Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 35th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Living in Laymans’ Terms” Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who currently works at American International School of Kuwait (29 Total Comments on our website) in Hawalli.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“Last time I wrote about how nice the weather was. That was after it rained. I don’t think I did a good job of sharing how crazy the rain was. Now it’s cold (it’s been in the high 30s and low 40s a couple mornings when I’ve gone running!)…”
It is all about perspective when living in a different country. What one person thinks is cold, another person might think it is not THAT cold!
It is good to know that in the Middle East, the weather can get a bit chilly in the winter. Many people might just think it is hot all year round.
Luckily, we have a comment topic in the City Information section of all school profile pages that is about weather. It is called – “Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year.” We currently have 140 separate comments (about a number of international schools) in that comment topic on our website.
“One of the deals we are giving our 5 siblings is a trip (once) to visit us. Abby is here for the semester subbing and Andrew came to visit for his Spring Break! Shannon was studying abroad in Barcelona so they met up in Kuwait. It was a memorable week for all! (see Shannon’s post for proof)
There was a little miscommunication ..Shannon arrived on Friday, March 22nd and Andrew arrived 24 hours later. Luckily we like Shannon so it worked out just fine…”
What a great idea!
I always say…if you got a friend or family member living abroad somewhere, it would be a SHAME not to go visit them and that country!
Not all family members are able though to have the free time to go on a trip to visit you. Many also are not able to afford it either. So, how nice to pay for their trip for them! (that is if they can get the time off of work to come visit you.)
• American Creativity Academy (Hawalli, Kuwait) – 31 Comments
• American International School of Kuwait (Hawalli, Kuwait) – 29 Comments
• Kuwait National English School (Hawalli, Kuwait) – 12 Comments
• Universal American School (Hawalli, Kuwait) – 22 Comments
There are many international schools to work at in Kuwait! How do these schools stand out from each other?
American Creativity Academy (in Hawalli)
We put two videos in this video highlight, as the concept for these videos was part of a project that the students at this school were given…we imagine. (A third one can be found here.)
It is a great idea; a challenge project for IB/High School students to create a marketing video for the school. There is not really a more appropriate stakeholder at the school to make a project like this. The students’ perspective about the school they are attending is probably one to listen to with regards to thinking about school identity and school improvement.
The kids look a bit nervous in the videos!
The sports fields look on the newer side. You can see the shadow cast over that one place for soccer as it most likely gets very hot during the day when students would be playing there.
The lovely blue colour of the sides of the buildings seems to make it stand out, in good way.
How nice that they have a canteen in the auditorium/multi-purpose room. Not all international schools have that!
The ending of one of those videos is very funny with some students helping another student slide down the hall.
Did not see many of the other teachers and students of this school of 2650 students…they must have filmed after school hours.
Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 19 international schools listed in Kuwait with 5 of them being in the city of Hawalli. Here are a just a few of them (The number of comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right of the link to each school.):
If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in Kuwait, log-on today and submit your own comments and information. For every 10 comments you submit, you will receive 1 month of premium access to International School Community for free!continue reading
Hi my name is Rachel Owens! I am an elementary school teacher and have taught pre-k, kindergarten, grade 2 and grade 3!
I love teaching in the elementary school because the kids are so excited to learn and their energy is contagious!
I grew up all over the Midwest in the United States. Born in Ohio, raised in Michigan and Illinois and then back to Michigan for college.
When I was in 3rd grade, I started figure skating. It became my life. When I was 16, I was fortunate enough to join an elite group of synchronized skaters from Dearborn, Michigan called The Crystallettes. It was with this team that I learned the value of traveling. Being one of the three top skating teams in the country, I was able to represent our country in two international competitions- in Prague and Berlin. It was when I arrived home from those competitions that I realized I’d caught the travel bug. I couldn’t wait to grow up and see the world.
My husband and I are both elementary teachers and have now lived and taught overseas for 7 years. We have two little boys who were both born during our time abroad. Jonah (3) was born in Kuwait and Eli (1.5) was born in Jordan.
During my student teaching year in 2011, I started looking into what it would take to be an international school teacher. I come across the Counsel of International Schools (COIS) website and they happened to be having a job fair the following week. I booked a ticket on a bus to Chicago for $1 and made my way the Windy City. When I arrived at the fair, I was in way over my head.
I was surrounded by seasoned educators with years of international experience. What I thought was surely a small group of people interested in leaving the United States to teach in distant lands ended up being a whole community of teachers that I am so glad to be a part of today. After 7 interviews of hearing I needed experience before I could come to their school, I finally heard my first yes; which is how I started my international teaching year in Kuwait.
My husband and I have taught at 2 international schools.
The first school was The American School of Kuwait. It was a great place for us to start our teaching careers. The school was already establishing programs such as Lucy Calkins R&WW and Responsive Classroom long before a lot of more prestigious schools were. It was also a great place to start our family. All the teachers live in two apartment buildings on a small compound which meant I had a built-in community of friends for ourselves and our little one. What made this school a unique and fun place to work was the staff that worked there. There isn’t much to do in Kuwait besides shop, go out to eat, and hang out at the pool (gosh that doesn’t sound too bad actually!) so you develop really deep and lasting friendships with your colleagues.
Then we moved to Amman, Jordan and worked at American Community School (ACS). We loved living in Jordan! It really has the perfect climate- mild and short winters, warm springs and hot summers. There is so much to do for both kids and adults there. The Dead Sea is just a 45 minute drive south and 45 minutes north is forests and mini mountainous areas for hiking. The school was wonderful! It is a smaller school, which we found we prefer and love because we got to know all the kids from multiple grade levels, knew all the staff well, and it truly felt like one big family. We grew so much as educators during our time at ACS. Being trained in Adaptive Schools, working with Paul Anderson for NGSS science, and working with Tim Stuart for PLCs were all experiences that we will carry with us to our next schools. Something unique and fun about ACS is every year at the end of the year the teachers make a End of Year Staff video that is shown to the students to kick off the summer. This year’s video was one of epic proportions as we took on legendary Queen! It turned out amazing! Here it is > https://youtu.be/MYybe0QmXzs
As for where we work now… well that’s what we are wondering too! Back in Dec 2018, we were hired to work at the Anglo-American School of Moscow. We were thrilled to begin working at an IB school where we knew we would grow exponentially as educators and where our children would thrive in their first classroom experiences. Unfortunately, due to political strife with Russia, our work visas were denied and the school had to cancel our contracts.
AAS has been very supportive in our process of figuring out what comes next for our family- but we are still disappointed that Moscow isn’t going to be our next home. For now, we will be living in Fort Collins, Colorado, where we will continue to search for jobs overseas that will be a good long term fit for our family. We are excited to see where we end up next!
This summer while staying with my sister-in-law in Michigan, my 3 year old son heard us talking about some upcoming workshops she was attending, including one on masonry. My son asked “what’s masonry?” and he was told it is when you build things with stone. And his immediate response was, “Oh, so like the pyramids in Egypt?” In that moment I knew we were doing the right thing by raising our kids overseas. The cultural knowledge and appreciation my 3 year old already has is well beyond what most kids (and even adults) in the United States have.
First and foremost we look for a location that is going to be safe and has a good quality of life for our children. Having both of my children born overseas, this life away from extended family is all they know. So we want to make sure that if they don’t get to be around grandparents and cousins, they need to be in a spot where they can still thrive, have friendships, be safe, and be happy.
Professionally, we look at the what programs/standards are being used by the school (Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, NGSS, etc) and what professional development opportunities there are. We also look to see if we think this is a school where we can grow either in our teaching practice or in leadership opportunities.
I also think that the ability to save money is important. If we are choosing to take our children and ourselves away from family, then I’d like to be saving a bit of money to prepare for our kids’ long term futures.
The. Best. Way. To. Teach
Thanks, Rachel Owens!
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 receive one year free of premium access to our website!
Do you think you have what it takes to be a veteran international school teacher like Rachel Owens? What character traits does it take? We have an article on our blog that discusses this very question. It is called the “Top 10 Character Traits of a Seasoned International School Teacher“. Read the whole article here.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 (21 October, 2018):
22 members – Copenhagen International School
22 members – American International School in Egypt
19 members – International School Manila
18 members – International School of Kuala Lumpur
16 members – American School of Barcelona
16 members – Seoul International School
16 members – Western International School of Shanghai
15 members – American School Foundation of Mexico City
15 members – Jakarta Intercultural School
15 members – Singapore American School
14 members – Shanghai Community International School
14 members – International School of Tanganyika
14 members – MEF International School Istanbul
14 members – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana
14 members – International School Bangkok
14 members – Fairview International School
13 members – United Nations International School (Vietnam)
13 members – Shanghai United International School
13 members – Istanbul International Community School
13 members – NIST International School
13 members – Qatar Academy (Doha)
13 members – Cairo American College
12 members – KIS International School (Bangkok)
12 members – Suzhou Singapore International School
12 members – Seoul Foreign School
12 members – Canadian International School (Singapore)
12 members – American International School of Kuwait
12 members – Anglo-American School of Moscow
11 members – Western Academy Beijing
11 members – Shanghai American School – Puxi
11 members – Brent International School Manila
11 members – Hong Kong International School
11 members – Chadwick International School – Songdo
11 members – Graded School Sao Paulo
11 members – International School Beijing
11 members – American International School of Johannesburg
11 members – American Embassy School New Delhi
11 members – Shanghai American School – Pudong
11 members – American School of Dubai
11 members – American School of Bangkok
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 12 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
I very much consider myself a third-culture kid despite living 25/31 years in Western Sydney. This area is the most culturally diverse area in the southern hemisphere and I grew up experiencing both Australian and Arab cultures.
