Information for Members

ISC now has over 2230 international school profiles listed

December 29, 2021


At International School Community, we now have over 2230 international school profiles listed on our website!

The last 5 schools to be added:

International School Palermo (Palermo, Italy)
Montgomery International School Brussels (Brussels, Belgium)
The Ostrava International School (TOIS) (Ostrava, Czech Republic)
The Aga Khan School (Dhaka) (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Vittoria International School (Turin, Italy)

The top 5 schools with the most members:

American International School in Egypt (Main Campus)
(New Cairo City, Egypt) – 30 Members
International School of Kuala Lumpur 
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 29 Members
Copenhagen International School 
(Copenhagen, Denmark) – 27 Members
International School Manila
(Manila, Philippines) – 25 Members
MEF International School Istanbul
(Istanbul, Turkey) – 23 Members

The top 6 most viewed schools:

Jeddah Knowledge International School
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) – 202983 views
Al Hada International School
(Taif, Saudi Arabia) – 171363 views
International School of Chile (Nido de Aguilas)
(Santiago, Chile) – 81737 views
British International School Moscow
(Moscow, Russia) – 71509 Views
The Universal American School
Salwa, Kuwait –55548 views

The last 5 schools to have something written on their wall:

Berda Claude International School
(Phuket, Thailand) – 44 Comments
Montgomery International School Brussels
(Brussels, Belgium) – 0 Comments
American School of Marrakesh
(Marrakesh, Morocco) – 29 Comments
UWC East Africa (Moshi)
(Moshi, Tanzania) – 1 Comments
Wockhardt Global School
(Aurangabad, India) – 22 Comments

But check them all out yourself!  Get answers to your questions about the international schools you are interested in by clicking on the geographic region of your choice.  It’s a great way to learn about different international schools around the world and gather information!

International School Community has the following 2230 international schools listed on our website (last updated on 29 December, 2021)

Results: (185) Countries, (831) Cities, (2230) Schools, 
(42543) Comments

Asia (219)

Caribbean (39)

Central America (45)

Central/Eastern Europe (121)

East Asia (328)

Middle East (304)

North Africa (68)

North America (110)

Oceania (31)

SE Asia (343)

South America (102)

Sub-Saharan Africa (181)

Western Europe (339)

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Information for Members

19653 Total Comments in All the School Profile “School Information” Sections

December 12, 2021


As all International School Community members know, each of the 2225+ school profile pages on our website has four comments sections: School Information, Benefits Information, City Information and Travel Information.  Our members are encouraged to submit comments on one or all of these sections if they currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the past.

The school information page on Seoul Foreign School’s profile page. (216 total comments)

It is important that we all share what we know so that we can in turn help other teachers make a more informed decision before they sign any contract! *Additionally, for every 10 comments you submit (which are anonymous by the way), you will automatically get one free month of premium membership added to your account!  The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!

So, what are the recent statistics about the School Information sections on all the school profile pages?  The current total number of submitted comments in the School Information section is 19653 (out of a total of 42453+ comments).

There are 24 subtopics in the School Information section on each school profile page.  Check out each one of these subtopics below and find out the total number of comments in that specific sub-topic and an example comment that has been submitted there.

• Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus. (1838 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The school is set in 3 separate building, one being a 5 minute walk and the other across the road. Crossing the road is quite a safety hazard with the kindergarten class due to taxis over taking them whilst they are on the crossing and the local police not doing anything to monitor this. There is no proper play area and students are taken to local parks for lunch breaks, which is difficult when having to share with babies. No proper gym areas make p.e quite difficult.” – Canadian International School (Tokyo) (Tokyo, Japan) – 93 Comments

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• What types of accreditation does this school have? When is the accreditation up for renewal? Any religious affiliations? (1381 Total Comments)

Example comment: “It is a non-religiously affiliated school owned by a Christian affiliated college and operated on that campus. It is WASC accredited, but is not accredited by the Korean authorities and seems to be a limbo in regards to its local status.” –Global Prodigy Academy (Jeonju, South Korea) – 68 Comments

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• Recent things that the school has taken on (i.e. new curriculum, specific professional development, etc.). (943 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The school is discussing becoming IB and has implemented Teacher’s College Readers and Writer’s Workshop as well as whole language learning in the primary schools. Secondary schools do MAPS-based action plans to show and monitor student improvement and compare them to US students.” – American School of Torreon (Torreon, Mexico) – 64 Comments

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• 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? (1716 Total Comments)

Example comment: “Last year they were NOT hiring people with non-EU passports. Some positions that they had last year were local hires, even if the candidates weren’t the strongest of the CVs that they received. Most of this though is out of the school’s control and more the new/changing laws regarding hiring foreigners into the country.” – Southbank International School (London, United Kingdom) – 15 Comments

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• Describe school’s location in relation to the city center and to the teacher’s housing. How do staff get to school before and after school? (1644 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The school is located near one of the hub stations in Tokyo, with easy access by several trains and subways. The school also has two school bus routes. The school will help the teachers find housing if necessary, but it does not itself provide housing. A transportation allowance is provided to cover the transportation cost from home to school and back.” – New International School of Japan (Tokyo, Japan) – 30 Comments

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• Are the expectations high of teaching staff? Are there extra curricular responsibilities? Describe workload details. (970 Total Comments)

Example comment: “Expectations are high but the atmosphere is supportive. Staff are expected to undertake duties on a rota bais before and after school, at break times and lunch times. Staff are expected to run one extra curricular activity for one term per year. There is a decent amount of non-contact time at around 20% of timetable.” – Rasami (Thai-British) International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 75 Comments

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• Average class size for primary and secondary. Describe any aide support. (1010 Total Comments)

Example comment: “Class sizes are very small. In the primary, they are normally a combination of two grade levels (i.e. Grades 1 and 2 together) and about 16 kids with a teaching assistant. In secondary class size is smaller and can range from four to twelve per grade level.” – Hiroshima International School (Hiroshima, Japan) – 64 Comments

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• Describe the language abilities of students at this school and what is the “common language spoken in the hallways”? Is there one dominant cultural group? (1364 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The Thao Dien (Primary) campus in the expat area has students from about 20 countries. The TT Campus, Primary, Middle School and Secondary is mainly Vietnamese. Korean is the next largest student group. Very few students from Western Countries. Has a large EAL population.” – Australian International School HCMC (Vietnam) (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) – 19 Comments

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• Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack thereof], etc.) and staff turnover rate. (1417 Total Comments)

Example comment: “Primarily expat teachers, without any one nationality dominating things. When I left in 2011 there were teachers from Australia, Canada, US, UK, South Africa, Belgium, and Tanzania just within my department. Some teachers stay 7 to 10 years or more, while others just 2 to 4 years, as in most international schools.” – International School of Tanganyika  (Dar es salaam, Tanzania) – 171 Comments

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• What types of budgets do classroom teachers/departments get? (614 Total Comments)

Example comment: “budgets have been steadily dropping. Ownership slyly changed the school from a not for profit school to a for profit school, without notifying parents of the change.” – Makuhari International School (Tokyo, Japan) – 22 Comments

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• PARENTS ONLY – General comments from parents of students that go to this school (312 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The mastery system is open to the interpretation of each teacher, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” – QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China) – 64 Comments

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• What types of sports programs and activities does the school offer? (803 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The school offers a wide variety of after school activities which are run by teachers. There is no extra pay for this. Teachers can choose which activity they would like to lead.” – International School of Koje (Geoje, South Korea) – 47 Comments

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• Name some special things about this school that makes it unique. (802 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The school has an excellent music program that frequently presents music and drama to the local community and other schools. Students in the diploma program seek out ways to serve the community needs.” – Oeiras International School (Lisbon, Portugal) – 214 Comments

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• In general, describe the demeanor of the students. (707 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The students are generally great, however there are no entrance exams or behavior requirements. The owners Tehmine and Stephan want to make as much money as possible. There definitely are no requirements to enter this school.” – Surabaya European School (Surabaya, Indonesia) – 20 Comments

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• Has the school met your expectations once you started working there? (430 Total Comments)

Example comment: “I’ve really enjoyed working at the school. I have always been able to approach admin if I needed to.” – The Codrington School (Int’l School of Barbados) (St. John, Barbados) – 83 Comments

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• What does the school do to create a harmonious state of well-being and high morale amongst its staff? (502 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The school has a health and wellness program where a lot of teachers connect and exercise together. Also, the PTO regularly hosts cocktail events after school. Plus there are scheduled tours and cultural events.” – Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 69 Comments

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• Describe the technologies available at the school and how people are/are not using them. (584 Total Comments)

Example comment: “Each teacher has a PC (windows only. The printer server won’t talk to macs) and a smart board. However, the smart boards are not all hooked up or working so it’s a very expensive video screen. Slow internet. Nothing Google, youtube, or Facebook works in China.” – Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 182 Comments

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• Details about the current teacher appraisal process. (368 Total Comments)

Example comment: “Get on your principal’s good side and you are fine. If they do not like you you will immediately get put on a corrective plan and ushered out. Just flatter the admin and you will be fine.” – Abu Dhabi International Private School (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) – 43 Comments

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• Is the student population declining, staying the same or increasing? Give details why. (562 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The number of students has increased. There is a waitlist for Year 6 now.” – UCSI International School Subang Jaya (Subang Jaya, Malaysia) – 11 Comments

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• How have certain things improved since you started working there? (294 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The one more important thing that changed for the positive, in around 2011-12, was the school initiated an 8000 RMB per year, per teacher, PD allowance. Before that there wasn’t an allowance. There was though PD for the DP teachers before that.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 53 Comments

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• How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country? (226 Total Comments)

Example comment: “Well one thing that my school had in the United States was a coordinator for reading in the Primary school. I feel that CIS would benefit from having one of those. We need somebody to coordinate how the primary school teaches reading and someone to coordinate resources. Also, someone to help us have a clearer stop and sequence across the grade levels.” – Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 407 Comments

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• What controversies have been happening lately? Please be objective. (372 Total Comments)

Example comment: “The school hires foreign teachers but sometimes it is difficult for the teachers to integrate into the school. It is really a combination of moving to Chile and assimilating as a foreigner as well as the schools lack of support to receive foreign teachers. The administration has recognized this problem and is working to help future hires.” – Santiago College (Santiago, Chile) – 74 Comments

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• What insider information would you give to a teacher considering working at this school? (535 Total Comments)

Example comment: “Remember state school teachers are paid twice as much for half the work. All the locals are on waiting lists for Govt. schools but they are years (centuries) long.” – International School of Paphos (Paphos, Cyprus) – 123 Comments

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• How much curriculum development work are you expected to do? (Atlas Rubicon, Toddle, etc.) (343 Total Comments)

Example comment: “A curriculum coordinator offers huge levels of support for this. During the current year, this load is heavy because of where we are in the accreditation cycle. High School has used Rubicon for a while. Lower School is just starting to use Rubicon.” – American School of Marrakesh  (Marrakesh, Morocco) – 29 Comments

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How did this school handle the COVID-19 situation? (14 Total Comments)

Example comment: “I was very impressed with ISHRs response to covid. No reductions in salary or positions cut, although some departing members of staff were not replaced. The school gave teachers the autonomy to work from home, although other schools in Germany asked staff to be on site. They checked in regularly to see how we were doing outside of school. I would go as far as saying it was probably one of the best responses in the international school world. We all got to keep our jobs, work from home when we felt like we needed to, and were treated with compassion…” – International School Hannover Region (Hannover, Germany) – 42 Comments

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Morocco

November 21, 2021


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

The big question always is…how do the comments about each school compare to each other?

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

Morocco

Currently, we have 10 schools listed in Morocco on International School Community.

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

American School Fes (18 Total Comments)
American School of Marrakesh (29 Total Comments)
American School of Tangier (10 Total Comments)
British International School of Casablanca (37 Total Comments)
Casablanca American School (39 Total Comments)
George Washington Academy (108 Total Comments)
Rabat American School (16 Total Comments)

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

“Single teachers can save up to $15000 a year and teaching couples up to $30000. The saving potential is high…” – Rabat American School

“Easily saved about $10,000 without living particularly frugally. The cost of living is generally quite low…” – American School of Marrakesh

“With a working couple, you can easily save one salary. That said a family of four would have to watch their budget as costs of things such as car hire can add heavily to expenditure…” – British International School of Casablanca

School Campus

“Nice open feeling to central campus areas. Able to take class outside and read a book under a tree. Limited facilities – no pool, etc…” – Casablanca American School

“A quiet area by the ocean, walking distance to a tennis club and a few local places to eat and shop. The school has two cars you can borrow to run errands, but the cars are manual only (fyi)…” – George Washington Academy

“Next to the campus there are many trees and low rise residential, shops and restaurants nearby…” – Rabat American School

Housing Information

“Housing is provided in an apartment complex. Utilities within reason included. Apartments have basic furnishings and wifi. There is a cable TV package or something similar, but few channels in English…” – American School of Marrakesh

“Furnished housing is provided. The school also pays for your utilities…” – American School of Tangier

“Accommodation is provided in a modern golf complex. Bills are to be paid by the teachers…” – British International School of Casablanca

Benefits for Teachers with Children

“If two parents are working for the school then the kid gets in free but if one parent is working for the school there is a fee that would need to be paid…” – George Washington Academy

“Free tuition for two children; half tuition for additional children…” – American School of Marrakesh

“Free child places. It is possible to hire a nanny for around 4000 MAD a month if needs be…” – British International School of Casablanca

Are the Expectations High of Teaching Staff?

“Having come from one of the big high pressure schools, I can honestly say the workload is not hard. Classload is light with only 2 or 3 classes per day, and extra curriculuar are optional and paid. The work day ends at 3:45 and only the new teachers with limited experience consider the workload “tough”. I’m home every day by 4 to cook dinner for my family, that is something I have never been able to do before in my professional career, and I think that is a real blessing of GWA…” – George Washington Academy

“In addition to teaching duties, you are expected to run one extra curricular activity and participate in one school committee. For most grades, there is a reasonable amount of prep time (entitled to 4 periods, but most people have at least 8 per week, some even more). You are also required to do 1-2 duties per week…” –American School of Marrakesh

“The expectations are high but not over demanding. Timetables are no different to other international schools although the day is long. Clubs are taken by staff, currently once a week…” –British International School of Casablanca

(These are just 5 of the 66 different comments topics that are on each school profile page on our website.)

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

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Comment Topic Highlight

Student Populations at International Schools: Are they Increasing or Declining?

June 27, 2021


It is a catch 22. If the student population is increasing, then you might have one or more of the following: the maximum number of students (or even a few more) allowed in each classroom, the need to build a new school building (which can take years and a lot of headaches), the school gets more money to pay for teachers and other things, etc…

If the student population is declining, then these things might happen: teachers might be made redundant, the school stops funding certain programs and decreases various budgets, maybe a better education for students as the student-to-teacher ratio might be lower, etc…

But this is the life of an international school and they should be prepared to adjust to the different waves of their student population.

Many of these waves are caused by outside forces, most recently the COVID 19 pandemic. The pandemic caused many families to relocate due to lost jobs or many companies to close their sites in the country.

So international school teachers need to be aware of these waves and be prepared when they go up and down.

When you first arrive at the school, they might be in a wave of increasing student population. Things are going great. Budgets for teachers are ample and ready to use. PD opportunities off-campus are available for teachers to apply for. And most importantly, teachers are getting paid and on time.

After a few years at this school, the student population could easily be declining and teachers could be experiencing quite a different situation.

Before taking a job at an international school, it might be a good idea to ask about the predictions about the future of their student population.

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Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this topic of maternity benefits. In this comment topic, our members can share what their experience has been working at various international schools around the world. There are a total of 538 comments (June 2021) that have been submitted by our veteran international school teachers on this specific comment topic (one out of the 66 in total) called – “Is the student population declining, staying the same or increasing? Give details why.”

Here are a few of those submitted comments:

“Our population has been relatively consistent over the past few years. We did not lose as many students as we had anticipated during the height of the Corona pandemic…” – International School of Zanzibar (Zanzibar City, Tanzania) – 67 Total Comments

“Student enrollment has slightly increased over the past few years. The reputation of the school in the community for the past 40 years combined with its connection with ARAMCO has helped maintain its enrollment numbers…” – Dhahran Ahliyya Schools (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) – 103 Comments

“Increasing! Due to covid-19 border closures and the simple fact that Vietnam is much safer than, say, the US or Canada. There has been ample effort to market the school as per the HoS’s partner designs. There is no waiting list and the doors are opened to any and all that are able to come…” – American International School (Vietnam) (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) – 212 Total Comments

“Growth has been slight but steady for a number of years. Enrollment is dependent also on the oil, gas and mineral industries, and they can fluctuate. There were expectations of rapid, high growth recently, but that all changed with the pandemic. In the summer of 2020 the school lost 45% of its enrollment. Some of that has come back as of December, but we’re still down 33% from where we expected to be…” – American International School of Mozambique(Maputo, Mozambique) – 45 Comments

“Student population increased significantly since the school moved to their own building. However, since March 2020, the student population has declined because of Covid-19 situation. Mostly, the parents of the preprimary students are reluctant to attend online classes and seemed to have decided to take a year break and see how things go in 2021…” – Australian International School (Dhaka) (Dhaka, Bangladesh) – 25 Comments

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Information for Members

The 40 Most Viewed Schools on International School Community

June 13, 2021


So interesting, our top 40 school profiles with the most views page.

It’s like, which school is the most popular amongst our 21.7K+ members?  Before reading below or checking out the page, which schools do you think show up on this list?

Are the ones at the top those “Tier one” international schools that we all hear about? You might be surprised which schools are really on this list then!

The school that has the most views right now is the Al Hada International School (13 total comments), which currently has around 170967 views. Who wouldn’t want to work in the Middle East?!

Here are some of the other top schools on our list (along with a sample comment from its school profile page):

International School of Chile (Nido de Aguilas) (48 total comments) Santiago, Chile
(76394 views)

“I found the interview process to be very random and not very organized. The ES principal was not someone I am excited to work for. That said, the school has a good reputation and is in a great location…”

British International School Moscow (42 total comments) Moscow, Russia
(71149 views)

“Not recommended to use shipping. I moved with suitcases. Most apartments are fully furnished and the paperwork and red tape make it highly discouraged to relocate with anything other than luggage. The school was very up front with this and explain the nightmare that is Russian bo…”

The Universal American School (22 total comments) Salwa, Kuwait
(54998 views)

“UAS facilities are air-conditioned including an indoor swimming pool, multi-purpose play court, fully equipped gymnasium, a 400-seat auditorium, large library, and a multi-purpose hall. Students have access to three computer labs, science labs at all levels, music/band rooms, large…”

International School of Elite Education (13 total comments) New Cairo City, Egypt
(47796 views)

“No taxes have to be paid. Salaries are in USD. Monthly salary, average is between 1800-1900 USD…”

Colegio Granadino Manizales (68 total comments) Manizales, Colombia
(39528 views)

“For me personally, many aspects of my job was discussed during the interview. Talking to teachers before coming to Manizales also helped clear up some of the unknown areas. For some of my colleagues, however, this wasn’t the case, and there were some unexpected surprises…”

American International School of Budapest (55 total comments) Budapest, Hungary
(21174 views)

“In secondary, the meeting schedule for the school year is mapped out in advance and the meeting of the week (Tuesday for MS and Wednesday for HS) rotates between full faculty meetings, department meetings, grade-level meetings, and no meetings when it is a week where grades are d…”

Leman International School Chengdu (21 total comments) Chengdu, China
(5867 views)

“Most of the large shopping malls have gourmet markets that include Western foods and ingredients, and two or three chains specifically cater to them as well. A huge number of expat-oriented pubs and restaurants can be found, especially along Sukhumvit Road…”

International School of Kuala Lumpur (135 total comments) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(5220 views)

“Pay is good, with a great retirement (EPF) program that can go up to 42% of salary (including both employer and employee amounts). Teachers are paid 10 times (August through June) but in June they also get their July salary.”

Western International School of Shanghai (481 total comments) Shanghai, China
(5020 views)

“Tons of activities if one wants to do something. It’s pretty easy to fund running, cycling, hiking, tennis, basketball, rugby, and so forth. Pretty much anything is on offer here!”

Copenhagen International School (391 total comments) Copenhagen, Denmark
(4612 views)

“This year CIS went to a recruiting fair in London. The director mentioned that he wants to make sure our school ‘stays visible’ at these fairs every once and awhile. There weren’t that many vacancies this year, which is typical because people tend to stay here a…”

Singapore American School (313 total comments) Singapore, Singapore
(4659 views)

“Short-term disability benefit. Worldwide health insurance coverage.”

NIST International School (403 total comments) Bangkok, Thailand
(4115 views)

“Campus is south of the city. Apartments are being built around it and public transportation links near the school are improving…”

Concordia International School (Shanghai) (180 total comments) Shanghai, China
(3928 views)

“The school buildings are quite modern. Many students walk to school as there are many neighbourhoods near the school.”

American International School in Egypt (Main Campus) (64 total comments) Cairo, Egypt
(3881 views)

“This is a bit of an issue at AIS. They seem to hire people without checking references and most interviews are just over the phone or Skype. Several people get fired a year due to behaviors that I am sure would have shown before hiring should AIS do face to face interviews and…”

Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (168 total comments) Hong Kong, China
(3156 views)

“A fair number of teachers make multiple stops on their way back to “home” in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand. Since these are long flights (~10-18 hours), it is easy to find extended layovers en route.”

Check out the rest of the schools on our list here.

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Discussion Topics

LGBT Friendly? Insight into 12 International Schools and Their Countries

March 28, 2021


Let’s face it: LGBT teachers need to consider some specific things when they decide they would like to teach abroad at an international school.

It could be that the school you are going to is LGBT-friendly, but your host country is not. Sometimes both the school and the host country are not LGBT-Friendly. Many LGBT international school teachers would not choose to work in either of these situations for moral or safety reasons, while other might. Even when the laws of the host countries include the death penalty, there are some LGBT international school teachers who have lived and worked there for many years with very little to no problems.

It is still a difficult choice to make though, as there can be some potentially harmful, confusing, and even dangerous discrimination situations for LGBT international school teachers in some countries around the world.

Therefore, it is very important to do your research and check out your prospective international school and see what they think (ask them these questions during your interview!). Take some time to examine the current laws related to LGBT people in the host country and the latest news articles about any possible recent events.

We scoured our database of comments, and we found 12 that stood out to us as some of the most interesting and insightful, about whether or not each of these schools and/or countries are LGBT-friendly.

1.

“There is a wide variety of teachers from different backgrounds. Age also varies widely. It is a school that is LGBT-friendly and accepts same-sex relationships. The turnover is normal for the size of the school. Many people stay longer than first intended…” – International School Manila (110 total comments)

2.

“Parents are not LGBT friendly – as a result, while the school does not have a particular bias, they cater to the parents…” – Peking University Experimental School (Jiaxing) (79 total comments)

3.

“Expats, with local Romanians as assistants and a few specialist positions.
Turnover is low but should be lower for a great package in a great city.
LGBT friendly school, there are some ‘rules’ to follow for Romania in general.” – American International School Bucharest (63 total comments)

4.

“A mix of local and expat teachers work here. Some teachers don’t speak any English but everyone is friendly. I don’t think it is LGBT friendly as an induction meeting for new teachers gives a friendly warning about keeping your sexuality to yourself…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala (138 total comments)

5.

“Most of the staff if expat, including the non-teaching employees (bus drivers, kitchen staff etc.). On average I would say staff stay here for 3-5 years. The school is LGBT friendly as is Switzerland…” – Leysin American School (113 total comments)

6.

“Teachers are from various countries but mainly from UK, Ireland, US, Canada and Spain but we do have teachers hired from Hungary and Greece. Some teachers are local hires but the majority aren’t. Teaching Assistants are all local hires. There is no native English speaker requirement as far as I know. The country is definitely not LGBT friendly as it is a strict Islamic country…” – SEK International School Qatar (37 total comments)

7.

“LGBT friendly school. A mixture of couples and singles. Local and expat teachers. There has been a turnover of teachers in the last few years with Burkina not being as stable as it was and unrest here and in neighbouring countries.” – International School of Ouagadougou (57 total comments)

8.

“With the exception of ATs, Bahasa and Mandarin teachers – ALL teachers are expats. Almost all are from the UK. There are also Canadian, American, Australian – but in small minority. There are a few non-native speakers also – from France, Spain for example… The staffroom is not that diverse though. The country itself is not that LGBT friendly. Many LGBT teachers have fared well, others have left describing the dating scene as poor…” – The British International School of Kuala Lumpur (29 total comments)

9.

“The majority of the teachers here are from the US, Aus/NZ and the UK. There are also a fair amount of ‘local’ teachers who, by and large, did their teacher training in the US. Teaching assistants are locally hired and the school runs an internship for locally trained teachers. The school and country is LGBT friendly. The staff turnover rate is fairly typical for an international school. The vast majority of staff hold Masters degrees (for which there is additional pay on the payscale) and the clear preference is for an education degree…” – American School Antananarivo (24 total comments)

10.

“Every class must have a native English speaker who works alongside with a local bilingual coeducator. The school is brand new so difficult to state staff turnover – those hired since the beginning still work there. A very inclusive and LGBT friendly school…” – GIS – The International School of Sao Paulo (22 total comments)

11.

“Almost all of the classroom teachers are foreigners from Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and England. The teaching assistants and most of the staff are Russian. Please note that there is almost zero diversity at this school. This is not a LGBT friendly country or school. Please do not disclose if you are LGBT for your own sake…” – International School of Kazan (86 total comments)

12.

“High turnover of local staff. Local pay is <10% of foreign teacher salary.
Foreign teachers stay for 3 years typically. It is a LGBT friendly school, but the country is still evolving, and most LGBT teachers are not open about being gay.” – Escuela Bella Vista Maracaibo (65 total comments)

Check out the rest of the “LGBT friendly” submitted comments on our website here.

If you have worked at an international school and know first-hand knowledge about whether the international school or the host country is LGBT-friendly, log in to International School Community and submit your comment. For every 10 submitted comments, you will get one month of free premium membership added to your account!

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Abu Dhabi

March 7, 2021


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

The big question always is…how do the comments about each school compare to each other?

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

Abu Dhabi

Currently, we have 21 schools listed in Abu Dhabi on International School Community.

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

Abu Dhabi International Private School (43 Total Comments)
American Community School of Abu Dhabi (30 Total Comments)
American International School (Abu Dhabi) (97 Total Comments)
Emirates National School (Abu Dhabi) (15 Total Comments)
GEMS American Academy (Abu Dhabi) (37 Total Comments)
Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi (31 Total Comments)
Raha International School (28 Total Comments)

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

Some teachers are putting aside at least 10000 AED a month. Saving potential is big here, but if you travel a lot and go out drinking a lot, then you won’t save as much…” – GEMS American Academy (Abu Dhabi)

“If you budget and don’t get a car you can have 2K saved per month…” – Emirates National School (Abu Dhabi)

“A family of 4 will not be pleasantly sustainable with one income. You will receive a deposit very close to $3400/month. Utilities are covered at 50%, so you may pay up to $300 for water and electric (have heard of some teachers having $700 bill). Internet is expensive, $100 will get you medium speed internet, but the best package is obviously higher. Basic but adequate groceries (avoiding western products and cheapest produce) is $400/month. This does not include “junk food” or carryout or dine-in eating…” – American International School (Abu Dhabi)

School Campus

“Way too crowded. Campus is in villa area in city center. Old dated classrooms…” – Raha International School

“There are four campuses for the school. One in Abu Dhabi and three in the western region. I work at a school in the western region however, all of the campuses are very nice and well-manicured…” – Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi

“The campus is new, modern and mostly fully equipped. Good sport installations. The kindergarten wing is very inviting, with lots of color and open space and childrens’ work on the walls everywhere…” – GEMS American Academy (Abu Dhabi)

Housing Information

“If the First Party does not provide accommodation, a monthly accommodation allowance shall be paid to the Second Party, amounting to AED 2,500. In case a married couple employed by the First Party, a family furnished accommodation or a monthly accommodation allowance shall be granted only to one of the married couple…” – Emirates National School (Abu Dhabi)

“Housing allowance is grossly inadequate for any single person to get even a studio on their own without tossing in around aed10-20K…” – American International School (Abu Dhabi)

“Housing allowance is 2000 aed a month so you MUST take the school accommodation with is not great but is in the city center. Emsons building and Tourist club are the two main locations but if you are a couple or a family you will get a 2 bed apt near Wahada Mall. Must pay for own utilities 150 aed month. Not great housing but not horrible either. Housing is furnished and has lots and pans, etc. low-end furniture but acceptable…” – Abu Dhabi International Private School

Benefits for Teachers with Children

“35%tuition discount for 1st child, 30% second child. Double tuition discount for teaching couples. Insurance provided for kids but NOT visas or flights…” – Abu Dhabi International Private School

“2 children: free if 2 parents teach; 50% if 1 parent teaches…” – American International School (Abu Dhabi)

“If you are a teaching couple you can get up to two children to attend for free. You also get a flight for your child, one flight per teacher…” – GEMS American Academy (Abu Dhabi)

Are the Expectations High of Teaching Staff?

“High. This is a top school…” – Raha International School

“There are ECA for elementary. High workload. Many teachers are teaching between 24 to 30 periods per week. They also have assigned duties…” – Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi

“Teachers have to do an hour a week of after-school activities for 2/3 of the school year. Some staff are giving leadership positions with a paid stipend…” – GEMS American Academy (Abu Dhabi)

(These are just 5 of the 66 different comments topics that are on each school profile page on our website.)

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Kazakhstan

December 21, 2020


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

The big question always is…how do the comments about each school compare to each other?

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

Kazakhstan

Currently, we have 12 schools listed in Kazakhstan on International School Community.

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

Haileybury Almaty (31 Total Comments)
Haileybury Astana (57 Total Comments)
Nazarbayev Intellectual school in Nur-Sultan (110 Total Comments)
Miras International School (Almaty) (21 Total Comments)
Miras International School (Astana) (13 Total Comments)

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

“One can save unto $3000 per month with a fairly decent lifestyle…” – Nazarbayev Intellectual school in Nur-Sultan

“You can definitely save at least 1000 USD a month…” – Miras International School (Almaty)

“Many staff are paying off a mortgage back in England on their second house…” – Haileybury AstanaA

School Campus

“In June 2017, Kazakhstan hosted EXPO 2017, the theme of which was “renewable energy”. This was a fantastic undertaking, and the legacy of the program is that many new buildings were constructed fairly close to the NISA campus. These buildings include a new mall called Silkway, which has a wide variety of shopping and dining experiences AND a cinema complex that features English-language movies fairly regularly…” – Nazarbayev Intellectual school in Nur-Sultan

“Large square building of three stories with ‘quad’ in the centre. Football pitch, swimming pool, assembly and dance halls, two libraries. To the south edge of town, in a still-developing area…” – Haileybury Astana

“It is a purpose-built campus, so it is inspiring to work in. The classrooms have Smart Board like boards which is nice. The fields are lovely and new and there is a wonderful view of the nearby mountains. I can also see the mountains from my classroom…” – Haileybury Almaty

Housing Information

“The school provides housing and they also pay for your utilities. Housing comes furnished…” – Miras International School (Astana)

“Housing allowance is 1200 USD. Teachers live all over the city. Finding an appropriate apartment can be a challenge though. Some teachers have the utilities included in their rent…” – Haileybury Almaty

“You can choose to live on or off-campus. There is a housing allowance if you live off-campus. You also get a monthly allowance to pay for utilities. All apartments come furnished…” – Miras International School (Almaty)

Pension Plan Details

“We get 10% extra in-lieu of a pension…” – Haileybury Almaty

“No retirement plan for teachers…” – Miras International School (Almaty)

“There is no retirement plan…” – Nazarbayev Intellectual school in Nur-Sultan

Are the Expectations High of Teaching Staff?

“Yes, most teachers have to do a compulsory 2 after school classes a week all year round, no pay. The workload can be heavy at times…” – Haileybury Almaty

“It depends upon many moving parts, but it is expected due to Covid that the class sizes will be increased and the expected hours will be near 30ish; but, it really depends upon department what that means for actual teaching…” – Haileybury Astana

“The expectations of the international teaching staff is very high, as they are seen as the experts in their fields, and are expected to share that knowledge. This means that much of the unit planning, detailed lesson planning, and teaching falls on the shoulders of the international teachers. This is in addition to a greater number of teaching contact hours than a local colleague…” – Nazarbayev Intellectual school in Nur-Sultan

(These are just 5 of the 66 different comments topics that are on each school profile page on our website.)

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Guatemala

June 28, 2020


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

The big question always is…how do the comments about each school compare to each other?

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

Guatemala

Currently, we have 8 schools listed in Guatemala on International School Community.

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

American School of Guatemala (47 Total Comments)
Antigua International School Guatemala (14 Total Comments)
Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala (124 Total Comments)
Han Al American School (11 Total Comments)
The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya) (75 Total Comments)

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

“If you are very frugal or share an apartment you can save money. If you have debt or loans to make payments on, you will likely not save any…” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya)

“After you have been there a couple of years you get extra bonuses which help with saving money. Most teachers save between 5 and 10k…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala

“Because my experience was minimal at the time I made $1,500 a month. I was able to save $500 a month…” – Antigua International School Guatemala

School Campus

“Building is old but in working order. Reparations are done in a timely manner. Pre-K classrooms are recently renovated, plans to renovate all classrooms in the future. Class sizes are standard. Teachers are mostly from North America…” – American School of Guatemala

“The school campus is basically small, but cozy too. There are four buildings where classes are held…” – Han Al American School

“The school is located on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The campus is on a steep site that goes uphill from the carpark at the bottom to the elementary school at the top. There is a lovely nature-scape play area, primarily for use by the elementary school, at the top of the campus. There are also plans in place for a new “Innovation Hub”, which will then allow the school to relocate Middle School classrooms and provide more space for project-based learning…” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya)

Housing Information

“There was no housing allowance provided by the school…” – Antigua International School Guatemala

“$300/month housing allowance…” – Han Al American School

“The school provides gorgeous apartments which are usually 2 bedrooms 2 bath got a single teacher. The apartment standard is high with many teachers commenting on how great their place is…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala

Pension Plan Details

“Your first year, the school will match a measly 2% of your salary. Your second year, 3%. This continues to a maximum of 5%. Plan is through Raymond James…” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya)

“No pension provided, teachers are expected to save from their salary and use the gratuity at the end which is one money salary per year worked…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala

Are the Expectations High of Teaching Staff?

“As a bi-lingual school, foreign staff members in elementary/early childhood have a large amount of planning because their Guatemalan counterparts teach for approx. 1/3 of the day. Some of this time is spent in mandatory meetings, some is self-directed planning time. Middle and high school teachers have more than adequate planning time…” – American School of Guatemala

“The staff had to have a club each term. It could be an academic, sport or art club…” – Antigua International School Guatemala

“Extra curricular responsibilities are minimal especially when comparing with other schools. MS teachers and HS teachers don’t really do extra-curricular, and the ones who do seem to always be the same few individuals taking on that responsibility…” – Colegio Interamericano de Guatemala

(These are just 5 of the 66 different comments topics that are on each school profile page on our website.)

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Information for Members

11 International Schools that have Relaxing Environments

May 31, 2020


Who doesn’t want to work in a relaxed environment at their work? Then after you leave work, you enter into a very relaxed local city environment and home. Sounds pretty nice, right?

However, the world of international schools and the cities they are situated in aren’t always so relaxing! On the other hand, it is important to note that there are indeed a number of schools that are!

Work-related stress can really take a toll on one’s wellbeing, so it is good to keep healthy and give yourself breaks and time to reflect. Talking about your worries and concerns also helps to keep you calm and focused. Meanwhile, it is nice when there are opportunities to do that at your school and you have supportive colleagues that are good listeners and in good spirits themselves.

If your host city is chaotic, that can take a toll on your wellbeing as well. Pollution and lack of nature around may give you less opportunities to recharge yourself and enjoy a well-deserved and relaxing break.

International schools can do a number of things to create a more laid-back environment for its staff. Some schools have a massage therapist come and do appointments on campus once every 2 weeks or so. Other schools allow more autonomy to their teachers in how they want to organize their workday and teach in their classes without being micromanaged. And the list of possible actions goes on…

Cities can and should also make choices that make their neighbourhoods more relaxed. Expanding the urban greenery, working on noise reduction, protecting the water and buildings, and inspiring public recreational facilities are only some of them.

So who are the international schools that have created a more relaxed working environment? And which local cities around the world have relaxing environment to live in?

