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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).

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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
Copenhagen international school, international school, international schools in denmark, journey to work, life of an international school teacher, teaching abroad, teaching in copenhagen, teaching in denmark, the walk to school,

The Journey to School: The Bermuda High School for Girls (Hamilton, Bermuda)

July 19, 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 The Bermuda High School for Girls (Hamilton, Bermuda) described her way to work as follows:

2014-06-20 10.09.12 2014-06-20 10.09.06

Streams of cars full of parents and students + family pets roar by as I take the daily two-minute walk to school along the road.  The majority of roads in Bermuda don’t have footpaths…therefore Bermudian drivers have become accustomed to avoiding pedestrians.  I can feel the humidity levels are rising throughout the month of June, and my already dripping wet hair will take an hour-long usual to dry.  A number of students call out to me from their car window, and they are calling out to me saying “Hi, Miss!”  It is customary in Bermuda to always greet people no matter how many times you have seen and greeted them that day.  I respond by reciprocating the gesture.

As I approach the school crossing, the space between the wall and the cars narrow to the point that the cars are brushing against my own hip.  Mr. Smith, the school-crossing guard, holds out his hand to stop the already snail-paced traffic into the school, allowing me to cross and enter the school grounds.  Of course, I exchange greetings with him as well and he normally teases me about what I’m wearing (like if I’m wearing pink).  I have now entered the school ground and I am safe from the cars. I am now protected by a hand railing on the sidewalk that I am now using.  At this point I can withdraw from the greeting ceremony and look up BBC news on my phone.  A number of fathers are walking towards me in the other direction, having just dropped of their primary-aged children off at school.  They are dressed in a manner that is typical of the finance industry here, which is the Bermuda shorts and long socks and a long-sleeved shirt tucked into their shorts.

There is another little crossing to make and I again hold up traffic to cross and get to the main building.  As I am crossing the road I hear “Miss, Miss!” from a window two stories up.  A number of year 7s are hanging out the window, arms waving madly as if they have not seen you for two weeks.  I climb the steps and I’m officially in the building.

2014-06-20 11.05.01 2014-06-20 10.09.36

 

Currently, we have 36 international schools listed in Taiwan on our website.  18 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’.

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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
international school, international schools in bermuda, journey to work, life of an international school teacher, teaching abroad, teaching in bermuda, The Bermuda High School for Girls, the walk to school,

The Journey to School: Rasami (Thai-British) International School in Bangkok, Thailand

June 18, 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 Rasami (Thai-British) International School, in Bangkok, Thailand, described his way to work as follows:

Fotor0618215720
I open my front door to the sound of a disparate chorus of tropical birds and the waning night time sounds of cicadas and bullfrogs. Bangkok is one of the hottest and busiest metropolises on the planet and by 7am it is already nearly 30 degrees Celsius and my shirt is sticking to my back before I have walked downstairs, past the spirit house that is a feature of almost every building in Thailand, with its strong sweet scent of burning incense sticks and onto the soi (narrow side street) below. The traffic congestion on the soi is considerable, though it never reaches the proportions of the average Bangkok street as one end leads into an army base through which only authorised vehicles may pass. Fortunately working at RBIS entitles me to one of these passes for the princely sum of 200 Baht (about GBP4) per year. I don’t drive the 300 metres to school though! If the morning is cool enough I elect to walk, but on particularly sultry mornings I take a motor-cycle taxi which costs 10 Baht. The journey may be short but it is not uneventful.

The morning aroma emanating from the Bougainvillea and Frangipani is a delightful treat for the nostrils and its heady perfume more than compensates for the less appealing stench of the Bangkok sewage system which competes for nasal attention. The vivid colours of the flowers against the almost ubiquitous azure blue sky, relax my eyes and help to mentally prepare me for the impending day’s teaching. There is no pavement (sidewalk) on the soi, so one can never entirely drift off as the need to avoid military vehicles, taxis and scurrying motorcycles as well as the cars of our parents hurrying to drop their offspring at school before going on the lucrative employment that enables them to send their children to an international school.

When I arrive at the school, I greet the School Director – a former army officer, who is always present to greet staff and children – with a wai, a prayer like gesture which he cheerfully returns, before entering the compact campus and commencing the days teaching.

Fotor0618220015

Currently, we have 38 international schools listed in Bangkok on our website.  19 of them have had comments submitted on them by our members. Check out which ones here by using our school search feature.