Born in Kuwait, I spent the first four years of my life there before migrating to Australia. Throughout my life I frequently travelled to Jordan to visit my extended family. My family originates from Palestine before it was partitioned. And previous to that, we have routes in Egypt.
My schooling and tertiary education were completed in Sydney. When I was completing my high school studies, I was considering teaching as my profession. Although, I decided to study a Bachelor of Commerce first knowing that obtaining a Masters of Teaching would only take two years of full-time study on top of that.
Throughout my tertiary studies, I worked in a variety of education and community welfare jobs. At that time, I never thought I would be embarking on an international teaching journey. I was very much a typical guy in his 20s in Australia. I loved Rugby League, Touch Rugby and cycling and all my travels with friends via domestic trips. By the time I graduated, I was ready to experience a life-changing international journey.
During my last semester of university, I attended a job fair organised for the post graduate students completing educational courses in my university. At the fair were some recruiters looking for teachers to work in the UK and I immediately was interested. The process was straight forward. The recruiter organised an interview with herself and then a principal within a school. They liked my enthusiasm and how I was looking forward to the adventure and willing to learn about the UK curriculum. From there I had to collect documentation such as police checks, and I was helped to apply for a Youth Mobility Visa. Before I knew it, I was offered a short term maternity leave contract for a Grade 5 class and a few weeks after graduating, I was ready for a September start in the UK.
Before going to the UK, I took a detour to visit a close friend of mine in Shanghai for one week. He was about to begin his 2nd international teaching post. It was a wonderful visit which opened my eyes to a new culture. It wasn’t long before I was back there teaching kindergarten.
In my first year of teaching I was extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to have completed six weeks of casual teaching in Australia, a semester block as a Grade 5 homeroom teacher in an East London public school, and being the first teacher to open the one of two new kindergarten classes (a first for the school). My life was very different; I met so many new people, learned how to speak basic conversational mandarin, enjoyed a diverse lifestyle in two major world class cities and grew a lot as a teacher.
I have worked in England (Brookside Junior School), Egypt (Cairo English School), China (Shanghai United International School, Fudan International School and Guangdong Country Garden School), and Brazil (The American School of Belo Horizonte.) In this time I have had the opportunity to teach Canadian British Columbian, UK National Curriculum, American Common Core Curriculum as well as the International Baccalaureate. All schools were fun places to work.
Cairo English School stands out as the school with a stunning campus. It had over 1500 students and chaotic hallways but the students were always cheerful and there were always many extravagant events going on around the school.
An even bigger school was Guangdong Country Garden School. They had over 4500 students! It was impossible to even meet all the students. I worked in the kindergarten. I remember the play times with over four hundred 3-5-year-old students running around in many directions. It was a boarding school, and it was common to see even kindergarten students still having lessons in the evening.
Both Fudan International School and The American School of Belo Horizonte are smaller schools with approximately 350 students from K-12. I was the Grade 5 homeroom teacher at both schools so I was given a lot of freedom in planning a lot of the curriculum according to the American Common Core and IB syllabi, and the school’s scope and sequence.
It is still hard to decide whether I prefer the larger schools or smaller schools. They both have their advantages. Every school was unique in its own way.
I have been in Belo Horizonte for two months now. My impression is that Brazilians are very social and love to enjoy themselves. Every weekend there is loud music coming from different places in my neighbourhood and many social gatherings within my apartment complex. Just about everybody greets you in a friendly manner and people are usually excited to hear where I am from and speak of their desires to visit there.
Belo Horizonte is considered the Brazilian Belgium. It may not be known for having beautiful beaches like the other places in Brazil, but it is known for producing beers of good quality such as Krug Bier, FalkBier, Backer, Küd, Wäls and Artesamalte. To complement this you will find the popular night spot of Savassi heaving every weekend complemented by music festivals.
Whilst Belo Horizonte seems to be unknown from the outside world, it is the third largest city in Brazil. It boasts the most bars per capita with over 12,000 bars in the city. Most of these are informal sit down spots where you can enjoy an informal meal. Beagá (the city’s nickname which is its initials in Portuguese) also boast a fine arts culture with beautiful street art sprawled around the city. It is definitely a hidden gem (and ironically the mining capital of the country).
It is very important to be responsible and choose your employer well. That means finding out as much as you can about the position and the school, where you will live and information about the country you will be living in. After you have found out as much as possible, evaluate what is really important to you.
For me, as I have moved around a few times in my 7 years of teaching. Now I am more inclined to look for supportive school that will offer me 2-3 year contracts and ongoing professional development so I can take my teaching pedagogy to the next level.
An amazing and unforgettable experience.
Thanks, Tareq Hajjaj!
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!
Do you think you have what it takes to be a veteran international school teacher like Tareq Hajjaj? What character traits does it take? We have an article on our blog that discusses this very question. It is called the “Top 10 Character Traits of a Seasoned International School Teacher“. Read the whole article here.continue reading
Our 37th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Cliff Jumping: Risk-taking and New Beginnings” Check out the blog entries of this retired international school teacher that currently is back living in her home country (United States).
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“I’ve slowly dealt with the red tape of health insurance, car purchase, phone decisions, computer, internet, cable, condo painting/remodel/furnishing, and getting my household shipment through the delays of NY homeland security exams, Mpls. customs, and condo association regulations. Each step has been fraught with exasperation. Why am I so thin-skinned, so impatient? How could I deal with daily power rationing, hideous traffic, and oppressive heat in India, and not be able to accept the processes I must go through here more easily? I feel as though I’ve been in a time warp for 40 years, and I don’t know how to do things in this new age. I’ve lost my confidence…”
Are you a veteran international school teacher thinking about retiring soon? We have a very popular article on our blog that discusses this issue. An International School Community member shares her experiences about working for 30+ years in international schools and what her plan is for her retirement. It is called ‘Where do international teachers go when they retire and what do they do?‘. Check it out here.
We also have a few other articles on our blog related to this topic of going back to your home country and feeling a bit of reverse culture shock:
• Culture Shock and Misplaced Normal (An int’l school teacher’s experience in Tanzania)
• Going home for the holidays: No one cares about your international life
• The summer vacation dilemma: To go home or to not go home…that is the question!
“I have had the privilege of enjoying a 40-year career in the most exciting and satisfying field there could be: international education. It’s a vocation that young and old should consider, whether at the beginning of their working years, midway through as a ‘reset’, or after retirement. If you’re already a teacher and you’re bored, worried about getting ahead financially, tired of overcrowded classrooms, or wanting to see the world, this is for you. Take a leave of absence or sabbatical, or attend a recruiting fair, and take a job at an overseas school with an American or western curriculum. You’ll earn more money, experience more adventures, and probably never look back. If you’re young and unsure of your direction, love working with kids, feel curious about other cultures, and want to make a difference, this is also for you. And if you’ve already got a pension, going overseas could be icing on the cake. Or if you can’t find a job– get your teaching certification, and head on out…”
If you don’t already have a pension and want to know more about what pension plans are like at other international schools, take a moment to check out one of our 40 comment topics on the school profile pages in the Benefits Information section. It is called: Pension plan details. Right now there are 320 comments in this comment topic. Here are just a few:
“No pension plan, hopefully the school will address this issue in the future. (Although the school gives a bonus of one monthly pay for every year served at the school after 3 years and this may be considered retirement, but technically it isn’t.)” – Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 54 Comments
“The school provides no pension, but 9% is deducted from the monthly paycheck to pay into IPS, which is sort of like Social Security. If a teacher retires in Paraguay, he or she will receive money through IPS. So for the most part, saving for retirement is in the hands of the foreign hires; they must have the discipline to do it themselves.” – American School of Asuncion (Asuncion, Paraguay) – 58 Comments
“There is a pension plan that is in accordance to the labor law. For every year you work you are to receive 12 days pay. After your 6th year you will get 24 days pay. (roughly 2 weeks pay for the first 5 years and a month for every year after 5). Now for clarification: Your pension (called indemnity) is to be paid at the end of service at your highest pay, according to the labor law. However, the school does not follow this and will pay it to you yearly when you return in September. This seems like a good plan until you realize after 5 years how much money you lose out on.” – American Creativity Academy (Hawalli, Kuwait) – 31 Comments
Random year for international schools around the world: 1985
There is much history in the international teaching community. We have international schools with founding dates of 1838 and 1854 and we also have many, many international schools with founding dates in the 21st century. The numbers are increasing for sure.
