As all International School Community members know, each of the 2225+ school profile pages on our website has four comments sections: School Information, Benefits Information, City Information and Travel Information. Our members are encouraged to submit comments on one or all of these sections if they currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the past.
It is important that we all share what we know so that we can in turn help other teachers make a more informed decision before they sign any contract! *Additionally, for every 10 comments you submit (which are anonymous by the way), you will automatically get one free month of premium membership added to your account! The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!
So, what are the recent statistics about the School Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the School Information section is 19653 (out of a total of 42453+ comments).
There are 24 subtopics in the School Information section on each school profile page. Check out each one of these subtopics below and find out the total number of comments in that specific sub-topic and an example comment that has been submitted there.
• Describe the different aspects of the school building and the school grounds. Also, describe the surrounding area around the campus. (1838 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school is set in 3 separate building, one being a 5 minute walk and the other across the road. Crossing the road is quite a safety hazard with the kindergarten class due to taxis over taking them whilst they are on the crossing and the local police not doing anything to monitor this. There is no proper play area and students are taken to local parks for lunch breaks, which is difficult when having to share with babies. No proper gym areas make p.e quite difficult.” – Canadian International School (Tokyo) (Tokyo, Japan) – 93 Comments
• What types of accreditation does this school have? When is the accreditation up for renewal? Any religious affiliations? (1381 Total Comments)
Example comment: “It is a non-religiously affiliated school owned by a Christian affiliated college and operated on that campus. It is WASC accredited, but is not accredited by the Korean authorities and seems to be a limbo in regards to its local status.” –Global Prodigy Academy (Jeonju, South Korea) – 68 Comments
• Recent things that the school has taken on (i.e. new curriculum, specific professional development, etc.). (943 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school is discussing becoming IB and has implemented Teacher’s College Readers and Writer’s Workshop as well as whole language learning in the primary schools. Secondary schools do MAPS-based action plans to show and monitor student improvement and compare them to US students.” – American School of Torreon (Torreon, Mexico) – 64 Comments
• Describe their hiring policies. Which recruiting fairs do they go to? How do they typically hire (e.g. face-to-face interview, Skype, etc.)? Are there any hiring restrictions mandated by the country? (1716 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Last year they were NOT hiring people with non-EU passports. Some positions that they had last year were local hires, even if the candidates weren’t the strongest of the CVs that they received. Most of this though is out of the school’s control and more the new/changing laws regarding hiring foreigners into the country.” – Southbank International School (London, United Kingdom) – 15 Comments
• Describe school’s location in relation to the city center and to the teacher’s housing. How do staff get to school before and after school? (1644 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school is located near one of the hub stations in Tokyo, with easy access by several trains and subways. The school also has two school bus routes. The school will help the teachers find housing if necessary, but it does not itself provide housing. A transportation allowance is provided to cover the transportation cost from home to school and back.” – New International School of Japan (Tokyo, Japan) – 30 Comments
• Are the expectations high of teaching staff? Are there extra curricular responsibilities? Describe workload details. (970 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Expectations are high but the atmosphere is supportive. Staff are expected to undertake duties on a rota bais before and after school, at break times and lunch times. Staff are expected to run one extra curricular activity for one term per year. There is a decent amount of non-contact time at around 20% of timetable.” – Rasami (Thai-British) International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 75 Comments
• Average class size for primary and secondary. Describe any aide support. (1010 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Class sizes are very small. In the primary, they are normally a combination of two grade levels (i.e. Grades 1 and 2 together) and about 16 kids with a teaching assistant. In secondary class size is smaller and can range from four to twelve per grade level.” – Hiroshima International School (Hiroshima, Japan) – 64 Comments
• Describe the language abilities of students at this school and what is the “common language spoken in the hallways”? Is there one dominant cultural group? (1364 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The Thao Dien (Primary) campus in the expat area has students from about 20 countries. The TT Campus, Primary, Middle School and Secondary is mainly Vietnamese. Korean is the next largest student group. Very few students from Western Countries. Has a large EAL population.” – Australian International School HCMC (Vietnam) (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) – 19 Comments
• Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack thereof], etc.) and staff turnover rate. (1417 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Primarily expat teachers, without any one nationality dominating things. When I left in 2011 there were teachers from Australia, Canada, US, UK, South Africa, Belgium, and Tanzania just within my department. Some teachers stay 7 to 10 years or more, while others just 2 to 4 years, as in most international schools.” – International School of Tanganyika (Dar es salaam, Tanzania) – 171 Comments
• What types of budgets do classroom teachers/departments get? (614 Total Comments)
Example comment: “budgets have been steadily dropping. Ownership slyly changed the school from a not for profit school to a for profit school, without notifying parents of the change.” – Makuhari International School (Tokyo, Japan) – 22 Comments