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 45 comments that had the keyword “Relaxed” in them. Here are 11 of them:

Thailand

“The school is quite far from the center of Chiang Mai but it is possible to find nice places to eat and plenty of local shops and markets a short car or scooter ride away. The plus side is that you have total peace and are surrounded by lush green making it a wonderfully relaxed place to live and explore. Staff are given apartments on the school grounds with the option to live off campus for those who wish it.” – Prem Tinsulanonda International School (41 total comments)

Guinea

“The school is developing and needs innovative and creative thinkers to solve the issues that developed due to the location and lack of resources in the region. Those looking for an adventure and willing to sacrifice the comforts of schools in more developed countries can enjoy relaxed work, a family like setting if the right personalities are in place.” – American International School of Conakry (47 total comments)

Malaysia

“Teaching staff are given leeway to be the professionals in the classroom. Therefore, there is a relaxed, yet committed staff. Administration promotes and values the balance between professional and personal needs.” – Mont’Kiara International School (84 total comments)

Germany

“It’s a true non-profit school. Board is not breathing down your neck. In some ways, it’s quite relaxed (no one is inspecting your lessons, usually.) In others ways, there’s unnecessary stress (poor communication, some teaching loads piled too high.)” – Berlin Brandenburg International School (81 total comments)

Girls in Japan

Costa Rica

“The culture of UWCCR is much more relaxed and informal then in most other schools. Everyone is addressed by their given name and there is no dress code for students or teachers. Since it is a community there is a more egalitarian atmosphere.” – United World College of Costa Rica (108 total comments)

France

“The school provides a lot of flexibility for students and teachers in terms of the day-to-day schedule. There is a relaxed atmosphere at many points in the year.” – American School of Paris (51 total comments)

Norway

“We are a small team, we get on really well and are very supportive of each other. If you came here thinking that this is a wealthy school with amazing resources, you would be disappointed. If you come here thinking that this is a friendly, relaxed place where teachers and students really grow, then you would be happy!” – Norlights International School Oslo (114 total comments)

Ukraine

“It is a pretty relaxed city and low costs make eating out very easy. As stated below, the architecture is amazing!” – Pechersk School International (162 total comments)

Indonesia

“There is a Christmas tea hosted for the staff on campus where all the expat and Indonesian staff from all grade levels get an opportunity to spend some relaxed moments together.” – Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School (203 total comments)

Indonesia

“People stay because it is relaxed, easy, and relatively safe. People leave because of the extra 9% taxes that kick in the 2nd year that are not offset and that you are not told about in the interview. People also leave because of the culture of the parents, not being able to grow, and not having a lot to do when not working.” – American School of Asuncion (145 total comments)

Cambodia

“People are leaving to pursue international teaching careers. People are staying because they enjoy the relaxed lifestyle.” – Ican British International School (74 total comments)

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Comment Topic Highlight

How much are international schools actually improving themselves?

May 1, 2020


Sometimes it feels like your international school is stuck in a rut. As hard as it tries and how well intentioned the teachers and administration are at attempting to make the needed changes, the school ends up just staying in the same lane doing the same things it has been doing for years/decades.

But many international schools do indeed figure out how to make the needed changes to help their school improve and move forward to be more current and progressive. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to get these changes to come to pass, sometimes it takes many months and more often years.

Maybe it has to do with international schools going through an accreditation process. They do need to go through a self-assessment phase to figure out what they are doing well and not so well. And then, finally after the accreditation is all over, they get an action plan with specific tasks to complete in the next few years. These tasks typically are required to complete with the aim at helping the school move forward and improve themselves.

Maybe the school gets a change of administration. New administrators in a school typically have a number of new goals that they’d like their new school to achieve and they inspire the staff there to join them. However, it is not always easy to get the staff to ‘get on board’ with the new changes.

More likely, it just comes down to the grassroots efforts of inspired teachers and administrators that are not only just doing their job very well, but often they will be doing things a bit outside their task portfolio. These inspired staff will find others to join them in the quest for change and improvement. And with a lot of hard work and figuring things out about how these changes could work, they get small and larger changes to happen. Getting change to occur is always a challenging task. But with an inspired effort and structured plan with clear expectations and purpose, these teachers and administrators get the job done!

Who doesn’t want to work for an international schools that is living their dream and their best self? When your international school is leading the way, it is the best feeling to be a part of that. The students will also want to be at that school as well!

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Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this topic of the improvements international schools are making. Our members can share what their experience has been working at various international schools around the world. There are a total of 242 comments (April 2020) that have been submitted by our veteran international school teachers in one of the 66 comment topics called – “How have certain things improved since you started working there?”

Here are a few of those submitted comments:

“I’ve been in IAA for a few years now. In that time it has gone through some major and positive changes. Most of it has been extremely overwhelming to most of the staff as they were used to a different way of doing things. In my opinion though, it’s been for the best. Now, we are more organized and structured than before. There’s been tons of professional development and new / higher expectations as well…” – InterAmerican Academy Guayaquil (Guayaquil, Ecuador) – 62 Total Comments

“We’ve added a small coaching team, we’ve begun in-house PD, and we’ve hired more teachers with longer international experience…” – Shanghai American School (Pudong) (Shanghai, China) – 88 Comments

“They have been working on having policies in writing and following those policies with more diligence. Before, things were a bit ad hoc but they’re trying to be more systematic…” – International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (Shenzhen, China) – 61 Total Comments

“I would say one of the biggest changes (at least in my division) has been morale. With a totally new administration team in the lower primary, people are quite happy and there is a nice sense of community. We have had very few vacancies the past couple years…” – Hong Kong International School(Hong Kong, China) – 145 Comments

“There has been an adjustment in salaries which is good for local staff as hyperinflation is a big issue. Recently, local staff have started getting subsidized lunches which helps a great deal. Secondary now has a TA which was very necessary as several students have special needs. This allows teachers to focus on other students and keep the lesson going…” – British School Caracas (Caracas, Venezuela) – 35 Comments

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Albania

February 15, 2020


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

The big question always is…how do the comments about each school compare to each other?

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

Albania

Currently, we have 6 schools listed in Albania on International School Community.

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

World Academy of Tirana (41 Total Comments)
Albanian International School (32 Total Comments)
Albanian College Tirana (12 Total Comments)
Albanian College Durres (103 Total Comments)

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

“You can save around 1000 to 1500 Euros each month depending on your lifestyle. Traveling around the region is quite tempting, so you will have to prioritize if you really want to save some money or explore the world…” – Albanian College Durres

“Extremely easy to save money. Restaurants and local hotels are not expensive…” – World Academy of Tirana

School Campus

“In south of city, owner just bought a field in front of school for student play…” – Albanian College Tirana

“The school has serious safety concerns. The railings could easily fit a small child through them. The ceilings on the main floor have collapsed. There is a pool in the basement without proper ventilation. The only outdoor space for the children to play is on the roof and it is woefully inadequate…” – Albanian College Durres

“The school moved to its current 4-storey building in 2015, with a purpose-built Science Laboratory, Design workshop, Permaculture Garden, multi-functional Sports Court, Gymnasium, Visual Arts studio, Dance Studio, Music Studio, two Libraries, Cafeteria and Bistro…” – World Academy of Tirana

Housing Information

“Housing is provided by the school. Value is 300E per month. Staff pays their own utilities, cable, internet, etc…” – World Academy of Tirana

“Housing allowance is 400 Euros per month for a single teacher…” – Albanian College Tirana

“Housing allowance ranges from 300-400 Euro’s per month depending on single status and number of dependents…” – Albanian College Durres

Sample prices for food, transportation, average hourly rates for a housekeeper, etc.

“Prices much lower than surrounding countries…beer in local restaurants range from 1.2 E to 2.5 euros…” – World Academy of Tirana

“To take a taxi from within the center of the city, it will cost you around 350-450 LEK. Quite cheap! Going out for food will probably cost you around 1600-1700 LEK for two people, and that includes a few drinks and appetizers…” – Albanian International School

“Housekeepers prices vary. Some expats pay 10,000 Leke per month for a housekeeper visit 2 per week…” – Albanian College Tirana

(These are just 4 of the 66 different comments topics that are on each school profile page on our website.)

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

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Mexico

June 13, 2019


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

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

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

Mexico

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

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

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

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

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

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

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

School Campus

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

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

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

Housing Information

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

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

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

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

Health Insurance and Medical Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Top 10 Lists

11 International Schools that have Enthusiastic Teachers and Students

May 7, 2019


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:

Denmark
“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)

Kyrgyzstan
“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)

India
“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)

Spain
“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)

Japan
“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)

Indonesia
“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)

Russia
“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)

Chile
“The students are respectful, creative and enthusiastic. They love to chat and socialize!” – Santiago College (24 total comments)

Ethiopia
“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)

Belgium
“The students are amazing. So welcoming, so enthusiastic to learn.” – The British School of Brussels (36 total comments)

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in India

December 27, 2018


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

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

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

India

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

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

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

Amount of Money Left to be Saved

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

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

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

School Campus

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

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

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

Housing Information

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

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

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

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

Health Insurance and Medical Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight #38: Tareq Hajjaj (A teacher at The American School of Belo Horizonte)

September 11, 2018


Every so often International School Community is looking to highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight blog category.  This month we interviewed Tareq Hajjaj:

member spotlight
Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

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.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

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.

member spotlight

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

I 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.

member spotlight

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.

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

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).

member spotlight

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

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.

member spotlight

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

An amazing and unforgettable experience.

teacher

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.

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Vienna

September 6, 2018


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

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

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

Vienna

Currently, we have 5 schools listed in Vienna on International School Community.

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

AMADEUS International School Vienna (76 Total Comments)
American International School Vienna (81 Total Comments)
Danube International School (14 Total Comments)
Vienna International School (29 Total Comments)

Amount of money left to be saved

“You don’t save that much working here, but on average a single teacher could save around 2500 Euros a year.” – Vienna International School

“If you are smart with money, you could save around 2-4 Euros a year.” – Danube International School 

“This will vary greatly depending on spending habits and situation. As a single, and putting aside 15% toward retirement, living alone in a decent flat, traveling occasionally, I’ve saved about 9000 euro each year. Even with more travel and going out to eat more, it seems reasonable that one could save 2500-5000 each year.” – American International School Vienna

School Campus

“The buildings have undergone several renovations, some of which weren’t really necessary in my opinion, but nice to see that the owners care about the facilities.” – AMADEUS International School Vienna

“The campus is next to very large Prater park, housed in an early 20th century building, next to Danube Canal.” – Danube International School

“Overall, there are more than 70 classrooms, seven science labs, art studios, music rooms, four computer labs, two libraries, a theatre, two gyms, a cafeteria, health unit, and a separate sports hall (which houses three indoor tennis courts or two basketball courts or ten badminton courts). There are various offices for counseling, the International Baccalaureate program, division offices, technology, and faculty departments. The exterior facilities include a soccer field, a running track, an elementary playground, an outdoor tennis court, and an outdoor amphitheatre.” – American International School Vienna

Housing Information

“Not everyone receives housing allowance.” – AMADEUS International School Vienna

“Housing and living expenses are high for single teachers with dependents and for families with non-teaching spouses.” – American International School Vienna

“The school offers a loan to pay for your housing, you need to pay it back within the first year. They help out with rental agency fees.” – Danube International School 

“You get a housing allowance for the first few weeks of your placement. Around 1000 Euros.” – Vienna International School

Health insurance and medical benefits

“Local medical insurance is provided.” – Vienna International School

“Expat teachers just get health insurance through the local social health care system in Austria. No dental.” – Danube International School 

“Outpatient is not covered, you can reimburse 85% of bills up to a maximum of 2,500,000 per year.” – American International School Vienna

“Vienna has excellent hospitals, the AKH (General Hospital of Vienna) is close to school and has a good reputation. Waiting time can be long though. However, the doctors are great” – AMADEUS International School Vienna

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

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

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Costa Rica

April 30, 2018


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

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

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

costa rica

Costa Rica

Currently, we have 13 schools listed in Costa Rica on International School Community.

8 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:

United World College of Costa Rica (28 Total Comments)
The British School of Costa Rica (31 Total Comments)
Marian Baker School (33 Total Comments)
Lincoln School (San Jose) (36 Total Comments)
Country Day School (26 Total Comments)
Costa Rica International Academy (40 Total Comments)
Blue Valley School (21 Total Comments)

Hiring Policies

“Apply through email, interview through skype. Typically hire American/ Canadians for English positions. Hire from other countries as well, especially for Spanish speaking positions.” – Costa Rica International Academy

“You can email with your resume attached and they will contact you if they are really interested. Otherwise at ISS fair in Atlanta.” – Country Day School

“All teaching positions require instructional fluency in English, minimum University Bachelor’s degree with a major or concentration in the field of specialty(24 university credits in the field), 12 University credits in Education, valid teacher’s license, two-year successful teaching experience. Preference is also given to candidates who will be positive role models to students within the context of a traditional Latin American school community.” – Lincoln School (San Jose)

costa rica

School Campus

“Small school setting with beautiful views of the central valley overlooking downtown San Jose and surrounding mountains (you can even see the national stadium!). Nice outdoor spaces with lovely flora and even nice bird species which fly around like the Oropendola and Motmot. School is not far from Parque del Este which has really nice rainforest hiking trails, and a few local restaurants nearby. San Jose itself is not a pretty area, but up on the mountain where Marian Baker is it is a sort of oasis.” – Marian Baker School

“It is mainly open plan with low level buildings surrounding a football pitch. There is a small theatre, gym and an on site soda selling food for the staff and students. The primary school has a couple of outside play areas with equipment. The surrounding area is residential with the domestic airport close by. You can see the mountains of the Central Valley in the east and the west, including Volcan Poas. It is situated on a broad but quiet road with little traffic.” – The British School of Costa Rica

“The campus is relatively small for a residential school, but the grounds are beautiful and quiet. It feels like a private community. The residential buildings are in a separate area from the academic buildings. Students live three to a room, 24 to a residence. The residence coordinators live in small houses next to each residence building. The Academic area is in the middle of the campus. There are eight one-story wings of three classrooms each, plus some offices for administration and teachers. There is plenty of light and space for class sizes between 8 and 20. Near the entrance to the campus is a large soccer field and a social center.” – United World College of Costa Rica

Housing Information

“None provided.” – Blue Valley School

“Furnished apartments available on campus – not luxurious but reflective of typical Costa Rican style housing. Can be comfortable, very secure. Off campus housing ranges in cost – no housing allowance provided. Off campus housing can range from $700 – 2000 a month not including utilities.” – Costa Rica International Academy

“An allowance is provided for teachers…” – Country Day School

“Housing allowance is $750 per month for singles or $1,000 a month for teaching couples…” – Marian Baker School

costa rica

Health insurance and medical benefits

“There is a national health plan that is high quality but slow (and generally in spanish) that all teachers and their families get. The school also helps pay for (pays 50%) of Private health care, which is faster but not necessarily better. They also pay for a MediSmart private health care discount card that can cover 30-80% of other health care (dentists, orthodontists, etc). Health care in general is pretty good in the country, but with private you have to do some research.” – The British School of Costa Rica

“The health insurance has worldwide coverage with emergency evacuation. No life or dental insurance.” – Marian Baker School

“All teachers get Costa Rican life insurance (Aprox $15000). The insurance provided has world-wide coverage. Teachers can get a visit with the school doctor when needed at no cost for teachers.” – Lincoln School (San Jose)

“Local is great, especially for specialities, if you have the time. Private is sometimes not as good.” – Country Day School

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

costa rica

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

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The Journey to School

The Journey to School: Jerudong International School

April 9, 2018


The journey to work is indeed an important one.  The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries to which they have never been.  So let’s share what we know!

One of our members, who works at the Jerudong International School (Brunei), described his way to work there as follows:

The road to Jerudong International School…

Brunei, a small country on the island of Borneo, which is famous for its’ lush jungle and wildlife. Brunei is a beautiful country with views of lush green jungle on almost any journey.

international school

Working at Jerudong International School means we have an option of taking the school allocated housing close to school or taking an allowance and going further out.

My wife and I being a teaching couple choose to stay close to school at Armada Housing (Rimba Estate). The journey itself is a 6 minute drive with hardly any traffic.

Armada Housing has literally been cut out of the jungle to make a complex which is safe and secure comprising of a gym, swimming pool and a variety of different housing styles ranging from 4 bed houses to penthouses.

international school

Our morning generally starts in a relaxing manner when we wake up between 4.30-5am to shower, followed by mediation/prayer. We eat breakfast then start our journey to school around 7am.

We choose to drive, but there are a few colleagues who bike through the jungle every morning. The drive takes us out of Armada Housing, on to the highway with views of the jungle on either side. We then get off at the JIS exit when the DST tower is on our left (5th tallest building in Brunei, a mere 71m/14 floors), where we then drive up to one of four entrances to park our car.

international school

All in all, a swift and efficient journey to school.

Here is a video of our journey on a beautiful Saturday afternoon:

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This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author, Amarpreet Singh. Amarpreet is a UK trained Teacher of Mathematics, currently teaching in Brunei Darussalam at Jerudong International School. He is moving to teach at a leading not for profit international school in Dubai (UAE) later this academic year. He made the move to Brunei with his wife (Teacher of Biology) and has enjoyed the adventures and challenges an international school provides.

What to know more what it is like to visit and live in SE Asia?  Out of a total of 311 international schools we have listed in SE Asia, 155 that have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:

Ican British International School (74 comments)
Northbridge International School (58 Comments)
Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School (86 Comments)
Green School Bali (98 Comments)
Sekolah Victory Plus (137 Comments)
Fairview International School (121 Comments)
International School of Kuala Lumpur (107 Comments)
Mont’Kiara International School (69 Comments)
Nexus International School (82 Comments)
International School Manila (71 Comments)
Singapore American School (90 Comments)
Stamford American International School (108 Comments)

So what is your journey to the international school you work at?  Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’.  Email us here if you are interested.

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The Journey to School

The Journey to School: American Embassy School New Delhi

March 15, 2018


The journey to work is indeed an important one.  The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries to which they have never been.  So let’s share what we know!

One of our members, who works at the American Embassy School New Delhi (India), described her way to work there as follows:

The road to American Embassy School New Delhi…

I have been working at the American Embassy School (AES) in New Delhi for the past year. My journey to school starts every morning at 7:45am (March 2018) when I leave my apartment. I consider myself pretty lucky because the whole commute takes less than ten minutes and I can walk.

I am currently living at the Embassy of Bulgaria. apparently, Bulgaria had a huge delegation in India in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, but due to some financial issues, the delegation has shrunk considerably in recent years. Thus, many of the apartments at the Embassy that used to be occupied by Bulgarians are now occupied by teachers from my school. Out of twenty-one apartments in the complex, eleven are occupied by AES teachers and ten are occupied by Bulgarian diplomats.

Journey to School

(The gardens on the Bulgarian Embassy grounds.)

The grounds of the apartment complex are quite beautiful. When I leave my apartment, I can hear birds chirping and see the sun shining (at least, I can in the spring and summertime – in the fall and winter there is quite a bit of pollution). But, this time of year, March, the sky is blue and there is bougainvillea blooming everywhere. The bright pink flowers bring a profusion of color to the landscape.

Journey to School

(Bougainvillea along the walls of the Bulgarian Embassy Compound.)

The gardener waves to me as I walk past. He’s busy feeding some of the many cats that live on the compound. There is a mama cat with four kittens who always say hi. They like to hang out in the backyard of the building. Every apartment comes with a terrace and garden, which is quite nice. There is also a pool that we can use, some barbecue grills, and a playground with a trampoline for kids.

Journey to School

(The pool at the Bulgarian Embassy – it’s filled from April to September.)

The apartment complex is a walled compound and there is a guard at the entrance 24/7. On my way out of the complex, I say to the guard “Namaste, Aap kaysayhey?” and he replies “Mayen tikh hoon.” I step out of the quiet of the Bulgarian and on to the street. There is color everywhere and the bees are humming around. It’s warm and breezy, maybe 70 degrees fahrenheit, and the high for the day will be close to 90F.

Journey to School

(The outside of the Bulgarian Embassy.)

I turn right and start walking. Along the way, I pass yellow and green auto-rickshaws (the traditional mode of transport in Delhi, very similar to the tuk-tuks of Bangkok), city taxis, motorbikes, and the ever ubiquitous white Suzukis that are used by Uber drives. Uber has recently become the preferred method of transport in Delhi and the white cars are everywhere. That’s one of the reasons why the traffic in the city is so bad. The proliferation of Uber. Thankfully, I don’t have to drive to get to school.

The walk is lovely. I pass the grounds of the Russian Trade Federation and the Ravi Shankar Foundation. There are bushes and yellow flowers and everything has been newly trimmed and smells like cut grass. I think most people who come to Delhi would be surprised by how green the city is. Although it’s home to twenty-five million people, there are quite a lot of trees.

Journey to School

(The entrance to the Russian Trade Federation.)

A sweet yellow dog comes up to me and says hello. Delhi has lots of street dogs and they are, for the most part, super cute and very friendly. I give yellow dog a pat on the head and continue on my walk. I pass a giant banyan tree, it’s roots all twisted and gnarly. I like the way the sunlight looks when its coming through the leaves. Everything is golden and shimmering.

Journey to School

(Yellow dog outside the British School.)

The traffic on the street in the morning is heavy because the British School is on this street. It’s across the street from my own school and parents and drivers are dropping their kids off for the day. I side step the traffic and continue along the street. Like I said, the whole walk only takes about 10 minutes. But sometimes I dawdle and daydream.

Journey to School

(The banyan tree in front of the British School.)

Journey to School

(The yellow and green auto rickshaw waits for someone who needs a ride. Be ready to barter.)

Across the street from the British School is Vivekanand Camp. The people living in this community have been there for generations. It’s a miracle that the camp hasn’t been torn down yet – it’s the only one still left in the Embassy area, Chanakyapuri. It’s estimated that as many as 2,000 people live in the camp. They don’t have running water. Sometimes, on my way home from school, I see the municipal water truck parked outside the camp entrance. The women come outside with buckets to fill up from the spigot on the side of the truck.

There are always kids from the camp hanging out on the street. In the morning, they are headed to school. They wear the white pants and red sweaters that signal the government school uniform. In the afternoon, the boys play cricket. They harbor dreams of being the next Virat Kohli. He’s the current captain of the Indian national team. The camp is a stark reminder of the wealth inequity that persists in India and other countries in the developing world to this day.

Journey to School

(Boys hanging out outside Vivekanand Camp.)

I cross the street after passing Vivekanand Camp and I am at the entrance to my school. The school is surrounded by high walls and security guards. Men stand patrol at the gates and there are armed soldiers present. The campus is secure and safe. It’s right next to the American Embassy. I go in gate number 4.

Journey to School

(A woman walks past Gate #4, one of the entrances to AES.)

Once inside, it’s a short walk for me to the middle school building. The AES grounds are approximately eleven acres, and it feels a lot like a college campus. There are separate buildings for the elementary, middle, and high schools, athletic fields, a theatre, a cafe, a gymnasium, a pool, and even a climbing wall.

Journey to School

(A campus directory points the way to some of the different buildings that make up AES.)

The campus is known for being home to many different species of butterflies and birds. The biodiversity is incredible. Especially if you are used to living in a grey urban landscape. The number of gardeners who work on campus must number close to fifty. There are so many flowers to water and plants to take care of – they do an amazing job.

Journey to School

(Flowers on campus. They change with the seasons.)

I consider stopping to sit on a bench and enjoy the sunshine, but it’s close to 8am already. Teachers have to be at work at 8:00, although classes don’t start until 8:30. I’ll go to my classroom to do some prep and get ready for my classes.

Journey to School

(Benches and a garden outside the entrance to one of the elementary school buildings.)

I’ve made it to the entrance to my building. I give thanks for the nature that surrounded me on my walk, blink once more in the sunshine, and go inside to greet my day.

Journey to School

(A bulletin board next to the entrance to the middle school. Go AES tigers!)

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This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author, Megan Vosk. Megan Vosk is a middle school MUN and Humanities teacher at the American Embassy School in New Delhi. She loves helping young people become more compassionate and engaged citizens. When she is not teaching, she likes to spend her time reading, watching movies, practicing yoga, and dining out with her husband.

What to know more what it is like to visit and live in Asia?  Out of a total of 201 international schools we have listed in Asia, 59 that have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:

American International School Dhaka (53 comments)
American Embassy School New Delhi (39 Comments)
Good Shepherd International School (411 Comments)
Indus International School (Pune) (43 Comments)
Kodaikanal International School (53 Comments)
Oberoi International School (36 Comments)
SelaQui International School (36 Comments)
Woodstock School (58 Comments)
Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana (53 Comments)
Abraham Lincoln School (Nepal) (36 Comments)
Colombo International School (64 Comments)
The British School in Colombo (41 Comments)

So what is your journey to the international school you work at?  Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’.  Email us here if you are interested.

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Muscat, Oman (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

February 15, 2018


Traveling Around: Muscat, Oman

Can you relate?

  • realizing that any local is willing to help you
  • actually having a hard time finding local dates at a fruit market
  • walking along the corniche in Mutrah and loving the palm tree mountain combo
  • eating Omani cuisine at Bait Al Luban and loving it, but not so much the frankincense water
  • amazed by all the gold jewelry in the souk and wondering to what events do people wear these pieces
  • being thankful that getting from the airport to your hotel is very easy

  • spending hours in LuLu Hypermarket
  • enjoying the sunshine, blue skies and perfect temperatures
  • watching locals play football on the beach
  • having a variety of cool day trips available (desert, wadis, mountains)
  • being offered coffee after making a purchase

  • seeing the giant incense burner
  • amazed by the grandness of the Grand Mosque
  • wishing you had reservation for a show in the Royal Opera House

  • eating amazing Lebanese food at Zahr El Laymoun Muscat and wishing it was an endless bowl of hummus
  • wondering what kind of trees does frankincense grow on
  • having a stranger pull you over on the side of the highway and ask if you need a guide somewhere

Currently, we have 11 international schools listed in Oman on International School Community. 7 of them have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few of those schools:

Al Batinah International School 10 Comments
Al Sahwa Schools – 7 Comments
American British Academy – 34 Comments
American International School of Muscat – 34 Comments
Muscat International School 6 Comments
United Private Schools – 7 Comments

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us here with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

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Comment Topic Highlight

Has Your International School Met Your Expectations Once You Started Working There?

January 31, 2018


Taking a job at an international school that you have never visited is just a part of the game in our community. So, many of us try our best to gather all of the information we can before and after signing the contract. One main way of gathering this information is from the administration that interviewed you. Certainly, they do their best to inform you about the aspects of the school that you are interested in knowing about. Ask the administration lots of clarifying questions as well to make sure you are hearing them correctly; so that you can have the best understanding of your future workplace.

Once you start gathering all of this knowledge, you instinctually start to create some expectations. Whether your expectations are realistic or not-so-realistic, they are now there in your brain for the whole rest of the school year at your current school and through into the summer.

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Now that the expectations are there, of course many of them will be exactly what you thought. The possible issue that may arise though is once you get to your new school in July/August. Will all of your expectations indeed come true or will they be slightly different or even non-existent?  There is a real risk that some of your expectation will not come true.

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Even if some of your expectations don’t come true straightaway, it doesn’t mean that they won’t after a half or a whole school year passes.  Stay positive!  If a few expectations are bringing you down, some good advice might be to focus on the expectations that did come true, especially those ones that inspire you as an educator.

Not having all your expectations come true is just another part of the international school teacher experience. Knowing how to handle those moments is the key. The admin hired you from a reason, and they thought you were good fit for the position and their school. Don’t let some high, unreal expectations that you may have derail you. Make sure you stay open-minded and be willing to be flexible. And definitely don’t forget to realize and enjoy all of your expectations that were met once you started working at your new school!

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Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this topic of has your international school met your expectations once you started working there. There are a total of 202 comments (January 2018) that have been submitted by our veteran international school teachers in one of 65 comment topics called – “Has the school met your expectations once you started working there?”

Here are a few of those submitted comments:

“At first, I was not impressed with the high rate of misbehaved students (because the school advertises that there are “no behavior issues” in the school. However, once the school year got underway, I have watched how teachers have reflected on their management routines and changed them accordingly. I have come to love working at this school because I see students learning and engaged in their work. I also appreciate the camaraderie among the faculty and staff. However, the thing that I did not expect was getting paid late.” – Beijing BISS International School (Beijing, China)67 Total Comments

“During my interview it was clearly described what I was getting into and what was expected from me. I have been at the school three years now and look to stay on longer.” – American International School of Rotterdam (Rotterdam, Netherlands)52 Comments

“The educational provision of the EYFS and Primary departments has improved rapidly in the 15 months since their establishment. It is now a well organised school and everyone is moving forward together. I could not envisage the progress being so rapid when I started. Currently the school exceeds my expectations.” – Varee Chiang Mai International School (Chang Mai, Thailand)65 Total Comments

“Exceeded- I’ve grown a lot as an educator and the collaboration with my colleagues has really pushed me to try new things and think more deeply about my own practice.” – International School of Brussels (Brussels, Belgium)31 Comments

“The interviews were extremely realistic and did not deceive in any way. The school was far better than expected.” –Woodstock School (Mussoorie, India)58 Comments

“The school definitely exceeded my expectations. It’s such a wonderful place to work at. Teachers , students and office staff really live and work in harmony.” – British International School of Stavanger (Stavanger, Norway)24 Comments

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An Insider's Story

International School Drama/The Arts Teachers: An Insider’s Story

January 24, 2018


In my earlier career in public schools in Alberta, Canada I was a Drama teacher. The arts always seemed to be under threat in the public education system, and in my experience Music, Art and Drama teachers always seemed to be fighting for their survival. We had thriving Drama classes and a popular extra-curricular programme at my school where students in Junior High and Senior High competed in Zone and Provincial Drama Festivals, but when I went to teach in Australia on a year-long exchange they cancelled the Drama programme to save money, and only the Art classes and the Band programme survived the arts cuts that year.

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Teaching in Queensland, Australia for a year was an eye-opener as far as the arts went. Programmes seemed to be very well supported with excellent facilities and had far more to offer students such as many workshops in specialities like mime, street theatre and dance for example than the much more basic curriculums I was used to in Canada. The arts curriculums seemed to be very extensive and arts taken for granted as a part of an Australian school. After a huge well supported musical “Annie Get Your Gun” I returned to my school in Canada where we had no theatre and I taught Drama in a regular classroom, pushing aside the desks as needed.

I had to return to Canada and teach as an English teacher even though I wanted to teach Drama. For many students in my experience, the arts are vital to balance out academics and sports. All students need an opportunity to excel and be successful in something, and for many that is not their regular exam classes or a sports team. So the art teacher and I collaborated and kept the school productions going, a total of 25 Junior and Senior High shows over the years where students could act, sing and dance or work backstage, or designing the set. Students loved the opportunity to be creative, and often it was the behaviourally challenged students or those who didn’t quite ‘fit in’ in other classes that loved Drama the most. We continued to participate in the Zone Festivals winning many times, and what a treat it was to be in a real theatre! The highlight was going to the Provincial Drama Festival and winning Best Ensemble and raft of other awards for our huge production of “The Canterbury Tales.’

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Before I left Canada I was chosen for a Commonwealth Teacher Exchange to the United Kingdom. I went to teach in beautiful Norwich, Norfolk and became familiar with the British National Curriculum at KS3 and KS4 in particular. In England I was exposed to the rigour of a Drama programme shaped around students completing exams for their GCSE’s. I liked in particular how Drama, Music and Art were all exam subjects with strict, demanding curriculums and the disciplines were treated the same as academic subjects. In Alberta, Canada the arts are not exam subjects and the curriculum is very much left up to the teacher. I left England after our huge whole-school production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” with much to think about.

The thinking led me to the Search Associates Recruiting Fair in London, England and a decision to work in International Schools. I accepted an offer to teach GCSE Drama and IBDP Theatre at one of the top British Curriculum schools in China. The school was expanding from the Junior School to a brand-new Senior School. Before I became a teacher I had done a degree in Technical Theatre and so I had a lot of input into the building of the brand new Black Box classroom I would be working in and the incredible state-of the-art Theatre. What a treat it was to work in such amazing facilities with such keen students and such small classes after public education! I was familiar with the GCSE Drama curriculum and put students through both the EdExcel and the Cambridge exam board. My top tip for teachers wanting to work in British curriculum schools is don’t apply unless you already know the British National Curriculum, and the requirements of at least one GCSE exam board. It’s a very steep (I would say almost impossible) learning curve if you don’t already come in with that knowledge. It was no problem that I had no IBDP Theatre experience. The school had an unlimited budget and was quick to send me for training for my Category 1 IBDP Theatre course and countless other IBDP workshops. It’s easy to do well and get good results working in this kind of environment. Don’t kid yourself though-the results and marks really matter to the students, the parents and the school and if you don’t deliver you’ll be out. My love of Theatre and the performing arts in particular was well supported here with productions of “Aladdin,” “Macbeth,” “Blood Brothers,” “Cinderella” and “Marriage Proposal” amongst many other class and exam productions.

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In my current school in Singapore I’m in a different role. I am Head of Arts for the Secondary school. I supervise the Music, Visual Arts, Drama and Theatre programmes. I have six teachers working in the Arts Department. We are an IB World School and run PYP, MYP and IBDP curriculum. It’s important as HOD Arts to make sure we offer a balanced programme, no one art discipline can take precedence over another. Our students in Years 7, 8 and 9 all take all three arts classes. In Years 10 and 11 they choose one of the Arts disciplines to specialize in for two years and complete their exam ePortfolio of four assignments in Year 11. At the school we also offer IBDP Visual Arts and Theatre for two years. I teach some Drama classes and Theatre, but I am also given a lot of HOD time to manage staff, take care of the budget, ensure curriculum is being taught well, arrange standardisation and moderation of marks and a myriad of other responsibilities. I have my IBDP Cat 2 now and am an Examiner for the IBDP Theatre curriculum.

We run Arts Nights for the performing arts in each semester, as well as a school Talent Show. The Visual Arts puts up displays of art at these times as well as participating in the huge IN Exhibition of Visual Art from fifteen International Schools in Singapore as well as the IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition in the Spring. We run extensive co-curricular and extra-curricular activities for the students in the arts like bands, singing groups, drumming lessons and arts workshops. We are an International School Theatre Association School and run a lot of workshops through them e.g bringing the theatre company ‘Frantic Assembly’ in from the UK or Marco Luly- a Commedia dell’ Arte expert in from Italy. We run two Musicals a year, the Secondary Musical for Years 9-13 and the Primary/Middle School Musical for Years 3-8. The last four years we have done “Urbs, Urbis,” “Arlecchino and the City of Love,” “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, “ “A Christmas Carol” and currently with a team of ten teachers and over 75 students “Cinderella, Rockerfella.” All of our shows are performed in professional theatre facilities we rent in Singapore. All of this is such a pleasant change from fighting for the arts survival in a Canadian public school, and having to fight for every cent we wanted to spend. I wish I had gone to work in International Schools much earlier in my career, but better late than never!

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This article was submitted to us by International School Community member, Sara Lynn Burrough. Sara Lynn Burrough has worked as a Drama/Theatre teacher for the past 38 years in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, China and Singapore. She has a BEd, an MEd, was a professional stage manager at the Banff Centre for the Arts and studied Technical Theatre at McGill University in Montreal. In Canada as a teacher she worked for many years for Northern Gateway Schools in Alberta, and during that time was selected for two teacher exchange programmes. Her first exchange to Australia was with Alberta Education and the Queensland Department of Education where she taught at Costessey High School, in Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast. Her second exchange was with the prestigious ‘League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers’ (LECT) where she was one of two Canadian teachers selected to go to the United Kingdom for the millennial year to the United Kingdom. The Queen Mother was the patron of LECT and as she was celebrating her 100th birthday that year Sara Lynn was privileged to attend the celebrations in London as an invitee. In 2013 Sara Lynn decided to teach in International Schools and attended the Search Associates recruiting fair in London, England. From there she went to Dulwich College in Suzhou, China to teach GCSE Drama and IBDP Theatre in the Senior School. After China Sara Lynn went to Singapore for almost five years as Head of Arts (Music, Visual Arts, Drama) at Chatsworth International School where she taught MYP Drama and IBDP Theatre.

Using our unique Comment Search feature on our website (premium membership access needed), we found 96 comments that have the keyword “Drama” in them, and 14 comments that had the word “The Arts” in them.

