There are many international schools to work at in Seoul! How do these schools stand out from each other?
Seoul Foreign School (31 Total Comments and Information)
Nice to have full size flags of many of the students’ home countries represented in the common area. I wonder if they put up a flag to represent all the different cultures represented at their school (they do though appear to have an international day celebrating everyone’s culture; which most international schools do too). By the way, nice huge common area with very high ceilings! (not in the classrooms though in the building, they look really short.)
Well manicured lawns around the building.
Looks to be quite welcoming in the cozy hallways.
Great to hear many times in the video that their students are very hard working and self-motivated to do their best at school. I wonder how many “students of concern” there are though as I am sure not ALL the students are as motivated to learn as they have eluded in the video.
What a huge soccer pitch, indoor swimming pool and theater auditorium!
It looks like their Christian Ethos is a big part of their school’s curriculum and daily practice, but they still appear open to having students from different denominations.
Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 24 international schools listed in South Korea with 12 of them being in the city of Seoul. 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):
• Asia Pacific International School (13 Comments)
• Branksome Hall Asia (8 Comments)
• Dulwich College Seoul (11 Comments)
• Dwight International School Seoul (12 Comments)
• Korea International School (Seoul) (21 Comments)
• Korea Kent Foreign School (13 Comments)
• Saint Paul Preparatory School (Seoul) (10 Comments)
• Seoul International School (72 Comments)
If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in Seoul, log-on today and submit your own comments and information. For every 10 comments you submit, you will receive 1 month of premium access to International School Community for free!continue reading
Our mission for the International School Community website is to have the most updated information about what it is like to work at the numerous international schools around the world. One way to help us achieve that mission is to have Mayors.
Being a Mayor is super easy, and the best part is that you get unlimited free premium membership to our website!
• Submit at least 3-6 new comments on your school every 1-2 months (on the 66 different comment topics). It takes like 5-8 minutes of your time to do this. It will take a Mayor 2 years to submit one comment in all 66 comment topics.
• Make sure to check on your school’s Wall and occasionally post updates about their school (any big changes to the school that are happening, good tips to know about, recent events at the schools, etc.)
• Make sure that their school has the most updated and correct information (e.g. basic info, links, Facebook page, Youtube video, etc.) on the Overview and Social Media tabs.
• Submit job vacancies that are currently available at your school.
• Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 481 Comments
• NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 298 Comments
• Tarsus American College (Mersin, Turkey) – 222 Comments
• Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 155 Comments
• American School Foundation of Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico) – 129 Comments
• Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 180 Comments
• Yongsan International School of Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 140 Comments
• Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 387 Comments
• Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 172 Comments
• American International School Dhaka (Dhaka, Bangladesh) – 113 Comments
• International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 135 Comments
• Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 176 Comments
• Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 148 Comments
The more Mayors that we have on our website means the more our members will be informed; as there will be more up-to-date information on the schools they want to know about!
Become the Mayor of a school you work at (or have worked at) today!
* Please note that being the Mayor of a school is anonymous and that all comments and job vacancies submitted on our website are also done so anonymously. Posting on the school profile page wall though is not anonymous.continue reading
How many times have you applied to a school wishing that you knew somebody that worked there?
Knowing somebody and getting the ‘inside scoop’ on an international school could definitely help you in your quest to set up an interview there.
Currently, our top 40 international schools with the most members are (6 December 2020):
30 members – American International School in Egypt
24 members – Copenhagen International School
24 members – Western International School of Shanghai
22 members –International School of Kuala Lumpur
22 members – International School Manila
21 members – MEF International School Istanbul
19 members – International School of Tanganyika
19 members – Jakarta Intercultural School
19 members – Seoul Foreign School
19 members – Seoul International School
18 members – Fairview International School
18 members – Brent International School Manila
17 members – Graded School Sao Paulo
17 members – Shanghai United International School (Hongqiao)
16 members – American School Foundation of Mexico City
17 members – International School Bangkok
17 members – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana
17 members – Shanghai Community International School
16 members – American School of Barcelona
16 members – Good Shepherd International School
16 members – Cairo American College
16 members – American International School of Johannesburg
16 members – United Nations International School (Vietnam)
16 members – International School Dhaka
16 members – Qatar Academy (Doha)
15 members – Istanbul International Community School
15 members – Singapore American School
15 members – NIST International School
15 members – American International School Dhaka
15 members – Suzhou Singapore International School
15 members – American School of Dubai
14 members – International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP)
14 members – KIS International School (Bangkok)
14 members – Yokohama International School
14 members – Hong Kong International School
14 members – International School Panama
14 members – International School Beijing
14 members – Western Academy of Beijing
14 members – American International School (Vietnam)
14 members – Shanghai American School – Pudong
With 100-200 new members joining each month, this list will continue to grow and grow; with even more members showing up as potential people to network with.
It is simple to network on our website: just click on a member and then click on the ‘Contact this member’ button (premium member feature). Then write him/her a message. When your message is sent, the other member will get an email alert letting them know that they have a new message waiting for them on our website (so, hopefully he/she will get back to you in a timely manner!). Numerous International School Community members have already taken advantage of this unique feature on our website!
As far as we know, International School Community is the one of the only websites where you can quickly and easily network with real people at a specific international school. Meaning, if you want to get in touch with somebody from Suzhou Singapore International School in China and you are currently a premium member of International School Community, you now have 15 members that you can contact on our website that either work there now or have worked there in the past. Get the answers to your questions; now that is easy networking!continue reading
So interesting, our top 40 school profiles with the most views page.
It’s like, which school is the most popular amongst our 18K+ 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 British International School Moscow (42 total comments), which currently has around 70337 views. Who wouldn’t want to work in Easter Europe?!
Here are some of the other top schools on our list (along with a sample comment from its school profile page):
Copenhagen International School (375 total comments) Copenhagen, Denmark
“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…”
NIST International School (298 total comments) Bangkok, Thailand
“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
“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.”
KIS International School (Bangkok) (343 total comments) Bangkok, Thailand
“KIS has just gone through its five-year accreditation for both the CIS and the IB as well as the one from the Thai Ministry of Education. Obviously the full reports have yet to be made public but the feedback from the team leaders was certainly constructive and said that the school was certainly heading in the right direction.”
Seoul Foreign School (172 total comments) Seoul, South Korea
“I literally think these are the best students to have on the planet. I can’t think of a country where the student caliber is any higher. Wonderful and attentive students who perform well. Require work to get them to think outside of the box and problem solve.”
Hong Kong International School (148 total comments) Hong Kong, China
“The school is a very well established school and has been a part of Hong Kong for nearly 50 years.”
Western International School of Shanghai (476 total comments) Shanghai, China
“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!”
Singapore American School (292 total comments) Singapore, Singapore
“Short term disability benefit. Worldwide health insurance coverage.”
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (180 total comments) Shanghai, China
“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) (62 total comments) Cairo, 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…”
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (155 total comments) Hong Kong, China
“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.”
Green School Bali (137 total comments) Sibang, Indonesia
“A lot depends on where you’re living. If you’re in the Ubud area expect at least an hours commute to the airport. From Canggu, less time. Denpasar traffic, in fact traffic everywhere in the touristy parts of Bali is horrendous. Drivers charge varying amounts depending o…”
American School of Dubai (161 total comments) Dubai, UAE
“The area across the street from the school, Barsha Heights (previously known as Tecom) has a number of highrise buidlings and good number of restaurants and shops in the area. It’s a 10-15 minute walk from there for the teachers that live in that area. On the opposite side a…”
American School of Warsaw (155 total comments) Warsaw, Poland
“In connection to the school’s growing percentage of ELL students, every grade level in the elementary and middle schools now has a dedicated ELL coach/teacher/classroom aide.”
Check out the rest of the schools on our list here.continue reading
Now there are 2150+ international schools that have had comments/reviews submitted on them on our website (up almost 80 schools from one year ago)!
Once schools have over 70 submitted comments, then it is very likely that you will be able to see how a specific comment topic has changed (or not changed) over time; with all the comments being date stamped.
If there is more than one comment in a specific comment topic, the more recent comments either add on, compliment, or amend the previous comments.
Some of our schools that have many submitted comments will sometimes have over 15 comments in one comment topic!
Just click on the “Show all” link to see the complete history of comments in this comment topic.
So let’s get to it, which schools are in the top 26? This list comes from May 2020 with a sample comment for each school.
Here we go:
26. Hong Kong International School
(Hong Kong, China) – 148 Comments
“There is a clear and structured pay scale. You enter it according to experience and qualifications, up to a maximum experience level. Within the school you receive an annual ‘step’ for every year of experience, plus there are usually small inflationary raises to the salary scale. Additionally stipends are paid for team leader responsibility. There are resigning bonuses after four years of employment…”
25. American International School (Vietnam)
(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) – 153 Comments
“Now, it is extensive as it has not been done at all. Atlas Rubicon full steam ahead…”
24. Canadian International School (Hong Kong)
(Hong Kong, China) – 155 Comments
“CDNIS is an IB World School, implementing PYP, MYP, and DP. In a recent report by the IB governing body, CDNIS must make major administrative and governing reforms in the next year…”
23. American School of Warsaw
(Warsaw, Poland) – 155 Comments
“Since housing isn’t provided by the school, you get a lot of leeway in terms of what kind of accommodations you choose and whether you keep within your housing allowance or “top up” for a bigger/nicer/better place. As such, how well-appointed your apartment or hou…“
22. Colegio Gran Bretana
(Bogota, Colombia) – 156 Comments
“Many goods on display, if not found in supermarket, can be ordered online…”
21. Tarsus American College
(Mersin, Turkey) – 157 Comments
“Down to two weeks of holiday in January. No other breaks and we’ve been told that in addition to losing our fall and spring breaks for intensive staff-development other PD will be held on weekends…”
20. Tsinghua International School (Beijing)
(Beijing, China) – 158 Comments
“There is a new airport going in south of Beijing to relieve the traffic at the main airport…”
19. American School of Dubai
(Dubai, UAE) – 161 Comments
“Lately a number of teachers are heading to places like Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. They report great experiences! Oman remains the number one travel option, however, as it is right next door (door to door to Muscat is around the five hour mark) and has lots of great outdoor…”
18. MEF International School Istanbul
(Istanbul, Turkey) – 162 Comments
“Teacher turnover is high. Everything from 1st year teachers, teachers new to being over seas, to very experienced international educators. Living in Istanbul is a big draw…”
17. Pechersk School International
(Kyiv, Ukraine) – 162 Comments
“Apartments are furnished by landlords so it can vary – but generally pretty basic. School gave me a metro card and a SIM card and phone til I sorted out my own…”
16. International School of Tanganyika
(Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) – 171 Comments
“The IT infrastructure has improved significantly, but is still not without its challenges. Internet speed is reasonably fast, much much better than it used to be. All teachers are provided with a Macbook. At secondary there are 4 computer labs. The science department has 25 m…”
15. Seoul Foreign School
(Seoul, South Korea) – 172 Comments
“Tutoring through the school is available if it is not your student. The school takes a portion leaving you with about $20 for 30 minutes of tutoring. Coaching stipends from $350-900 and lifeguarding at the school pool can bring in 25-45 dollars an hour.”