Utilizing the database of the 1238 (13 July, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 10 international schools that were founded in 1985 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):
Atlanta International School (4 Comments) (Atlanta, USA)
“1985 AIS was founded by a group of parents, international educators and members of the business community whose aim was to provide the Atlanta area with the kind of international educational opportunities found in major cities throughout the world. Support from major corporations and public figures was obtained because of the school’s importance in the development of Atlanta as the premier international city in the southeastern United States.”
Al Hekma International School (9 Comments) (Sanad, Bahrain)
“Al- Hekma International School (AHIS) is a co-educational international school offering an American curriculum to classes from Preschool through High School (PS-Grade 12). The school was founded in 1985 and is fully accredited by the Bahraini Ministry of Education and the Middle States Association for Accreditation of Colleges & Schools (MSA) in the U.S.A. AHIS is also affiliated with worldwide recognized educational institutions, that provide professional development and support for improvement and growth such as (NESA, NBOA, ASCD, AAIE, PTC, NAIS). Students in high school are also trained and tested to receive ICDL certificates through the schools accreditation with ICDL organization to provide students with the latest computer skills required for the future.”
A’takamul International School (0 Comments) (Al-Rumaithiya, Kuwait)
“A’Takamul International School (ATIS) was founded in 1995, with our first graduating senior class in 2002. ATIS strives to provide a high quality international education based on the American-curriculum, while maintaining an Islamic ethos and Kuwaiti values. ATIS is a private, independent college preparatory school, and we enroll students from pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Students are encouraged to take part in as many different school activities as possible and to excel in all of their endeavors. ATIS is a member of Kuwait Foreign Schools Activities Conference (K.F.S.A.C.) and participates in sporting events throughout Kuwait.”
International School of Stuttgart (6 Comments) (Stuttgart, Germany)
“The International School of Stuttgart, founded in 1985, is a co-educational, English-medium day school, serving the needs of the international community of the state capital of Baden-Württemberg in Germany.”
Stafford International School (3 Comments) (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
“Founded in 1986 as an independent and private educational institute, Stafford is a coeducational, international school. It follows the British curriculum which prepares the students for the London University IGCSE and Advanced (A/S, A/L) Level examinations. High performance in these British exams qualifies students for entry into British and other foreign universities. The curriculum is stringent and comprises a broad and balanced range of subjects.”
Chaing Mai International School (5 Comments) (Chaing Mai, Thailand)
“Missionaries returning to work with the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT) after World War II established a school for their children in Chiang Mai. Classes began on June 1, 1954 with eight students. In 1958, construction was begun on the present campus for “The Chiang Mai Children’s Center.” As more expatriate families moved to Chiang Mai and sought an English-language education for their children they, too, were accepted at the school.
In 1984, representatives of the Thai Foreign Ministry and the CCT agreed that the formal establishment of an international school in Chiang Mai was a necessary step to achieving the school’s legal status. Classes under the new name, “Chiang Mai International School” (CMIS) began in September of 1985 for Kindergarten to Grade 8. High School grades were progressively added from 1992 to 1995.”
The International Philippine School in Riyadh (IPSR) (0 Comments) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
“ The school originally started in the mid 1950’s with about a dozen pupils. It was government run, and was housed in a succession of buildings in Central Honiara. By the early 1970’s the need for a new school was recognized, and in the later half of the 1970’s, a new Woodford School project was included in the Solomon Islands National Development Plan. This project recognized “That a primary educational system offering a curriculum meeting international standards is a critical infrastructure requirement necessary to support Solomon Islands objectives of attracting investment and technical expertise.”
ISTEK Schools, Istanbul (8 Comments) (Istanbul, Turkey)
“The İSTEK Education and Cultur Foundation was established in Istanbul on the 5th April, 1985 by a group of eminent persons and institutions on the initiative of the former mayor of the municipality of greater İstanbul, Mr.Bedrettin Dalan. It is an educational trust, aims to develop productive, creative and responsible attitudes in individuals while adopting the principles and reforms of Atatürk. Working in national and international contexts, aiming to make positive contributions to both the country and the world’s future, and giving priority to scientific thought defines İSTEK as a foundation apart.
We currently operate ten K-12 schools and three separate kindergartens. In 1996, the Foundation also established a university, Yeditepe University, which has now grown to become Turkey’s biggest university. The Medical Faculty of the University runs one of the top rated hospitals in the region as well as ophthalmology clinics. The School of Dentistry has a hospital on the Asian side and a clinic on the European side of the city.”
Amager’s International School (0 Comments) (Copenhagen, Denmark)
“AIS was founded in 1985 by teachers and parents who where concerned about the decline of educational standards. It is located on the island of Amager (Copenhagen) which is joined to the mainland of Zealand in Denmark.”
Tehran International School (0 Comments) (Tehran, Iran)
“T.I.S was established in the year 1985 with the goal to build educational links to other countries and render educational services to foreign students in Iran . Since its establishment, the school has been continuously involved in the educational progress where numerous foreign students are continuing their education in much the same manner as in their previous schools with most satisfactory results.”
Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well! We have over 1238 international schools that have profile pages on our website.
Tell us about your background. Where are you from? Where have you worked? What experiences have you had living abroad?
1. I started my overseas teaching at Colegio San Silvestre in Lima Peru — that was 30 years ago — as Head of Economics and Teacher of History. I was fortunate that Mr Derek Pringle was Head of History who went on to be one of the leading ‘lights’ of IBO in South America. In 1982 posts were difficult to get in the UK and the Headmistress of San Silvestre Mrs. Beryl Milburn gave me a chance — for five years!
2. Then moved on to the Gulf in Kuwait and taught at the NES and KES for two years — very hot and very dry.
3. Moved to Malaysia and again spent 5 years at Sayfol International School as first teacher then Deputy Head and finally Head. Was asked to set up a new school Mutiara International Grammar School again in KL. Later I was recruited to set up another International school at Malacca but after 6 months preparation it failed to take off due the the economic downturn.
4. In between most of these contracts I returned to the UK to ‘update’ myself on current trends but sadly the UK was in educational decline as it still is.
5. Recruited to India to set up a school in Pune called the Lexicon International School and after two years was then asked to Head a new school just opened in Ahmedabad, Gujarat called Springfield International School.
6. The school’s name was changed to Olive Green International School and we are authorized for IB PYP and CIE IGCSE. We are currently in the process of candidate school for IB MYP and in two years will apply for DP.
7. All schools are unique and all have their own ‘feel’.
8. Culturally all countries are different and have both pros and cons. For me this diversity is both rewarding and gives immense satisfaction.
9. Do I have one favourite school? the answer is no. I have enjoyed all and hope that my many students have benefited from their interaction with me.
10. To use an old cliche “Education is for Life” — and for me each day is a new experience.
Thanks Richard! Want to know more, feel free to check out his profile page on our website.
If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here. If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!
Want to teach at an international school in India like Richard? Currently, we have 42 international schools listed in India on International School Community. Some of our members have left comments and information on the following schools in this country:
• École Mondiale World School (7 Comments)
• Dhirubhai Ambani International School (5 Comments)
• American School of Bombay (5 Comments)
• Canadian International School Bangalore (8 Comments)
• Stonehill International School (India) (7 Comments)
• International School Aamby (6 Comments)
• International School of Hyderabad (8 Comments)
• Kodaikanal International School (15 Comments)
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…”
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.
Utilizing the database of the 1018 international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 10 international schools that were founded in 1988 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):
Koc International School (Istanbul, Turkey)
“Founded in 1988 by the Vehbi Koç Foundation, the Koç School has quickly become one of Turkey’s most selective and competitive university preparatory schools. It attracts an outstanding academic staff of Turkish and foreign teachers, and students who score at the highest levels of entrance examinations. Koç School seeks to be a leader and a pioneer in Turkish education and to set standards for other schools to follow.”
Bordeaux International School (Bordeaux, France)
“Bordeaux International School, also known as BIS, is a private (fee-paying) international school for ages 3–18 located in Bordeaux, France, established in 1988 by the non-profit making Association Linguistique et Culturelle Internationale. Students are from both France and other countries. The medium of instruction is English and French in the primary streams and mainly English in the secondary school. The school moved to new premises in rue Judaïque in August 2005.”
British School Bern (Berne, Switzerland)
“The British School of Bern is an English-speaking, International day school established in 1988. It is for pupils of all nationalities from the ages of three to twelve years. It is an independent, nonprofit day school located in Gumlingen, a suburb of Bern. The school provides a modern British curriculum. The teaching allows each child to develop to his/her particular need through both same-age and cross-age groupings.”
International School of Budapest (Budapest, Hungary)
International School of Johor (Johor, Malaysia)
United Nations International School (Vietnam) (Hanoi, Vietnam)
“The United Nations International School of Hanoi is an international school in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1988 with the support of the United Nations Development Programme in Vietnam (UNDP) with the aim of providing an education to the children of UN staff and others. It now caters to the children of diplomats, aid workers, businessman, and other expatriates living and working in Hanoi. Classes range from pre-school to high school, and the IB Diploma is available to students in grade 11 and 12.”
Rome International School (Rome, Italy)
“RIS opened its doors to its first elementary school students in September 1988. We offer an international education to children aged 2 to 18. The Middle School opened in September 2001 and the High School in 2007. The school is located in a fully equipped campus comprised of classrooms, ample sports facilities, science labs, music rooms, libraries and computer labs, next to several acres of a public park, Villa Ada.The location is well connected by public transport.”
