Members of International School Community have written some new and informative comments on the following schools:
21 Apr Greenfield Community School (Dubai) (15 new comments)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates:
One of the new comments in the School Information section: “86 nationalities are enrolled at the school. It has been recognized for the support it gives students with EAL…”
One of the new comments in the School Information section: “Teachers are housed near the school for the first year. They can choose to stay after this year or move with an accommodation allowance…”
16 Apr Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (9 new comments)
One of the new comments in the Travel Information section: “A lot of locals know English here, but there are definitely store workers and owners that don’t know hardly one word! It is good to know Portuguese here…”
Check out the rest of the last 40 international school profile pages that have been recently updated on International School Community here.continue reading
Now there are 1171+ international schools that have had comments/reviews submitted on them on our website (up almost 60 schools from one year ago)!
Once schools have over 70 submitted comments, then it is very likely that you will be able to see how a specific comment topic has changed (or not changed) over time; with all the comments being date stamped.
If there is more than one comment in a specific comment topic, the more recent comments either add on, compliment or amend the previous comments.
Some of our schools that have many submitted comments will sometimes have over 15 comments in one comment topic!
Just click on the “Show all” link to see the complete history of comments in this comment topic.
So let’s get to it, which schools are in the top 27? This list comes from May 2021 with a sample comment for each school.
Here we go:
27. American School of Warsaw
(Warsaw, Poland) – 161 Comments
“Since housing isn’t provided by the school, you get a lot of leeway in terms of what kind of accommodations you choose and whether you keep within your housing allowance or “top up” for a bigger/nicer/better place. As such, how well-appointed your apartment or hou…“
26. Vietnam Australia International School
(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) – 161 Comments
“Housing allowance up to 500 $ per month. Internet up to 40$ per month. The monthly allowance varies in relation to the qualifications of each teacher between 350-500 $ per month…”
25. Pechersk School International
(Kyiv, Ukraine) – 162 Comments
“Apartments are furnished by landlords so it can vary – but generally pretty basic. School gave me a metro card and a SIM card and phone til I sorted out my own…”
24. MEF International School Istanbul
(Istanbul, Turkey) – 162 Comments
“Teacher turnover is high. Everything from 1st-year teachers, teachers new to being overseas, to very experienced international educators. Living in Istanbul is a big draw…”
23. Canadian International School (Hong Kong)
(Hong Kong, China) – 165 Comments
“CDNIS is an IB World School, implementing PYP, MYP, and DP. In a recent report by the IB governing body, CDNIS must make major administrative and governing reforms in the next year…”
22. American School of Dubai
(Dubai, UAE) – 167 Comments
“Lately a number of teachers are heading to places like Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. They report great experiences! Oman remains the number one travel option, however, as it is right next door (door to door to Muscat is around the five hour mark) and has lots of great outdoor…”
21. Green School Bali
(Sibang, Indonesia) – 168 Comments
“As time has gone by the new airport has gotten better and better. Lots of eating options, good duty free, loads of places to sit. Departing is fairly straightforward. Check in, customs (who don’t care about your liquids as long as their not large), immigration, th…”
20. International School of Tanganyika
(Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) – 171 Comments
“The IT infrastructure has improved significantly but is still not without its challenges. Internet speed is reasonably fast, much much better than it used to be. All teachers are provided with a Macbook. At secondary, there are 4 computer labs. The science department has 25 m…”
19. American School of Barcelona
(Barcelona, Spain) – 175 Comments
“The turnover rate is getting a bit higher because the cost of living in Spain is getting higher and higher and salaries are staying the same. Economically it is difficult in Spain right now. That being said Barcelona is a fantastic city to live in and no one wants to leave…”
18. Concordia International School (Shanghai)
(Shanghai, China) – 180 Comments
“The ‘common language spoken in the hallways’ depends on the grade level. Students who are only 3 or 4 might not have a lot of English. As the students get older, they are quite skilled in English…”
17. The International School of Dakar
(Dakar, Senegal) – 181 Comments
“Very low turnover this year but we had a large turnover the previous year. Teachers tend to stay 3-4 years but some have stayed much longer…”
16. Tsinghua International School (Beijing)
(Beijing, China) – 182 Comments
“There is a new airport going in south of Beijing to relieve the traffic at the main airport…”
15. Khartoum International Community School
(Khartoum, Sudan) – 186 Comments
“Teachers stay because they feel appreciated, their voices are heard, and they get to make a difference. Teachers leave because it’s not…”
14. Oeiras International School
(Lisbon, Portugal) – 189 Comments
“Back in the re-accreditation mode again with the self study this year. The visit will be a joint visit next year with IB, ECIS and NEASC…”
13. Lahore American School
(Lahore, Pakistan) – 193 Comments
“1/2 of the teachers are from North America and 1/2 from Pakistan, a few from UK…”
12. Seoul Foreign School
(Seoul, South Korea) – 193 Comments
“Tutoring through the school is available if it is not your student. The school takes a portion leaving you with about $20 for 30 minutes of tutoring. Coaching stipends from $350-900 and lifeguarding at the school pool can bring in 25-45 dollars an hour.”
11. Cairo American College
(Cairo, Egypt) – 196 Comments
“The subway costs 2 Egyptian pounds per ride. Taxis vary, since you might have to haggle. Many people at the school use a regular driver. The one I use charges less than 200 Egyptian pounds for a trip to the airport, which is about an hour away…”
10. Ghandi Memorial International School
(Jakarta, Indonesia) – 203 Comments
“Bahasa Indonesia is the official language, with English spoken in major cities and tourist areas…”
9. American International School (Vietnam)
(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) – 207 Comments
“Now, it is extensive as it has not been done at all. Atlas Rubicon full steam ahead…”
8. Tarsus American College
(Mersin, Turkey) – 272 Comments
“Down to two weeks of holiday in January. No other breaks and we’ve been told that in addition to losing our fall and spring breaks for intensive staff development other PD will be held on weekends…”
7. NIST International School
(Bangkok, Thailand) – 304 Comments
“With the start of construction on the street the school is located on, the entire schedule has shifted to a later start. Elementary students begin at 8:00 and secondary students at 8:30. So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive…”
6. Stamford American International School
(Singapore, Singapore) – 307 Comments
“The school is the northeast corner of Singapore with very easy access to the city center. Staff can choose their own accommodation location based on their financial and lifestyle preferences. Most teachers live 2-3 MRT (underground) stations away. Public transport is excellent…”
5. Singapore American School
(Singapore) – 311 Comments
“Transport options are good. The taxi queue right outside of arrivals can be long at times, but the system works well to get people moving as fast as possible…”
4. KIS International School
(Bangkok, Thailand) – 358 Comments
“Using a mobile is now so cheap that many teachers do not have a landline. The Satellite TV provider is dreadful, neither their offerings nor their boxes have changed in 20 years. If you want to watch sport most teachers just go to the pub…”
3. Copenhagen International School
(Copenhagen, Denmark) – 391 Comments
“You can get travelers and accident insurance from your bank here, like at Nordea. It is really cheap and it gives you health insurance coverage anywhere in the world! It is important to know about this option because now the Danish CPR health social health care card doesn’t…”
2. Good Shephard International School
(Ooty, India) – 409 Comments
“Presently they are having their Trinity College London Music Examinations. This is an option but they try to maintain high grades although most students only take Initial to Grade 1 due to restrictions of the admin to practice music…”
1. Western International School of Shanghai
(Shanghai, China) – 481 Comments
“Airport is okay. It’s clean and easy to navigate. Immigration can take a long time to get through at peak times during the year but it’s okay. They have water fountains, which as a frequent traveler I really appreciate…”
You can see the rest of the Top 40 school profile pages with the most comments here on our website.
Keep the schools that you work at now (or have worked at in the past) updated with new comments. Want to share what you know and get unlimited free premium access to our website? Become a Mayor today!continue reading
Schools thrive when there are hardworking students in them.
It is a dream to have students at your school that are hardworking and who focus on their learning when they come to school.
But do all international schools have hardworking students?
Most likely not. There are over 10000 international schools throughout the world, so there are bound to be some differences.
There are some international schools that have very privileged students in them, and they often don’t prioritize completing their classwork or even on their learning in general.
Can having effective teachers play a factor in achieving a high level of hardworking students in the school? Surely that is important as well. If the teachers are disengaged, then that is often demotivating for the students.
But, of course, there are many international schools that have amazingly hardworking students. These students are focused on their learning and are typically supported by their involved parents. The schools probably also have top-notch teachers and an engaging way of teaching their curriculum.
So which international schools then have these hardworking students?
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 36 comments that had the keyword “hardworking” in them. Here are 11 of them:
“Kids are hardworking in general. Mostly well behaved and friendly, especially welcoming to new students.” – Western International School of Shanghai (481 total comments)
“Positive, hardworking, driven, and respectful of adults.” – International School of Zanzibar (57 total comments)
“The kids are wonderful. Adorable, very loving and inclusive. Mainly hardworking and keen to learn. We have a couple of challenged learners but our counsellor is fantastic at supporting their teachers and indeed the whole community in understanding their challenges.” – KIS International School (Bangkok) (355 total comments)
“The school really is a great place to grow as a professional. There are many opportunities to develop new skills just by learning from other colleagues. The biggest comparison would be the student body – students at SFS are motivated, hardworking, involved, and love learning! It is a dream!” – Seoul Foreign School (176 total comments)
United Arab Emirates
“Respectful, conscientious, hardworking, courteous.” – American School of Dubai (167 total comments)
“The students are wonderful to work with. They are respectful, kind, hardworking, and smart.” – Yangon International School (81 total comments)
“Some stay for the great education for their own kids, and the opportunity to impact upon other students who by and large are hardworking and cooperative.” – Hebron School (35 total comments)
“The staff is great. There’s a good sense of communities. Students are generally well-behaved and hardworking. Parents are supportive.” – International School of Tanganyika (171 total comments)
“The students are hardly ever disciplined at the school, but thankfully that is not an issue most of the time as the students are very well behaved and hardworking by default.” – Beijing National Day School (81 total comments)
“My students were fantastic! Hardworking and well behaved. I loved every minute of my time at the school.” – Uruguayan American School (32 total comments)
“Happy, hardworking, driven, excited about learning.” – International School Manila (96 total comments)continue reading
How many times have you applied to a school wishing that you knew somebody that worked there?
Knowing somebody and getting the ‘inside scoop’ on an international school could definitely help you in your quest to set up an interview there.
Currently, our top 40 international schools with the most members are (6 December 2020):
30 members – American International School in Egypt
24 members – Copenhagen International School
24 members – Western International School of Shanghai
22 members –International School of Kuala Lumpur
22 members – International School Manila
21 members – MEF International School Istanbul
19 members – International School of Tanganyika
19 members – Jakarta Intercultural School
19 members – Seoul Foreign School
19 members – Seoul International School
18 members – Fairview International School
18 members – Brent International School Manila
17 members – Graded School Sao Paulo
17 members – Shanghai United International School (Hongqiao)
16 members – American School Foundation of Mexico City
17 members – International School Bangkok
17 members – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana
17 members – Shanghai Community International School
16 members – American School of Barcelona
16 members – Good Shepherd International School
16 members – Cairo American College
16 members – American International School of Johannesburg
16 members – United Nations International School (Vietnam)
16 members – International School Dhaka
16 members – Qatar Academy (Doha)
15 members – Istanbul International Community School
15 members – Singapore American School
15 members – NIST International School
15 members – American International School Dhaka
15 members – Suzhou Singapore International School
15 members – American School of Dubai
14 members – International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP)
14 members – KIS International School (Bangkok)
14 members – Yokohama International School
14 members – Hong Kong International School
14 members – International School Panama
14 members – International School Beijing
14 members – Western Academy of Beijing
14 members – American International School (Vietnam)
14 members – Shanghai American School – Pudong
With 100-200 new members joining each month, this list will continue to grow and grow; with even more members showing up as potential people to network with.
It is simple to network on our website: just click on a member and then click on the ‘Contact this member’ button (premium member feature). Then write him/her a message. When your message is sent, the other member will get an email alert letting them know that they have a new message waiting for them on our website (so, hopefully he/she will get back to you in a timely manner!). Numerous International School Community members have already taken advantage of this unique feature on our website!
As far as we know, International School Community is the one of the only websites where you can quickly and easily network with real people at a specific international school. Meaning, if you want to get in touch with somebody from Suzhou Singapore International School in China and you are currently a premium member of International School Community, you now have 15 members that you can contact on our website that either work there now or have worked there in the past. Get the answers to your questions; now that is easy networking!continue reading
The journey to work is indeed an important one. The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries to which they have never been. So let’s share what we know!
One of our members, who works at the Jerudong International School (Brunei), described his way to work there as follows:
Brunei, a small country on the island of Borneo, which is famous for its’ lush jungle and wildlife. Brunei is a beautiful country with views of lush green jungle on almost any journey.
Working at Jerudong International School means we have an option of taking the school allocated housing close to school or taking an allowance and going further out.
My wife and I being a teaching couple choose to stay close to school at Armada Housing (Rimba Estate). The journey itself is a 6 minute drive with hardly any traffic.
Armada Housing has literally been cut out of the jungle to make a complex which is safe and secure comprising of a gym, swimming pool and a variety of different housing styles ranging from 4 bed houses to penthouses.
Our morning generally starts in a relaxing manner when we wake up between 4.30-5am to shower, followed by mediation/prayer. We eat breakfast then start our journey to school around 7am.
We choose to drive, but there are a few colleagues who bike through the jungle every morning. The drive takes us out of Armada Housing, on to the highway with views of the jungle on either side. We then get off at the JIS exit when the DST tower is on our left (5th tallest building in Brunei, a mere 71m/14 floors), where we then drive up to one of four entrances to park our car.
All in all, a swift and efficient journey to school.
Here is a video of our journey on a beautiful Saturday afternoon:
This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author, Amarpreet Singh. Amarpreet is a UK trained Teacher of Mathematics, currently teaching in Brunei Darussalam at Jerudong International School. He is moving to teach at a leading not for profit international school in Dubai (UAE) later this academic year. He made the move to Brunei with his wife (Teacher of Biology) and has enjoyed the adventures and challenges an international school provides.
What to know more what it is like to visit and live in SE Asia? Out of a total of 311 international schools we have listed in SE Asia, 155 that have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:
Ican British International School (74 comments)
Northbridge International School (58 Comments)
Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School (86 Comments)
Green School Bali (98 Comments)
Sekolah Victory Plus (137 Comments)
Fairview International School (121 Comments)
International School of Kuala Lumpur (107 Comments)
Mont’Kiara International School (69 Comments)
Nexus International School (82 Comments)
International School Manila (71 Comments)
Singapore American School (90 Comments)
Stamford American International School (108 Comments)
So what is your journey to the international school you work at? Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’. Email us here if you are interested.continue reading
In my earlier career in public schools in Alberta, Canada I was a Drama teacher. The arts always seemed to be under threat in the public education system, and in my experience Music, Art and Drama teachers always seemed to be fighting for their survival. We had thriving Drama classes and a popular extra-curricular programme at my school where students in Junior High and Senior High competed in Zone and Provincial Drama Festivals, but when I went to teach in Australia on a year-long exchange they cancelled the Drama programme to save money, and only the Art classes and the Band programme survived the arts cuts that year.
Teaching in Queensland, Australia for a year was an eye-opener as far as the arts went. Programmes seemed to be very well supported with excellent facilities and had far more to offer students such as many workshops in specialities like mime, street theatre and dance for example than the much more basic curriculums I was used to in Canada. The arts curriculums seemed to be very extensive and arts taken for granted as a part of an Australian school. After a huge well supported musical “Annie Get Your Gun” I returned to my school in Canada where we had no theatre and I taught Drama in a regular classroom, pushing aside the desks as needed.
I had to return to Canada and teach as an English teacher even though I wanted to teach Drama. For many students in my experience, the arts are vital to balance out academics and sports. All students need an opportunity to excel and be successful in something, and for many that is not their regular exam classes or a sports team. So the art teacher and I collaborated and kept the school productions going, a total of 25 Junior and Senior High shows over the years where students could act, sing and dance or work backstage, or designing the set. Students loved the opportunity to be creative, and often it was the behaviourally challenged students or those who didn’t quite ‘fit in’ in other classes that loved Drama the most. We continued to participate in the Zone Festivals winning many times, and what a treat it was to be in a real theatre! The highlight was going to the Provincial Drama Festival and winning Best Ensemble and raft of other awards for our huge production of “The Canterbury Tales.’