14. Cairo American College
(Cairo, Egypt) – 174 Comments
“The subway costs 2 Egyptian pounds per ride. Taxis vary, since you might have to haggle. Many people at the school use a regular driver. The one I use charges less than 200 Egyptian pounds for a trip to the airport, which is about an hour away…”
13. American School of Barcelona
(Barcelona, Spain) – 175 Comments
“The turn over rate is getting a bit higher because the cost of living in Spain is getting higher and higher and salaries are staying the same. Economically it is difficult in Spain right now. That being said Barcelona is a fantastic city to live in and no one wants to leave…”
12. Concordia International School (Shanghai)
(Shanghai, China) – 180 Comments
“The ‘common language spoken in the hallways’ depends on the grade level. Students who are only 3 or 4 might not have a lot of English. As the students get older, they are quite skilled in English…”
11. International School of Dakar
(Dakar, Senegal) – 181 Comments
“Very low turnover this year but we had a large turnover the previous year. Teachers tend to stay 3-4 years but some have stayed much longer…”
10. Oeiras International School
(Lisbon, Portugal) – 183 Comments
“Back in the re-accreditation mode again with the self study this year. The visit will be a joint visit next year with IB, ECIS and NEASC…”
9. Lahore American School
(Lahore, Pakistan) – 193 Comments
“1/2 of the teachers are from North America and 1/2 from Pakistan, a few from UK…”
8. Ghandi Memorial International School
(Jakarta, Indonesia) – 203 Comments
“Bahasa Indonesia is the official language, with English spoken in major cities and tourist areas…”
7. Stamford American International School
(Singapore, Singapore) – 237 Comments
“The school is the north-east corner of Singapore with very easy access to the city center. Staff can choose their own accommodation location based on their financial and lifestyle preferences. Most teachers live 2-3 MRT (underground) stations away. Public transport is excellent…”
6. Singapore American School
(Singapore) – 278 Comments
“Transport options are good. The taxi queue right outside of arrivals can be long at times, but the system works well to get people moving as fast as possible…”
5. NIST International School
(Bangkok, Thailand) – 298 Comments
“With the start of construction on the street the school is located on, the entire schedule has shifted to a later start. Elementary students begin at 8:00 and secondary students at 8:30. So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive…”
4. KIS International School
(Bangkok, Thailand) – 326 Comments
“Using a mobile is now so cheap that many teachers do not have a landline. The Satellite TV provider is dreadful, neither their offerings nor their boxes have changed in 20 years. If you want to watch sport most teachers just go to the pub…”
3. Copenhagen International School
(Copenhagen, Denmark) – 375 Comments
“You can get travellers and accident insurance from your bank here, like at Nordea. It is really cheap and it gives you health insurance coverage anywhere in the world! It is important to know about this option because now the Danish CPR health social health care card doesn’t…”
2. Good Shephard International School
(Ooty, India) – 409 Comments
“Presently they are having their Trinity College London Music Examinations. This is an option but they try to maintain high grades although most students only take Initial to Grade 1 due to restrictions of the admin to practice music…”
1. Western International School of Shanghai
(Shanghai, China) – 466 Comments
“Airport is okay. It’s clean and easy to navigate. Immigration can take a long time to get through at peek times during the year but it’s okay. They have water fountains, which as a frequent traveller I really appreciate…”
You can see rest of the Top 40 school profile pages with the most comments here on our website.
Keep the schools that you work at now (or have worked at in the past) updated with new comments. Want to share what you know and get unlimited free premium access to our website? Become a Mayor today!continue reading
As all International School Community members know, each of the 2147+ 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.
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 on 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 16907 (out of a total of 36283+ 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. (1594 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
• What types of accreditation does this school have? When is the accreditation up for renewal? Any religious affiliations? (1193 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) – 48 Comments
• Recent things that the school has taken on (i.e. new curriculum, specific professional development, etc.). (781 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
• 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? (1543 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
• 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? (1462 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
• Are the expectations high of teaching staff? Are there extra curricular responsibilities? Describe workload details. (828 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
• Average class size for primary and secondary. Describe any aide support. (848 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Class sizes are very small. In 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
• Describe language abilities of students at this school and what is the “common language spoken in the hallways”? Is there one dominate culture group? (1229 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
• Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate. (1268 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
• What types of budgets to classroom teachers/departments get? (518 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
• PARENTS ONLY – General comments from parents of students that go to this school (181 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
• What types of sports programs and activities does the school offer? (701 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
• Name some special things about this school that makes it unique. (689 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) – 183 Comments
• In general, describe the demeanor of the students. (617 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
• Has the school met your expectations once you started working there? (342 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) – 70 Comments
• What does the school do to create a harmonious state of well-being and high morale amongst its staff? (400 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
• Describe the technologies available at the school and how people are/are not using them. (485 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) – 158 Comments
• Details about the current teacher appraisal process. (306 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
• Is the student population declining, staying the same or increasing? Give details why. (460 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
• How have certain things improved since you started working there? (242 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) – 30 Comments
• How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country? (178 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) – 375 Comments
• What controversies have been happening lately? Please be objective. (306 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) – 24 Comments
• What insider information would you give to a teacher considering working at this school? (456 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
• How much curriculum development work are you expected to do? (Atlas Rubicon, etc.) (280 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 Commentscontinue reading
Are you inspired to start-up a blog about your adventures living abroad and working at an international school?
Our 48th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Expat Heather: Teacher, Traveler, Writer“ Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who works in South Korea:
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“Many schools prefer to hire through placement companies such as International Schools Services (ISS) or Search Associates. These companies provide a database of both schools and potential candidate, and they also arrange hiring fairs around the world. You will need to pay a fee when you apply, and be sure to apply only if you meet the company’s requirements. Once accepted, you will have access to information about international schools, the salary packages they offer, and current vacancies…”
It is true. Many of the top tier schools still register with and search for quality candidates using the few recruitment agencies out there. The best part for the candidate is the access to the job vacancies that they post in their database. Though often the vacancies posted there can quickly become outdated, unfortunately!
Related to recruitment fairs, check out our blog on this topic called: International School Recruitment Season: Recruitment Fair or Skype?
Times are changing for international schools teachers. Even though it is sometimes good to be registered with a recruitment agency, it is not necessary any more to attend one of their fairs.T
“My classroom is sweet. There is a built-in projector that I use almost everyday – it saves a TON of writing and rewriting on the board. All the desks and chairs are pretty new and there are big windows that let in a good amount of light when it’s not cloudy. Thankfully, the English Department is on the second floor…”
There is a comment topic on our website called: “Describe the technologies available at the school and how people are/are not using them.’ There are 435 total comments that have been submitted in this comment topic on 100s of schools.
Here is an example comment that was submitted about Seoul Foreign School: “Macbooks; 1:1 for grade 4 and above. combination of macbooks and iPads in lower grades. Apple TVs in all rooms. Google Classroom and Seesaw used for student portfolios and assignments. There are 3 digital learning coaches that are employed to support tech integration but the system for this support is patchy and could be improved.”
“There are scores of schools that are international in name, but what teachers often call a “true international school” is a school that enrolls students from a variety of countries. These schools tend to be located in major cities, diplomatic capitals and international financial centers. Students include ambassadors’ kids, expat kids, teachers’ kids and local children whose parents can foot the bill.
Other schools may be internationally accredited but enroll primarily local students. Teachers refer to this type of school as a “national” school, although both types hire foreign teachers. Some national schools hire only foreign-qualified staff; others hire most teachers locally but employ foreigners for certain subjects like English. The ratio of foreign to local faculty at schools can vary widely even within the same country or city.
Many dubious schools, who claim to be “international,” will also have neither an international student population nor any type of international accreditation. Be wary of these ones…”
There is a comment topic related to technology on our website 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?” There are 1152 total comments that have been submitted in this comment topic on 100s of schools.
Here is an example comment that was submitted about Tarsus American College: “Turkish is the common language. The school’s goals speak about bilingualism, however, students speak Turkish, during your English instructed lessons and in the corridors. Teachers who are “supposed to be” bilingual converse with students in Turkish, so the only time students use English is when speaking with an expat. Notices mounted in Turkish, emails sent in Turkish. Weekly assemblies are in Turkish, as an expat one has to turn to a Turkish colleague or student and ask for a translation and many times announcements made in the assembly have an impact on the teaching staff.”
Want to work for an international school in South Korea like this blogger? Currently, we have 130 international school teachers that have listed that they currently live in this country. Check them out here. We also have six members that is from this country.
International School Community is full of tens of thousands of useful, informative comments…31058 comments (17 March 2019) to be exact.
Members are recommended to keep their comments objective on our website and share what they know about what it is like working at a specific international school.
We scoured our database of comments, and we found 12 that stood out to us as being some of the most interesting and useful ones related to the “awesome” parts of working at international schools from across the globe.
12. PARENTS ONLY – General comments from parents of students that go to this school. How was your child’s education and socialisation at the school?
“The preschool is fantastic. Teachers and assistants were excellent and our child learned a huge amount! One memorable field trip was to the local international airport where students visited the traffic control tower and got to role play…pretty awesome.” – MC School (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 49 Comments
11. Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus.
“The new Middle School is up and running! It’s pretty awesome. Lots of open spaces, a rooftop terrace, an auditorium, big classrooms with whiteboard walls that you can write all over. Amphitheater is also very nice, great during the spring and fall for reading outside.” – American School of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) – 165 Comments
10. What does the school do to create a harmonious state of well-being and high morale amongst its staff?
“We just had three weeks of mindfulness, with lots of different classes offered, including free massage at school. It was awesome! School year begins with a Karaoke night, where everyone joins in, local expat, support staff, everyone, it is fun. There are staff spirit days, we just had an amazing Christmas party and THEN a Christmas lunch. There is a system for nominating who did a great job and the names are put into the hats for prizes. At the end of this term we all received a blue tooth travel speaker and a portable drink cup, everyone not just teachers, I like that. Plus everyone is just nice to each other at work, its is happy place” – KIS International School (Bangkok) (Bangkok, Thailand) – 296 Comments
9. Name your favorite restaurants, favorite places to go to and favorite things to do in the city.
“If you want to have some tasty dumplings, I suggest to go to Chao Chao Sanjo Kiyamachi. It is a small restaurant and full of tourists, but still the food is fast and good. There are so many temples/shrines to see here. Many of them are going up the nearby mountain side. There is such beautiful nature there with amazing trees everywhere. In the spring, it is awesome and in the fall it can be very gorgeous.” – Kyoto International School (Kyoto, Japan) – 55 Comments
8.Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year.
“It is the beginning of June at the moment and the weather can’t be any better. It is sunny and warm basically every day. It is awesome. You can go out and enjoy the outdoor areas of the city. The high is in the upper 20s during the day with minimal breeze in the air. You can definitely walk around in sandals and shorts/t-shirt. Though once the sun finally goes down (like around 10pm), then it is good to have a light jacket to wear or a long sleeved shirt if you are walking around the city.” – International School of the Gothenburg Region (Gothenburg, Sweden) – 6 Comments
7. In general, why are people staying at or leaving this school?
“Staying because some people find an awesome niche in Berlin’s counterculture, or because they’ve had kids here and they’ve set up a nice suburban life near school. Leaving because some departments have disorganized, antiquated approaches, or because the school can ask for too much at times (learning to set limits is important as an employee here.)” – Berlin Brandenburg International School (Berlin, Germany) – 80 Comments
6. Describe the technologies available at the school and how people are/are not using them.
“Each classroom in grades 4-5 has their own classroom set of ipads and own classroom set of Chromebooks. It is awesome!” – Anglo American School of Sofia (Sofia, Bulgaria) – 49 Comments
5. Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus.
