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.
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)
“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
“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)
“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
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.)
If you work at an international school in Indonesia, share what you know. Consider becoming a Mayor for unlimited premium membership!continue reading
With the hiring season upon us, there is a divide amongst us international school teachers. Will the international school you are interviewing with prefer to hire a teaching couple or a single teacher?
I guess it could seem like the international school is being a bit discriminatory when they state their preference (sometimes in the job description vacancy itself), but there might be a number of factors that come into play in their decision to be so explicit in what they are looking for.
Sometimes hiring a single teacher can be more expensive than hiring a teaching couple. We all know schools love saving money! Money aside though, the administration at international schools also know the lifestyle that prospective teachers are signing up for. The set up could be good for both singles and teaching couples, but the city and country where the school is located could also lend itself better to a single person OR to a teaching couple.
It is hard to guess which type of teacher would be better for which set up, but the administration can see patterns developing amongst their staff. For example, are the single teachers or the teaching couples staying longer (or shorter) at the school? Are single teachers finding it difficult to save money there? Are single teachers able to easily meet up with other expats or locals in the city for a date?
The fact is, though, that single teachers get hired all the time during each recruitment season. If you are a quality teacher with a good resume and references (+luck and timing), the school will definitely consider hiring you. However, it might be good to know which international schools have a good record of hiring single teachers.
Additionally, if a school gives an offer of employment to a teacher who is single, what are the exact details about the benefits the school is offering you specifically? What is the lifestyle like for single teachers that live in different cities around the world?
So many factors and things to consider!
Luckily, ISC was designed to help international school teaching couples and single teachers find the information they are looking for. Using the Comment Search feature (premium membership needed), we found 92 comments that had the keyword “Singles” in them. Here are 11 of them:
United Arab Emirates
“Dubai is a big city in most ways with very modern nightlife etc. singles should have no trouble meeting other singles, and couples will find the city enjoyable as well. Sex between people who are not married is illegal and people DO go to jail for it/get deported for it, but usually only when it is something very blatant (like having sex on a public beach). Homosexuality is illegal in the UAE and is still prosecuted. UAE is trying very hard to balance between a modern, cosmopolitan city while at the same time being respectful of traditional Arab culture.” – Raffles International School (South) (59 total comments)
“Kyoto has a pretty balance for all interests. singles may find it difficult here, however, as there isn’t much nightlife in Kyoto (a lot of things close around 8 or 9) and it can be hard to meet people. Osaka is 30 minutes to an hour away, however, and has a lot of options in that department. There are plenty of parks and outdoor spaces in Kyoto, unlike Tokyo or other metropolitan regions of Japan.” – Doshisha International School Kyoto (92 total comments)
“The housing allowance for singles was increased to 23,000HKD (2900USD) which allows for a bit more choice. Because of the price discrepancy among singles, teaching couples and a teacher with dependent(s), singles were the only ones who received an increase.” – Hong Kong International School (118 total comments)
“The school itself is a very family orientated place, though there are lots of singles in the school. Often group trips are organised renting beach houses and lake houses.” – Academia Britanica Cuscatleca (30 total comments)
“Chiang Mai is a great place to live for couples and families. Singles who like the Great Outdoors will also be satisfied. Those seeking a full on nightlife need to save their Bahts for a weekend in Bangkok or Pattaya. Chiang Mai has some great pubs and restaurants, but currently all are forced to close at midnight.” – Varee Chiang Mai International School (62 total comments)
“Staff housing is provided. 2 bedroom apartments for singles, just in and around Doha (Al Saad, Al Marqab) or in Education City (mostly families because of the parks and facilities that in and around the compound). You can ask for rent allowance but once you forfeit housing you can’t get back in! QF policy. Think it’s around 8,000 qar a month plus 500 for utilities.You’ll never find anything as nice as the housing provided for that money, without getting a roommate (then you can save money)” – Qatar Academy (Sidra) (65 total comments)