• PARENTS ONLY – General comments from parents of students that go to this school (312 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The mastery system is open to the interpretation of each teacher, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” – QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China) – 64 Comments
• What types of sports programs and activities does the school offer? (803 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school offers a wide variety of after school activities which are run by teachers. There is no extra pay for this. Teachers can choose which activity they would like to lead.” – International School of Koje (Geoje, South Korea) – 47 Comments
• Name some special things about this school that makes it unique. (802 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school has an excellent music program that frequently presents music and drama to the local community and other schools. Students in the diploma program seek out ways to serve the community needs.” – Oeiras International School (Lisbon, Portugal) – 214 Comments
• In general, describe the demeanor of the students. (707 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The students are generally great, however there are no entrance exams or behavior requirements. The owners Tehmine and Stephan want to make as much money as possible. There definitely are no requirements to enter this school.” – Surabaya European School (Surabaya, Indonesia) – 20 Comments
• Has the school met your expectations once you started working there? (430 Total Comments)
Example comment: “I’ve really enjoyed working at the school. I have always been able to approach admin if I needed to.” – The Codrington School (Int’l School of Barbados) (St. John, Barbados) – 83 Comments
• What does the school do to create a harmonious state of well-being and high morale amongst its staff? (502 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school has a health and wellness program where a lot of teachers connect and exercise together. Also, the PTO regularly hosts cocktail events after school. Plus there are scheduled tours and cultural events.” – Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 69 Comments
• Describe the technologies available at the school and how people are/are not using them. (584 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Each teacher has a PC (windows only. The printer server won’t talk to macs) and a smart board. However, the smart boards are not all hooked up or working so it’s a very expensive video screen. Slow internet. Nothing Google, youtube, or Facebook works in China.” – Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 182 Comments
• Details about the current teacher appraisal process. (368 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Get on your principal’s good side and you are fine. If they do not like you you will immediately get put on a corrective plan and ushered out. Just flatter the admin and you will be fine.” – Abu Dhabi International Private School (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) – 43 Comments
• Is the student population declining, staying the same or increasing? Give details why. (562 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The number of students has increased. There is a waitlist for Year 6 now.” – UCSI International School Subang Jaya (Subang Jaya, Malaysia) – 11 Comments
• How have certain things improved since you started working there? (294 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The one more important thing that changed for the positive, in around 2011-12, was the school initiated an 8000 RMB per year, per teacher, PD allowance. Before that there wasn’t an allowance. There was though PD for the DP teachers before that.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 53 Comments
• How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country? (226 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Well one thing that my school had in the United States was a coordinator for reading in the Primary school. I feel that CIS would benefit from having one of those. We need somebody to coordinate how the primary school teaches reading and someone to coordinate resources. Also, someone to help us have a clearer stop and sequence across the grade levels.” – Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 407 Comments
• What controversies have been happening lately? Please be objective. (372 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The school hires foreign teachers but sometimes it is difficult for the teachers to integrate into the school. It is really a combination of moving to Chile and assimilating as a foreigner as well as the schools lack of support to receive foreign teachers. The administration has recognized this problem and is working to help future hires.” – Santiago College (Santiago, Chile) – 74 Comments
• What insider information would you give to a teacher considering working at this school? (535 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Remember state school teachers are paid twice as much for half the work. All the locals are on waiting lists for Govt. schools but they are years (centuries) long.” – International School of Paphos (Paphos, Cyprus) – 123 Comments
• How much curriculum development work are you expected to do? (Atlas Rubicon, Toddle, etc.) (343 Total Comments)
Example comment: “A curriculum coordinator offers huge levels of support for this. During the current year, this load is heavy because of where we are in the accreditation cycle. High School has used Rubicon for a while. Lower School is just starting to use Rubicon.” – American School of Marrakesh (Marrakesh, Morocco) – 29 Comments
• How did this school handle the COVID-19 situation? (14 Total Comments)
Example comment: “I was very impressed with ISHRs response to covid. No reductions in salary or positions cut, although some departing members of staff were not replaced. The school gave teachers the autonomy to work from home, although other schools in Germany asked staff to be on site. They checked in regularly to see how we were doing outside of school. I would go as far as saying it was probably one of the best responses in the international school world. We all got to keep our jobs, work from home when we felt like we needed to, and were treated with compassion…” – International School Hannover Region (Hannover, Germany) – 42 Commentscontinue reading
Who wouldn’t want to live next to or very close to the beach? Better yet, a beautiful beach with amazing sand and turquoise water!