“We have moved into our new building/campus. It is truly unbelievable. It is so huge! It can take like 20 minutes or more to walk from one tower to the other tower at the other end of the building. Being on the water is so beautiful. The sunrises and sunsets are just so awesome. With the big windows in every room, there is always a good view to look at. The kids are getting distracted by the huge ships docking and going past, so we’ll see how that continues or stops in the near future.” – Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 345 Comments
4. 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?
“The school has an awesome location in Seoul — 20 minutes from downtown, but there is tons to do in our own neighborhood too. Most teachers live in on-campus housing which is maintained by the school and quite nice. Walking to school from on campus housing takes about 5 minutes or less depending on which building you live in. One of the largest faculty housing units had to be demolished for the construction of the new high school (scheduled to be completed in 2018). Those faculty members have been displaced to the nearby Grand Hilton. The apartment units over there are quite nice and the school runs two shuttles from the hotel to school in the morning and in the afternoon (at different times). The hotel is about a 20-30 minute walk from school and a 5 -10 minute taxi ride. Many teachers also ride bikes or scooters from Hilton to school.” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 147 Comments
3. Name your favorite restaurants, favorite places to go to and favorite things to do in the city.
“I haven’t been to many restaurants, but I like Rolly’s stake house. The atmosphere is awesome, food is great (they also have salads if you are vegetarian, but meet is main meal there 🙂 Also there is a really nice restaurant on Uetliberg, with the great city view, that is one of my favorite spots in Zurich. Also ride on the lake is really beautiful.” – Inter-community School Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland) – 69 Comments
2. Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus.
“The school building location is awesome. The surrounding area is amidst a row of other like buildings, some residential and some other businesses. The whole area is quite nicely manicured in terms of gardens and the upkeep on the other buildings. It doesn’t necessarily look like an entrance to a school (the door to ICS), and there is just a small sign on the door letting people know.” – International Community School London (London, England) – 49 Comments
1. How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country?
“The teachers at the American School of Asuncion are great and work really hard. In general, it appears that the foreign staff work harder and put in longer hours than local teachers, but this is one perception. There are lots of extracurricular activities offered after school for students: chess, sports, photography, newspaper, student council, etc. In the elementary, the workload is awesome! Primary teachers only have about 4 hours of contact teaching time with the students each day. The rest of the time for students is spent in Specials and Spanish class. Middle and high school also have apple time to plan lessons and take a break between classes.” – American School of Asuncion (Asuncion, Paraguay) – 145 Comments
If you have an interesting and useful comment to add related to the awesome parts at your school 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!continue reading
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 at which they have never been. So let’s share what we know!
One of our members, who works at the Cheongna Dalton School (Incheon, South Korea), described the way he gets to work as follows:
I’m originally from Montana (in the US), which is a place known for its wide open space. I grew up driving very long distances at very high speeds in order to get places. I grew up commuting; it was simply a part of my life.
At my previous job in Korea, I had a 20-30 minute commute to work every morning. Because of my past, I didn’t find it to be that difficult to ride the school bus for that long. In the evening, the bus ride would be quite a bit longer due to traffic. I didn’t take that ride as much, but I dealt with it when I did.
Other teachers I have know have told me that living on a school campus is terrible. I never really gave it much thought until I came to Cheongna Dalton School, where I live on campus… And I absolutely love it!
It makes my life so easy. My commute is a two-minute walk from one building to another. That walk way in the photo (top of this article) — that’s it!
It takes two minutes. Yes, I’ve timed it.
The school itself is good and the kids are totally amazing. My job is the Director of EdTech and I am a department of one covering the entire school, Pre-K to G12. With 450 students and 60 teachers to serve, I keep busy, but I love the job.
This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author, Tim Bray.
What to know more what it is like to visit and live in South Korea? Out of a total of 31 international schools we have listed in South Korea, 28 have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:
Big Heart Christian School (48 comments)
Chadwick International School – Songdo (78 Comments)
Cheongna Dalton School (60 Comments)
Dwight School Seoul (35 Comments)
Global Prodigy Academy (48 Comments)
Gyeonggi Suwon International School (47 Comments)
International School of Koje (47 Comments)
Korea International School (Seoul) (52 Comments)
Seoul Foreign School (147 Comments)
Seoul International School (86 Comments)
Singapore American School (104 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.continue reading
Every school year, a school always goes through some new changes or simply experiences new things that the staff is now required to do or complete. The changes could be related to the school’s curriculum, to some new professional development based on new initiatives, new building procedures (like fire drills), new mandatory training (like child protection), etc.
For many things (like ones actually dictated by the host country), they are mandatory and the admin simply just needs to fit those required things into their yearly meeting schedule. Combine those required things with the other things and initiatives that a school wants to do, it can make for a sometimes stressful school year for the staff (and admin!). Furthermore, balancing these new things with your normal planning work and actually teaching students can prove to be very challenging.
So what are some of these new initiatives that international schools are focusing on in recent years?
A number of international schools are having their staff work with the Managebac program. There are 57+ comments related to Managebac on our website.
It’s also fairly certain that your school is now or will very soon be going through an accreditation. ISC has 347+ total comments related to school accreditation on 247 international schools at the moment.
With regards to curriculum, it appears that a number of schools are doing training with the Common Core curriculum. There are 24 comments that are about the different schools taking on this in recent years.
And the list goes on…
What is a possible plan then for balancing all of these newly added things so that staff and admin don’t get too overwhelmed? As one ISC member wrote about working at United Nations International School (Vietnam), “the [needs to be a] conscious adoption of a “less is more” ethos.”
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this topic of new things added at a school. Our members can share what current international schools are doing in this topic. There are a total of 567 comments (Sept. 2018) that have been submitted by our veteran international school teachers in one of the 65 comment topics called – “Recent things that the school has taken on (i.e. new curriculum, specific professional development, etc.).”
Here are a few of those submitted comments:
“The use of Kagan cooperative structures is the focus for this year. The entire faculty had 2 days of training before the commencement of the school year with another session upcoming later in the year. The goal being student engagement. Most of the faculty have been receptive and are already using the structures in their classrooms…” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 147 Total Comments
“The school just finished a multi-year curriculum initiative designed to put the entire Pre-K through 12th grade curriculum documents onto Rubicon Atlas. The school seems to focus most on literacy in the Lower School, innovation and design in the Middle School, and IB/AP in the Upper School. School-wide, there is a focus on Differentiated Instruction, but this takes different forms in different divisions. There is a new Head of School coming in for the 2018-2019 school year…” – American School of Paris (Paris, France) – 47 Comments
“The administration said they care more about kids learning English and Maths rather than any other subjects. What makes the school unique, seems independent of what they are pursuing; bring more local students no matter what their academic level is…” – Changchun American International School (Changchun, China) – 122 Total Comments
“Professional development this year has included IBDP two-day Category 3 in-school workshops on the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. All staff also completed a Stewards of Children online course and a one-day first aid and CPR course…” – Tsukuba International School (Tsukuba, Japan) – 25 Comments
“The school has offered, over the past two years, very little in terms of professional development. There has been talk of a curriculum change to the Cambridge Primary Curriculum for September 2018…” – Cambridge School Doha (Doha, Qatar) – 57 Comments
“The school is just setting up a Professional Learning Centre to improve instruction and practice at the school first. The school has designated professional learning time on Friday afternoons and encourages professional development…” – YK Pao School (Shanghai, China) – 38 Commentscontinue reading
International School Community is full of tens of thousands of useful, informative comments…22211 comments (12 Sept. 2017) to be exact.
Members are recommended to keep their comments objective on our website and share what they know about what it is like working at a specific international school.
We scoured our database of comments, and we found 12 that stood out to us as being some of the most interesting and useful ones related to the “excellent” parts of working at international schools from across the globe.
12. Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals.
“Currently, insurance is through Scholars International. Coverage for medical care in the United States is something like 70% (not great) but outside of the US, coverage is great. Local hospitals are excellent and many teachers have surgeries, medical treatments (including cancer treatments), ect here in Korea. Our school is close to an amazing International Hospital, Severance Hospital at Yonsei University. Many other hospitals in the area are also well-known and provide excellent care!” – Seoul Foreign School (South Korea, Seoul) – 133 Comments
11. Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus.
“Keystone was built in 2013/14 as a purpose-built school. It looks like a New England or UK boarding school. It’s facilities are excellent. There is a fabulous performing arts centre, lots of meeting areas and tons of classrooms. The sports facilities are also top-notch. The grounds are well-kept. The staff apartments are spacious and well-appointed. There are separate primary and middle/high school buildings as well as the sports hall, residences and the performing arts centre. The management is also upgrading and maintaining facilities as needed. The surrounding area is very suburban. This is not downtown Beijing. There are grocery stores close by as well as a couple of small shopping malls. There are stores catering to expats nearby too.” – Keystone Academy (China, Beijing) – 54 Comments
10. Name some special things about this school that makes it unique.
“Since 2010 there have been 2 Head Teachers, 2 Primary Heads and 2 Deputy Heads due to overarching management cost cutting and general incompetencies. As well as massive staff turnovers. People see out their contracts and don’t renew because money, housing and work life balance are better at other schools. However that being said, the teachers at the school both primary and secondary are excellent teachers. Very social, helpful and happy. They bind together and get along well. The teachers that have left have gone into fantastic things, probably because of the chaos that comes from management, has built these people to make it in the real world. Lasting friendships between the teachers and everyone looks after everyone. I did enjoy the comradary here.” – Jumeira Baccalaureate School (United Arab Emirates, Dubai) – 104 Comments
9. How have certain things improved since you started working there?
“The Academic Registrar for the past two years has done much to review, simplify and streamline processes. She has also maintained – latterly when support has been lacking – almost single-handedly excellent relations with staff, parents, students and the expatriate community when helping to market the school.” – The International School of Sanya (China, Sanya) – 29 Comments
8.Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus..
“The school has a wonderful multistory building with fully equipped Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science laboratories. There is a gymnasium and multi cuisine food court as well. The auditorium of the school is excellent with a seating capacity of around 800.” – Gandhi Memorial International School (Indonesia, Jakarta) – 6 Comments
7. What types of sports programs and activities does the school offer?
“Football is the main sport and both boys and girls are involved in football. Also basketball is popular, The school has excellent facilities.” – Colegio Los Nogales Bogota (Colombia, Bogota) – 33 Comments
6. In general, describe the demeanor of the students.
“Generally, excellent. 2013’s comment still stands; Wells is fortunate to have students from not the “richest” families of Bangkok, so a degree of humbleness still exists in most.” – Wells International School (Thailand) (Thailand, Bangkok) – 55 Comments
5. Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals.
“Health insurance provided. Taiwan has excellent and affordable national health insurance.” – Ivy Collegiate Academy (Taiwan, Taichung City) – 41 Comments
4. What insider information would you give to a teacher considering working at this school?
“This is a good place to be in. The working atmosphere is excellent and as teachers we can do and suggest many things in order to help with the school’s normal development. We have reached to a point were we are stable in terms of foreign staff and locals do everything they can to help foreign teachers to feel as comfortable as possible.” – Changchun American International School (China, Changchun) – 71 Comments
3. Describe proximity of major airport hubs to the city center and give sample taxi, train, subway and/or bus fares to get there.
“Hong Kong has excellent public transport. You can check in at IFC in Central or Kowloon half a day before the flight and then take your time shopping, eating, or sightseeing. The express train to the airport is quick, comfortable, and inexpensive. There are numerous buses and the MTR. As well, taxis are readily available, as are hire cars.” – Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (China, Hong Kong) – 111 Comments
2. Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate.