“The school generally recruits at the Search fairs, in Johannesburg, Bangkok and London. There are some long-term local hire teachers. Many local hires are expats who are here with their partners. I believe they also hire through Skype interviews. There is a good mix of people – couples, families and singles. Recently there have been a lot of singles hired which has put a bit of a crunch on housing.” – International School of Tanganyika (171 total comments)
“Lots of activities for singles, but people generally agree Lusaka is great for families, less so for singles wanting to find love. There is a small gay culture, but not vibrant due to the country’s general conservatism.” – American International School of Lusaka (45 total comments)
“I am a single parent with a 5-year-old so life is very quiet for us. singles seem to have a very active social life as there are a lot of bars and Manizales is very safe. In terms of gay life, I know there are gay bars here and gay couples but I they feel they need to be discreet in public.” – Colegio Granadino Manizales (44 total comments)
“Staff housing differs for singles and married couples. They are both located near the school and are in an area which has plenty to do. Major bills include gas, electricity, internet, etc. The most expensive is the gas in the winter. Teachers are responsible for their utilities.” – Busan Foreign School (5 total comments)
“There is a mix of local and expat teachers. The majority of expat teachers come from the UK, but others come from other English-speaking countries as well. There is very low turnover rate at the school- maybe one or two positions open up each year. The staff are mostly married couples- very few singles.” – International School of Lyon (12 total comments)
There are a few international schools to work at in United Arab Emirates! How do these schools stand out from each other?
How many international schools have done a sky-view overview of their school campus using a drone? Australian International School – Sharjah has!
Having an opportunity to see an aerial view of an international school really gives you a great idea of what life will be like in and around your future international school. Maybe all schools should consider doing this and then make sure to share that video when they are interviewing people to work with them.
The sunset scene of this video is truly beautiful, and look at all those beautiful trees on the campus!
Hopefully you are not actually leaving school at this time (assuming the sunset stays pretty similar throughout the year at around 18h or so), but if you were to, then it would indeed be a nice ride home.
This video is reminiscent of a blog series we have called, “The Journey to School.” In this blog series we get firsthand accounts of what it is like to travel both to and from various international schools from around the world.
Living in the Middle East does sound very enticing. For one, the sun will most likely be out almost every day of the year. The summer will be quite hot, but the winter won’t be too cool. It is important to note though that there appears to be some overcast can be see in the video, and it might be because of pollution and not clouds!
However, desert life can indeed be quite nice for many of us. The adventures of exploring the desert and its sand dunes are not too far away. Many of city’s buildings are constructed using traditional Arabic architecture with wind towers and finishes in colors reflective of the nearby desert and sea.
There are also lots of beaches, theme parks and movie theaters in nearby Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 76 international schools listed in United Arab Emirates. Here are a just a few of them (the number of total comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right of the link):
• Al Mizhar American Academy (Dubai) – 54 Comments
• Abu Dhabi International Private School (Abu Dhabi) – 43 Comments
• American International School (Abu Dhabi) (Abu Dhabi) – 68 Comments
• American School of Dubai (Dubai) – 98 Comments
• Jumeira Baccalaureate School (Dubai) – 104 Comments
• Raffles International School (South) (Dubai) – 59 Comments
• RAK Academy (Ras Al Khaimah) – 56 Comments
If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in United Arab Emirates, log-on today and submit your own comments and information. Become a Mayor of one of these schools and you will receive unlimited premium access to International School Community for free!continue reading
I am originally from India, living and working in Dubai, UAE, for the last 19 years. So UAE is sort of ‘home’ to me.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
I took a career break from an Indian school at which I worked for 6 years in the UAE. I left the school because I wanted to pursue further education and hence applied for part-time positions in various schools in Dubai and was offered a part-time position in an international school in Dubai (Universal American School in Dubai). I have remained in this school for 7 years now and moved from being a part-time teacher to full time teacher, to Department Head to ICT and Curriculum Coordinator; and currently holding the position of the Staff Development Coordinator. It has been a steep learning curve professionally and personally for me. I am currently a certified curriculum consultant in concept-based teaching (Lynn Erickson) and offer curriculum consultancy workshops in many international schools in the region and hence get to meet and work with a diverse range of international teaching staff.