International school educators could only be so lucky!
But this actually does exist in the world of international schools. There are a number of international schools around the world that are very close to the beach.
Some are on islands and that life has its pluses and minuses, but other international schools are simply just located on the coast of their continent.
Either way, you could be listening to the crashing of the waves as you walk home from a day’s work at your future international school next to the beach!
After searching the keyword ‘beach‘ using our Comments Search function on our website (premium access required), we found 331 comments. Here are 9 of them that give some insight into the hospital experience in different countries around the world.
“The school has not changed their site since the comment. They are close to the beach and the school has a new building on each side plus a new astroturf pitch. The older buildings are in need of some upgrading…”
“The ample outdoor activities available within the comfortable confines of a modern city: 40km boardwalk, beaches, mountains – tons of opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts…”
“American School of Recife 10 minutes to the nearest mall. Uber taxi is the most popular transportation in Recife. You can hire Uber to get you to the nearest beach area i.e Paiva or Porto Galinha. Single teachers are housed in a fully-furnished flat (considered a hotel in the city). The flats are only a one-bedroom apartment with a nice view of the beach and 7-10 minute walk to the school. The flat is also nearby small groceries where you can get most the things you may need in terms of food…”
“There are many awesome beaches for different tastes. Bang Tao and Layan are popular with the school community. They are within 30 min of driving from campus. Ao Yon and Karon in the south are also popular…”
“The relaxed vibe on the island, friendly people, and absolutely stunning beaches, on which you may not see another person. It’s like having your own private beach. If you love deserted, pristine beaches, you will enjoy living here…”
“Lisbon is near to the Algarve area which is a popular beach destination for Europeans. Once can get there by car in 2.5 hours and by train in 3 hours. Porto, the other large city in Lisbon is 3.5 hours away with train service as well. Then there are smaller cities all accessible by good roads and trains…”
“The school is in the lovely suburb of Doubleview. Not to far from the city and quite close to the beach. There are a few nice cafes nearby that are great and quick to get lunch for school. It is quite expensive to rent or buy near the school – most teachers live 15-20 minutes away and drive to work.”
“West and South Coast are great places to live and go out. Lots of restaurants, bars and beautiful beaches to enjoy after work and on weekends.”
“There is no housing allowance. Rent is extremely high if you intend to live on or near a beach. Traffic can really be a problem, especially if you live on the south end of the island. A two bedroom apartment will run about $2,000 away from Seven Mile beach, $3,000 on the beach.”continue reading
Only on International School Community will you be able to search for the perfect international school for you. You get the possibility to search (using our unique search engine) for international schools based on the type of school that best fits your criteria. There are many different kinds of international schools: ones that are small in student numbers to ones that have more than 1200 students, ones that are for-profit to ones that are non-profit, ones that are in very large cities to ones that are in towns of only 1000 people, etc. Each international school teacher has their own type of school that best fits their needs as a teacher and as a professional. Your personal life is also very important when you are trying to find the right match. Most of us know what it is like to be working at an international school that doesn’t fit your needs, so it’s best to find one that does!
Utilizing the School Profile Search feature on International School Community, you can search our 1843 schools (updated from 1773 on January 2015) for the perfect school using up to 9 different criteria. The 9 criteria are: Region of the world, Country, City, Curriculum, School Nature, Number of Students, Age of School, Kinds of Students and Metro Population. You can do a school profile search in two different locations on our website: the Schools List page and on the side of every school profile page. Check out our past school profile search results here.