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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
international school, international schools in Bangkok, journey to work, life of an international school teacher, Rasami (Thai-British) International School, teaching abroad, teaching in bangkok, teaching in taichung, the walk to school,

The Journey to School: American School Taichung in Taichung, Taiwan

May 10, 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 American School Taichung, in Taichung, Taiwan, described her way to work as follows:

The Bike Ride to School

IMG_20140202_123427_626

IMG_20140412_160421_304I live 3 km. from my school, which makes my daily trip sound brief and routine at first glance. However, I live on the far eastern edge of Taichung, Taiwan in an established community that is undergoing massive transformation. One can see construction projects nearly everywhere. Block by block, they are overtaking previous farm or fallow land.  Soon, this neighborhood will be teeming with new residents.

Meanwhile, it seems busy enough on a weekday morning—with people rushing to work and school on foot and by vehicle. Scooters reign the streets here and throughout Taiwan. In the middle of all this, there’s me on my bicycle.

IMG_20140322_135933_061I ride every day to work, which gives me the exercise and fresh air that I need. It takes a bit of preparation to pack everything I think I will need into my panniers and on to my back. I have to give myself extra time once I get to school to clean up and change into school clothes. I ride in sun and rain—even in a typhoon!  With my home in Oregon, I’m prepared for the rain. Same for winter temperatures.

As I ride to school, I leave the outer bounds of an urban area and quickly transition into a natural preserve.

Our school sits surrounded by jungle and bamboo farms. The road to our school barely covers two lanes. I most enjoy that going slower than a scooter, and being exposed to the elements unlike a car driver, I can absorb all of the sensual experience of the jungle. The bird calls. The frog songs. The fresh scent of the air washed by rain. The shy, white egret rising from a fishing spot on the nearby river.

IMG_20140327_165635_952

Currently, we have 12 international school listed in Taiwan 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’.

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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
international school, international schools in taiwan, journey to work, life of an international school teacher, teaching abroad, teaching in taichung, teaching in taiwan, the walk to school,

The Journey to School: Al Hada International School in Taif, Saudi Arabia

April 9, 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 Al Hada International School, in Taif, Saudi Arabia, described her way to work as follows:

The Walk to School
Before the newness of my morning routine fades away into complacency, I thought it wise to describe how I spend 15 minutes every morning during the school week.

The walk starts off by getting ready to leave my apartment (Bldg 23, room 102a). I throw on the abaya, swing my book laden day pack on my back, drape my catch-all satchel with my all important water bottle, small notebook where I scribble Arabic words and phrases, ID, working pens and an English-Arabic dictionary over my shoulder, and gather my fist full of keys.

compound

Instead of using the elevator, I opt to take the stairs close to my door and down a flight and leave the building. Once outside I walk by white plastic plates that have been left out with cat food to feed the 101 some odd stray cats by the building. I spy a cat or two sleeping in the brush or gnawing on discarded chicken bones. Outside of the female restricted apartment zone, I turn left and head up the hill.

This is a pleasant walk because of the scenery and views along the way. I come to very tall bushes and walk on the sidewalk. I came to very tall bushes with white and pink flowers. These bushes were prevalent in the bay area along Foothill Expressway and 280. The name of the bush escapes me now (bougenvilla) but seeing them here brings comfort in the form of familiarity and bringing back fond memories of living in the Bay area.

The bushes border the Arabic school for boys. If my timing is off, I walk past the school when the boys are being dropped off around 7:05 AM. The left side of the hill I walk up is mainly vegetation consisting of eucalyptus and scrub brush. This is a very dry & arid climate so unless something gets watered all is very brown and barren. As a whole compound does have nice landscaping although some places are unkempt.

Past the boy’s school, there is a row of trees lining the sidewalk and here are some pine trees. Also from this spot is a nice vista overlooking the hospital, the entrance with a working fountain and in the background there is a high rocky ridge that has some buildings together in a cluster.

roses-of-taifAfter the row of trees I uses the cross walk to access the stairs that cut up the hill to the school and a mosque. This hill is rather steep and the 85 steps leading to the top gets the heart racing. This area is also a pleasant one because of the many trees and some flowering bushes. On some occasions coming back from school when it is prayer time, I sit on the steps to admire the setting sun against rocky and hilly landscape while the chanting of the prayers emanate from the mosque. There have been afternoons when the sun is blood-red and there is a yellowish hue in the sky.

The top of the steps lead to the mosque and a parking area. Many times I have seen groups of men sitting under a tree in the parking lot in the midst of a picnic. Mind you this is around 700 AM. I cross the parking lot and then a road and arrive at the gate to the school.

The peace and quiet of the walk to school is just what I need before I turn into, Miss – the teacher.

Currently, we have 33 international school listed in Saudi Arabia on our website.  16 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’.

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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
international school, International Schools in Saudi Arabia, journey to work, life of an international school teacher, teaching abroad, teaching in saudi arabia, teaching in taif, the walk to school,

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