Having said all of that, moving from a national system of education where students are “disciplined” from questioning the teacher in the name of “respect” ( at least when I was a teacher in the 90s – and agree that much has changed now) an international school environment was very challenging for me and my initial days were very draining. Often times, in the early days of my international teaching career I have drawn solace on the fact that I was not a ‘permanent’ teaching staff and that my tenure was part-time. But I somehow wanted to make it work even for the short time. I turned to reading literature on international education and read avidly. During this time my admissions into the doctoral program at the University of Bath came through. My first assignment was about “teachers as reflective practitioners” that looked at my transition from teaching in a national system of school to an international school.
I give below some excerpts from the study:
What is my concern?
The classroom atmosphere and student interaction in my newly inducted environment in an international school concerned me. I was experiencing myself as a living contradiction (Whitehead 2006), because as a teacher I felt it was my primary responsibility to create a positive learning environment in the classroom and yet I was denying them the opportunity to do so (or at least that is what I thought). Little did I realize the classroom management techniques in a multi-cultural environment are so different from schools where students are from the same nationality, particularly in the Indian system.
I am concerned because as a teacher, it is essential for me to sustain and derive my joy in teaching. Students’ apathy bothered me. A deep sense of dissatisfaction as well as a strong conviction that it was possible to make a positive change inspired me to become a reflective practitioner.
I narrate below one classroom incident that raised my awareness of how my values were being denied in my practice, whereby I was experiencing myself as a “living contradiction” (Whitehead and McNiff, 2006).
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2006.
(In the Middle East, Sunday happens to be the first day of the working week)
A project assigned to the students is explained with the help of a Power point. During this explanation, most students are talking to each other, some are painting their nails, and others detached and disengaged. This overall atmosphere makes it difficult and de-motivating for the few students who are trying to focus attention. At the end of the ten minutes of introducing what students are supposed to do, I ask them if they have any questions.
(Response) Student A: “So miss, what are we supposed to do?”
(Reaction): The whole class breaks into laughter, chaos and commotion follows. Some students slyly glance at me to comprehend my reaction.
The above scenario is common in most classes, perhaps with different questions at the end: highly non-contextual or insignificant such as:
Me (at the end of explanations): “Any questions?”
B: “Miss, may I go to the washroom?”
C: “Nice dress, miss!”
In my previous teaching experience in the national system of education, students could be addressed easily as a single class or a group and the student-teacher relationship was highly disciplined with the teacher holding a lot of ‘power’. Students were often well behaved and wanted to learn more from teachers and the interaction with teachers was highly respectful. The current situation puzzled me. Where was I going wrong? I was not a “new” teacher. I had been teaching for 7 years! Before dismissing the current situation as “student apathy”, “indiscipline” and “disinterested in learning”, I realized this situation demanded a deeper understanding through critical analysis and reflection.
Turning into a “reflective practitioner” helped me realize that teaching in international school setting need to go beyond “Power Points” and that Power Points are often “Power Pointless” unless they can engage the students and provoke their thinking. Teaching in international schools demand paying significant attention to the fact that students are from various cultural backgrounds, and teaching and learning require differentiation strategies and project based learning wherein every student is engaged and challenged. I am not saying these are not applicable to national system of schools. But in my experience, I do think in national system of schools much of the learning is “controlled” in the name of “discipline”. This does not happen in international schools. Teachers have to move from being “sage on stage” to a “knowledge facilitator” at all times. “Respect for the teacher” is something that cannot be demanded and has to be earned in an international school setting. And if that happens, trust me, the students are the most adorable and fun to work with and more importantly they help you grow, as each day, each hour, they will challenge you. Flexibility and being a “life-long learner” is the key to success. Again, I am not saying these are not essential in national system of schools – of course they are- just that they are highly imperative in international school settings due to the diverse multi-cultural student body found in such schools.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
This is my first and only international school experience (but a valuable and enriching one indeed!) [at Universal American School in Dubai]. Having been in this school for seven years and it has been a very rewarding experience and a huge learning curve for me. It has helped me grow as an individual and as a professional. I have drawn on experiences in the school for every single of my doctoral assignments and currently working on my dissertation which again in a Case Study at the school.