Search Result #16
The 16 international schools that met the criteria were found in 9 different countries and in 13 different cities. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on them:
International School of Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland) – 41 Comments
American School of Milan (Milan, Italy) – 23 Comments
American Overseas School of Rome (Rome, Italy) – 5 Comments
Marymount International School (Rome) (Rome, Italy) – 7 Comments
International School Turin (Turin, Italy) – 15 Comments
Oslo International School (Oslo, Norway) – 17 Comments
Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (Lisbon, Portugal) – 22 Comments
International School of the Stockholm Region (Stockholm, Sweden) – 7 Comments
ACS International School – Hillingdon Campus (Hillingdon, United Kingdom) – 10 Comments
UWC Atlantic College (St Donat’s, United Kingdom) – 14 Comments
Why not start your own searches now and then start finding information about the schools that best fit your needs (available to premium members only)? Additionally, all premium members are able to access the 14309 comments and information (updated from 12936 on January 2015) that have been submitted on 864 international school profiles on our website.
*If you are not a member yet, join International School Community today and you will automatically get the ability to make unlimited searches to find the international schools that fit your criteria with a free 2-day trail of premium membership coupon code sent to you in your welcome email after joining.continue reading
Members of International School Community have written some new and informative comments on the following schools:
21 Apr Greenfield Community School (Dubai) (15 new comments)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates:
One of the new comments in the School Information section: “86 nationalities are enrolled at the school. It has been recognized for the support it gives students with EAL…”
One of the new comments in the School Information section: “Teachers are housed near the school for the first year. They can choose to stay after this year or move with an accommodation allowance…”
16 Apr Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (9 new comments)
One of the new comments in the Travel Information section: “A lot of locals know English here, but there are definitely store workers and owners that don’t know hardly one word! It is good to know Portuguese here…”
Check out the rest of the last 40 international school profile pages that have been recently updated on International School Community here.continue reading
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…”
Random year for international schools around the world: 1932
There is much history in the international teaching community. We have international schools with founding dates of 1838 and 1854 and we also have many, many international schools with founding dates in the 21st century. The numbers are increasing for sure.
Utilizing the database of the 1193 (26 April, 2012) international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 4 international schools that were founded in 1932 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):
Maseru Preparatory School (Masero, Lesotho)
“The Anglican Diocese of Bloemfontein helped to establish a school for the children of European officials, traders and missionaries active in the Maseru area of the British colony of Basutoland about 1890, in addition to their other missionary work. Deaconess Maria Burton was the first teacher to be identified with the school. She travelled from Bloemfontein in 1893, changing from the post cart at Ladybrand to a ” spider ” carriage for the journey to Maseru via horse drawn ferry over the Caledon River.
Sister Maria established the school, subsidized by the Basutoland government, in a private house or cottage. During the next fifteen years she also raised funds for the establishment of the first Anglican Church (St. James) and the Basotho Anglican Girls School (St. Catherine’s). Sir Godfrey Lagden (Resident Commissioner 1890-1901) sent his children to “The European School of Maseru”, writing that he paid Sister Maria £1.10 for six weeks schooling. E.B. Sargant’s “Report on Education in Basutoland 1905-6″ also mentioned the school, by now housed in “a small iron building” located close to the site of the present Maseru United Church. It was thought to have been one of the prefabs brought to South Africa by the British Army during the Anglo-Boer war. The so called “tin tabernacle” was sold to the forerunner of the Maseru United Church when the Government built a small sandstone school on what is now called Old School Road. Even in these early days the extent of government subvention and control over the school’s independence was a “grey area”, and it remains so to this day.
In 1932 the school changed its name to Maseru Preparatory School. This continued to the mid 1950s when the present title of Maseru English Medium Preparatory School was adopted, the Colonial development Fund having financed a “handsome new European School” on the Caldwell Road site. However, even today, the school is still most frequently referred to as Maseru Prep!
Amongst other important events witnessed by children at the school was the Royal Visit of 1947, the 1962 “Winds of Change” visit of Harold Macmillan and Independence in 1966. The first Basotho children were admitted in 1962 and the numbers have risen to become the largest single group of children by a long way, despite 20 odd nationalities being still represented.”