“More local teachers than expat. There are approximately 15-20 American teachers working at the school. Local teachers speak excellent English and are great colleagues.” – American School of Belo Horizonte (Brazil, Belo Horizonte) – 46 Comments
1. How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country?
“Compared to teaching in the UK this is a dream, as long as you are prepared for the culture shock of living in a small village of thirteen million. Small classes, good behaviour and a genuine interest in study, excellent resources, great quality of life. Admin is less than in the UK although it is creeping up. Some of it good, some of it of limited value (just like the UK). I enjoy my teaching and the travel opportunities this place offers.” – Wellington College International Tianjin (China, Tianjin) – 54 Comments
If you have an interesting and useful comment to add related to the excellent parts at your school 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!continue reading
All international schools have something good about them. Some might say there are wonderful things that each international school has about them.
It’s a fact: schools are for kids. Schools put teachers in them that enjoy working with those kids. Because of that fact, of course there are going to be things that the school can enjoy and celebrate; mostly because you can safely assume the teachers are doing their best to provide a wonderful educational environment for the kids.
But all too often, many teachers, administration, parents, etc. get sidetracked and those wonderful things get a bit clouded and invisible to them. There are many, many factors that affect these stakeholders which help them get sidetracked: poorly planned or too many meetings, upset parents, anything to do with money (PD money, classroom budget, etc.), areas of the school campus that need improvement, missing or not fully functioning technology, etc.
Getting into the trap of just focusing on these negative things (some that are out of your control anyway), might make you forget all the wonderful things that you could be celebrating instead, or even creating new wonderful things to celebrate for that matter.
After searching the keyword “wonderful” on our Comment Search page, we found 45 comments about 34 international schools that one or more of our members thought was wonderful! Here are just a few of them:
“The school has a wonderful multistory building with fully equipped Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science laboratories. There is a gymnasium and multi cuisine food court as well. The auditorium of the school is excellent with a seating capacity of around 800.” – Gandhi Memorial International School (Jakarta, Indonesia) – 6 Comments
“Most (but not all) teachers who come to the school have little or no IB experience so this is very much where they have a chance to ‘cut their teeth’ in the IB programmes. Most leave at the end of three years as they receive a wonderful bonus package and with three years IB experience they are able to command far greater salary packages from bigger schools.” – Zhuhai International School (Zhuhai, China) – 65 Comments
“Extra-curricular opportunities abound. There are traditional activities like football (soccer), Frisbee, swimming, volleyball, and a school musical. Activities that support our mission and vision are popular: theme weeks (regions of the world, Women’s week, LGBT week), conflict transformation seminars, service projects. But students and staff also propose activities of interest to them. In the past year, we have offered a meditation group, Russian, photography, Feria Verde, and a host of others I can’t keep track of. These offer a very wonderful opportunity to be with the students.” – United World College of Costa Rica (San Jose, Costa Rica) – 18 Comments
“The students are wonderful to work with. They are respectful, kind, hard-working, and smart.” – Yangon International School (Yangon, Myanmar) – 50 Comments
“I literally think these are the best students to have on the planet. I can’t think of a country where the student caliber is any higher. wonderful and attentive students who perform well. Require work to get them to think outside of the box and problem solve.” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 106 Comments
What is wonderful about your international school? Login to our website and share what you know!continue reading
It’s never to early to think about your retirement plan. As many of you know, we have a wealth of information on the International School Community website. There are now over 17500 reviews and comments submitted on over 900+ international school across the globe. We’re certain to reach 20000 by the end of this year! A number of schools have reached the 100 comments milestone (with a few even going over 200 comments!). Check out this blog article regarding the most-commented schools on our website from July 2016.
A number of our members are curious about their future, especially if their future is to become a “seasoned international school teacher“. Part of our future is planning for retirement. Many of us have unfortunately stopped contributing to the retirement plans we were paying into before we moved abroad.
In turn, we now are hoping that international schools will help us do the saving. But not all international schools are a great help in this area; the truth is that some have non-existent retirement plan options for their teachers.
There are a few though that are leading the way in terms of helping you save something for when retire. Using our unique Comment Search feature (premium membership access only), we found 203 comments that have the keyword “retirement”. After scouring through these comments, we would like to share nine of them that highlight some schools that appear to have some excellent retirement benefits.
1. Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea)
“SFS is a treasure amongst international schools. It is not spoken of as much as other “top” Asian international schools–this is what keeps it special. This school has allowed me to grow professionally and in my faith, has set me up with a hefty retirement for my future and plush savings for the present. The amount of on site training, college certificates, and international conferences I have been allotted to participate in haa been fully funded by the school. The package retains teachers and the demand of hard work keeps the professional teachers here for the long haul. It is a living, learning, and growing community with lots of busyness and potential to never become stagnate.”
2. American School Foundation of Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico)
“There are 2 things:
1. Mexico has a “social security” plan and you pay into that so you pay in for your years, leave, and you can come back when you are 65 to collect.
2. The school has a 13% matching program that you can collect 1 or 2 times a year based on your choosing. This is the retirement plan but it is up to you to do move the money somewhere.”
3. International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
“We get paid monthly but receive July’s salary in June also. Salary is paid in RM with up to 40% at a fixed USD rate. Tax is around 21-23 % depending on salary. Average for 8 yrs experience (max entry point) and an advanced degree would be appx 5000 USD after tax and deductions (this includes travel and housing allowance) Additionally 11% is previously deducted for retirement fund with an extra 17% added by the employer. On same criteria this would be 1500 USD per month into a retirement plan.”
4. American School in Japan (Tokyo, Japan)
“The school provides a retirement plan and contributes 5.27% of base salary in each of the first two years, 11.57% in year three, and increasing each year up to a maximum of 16.82%. The school does not participate in US or Japanese social security. The retirement age at ASIJ is 65 years old.”
5. Escola Americana do Campinas (Campinas, Brazil)
“Retirement plan is 8% school contribution a month. School pays 8% of salary to local savings plan for employee.”
6. United Nations International School (Vietnam) (Hanoi, Vietnam)
“In lieu of a school-established retirement plan, the school currently reserves an annual salary supplement of fifteen percent (15%) of the annual base salary and disburses the total amount of this annual salary supplement to the expatriate professional staff member upon termination of employment with UNIS. Alternatively, this supplement may be paid to the employee on an annual basis.”
7. Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong)
“With a reasonable mix of some travel and eating out it is possible for a single teacher to comfortably save anywhere from 8,000-12,000 US$ per year not including the 10% +10% of base salary matching retirement plan.”
8. American School of the Hague (The Hague, The Netherlands)
“The school offers a retirement plan which is open to all employees on a voluntary basis. ASH offers two different plans: Nationale Nederlanden (pre-tax) and ECIS. ASH contributes 8% of the pensionable salary to the plan. Participation in the ECIS scheme on a pre-tax basis is only possible if one has vested and contributed regularly at another school before coming to the Netherlands. The teacher may make additional pre-tax pension contributions based on his/her age, ranging between 0.2% and 26% of the pensionable salary for employees. The pensionable salary is the gross annual salary minus about â‚¬ 12,500 (on a full-time basis).”
9. Seoul International School (Seoul, South Korea)
“I have 14 years experience and my Masters. I earn about $1,500 per month in Won (about $400 of that is taken out of my paycheck for a retirement plan which is matched by school which I have access to at the end of the school year), and then another $2,000 in US dollars which is sent to my US account every month. I pay no taxes. The school takes care of it. I am paid 12 times a year although we get the summer pay all at once, in May.”
Of course there are many more schools that have attractive retirement plans for their teachers, but the nine schools we’ve highlighted here sure do seem nice! It all depends on what stage you are at in your career and how old you are, regarding how attractive a retirement plan would be to you. But we suppose that any retirement plan option is better then none at all!
Please share what you know about the retirement plans of the international schools you’ve worked at. Login to our website today and submit some comments here!continue reading
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
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.
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!
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 Commentscontinue reading
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 40th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Farleys Far Away” Check out the blog entries of these international school educators who work at Korea International School (Seoul) in South Korea.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“A very, very long time ago, Jim decided to teach in Taipei, Taiwan. He lived there for 2 years and met me when he got back. That was 12 long awesome years ago. This entire time he’s told me how he would like to move back to East Asia. For 11 years I said, “No. Way. Jose.
Then, at the beginning of this school year, there were rumblings of change at my school. Our state assessment scores left something to be desired (something being, native English speakers from the middle or upper class) and there are a couple of ways the district “fixes” this problem. One of those ways is by letting all the teachers go. If you have tenure, like me, they’ll place you for one year, then after that year, you’re on your own. It’s pretty bleak and I was sad to leave a staff of extremely talented, caring teachers, but what can you do? I know what you can do-you can leave the country!
We signed up for the Overseas Recruitment Fair at the University of Northern Iowa. That was an intense weekend. On the flight to Cedar Rapids we were sitting next to the middle school principal at Korea International School. Korea hadn’t really been on the radar, but after a brief interview on Sunday, and then several Skype interviews, and a little bit of research into life in Korea we were on our way.
That’s how it happened. 11 years of convincing and one quick weekend of deciding…”
Many times you need to wait until the right moment in time to start your career in international school teaching. Some teachers wait one year while others wait 12!
Want to learn more about what it is like to go to an international school recruitment fair? Check out our popular blog category called “9 Lessons Learned Regarding International School Hiring Fairs.”
“Let me start by saying, everyone is fine. But we’re experiencing the health care system here in Korea. On Sunday, about 15 minutes before Jim left for his trip to Singapore, I had him check out August’s *ahem* you know. Well, things weren’t looking so good down there (it turns out August has a hernia). I called the director of KIS‘ wife, who is a nurse. She was very reassuring over the phone, so I allowed Jim to go to Singapore.
My boss recommended I get him checked out at the Baylor Clinic in Jeongja, which is very close to us. We found the building with no problem and made it to the clinic-on the 2nd floor. There are 2 floors to the clinic. Both say “Baylor Clinic” in English, but the rest is in Korean. The 2nd floor clinic had people in the waiting room, but no receptionist. We sat and as I looked around, I saw at least 2 signs that said “Audiology” so we decided to go to the 3rd floor clinic.
When we got there, I called Raina, our bilingual school nurse, and had her talk to the receptionist. It turns out the Baylor Clinic is an ENT. Good for a sore throat but probably not so good below the waist. However, Raina found out that there is a pediatrician on the 6th floor of the same building. Awesome.
As we waited for the elevator in front of a bank, a teller ran out and handed August a handful of candy, so he was in good spirits about the trip. He seriously had like 8 pieces of candy in his hands.
Ah yes, this is more like it…”
It is hard to know what going to the hospital will be like when living in a foreign country. You sure have some great memorable moments and not so great moments.