Here are some comments that shown a positive light on Learning Support programs at international schools:

“The school just celebrated its 50th anniversary and there are many banners around the school. The school in involved with the SITS programme which is a quality drama and arts programme for kids.” – Oslo International School (17 Total Comments)

“Stoke City FC just started this school year and there are several other “big” initiatives as well, mostly in music and drama departments.” – Western International School of Shanghai (312 Total Comments)

“It is limited. In primary there is futsal, while secondary usually has volleyball and basketball. Baseball is popular but it is not offered in any organised way. The school usually participates at the MUN conference in Kobe in February each year. Drama and arts offerings have increased in recent years.” – Hiroshima International School (64 Total Comments)

“The school offers no sports programs, and occasionally offers a drama Club to students, depending on teacher interest.” – Alexandria International Academy (78 Total Comments)

“Piloting the iPad initiative this year and also looking to expand the arts program with the addition of the multi-purpose hall that houses a mini-theater.” – Universal American School in Dubai (57 Total Comments)

“There are opportunities in the arts (dance, voice, musical instrumental, drama), a good number of sports offerings (climbing, competitive sports, etc.). Lots!” – American School of Dubai (98 Total Comments)

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Indonesia

December 21, 2017


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

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

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

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Indonesia

Currently, we have 53 schools listed in Indonesia on International School Community.

23 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:

Australian International School (Indonesia) (39 Total Comments)
Beacon Academy (Indonesia) (32 Total Comments)
Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School (34 Total Comments)
Global Jaya School (33 Total Comments)
Green School Bali (70 Total Comments)
North Jakarta International School (29 Total Comments)
Raffles International Christian School (33 Total Comments)
Royal Tots Academy (35 Total Comments)
Sekolah Victory Plus (118 Total Comments)
Surabaya Intercultural School (54 Total Comments)

Hiring Policies

“The school typically hire teachers from India. The job advertisements are published on local websites and Indian newspapers namely Times of India and Hindustan Times. Shortlisted candidates are called for face to face interview usually in New Delhi in the month of February most of the times. Couples and teachers with family are very much welcome.” – Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School

“The school went to the UNI fair in February 2012. It is important to note that the reporting date for new teachers is during the last week of July. The school is not able to hire teachers over 55 years of age. Min. 3-yrs. successful overseas experience is preferred.” – Surabaya Intercultural School

“The school generally does not attend recruitment fairs, they prefer Skype interviews or face to face if you are already in Indonesia.” – Sekolah Victory Plus

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School Campus

“School is located in a high-rise building alongside several embassies. The students ride the elevator to transfer to the library, a small playground and cafeteria.” – Royal Tots Academy

“The website will show it all. There are drawbacks to teaching in this type of environment though. Mold, bat guano, sweat, snakes, leaky roofs… It takes a special kind of person to show up day in and day out. Regarding the surrounding area- jungle.” – Green School Bali

“The Kemang campus is very green and small; great for the kids to get around!” – Australian International School (Indonesia)

Housing Information

“Teachers share a 2-bedroom apartment unit within the school compound. The school pays for the rent while teachers pay for utilities such as electricity, water and other building fees (e.g., surcharge and sinking fund), which can be ridiculously expensive. Some students and their family live in the same apartment therefore teachers end up feeling that they live in a bubble. There is an option for teachers to live alone in a 1-bedroom apartment unit at a nearby apartment building, however teachers will have to shoulder the difference of rent (from the original teacher housing).” – Royal Tots Academy

“Housing allowance has been recently increased by almost double.” – Sekolah Victory Plus

“Teachers live in apartments that are close to the school. The apartments are for single occupancy. The apartments come furnished.” – Beacon Academy (Indonesia)

“The school provides 2 bed rooms furnished apartments to all expat teachers and staff. Utilities are paid by the school up to a limit which is very much generous.” – Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School

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Health insurance and medical benefits

“Full international health coverage. Very good program.” – Green School Bali

“There is medical benefit but it is meagre and can only be used if its in-patient hospital service. Teachers pay for doctor consultation especially when it is out-patient hospital/clinic service.” – Royal Tots Academy

“Outpatient is not covered, you can reimburse 85% of bills up to a maximum of 2,500,000 per year.” – Sekolah Victory Plus

“Excellent medical benefits are provided.” – Surabaya Intercultural School

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

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

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Highlighted Articles

International School Hiring Season Trends for 2017-2018

October 11, 2017


When it comes to landing a position at an International School, there are several ways candidates can increase their desirability in the eyes of the employer outside of the usual suspects (Degree in education, teaching license). Of course, a degree in education and teaching license will go a long way and there are some schools that do not look beyond this, with some International schools there are other factors that can be taken into account. Here are some things you can do to help you land that international school position you have been looking at:

hiring trends

Curriculum Experience

Although there are many different curriculums, the big three curriculums in International Education are British (Key stage/GCSE/A-Levels), American (Common Core/AP Level), and IB. Included in this for Earl Childhood Education is Montessori kindergartens. Having experience, or even taking a course in one of these will increase your hireability if this is the curriculum that the school you are applying for uses. The school will be able to see you have a level of familiarity with their materials which should help with the transition into the school. Simply put, it increases your dependability in the eyes of the school.

On a related theme, having consistency in your resume and experience is something that International schools do take into account. Being able to show a level of reliability with previous positions where contracts were completed, or maybe even extended, is great. International schools are looking for candidates who will stay with their school for many years. Address any gaps or potential red flags in your resume, as being proactive and explaining experience will prevent hiring managers minds from presuming the worse.

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Professional Image

An International school is always looking to portray a professional image, and therefore want their teachers to do the same. Responding to emails in a timely manner, being on time for the interview and dressing smart seem obvious, but at the same time are essential. Also, be sure to do your research on the school beforehand by looking through their website, furthermore looking at the LinkedIn profiles of some of their current teachers is a smart move. By looking at people they have already decided to hire in the past, you can generate a good idea on the kind of people they are looking for. Whilst looking at current teachers LinkedIn profiles, be sure to update your own LinkedIn profile as well as social media accounts to ensure you are portraying the right image you want to give.

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Showing Initiative

International schools like their teachers to show initiative and a willingness to take on responsibility. Be sure to show examples of this in your resume, for example if you have been involved in any coaching or extra-curricular activities. Linked back to point number one in this article, showing initiative by taking courses in a curriculum is great and highlights how serious you are about teaching in an international school, and about how you want to improve as a teacher.

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Flexibility

Being flexible with certain requirements will improve chances of landing a position at an International school. For example, a level of flexibility with the school’s location can help, as International schools in certain cities and countries find it harder to attract teachers than in other areas. Another area which can help to be flexible on, if you are capable and comfortable on doing so, is the subject that you will teach. Some schools may find themselves in the situation where a candidate who can teach a couple of subjects in a hybrid role is exactly what they are looking for.

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This article was submitted by guest author Teaching Nomad. They are an American owned and operated education recruitment company based in Shanghai, China. Their goal and purpose is to help great teachers find great teaching jobs. Year round, they have hundreds of teaching job vacancies. Whether your goal is to be an ESL teacher or teach in an international school, they have a teaching job for you. You can browse jobs online here for the latest job openings. Teaching Nomad makes finding a job teaching in China easier, so please feel free to reach out and contact them with any questions or inquiries!

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The Journey to School

The Journey to School: International School of Brussels

September 22, 2017


The journey to work is indeed an important one.  The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries to which they have never been.  So let’s share what we know!

One of our members, who works at the International School of Brussels (Belgium), described her way to work there as follows:

The road to International School of Brussels…

The International School of Brussels is located in a leafy suburb of Brussels and nestled along the ancient Forêt de Soignes which is filled with towering trees and a variety of paths.  The school began in an old chateau (that is still referred to as “the chateau”) but has since expanded to fill a campus that has separate buildings for each division and a variety of facilities.  Today, the chateau is the main physical symbol of the school and houses administration, human resources, admissions as well as key personnel such as the school’s director and team.

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Arrival at the school takes many different forms.  Some teachers have settled into local life and come by car while others take advantage of the free yearly transport pass and arrive by bus, metro or tram.  The location of your home will determine the best form of transport.  Many of the younger teachers prefer to live in the Ixelles area near the Flagey ponds where they are between the center and the school.  From Flagey, they can catch a 366 TEC bus that takes them in 20 minutes to the doorstep of the school.  Departure times during the school year are at 6:48, 7:30 and 7:50 am and teachers often sit together as they ride into school.  

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Flagey Ponds

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Bus stop next to Ponds

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TEC bus entering Watermael Boitfort

Another option from Ixelles or the other side of town in Woluwe St.  Pierre is the 94 tram which is more convenient for some as it leaves more frequently but it does require a 10 minute walk to school (The 94 tram cars are brand new and feature leather seats, laminate wood flooring and easy accessibility).  In the morning the walk from the tram stop at Delleur is a pleasant downhill stroll but in the afternoon, it can be a bit of a hike up.  The tram can be a bit slower than a bus, but it conveniently leaves at regular intervals.

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Some teachers also enjoy biking to school.  There are marked paths along most major routes and this is a mode of transport that’s becoming more popular.  While paths are marked, cyclists still need to be aware as drivers can sometimes get very close to the bike paths.  Biking along Franklin Roosevelt takes you past some beautiful embassy buildings as well as some architectural gems from the Art Nouveau era in Brussels.  There’s also an option to cycle on the winding roads that pass through the Bois de la Cambre, a serene manicured park on the edge of the city that connects to the more wild Forêt de Soignes.

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An area of growing popularity to live in has been the town where the school is located, Watermael Boitfort.  There is a lovely village and the walk to school is quick and pleasant.  This is a nice option if you’re actively involved in coaching and need to arrive at school early in the AM or if you want the shortest commute possible and a chance to run home if you’ve forgotten something.  Rent can be a bit more expensive in this area but the teachers who have moved there believe it’s worth it for the convenience.

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Parking on campus is getting more tight but there’s generally always space if you come by car.  Brussels is an easy city to own a car in.  Expenses such as taxes and insurance are relatively low and gas is manageable if you’re mostly using the car for commuting.  The school also offers financial assistance for kilometers traveled in lieu of the yearly Brussels transport pass as an option for drivers.

On a good day, I set my alarm for 6:15 so that I can leave my apartment in Ixelles with my car and arrive at school by 7 to get in a morning workout in the school fitness center.  The fitness center has showers so if there aren’t too many teachers working out, I can sneak in a quick shower before walking to my classroom by 8:10 to prepare for the start of the day at 8:40.  On a bad day (or after a late night), I can set my alarm for 7 and leave by 7:50 which gets me to school by 8:10 or 8:15.  Campus security has been beefed up after the terrorist attacks a few years ago so entering by the large double gates sometimes takes a few minutes if there is a line up of cars. Most teachers are on campus relatively early and until the late afternoon so in the darker winter months, everything is well-lit.  Some teachers stay later on campus taking advantage of faculty fitness classes or free language classes but others are just as eager to head out and try one of the many local beers.

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Back entrance to ISB Campus

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Morning sports practice on the upper field

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This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author and International School Community member.

What to know more what it is like to visit and live in Western Europe?  Out of a total of 298 international schools we have listed in Western Europe, 137 that have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:

Metropolitan School Frankfurt (60 comments)
Bilingual European School of Milan (31 Comments)
American International School of Rotterdam (45 Comments)
Skagerak International School (42 Comments)
AMADEUS International School Vienna (70 Comments)
International School of Paphos (105 Comments)
Copenhagen International School (316 Comments)
International School of Helsinki (41 Comments)
Berlin British School (31 Comments)
International School of Stuttgart (61 Comments)

So what is your journey to the international school you work at?  Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’.  Email us here if you are interested.

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Brazil

August 26, 2017


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

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

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

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Brazil

Currently, we have 22 schools listed in Brazil on International School Community.

13 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:

International School of Curitiba (11 Total Comments)
Escola Beit Yaacov (14 Total Comments)
Escola Americana de Campinas (12 Total Comments)
American School of Brasilia (15 Total Comments)
American School of Belo Horizonte (46 Total Comments)
Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo (39 Total Comments)
Pan American School of Bahia in Salvador (23 Total Comments)
Pan American School of Porto Alegre (25 Total Comments)
School of the Nations (32 Total Comments)

Hiring Policies

“Single teachers and teaching couples with out dependents are preferred. Maximum age that they can hire is 60 years old.” – Pan American School of Bahia in Salvador

“You would have a hard time getting hired at this school if you have a non-working spouse.” – Pan American School of Porto Alegre

“They go to Atlanta, UNI, and they use Search Associates as well as TIE sometimes. You may also write the school directly and interview over Skype.” – School of the Nations

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School Campus

“The campus is beautiful, but the current buildings are struggling to meet the demands of the growing student population. A new main building is planned in the next 5 years. The area around the school campus is nice. In the past two years many bars and restaurants have been popping up all around the neighborhood.” – American School of Belo Horizonte

“School is located in a residential neighborhood, near all important amenities. School is close to a lake.” – American School of Brasilia

“Surrounding the school there are nicely taken care of garden areas. There are what seems to be full-time people going around and taking care of the greenery.” – Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo

Housing Information

“Staff are housed in nice apartments right next to the school. Everyone lives in 1 or 4 buildings in the same complex. You are responsible for your electric bill, which is usually not significant.” – American School of Belo Horizonte

“The dwellings come with basic furniture and appliances.” – Pan American School of Bahia in Salvador

“Furnished apartment provided with utilities included: electricity, water, condo fees.” – American School of Brasilia

“Total US dollar equivalent of annual benefits comes to approx: $15,800. The School provides modestly furnished housing for teachers on temporary visas who are single, providing a one or two-bedroom apartment depending upon single or shared accommodation; (b) for a married teaching couple with no children or with one child, and who are temporary visa holders the School provides a two-bedroom apartment or equivalent. All housing contains the following appliances and furnishings: stove, refrigerator, beds, sofa, dining room table and chairs, washing machine and basic kitchen utensils. The School will retain ownership of these items, which will be kept in good condition by the Teacher. The School will pay the rent, condominium fees, and property taxes related to the apartment/house. The employee is responsible for all other expenses, such as utility bills (water, electricity and telephone bills) but installation and maintenance charges for these utilities as well as Internet connections (not usage) shall be at the School’s expense.” – School of the Nations

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Health insurance and medical benefits

“Medical insurance, which includes dental and life/disability insurance.” – Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo

“International health insurance is subsidized 100% by the school, and the medical facilities in Porto Alegre are often superior to those found in North America. International coverage is through Clements.” – Pan American School of Porto Alegre

“Medical insurance is provided which includes dental coverage as well. Excellent local health care and also for international travel.” – Pan American School of Bahia in Salvador

“All recruited foreign hire, be they on temporary visa or permanent residency visa, are covered by both a local health plan administered by the world’s largest insurance company, the Allianz Group, as well as an international health plan when traveling abroad, administered by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. Medical and hospital treatment abroad is covered up to US$ 100,000 and no limit is stipulated for treatment inside of Brazil. Basic dental care is also provided.” – School of the Nations

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

brazil

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Switzerland

May 8, 2017


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

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

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

switzerland

Switzerland

Currently, we have 30 schools listed in Switzerland on International School Community.

14 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:

Inter-community School Zurich (61 Total Comments)
International School Basel (41 Total Comments)
International School of Lausanne (19 Total Comments)
International School Zug and Luzern (32 Total Comments)
Leysin American School (69 Total Comments)
John F. Kennedy International School (25 Total Comments)
Obersee Bilingual School AG (22 Total Comments)
TASIS The American School in Switzerland (32 Total Comments)
Zurich International School (25 Total Comments)

Hiring Policies

“I interviewed with them over Skype about 2 years ago. The administers were really nice and it was more of a dialogue rather than a list of questions. There was an issue with moving my application forward because of the new visa application restrictions imposed on the school. Thus being from the U.S. in this instance was not an advantage in the hiring process. Their follow-up communication was pretty good though; which was done via email.” – Zurich International School

“I was hired through Search Associates. But I’m pretty sure they recruit with other agencies too.” – TASIS The American School in Switzerland

“The school does go to the London fairs, but like the previous common mentioned, they do look for teaching couples before hiring single teachers. There are also new visa restrictions underway limiting the number non-EU students and staff that can work at/attend the school.” – Leysin American School

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School Campus

“The High School is on a purpose-built site on a small industrial estate. The Primary School is in an old chalet/convent with some newer buildings added on. The Middle School is on the same campus as the Primary and was purpose-built a few years ago. Surrounding area is open country.” – International School Zug and Luzern

“ISB is split onto two campuses, with pre-K to Grade 5 being on one and Grades 6 to 12 being on another. The school is expanding even further, opening a third campus for Grade 6 next year. The school building is great. New building, large classrooms with beautiful views of the countryside and plenty of whiteboards and interactive boards. The Grade 6 to 12 campus also has a new all weather outdoor soccer field.” – International School Basel

“There are a number of buildings that make up this campus. The buildings were made within the last decade, make mostly of reinforced concrete. The secondary building is pretty nice. There are a number of floors and many classrooms with big windows. It can get a bit noisy in the common areas. The cafeteria is pretty big, where the students eat lunch. That same cafeteria can be divided into a 1/3 for teachers to hold meetings.” – Inter-community School Zurich

Housing Information

“Housing is expensive. Rent, utilities and medical insurance is well over half my salary.” – International School Zug and Luzern

“There is a housing allowance/benefit, but it is taxed. A number of staff live in school owned buildings. If you have friends/family come to visit you, there is a building that can house them for free or for only 10 CHF a night. It is a simple/barebones room “hotel”, but it is nice of the school to offer this benefit. The rooms have heated floors as well.” – Leysin American School

“No housing allowance.” – International School Basel

“Housing options vary but tend to be 1-2 bedroom apartments (some within dorms). Dormitory Parents earn 20,000 CHF additional. Most expats may rent subsidized apartments through the school. These include furnishings, utilities, DSL and cleaning service for on-campus apartments.” – TASIS The American School in Switzerland

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Health insurance and medical benefits.

“You pay for your own health insurance, and for a family it can be up to 1000 chf per month.” – Inter-community School Zurich

“Health Care is incredibly expensive, because your insurance policy covers nothing under your deductible ($500 for full-time teachers/admin, $600 for kids, and $2500 for traveling spouse/part-time staff. This is after paying almost $600 a month in insurance payments for our family of four.” – TASIS The American School in Switzerland

“Not provided, all out-of-pocket with different levels of insurance available.” – International School Basel

“Health care is very good, but expensive. You could expect to pay between 250 – 450 USD per month insurance. Taxes are low, so this is a factor to consider. All workers in Switzerland are obliged to take out a private insurance, but for the standard package this includes all pre-existing conditions.” – International School Zug and Luzern

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

switzerland

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Cambodia

February 5, 2017


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

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

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

Cambodia

Cambodia

Currently, we have 14 schools listed in Cambodia on International School Community.

9 schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:

Footprints International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)38 Comments
Hope International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)6 Comments
Ican British International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)64 Comments
International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)10 Comments
Logos International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)6 Comments
Northbridge International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)33 Comments
The Liger Learning Center (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)14 Comments
Western International School (Phnom Penh) (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)2 Comments
Jay Pritzker Academy (Siem Reap, Cambodia)23 Comments

Housing

“When you first arrive you get up to 10 days local housing on arrival, then you get $700 a month for a housing allowance.” – Jay Pritzker Academy

“Housing allowance is provided which, depending on where you want to live and what standard of housing you require, can cover part or entire cost of housing. If you share or live in more local style options, you can even save some of the allowance.” – Northbridge International School

“Annual housing allowance is Single $7920, Couple/Family – $12100.” – International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP)

Cambodia

School Campus

“The Middle Years area has just been renovated to accommodate more students and create an outdoor basketball space on the roof. Grounds are geared towards primary school as this is the majority of students, and are very nice, however it is nice to have more for the older students now.” – Ican British International School

“The campus grounds span 11 hectares in countryside surroundings. The campus blends modern and traditional architecture. It is surrounded by padi fields.” – Jay Pritzker Academy

“New hub building for library and administration, new Primary buildings and renovated Secondary building. The setting is lovely on 8 green hectares (20 acres) of campus with well maintained gardens. Nice new playgrounds and use of pool attached to adjacent Northbridge communities.” – Northbridge International School

Types of Budgets for Teachers

“No budget to speak of. Annual ordering from overseas has to be approved by relevant Principal.” – International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP)

“Budgets for resources are never an issue – if you have a good reason for purchasing something and can demonstrate the learning that it will support then you are generally approved. Art, Maths and Science materials are often ordered in from overseas and are of high quality.” – Ican British International School

“About $80/term (3 terms)” – Footprints International School

“Budgets are tightly controlled and not transparent. The accounting and purchasing systems are very difficult to negotiate.” – Northbridge International School

Cambodia

Kinds of Teachers that Work There

“1/2 of the teachers are from USA or Canada, with only a few being from the UK. The rest are Cambodian.” – Jay Pritzker Academy

“All of the teachers need to be degree qualified and registered teachers in their home countries. With the exception of language teachers, they need to have native or near native speaking level of English as this is the language of instruction. Almost all admin and support staff are local. Staff turnover is fairly high.” – Northbridge International School

“There are a few core teachers who have been there for years, and a lot of teachers on two-year contracts. Some stay for three. All are internationally qualified, some are locally hired, more internationally.” – Ican British International School

“13 nationalities – Filipino, American, Canadian, Australian, British, Cambodian – quite the mix.” – Footprints International School

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

Cambodia

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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight #35: Anita Sutton (A teacher at the British International of Moscow)

January 21, 2017


Every so often International School Community is looking to highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight blog category.  This month we interviewed Anita Sutton:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I’m originally from a very small country town called Warwick, about 2 hrs south-east of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  My family is from all over, NZ, Australia and Croatia. 

I graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelors of Education specialising in Early Childhood Education. I am a passionate Early Years advocate and am inspired by the Reggio Emilio approach. 

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

When I graduated from university I wanted to explore working in the UK. I lived in Bristol, UK for 2 years working in primary schools all over the district, which helped me gather lots of ideas, experiences and helped me build a bank of knowledge from more experienced teachers. 

After 2 years, a colleague recommended I look to the Middle East for more adventure, which lead me into taking a position as an EYFS teacher in a British International School in Dubai. I worked there for 3 years before taking up my current post in Moscow, Russia.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

I worked at Jumeriah Baccalaureate School in Dubai and currently working at the British International of Moscow. 

Dubai was a great opportunity to learn about the melting pot of cultures, I had over 15 different cultures and heritages in my class of 20.

Because Dubai has such a range of expats your class list reads like a meeting of the United Nations. I got to work with a range of teachers from all over which was a great opportunity to learn new things and approaches.

Dubai has so much to do but I didn’t save very much money, but the experience was invaluable and had definitely given me the skills to be flexible and keen for a new adventure which led me to Russia.

In Moscow, the language is the biggest barrier but I am determined to speak a basic level of Russian. I am enjoying the change in climate, from 50+ for 8 months of the year to -3 to -18 for 8 months of the year. I also loved experiencing my first ever Autumn. We don’t really have Autumn in the area I’m from in Australia, it’s just scorching hot or warm. Moscow was so colourful, the red, the yellow, orange and the green, I had forgotten how beautiful nature was after the desert! Snow has been interesting but the architecture in Moscow is stunning!

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

Coming from the Middle East, when you greet someone it’s always 3 kisses to the cheek, back and forth. I arrived in Russia and kept going for the third kiss when greeting people, which, in Europe is one on each side, so it seemed like I was trying to be a little more than friendly when I first arrived in Russia. 

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

I found it has been really helpful to make sure that any school I am considering working at is supportive of their staff, and has a clear vision of where SLT see the school going. 

I also like to get a clear idea of how much importance Heads of school place the Early Years. Good Heads of School/Primary keep up to date with current research and know that when children have access to a strong foundational beginning in school, it is beneficial to building an exceptional student as they progress through school, which leads to a strong school and a happy student base.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Enriching, adventurous, challenging, rewarding, limitless.

teacher

Thanks Anita!

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

Want to work for an international school in the Eastern Europe like Anita?  Currently, we have 105 international schools listed in Eastern Europe on International School Community. 54 of them have had comments submitted on their profiles. Here are just a few of them:

Pechersk School International (Kyiv, Ukraine)122 Comments
International School of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia)34 Comments
Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia)66 Comments
Wroclaw International School (Wroclaw, Poland)46 Comments
American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland)82 Comments
International School of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)33 Comments
American International School of Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia)29 Comments
Anglo American School of Sofia (Sofia, Bulgaria)28 Comments
International School of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan)39 Comments

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Hong Kong

November 29, 2016


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

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

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

international schools in hong kong

Hong Kong

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

22 schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:

American International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)24 Comments
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)79 Comments
Chinese International School (Hong Kong, China)9 Comments
Creative Secondary School (Hong Kong, China)39 Comments
Discovery College (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)17 Comments
German Swiss International School (Hong Kong, China)13 Comments
Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China)54 Comments
Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China)110 Comments
International Christian School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)19 Comments
Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)18 Comments

Allowances

“I was a local hire, so I didn’t get anything, but I don’t know if they have added this as a benefit.” – American International School (Hong Kong)

“You get an annual flight allowance of $1500 (around 11 644 HKD), but it is paid in 12 monthly installments.” – Creative Secondary School

“There are not many benefits, so it generally takes quite a bit of money initially to move here – paying apartment deposits, flights, etc. There is a small settling-in allowance, but it does not cover your expenses. The school offers a high salary, but not much in the way of benefits.” – Canadian International School (Hong Kong)

international schools in hong kong

Teacher Expectations

“It depends on who you ask at our school. There is a lot of work that you need to do. You are required to stay until 16h every day.” – Hong Kong International School

“Teachers normally teach 5 out of 8 blocks, plus an advisory lesson each week (and a 10 minute Homebase each morning).
There are a few after school/evening events during the year (back to school night, Graduation, PTCs etc), but nothing onerous.
ASAs are run by outside agencies, or usually receive some sort of stipend…. and are purely voluntary anyway.” – Hong Kong Academy

“They are reasonable. Teachers are expected to sponsor one club, but you can make up virtually anything. I had a “Culture Club” one year and took students on a monthly trip to explore one culture through theatre, arts, and cuisine.” – American International School (Hong Kong)

“The world is rather easy. You can show at 8 and complete at 3:30.” – Creative Secondary School

Pension Information

“Hong Kong has Mandatory Provident Fund. Teacher pays $1500/month direct deposit into account, directs where money goes (type of investment), and receives accrued money when leaving Hong Kong.” – Canadian International School (Hong Kong)

“Pension plan is a matching 3% on your salary.” – Hong Kong Academy

“You have to put money into a Provident fund, either 6% or 12% of your salary and the school matches the 6% or 12%. If you leave you have to take it out.” – Hong Kong International School

“There is a national plan…” – American International School (Hong Kong)

international schools in hong kong

Demeanor of Students

“The students are from middle-class families which do not like local schools, but too poor to send their children to international schools.” – Creative Secondary School

“The majority of students are polite, well-behaved, and serious about their studies. Teachers are sometimes concerned that students are too serious about grades, at the expense of creativity and balanced life outside academics.” – Canadian International School (Hong Kong)

“The students are pleasant enough, and as an inclusive school with a wide international catchment area are certainly a varied bunch which keeps things interesting. Serious behaviour issues are rare.” – Hong Kong Academy

“The kids I have taught are very motivated and engaged in my lessons.” – Hong Kong International School

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

international schools in hong kong

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Top 10 Lists

13 Insightful International School Interview Experiences Submitted by Our Members

October 21, 2016


International School Community is full of thousands of useful, informative comments…18371 comments (21 Oct. 2016) to be exact.

Members are recommended to keep their comments objective on our website. In one of the 65 comment topics, they are encouraged to share their international school interview experiences. How did it go? Was it easy to get? Recruitment fair or Skype? Was the experience positive or less than ideal?

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We scoured our database of comments, and we found 13 that stood out to us as being some of the most interesting and insightful interview experiences.

13. “The school has improved its hiring practices during the last few years. Now department heads sometimes get involved in hiring decisions. Don’t let the director’s lack of enthusiasm during an interview throw you off – that’s just his personality – and don’t believe anything that he promises you, unless it is writing.” – Internationale Schule Frankfurt-Rhein-Main (Frankfurt, Germany)33 Comments

12. “Speaking from the Director’s office, you need to have a focus on collaborative action toward mission. Knowing our mission and core values is key to interview for our team. While we are happy to train, we are also looking for good experience and foundation that will add to our body of expertise and keep us refreshed in best practice.” – Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia)66 Comments

11. “The school has not met any of my expectations in professionalism. Many of the things I was told in my interview turned out to be untrue. The fall of the peso has not been addressed by administration.” – Colegio Anglo Colombiano (Bogota, Colombia)32 Comments

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10. “Singapore age restrictions keep hiring (and renewals) under age 60. First round interview is typically done via Skype, but they want to do second round interviews in person, in Singapore or London.” – United World College South East Asia (Singapore, Singapore)6 Comments

9. “They rely a lot on hiring people who are recommended by current employees. You still go through the interview process, etc. My initial contact to the school was through a connection I had to somebody already working here.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China)27 Comments

8. “Please be careful when considering to work at this school! I wasn’t and am in quite a fit now…. On May 5, 2014 I had a telephone interview with the director and the head of secondary. On May 30, 2014 I got a firm job offer for September 2014. We discussed several contract details via mail (school fees, moving allowance etc.) but I did not receive a formal contract. On June 11 I wrote an email asking for a contract copy. On June 13 the job offer was revoked, giving as a reason that “the position no longer exists on the curriculum plan, so we cannot proceed with the appointment”. Draw your own conclusions about the school’s level of commitment and organisation.” – British School of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)3 Comments

7.
“Face-to-face. As in most international school in Bangkok, it is much easier to get a job if you know someone on the inside of the school. The pay-scale is shrouded in secrecy (as in many schools here). The interview process is not that difficult, being from a native English-speaking country is a huge plus.” – Pan Asia International School (Bangkok, Thailand)38 Comments

6. 
“I was hired via Skype, as well. The interview was very informal but informative about the school and life Venezuela.” – Escuela Las Morochas (Ciudad Ojeda, Venezuela)28 Comments

5. “The school does not attend any fairs. Hiring is done via announcements on the school’s website. The hiring process is not quick. Expect to be interviewed, via Skype most likely, four times. Each interview is with a person a bit further up the food chain. At the moment Indonesia has an age cutoff of 60.” – Green School Bali (Denpasar, Indonesia)54 Comments

interview

4. “They do tend to hire internally a lot. The interview process is a bit intense with multiple interviews being set up for one person. They ask questions from a list. They are usually open to sponsoring visas for non EU candidates.” – International Community School London (London, United Kingdom)49 Comments

3. “I met with Julie Alder at the school campus because I was already in the city. I contacted them before I came and they were more than willing to give me a time and a place to meet and interview with me. The interview lasted 45 to 60 minutes. I also got to walk around and visit some classrooms.” – International School Singapore (Singapore, Singapore)17 Comments

2. “The school is quite small, so it doesn’t attend job fairs. I was interviewed by phone and got the job from there. I know they have also brought in teachers whom live nearby (within Western Europe) to interview them in person. Hiring restrictions: YES- they will now only hire people who have valid working papers to work in France. The school also now typically only employs expat teachers from the UK or within the EU. Many of the teachers who work at the school have a French spouse.” –International School of Lyon (Lyon, France)12 Comments

1. “I interviewed with the elementary principal this feb at the search associates fair in boston. She was very kind and sweet to me. The interview went very well, she was willing to allow me to lead the interview by showing her my portfolio. She was a very experienced teacher in the international school world. She was kind enough to send a note to me in my folder to let me know that I didn’t get the job, and she also highlighted somethings that I said in the interview. Very professional!” – American International School Bucharest (Bucharest, Romania)20 Comments

If you have an interesting and insightful international school interview experience that you would like to share, log in to International School Community and submit your comments. For every 10 submitted comments, you will get one month of free premium membership added to your account!

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Cairo, Egypt

September 4, 2016


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

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

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

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

Currently, we have 32 schools listed in Cairo on International School Community.

21 schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:

Cairo American College (Cairo, Egypt)27 Comments
Cairo British School (Cairo, Egypt)30 Comments
Cairo English School (Cairo, Egypt)20 Comments
El Alsson British and American International School (Cairo, Egypt)20 Comments
Hayah International Academy (Cairo, Egypt)20 Comments
Misr American College (Cairo, Egypt)47 Comments
Nefertari International Schools (Cairo, Egypt)28 Comments
The International Schools of Choueifat in Egypt (Cairo, Egypt)22 Comments
American International School in Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt)62 Comments
Modern English School Cairo (New Cairo City, Egypt)25 Comments
The International School of Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt)43 Comments

Hiring Policy

“The previous comment is correct that foreign teachers are promised work visas but never receive them. Teachers just have to work with tourist visas. This is a dangerous position to be in because the Egyptian government is starting to deport foreigners, particularly Americans, who are working illegally in the country with tourist visas.” – The International School of Egypt

“This is a bit of an issue at AIS. They seem to hire people without checking references and most interviews are just over the phone or Skype. Several people get fired a year due to behaviors that I am sure would have shown before hiring should AIS do face to face interviews and checking references. I think this will change this year since there is a new Director. Currently, they do not go to any recruiting fairs, but are supposed to this year.” – American International School in Egypt

“The school can’t hire people over 60 years old.” – Nefertari International Schools

Cairo, Egypt

Housing Benefits

“Staff can choose where they want to live. A housing allowance is given at 1200 EGP per month Which is never enough to cover an apartment in a “good” neighbourhood. Rent costs on average per month for a single teacher only in a good working apartment 3000+ per month utilities are all billed separately which the teacher has to pay for.” –Cairo British School

“I found a great apartment for the housing allowance that the school gives. Some people rented much fancier places and paid more out of their salary. I lived in a great location and had a two bedroom apartment that my landlord also lived in so he was right there if I needed anything. He spoke English quite well to which helped in communication. My utilities were around $20 US per month. I had a cable bill and that was the same. I got internet on a USB stick from the telephone company which was $17 each month. I found the whole experience positive and cheap.” – Misr American College

“The apartments that teachers are placed in are fully paid for by the school.” – Cairo American College

“There is a housing allowance of 1500 LE if you don’t take the teacher housing, which is really terrible and disgusting. The housing allowance isn’t enough to actually rent an apartment though. Rent would be at least 2000 or more in the area, not including utilities.” – The International School of Egypt

School Location

“For the teachers that live in El Rehad and have their own car, it typically takes 15-20 minutes to get to work in the morning. You can hire a taxi through the school to get to school in the morning is 100 EGP. You can get a car through Careen though for 30 EGP one way. To drive to the city center from the school could take 45 minutes depending on traffic.” – American International School in Egypt

“The school is located in Ismailia Road, next to New Cairo and Heliopolis. Teachers get free transportation to and from your home to the school.” – Nefertari International Schools

“Teacher’s can live wherever they choose. The school is in the heart of the city that it is located in. Staff ride the school bus to and from school” – Cairo British School

“Expat teachers get a housing allowance and assistance in finding housing. I was easily able to find a nice apartment within the budget that is within walking distance to school.” – Misr American College

Cairo, Egypt

Language of Students

“Other comments are right on. Most students do not know much English so it is really hard to teach them using English language textbooks. There are very few who can write complete sentences, even in high school. The students all speak Arabic in the classroom, even though they are only supposed to speak English.” – The International School of Egypt

“All Egyptian nationals go to this school. In one classroom, you might find one kid that has parents with a non-Egyptian passport, but they will most likely be from another Arabic speaking country.” – American International School in Egypt

“Common languages spoken in hallways: Arabic.” – Nefertari International Schools

“English is the main language spoken in the school of course. from time to time you may hear the additional arabic being spoken. The school is made up of mostly high tier Egyptian families.” – Cairo British School

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

Cairo, Egypt

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The Journey to School

The Journey to School: Xian Hi-Tech International School in China

August 27, 2016


The journey to work is indeed an important one.  The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries to which they have never been.  So let’s share what we know!

One of our members, who works at the Xian Hi-Tech International School (Xian, China), described his way to work there as follows:

The road to XHIS…….

This is going to sound terribly stereotypical but one of the many reasons I love living in Shaanxi province is the potatoes! Now can you guess where I come from? I will tell you later. My journey to work each day is a very short one, but my journey to Xi’an has been a long one. I hope you enjoy reading about it.

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My name is Brian Lalor and I am in my third year at Xi’an Hi-Tech International School, in Shaanxi province in China. We are a two programme IB world school and are working towards offering three of the four excellent IB programmes. Our school is small at present with only 270 students but we are at capacity and have an exciting move to a new purpose-built campus coming up in August 2017.

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Each morning I get up and travel about four minutes to school! I know, the shortest ever commute, right? Our school is situated in residential area and all of our teachers’ apartments are located around the school. We are about 30 minutes from the city center in the southern suburbs. I ride my bicycle to school each day, that is why my journey is so short.

