Top 10 Lists

13 Things You Need to Provide When Creating Your Profile With Recruitment Agencies

December 11, 2018

It is that time of year when recruiting teachers need to get their things in order and register with various recruitment agencies. There are a number of them out there now: Search Associates, ISS-Schrole Advantage, Teacher Horizons, etc.

However, it isn’t so ‘quick and easy’ as one might think to get fully signed up with one of these organizations. There are a number of things that you need to prepare, find, upload and create. It is a time consuming process, so it is best to start early.  Even if you have been keeping track of things and collecting the necessary documents, each time you move countries, you need to keep yourself well-organized so that you can find things easily.

Recruitment Agencies

A personal statement

International school administrators want to see and read a short write-up about yourself and your teaching philosophy. This statement shouldn’t be too long, but long enough. It should be personable and reflect your true self and ambitions. It could include a highlight of your past experiences in teaching and your passions so far in your career.

Confidential references

It has been quite common for awhile now that international schools want to see confidential references of the candidates that they are considering to interview. Getting these confidential references doesn’t always happen in a quick way, so it is best to ask your references well in advance so that they will have enough time to fill it out for you. You definitely need to include a reference from your current supervisor. Talking to them in person about this request beforehand is advised before you send them the reference request.

Personal information

You typically need to enter your latest contact information as this can change quite often for international school teachers. You also need to include a copy of your current passport. Don’t forget to make those changes on your updated CV as well.

The positions that you are seeking/qualified for

Schools need to know what you are qualified to do, so that you will become searchable for them via the recruitment website’s database. Also, for you to receive the sometimes daily email updates on the latest job vacancy information, of course, you want to receive the information related to the job position/s you actually want to apply for.

Your address and police reports for at least the past 10 years

This one is tricky if you are not prepared. Every time that you leave a country, you need to make sure you get a police report stating that you have not be charged for any crimes there. Some places, you can get this report for free. Other places, you need to pay a fee. The part where it could get even more expensive, is if you need to get the police report translated into English. Once you get the report, scan them in and save them somewhere as you’ll need them when you move on to your next country. It is not just a requirement to have your past police reports uploaded on a recruitment agency’s website, it is also typically a requirement when applying for a visa in a new country.

Details of your past and current teaching experiences

You need to write down the school names and the years you worked there for all the schools that you’ve worked at in your teaching career. Hopefully, you don’t have too many gaps in your career as that will often need some explanation. Also, you will need to include your supervisor there at the time. The challenging part is which email and phone number will you put… as your former administrator there has probably moved on and is working at a new international school. Make sure you get up-to-date email addresses for these past bosses.

Education and credential details

You are required to enter the universities that you’ve attended. You will need to write in what your area of focus was for all of your degrees. You also need to upload a copy of your scanned diplomas and teaching certificate. A lot of us need to keep our teaching certificate valid and up-to-date, so don’t get lazy and forget to renew your teaching license before it expires.

Recruitment Agencies

Activities and sports you can sponsor

Many international schools will be looking for candidates that can run after school activities and/or sports teams, so make sure to include all of your experiences doing that. If this is your thing, then it could make you stand out more and help you get the job. It will be a nice addition to your pay check there! On the other hand, other international schools will not necessarily pay you to do these things as it will be a requirement in a lot of teaching contracts that you offer at least one after school activity in a school year…for free!

Languages you know

Make sure to state your proficiency in all of the languages that you know. It is an asset in many international schools if you can speak the local language; especially at schools where the parent population has a low or even non-existing knowledge of English. For example, you might need to hold parent conferences in the local language.

Fairs you would like to attend

Many international school teachers still attend recruitment fairs. It is a good way to meet the school administrators face-to-face. However, many recruitment agencies often will state that their candidates get hired before the recruitment fairs even happen, so it is not always necessary to attend a fair. Other international schools like to know which fairs that you will be attending, so that they can set up some interviews there in advance.

Money to the recruitment company

For you to be an available and accessible candidate in a recruitment agency’s database, teachers often will have to pay some sort of fee. It can be for free as well with some companies, but typically the fee could range from USD 50-250. If you don’t get hired that year, some agencies will not require you to pay again. If you do get hired through the recruitment agency, then you will need to pay the fee again if you want to recruit with them a second time. In some countries it is illegal to charge a person to get access to jobs and interviews.

