Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Mexico

June 13, 2019


Around the world, there are countries (like Mexico) that have more than one international school. Many times there is an American school, a British School, and an international school that uses an international curriculum.

Some countries, though, have MANY international schools!  When that is the case, how do the comments about each school compare to each other?

This blog series looks at comparing some of these comments, all coming from international schools in the same country.

Mexico

Currently, we have 31 schools listed in Mexico on International School Community.

21 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are some that have the most submitted comments:

American Institute of Monterrey (61 Total Comments)
American School Foundation of Guadalajara (111 Total Comments)
American School Foundation of Mexico City (72 Total Comments)
American School Foundation of Monterrey (105 Total Comments)
American School of Durango (39 Total Comments)
American School of Torreon (51 Total Comments)
Madison International School (32 Total Comments)
Westhill Institute (23 Total Comments)

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

“Depends on you, if you are single you can save 10,000 a month. If married with children then maybe 2,000.” – American Institute of Monterrey

“If you have any debt – school or mortgage – you will find it difficult to save any money as peso has weakened.” – American School Foundation of Guadalajara

“Depends on your lifestyle but I saved nothing because I had a child.” –
American School Foundation of Mexico City

School Campus

“The school building is excellent. The area surrounding the campus is desert and a nice suburban that is newly developed. It is on the outskirts of the town, but it is very safe and the building is new and very well-maintained.” – American School of Torreon

“The school caters for Elementary, PYP and MYP. It is quite a big complex and it is still expanding to cater for more classrooms. It is walled like any international schools over here so it is relatively safe.” – Madison International School

“School facilities are quite nice for Mexico (wifi, projectors, top notch gym and exercise equipment, etc.). As others have alluded to, the surrounding area is MUCH more proletarian than the school clientele.” – American School Foundation of Mexico City

Housing Information

“You have to live in the middle of nowhere (close to school) for your first year, unless you demand a housing allowance. It’s very unsafe. Someone was killed in our backyard a few years ago, and one of the teachers got his passport stolen. You have to pay for the utilities, but only if they confront you about it.” – Madison International School

“The teachers now have their own apartments. The houses are random.If you are a married couple you will be placed in a house. Some single teachers have houses due to availability.” – American School of Torreon

“Houses are very basic. Little or no furniture. When something is wrong with the house neither the school or landlord will help.” – American School of Durango

“I would recommend taking photos of your accommodation (walls, any marks, shabby painting) as now that I am transitioning out I am being asked to pay for things that may or may not have been my fault but I didn\’t expect the school to nickle and dime me at the end so I don\’t have any proof.” – American School Foundation of Monterrey

Health Insurance and Medical Benefits

“The private health insurance is only for major accidents, otherwise is pretty much useless and you must pay out of pocket if you get sick.” – American Institute of Monterrey

“There is no preventative care. Insurance is private and supported by the national health care program. For example, maternity leave is mandated by the state and paid for via IMS (national health care ). There is no international coverage – just 50,000 for accident coverage while you are visiting the US or Canada. Coverage is poor compared to other international schools. Doctors and service at private hospitals is very good!” – American School Foundation of Guadalajara

“Health insurance and dental but find a good doctor. Many are not good here.” – American School Foundation of Mexico City

“Unfortunately this school year the deductible went up substantially and the coverage is still not covering anything preventative. This was not told to staff until the week before school started which in essence dropped a lot of people’s salaries as now more is going towards health care costs. As someone who did not previously make any claims I did not appreciate this change when it finally came time to use the insurance.” – American School Foundation of Monterrey

(These are just 4 of the 65 different comments topics that on each school profile page on our website.)

If you work at an international school in Mexico, share what you know. Consider becoming a Mayor for unlimited premium membership!

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in India

December 27, 2018


Around the world, there are countries (like India) that have more than one international school. Many times there is an American school, a British School, and an international school that uses an international curriculum.

Some countries, though, have MANY international schools!  When that is the case, how do the comments about each school compare to each other?

This blog series looks at comparing some of these comments, all coming from international schools in the same country.

India

Currently, we have 133 schools listed in India on International School Community.

32 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are some that have the most submitted comments:

American Embassy School New Delhi (39 Total Comments)
American School of Bombay (34 Total Comments)
Good Shepherd International School (409 Total Comments)
Hebron School (35 Total Comments)
Indus International School (Pune) (43 Total Comments)
Kodaikanal International School (35 Total Comments)
Oberoi International School (36 Total Comments)
Woodstock School (95 Total Comments)

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

“It depends on lifestyle. If you like the posh life, your money will be spent quickly at Mumbai’s many hotels and bars. However, if you live a more modest lifestyle and travel around India, you can easily save half of your salary. Expat couples with no kids can live on one salary.” – Oberoi International School

“Bonuses paid to expat staff who renew contracts are the main savings or opportunity to pay down student loans. Very little savings monthly, most people spend it during the generous breaks sightseeing Asia. Comfortable cost of living in India.” – Woodstock School