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On my journey to school I pass through the morning market. Here local vendors sell fruit, vegetables, nuts and breads for very reasonable prices. One of the wonderful advantages to living in Xi’an is the potential to save money. It is much easier to live here when compared to other big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong. Our school pays for our apartment, flights, international health insurance and gives us a monthly allowance for living overseas. Before coming to Xi’an I worked in Ha Noi for nine years, and in Jakarta before that. Each city has its own advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantages living in Xi’an are the standard of healthcare and the bad pollution in Winter.

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Some of the wonders Xi’an has to offer are as follows. We are literally just a short 25-minute car ride to the beautiful Qin Ling Mountains which provides us with a great way to escape the heat in summer and some lovely snowy landscapes in winter. Another highly attractive feature unique to this city, is its amazing millenary history, with archaeological sites found literally in every part of town, with the city wall being one of its main attractions. And who hasn’t heard of the world-famous “Terra Cota Warriors”. Xi’an was once the ancient capital of China so as you can imagine there are lots to see in and around the community.

If you have not guessed it I am born and bread Irish. Oh those lovely potatoes! The food here is incredible and you could literally have a potato dish, every day of the week. Some noodles are even made out of potato here!

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This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author and International School Community member.

What to know more what it is like to visit and live in China?  Out of a total of 165 international schools there are 110 that have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:

Beijing BISS International School (Beijing, China)36 Comments

Beijing City International School (Beijing, China)31 Comments

Beijing International Bilingual Academy (Beijing, China)35 Comments

International School of Beijing (Beijing, China)25 Comments

Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China)95 Comments

Western Academy Beijing (Beijing, China)43 Comments

Changchun American International School (Changchun, China)50 Comments

QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China)64 Comments

Guangdong Country Garden School (Foshan, China)48 Comments

Guangzhou Huamei International School (Guangzhou, China)48 Comments

Harbin No. 9 High School International Division (Songbei Campus) (Harbin, China)45 Comments

American International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)24 Comments

Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)69 Comments

Creative Secondary School (Hong Kong, China)39 Comments

Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China)34 Comments

Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China)104 Comments

Canadian International School Kunshan (Kunshan, China)28 Comments

Kang Chiao International School (Kunshan, China)41 Comments

Access International Academy (Ningbo) (Ningbo, China)48 Comments

British International School Shanghai – Puxi (Shanghai, China)35 Comments

Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China)86 Comments

Shanghai American School – Puxi (Shanghai, China)39 Comments

Shanghai Community International School (Shanghai, China)33 Comments

Shanghai Rego International School (CLOSED) (Shanghai, China)74 Comments

Shanghai United International School (Shanghai, China)40 Comments

Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China)204 Comments

Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China)27 Comments

Buena Vista Concordia International School (Shenzhen, China)39 Comments

International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (Shenzhen, China)26 Comments

QSI International School of Shekou (Shenzhen, China)20 Comments

Suzhou Singapore International School (Suzhou, China)47 Comments

Wellington College International Tianjin (Tianjin, China)54 Comments

EtonHouse International Schools, Wuxi (Wuxi, China)49 Comments

Xian Hi-Tech International School (Xian, China)54 Comments

Zhuhai International School (Zhuhai, China)59 Comments

So what is your journey to the international school you work at?  Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’.  Email us here if you are interested.

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Beijing, China

June 1, 2016


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

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

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

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Beijing, China

Currently, we have 25 schools listed in Beijing on International School Community.

Schools with the most submitted comments:

Beijing City International School (Beijing, China)31 Comments
Beijing BISS International School (Beijing, China)41 Comments
Beijing International Bilingual Academy (Beijing, China)35 Comments
Beijing National Day School (Beijing, China)38 Comments
Western Academy Beijing (Beijing, China)43 Comments
Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China)93 Comments

Hiring Policy

“You’ll notice in the above comments that the school “prefers” certified teachers. It doesn’t require them. When I worked there there were very few accredited teachers.” – Tsinghua International School Beijing

“The school prefers candidates with at least a BA degree and teaching certification, also previous IB experience. They can’t hire anyone over 60.” – Beijing BISS International School

“Initial contracts are for one year; subsequent contracts are for two or three years. After the initial contract, it is possible for a teacher to terminate employment at the end of any school year without prejudice, provided that proper notice is given.” – Beijing National Day School

Housing Benefits

“Get a flex account to spend on housing and travel. Housing rents vary considerably. Some quite pricey but depends on what you want. There are lots of cheaper options. Prices are going up though. Utilities quite reasonable. Internet and Tv often included in rent. Heating is provided by Beijing authorities. Electricity reasonable as are other bills. Phone very cheap.” – Western Academy Beijing

“Local rents run around 7000 RMB for a two bedroom, partially furnished apartment. Housing is very expensive. When looking for an apartment realize that what you see is what you get. The landlord will not paint or clean up before you move in.” – Tsinghua International School Beijing

“Teachers are responsible for paying their own metered electric utility, telephone, the Internet, and water bills. A flat monthly housing allowance of between RMB 3,000 and RMB 4,000 is optional.” – Beijing National Day School

“Housing is paid for. Utilities are up to the teacher, but are reasonable. I lived in a newer complex within walking distance of school. Starting your second year you can choose to live downtown and get a housing allowance.” – Beijing International Bilingual Academy

School Location

“Urban, yes, but a 40 minute subway ride from other westerners.” – Beijing National Day School

“Teacher housing is on site. They are ok. Big enough but heating is an issue in the winter. Most new staff live off site in one of the compounds within 30min walk (5min cab away).” – Beijing International Bilingual Academy

“Staff mostly take taxis to work in the morning, but can take the school busses home in the afternoon.” – Western Academy Beijing

“Most of the staff live in Wudaukou (three bus stops south) and Shangdi (eight bus stops north). It is recommended to live in these areas the first year until you get your feet under you and learn to get around. Most staff have furnished apartments. Housing is expensive and the housing allowance does not cover the cost of rent. Next year the housing allowance will almost double. That doesn’t cover all the average rent in the area but comes a lot closer.” – Tsinghua International School Beijing

Language of Students

“Again, the comment above is accurate, but misleading. Students are Chinese with American or Canadian passports. Many had spent little to no time outside of China. This is not a bad thing, the students were great, but don’t think you’ll be teaching at a school with a large mix of nationalities. This is very much a Chinese school.” – Tsinghua International School Beijing

“Other than Kazakh, among some students on immersion programme, Mandarin dominates. Most posters and school information is mono-lingual.” – Beijing National Day School

“Common language is English. ESOL support good and in ES will go into an English enrichment programme before exited to other languages. Some children will speak own languages but predominantly English” – Western Academy Beijing

“Definitely Chinese in the hall ways and recess areas. English level is improving slowly but still has a long way to go.” – Beijing International Bilingual Academy

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

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Comment Topic Highlight

What type of classroom/department budget do you get at your international school?

March 12, 2016


Many of us teach abroad to save money!  So, why do some international schools make their teachers pay for simple supplies? Well not all do, but according to a number of comments submitted on our website, some indeed leave their teachers in a situation where they need to.  Why do some international schools give nice big budgets to classroom teachers and others do not?

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Some might say that only the for-profit international schools don’t give appropriate budgets. However, that would not be true. A number of non-profit international schools also leave their staff with limited budgets to buy supplies.

Let’s say that your international school does provide some money to buy some supplies. It is nice to get at least something for your classroom! But the question is, when you are working abroad, where can you/the school buy these supplies?

If you order from your host country, then it will be cheaper, but the supplies might not be exactly what you want or have a quality you are used to. If you order from abroad, then the costs will be higher because of shipping and the wait time will most likely be a long time (with the risk of never even getting your order because it gets lost somewhere along the way).

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Another question to consider is does a big budget for classroom teachers equal to better instruction and more learning for students.  Teachers can get quite creative in a budget-less classroom, and it is fairly certain that good learning still happens.

But when an emergency arrises and materials that are necessary for the lesson/curriculum are not there, a number of teachers will use money out of their own pocket to buy them. It is the sacrifice that many teachers choose to do to make sure that their students are getting the best education possible and that the promise the school has made to paying parents can be met.

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But does the administration/owner of an international school really want their own teachers to be using their own money to buy basic and necessary supplies for their classrooms?  It would be hard to believe that they would. But when other factors (like a recession in the world or a declining student population) come into play, sometimes schools don’t have a choice to provide a nice budget for their staff.

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Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to what kind of budgets international schools offer, so you can stay the most informed as possible. It is called: “What types of budgets do classroom teachers/departments get?

Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 212 comments in this comment topic (March 2016).  Here are a few that have been submitted:

“Teachers have no budget to spend in their classrooms. They can take supplies from the resource room, which has basic materials like pens, white board markers, tape, etc. Everything else has to be paid for yourself.” – The International School of Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt)12 Comments

“Budgets for resources are never an issue – if you have a good reason for purchasing something and can demonstrate the learning that it will support then you are generally approved. Art, Maths and Science materials are often ordered in from overseas and are of high quality.” – Ican British International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)51 Comments

“In past years, teachers have been required to submit their budget requests in October for the following school year � a full ten months before the beginning of the year being budgeted for! This was a major source of stress. As of today, no one has been asked to submit a budget and the budget process has not been discussed.” – American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland)64 Comments

“The businessman Mr. Strothoff pays for the school and pays most operating costs. In general, teachers fight for basic things such as staplers, two-hole punchers, tape, whiteboard markers, etc. Departments have budgets but protocol for ordering and getting something as simple as a pear of scissors is 100 layers of red-tape.” – Strothoff International School (Frankfurt, Germany)49 Comments

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Dubai

March 8, 2016


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

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

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

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Dubai

Currently, we have 40 schools listed in Dubai on International School Community.

Schools with the most submitted comments:

Al Mizhar American Academy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)54 Comments
Greenfield Community School (Dubai) (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)79 Comments
Jumeira Baccalaureate School (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)54 Comments
Uptown School (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)49 Comments
American School of Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)17 Comments
Dubai International Academy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)18 Comments

Hiring Policy

“HR department is not efficient on giving clear and true information when hiring. Often confusing communication.” – Dubai International Academy

“Check for Taaleem recruitment fairs in UAE plus through Search Associates – Head Teacher has travelled to Australia and UK to recruit in person but lots of appointments are done as a result of Skype interviews.” – Greenfield Community School (Dubai)

“Usually Search Bangkok and London fairs.Occasionally skype. Age limit is 60 in the UAE.” – Uptown School

“Management goes to ISS and Search fairs in the US.” – Al Mizhar American Academy

Housing Benefits

“There is now an option for a cash allowance for housing but it is not very difficult to find a decent apartment on the allowance as rates have gone up.” – Al Mizhar American Academy

“Housing is provided, but is of varying quality and far from the school. Motorway driving of 30 minutes one-way is average. No utility allowance and electricity, water and Internet are very expensive. After the first year, a housing allowance is available but won’t cover costs due to sky- high rental prices. There is a move in allowance, but this will not cover the cost of appliances and furniture.” – Jumeira Baccalaureate School

“Housing allowance increased but still low compared to real estate prices.” – Greenfield Community School (Dubai)

School Location

“The school is close to the airport and a shopping center (Mirdif). Housing is provided by the school (1st year), after that teacher may stay or move elswhere. Everyone drives (rent or mostly owned car.) There is a convenient underground parking for all staff.” – Uptown School

“Most teachers either rent or buy a car. Public transportation is not in the area. The school is about 20 minutes from downtown Dubai.” – Al Mizhar American Academy

“No public or school transportation, everybody must purchase a car, which is a very tricky situation, a lot of hidden expenses involved in that. Dubai is mostly Indian and doing business with them is not pleasent.” – Dubai International Academy

“The school is located in Jumeira 1, ten minutes from the beach and far from all teacher housing. A 30-45 minute commute is average. Teachers must have their own vehicles to get back and forth from school as transport is not provided and public transportation is limited.” – Jumeira Baccalaureate School

Language of Students

“Almost everyone is ESL or EAL. In hallways English is used or Arabic. Given 20 nationalities mostly from Arabic countries, India, etc. English is maybe more often heard.” – Uptown School

“The dominant culture is Emirati with the second culture being other Arabs and Pakistani. Students are 90%+ Islamic. The common language is Arabic.” – Al Mizhar American Academy

“Indian community is ruling from the top to bottom.” – Dubai International Academy

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

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Germany

December 31, 2015


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

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

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

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Germany

Currently, we have 43 schools listed in Germany on International School Community.

Schools with the most submitted comments:
Berlin British School (Berlin, Germany)31 Comments
Strothoff International School (Frankfurt, Germany)49 Comments
Metropolitan School Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany)36 Comments
Bavarian International School (Haimhausen, Germany)30 Comments
International School of Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany)30 Comments
International School of Dusseldorf (Dusseldorf, Germany)22 Comments
Berlin Brandenburg International School (Berlin, Germany)22 Comments

School Building and Campus

“The school building is actually a historic sight. There are a lot of different buildings included in the whole campus. They are connect with stone arches overlooking a lush forest and lakeland. There are running tracks and football pitches that are well taken care of. The campus is also very secure, there is a gate with a guard.” – Berlin Brandenburg International School

“The campus is located in a beautiful little hamlet north of Munich. The school includes a new sport center and a 18th century German Castle (Schloss). There are purpose built trailers located on either side of the middle building. But these are high-end, double story buildings that would rival the any classroom. The primary school is located in a different part of the campus than secondary, but they are connected. There are Promethean boards in every classroom and dedicated wifi.” – Bavarian International School

“2 km from the nearest U-bahn station. It’s in a road with offices and factories. It’s a strange place to put a school. The road is busy and I’m surprised there hasn’t been an accident. Why isn’t there a crossing for the children? The playground is far too small for the student population. It’s very dangerous. When you’re on duty you can guarantee there will be bloodshed every time.” – Metropolitan School Frankfurt

“It is not a perfect technical environment. Equipment is outdated; Strothoff IT are idiots and do not help; however, in general, grounds and building are OK.” – Strothoff International School

Expectations of Staff

“Teachers in secondary, have 2 duties per week, and attend at least one meeting per week after school. We are expected to be in school form 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.” – Berlin British School

“Workload is much heavier than other international schools I have taught at. ALL teachers (yes, all!) have 5 preps. Yes-5 preps. You will work more hours here than at any other international school in the Frankfurt region. Extra hours and additional time are not compensated in any way.” – Strothoff International School

“Teachers at ISS are required to cover for other teachers who are sick or absent. Teachers are expected to do extra curricular activities and this duty is classified as a B role on the salary scale. Meetings are held weekly and after school – they are badly organised and usually a waste of time.” – International School of Stuttgart

Flight and Moving-in Allowances

“Moving allowance is approximately 500 (quoted in USD). They pay for your ticket there, but there isn’t a flight allowance after that.” – Berlin Brandenburg International School

“Moving allowance is 2000 for single teachers and 4000 for teaching couples. There is a flight allowance every 2 years. Amount depends on location of point of origin.” – International School of Dusseldorf

“Travel expenses is an area that school needs to improve on. New staff members receive 1000.00 Euros moving allowance but that is taxed, so it is about 700.00 Euros It is not possible to move into such an expensive city on that allowance.” – International School of Stuttgart

“You also can apply for some personal days, but you don’t get paid for them typically.” – Bavarian International School

PD Allowances

“In theory you get to do an IB workshop every second year. In reality it depends on how much people in power like you. If you schmooze with them you get good PD opportunities and if you don’t they relish hurting you.” – Metropolitan School Frankfurt

“The school is pretty good at offering PD for all staff.” – Berlin British School

“Professional Development is not a good as it use to be. They have capped it and it is hard to receive PD based on what you need. They provide some in house PD.” – International School of Stuttgart

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

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Surveys

When looking for reviews and comments about an international school, which topic is the most important for you?

November 20, 2015


A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  When looking for reviews and comments about an international school, which topic is the most important for you?

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Right now our members are looking for as much information as they can. The more information the better.  Luckily, we just celebrated getting over 15000 comments! So International School Community is definitely the website to go to when looking to gather information about different international schools from around the world.

Even though we have over 65 separate comment topics on each school profile page, you might say that these six topics are some of the most important to know about.

Current statistics about these rather important comment topics on our website (taken from 20 November 2015):

Salary – 811 Total Comments
Retirement Plan Details – 367 Total Comments
Housing Benefits – 805 Total Comments
Teaching Contract Details – 36 Total Comments
Hiring Policy – 949 Total Comments
Savings Potential – 385 Total Comments

Of course all comments and reviews related to these comment topics are important. Recruiting international schools teachers need to know this information, detailed information, about these topics before they sign a contract.

But, which topic is the most important to you?  Please take a moment and submit your vote!

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We actually have two blog categories related this to survey question.

One blog category is called Hiring Policies at Int’l Schools.
Here are a few of the entries in this section:

• Comments about Hiring Policies #9: Int’l High School of San Fran, The American School of Kinshasa & British Early Years Centre – Read Here.

• Comments and information about hiring policies on International School Community #8: Benjamin Franklin Int’l School, American Cooperative School of Tunis & Green School Bali – Read Here.

• Comments and information about hiring policies on International School Community #7: Int’l School of KL, Escola Internacional de Alphaville & Guangdong Country Garden School – Read Here.

The other category is called “Salaries at Int’l Schools.”
Here are a few of the entries in this section:

• Comments and information about salaries on ISCommunity #7: Blue Valley School, Ivy Collegiate Academy & Wellspring Int’l School (Hanoi) – Read Here.

• Comments and information about salaries on ISCommunity #6: Khartoum Int’l Community School, Int’l School of KL & Vietnam American Int’l School – Read Here.

• Comments and information about salaries on ISCommunity #5: Hong Kong Int’l School, Shanghai Community Int’l School & Guamani Private School – Read Here.

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How NOT to Save Money

How NOT to save money when working as an international school teacher #7: Earn a Salary in a Currency Which is Losing Value

October 15, 2015


We all hear about the big possibility of saving money while working at international schools, but the reality is that many of us don’t save much of any money.  So, why aren’t these international school teachers saving money?

How NOT to save money when working as an international school teacher #7 – Earn a Salary in a Currency Which is Losing Value

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Five years ago many international school teachers (those earning their salaries in their host country’s currency) were doing quite well with their monthly paychecks.  But because of the rising value of the USD in the last year, these teachers’ salaries are in despair.

Month after month, teachers earning in a currency that is losing its strength (when compared to USD for example) have been seeing their once really nice monthly paycheck go south.  Each time these teachers have to transfer some of their money earned back to their home country (maybe 3-4 times a year for some teachers), the actual amount received gets lower and lower; even though it was the same amount transferred each time.  These international school teachers need to figure out another way to pay off their mortgage, student loans, etc. and fast!  The other choice is to make it your last year at your current school and plan to find a job at another international school in a different country; earning in a different currency.

But some of us are doing alright in this recent “rise of the USD.” There are a number of international school teachers that pay their staff in USD.  A number of countries have a local currency that is just not stable enough for foreign hires, and the school prefers to just pay their staff in a currency that is more stable and secure.  Additionally, many currencies are tied to the USD. For example, Hong Kong Dollars are connected to the USD. Click here for a list of currencies around the world and which specific currency they are tied to.

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So, for international school teachers working in Hong Kong, making HKD, they are still on the right track to achieve their savings goal this year.

There are also some international school teachers earning multiple currencies, at one school.  The British School Caracas and Seoul International School do just that (as well as a number of other international schools around the world).  Part of your salary is paid in your home country currency and automatically transferred/deposited into your home country bank account, while the other part of your monthly salary is directly deposited into your host country bank account. Teachers in this situation seem to have all their based covered then. Unless, of course, both your home currency and host-country currency plummet!

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We do have a comment topic on our website related to the theme of how international school teachers get paid at their school (and in what currency).  It is in the benefits section of the comments and information tab on the school profile pages. It is called: Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year?

“It is important to note that you are getting paid 100% in local currency. Because the USD is gaining strength and continuing to do so, the salaries here are getting considerably less attractive (meaning you are not making USD 100K a year anymore as the previous comment states). Some teachers have a part in their contract that helps to alleviate some of this difference in exchange rate, but others don’t. The ones that do are getting like 25% of their salary paid at a better exchange rate. It is kind of random, but the board thinks that American teachers here might be spending around 25% of their salary in the USA or in USD. Of course, this is creating a bit of controversy.” – Graded School Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo, Brazil)39 Comments

“The previous comment is off on the current tax rates. It is now up to 23%, and slated to rise further in the coming year. Japan is no longer a place to work and make enough to save significant amounts. This is especially true for couples and doubly so if you have children. It’s a shame as raising children here leaves wonderful impressions on them, and it is amazingly safe.” – Seisen International School (Tokyo, Japan)51 Comments

“10 years of teaching with a masters plus 30 units will get you about 55,000 USD. No tax. Upon departure, the Korean government pays you about 4,000 dollars for each year of occupancy for US citizens, it is some tax exemption agreement between countries. There is also an 8.5% bonus for each year of teaching that accrues interest and is relinquished upon departure.” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea)73 Comments

“We get paid every month, around the middle of the month. June and July pay are both given before the end of the school year. We can choose how much of our pay we would like to receive locally and how much we would like to have transferred to our home country. We get paid in dollars, and are guaranteed salaries after taxes. For 2015-16 the maximum salary is $54,111 (Masters with 24 years experience, an extra $1500 for PhD), minimum is $35,390 (Bachelors 1 year experience). In addition to this is a 13% pension. There is also a possible longevity bonus and re-signing bonus.” – International School of Tanganyika (Dar es salaam, Tanzania)141 Comments

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Kuala Lumpur

October 11, 2015


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

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

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

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Kuala Lumpur

Currently, we have 17 schools listed in Kuala Lumpur on International School Community.

Schools with the most submitted comments:
Newlands International School (51 comments)
Garden International School (21 comments)
International School of Kuala Lumpur (99 comments)
Mont’Kiara International School (27 comments)
Sunway International School (15 comments)
Taylor’s College (16 comments)
Alice Smith School (8 comments)

High Expectations for Teachers?

“The school’s workload is average. We certainly hear of neighboring (similar caliber) schools who expect a lot more out of their teaching staff. In addition to a normal teaching day, teachers also are expected to lead 2 after school activities (running 10 weeks long each) per year. Coaching satisfies this requirement. This is standard for international schools in Malaysia, as the government requires schools to offer ASAs. Some teachers work until 3:30 (official end of day), and others are consistently there until 5 or later. However, this is a matter of choice and personal work ethic, most often not because of additional duties required by the school.” – Mont’Kiara International School

“I dont think the workload is particularly heavy although the school has high expectations. A 100% teaching load comes with two non contact hours per day, slightly less in lower grades. In ES some of these blocks are taken up by co-planning and team meetings. After school meetings are twice monthly, relatively low compared to other schools” – International School of Kuala Lumpur

“Teachers usually take on one extra-curricular.” – Taylor’s College

“Teachers are trusted but a great commitment is expected. One after school club/week/term.” – Newlands International School

Language Background of the Students

“The students are mainly from the expatriate community of Kuala Lumpur and come from over 50 different countries. Malaysian students are only allowed to attend international schools if they have obtained approval from the Malaysia’s Ministry of Education. The GIS roll currently comprises approximately 40% Malaysian students, the second largest nationality group is British.” – Garden International School

“The Principal reminds the pupils every day to speak in English but some lapse back into Chinese.” – Newlands International School

“Chinese dialects, Bahasa Malaysian, some international sts.” – Taylor’s College

“The school requires students entering after kinder have been previously educated in English. I would say about 75% of the students are fluent in English, and the rest are in the ELL program. Students almost all speak English, even if they have friends who speak their native languages. I am not sure of the exact number, but I would guess about half of the students are native English speakers.” – Mont’Kiara International School

Housing Allowance

“The school provides an accommodation allowance of RM2,500 per month for single teachers, RM2,700 per month for married teacher with no children whose spouse is not working, RM2,500 per month each for married teachers, both of whom are employed by the school and RM3,000 per month for married teachers with children whose spouse is not working in the school.” – Garden International School

“For married housing you get around 987 USD a month; For single housing you get around 846 USD a month; For each dependent child you get 109 USD extra a month. No utilities allowance is given.” – Mont’Kiara International School

“The housing allowance is paid with the salary and is taxable. After tax for a single it amounts to appx 750 USD, for a couple, or with dependents it is more, up to about 1300 USD. Depending on area and size, it is possible to find accommodation in this bracket, though many people treat it as salary and just rent the place they really want for a bit more.” – International School of Kuala Lumpur

Salary Information

“As of next year, teachers will be paid in Malaysian RM. This is actually a positive change and will raise salaries that have gone down with the weak dollar. Taxes are between 12 and 20%, and teachers also contribute about 10% to EPF (retirement plan).” – Mont’Kiara International School

“Pay is good, with a great retirement (EPF) program that can go up to 42% of salary (including both employer and employee amounts). Teachers are paid 10 times (August through June) but in June they also get their July salary.” – International School of Kuala Lumpur

“Salaries are automatically paid into each teacher’s bank account at the end of every month, (usually on the 28th day of the month).” – Garden International School

“Beaconhouse have a real problem getting work-permits so much so that none of the eight foreigners at Newlands have made year two of their contracts. Some have been told to get out on returning from a Visa run. None have been able to stay to year two which means they have to pay a large fine to BH for breaking contract.” – Newlands International School

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

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Singapore

August 13, 2015


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

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

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

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Singapore

Currently, we have 23 schools listed in Singapore on International School Community.

Schools with the most submitted comments:
EtonHouse International School (Singapore) (30 comments)
ACS (International) Singapore (10 comments)
International School Singapore (17 comments)
One World International School (16 comments)
Overseas Family School Singapore (16 comments)
Singapore American School (17 comments)
St. Joseph’s Institution International (7 comments)

School’s Location

“The 2 campuses are in the west side and east side of the city. The west side, Lakeside, is on the MRT line that will go into the city centre. The east coast campus, Tanjong Katong, you need to take a bus to the MRT which will then go into the city. The bus will also take you into downtown within about half an hour to 40 mins depending on where you live. Most staff take the MRT (subway) or a bus to school. Many also ride bicycles. You choose where you want to live, so you can be as close or as far as you want from the school.” – Canadian International School (Singapore)

“The campus is located in the east coast of Singapore close to East Coast Park and seafront. It is approximately 8 kilometres from CBD & 15 kilometres to the airport.” – Etonhouse International School (Singapore)

“It has an excellent location. It is right next to the Orchard Road metro stop. 5-10 minute walk from that metro station exit. Orchard Road is one of the main shopping and commercial distract. Plenty of malls, stores and food options. Teachers don’t tend to live centrally because it can be more expensive.” – International School Singapore

“The school campus is in the eastern area/coast of Singapore. It could take you 20 minutes or so to get to the center of the city.” – One World International School

Hiring Policy

“SAS attends the London Fair, but many teachers are also hired via Skype interview.” – Singapore American School

“OFS normally does not advertise and they do not go to any recruiting fairs. Hiring process is by CV received and the need of what teacher for the next year.” – Overseas Family 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.” – International School Singapore

“The school prefers to hire western expatriates with at least 3 to 5 years experience. 60 years old is the age limit for hiring. Singapore has stringent entry criteria so single teachers are preferred by the school.” – Etonhouse International School (Singapore)

Housing Allowance

“Refund of actual rent amount and allowance up to a cap of US$1000 per month.” – Singapore American School

“You get 2000 Singapore dollars for a housing allowance (which is included in your salary) for a single teacher.” – International School Singapore

“Housing allowance is more like 1500 USD.” – One World International School

“Housing is 2000$, quite low considering cost of living.” – Etonhouse International School (Singapore)

Other Benefits

“Settling-in allowance 750 Sing. Moving allowance 500 Sing. Flight allowance is every two years. Teachers get free lunch at school.” – Etonhouse International School (Singapore)

“There is a paid flight here and back to the country of origin at the end of that first contract. Flights remain at every two years after the first contract. There is an allowance of 1000 Singapore dollars at the beginning and end of the contract to transport personal effects.” – International School Singapore

“I got 350 USD for a moving allowance. You get a return airfare to your home every two years.” – One World International School

“Annual home leave (excursion fare), based on home of record. Settling-in allowance is $1500, double for married couples. There is a moving allowance, it is based on weight/volume.” – Singapore American School

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

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Istanbul, Turkey (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

June 24, 2015


Traveling Around: Istanbul, Turkey

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Can you relate?

• Walking around in a non-tourist area and using the GPS on our phone to navigate the hilly streets and alleys and at times the uneven sidewalks and roads.
• Trying to fit/blend in while also observing the locals at the same time, then having a local walk by and say “hello” to us (we didn’t pass for Turkish I guess.)
• Thinking you are the well-experienced traveler, and yet getting easily ripped off or conned by a local salesman.
• Tasting the local ice cream and finding out it is quite different from the ice cream you are used to.
• Realizing that there are people everywhere in this city, way bigger than the city you are currently living in.
• Wanting to finally try (after visiting Istanbul three times) a simit and finding out it tasted very good!
• Going out to eat at a variety of places in the city, some super cheap and really good and some super expensive and not so good tasting.
• Finding stray cats EVERYWHERE! There were cute ones, but some really looked like they needed some tender loving care.
• Taking a second look when running into restaurants and stores that you thought would never be in Istanbul (Shake Shack, Arby’s, etc.)
• Lucking out and having the best weather possible for our visit. The rain and clouds ended just as we arrive and came back just as we left.
• Being amazed at not just the Blue Mosque, but ALL the many mosques around the city; all works of art and just beautiful!
• Walking next to the Blue Mosque at just the right time for when Iftar was happening. There were local bands playing songs and tons of people all around eating donated food. Wonderful community feeling!
• Eating at a really local place and not being able to communicate at all because both parties didn’t know each others’ languages. Showing kindness and giving kind gestures created, though, a wonderful cultural exchange.
• Finding some fruit in a local green market that we had never seen before, and the store owner giving us one to try. Actually, in many stores the people were so generous by giving us free samples.
• Taking a boat down the Bosphorus River and enjoying the wonderful sea breeze and sunshine on such a beautiful day.
• Arriving in a small town realizing that it was a complete tourist trap!
• Seeing some locals protesting some issue from their boats in the Bosphorus, wishing we knew what they were protesting about.
• Feeling happy by supporting the local businesses and the businesses that are trying to support local people in their work by paying them an honest wage.

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Currently we have 14 international schools listed in Istanbul, Turkey on International School Community. Here are a few of them that have had comments submitted on them:

•  Enka Schools (Istanbul) (Istanbul, Turkey)13 Comments
•  Hisar School (Istanbul, Turkey)17 Comments
•  Istanbul International Community School (Istanbul, Turkey)12 Comments
•  
ISTEK Schools, Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey)8 Comments
•  
Koc School Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey)10 Comments
•  
Kultur 2000 Koleji (Istanbul, Turkey)27 Comments
•  
MEF International School Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey)43 Comments
•  
Robert College of Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey)19 Comments
•  
TED Istanbul College (Istanbul, Turkey)17 Comments
•  
The British International School – Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey)9 Comments
•  
Uskudar American Academy & Sev Elementary (Istanbul, Turkey)15 Comments

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Tokyo, Japan

June 13, 2015


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

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

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

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Tokyo, Japan

Currently, we have 23 schools listed in Tokyo on International School Community.

Schools with the most submitted comments:
American School in Japan (Tokyo, Japan)20 Comments
Canadian International School (Tokyo) (Tokyo, Japan)41 Comments
Makuhari International School (Tokyo, Japan)23 Comments
Seisen International School (Tokyo, Japan)51 Comments
New International School of Japan (Tokyo, Japan)16 Comments
St. Mary’s International School (Tokyo, Japan)15 Comments

Average amount of money left to be saved?

“Most teachers can save around 20% here.” – St. Mary’s International School

“Maybe around 16000 USD a year for single teachers.” – Seisen International School

“Single teachers should be able to save around 12000 USD a year.” – Canadian International School (Tokyo)

“Some single teachers and teaching couples can save over 25000 USD a year. – American School in Japan

Sports programs

“The school has zero proper sports programs and has no interest in implementing one. No specialist p.e. teachers” – Makuhari International School

“The school has a complete PE programme in all grades, as well as an active sports programme (basketball, volleyball, soccer, futsal).Two full-time PE teachers are an integral part of the faculty.” – Canadian International School (Tokyo)

“Many activities of ASIJ’s close-knit faculty center around the school, including musical and theatrical performances, ikebana, martial arts, cycling, aerobics, tennis, swimming, basketball and volleyball.” – American School in Japan

“The school offers a wide variety of extra curricular activities for all levels. These include such team sports as cross-country, tennis, wrestling, swimming, basketball, soccer, track and field, and baseball. Fine arts and activities offered include vocal and instrumental music, speech, debate, drama, musical, student government and publications.” – St. Mary’s International School

School Building

“ASIJ has two campuses offering outstanding facilities. The Early Learning Center is located in the Roppongi area of Tokyo serving ages 3-5 with an exciting educational program. The Chofu campus houses three divisions in separate buildings on a 14-acre site located in Tokyo’s western suburbs. This campus includes three gyms, an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, two athletic fields, three libraries with over 70,000 titles and a new 570-seat, state-of-the-art theater incorporating a flexible main auditorium, black box theater, choir and practice rooms and a digital video studio. All classrooms are air-conditioned.” – American School in Japan

“The school is set in 3 separate building, one being a 5 minute walk and the other across the road. Crossing the road is quite a safety hazard with the kindergarten class due to taxis over taking them whilst they are on the crossing and the local police not doing anything to monitor this. There is no proper play area and students are taken to local parks for lunch breaks, which is difficult when having to share with babies. No proper gym areas make p.e quite difficult.” – Canadian International School (Tokyo)

“The school occupies two complete buildings and parts of two others in Minami-Ikebukuro, right next to Zoshigaya. It is convenient to several trains and subways, including Ikebukuro Station, which is one of the hubs around the city center.” – New International School of Japan

“The school is in an older building. However, the furniture and classroom supplies are all up-to-date for collaborative teaching and learning.” – Seisen International School

Housing

“Housing allowance is USD1,200/month. Teacher pays for utilities.” – St. Mary’s International School

“Landlords in Japan have a lot of rights. For example, the apartment needs to be returned to it original condition or a lot of money will be coming out of your deposit. Many apartment require a ‘gift fee’ for the landlord. For example, giving 1 or 2 months rent as a gift to the landlord. Most apartments you forfeit your cleaning deposit when you leave.” – Seisen International School

“Accommodation allowance is very poor compared to rental cost. The school pushes expensive housing on new teachers which are 120000yen ($1200) a month. housing around the school is quite expensive.” – Makuhari International School

“Housing allowance is 600$ in cash.” – Canadian International School (Tokyo)

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

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Video Highlight

Video Highlight: The British Schools – Montevideo (An international school in Uruguay)

May 7, 2015


There are a few international schools to work at in Montevideo!  How do these schools stand out from each other?

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The British Schools – Montevideo

How many international schools can boast about being over 100 years old?  According to the international schools listed on our website, there are 33 international schools with a founding year of before 1900.

So how great this school in Uruguay put together a tribute video to the history of their school.

Looking at all the old pictures really gives a good glimpse into their past students, the past school grounds, and the past staff that has worked there over the years.

It is hard to imagine what life as an international school teacher was like back then.  How did that school find the teachers to work there?  Were they hired locally or from abroad? Did they move their stuff and themselves by ship from the USA or England (or ???)?

In parts of the video, it seems like there was maybe a separation being the boys and girls at one point. It could be that they had different sections of the school for different genders.  Also, it appears as if sports and competitions are/were an important part of this school’s programme.

Looking at all the people in the video, it reminds us that working at an international school is truly working as part of a family.  And not just the current family, but the past family too. If you are lucky to get a job at an international school, you are a part of that school’s history forever.  It is great how an international school starts something one year, and then it continues year after year becoming a tradition; which makes each international school a unique and interesting place to work.

Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 93 international schools listed in South America.  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):

• Colegio Panamericano (Bucaramanga, Colombia)34 Comments
• Colegio Granadino Manizales (Manizales, Colombia)43 Comments
• Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito (Quito, Ecuador)31 Comments
• American School of Asuncion (Asuncion, Paraguay)58 Comments
• Uruguayan American School (Montevideo, Uruguay)32 Comments
• Colegio International de Carabobo (Carabobo, Venezuela)21 Comments
• Escuela Las Morochas (Ciudad Ojeda, Venezuela)28 Comments

If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in South America, log-on today and submit your own comments and information.  Become a Mayor of one of these schools and you will receive unlimited premium access to International School Community for free!

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Bangkok, Thailand

April 16, 2015


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

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

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

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Bangkok, Thailand

Currently, we have 49 schools listed in Bangkok on International School Community.

