have worked at in the past.

We have organized this list of schools alphabetically by country, all on one page.  But for faster access to the country you are specifically looking for, just click on the letter that the country starts with at the top of the page.

Which international schools on our website have the most members you ask?  Here are our top 10 schools:

Want to see the top 40 list of schools with the most members?  Check out this page which displays the names and avatar pictures of each member that either currently works at that school now or has worked there in the past.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 8.12.01 PM

So take a moment to have a look at our “Where Our Members Have Worked” page. Maybe you will find that we have some members who know about the international school about which you are looking to gain more information.

Information for Members
American International School in Egypt, American School Foundation of Mexico City, american school of barcelona, British International School Moscow, Copenhagen international school, international educators, International School Bangkok, International School Dhaka, International School of Kuala Lumpur, international school teachers, international schools, Nazarbayev Intellectual school of Astana, seoul international school, shanghai rego international school, switching schools, Where Our Members Have Worked, working abroad,

International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #1: Western Europe

March 11, 2012

#1: International Schools in Western Europe

“Europe has been very slow this year in terms of growth of international schools and I expect this to continue.  I predict that barring any further economic disasters in Euroland, many teachers in European schools will stay put and schools will not contract but continue to hold off expansion plans so opportunities will be very limited.  We can expect teacher salaries to remain flat with little competition to force them up, and in many parts of western Europe tax rates will probably increase.

For those with a right to work in the UK, public sector funding will limit the amount of supply jobs. However, London is a transitory place and therefore usually a vibrant market for resilient and flexible supply teachers who can teach successfully at challenging inner-city schools.  In the rest of England, however, Agency Worker Regulations are reshaping the landscape and teachers with a lot of experience will often be disadvantaged if they try to land long term supply jobs. We are renewing our partnership with Randstad Education so any teachers with a right to work in the UK wanting to work in London or Manchester areas should contact us.”
Taken from the “Teach the World with Teachanywhere” blog written by General Manager by Diane J48 acoutot.
Currently (as of11 March, 2012), on, we have 194 international schools listed in this region of the world.  That’s 35 more international school than the region of the world with the next highest number which is in East Asia.  I am not for sure what that exactly means though as there just might be more international schools in Asia than in Europe or in the Middle East.  But what it does mean is that there are what would seem to be many options for people wanting to work in Western Europe.
Out of the 22 countries we have listed in Western Europe, the top four countries with the highest number of international schools listed on International School Community are the following:
1. Germany (32)
2. Italy (22)
3. Spain (21)
4. Switzerland (15)
Some more facts about these Western European international schools:
• 36 teach the American Curriculum, 61 teach the U.K. curriculum and 18 teach the IPC curriculum.
• 61 are less than 15 years old, 91 are between 16 and 50 years old and 42 are more than 51 years old.
• 48 are For-profit schools and 146 are Non-profit schools.
The following schools have had comments and information submitted on them:
There are many more!  Check out the rest of them here.
Many of our members currently work at international schools in Western Europe:
Natasha Marsoner (Munich International School)
Jeff Shaw (International School of the Hague)
Alex Lianne  (École Internationale Académie de la Capitale International School)
Cory Greenberg (Copenhagen International School)
Ian Lally (John F. Kennedy School Berlin)
Josselyn van der Pol(Berlin Brandenburg International School)
There are many more! Check out the rest of them here. If you are interested in working at an international school in Western Europe that one of our members currently works at, feel free to send these members a private message with the questions and concerns you would like first-hand account answers too.
So, we will just have to wait and see then how the “International School Community” in Western Europe actually pans out for the year 2012.

8 International Teaching Predictions
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Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #2 (Harbin No. 9 School, Int’l School of Helsinki & Cph Int’l School)

January 28, 2012

Comments and information about salaries at international schools on International School Community

Every week members are leaving information and comments on the salaries that teachers are making at international schools around the world.  Which ones pay more?  Which ones do you have to pay very high taxes?  Which ones offer tax-free salaries?  All important questions to think about when job searching, but where to find the answers to those questions?

Why do some international schools keep their specific salary information so secret?  Even at international school job fairs, you don’t really get to see the exact amount of your yearly and monthly salary until you see the contract paperwork.  Even then sometimes you don’t know what will be your exact take-home pay each month.  At International School Community, we want to make the search for salaries easier for international school teachers. In the benefits section of the school profile page, there is a section specifically for salaries.  The topic is: “Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year?

Here are 3 out of the many comments and information related to salaries that have been posted on our website:

Harbin No. 9 High School International Division (Songbei Campus)
“18000RMB per month 2000RMB taken out in taxes each month. No receipt of this transaction is given as would be the regular accounting practice for a well run school. YOu may need a record of this when you leave the country.”