Khalifa School (Safat, Kuwait)
“Khalifa School, founded in 1988, is recognized as the first private educational institution for special needs students in Kuwait. Motivated by her grandson, Khalifa, Mrs. Lulwa Khalifa Alghanim established Khalifa School with the vision of providing equal opportunities for special needs students. The school combines the latest teaching methods and state of the art technology to provide appropriate educational opportunities for the students. The school is located in the capital area of Kuwait and is accessible from all locations of the country.”
German-American International School (Menlo Park, California, United States)
“The concept of a German-American School in the Bay Area in order to promote the German language and culture started in May 1980, with an ad-hoc committee under the leadership of Dr. Liedkte, Professor of German at the San Francisco State University. He was assisted by a group of dedicated parents and Mr. Rothmann, the German consul at that time and the Swiss consul, Mr. Frey. The result of many years of dedicated work, the German American School (GAS) was created by a small group of parents wanting to provide a good bilingual education for their children.”
Adana Gundogdu College (Adana, Turkey)
“Adana Gündogdu College was founded in 1988 by Mr. Yunus Gündogdu. It started with 88 students and now there are approximate 2000 students. Our school is located in Adana, which is located in southern Turkey. Adana is the city in the south of Turkey and has a university and several colleges. We have many attractions, a lake and not far from the center is the ocean. Our school includes a kindergarten, an elementary school and one comprehensive school.”
Check out the rest of the more than 1018 international schools listed on International School Community here.continue reading
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
Only on International School Community will you be able to search for the perfect international school for you. Utilizing the School Profile Search feature on International School Community, you can search for the perfect school using up to 8 different criteria.
Search Result #1
1. Region of the world (All)
2. Curriculum (USA)
3. School Nature (Non-Profit)
4. No. of students (Medium: 300-700)
5. Country (All)
6. Year founded (16-50 Years Old)
7. Kinds of students (Mostly International)
8. Size of city (Medium: 750K-3 Million)
Check out the results of this example search on our blog!
(North Pine Christian College)
(Anglo American School of Sofia)
(Korea International School)
(A’takamul International School)
(Copenhagen International School)
(International School of Beijing)
“I worked at SRIS for three years. I taught Grade One and Grade Two in the time that I spent there. SRIS had a fantastic and diverse range of teachers that I felt privileged to work with. I learned a lot from them…”
Check out the rest of her interview on our blog here. If you’d like to be one of our next member spotlights send us a message here. Highlighted members will receive a coupon code for 6 free months of premium access!
v2011.08 – 10 December, 2011:
The holiday break is nearly upon us! Is it cold where you live right now? It is for most people in the northern hemisphere. There are though however some of us that are working in locations closer to the equator, and their weather must be quite nice right now. Some of us farther away from the equator have already taken out our winter jacket and even have progressed to the “heavier” winter jacket this past week.
So, the big question is: Why did we choose to work here? And that question is mostly directed towards the weather of your current location. The local people where you are living probably say to you, “Out of all the places you could have chosen from (In their mind…Barbados, Thailand, Rome, etc.), how is it possible that you have chosen this cold, miserable place? What they don’t realize is that some of us actually prefer to be in a place that has four distinct seasons. Some of us like like the snow!
There are many reasons to move to another country: Money, Travel, Love, Career, etc. We must be honest (not usually in an interview though) and admit that moving to another country based on its climate is very important for most international school teachers. That is why International School Community has included a category under the City Section on the school profile pages about climate: Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year. Here is an example:
Right now there are 38 comments and information that have been submitted in this category on a number of international school profile pages on our website.
Feel free to make your own searches (both close to the equator and farther away from the equator, depending on your preference!) for international schools based on your criteria on International School Community. Members with premium membership are able to do unlimited searches on our website. If you are already a member, you can easily renew your subscription on your profile page. If you are not a member, become a member today and get 1 month free of premium membership.
· 08 Dec The American School of Kinshasa (4 new comments)
(Kinshasa, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the)
“TASOK is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The School was re-accredited in 2008…”
· 08 Dec Dasman Model School (7 new comments)
(Kuwait City, Kuwait)
“The school offers a bilingual program for students in grades K to 12. DMS has a fully self-contained Special Needs Division within the main school…”
· 08 Dec Thai-Chinese Int’l School Bangkok (7 new comments)
“Tuition for 2 children studying at TCIS is free although there are annual student supply fees of Baht 15,000+ / child to be paid by teacher for education materials, PreK-Gr2 lunch/snacks, insurance upgrades, year books, ID card, and graduation…”
· Out of the thousands of international schools, people ask me why did I choose to work here?
“One year you are thinking that Asia is the place for you to move to the following school year, but then suddenly you open your eyes and you are actually in South America…”
· Educators Overseas: Helping teachers secure a job teaching abroad.
“There are many ways to secure a teaching job at an international school. The website Educators Overseas also offers such a service. Here is what they have to say about their philosophy of helping candidates find the “right fit” in their search to teach abroad…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #4 – “Being yourself is better, come what may, than trying to be someone else.”
“Even worse is when you realize mid-interview that you are indeed not the “best fit” as you had hoped you would be for that international school you have been wanting to work at that in the city you really had been wanting to live in…”
· Great resource: Association of International Schools in Africa
“Curious about what international schools there are in Africa? The Association of International Schools in Africa website has 100s of international schools listed that are found in many of the African countries…”
· Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #2 (Hangzhou Int’l School, American School of Bcn & Int’l School of KL)
“Our reps are in the process of renegotiation our salaries. It is a difficult time in Spain right now, so it is not likely we will get much of a raise. The board is focusing on…”
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
Highlighted LinkGreat resource: Want to work at an international school in Germany?The How To Germany websitehas some excellent insight on the many international schools in Germany. There are many international educators interested in working at these schools. Currently, there are 21 international schools listed under Germany on International School Community. There are 20 international schools listed on the How To Germany website. Highlights from their website:”There are compelling reasons why you might choose to send your children to one of Germany’s many fine international schools. Many English-speaking expatriates are educating their children at Germany’s international schools, and an education at such a school has numerous advantages. There is, of course, instruction in the native language. And, since the student body is usually quite international, they expose the young people to a variety of cultures. They also do a better job than most German schools of introducing the students to computers, and the program of sports and extracurricular activities is more like what they are accustomed to at home…”
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
Culture Shock and the Expat Educator
“If you’re a new expat teacher (or an expat teacher in a new setting), you may be wondering what the #@!*% you were thinking when you decided to move. It’s normal. Perfectly normal. You probably moved in late July and are heading into the dreaded period of anxiety associated with culture shock. Even in countries lovingly termed “expat lite” (i.e. Hong Kong, Singapore) the most mundane things can be frustrating.”International Students Go to Camp: The Importance of Play
“When I taught in the US, students went to Outdoor School. The Oregonian children learned to read the age of a tree, the names of major plant species, and experience the Northwest natural habitat. Imagine my surprise when I first learned that my international school students go to Camp to play. So this is a really long recess? I wondered. I’m sacrificing hot showers, quality food, and personal hygiene so that students can PLAY? While I admit to Facebook grumbling about ants in the shower, plastic beds, and food representing only the white and brown food groups, I have come to see the value in free play for tweens in my setting.”*If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here
v2011.07 – 12 November, 2011:
Using the School Profile Search feature on the main homepage of International School Community, we found the following stats about the 955 international schools currently listed on our website.
(Updated from our May 2011 statistics)
Age of School:
Schools more than 51 years old: 197 ( 37)
Schools from 16-50 years old: 412 ( 81)
Schools from 0-15 years old: 346 ( 121)
(How interesting that there is indeed an influx of new schools starting up all over the world! The vast majority of the ones on our website are in the East Asia and Middle East areas of the world.)
UK curriculum: 281 ( 72)
USA curriculum: 350 ( 66)
IB curriculum: 378 ( 70)
(Each type of curriculum appears to be increasing at relatively the same rate. The USA and IB curricula seem to be equally represented around the world on our website.)
For-profit schools: 336 ( 142)
Non-profit schools: 619 ( 97)
(Non-profit schools are still double the amount of for-profit schools on International School Community.)
Schools in East Asia: 129 ( 33)
Schools in South America: 70 ( 10)
Schools in Middle East: 118 ( 46)
Schools in Western Europe: 167 ( 37)
(The clear winner…still Western Europe. Though it looks like the Middle East is increasing at a higher rate with regards to schools represented on our website.)
Feel free to make your own searches based on your criteria on International School Community. Members with premium membership are able to do unlimited searches on our website. If you are already a member, you can easily renew your subscription on your profile page. If you are not a member, become a member today and get 1 month free of premium membership.
· Educators Overseas: International schools definitions (the schools, the students and the teachers)
“From Argentina to Zimbabwe international schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some schools are non-profit and are affiliated with an embassy (most often British or American). while others are proprietary. Originally established to educate children of expatriates, or “expats”, (diplomats and international business people who have relocated to that country) international schools have become the elite schools of most major cities around the world…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #3 – “Interview questions make the interviewer.”
