With the hiring season upon us, there is a divide amongst us international school teachers. Will the international school you are interviewing with prefer to hire a teaching couple or a single teacher?
I guess it could seem like the international school is being a bit discriminatory when they state their preference (sometimes in the job description vacancy itself), but there might be a number of factors that come into play in their decision to be so explicit in what they are looking for.
Sometimes hiring a single teacher can be more expensive than hiring a teaching couple. We all know schools love saving money! Money aside though, the administration at international schools also know the lifestyle that prospective teachers are signing up for. The set up could be good for both singles and teaching couples, but the city and country where the school is located could also lend itself better to a single person OR to a teaching couple.
It is hard to guess which type of teacher would be better for which set up, but the administration can see patterns developing amongst their staff. For example, are the single teachers or the teaching couples staying longer (or shorter) at the school? Are single teachers finding it difficult to save money there? Are single teachers able to easily meet up with other expats or locals in the city for a date?
The fact is, though, that single teachers get hired all the time during each recruitment season. If you are a quality teacher with a good resume and references (+luck and timing), the school will definitely consider hiring you. However, it might be good to know which international schools have a good record of hiring single teachers.
Additionally, if a school gives an offer of employment to a teacher who is single, what are the exact details about the benefits the school is offering you specifically? What is the lifestyle like for single teachers that live in different cities around the world?
So many factors and things to consider!
Luckily, ISC was designed to help international school teaching couples and single teachers find the information they are looking for. Using the Comment Search feature (premium membership needed), we found 92 comments that had the keyword “Singles” in them. Here are 11 of them:
United Arab Emirates
“Dubai is a big city in most ways with very modern nightlife etc. singles should have no trouble meeting other singles, and couples will find the city enjoyable as well. Sex between people who are not married is illegal and people DO go to jail for it/get deported for it, but usually only when it is something very blatant (like having sex on a public beach). Homosexuality is illegal in the UAE and is still prosecuted. UAE is trying very hard to balance between a modern, cosmopolitan city while at the same time being respectful of traditional Arab culture.” – Raffles International School (South) (59 total comments)
“Kyoto has a pretty balance for all interests. singles may find it difficult here, however, as there isn’t much nightlife in Kyoto (a lot of things close around 8 or 9) and it can be hard to meet people. Osaka is 30 minutes to an hour away, however, and has a lot of options in that department. There are plenty of parks and outdoor spaces in Kyoto, unlike Tokyo or other metropolitan regions of Japan.” – Doshisha International School Kyoto (92 total comments)
“The housing allowance for singles was increased to 23,000HKD (2900USD) which allows for a bit more choice. Because of the price discrepancy among singles, teaching couples and a teacher with dependent(s), singles were the only ones who received an increase.” – Hong Kong International School (118 total comments)
“The school itself is a very family orientated place, though there are lots of singles in the school. Often group trips are organised renting beach houses and lake houses.” – Academia Britanica Cuscatleca (30 total comments)
“Chiang Mai is a great place to live for couples and families. Singles who like the Great Outdoors will also be satisfied. Those seeking a full on nightlife need to save their Bahts for a weekend in Bangkok or Pattaya. Chiang Mai has some great pubs and restaurants, but currently all are forced to close at midnight.” – Varee Chiang Mai International School (62 total comments)
“Staff housing is provided. 2 bedroom apartments for singles, just in and around Doha (Al Saad, Al Marqab) or in Education City (mostly families because of the parks and facilities that in and around the compound). You can ask for rent allowance but once you forfeit housing you can’t get back in! QF policy. Think it’s around 8,000 qar a month plus 500 for utilities.You’ll never find anything as nice as the housing provided for that money, without getting a roommate (then you can save money)” – Qatar Academy (Sidra) (65 total comments)