Recruitment Agencies

Your up-to-date resume and transcripts

Get all of your past university transcripts scanned in as well and make sure to upload them to the recruitment agency’s website. To fully complete your profile, you will also need to upload the most recent copy of your CV. The maximum pages for a CV is typically no more than two pages.

Confirmation that you haven’t committed any criminal offences

Finally, all international schools need to know that you are a safe candidate to hire and this is in relation to child protection laws. Many countries are getting very strict with this process so as to keep their students safe at school.

These are really just some of the things you will need to prepare and do when applying to be on an international school recruitment agency’s website. It can take only a few days if you are really prepared and if your references fill out the confidential reference in a very timely manner! However, if you are not the most prepared, this process can take many weeks. In turn, be sure to start early. As you hop from international school to international school, find a spot online where you can store all of these important documents.

Good luck to everyone recruiting this year!

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Discussion Topics

Why Do International School Educators Teach Abroad? To Work AND Party!

December 1, 2018

The majority of international educators are professionals. They are some of the most innovative and progressive teachers out there.

However, International schools teachers certainly like to have their fun as well. Some might say the whole point of teaching abroad is to escape their boring home country/city life and inject some more excitement.

When not teaching at their international schools, there must be time to take in the city life and party!

Teach Abroad

It is not that difficult to find a group of colleagues at your international school to go out and party with you. And depending on what city you are living in the world, there are always certain spots at which to hang out.

People teach abroad for many reasons, and one of them is for a good nightlife. Some cities in the world are better known for their nightlife than others, so it is good to do a bit of research before your move. But anywhere there are expats, there is bound to be a neighborhood or two that they like to hang out in.

Teach Abroad

And let’s not forget the annual school Christmas party! Many international schools go all out to put together a nice Christmas party for their staff. Crazy antics usually happen at an international school Christmas party, thus proving that numerous international school educators indeed like to balance doing their job and also saving some time to party!


Using our ISC’s unique Comment Search feature, we searched the keyword “party.” We found that we currently have 71 comments (Dec. 2018) with that keyword on it.

Here are a few of those submitted comments:

“There is so much nightlife here. If you want to go out and party in the city centre, there are endless place to do that. Locals love to go to a pub and stand outside of it and drink away with their friends, even if it is cold out outside. But I must say that last night, we saw at least spots on the sidewalk where someone had vomited. So people are definitely getting piss drunk here. LOL.” – American School of London (London, UK)15 Total Comments

“Plenty of nightlife. Clark Quay is probably the most known of the party scenes, but there are lots of other options from a plethora of rooftop bars, brewpubs to small local clubs…” – Singapore American School (Singapore)184 Comments

“Foreign staff usually are offered accommodation in an apartment complex that is next to the school. The complex features a small pool, gym and party area. Parties are held by neighbours regularly so it can be noisy at times, but it dies down after a certain time. Also, the size of the bedrooms are a bit small but you get used to that….” – American School of Belo Horizonte (Belo Horizonte, Brazil)72 Total Comments

Teach Abroad

“New staff start a day earlier and are invited to a welcome breakfast, where we met all the academic coordinators and people in key roles, such as the nurse and admin staff. Christmas is a special time, where we had a special staff breakfast on top of a glamorous Christmas party! The principal is also very friendly and arranges social gatherings…” – SEK Catalunya International School (La Garriga, Spain)29 Comments

“They’ve started having an annual New Year’s party after the winter break where parents, faculty, and alumni have a very relaxed evening, catching up after their holiday adventures…” – Canadian Academy (Kobe) (Kobe, Japan)68 Comments

“You can find anything for any taste. You can opt for some quiet activities or team sports, quiet walks or a wild party in the city. There are excellent clubs and bars, and some quiet places. Ask the locals or more “experienced” expats and they will guide you…” – Knightsbridge Schools International Panama (Panama City, Panama)39 Comments

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Information for Members

ISC now has over 2050 international school profiles listed

November 25, 2018

At International School Community, we now have over 2055 international school profiles listed on our website!

school profiles

The last 5 schools to be added:
MC School (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 31 Comments
Crescendo HELP International School (Johor, Malaysia) – 5 Comments
Berlin Metropolitan School (Berlin, Germany) – 0 Comments
Osaka YMCA International School (Osaka, Japan) – 0 Comments
The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, RDFZ ICC (Beijing, China) – 3 Comments