“See above for monthly salary – due to the unique nature of the school and it’s ethos, this really depends on your own situation, budget, and spending habits.” – Hebron School

School Campus

“The school has a beautiful green campus in the heart of Delhi’s diplomatic district. There are three elementary buildings, and separate MS/HS buildings. In addition, there are shared spaces for PE and athletics, swimming, Performing Arts, cafeterias, etc. The neighborhood features many embassies and other compounds, but there is also a “camp” with a large population of squatters across the street from the on-campus faculty housing complex.” – American Embassy School New Delhi

“The campus is beautiful. It is probably the best thing about the school. It has its flaws, but it is a terrific environment for living and learning.” – Kodaikanal International School

“Not much changes in the Fernhill Campus, the reason is that the Junior campus will soon move together with the Main Campus.” – Good Shepherd International School

Housing Information

“The school owns all the apartments and they are all beautiful safe and guarded either inside the campus or walking distance from the school” – Good Shepherd International School

“School provides furnished housing for expat teachers.” – Oberoi International School

“Cold winters with little indoor heat – wood stoves most common. Think rustic and adventure and you will not be disappointed. Some of the homes updated, others have more historic character. All require walking/hiking to work and to town. Utilities negligible, except cost of fuel for heat in winters.” – Woodstock School

“There is an allowance for housing which covers expenses as well.” – American School of Bombay

Health Insurance and Medical Benefits

“Fine for minor things. Setting not recommended if specialist consultation is required or for faculty with ongoing medical conditions. The hillside alone requires a decent level of fitness (or will soon provide an opportunity for fitness!).” – Woodstock School

“Health cover within India is included, and if need be can include arrangements for travel to home country in extreme circumstances. There is on site team of nurses who provide care in a ‘hoz.’ Local clinics and hospitals are surprisingly good for India.” – Hebron School

“They will count your absence when you are sick as deductible unless you have worked during your day off or exeats which translate to 7 days a week of work. Even the car that you used to go down to a decent hospital will be charged to you.” – Good Shepherd International School

“There is a doctor on site but in general the schools’ medical services are not well respected. Staff can now go to other local hospitals for medical treatment.” – Kodaikanal International School

(These are just 4 of the 65 different comments topics that on each school profile page on our website.)

If you work at an international school in India, share what you know. Consider becoming a Mayor for unlimited premium membership!

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #12: Richard Yates (Olive Green International School)

May 14, 2012


Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Richard Yates:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?  Where have you worked?  What experiences have you had living abroad?

1. I started my overseas teaching at Colegio San Silvestre in Lima Peru — that was 30 years ago — as Head of Economics and Teacher of History. I was fortunate that Mr Derek Pringle was Head of History who went on to be one of the leading ‘lights’ of IBO in South America. In 1982 posts were difficult to get in the UK and the Headmistress of San Silvestre Mrs. Beryl Milburn gave me a chance — for five years!

2. Then moved on to the Gulf in Kuwait and taught at the NES and KES for two years — very hot and very dry.

3. Moved to Malaysia and again spent 5 years at Sayfol International School as first teacher then Deputy Head and finally Head. Was asked to set up a new school Mutiara International Grammar School again in KL. Later I was recruited to set up another International school at Malacca but after 6 months preparation it failed to take off due the the economic downturn.

4. In between most of these contracts I returned to  the UK to ‘update’ myself on current trends but sadly the UK was in educational decline as it still is.

5. Recruited to India to set up a school in Pune called the Lexicon International School and after two years was then asked to Head a new school just opened in Ahmedabad, Gujarat called Springfield International School.

6. The school’s name was changed to Olive Green International School and we are authorized for IB PYP and CIE IGCSE. We are currently in the process of candidate school for IB MYP and in two years will apply for DP.

7. All schools are unique and all have their own ‘feel’.

8. Culturally all countries are different and have both pros and cons. For me this diversity is both rewarding and gives immense satisfaction.

9. Do I have one favourite school? the answer is no. I have enjoyed all and hope that my many students have benefited from their interaction with me.

10. To use an old cliche “Education is for Life” — and for me each day is a new experience.
______________________________________________________________________

Thanks Richard! Want to know more, feel free to check out his profile page on our website.

If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Want to teach at an international school in India like Richard?  Currently, we have 42 international schools listed in India on International School Community.  Some of our members have left comments and information on the following schools in this country:

École Mondiale World School (7 Comments)
Dhirubhai Ambani International School (5 Comments)
American School of Bombay (5 Comments)
Canadian International School Bangalore (8 Comments)
Stonehill International School (India) (7 Comments)
International School Aamby (6 Comments)
International School of Hyderabad (8 Comments)
• Kodaikanal International School (15 Comments)

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Highlighted Articles

Highlighted article: Mumbai’s new genre international schools

January 30, 2012


We found an interesting article around the international school community in the city of Mumbai.  It discusses the business side of the international school, the big business sometimes international schools can be to a community.  We have read before that the future of international schools are ones that are actually For-Profit ones.  Why is that a fact for the future of international schools?

