Many of us international school educators would ideally like to teach abroad and also have close access to nature.
Escaping into a forest or a big green park can often reset our minds and bring our stress levels down to manageable levels.
Some international schools are already directly in nature (see part 1 of this series here). Maybe they are in a forest or right next to a water source, or maybe they are just in a city center that has a number of very green parks.
But not all international schools are in cities that have easy and quick access to nature.
Some cities do have a few trees lining the streets and also a few small parks scattered around, but often the number of buildings outnumbers these two things. And if you look closely, there can even be a layer of dust/dirt on the leaves making the green look more like a brownish color!
Even if there is not a lot of nature in the city center itself, it is still important to note that it can be worth it if you can find some nature close by via public transport or car.
Having access to a number of day trip options that go into nature can really be a selling point to working in a certain city and country.
Nature is important to many of us international educators, so it is necessary to ask around and do your research before making a decision to relocate.
Luckily, ISC was designed to help international school teachers find the information they are looking for. Using the Comment Search feature (premium membership needed), we found 265 comments that had the keyword “Nature” in them. Here are 11 of them:
“Usually there’s a calendar that exists for everyone (including new teachers) to do at the start of school during inset (called PAC – planning and collaboration) week. This will be a mix of things in school (sports, arts etc.) to eating out in restaurants at different times of the day in different venues (breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner etc.) and trips further afield to golf courses, nature reserves and other places depending on which staff volunteer to run them.” – The British School Manila (42 total comments)
“The incredible WOW (Work on Wellness) team is constantly arranging outings, workshops, sessions, and activities to bring the community together and provide enriching experiences for staff (and often their family members too!) From Film Festivals to Art workshops to nature tours, meditation retreats, and nature excursions, there’s always something on offer. Most are free, some have a small charge.” – Singapore American School (362 total comments)
“Lusaka is also surrounded by nature. There are a number of national parks and reserves nearby, where you can go on safari, hike, or camp.” – International Community School Lusaka (21 total comments)
“I like Bratislava because there are some hills and mountains nearby. Slovakia has some really nice nature and mountains not too far away from the city center. The city center does have some ok sized parks, but they don’t look the best (especially in the winter). On a recent sunny day, there were a lot of people hanging out next to the Danube which looks really cozy and relaxing that day. People were also jogging along the side of it…not really on a path, but more of a dirt path.” – The British International School Bratislava (9 total comments)
“The community provides access to two outdoor pools (one family pool and one Olympic-sized pool), a gym, basketball courts, soccer fields, tennis courts, and a baseball field. There is also a small nature reserve across from the residential area where you can take walks. There really isn’t a whole lot to do here, but staying active is easy if that is important to you.” – Colegio Albania (75 total comments)
“Bucharest remains rather traditional in terms of LGBTQ community, although there are a few places to go. Straight nightlife is fairly abundant. There are also some great nature opportunities not far out of the city.” – International School of Bucharest (76 total comments)
“We just spend a nice, sunny fall day walking around The English Garden. It is so big and lots of nature to enjoy. The trees had such beautifully colored leaves, and it didn’t even seem too crowded on the day we went.” – Munich International School (5 total comments)
“Vienna is very well positioned in the center of Europe so cities like Bratislava, Munich, Belgrade, Ljubljana are in close proximity. Also, Austria offers a wide range of sightseeing opportunities, from lakes, amazing nature, and mountains.” – Vienna International School (119 total comments)
“Quiet, family-friendly, and has a lot of green space to enjoy nature.” – Okinawa International School (85 total comments)
“The nature here is great. There are big parks here with huge trees. Right now it is spring and the parks and the trees around the city look super beautiful.” – International School of Tallinn (48 total comments)
“There’s lots of space to walk, ride bikes and have fun at a children’s playground. The beach is also near, and wonderful green nature with palm trees and wildlife.” – Harrow Haikou (39 total comments)
How is the nature around your international school? Share your comments here.