Before I left Canada I was chosen for a Commonwealth Teacher Exchange to the United Kingdom. I went to teach in beautiful Norwich, Norfolk and became familiar with the British National Curriculum at KS3 and KS4 in particular. In England I was exposed to the rigour of a Drama programme shaped around students completing exams for their GCSE’s. I liked in particular how Drama, Music and Art were all exam subjects with strict, demanding curriculums and the disciplines were treated the same as academic subjects. In Alberta, Canada the arts are not exam subjects and the curriculum is very much left up to the teacher. I left England after our huge whole-school production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” with much to think about.
The thinking led me to the Search Associates Recruiting Fair in London, England and a decision to work in International Schools. I accepted an offer to teach GCSE Drama and IBDP Theatre at one of the top British Curriculum schools in China. The school was expanding from the Junior School to a brand-new Senior School. Before I became a teacher I had done a degree in Technical Theatre and so I had a lot of input into the building of the brand new Black Box classroom I would be working in and the incredible state-of the-art Theatre. What a treat it was to work in such amazing facilities with such keen students and such small classes after public education! I was familiar with the GCSE Drama curriculum and put students through both the EdExcel and the Cambridge exam board. My top tip for teachers wanting to work in British curriculum schools is don’t apply unless you already know the British National Curriculum, and the requirements of at least one GCSE exam board. It’s a very steep (I would say almost impossible) learning curve if you don’t already come in with that knowledge. It was no problem that I had no IBDP Theatre experience. The school had an unlimited budget and was quick to send me for training for my Category 1 IBDP Theatre course and countless other IBDP workshops. It’s easy to do well and get good results working in this kind of environment. Don’t kid yourself though-the results and marks really matter to the students, the parents and the school and if you don’t deliver you’ll be out. My love of Theatre and the performing arts in particular was well supported here with productions of “Aladdin,” “Macbeth,” “Blood Brothers,” “Cinderella” and “Marriage Proposal” amongst many other class and exam productions.
In my current school in Singapore I’m in a different role. I am Head of Arts for the Secondary school. I supervise the Music, Visual Arts, Drama and Theatre programmes. I have six teachers working in the Arts Department. We are an IB World School and run PYP, MYP and IBDP curriculum. It’s important as HOD Arts to make sure we offer a balanced programme, no one art discipline can take precedence over another. Our students in Years 7, 8 and 9 all take all three arts classes. In Years 10 and 11 they choose one of the Arts disciplines to specialize in for two years and complete their exam ePortfolio of four assignments in Year 11. At the school we also offer IBDP Visual Arts and Theatre for two years. I teach some Drama classes and Theatre, but I am also given a lot of HOD time to manage staff, take care of the budget, ensure curriculum is being taught well, arrange standardisation and moderation of marks and a myriad of other responsibilities. I have my IBDP Cat 2 now and am an Examiner for the IBDP Theatre curriculum.
We run Arts Nights for the performing arts in each semester, as well as a school Talent Show. The Visual Arts puts up displays of art at these times as well as participating in the huge IN Exhibition of Visual Art from fifteen International Schools in Singapore as well as the IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition in the Spring. We run extensive co-curricular and extra-curricular activities for the students in the arts like bands, singing groups, drumming lessons and arts workshops. We are an International School Theatre Association School and run a lot of workshops through them e.g bringing the theatre company ‘Frantic Assembly’ in from the UK or Marco Luly- a Commedia dell’ Arte expert in from Italy. We run two Musicals a year, the Secondary Musical for Years 9-13 and the Primary/Middle School Musical for Years 3-8. The last four years we have done “Urbs, Urbis,” “Arlecchino and the City of Love,” “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, “ “A Christmas Carol” and currently with a team of ten teachers and over 75 students “Cinderella, Rockerfella.” All of our shows are performed in professional theatre facilities we rent in Singapore. All of this is such a pleasant change from fighting for the arts survival in a Canadian public school, and having to fight for every cent we wanted to spend. I wish I had gone to work in International Schools much earlier in my career, but better late than never!
This article was submitted to us by International School Community member, Sara Lynn Burrough. Sara Lynn Burrough has worked as a Drama/Theatre teacher for the past 38 years in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, China and Singapore. She has a BEd, an MEd, was a professional stage manager at the Banff Centre for the Arts and studied Technical Theatre at McGill University in Montreal. In Canada as a teacher she worked for many years for Northern Gateway Schools in Alberta, and during that time was selected for two teacher exchange programmes. Her first exchange to Australia was with Alberta Education and the Queensland Department of Education where she taught at Costessey High School, in Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast. Her second exchange was with the prestigious ‘League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers’ (LECT) where she was one of two Canadian teachers selected to go to the United Kingdom for the millennial year to the United Kingdom. The Queen Mother was the patron of LECT and as she was celebrating her 100th birthday that year Sara Lynn was privileged to attend the celebrations in London as an invitee. In 2013 Sara Lynn decided to teach in International Schools and attended the Search Associates recruiting fair in London, England. From there she went to Dulwich College in Suzhou, China to teach GCSE Drama and IBDP Theatre in the Senior School. After China Sara Lynn went to Singapore for almost five years as Head of Arts (Music, Visual Arts, Drama) at Chatsworth International School where she taught MYP Drama and IBDP Theatre.
Using our unique Comment Search feature on our website (premium membership access needed), we found 96 comments that have the keyword “Drama” in them, and 14 comments that had the word “The Arts” in them.
Here are some comments that shown a positive light on Learning Support programs at international schools:
“The school just celebrated its 50th anniversary and there are many banners around the school. The school in involved with the SITS programme which is a quality drama and arts programme for kids.” – Oslo International School (17 Total Comments)
“Stoke City FC just started this school year and there are several other “big” initiatives as well, mostly in music and drama departments.” – Western International School of Shanghai (312 Total Comments)
“It is limited. In primary there is futsal, while secondary usually has volleyball and basketball. Baseball is popular but it is not offered in any organised way. The school usually participates at the MUN conference in Kobe in February each year. Drama and arts offerings have increased in recent years.” – Hiroshima International School (64 Total Comments)
“The school offers no sports programs, and occasionally offers a drama Club to students, depending on teacher interest.” – Alexandria International Academy (78 Total Comments)
“Piloting the iPad initiative this year and also looking to expand the arts program with the addition of the multi-purpose hall that houses a mini-theater.” – Universal American School in Dubai (57 Total Comments)
“There are opportunities in the arts (dance, voice, musical instrumental, drama), a good number of sports offerings (climbing, competitive sports, etc.). Lots!” – American School of Dubai (98 Total Comments)continue reading
With the hiring season upon us, there is a divide amongst us international school teachers. Will the international school you are interviewing with prefer to hire a teaching couple or a single teacher?
I guess it could seem like the international school is being a bit discriminatory when they state their preference (sometimes in the job description vacancy itself), but there might be a number of factors that come into play in their decision to be so explicit in what they are looking for.
Sometimes hiring a single teacher can be more expensive than hiring a teaching couple. We all know schools love saving money! Money aside though, the administration at international schools also know the lifestyle that prospective teachers are signing up for. The set up could be good for both singles and teaching couples, but the city and country where the school is located could also lend itself better to a single person OR to a teaching couple.
It is hard to guess which type of teacher would be better for which set up, but the administration can see patterns developing amongst their staff. For example, are the single teachers or the teaching couples staying longer (or shorter) at the school? Are single teachers finding it difficult to save money there? Are single teachers able to easily meet up with other expats or locals in the city for a date?
The fact is, though, that single teachers get hired all the time during each recruitment season. If you are a quality teacher with a good resume and references (+luck and timing), the school will definitely consider hiring you. However, it might be good to know which international schools have a good record of hiring single teachers.
Additionally, if a school gives an offer of employment to a teacher who is single, what are the exact details about the benefits the school is offering you specifically? What is the lifestyle like for single teachers that live in different cities around the world?
So many factors and things to consider!
Luckily, ISC was designed to help international school teaching couples and single teachers find the information they are looking for. Using the Comment Search feature (premium membership needed), we found 92 comments that had the keyword “Singles” in them. Here are 11 of them:
United Arab Emirates
“Dubai is a big city in most ways with very modern nightlife etc. singles should have no trouble meeting other singles, and couples will find the city enjoyable as well. Sex between people who are not married is illegal and people DO go to jail for it/get deported for it, but usually only when it is something very blatant (like having sex on a public beach). Homosexuality is illegal in the UAE and is still prosecuted. UAE is trying very hard to balance between a modern, cosmopolitan city while at the same time being respectful of traditional Arab culture.” – Raffles International School (South) (59 total comments)
“Kyoto has a pretty balance for all interests. singles may find it difficult here, however, as there isn’t much nightlife in Kyoto (a lot of things close around 8 or 9) and it can be hard to meet people. Osaka is 30 minutes to an hour away, however, and has a lot of options in that department. There are plenty of parks and outdoor spaces in Kyoto, unlike Tokyo or other metropolitan regions of Japan.” – Doshisha International School Kyoto (92 total comments)
“The housing allowance for singles was increased to 23,000HKD (2900USD) which allows for a bit more choice. Because of the price discrepancy among singles, teaching couples and a teacher with dependent(s), singles were the only ones who received an increase.” – Hong Kong International School (118 total comments)
“The school itself is a very family orientated place, though there are lots of singles in the school. Often group trips are organised renting beach houses and lake houses.” – Academia Britanica Cuscatleca (30 total comments)
“Chiang Mai is a great place to live for couples and families. Singles who like the Great Outdoors will also be satisfied. Those seeking a full on nightlife need to save their Bahts for a weekend in Bangkok or Pattaya. Chiang Mai has some great pubs and restaurants, but currently all are forced to close at midnight.” – Varee Chiang Mai International School (62 total comments)
“Staff housing is provided. 2 bedroom apartments for singles, just in and around Doha (Al Saad, Al Marqab) or in Education City (mostly families because of the parks and facilities that in and around the compound). You can ask for rent allowance but once you forfeit housing you can’t get back in! QF policy. Think it’s around 8,000 qar a month plus 500 for utilities.You’ll never find anything as nice as the housing provided for that money, without getting a roommate (then you can save money)” – Qatar Academy (Sidra) (65 total comments)
“The school generally recruits at the Search fairs, in Johannesburg, Bangkok and London. There are some long-term local hire teachers. Many local hires are expats who are here with their partners. I believe they also hire through Skype interviews. There is a good mix of people – couples, families and singles. Recently there have been a lot of singles hired which has put a bit of a crunch on housing.” – International School of Tanganyika (171 total comments)
“Lots of activities for singles, but people generally agree Lusaka is great for families, less so for singles wanting to find love. There is a small gay culture, but not vibrant due to the country’s general conservatism.” – American International School of Lusaka (45 total comments)
“I am a single parent with a 5-year-old so life is very quiet for us. singles seem to have a very active social life as there are a lot of bars and Manizales is very safe. In terms of gay life, I know there are gay bars here and gay couples but I they feel they need to be discreet in public.” – Colegio Granadino Manizales (44 total comments)
“Staff housing differs for singles and married couples. They are both located near the school and are in an area which has plenty to do. Major bills include gas, electricity, internet, etc. The most expensive is the gas in the winter. Teachers are responsible for their utilities.” – Busan Foreign School (5 total comments)
“There is a mix of local and expat teachers. The majority of expat teachers come from the UK, but others come from other English-speaking countries as well. There is very low turnover rate at the school- maybe one or two positions open up each year. The staff are mostly married couples- very few singles.” – International School of Lyon (12 total comments)
There are a few international schools to work at in United Arab Emirates! How do these schools stand out from each other?
How many international schools have done a sky-view overview of their school campus using a drone? Australian International School – Sharjah has!
Having an opportunity to see an aerial view of an international school really gives you a great idea of what life will be like in and around your future international school. Maybe all schools should consider doing this and then make sure to share that video when they are interviewing people to work with them.
The sunset scene of this video is truly beautiful, and look at all those beautiful trees on the campus!
Hopefully you are not actually leaving school at this time (assuming the sunset stays pretty similar throughout the year at around 18h or so), but if you were to, then it would indeed be a nice ride home.
This video is reminiscent of a blog series we have called, “The Journey to School.” In this blog series we get firsthand accounts of what it is like to travel both to and from various international schools from around the world.
Living in the Middle East does sound very enticing. For one, the sun will most likely be out almost every day of the year. The summer will be quite hot, but the winter won’t be too cool. It is important to note though that there appears to be some overcast can be see in the video, and it might be because of pollution and not clouds!
However, desert life can indeed be quite nice for many of us. The adventures of exploring the desert and its sand dunes are not too far away. Many of city’s buildings are constructed using traditional Arabic architecture with wind towers and finishes in colors reflective of the nearby desert and sea.
There are also lots of beaches, theme parks and movie theaters in nearby Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 76 international schools listed in United Arab Emirates. Here are a just a few of them (the number of total comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right of the link):
• Al Mizhar American Academy (Dubai) – 54 Comments
• Abu Dhabi International Private School (Abu Dhabi) – 43 Comments
• American International School (Abu Dhabi) (Abu Dhabi) – 68 Comments
• American School of Dubai (Dubai) – 98 Comments
• Jumeira Baccalaureate School (Dubai) – 104 Comments
• Raffles International School (South) (Dubai) – 59 Comments
• RAK Academy (Ras Al Khaimah) – 56 Comments
If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in United Arab Emirates, log-on today and submit your own comments and information. Become a Mayor of one of these schools and you will receive unlimited premium access to International School Community for free!continue reading
International School Community is full of tens of thousands of useful, informative comments…22211 comments (12 Sept. 2017) to be exact.
Members are recommended to keep their comments objective on our website and share what they know about what it is like working at a specific international school.
We scoured our database of comments, and we found 12 that stood out to us as being some of the most interesting and useful ones related to the “excellent” parts of working at international schools from across the globe.
12. Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals.
“Currently, insurance is through Scholars International. Coverage for medical care in the United States is something like 70% (not great) but outside of the US, coverage is great. Local hospitals are excellent and many teachers have surgeries, medical treatments (including cancer treatments), ect here in Korea. Our school is close to an amazing International Hospital, Severance Hospital at Yonsei University. Many other hospitals in the area are also well-known and provide excellent care!” – Seoul Foreign School (South Korea, Seoul) – 133 Comments
11. Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus.
“Keystone was built in 2013/14 as a purpose-built school. It looks like a New England or UK boarding school. It’s facilities are excellent. There is a fabulous performing arts centre, lots of meeting areas and tons of classrooms. The sports facilities are also top-notch. The grounds are well-kept. The staff apartments are spacious and well-appointed. There are separate primary and middle/high school buildings as well as the sports hall, residences and the performing arts centre. The management is also upgrading and maintaining facilities as needed. The surrounding area is very suburban. This is not downtown Beijing. There are grocery stores close by as well as a couple of small shopping malls. There are stores catering to expats nearby too.” – Keystone Academy (China, Beijing) – 54 Comments
10. Name some special things about this school that makes it unique.
“Since 2010 there have been 2 Head Teachers, 2 Primary Heads and 2 Deputy Heads due to overarching management cost cutting and general incompetencies. As well as massive staff turnovers. People see out their contracts and don’t renew because money, housing and work life balance are better at other schools. However that being said, the teachers at the school both primary and secondary are excellent teachers. Very social, helpful and happy. They bind together and get along well. The teachers that have left have gone into fantastic things, probably because of the chaos that comes from management, has built these people to make it in the real world. Lasting friendships between the teachers and everyone looks after everyone. I did enjoy the comradary here.” – Jumeira Baccalaureate School (United Arab Emirates, Dubai) – 104 Comments
9. How have certain things improved since you started working there?
“The Academic Registrar for the past two years has done much to review, simplify and streamline processes. She has also maintained – latterly when support has been lacking – almost single-handedly excellent relations with staff, parents, students and the expatriate community when helping to market the school.” – The International School of Sanya (China, Sanya) – 29 Comments
8.Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus..