Want to learn more about what international school teachers think of the local hospitals in their host countries? Luckily, we have a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this theme called “Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals.” Here are a few examples of comments from this topic:
‘We have insurance with Metlife valid throughout the world. We also have a supplemental emergency medical evacuation insurance with AMREF. There is basic local care, but for serious or more difficult cases, evacuation to either South Africa or Nairobi is necessary.’ – International School of Tanganyika (Dar es salaam, Tanzania) – 140 Comments
‘Health insurance is okay, not great, but not awful. Co-pays range from 10-20% at some more expensive hospitals and international medical centres. Dental coverage included but again 0-30% copay depending on the procedure (cavities are covered 100%, root canals are not, for example). Local hospitals are a mixed bag. Some great, some very “Chinese” in their approach to medicine. Would recommend that you ask coworkers for referrals and get prior approval from insurance company whenever possible. In Shanghai, you will be able to find a competent, western-educated specialist in any & every medical field, although you may have to search a bit.’ – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 50 Comments
Want to work for an international school in South Korea like this blogger? Currently, we have 28 international schools listed in this country. Here are a few that have had comments submitted on them:
• Daegu International School (Daegu, South Korea) – 15 Comments
• International School of Koje (Geoje, South Korea) – 51 Comments
•Dwight School Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 35 Comments
• Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 45 Comments
• Seoul International School (Seoul, South Korea) – 82 Comments
• Colegio Granadino Manizales (Manizales, Colombia) – 43 Comments
• Yongsan International School of Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 57 Comments
Additionally, there are 63 International School Community members who currently live in South Korea. 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!continue reading
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 accreditation status? 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 #4 – Is the school accredited? If so, by what international and local bodies?
International schools intentionally seek various forms of approval and accreditation as assurances to its students, parents, employees, and community that quality and excellence drive educational decisions. Countries have governmental standards that schools must meet in order to have local approval. Schools generally follow specific steps to apply and meet approval status through the country’s Department or Ministry of Education and are monitored for annual renewal of the approval status. This standardization is important for students and parents to have proof that the school provided an education that had to meet specific standards and provide some basic assurances of quality.
Accreditation takes the quality assurance factor to the next level of focusing on the processes used within a school to provide a high level of excellence not only in the “end product” of a quality education, but it examines the manner in which that excellence is achieved. As in the previous blog post in this series, which focused on the value of international schools having a Vision, accreditation looks at what the school does and how it provides for an internal and external examination of its programs and processes: how decisions are reached within the school itself, what programs are offered that have international value, how student achievement is documented and used to increase learning, and to what extent the greater community is informed and included in the life of the school. Accreditation not only looks at meeting quality standards; it requires that schools be engaged in a continuous improvement process so as to give its constituents long-term quality assurances.
Why is it important for a school to seek and obtain international accreditation? Often international schools obtain multiple levels of approval and accreditation to demonstrate commitment to excellence for parents who are making educational decisions and educators who are seeking meaningful career experiences. Let us take a look at what you should know about the processes involved in international accreditation.
The Internal Process can take one to three years of collaborative examination by the Head of School, the Faculty and Staff, the Governance Board, Students, Parents, and members of the local community. The Standards or Required Elements for accreditation become the work of focus groups that look at the present reality, then, using the Vision, set forth a map of how the school can improve and how that improvement will be assessed and sustained over the years. After much collaboration, data gathering, and communication, a formal report is usually prepared and submitted to the accreditation agency.
The External Process will likely include an on-site visit by a team of highly experienced educators with specific areas of expertise who have the responsibility of examining evidence to validate the school’s formal report. This visit includes several days of interviews as well as classroom visits to observe the quality of instruction and the depth of student engagement, critical thinking, and application of knowledge.
The Accreditation Report that the visiting team provides will likely include a level of accreditation recommendation for the school and most importantly, that report will give direction and focus for the school to provide on-going quality educational programs for its students.
What has been described in this article is indicative of extensive work by a cross-section of a school and its community stakeholders. So who benefits from this work?
School Owners and Directors are members of a highly competitive market. International accreditation gives added distinction to a school that sets it apart from many others when parents are looking for excellence. It also attracts quality teacher applicants for employment.
Teachers and Prospective Teachers who seek employment in international schools want to be in schools of excellence where there is a strong vision and the internal human support and programs that enable them to perfect their teaching skills. They also want their years of experience to be recognized by other educational agencies should they seek graduate school acceptance or transfer to other parts of the world. It is important to note that when an international school is going through an accreditation process the teachers (and everyone else basically) have to spend much time and energy to gather and fill-out all the paperwork involved! It can be quite an intensive few years for teachers (and all other stakeholders too!).
Governance Boards appreciate direction for their decisions which accreditation defines. It is added assurance that as a Board, decisions are intentional and supportive of the standards set forth in accreditation.
Parents want the best possible educational experiences for their children. Often they feel inadequate in evaluating schools and programs, so the quality assurance component of international accreditation, can aid them in this important decision. Additionally, international accreditation gives parents assurances that the education their children received will be viewed favorably by other schools and universities in admission to future institutions, transfer of credits, and possible scholarship acquisition.
Students are the direct beneficiaries of international accreditation. Behind the scenes, educators are required to have on-going analysis and refinement of programs and activities so as to consistently provide an education of excellence. As mentioned previously, student records indicate international accreditation for the purposes of transfers, admissions, and scholarships.
The community benefits from schools of excellence that are providing quality education; it becomes an added value and attraction to the area. Corporations want to be established where high-performing schools prepare citizens for the 21st century workforce and generate sustained excellence for community growth.
International accreditation is a continuous process of internal and external conversations and review of what is happening inside and outside a school to prepare creative and productive problem-solving people for international stability in an ever-changing society.
On International School Community all school profile pages have a topic in the School Information section that specifically addresses the accreditation status of each school. The topic is called “What types of accreditation does this school have? When is the accreditation up for renewal? Any religious affiliations?”
For example on the Seoul Foreign School’s profile page there have been 3 comments and information 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 accreditation status.
If you are not a member yet, make sure to join www.internationalschoolcommunity.com and become a part of our over 1100 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.continue reading
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.
· 31 May North Jakarta International School (13 new comments)
“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)
“There is a baggage allowance of US$500…”
· 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…”
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…”
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…”
v2012.05 – 5 May, 2012:
“Having left your own safe environment suddenly you no longer have control (which as teachers we typically enjoy in our classroom) over your world. As soon as you step out into the outside world in whatever country, you can be faced with:
It is similar to a new born chick who has just left the nest – since you lack confidence in your new surroundings you start out by going on small excursions, but then as you get more confident you go on further trips away from ‘the nest’.”
It is true I suppose that teachers prefer to have “control” in their classrooms. How ironic then that international school teachers put themselves in a situation where they for sure don’t have control. Living in another country is certainly you letting go of the control and safety of your home country and culture, or at least a familiar place to you. But that is what makes this career choice really exciting; you never know what to expect and what you will experience next. How frustrating though to not be able to read street and road signs, we can all relate to that. Additionally, not being able to understand the local language really makes you use all your other senses more in how to interpret body language and to gather meaning from body positioning, gestures and context. At this point native-English international school teachers are so used to being on a train or plane where everyone around them is speaking a different language than themselves that it is strange now (and quite over-stimulating) to be on a plane in the United States (for example) where they understand all the many conversations going on around their seat. We get very used to “tuning” out what is going on around us while living abroad, mostly because we just don’t understand what is being said.
This past month International School Community we had over 100 new members sign up! If this rate keeps up, we might have over 1000 members by the end of October! More members means more people that you can network with when you are job hunting or that you can ask questions to about a specific international school in which you are interested in working. Now, ISCommunity members currently work at or have worked at over 160 different international schools in over 53 countries!
From the staff at International School Community.
· Traveling Around: Tbilisi, Georgia (The life of an international school teacher is good!)
“Can you relate: Putting an update on Facebook on where I am and everyone not knowing where Tbilisi is…”
· International schools that were founded in 1932 (Hong Kong, Henderson, Masero & Lisbon)
“Founded in 1932 by Madam Tsang Chor-hang, Yew Chung has been providing quality bilingual education to the learners of Hong Kong for almost 80 years…”
· Overview of an int’l school #5 – Rainbow international School in Seoul
“Rainbow school is an international school established by Mr. Eshraf Saglam, a Turkish educationist in Seoul promoting multiculturalism and international diversity. With 260 students from 29 countries and 42 teachers from 6 countries…”
· Schools around the world get chance to sing in global recording
“An exciting global singing project has been announced. The project is called Voices around the World and the aim is for young people all over the world to learn and participate in a global recording…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #5: SE Asia
“We expect continued growth in Indonesia, Malaysia and even Vietnam as those emerging economies steadily prosper. Salaries may seem very low in these countries but…”
· The Wonderful World of International School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #8 – “Benefits, preps, class sizes, and student mix.”
“If all these benefits and other factors don’t seem to match up for you at this point in your international school career, then the answer you will most likely give…”
Kazakhstan Attracts Teachers Looking for Career Development“Kazakhstan may not be the obvious destination for teachers wanting to work abroad. But the Nazarbayev Intellectual School Networkis offering experienced, English-speaking middle and secondary teachers a one-year contract that is proving very tempting for some.”“There are NIS schools in cities throughout Kazakhstan, all of which are leading a programme of educational reform in the country led by the President of the Republic. The aim is to develop a new way of educating the future elite of Kazakhstan and the NIS Network is enlisting the skills of experienced English-speaking teachers to spearhead the progress….”
Check out this blog entry to read more about what your life might look like as an international school teacher in Kazakhstan.
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
This international school teacher’sblog is about teaching and living in Dubai, Almaty, etc.One of their blog entries (International Schools: The circuit)is describing how small the international school community is and how many of us “hop” around from school to school:“It is in fact a very small community and the chances are that you will know someone who has been to a specific school, once you have been in one or two schools overseas. Don’t be surprised after some years if you walk into a staffroom in a different school, and country, and you meet someone you worked with in another school…”Another one of their entries (What to expect at a job fair) is about what candidates might experience at the international school recruitment fairs:
“During the afternoon, the school will have interviews in their hotel rooms – it is all a bit surreal, but the recruiters carry out the interviews in their rooms (this is normal procedure!) At the end of this day the schools will then look at the candidates they have interviewed (and if you are one of them) then they will either invite you for a second interview…”
How great that each international school is unique!
“Eshraf Saglam, Founder of Rainbow school
Rainbow school is an international school established by Mr. Eshraf Saglam, a Turkish educationist in Seoul promoting multiculturalism and international diversity. With 260 students from 29 countries and 42 teachers from 6 countries the school is truly international and a role model for other schools to emulate. (www.rischool.co).
The School’s logo has 4 colours signifying the four major principles the management believes in.
1. Tolerance (green colour) : With a truly international student body and teachers from various countries, tolerance is one of the corner stones of School’s philosophy.
2. Integrity (Blue) : The blue colour in the school’s logo signifies integrity which they promote through various means.
3. Diversity (Red) : The school promotes and upholds diversity.
4. Success (orange) : With all the above mentioned qualities , the school leads students on the path of success.
The school has an amazing learning management system which is entirely online. Every student, teacher and parent is provided a login into the system. In the system they have everything from attendance of the student, to homework assigned to them, grades, reading assignments, quizzes and so on. Also teachers give grades to students on every assignment along with remarks.
Every teacher maintains a blog where they upload everyday’s activity along with the homework which students can simply download from the blog.
The management system is quite extensive as it allows parents to see what grades their child has and why is he getting those grades. It allows teachers to gauge the grasping capability of the students, it also allows the teachers to check if parents are logging into the system and keeping a tab on their kid or not.
They have a comprehensive online library where books have been categorized for children of every grade. Also, parents can buy textbooks as well from the online library. The computer rooms have been equipped with latest high speed computers with latest software programs.
Each classroom has an active board, wireless active slate for teachers and individual remote controls for children so that they can answer questions sitting in their seats. Text books are provided as E-books so that children can access then anytime, anywhere at home for in-depth understanding and option of flexible learning. In addition to learning management system, online library the management has various other additional tools.
