There is much to be potentially nervous about when going to a hospital in your host country.
Once I asked a doctor in China who was servicing an infected open wound on my leg, “what are you putting in my wound?” He replied, “I don’t think you would want to know.” I told him to tell me. He said, “Cockroach juice!”
Luckily, I was open to Chinese medicine and thought how cool is this?! Also thinking, this would never happen in a hospital in the USA! (My wound healed up very nicely, by the way.)
But this experience is just one out of many, many experiences of expats going to hospitals in China. So to learn more about what hospital experiences are like in China, you would need to keep asking around to learn more and more.
The hospitals around the world do vary and so does the health coverage that international school teachers receive while they are working abroad.
There are so many factors that can affect your experiences: payment, language, cultural differences, location, etc
After searching the keyword ‘hospital‘ using our Comments Search function on our website (premium access required), we found 286 comments. Here are 9 of them that give some insight into the hospital experience in different countries around the world.
“A visit to the doctor is usually $150-$200TWD ($6-7USD). That is all you’ll pay. If you need to stay overnight in the hospital a quad shared room is free, a double shared room is $1000TWD, and a private room is $1500TWD ($60USD!!!)…”
“Austria has state-maintained (public) hospitals and private hospitals. The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital, which is set up to deal with many kinds of disease and injury, and typically has an emergency ward or A&E department to deal with immediate threats to health and the capacity to dispatch emergency medical services. All hospitals, with the exception of some private clinics, are open to all insured patients. Normally doctors transfer patients to a hospital and control of treatment is then managed by a doctor there. When going to a hospital or clinic, you need to take your e-card with you. If you are ever admitted to hospital, your health insurance will cover the costs of that stay. All hospitals run a special accident and emergency department (Notaufnahme), where you go if you need urgent and immediate medical attention at any time.”
“Local hospitals can be quite crowded, especially the lab-collection sections. Definitely a different atmosphere than American hospitals/clinics…”
“Private health insurance is provided in-country only, although this also grants you emergency care throughout the EU c/o the government. Romanian hospitals are certainly not the best! Some medical care however is surprisingly good; it really just depends what it is…”
“Most avoid local hospitals and usually pursue treatment in private medical establishments. For many routine things, the prices are so low that there is no reimbursement. There is at least one clinic with US doctors and there may be more with other foreign-trained staff. Some Turkish doctors/clinics are available, they often know English and provide high-quality care for a reasonable price.
Avoid using state-run healthcare, mostly because they are short-staffed, often underfunded, and have many other burdens. There is no major problem, especially if you just need a simple infection or issue checked out, but you will have a difficult time communicating.
Be wary of some private clinics that will try to get extra money from you for extra services. Some places offer interpreting and a steep cost. It might be better to take a trustworthy friend or colleague to help you and offer them a nice meal…”
“Great medical insurance. Local hospitals are nice but it is recommended to take a local with you. Appointments often involve a lot of waiting. If you need serious surgery people usually fly to Singapore. Some vaccines are unavailable…”
“CDNIS have steadily increased the quality of medical benefits available to faculty and staff. In addition, employees have access to inexpensive optional dental insurance through Quality Health, which has a large network throughout the city. Local hospitals sometimes have long waiting times so in emergencies some choose to go to private hospitals and pay the difference out of pocket. Other times, local hospitals are the best option because they are ridiculously inexpensive and the staff are very often highly specialized in certain treatments or procedures…”
“We don’t know Italian very well, and we had to recently call the hospital because our baby was feeling sick. We asked the person on the phone if they knew how to speak English, and she said know. We asked if she could speak Swiss German, and she said no. Then we asked if she could speak Serbian (we are from Serbia) and she said ‘si!’ and then we continued the conversation in Serbian after that. There are a lot of Serbs here…”
“My experiences at hospitals here have been excellent, way better than my time in France for example. You do need to pay, of course, for this insurance. You can shop around many choices for health insurance here. There is something for everyone, but you’ll need to pay for it. I chose one for CHF 3000 a year, but I do have a deductible that I need to pay off when I receive the services…”
Check out the first “9 International Educators Share their Hospital Visit Experiences from Around the World” ISC blog article here. And log on to the International School Community website today and share your experiences going to the hospital in your own host country!continue reading
Schools thrive when there are enthusiastic teachers and students in them. But, do all international schools have this?
With around 10000 international schools currently, there are bound to be differences between them. However, it is certain that all international schools strive to students that are excited to come to school and do their best to learn in the lessons and engagements in their classes.
But do students just come to schools already engaged or is it the environment and staff that helps with that?
Some could argue that hiring engaged and excited teachers plays a huge factor in the enthusiasm of students. If the teachers are interested and excited in their lessons, typically the students will follow suit.
If the teachers are jaded, overworked, and caught in a low staff morale spiral, then this feeling is sure to be reflected in the students.
But even if the students and teachers are not so engaged at the moment, what can be done? International schools need to make drastic and carefully planned changes to achieve this change to more enthusiastic stake holders!
So which international schools then have enthusiastic teachers and/or students?