“The school has a wonderful multistory building with fully equipped Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science laboratories. There is a gymnasium and multi cuisine food court as well. The auditorium of the school is excellent with a seating capacity of around 800.” – Gandhi Memorial International School (Indonesia, Jakarta) – 6 Comments
7. What types of sports programs and activities does the school offer?
“Football is the main sport and both boys and girls are involved in football. Also basketball is popular, The school has excellent facilities.” – Colegio Los Nogales Bogota (Colombia, Bogota) – 33 Comments
6. In general, describe the demeanor of the students.
“Generally, excellent. 2013’s comment still stands; Wells is fortunate to have students from not the “richest” families of Bangkok, so a degree of humbleness still exists in most.” – Wells International School (Thailand) (Thailand, Bangkok) – 55 Comments
5. Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals.
“Health insurance provided. Taiwan has excellent and affordable national health insurance.” – Ivy Collegiate Academy (Taiwan, Taichung City) – 41 Comments
4. What insider information would you give to a teacher considering working at this school?
“This is a good place to be in. The working atmosphere is excellent and as teachers we can do and suggest many things in order to help with the school’s normal development. We have reached to a point were we are stable in terms of foreign staff and locals do everything they can to help foreign teachers to feel as comfortable as possible.” – Changchun American International School (China, Changchun) – 71 Comments
3. Describe proximity of major airport hubs to the city center and give sample taxi, train, subway and/or bus fares to get there.
“Hong Kong has excellent public transport. You can check in at IFC in Central or Kowloon half a day before the flight and then take your time shopping, eating, or sightseeing. The express train to the airport is quick, comfortable, and inexpensive. There are numerous buses and the MTR. As well, taxis are readily available, as are hire cars.” – Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (China, Hong Kong) – 111 Comments
2. Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate.
“More local teachers than expat. There are approximately 15-20 American teachers working at the school. Local teachers speak excellent English and are great colleagues.” – American School of Belo Horizonte (Brazil, Belo Horizonte) – 46 Comments
1. How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country?
“Compared to teaching in the UK this is a dream, as long as you are prepared for the culture shock of living in a small village of thirteen million. Small classes, good behaviour and a genuine interest in study, excellent resources, great quality of life. Admin is less than in the UK although it is creeping up. Some of it good, some of it of limited value (just like the UK). I enjoy my teaching and the travel opportunities this place offers.” – Wellington College International Tianjin (China, Tianjin) – 54 Comments
If you have an interesting and useful comment to add related to the excellent parts at your school that you would like to share, log in to International School Community and submit your comments. For every 10 submitted comments, you will get one month of free premium membership added to your account!continue reading
Even when the administrators divide and conquer (to appraise all the many staff members), it still often times doesn’t get done. Sometimes they start off in August-October with a few goal making meetings, but often that is as far as it goes for that school year.
This begs the question, are appraisals really necessary? I guess there are pros and cons to doing appraisals, maybe all pros. But if the appraisal is not done so in an effective manner or is perceived as an unauthentic experience, it seems like it will not be so meaningful for both parties.
It is possible to just go on with your jobs and through casual drop-ins make informal appraisals. It’s possible that if you are not really doing your job very well, most staff members know…including the administration.
It is also nice when staff members just organically make their own professional goals though and work towards achieving them for that school year; inviting their administration and other staff to observe certain lessons or to even get involved.
It’s certain that some international schools have indeed figured it out, doing appraisals from start to completion every year. But for many, maybe those with a high administration turn over, it is still a long-term goal to get a formal appraisal system underway and working effectively for everyone involved.
This article was submitted by guest author and International School Community member.
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this topic of appraisals, so you can stay the most informed as possible. “There are 51 comments (premium access only) that have the word appraisal in them, and a total of 144 comments in our comment topic called – “Details about the current teacher appraisal process.” Here are a few of those 144 comments related to appraisals about various schools from around the world:”
Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 144 comments in this comment topic (May 2017). Here are a few that have been submitted:
“Primary teachers are observed by newly-appointed Heads of Department that have little to no experience” – Wycombe Abbey International School (Changzhou, China) – 78 Total Comments
“The school has worked with Pam Harper over the last year to define student learning and align teaching to it. The model that has been adopted, the Teaching for Learning Index, serves as the framework for professional learning and appraisal.” – NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 176 Comments
“Teachers are observed, given a print of the evaluation and a brief feedback meeting. No data is formally collected/recorded.” – Canadian International School (Tokyo) (Tokyo, Japan) – 93 Total Comments
“In a year and a half of teaching here, I have only had one formal classroom observation. The principal gave me an excellent evaluation and apparently hasn’t felt the need to return!” – Misr American College (Cairo, Egypt) – 53 Comments
“They have a system called Responsibility for Learning which is tailored to the situation. New teachers go through a pre-determined portfolio process supporting professional standards. Returning teachers are given options as to how to best support their own growth. Administrative visitations are ongoing and both formal and informal.” – American School of Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 84 Comments
“Teachers are observed twice in an academic year. At the end of the year, the results of these observations are then combined with evaluations from the senior Thai admin (who never see you teach). The score is then tabulated and you are given a bonus based on this score. Teachers can see the results of the observations but are not allowed to see the evaluations from the Thai admin.” – Assumption College (Bangkok, Thailand) – 21 Commentscontinue reading
Around the world, there are cities 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 cities, 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 city.
Currently, we have 40 schools listed in Dubai on International School Community.
Schools with the most submitted comments:
Al Mizhar American Academy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 54 Comments
Greenfield Community School (Dubai) (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 79 Comments
Jumeira Baccalaureate School (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 54 Comments
Uptown School (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 49 Comments
American School of Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 17 Comments
Dubai International Academy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 18 Comments
“HR department is not efficient on giving clear and true information when hiring. Often confusing communication.” – Dubai International Academy
“Check for Taaleem recruitment fairs in UAE plus through Search Associates – Head Teacher has travelled to Australia and UK to recruit in person but lots of appointments are done as a result of Skype interviews.” – Greenfield Community School (Dubai)
“Usually Search Bangkok and London fairs.Occasionally skype. Age limit is 60 in the UAE.” – Uptown School
“Management goes to ISS and Search fairs in the US.” – Al Mizhar American Academy
“There is now an option for a cash allowance for housing but it is not very difficult to find a decent apartment on the allowance as rates have gone up.” – Al Mizhar American Academy
“Housing is provided, but is of varying quality and far from the school. Motorway driving of 30 minutes one-way is average. No utility allowance and electricity, water and Internet are very expensive. After the first year, a housing allowance is available but won’t cover costs due to sky- high rental prices. There is a move in allowance, but this will not cover the cost of appliances and furniture.” – Jumeira Baccalaureate School
“Housing allowance increased but still low compared to real estate prices.” – Greenfield Community School (Dubai)
“The school is close to the airport and a shopping center (Mirdif). Housing is provided by the school (1st year), after that teacher may stay or move elswhere. Everyone drives (rent or mostly owned car.) There is a convenient underground parking for all staff.” – Uptown School
“Most teachers either rent or buy a car. Public transportation is not in the area. The school is about 20 minutes from downtown Dubai.” – Al Mizhar American Academy
“No public or school transportation, everybody must purchase a car, which is a very tricky situation, a lot of hidden expenses involved in that. Dubai is mostly Indian and doing business with them is not pleasent.” – Dubai International Academy
“The school is located in Jumeira 1, ten minutes from the beach and far from all teacher housing. A 30-45 minute commute is average. Teachers must have their own vehicles to get back and forth from school as transport is not provided and public transportation is limited.” – Jumeira Baccalaureate School
Language of Students
“Almost everyone is ESL or EAL. In hallways English is used or Arabic. Given 20 nationalities mostly from Arabic countries, India, etc. English is maybe more often heard.” – Uptown School
“The dominant culture is Emirati with the second culture being other Arabs and Pakistani. Students are 90%+ Islamic. The common language is Arabic.” – Al Mizhar American Academy
“Indian community is ruling from the top to bottom.” – Dubai International Academy
(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 Dubai, share what you know. Consider becoming a Mayor for unlimited premium membership!continue reading
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 42nd blog that we would like to highlight is called “Wandering Whirligig” (A teacher who worked at Copenhagen International School). Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who recently worked at Copenhagen International School in Denmark.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“I moved to Copenhagen in January 2011. Next week, I will leave. After four and a half years, I will leave this fabulous city for new adventures. There are so many mixed emotions pulsing through my body.
The people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had, the memories I’ve made… Do I feel happy? Or sad? Right now it’s a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster I know so many people have ridden. It’s the rollercoaster ride that takes you from one place to the next, that carries you and all of your belongings from one exciting adventure to another, hopefully bringing all the wonderful memories you’ve made trailing along in the wind: there’s a seat for every friend you’ve ever made during your adventure on this rollercoaster, but you know you’re now in different carriages.
I feel about Copenhagen what I have never yet felt about any other place I’ve moved to: I feel at HOME here…”
Leaving a school is tough, especially when you have been there for many years. You go through so many emotions. Change is good, but change is hard.
Want to read more about teachers leaving a school (and how many are leaving this school year)? Check out this survey we had back in March 2015 called “New Survey: How many people are leaving your international school at the end of this school year?“
“I’ve written before about how refreshing a daily commute by bike can be and how I’ll never ever take for granted the opportunity I’ve had to do that every day since moving to Copenhagen in January 2011. By the time I arrive at work, I feel completely revitalised and thoroughly refreshed – I feel as though I’ve already done something for ME before the day has even begun. It’s free excercise that I don’t even realise I’m doing since I just consider biking my mode of transport. Anyhow… recently, I received a GoPro from my family for my (ahem, 30th) birthday and the first thing I (ahem, very VERY geekily) did with it was… film my daily commute to work.
My first attempt was to shorten my 8.5km, half hour commute…”
What a great idea to GoPro your journey to work! Riding your bike to work can be invigorating and get you starting on the right foot for your day at work.
Want to learn more about how international school teachers get to their international school each day? Luckily, we have a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this theme called “Describe school’s location in relation to the city center and to the teacher’s housing. How do staff get to school before and after school?” Here are a few examples of the 761 comments (July 2015) from this topic:
‘I would disagree that it is close to downtown; that is American Community School. The school is about 20 minutes south of the downtown, which is still quite accessible by bus and taxi. The school does provide a van to work if you live in school apartments. Those not in school apartments can pay to ride the van or about half the staff buy used cars.’ – New International School of Japan (Tokyo, Japan) – 16 Comments
‘The school is around a 10 minute drive from the city center. Al Ain is a fairly compact city, so nothing is more than 20 minutes or so away. Teachers are mainly housed around 10 to 15 minutes away in the northern part of the Jimi district. The housing seems tolerable, but being situated across the street from a sewage treatment plant, I’m told that there are serious odor issues there. Most staff either drive themselves or carpool to work.’ – Liwa International School (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 23 Comments
‘The school is in an industrial park area of SIP about 20 minutes from most housing. School coaches pick staff up at compounds at a set time in the a.m. You can catch the coach home at 4.30 or 5 pm. Alternatively catch a taxi ( about 20 RMB) or get an ebike ( about ) 2,000 RMB and have fun riding to/from school in the separate bike lanes.’ – Dulwich College Suzhou (Suzhou, China) – 17 Comments
Want to work for an international school in Denmark like this blogger? Currently, we have 15 international schools listed in this country. Here are a few that have had comments submitted on them:
• Aarhus Academy for Global Education (9 comments)
• Copenhagen International School (244 comments)
• Osterbro International School (17 comments)
• Esbjerg International School (12 comments)
• Odense International School (10 comments)
Additionally, there are 21 International School Community members who currently live in Denmark. Check out which ones and where they work here. Feel free to go ahead and contact them with any questions that you might have as well; nice to get first hand information about what it is like to live and work there!continue reading
I am originally from India, living and working in Dubai, UAE, for the last 19 years. So UAE is sort of ‘home’ to me.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
I took a career break from an Indian school at which I worked for 6 years in the UAE. I left the school because I wanted to pursue further education and hence applied for part-time positions in various schools in Dubai and was offered a part-time position in an international school in Dubai (Universal American School in Dubai). I have remained in this school for 7 years now and moved from being a part-time teacher to full time teacher, to Department Head to ICT and Curriculum Coordinator; and currently holding the position of the Staff Development Coordinator. It has been a steep learning curve professionally and personally for me. I am currently a certified curriculum consultant in concept-based teaching (Lynn Erickson) and offer curriculum consultancy workshops in many international schools in the region and hence get to meet and work with a diverse range of international teaching staff.
Having said all of that, moving from a national system of education where students are “disciplined” from questioning the teacher in the name of “respect” ( at least when I was a teacher in the 90s – and agree that much has changed now) an international school environment was very challenging for me and my initial days were very draining. Often times, in the early days of my international teaching career I have drawn solace on the fact that I was not a ‘permanent’ teaching staff and that my tenure was part-time. But I somehow wanted to make it work even for the short time. I turned to reading literature on international education and read avidly. During this time my admissions into the doctoral program at the University of Bath came through. My first assignment was about “teachers as reflective practitioners” that looked at my transition from teaching in a national system of school to an international school.
I give below some excerpts from the study:
What is my concern?
The classroom atmosphere and student interaction in my newly inducted environment in an international school concerned me. I was experiencing myself as a living contradiction (Whitehead 2006), because as a teacher I felt it was my primary responsibility to create a positive learning environment in the classroom and yet I was denying them the opportunity to do so (or at least that is what I thought). Little did I realize the classroom management techniques in a multi-cultural environment are so different from schools where students are from the same nationality, particularly in the Indian system.
I am concerned because as a teacher, it is essential for me to sustain and derive my joy in teaching. Students’ apathy bothered me. A deep sense of dissatisfaction as well as a strong conviction that it was possible to make a positive change inspired me to become a reflective practitioner.
I narrate below one classroom incident that raised my awareness of how my values were being denied in my practice, whereby I was experiencing myself as a “living contradiction” (Whitehead and McNiff, 2006).
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2006.
(In the Middle East, Sunday happens to be the first day of the working week)
A project assigned to the students is explained with the help of a Power point. During this explanation, most students are talking to each other, some are painting their nails, and others detached and disengaged. This overall atmosphere makes it difficult and de-motivating for the few students who are trying to focus attention. At the end of the ten minutes of introducing what students are supposed to do, I ask them if they have any questions.
(Response) Student A: “So miss, what are we supposed to do?”
(Reaction): The whole class breaks into laughter, chaos and commotion follows. Some students slyly glance at me to comprehend my reaction.
The above scenario is common in most classes, perhaps with different questions at the end: highly non-contextual or insignificant such as:
Me (at the end of explanations): “Any questions?”
B: “Miss, may I go to the washroom?”
C: “Nice dress, miss!”
In my previous teaching experience in the national system of education, students could be addressed easily as a single class or a group and the student-teacher relationship was highly disciplined with the teacher holding a lot of ‘power’. Students were often well behaved and wanted to learn more from teachers and the interaction with teachers was highly respectful. The current situation puzzled me. Where was I going wrong? I was not a “new” teacher. I had been teaching for 7 years! Before dismissing the current situation as “student apathy”, “indiscipline” and “disinterested in learning”, I realized this situation demanded a deeper understanding through critical analysis and reflection.
Turning into a “reflective practitioner” helped me realize that teaching in international school setting need to go beyond “Power Points” and that Power Points are often “Power Pointless” unless they can engage the students and provoke their thinking. Teaching in international schools demand paying significant attention to the fact that students are from various cultural backgrounds, and teaching and learning require differentiation strategies and project based learning wherein every student is engaged and challenged. I am not saying these are not applicable to national system of schools. But in my experience, I do think in national system of schools much of the learning is “controlled” in the name of “discipline”. This does not happen in international schools. Teachers have to move from being “sage on stage” to a “knowledge facilitator” at all times. “Respect for the teacher” is something that cannot be demanded and has to be earned in an international school setting. And if that happens, trust me, the students are the most adorable and fun to work with and more importantly they help you grow, as each day, each hour, they will challenge you. Flexibility and being a “life-long learner” is the key to success. Again, I am not saying these are not essential in national system of schools – of course they are- just that they are highly imperative in international school settings due to the diverse multi-cultural student body found in such schools.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
This is my first and only international school experience (but a valuable and enriching one indeed!) [at Universal American School in Dubai]. Having been in this school for seven years and it has been a very rewarding experience and a huge learning curve for me. It has helped me grow as an individual and as a professional. I have drawn on experiences in the school for every single of my doctoral assignments and currently working on my dissertation which again in a Case Study at the school.