The Henderson International School (Henderson, United States)
“Early in 2007, the Meritas Family of Schools brought together two of the area’s finest private schools to create The Henderson International School. Today, the new school takes its place as one of the best private schools in the region. The support and resources of Meritas have expanded our curriculum, created international connections for our students, and provided a world-class education. The Henderson International School combines a traditional college preparatory education experience with the progressive ideas and practices needed to prepare students for the global challenges of the 21st century.”
Saint Julian’s School (Lisbon, Portugal)
“It all began when José da Cruz, treasurer to D. José I, built himself a palace in the middle of his winegrowing estate or Quinta in Carcavelos. Little did he know that his holiday home would become a land mark in educational history.
Once the Palácio was built, in the 1750s, D. José I, then king of Portugal, frequently came to Quinta Nova, perhaps to enjoy the fine wine, as Quinta Nova had an extensive vineyard with an annual production of over 500 barrels.
More than a hundred years later, the British Eastern Telegraph Company arrived in Portugal to complete the telegraph lines between England and India. It purchased the property, which was thought an ideal location being close to the ocean and to the city of Lisbon. The handsome price of “23 contos” (equiv. 115,00 €uros today!) secured them the property and grounds.”
Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China)
“Founded in 1932 by Madam Tsang Chor-hang, Yew Chung has been providing quality bilingual education to the learners of Hong Kong for almost 80 years.”
Check out the rest of the international schools listed on International School Community and check out their histories as well! We have over 1193 international schools that have profile pages on our website.continue reading
Are you thinking about starting in the international school community? Do you know what you are really getting yourself into? It is hard to know if you don’t have friends already in the International School Community.
We would like to highlight a blog entry from the T Tech Tips’ blog. This international school educator provides some great insight to the real lives of international school teachers and the decisions that we are faced with as we move around the world from school to school.
“It’s that time of year again in the international education world of contracts, decisions, and thinking about your future. Kim Cofino has a great post about finding the right fit…the right school. Whether you are an international educator or not it’s worth a read. International Teachers are different…we’re weird….we don’t like stability, we like change and challenge. We like travel, culture and to be honest I think we all like just being different. If you’ve met an international educator you’ll know what I’m talking about. Countries, airports, and airlines are just common conversation.
“But that’s us…..we live on year by year contracts, don’t try to make us sign a multi-year deal….cause that’s a deal breaker in itself (part of the reason we left Shanghai). We’re renegades, we’re individuals, and nobody is going to tell us where we’re going to live or that we can’t leave….cause we will just to prove you wrong. Yeah….International Educators are different. We expect open bars at conferences. We expect conferences to be in amazing locations. Borneo, Bangkok, Greece, Shanghai, Singapore, Egypt, Nice, etc. Yeah…..international conferences are rough.”
It is true that we (international school educators) are strange. Most people’s families don’t lead lives like us. My relatives all either live in the same city as each other or the city next to that city. He is right in saying that we are living a wonderful live when the expectation is that we are sent to conferences in international locations around the world; that does not happen to teachers teaching in the public school system in the United States. There was just a PYP conference in Malta and an ECIS conference in Lisbon this past October. Many teachers from my school were attendees!
“And then there is the friendships you create. Deep meaningful friendships with people who become your family. My best friends little brother, who I’ve known since he was in 6th grade graduated from University as an elementary teacher and decided to try out the international teaching thing. His first posting has been Kuwait where he’s in his second year, meaning that he’s now having to decide whether to stay another year or decide if it’s time to move on. He wrote a blog post, a couple lately actually, talking about his decision and how attached one becomes to friends, a country and these amazing kids we have the honor of teaching. Some very reflective blog posts from a young teacher trying to figure out life, education, and the meaning of it all.”
It is tough to leave friends and your host country of 2-3 years. It is important to note forget the students that you will miss. Not necessarily the individual students, but the general demeanor of the kids at the school. One school I have been at had really “active” kids, another school had kids with less “personality.” International school teachers must keep that in mind as they are thinking about moving on because you can’t just find the same kinds of student just anywhere.
“As I’ve done more consulting and conferences in the past two years people ask me quite often, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
It’s a questions I honestly can’t answer because I don’t know where I see myself in 1 year. But here’s what I do know.