Copenhagen International School
“The taxes are around 40-45%. You get paid in 12 month installments. You always get paid on time. There are also payslips which are sent to you via email the day before you get paid. It is important to note your first year that your July salary will be severely reduced because of the vacation pay deduction. You will get this money back though if and when you decide to move on.”

International School of Helsinki
“The salary is paid in Euros. The taxes taken out are around 35%. The tax rate in Finland would make it difficult for a couple on a single salary.”

Check out the other comments and information about these schools on our website:

Salaries at Int’l Schools
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Teaching and living in “The World’s Happiest (And Saddest) Countries” – According to Forbes

January 4, 2012

According to this Forbes article, the top 10 happiest countries are: “Joining Norway and Australia in the top 10 are their neighbors Denmark, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand. Equally small and civilized Switzerland and the Netherlands are also up there. Rounding out the top 10 is the United States at 10th and Canada (sixth).” There are many international schools in most of these countries, offering many opportunities for international school teachers to live very “happy” lives, or so it would appear…

Imagine a beach, warm white sand, water blue and transparent, a nice cabin right by the water’s edge, maybe a nice cabana boy or girl, serving you cool drinks and then some… It’s like a picture perfect postcard, and it just might exist out there in the international school teaching world, all included, semi-secluded, your own private paradise. Happiness among happy people. Perhaps the happiest people of the world, living daily life happily.

Maybe you should scratch that, because according to the Legatum Prosperity Index of 2011 that place is so far from the description above, because that place is Norway; yes the place of cow bells, handball, snowy hills and cheese, the recipe for happiness. Or perhaps more accurate, Norway scored big in the combined ingredients that are: economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, personal freedom and social capital.

So the people of Norway have a good economy (this of course is thanks to a Danish minister who gladly gave away the Danish oil, but then again according to rumor he was drunk so…). They have good ideas and know how to transform them to reality, and of course cash in. They have a government freed from scandal and corruption. They’re highly educated, have good health, feel safe and feel free. They’re social and solidarity. All combined a happy people.  Who wouldn’t want to live there and work at an international school there? There are currently 9 international schools listed in Norway on International School Community.

You really can’t disagree that those ingredients listed might make you happy, if you can cross check all of them, you’re successful, rich, and smart and have enough surplus to care about other people. But defining happiness is more than just looking at the bank account or how healthy you are. How about values that can’t exactly be calculated or an international community somewhere that is very warm and supportive to you living there?  What defines personal freedom and social capital? What’s the percentage of divorces? How often do you go to church? What about culture?  And for international school teachers, what about the amazing professional community at an international school somewhere (anywhere) that is very rewarding for you? Having an amazing professional community at your work can definitely make most teachers extremely happy no matter where you at living…you do spend most of your time at work (most of the time).

Besides the international school itself, if you have to move to another country would you look at the economy of that specific country or is it the more soft values? Are the happiest people really happy people, and does that guarantee happily ever after? Of course things aren’t that black and white, which of course makes list like the one mentioned above quite redundant. So what’s really point?

Is there anything to learn from a list like this Forbes’ article

It’s maybe just following that gut feeling, and try experiencing it yourself. Otherwise it’s like wanting to read a book and then watching the movie adaptation instead, it’s not your vision.

There are different definitions of happiness, from happiness being a sweet little puppy, delicious chocolate, so maybe it’s all in between, it’s education, it’s economy, it’s Ferris Wheels and ice cream on a Sunday, it’s love and freedom, it’s good ideas and sleeping late after New Year’s eve. Maybe it’s a cabin or the beach or a small wooden house in the Norwegian Alps? Maybe it’s the people you meet and the chances you take, experiencing life yourself, instead of being blindsided by some list.

These are the things we look for as international school teachers, and we are definitely looking for happiness in our lives, especially when we can be quite far away from old friends and family.

If you want to know what life is like working at an international school in the “Top 10″ become a member of International School Community.  International School Community members represent the following international schools: The International School of Helsingborg, TASIS The American School in Switzerland, International School of Stavanger, Copenhagen International School, American School of the Hague and The British School of the Netherlands.

As a member you are able to send these members a private message and get the answers to the questions you may have about life as an international school teacher there. Networking made easy!

Discussion Topics
American School of the Hague, Copenhagen international school, cultures, expat life, Forbes, international school community, International School of Stavanger, international schools, International teaching, TASIS The American School in Switzerland, teaching abroad, The British School of the Netherlands, The International School of Helsingborg, The World's Happiest Countries, The World's Saddest Countries,

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