The school I work at is a very warm and friendly place where individuals who are willing to go the extra mile are truly valued and the relationship amongst staff very collegial. With over 75 different nationalities being represented in the teacher and student body combined, one can imagine that each day is a new cultural learning experience, that shows we are so very diverse culturally, yet the same as human beings.
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
1. A Korean student of mine (Grade 8) came to me very upset one day. She was upset because she sat in her History class for weeks together learning about this “new Greek philosopher – a name she had never heard of before” until that morning when she had realized that her teacher had been talking about none other than the Greek Philosopher, Socrates. The way in which her teacher from Australia was pronouncing the name “Socrates” was entirely different from how she had heard it being pronounced in her school back home in Korea, and it took her weeks to realize this!!
2. We have a board that hangs on the door of our English Department that says: “ENGLISH DOES NOT BELONG TO ANYBODY- it is a medium of communication and it belongs to anyone who wishes to use it!”
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
I think most international schools call themselves “international” without any depth to the meaning of the term. I specifically say this in schools that call themselves “international” yet have a significant and sometimes 95% of staff from the western world. I truly question the notion of “internationalism” is such schools and would certainly not want to work in such a school as I am not convinced that the learning experiences there would be of ‘international’ dimensions. There is some very interesting literature published on this (see Canterford 2003). So the first think I would look for is how “international” is the school in terms of its multi-cultural population. On the same lines, I would also want the school to respect every nationality equally as I truly believe that unless there is strong “nationalism” in each one of us the “internationalism” we pose will be empty and shallow.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Culturally enriching, questioning true internationalism.
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 work for an international school in the United Arab Emirates like Sudha? Currently, we have 29 international schools listed in Dubai on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
Going to one to two interviews at an international school recruitment fair can probably mean one of four things:
• You probably don’t have very much experience teaching in general and teaching at international schools and are finding it hard to get schools’ attention.
• You have a lot of experience, but you are now very specific on where exactly that you would like to move to next in the world.
• You have a lot of experience, and you are very specific about which top international school that you would like to work at next in your career.
• Or there is a lot of competition this year which means there might be many other candidates vying for the same position vacancy.
Additionally, you just might not be up for going to five, six, seven interviews. More interview can equal to more stress for you at the fair. On the other hand, if you are very desirable to international schools at the fair and are open to where you would like to go, the more interviews you secure the better the odds that you will get some job offers!
There are many factors to consider when deciding on which international school at which to work. Figuring out how and where an international school recruits can prove to be helpful information to know; just so that you are prepared and can make the necessary and appropriate plans. Luckily on International School Community, we have a School Information section in the comments and information part of each school’s profile page that discusses this very topic.
• Describe their hiring policies. Which recruiting fairs do they go to? How do they typically hire (e.g. face-to-face interview, Skype, etc.)? Are there any hiring restrictions mandated by the country?
Taken from the Dhahran Ahliyya Schools (60 Total Comments) school profile page.
There have been many comments and information submitted in this topic on numerous school profiles on our website.
One International School Community member said about working at Misr American College (37 Comments): “M.A.C. attends the Cambridge job fair in Boston which is hosted by Search Associates and they have also attended the Dubai fair. I have seen their ads on TIEonline as well. They will also do skype interviewing. They employ a variety of ways to get their teachers. I was able to bring my spouse when I signed on with them and they helped get his residency. Not sure if they are still doing this though.”
Another member said about working at Seoul International School (69 Comments): “They use Search & ISS and do a lot of recruiting in Canada (all of the heads of the school are Canadian). Last year the HS principal did a lot of interviewing via Skype.”
Another member submitted a comment about working at Colegio Granadino Manizales (43 Comments): “I was hired at the recruiting fair in Kingston, Ontario, As far as I know, they also attend the Iowa fair and some teachers are hired via Skype.”
If you are currently a premium member of International School Community, please take a moment to share what you know by submitting some comments and information about how your international school recruits and what recruitment fairs that they go to each year. You can start by logging on here.
Stay tuned for our next survey topic which is to come out in a few days time.continue reading
(This member spotlight is a continuation from an interview we did earlier which can be found here.)
From there, we spent a year in Guangzhou, China, at Utahloy International School, with Helen as Primary Principal and me as Head of Science. Guangzhou, despite the air quality, was a really nice place to live. We started off in an apartment in town, while we looked for a place big enough to hold our material possessions – for us, home is where we live, and we take our furniture and everything with us, so relocation costs are substantial. We ended up in a ground-floor apartment out of town, but only a cheap 30-minute taxi ride to “the action”. The shopping was the main attraction, particularly for Helen,
We were asked to come and work at a school in Jakarta, and relocated, because we wanted to continue teacher training and we love Indonesia. Things didn’t work out, and we decided to try our hands at consulting, because we have a lot of connections with Indonesian private schools and Helen is a well-established Primary Years Programme workshop leader for the IB. After a year and a half for Helen, and a year for me, we are keeping the wolf from the door. Helen does a lot of IB workshops around Asia, and is working with the management of a school in East Jakarta. I’ve done one workshop for the IB, a few in Jakarta and one in Beijing. My main work has been a couple of tours doing school inspections in Dubai. I’ve done some course writing and prepared some teaching materials for a couple of organisations. We have just finalised our working visas and our Indonesian company, and will, hopefully, be expanding our business soon.
Teaching internationally has been great for us. We’ve had a few heartbreaks, but, overall we have been able to save money, travel, and every day brings a new experience. We have been to most of the countries in Asia, and some amazing places in them. We speak Bahasa Indonesia, so, when we see something interesting, we can ask questions. One of our delights in Surabaya was just walking through the villages behind us, and talking to the locals.
We’ve had a lot of funny experiences, and no really dangerous ones. For example, we were on a boat up river in Kalimantan, after visiting the orang-utan sanctuary, when the boat broke down, 50 km from the port. We literally hitch-hiked with a passing fisherman. Enroute to Tibet, we stopped in Chengdu, in China. We caught a taxi to a restaurant recommended in a guide book. Half-way there, we realised that we didn’t have the hotel’s card, so we had no way of knowing where to go back to or how to communicate it to anyone. After dinner it took us two taxi rides and a 1km walk before we recognised a landmark.
International schools are funny places – some are excellent. Also, the “true” international schools now make up only a fraction of the places in which you can teach internationally and in tougher economic times, in Asia, at least, they have increasing numbers of local students anyway. Overall the positives tend to outweigh the negatives. Our philosophy is that we want to make a difference, so that working in host-country schools that offer IB programmes is our preference. Not everyone is comfortable in these sort of schools, but they are the places that give real insight into other cultures.
Many people like to teach overseas for the change in locale. That is a factor for us, but it is more about the sort of school we work in. For us, working in IB schools has been fabulous. We have been to most of the regional conferences over the past ten years and have met so many talented, committed people. We get to visit schools and help teachers do it better. In the process, we keep learning something new about education most days.
One thing I would recommend is to get everything in writing and even then, depending on which country you are in, it doesn’t matter any way if someone decides to be unpleasant. If you are prepared to “roll with the punches”, while sticking to your principles, then teaching internationally can be amongst the best things you can do in education.
In 5 words: adventure, culture, education, difference, satisfaction.
Make sure the check out Andrew’s website which tells more about the services he currently offers to international schools.
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 work for an international school in Guangzhou like Andrew? Currently, we have 8 international schools listed in Guangzhou on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
• American International School of Guangzhou (12 Comments)
• Guangzhou Nanhu International School (4 Comments)
• Alcanta International College (6 Comments)
• Guangzhou Huamei International School (5 Comments)
• Clifford International School (8 Comments)
• The Affiliated High School of SCNU (8 Comments)
v2012.06 – 2 June, 2012:
Summer vacation is the time of year all teachers are waiting for (and I suppose all students as well!). The 1.5 to 2 months of summer break is especially important though for teachers who work at international schools because it is typically when they take their annual trip back home. When you live in a foreign country, half way across the world, it does indeed feel good to go home. Even though you do create a new ‘family’ when you live abroad with the other international school teachers that you are working with, your home is most likely where your birth family lives. Going home too can simply mean just going back to your home country, not necessarily going back to where you grew up.
There are some positives to going back to your home country during the summer:
• You get to see your old friends from when you went to University maybe or people that you went to high school with. It is important to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances; Facebook still can’t compete with real face to face meetings with these people from your life. Also, you can tell them all about the adventures you have been on while they have been staying-put most likely in the same city that they went to high school in!
• If you go to your home country during the summer, you get to stock-up on all the favorite products from your old life. Many international school teachers love to go to their favorite grocery stores to stock-up on all the products not available in their host country supermarkets. Be careful though, food products weigh a lot and can easily make your suitcase go over the allowed weight on your flight back!
• You get to see your nieces and nephews in person, noticing how they are getting so much older now and all grown-up. You can do things with them like taking them to the movies or going out for a few games of bowling.
A few alternatives for your summer if you don’t fancy going home:
• Some international school teachers just want to stay put in their host country during the summer. Some feel that you don’t have the time to really explore the city, the nearby cities, or the other cities in the country during the school year. And if you are currently living in the northern hemisphere, summer is the best time typically to explore these cities. Some teachers also just simply stay put to save money.
• A month-long trip to Africa or a month-long trip to the Chicago area where your family lives? A question you might be asking yourself in April. Some are faced with this international school educator’s dilemma each summer. For many international school teachers, the price of the flight to go home is actually the same price it would take to go to more exotic places like Kenya or Costa Rica or even Bali. Who would want to go home (a place you have seen many times already) in place of going on an exciting adventure? Many choose the adventure option each summer!
So, are you planning on going home this summer? Are you the international school teacher that makes their annual trip home each summer, the one that stays in the host country, or the one that is traveling to another country on some adventure? Share your stories and reasons for your summer plans here!
From the staff at International School Community.
· 31 May North Jakarta International School (13 new comments)
“Teachers live in school-provided, furnished housing in the vicinity of the school…”
· 30 May Yongsan International School of Seoul (8 new comments)
Seoul, South Korea
“Many of the teachers are from United States with just a few more single teachers than teaching couples…”
· 28 May Bina Bangsa School (13 new comments)
“There is a baggage allowance of US$500…”
· The Wonderful World of International School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #8 – “Courtesy is cool, good will is good stuff.”
“As an international school teacher you definitely don’t want to intentionally close any doors that might lead to other opportunities in the future…”
· Common Myths and Misconceptions about Bilingual Children #3: Young children soak up languages like sponges.
“I think the key with students learning the target language faster than adults is that they are going to school (their job) every day for 7-8 hours…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #7: Latin America
“I find that growth in international schools often follows a construction boom, and Brazil in particular…”
· Survey results are in: How much does your school pay for your housing benefits?
“Some of my international school teacher friends don’t get any housing allowance, namely those that are living in Western Europe…”
· New Teacher Orientation Must-Haves at International Schools #1: A Trip Around the City
“Should your new international school be organizing a trip around the city for all their new teachers…”
· Which international chools do IS Community members represent?
“Currently, International School Community members work at or have worked at the following 179 international schools…”
Why for-profit schools can be good.“GEMS schools director: ‘We don’t care about profit.’ GEMS currently runs 10 schools in the UK, but it acquired these schools from other operators, rather than creating them from scratch. It now plans to open six new schools over the next two years, and promises that they will charge more competitive fees than many existing private schools.”
“In 2009, the firm’s then chief executive Anders Hultin warned that the Conservative’s proposed free school programme would fail, if private firms weren’t allowed to run schools for a profit…”
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
This international school teacher’s blog is about teaching at British International School Shanghaiand living in Shanghai, China.One of their blog entries (New Year, new role…building the team) is describing how international schools are sometimes in a pickle trying to organize good, useful, purposeful, effective, etc. professional development on the few days back after a break:
“Following our wonderful Christmas break in India, it was great to get back and see our colleagues at BISS; and especially the Humanities team, who I am excited to now be leading. Although, I cannot believe how cold Shanghai has become! Our first day back was a training day and was well structured and enjoyable; following a warm welcome back from Sir Terry, the secondary and primary staff split to follow separate training schedules. Our day (secondary) was focused on Formative Assessment and was extremely interactive and practical…”
Another one of their entries (Cutting Ties…) is about how each international school is different and has their own rules about how they would like their school to be run:
“I was recently contacted by my previous employer, an International School in Vietnam, who politely asked me to close down the Edmodo groups I had set up whilst at the school. In particular they wanted me to close a group I had set up named ‘Social Connections’ that was created to allow students (and staff) to remain in touch after moving on…as so often happens on the international circuit. They stated that new school policy dictated that any contact with students must cease when you leave…”
There are so many international schools in Dubai. Which ones are good places for international school teachers to work at? How does the parent community view the international schools there?
We stumbled upon a great resource at Move One. Their website has a wealth of information about the ins and outs of moving abroad to a variety of cities around the world. They have many videos explaining what the international school situation is like in cities like Prague, Kiev, Budapest, etc.
Check out their video about Dubai’s international schools.Here is what Moveoneinc.com had to say in general about expats that are moving to Dubai and the current schooling situation:
“The city of Dubai is fully aware of the number of expats and their children that move there every year. As so many families have moved there a plethora of International Schools following different curriculum’s and teaching styles have opened to cater to all the different nationalities. There is so much choice in fact it can sometimes be difficult to decide which school your child or children should attend. to send your children to. The government tries to control this by ranking the schools in different categories giving parents some guidance. Many parents also choose to listen to other expats recommendations. All schools have beautiful top notch facilities and qualified staff – so no matter which school is chosen one can rest assured that a good education is being received.”
Their website has
Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have international school listed in the city of Dubai. The number of comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right the link to each school. Here are a just a few of them:
• Raffles International School (South) (9 Comments)
• Horizon School Dubai (16 Comments)
• Uptown Primary School (Mirdif) (10 Comments)
• Al Mizhar American Academy (10 Comments)
• Dubai International Academy (10 Comments)
• Universal American School in Dubai (9 Comments)
• Deira International School (9 Comments)
If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in Dubai, log-on today and submit your own comments and information. If you submit more than 30 comments and information, then you can get 1 year of premium access to International School Community for free!continue reading
v2012.05 – 5 May, 2012:
“Having left your own safe environment suddenly you no longer have control (which as teachers we typically enjoy in our classroom) over your world. As soon as you step out into the outside world in whatever country, you can be faced with:
It is similar to a new born chick who has just left the nest – since you lack confidence in your new surroundings you start out by going on small excursions, but then as you get more confident you go on further trips away from ‘the nest’.”
It is true I suppose that teachers prefer to have “control” in their classrooms. How ironic then that international school teachers put themselves in a situation where they for sure don’t have control. Living in another country is certainly you letting go of the control and safety of your home country and culture, or at least a familiar place to you. But that is what makes this career choice really exciting; you never know what to expect and what you will experience next. How frustrating though to not be able to read street and road signs, we can all relate to that. Additionally, not being able to understand the local language really makes you use all your other senses more in how to interpret body language and to gather meaning from body positioning, gestures and context. At this point native-English international school teachers are so used to being on a train or plane where everyone around them is speaking a different language than themselves that it is strange now (and quite over-stimulating) to be on a plane in the United States (for example) where they understand all the many conversations going on around their seat. We get very used to “tuning” out what is going on around us while living abroad, mostly because we just don’t understand what is being said.
This past month International School Community we had over 100 new members sign up! If this rate keeps up, we might have over 1000 members by the end of October! More members means more people that you can network with when you are job hunting or that you can ask questions to about a specific international school in which you are interested in working. Now, ISCommunity members currently work at or have worked at over 160 different international schools in over 53 countries!
From the staff at International School Community.
· Traveling Around: Tbilisi, Georgia (The life of an international school teacher is good!)
