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New Survey: How is your experience using your health insurance and medical benefits?

July 15, 2015

A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  How is your experience using your health insurance and medical benefits?

Screenshot 2015-07-15 20.38.276425100253_0ccab65947_z

It is not fun worrying about your health when you live abroad, as medical systems can vary from country to country in their efficiency, price and quality.

Some cities have only local hospitals on offer; meaning ones that are staffed by locals and that serve mostly locals. It is not uncommon for these hospitals to have a staff with poor English or any foreign language fluency. It might be necessary for you to find, or in a best case scenario – for your school to provide someone who can accompany you at the hospital to serve as an interpreter. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe quality of these hospitals isn’t necessarily poor, as one may suggest, but not knowing the local culture of “how things work” in a local hospital can indeed be quite nerve-wracking.

Other locations have more expat-oriented medical facilities and/or special-health insurance plans for foreigners. These types of hospitals can put expats at ease in how they are served.  They have foreign-hired doctors on hand that can speak their language.  Expat-oriented hospitals typically also have all the different types of medicine and prescriptions that you may need while living abroad. In less developed areas (ones that have lower employment desirability), you are in luck if you have access to these types of expat-oriented medical facilities.

8566688298_45da9904cc_zIt is all fine and dandy to have super accessible and well-resourced hospitals in your host country, but let’s not forget out the health insurance benefits package that you are receiving through your school.  It is clear that your medical insurance coverage can vary from school to school in their efficiency, price and quality as well. In one international school, they give you amazing health coverage with everything covered (including health insurance for you around the world), no co-payments, with most dental needs included. In the next school, you find yourself very limited to what you can do with your benefits.  A less desirable health insurance package might not include dental or cover you during your travels around the world or back in your home country.

Your health insurance benefits package should always be talked about and maybe even negotiated with your international school before you sign the contract.

Because things are so different for each of us at international schools across the world, take a moment to go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!

If you are interested, you can check out the latest voting results here.


We actually have a comment topic related this to this issue. It is called: Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals.

Right now there are over 598 individual comments (about 100s of different international schools) in this comment topic on our website.  Here are a few of them:

“The insurance is pretty good. At hospitals that accept it, you pay approximately $13 U.S. for the visit, treatments and prescriptions. The difficulty is not with the insurance, but the hit and miss quality of care available in town.” – Liwa International School (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)23 Comments

“You can get travelers and accident insurance from your bank here, like at Nordea. It is really cheap and it gives you health insurance coverage anywhere in the world! It is important to know about this option because now the Danish CPR health social health care card doesn’t cover you anymore in Europe, well for non-Danish people with a CPR card.” – Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark)244 Comments

“Macau offers free health care coverage to all residents and all who hold work permits. This kicks in after about 3 months of living in Macau. The school helps facilitate private insurance until the government insurance starts up.” – The School of the Nations (Macao, China)20 Comments

“Health insurance is not the best. It only covers emergencies and specialist doctors, not a General Practitioner. I have been to the doctor here, and it was a good experience. Doctors were efficient and I got taken care of pretty quickly. I would advise asking people who have lived here a while, who to go to though.” – The Codrington School (Int’l School of Barbados) (St. John, Barbados)70 Comments

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We now have over 1770 international school profiles listed

January 10, 2015

At International School Community, we now have over 1770 international school profiles listed on our website!

Screenshot 2015-01-10 12.48.36

The last 5 schools to be added:
Kingsworth International School (Paris, France)
Vermont International Academy (Shanghai, China)
Kang Chiao International School (Taipei, Taiwan)
SIS Swiss International School Basel (Basel, Switzerland)
Tenby International School (Miri) (Miri, Malaysia)

The top 5 schools with the most members:
American School of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) – 131 Comments
Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 213 Comments
International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 60 Comments
American International School in Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt) – 31 Comments
Shanghai Rego International School (Shanghai, China) – 74 Comments

The top 5 most viewed schools:
American School of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) – 131 Comments
Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 213 Comments
International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 60 Comments
International School Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand) – 18 Comments
Bangkok Patana School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 17 Comments

The last 5 schools to have something written on their wall:
Osterbro International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 12 Comments
Cebu International School  (Cebu City, Philippines) – 7 Comments
Al Corniche International School Jeddah (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 52 Comments
Newton International School (Doha, Qatar) – 33 Comments

But check them all our yourself!  Get answers to your questions about the international schools you are interested in by clicking on the geographic region of your choice.  It’s a great way to learn about different international schools around the world and gather information!  International School Community has the following 1772 international schools listed on our website (last updated on 10 January, 2015)

Results: (181) Countries, (717) Cities, (1772) Schools, (12809) Comments

Asia (178)

Caribbean (36)

Central America (43)

East Asia (240)

Eastern Europe (93)

Middle East (231)

North Africa (60)

North America (92)

Oceania (30)

SE Asia (268)

South America (90)

Sub-Saharan Africa (142)

Information for Members
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‘Where Our Members Have Worked’ feature update: Check out the latest stats!

December 30, 2014

Our 5325 current members (up 1001 members from May 2014) work at or have worked at 766 international schools (up 155 schools from May 2014)!

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How amazing is that?!  In just four 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 750 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:

• American School of Barcelona
(14) members

• Copenhagen International School
(13) members

• International School of Kuala Lumpur
(12) members

• Shanghai Rego International School
(10) members

• Istanbul International Community School 
(9) members

• Seoul International School 
(9) members

• American International School in Egypt
(9) members

• Cairo American College
(7) members

• Ajial Bilingual School
(7) members

• International School Manila
(7) members

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.

Screenshot 2014-12-30 23.08.49

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
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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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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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