Luckily, ISC was designed to help international school teachers find the information they are looking for. Using the Comment Search feature (premium membership needed), we found 17 comments that had the keyword “Enthusiastic” in them. Here are 11 of them:
“Students in primary are overwhelmingly kind, caring, and enthusiastic learners. The middle and high school will benefit from having a full-time secondary principal next year.” – Esbjerg International School (50 total comments)
“You need to be enthusiastic, open-minded and flexible. There is a strong community at school that is very involved in every aspect of the school’s life. School is looking for teachers who are passionate about their job and willing to differentiate for every student.” – Bishkek International School (57 total comments)
“The students are mostly respectful, enthusiastic, and hardworking. You might not be that impressed if you’re coming from Korea or another academically-driven Asian country, but compared to Latin America or any Western public institution it’ll be a big step up.” – Oberoi International School (36 total comments)
“The pupils are very affectionate, and the school has a very family-like feel. They are eager to please and enthusiastic about topics etc.” – The British School of Marbella (36 total comments)
“Students are very well behaved. Behavioural issues are very minimal, and most students are enthusiastic to learn and prove themselves to teachers and their classmates.” – Tokyo International School (104 total comments)
“The students are extremely polite and respectful. They are positive and enthusiastic though somewhat reserved.” – Global Jaya School (60 total comments)
United Arab Emirates
“While I have not myself worked elsewhere in the Emirates, I get a sense that our students are relatively well behaved. Understand that, while kids are kids, well behaved in the Emirates is not the same as say, well behaved in South Korea. That said, Liwa does not generally find itself subject to the kinds of behavior found in the government schools of the area. The kids are generally quite enthusiastic about Liwa and as capable as any children anywhere.” – Liwa International School (23 total comments)
“Very curious and enthusiastic learners. PYP and IB encourages this and students are excited to be at school every day!” – Anglo-American School of Moscow (69 total comments)
“The students are respectful, creative and enthusiastic. They love to chat and socialize!” – Santiago College (24 total comments)
“Students are enthusiastic about being at school, in general. Almost 100% of our students are involved in activities or athletics after school and on weekends.” – International Community School Addis Ababa (80 total comments)
“The students are amazing. So welcoming, so enthusiastic to learn.” – The British School of Brussels (36 total comments)
Are you inspired to start-up a blog about your adventures living abroad and working at an international school?
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“Last Sunday, Anna and I had our good friends Frankie and Keith to visit from Bishkek, where they have recently moved. Keith used to live in Almaty and Frankie had been before so it was trickier to wow them with the ‘go-to’ visitor activities. (The top choices being Big Almaty Lake, Kok Tobe etc. which are great by the way.) So we decided to go a pigeon market we’d heard of. We have actually tried to go to this pigeon market a number of times but always end up lolling about having brunch and missing it as it closes at 12. But, finally, we made it there and it was definitely worth the wait.
The market is right next to Kazan Cathedral, the oldest Orthodox Cathedral in Almaty, debating back to 1854. The cathedral is plainer than most orthodox churches I have visited before and has a refreshing amount of fresh flowers. It is also home to a cat and a small but nifty little gift shop. I’d highly recommend the gift shop if you really like gold things with saints faces on which I really, really do. To work out where church is- check out the map on this Tripadvisor page…”
How fun to visit the local markets in your host country. You really get a firsthand look at the locals and what they are buying and selling. Of course, the best ones are the ones that are selling things that you would consider a bit strange; crickets, exotic animals, and pigeons!
After searching the keyword “market” on our Comment Search page, we found 76 comments. Here is one of them from Qatar Academy (Sidra): “Once the weather cools, there is an outdoor market next MIA (museum of Islamic Art) they sell food from around the world – Indian, Arabic, Thai, American, etc…clothes, art, knick knacks. It’s a nice way to spend the weekend outside, it’s one of the largest green spaces in Qatar and great for families too. I generally bring a blanket and a book during the winter months when it’s not hot and the sun isn’t intense for long periods of time (though there are shaded areas too.)”
“Most people in Almaty are bilingual and many speak three or four languages. The two big languages in the city are Russian and Kazakh. Linguistically unrelated, Russian is a Slavic language whereas Kazakh is Turkic. Kazakh is on the rise but in central Almaty Russian is the language you hear floating around the streets. Both are written in the Cyrillic alphabet but Kazakh has some bonus letters added. In 2015, the Minster of Sports and Culture announced that there would be a gradual move to transfer Kazakh into the Latin alphabet. We hope this doesn’t happen. The Uzbek government has been promoting the use of the Uzbek in the Latin script since the early 2000s. However, the strange mixture of Cyrillic and Latin Uzbek all over Tashkent hurt our eyes and brains.…”
It is interesting the language abilities of the local people. Good to know about these abilities before you move there so you can get prepared. Luckily, we have a comment topic related to the language of the local people. It is called: “Languages of the host city and the level of English spoken there.” Here is a sample comment from this topic from Alexandria International Academy: “Language in Egypt is Egyptian Arabic. Many younger people people some English, though the level is usually fairly low. It’s generally easy enough to get around with a basic understanding of Arabic, but the locals can tend not to be very helpful when language difficulties arise.”
Want to work for an international school in Kazakhstan like these bloggers? Currently, we have 17 international school teachers that have listed that they currently live in this country. Check them out here. We also have one member that is from this country.