“Can you relate: Putting an update on Facebook on where I am and everyone not knowing where Tbilisi is…”
· International schools that were founded in 1932 (Hong Kong, Henderson, Masero & Lisbon)
“Founded in 1932 by Madam Tsang Chor-hang, Yew Chung has been providing quality bilingual education to the learners of Hong Kong for almost 80 years…”
· Overview of an int’l school #5 – Rainbow international School in Seoul
“Rainbow school is an international school established by Mr. Eshraf Saglam, a Turkish educationist in Seoul promoting multiculturalism and international diversity. With 260 students from 29 countries and 42 teachers from 6 countries…”
· Schools around the world get chance to sing in global recording
“An exciting global singing project has been announced. The project is called Voices around the World and the aim is for young people all over the world to learn and participate in a global recording…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #5: SE Asia
“We expect continued growth in Indonesia, Malaysia and even Vietnam as those emerging economies steadily prosper. Salaries may seem very low in these countries but…”
· The Wonderful World of International School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #8 – “Benefits, preps, class sizes, and student mix.”
“If all these benefits and other factors don’t seem to match up for you at this point in your international school career, then the answer you will most likely give…”
Kazakhstan Attracts Teachers Looking for Career Development“Kazakhstan may not be the obvious destination for teachers wanting to work abroad. But the Nazarbayev Intellectual School Networkis offering experienced, English-speaking middle and secondary teachers a one-year contract that is proving very tempting for some.”“There are NIS schools in cities throughout Kazakhstan, all of which are leading a programme of educational reform in the country led by the President of the Republic. The aim is to develop a new way of educating the future elite of Kazakhstan and the NIS Network is enlisting the skills of experienced English-speaking teachers to spearhead the progress….”
Check out this blog entry to read more about what your life might look like as an international school teacher in Kazakhstan.
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
This international school teacher’sblog is about teaching and living in Dubai, Almaty, etc.One of their blog entries (International Schools: The circuit)is describing how small the international school community is and how many of us “hop” around from school to school:“It is in fact a very small community and the chances are that you will know someone who has been to a specific school, once you have been in one or two schools overseas. Don’t be surprised after some years if you walk into a staffroom in a different school, and country, and you meet someone you worked with in another school…”Another one of their entries (What to expect at a job fair) is about what candidates might experience at the international school recruitment fairs:
“During the afternoon, the school will have interviews in their hotel rooms – it is all a bit surreal, but the recruiters carry out the interviews in their rooms (this is normal procedure!) At the end of this day the schools will then look at the candidates they have interviewed (and if you are one of them) then they will either invite you for a second interview…”
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 18th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Gary and Sally: About international teaching” Check out the blog entries of these international school teachers who have worked in both Dubai and Almaty (including even a few other cities around the world).
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“In the world of international education there are many teachers who are “on the circuit”. It is in fact a very small community and the chances are that you will know someone who has been to a specific school, once you have been in one or two schools overseas. Don’t be surprised after some years if you walk into a staffroom in a different school, and country, and you meet someone you worked with in another school.
School reputations are developed among the teachers through word of mouth, staff at a good school will be very positive and upbeat, staff at a school with issues will not be so positive. You have to learn to read between the lines – sometimes what is left unsaid is more important than what is said – in the similar way that recruiters are careful to give you the good side.
When you attend a job fair, one of the best things you can do is talk to other candidates in the recruiting lounge, over a coffee etc, and ask about the international schools in their country, and also their current school. For example you can find out if there is a stable staff or a regular high turnover – things that most recruiters are unlikely to pass on. In some cases there are one or two international schools in the country, so it is worth asking – in other countries there are numerous schools. Word of mouth and the reactions and knowledge of people “on the ground” is very important – as they are not only able to tell you about the school, but also the general lifestyle, cost of living, social opportunities, potential for saving etc etc.
Other teachers are your best resource, in my opinion, for honest information about schools. Of course there will be some teachers who will be unhappy in a school (not because of the school, but because of themselves) and will be negative, but these are easy to spot, so you can usually discount their vitriol against a school and its administration. Most people will give you a balanced view of the school, point out some of the negatives and things that need to be addressed, but will also be honest about the positives in the school as well. One sign of a good school is one which will put current teachers in touch with you (after you sign the contract ) so that you can ask them direct questions about the school.
A recent development I have noticed in the last few years is that some teachers encourage colleagues from a previous school to come to a school where they are, this has many benefits, for the school and the people coming in –
* they do not have to recruit the teacher through Search or CIS,
* the school is trusting the staff they have to bring in tried and tested staff who they rate,
* the people being employed usually do not have to attend a job fair,
* and they have the safety of mind that their friends have checked out the country and school for them.”
The international school community is indeed quite small. With a prediction of there being over 10,000 international schools in the next decade (there are just around 6,000 right now) the community of teachers might be just getting a little bit larger. I think there are many factors that determine the school’s reputation in the community. Word of mouth is definitely one of those ways. I think the benefits that the school offers sometimes is related to the school’s reputation as well (i.e. Shanghai American School in Shanghai). I wonder how fast reputations change about a school or if they change even at all. If you are new to the international school community, then you might not necessarily know the current reputation of the international school you are interviewing with at the fair. You can get some information from the internet and certain websites, but now we have International School Community. On our website, you can go to the school’s profile page that you are interested in and contact a member that either currently works at that school or has worked at that school in the past. You can easily get a first hand account of the reputation from a current or former teacher at that international school.
“Having left your own safe environment suddenly you no longer have control (which as teachers we enjoy) over your world. As soon as you step out into the outside world in whatever country, you can be faced with
It is similar to a new born chick who has just left the nest – since you lack confidence in your new surroundings you start out by going on small excursions, but then as you get more confident you go on further trips away from ‘the nest’.”
This entry made me laugh out loud a bit. It is true I suppose that teachers prefer to have “control” in their classrooms. How ironic then that international school teachers put themselves in a situation where they for sure don’t have control. Living in another country is certainly you letting go of the control and safety of your home country and culture. But that is what makes this career choice really exciting; you never know what to expect and what you will experience next. How frustrating though to not be able to read street and road signs, I can relate to that. Additionally, not being able to understand that local language really makes you use all your other senses more in how to interpret body language and to gather meaning from body positioning, gestures and context. At this point I am so use to being on a train or plane where everyone around me is speaking a different language than me that it is strange now (and quite over-stimulating) to be on a plane in the United States where I understand all the many conversations going on around my seat.
“During the afternoon, the school will have interviews in their hotel rooms – it is all a bit surreal, but the recruiters carry out the interviews in their rooms (this is normal procedure!) At the end of this day the schools will then look at the candidates they have interviewed (and if you are one of them) then they will either invite you for a second interview – the next day – or drop a note in your folder to say that they no longer wish to continue seeing you. In some cases – and this has happened to us – some schools will show a lot of interest in you at interview, and be very enthusiastic, but then not inform you either way. It is quite depressing when this happens, but most schools are professional and will let you down easy instead of just ignoring you.
There is often the “shmoosh” – an informal drink in the evening with recruiters and candidates. I feel it is very important to go to this and network – with other candidates as well as recruiters. It can give you the chance to ask a few informal questions of recruiters of a school you are contemplating, and you might even meet a candidate from that school, or who has worked there.
Day 2 : This is the callback day – the recruiters will hopefully have narrowed the field and you will still be in the running. If you are lucky, you will have a second interview. After a second interview one of two things will happen, either the school will offer you the position or they will say that they will get back to you later. If they say the second thing, ask them to give you a definite date. If you are offered a contract, then you sign a preliminary document which is a legally binding agreement to inform the fair organisers that you have accepted a position. Later, when the recruiters return to their schools and countries, they will send you the proper contract to sign.
I describe a job fair as “an emotional roller coaster” as you go from the depths of despair to the heights of elation, usually in the space of a few minutes.“
It is a bit surreal to have job interviews in hotel rooms, but the international school community has been doing it so long at recruitment fairs that now it is normalized. Do the administrators actually sleep in those rooms though? That I’m not so sure of. The folder at an international school recruitment fair: it is the most looked at mailbox of your life. Be prepared though to hardly get anything at some fairs. It all depends on your past experience, but also is related to who has the “power” that year: the international schools or the candidates. You know I have been to three recruitment fairs and have never gone to the informal drink event at the end of the first day. Never thought it was something I was interested in going to. What does everyone think of this event?
Check out the international schools that are listed in Almaty and Dubai on International School Community.
Currently, there are 25 international schools listed in the Dubai area on our website, with 13 of them being schools that have had information and comments submitted on them. Check out the submitted comments about these schools here.
Currently, there are 5 international schools listed in the Almaty area on our website, with 3 of them being schools that have had information and comments submitted on them. Check out the submitted comments about these schools here.continue reading
v2012.04 – 7 April, 2012:
We hope everyone is enjoying their spring break. The range of different countries being visited during this time of traveling (with the international school teachers that the ISCommunity staff know) is quite intreguing and exciting: Bucharest, Tbilisi, Aruba, Madrid, Amersterdam, Bangkok, Colombo, Almaty, Tenerife, London, Dubai, etc.
In the international schools we have worked at though, it seems quite common that the more veteran teachers (ones that have been at the same international school for 20+ years) don’t seem to travel as much any more. Is that the future of international school teachers? Do you “lose interest” in traveling the longer you stay at an international school post?
It is true however that there are some good reasons for deciding not to travel during school breaks: saving money, spending time with family, going to a summer home, high airline ticket prices, etc.
Furthermore, if you travel “too much” sometimes people start seeing trips as being all the same, appearing a bit too similar. Not that the cities and countries are the same, but the experiences and actions are the same sometimes. For example: going into an old church, walking through a museum, shopping at the main market, checking into a hotel, going through security at an airport, going out to restaurants every night, not being able to communicate with the locals very well, getting a coffee at the Starbucks, etc.
Some times traveling naturally gets to this point. Not that you stay at this point and never go back, but it is possible that when you travel as much as international school teachers do, it is bound to happen at some point.
So if you did decide to travel this holiday, what goals did you have for this trip? (e.g. pleasure, adventure, beach, visit old friends, etc.)
With regards to our website, we have had another surge of new members on International School Community this past month taking us over the 400 mark. Now, ISCommunity members currently work at or have worked at over 141 different international schools in over 50 countries!
Furthermore, we have just reached the 4000 milestone for the number of submitted comments and information! More information and comments means our members being more informed about the world of international school teaching!
From the staff at International School Community.
· 04 Apr QSI International School of Tbilisi (8 new comments)
“There is a flea market that is open every day near the highway and river. There are many people selling antiques and also…”
· 03 Apr Kongsberg International School (7 new comments)
“There is a one hour commute from Oslo with direct train links to the city and to the main airport as well…”
· Teach Internationally – Opportunities the World Over for Qualified Teachers
“With over 6,000 international schools throughout the world, it’s a market much bigger than most people – even those within the education sector – realise…”
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #10 – Surround yourself with positive people. Do not allow negative comments and attitudes to darken your outlook.
“It is hard to stay positive, but when culture shock is at its worst, it is very easy to slip. Sure the other new teachers at your school (and the veteran ones) have a lot to say to you about the host country and culture, but…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #3: Africa
“With the Egyptian elections over, I predict a huge requirement for teachers in Egypt as the country pulls itself up by its bootstraps and with the help of international investment will try to change the face of the country…”
· Survey results are in: Which international school recruitment fair have you had the most success at?
“The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community have had the most success at the Search Associates international school teacher recruitment fairs…”
· International schools that were founded in 1970 (Salalah, Nairobi, Monterrey, San Josa and Brussels)
“Founded in 1970 in response to the need for a top quality co-educational school in Monterrey, Mexico, Colegio Ingles offers international students…”
· The number of children at international schools reaches 3 million!
“The latest figures published by ISC Research show that the number of children attending the world’s international schools has passed three million. This is phenomenal growth in…”
While living in foreign country you might periodically ask yourself: What is this thing?“You eyes search around for a purpose. I can‘t see what this is for?! You try and fiddle around with it. Try and turn it on! Is this right?”“I just found this on the bottom of one of my walls, very close to the floor, and just outside my bathroom. When I turn it on, the green light goes on but nothing happens. So, I guess I will just keep it off. Thank goodness for the internet. It turns out it is some sort of thermostat. I am still not for sure if I will use it though. For sure people don’t typically have these things on the walls (near the floor) in homes in the United States…”
We invite our readers and members to discuss their list of things that they haven’t done in a year (or more for that matter).
Highlighted blogs of international teachers:
This international school teacher’s blog is about teaching and living in Japan.
One of her blog entries (One Week After) is describing her experience when the big earthquake hit Japan last year:
“The students broke into groups in all 3 of our classrooms. I wandered around, listening to their conversations. The students were animated, hanging out with friends, sharing their passions and their proud moments from the week. And then 2:47. The classroom started shaking. I was standing near a group of girls who immediately got under a table. Usually, earthquakes stop within seconds, but this didn’t. It was rocking us like babies in a rocker, and it wasn’t stopping…”
Another one of her entries (Teaching and Discovery) is about how teachers feel when they first go back to school after the summer holidays:
“We’re back to school again, and it’s almost as if we never left. Great group of kids again. The students always amaze me with their energy and joie de vivre. It would be hard to go back to students who don’t find school so amusing…”
The latest figures published by ISC Research show that the number of children attending the world’s international schools has passed three million. This is phenomenal growth in just ten years. In 2002 there were one million international school students. It is this increasing demand for places which is driving the rapid expansion of international schools worldwide; a trend that ISC Research predicts will continue for the foreseeable future.
Ten years ago, the typical international school student was from an expatriate family. Today, that student is from a local family. The number of expatriate children attending international schools has not decreased, indeed there are many more . What has changed is the recognition by local families that international schools are a means of advancing to further education at some of the world’s best universities. “Parents of the next generation are looking towards international schools to satisfy the need for critical thinking rather than learning by rote,” says Clive Pierrepont, Director of Communications at Taaleem which owns and manages 13 schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. “The parents clearly see international schools as a route through for university opportunities.” It is this recognition, coupled with increased income, which is making attendance at an international school a real possibility for the wealthier local families. Today 80% of students at international schools are local children.
In a number of cities, this demand from both expat and local families, is outstripping supply. Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha all have significant problems. So much so, that many relocating expats with families are now demanding security of their school places before accepting new placements. In certain locations, it is the availability of good school places that is driving job decisions by expats rather than salaries and destinations. As a result of this demand, a number of countries are actively encouraging the growth of international schools including China, India, Malaysia, Korea, and the UAE.
International schools are typically fee-paying schools that deliver the curriculum wholly or partly in English (outside an English-speaking country). The good quality of learning at international schools is recognised the world over. Many of these schools follow, to a large extent, the English National Curriculum. Others deliver such highly respected international curricula as the International Baccalaureate and the International Primary Curriculum. Others deliver alternative national curricula such as American or Dutch. The best international schools have extremely good reputations, are accredited, and are used as models by national schools the world over.
ISC Research, the organisation that researches and analyses data on international schools worldwide predicts that the number of students in international schools will reach six million in another ten years and that the number of international schools will increase from 6,000 today to 10,000.
Managing Director of ISC Research, Nicholas Brummitt, says “The international school market has become big business. There are now a number of highly respected, multinational groups of schools driving growth forward. Examples of these are Taaleem with schools throughout the UAE and partnerships in other Middle East countries, WCL with schools in the US and Qatar, Nord Anglia with schools in China and Europe, Cognita with schools in the UK, Europe and Asia, ESOL with schools in a number of Middle East countries, Yew Chung Education Foundation with schools in Hong Kong, China and the US, and GEMS with schools in many parts of the world. Most of these groups are expanding aggressively, either by buying existing schools, expanding current operations, or building new schools. There are also schools with campuses in several countries. These include a number of UK private schools with international operations such as Harrow (in Beijing, Bangkok with a third school in Hong Kong opening in September this year) and Dulwich which has schools in China and is opening several more in Asia over the next few years.”
For more information about the international schools market visit www.iscresearch.com. ISC Research is the only organisation that supplies data and market analyses covering all the world’s English-medium international schools; data that it has been tracking for over twenty years. The latest market updates plus individual school information, news, statistical overviews, and country reports are all available from ISC Research.
For more information about what it is like to work at many of these international schools, make sure to visit www.internationschoolcommunity.comcontinue reading
Only on International School Community will you be able to search for the perfect international school for you. The possibility to search (using our unique search engine) for international schools based on the type of school that best fits your criteria. There are many different kinds of schools: ones that are small in student numbers to ones that have more than 1200 students, ones that are for-profit to ones that are non-profit, ones that are in very large cities to ones that are in towns of only 1000 people, etc. Each international school teacher has their own type of a school that best fits their needs as a teacher and a professional. You personal life is also very important when you are trying to find the right match. Most of us know what it is like to be working at a school that doesn’t fit your needs, so it’s best to find one that does!