The top 5 schools with the most members:
Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 23 Members
American International School in Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt) – 22 Members
International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 19 Members
International School Manila (Manila, Philippines) – 19 Members
American School of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) – 16 Members

The top 5 most viewed schools:
Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 1768 Views
American School of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) – 1742 Views
NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 1451 Views
International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 1389 Views
Singapore American School (Singapore) – 1354 Views

school profiles

The last 5 schools to have something written on their wall:
Citic Lake Bilingual International School (Foshan, China) – 22 Comments
Kampala International School (Kampala, Uganda) – 50 Comments
Ghana International School (Accra, Ghana) – 24 Comments
Pan-American School (Heredia)(San Jose, Costa Rica) – 0 Comments
Colegio Jorge Washington Cartagena (Cartagena, Colombia) – 1 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 2055 international schools listed on our website (last updated on 25 November, 2018)

Results: (183) Countries, (784) Cities, (2055) Schools, (29333) Comments

Asia (203)

Caribbean (39)

Central America (45)

Central/Eastern Europe (109)

East Asia (297)

Middle East (272)

North Africa (63)

North America (107)

Oceania (31)

SE Asia (314)

South America (96)

Sub-Saharan Africa (171)

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ISCommunity Features

New ISC Feature: Get Notified When One of Your Favorited Schools is Updated!

November 17, 2018

When you are a member at International School Community, you can easily Favorite the school profile pages that you are most interested in and view all of them on your Dashboard Profile Page.

Just go to any school profile of the international school you are interested in and click on the red “Add School to Favorites” button. A pop-up screen will show up and say “This school has been successfully added to your Favorited Schools.”

favorited schools

Once you have successfully Favorited a school profile page, then that school will show up as a link on your Dashboard Profile Page.  The next time you want to access that specific school profile page (e.g. to check out any new comments that have been written, to write some more of your own comments and information, etc.) it will be listed like this example:

Favorited Schools
As you can see, it will be quick and easy for you to go straight to the schools you are interested in knowing about. The Favorited Schools page has the following stats:

  • name and link to that school’s profile page
  • the location of that school: city, country
  • the date in which that school was last updated with new user-submitted comments
  • the total number of user-submitted comments on that school’s profile page
  • a subscribe button so that you can receive email alerts when your favorited school is updated that day.

The subscribe feature is new. Basically, if your school is updated with new comments, at the end of the day you will receive an email from us letting you know. It will look like this:

Favorited Schools

If you are not interested anymore in having that school listed as a link on your profile under the “Favorited Schools” section, simply click on the “Trash can” icon/link to remove it. As a reminder, this Favorited Schools that you create is only visible to you.

With the school profile bookmark feature all members will be able to access the international schools most important to them with ease!  Favorite your schools now by visiting our schools list page.  If you are not a member of International School Community, join today here and get a free coupon code to receive two days of free premium membership!

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Traveling Around

Top 10 Things to Do in Japan in 7 days

November 11, 2018

Japan is, due to its remoteness and quirkiness, a dream destination for many Westerners. Common opinion is that, to fully experience wonders of the land of the rising Sun, one should plan for at least a ten-day long vacation. However, I still think that a week-long trip to Japan is a great idea for a spring or autumn break.

I traveled to Japan in the fall of 2018 when the weather was just perfect with almost no rain and the temperatures between 20 and 25°C. Itinerary wise, I chose to do the best of (and ideal for the first trip to) Japan: Osaka – Kyoto – Tokyo tour, flying to Osaka and leaving from Tokyo, and I would like to present you the 10 highlights from my trip.


  1. Visit the Osaka Castle

Depending on where you are located, it is good to go visit the Osaka Castle first, and during the day, as it is situated a bit separately from other tourists’ sights. This is a pre-Edo era fortress and a castle with a large moat, fortified with wonderfully executed stone wall. The castle itself is an architectural eye candy rising in the middle, that you can climb and get a view of Osaka skyline for as cheap as 600 JPY (5 USD).

  1. Osaka City Center in the night: Dotombori, Takoyaki

In the evening, I suggest you hit up the Dotombori area for a postcard worthy picture of the Moving Crab or the Swimmer neon poster. Take a stroll down the main shopping street that is so lit up with LEDs and neon lights in the night that you will lose every impression of the night sky above. This is a great place to try Takoyaki, the Japanese seafood balls that originate from this area. The big (moving) models of crabs, octopuses and squids are to indicate the kind of food that the restaurant is serving, so use them as a guide.