So this year when it came to deciding to sign contracts at ISB for another year we sat down with the administration to see if I could have my cake and eat it too. Could I work in a school with students and continue to consult and present? Three years ago we reached an agreement that allowed me to take days without pay up to 20% to do consulting. Which brought me to ISB in the first place. With a new contract season upon us it was time to see if we could come to an agreement again….and I’m happy to say we did.
Next year I’ll be on a 90% contract at ISB as the High School Technology & Learning Coordinator. So I’ve given up 10% of my contract to focus on following my recent passion of consulting and presenting.”
What a great opportunity to take your career to the next level! I guess there is much flexibility in our jobs working at international schools. For die-hard members of our international school community, it truly is hard to decide where you will be in five years. Most of us plan year to year, maybe 2 years in advance. Some international schools allow a year to year contract, others make you sign a two-year contract. Either way, each year international educators always have a mini-plan in the back of their mind about where they would like to go next. It is what excites us; the endless possibilities of where you can live and work.continue reading
v2011.06 – 9 October, 2011:
Are you ready for your midterm break yet? If you live in China (or Asia in general), most likely you have already gone on your midterm trip. Some have gone to Bali, others to Vietnam. If you live in Europe, then your midterm break is probably in just 1-2 weeks time, or week 42 as it is known amongst the locals. Some will go to Malta, others to Greece. If you live in the United States and work for a public school, then you most likely will not get any week off of work until Christmas. Another one of the many perks teaching abroad at international schools!
We all need a break at this point in the year. Ironically though, some trips take time to plan…a lot of time! Hours and hours of searching on various search websites for flights. More hours searching and searching for the right hostal or hotel to stay at or what tour to join. The frustrating part sometimes is that the cheapest flight prices in certain countries are actually found on websites that are only in the host country’s language. Great if you can read that langauge, but a bit challenging if you don’t. It is good to have a native speaker help you out with checking out the airfares on those websites, just to double check you are getting the best deal.
The midterm break is a good chance to go visit some of your friends around the world. Got a friend now in Egypt? Now is your chance to go visit him/her! At International School Community, networking and gathering information is very easy. Get answers about schools that you are interested in by clicking on the school profile page link and sending a message to one of the members of that school on our website. It’s a great way to get firsthand information! Also, it is a great way to start making some new friends across the world that you can go visit. Currently, International School Community members work at or have worked at 72 international schools! Check out which schools here.
Photo by Duncan P Walker
· Featured article: Moving Overseas with Children by Teachers International Consultancy (part 2)
“If your child is joining an international school where many expatriate children attend, then expect the school to be the social as well as the learning centre for the community…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #2 – “Energy is eternal delight”
“We have all had interviews in one of those hotel rooms where the interviewers seem disorganized, unaware really of who is sitting in front of them at the moment. Some interviewers due indeed look rather confused and out-of-sorts…”
· Educating children abroad can be an expensive business, so it’s important to start planning early
“One good benefit that international schools provide for their teachers is free tuition for their children to attend the school. That is worth around £20,000! Too bad teachers without children can’t pocket that money if they were offered the same benefit…”
· Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #1 (Hong Kong, Shanghai & Seoul)
“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….”
· Great link – U.S. Dept. of State’s information on Teaching Overseas
“There is a list of 197 international schools that the U.S. Department provides assistance to. These school support an American-style education…”
1000 comments and information celebration:
International School Community is celebrating over 1000 comments and information which have been posted now on our website! Currently, we are at 1079. For a limited time, all members can use the coupon code (1000COMMENTS) to get 50% off of their next premium membership subscription. With the coupon code: 1 month is only 5 USD, 6 months is now only 10 USD and 1 year is only 15 USD!
Take advantage of this special deal now as this coupon code is valid only until 8 November, 2011. International School Community is the website to go to for international school teachers!
·Slc Chu (International School Singapore)
Current Survey Topic:
“I was recommended a job by an old swimming friend who was already working in an international school. The job was in Shanghai, China so without hestiation, I packed my bags and made the beiggest decision of my life (or so I thought at that point)…
If you’d like to be one of our next member spotlights send us a message here. Highlighted members will receive a coupon code for 6 free months of premium access!