Utilizing the School Profile Search feature on International School Community, you can search our 1136 schools (updated 8 March 2012) for the perfect school using up to 8 different criteria. The 8 criteria are: Region of the world, Curriculum, School Nature, Number of Students, Country, Year Founded, Kinds of Students and Size of City. You can do a school profile search in three different locations on our website: the homepage, the Schools List page and on the side of every school profile page.
Schools Found: 5
Bahrain – Hawar International School (5 Comments)
Qatar – Modern American School (0 Comments)
Kuwait – American Academy for Girls Kuwait City (0 Comments)
Kuwait – American Bilingual School (14 Comments)
United Arab Emirates – Universal American School in Dubai (9 Comments)
Why not start your own searches now and then start contacting the schools that best fit your needs! Additionally, all premium members are able to access the more than 3400 comments and information (updated 8 March 2012) that have been submitted on the hundreds of international school profiles on our website.
Join International School Community today and you will automatically get the ability to make unlimited searches to find the international schools that fit your criteria.continue reading
v2012.03 – 3 March, 2012:
We have had a surge of new members on International School Community this past month taking us over the 300 mark. With 67 new members joining, we are now at a total of 326 members! It is so interesting to look at the range of members that we have so far: veteran international school teachers, teachers new to the international school community, teachers who are thinking about getting into our community, retired international school teachers, international school parents, international school directors, etc. All premium members are able to send unlimited private messages to other members on our website to contact for information and also to network with if you have questions about what life at a specific international school he/she is currently working at or has worked at in the past.
Go ahead then and send a private message to one of our members that is currently living in one of the many different cities around the world represented on our website. International School Community’s current members work at or have worked at over 115 international schools! Check out which schools here and start networking today!
Our 320+ members have now also submitted over 3300+ comments and information on our 1120+ international school profile pages. To celebrate these recent milestones, you can now get 50% off of your next membership subscription by using this coupon code: MARCH3241. With the discount, you can renew your premium subscription for as little as 5 USD! Just go to your My Account page and click on “renew your subscription”. This offer will expire on 17 March, 2012.
Premium members also have unlimited access to our 1126 international school profile pages. On each school profile page there are 4 separate comment and information submission sections: School information, Benefits information, City information and Travel information.
There are many international schools profile pages getting updated all the time. In the international school community, it is important we share what we know to help others make better informed decisions when looking for employment at an international school.
Thanks again for everyone’s support! For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy the beginning of spring!
From the staff at International School Community.
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #9 – Maintain a sense of humor, but most importantly be ready to laugh at yourself.
“When you are living abroad, there are moments when the locals are looking at you strangely. You might be thinking that they are making fun of you, being rude, or just plain staring at you. Most of the time though they usually don’t have an unkind intention towards you. The initial reaction is to…”
· Great resource: ISAT – International Schools Association of Thailand
“If your dream is to work at an international school in Thailand, the ISAT website can be a great resource for you…”
· International schools that were founded in 1947 (New York, Cali, Medellin, Rome, and Sao Paolo)
“The United Nations International School (UNIS) was established in 1947 by a group of United Nations Parents to provide an international education for their children, while preserving their diverse cultural heritages. What began as a nursery school for 20 children quickly grew, adding…”
· Overview of an int’l school #4 – Makuhari International School
“At MIS, at present, around 60% of our children are Japanese returnee children, the other 40% are either dual nationality or foreign children…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #6 – “Remember to research.”
“When interviewing at an international school recruitment fair, it is indeed a difficult task to be 100% knowledgeable about each international school you interview with. You do some final researching the night/morning before the interview, but…”
· Comments and information about hiring policies on International School Community #3
“The school goes through Search Associates. Teachers must have appropriate degree for teaching the subject of major concentration and by under 65 years of age. They are willing to hire interns for certain positions…”
Discussion Topic: Things I (an international school teacher) Have Not Done in a Year“After living abroad for so many years, I have forgotten all the things that you don’t do anymore. We used to have a different life, didn’t we? But now that you are living abroad, many of your routines have changed. Being that these changes have now become your new routines, you tend to forget about the things you used to do!Inspired by this blog entry by the Kirby Family, Things I Have Not Done in a Year, we invite our readers and members to discuss their list of things that they haven’t done in a year (or more for that matter).
Highlighted blogs of international teachers:
This international school teacher’s insight about moving back to your home country after teaching and living in Hong Kong is something we can all relate to:“I think I wouldn’t be completely honest if I said I was happy to be moving back to Canada. There are many things I am looking forward to about going back, foremost among them, being closer to our family, but there are many things I am going to really miss about Hong Kong, especially my job. In early June I included an article in one of my posts that I wrote in 2005 about what I will miss about Hong Kong. I’ve learned there…”* If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.
Random year for international schools around the world: 1966
Utilizing the database of the 1083 international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 11 international schools that were founded in 1966 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):
Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China)
“Hong Kong International School was founded in September 1966, its first location consisting of makeshift premises including residential flats in Chung Hom Kok, housing 120 students. The founders were the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Hong Kong government and the American business community in Hong Kong. On 14 September 1967, HKIS opened the doors to a new campus in Repulse Bay and housed 630 multi-national students. HKIS continued to expand over time, which led to the creation of a second building in Repulse Bay, and finally an additional campus in Tai Tam. Lower Primary and Upper Primary remain in Repulse Bay while Middle School and High School are in Tai Tam. The school has just finished undergoing its fourth major infrastructure development plan at about on mid-2010 in the Middle School Campus, called the Middle School Annex.”
The Banda School (Nairobi, Kenya)
“Since opening its doors in 1966, The Banda has earned a reputation for outstanding academic, sporting and cultural achievements. The aim of The Banda is to develop excellence in academic achievement, social conduct and moral values and to ensure that this learning process is enjoyable and fulfilling for the individual child in a friendly atmosphere.”
American School of Dubai (Dubai,United Arab Emirates)
“The American School of Dubai (ASD), previously known as the Jumeirah American School, is located in the Al-Barsha community of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. An independent, nonprofit school, ASD was founded in 1966 to serve the needs of North American families and other expatriate populations in Dubai. It was the first American curriculum school established in Dubai and is still the only nonprofit American school located in the emirate. ASD follows an American curriculum and offers pre-K (K1) through grade 12 instruction. The school is accredited by the US Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Admission to the school is based on the approval of ASD’s Admissions Committee and a student successfully meeting the admission criteria, including assessments in varying forms depending on grade level.”
Munich International School (Munich, Germany)
“Munich International School was founded in 1966 in Harlaching and moved to its current 26 acre site near Lake Starnberg in 1968. MIS provides a co-educational, international, English language learning environment for students aged 4 -18. High academic standards, a diverse curriculum and a clear focus on the moral, intellectual, physical and emotional development of students are central to the MIS experience.”
International School of Stavanger (Stavanger, Norway)
“1966 – (The school opened in 1966 in local Norwegian school classrooms and moved to purpose-built facilities at the Revheim campus in 1982.).”
British School of Gran Canaria (Las Palmas, Spain)
American International School of Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia)
“The American School of Zagreb was founded in May 1966 to serve the needs of the American community residing in Zagreb. This year marks the forty-first anniversary of the school from its humble beginnings on September 23, 1966 when 13 children and three staff members opened the school at Tuškanac 46 where the school remained for 17 years. During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the school’s population fluctuated in size between 40 and 70 students.”
German Swiss International School – Accra (Accra, Ghana)
“In 1966 the Ramseyer Memorial School (RMS) was founded due to enormous initiative of the Swiss colony. Gottfried und Marianne Bolleter were significantly involved in the setup of the school. The school’s name remembers the Swiss missionary Friedrich August Ramseyer, who was engaged in business here in the „gold coast“ from 1864 until 1910. His first job was controller of construction sites in Accra (back then Christianbourg). Out of consideration for the health of his wife he was transferred after three years. The school started out very modestly. However, two years later the school was moved into a new building which is the one still being used today at Ring Road Central, right in the heart of Accra. In this busy environment with traffic jams, street sellers and the loud African everyday life the school’s compound according to European standards seems like an oasis with its groomed plants and lawn, swept playground and newly painted buildings.”
International School in Genoa (Genoa, Italy)
“The International School in Genoa was founded in 1966 as a private co-educational day school to serve the needs of the international and national communities in Liguria. ISG offers a complete American and International educational program in the English language for all students from Preschool (age 3) to Grade 12 (age 18) leading to the achievement of both The ISG American Schools Diploma and The International Baccalaureate Diploma. ISG is authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. ISG integrates the host country language to ensure that Italian nationals receive an effective bilingual educational program and French and Italian as a second language are offered for all students.”
Washington International School (Washington D.C., United States)
“Washington International School was founded in 1966 by Dorothy Goodman to meet the educational needs of Washington’s international community and American families seeking a rigorous international education.”
PDO School Muscat (Muscat, Oman)
“Founded in 1966, PDO School, Muscat, is a Shell primary school, funded and supported by Petroleum Development Oman. We provide primary education for the children of expatriate PDO employees of all nationalities, from age 3 – 11 in the International Stream and from age 3 – 12 in the Dutch Stream. In addition, we are able to cater for fee-paying families subject to the availability of places. Details about school fees are available from the Head Teacher. There are no specific entrance requirements for admission to our school, but we are unable to accommodate children who have severe learning difficulties.”
Check out the rest of the more than 1083 international schools listed on International School Community here.continue reading
There are literally hundreds of overseas schools offering employment opportunities for those wishing to move abroad or those who find themselves in a foreign location in search of work. The first thing one must realize is that there are generally two classifications of employees at most schools: local hire expatriates (as opposed to host country national) and overseas hires. This is an important distinction to remember.
Local hire status usually brings with it (but not always) the same salary as overseas hire (O/H) but without the benefits such as housing, airfare, etc. It is intended to take advantage of the fact that many qualified teachers arrive at post accompanying their spouse and thus receive housing and airfare as part of their family status, saving the school money. Anyone contemplating moving abroad to teach is advised to secure a job before moving: it makes a big difference in living standard. On the other hand, if someone needs experience and would not be competitive as an O/H, it may be easier to find a job on a local hire basis and later parlay the experience gained to O/H status at another school.(Most schools will not change someone’s status once hired.)
Schools determine the ratio of local to overseas hires based on how many qualified candidates areavailable locally, but the better schools keep quality the first priority. They like to maintain a surplus of local applicants to fill in as substitute teachers and when unexpected vacancies occur during the year. School directors eagerly welcome new local talent. While teaching qualifications and experience for local hires are mandatory at most schools, expediency rules at others and it is possible to work one’s way into a full time teaching job through experience substituting or working as a teacher’s aide. In fact, volunteering is a great way to become known and first in line when a job opens.
Applying from overseas, however, the applicant needs to have at least a BA/BS degree, a teaching credential and at least two years experience to be considered. There are many more applicants than jobs available and it is not uncommon for a school to have twenty to one hundred applications for each vacancy. A single parent with dependents does not stand much of a chance, nor does a retired teacher looking for an overseas experience. Schools prefer to hire teaching couples with no dependents, though most schools will hire couples with children and a few will hire singles with dependents. Almost all will hire single teachers if they cannot find couples.
Anyone applying will need to carry excellent recommendations, be healthy and energetic and willing to work in the after- school program. Flexibility and adaptability are key attributes for successful candidates. Prior experience living abroad or at least foreign travel and knowledge of another language are helpful. The bottom line is expertise as a teacher and love of kids and if an interviewer discerns that in a candidate, a contract offer is likely.
So, how does one apply to teach overseas?
The better schools insist on an interview if at all possible, although they will hire through one of the major recruiting agencies if they have vacancies at odd times of the year. Schools which have a high percentage of host country national students or that tend to have lower salaries may hire on the basis of correspondence and could be targeted by inexperienced teachers. Beware, however, that salaries in such schools might be at the subsistence level and working conditions less than ideal. Most international schools are exceedingly reputable: a handful are not, so investigate carefully.
Applying directly to the better schools is a good way to establish contact, but most successful candidates use recruitment agencies which arrange Recruitment Fairs that attract anything from 20 to 140 or more schools for 3 to 4 days of marathon interviewing. A cycle has emerged as follows:
September: the candidate selects and contacts a recruitment agency to register
October/November: references are submitted and a dossier created.
December: the candidate is advised if they are accepted.
February: interviews take place at recruitment fairs. Some contracts are offered on the spot.
March/April: more contracts are consumated.
May/June: a few more recruiting fairs open for schools to fill last minute vacancies.
July/August: recruitment agencies are requested to fill final vacancies
There are several major sources to choose from:
Search Associates: PO Box 2007 Minden, NV 89423 Telephone (775) 267-3122 Fax (775) 267-4122
Street address: 2618 Fuller Avenue Minden, NV 89423 http://www.search-associates.com
A private agency comprised mainly of former directors of international schools, Search places around 500 candidates annually. Fairs are operated in Kuala Lumpur, Sidney, Dubai, Oxford, Houston, Cambridge, Toronto and Carmel, CA and Bethesda.
International Schools Services, PO Box 5910, Princeton, NJ 08543 A non-profit organization witha wide range of services for international schools, ISS annually operates two large fairs each February: one on the east coast (Washington, DC in 1998), one on the west coast (San Francisco, 1998) plus a late one in Philadelphia each June. They place over 500 candidates.
European Council of International Schools, 21 Lavant Street Petersfield GU32 3EL UK ECIS hosts a major recruitment fair in London early each February and a later one in April. A mix of American and British based schools attend.
University of Northern Iowa This is the grandaddy of all recruitment fairs and the one that started them all back in the 70s. It attracts up to 700 teachers and 140 schools.
Several other colleges or universities also sponsor recruitment centers:check with your university to see if they might be one of them. Which one is best for you? It may depend on location, time of the fair, whether you want a large one or one which is smaller with more personalized attention. ECIS London tends to attract a lot of schools from Europe; Search KL is heavy with international schools in Asia while Search-Houston focuses on Latin America and Search-Dubai is British oriented. UNI has schools from all over, as does ISS. All of the recruiting sources above have websites. Use a search engine to access them and learn more.
The Office of Overseas Schools (U. S. State Department) maintains an excellent website with links to the above. Fees for the above are all moderate and should not be a determiner of which one is chosen. Sources for learning more include the ISS Directory of Overseas Schools; The International Educator (TIE), a newspaper of great interest (PO Box 513, Cummaquid, MA 02637 for subscription); or, visit the Teacher’s Internet Pages (TIPS) on the world-wide web.
Taken from the article summitted on overseasdigest.com
About the author
Mr. Ambrose was named “Superintendent of the Year” by the Association for the Advancement of International Education in 1997. He has served as the President of the Society Limited to Overseas School Heads; represented international schools on the Elementary Commission of the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges; was a long standing officer of the Board of Directors of the Near East, South Asian (NESA) Council of Overseas Schools; a member of the Board of Directors of TIE, for which he regularly writes articles, and; wrote, produced or directed a series of videotapes designed to train overseas school board members. During his 24 years overseas, he administered a number of schools and was most recently Director of the United Nations International School in Hanoi, Vietnam.
With the jobless rate in the United States holding steady at 9.1 percent and the market showing no signs of near-term recovery, many Americans are considering looking abroad to combat their unemployment problem at home.
The Middle East could be the newest hotspot for jobs, according to a new report entitled “Going Global Employment Outlook: United Arab Emirates,” by Mary Anne Thompson, founder and president of Going Global.
It is clear that with this new influx of foreigners to the Middle East, there will also be a high need for their children to attend an international school. In turn, many teachers are also trying to find jobs teaching in the Middle East, namely in the UAE. Currently there are 125 international schools listed in the Middle East region of the world on International School Community. There are presently 34 international schools listed in the UAE, far above the second highest number of schools of 18 which are in Kuwait listed on our website.
Thompson’s thesis states that “despite the continuing volatility in the region, the UAE, with almost no corporate taxes, no income taxes and a relatively low import duty of 5 percent, remains a favorite of multinational companies, expats and would-be expats. As its economic recovery from the global recession gains strength and its stability remains intact, business confidence in the UAE is slowly improving, which should help accelerate economic activity and with it, employment.”