Schools with the most submitted comments:
Bangkok Patana School (Bangkok, Thailand)17 Comments
Concordian International School (Bangkok, Thailand)23 Comments
KIS International School (Bangkok) (Bangkok, Thailand)61 Comments
NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand)65 Comments
Ruamrudee International School Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand)21 Comments
Wells International School (Thailand) (Bangkok, Thailand)18 Comments

Recent things they have taken on
“In 2012 the school implemented the Literacy by Design program for K3 – Grade 4, and the IB Diploma Programme in 2013. It also began scheduling more consistent weekly professional development meetings in 2013, including WASC focus and home group sessions, and grade-level meetings. As of 2012, it joined EARCOS and now regularly sends its staff to the annual conferences.” – Wells International School (Thailand)

“The ELD team just attended the ELLSA conference in Bangkok.” – Ruamrudee International School Bangkok

“In 2014 the school will be launching the Professional Development Hub, which is intended to be a central location for teachers in the Southeast Asian region to receive professional development.” – NIST International School

“The school is well-known for IB standards as quite a few of the teachers are IB Examiners and moderators. The Head of School is also on the Board of the IBO worldwide. Currently they are participating in a pilot study for the MYP.” – KIS International School (Bangkok)

Expectations of staff
“Teachers are assigned a maximum of 25 contact periods (45 minutes each) per week, while department heads have a maximum of 20. Minimum expectations include curriculum mapping on Atlas, and personal daily or weekly lesson plans that are attached to the maps. Weekly professional development is mandatory. Staff are encouraged, though not required, to take on extra-curricular classes or activities.” – Wells International School (Thailand)

“Expectations are high but lots of support.” – Concordian International School

“(Sorry, as admin it’s hard for me to comment, but teachers seem to work hard, but get non-contact time).” – KIS International School (Bangkok)

“High expectations, but with exceptional support and resources. Teachers are expected to participate in 2 extra curricular activities each year, which is quite manageable.” – NIST International School

Kinds of teachers that work there
“Approximately 30% of staff are from the United States, while the rest are a mix of over a dozen nationalities. While the school will hire inexperienced teachers in special circumstances, prospective hires should expect to be turned away if they don’t have a degree in education (or their subject areas at the secondary level) and a few years of experience. Nearly 70% of the teaching staff has master’s degrees.” – Wells International School (Thailand)

“Most teachers are from USA (there around 180 in total). A few are from the UK and Thailand.” – Ruamrudee International School Bangkok

“All teaching staff are fully qualified. Most are British, with some Australians, South Africans and Filipina. turnover is high. Last year 40% left. Most leave due to the lowish salary rather than because they are unhappy with the school.” – Rasami (Thai-British) International School

Housing
“Ruamrudee does have a housing allowance – B20,000, but it is part of the actual salary, so it’s taxed at 30%. So, effectively, the allowance is B14,000 – enough for a small local house/apartment.” – Ruamrudee International School Bangkok

“There is a housing allowance which is sufficient to rent a small studio. There is no extra for married teachers.” – Rasami (Thai-British) International School

“Around 40000 Baht a month for singles and 60000 Baht for teaching couples.” – NIST International School

“Small housing allowance.” – KIS International School (Bangkok)

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

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Surveys

New Survey: How many people are leaving your international school at the end of this school year?

March 8, 2015


A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  How many people are leaving your international school at the end of this school year?

Screenshot 2015-03-08 21.57.33It is always a mix of emotions when you or your colleagues are leaving the school. Change is good, but change can be hard.  It is not the best feeling in the world to find out one of your closest colleagues is leaving. On the flip side, you might be elated to hear that a certain annoying colleagues is leaving as well!

There are many reasons why teachers leave their current international school. Maybe they have come to the conclusion that the benefits are just too low for the lifestyle that they want to live.  If you are worrying too much about money, it might be time to move on to another international school.

Teachers also might be leaving because the international school that they are at is going in a direction that does not make sense for their career anymore. A new director might have started this year and is making too many changes to the school that you just don’t agree with.

There are many, many more reasons teachers decide to leave.

International schools know that teachers come and go for a variety of reasons, but it’s true that they don’t want too many people leaving at once.  It could give a bad reputation to the school, having so many staff leaving at once.  It could also cost the school a fair amount of money trying to recruit and replace the teachers who are leaving. If you need to recruit for so many people, it is also possible that the school won’t find that many quality candidates.

But, many international schools go through cycles of low and high turnover rates.  It is pretty normal.  The best international schools just know how to deal with those cycles in the best ways.

Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today on How many people are leaving your international school at the end of this school year?

You can check out the latest voting results here.

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We actually have a comment topic related this to this issue. It is called: Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate.

Right now there are over 670 individual comments (about 100s of different international schools) in this comment topic on our website.  Here are a few of them:

“Spanish teachers are Guatemalan, most other teachers are from North America. Turnover varies with most renewing their contract at least once. Large percentage of teachers have a masters and there are local opportunities to work towards a masters at a reduced cost.” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya) (Guatemala City, Guatemala)– 40 Comments

“All teaching staff are fully qualified. Most are British, with some Australians, South Africans and Filipina. turnover is high. Last year 40% left. Most leave due to the lowish salary rather than because they are unhappy with the school.” – Rasami (Thai-British) International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 17 Comments

“There seem to be a lot of Australian, Canadian, British and American teachers. A few New Zealanders, too. In all grades up to Grade 2 there are local assistants in each class. From talking to the teachers here, there is a turnover of staff, but it’s not huge. People seem to be pretty happy with the school.” – NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 65 Comments

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Comparing the Schools and Comments

Comparing the Schools and Comments: Working in Shanghai, China

February 28, 2015


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

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

Our new blog series will look at comparing some of these comments, all coming from international schools in the same city.

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Shanghai, China

Currently, we have 25 schools listed in Shanghai on International School Community.

Schools with the most submitted comments:
Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 50 Comments
Shanghai Community International School (Shanghai, China) – 33 Comments
Shanghai American School – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 18 Comments
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 37 Comments
British International School Shanghai – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 25 Comments
Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 146 Comments

Salaries
“You can expect to make 16000 RMB a month after taxes.” – Singapore International School (Shanghai)

“Base pay for teachers with 3 or more yrs of experience is between $32,000 and $39,000 (tax-free). Entry level is a little bit lower at $26,000-$32,000.” – Shanghai Community International School

“I would say that teachers NET is around 21000 – this must be dependent on teaching experience etc” – Shanghai United International School

“The full salary is paid in RMB. The school adds an extra 500 RMB towards utility bills. The yearly pay is divided into 12 months. For newcomers, their first pay is in September 20th, although school starts early August. This is clearly stated in the contract but those new teachers coming in need to be aware of this that they won’t see money until September.” – Western International School of Shanghai

Hiring Policy
“Teachers need to have at least two years of teaching experience in order to be considered.” – Concordia International School (Shanghai)

“WISS starts recruiting early but is very fair to its teachers. Those who “may” leave have their position advertised and only have to make a final decision when someone has been found as a replacement.” – Western International School of Shanghai

“They rely a lot on hiring people who are recommended by current employees. You still go through the interview process, etc. My initial contact to the school was through a connection I had to somebody already working here.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai)

“They attend Search Associates in January. They advertise in TES and through Teachanywhere.com. They interview in person or via Skype.” – British International School Shanghai – Pudong

Recent things the school has taken on
“A few years ago, the school decided it was important to do open houses (like other international schools in Shanghai) and that added a lot more work for the teachers. But hopefully they discontinued that this year.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai)

“The school is now implementing ‘high performance learning’ initiative which is being implemented across all the Nord Anglia Schools” – British International School Shanghai – Puxi

“There were many accomplishments from staff and students. It is amazing how many different areas were top notch: Sports, drama department, music program, Chinese language and much more.” – Shanghai Community International School

Housing
“Furnished 2-bedroom for single & married teachers, not sure about families. Furnished means basic furnishings including TV, sofa, dining table & chairs, beds & bedding, bath linens, kitchen appliances, & basic cooking utensils & dishes. After one year, staff can opt to take housing allowance instead of school housing. Most people are satisfied with housing overall, although sometimes it takes several “reminders” for repairs or service requests in school apts. Utility costs vary but are fairly cheap. My average for electricity, gas, & water is 100-200 RMB per month. Internet is 1,400 RMB per year. Mobile phone depends on plan/amount of data.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai)

“Housing is provided by WISS for the 1st year. Teachers can decide for themselves for subsequent years whether they want to stay in the provided accommodation or find their own place.” – Western International School of Shanghai

“Hosing allowance provided but most staff pay a bit more out of their own pocket to live in more desirable areas Staff can chose to stay in school housing” – British International School Shanghai – Puxi

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

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

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How NOT to Save Money

How NOT to save money when working as an international school teacher #6: Spend tons of money during your trip back home

December 21, 2014


We all hear about the big possibility of saving money while working at international schools, but the reality is that many of us don’t save much of any money.  So, why aren’t these international school teachers saving money?

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How NOT to save money when working as an international school teacher #6 – Spend tons of money during your trip back home

Of course you go back to your home country to spend time with your friends and family. It is important to go back at least once a year to see them in person and hang out like before you moved abroad. Even if you are able to Skype a lot with these people throughout the year, you can’t beat getting a hug from them in person!

boots2We all know though that there is something else on our minds when we go back home…and that is shopping!  We all have those go-to-stores that we must visit.  If you are from the United States, then it might be Target. If you are from England, then it might be Boots. Finding time to do a bit of shopping in these stores is a must!

Maybe clothes are cheaper in your home country. Buy them!

Are some toiletries cheaper and are there brands that you can’t get in your host country? Buy them!

Did you bring an extra suitcase in your other suitcase just for putting the stuff you bought from your trip back home? Buy even more!

Now to food.

Food is extremely important when living abroad. One of the best parts of living abroad is trying the local products and food delicacies, but having a bit of the food from your home country around can be quite comforting.

Img00003Everyone has their own food that they want to buy and bring back to their host country. What one teacher might bring back, another teacher might say why. To each their own really.  We all have those things that we want and that is how life goes as an expat.

But, the key is not to let your home country purchases get outta hand!  “Oh, I’ll just buy one of these and two of those” one day. The next day you find yourself saying, “Oh, I better buy one more of each!”  Purchase after purchase, the amount you spend goes up and up.

It is easy to get caught up in the mainframe of “well, I am only here one time a year, so I better stock up.”  Though that is true, saying it over and over in your head can increase your purchases even more than you were expecting (not allowing your save your money as it were!).

How can you then keep your purchases under control? One key rule to keep in mind: only buy things that you for sure can’t already buy in your host country.

Is it true that the longer you live abroad, the less things that you buy when you go back home? Or maybe it is that you get smarter about the things you let yourself purchase. Some might say both of those statements are not true at all and that we are all subject to the temptation of buying products from our homeland when we go back for a visit and putting our savings plan on hold for a bit.

Happy shopping back home and bringing those items back to your home abroad!

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We do have a comment topic on our website related to the theme of what food items you might want/need to bring to your new host country (don’t go overboard though!).  It is in the city section of the comments and information tab on the school profile pages. It is called: Tell about your experiences in the local grocery stores. What can you get or cannot get? Which ones are your favorites.

“There are almost no British/Australian/NZ/Canadian/American food items that can’t be found in Bangkok nowadays. Items from home tend to be expensive though, so you you may wish to pack a couple of jars of Marmite/Vegemite and your favourite tea bags.” – Rasami (Thai-British) International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 11 Comments

“Sometimes, items are in abundance, and other times they are scarce, such as peanut butter.” – Orchlon School (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) – 68 Comments

“We can get nearly everything. Rooibos tea is hard to find, but everything basic is easy to get.” – Qatar Academy (Doha) (Doha, Qatar) – 56 Comments

“There is a very large supermarket 5 minutes walk from the school. It has a wide variety of products. (Greater variety than Danish supermarkets)” – International School of Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland) – 30 Comments

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Bermuda (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

December 14, 2014


Traveling Around: Bermuda

Can you relate?

• Having an international school teacher friend that moved to a tropical location that you were FOR SURE going to visit at some point.
• Realizing that Bermuda is indeed so close to the United States and only around 1.5 hour flight from JFK airport in New York.  Why did I wait so long to visit this country!?
• Staying at a friend’s apartment and enjoying the view from their balcony while eating breakfast every morning.

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• Finally understanding exactly what Bermuda shorts are and when the locals wear them.
• Taking the local public transportation (with a mix of locals and tourists) to one of the many beautiful beaches in Bermuda.
• Filming a 30-second movie on my smartphone at each of the beaches that I visited and posting them on Facebook for all my friends to see!
• Visiting the school that my international school teacher friend works at and getting a personal tour of campus.

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• Being a bit jealous of my friend’s less than five-minute walk to work.
• Going grocery shopping at a local grocery store and finding a paper bag (for bagging up your purchased products) that had a printed warning about the upcoming hurricane season on it.
• Checking out some the more popular caves in Bermuda and wondering whether I truly like visiting caves or not.
• Seeing animals that only a tropical island would have, but also finding animals that I thought an island wouldn’t have (e.g. cardinal birds).

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• Walking around a wooded area and finding a “secret spot” to swim, only to find that some other people were already swimming in this secret spot!
• Getting a nice ride on my friend’s moto to her most favorite beach on the island and finding it to be very worth the scariness of being on the back of a small motobike going at pretty fast speeds.
• Thinking I’m being all free and all by walking around the area around the beach in my bare feet only to find that I wish I would have worn my sandals because of the extremely rocky ground (sharp!).
• Taking lots of pictures of all the free-roaming roosters walking around everywhere on the island. Beautiful feathers!

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• Being in awe of the parrot fish. Finding it in one place and then finding it even up closer in another location the next day. So colorful!
• Eating some amazing local fish (wahoo anyone?) at a variety of restaurants.
• Getting the opportunity to go on my friend’s work colleague’s house sailboat for the day. He took us around the beautiful island to a secret spot to go swimming in the open ocean. It was a really nice, warm and sunny day too!
• Avoiding going to the more popular, very touristy, beach in Bermuda. I ended up going there though on my last day and I am glad that I did. There weren’t too many people there and it was fun to walk around the beach to enjoy the awesome views.
• Not getting burnt at all from being out in the sun too much. Still got some color on my skin, but I was very wise to not over do it and make sure to put on enough sunscreen.
• Shopping at the local “expat/imported” grocery store and being astounded by the VERY expensive prices there. I think a bag of cherries was 25 USD!!!

Currently we have 19 international schools listed in Caribbean on International School Community. Here are the ones that have comments submitted on them:

 Lucaya International School (Freeport, Bahamas) – 15 Comments
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St. Andrew’s – International School of the Bahamas (Freeport, Bahamas) – 7 Comments
• 
The Codrington School (Int’l School of Barbados) (St. John, Barbados) – 32 Comments
• 
Somersfield Academy (Devonshire, Bermuda) – 18 Comments
• 
The Bermuda High School for Girls  (Pembroke, Bermuda) – 41 Comments
• 
International School of Havana (Havana City, Cuba) – 15 Comments
• 
American school of Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 6 Comments
• 
Saint George School (Dom. Rep.) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 4 Comments
• 
St. Michael’s School (Dominican Republic) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 11 Comments
• 
The Ashton School of Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 21 Comments
• 
International School of Sosua (Sosua, Dominican Republic) – 9 Comments
• 
American International School of Kingston (Kingston, Jamaica) – 7 Comments
• 
International School of Curacao (Curacao, Netherlands Antilles) – 8 Comments
• 
Saipan International School  (Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands) – 13 Comments
• 
Guamani Private School (Guayama, Puerto Rico) – 16 Comments
• 
Caribbean School (Ponce, Puerto Rico) – 7 Comments
• 
International School St. Lucia (West Indies) (Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia) – 20 Comments
• 
International School of Port of Spain (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) – 17 Comments
• 
Cedar International School (Tortola, Virgin Islands, British) – 7 Comments•

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

PHOTO CONTEST!  Don’t forget to enter our current photo contest: Best Beach Shot. Top three photos win free premium membership. Actually, every that participates wins 1 week of free premium membership. Enter today!

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Highlighted Articles

Expanding opportunities to work at international schools: prepare yourself to teach abroad!

November 30, 2014


Who wouldn’t like a life of world travel, acquiring new languages and learning firsthand about new cultures?  Many teachers find the opportunity of working at an international school too hard to pass up!

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Over the past 14 years, there has been a 35% increase in the number of teachers employed at international schools. International teachers are mostly from the United States, Canada, U.K., and Australia, but not necessarily limited to these countries.

Currently, there are more than 7,300 international schools throughout the world with over 3.7 million students attending. The reason students attend international schools is varied.  Some are children of embassy personnel, other families are business expats or work for international organizations.  Like the children who attend them, international schools can be very different. The majority of schools use English as the main language of instruction, although there can be a preference for British or American English.  There are also bilingual schools or schools teaching in a foreign language such as German or French. Though many schools have a truly international student population (i.e. up to 40 or more languages and cultures represented in their student bodies), there are other schools where host-country nationals make up the vast majority of students. Regardless of the differences, there is a growing demand for trained teachers to teach abroad at these international schools.

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One of the main differences is found in the type of curriculum international schools use. International schools typically offer one of the following curricula: USA, UK, or the internationally recognized IB programme (International Baccalaureate). Need to get prepared:  When researching international schools, find out what curriculum they use and what qualifications are necessary to teach it. Though not always a prerequisite, most international schools recruit teachers experienced in teaching their curriculum. The minimum requirement is often a valid teaching license, two years of teaching experience, and a Masters degree in Education.

The life of an international school teacher can be fascinating and exciting. There are so many reasons which make teaching abroad desirable, but it typically boils down to these five: money, love, travel, location and career. In general, international school teachers who want to live a successful, happy expat life need to be tolerant of diversity and uniqueness, flexible and adaptable as well as curious and open-minded to try new things. They live abroad in order to  explore more of the world. Need to figure out: Your own reasons for wanting to move abroad and your flexibility with the location and type of school.  At best, teaching abroad can enrich your career and change your life. At worst, it can be stressful, expensive, and sometimes dangerous. Thus, it requires independence, resilience, and a lot of question-asking. In other words, do your homework!

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An international school teacher exploring the local culture.

Teaching abroad has its perks, that is for sure. Some of those perks can include a housing allowance, a relocation package, and a flight to and from your home country at the beginning and the end of your contract to name a few. Another benefit that is often offered is an annual Professional Development (PD) allowance. To get school support to explore more of what you are personally interested in learning more about is a dream come true for most teachers. Need to research: Because benefits and packages can vary enormously, it is important to do your research. Network with experienced international school teachers to gather all the information you can. The International School Community website also has numerous submitted comments about benefits that members can check out regarding hundreds of different schools.

You might have heard that one of the biggest perks to take a position at an international school is to earn lots of money!  Many teachers want to earn more than they are making in their home countries. They also desire living in a location where there is a lower cost-of-living and where they can pay little to no taxes, thus providing them an excellent opportunity to save money.  Even if you get a position at a top international school with an excellent salary and benefits, it is not so easy to actually save that money you were hoping for. You need to be smart with the money you are making abroad. It is important to research the cost-of-living for the location in your host country and then compare that to your take-home salary and benefits. Couples can live on one salary in some places, but in other areas of the world that can be problematic.  Furthermore, if you move to a new international school every three to five years, have a plan for your pension and retirement accounts!  Need to know: Monthly take-home amount and in what currency, allowance amounts (housing, flight, baggage, etc.), savings potential and about the school’s pension plan or your private pension plan options.

If you have figured out your goals, made a plan and gathered all the information about an international school, the next step is to get that interview! It is becoming increasingly more convenient to land a job at an international school. There are recruitment fairs that have been around for decades, like the UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair, but now an increasing number of schools are recruiting over Skype. It can be expensive for both parties involved to attend an international school recruitment fair, so the internet has become the way of the future for hiring. Need to do: Start researching prospective international schools in the spring or during the summer a year before you plan on moving. Have a good cover letter, update your CV, and setup an online teaching portfolio. Figure out if going to a recruitment fair is the right thing for you to do. Get prepared and read the Nine Lessons Learned Regarding International School Recruitment Fairs and spruce up an area in your home to potentially do some Skype interviews.

Be careful not to get your hopes up too much when you are job searching for a position at an international school. It can be a challenge to stand out and be at the top of the list when you are first starting out in this community. Like many businesses, it is all about who you know. Many international schools value experience teaching abroad (especially at other international schools). The idea behind this is that it will be a better “gamble” on the school’s part to hire somebody who already has experience living abroad and working with an international student body; having worked with English as an Additional Language students will be to your advantage. But do not worry if you are new to teaching, there are many international schools willing to hire candidates just starting out in their teaching career. Getting a position is basically all about luck and timing regardless of your background experience.  When you finally land a job, you must prepare yourself for the big move and for the first few months after your arrival in your new host country. Need to read: Take a look at the Ten Commandments to Relocating Overseas.

Some people just want a change in their life; they want a new and exciting challenge.  International school teachers seek out this challenge. The catch is once you start in the international school community, it is hard to stop. The lifestyle you live is one that allows you many more opportunities than if you were teaching back in your home country. If the time is right for you to take a chance and make the move abroad, remember to do your research so that you are well-prepared.  Finding a good fit for you and your goals is paramount. The international school community is waiting for you!

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Hiring Policies at Int’l Schools

Comments about Hiring Policies #9: Int’l High School of San Fran, The American School of Kinshasa & British Early Years Centre

November 6, 2014


Comments and information about hiring policies on International School Community:

skype-interviewEvery 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 all of those questions?

Sometimes it is hard to keep track of which international schools go to which recruitment fairs and which interview style and tactic each international school employs.  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 topic 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 three out of the numerous submitted comments, related to the school’s hiring policies, that have been posted on our website:

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International High School of San Francisco (San Francisco, United States) – 15 Total Comments
Comment about their hiring policies: “Since it is French/American, basically they hire via Search Associates and CIS for international staff. For French staff you need to be a certified teacher from France. You can apply via the school\’s website. To be hired here, you don\’t need to be able to speak French FYI.”

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The American School of Kinshasa  (Kinshasa, Congo (DRC)) – 11 Total Comments
Comment about their hiring policies: “They will go to some fairs in the US or Johannesburg. They will hire through both, face-to-face and Skype. There are no age restrictions and they will usually prefer couples but will accept single parents very easily.”

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British Early Years Centre
 (Bangkok, Thailand) – 10 Total Comments
Comment about their hiring policies: “The British Early Years Centre generally employs teachers from the UK, however we do interview anyone with relevant experience who has a strong passion for what we do. Interviews are preferably done face to face and we like to see sample lessons, however given that we are in an international community and we employ from the UK, this isn’t always possible, so Skype interviews are the minimal requirement.”

Check out the more than 822 comments and information that have been submitted about the hiring policies on numerous international school profiles at www.internationalschoolcommunity.com.

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Paris, France (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

September 30, 2014


Traveling Around: Paris, France

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Can you relate?

• Forgetting to print some tickets and stopping by at a hotel that wasn’t ours to get them printed.  The hotel printed the papers for free, but we decided to give them 5 EUR for helping us anyway.
• Going to see Versailles and being slightly let down by how crowded the interior was, which detracted from the beauty of the place.  And then realizing that the outside park was actually free (I think it was free).
• Seeing a man at Versailles trying to get out of one of the rowing boats that you could rent and falling straight into the pond water. Embarrassing!
• Walking into a group of ballroom dancers dancing out in a public area. These people were serious!
• Checking out a super posh mall and realizing that there are so many people richer than me! It has a super beautiful ceiling and had an awesome terrace that was free and had great views of the city.
• Finding a new neighborhood to explore and being pleasantly surprised on how cool it was. Finding a hole-in-the-wall restaurant to eat at that was delicious!  No way did I think the food was going to be good there.
• Eating crepes for the first time (in France/Paris) and being slightly disappointed. I guess I chose the wrong place to try one out.
• Going to the Louvre once again, but just walking around the pyramid part and not going inside. Never seems to be a good time to visit the actual museum when you are only in Paris on a short holiday.
• Walking along the Seine and enjoying every minute of it. How beautiful is it to walk along this river?  Every part of it is so nice, perfect places to sit down and just enjoy the surroundings and view.
• Sitting down at a cafe near to a river (not thinking it was really anywhere special), ordering a beer, having a good chat, and then realizing that the beers cost 9 EUR each!  I guess they were more expensive depending on where you were sitting!
• Getting drunk after only one (big) glass of beer and then going drunk grocery shopping in a Paris grocery store. Good times!
• Loving the walking from anywhere in Paris and getting closer and closer to the Eiffel Tower.  It is so cool seeing glimpses of the tower peeking out from behind some buildings, like it is calling you to get nearer to it.
• Using different review websites to find new restaurants to eat at each day, having fun exploring all different parts of the city and being pleasantly surprised at the restaurants that were truly worth the journey to get there.
• Being overwhelmed by the crazy high number of tourists everywhere. So many Americans there, but also there appeared to be people from every other country possible as well.
• Experiencing one of the best meals ever eaten at a restaurant. Paris has so many good restaurants with amazingly tasty food!
• Realizing once again how cool the Paris metro system is. Such great design and art everywhere.
• Going to see Roland Garros for the third time in my life and loving every minute of it! This time my friend and I actually got some pictures with some of the tennis players.
• Meeting up with an international school teacher friend who I used to work with a few years ago, at an international school we both don’t work at anymore.

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Currently we have 5 international schools listed in Paris, France on International School Community.  Here are a few of the them that have had comments submitted on them:

American School of Paris (16 Comments)
• British School of Paris (7 Comments)
• International School of Paris (17 Comments)

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you 6 free months of premium membership!

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Blogs of International Teachers

Blogs of international school teachers: “The Present Perfect” (An international school teacher at the American International School of Budapest)

August 11, 2014


Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Our 38th blog that we would like to highlight is called “The Present Perfect: Living for the present.  My life as a semi-nomadic teacher.”  Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who currently works at American International School of Budapest in Hungary.

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A few entries that we would like to highlight:

Job Fair Success

“On the interview sign-ups morning I was armed with an excel sheet of my targeted schools (that is to say, schools that had potential openings for me). Right away I found that a couple of schools that I had on my list no longer had postings for my teaching area and a couple of others didn’t grant me an interview. By the end of the two sign-up sessions, I had scheduled interviews with 13 schools (including second interviews with the two Skype schools). I arranged interviews with schools from China, to South America, to Africa, you name it. I went for jobs in ESL (elementary and middle school), ELA (middle school), and elementary classroom teacher. I didn’t rule anything out at the sign-up sessions…”

I like having a plan of attack as well; good to have the excel sheet of targeted schools…which will keep you extra focused during the fair craziness. 

It is tough finding out which schools don’t actually have a position you could apply for anymore, but that is definitely a reality of the first day of the fair.

Good then to not rule out any schools during the sign-up sessions. As they say, you never know what will happen at the fair!

Want to learn even more about which international schools like to do Skype interviews or the ones that prefer to interview at the recruitment fairs?  We have a comment topic called “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?”  Currently there are 799 individual comments in this comment topic talking about 100s of different international schools. Check them out by doing a search for the school you want to know about here.

What to do on a rainy Saturday in Beirut

“Head over to Mar Mikhael for a burger, fries and a shake at the teeny tiny, yet adorable, Frosty Palace.

Then cross the street to Papercup and browse the carefully curated selection of books and magazines while sipping a perfectly pulled espresso.

Purchase a book to take home if you’re so inclined.

Remind yourself that you’re still in Beirut and not Brooklyn…”

It is a good idea to get out of your home as much as you can in your host city, even if it is a rainy day.  There is always a cozy cafe to relax in, in most cities in the world.  Also, you never know who you will encounter when you are out and about.  Hard to interact with the locals in you are cooped up in your home.

Want to learn even more about what international school teachers do in the cities they live in?  We have a comment topic called Sample activities that you can do around the city? Including ones that you can do with a family (children)?  Currently there are 83 individual comments in this comment topic talking about many different international schools. Check them out by doing a search for the school you want to know about here.

Want to work for an international school in Budapest like this blogger?  Currently, we have 5 international schools listed in this city on International School Community.

There are seven International School Community members who currently live in Budapest. Check out which ones and where they work here.  Feel free to go ahead and contact them with any questions that you might have as well; nice to get first hand information about what it is like to live and work there!

If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.

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Surveys

New Survey: Does your school have an official English-only policy on their campus?

July 13, 2014


A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  Does your school have an official English-only policy on their campus?

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Many veteran international school teachers have already figured out that there are a nice “handful” of these types of international schools throughout the world.  Some teachers and administrators think this kind of English-only policy is a necessity for the success of their students; others teachers and administrators are quite against it…strongly against it. After teaching at an English-only policy international school, some teachers will choose never to teach in a school like that again because of their negative and painful experience trying to enforce it on their students.

There are many cons to having an English-only policy at an international school.  It’s likely that it is giving the wrong impression of what being an “internationally-minded” person is all about.

downloadInternational schools need to think very smartly about the makeup (language background) of their student body because of course that can affect what the “language of the playground” is. When the makeup is not balanced in a way that hinders the target language level/goal of the majority of the students (that the school wants them to achieve to), then of course many schools resort to a English-only policy to try to counteract that (for example at international schools with a majority of host country nationals)…and it would appear that not-well-thought-out solution fails almost every time. At least that is what was happening at a number of international schools nowadays.

Just because English is the target language of most international school classrooms, doesn’t mean that English is the superior or dominate language of the school; and teachers and administration should let their students and their parents know this in a clear, organized, and meaningful way. One suggestion on how to do this is to encourage an interlingual classroom.  In an interlingual classroom, students are encouraged to use their home languages in the classroom.  This suggestion will most likely not only be a new experience for you as the teacher, but also for your students…as they may not be used to being able to do this. In turn, some modeling and explicit examples on how to do this in a lesson would be necessary.

Another suggestion is to support multiliteracies in your classroom.

Share what your opinion is on this issue, as there are many perspectives and experiences at a variety of international schools that need to be shared with the rest of the community.

Also, go ahead and vote on Does your school have an official English-only policy on their campus? Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!  You can check out the latest voting results here.

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We actually have a comment topic related this to this issue. It is called: Describe language abilities of students at this school and what is the “common language spoken in the hallways”? Is there one dominate culture group?

Right now there are over 560 individual comments (about 100s of different international schools) in this comment topic on our website.  Here are a few of them:

“There is a 30% cap on Thai students in order to maintain an international population. The other largest groups as of 2014 are U.S. (14%), Indian (8%), Japanese (6%), Australian (6%) and British (5%). Approximately 50 nationalities are represented in total. Most of the students are fully fluent in English, and unless with a small group of friends who share similar backgrounds, they tend to use English.” – NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 29 Comments

“The school requires students entering after kinder have been previously educated in English. I would say about 75% of the students are fluent in English, and the rest are in the ELL program. Students almost all speak English, even if they have friends who speak their native languages. I am not sure of the exact number, but I would guess about half of the students are native English speakers.” – Mont’Kiara International School (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 27 Comments

“ASM is truly an international school. The school strives to maintain what is called the “magical mix”, meaning 1/3 is American, 1/3 is Spanish, and 1/3 is from all over the world. For this reason, the English level is extremely high. A mix of predominantly English and Spanish is spoken in non-structured environments around campus.” – American School Madrid (Madrid, Spain) – 27 Comments

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Cairo, Egypt (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

May 29, 2014


Traveling Around: Cairo, Egypt

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Can you relate?

• Getting off the plane and seeing the armed security forces casually strolling around the airport with machine guns hanging off their arms.
• Going to the Egyptian Museum and walking past tanks and armored vehicles ready to deal with any major problems.  There is heightened security leading up to the elections but the armed forces are subtle and seeing them is reassuring.  Very strange though seeing military checkpoints with umbrellas protecting the soldiers from the sun.
• Finally seeing Tutankhamen’s treasures including his Death Mask after 39 years of wanting to go and see it, including canceling a previous planned trip as it coincided with the weekend the last revolution occurred.
• Then, walking in his tomb and seeing his mummified corpse (and ‘negotiating’ with the guard to take photographs, even though cameras and pictures not allowed).
• No queues, no waiting anywhere.  Before the revolution it would have taken 30 minutes at each of the four tombs in Valley of the Kings before you could even enter and then it would be full of people.  I was in Tutankhamen’s tomb with just my mini tour group (total of three) we had the place to ourselves…
• The Pyramids and the Sphinx!!!
• Bargaining with the vendors whilst the Nile River Cruise ship goes through the lock (they throw their product onto the deck and if you want it you throw your money down to them) – best fun ever!!
• Finding out that snacks are really cheap at roadside stalls
• Encountering insane Cairo traffic – lanes are just a suggestion and horns are to tell a story – one hour just to drive around the roundabout at Tahir Square – cars were doing u-turns in the middle of the traffic – against the flow – just to escape…
• Shopping!!! Dealing with the vendors can be so much fun if you smile at them and have a laugh…
• Walking around the corner and seeing the immense statues of Rameses II at Abu Simbel (after a 3am start and a 3 and a half hour road convoy)
• Watching an artisan make papyrus and then seeing another use hieroglyphics to personalise it for you
• Seeing an Egyptian Muslim man propose to his girlfriend on the Nile Dinner Cruise – so beautiful
• Seeing an Egyptian wedding (different couple obviously :)) get married by the pool at the hotel you are staying and then watching the fireworks when they leave the party
• Experiencing all the different temples at different times of the day so the light reflects differently
• Mummified crocodiles!
• Meeting two amazing boys from Barbados to travel around Upper Egypt with (we became known as Two Cokes and a Sprite as that reflected the drinks we always ordered for dinner but it was also a cute description of the three of us)
• Being taken out to dinner by your guide (not included in the tour package) as an extra so you can taste ‘real’ Egyptian food at a restaurant that happened to be across the road from the Sphinx so we were entertained by the Light show as well…
• Experiencing the incredible hospitality of the local people (my tour guide and tour company owner really made sure that I was having the tour of my dreams).
• Realising that Egypt is currently a safe place to visit regardless what the media says – it is cheap to visit now (weather is best Jan – April) and the people appreciate you visiting as they are doing it tough since the revolutions…
• Independently kickstarting the Egyptian economy with all the shopping I did (seriously heavy bags (plural) on the way home!)
• New friends in Egypt and because of Egypt!

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Currently we have 23 international schools listed in Cairo, Egypt on International School Community.  Here are a few of the them that have had comments submitted on them:

Cairo American College (27 Comments)
• Cairo British School (30 Comments)
• Cairo English School (17 Comments)
• Ecole Oasis Internationale (17 Comments)
• El Alsson British and American International School (20 Comments)
• Hayah International Academy (19 Comments)
• Misr American College (37 Comments)
• The International Schools of Choueifat in Egypt (22 Comments)

This Can you Relate article was submitted by an International School Community member who is Australian and currently works in the UAE.

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give 6 free months of premium membership!

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Recently Updated School Profiles

Recently Updated School Profiles #22: British Int’l School Shanghai – Pudong, Greenfield Community School (Dubai) & Carlucci American Int’l School of Lisbon

April 24, 2014


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Members of International School Community have written some new and informative comments on the following schools:

21 Apr    Greenfield Community School (Dubai) (15 new comments)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates:

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One of the new comments in the School Information section: “86 nationalities are enrolled at the school. It has been recognized for the support it gives students with EAL…”

19 Apr    British International School Shanghai – Pudong (12 new comments)
Shanghai, China:

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One of the new comments in the School Information section: “Teachers are housed near the school for the first year. They can choose to stay after this year or move with an accommodation allowance…”

16 Apr    Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (9 new comments)
Lisbon, Portugal:

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One of the new comments in the Travel Information section: “A lot of locals know English here, but there are definitely store workers and owners that don’t know hardly one word! It is good to know Portuguese here…”

Check out the rest of the last 40 international school profile pages that have been recently updated on International School Community here.

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1949 (Taiwan, Yokohama, Geneva & more)

February 27, 2014


Random year for international schools around the world: 1949

There is much history in the international teaching community.  We have international schools with founding dates of 1838 and 1850 and we also have many, many international schools with founding dates in the 21st century.  The numbers of new international schools are increasing for sure.

Utilizing the database of the 1611 (25 February, 2014) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 7 international schools that were founded in 1949.  Here are a few of those schools that also have had comments and information submitted on them on our website (excerpts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites)

Taipei American School (Taiwan, China) – 11 Comments

1

“Our school has a rich history. Taipei American School first opened its doors to eight students on September 26, 1949 in the basement of a seminary. The civil war between Chinese Communists and Nationalists caused many missionaries and business people to flee mainland China for Taiwan. This influx caused the school to grow rapidly and forced it to move to a new facility as enrollment reached 120 by 1951.”