“The school generally recruits at the Search fairs, in Johannesburg, Bangkok and London. There are some long-term local hire teachers. Many local hires are expats who are here with their partners. I believe they also hire through Skype interviews. There is a good mix of people – couples, families and singles. Recently there have been a lot of singles hired which has put a bit of a crunch on housing.” – International School of Tanganyika (171 total comments)
“Lots of activities for singles, but people generally agree Lusaka is great for families, less so for singles wanting to find love. There is a small gay culture, but not vibrant due to the country’s general conservatism.” – American International School of Lusaka (45 total comments)
“I am a single parent with a 5-year-old so life is very quiet for us. singles seem to have a very active social life as there are a lot of bars and Manizales is very safe. In terms of gay life, I know there are gay bars here and gay couples but I they feel they need to be discreet in public.” – Colegio Granadino Manizales (44 total comments)
“Staff housing differs for singles and married couples. They are both located near the school and are in an area which has plenty to do. Major bills include gas, electricity, internet, etc. The most expensive is the gas in the winter. Teachers are responsible for their utilities.” – Busan Foreign School (5 total comments)
“There is a mix of local and expat teachers. The majority of expat teachers come from the UK, but others come from other English-speaking countries as well. There is very low turnover rate at the school- maybe one or two positions open up each year. The staff are mostly married couples- very few singles.” – International School of Lyon (12 total comments)
Are you inspired to start-up a blog about your adventures living abroad and working at an international school?
Our 45th blog that we would like to highlight is called “2seetheglobe” Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who works at American International School Bamako in Bamako, Mali.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
Chapter 18: That’s MALI. With an M. And no AW.
“Bali, not Mali.
A year ago we signed a contract to teach in Mali, an African country that nobody had heard of before. People assumed we said Bali, even though it’s not a country and nowhere near Africa. But it does rhyme.
Or they thought we were heading to Malawi. It was also an obscure African nation, well, until Madonna adopted David Banda and Chifundo there and it was featured on E Entertainment News and in scholarly magazines like People, Us, and Star (whose current cover screams “It’s Demi! Cougar Goes Wild in Mexico: THE SEX WAS VERY LOUD”).
Then people would ask US, “What’s Mali close to?” And we would mention neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Mauritania. And they would do that nod-without-actually-understanding-what was just-said thing…”
It is sometimes a challenge for your home country friends and family to completely understand your life abroad, especially if you are living in a country that nobody has even heard of before (or maybe heard of once on a tv news channel maybe). For another interesting article related to this topic, check our our own blog article called “Going home for the holidays: No one cares about your international life!“.
Chapter 29: I’d Rather Get a Root Canal in Mali Than Teach in the U.S.
“Last year, during a severe sugar craving bout, I found an old piece of hard candy in my desk at school. Despite the fact that this red sticky thing was probably manufactured back when Mali became a country in 1960, I still popped it into my mouth. Then it got stuck on my lower molars, and upon disengaging it I also yanked off a crown.
This is not a good situation to be in when you live in a developing country where some
dental work occurs roadside. But lo and behold, I discovered a Lebanese dentist (raised in Senegal) who operated a modern, dental practice in an actual building near our school, and he had a number of our students as patients. So off I went to have him reattach the old crown which I was sure would take ten minutes. Except the old crown was cracked and he needed to make a new one. And then he discovered that a root canal had not been done on that old tooth (thank you crappy Florida dentist).
So long story short, he did the root canal (even finding a 4th root which he said was rare)…”
Having a medical emergency while living abroad can be an international school teacher’s worst nightmare come true. Though most often than not, you will be able to figure out a plan to get your medical situation resolved, the process in doing so will most likely be stressful.
Check out some of our submitted comments regarding health benefits and experiences using the host country health care system in one of our our past surveys called “How is your experience using your health insurance and medical benefits?”