Students from grade 5 to grade 8 are provided with Ipad2 to introduce them to a variety of online programs and software purchased by the school. Widescreen monitors have been installed in each hallway for announcements and photo display.
With just 1:5 student, teacher ratio which is lower than most international schools around the World the school aims to provide personal attention to each and every student.
With the learning management system they can dynamically gauge the performance of the students, and with the monthly PTA meetings communicate to the parents about the progress of their child.
Rainbow has a D.E.A.R – Drop Everything And Read Program where everyone from teachers, administrators to students leave everything and just read for 20 minutes during the day.
Also, they have home visits to check if children have a congenial atmosphere at home.
Various activities are planned by the school for every week and for every quarter. The School participates in various International Olympiads happening across the World from US to Istanbul, Korea etc. The students have won accolades for their projects and at times have been the youngest to participate in such events.
In addition, the school boasts of a small indoor gym and a play area for kids on the terrace.
With accreditations like WASC already under its belt the School has started developing its own curriculum that lays emphasis on not just building fundamentals of science, technology and language but also inculcate basic human moral and ethical values that are universal which will eventually make them conscientious global citizens of the World. The school plans to extend classes till high school as the children don’t want to shift to any other school after grade 8.
Overall, a school for the future.”
Currently there are 12 international schools listed in Seoul on International School Community. Some schools that have had comments and information submitted on them are:
• Asia Pacific International School (8 Comments)
• Seoul Foreign School (12 Comments)
• Seoul International School (32 Comments)
• Dulwich College Seoul (10 Comments)
• Branksome Hall Asia (8 Comments)
v2012.03 – 3 March, 2012:
We have had a surge of new members on International School Community this past month taking us over the 300 mark. With 67 new members joining, we are now at a total of 326 members! It is so interesting to look at the range of members that we have so far: veteran international school teachers, teachers new to the international school community, teachers who are thinking about getting into our community, retired international school teachers, international school parents, international school directors, etc. All premium members are able to send unlimited private messages to other members on our website to contact for information and also to network with if you have questions about what life at a specific international school he/she is currently working at or has worked at in the past.
Go ahead then and send a private message to one of our members that is currently living in one of the many different cities around the world represented on our website. International School Community’s current members work at or have worked at over 115 international schools! Check out which schools here and start networking today!
Our 320+ members have now also submitted over 3300+ comments and information on our 1120+ international school profile pages. To celebrate these recent milestones, you can now get 50% off of your next membership subscription by using this coupon code: MARCH3241. With the discount, you can renew your premium subscription for as little as 5 USD! Just go to your My Account page and click on “renew your subscription”. This offer will expire on 17 March, 2012.
Premium members also have unlimited access to our 1126 international school profile pages. On each school profile page there are 4 separate comment and information submission sections: School information, Benefits information, City information and Travel information.
There are many international schools profile pages getting updated all the time. In the international school community, it is important we share what we know to help others make better informed decisions when looking for employment at an international school.
Thanks again for everyone’s support! For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy the beginning of spring!
From the staff at International School Community.
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #9 – Maintain a sense of humor, but most importantly be ready to laugh at yourself.
“When you are living abroad, there are moments when the locals are looking at you strangely. You might be thinking that they are making fun of you, being rude, or just plain staring at you. Most of the time though they usually don’t have an unkind intention towards you. The initial reaction is to…”
· Great resource: ISAT – International Schools Association of Thailand
“If your dream is to work at an international school in Thailand, the ISAT website can be a great resource for you…”
· International schools that were founded in 1947 (New York, Cali, Medellin, Rome, and Sao Paolo)
“The United Nations International School (UNIS) was established in 1947 by a group of United Nations Parents to provide an international education for their children, while preserving their diverse cultural heritages. What began as a nursery school for 20 children quickly grew, adding…”
· Overview of an int’l school #4 – Makuhari International School
“At MIS, at present, around 60% of our children are Japanese returnee children, the other 40% are either dual nationality or foreign children…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #6 – “Remember to research.”
“When interviewing at an international school recruitment fair, it is indeed a difficult task to be 100% knowledgeable about each international school you interview with. You do some final researching the night/morning before the interview, but…”
· Comments and information about hiring policies on International School Community #3
“The school goes through Search Associates. Teachers must have appropriate degree for teaching the subject of major concentration and by under 65 years of age. They are willing to hire interns for certain positions…”
Discussion Topic: Things I (an international school teacher) Have Not Done in a Year“After living abroad for so many years, I have forgotten all the things that you don’t do anymore. We used to have a different life, didn’t we? But now that you are living abroad, many of your routines have changed. Being that these changes have now become your new routines, you tend to forget about the things you used to do!Inspired by this blog entry by the Kirby Family, Things I Have Not Done in a Year, we invite our readers and members to discuss their list of things that they haven’t done in a year (or more for that matter).
Highlighted blogs of international teachers:
This international school teacher’s insight about moving back to your home country after teaching and living in Hong Kong is something we can all relate to:“I think I wouldn’t be completely honest if I said I was happy to be moving back to Canada. There are many things I am looking forward to about going back, foremost among them, being closer to our family, but there are many things I am going to really miss about Hong Kong, especially my job. In early June I included an article in one of my posts that I wrote in 2005 about what I will miss about Hong Kong. I’ve learned there…”* If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.
v2011.05 – 10 September, 2011:
School is back now in session. Many teachers have been at work and teaching students for a few weeks already. A teacher just wrote to us talk to share what life was like starting year #2 at their “relatively new” international school. Things on the teacher’s mind during the first few weeks so far were related to the following topics:
Getting to know the new director starting this year, knowing the school’s curriculum better now, knowing where things are located in their city and not being new to everything like in year #1, feeling more at home now that their apartment is already decorated, getting used to all of the school’s new equipment and materials, working with new teams of teachers at school and also getting to know the new teachers, making a bit more money now that they are moving up the pay schedule a bit, planning new holidays and vacations to explore more of their region of the world, going to the new shops and stores that have opened up in their city which is making shopping for certain things a lot easier and lastly, getting to inherit the old things of departing teachers from the previous school year!
· Featured article: Moving Overseas with Children by Teachers International Consultancy (part 1)
“Moving abroad with children requires a lot of planning in advance to make the transition as easy as possible for everyone. There’s no doubt that you’ll be faced with hitches along the way, but everything…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #1 – Bad interviews are good things
“No matter the reputation of the school, the people sitting across from you in the hotel room asking you questions in that school’s name are a stronger indicator of how it would feel to work at that school …”
· Member Search Feature: What positions do International School Community members have?
“After using the member profile search feature on the main homepage of International School Community, we found the following results…”
· Great link: Want to work at an international school in Thailand?
“We are often asked for ‘foreign schools’ in Bangkok and Thailand. None of the international schools in Bangkok and Thailand is really a ‘foreign school’ since they are all accredited by the Ministry of Education in Thailand…”
· How to Break into International School Teaching
“Some of the applications for recruitment fairs like Search and ISS can take months to complete. Especially the confidential references that you need to get your references to submit….”
TIC website. Highlights from this page: TIC provides a personalised, reliable and responsive recruitment and training service tailored specifically to international schools and teachers worldwide. TIC are experts in international schools having over 25 years experience in international education. They have a huge network of contacts in great international schools all over the world; this enables them to help you find your perfect overseas teaching job. They offer a tailored recruitment service whether you are a teacher looking for a job overseas or a school looking to recruit.
A great facebook group page for international school teachers. Check it out here. It is a community of educators working in international schools across the globe. TIST is a site dedicated to a number of interests:
– Sharing instructional strategies
– Integrating instructional technology
– Insights on international teaching
– Questions and concerns about IB
– Cross-curricular and cross-continental collaborative projects
– Job fairs and the recruitment process
– Advice about future teaching destinations and cultural adjustment
– Keeping up with old colleagues and making new contacts
v2011.04 – 9 August, 2011:
Back to school! If you are new teacher at an international school this year, right now is the most exciting time. You are now officially in the honeymoon phase of your culture shock. Enjoy it. Many times for new teachers there is a nice BBQ at the director’s house, catered lunches during workshop days, a nice tour around the city, etc. If you are lucky, there is a nice group of new teachers at your school this year. Why, you ask? The other new teachers that start at your new school at the same time as you will typically become some of your best friends that you will make there. It is because you guys will be sharing the same experiences as you explore your new city, new country and new school together at the same time. So, new teachers enjoy your first few months! Take everything in stride and appreciate every minute. Try and say “yes” to all the invitations you will receive from other teachers in their attempt to make new friends with you.
· International schools that were founded in 1978 (Mauritania, Egypt, Kuwait, etc.)
“The Vienna International School was founded in September 1978 to serve the children of the United Nations and diplomatic community in Vienna. It is also open to children of the…”
· Blogs of international school teachers: “Ichi, Ni, San…Go.”
“It has some great insight into how important the first few weeks are for new teachers during their orientation days to their new city and new school. There is also much information to be …”
· School profile highlights #6: Luanda Int’l School, Amer. School of Tokyo and Int’l School of Iceland
“Candidates should note that most foreign-hire teachers live near the main campus in Chofu, a suburban environment one hour west of downtown Tokyo by train…”
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #2 – Anticipate a challenging adjustment period of six months
“Some international school teachers tend to experience different levels of culture shock and can pass though the stages quite quickly, but I still think for those people that you need to give yourself six full months to decide…”
· Stafford International School (3 new comments)
(Colombo, Sri Lanka)
“Religious activities are promoted with weekly assemblies by each group and the celebration of festivals in which all participate…”
· Copenhagen International School (10 new comments)
“The apartment that I got was complete unfurnished. I had to buy everything for it. Luckily, you can use the relocation allowance to help you buy furniture and what not (which is around USD 2000)…”
· Greengates School (British Int’l School) (5 new comments)
(Mexico City, Mexico)
“The PTA is very strong. International Day Fair is the most interesting event that you will see. High School graduation is very respected with Ambassadors as guest speakers …”
· Robert Muller Life School (3 new comments)
“The school has around 11 teachers and they are from Guatemalan and the United States…”
· International School Dhaka (3 new comments)
“This well-resourced school has a purpose-built centrally air- conditioned buildings and classrooms, specialist teaching rooms including…”
Back in July we celebrated our 100th member on International School Community! We are definitely on our way to our goal of having 200 members by the end of the year. Please refer your international school teacher friends to join our community.
Officially, we also have 66 likes on Facebook and on Twitter we have 119 followers. How exciting!
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 at all. So, why aren’t these international school teachers saving money?
How NOT to save money when teaching abroad #9: Finding a New, Amazing Grocery Store in Your Host City
When you move abroad, the goal isn’t to recreate your exact life and lifestyle as you had in your home country. Check out the 10 Commandments of Relocated Overseas for more information about moving abroad.
International school teachers try their best to take in the local culture and local foods; it is a part of getting acclimated to their new setting. On the other hand, it is important to “take a break” from that goal, and get some foods that remind you of home and your home culture. In addition, having a wide variety of food choices while living abroad is also quite important.
One challenge of buying products in grocery stores in your host city is that you might not be able to read which food product is actually in the package/box. If you are not able to read in the local language there, it might be a challenge to even figure out which food products some items are. If you don’t know what it is, most of us wouldn’t necessary buy it. Plus, if you are not able to read and understand all the ingredients of a product, then you probably won’t buy those ones either.
It is hard knowing exactly where to go grocery shopping during your first year of living in a new city. You tend to just go to the ones near to where you are living. Every once and awhile you might hear from a colleague of a new grocery store you should check out. Even if the grocery stores near to you are good (if you are lucky that is), it is still good to keep your ears open to what else is available in your host city.