As expats search for jobs abroad, and specifically in the UAE, the questions are where are the high growth sectors, and are the opportunities diverse enough in the UAE to attract expats. Traditionally, job seekers have thought that only oil- and energy-related positions present growth there, but that assumption might not necessarily be accurate.
“UAE experts predict oil and gas production will remain the backbone of the UAE economy for years to come. While this is true, the non-oil sector of the economy is expanding rapidly. Major growth areas include aircraft and parts, security and safety equipment; IT equipment and services; medical equipment, services and supplies; architecture, construction and engineering services; building products; air conditioning and refrigeration equipment; and environmental and pollution control equipment. Because of the UAE’s increasing demand for water and electricity, water and power projects continue to offer opportunities for growth.”
“Nearly 60 percent of businesses in the UAE are looking to hire at managerial and professional levels, up from 46 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to a survey from Antal, an international recruitment company with an office in Dubai. Sixty-eight percent of companies also expect to hire staff for various middle and senior-level positions in the near future,” Thompson explained.
The prospects sound promising, but an important consideration is the local landscape and competition in the UAE. If jobs are abundant, skeptics may ask, then why does the UAE have an estimated 12 percent unemployment rate—one that’s believed to be even higher among its youth? With a large number of Emirati university graduates flooding the market, why may expats be sought to fill the available positions over local candidates? The answer to those questions comes down to skills and training, something that the UAE and the rest of the Middle East struggle with.
In her report, Thompson says, “a recent Middle East Job Index Survey conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov Siraj found those with a degree in business or engineering-related fields have an edge over other job seekers in the region. Twenty-seven percent of employers in the UAE are looking to fill positions with graduates and postgraduates in business management, and 26 percent would like to see engineering graduates and postgraduates join their organization. The survey found that commerce degree holders are also in demand, with 22 percent of companies seeking them to fill positions.”
Meanwhile, many expats never consider seeking job opportunities abroad because they don’t possess local language skills. But Thompson says that non-Arabic speakers shouldn’t assume that language skills will be their Achilles heel.
“While the job index indicates that graduates with certain degrees and Arabic-English speaking skills are in high demand, job seekers who don’t meet the criteria should not be discouraged. Industry experts said getting the right person for the job is crucial, so employers always look beyond formal qualifications when recruiting a new member of the team. Experience and professional achievements count for a lot when seeking the right employee.”
And of course there is the question of salaries; are paychecks in the Middle East competitive by Western standards?
“Salaries in the UAE are high, and they are tax free. GulfTalent predicts UAE salaries will increase 6.3 percent this year…CEOs’ salaries in the UAE are not increasing these days, and the lack of salary hikes may be causing a shortage of candidates,” Thompson said.
(Highlighted article from the CNCB website)continue reading
Utilizing the database of the 963 international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 17 international schools that were founded in 1991 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)
“In 1991, the Canadian International School of Hong Kong first opened its doors to students in small rented facilities in Causeway Bay. Founded upon the recommendation of the Hong Kong Government, who wished to expand the number of international schools offering a North American curriculum, the school was established as a non-profit, charitable organisation and was initially home to only 81 students.”
Osaka International School (Osaka, Japan)
“The uniqueness of our Two School model sets us apart from every other school in Japan and indeed the world. The faculty and staff who jointly founded OIS and SIS understood this and established an ethos to match it. This continues today with professional educators, administrators and staff who understand why we are here and what it is that give our schools a particularly important role in the world of international education.”
American International School of Lesotho (Maseru, Lesotho)
“The American International School of Lesotho (AISL) is a nonprofit, independent coeducational day school which offers an American educational program to students from preschool (age 3) through grade 9. The School, founded in 1991, serves the needs of the American community and other students seeking an English-language, American-style education. The school year is divided into 3 trimesters extending from late August to November, December to March and March to mid-June.”
Clavis International School (Mapou, Mauritius)
Wesgreen International Private School (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
“Wesgreen International School was founded in 1991, and in the years since it has grown to become one of the most successful schools in the area. Now we offer a first class education, based on the British Curriculum, for all ages from Nursery to Grade 13.”
Emirates International School (Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)
“EIS-Jumeirah was established in Dubai of the United Arab Emirates in 1991 as a community service of the Al Habtoor Group (www.habtoor.com) and was the first school in Dubai authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.”
International Community School Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand)
“In 1981, expatriate families began a cooperative to educate their children from a biblical worldview. The cooperative continued for 12 years, providing first grade to sixth grade education. In 1990 many of these expatriate families and The Network of International Christian Schools met to discuss the feasibility of establishing a Christian school to provide kindergarten through twelfth grade education to the English speaking international community in Bangkok. In 1993 a suitable site was leased and the name International Community School (ICS) was chosen. The school was located on Soi Prong Jai in the Sathon area of Bangkok and welcomed 120 students when it opened in August 1993. The school’s ownership was given to, and remains with the International Community School Educational Foundation, a not-for profit foundation registered in Thailand.”
St. John’s International School (Thailand) (Bangkok, Thailand)
“For over 20 years we have been providing high quality International Education to both Thai and non-Thai students in Bangkok. The focus of this education has always been about learning and growth, academically and socially and as individuals. We are able to achieve this through providing a safe, secure and nurturing environment, alongside qualified, experienced and dedicated teachers and support staff.”
American International School of Kuwait (Hawalii, Kuwait)
“The school opened in 1991 after Kuwait was liberated from occupying Iraqi forces. Dr. Kamil Al Rayes, the founder,sought to create a school of high caliber with a disciplined, yet relaxed atmosphere that would provide opportunities for local and ex-patriot children to gain access to the world’s best universities. During the first year twenty-five teachers and 300 students dealt with shortages of textbooks and classroom supplies, an inadequate library and a skeleton curriculum. The school developed rapidly. In October of 1994 it became fully accredited and in the ensuing years dedicated professionals worked hard to develop what has become an excellent university preparatory school with 1600 students.”
American School Foundation of Chiapas (Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico)
King Faisal School (Riyadh) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
“The King Faisal School emerged after all procedures for launching the Boys’ Elementary Section were completed in 1991. It is a non-profit institution and one of the most important academic projects sponsored and developed by the King Faisal Foundation. The School lies on a beautiful, aesthetically – designed campus in the Diplomatic Quarter. On its fascinating gardens, fourteen building have been erected, and a variety of athletic playfields. All these facilities and buildings have been put together in full harmony that is consistent with the prestige of the Diplomatic Quarter.”
Skagerak International School (Sandefjord, Norway)
“Skagerak Gymnas was founded in 1991 by a group of enthusiastic individuals and companies from Sandefjord led by Elisabeth Norr. They believed there was a need to offer a non-selective alternative to the Norwegian state education system. The school established itself quickly in the revamped shipbuilding premises on Framnesveien 7 at Framnes. The founders were committed to making the school a centre of educational excellence. When the school introduced the IB Diploma Programme (DP) it phased out the second and third years of the Norwegian national curriculum and changed its name to Skagerak International School. By October 1992 it was an authorised IB World School offering the DP.”
Providence English Private School (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Greater Grace International School (Hungary, Budapest)
“Greater Grace International School is a private English-language preperatory – 12th grade school located in Budapest´s beautiful 12th district. Since 1991 GGIS has provided expatriate and Hungarian families with a college preparatory education; equipping the student academically, spiritually and physically; teaching and demonstrating in the context of a Christian biblical world view.”
Overseas Family School Singapore (Singapore, Singapore)
Singapore International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)
“Singapore International School was first established in September 1991 in Kennedy Town with an enrolment of 200 pupils. In 1995, SIS moved to its current premises in Aberdeen. The new purpose-built school was built on land granted by the Hong Kong government, and the cost of the building was borne by the Singapore Government. Presently, the school has an enrolment of approximately 1200 pupils of more than 20 nationalities with Singaporeans and Hong Kong citizens forming the majority.”
Tirana International School (Tirana, Albania)
“In May of 1991 Mr. Gilson traveled to Albania to have a look at a country just emerging from over 45 years of dictatorial rule. During his time there, he met some key people in the Tirana community and made a decision to begin Tirana Int’l School. This expansion has resulted today in an organization offering excellence in education in 25 different countries.”continue reading
http://www.dubaifaqs.com/ has some excellent insight on the ins and outs of teaching at international schools in the UAE.
There are for sure a fair amount of “international schools” in the UAE. When that is the case for a country, there usually are a lot of differences that are very important to keep in mind as you are interviewing with some of them. That is surely the case with the many “international schools” all over China.
Sections International School Community would like to highlight:
They came up with a list of schools that were deemed the “best” in UAE. They first explained though a bit about how they came up with the list.
– This list is our very subjective opinion only. By “best” we mean relatively professional working environment, administration for the most part is supportive of teachers in a professional capacity, resident visas are organised promptly, salaries and benefits package are decent to good (roughly AED 15k-20k per month in 2010-2011), salaries are paid on time, and teachers should suffer from minimal or no bureaucratic hassles on arrival, during employment, or when departing.
– If a school is not in the list below, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily bad (although there are plenty that are), but it’s not regarded as one of the best ones, or we don’t have enough information to add it to the list. The list is deliberately kept short.
– Jobs at schools in this list are usually hard to come by. You’re unlikely to find them advertised on job websites. Best approach directly to the school early in the academic year, and/or keep an eye on the specialist teaching recruitment agencies and publications. You’d be expected to have at least 2 years experience, be properly qualified, and have achievements that make you stand out from the crowd.
– Many schools (and companies in general) in the UAE often make things particularly difficult for departing teachers, attempting to withhold gratuity and/or other payments that are due to them.
– Before whining and jumping up and down, teachers should at least check the UAE labour law since confusion over contracts and other employment related matters is common in the UAE.
– Schools in this list are usually western or international curriculum. Even the better Asian curriculum schools still have relatively low salary scales.
– Schools in this list usually coincide with schools that are also the best for students, in the opinion of parents.
Best schools for teachers in Abu Dhabi
Schools worth trying in Abu Dhabi if you can’t find a job at one of the best ones
– Brighton College Abu Dhabi (new in September 2011 so we’re not sure yet)
Best schools for teachers in Dubai
– DESC (Dubai English Speaking College)
– DESS (Dubai English Speaking School)
– JAPS (Jebel Ali Primary School)
– JASS (Jebel Ali Secondary School)
– JESS (Jumeirah English Speaking School)
– JPS (Jumeirah Primary School)
Schools worth trying in Dubai if you can’t find a job at one of the best ones
– Dubai International Academy (maybe)
– Jumeirah College (maybe)
– Repton School Dubai (maybe)
Teacher job satisfaction in Abu Dhabi – mid 2011 survery
There is supposed to be a minimum teacher salary of 2,000 dhs/mth in the UAE according to the UAE Ministry of Education (for most jobs in Dubai there is no minimum salary) but some schools try to pay less than that, at least according to several press articles. See the teacher salaries in Dubai discussion. Update (16 June 2010): the minimum might be higher – Gulf News reported that Asian schools teachers are among the lowest paid in the market with the minimum salary fixed at Dh2,500 by the Ministry of Education. Figure unconfirmed. Update again (22 February 2011): the minimum is apparently still AED 2,000 per month – Emirates Business 24-7 reported that Currently, most teachers in schools with Indian curricula earn less than Dh2,500 – just above the UAE Ministry of Education’s minimum wage cap of Dh2,000.
Salary range for classroom teachers is 1,000-6,000 dhs per month for most government schools and 1,000-20,000 dhs per month for private schools. Schools with IB, UK or US curriculums usually pay the highest – the better ones are 10,000-15,000 dhs per month (with accommodation, flights etc included), at the top of the range secondary school teachers could get over 20,000 dhs per month. Indian schools pay about 2,000-4,000 dhs per month. Other Asian schools are similar, other European schools are closer to UK/US curriculum schools with their packages.
In the list of Dubai schools, if there is no teacher salary information, the school fees will give an indication of the salaries on offer. Divide the annual secondary school fee by 3 to get a very approximate monthly salary figure, or divide the primary school annual fee by 2. Reduce the result by 25% for profit-making schools. This should give you a mid to high point on the school salary scale.
v2011.05 – 10 September, 2011:
School is back now in session. Many teachers have been at work and teaching students for a few weeks already. A teacher just wrote to us talk to share what life was like starting year #2 at their “relatively new” international school. Things on the teacher’s mind during the first few weeks so far were related to the following topics:
Getting to know the new director starting this year, knowing the school’s curriculum better now, knowing where things are located in their city and not being new to everything like in year #1, feeling more at home now that their apartment is already decorated, getting used to all of the school’s new equipment and materials, working with new teams of teachers at school and also getting to know the new teachers, making a bit more money now that they are moving up the pay schedule a bit, planning new holidays and vacations to explore more of their region of the world, going to the new shops and stores that have opened up in their city which is making shopping for certain things a lot easier and lastly, getting to inherit the old things of departing teachers from the previous school year!
· Featured article: Moving Overseas with Children by Teachers International Consultancy (part 1)
“Moving abroad with children requires a lot of planning in advance to make the transition as easy as possible for everyone. There’s no doubt that you’ll be faced with hitches along the way, but everything…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #1 – Bad interviews are good things
“No matter the reputation of the school, the people sitting across from you in the hotel room asking you questions in that school’s name are a stronger indicator of how it would feel to work at that school …”
· Member Search Feature: What positions do International School Community members have?
“After using the member profile search feature on the main homepage of International School Community, we found the following results…”
· Great link: Want to work at an international school in Thailand?
“We are often asked for ‘foreign schools’ in Bangkok and Thailand. None of the international schools in Bangkok and Thailand is really a ‘foreign school’ since they are all accredited by the Ministry of Education in Thailand…”
· How to Break into International School Teaching
“Some of the applications for recruitment fairs like Search and ISS can take months to complete. Especially the confidential references that you need to get your references to submit….”
TIC website. Highlights from this page: TIC provides a personalised, reliable and responsive recruitment and training service tailored specifically to international schools and teachers worldwide. TIC are experts in international schools having over 25 years experience in international education. They have a huge network of contacts in great international schools all over the world; this enables them to help you find your perfect overseas teaching job. They offer a tailored recruitment service whether you are a teacher looking for a job overseas or a school looking to recruit.
A great facebook group page for international school teachers. Check it out here. It is a community of educators working in international schools across the globe. TIST is a site dedicated to a number of interests:
– Sharing instructional strategies
– Integrating instructional technology
– Insights on international teaching
– Questions and concerns about IB
– Cross-curricular and cross-continental collaborative projects
– Job fairs and the recruitment process
– Advice about future teaching destinations and cultural adjustment
– Keeping up with old colleagues and making new contacts
v2011.02 – 7 June, 2011:
Well, the school year is winding down for most of us. Some int’l schools are already out and some still have a month to go! Either way summer is upon us and travel awaits. Most of us go back to our home countries, some of us skip going “home” and explore new countries and then there are the few that stay in their host country to relax or because they have visitors coming. Finally, there are the international educators that are moving on. Lots of packing to do and shipping of boxes to their new destination. Many will be taking a chance on a new school and new country; and a lucky few finally got a job to go work at their dream school in their dream country/city.
If you are moving on to live in a new destination, don’t forgot to update your member profile to show your new “current location” and your new “current school.” Also, now that many of us have some more freetime on our hands, now is the time to share what you know by writing some new comments on the school profile page of the school you currently work at.
The offical launch promotion continues: All new members that sign up will automatically receive a free 1-month subscription of premium membership. Make sure to forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues so that they can also benefit from this promotion. Current members can still benefit from this promotion. Just sign-on and click on the My Account tab and then the renew your subscription link. Use the coupon code “MESGRATIS” on the payment page (coupon code expires on 30 June, 2011)
New incentive program: Now when you submit comments on the school profile pages, you can earn coupon codes to receive up to 1 year free of premium membership access! Putting-in 15-29 comments gets you 6 months free. Submitting over 30 or more comments will get you 1 YEAR FREE! Please remember that the comments you submit on the school profile pages are anonymous, but we can keep track of which members write how many comments in our system. Once we see you have submitted your comments, we will send you an email with a special coupon code to extend your current premium membership.