Want to work for an international school in China like this blogger? Currently, we have 162 international schools listed in this country. 58 have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:
Kampala International School (Kampala, Uganda) – 50 Comments
American International School of Lusaka (Lusaka, Zambia) – 45 Comments
The School of St. Jude (Arusha, Tanzania) – 18 Comments
International School of Tanganyika (Dar es salaam, Tanzania) – 143 Comments
Khartoum American School (Khartoum, Sudan) – 23 Comments
Khartoum International Community School (Khartoum, Sudan) – 65 Comments
The International School of Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) – 44 Comments
International School of Seychelles (Victoria, Seychelles) – 18 Comments
TLC International School (Nouakchott, Mauritania) – 43 Comments
American International School of Mozambique (Maputo, Mozambique) – 32 Comments
Saint Andrews International High School (Blantyre, Malawi) – 41 Comments
International School of Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya) – 46 Comments
International Community School Addis Ababa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) – 61 Comments
The American School of Yaounde (Yaounde, Cameroon) – 26 Comments
The American School of Kinshasa (Kinshasa, Congo (DRC)) – 59 Comments
Additionally, there are a number of International School Community members who currently live in Sub-Saharan Africa. 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.continue reading
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad and working at an international school?
Our 43rd blog that we would like to highlight is called “From the Principal’s Office.” Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who works at Khartoum International Community School in Sudan.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“It seems as if the further I travel, the less well trodden the paths, the more that the western so-called developed world in which I grew up becomes foreign and strange. Each person’s world-view is, of course, plastic and fluid, moulded by the environment in which we live and the experiences we undergo. Looking back to my own parochial working class Lancastrian upbringing in the late 60s and through the 70s I cannot even find the words to describe the changes that have impacted on how I now see the world. So, looking at my son and his experiences – and considering how rapidly the world is changing – I cannot even begin to comprehend how his world-view will develop in the decades to come. Multiply him by the 390+ other students in my school and the challenge of preparing young people for the future is wildly self-evident.…”
It is exciting working at an international school teaching an international curriculum as it is most likely not how most of us went to school back when we were younger.
At times, living overseas isn’t always the easiest thing and there are challenges that present themselves. On the other hand, if you keep an open mind, there are definitely some moments of enlightenment as well!
Want to read more about the guidelines of moving/living abroad? Check out our blog series called “Ten Commandments of Relocating Overseas.“
Recruitment Reflections II: London
“It is a world of carbonized paper and paper messages passed furtively from school to candidate and back again. It is a world of snap judgements and horse trading. It is a world where the relief at having survived trumps the ludicrous farce in which we all play a part.
Now that is some real insight into the recruitment fair experience, from the administrator’s perspective.
Heading off to a recruitment fair anyway? For some helpful advice, check out our blog series called “Nine Lessons Learned Regarding International School Hiring Fairs.” As a sneak peek, lesson number one is “Bad interviews are good things.“
Want to work for an international school in Sub-Saharan Africa like this blogger? Currently, we have 156 international schools listed in this area of the world. 57 have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:
• The American School of Kinshasa (Kinshasa, Congo (DRC)) – 52 Comments
• International Community School Addis Ababa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) – 61 Comments
• Saint Andrews International High School (Blantyre, Malawi) – 41 Comments
• TLC International School (Nouakchott, Mauritania) – 43 Comments
• The International School of Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) – 30 Comments
• Khartoum International Community School (Khartoum, Sudan) – 65 Comments
• International School of Tanganyika (Dar es salaam, Tanzania) – 141 Comments
• Kampala International School (Kampala, Uganda) – 50 Comments
• American International School of Lusaka (Lusaka, Zambia) – 45 Comments
Additionally, there are 87 International School Community members who currently live in Sub Saharan Africa. 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.continue reading
In this blog series we will talk about the ins and outs of an excellent new teacher orientation programme at an international school. A new teacher orientation programme can really play a very important part to the start at your new school, in your new host country. What are all the must-haves then? Check out our blog series here to read all about the ones that we have discussed so far.