“International schools though only have a limited amount of time during the actual interview session with the different candidates at the recruitment fair. Because the candidate before inevitably goes longer than he/she should of and because the interviewers themselves sometime need a break between their back to back interviews…”
· Highlighted article – The IPC: a curriculum growing in popularity amongst many international schools (Part 2)
“With schools in over 63 countries learning with the IPC, opportunities abound for children to share their local experiences related to an IPC unit with children in dramatically different environments…”
· Teachers International Consultancy (TIC): Teaching from Australia to Abu Dhabi
“Prior to his current post, Charles was teaching at the International School Aamby in India and, since leaving Australia as a qualified teacher in 2001, has also taught at an international school in Turkey. ‘This whole international teaching experience has definitely been a positive move for me,’ he says…”
· Comments and information about hiring policies on International School Community #1 (Singapore, Kuwait & Beijing)
“I interviewed with this school last March. It was over Skype with the elementary principal. She was very nice. The interview was professional, but also a bit informal which is what I prefer, a more casual conversation about my teaching experience and the school…”
A new blog topic on International School Community: Comments and information about hiring policies
Every week members are leaving information and comments about the hiring policies at international schools around the world. Which ones go to the Search Associates Recruitment Fairs? Which ones hold interviews over Skype? Which ones have hiring restrictions imposed on them by the host country? All important questions to think about when job searching, but where to find the answers to those questions?
Sometimes it is hard to keep track of which international schools go to which recruitment fairs and which international schools employ which interview style and tactic. At International School Community, we want to make the search for information about hiring policies easier for international school teachers. In the school section of each international school profile page on our website, there is a section specific to the school’s hiring policies. The topic is: “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?”
Here are 3 out of the many comments and information related to the hiring policies of international schools that have been posted on our website:
“Go to SEARCH fairs in Bangkok, London and Boston. Also other fairs in New York, San Francisco and Toronto Some people hired after SKYPE interviews – often people who have been recommended.”
American Bilingual School
“If the candidate is not present in Kuwait, the interview will take place via phone. Standard questions related your experience and suitability for the position will be covered. In addition, you will be asked about your age, your marital status, your state of health, and height/weight. Such questions are customary for overseas positions. All successful applicants will be required to email or send a 3 minute DVD of himself/herself delivering a sample lesson within their subject area.”
International School Singapore
“I interviewed with this school last March. It was over Skype with the elementary principal. She was very nice. The interview was professional, but also a bit informal which is what I prefer, a more casual conversation about my teaching experience and the school. I actually was emailed again to have a 2nd interview. After the 2nd interview I was told that they were going to go with a local hire. She told me that they have hired expat in the past that have been surprised (not prepared) to handle the high cost of living in Singapore vs. the salary and benefits of the school.”
v2011.06 – 9 October, 2011:
Are you ready for your midterm break yet? If you live in China (or Asia in general), most likely you have already gone on your midterm trip. Some have gone to Bali, others to Vietnam. If you live in Europe, then your midterm break is probably in just 1-2 weeks time, or week 42 as it is known amongst the locals. Some will go to Malta, others to Greece. If you live in the United States and work for a public school, then you most likely will not get any week off of work until Christmas. Another one of the many perks teaching abroad at international schools!
We all need a break at this point in the year. Ironically though, some trips take time to plan…a lot of time! Hours and hours of searching on various search websites for flights. More hours searching and searching for the right hostal or hotel to stay at or what tour to join. The frustrating part sometimes is that the cheapest flight prices in certain countries are actually found on websites that are only in the host country’s language. Great if you can read that langauge, but a bit challenging if you don’t. It is good to have a native speaker help you out with checking out the airfares on those websites, just to double check you are getting the best deal.
The midterm break is a good chance to go visit some of your friends around the world. Got a friend now in Egypt? Now is your chance to go visit him/her! At International School Community, networking and gathering information is very easy. Get answers about schools that you are interested in by clicking on the school profile page link and sending a message to one of the members of that school on our website. It’s a great way to get firsthand information! Also, it is a great way to start making some new friends across the world that you can go visit. Currently, International School Community members work at or have worked at 72 international schools! Check out which schools here.
Photo by Duncan P Walker
· Featured article: Moving Overseas with Children by Teachers International Consultancy (part 2)
“If your child is joining an international school where many expatriate children attend, then expect the school to be the social as well as the learning centre for the community…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #2 – “Energy is eternal delight”
“We have all had interviews in one of those hotel rooms where the interviewers seem disorganized, unaware really of who is sitting in front of them at the moment. Some interviewers due indeed look rather confused and out-of-sorts…”
· Educating children abroad can be an expensive business, so it’s important to start planning early
“One good benefit that international schools provide for their teachers is free tuition for their children to attend the school. That is worth around £20,000! Too bad teachers without children can’t pocket that money if they were offered the same benefit…”
· Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #1 (Hong Kong, Shanghai & Seoul)
“I have 14 years experience and my Masters. I earn about $1,500 per month in Won (about $400 of that is taken out of my paycheck for a retirement plan which is matched by school which I have access to at the end of the school year), and then another $2,000 in US dollars which is sent to my US account every month. I pay no taxes….”
· Great link – U.S. Dept. of State’s information on Teaching Overseas
“There is a list of 197 international schools that the U.S. Department provides assistance to. These school support an American-style education…”
1000 comments and information celebration:
International School Community is celebrating over 1000 comments and information which have been posted now on our website! Currently, we are at 1079. For a limited time, all members can use the coupon code (1000COMMENTS) to get 50% off of their next premium membership subscription. With the coupon code: 1 month is only 5 USD, 6 months is now only 10 USD and 1 year is only 15 USD!
Take advantage of this special deal now as this coupon code is valid only until 8 November, 2011. International School Community is the website to go to for international school teachers!
·Slc Chu (International School Singapore)
Current Survey Topic:
“I was recommended a job by an old swimming friend who was already working in an international school. The job was in Shanghai, China so without hestiation, I packed my bags and made the beiggest decision of my life (or so I thought at that point)…
If you’d like to be one of our next member spotlights send us a message here. Highlighted members will receive a coupon code for 6 free months of premium access!
An international school’s encounter with internet pirates“Over the past several months, the International School of Stavanger has been challenged with a new and unpleasant phenomenon – being taken ‘virtual hostage’ by internet pirates.In February, 2011 we started getting some emails from candidates applying for non-existent ESL and English teaching jobs. They referred to having seeing ads on various ESL employment websites.When I went onto one of these websites, sure enough there was a posting for an ESL job at our school starting in May 2011. The job would pay benefits including 1800 Euro per month and the advert suggested applicants write to an individual (who really does work here), referring to her as the ‘Recruitment Manager.’
Of course, the job was pure fiction. Probably the silliest part is the idea that we would be paying a Euro-based salary. The Norwegian Kroner is the only currency we use for salary payments. (However, that last piece of information is also what has led the police to believe that this mischief had been accomplished not by a disgruntled individual with a possible connection to the school, but was probably was a ‘phishing’ expedition.)”
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
The Night Before
“Once I get there I am sure the excitement will set in again. I am sure I will still have periods where I am homesick. I am so glad that the internet, cell phones and skype have all been invented, and I have access to them.”
Getting to know the school
“The schedule here is quite interesting and confusing right now. They have an 8 period day, but periods 1 &2, 3 & 4, and 6 & 7 are block periods. Periods 5 and 8 are single periods. They also do not have the classes the same time everyday.”*If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.
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
v2011.04 – 9 August, 2011:
Back to school! If you are new teacher at an international school this year, right now is the most exciting time. You are now officially in the honeymoon phase of your culture shock. Enjoy it. Many times for new teachers there is a nice BBQ at the director’s house, catered lunches during workshop days, a nice tour around the city, etc. If you are lucky, there is a nice group of new teachers at your school this year. Why, you ask? The other new teachers that start at your new school at the same time as you will typically become some of your best friends that you will make there. It is because you guys will be sharing the same experiences as you explore your new city, new country and new school together at the same time. So, new teachers enjoy your first few months! Take everything in stride and appreciate every minute. Try and say “yes” to all the invitations you will receive from other teachers in their attempt to make new friends with you.
· International schools that were founded in 1978 (Mauritania, Egypt, Kuwait, etc.)
“The Vienna International School was founded in September 1978 to serve the children of the United Nations and diplomatic community in Vienna. It is also open to children of the…”
· Blogs of international school teachers: “Ichi, Ni, San…Go.”