Even after five years of living some place, things change and change fast sometimes. You can easily get into the routine of just going to the three stores around your home and be quite content with the food options those places have. But even the same chains of grocery stores in your host city can be very different from each other depending on their location (e.g. in a rich neighborhood vs. a non-rich neighborhood).
Recently, my partner and I were in a different location of our host city than we usually are when we were doing some grocery shopping. We went into this grocery store thinking that it would be quite similar to the same one we go to nearer to our home. But once we started looking around, this store had so many more products than we were used to! Completely different products, more imported products, and brandnames (local and foreign) that we were used to buying but with many more varieties.
Of course, we got that awesome excitement feeling straightaway. It’s that feeling of finding something new (and maybe familiar as well) while living abroad and the realization that there are many more options for groceries for you in your host city.
As you might have guessed, we filled up our grocery carts with many of these new products (well new products to us)…spending more money than our usual grocery store outings. Finding new food products, especially ones geared towards to the expats in that city, can definitely do some damage on your back account!
Finding a bunch of new products that you didn’t know existed in your host city can be one of the best feelings while living abroad. International school teachers definitely do their best to enjoy the local grocery stores and buying the local products (which can also be awesome and delicious) they sell in those stores, but mixing those products with some other ones that remind you of home or at least of a cuisine that is familiar to your palate, is also very desirable. Just be careful though, because it can cost you a lot of money buying all these products you think you just “must have!”
We have a comment topic on our website related to the theme of grocery stores in your host city. It is in the city section of the comments and information tab on the school profile pages. It is called: Locations in the city geared towards the expat lifestyle (grocery stores, bars, etc.). Here are a few examples of comments related to grocery stores:
“There are “Foreign Food Markets” in Itaewon where you can buy anything, literally ANYTHING you could find in an American grocery store. And if they don’t have it, typically they can order it for you. Of course these shops are more expensive. Local grocery stores are well stocked with a wide variety of foods. The local grocery store closest to our campus, Saruga, carries everything (slightly higher prices though) and even has a (perfectly legal) “Black Market” in the middle of it where you can buy all kinds of food imported from the US. The only things we ever buy at the Black Market stalls are things like chips or candy (for parties), and some seasonings or spices.” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 83 Comments
“One grocery store that I like is called Pomme’s on Davie St. They have a lot of organic items and produce from all over the world including many items made locally.” – Vancouver International School (Greybrook Academy) (Vancouver, Canada) – 11 Comments
“There are a number of grocery stores in the area that have imported items from the US and UK. Lulu’s Hypermartket is great.” – Rowad Alkhaleej International School (Dammam) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) – 69 Comments
“Oscar’s is a good grocery store in the area that caters to expats. You can get anything you need at the surrounding malls.” – The International School of Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt) – 43 Commentscontinue reading
TED talks are pretty awesome. This one caught our attention because it is reminiscent of the life of an international school teacher.
Living in your home country, sometimes you can get caught up in materialism. You want to get your own big house. You want to get your own nice car. You want your own cool, huge television in your living room…along with all the other things in and around your house.
After “buying” all of those things, though, you might find yourself in some debt, like the guy in the TED talk. Living your life in debt, the credit card companies and banks are taking away a bit or most of your freedom. Not the best way to live your life.
But as an international school teacher, most of that materialism goes away. Some of us do not want so many possessions anymore in our lives. For the more possessions you have, the more you have to move to the next country! Kidding aside, our priorities seem to change to a different path.
There is a shift from wanting to be materialistic to wanting to get more experiences; the more experiences, the better! We also want more freedom; more freedom to do what we want with our lives. Additionally, we want to go traveling more, to get more of those experiences; to explore the cultures of the world firsthand.
On a foreign-hired benefits package, we are now allowed to be more in control of our money situation. International school teachers are able to pay off those debts that we had in our home countries. Furthermore, we can finally start to have some savings that we were not able to do so easily in our home countries. We can now make plans to use our savings to buy those big things without having to be in debt.
Having the freedom to live our lives without always worrying about the bank and credit card companies is a dream that can actually become a reality in the world of international school teaching.
Of course not all international school teachers have the same result when they decide to teach abroad, but many of us do. It all mostly depends on what school you work at, in which country and what benefits package you have. You also have to set personal and financial goals for yourself/your family (like the guy in the TED talk). Once you have made some goals, you can work hard to achieve them.
We have a comment topic on our school profile pages. It is called – “Average amount of money that is left to be saved.” Knowing this information ahead-of-time will be one of the most important things to know when considering working at an international school. Here are a few of the hundreds of comments that have been submitted in that comment topic:
“Relative in accordance to lifestyle and discipline with savings. There should be no problem saving 20,000 for those who enjoy their comforts of house cleaners and the weekend visits to Western restaurants. For those a little more attentive to how they spend their money, it is possible to save over $40,000 as a single teacher each year.” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 45 Comments
“They match a certain amount of the retirement funds that you put away. I personally save about $800 a month, though I have a wife and two kids to support.” – KIS International School (Bangkok) (Bangkok, Thailand) – 61 Comments
“As a family of four on a single salary we managed to save about $20,000 USD in two years. However, it all depends of course on how frugal you are. Traveling in Japan is wonderful but trains and accommodation are expensive.” – Hiroshima International School (Hiroshima, Japan) – 64 Commentscontinue reading
Our 17847 current members (up 3500 members from December 2018) work at or have worked at 1200+ international schools.
How amazing is that?! In just over nine years now, our “international school community” has grown into an excellent network of international school teachers. With so much experience and knowledge about life working at over 1200 international schools on our website, the other members are able to stay updated and informed about the schools at which they are interested in working. Additionally, now it is even easier to find the right members to contact for networking purposes and for gathering more information about the specific questions you may have about working at a certain international school.
Which international schools on our website have the most members you ask? Here are our top 10 schools:
American International School in Egypt
Copenhagen International School
Western International School of Shanghai
International School of Kuala Lumpur
International School Manila
Jakarta Intercultural School
MEF International School (Istanbul)
Seoul Foreign School
International School of Tanganyika
Brent International School Manila
Want to see the rest of the top 40 list of schools with the most members? Check out this page which displays the names and avatar pictures of each member that either currently works at that school now or has worked there in the past.
So take a moment to browse our School list page, over members have worked at over 1200 international school from all over the world. Maybe you will find that we have some members who know about the international school about which you are looking to gain more information.continue reading
As all International School Community members know, each of the 2098+ school profile pages on our website has four comments and information sections: School Information, Benefits Information, City Information and Travel Information. Our members are encouraged to submit comments and information on one or all of these sections if they currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the past. It is important that we all share what we know so that we can in turn help other new 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 automatically get one free month of premium membership added on to your account! The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!
FOR UNLIMITED FREE MEMBERSHIP, BECOME A MAYOR OF A SCHOOL TODAY!
So, what are the recent statistics about the Travel Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the Travel Information sections is 2137 (out of a total of 32776+ comments); up almost 458 comments since July 2018.
There are 6 subtopics in the Travel 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 subtopic and also an example comment that has been submitted there.
Example comment: “You can fly mostly anywhere in Europe from Berlin. Unfortunately there has been a new airport in construction for many years now with no real outlook on when it will be complete. You have to connect elsewhere to fly internationally (i.e Copenhagen, Paris, London, Reykjavik etc.)” – Berlin Cosmopolitan School (Berlin, Germany) – 72 Comments
Example comment: “Narita International Airport is the most convenient in terms of distance, parking, and bus connections. It is approximately 45-50 minutes by car on the highway (tolls are about $12 or $13 USD each way), 75 minutes by car by more local roads, and about an hour by bus ($25 USD). Haneda Airport in Tokyo is further away from Tsukuba and more conveniently reached by a combination of the Tsukuba Xpress and Tokyo subways (90 to 120 minutes and $18 to $25 USD, depending on the various options and combinations). There is also the more local Ibaraki Airport (which has free parking) about 45 minutes from town, but flights are very limited and only include a few destinations within Japan (such as Kobe, Fukuoka, Naha and Sapporo) and Shanghai and Seoul (and sometimes Taipei by charter flights) internationally.” – Tsukuba International School (Tsukuba, Japan) – 41 Comments
Example comment: “My Switzerland is a very comprehensive and informative website for locals and expats. which provides a wide breadth of information.
https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/home.html” – Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 46 Comments
Example comment: “Expatriate teachers are recommended to not use public transit. The school recommends hiring a school driver to drive us to our desired destination using the car the school provides us. School drivers for a very reasonable rate. If there is a place you want to go, ask the head of security and he will check to ensure it is safe to travel to your desired destination.” – Lahore American School (Lahore, Pakistan) – 116 Comments
Example comment: “It truly depends on the teacher and their own personal situation. Many younger, single teachers will travel during breaks. Usual destinations are somewhere around east our southeast Asia. Teachers who are married with children will stay in Korea many times. During summer break, most teachers will go to their home country.” – Korea Kent Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 22 Comments
Example comment: “Queues at immigration can be very very very long. (between 15 min and 1.5 hours of waiting) Just make sure you have some battery left on that phone of yours! ;-)” – Dulwich College Beijing (Beijing, China) – 28 Commentscontinue reading
How many times have you applied to a school wishing that you knew somebody that worked there?
Knowing somebody and getting the ‘inside scoop’ on an international school will definitely help you in your quest to set up an interview there.
Currently, our top 40 international schools with the most members are:
24 members – American International School in Egypt
23 members – Copenhagen International School
21 members – International School of Kuala Lumpur
21 members – International School Manila
17 members – Seoul International School
17 members – International School of Tanganyika
17 members – Jakarta International School
17 members – MEF International School Istanbul
17 members – Western International School of Shanghai
16 members – Fairview International School
16 members – American School Foundation of Mexico City
16 members – American School of Barcelona
15 members – Singapore American School
15 members – International School Bangkok
14 members – United Nations International School (Vietnam)
14 members – Shanghai Community International School
14 members – Shanghai United International School (Hongqiao)
14 members – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana
14 members – Istanbul International Community School
14 members – NIST International School
14 members – Brent International School Manila
14 members – Seoul Foreign School
14 members – Qatar Academy (Doha)
13 members – KIS International School (Bangkok)
13 members – Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo
13 members – American School of Dubai
13 members – American International School of Johannesburg
13 members – American International School (Vietnam)
13 members – Cairo American College
13 members – Good Shepherd International School
12 members –Suzhou Singapore International School
12 members – Chadwick International School – Songdo
12 members – International School of Beijing
12 members – Western Academy of Beijing
12 members – American International School of Kuwait
12 members – Anglo-American School of Moscow
12 members – American School of Kuwait
12 members – Canadian International School (Singapore)
11 members – American Embassy School New Delhi
11 members – Bilkent Laboratory & International School
The members of these schools include members that currently work there now or have worked there in the past.
With 100-300 new members joining each month, this list will continue to grow and grow; with even more members showing up as potential people to network with.
It is simple to network on our website: just click on a member and then click on the ‘Contact this member’ button (Premium membership access required). Then write him/her a message. When your message is sent, the other member will get an email alert letting them know that they have a new message waiting for them on our website (you don’t need premium membership access to reply to a private message on our website). Numerous International School Community members have already taken advantage of this unique feature on our website!
As far as we know, International School Community is the only website where you can quickly and easily network with real people at a specific international school. Meaning, if you want to get in touch with somebody from the United Nations International School in New York and you are currently a premium member of International School Community, you now have 6 members that you can contact on our website that either work there now or have worked there in the past.