Must-have #13: Learning how to get reimbursed and meeting the business office staff
It takes so much money to move yourself from one place to another. Now add in the fact that you are shipping boxes and whatnot half way across the world, and the cost just gets higher and higher. Many times, international school teachers need to pay for these shipping costs upfront. Hopefully you are getting an relocation allowance (not all international school offer this though) as there are also many other things that you will need to pay for upfront (e.g. the flight, extra baggage, visa costs, etc.). It is a tough time financially, that’s for sure.
When you finally get to your new school in your new country, you almost want to make a beeline to the business office to immediately get some of your money back! It is not that easy though at a number of international schools. Helping new teachers get reimbursed should be as easy as pie, but at For-profit schools (for example), it can take a loooong time and much paperwork to get your money back.
There are two ways to get reimbursed at an international school: the easy way and the hard way.
The easy way of course is the preferred way. You go in, hand in a receipt/reimbursement form, and then you either get paid right there in the local currency (e.g. cash) or they make a bank transfer that is made to your local bank account and you either receive that money that same day or the next day. You might say that the goal of all international schools should be to make sure that getting money back to its teachers is as easy and as quick as possible.
To also make things easy, the dream would be that somebody would take you to the business office and introduce you to all the important people in the business office, all within the first week at work. Word of advice: go in with a huge smile on your face and your hand extended out to shake everyone’s hand, also remember to say many thank yous and make some friendly conversation to get to know the staff more personally. Because every month or so, of your first (and second, third, etc.) year, you will be walking into that business office wanting some money or some assistance with a number of financial issues, and you will need to have a good relationship with these guys. So make sure that somebody is there during your orientation to get you started on the right foot with the business staff.
The hard way to get reimbursed is every international school teacher’s worst nightmare. You don’t want to be worrying about getting money back from your new international school (or even worrying about getting your salary paid on time!). It is stressful that’s for sure. Also, it can distract you from doing your job at times. In some countries though, it is not the school’s fault that makes getting reimbursed a difficult task. The country itself can have certain laws and regulations that make the reimbursement process a difficult one for expats. It can be very confusing to some new teachers, so how nice if there is straight-away somebody that will “show you the ropes” during new teacher orientation.
The business staff play a huge part in the wellbeing and staff morale of an international school. Knowing the business staffs’ names and getting introduced to them as soon as you start working there can really have a positive effect to your experience starting at your new school. Also, make sure to take a few notes during your orientation week/days about how to get reimbursed for things the correct way at your school.
Luckily on International School Community we have a new comment topic that specifically addresses this issue of getting reimbursed. It is called: What is the process of getting reimbursed for things?
We have 2 comments so far in this topic on our website since it is so new:
American International School of Lusaka –
“Pretty basic. Show receipts, get paid. Flights can be a bit of a hassle in terms of dealing with the business office and its interpretation of “cheapest, most direct.”
Western International School of Shanghai –
“All receipts must be kept and submitted with a filled out form to the director who then signs and returns them to the finance office. From the day of leaving the forms at the director’s office it might take 4-6 weeks to see any money back.”
If you currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the recent past, share the information and details about getting things reimbursed. You can find easy access to all international schools on our Schools List page.
So, does your international school have an easy, confusing, or difficult way of getting reimbursed for things? Please share your experiences!continue reading
Only on International School Community will you be able to search for the perfect international school for you. The possibility to search for international schools based on the type of school that best fits your criteria. There are many different kinds of schools: ones that are tiny in student population and ones that have more than 1200 students, ones that are for-profit and ones that are non-profit, ones that are in very large cities and ones that are in towns of 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. 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 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.
Search Result #1
Schools Found: 3
China – Nanjing International School
Zambia – American International School of Lusaka
Ghana – Lincoln Community School
Why not start your own searches now and then start contacting the schools that best fit your needs! Additionally, all premium members are able to access the more than 1600 comments and information that have been submitted on the hundreds of international school profiles on our website.
Join International School Community today and you will automatically get the ability to make unlimited searches to find the international schools that fit your criteria.continue reading