The school I work at is a very warm and friendly place where individuals who are willing to go the extra mile are truly valued and the relationship amongst staff very collegial. With over 75 different nationalities being represented in the teacher and student body combined, one can imagine that each day is a new cultural learning experience, that shows we are so very diverse culturally, yet the same as human beings.
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
1. A Korean student of mine (Grade 8) came to me very upset one day. She was upset because she sat in her History class for weeks together learning about this “new Greek philosopher – a name she had never heard of before” until that morning when she had realized that her teacher had been talking about none other than the Greek Philosopher, Socrates. The way in which her teacher from Australia was pronouncing the name “Socrates” was entirely different from how she had heard it being pronounced in her school back home in Korea, and it took her weeks to realize this!!
2. We have a board that hangs on the door of our English Department that says: “ENGLISH DOES NOT BELONG TO ANYBODY- it is a medium of communication and it belongs to anyone who wishes to use it!”
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
I think most international schools call themselves “international” without any depth to the meaning of the term. I specifically say this in schools that call themselves “international” yet have a significant and sometimes 95% of staff from the western world. I truly question the notion of “internationalism” is such schools and would certainly not want to work in such a school as I am not convinced that the learning experiences there would be of ‘international’ dimensions. There is some very interesting literature published on this (see Canterford 2003). So the first think I would look for is how “international” is the school in terms of its multi-cultural population. On the same lines, I would also want the school to respect every nationality equally as I truly believe that unless there is strong “nationalism” in each one of us the “internationalism” we pose will be empty and shallow.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Culturally enriching, questioning true internationalism.
If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here. If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!
Want to work for an international school in the United Arab Emirates like Sudha? Currently, we have 29 international schools listed in Dubai on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
There are so many international schools in Dubai. Which ones are good places for international school teachers to work at? How does the parent community view the international schools there?
We stumbled upon a great resource at Move One. Their website has a wealth of information about the ins and outs of moving abroad to a variety of cities around the world. They have many videos explaining what the international school situation is like in cities like Prague, Kiev, Budapest, etc.
Check out their video about Dubai’s international schools.
Here is what Moveoneinc.com had to say in general about expats that are moving to Dubai and the current schooling situation:
“The city of Dubai is fully aware of the number of expats and their children that move there every year. As so many families have moved there a plethora of International Schools following different curriculum’s and teaching styles have opened to cater to all the different nationalities. There is so much choice in fact it can sometimes be difficult to decide which school your child or children should attend. to send your children to. The government tries to control this by ranking the schools in different categories giving parents some guidance. Many parents also choose to listen to other expats recommendations. All schools have beautiful top notch facilities and qualified staff – so no matter which school is chosen one can rest assured that a good education is being received.”
Their website has
Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have international school listed in the city of Dubai. The number of comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right the link to each school. Here are a just a few of them:
• Raffles International School (South) (9 Comments)
• Horizon School Dubai (16 Comments)
• Uptown Primary School (Mirdif) (10 Comments)
• Al Mizhar American Academy (10 Comments)
• Dubai International Academy (10 Comments)
• Universal American School in Dubai (9 Comments)
• Deira International School (9 Comments)
If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in Dubai, log-on today and submit your own comments and information. If you submit more than 30 comments and information, then you can get 1 year of premium access to International School Community for free!continue reading
v2012.04 – 7 April, 2012:
We hope everyone is enjoying their spring break. The range of different countries being visited during this time of traveling (with the international school teachers that the ISCommunity staff know) is quite intreguing and exciting: Bucharest, Tbilisi, Aruba, Madrid, Amersterdam, Bangkok, Colombo, Almaty, Tenerife, London, Dubai, etc.
In the international schools we have worked at though, it seems quite common that the more veteran teachers (ones that have been at the same international school for 20+ years) don’t seem to travel as much any more. Is that the future of international school teachers? Do you “lose interest” in traveling the longer you stay at an international school post?