American School of Asuncion (Asuncion, Paraguay) – 58 Comments

2

“Asa did not have school buildings when it started, instead, teachers went  to students’ homes to teach them. In 1949, most U.S. children were doing the us Calvert correspondance courses supervised by their parents. Later on, students started to meet at the YMCA.”

Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 18 Comments

3

“The Anglo-American School of Moscow, founded in 1949, is an independent, coeducational day school in northwest Moscow that offers an international educational program from Pre-Kindergarten (4-year-olds) through Grade 12. The Anglo-American School is chartered by the American, British, and Canadian Embassies in Moscow through the aegis of a School Board.”

Nishimachi International School (Tokyo, Japan) – 7 Comments

4

“Nishimachi International School was established in 1949 by the late Tane Matsukata on the family property in the Azabu area of Tokyo. She had recently returned to Japan after seventeen years in the U.S., where she received her education and spent the war years.

Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well!  We have over 1610 international schools that have profile pages on our website.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #28: Denes Tilistyak (An international school educator currently working at Western International School of Shanghai)

October 1, 2013


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

  Denes Tilistyak and sonsTell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I was born, grew up, and graduated from college (BA in Mathematics and English Language and Literature) in Hungary. During my third year of college I found a flyer by the college entrance showing “Teach in New York” and I immediately got interested. As a result, I got in touch with AAECA (Austrian American Educational Cooperation Association) that was recruiting teachers to the Big Apple from all over Europe. I traveled to Vienna for an interview and, after I was accepted, for a weekend workshop. From then on it all worked out quite smoothly and just about a month after being handed my college diploma I found myself on a plane heading for New York City. After the initial chaos in NYC I was placed in Walton High School to teach 9th-10th grade Mathematics. After one year I was reassigned to teach at Bronx High School for Law and Community Service and remained there for the following two years. During this time I met and married a Filipina and then we decided to move to the Philippines.

After teaching three years in the NYC public school system I got a position as Secondary Mathematics teacher at Cebu International School. There I got familiar with international teaching and the IB Diploma Programme. After my initial two-year contract with CIS I moved on to teach Upper School Mathematics at Xiamen International School in China, where I taught in both the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). During my 2nd and 3rd year at XIS I was appointed the Head of the Mathematics Department and for my final two years I held the position of the Diploma Programme coordinator as well as Pamoja Education’s Site-Based Coordinator.

After my five years in Xiamen I recently moved to Shanghai to continue teaching Secondary Mathematics at Western International School of Shanghai (WISS).

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

My first international school experience was in the Philippines, in Cebu city at Cebu International School. Through them I got introduced to International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Programme and became a DP Mathematics teacher, teaching Mathematical Studies SL and Mathematics SL. From here on living the life of an international school teacher came naturally and I very much enjoy what I do.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

In SY2006-2008 I worked in Cebu International School. After teaching three years in the NYC public school system this place felt like paradise to me. The students were attentive, kind, and genuinely fun to work with. Being in a small school such as CIS helped me make friends and rediscover what teaching was really all about. Being part of a small but genuinely kind and helpful community was an amazing way to start working in Asia, so far from my roots.

In SY2008-2013 I worked at Xiamen International School. After my first year at XIS I gained the respect of both the Upper School principal, Dr. David Freeman, and the Headmaster, John Godwin, who entrusted me with the position of the Head of the Mathematics Department. I held this position for two years before I was given the opportunity to be the Diploma Programme Coordinator for SY2011-2013. During these five years at XIS I also became MYP Mathematics Moderator and DP Mathematics Examiner, as well as Site-Based Coordinator for Pamoja Education. As the school is about a 40-minute bus ride from the island, where most faculty and families live, I started to regularly cycle to school to the point when it became routine to pedal to and from work every day.

Now, in SY2013-14, I am at Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) as a secondary Mathematics teacher and I immensely enjoy the start of this new chapter in my life in this fantastic school with such an amazing staff. Although the school is only a 5-minute bus ride from my home now, keeping my passion for cycling will be much easier as there are plenty expat cyclists who organize regular rides around Shanghai.

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

Having “cultural encounters” in China is really a daily experience. Moving around the city and observing the local customs and habits really became natural by now, after having spent five years in China. One of the many habits of the Chinese that still put a smile on my face is to see them walk backwards as a form of exercise in the pajamas. This morning as I ventured out for my morning jog, I discovered a running track nearby my home. (We just moved to Shanghai a few days ago and I’m still discovering my area.) On the track, at 6am, I found at least 15 people of all ages walking backwards in their pajamas to perform their (I guess regular) morning exercise. Yes, I smiled.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

Having a non-teaching spouse and two school-aged boys my very first criterion is whether the school accepts two children as dependents. Once that’s given I check the school’s location, the programs they offer (which is crucial for me being an experienced MYP/DP teacher), and the salary and benefits. The size of school becomes important only when seriously considering an offer simply because I have experience with both large and smaller size schools.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Living life full of energy.

Thanks Denes!

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

Want to work for an international school in the China like Denes?  Currently, we have 22 international schools listed in Shanghai on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:

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Highlighted Articles

An experience of a lifetime: visit to John Donne School (UK) from a school in India

July 10, 2013


On 25th June 2012, I was fortunate to visit a school in South East part of London at a place called Peckham. Peckham holds significance as during the London riots it was a hotbed of violence. It has a mixed racial community of Africans, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, and people from South East Asia.

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Mr.Phil Mayo (see above photo) explained about the sign “Peace at Peckham” made creatively by the pupils of JD after the riots with all used polythene bags, rags and waste paper. The pupils from a mixed racial background strongly wanted to convey the message of peace to their community thru this sign.

John Donne School is situated in the heart of this vibrant, exciting and multi-cultural area and is a community primary school, which is part of Southwark Local Authority where the admitting body is the London Borough of Southwark. JD as it is popularly known among people is an exceptional school of London. I got to see many facets of a school and different approaches adopted by their academic faculty. The learning derived in spending half a day at JD has not only been enriching but enabled me to gain a better insight at the teacher student dynamics which I would have not explored earlier.

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Let me take you thru a journey of discovery thru JD……

Reaching school at 7.15am I waited for Mr. Chris Souvlis (South London Schools Internationalism Support) who played a crucial role in coordinating this visit. As UK rules for visiting a school are very strict and without an official invite from a school no person is allowed to enter. Mr. Souvlis was a contact of another contact Mr. Chris Williams (Comenius Expert, British Council Ambassador for the East Midlands) who has been a vital link for the ISA and without whose assistance this visit would not have been possible.

Being early gave us time to discuss various school projects undertaken by Mr. Souvils. At 8am we met Mr.Phil Mayo (Pastoral Manager) at JD who was very welcoming and eager that I viewed their assembly which was scheduled for 8.30am in a large hall with no stage where about 200 pupils had gathered. The Assembly was conducted by the Deputy Head teachers Ruth Moyler & Simon Wattam on the theme London Olympics 2012 and started with a piece of music “Chariots of Fire”.  After which the pupils were asked to identify that piece of music. They showed high awareness and a lot of hands went up giving the right answers. The various sports to be played at the games were then mimed one by one by Simon and Phil. This was a very interactive assembly where all the pupils were enjoying and learning simultaneously. The energy and enthusiastic manner with which the teachers conducted this was a visual treat.

This reinforced my belief that enthusiasm in a person is not only infectious but also a energy booster for the pupils. The school provided 5 pupils with wrestling tickets for the Olympics which was a real time treat for them. Purple badges were given for full attendance; the child who was a star of the week was announced to motivate others to be regular at school. The school had also purchased new special Olympic themed tyres which were displayed on the play ground and the students were excited to explore the same.  They were asked to respect school property without damaging it.

After this wonderful assembly we wrapped up for a school tour. Seeing various creative classrooms decorated with artwork by pupils was a total “WOW moment” for me. What impressed me more was they were from the 1st-5th grade and with the help of their teachers they brought out the best of their creativity. This ability of the teachers to capitalize and bring out the best from them was awesome. By giving those options to choose from it enabled them to become independent and smarter. The teachers’ found innovative ways of teaching which boosted the pupil’s creativity.

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Speaking with their 4th grade teacher was informative as she shared while teaching a particular topic for the month all other subjects would be correlated with the main theme. e.g. While she was doing Africa as the  main theme even the art and craft was correlated in which animals were made in a jungle setting.

This creativity extended to different subjects and with various teachers as I spoke with the English and Math Teacher Mrs. Jabbar. Who introduced math in the form of various games where the pupils were learning but best of all they were looking forward to the classes. Creating interest is all in the hands of the teachers by being innovative and different.

Mr.Phil shared that JD was an example of an exceptional school where the staff were very involved with the pupil’s welfare as they were coming from different multi cultural backgrounds. Some were from broken homes or having one or no parents. All pupils would eat breakfast at school and no one would attend class if they had not eaten. The councilor’s room was a place to express their feeling through drawing, colouring, writing or just talking. Parents could also join in on the discussion over there. They had a very unique way of punishing a pupil who had repeatedly been naughty. There were made to fill out a questionnaire where they would actually reflect upon their behavior. It was called the 5 W’s form. This way of punishment really worked as it enabled the child to really think about their behavior and not just brush it aside.

I learnt and saw so much in the span of half a day that the overall experience and learning was nothing short of awesome in every way.

Charmaine Vida Tayal

International School Award Coordinator, Facilitator Projects, Khaitan Public School Sahibabad, India

Email: charmainetayal@gmail.com

Thanks Charmaine for sharing your visit with us!  Currently we have 71 international schools listed in India on our website, with many of them having comments and information that have been submitted on them.  Check them out here.

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Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Budapest, Hungary (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

July 2, 2013


Traveling Around: Budapest, Hungary

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Can you relate?

• Being thankful that during the whole trip there was a lot of sun.
• Not being thankful that it was so hot all the time, walking around in the heat as a tourist
• Surprised to find many companies handing out bags of drinking water for random passersby to take and drink. Nice!
• Hating that I wore my new, comfortable sandals all day because of the pain they caused my feet…being that I hadn’t worn in the sandals just yet. Ouch!
• Eating at a restaurant in a basement of a normal building that had cool ambience because it was in an old, renovated cellar.
• Going back to a city that I had been to seven years ago with a different friend during a different time of the year. Good to go back to cities you’ve already been to before.
• Trying to find a restaurant that I went to seven years ago, but then finding out that it had closed three years ago. The new owner tried to get us to stay and eat there but it wouldn’t have been the same! 🙂
• Unfortunately sitting across from two Americans during one dinner, there is nothing worse than watching and listening to other Americans while traveling! Ha ha!
• Analyzing the local language and trying to understand it by relating it to all the other languages we know.
• Thinking that the sounds on the underground train system sounded like we were in a circus show.
• Not being able to easily find places to buy tickets for transportation and finding it confusing the limitations of one ticket after you validate it.
• Thankful that the Danube River had gone down a bit after the recent rise in the river’s water level after lots of heavy rain.
• Staying a hotel that looked just like an apartment, with a kitchenette. But then we ended up not ever using it because of eating out so much.
• Going on a ‘London eye’ type ferris wheel that was temporarily in the center of the city to promote their big summer music festival.
• Walking along the Danube during a wonderful sunset and appreciating every moment!
• Listening to a seller talk about his goods at the grand market in the center of the city, and then ending up buying some things from him because he was so nice!
• Trying to use my credit card (no international fees and earning points for free travel) during the whole trip and attempting to not use the local currency at all.

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Currently we have 5 international schools listed in Hungary on International School Community:

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at admin@internationalschoolcommunity.com with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences.  Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock.  Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give 6 free months of premium membership!

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Discussion Topics

It is time to say goodbye to your current international school: getting rid of your things before the big move!

June 15, 2013


lostluggagebhpIt is sad to say goodbye.  Even more so when you are an international school teacher.  Goodbye new country, goodbye new teacher-friends, goodbye new local friends, goodbye the excellent local cuisine and your new favourite restaurants, etc. And let’s not forget….goodbye to some of your possessions.

At this time of year you already know the teachers for whom it will be their last year working at your current international school.  There is almost a stage of denial that you go through.  You don’t want them to leave for many reasons, some personal and some work-related. On the other hand, you might be quite content with them leaving!

Whether you want them to go or not, international school teachers have to plan and think about a lot of things when they decide to leave an international school.

Selling your things: Some international schools have an end-of-the-year flea market where leaving parents and teachers can bring their stuff to sell.  What a great way to get some money for the things you won’t be taking with you.  If there isn’t an organized flea market, some international school teachers use Facebook and Craigslist-type websites to sell their things.  You can also get in contact with the new hires that will be arriving in the fall to see if there are a few things that they would like to buy…as there will be probably many things that they will need.

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Giving away your things: Sometimes it is not worth the ‘hassle’ of trying to find people to which to sell your things. In the international school teaching community where you’re at, you will always find others that will take your unneeded things!  One time I received 2-3 boxes of things (that I didn’t ask for) from a parting teacher, and there were some really nice things!  Also, it is fun to give away your things, and it leaves a little bit of you with them. One time I took out all the artwork in all the frames in my apartment. Then I had my good friends choose a favorite picture that I had taken during my time there.  I blew up the chosen pictures and put them into my frames (can’t always take big frames with you when you move anyway!).  It was a nice gift to give to them as it came closer to my last couple weeks before my official moving date.

Taking your things with you: If you are lucky, your next international school will have some shipping benefits.  You can use that money to send most of your personal belongings to your next location.  Some international schools don’t have that benefit though, so make sure to get all the details. If you are even luckier, your current school will also have some shipping benefits for leaving teachers as well (Double the money!).  Sometimes international schools have a date that if you formally resign before that date, you will be eligible to receive another baggage/shipping allowance.  In the international school teaching world, it appears it pays to plan ahead then.  I have never used a formal, professional moving company, but many do.  At first, it doesn’t seem like you have a lot of things to move (especially if you are living in a furnished apartment), but then as you start packing, the number of boxes always always seem to multiply!

We have a comment and information topic (in the Benefits tab section on all of our school profile pages) directly related to shipping/moving allowance.  It is called “Detailed info about flight, shipping and settling-in allowances. Any other benefits (e.g. free lunches, etc.)?

Here are some other example comments and information that our members have submitted in this topic:

“You get up to 2000 Euros to use for a moving allowance. You also can get 2000 Euros (interest free loan) if you need some extra money for a “settling-in allowance”. No flight allowance, though the school does pay for your first flight there. (1000 USD for people in Europe and 1500 USD for overseas hires).” – 

“Moving allowance is around 450 Euros. They will pay for your airfare to get there, but there is no annual flight allowance. The school gives you a lunch allowance as well, around 126 Euros a month.” – 

“Moving allowance provided is 1200 USD for singles and 2300 USD for teaching couples.” – 

“The school pays for your flight, visa costs and a shipping allowance of 500USD…but no shipping allowance when you leave. You also can pay for lunch at a nominal cost. Tuition is covered for two dependents but you still have to pay for transportation and food costs which is approximately 230,000 COP per month.” – 

If you know about the shipping and baggage allowance details of the international school you currently work at or have worked at in the past, log-on today to share what you know!  For every 10 submitted comments and information, you will automatically receive one free month of premium membership added to your account.

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Blogs of International Teachers

Blogs of international school teachers: “Before the Mountains” (An international school STUDENT teacher at an international school in Asia)

June 12, 2013


Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Our 31st blog that we would like to highlight is called “Before the Mountains”.  It is written by a student teacher doing their practicum at a British international school!  Check out the blog entries of this international school STUDENT teacher who currently is working at an international school in asia.

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A Day in the Life of the International School Teacher

“For the first 2 months of my practical, I taught in a third grade classroom of 14 wonderful students. Yes, class sizes are incredibly small compared to U.S. standards, and every class has a full-time teacher’s assistant as well. Mine was amazing! You might be beginning to think this was a walk in the park for me, but let me introduce you to my students. I had 11 boys and 3 girls…tables already turned against me, so to speak. Only 3 of my students came from homes where English is their first language. Six of my students were still receiving daily support for English language learning. Two others received special educational support. Then, we can talk about cultural background: 4 East Asian students, 4 South Asian students, 1 European student, 2 Americans, 2 bi-cultural students, and one Canadian…”

So nice to have a small class size, but as this blogger points out, that does not necessarily mean everything is a piece of cake.  It is nice though to have a full time adult aide in your classroom to help. Even better if you get lucky enough to have one of the better ones that work at the school!

It is important to remember that it is pretty much guaranteed that you will have some English Language Learners in your classroom if you plan on teaching at an international school.  This blogger is absolutely correct in saying that it will be an every day task for the teacher to help make the curriculum accessible to these students.  Having an aide help you make all those visuals, that you may like to use, is also quite helpful!

On a side note, we also have an article on our blog about international school teachers’ dependence on IKEA when living abroad.  Check out the article here.

“On some days I was dealing with who said what bad word to whom in Korean while I was trying to make a lesson have enough visual aids to support a child who needed it. At other times, I answered countless “What does ____ mean?” questions during a lesson on whatever that I thought would be pretty straightforward. I often contemplated moving students around the room to deal with behavioral issues, but at every possible arrangement, I had to think, “How is this going to affect that student?” Usually a move of any kind would disrupt the very delicate balance I managed to hold onto. Even though the idea of a small classroom sounds nice, I think there actually needed to be more “balance” kids in the mix. There were new challenges every day of this first half of the placement, but the kids were amazing to work with. I learned that teaching is no easy task. It can make even the toughest person weak in the knees and so incredibly aware of his/her inadequacy…”

Not only do you have students whom do not speak English as their first/home language, it is true that you will also most likely have other issues in your classroom (e.g. students with learning plans, students with behavioral issues, etc.).  The key to a successful international school is to think hard about what their view of being an inclusive school is and how it looks like at their school.  Having systems and support in place before the students arrive is the ideal situation to strive for.  Also, providing teachers with the necessary PD is important so that they can be the most up to date with using some best practice teaching strategies (ones that you would utilize at an inclusive school.

Want to work for an international school in Asia like this blogger is currently doing their student teaching?  Currently, we have the following number of international schools profile pages listed in Asian regions of the world on International School Community:

East Asia: 207

SE Asia: 201

Asia: 113

If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #24: Cherry Doromal (An int’l school educator working at Mahatma Gandhi International School Manila)

May 18, 2013


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

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 5.34.47 PMTell us about your background.  Where are you from?

Mabuhay! Let me take you to Manila, Philippines! I am Dr. Cherry Moriones- Doromal, Bachelor of Mass Communication, Bachelor of Laws, Master in Business Administration, Doctorate of Strategic Studies, Licensed Teacher, Secondary Education—specializing in English and Literature, multi-awarded educational and community leader, composer, blogger, Generalist Educator for MGIS International Primary Curriculum, Quad-Media Director of Mahatma Gandhi International School, and a lifelong learner .

My career, in sum, has been 19 years of exciting journey, allowing me to meet different kinds of people, in different walks of life, in different parts of the world. These experiences have not only molded me to become versatile and sociable, but also prompted me to devote my future in the academe. I believe that being an educator is the perfect avenue where I can best serve my purpose, and is the noblest profession where I can maximize, utilize and impart my God-given talents.

As to the other things about me, such as my quotes, family life, hobbies and writings, they may be found everywhere on the Web.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

All my life, I worked as quad-media (that is radio, television, print and online) and public relations practitioner locally and internationally, such as in the United States and in my home country, with clientele in Malta, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, France, Hong Kong and many more. Along the way, I have been actively involved in political and non-governmental organizational and ecclesiastical leadership, as well as in community service. My teaching experience of more than 20 years is mostly evangelical church and community-based; and the first international school exposure I had was working with one owned and operated by a British national where I taught Social Sciences and Communication Arts. I have vast teaching experiences from pre-school to post graduate.

I am currently working at the Mahatma Gandhi International School Manila, or MGIS for brevity, and I am truly thankful to our Headmaster Lawrence M. Buck for this opportunity.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

Mahatma Gandhi International School Manila , or MGIS, is exceptional in many aspects. My two sons are enrolled here. Here are some of its unique features, and please bear with me as I try my best to shorten my description:

• Individualized teaching – Generally, less than 10 students per class; in rare cases, maximum of 15 pax per class
• Comfortable indoor learning environment: air conditioned, spacious, sanitized classrooms; Smartboard facilities, computer sets, ICT Room, E-Library, Physical Library etc.
• Outdoor learning: students regularly explore different places outside of the school for experiential learning as integrated in their subjects/ units of learning.

At MGIS, potentials are determined, recognized, enhanced and supported. Here’s just one out of the many examples. There’s one 6th Grader, James Ketcher, who loves singing. When the teachers saw this interest in James, they believed and supported the kid’s potentials, such that he was diligently coached and guided by the MGIS Music and Theater Arts specialists making James Ketcher one of the most admired lead role actors in the series of theatrical shows of The King and I at Resorts World Manila.

At MGIS, we let your kids think. We don’t teach religion; we teach VALUES. We respect individual and inter-cultural differences and freedom of expression where the students are heard. Plus, there’s no haircut policy, which is common in our local schools where the boys are required to have their heads shaved or cut at a certain length.

Most of all, at MGIS, the teachers who are all specialists in their respective subject area are passionate about teaching, practicing empathy towards the learners. Our staff are supported towards being life-long learners where they are being sent to local and international conferences and seminars regularly; thus, assuring that MGIS 21st century educators will acquire the competence expected of them.

In this school, international and professional quality performing arts is taught to students at all levels. Each year, before the end of the last term, MGIS comes up with a school-wide play/musical, participated by all students, faculty and staff. Last SY 2011-2012, we had Notre Dame de Paris– French Version; the year before, we had Cats the Musical.

Another feature is that MGIS connects daily with parents and students through our state-of-the-art online facilities; and yes, we use Edmodo.

MGIS listens to suggestions, addresses needs, and cares for your kids the way you would at home. Simply said, MGIS serves the community, celebrates with the world, values nationalism, promotes internationalism, loves the earth, and makes a difference.

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

First off, MGIS is a small school with a total population not exceeding 250, inclusive of the staff.  So you can just imagine that the tendency is for “everybody to know everybody”.  Each day is a fresh cultural encounter for me, with a British headmaster, and colleagues whose nationalities vary. Although the school is situated in the Philippines where I am a local, our school community is home to, as far as I can recall, at least 13 nationalities—Australian, Israeli, Russian, Nigerian, Indian, Korean, American, Filipino, Japanese, British, French, Russian, and Hungarian – who live and learn together idyllically in harmony despite diversity.

What puts a smile on my face? Well, I am a satisfied parent- educator with two kids studying in MGIS! Witnessing how my own children and the rest of our international students get to easily adapt to MGIS upon entry, and how they develop camaraderie among their classmates and schoolmates, is such an affirmation of the kind of convivial environment we have here in MGIS where the school values of C.E.R.T. (Compassion, Empathy, Respect and Tolerance) are truly thriving.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

All I want is a school that genuinely promotes a positive learning and working environment for all. One that empathizes with and cares for the teachers, administrative staff, and the students, hence, providing their needs to be more effective in teaching and in learning.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Successfully making a positive difference!

Thanks Cherry!

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

Want to work for an international school in Manila like Cherry?  Currently, we have 8 international schools listed in the Manila on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:

The British School Manila (7 Comments)
International School Manila (32 Comments)
German European School Manila (12 Comments)
• Brent School Manila (4 Comments)

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #23: Kerry Tyler Pascoe (An int’l school director working at The British School Quito)

March 29, 2013


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

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 10.03.39 AMTell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I am an Australian who calls Brisbane her hometown but I currently resides in Quito, Ecuador where I am the Director of The British School Quito.

I am an educational leader, motivational speaker, international educator and businesswoman who has nearly twenty-five years experience in education in the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, Asia and South America. In 2006 I founded my own business, Teepee Consulting, through which I have had the opportunity to facilitate positive and effective change within learning communities around the world, through the delivery or leadership and professional development and coaching programs.

I obtained my undergraduate degree in education from the University of South Australia and I hold a graduate Diploma in Management. I have been an invited speaker at a range of international and national conferences speaking on such topics as, positive, effective and ethical leadership; positive staff development, appraisal and retention programs; higher order thinking skills; creating cultures of excellence; curriculum development for 21st century learners; and capability building in education teams.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

I got started in international education in 2001 shortly after the birth of our third daughter. The then European Council of International Schools had a position advertised for ‘model teachers’ in an international school in Romania. Having had some experience in consulting at that point, and having a partner who was also an educator and consultant, I decided to take the leap and move our family overseas.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

Before moving to Ecuador I have lived in Peru, Russia, Romania, Australia and the UK but I have worked with many other schools in Asia, South America and Europe as a consultant. In Russia I was the Deputy Head of the British International School Moscow where we loved the culture, history and art of the city and the country. If you love architecture and history this is a great country to visit and live in.

In Peru I was the Director of Primary and Early Years at 1200+ student school called San Silvestre. This is an amazing all girls’ school in Miraflores, a lovely superb close to the Pacific coastline. If you are looking for a professional and personally nurturing school in which to work, then look no further than San Silvestre. My time there was some of my happiest both personally and professionally. The school has an inquiry based approach to teaching and learning and offers the IB Diploma. The staff are a wonderful team and the school ethos and ‘feel’ is more like a smaller, community school.

Whilst in Peru I led the “Re-Building Childrens’ Lives” concert project designed to contribute to aiding communities, in the south of Peru, after the devastating earthquake that occurred in 2007. I helped to organise, and participated in, a range of concerts and musical events to raise funds for this, and other, important community service projects.

Now I am here in Quito, Ecuador enjoying all that Ecuador and Quito have to offer. The British School Quito is a small but growing school with an excellent reputation and a high standard of academic excellence. We offer the British National Curriculum and the IB Diploma and we are proud to be accredited by both the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. We are currently the only school in Ecuador that offers all three sciences in English at Higher Level in the IB Diploma. The school has a truly warm and collegial atmosphere with very supportive parents and an engaged learning community. I am truly enjoying my experience at BSQ.

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

Whilst South America has its challenges it also have wonderful rewards including its wonderful array of food, superb climate, majestic landscapes and scenery, and bounteous travel and sporting opportunities. However, when we live and work outside of our own countries and cultures there are always things that make us think, huh? or put a smile on our faces. Just recently here in Quito we had to close the school for three days so that the government could move the airport from its old location to its new location! Well that put a smile on a few people’s faces….it certainly wouldn’t happen at home!

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

When I am looking for a new school I look at the culture (the feel of a school). How long do staff stay? What do staff say about the school? What retention programs are in place? What do the children say? Are the learners happy, engaged, active learners? If I think the culture is right for me then I ask myself…Why am I right for this community of learners? What can I contribute? If I have an answer that delivers positive outcomes for the learning community then I go for it!

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

The international school teaching experience is – truly rewarding challenging and capability enhancing

Thanks Kerry!

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

Want to work for an international school in Ecuador like Kerry?  Currently, we have 8 international schools listed in the Ecuador on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:

• InterAmerican Academy Guayaquil (13 Comments)
• Academia Cotopaxi (American International School) (6 Comments)
• Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito (21 Comments)
• The British School Quito (24 Comments)

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1951 (Mexico City, Brussels, Jakarta & more)

February 11, 2013


Random year for international schools around the world: 1951

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 1351 (11 February, 2013) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 11 international schools that were founded in 1951.  Here are a few of those schools that also have had comments and information submitted on them on our website (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites)

Greengates School (British International School) (5 Comments) (Mexico City, Mexico)

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.27.05 AM

“Greengates School is a privately owned, co-educational day school set in the northern part of Mexico City, in an area of over 20,000 sq. meters. For over 60 years the school has been preparing students for university study worldwide and developing caring global citizens.”

International School of Brussels (7 Comments) (Brussels, Belgium)

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.28.34 AM

“The International School of Brussels first opened its doors in October 1951, with four teachers on hand to welcome twenty-seven students between the ages of 5 and 11.

In the spring of 1953, with a population of more than one hundred students, the school moved to its current home at the Château des Fougères, in the Brussels commune of Watermael-Boitsfort, and became known as the International School of Brussels.

In its early years, the entire school was housed in the Château: a far cry from the 40 acre campus with four school divisions and a lifelong learning centre that make up the ISB of today!”

Lycee International de Saint Germain-en-Laye (9 Comments)  (Saint Germain-en-Laye, France)

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.29.07 AM

“The American Section program starts in Pre-Kindergarten and goes through 12th grade. There are approximately 700 students enrolled, evenly divided between boys and girls and ranging in age from 4 to19. Approximately 60 percent of our students are U.S. citizens, and many hold both French and American citizenship. Most of the remaining 40 percent are French citizens who have spent a considerable amount of time in the United States or have had American schooling.”

Jakarta International School (9 Comments)  (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.32.24 AM

“With five original students, Jakarta International School was founded by UN workers in 1951. These pioneers introduced relevant schooling in English for children of expats in the newfound Republic of Indonesia. From early days the school’s international identity was clear. It was originally named the Joint Embassy School (J.E.S.) after its British, American, Australian and (then) Yugoslavian embassy partners. Just over a decade later, in 1978, J.E.S. became J.I.S.”

Garden International School (19 Comments) (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.33.38 AM

“Garden School was established by Mrs Sally Watkins, the wife of the then Fire Brigade Chief. Lt. Col. F.F.C. Watkins, in the Lake Gardens of Kuala Lumpur in 1951.”

International School Bangkok (16 Comments) (Bangkok, Thailand)

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.35.17 AM

“Widely recognized as one of the premier international schools in the world, International School Bangkok (ISB) has been providing quality education since 1951 to expatriates representing more than 60 countries.”

Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well!  We have over 1351 international schools that have profile pages on our website.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #21: Eugenia Papadaki (An int’l school director currently working at The Bilingual School of Monza)

February 2, 2013


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

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 1.59.40 PMTell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I am from Greece, have carried out all my higher education studies in England where I gained a BA in Foreign Modern Languages, an MA in Applied Linguistics and a PGCE (Post graduate certificate in Education) from the Institute of Education, London. I have taught in many educational settings in both the UK and in Italy. I have brought up both of my daughters trilingually from birth, who, now as young adults, speak several languages and who have been my inspiration for founding a Bilingual International school here in Italy 17 years ago.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

My first experience was at the International School of Milan.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

ISM: the diversity of languages spoken by the pupil population.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

I have always been in an administrative position, but if I were to look for a job in an international school for me professional development opportunities and career advancement together with a collaborative learning environment and a real sense of community spirit would be the things that I will be looking for in a school.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Opportunity for growth, an eye opener.

Thanks Eugenia!

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

Want to work for an international school in Italy like Papadaki?  Currently, we have 30 international schools listed in the Italy on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:

American School of Milan (13 Comments)
Sir James Henderson School (7 Comments)
Bilingual European School of Milan (16 Comments)
The Bilingual School of Monza (8 Comments)
International School of Trieste (9 Comments)
Ambrit-Rome International School (7 Comments)
International School of Bologna (8 Comments)
International School in Genoa (10 Comments)
The English International School of Padua (12 Comments)

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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight #20: Jack Murphy (An veteran int’l teacher currently working as an Int’l School Consultant)

January 3, 2013


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

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 8.53.56 PMTell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I grew up on Long Island about 30 miles from New York City. I attended college in North Carolina and did graduate work at Notre Dame University. My career gravitated from teacher and coach to guidance counselor and then to college counselor. However, that developmental process took twenty years.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

I taught history and coached in Charlotte, NC for several years after military duty. At a certain point I decided to see more of the world and thought that teaching abroad might offer that opportunity. My first overseas teaching assignment placed me in a castle in Scotland. From that experience onward, with the exception of a few stopover years back home, I was to be an international educator.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

Many international teachers travel the world and work at a variety of schools. I may have taken that tendency to a different level.  During my career I taught, coached and counseled a twelve international schools located on five continents. The schools ranged from smaller to larger, proprietary and private, American to international, IB curriculum and otherwise. Each school was unique but each had energetic, vigorous and dedicated faculty. International teachers bring a certain active and innovative spirit to their profession and students thrive on that spirit. Two of my favorite places were at schools were in Amsterdam and Venezuela.  However, I had the most fun at the International School of Kenya and the Jakarta International School.

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

I have experienced many but one that comes to mind occurred at a golf course in Vietnam. After attending an EARCOS Conference in Ho Chi Minh City we took a short holiday in the highlands. We decided to play golf one day and arrived at a lovely course and small club house. Our clubs and equipment were taken by several Vietnamese women caddies but we expected to find them on the other side as we proceeded into the building to pay and shop at the Pro Shop. When we departed the building on the other side and expected to join up with our clubs and caddies we were surprised that the clubs were no where to be found.

After a few long minutes of confusion and panic, two Vietnamese woman pointed to the road and tried to give signal that our clubs were on the course or near the driving range. None could speak English so they pointed, laughed and acted out and what they needed to say. Then they drove us up the road to the driving range giggling all the way. When we arrived at the driving range, near the first tee, their was a French couple hitting golf balls and I immediately recognized that the tall man was swinging my clubs next my golf bag. As we approached I could also see that he was wearing my shoes and my golf glove next to my golf bag.

To make a long story short we cleared up the matter and I set out to play one of the finest rounds of golf of my life. The priceless part was watching the Vietnamese ladies enjoy the hilarity of the mix-up and take it all in stride with lovely smiles, soft giggles and an ability to bring warmth and kindness to what first appeared to be both a stressful and embarrassing to all the westerners involved.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

When I looked for the next school it was the location that counted most. My purpose was to try a new place in a new region each time I moved schools. Secondly, I also wanted to grow with each move and I sought schools that might finance my own professional development and provide opportunities to attend conferences in my field.  And, of course, when I was a younger teacher I wanted to go places that had an active school and social life.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Exciting, inspiring, educating, challenging and fulfilling.

Thanks Jack!

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

Want to work for an international school in Kenya like Jack?  Currently, we have 9 international schools listed in the Kenya on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:

International School of Kenya (13 Comments)
Aga Khan Academy Mombasa (3 Comments)

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1945 (San Jose, Cairo, Athens & more)

December 14, 2012


Random year for international schools around the world: 1945

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 1328 (14 December, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 7 international schools that were founded in 1945.  Here are a few of those schools that also have had comments and information submitted on them on our website (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites)

Lincoln School (San Jose) (18 Comments)  (San Jose, Costa Rica)

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 11.29.33 PM“In 1945, a group of visionary Costa Rican parents and US immigrants founded Lincoln School to provide a bicultural and bilingual education for their children. Lincoln is a non-profit, private educational institution offering programs from Preschool to 12th grade. It is governed by an elected Board of Directors, where parents are encouraged to participate actively.”

American School of Guatemala (Colegio Americano) (0 Comments) (Guatemala City, Guatemala)

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 11.35.37 PM“The School was founded in 1945 by a small group of parents who wished to provide their children with a bilingual, coeducational, quality education. Legal statutes were drawn up embodying the founding principles and establishing a framework for an enduring institution. Under these original statutes, a board of directors was elected by members of the American School Association. In addition to establishing a governing board, the statutes clearly outlined the non-profit, non-denominational, non-political character of the school and established a sound basis for decision making. The statutes also made provision for a separation of board and administrative functions.

The first classes were held on June 10, 1945, in a large family home in zone 9. Thirty four students were enrolled in grades Kindergarten through five. By the end of the first school year, there were 75 students and 12 teachers.”

Cairo American College (19 Comments)  (Cairo, Egypt)

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 11.33.54 PM“In the fall of 1945, fifty students enrolled in grades one though eight at The Cairo School for American Children and began attending classes in a rented, three-story, vine covered villa located at 36 Road 7 in Maadi. Fourteen high school students were admitted at the beginning of second academic year when the high school curriculum was added.”

American Community Schools Athens (3 Comments)  (Athens, Greece)

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 11.35.42 PM“In 1946, the British Army School was established in several homes in the Glyfada area to educate the children of British military personnel who were stationed in Greece at the close of the Second World War. The history of ACS begins here; for shortly after its inauguration, the school began to admit British and American civilians. In 1949, many more American children arrived in Greece, and a high school was opened for them in Kolonaki. Also established was an elementary school , in Psychico, which was later moved to a facility in Filothei. The British Army School had metamorphosed into the Anglo-American school.”

American School of Paris (8 Comments) (Paris, France)

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 11.37.26 PM“Americans in post-war Paris ask Ms. Edward Bell, whose husband was a Director of Missions for the Northern Baptist Conference, to come to France and open an American school in the American Church on the Quai d’Orsay. Founders include the American Embassy, Guaranty Trust, the Morgan Bank and the American Express Company.”