“It has some great insight into how important the first few weeks are for new teachers during their orientation days to their new city and new school. There is also much information to be …”
· School profile highlights #6: Luanda Int’l School, Amer. School of Tokyo and Int’l School of Iceland
“Candidates should note that most foreign-hire teachers live near the main campus in Chofu, a suburban environment one hour west of downtown Tokyo by train…”
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #2 – Anticipate a challenging adjustment period of six months
“Some international school teachers tend to experience different levels of culture shock and can pass though the stages quite quickly, but I still think for those people that you need to give yourself six full months to decide…”
· Stafford International School (3 new comments)
(Colombo, Sri Lanka)
“Religious activities are promoted with weekly assemblies by each group and the celebration of festivals in which all participate…”
· Copenhagen International School (10 new comments)
“The apartment that I got was complete unfurnished. I had to buy everything for it. Luckily, you can use the relocation allowance to help you buy furniture and what not (which is around USD 2000)…”
· Greengates School (British Int’l School) (5 new comments)
(Mexico City, Mexico)
“The PTA is very strong. International Day Fair is the most interesting event that you will see. High School graduation is very respected with Ambassadors as guest speakers …”
· Robert Muller Life School (3 new comments)
“The school has around 11 teachers and they are from Guatemalan and the United States…”
· International School Dhaka (3 new comments)
“This well-resourced school has a purpose-built centrally air- conditioned buildings and classrooms, specialist teaching rooms including…”
Back in July we celebrated our 100th member on International School Community! We are definitely on our way to our goal of having 200 members by the end of the year. Please refer your international school teacher friends to join our community.
Officially, we also have 66 likes on Facebook and on Twitter we have 119 followers. How exciting!
Random year for international schools around the world: 1978
Utilizing the database of the 840 international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found schools that were founded in 1978 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):
The American International School of Nouakchott (Nouakchott, Mauritania)
“The founding of the school in 1978 was very much an effort of the American and international community, and its strengths corresponded with the talents and the generous volunteer spirit of the community. The school was initially in one wing of the Grayzel house. There were two classrooms and an atrium with a garden. Initially instruction was from the Calvert Correspondence course.”
Lycee International School of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, United States of America)
“The school opened in a small house in Van Nuys with only seven students. Some 30 years later, the school has grown to five campuses with more than 900 students and has earned an enviable reputation with its placement of graduates in French universities, grandes écoles and within the American university system.
Of the original 1978 founders, two are still on the Board of Trustees. Others have joined the Board which now renews itself regularly. By combining those who have been Trustees for years with new Trustees bringing a fresh perspective, the Board is prepared to meet the 21st century with both maturity and vigor.”
New Cairo British International School (Cairo, Egypt)
British School of Kuwait (Safat, Kuwait)
“The British School of Kuwait (BSK) traces its origins to 1978 when Vera and Sadiq Al-Mutawa established a small kindergarten which became known as The Sunshine School. Steady growth took place through the 1980s and, having recovered from the ravages of the invasion of 1990, by 1992 the School accommodated 550 kindergarten and primary students. The decision having been made to serve the community at both Primary and Secondary levels, a move to the present site in Salwa took place and in September 1992, newly-named, The British School of Kuwait opened to 900 students.”
Vienna International School (Vienna, Austria)
“The Vienna International School was founded in September 1978 to serve the children of the United Nations and diplomatic community in Vienna. It is also open to children of the international business community and of Austrian families. Over 100 nationalities are represented among its 1,400 children.”
Acs International School – Hillingdon Campus (Hillingdon, England)
“The main house: The handsome and substantially built mansion was originally constructed in white brick and stone in the classical style, between 1854 and 1858, by P.C. Hardwick for Sir Charles Mills, an international banker from one of the most affluent City families of the 19th century.”
International School São Lourenço (Almacil, Portugal)
Sotogrande International School (Cadiz, Spain)
“The school was opened in Cortijo Paniagua with just 11 pupils and very soon developed into a successful and popular primary school. The school was governed by a Board of Governors who retained close links to Sotogrande SA, the company that owns the prestigious Sotogrande estate and provided premises for the original school. By 1990 the school had a roll of 250 pupils and included a high quality secondary school offering UK O-level and A-level courses. For twenty years the school grew steadily and established itself as a leading British-style school in Spain.”
Fairview International School (Kuala, Lumpur)
American School of Douala (Douala, Cameroon)
” Founded in 1978, the American School of Douala (ASD) is an independent coeducational, non-sectarian school, which provides an English language educational program from pre-school through tenth grade.”continue reading
Random year for international schools around the world: 1996
Utilizing the database of the 827 international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 24 schools that were founded in 1996 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):
Shanghai Community Int’l School (Shanghai, China)
Shanghai Singapore International (Shanghai, China)
Suzhou Singapore International School (Suzhou, China)
“The SSIS was established in 1996 to provide quality international education to children of expatriate families in Shanghai. Currently, there are 2 campuses in Shanghai, MinHang Campus and XuHui Campus.”
Luanda International school (Angola, Luanda)
Busan Foreign School (Busan, South Korea)
“Busan Foreign School opened its doors to the Busan community and its surrounding areas in October of 1996. With only two students originally, it has since expanded to encompass nursery to twelfth grade, currently educating over 220 students from 25 different nations. In addition to the increase in enrollment, the curriculum has developed into a highly rigorous American standards-based program that offers students a wide variety of courses and activities.”
Tall Oaks International School (Accra, Ghana)
“The nursery was established in August 1996, to provide a safe, healthy and happy learning environment for children aged between 12 months and 5 years.”
Lekki British International School Lagos (Lagos, Nigeria)
“Welcome Lekki British School is the original British School in Nigeria. We opened our doors in 2000 to students and parents who are looking for a truly British School experience.”
Ocean of Light International School (Nukuʻalofa, Tonga)
“In 1996 as a response to a need from the community and as a social and economic development project, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Tonga established the school and registered it as a non-profit institution offering an international standard of education to the population of Tonga. Licensed by the Ministry of Education the school is now a well-known institution in Tonga. The school opened its doors on March 3rd, 1996 with nine students, one teacher and one assistant teacher, covering classes one, two and three. By the end of the year the roll increased to 20. The following year approval was granted by the Ministry of Education to add classes 4, 5, and 6. More teachers were hired and the roll increased to 56. By then the Board realized the difficulties of enrolling children to class one from the grass root level with no English background.”
American Academy for Girls Kuwait City (Salwa, Kuwait)
“The Al Jeel Al Jadeed Educational Institute opened The American Academy for Girls (AAG) in September 1996 to only 79 students from kindergarten through to grade five. Today, AAG has approximately 860 students from pre-kindergarten through to grade twelve.”
Qatar Academy (Doha, Qatar)
Jeddah Knowledge International School (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Horsholm International School (Horsholm, Denmark)
The International School of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan)
“Since its foundation in 1996 TISA has served both the expatriate community and those in the local community who are seeking an international education.”
Qsi International School of Chisinau (Chisinau, Moldova)
“QSI International School of Chisinau, a non-profit institution that opened in September 1996, offers high quality education in the English language for pre-school (beginning at age three years), elementary students (through the age of 13 years), and an expanding secondary program (currently to age 15). The primary purpose of the school is to meet the needs of the children of foreign expatriates living in Chisinau who require this type of education with a view to continuing their education in their home countries with a minimum of adjustment problems.”
The International School of Bucharest (Bucharest, Romania)
“ISB was founded in 1996 in a rented building with a total of just 17 pupils to meet the needs of the English-speaking community. Within a couple of years the school had grown in both size and scope. In order to serve an increasingly mobile international community, the curriculum gradually took into consideration the practices and requirements of a number of different systems.”
Pechersk School International (Kiev, Ukraine)
Canadian International School Bangalore (Bangalore, India)
Hanoi International School (Hanoi, Vietnam)
“In 1996 a joint venture company was launched following an agreement between the Centre for Education Technology (CET) and International School Development Inc. (ISD). The joint venture ship was on the basis of 30% interest to CET, which is the Vietnam side, and 70% interest to ISD, the US side. The company then opened Hanoi International School in late 1996 using premises leased from the school next to today’s HIS. The student roll at the end of the first year was 54 from Pre-School to Grade 11. Within that first cohort of students, 15 nationalities were represented. On the teaching side there were 13 teaching staff, including the Principal, and 16 Vietnamese support staff.”
Sekolah Ciputra (Surabaya, Indonesia)
“Much has been achieved since Yayasan Ciputra Pendidikan founded the school in 1996. Today Sekolah Ciputra is an international school and one of the most highly regarded IB World Schools in Indonesia. We believe that our International IB students are truly global citizens.”
International School of Skopje (Skopje, Macedonia)
St. Andrews I.S Green Valley (Pattaya, Thailand)
Arqam Academy – Doha (Doha, Qatar)
Dasman Model School (Kuwait City, Kuwait)
British International School (BIS) Phuket (Phuket, Thailand)continue reading
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!
Finding comments and reviews on the schools we want to know about is a top priority for most ISC members. We have a number of features on our website that help our members do just that!