· Survey results are in – Which area of the world would you prefer to work in?
“it seems as if Western Europe is the top area of the world that internationals school educators want to live and work in….”
· Are students from one culture group “taking-over” certain international schools?
“Is it true that in most places in the world, where there are international schools, that there is many times a “dominant” culture group at each school…”
· Why do people leave international school teaching to go back to their own country?
“With regards to the single teachers, it seems that many of them move back to their home countries for reasons not necessarily related to money, but for love as well…”
· Highlighted article: Destinations and Dispositions (IKEA dependence)
“IKEA is indeed the best friend of international school teachers. What a great friend too because…”
· It’s all about luck and timing: Getting the international school job of your dreams
“If you really want to live and work in a specific city in the world and there are only 2-4 jobs available at the two international schools there…”
*If you’d like to be one of our next member spotlights send us a message here. If you are chosen to be highlighted, you will receive a coupon code to receive 6 months of premium access to our website for free!
How do you figure out the population of each city?
We use the latest numbers from Wikipedia. We also use the metro area population instead of just the city proper itself. We thought it would give a better indication of the actual number of people that live in and around the city.
How many times have you applied to a school wishing that you knew somebody that worked there?
Knowing somebody and getting the ‘inside scoop’ on an international school will definitely help you in your quest to set up an interview there.
Currently, our top 40 international schools with the most members are:
24 members – American International School in Egypt
23 members – Copenhagen International School
21 members – International School of Kuala Lumpur
21 members – International School Manila
17 members – Seoul International School
17 members – International School of Tanganyika
17 members – Jakarta International School
17 members – MEF International School Istanbul
17 members – Western International School of Shanghai
16 members – Fairview International School
16 members – American School Foundation of Mexico City
16 members – American School of Barcelona
15 members – Singapore American School
15 members – International School Bangkok
14 members – United Nations International School (Vietnam)
14 members – Shanghai Community International School
14 members – Shanghai United International School (Hongqiao)
14 members – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana
14 members – Istanbul International Community School
14 members – NIST International School
14 members – Brent International School Manila
14 members – Seoul Foreign School
14 members – Qatar Academy (Doha)
13 members – KIS International School (Bangkok)
13 members – Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo
13 members – American School of Dubai
13 members – American International School of Johannesburg
13 members – American International School (Vietnam)
13 members – Cairo American College
13 members – Good Shepherd International School
12 members –Suzhou Singapore International School
12 members – Chadwick International School – Songdo
12 members – International School of Beijing
12 members – Western Academy of Beijing
12 members – American International School of Kuwait
12 members – Anglo-American School of Moscow
12 members – American School of Kuwait
12 members – Canadian International School (Singapore)
11 members – American Embassy School New Delhi
11 members – Bilkent Laboratory & International School
The members of these schools include members that currently work there now or have worked there in the past.
With 100-300 new members joining each month, this list will continue to grow and grow; with even more members showing up as potential people to network with.
It is simple to network on our website: just click on a member and then click on the ‘Contact this member’ button (Premium membership access required). Then write him/her a message. When your message is sent, the other member will get an email alert letting them know that they have a new message waiting for them on our website (you don’t need premium membership access to reply to a private message on our website). Numerous International School Community members have already taken advantage of this unique feature on our website!
As far as we know, International School Community is the only website where you can quickly and easily network with real people at a specific international school. Meaning, if you want to get in touch with somebody from the United Nations International School in New York and you are currently a premium member of International School Community, you now have 6 members that you can contact on our website that either work there now or have worked there in the past.
Get the answers to your questions; now that is easy networking!
Since we started our website back in February 2011, we have had a total of 35 member spotlight articles highlighted on our blog. Thanks to all 35 members who have participated so far!
Learning more about our fellow international school teachers can be very enlightening, inspiring and also quite interesting!
Who were the 35 members that have been our members spotlights so far you ask? Well they haven’t all been teachers, some have held other positions either in a school setting or in a field of eduction with also a connection to international schools. Others had prior experience working in international schools. Here is the breakdown of what job titles they have:
International School Teachers: 25
Staff Development Coordinator: 1
International school directors: 4
Curriculum coordinator: 1
Veteran international school teacher: 1
International School Consultant: 1
Members of an international school board of directors: 1
There are 6 parts to the questionnaire that all member spotlights fill out:
• Tell us about your background. Where are you from?
• How did you get started in the international teaching community?
• Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
• Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
• What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
• In exactly five words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
It is pretty amazing the amount of experience and useful information that our member spotlights have provided in their answers to these six parts.
So, how did all of our members answer this part of the questionnaire: In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
• Living life full of energy
• Culturally enriching, questioning true internationalism.
• Beautiful, soul satisfying, enriching, enlightening and delightful.
• Eye-opening, educational, humbling, challenging, fulfilling.
• Successfully making a positive difference!
• truly rewarding challenging and capability enhancing.
• Discovery. Rewarding. Engaging. Relationships. Awesome.
• Opportunity for growth, an eye opener.
• Exciting, inspiring, educating, challenging and fulfilling.
• Adventure, culture, education, difference, satisfaction.
• Open-minded, Professional, Dedicated, Discovery, Fun
• Transforming, Exciting, Challenging, Embracing, Engaging
• Make the best of it.
• Challenging, enriching, frustrating, reflective, confirming
• Exciting adventure of a lifetime!
• Fantastic Educational Humbling Expanding Gratifying
• The job of a lifetime.
• Challenging, invigorating, demanding, breathtaking , fun!
• Hard work, but immensely rewarding.
• Stimulating, unpredictable, addictive, inspiring, challenging.
• Fascinating, exciting, lucrative, wide-ranging and addictive!
• Eye opening, cultural, well paid, opportunity, life changing.
• Exciting, interesting, enlightening, educational and unique.
• 1. Rewarding 2. Different 3. Adventurous 4. Dynamic 5. Unpredictable
• Full of variety, rewarding, challenging.
• Rewarding, eye-opening, fun, flexible, and ADDICTIVE
• The opportunity of a lifetime.
• Lifelong learning at its finest!
• Rejuvenating, Creative, Innovative, Culturally Rich
• The novelty never wears off!
• Exhilarating, Challenging, Adventurous, Broadening, Inspiring
• Enriching, adventurous, challenging, rewarding, limitless.
• Exciting, fun, new friends, challenges!
These 35 members have a wealth of knowledge about working at a number of international schools. Maybe you have worked at an international school that they have worked at as well?! Here are just a few of the schools that they either currently work at now or have worked at in the past:
• Cebu International School – 7 Comments
• Xiamen International School (Xiamen, China) – 25 Comments
• Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 222 Comments
• Benjamin Franklin Int’l School (Barcelona, Spain) – 66 Comments
• Universal American School in Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 17 Comments
• Thai-Chinese Int’l School Bangkok – 21 Comments
• American International School in Egypt – 62 Comments
• International School of Tanganyika – 145 Comments
• Mahatma Gandhi International School – 3 Comments
• British Early Years Centre (Bangkok, Thailand) – 10 Comments
• American School Madrid (Madrid, Spain) – 54 Comments
• Frankfurt International School & Wiesbaden (Frankfurt, Germany) – 13 Comments
• Albanian International School (Tirana, Albania) – 19 Comments
• British International School Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 11 Comments
• Stamford American International School (Singapore, Singapore) – 47 Comments
Thanks again to everyone who has participated in the Member Spotlight feature on our blog so far.
If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here at editor @ internationalschoolcommunity.com. All highlighted members receive 1 free year of premium access to our website!continue reading
Tell us about your background. Where are you from?
I graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelors of Education specialising in Early Childhood Education. I am a passionate Early Years advocate and am inspired by the Reggio Emilio approach.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
When I graduated from university I wanted to explore working in the UK. I lived in Bristol, UK for 2 years working in primary schools all over the district, which helped me gather lots of ideas, experiences and helped me build a bank of knowledge from more experienced teachers.
After 2 years, a colleague recommended I look to the Middle East for more adventure, which lead me into taking a position as an EYFS teacher in a British International School in Dubai. I worked there for 3 years before taking up my current post in Moscow, Russia.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
I worked at Jumeriah Baccalaureate School in Dubai and currently working at the British International of Moscow.
Dubai was a great opportunity to learn about the melting pot of cultures, I had over 15 different cultures and heritages in my class of 20.
Because Dubai has such a range of expats your class list reads like a meeting of the United Nations. I got to work with a range of teachers from all over which was a great opportunity to learn new things and approaches.
Dubai has so much to do but I didn’t save very much money, but the experience was invaluable and had definitely given me the skills to be flexible and keen for a new adventure which led me to Russia.
In Moscow, the language is the biggest barrier but I am determined to speak a basic level of Russian. I am enjoying the change in climate, from 50+ for 8 months of the year to -3 to -18 for 8 months of the year. I also loved experiencing my first ever Autumn. We don’t really have Autumn in the area I’m from in Australia, it’s just scorching hot or warm. Moscow was so colourful, the red, the yellow, orange and the green, I had forgotten how beautiful nature was after the desert! Snow has been interesting but the architecture in Moscow is stunning!
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
Coming from the Middle East, when you greet someone it’s always 3 kisses to the cheek, back and forth. I arrived in Russia and kept going for the third kiss when greeting people, which, in Europe is one on each side, so it seemed like I was trying to be a little more than friendly when I first arrived in Russia.
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
I found it has been really helpful to make sure that any school I am considering working at is supportive of their staff, and has a clear vision of where SLT see the school going.
I also like to get a clear idea of how much importance Heads of school place the Early Years. Good Heads of School/Primary keep up to date with current research and know that when children have access to a strong foundational beginning in school, it is beneficial to building an exceptional student as they progress through school, which leads to a strong school and a happy student base.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Enriching, adventurous, challenging, rewarding, limitless.
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 one year free of premium access to our website!
Want to work for an international school in the Eastern Europe like Anita? Currently, we have 105 international schools listed in Eastern Europe on International School Community. 54 of them have had comments submitted on their profiles. Here are just a few of them:
Pechersk School International (Kyiv, Ukraine) – 122 Comments
International School of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia) – 34 Comments
Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 66 Comments
Wroclaw International School (Wroclaw, Poland) – 46 Comments
American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) – 82 Comments
International School of Latvia (Riga, Latvia) – 33 Comments
American International School of Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia) – 29 Comments
Anglo American School of Sofia (Sofia, Bulgaria) – 28 Comments
International School of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan) – 39 Comments
Choosing a place to teach English can be an overwhelming feeling. With so many things to consider from salary ranges, local languages, social scene, and quality of the job; one will have to take a lot of time to filter their preferences down to a few choices. Fortunately, we took the time to compile a list of some of the top cities to Teach English.
Shanghai is the largest city in the world by population and the financial hub of China. And the teaching English opportunities are reflected in the market. There’s a surplus of jobs ranging from online, primary schools, International schools, and training centers. Shanghai has a population of around 25 million people and 1% of it is expats, being 250K people, so you’ll be able to meet plenty of foreigners in similar or different walks of life. Nightlife in Shanghai is globally recognized as one of the most vibrant and beautiful scenes. If you’re looking for a chicer look, you can head down to The Bund or if you want to bar hop, Yongkang Lu is popular with expats. Nearby cities such as Hangzhou, Suzhou or Nanjing are just train rides away. These cities provide a more historic view into China’s history as well as some time outside the big city. Shanghai is also very close to South Korea with flight times below two hours. Salaries range from $1,500 to $2,700 USD each month, with the cost of living; you’ll be able to save a large amount.
Shenzhen is an up and coming city in China but don’t let that discourage you. Shenzhen is the 2nd largest trading hub in China behind Shanghai so there’s ton of development and expansion. With close proximity to Hong Kong and Macau, this is a traveler’s dream situation. Teaching English jobs available range from training centers to international schools, so no matter your preferences, there’s a position right for you. Shenzhen has a sub-tropical climate so the weather will be pleasant most times of the year and no sight of snow. Don’t forget you can go to any number of beaches in the city. Salaries range from $1,300 to $2,600 on average. For football (soccer) lovers, Shenzhen has two clubs: Shenzhen F.C. and Shenzhen Renren F.C. Due to the architecture and relaxed laws, skate boarders around the world travel there.
Dubai is one of the most competitive ESL markets and for good reason. Teaching English in Dubai offers top-tier packages for their teachers. Offers may include high salaries ($2,500- $5,000) monthly, paid housing, insurance and travel allowances. Dubai is in the dessert so no worries about cold weather and the landscape will be at your disposal. The outdoors will have plenty of adventures to enjoy from sand boarding, sky diving, jet skis, and boat riding. Traveling to neighboring places such as Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Saudi Arabia will be a hop skip away.
Jobs in Teaching jobs in Riyadh will include universities, international schools, language institutes with teaching hours averaging 25 hours each week. Riyadh as well with other Middle-eastern countries is tax-free. Salaries range from $2,500-$5,000 USD monthly. Most schools will provide housing for you in addition to your cash compensation so your saving potential rises greatly. Foreigners and other expats will generally live within designated complexes so you’ll be amongst others new to the country. Employee contracts will range between 2-3 years so you’ll have job security and ample time to save more money.
Seoul is known for its technology community and nightlife atmosphere. Samsung is headquartered in Seoul and has a huge influence on the tech scene. Also, there’s WIFI everywhere from the metro, parks, and more. With a huge expat population there will be plenty of local and foreign people to befriend. Also, don’t forget there are daily flights to fly directly to Japan, China, and Thailand. Salary ranges average about $2,000 USD with accommodations including flight and housing allowances or reimbursement. Your choices will include public or private schools. Seoul is known for its party culture and is internationally recognized for it. The metropolitan area includes about 23 million people. Baseball is the country’s nation sport so you’ll be able to attend a game in the season and it’s a big event. K-Pop is internationally known for its musical influence not only in South Korea but also throughout eastern and southeast Asia. Make sure to attend a concert to discover what the buzz is all about. Make sure to try Korean BBQ, as it’s an international recognized cuisine. And for you ravers out there, Ultra Music Festival Korea comes to Seoul annually bringing some of the top artists in the EDM realm for a weekend of music, friends, and good vibes.
Busan is the 2nd largest city in South Korea with a population around 3.5 million. In Busan, the outdoors will be your best friend. If you choose to teach English in Busan, you’ll have your choice of beaches to visit daily. Busan attracts tourists, expats, and travelers globally for its 6 beautiful beaches, just to name a few: Dadaepo Beach, Songdo Beach, and Gwangalli Beach. Busan also hosts the Busan International Film Festival, which is one of the most popular film festivals in Asia. Busan is the Baseball capital of South Korea and has the Sajik Baseball Stadium. Salaries average about $2,000 USD. Most schools will pay for your travel and housing so you’ll be able to save anywhere from $500/month based on your saving and traveling habits.
In addition, you can hike Geumjeong Mountain if you’re up for a challenge with a well worth view. Just like Seoul, Busan has a huge expat population so meeting people in a similar experience will be easy.
Off the course of the Mainland rests Taiwan, a small island full for culture, history and teaching English opportunities. With a population of 7.8 million people, Taipei has Mainland China to its west, Japan to its east, and the Philippines to its south. Taipei has a huge expat population whether they are fellow English teachers or students studying Chinese at one of the local universities. The tropical climate and surplus of beaches easily at disposal makes every single day a vacation. Dabajian Mountain is a hiker’s favorite so give it a try. To get a breathtaking view and Instagram porn, make sure to go to the top of Taipei 101 formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, which was the world’s tallest building from 2004 – 2009. Taipei is the capital of Taiwan but with a thorough public transportation system, buses and trains, you’ll be able to reach all ends of the island with ease. Don’t forget about the clean air. Teaching English in Taipei usually requires 25 hours of teaching time while having an average salary of $2000 USD. Given the lost cost of living, you’ll be able to save more than $500 USD each month.
This article was submitted by guest author Teaching Nomad. They are an American owned and operated education recruitment company based in Shanghai, China. Their goal and purpose is to help great teachers find great teaching jobs. Year round, they have hundreds of teaching job vacancies. Whether your goal is to be an ESL teacher or teach in an international school, they have a teaching job for you. You can browse jobs online here for the latest job openings. Teaching Nomad makes finding a job teaching in China easier, so please feel free to reach out and contact them with any questions or inquiries!continue reading