It is true however that there are some good reasons for deciding not to travel during school breaks: saving money, spending time with family, going to a summer home, high airline ticket prices, etc.
Furthermore, if you travel “too much” sometimes people start seeing trips as being all the same, appearing a bit too similar. Not that the cities and countries are the same, but the experiences and actions are the same sometimes. For example: going into an old church, walking through a museum, shopping at the main market, checking into a hotel, going through security at an airport, going out to restaurants every night, not being able to communicate with the locals very well, getting a coffee at the Starbucks, etc.
Some times traveling naturally gets to this point. Not that you stay at this point and never go back, but it is possible that when you travel as much as international school teachers do, it is bound to happen at some point.
So if you did decide to travel this holiday, what goals did you have for this trip? (e.g. pleasure, adventure, beach, visit old friends, etc.)
With regards to our website, we have had another surge of new members on International School Community this past month taking us over the 400 mark. Now, ISCommunity members currently work at or have worked at over 141 different international schools in over 50 countries!
Furthermore, we have just reached the 4000 milestone for the number of submitted comments and information! More information and comments means our members being more informed about the world of international school teaching!
From the staff at International School Community.
· 04 Apr QSI International School of Tbilisi (8 new comments)
“There is a flea market that is open every day near the highway and river. There are many people selling antiques and also…”
· 03 Apr Kongsberg International School (7 new comments)
“There is a one hour commute from Oslo with direct train links to the city and to the main airport as well…”
· Teach Internationally – Opportunities the World Over for Qualified Teachers
“With over 6,000 international schools throughout the world, it’s a market much bigger than most people – even those within the education sector – realise…”
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #10 – Surround yourself with positive people. Do not allow negative comments and attitudes to darken your outlook.
“It is hard to stay positive, but when culture shock is at its worst, it is very easy to slip. Sure the other new teachers at your school (and the veteran ones) have a lot to say to you about the host country and culture, but…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #3: Africa
“With the Egyptian elections over, I predict a huge requirement for teachers in Egypt as the country pulls itself up by its bootstraps and with the help of international investment will try to change the face of the country…”
· Survey results are in: Which international school recruitment fair have you had the most success at?
“The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community have had the most success at the Search Associates international school teacher recruitment fairs…”
· International schools that were founded in 1970 (Salalah, Nairobi, Monterrey, San Josa and Brussels)
“Founded in 1970 in response to the need for a top quality co-educational school in Monterrey, Mexico, Colegio Ingles offers international students…”
· The number of children at international schools reaches 3 million!
“The latest figures published by ISC Research show that the number of children attending the world’s international schools has passed three million. This is phenomenal growth in…”
While living in foreign country you might periodically ask yourself: What is this thing?“You eyes search around for a purpose. I can‘t see what this is for?! You try and fiddle around with it. Try and turn it on! Is this right?”“I just found this on the bottom of one of my walls, very close to the floor, and just outside my bathroom. When I turn it on, the green light goes on but nothing happens. So, I guess I will just keep it off. Thank goodness for the internet. It turns out it is some sort of thermostat. I am still not for sure if I will use it though. For sure people don’t typically have these things on the walls (near the floor) in homes in the United States…”
We invite our readers and members to discuss their list of things that they haven’t done in a year (or more for that matter).
Highlighted blogs of international teachers:
This international school teacher’s blog is about teaching and living in Japan.
One of her blog entries (One Week After) is describing her experience when the big earthquake hit Japan last year:
“The students broke into groups in all 3 of our classrooms. I wandered around, listening to their conversations. The students were animated, hanging out with friends, sharing their passions and their proud moments from the week. And then 2:47. The classroom started shaking. I was standing near a group of girls who immediately got under a table. Usually, earthquakes stop within seconds, but this didn’t. It was rocking us like babies in a rocker, and it wasn’t stopping…”
Another one of her entries (Teaching and Discovery) is about how teachers feel when they first go back to school after the summer holidays:
“We’re back to school again, and it’s almost as if we never left. Great group of kids again. The students always amaze me with their energy and joie de vivre. It would be hard to go back to students who don’t find school so amusing…”