The Newman School MA (4 Comments) (Boston, United States)

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 11.48.58 PM“The Newman School was founded as Newman Preparatory School in 1945, the centennial of Cardinal John Henry Newman‘s conversion to Catholicism, by Dr. J. Harry Lynch and a group of Catholic laymen, for the purpose of providing college preparation to veterans returning from service to their country in World War II. Over the years, “Newman Prep” evolved into a co-educational, diploma-granting program, and eventually began to accept younger students into the ninth grade. During the 1960s, the school operated The Newman School for Boys as a separate four-year (grades nine through twelve) and then six-year (grades seven through twelve) college preparatory school. Walter J. Egan was head of the School for Boys during most of its existence. ”

Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well!  We have over 1328 international schools that have profile pages on our website.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #19: Andrew Vivian (An veteran international teacher currently working at MV Education Services)

December 1, 2012


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

(This member spotlight is a continuation from an interview we did earlier which can be found here.)

From there, we spent a year in Guangzhou, China, at Utahloy International School, with Helen as Primary Principal and me as Head of Science. Guangzhou, despite the air quality, was a really nice place to live. We started off in an apartment in town, while we looked for a place big enough to hold our material possessions – for us, home is where we live, and we take our furniture and everything with us, so relocation costs are substantial. We ended up in a ground-floor apartment out of town, but only a cheap 30-minute taxi ride to “the action”. The shopping was the main attraction, particularly for Helen,

We were asked to come and work at a school in Jakarta, and relocated, because we wanted to continue teacher training and we love Indonesia. Things didn’t work out, and we decided to try our hands at consulting, because we have a lot of connections with Indonesian private schools and Helen is a well-established Primary Years Programme workshop leader for the IB. After a year and a half for Helen, and a year for me, we are keeping the wolf from the door. Helen does a lot of IB workshops around Asia, and is working with the management of a school in East Jakarta. I’ve done one workshop for the IB, a few in Jakarta and one in Beijing. My main work has been a couple of tours doing school inspections in Dubai. I’ve done some course writing and prepared some teaching materials for a couple of organisations. We have just finalised our working visas and our Indonesian company, and will, hopefully, be expanding our business soon.

Teaching internationally has been great for us. We’ve had a few heartbreaks, but, overall we have been able to save money, travel, and every day brings a new experience. We have been to most of the countries in Asia, and some amazing places in them. We speak Bahasa Indonesia, so, when we see something interesting, we can ask questions. One of our delights in Surabaya was just walking through the villages behind us, and talking to the locals.

We’ve had a lot of funny experiences, and no really dangerous ones. For example, we were on a boat up river in Kalimantan, after visiting the orang-utan sanctuary, when the boat broke down, 50 km from the port. We literally hitch-hiked with a passing fisherman. Enroute to Tibet, we stopped in Chengdu, in China. We caught a taxi to a restaurant recommended in a guide book. Half-way there, we realised that we didn’t have the hotel’s card, so we had no way of knowing where to go back to or how to communicate it to anyone. After dinner it took us two taxi rides and a 1km walk before we recognised a landmark.

International schools are funny places – some are excellent. Also, the “true” international schools now make up only a fraction of the places in which you can teach internationally and in tougher economic times, in Asia, at least, they have increasing numbers of local students anyway. Overall the positives tend to outweigh the negatives. Our philosophy is that we want to make a difference, so that working in host-country schools that offer IB programmes is our preference. Not everyone is comfortable in these sort of schools, but they are the places that give real insight into other cultures.

Many people like to teach overseas for the change in locale. That is a factor for us, but it is more about the sort of school we work in. For us, working in IB schools has been fabulous. We have been to most of the regional conferences over the past ten years and have met so many talented, committed people. We get to visit schools and help teachers do it better. In the process, we keep learning something new about education most days.

One thing I would recommend is to get everything in writing and even then, depending on which country you are in, it doesn’t matter any way if someone decides to be unpleasant. If you are prepared to “roll with the punches”, while sticking to your principles, then teaching internationally can be amongst the best things you can do in education.

In 5 words: adventure, culture, education, difference, satisfaction.

Make sure the check out Andrew’s website which tells more about the services he currently offers to international schools.

Thanks Andrew!

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

Want to work for an international school in Guangzhou like Andrew?  Currently, we have 8 international schools listed in Guangzhou on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:

American International School of Guangzhou (12 Comments)
Guangzhou Nanhu International School (4 Comments)
Alcanta International College (6 Comments)
Guangzhou Huamei International School (5 Comments)
Clifford International School (8 Comments)
The Affiliated High School of SCNU (8 Comments)

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #18: Sheldon Smith (An international teacher currently working at Al Khor International School)

November 2, 2012


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

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

Currently my family and I reside in Qatar but I got here via Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I left Vancouver, Canada, June 1998 to meet up with some friends who worked for an international airline and decided to make Kota Kinabalu their base. Previously I founded and was the owner / operator of Woodsmith Hardwood Floors which I sold but still exists today and has become quite a brand in the Vancouver flooring industry. After working in the flooring trade for 17 years I had to give it up. We weren’t aware of the dangers of the industrial components we were using (lacquers, polyurethanes, solvents, etc) and my body literally could not take the toxicity levels anymore. So, I sold ‘lock, stock and barrel’ and began working casually with a friend in a language centre teaching English to Chinese children.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

When I arrived at Kota Kinabalu I wasn’t really looking for work as I had recently sold my business and the rest of my worldly goods before leaving and was quite happy ‘living the life of Riley’. Amongst the people I met was a local lawyer; an Indian man with the loudest voice I ever heard and one of the funniest persons I have ever met. One day, over a coffee, he asked me what I planned on doing since my funds would dry up some day. I told him what I had done and mentioned the brief teaching experience I had before leaving Vancouver. He then sat straight up and asked if I wanted to meet a friend of his, the principal of Kota Kinabalu International School. A phone call and 10 minutes later a very hot and sweaty cyclist pulled up, ordered an ice coffee, declared he was just on his way back from a 10 km ride and introduced himself as the principal in question. Within 15 minutes he had asked me what my plans were and offered me a teaching job at his school. For the next 8 months I spent my Mondays to Fridays with some Taiwanese teens and my international teaching was underway.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

After teaching at the International School of Kota Kinabalu, I taught at a language centre at Medan, Indonesia then at another in Nilai, Malaysia then a small prep school in Bangkok called Sabai Jai International School (Sabai Jai means happy heart in Thai) where I taught the graduating class – K3. From there I began my first real international school experience when I was hired to work at Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok; a franchise-type of sorts based on the Shrewsbury School in the UK, where Charles Darwin was a student by the way. Then, after 5 ½ years, I moved my family to Qatar where after 4 years I still work for Al Khor International School.

The various places I have lived at and the different people I have met along the way have given me a broader perspective for language, religious and cultural diversity. There is beauty everywhere on the planet. I never knew other people would be so interested in what a foreign westerner had to offer or say. Previous to leaving Canada I would, as do most people, head to some hot sunny spot for a 3 week holiday and feel I understood the people and customs of that place. How far from the truth that was. Teaching and living in different communities has helped me to really get to know intimately the traditions and cultural beauty of people up close. I have frequently been invited to local families’ homes for dinners and have had wonderful opportunities getting to know local people really well; almost like I was adopted by some. The students in South East Asia are so well behaved and polite; it really is quite a different experience any teacher from a western country would encounter. The schools I have worked at have been very generous in the salaries and accommodation, and have been very supportive for my own professional development. Over the past 14 years I have met and still keep in touch with so many colleagues. I can travel to almost any country and know someone to meet up with.

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

My latest cultural encounter entails a recent charity fair we had at our school. To raise money, some of the local Qatari lads brought falcons to school. Students paid money to pet and hold the birds. The lads looked so proud in their local dress holding their beloved falcons. I certainly don’t recall that happening when I went to school.

Qatar, as most know, has been blessed with copious amounts of natural gas; Rasgas and Qatargas are the world’s leading distributors of LNG (liquid natural gas). This has shot this small country up to the top of the GNP scale – now at approximately USD 80,000 per family. Now about 20 years on, the children have adopted a different approach to what many may expect. Recently, during one of my business studies lessons, I explained how the students needed to come up with a project. Before launching their project though, they would have to do the normal due diligence of enterprise – brain storm, mind-map, SWOT, SMART targets, risk assessment, etc – to support the coursework part of the course which would be externally marked. They looked at each other and then looking quite confused and perplexed one lad raised his hand and asked why. “If I like something, I buy it. When I get bored of it, I throw it away. If I want to make a project, I do it. OK, if it fails, I just do something else. Why do all that other stuff?” Money is a disposable concept here and this not only put smile on my face but it put me in my place.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

I really can’t stress enough how no matter what international school is advertising, investigating as thoroughly as possible is a must. I would also stress avoiding websites that seem to serve as platforms for disgruntled teachers. No school is perfect for every teacher’s situation – being calm, flexible and keeping my sense of humour have been my weapons for personal success. In searching for new post at a new international school, I am interested in the school’s philosophy, aims and goals. I am interested in who the owners are and how keen they are in branding their school. I am not interested in schools which are content in the mid-stream. Personally, I am really looking for upstart schools and working at the school’s foundation level as I did when Shrewsbury International was just beginning. Being a part of the initial growth, seeing the founding students and staff work through the first couple of years and seeing it all come together is so rewarding – very rigourous but very rewarding.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Open-minded            Professional            Dedicated            Discovery            Fun

Thanks Sheldon!

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

Want to work for  an international school in the Qatar like Sheldon?  Currently, we have 23 international schools listed in the Qatar on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:

American School of Doha (13 Comments)
Newton International School (23 Comments)
Al Jazeera Academy (9 Comments)
Qatar Leadership Academy (9 Comments)
Al Hekma International School (Qatar) (15 Comments)
Awsaj Institute of Education (20 Comments)

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12 Tips for Selecting an Int'l School

Selecting an international school: Tip #5 – Does the school have a clear primary language of instruction?

October 24, 2012


What reasons do parents think about when selecting a school for their children when they move abroad? Are they similar reasons for why teachers choose to work at a school abroad as well?  There are many kinds of international schools and they are all in different situations.  How important is finding out about a school’s clear primary language of instruction? It could be beneficial to ask these types of questions at your interview, before you make any big decisions to move or choose a school to work at.  So, how do you choose the right international school for your children to attend or for you to work at?  Our new blog series will discuss the Tips for Selecting an International School.

Tip #5 – Does the school have a clear primary language of instruction?

In most international schools, the primary language of instruction is English (although there are French, German and other primary-language-focused schools), but it is best to confirm this (especially at the pre-school and kindergarten level).

A good question on a few levels and a good understanding of the layers surrounding language of instruction and how it is implemented within an international school context need exploring. On the surface, most prospective new teachers and parents would feel a strong measure of confidence just knowing that English is the primary mode of instruction, that the school uses a western country of origin in the name (British School of…, American School of…), and that the school has past some form of accreditation, which to a parent mostly means the school has been checked and measures up to a credible standard and English language would undoubtedly have played an important role in the process. All of the aforementioned in many cases would suffice most parents’ concerns.

However, in Thailand, for instance, a school is officially pronounced ‘international’ when it meets at least a 60% non-Thai student base. Unfortunately, many international school intake numbers reflect a much greater Thai national student roll. (Thailand is just one example; this goes for any ‘international’ school in any country where the bulk of the student body is made up of students from the country the school is in.) If this is the case, even though the primary language of instruction is English, students may find getting to know others who come from another primary language base quite challenging. Even within the classroom, when English is often the only language ‘allowed’, if the greater number come from a country other than an English-speaking one, much of the student conversation reverts back to the home language. Once out of the classroom, students automatically revert to their native tongue and an English-speaking student can easily be left out of friendship groups, study groups and other aspects of school, like team sports, may end up not being pursued even if it was a passionate option a student may have been involved in previously. Developing good peer groups with shared interests is absolutely vital for students moving to international schools, especially if the one they are moving to is their first.

Some schools have tried coming up with ‘English-speaking policies’ which could stipulate English as the only language spoken on campus.

  • Difficulty number 1: teachers become policemen; they endlessly are approaching students telling them to speak English only; much like trying to enforce a dress code whereby boys are to always have their shirts tucked in.
  • Difficulty number 2: students who continue to be caught not speaking English can begin to view this exercise as a way to annoy certain teachers (they love to watch some get all red-faced and look as if they are either going to implode or explode, or both), or it can become a way to show a measure of rebellion.

Students may even begin to view English punitively, negatively, as something they have to do which can mean a negative outlook on education as a whole impacting on concentration, learning and formative assessments. There is much empirically-based written about this and the debate rages on – to what extent should English language be promoted throughout a school. The Australian Government of Child Services advocates, as one example, home languages should be encouraged and actually help fortify classroom learning when the primary language is English. The difference is in the teacher’s ability to differentiate individual student needs.

Some international schools (selective ones) may try to defer this rationale by claiming they have strict admission criterion but if the student population numbers are home country lopsided the outcome is certainly going to follow, to some measure, what is stated above. It is just a natural way students will gravitate towards.

Some international schools (Shell or other gas and oil company owned schools) are non-selective as they are primary education facilitators for the children of their employees. Shell schools are primary curriculum based and so English language acquisition and delivery is almost seamless; young learners pick up language nuances almost effortlessly. However, this is not true for older students moving to English language based curricula. Some parents are so keen to have their children in an English-speaking school that they forget to take into consideration their children’s ages. I have personally interviewed Algerian parents who enrolled their almost 17 year old son in an international school using the national curriculum of England. The lad knew no English. His Arabic turned out to be good but his French was below average. Because of limitations the school could offer, he was only able to take GCSE Arabic and French lessons, and Maths, which he really struggled in. The fact that the language of curriculum delivery was English had almost no benefit in this case.

My advice, interview the school, ask about student ratio intake numbers and definitely ask for other parent contact information. Parents need to take into consideration their child’s needs by closely monitoring and analyzing their educational progress and language proficiency ability both in the home language and in English. Learning in English, like any language, has to be understood from a multi-layered perspective not from osmosis; physical presence does not equate to language proficiency and successful grade scores.

Teachers scoping out new international schools to work for would do well to get a clear picture about how English is used in the context of the international school in question. Sometimes this does not become clear until INSET before the next academic year begins but after all the effort made in moving and uprooting your family for an international school experience, it is worth making sure as many bases have been explored before signing not only for your own work satisfaction and professional development but for the sake of one’s family’s happiness and stability. An international school experience can be a beautiful thing but I have also met many others who would disagree and won’t touch it again with a 10 foot barge pole. It’s not a vacation, it’s an investment. Assignment: Does the school have a clear primary language of instruction?

This article was submitted by guest author and International School Community member:  Sheldon Smith (contact him here – shelaomily@yahoo.com or visit his BLOG at http://shelaomilyblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/)

On International School Community all school profile pages have a topic in the School Information section that specifically addresses the language ability of the students and the “common language” spoken in the hallways.  For example on the Uruguay American School’s profile page there have been 1 comment submitted so far on this topic:

If you are an international school community member currently working abroad, please log-on today and submit your comments and information about your school’s language policy and the language ability levels of your students.

If you are not a member yet, make sure to join www.internationalschoolcommunity.com and become a part of our over 1200 members.  Many of our current members have listed that they work at over 200 international schools around the world. Feel free to send these members a message with your questions about an international school’s accreditation status and get firsthand information about how the accreditation process is going for them.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #17: Mary Anne Hipp (A former administrator currently working for a major Int’l Accreditation Organization)

October 3, 2012


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

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I currently live in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  I am a retired Catholic School administrator with 44 years of teaching and administration in public, private, and charter schools.  I have taught from coast to coast in the US and am now leading accreditation teams for a major International Accreditation Organization.  I try to reserve special family time in my schedule to enjoy our two little princesses, Abigail and Zoe.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

Several years ago, I was invited to be on an accreditation team for a private school in the Dominican Republic.  The school and the people there captured my heart and soul.  I actually cried during my flight back to the states because I had been so touched by that visit.  Although I had no idea how this would happen, I knew in my heart that I was going back.  About six months later, I received a call from the owners asking me to serve as the Vice President of their Board of Directors.  That experience has totally changed my life.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

I have been affiliated only with The Ashton School of Santo Domingo by serving on their Board and providing some professional development and parent activities.  Ashton is privately owned and is transitioning into a Christian School.  The factor that has impacted me the most is the remarkable difference it makes when owners can make critical decisions that add to the school’s success and outreach to students, family, and the greater community.  There seem to be few limitations to creative endeavors.  The spirit of the Latin people is evident in the manner in which they live and think.  Naturally, it is a culturally-rich experience that provides international acceptance for all entities.

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

I must share two such encounters.  First is the fact that the school’s owner was able to get an extremely successful Soccer Camp instituted for the children of Santo Domingo with a contract with the Milan Junior Camp officials.  Major corporate sponsors supported the camp and it will be continued.  The long range plan is for the Ashton Foundation to open a sports facility to enhance the sporting options for the children in the area as well as those at the school.

The second big smile came in the opening of two classes called the H.O.P.E. classrooms in the city.  These classes are filled with 44 needy four-year-old children who will be sponsored by other individual families for all fourteen years of their education.  This sponsorship includes participation in the children’s school life, attending events, filling gaps in life.  Families that can give the monetary support and not the human support are paired with families that want to give the human support but cannot afford the financial commitment.  The owner sought the sponsorships and built the classrooms. (Check out a video about H.O.P.E. here)

These two smiles would still be in the dream stage in the US.  We miss many opportunities to turn dreams and possibilities into realities.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

As I am asked to help other international schools, I look for the Vision of the owners and the leadership of the school.  Those are key factors for me to be able to work effectively.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Transforming    Exciting    Challenging    Embracing    Engaging

Thanks Mary Anne!

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

Want to work for  an international school in the Dominican Republic like Mary Anne?  Currently, we have 6 international schools listed in the Dominican Republic on International School Community:

• The Ashton School of Santo Domingo (12 Comments)
• Saint George School (Dom. Rep.) (4 Comments)
• American school of Santo Domingo
• Carol Morgan School Santo Domingo
• International School of Sosua
• Putacana International School

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Video Highlight

Video Highlight: International school of Boston

September 29, 2012


There are so many international schools in the United States.  Which ones are good places for international school teachers to work at?  How does the international teaching community view the international schools there?

International school of Boston

What an interesting bilingual school to work at!  Seems to be a truly international population there as well.

There have been 2 comments and information submitted on this international school on our website.  Want to know more about what life is like as a teacher at this international school?  Take a look a their profile page on our website – International school of Boston  If you currently work at this school or have worked at there in the past, sign up to be a member of International School Community today and share what you know.

Additionally, you can check out the school’s website here and their employment page here.

Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 39 international schools listed in the United States with 2 of them being in the city of Boston.  The number of comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right the link to each school.  Here are a just a few of them:

• International School of Monterey (12 Comments)
• Atlanta International School (4 Comments)
• British School of Washington (3 Comments)
• The Dwight School (NYC) (3 Comments)
• St. Timothy’s School (4 Comments)
• Riverstone International School (13 Comments)
• German-American International School (2 Comments)

If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in the United States, log-on today and submit your own comments and information.  If you submit more than 30 comments and information, then you can get 1 year of premium access to International School Community for free!

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School Profile Searches

Using the School Profile Search feature on International School Community: Search Result #7

September 13, 2012


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 1280 schools (updated 13 September 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.  Past search results: Search Result #1 posted in December 2011, Search Result #2 posted in January 2012, Search Result #3 posted in March 2012, Search Result #4 posted on April 2012, Search Result #5 posted in May 2012 and Search Result #6 posted in July 2012.

Search Result #7

Criteria chosen:

  1. Region of the world (Eastern Europe)
  2. Curriculum (All)
  3. School Nature (All)
  4. No. of students (Medium 300-700)
  5. Country (All)
  6. Year founded (16-50 years ago)
  7. Kinds of students (All)
  8. Size of city (All)

Schools Found:11

Armenia – Quantum College

Azerbaijan – International School of Azerbaijan (12 Comments)
Sample comment – Being that the campus is on the outskirts of Baku (which lies on the Caspian Sea), the city centre is a 15 minute drive away.

Bulgaria – Anglo American School of Sofia (7 Comments) and Zlatarski International School
Sample comment – Salaries are paid in Euros. Monthly salary is around 2300 Euros (no taxes are paid by teachers).

Czech Republic – English International School Prague and Riverside School

Hungary – British International School Budapest

Romanian – International School of Bucharest and Mark Twain International School

Russia – British International School Moscow

Ukraine – Qsi – Kiev International School
Sample comment – “Teachers get a furnished apartment with back-up power, telephone/internet, with underground parking. There is an allowance for utilities.”

Why not start your own searches now and then start finding information about the schools that best fit your needs?  Additionally, all premium members are able to access the 6001 comments and information (updated 13 September 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.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #16: Patty Sanchez (An international teacher currently working at American School of Barcelona)

September 4, 2012


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

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I come from California and moved to Barcelona 10 years ago with the sole intention of exposing myself to a new culture.  I landed my first job as a teacher two weeks after arriving in August 2001. I got really lucky to have found a job so soon after coming here without any contacts. It was an intense two years working at a private Catholic school while adapting to a culture I had read about in my college history classes.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

After my second year I returned to California and taught ninth grade English. It was one my happiest years of teaching. I married my Catalan husband and returned to Spain and decided I would work in an international setting.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

I currently work at The American School of Barcelona. It’s a great place to work because the school environment is friendly and many of the teachers become an extension of your family. The school is progressive in its plan to prepare students with a well rounded academic experience with social issues and with an academic future. It’s a school where students feel safe and capable to accomplish their future success as students. We have really great teachers leading students with the tools they need to reason and investigate information surrounding everyday issues.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

At El Prat Airport in Barcelona immigration agents talked away while looking briefly at my passport and stamped it without saying anything to me. The agent just waved her hand gesturing I could pass to baggage claims. This would never happen in America. Agents in the U.S. quiz you about your city of birth, your middle name, your whereabouts, etc., until you start squirming and wonder if you indeed are American.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

If I had to look for a job in a new country, I would take into account salary and the location of the school. Is it in a safe area? Can I have a normal life outside of school? How much is the cost of living? Can I afford to live on my own on the salary I would be earning? Can I afford to travel after rent and utility bills? These would be the questions to take into account if you are looking to live abroad.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Make the best of it.

Thanks Patty! Also, check out her blog about her travels and life living abroad as an expat here.

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 Spain like Patty?  Currently, we have 25 international schools listed in Spain on International School Community.  Many of the international schools there have had comments and information submitted about them on our website:

American School of Barcelona (79 Comments)
Benjamin Franklin Int’l School (13 Comments)
American School Valencia (7 Comments)
Sotogrande International School (6 Comments)
British School of Alicante (3 Comments)
El Plantio International School Valencia (4 Comments)
King’s College – The British School of Madrid (3 Comments)

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1990 (Caracas, Jakarta, Cairo & Berlin)

August 18, 2012


Random year for international schools around the world: 1990

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 1264 (18 August, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 22 international schools that were founded in 1990.  Here are a few of those schools that also have had comments and information submitted on them on our website (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites)

International Christian School (Caracas) (5 Comments) (Caracas, Venezuela)

“It was founded in 1990 as Academia Cristiana Internacional de Caracas. The school provides preschool (3 year old) through 12th Grade and is accredited by both Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Association of Christian Schools International. ICS Caracas is a part of the Network of International Christian Schools.”

North Jakarta International School (20 Comments)  (Jakarta, Indonesia)

“NJIS, previously known as North Jakarta International School, is an independent, co-educational international school. It was founded in 1990 and is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). NJIS is also a member of the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS).”

Berlin Brandenburg International School (10 Comments) (Berlin, Germany)

“The International School Berlin-Potsdam (ISBP) was founded on 2 October 1990 and located in an eastern area of Potsdam in a large, rented villa on the Heiligensee waterfront. In September 1994, the school opened a second facility in a recently renovated villa down the street for its growing upper school.  On 1 June 2002 the school announced that it was changing its name to Berlin Brandenburg International School (BBIS) as of 1 September 2002. This change recognizes the fact that the school is no longer in Potsdam, that it is grateful for the strong support of the State of Brandenburg, and that it serves students and families in a large geographical area very well known both inside and outside Germany.”

American International School in Egypt (13 Comments)  (Cairo, Egypt)

“The American International School in Egypt has been one of Egypt’s leading schools since it opened its doors to its first 240 students in 1990.  Today, AIS Egypt has two campuses, with a combined student population of over 2000 students.”

American International School of Mozambique (11 Comments)  (Maputo, Mozambique)

“The American International School of Mozambique, founded in 1990, is an independent, coeducational day school offering an American-style educational program in English from PK through grade 12. The school year begins in mid-August and ends in mid-June. The School is governed by a 7-member Board of Directors, 6 of whom are elected by the AISM Association and one appointed by the U.S. Ambassador.”


The English Modern School (Doha) (7 Comments)
  (Doha, Qatar)

“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.”

Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well!  We have over 1264 international schools that have profile pages on our website.

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1985 (Copenhagen, Tehran, Istanbul & Riyadh)

July 13, 2012


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.

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1955 (Accra, Carabobo, La Paz & Surrey)

June 5, 2012


Random year for international schools around the world: 1955

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 1224 (05 June, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 7 international schools that were founded in 1955 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):

Ghana (British) International School (0 Comments) (Accra, Ghana)

“This is a far cry from the humble beginnings of the school when it first opened its doors on 1st September 1955. Back then, the school was known as the Gold Coast International School and was the brainchild of eight founding members. These were: Sir Kobena Arku Korsah and Justice Edward Akuffo Addo, both Justices of the Supreme Court of the Gold Coast, Dr Lusty of the University College of Gold Coast (now the University of Ghana, Legon), Mr Kenneth Humphreys, first registrar of the West Africa Examinations Council, Dr Ruby Quartey-Papafio, an educationist, Dr Kofi George Konuah, also an educationist and Mr Edward James Bailey of the United Africa Company and his wife, Mrs Valerie Bailey. The membership of the committee was later expanded to include the Indian High Commissioner as well as the American and French Vice-Consuls.

The vision for the school was a school that would provide quality international education to children of different races and creeds and a school that would serve both the international and local communities.

The first task for the committee was finding a suitable location. Looking at the school now, it’s hard to believe that the original school was a small bungalow originally allocated to the Director of Surveys. Yet that small bungalow was the setting for a school that became so popular that it had an enormous waiting list within its first three months of opening. By January 1956, the school committee had no option but to relocate to bigger premises.”

American Cooperative School La Paz (9 Comments)  (La Paz, Bolivia)

“Founded in 1955, the American Cooperative School of La Paz, Bolivia, is a private, co-educational school with a current enrollment of about 400 students. We offer an American based educational program, taught in English, from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 for students of all nationalities. The high school curriculum is designed to prepare students for the college experience.”

Colegio International de Carabobo (5 Comments)  (Carabobo, Venezuela)

“Colegio Internacional de Carabobo in Valencia, State of Carabobo, Venezuela, was organized in 1955 with four companies: Celanese, Firestone, Goodyear, and U.S. Rubber. These provided the initial capital.

In 1958, a ten-classroom school was constructed in El Trigal, a residential sector of Valencia. During the 1962-63 school year, a library, four classrooms, showers and dressing rooms, and a photographic darkroom were added. In 1968, the High School building was constructed and was opened for classes on September 2, 1968. The building consisted of two science laboratories, a computer laboratory, and classrooms, a lounge, and offices. The High School library, constructed in 1968 and renovated in 2006, today houses 8,000 volumes. A “comedor” and Middle School were added during the early 1980’s. A multi-purpose recreational building was completed in August of 1988. Most recently, two annexes, a lower primary building, a second Middle School level, and a maintenance complex were added in the mid 1990’s.”

Marymount International School (0 Comments)  (Surrey, United Kingdom)

“Established in 1955 to meet the educational needs of families in the international business and diplomatic community, Marymount London is part of a worldwide system of schools and colleges directed by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, a Roman Catholic Congregation founded in Béziers, France, in 1849.”

International School of Penang (Uplands) (9 Comments)  (Penang, Malaysia)

“The International School Of Penang (Uplands) is a non-profit, co-educational primary and secondary School with boarding facilities, open to children aged 5 – 18 years old.

Since being established in 1955 at the top of Penang Hill and now established in a modern campus in Batu Feringgi, Uplands has strived to embody a caring community; a School where both international and Malaysian students are happy to learn.”

International School of Yangon (6 Comments)  (Yangon, Myanmar)

“The International School Yangon, founded in 1952, is a private co-educational day school, providing an American curriculum from pre-school through grade 12. The school is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). ISY is also a member of the East Asian Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS). ISY is committed to ensuring that its students achieve a high level of accomplishment using English as the medium of instruction. French, Spanish (high school) and Mandarin are taught as foreign languages. Standardized tests such as the International Schools Assessment (ISA), and the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) are conducted at ISY to evaluate student performance and school wide programs. In high school, ISY offers a college preparatory program, leading to a U.S. diploma and an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. There are currently 252 students in elementary school, 115 students in middle school and 144 students in the high school. ”

Woodford International School (0 Comments)  (Honiara, Solomon Islands)

“ 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.”

Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well!  We have over 1224 international schools that have profile pages on our website.

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ISCommunity Newsletters

International School Community Newsletter v2012.06 – 2 June, 2012

June 2, 2012


v2012.06 – 2 June, 2012:

Summer vacation is the time of year all teachers are waiting for (and I suppose all students as well!).  The 1.5 to 2 months of summer break is especially important though for teachers who work at international schools because it is typically when they take their annual trip back home.  When you live in a foreign country, half way across the world, it does indeed feel good to go home.  Even though you do create a new ‘family’ when you live abroad with the other international school teachers that you are working with, your home is most likely where your birth family lives.  Going home too can simply mean just going back to your home country, not necessarily going back to where you grew up.

There are some positives to going back to your home country during the summer:

• You get to see your old friends from when you went to University maybe or people that you went to high school with.  It is important to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances; Facebook still can’t compete with real face to face meetings with these people from your life. Also, you can tell them all about the adventures you have been on while they have been staying-put most likely in the same city that they went to high school in!

• If you go to your home country during the summer, you get to stock-up on all the favorite products from your old life.  Many international school teachers love to go to their favorite grocery stores to stock-up on all the products not available in their host country supermarkets.  Be careful though, food products weigh a lot and can easily make your suitcase go over the allowed weight on your flight back!

• You get to see your nieces and nephews in person, noticing how they are getting so much older now and all grown-up.  You can do things with them like taking them to the movies or going out for a few games of bowling.

A few alternatives for your summer if you don’t fancy going home:

• Some international school teachers just want to stay put in their host country during the summer.  Some feel that you don’t have the time to really explore the city, the nearby cities, or the other cities in the country during the school year. And if you are currently living in the northern hemisphere, summer is the best time typically to explore these cities.  Some teachers also just simply stay put to save money.

• A month-long trip to Africa or a month-long trip to the Chicago area where your family lives? A question you might be asking yourself in April. Some are faced with this international school educator’s dilemma each summer.  For many international school teachers, the price of the flight to go home is actually the same price it would take to go to more exotic places like Kenya or Costa Rica or even Bali.  Who would want to go home (a place you have seen many times already) in place of going on an exciting adventure?  Many choose the adventure option each summer!

So, are you planning on going home this summer? Are you the international school teacher that makes their annual trip home each summer, the one that stays in the host country, or the one that is traveling to another country on some adventure?  Share your stories and reasons for your summer plans here!

From the staff at International School Community.


Recently updated schools with new comments and information:

· 02 Jun  The English International School of Padua (12 new comments)
Padova, Italy
“Members of staff are expected to be on the school premises no later than 08:30 a.m…”
· 01 Jun  The British School of Tashkent (6 new comments)
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

“The school provides accommodation and access to the local international clinic with direct billing for all treatment including GP visits but excluding dental cover…”

· 31 May   North Jakarta International School (13 new comments)
Jakarta, Indonesia
“Teachers live in school-provided, furnished housing in the vicinity of the school…”

· 30 May  Yongsan International School of Seoul (8 new comments)
Seoul, South Korea
“Many of the teachers are from United States with just a few more single teachers than teaching couples…”

· 28 May  Bina Bangsa School  (13 new comments)
Jakarta, Indonesia

“There is a baggage allowance of US$500…”

(Click here for the last 40 schools to be updated with new comments)


Recent blog entries:

· The Wonderful World of International School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #8 – “Courtesy is cool, good will is good stuff.”
“As an international school teacher you definitely don’t want to intentionally close any doors that might lead to other opportunities in the future…”

· Common Myths and Misconceptions about Bilingual Children #3: Young children soak up languages like sponges.
“I think the key with students learning the target language faster than adults is that they are going to school (their job) every day for 7-8 hours…”

· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #7: Latin America
“I find that growth in international schools often follows a construction boom, and Brazil in particular…”

· Survey results are in: How much does your school pay for your housing benefits?
“Some of my international school teacher friends don’t get any housing allowance, namely those that are living in Western Europe…”

·  New Teacher Orientation Must-Haves at International Schools #1: A Trip Around the City
“Should your new international school be organizing a trip around the city for all their new teachers…”

· Which international chools do IS Community members represent?
“Currently, International School Community members work at or have worked at the following 179 international schools…”


Recently added schools:


Requested schools to have members leave comments on:


Last month we have had visits from 101 countries around the world!

Site Stats:
Current members: 629 ( 123)
School profiles
: 1222 ( 17)
Blog entries
: 271 ( 17)
Posted comments & info
:
4913 ( 335)
Twitter followers: 349 ( 13)


Ways to get free premium membership:

1. Write and submit 15-29 comments and information on the schools you know about  for 6 free months.
2. Write and submit 30+ comments and information for 1 year free.
3. Become our next member spotlight for 6 free months.
4. Submit a blog article (e.g. a Can you Relate? blog entry) for 1 free month.


New members:

· Benjamin Wagor
(Xiamen International School)
· Topic Dog
(QSI International School of Brindisi)
· Sobelle Belcaid
(El Alsson British and American International School)
· Jeffrey Goldberg
(Dhirubhai Ambani International School)
· Joseph Levno
(Brent School School)
· Tassos Anastasiades
(Day Waterman College)


Current Survey Topic:

Vote here!


Member spotlight:

Anne Llewellyn
“Then I said: “Now I am going to see the world”.  I am going to learn all that cultural/language/life I didn’t have time for when studying science…”

“The best part of teaching for me was instilling into my students a knowledge, respect and love of their own country.”

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!


Highlighted Article
Why for-profit schools can be good.“GEMS schools director: ‘We don’t care about profit.’ GEMS currently runs 10 schools in the UK, but it acquired these schools from other operators, rather than creating them from scratch. It now plans to open six new schools over the next two years, and promises that they will charge more competitive fees than many existing private schools.”
“In 2009, the firm’s then chief executive Anders Hultin warned that the Conservative’s proposed free school programme would fail, if private firms weren’t allowed to run schools for a profit…”



Check out this blog entry to read more about for-profit international schools. Out of the 1222 international schools listed on ISCommunity 499 are for-profit and 723 are non-profit schools.  If you prefer to work at a non-profit international school, it looks like you are in luck as they are currently in the majority on our website.

 

Highlighted blog of an international teacher:

This international school teacher’s blog is about teaching at British International School Shanghaiand living in Shanghai, China.One of their blog entries (New Year, new role…building the team) is describing how international schools are sometimes in a pickle trying to organize good, useful, purposeful, effective, etc. professional development on the few days back after a break:

“Following our wonderful Christmas break in India, it was great to get back and see our colleagues at BISS; and especially the Humanities team, who I am excited to now be leading.  Although, I cannot believe how cold Shanghai has become!  Our first day back was a training day and was well structured and enjoyable; following a warm welcome back from Sir Terry, the secondary and primary staff split to follow separate training schedules. Our day (secondary) was focused on Formative Assessment and was extremely interactive and practical…”

Another one of their entries (Cutting Ties…) is about how each international school is different and has their own rules about how they would like their school to be run:

“I was recently contacted by my previous employer, an International School in Vietnam, who politely asked me to close down the Edmodo groups I had set up whilst at the school. In particular they wanted me to close a group I had set up named ‘Social Connections’ that was created to allow students (and staff) to remain in touch after moving on…as so often happens on the international circuit. They stated that new school policy dictated that any contact with students must cease when you leave…”

* If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #13: Anne Llewellyn (An international teacher working in Peru)

May 31, 2012


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

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

Portland, OR. I worked as a research scientist with the EPA for several years until the funding dried up.  I then returned to uni for a MEd and a teaching certificate.  Then I said: “Now I am going to see the world”.  I am going to learn all that cultural/language/life I didn’t have time for when studying science.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

I love to learn about different cultures.  I did not want to be just a tourist.  I think everyone deserves a good education.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

China
India
Africa
South America

over 20 years

Traveling to other countries to live and work gave me a perspective on the country, people and culture not possible as a tourist.
Each country and each school has their own insights on teaching and education.
The best part of teaching for me was instilling into my students a knowledge, respect and love of their own country.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

I needed to get some contact lens wetting solution… easy enough in Lima, Peru.  So I went to the local optical shop.  I asked for and got wetting solution.  Then when I asked if the solution contained preservativos I got a very puzzled look from the young man.  It seems that the correct Spanish word is preservanties not preservativos.  I asked is the solution contained condoms!!!!  When told what I had asked for I laughed and laughed!  I will not forget the correct word as long as I live.  I love these kinds of experiences.  They make living in another language/culture/country worth it.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

Get as much information from other teachers as possible.  Period.  Then make your own decisions.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Fantastic
Educational
Humbling
Expanding
Gratifying

are the 5 words that come to mind.

