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Teachers International Consultancy: Act Now if you Want a Teaching Job Abroad

January 12, 2012

This year there are 280,000 teachers working in international schools around the world. It is estimated that about 10% of these teachers were new to international teaching this year; the busiest year ever for international school recruiting. And for this coming September, the recruitment drive is even greater as current international schools expand and the number of international schools continues to grow.

Berga, Spain

The language for learning in all international schools is English so most teachers come from English-speaking countries, in particular the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the USA.

For all the teachers who are considering making this move, there are a number of things they should think about at this stage says Andrew Wigford, Director of Teachers International Consultancy (TIC), a specialist recruitment organisation that helps English-speaking teachers from all over the world find teaching jobs in international schools. “Start your planning now,” says Andrew. “Most international schools begin recruiting for the new academic year in January and February so the more preparation you can do in advance of this, the better.” Here is Andrew’s advice for preparing for an international job search:

· “Consider what regions of the world may suit you best. Think about the cultural differences, accessibility for communicating with and visiting home, travel opportunities, language issues, safety and security, lifestyle potentials or restrictions. What is most important for you?
·  Apply to accredited international schools or schools that are part of respectable organisations such as COBIS, BSME, FOBISSEA and others. You can find details of these organisations on the TIC website. If a recruitment organisation is helping you with your search, make sure that they only recommend you to accredited international schools, or that they personally vet non-accredited schools in advance of your interview.
·  Make sure your cv is up-to-date and well written.  International schools will be looking for strong personal skills as well as teaching experience. You may want to include details of previous foreign travel and other international connections.
·  More and more international school interviews are being conducted through Skype so be prepared for this. Make sure you have the correct equipment set up and have practiced communicating through Skype in advance of any interviews.
· Work through a reputable organization when searching for foreign teaching positions. There are a few unscrupulous owners in some international schools who do not take the appropriate procedures to ensure that foreign teachers have the correct visa back-up, health and safety coverage, or suitable accommodation. Teachers have been known to find themselves in grave difficulty a long way from home. So working with an established organisation to oversee your placement will give you the security you need. If you work with an organisation that is experienced at recruiting for the international school market, they will be able to give you all the advice and expert support that you need and will know – and may well have visited – many of the schools that you are considering. This will help you significantly during your job search.
·  Ensure that the recruitment organisation you work through cross-checks all your terms and conditions once an appointment is offered to give you the peace of mind you need when taking up a new foreign post.”

Andrew says that some of the best advice for teachers considering the possibility of working overseas comes from teachers already there.  Here is feedback from three teachers who TIC placed in international schools last year:

Clare Lauritzen is now teaching primary at St Michael’s International School in Kobe, Japan having moved from the UK. She describes the type of personality that she thinks best suits an international school teacher: “You must enjoy a challenge, be fairly confident and resourceful, be able to bound back when you have a bad day, not take it all personally, and be able to laugh at the oddities, annoyances and differences,” she says.

Malcolm Scriven is in his first year as a Business and Economics teacher at Park House English School in Qatar. He says “Be clear about why you want to teach abroad. If you want to live in an interesting country in the midst of considerable changes then Qatar is a great place to be.”

Budapest, Hungary

And Dulcie Copeland moved this year to The British School of Budapest in Hungary. She says “Find out as much as you can about the school. Read its website and prospectus. Has it got what you are looking for? Does the school reflect your beliefs? Think carefully about the location too. Might you need to return to your home country frequently? Think about how you would do this; look at the cost implications and journey times.”

All three teachers all agree about one thing: “Go for it!” they say.

Teachers International Consultancy provides a free service for teachers, helping them to find the right job in the right international school. For advice on what to consider when thinking about working abroad and teaching internationally visit www.findteachingjobsoverseas.com or call 02920-212-083.

Also, check out www.internationalschoolcommunity.com for the latest comments and information about over 1050 international schools around the world.