Using the School Search feature on the ISC website, members can specifically search only for the international schools that have had comments submitted on them. All members need to do is use the filter feature + tick the “schools with comments” box. Here are current results we got (from 4 Feb. 2019) along with five random schools from that region:
Asia: 63 Schools
American International School Dhaka (60 total comments)
American Embassy School New Delhi (39 total comments)
Good Shepherd International School (409 total comments)
Kodaikanal International School (53 total comments)
Indus International School (Pune) (43 total comments)
Caribbean: 23 Schools
The Codrington School (Int’l School of Barbados) (70 total comments)
Somersfield Academy (44 total comments)
The Bermuda High School for Girls (41 total comments)
International School St. Lucia (West Indies) (21 total comments)
International School of Havana (20 total comments)
Central American: 31 Schools
International School Panama (49 total comments)
Lincoln School (San Jose) (41 total comments)
Marian Baker School (33 total comments)
The British School of Costa Rica (31 total comments)
The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya) (75 total comments)
Central/Eastern Europe: 64 Schools
International School of Belgrade (59 total comments)
Anglo-American School of Moscow (69 total comments)
Wroclaw International School (46 total comments)
American School of Warsaw (114 total comments)
International School of Latvia (33 total comments)
East Asia: 208 Schools
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (139 total comments)
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (175 total comments)
Hong Kong International School (136 total comments)
Kang Chiao International School (Kunshan) (81 total comments)
Keystone Academy (94 total comments)
Middle East: 145 Schools
American International School of Kuwait (74 total comments)
International College Beirut (121 total comments)
Awsaj Academy (43 total comments)
Qatar Academy (Doha) (61 total comments)
Dhahran Ahliyya Schools (77 total comments)
North Africa: 39 Schools
Alexandria International Academy (79 total comments)
American International School in Egypt (62 total comments)
Cairo American College (155 total comments)
Misr American College (53 total comments)
George Washington Academy (46 total comments)
North America: 48 Schools
American School Foundation of Guadalajara (111 total comments)
American School Foundation of Mexico City (72 total comments)
American School Foundation of Monterrey (93 total comments)
International High School of San Francisco (37 total comments)
Atlanta International School (31 total comments)
Oceania: 6 Schools
Woodford International School (12 total comments)
Port Moresby International School (8 total comments)
Majuro Cooperative School (8 total comments)
Kwajalein Senior High School (24 total comments)
International School Nadi (9 total comments)
SE Asia: 168 Schools
Ican British International School (74 total comments)
Northbridge International School (58 total comments)
Green School Bali (121 total comments)
Sekolah Victory Plus (143 total comments)
International School of Kuala Lumpur (134 total comments)
South America: 63 Schools
The American Int’l School of Buenos Aires (Lincoln) (27 total comments)
Colegio Nueva Granada (57 total comments)
American School of Asuncion (145 total comments)
Colegio Internacional de Carabobo (95 total comments)
Uruguayan American School (32 total comments)
Sub-Saharan Africa: 68 Schools
The American School of Kinshasa (59 total comments)
International Community School Addis Ababa (80 total comments)
International School of Kenya (46 total comments)
Saint Andrews International High School (41 total comments)
American International School Abuja (58 total comments)
Western Europe: 156 Schools
American International School Vienna (81 total comments)
International School of Paphos (123 total comments)
Copenhagen International School (345 total comments)
International School of Stuttgart (61 total comments)
Berlin Brandenburg International School (80 total comments)
Well those are all the regions of the world on our website. In total, we now have over 1080 international schools that have had comments and reviews submitted on them! Our goal is to keep that number going up and up. Thanks to our hundreds of Mayors as well for keeping their schools consistently updated with new comments and information every one or two months.
* To access these school links you do need to have premium membership access. Become a paid member today! Or if you would like to become a Mayor and get free unlimited premium membership, send a request here.continue reading
Have you ever wondered what teaching in London or Paris is like? Are you curious about Norway, Turkey, or the Philippines? Would you consider teaching in Kuwait, Indonesia, Zambia, Bangladesh, or Abu Dhabi? Education World interviewed four teachers who did more than just consider.
“I knew I wanted to see the world,” Donna Spisso told Education World. “I had a masters and eight years of experience when I left the United States. When I taught in Rockingham County, in Virginia, I took five years to save up for a two-week trip to England. At that rate, I was not going to see much!”
“I’ve been abroad for 20 years now. It began as a one-year break after ten years of teaching in New York City,” Laura Forish told Education World.
“If I had to do this all over again, the only thing I would do differently,” said Bill Jordan, “is to get out of stateside public education sooner than I did.”
“Although our lives have been very ordinary in one sense, they have been filled with adventure and new learning every day,” added Karen Dunmire. “Both our girls (ages 28 and 21) were born overseas. Our best friendships have come from the ranks of teachers who’ve chosen this life, even for a brief time. Our girls speak several languages and easily navigate around the world, as that has been their world.”
Those are just a sampling of comments from four teachers who have taught abroad. They have taught in more than 15 nations and have more than 60 years of combined international teaching experience.
For Laura Forish, that one-year break became a new way of life. Since her first foray into international teaching, she has taught at the American Community School-Cobham (England) and at American Schools in London and Paris. Twenty years later, Forish was still teaching abroad.
Education World: You have taught in what many people would consider “dream” places — Paris and London. Is it hard to get positions there?
Laura Forish: It’s all a question of being in the right place at the right time and being persistent. A solid rsum and a minimum of two years of experience is a requirement. Flexibility is also necessary because international schools do not have the same support services United States’ schools offer. Often one is called upon to wear a variety of hats. Although such places as the Munich International School are Christmas-card beautiful, for someone from New York City being in a city was very important.
EW: Did you know the language or about the culture before you left?
Forish: I spoke minimal French, but it certainly has improved. The language as it is spoken bears some — but not much — resemblance to the language as it is taught in textbooks. Culture shock is real and happens to everyone. It is not a fleeting thing but something that lasts through the years. Culture shock was just as real in the United Kingdom, so it should not be thought of as language-based only.
EW: As a foreigner, were you accepted?
Forish: Tough one. I’m always an expatriate American. Those with whom you bond tend to have similar backgrounds. Although they may be Brits or French, they have lived outside their culture. Except for a short stint in Guatemala, I have always lived in places where physically I “fit in,” and that’s a big difference. I can look the “native” when it’s appropriate and act the “foreigner” when I feel like it. For me, that’s a wonderful combination.
EW: What is life like as a teacher in France?
Forish: The physical environment may change, but teaching is something that changes very little once you’re in the classroom. In my current position, our day lasts from 8:45 till 3:30. After-school sports and activity programs run until 6:15.
EW: Was there anything special about teaching in the places you have taught? Were there negatives?
Forish: The big negative is professional. You’re out of the mainstream. Going to a conference is a big deal. Continuing education can be hard to arrange as well, although with online courses becoming more popular, that is easing some.
Another negative is compensation. I am not paid as well as my cohorts in the United States are. Some of this differential is because of the dollar to French franc exchange rate. Salaries vary greatly from school to school. In general, schools in what are considered “hardship” areas tend to pay better than those in “prime” locations: Paris, Rome, London. In my experience, this is based not on the cost of living in these areas but on the availability of teachers.
However, as I’ve done this for 20 years, I obviously feel that the positive outweighs the negative. I have met some wonderful people — as colleagues, as students, as parents of students, as neighbors.
The school population is really exciting. Many students are true global nomad. They’ve lived all across the world. In my current school, the 850 students from grades pre-K through the 13th year of the International Baccalaureate program represent approximately 45 nationalities. Roughly 50 percent of them hold U.S. passports.
EW: You’re a 30-year teaching veteran. In your opinion, is teaching abroad mainly for the young?
Forish: No way! Living in a different culture expands horizons and empathy levels. It’s not always easy, but it’s rarely boring.
Karen Dunmire and her husband, Denny, have been teaching abroad for more than 30 years. Currently, she is middle school principal at the American School in Warsaw, Poland.
Education World: You have spent more than 30 years abroad. Where have you taught?
Karen Dunmire: After the Peace Corps, Denny and I met and started our married life in a very remote boarding school of 700 in Sesheke, Zambia. Our first girl was born there. She was delivered by kerosene lamp in a government hospital. Very memorable and wonderful.
We returned to the United States to complete graduate degrees at Michigan State and then went to Indonesia. Our second child was born in Singapore. We came home to Lake Placid, New York, for what we thought was to be forever, but we stayed only two years, returning to Indonesia for two years and then [moving] to Abu Dhabi for three. In 1992, we went to Kuwait. In 1994, we moved to Poland, where we’ve been for seven years.
EW: Did this nomadic life affect your children?
Dunmire: Our kids were always ready to explore a new country. They have probably been the ones who’ve kept us moving. It is a wonderful life for families who are open to new experiences. We just kind of fell into this and love it.
Donna Spisso has taught in Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the Dutch Caribbean. For the past six years, she has taught in Bangladesh.
EW: In Bangladesh, you were a foreigner in a country with a culture very different from your own. Were you accepted?
Donna Spisso: Bangladeshis like to be associated with foreigners. There is some status attached to it. Teachers are respected. It is harder to become part of the community in Europe if you don’t speak the language. In Bangladesh, everyone’s second language is English.
EW: What are the schools like in Bangladesh? Is it safe there?
Spisso: My school has approximately 600 students in pre-K through 12th grade. My day runs from 7:30 to 3:30, and we’re on a block schedule. We do have air conditioning, but when the power goes off, we lose it.
Safety? Driving a car in Bangladesh requires the utmost attention. At any given time, a motorist must watch out for men walking their cows or goats — they graze on the median sometimes. Women are walking to the garment factories. Rickshaws and taxis clog the roads, waiting for customers. Brightly painted trucks, horns blaring, stop for no one. People cross the street without looking where they are going! There are no sidewalks, no traffic lights, and no stop signs in our area — and if there were, no one would pay any heed!