Thanks Anne!  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 Peru like Anne?  Currently, we have 6 international schools list in Peru on International School Community:

Colegio Roosevelt Lima (FDR) [The American School of Lima]
Colegio Peruano Britanico
Hiram Bingham the British International School of Lima
Colegio San Silvestre
International Christian School of Lima
Colegio Trener

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1932 (Hong Kong, Henderson, Masero & Lisbon)

April 26, 2012


Random year for international schools around the world: 1932

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 1193 (26 April, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 4 international schools that were founded in 1932 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):

Maseru Preparatory School  (Masero, Lesotho)

“The Anglican Diocese of Bloemfontein helped to establish a school for the children of European officials, traders and missionaries active in the Maseru area of the British colony of Basutoland about 1890, in addition to their other missionary work. Deaconess Maria Burton was the first teacher to be identified with the school. She travelled from Bloemfontein in 1893, changing from the post cart at Ladybrand to a ” spider ” carriage for the journey to Maseru via horse drawn ferry over the Caledon River.

Sister Maria established the school, subsidized by the Basutoland government, in a private house or cottage. During the next fifteen years she also raised funds for the establishment of the first Anglican Church (St. James) and the Basotho Anglican Girls School (St. Catherine’s). Sir Godfrey Lagden (Resident Commissioner 1890-1901) sent his children to “The European School of Maseru”, writing that he paid Sister Maria £1.10 for six weeks schooling. E.B. Sargant’s “Report on Education in Basutoland 1905-6″ also mentioned the school, by now housed in “a small iron building” located close to the site of the present Maseru United Church. It was thought to have been one of the prefabs brought to South Africa by the British Army during the Anglo-Boer war. The so called “tin tabernacle” was sold to the forerunner of the Maseru United Church when the Government built a small sandstone school on what is now called Old School Road. Even in these early days the extent of government subvention and control over the school’s independence was a “grey area”, and it remains so to this day.

In 1932 the school changed its name to Maseru Preparatory School. This continued to the mid 1950s when the present title of Maseru English Medium Preparatory School was adopted, the Colonial development Fund having financed a “handsome new European School” on the Caldwell Road site. However, even today, the school is still most frequently referred to as Maseru Prep!

Amongst other important events witnessed by children at the school was the Royal Visit of 1947, the 1962 “Winds of Change” visit of Harold Macmillan and Independence in 1966. The first Basotho children were admitted in 1962 and the numbers have risen to become the largest single group of children by a long way, despite 20 odd nationalities being still represented.”

The Henderson International School  (Henderson, United States)

“Early in 2007, the Meritas Family of Schools brought together two of the area’s finest private schools to create The Henderson International School. Today, the new school takes its place as one of the best private schools in the region. The support and resources of Meritas have expanded our curriculum, created international connections for our students, and provided a world-class education. The Henderson International School combines a traditional college preparatory education experience with the progressive ideas and practices needed to prepare students for the global challenges of the 21st century.”

Saint Julian’s School  (Lisbon, Portugal)

“It all began when José da Cruz, treasurer to D. José I, built himself a palace in the middle of his winegrowing estate or Quinta in Carcavelos. Little did he know that his holiday home would become a land mark in educational history.

Once the Palácio was built, in the 1750s, D. José I, then king of Portugal, frequently came to Quinta Nova, perhaps to enjoy the fine wine, as Quinta Nova had an extensive vineyard with an annual production of over 500 barrels.

More than a hundred years later, the British Eastern Telegraph Company arrived in Portugal to complete the telegraph lines between England and India. It purchased the property, which was thought an ideal location being close to the ocean and to the city of Lisbon. The handsome price of “23 contos” (equiv. 115,00 €uros today!) secured them the property and grounds.”

Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong)  (Hong Kong, China)

“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.”

Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well!  We have over 1193 international schools that have profile pages on our website.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #11: Sonya terBorg (Riverstone International School)

April 20, 2012


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

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the South Island of New Zealand.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

A friend told me about Search Associates, I tried it out, loved it and was hooked!

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

Vientiane International School in Laos, Bonn International School in Germany, New International School Thailand (NIST)Yokohama International School in Japan and Riverstone International School in Boise, Idaho, USA.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

For the first time since leaving New Zealand, I have a car.  That also meant taking the driving test again – not only the written test, but the practical portion too!  Boise is a pretty rural place and on the testing day, we were driving around when my instructor pointed out a family of deer off to the side of the road, over the hill a bit.  I wasn’t sure if it was a trick – would she take her eyes off the road? – or if he was just excited to share the local wildlife with this crazy foreigner.  Either way, I played it safe and just nodded and “Hmmmm-ed” enthusiastically.  And passed the test!

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

A great leader is really important to me.  I try and find out about the school leadership so I know that I am putting myself in a position where I feel I will be challenged and encouraged to grow as a learner.  My priorities change a lot sometimes though.  When I got the job at NIST it was my first time as an  Art Specialist – I needed someone who would take a chance on an unknown.  For my current job, it was my first time ‘hunting’ for work as part of a couple so options for my husband to work were high on the list.  Now we have a third member of our family, our dog, Abby.  Somewhere dog friendly will be a definite requirement for our next move – whenever and wherever that may be!

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

The job of a lifetime.

Thanks Sonya! Want to know more, feel free to check out her blog:

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 the United States like Sonya?  Currently, we have 37 international schools list in United States on International School Community.  Some of our members have left comments and information on the following schools in this country:

International School of Monterey (12 Comments)
Atlanta International School (4 Comments)
British School of Washington (3 Comments)
The Dwight School (NYC) (3 Comments)
The Newman School MA (4 Comments)
Lycee International School of Los Angeles (2 Comments)
German-American International School (2 Comments)
St. Timothy’s School (4 Comments)

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ISCommunity Newsletters

International School Community Newsletter v2012.04 – 07 April, 2012

April 7, 2012


v2012.04 – 7 April, 2012:

We hope everyone is enjoying their spring break.  The range of different countries being visited during this time of traveling (with the international school teachers that the ISCommunity staff know) is quite intreguing and exciting: Bucharest, Tbilisi, Aruba, Madrid, Amersterdam, Bangkok, Colombo, Almaty, Tenerife, London, Dubai, etc.

In the international schools we have worked at though, it seems quite common that the more veteran teachers (ones that have been at the same international school for 20+ years) don’t seem to travel as much any more.  Is that the future of international school teachers?  Do you “lose interest” in traveling the longer you stay at an international school post?

It is true however that there are some good reasons for deciding not to travel during school breaks: saving money, spending time with family, going to a summer home, high airline ticket prices, etc.

Furthermore, if you travel “too much” sometimes people start seeing trips as being all the same, appearing a bit too similar.  Not that the cities and countries are the same, but the experiences and actions are the same sometimes.  For example: going into an old church, walking through a museum, shopping at the main market, checking into a hotel, going through security at an airport, going out to restaurants every night, not being able to communicate with the locals very well, getting a coffee at the Starbucks, etc.

Some times traveling naturally gets to this point.  Not that you stay at this point and never go back, but it is possible that when you travel as much as international school teachers do, it is bound to happen at some point.

So if you did decide to travel this holiday, what goals did you have for this trip? (e.g. pleasure, adventure, beach, visit old friends, etc.)

With regards to our website, we have had another surge of new members on International School Community this past month taking us over the 400 mark.  Now, ISCommunity members currently work at or have worked at over 141 different international schools in over 50 countries!

Furthermore, we have just reached the 4000 milestone for the number of submitted comments and information!  More information and comments means our members being more informed about the world of international school teaching!

From the staff at International School Community.


Recently updated schools with new comments and information:

· 06 Apr  Haileybury Almaty (31 new comments)
Almaty, Kazakhstan
“The common language in the hallways, lunchtime, break time is Russian. The teachers have to constantly remind the students to speak in English…”· 06 Apr  American School of Warsaw (12 new comments)
Warsaw, Poland 

“Average monthly salary for teachers is $3600, paid in United States Dollars. No taxes are taken out…”· 05 Apr  Britannica I.S. (Belgrade) (11 new comments) 
Belgrade, Serbia 

“The school typically prefers to hire single teachers. 60 years old is the age limit…”

· 04 Apr  QSI International School of Tbilisi (8 new comments)
Tbilisi, Georgia

“There is a flea market that is open every day near the highway and river. There are many people selling antiques and also…”

· 03 Apr  Kongsberg International School (7 new comments)
Kongsberg, Norway

“There is a one hour commute from Oslo with direct train links to the city and to the main airport as well…”

(Click here for the last 40 schools to be updated with new comments)


Recent blog entries:

· Teach Internationally – Opportunities the World Over for Qualified Teachers
“With over 6,000 international schools throughout the world, it’s a market much bigger than most people – even those within the education sector – realise…”

· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #10 – Surround yourself with positive people. Do not allow negative comments and attitudes to darken your outlook.
“It is hard to stay positive, but when culture shock is at its worst, it is very easy to slip.  Sure the other new teachers at your school (and the veteran ones) have a lot to say to you about the host country and culture, but…”

· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #3: Africa
“With the Egyptian elections over, I predict a huge requirement for teachers in Egypt as the country pulls itself up by its bootstraps and with the help of international investment will try to change the face of the country…”

· Survey results are in: Which international school recruitment fair have you had the most success at?
“The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community have had the most success at the Search Associates international school teacher recruitment fairs…”

· International schools that were founded in 1970 (Salalah, Nairobi, Monterrey, San Josa and Brussels)
“Founded in 1970 in response to the need for a top quality co-educational school in Monterrey, Mexico, Colegio Ingles offers international students…”

· The number of children at international schools reaches 3 million!
“The latest figures published by ISC Research show that the number of children attending the world’s international schools has passed three million. This is phenomenal growth in…”


Recently added schools:


Requested schools to have members leave comments on:


Last month we have had visits from 93 countries around the world!

Site Stats:
Current members: 405 ( 80)
School profiles
: 1167 ( 41)
Blog entries
: 252 ( 26)
Posted comments & info
:
4003 ( 702)
Twitter followers: 323 ( 26)


One month free promotion ending soon:

International School Community will soon be ending its one month free of premium membership promotion for new members.  Make sure to let your colleagues and friends know about this promotion before it expires.  If you are not a member yet yourself, sign-up today!


New members:

· Sonya Terborg
(Riverstone International School)
· Paula Sweetten
(King’s College –
British School of Madrid)
· Jordanka Marceta
(American International School Budapest)
· Orlando Fold
(SRS Dubai)
· Marina
(Atlantic International School)
· A Ranc
(International School of Paris)


Current Survey Topic:

Vote here!


Member spotlight:

Beverley Bibby
“I am in my 4th year of teaching at Seisen.  Seisen was my first experience in a PYP school.  It was a new learning curve, but…”

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!


Discussion Topic

While living in foreign country you might periodically ask yourself: What is this thing?“You eyes search around for a purpose. I can‘t see what this is for?! You try and fiddle around with it. Try and turn it on! Is this right?”“I just found this on the bottom of one of my walls, very close to the floor, and just outside my bathroom. When I turn it on, the green light goes on but nothing happens.  So, I guess I will just keep it off.  Thank goodness for the internet.  It turns out it is some sort of thermostat.  I am still not for sure if I will use it though.  For sure people don’t typically have these things on the walls (near the floor) in homes in the United States…”

We invite our readers and members to discuss their list of things that they haven’t done in a year (or more for that matter).

Check out this blog entry
 to leave a comment about the strange things you have found in your home while living in a foreign country.

Highlighted blogs of international teachers:

This international school teacher’s blog is about teaching and living in Japan.
One of her blog entries (One Week After) is describing her experience when the big earthquake hit Japan last year:

“The students broke into groups in all 3 of our classrooms. I wandered around, listening to their conversations. The students were animated, hanging out with friends, sharing their passions and their proud moments from the week. And then 2:47. The classroom started shaking. I was standing near a group of girls who immediately got under a table. Usually, earthquakes stop within seconds, but this didn’t. It was rocking us like babies in a rocker, and it wasn’t stopping…”

Another one of her entries (Teaching and Discoveryis about how teachers feel when they first go back to school after the summer holidays:

We’re back to school again, and it’s almost as if we never left. Great group of kids again. The students always amaze me with their energy and joie de vivre. It would be hard to go back to students who don’t find school so amusing…”

* If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted onInternational School Community contact us here.

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Highlighted Articles

Teach Internationally – Opportunities the World Over for Qualified Teachers

April 4, 2012


Tamara Thorpe, a primary teacher from New Plymouth, New Zealand, is one of over 250,000 English-speaking teachers currently working in international schools around the world.

Tamara had always been interested in the idea of working internationally. “And the tax free option was extremely appealing!” she adds. So when a teaching job became available at the Sharm British School in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, Tamara grabbed the opportunity. She has since moved to the El Gouna International School which is near to Egypt’s Red Sea. “The first year here was very exciting and different,” says Tamara who is now into her third year of teaching in Egypt. “We teach a version of the UK curriculum. The children are well behaved and there is a great mix of nationalities here. Due to the revolution and changes occurring here, I have seen more Egyptian children enter our international section of the school. The staff are also from all over; the majority from the UK. I am the only Southern Hemisphere teacher on staff.”

Socialising and Exploring…I love it!

Tamara says that most of the friends she has made are work colleagues or are friends of work colleagues. “Socially there are lots of people from different countries which is always interesting,” she says. “I met my fiancé here; he is from Barcelona and lives and owns a company here, so that is a great aspect!” Another great part of living in Egypt for Tamara is the exploring. She describes a recent trip to the desert: “We spent three days on a White Desert Safari. Wow, I absolutely loved it! We had a Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 and all that desert to explore! We camped in tents, had fires every night, no luxuries as in bathroom facilities but that’s part of the experience! Being a New Zealander, I’ve grown up camping so it was all good for me! I would recommend it to anyone visiting Egypt.

As for recommending teaching in Egypt, Tamara says “Look into the region and the school. Read as much as you can about the country; Lonely Planet is great. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting in to. I found TIC very helpful (Teachers International Consultancy) and will continue to use them for future job searching.”

International teaching jobs – many opportunities

TIC is an organisation that provides free support to teachers who are considering working in an international school. This includes recommending international schools that best suit a teacher’s experience, personality and location preferences. The options for skilled and experienced English-speaking teachers are wide.

With over 6,000 international schools throughout the world, it’s a market much bigger than most people – even those within the education sector – realise. International schools are those that use English as the language for teaching and learning, and they offer an international curriculum. Most typical curricula used are the English National Curriculum, an American curriculum or an international curriculum such as the International Primary Curriculum or the International Baccalaureate. Most international schools are independent, highly respected, well-equipped and skilfully managed employing fully qualified English-speaking teachers from around the world, mainly from the UK, New Zealand and Australia, South Africa, Canada or America. These schools not only attract English-speaking children from expatriate families but also children from the local population; typically the wealthiest of the local families who recognize that an international, English-speaking education opens a lot of career doors for their children. “In fact, international schools are now catering for the richest 5% of the non-English-speaking world,” says Nicholas Brummit, Managing Director of ISC Research, an organisation which supplies data on the world’s international schools and analyses developments in the international schools market.

It’s a market that is developing significantly as ISC figures attest. “There were 2,584 English-medium international schools in 2000,” says Nicholas Brummitt. “By April 2008 that number had grown to 4,827. Currently there are 6,000 international schools and by 2021 we predict that number to be 10, 000,” he says. That means a lot of jobs for  English-speaking teachers and Headteachers and the reason why they’re looking, says Andrew Wigford of Teachers International Consultancy, isn’t just about salary. “In research that TIC carried out recently, the number one reason for teaching overseas was the adventure and the opportunity to travel,” he says. “Every single one of the respondents said that the experience of living and working internationally had enriched them as a person and the vast majority said that the experience had been good for their career too, with 89% saying that it had improved their skills and job opportunities.” Andrew adds: “For Tamara, she’s learnt to work with a new curriculum and she’s gained excellent experience of teaching children from many different countries which will help her significantly with any new job application, both internationally and back home.”

If and when she chooses to move on from El Gouna, Tamara will have plenty of options. There are another 130 international schools currently in Egypt; 69 alone in Cairo. And, according to ISC Research, there are many more further afield. Qatar has 362 international schools and Pakistan has 355, with 307 in India, 218 in Japan and 155 in Thailand.

Advice

So what is the best advice for other teachers considering a move to an international school? “Apply to accredited international schools or schools that are part of respectable organisations such as COBIS, BSME, FOBISSEA and others,” recommends Andrew Wigford. “You can find details of these organisations on the TIC website. If a recruitment organisation is helping you with your search, make sure that they only recommend you to accredited international schools, or that they personally vet non-accredited schools in advance of your interview. Also make sure your cv is up-to-date and well written.  International schools will be looking for strong personal skills as well as teaching experience.  More and more international school interviews are being conducted through Skype so be prepared for this. Make sure you have the correct equipment set up and have practiced communicating through Skype in advance of any interviews. Work through a reputable organization when searching for foreign teaching positions. There are a few unscrupulous owners in some international schools who do not take the appropriate procedures to ensure that foreign teachers have the correct health and safety coverage, visa back-up, or suitable accommodation. Teachers have been known to find themselves in difficult circumstances, sometimes a long way from home. So working with an established organisation to oversee your placement will give you the security you need. If you work with an organisation that is specifically experienced at recruiting for the international school market, they will be able to give you all the advice and expert support that you need and will know – and may well have visited – many of the schools that you are considering. This will help you significantly during your job search. Once you’ve been offered a job, make sure you cross-check all your terms and conditions and know exactly what you will be receiving and when, including any relocation support.  If a recruitment agency is representing you, they will review your contract with you. If you are still considering a job move for this summer, it’s not too late to do something about it. There are still vacancies left. But take action now or you’ll miss the opportunity.”

For more information about teaching opportunities in international schools go to www.findteachingjobsoverseas.com

To read over 3800+ comments and information about working at over 1160+ international schools go to www.internationalschoolcommunity.com

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1970 (Salalah, Nairobi, Monterrey, San Jose and Brussels)

March 24, 2012


Random year for international schools around the world: 1970

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 (currently at just over 6000).  The prediction is that there will be more than 10,000 international schools in the coming decade.

Utilizing the database of the 1151 (24 March, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found  international schools that were founded in 1947 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):

St. Austin’s Academy (Nairobi, Kenya)

St Austins Academy was founded in 1970 by Academic Services Limited as part of a programme to establish centres of academic excellence in Kenya. Founded by the first African Director of Education following independence, the Academy was a deliberate attempt to break the segregated educational systems of the day and offer a truly integrated programme.  The original vision has been extended so as to provide a values-based programme for the complex, international world into which our students are entering.”

Colegio Ingles Monterrey  (Monterrey, Mexico)

“Founded in 1970 in response to the need for a top quality co-educational school in Monterrey, Mexico, Colegio Ingles offers international students from Preschool through grade 9 a challenging academic bilingual program. The curriculum is similar to that in U.S. private schools, instruction is mainly in English, and our faculty uses U.S. textbooks and supporting teaching material. Colegio Inglés is licensed by the Mexican Ministry of Education in Nuevo Leon and an active member of ASOMEX.”

American International School of Costa Rica  (San Jose, Costa Rica)

“The American International School of Costa Rica (formerly the Costa Rica Academy) is a private, coeducational day school which offers an educational program from preschool through grade 12 for students of all nationalities. Founded in 1970, the school year comprises 2 semesters extending approximately from August 16 to December 17 and from January 17 to June 10.”

The British School of Brussels  (Brussels, Belgium)

“A questionnaire sent by the Brussels British Community Association (BBCA) established a possible 68 families who were interested in sending their children to the school. A well-attended six months later meeting identified over a hundred potential students. The BBCA founded an investigative group chaired by Sir Dick Pantlin — it reported back on the 27th of January 1969, and the British School of Brussels was born.

The School opened its doors on the 15th September 1970 with 213 pupils aged 5-13 and 16 teaching staff including the Headmaster. Our Tervuren campus was officially opened on 9th December 1970 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Since then, the School has gone from strength to strength and now caters for 1200 students from the ages of one to eighteen, with an average of between sixty and seventy nationalities on roll at any given time.”

British School of Salalah  (Salalah, Oman)

“There has been a British School in Salalah, Oman since 1970. It was founded by John Edwards MBE who ran the school with his wife Terry, until he retired in 2000.

It was originally based in a small hut on the beach near Al Husn palace on a Taylor- Woodrow site. It moved to a villa in Salalah town in 1977 and then on to its present site in 1980.”

Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and learn about their histories as well!  We have over 1151 international schools that have profile pages on our website.

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1947 (New York, Cali, Medellin, Rome, and Sao Paolo)

February 25, 2012


Random year for international schools around the world: 1947

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 1111 (25 February, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 5 international schools that were founded in 1947 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):

United Nations International School (New York City, USA)

“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 grades, students and faculty.  The rapid growth of the School demanded new and larger facilities.  By the late 1950’s, the School had campuses in Queens and in Manhattan, and broadened it student base to include the UN community, the Diplomatic Corps, the non-governmental international sector, and local New York Families.”

St. Francis College  (Sao Paolo, Brazil)

Colegio Bolivar  (Cali,Colombia)

“In 1944, Mrs. Gladys Bryson, foreigners residing in Cali and educator by profession, became a room of his home in San Fernando, in a classroom, the College was born Anglo – American Cali.  In 1947 the school already had up to 8 th grade students and tuition had cost $ 20 pesos from first to eighth grade and $ 15 pesos for kindergarten.  As the name of Colegio Anglo Americano in Cali was very similar to the American College, was officially changed to Colegio Bolivar in 1950.  In 1955, each student had his own desk. Also built a kiosk for the students to use during the lunch break and, years later, he built a larger one, and as the school grew to nearly 300 students, the kiosks were first used as classrooms.”

The Colombus School  (Medellin, Colombia)

“In 1947 a small group of American and Colombian businessmen founded The Columbus School in order to provide a U.S. style education for expatriate children and Colombian children who sought an alternative to the predominantly parochial education that was prevalent in the mid 20th century. Our founding fathers envisioned the need to prepare their children for a world that would be increasingly “internationalizing” and pledged to prepare students to achieve academic excellence through critical and creative thinking, global mindedness and bilingualism.”

American Overseas School of Rome  (Rome, Italy)

“For the first half of its existence the school was called the Overseas School of Rome. There actually was an OSR before 1947, but not the same school that was incorporated in that year. It was a little US Army school bearing the same title, located near Ponte Milvio started in September, 1946. We are greatly indebted to them for both starting the idea of our school and for their help when the school had to move at the end of its first year.

When news came that the allied troops were being moved to Trieste, five American and five British mothers (some from the original Ponte Milvio school) got together and decided to form a school which should be nondenominational and international, combining the best of the British and American systems. This group is responsible for the organization of the official corporation that became our school.

Next they had to find a place for the school. They managed to get the British and American Ambassadors, as patrons of the school, to put pressure on the Torlonia family to rent the palazzetto of Villa Torlonia on Via Nomentana as our first home. The school opened its doors to the public on October 16, 1947, with a grand total of 60 students.”

Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well!  We have over 1110 international schools that have profile pages on our website.

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Video Highlight

Video Highlight: Living in Shanghai and its International Schools

February 19, 2012


There are so many international schools in Shanghai.  Which ones are good places for international school teachers to work at?  How does the parent community view the international schools there.

We stumbled upon a great resource at Move One.  Their website has a wealth of information about the ins and outs of moving abroad to a variety of cities around the world.  They have many videos explaining what the international school situation is like in cities like Prague, Kiev, Budapest, etc.

Check out their video about Shanghai’s international schools.

Here is what Moveoneinc.com had to say in general about expats that are moving to China and the current schooling situation:

“In the past few years, a number of local Chinese schools have opened up to expat children and some expats without education allowances are giving it a go. Although these are remarkably cheaper than private schools and give children the opportunity to become immersed in the Chinese language and culture, most expats still opt to send their children to international schools.

China’s larger cities, such as Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou, offer a diverse range of international schools based on the International Baccalaureate programs, the American curriculum as well as the English National curriculum. These have a very high reputation and offer first-rate facilities, advanced teaching technology and equipment, internationally experienced teachers, low student/teacher ratios, and a wide variety of extracurricular activities.”

Their website has many more videos about life in Shanghai.  The numerous topics covered are: medical clinics, what to do in case of an emergency, housing, kids activities, Chinese language, expat shopping, and more…

Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 18 international school listed in the city of Shanghai. The number of comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right the link to each school.

British International School Shanghai – Puxi ( 0 Comments)

British International School Shanghai – Pudong ( 0 Comments)

British International School Shanghai – Nanxiang ( 0 Comments)

Concordia International School (Shanghai) ( 15 Comments)

Dulwich College Shanghai ( 7 Comments)

Fudan International School ( 1 Comments)

Livingston American School Shanghai ( 0 Comments)

Shanghai American School – Puxi ( 0 Comments)

Shanghai American School – Pudong ( 0 Comments)

Shanghai Community Int’l School ( 10 Comments)

Singapore International School (Shanghai) ( 5 Comments)

Shanghai United International School ( 0 Comments)

Shanghai Rego International School ( 72 Comments)

Western International School of Shanghai ( 27 Comments)

YK Pao School, Shanghai ( 0 Comments)

Rainbow Bridge International School ( 11 Comments)

Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) ( 0 Comments)

Lycée Français de Shanghai ( 0 Comments)

If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in Shanghai, log-on today and submit your own comments and information.  If you submit more than 30 comments and information, then you can get 1 year of premium access to International School Community for free!

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Great Resource

Want to work at an international school in the Netherlands? – Tips for Expats in Holland

February 14, 2012


Life in Holland does indeed sound nice.  Riding your bike to work and watching the canals as you dart in and out of the streets of Amsterdam could be something very easy to get used to every morning.  The Insego website has highlighted some excellent tips that international teachers and their families could find very beneficial.  I wish there would be a resource like this on every country in the world!

We have highlighted some of the tips’ categories:

10 Tips for Unemployed Expats
“Whether you are an expat’s wife or you came here because you fell in love or you just moved to a foreign country looking for new opportunities, whatever the reason, you may find yourself without a job. Well, I’ve been there. Without a job I lost my professional identity and I didn’t like this feeling at all…”

Media for Expats in Holland
“One of the most popular discussions on Insego is finding out the cultural faux pas in The Netherlands. Faux pas is a French term which literally means “misstep”. But for most of us, it means defiance from accepted customs and traditions. Faux pas varies from different cultures. Some behavior might be acknowledged in one culture while it is a no-no for another.

Here are the collected comments from our members on what they think are the cultural faux pas in Netherlands…”

What are the most common issues faced by expatriates?
“Transferring to another country whether for work, personal expedition or reasons of the heart can be tough and challenging. Aside from difficulty in adjusting to the new environment and culture, we also struggle with homesickness, making new friends and for some, finding a job and raising kids. Being an expat is a tough call. See what your fellow expats struggle with and may their experiences act as your inspiration and encouragement that you are not alone. You share the same experiences with many other expats in the world, so don’t be totally dismayed…”

What are some cultural faux pas in The Netherlands?

  • Dutch News– Quality English-language news about the Netherlands.
  • Dutch Daily News – Covers, analyzes, comments on and defines the news, culture, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion and personalities that drive the Netherlands.
  • Expatica.com- The biggest online English news and information provider for the international community in 11 European countries. It’s mission is to help Expats settle into their new country of residence. The content Expatica supplies covers various aspects of expat life, including relocation, culture, education, tax, immigration and local events.
  • IamExpat– Online media platform that covers the local needs of the expatriate population, plenty of practical information.
  • InterNations – Netherlands Expats Community, membership is invitation-only. Let us know if you want to join it, we will send the invitation.
  • RNW- Radio Netherlands Worldwide. daily news in English as well as daily Dutch press reviews, opinion articles and links to the radio programs
  • The Holland Times– News magazine covering Dutch current events and perspectives in the Netherlands.
  • The Hague Online News for expat communities in The Hague region, including reviews and regular listings of cultural and leisure events.
  • Xpat.nl -Publisher of famous Holland Handbook and Xpat Journal.


Amsterdam, Holland

Currently there are 9 international schools listed in the Netherlands on International School Community. They are:

Rotterdam International Secondary School
American International School of Rotterdam
American School of the Hague
International School of the Hague
The British School of the Netherlands
British School of Amsterdam
International School Amsterdam
Amsterdam International Community School
International Secondary School Eindhoven

Check out their school profile pages on internationalschoolcommunity.com by clicking on the links above.  If you currently work at one of these schools or have worked at one in the past, share what you know by leaving some new comments and information on your school’s profile page today!  Out of our 281 members (since 14 Feb. 2012) we have one member that has listed that they work at or have worked at an international school in the Netherlands.

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Great Resource

Great Resource: Want to work at an international school in Hong Kong?

February 7, 2012


The Top Schools website (http://www.topschools.hk/) has some excellent information about the many international schools in Hong Kong.

There are many international educators interested in working at these schools.  There are around 29 international schools listed on the Top Schools website.  Some of the international schools listed on their website are: Australian International School, Canadian International School, Kingston International School, German Swiss International School, etc…

Highlighted sections from their website:

DISCOVERY BAY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
“With 940 students, DBIS follows a curriculum based on that of the National Curriculum of England and Wales.  Admissions are non selective and students are drawn from the Discovery Bay community.  Demand for places is high and the school introduced a iPremium School Development Levy of HK$450,000 – s a means for parents to gain a “fast track” entry to the Kindergarten and Primary sections. Presumably, this means those that pay this premium levy get priority in the selection process.”

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
“A highly reputable school following an American-style curriculum. 58% of its students are American and 56% are Christian.  Debenture holders receive priority.  Lower Primary will be relocated for three academic years.  R2, Grade 1 and Grade 2 classes will relocate to an existing unused school building in Chai Wan. Click for detailed info on the relocation.”

HARROW INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
“Opening September 2012.  The first international day and boarding school in Hong Kong. Operated by the Harrow International Group, Harrow International school is an arm of the 439-year old British school that educated Winston Churchill. The Hong Kong branch is the third in Asia. The others are in Beijing and Bangkok.  This is a full through-train school accepting students as young as 2.  Debentures sold out.  The first batch of individual debentures and individual capital certificates has been fully subscribed. Parents interested in ICCs and IDs, may apply to be put on the waiting list. The price of the second batch is yet to be determined.  Applicants may opt to pay the annual levy at $50,000/year – this is non-interest bearing, non-refundable and non-transferable.”

Currently, there are 17 international schools listed under Hong Kong on International School Community:

American International School (Hong Kong) ( 22 Comments)

Canadian International School (Hong Kong) ( 7 Comments)

Chinese International School
( 0 Comments)

German Swiss International School ( 2 Comments)

Hong Kong Academy Primary School ( 14 Comments)

Hong Kong International School ( 2 Comments)

Independent School Foundation Academy ( 0 Comments)

Kennedy School ( 0 Comments)

Renaissance College Hong Kong ( 5 Comments)

The ISF Acadmey (Hong Kong) ( 0 Comments)

Japanese International School ( 0 Comments)

Singapore International School (Hong Kong) ( 7 Comments)

Diocesan Boys School ( 0 Comments)

Hong Lok Yuen International School ( 4 Comments)

Discovery College (Hong Kong) ( 5 Comments)

Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) ( 8 Comments)

International Christian School (Hong Kong) ( 11 Comments)

Check out the latest comments and information that have been submitted on these schools or submit your own at International School Community.

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Great Resource

Great resource: HAYS – Recruiting Experts in Education (International Teaching)

February 5, 2012


Here is a summary of their organization and the services they offer:

Hays plc is the UK’s largest publicly listed recruitment group and a world leader in specialist recruitment.

The International division of Hays Education was founded in 2005. The aim of the division is to provide a first class recruitment service to all British and International Schools. Over the past few years we have grown significantly and now have a considerable portfolio of schools we work with across a number of continents.

Since our conception we have played a huge part in the movement of teachers all over the world. In addition to this, we keep a close eye on the ever-changing face of International schools, so we can continually offer a first class service. Our involvement with organizations such as the BSME enable us to build closer relationships with our schools as well as keep abreast of issues affecting schools globally.

They also have a job vacancy section which can be found here.

TESTIMONIALS

There is no better recommendation than the feedback we receive from schools we have worked with in the past. Read below a selection of comments headteachers have made about the service we provide.

TEACHERS CASE STUDIES

Choosing to embark on an international teaching career is a life changing decision. Whether it is for the first time or tenth time the prospect of a new life in a foreign country can be as daunting as it is exciting. Click on the case studies on the left to share in others teachers frank observations on their own overseas experiences.

FEATURED SCHOOLS

We work with many different schools around the world in their search for the best teachers. Click on our featured school to read more in depth about what to expect when you decide to make that jump into an international teaching career.

They also have a great section of their website describing the different regions that they service: Africa, South East Asia, Europe, Middle East, and South America.

Here is an example of the information they provide on the region of Africa.

Schools in Africa

Many of the schools we work with, started as very small private schools and have evolved considerably over the years, undertaking ambitious programmes of expansion and development. Many now boast superb facilities and offer a fine institute for employment. Schools in Africa reflect the UK year timetable with the man differences being the times school begins and finishes each day. Usually schools in Africa start earlier in the morning and finish early afternoon.

Standard package

The schools offer:

• Flights
• Accommodation
• Medical cover
• Varying salaries
• Other benefits depending on school
(Laptop, Phone, Car and driver etc)

In Northern African countries, such as Sudan many schools offer tax-free salaries and in many of these locations, where there is not a lot to spend your money on, teachers find they are able to save quite a percentage of their salary and also travel in and around Africa.

Other information

Safety is very important and most schools offered secured accommodation and schools. In addition to this, many schools offer secured transport for teachers to easily move about the cities and towns.

Like all international opportunities choosing to teach in Africa is a true-life adventure. Africa is a land whose climate of experience will both humble and enrich you. The land, the people and the culture will be a classroom within themselves and your experience will be come pages of a textbook you will use to teach in the future.

Check out the other information they provide about the other regions here.

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1966 (Muscat, Washington D.C., Genoa, Accra, Zagreb, etc.)

January 26, 2012


Random year for international schools around the world: 1966

Utilizing the database of the 1083 international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 11 international schools that were founded in 1966 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):

Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China)

“Hong Kong International School was founded in September 1966, its first location consisting of makeshift premises including residential flats in Chung Hom Kok, housing 120 students. The founders were the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Hong Kong government and the American business community in Hong Kong. On 14 September 1967, HKIS opened the doors to a new campus in Repulse Bay and housed 630 multi-national students. HKIS continued to expand over time, which led to the creation of a second building in Repulse Bay, and finally an additional campus in Tai Tam. Lower Primary and Upper Primary remain in Repulse Bay while Middle School and High School are in Tai Tam. The school has just finished undergoing its fourth major infrastructure development plan at about on mid-2010 in the Middle School Campus, called the Middle School Annex.”

The Banda School  (Nairobi, Kenya)

“Since opening its doors in 1966, The Banda has earned a reputation for outstanding academic, sporting and cultural achievements. The aim of The Banda is to develop excellence in academic achievement, social conduct and moral values and to ensure that this learning process is enjoyable and fulfilling for the individual child in a friendly atmosphere.”

American School of Dubai  (Dubai,United Arab Emirates)

“The American School of Dubai (ASD), previously known as the Jumeirah American School, is located in the Al-Barsha community of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. An independent, nonprofit school, ASD was founded in 1966 to serve the needs of North American families and other expatriate populations in Dubai. It was the first American curriculum school established in Dubai and is still the only nonprofit American school located in the emirate. ASD follows an American curriculum and offers pre-K (K1) through grade 12 instruction. The school is accredited by the US Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Admission to the school is based on the approval of ASD’s Admissions Committee and a student successfully meeting the admission criteria, including assessments in varying forms depen