  1. Walk the Shinsekai in Osaka, The Tsutenkaku Tower, Kushikatsu

Shinsekai is an old, colorful, part of Osaka ironically called the New World. Well, once it was new, in 1920s that is, when it first emerged. The area was modelled by New York and Paris of that time, with the Tsutenkaku Tower dominating the neighborhood in the middle. It allows for another great view of Osaka skyline, but also to the Shinsekai from above. This area is famous for Kushikatsu –panko covered, deep-fried skewers made of vegetables, meat, eggs, cheese and the mixture of it. It is suitable for vegans as you can select only vegetables on your menu.

  1. Go to the Osaka Aquarium

The central tank of this aquarium features a couple of whale sharks and that alone is a big reason to visit the Osaka Aquarium located in the eastern part of the city and easily reachable by the subway. Apart from the sharks, which is the aquarium’s main attraction, this place showcases not only a huge variety of marine life from the world’s seven seas, but rivers, creeks and lakes as well such as otters, birds and even penguins!

  1. The Imperial Palace of Kyoto

Kyoto is Japan’s old capital and hosts the second active palace of the Emperor – The Imperial Palace of Kyoto. Enjoy the free tour of walking the vast courtyard with traditional Japanese architecture and gardens with lakes and bridges, posing for some fantastic photo opportunities. Located centrally, it is easily reachable from every part of the city.


  1. Kyoto downtown: Nishiki Market, Gion district and The Yasaka Shrine

If you are in for some shopping, check out the center of Kyoto – The Nishiki shopping area with both high-end boutiques and Asian covered bazaar markets. On a walking distance from there stands Gion, the old, geisha district of Kyoto. Stroll down the romantic streets on of Gion heading east and you will reach the Yasaka Shrine, a popular tourist spot. Before you enter the Shrine, I advise you to try Pablo’s cheesecake tarts which stand just a couple hundreds of meters on the left side of the entrance.

  1. Kyoto – Kodaiji Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, and climb the mountain for the views

For a more spiritual experience, walk south from the Yasaka shrine and experience the Kodaiji Temple, the ceremonial Japanese garden where traditional weddings happen and walk the mini bamboo forest that they have in the small hill behind the temple. The entrance fee is 600 JPY. Then you can take a train south from there to Fushimi Inari Shrine, (the main shrine of the god Inari) which is represented on most postcards from Kyoto: an array of orange arches called Torii leads towards the top of a hill where you may feel as a pilgrim, but the top promises you some great picture worthy openings.

  1. Tokyo – The Centers: Shinju-Ku and Shibuya

Take a bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo for a great traveling experience. Taking about 3 hours to reach it from Kyoto, Tokyo is a gigantic city, so one should not even dream of seeing it all in 3 days, but it is definitely enough to scratch the surface. After the traditional Kyoto, you may be hungry for some futuristic views. Head to Shinju-Ku in the evening and Shibuya in the night and experience the lights of Tokyo at their prime.

  1. Tokyo – Akihabara and the Kitchenware district

Akihabara is the electronic and gamer’s town of Tokyo – “Otaku district”. For all the geeks and anime lovers, this is the right area to browse vintage video game stores, comic and toy collector stores, maid cafes and other quirky stuff. Not far away from there is the Kitchenware district in a street of Kapabashi. Here you can find any kind of kitchenware, but most of the people come to purchase a Japanese knives, known for their quality, precision and durability.


  1. Tokyo – The Imperial Gardens, Roppongi and Akasaka

Scratch the surface of the cultural experience of Tokyo by walking the Imperial Palace garden. Only East garden is open for public admission, while you can preregister for an organized tour of the palace itself. You can have an afternoon tea in a bar of the Imperial Palace Hotel which is an attraction of Modernism architecture in itself, offering numerous restaurants and luxury shopping experience. Hit Roppongi and Akasaka for some excellent eats in the evening. Both of these neighborhoods are located close by and are in a walking distance from each other. They offer great bars, restaurants and cafes for you to enjoy and relax after this amazing and trip.

Bonus tip: Try to book a hotel with a Japanese spa in Tokyo. It will help you unwind at the end of every day full of experience, and the sauna and hot water of the spa will do miracles for your tired feet!

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