EW: Why did you choose to teach in Bangladesh.
Spisso: Bangladesh offered a great package. In Europe, you pay taxes. In Bangladesh, we pay none. My school, like many others in the developing world, provides free tickets home annually; pays rent, utilities, and health insurance; and, for a nominal fee, provides a car and pays for its maintenance.
The trade off, of course, is quality of life. No one would agree to work in the developing world if the benefits were not excellent. If you work in Europe for only two years, you don’t worry about the future, and schools capitalize on that. If international teaching becomes your career, that’s a different story. You have to be able to save.
I find the students here very dedicated and their parents solidly behind their education. I have a lot of academic freedom and few discipline problems, and my husband and I are saving for our retirement. Travel is excellent. I have fulfilled my dream of seeing the world.
Bill Jordan taught in Norway, Turkey, and the Philippines and then created WWTEACH.com, to help other people find overseas teaching jobs.
Education World: Bill, you have taught in three very different places. Few Americans know much about the Philippines. What was teaching there like?
Jordan: It was in the Philippines that I found out why teachers rarely go back to teaching in the United States after teaching abroad. Where else can one be paid to hike a volcano, snorkel beautiful coral reefs, or learn about survival deep in the jungle?
My school had a resource center that rivaled those in universities. The science department had a full-time lab technician who took care of the labs. I’d just tell her what equipment I needed and poof — it was set up in my room. If I wanted to work with a video recorder, the equipment arrived — Hollywood-style, with a camera person to take care of all the recording while I just worried about teaching! I requested a small radio, and I received a brand-new $200 dollar portable stereo system in my room for the year. More than a dozen people staffed the large library. Ready and waiting to help, they were an interesting mix of locals and expatriates from all over the world.
EW: Did you have any teaching experiences that you think you will always remember?
Jordan: We had frequent power outages, making teaching computers challenging. I used pantomime to teach my beginning English as a second language classes. And I butchered the pronunciation of everybody’s names: Si-Nyong Lee, Nobuyoshi, Umer Khaldoon Aftab Ahmed …
Think of New York City and how different it is from rural Montana. The same is true overseas. Every place is very different from the other places, but it is always fun and exciting. In the Philippines, I learned that kids will be kids no matter where you are. Teaching, learning, testing, and sharing is fundamentally the same no matter where you live.
Students came and went constantly, but I never got used to the gifts they gave. Things like that just didn’t happen to me stateside. It was nice being in a place where teachers were valued.
Taken from the Education World website.
The International Peach Quilt project began as an idea back in September 2008, the idea being to unite schools all around the world. Many of the schools that have participated so far are international schools. The quilt was inspired by the Summer Olympics in London 2012. Just recently, the International Peace Quilt gave up update on their progress. See their update letter below:
Since our last update The International Peace Quilt Project has received further drawings from Azerbaijan,Chad, Fiji, Ghana, Guam, Iran, Malta, Micronesia,Montenegro, Morocco,Nepal, Romania,Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden,Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. This brings the total number of Countries with drawings submitted to 138.
From the list of Countries we wished to reach below, we now have made contact with schools from The British Virgin Islands,Grenada, Guam (who have submitted their drawing),Guatemala, Hong Kong,Mali,Nicaragua, Peru,Trinidad & Tobago,Swaziland, and Switzerland. We expect to receive 22 drawings/countries that have been promised previously to be submitted in the early part of 2012 from Algeria, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Bhutan,Canada, Dominica,Estonia,Finland, Guinea,Honduras, Iraq,Kiribati, Kuwait,Liberia, Leichenstein, Mauritius,Panama, Papua New Guinea,Rwanda, Solomon Islands,and Tuvalu.
The non for profit organisation, The Haynes Foundation in The Carribean has also offered to coordinate the project in Barbados,Cuba, Puerto Rico, St.Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & The Grenadines and The U.S. Virgin Islands for us. Therefore all going to plan that takes the number down to 29 Countries that we still wish to make an initial contact with.
Again thank you so much to all Directors,Principals/ Heads,Staff and Students. Without you all, this Project would not be where it is today. You can all be so proud of what you are creating here.This really is a Global message for Peace from children all over the World as a celebration of the Olympic Games and beyond.
Also a week ago we set up a group in Guisborough called the Friends of the International Peace Quilt. This group is made up of several of our quilters, a Director from the Towns magazine and a couple of other very interested people also from the town. The idea behind this group is that it will coordinate exhibitions/displays of the Quilt.The group will also help to keep on top of any quilting and help with promotion of the project. It was felt that now more heads were needed to help with everything around the project which can only be a good thing.
Just to remind you all again of the Olympic Educational Resource which is available if your school wishes to make use of it,
Looking to the future,
We see all 205 Countries who are participating in the Olympics, with drawings submitted and all joined together in the International Peace Quilt Project. We see this quilt being a very creative message from Children in every Country in the World for World Peace,all as a celebration of the Olympics 2012.
From The Guisborough Rotary Club, The Guisborough Neighbourhood Management Team,Friends of the International Peace Quilt,Our Quilters,Lucy and Trish.
List of Countries still to be involved,
Central African REP
Maldives A possible, through a contact to an M.P who sits on The All Party Group for the Maldives.
Sao Tome e Principe
Syrian Arab Rep,waiting on a reply.
Many of the international schools that have participated in this project have profiles on International School Community. Has your international school participated in this project?
Highlighted article from the Matador network: English teacher Amy Villagio shares about getting hired for international school jobs.
She talks about her experiences attending the UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair in Iowa.
Sections of the article that we would like to highlight:
“One of the hallmarks of the international teaching job fair experience is the sign-up period. This is somewhat akin to a cattle stampede. Tables are set up in a huge room arena-style, and candidates head to their top schools, turning in their invitation if they have one and signing up for a time slot, or turning on the sales pitch and angling to get into any remaining interview times. Beforehand you’ve done your country research, noted all available jobs in your subject area, and prioritized according to countries, schools, and assignments. Now it’s down to following your carefully mapped-out plan of which table to go to first.”
The sign-up period at international school recruitment fairs are tough. They are full of excitement and anticipation. Waiting in lines with your potential competition is nerve-wracking. The general idea is that the schools with the longer lines are the more desirable and better international schools to work at. One time at a recruitment fair one of our staff went to the American International School Budapest was the school with the longest line. Another time at the UNI fair one of our staff members noticed that Shanghai American School – Puxi was the winner of the longest line. Somehow word gets around about these schools and all the candidates want the opportunity to work there. These schools get to be really picky. Just taking resumes at the cattle call and giving the message out: “We’ll call you if we would like to set up an interview.” Sometimes it is very important to “carefully map-out” your plan of attack during this time of the recruitment fair. If you are too slow to get to a school, their interview schedule will have already been filled with other candidate interview times. Sometimes it is good to wait in line if that is the case. Really though, most candidates goals should be to get as many interviews as possible as they tell you it is good interview practice going to interviews even if the school is not one that may or may not interest you.
“I interviewed with schools from Germany, Kuwait, Syria, and Thailand. Finally, I was down to my interview with the school in Cameroon. Here I got the hard sell – “I’m offering you the position, you’ve got about five minutes to decide, you’re my number one candidate, I’ve got other English teacher interviews after yours and I can’t guarantee this later on…I took it. Later I drove back to Colorado, racking up ridiculous cell phone charges calling friends and family and announcing in gleeful shock: “I’m going to Africa!”
The moment of “you have 5 minutes to decide” is an awesome feeling, even if being really stressful. We have all been in moments when you future is on the brink of a big chance…all based on your one word answer “yes or no.” Earlier in the article the woman in the article she stated that she was excited that she had received a request in her box to interview at one of her top schools that she wanted to go to in Eastern Europe. Then throughout the crazy, up-and-down experience of the recruitment fair, she ended up take a job in Cameroon. It is amazing how you can go from really wanting to go work at one international school to then accepting at job at a completely different one. Unbelieveable!
“This time it was different – I was signed up with ISS, International School Services, and had purchased a bank-breaking ticket from Cameroon to Bangkok, plus reserved rooms at the Shangri-La. Administrators had access to my file beforehand, and started contacting me for interviews right away. With the advent of Skype and the often exorbitant expenses (did I mention I had already bought a ticket from Cameroon to Thailand?), fairs are quickly on their way to becoming obsolete. An administrator from a little school in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, a city I’d never heard of before, and I started talking. Several skype interviews later, he offered me the position, and I took it.”
Thank goodness! We are so happy to hear that Skype is making its way towards a new way to hire teachers at international schools. Yes it is more ideal to meet in person with the people that are interviewing you. Actually, it is more ideal if you can actually interview with the people from the school at their school! However, Skype is the next best answer to this whole ordeal. It is good for the environment and good for the pocket book for both parties involved. Unfortunately, in this woman’s experience, she had already bought a plane ticket to go to the recruitment fair when she got the position after interviewing over Skype. Oh well, you must always be prepared. Sometimes there are sacrifices that you must be ready to deal with when you are on the hunt for your next job at an international school.continue reading