Get the answers to your questions; now that is easy networking!
Eating out and finding a really tasty restaurant in your host city is the best. Such delicious local food (or ‘expat food’ cuisine) to be had! While not all local restaurants will be the best, there are sure to be some excellent ones. Typically you find these out from the veteran teachers at your school. They’ve been there awhile, so they are the best ones to let you know where to eat out at. And if the cost of living is low where you are, you might just find yourself eating out all the time (see How NOT to save money when working as an international school teacher #2: Go out to eat all the time!)
There are also just your favorite things to do in the city. Maybe it is taking a jog around the corniche if you live in a city in the Middle East. Maybe it is going to a posh bar downtown where a lot of expats frequent, like the Bund in Shanghai, China. Maybe it is just a quiet park that you like in Western Europe where people go to just relax and enjoy the clean air and surrounding nature (and people watch). The best part is you don’t know your favorite things to do in your host city until you arrive. You could say this aspect is one of the more exciting part of living abroad and teaching internationally.
Another cool thing to do in your host country and traveling around and exploring the different places it offers. If you like the mountains, hopefully you will live not too far away from one that you go to do on the weekend (let’s say if you live in Zurich). If you like the sea, maybe there will be a nice coast that you can take a local bus to (let’s say north of Barcelona). Enjoying your day at the beach can be a great getaway from your sometimes busy life at your international school. In China, they have these really beautiful water towns. Many international school teachers in Shanghai are bound to have a favorite water town that they frequent every so often.
So many favorite things, so little time. Especially if your plan is to only stay 2-3 years in your current host country, it is good to frequent your favorite places and often! Soon enough, you’ll be moving away to live in your next location and you’ll certainly miss all of your current favorite things! (see Going back to a place you once lived – I almost cried!)
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this topic of your favorite host country restaurants, places and things to do. There are a total of 394 comments (May 2018) that have been submitted by our veteran international school teachers in one of 65 comment topics called – “Name your favorite restaurants, favorite places to go to and favorite things to do in the city.”
Here are a few of those submitted comments:
“Cheongna it is pretty easy to get to the famous Hongdae area of Seoul. The area has tons of restaurants, cafes, bars, street food vendors, and live performances. In Cheongna itself, there are new places opening all the time. Current favorites are Roy’s (a Mexican place), Wembley’s Bar, Chicken & Beer, Big Grill (a Korean BBQ place), Texas BBQ, and Hans Craft (craft beer pub). For activities, many teachers like to use the boats in Lake Park or go for a picnic. Many teachers enjoy mountain biking and hiking on the nearby trails. Screen golf and screen baseball are fun activities and of course noraebang (singing rooms).” – Cheongna Dalton School (Incheon, South Korea) – 42 Total Comments
“Oslo has an amazing fjord. Its cheap and plenty of little islands can be got to for the normal cost of your monthly T-Bane card. There are fantastic restaurants – but you will need a mortgage before going out for a good dinner here. Skiing and hiking are cheap or free and we spend our summers picking berries in the forests and winters skiing or skating. Its a paradise in truth.” – Northern Lights International School (Oslo, Norway) – 28 Comments
“Zurich is definitely a city worth walking through. Ambling through the narrow lanes of the old town is a treat. Pop into either the Fraumunster church to see the stunning Chagall windows or walk to up the tower of the Grossmunster church, or walk into the cript of the Water Church. On a nice day a short boat ride (Kleine rundfahrt) which starts at the main boat docks near Burkliplatz is worth the time.” – Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 33 Total Comments
“Tianjin is a very beautiful city with lots of canals and urban parks and greenways. It is incredibly flat. There are two lakes next to school and expat teachers live in apartments around the lakes. It is a wonderful location for running and exercise in all seasons of the year.” – HIKSVS International School (Tianjin, China) – 30 Comments
“One of my personal favorites is a nice place in Paragon called Midtown. They have a large menu with a lot of traditional Thai dishes and a few international options. Some of their spicy dishes are fantastic (if you can handle Thai chili peppers).” – NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 242 Comments
“We just went to Bait Al Luban near to the Corniche Mutrah. The food there is delicious! It really seems like they use fresh ingredients and things made there are done to a really nice perfection. Another favorite restaurant that we’ve been to is in the Wave area. It is a Lebanese restaurant that’s called Zahr El Laymoun. We got some hot and cold mezza dishes and every single one was so tasty. Will definitely be going back to these places soon.” – American International School of Muscat (Muscat, Oman) – 34 Commentscontinue reading
Choosing a place to teach English can be an overwhelming feeling. With so many things to consider from salary ranges, local languages, social scene, and quality of the job; one will have to take a lot of time to filter their preferences down to a few choices. Fortunately, we took the time to compile a list of some of the top cities to Teach English.
Shanghai is the largest city in the world by population and the financial hub of China. And the teaching English opportunities are reflected in the market. There’s a surplus of jobs ranging from online, primary schools, International schools, and training centers. Shanghai has a population of around 25 million people and 1% of it is expats, being 250K people, so you’ll be able to meet plenty of foreigners in similar or different walks of life. Nightlife in Shanghai is globally recognized as one of the most vibrant and beautiful scenes. If you’re looking for a chicer look, you can head down to The Bund or if you want to bar hop, Yongkang Lu is popular with expats. Nearby cities such as Hangzhou, Suzhou or Nanjing are just train rides away. These cities provide a more historic view into China’s history as well as some time outside the big city. Shanghai is also very close to South Korea with flight times below two hours. Salaries range from $1,500 to $2,700 USD each month, with the cost of living; you’ll be able to save a large amount.
Shenzhen is an up and coming city in China but don’t let that discourage you. Shenzhen is the 2nd largest trading hub in China behind Shanghai so there’s ton of development and expansion. With close proximity to Hong Kong and Macau, this is a traveler’s dream situation. Teaching English jobs available range from training centers to international schools, so no matter your preferences, there’s a position right for you. Shenzhen has a sub-tropical climate so the weather will be pleasant most times of the year and no sight of snow. Don’t forget you can go to any number of beaches in the city. Salaries range from $1,300 to $2,600 on average. For football (soccer) lovers, Shenzhen has two clubs: Shenzhen F.C. and Shenzhen Renren F.C. Due to the architecture and relaxed laws, skate boarders around the world travel there.
Dubai is one of the most competitive ESL markets and for good reason. Teaching English in Dubai offers top-tier packages for their teachers. Offers may include high salaries ($2,500- $5,000) monthly, paid housing, insurance and travel allowances. Dubai is in the dessert so no worries about cold weather and the landscape will be at your disposal. The outdoors will have plenty of adventures to enjoy from sand boarding, sky diving, jet skis, and boat riding. Traveling to neighboring places such as Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Saudi Arabia will be a hop skip away.
Jobs in Teaching jobs in Riyadh will include universities, international schools, language institutes with teaching hours averaging 25 hours each week. Riyadh as well with other Middle-eastern countries is tax-free. Salaries range from $2,500-$5,000 USD monthly. Most schools will provide housing for you in addition to your cash compensation so your saving potential rises greatly. Foreigners and other expats will generally live within designated complexes so you’ll be amongst others new to the country. Employee contracts will range between 2-3 years so you’ll have job security and ample time to save more money.
Seoul is known for its technology community and nightlife atmosphere. Samsung is headquartered in Seoul and has a huge influence on the tech scene. Also, there’s WIFI everywhere from the metro, parks, and more. With a huge expat population there will be plenty of local and foreign people to befriend. Also, don’t forget there are daily flights to fly directly to Japan, China, and Thailand. Salary ranges average about $2,000 USD with accommodations including flight and housing allowances or reimbursement. Your choices will include public or private schools. Seoul is known for its party culture and is internationally recognized for it. The metropolitan area includes about 23 million people. Baseball is the country’s nation sport so you’ll be able to attend a game in the season and it’s a big event. K-Pop is internationally known for its musical influence not only in South Korea but also throughout eastern and southeast Asia. Make sure to attend a concert to discover what the buzz is all about. Make sure to try Korean BBQ, as it’s an international recognized cuisine. And for you ravers out there, Ultra Music Festival Korea comes to Seoul annually bringing some of the top artists in the EDM realm for a weekend of music, friends, and good vibes.
Busan is the 2nd largest city in South Korea with a population around 3.5 million. In Busan, the outdoors will be your best friend. If you choose to teach English in Busan, you’ll have your choice of beaches to visit daily. Busan attracts tourists, expats, and travelers globally for its 6 beautiful beaches, just to name a few: Dadaepo Beach, Songdo Beach, and Gwangalli Beach. Busan also hosts the Busan International Film Festival, which is one of the most popular film festivals in Asia. Busan is the Baseball capital of South Korea and has the Sajik Baseball Stadium. Salaries average about $2,000 USD. Most schools will pay for your travel and housing so you’ll be able to save anywhere from $500/month based on your saving and traveling habits.
In addition, you can hike Geumjeong Mountain if you’re up for a challenge with a well worth view. Just like Seoul, Busan has a huge expat population so meeting people in a similar experience will be easy.
Off the course of the Mainland rests Taiwan, a small island full for culture, history and teaching English opportunities. With a population of 7.8 million people, Taipei has Mainland China to its west, Japan to its east, and the Philippines to its south. Taipei has a huge expat population whether they are fellow English teachers or students studying Chinese at one of the local universities. The tropical climate and surplus of beaches easily at disposal makes every single day a vacation. Dabajian Mountain is a hiker’s favorite so give it a try. To get a breathtaking view and Instagram porn, make sure to go to the top of Taipei 101 formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, which was the world’s tallest building from 2004 – 2009. Taipei is the capital of Taiwan but with a thorough public transportation system, buses and trains, you’ll be able to reach all ends of the island with ease. Don’t forget about the clean air. Teaching English in Taipei usually requires 25 hours of teaching time while having an average salary of $2000 USD. Given the lost cost of living, you’ll be able to save more than $500 USD each month.
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!continue reading
I’m happy to announce the winners of our Third Photo Contest (Host country cultural event).
After a lengthy debate with our panel of international school educators, we have decided on the top three photos.
First Place: Taken at Cochabamba, Bolivia.
“The “Urkupiña Virgin” festival is one of the most important in Bolivia. It takes place every year from the 14th to the 16th of August in the province of Quillacollo at only 13 Km from the city of Cochabamba. Hundreds of schools, social clubs and organizations dance in the streets in colorful traditional costumes and lively dances.”
Congratulations, Mario Arena!
Prize awarded: Premium membership for TWO YEARS on our website!
Second Place: Taken in Singapore.
“This is from the celebration of Thapusam as it’s done here in Singapore. People fast for a month and then the men have hooks etc pierced in their skin in order to carry these large decorative items that they then parade and dance through the streets with on the way to the temple. A fascinating event.”
Congratulations, Angela Collins!
Prize awarded: Premium membership for ONE YEAR on our website!
Third Place: Taken at Qingdao, China. Creating traditional crafts at the Seoul Airport at the Korean cultural center for foreign visitors.
Congratulations Michael Kelly (an international teacher working at Qingdao Ameriasia International School, Qingdao, China.!
Prize awarded: Premium membership for SIX MONTHS on our website!
Thanks to everyone who participated! We have awarded everyone else ONE WEEK of premium membership for participating in this photo contest.
Stay tuned for our next photo contest which will happen sometime during the next 1-2 months.continue reading