Why might there be a resurgence of international schools in a community?  It could be very much related to the new upwardly mobile middle class in a society like as in the case of Mumbai.

Another issue with a resurgence of international schools is finding highly qualified teachers to work at them.  Hiring international teachers can be a big business as well with sometimes many international schools fighting over to get first pick at finding suitable candidates.

Currently there are 9 international schools in Mumbai India on International School Community.  They are: American School of Bombay, RBK International Academy, Dhirubhai Ambani International School, B.D.Somani International School, Oberoi International School , Podar International School, École Mondiale World School, NES International School (Mulund) and Singapore International School (Mumbai).  Overall, we have 39 international schools listed in India.

According to the article, Dhirubhai Ambani International School is the first of this new genre of international school.

Highlights from the article:

Although globally famous as resurgent India’s commercial capital, synonymous with Bollywood, the stock exchange, premier corporates and fashion houses, perhaps because of prohibitive real estate prices, the island city of Mumbai (pop. 13 million) is less than renowned for quality education institutions, particularly its schools. The city’s handful of vintage high profile schools such as Cathedral & John Connon (estb.1860), St. Mary’s (estb.1540), Campion (estb.1943) etc have reigned as Mumbai’s most difficult-to-access secondaries for half a century. Now somewhat belatedly, the city of gold’s school education scenario is about to experience a radical makeover.

During the past four years India’s commercial and entertainment capital has witnessed the promotion of over 35 new genre international schools. Launched with massive budgets ranging from Rs.10-50 crore, Mumbai’s latter-day five-star schools which offer fully-wired campuses bristling with hi-tech equipment and teaching aids, expat headmasters and affiliation with highly reputed offshore examination boards, are beginning to eclipse the city’s vintage secondaries as the first choice of the new upwardly mobile middle class.

The city’s first new genre international school the Dhirubhai Ambani International School, promoted by Nita Ambani (wife of Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries (annual sales revenue: Rs.110,886 crore) admitted its first batch of students in 2003. Since then on average in this city of fast-track private enterprise, ten new genre international schools have been promoted every year, dizzy real estate prices and land scarcity notwithstanding.

Indeed, somewhat belatedly some of Mumbai’s most well-known business families the Goenkas, Podars, Somanis, and Ajmeras as well as other private entrepreneurs have hopped aboard the school education bandwagon. Among them: the Podar World School (estb.2004) and B.D Somani International School (estb.2006). Next year, two high profile international schools the Aditya Birla Group promoted New Era School (Cambridge) in South Bombay and Oberoi International School in Goregaon are scheduled to admit their first batches, and in 2009, industrialist and page 3 celebrity Yash Birla intends to open the doors of the Sunanda Birla International School on South Bombay’s plush Napean Sea Road. According to the state government’s directorate of education in Mumbai, over 90 proposals for inaugurating new schools have been submitted in the past two years (2005-2007) and are pending clearance.

Coterminously with the boom in international schools, India’s commercial capital, which is receptive to new ideas including education philosophies, is also witnessing the promotion of alternative schools which abhor conventional school education practices crowded classrooms, uniforms, competitive exams, and authoritarian, omniscient teachers. Started by four parents disillusioned with conventional schools, the Tridha School (estb. 2001) subscribes to the alternative education philosophy developed by Rudolf Steiner, the late 19th century Austrian philosopher and educator. Steiner schools aka Waldorf schools, focus on educating and developing the whole child, not just her intellect. In consonance with the Waldorf system, Tridha provides its students a stress-free environment striving for a balance between academics, arts and crafts, music, dance and environment awareness. Tridha is one of three Waldorf schools in India (the other two are in Hyderabad) with an enrollment of 233 students who pay annual tuition fees ranging from Rs.29,000-33,000.

While Mumbai’s international schools are perceived as rendering valuable service by offering students much sought after international certifications, all’s not well with them. Most admit to being confronted with severe shortages of high-quality teachers, a pre-requisite of delivering the globally-reputed syllabuses and curriculums of the CIE, UK and IBO, Geneva. Given their academic rigour and broad-based life skills content, these international curriculums mandate stringent in-service teacher training and continuous skills upgradation programmes. Therefore recruiting, motivating and retaining best teachers has become a top priority of Mumbai’s five-star school managements. And it’s hardly a secret that most of them have signed up recruitment firms and headhunters to poach, purloin and entice the best teachers from schools across the country with unprecedented pay packages, including housing and other perks.

“There’s a drought of quality teachers globally and a severe shortage of new blood in the teaching profession. Therefore international schools are experiencing considerable difficulty in recruiting and retaining high quality teachers. Indian teachers trained in India’s new international schools are now being offered jobs abroad and tend to jump ship as soon as opportunity knocks. Therefore the attrition rate in five-star schools is very high. The only option for them is to hire expat teachers, but the government is creating hurdles to importing them. This is to India’s disadvantage,” says Capt. Raj Mohindra.

If you would like to read the whole article, check it out here:

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