An international school’s encounter with internet pirates“Over the past several months, the International School of Stavanger has been challenged with a new and unpleasant phenomenon – being taken ‘virtual hostage’ by internet pirates.In February, 2011 we started getting some emails from candidates applying for non-existent ESL and English teaching jobs. They referred to having seeing ads on various ESL employment websites.When I went onto one of these websites, sure enough there was a posting for an ESL job at our school starting in May 2011. The job would pay benefits including 1800 Euro per month and the advert suggested applicants write to an individual (who really does work here), referring to her as the ‘Recruitment Manager.’
Of course, the job was pure fiction. Probably the silliest part is the idea that we would be paying a Euro-based salary. The Norwegian Kroner is the only currency we use for salary payments. (However, that last piece of information is also what has led the police to believe that this mischief had been accomplished not by a disgruntled individual with a possible connection to the school, but was probably was a ‘phishing’ expedition.)”
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
The Night Before
“Once I get there I am sure the excitement will set in again. I am sure I will still have periods where I am homesick. I am so glad that the internet, cell phones and skype have all been invented, and I have access to them.”
Getting to know the school
“The schedule here is quite interesting and confusing right now. They have an 8 period day, but periods 1 &2, 3 & 4, and 6 & 7 are block periods. Periods 5 and 8 are single periods. They also do not have the classes the same time everyday.”*If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.
It’s holiday time and most of us are on some trip enjoying our time off. We might be home with our families in our home countries, or we also might be on some tropical island (if we are so lucky!).
But where you go often depends on how much the flight costs to the place you want to go. If your school is paying via your flight allowance benefit, then perfect! But if you are paying, then you for sure are looking out for the best deal (sometimes for hours on flight search websites!)
It is hard to know what it is like flying out of a city you haven’t lived in yet. How much are the flights to within the host country itself, to nearby countries and to your home country like England or the United States for example?
If the flights are too expensive in relation to your salary, then it might be very likely you won’t be going home a lot for the holidays. If going home every holiday season is important for you, then it is good to know this information up front before you make a decision to move and live somewhere.
An average international school teacher probably goes on at least one flight every one to two months while living abroad. That means many cities in a number of different countries. These costs can add up and take away from your savings, but it is just what international school teachers like to do!
When job searching, make sure to consider the full picture of the host country airport that you might just be using if you sign a contract with a school there.
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to getting the inside scoop on how much flights actually cost from various host cities across the world, so you can stay the most informed as possible. It is called: “Sample travel airfares from host city airport to destinations nearby.”
Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 141 comments in this comment topic (Dec. 2016). Here are a few that have been submitted:
“Direct flights to the US can be up to 2000USD (JFK), Europe around 1500USD and Australia similar. Prices shoot up around major holidays. There are a number of low-cost airlines operating, which means you can fly more or less anywhere in East/South East Asia for less that 200USD.” – Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China) – 54 Comments
“Flights purchased 21 days in advance on discount airlines within Europe can be as little as 20$. But beware, sometimes these flights are cancelled with little or now warning, and you’re left having to purchase a much more expensive one with a different airline at the last-minute. Flights to Asia or the USA will run between 500-1000$, depending on when you travel. Everything is more expensive in July and August, so try to plan travel in off-peak times for the best deals.” – Oeiras International School (Lisbon, Portugal) – 111 Comments
“Check KLM’s website every now and again. They sometimes give great deals on empty seats from Denpasar to Singapore. I’ve flown it for $59 on occasion. Also- pro tip- If you have money to spare and want a few hours of luxury. When checking in, go to the Business Class counter and ask if there are any empty seats. They used to sell them for $50 extra. Now they’ve fixed the price at about $110.” – Green School Bali (Denpasar, Indonesia) – 54 Comments
“Doha is a central airport in the world – usually the stopover for flights from Europe to Asia, so there are amazing flight options from here. Cheapest weekend flights are to other middle eastern countries/cities – Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Bahrain/ Oman. You can get good deals on Qatar Airways too. Popular destinations from here (but not in a weekend): Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Turkey. I think the flight prices aren’t too bad (in relation to salaries here) they might seem expensive when you exchange to another currency.” – Qatar Academy (Sidra) (Doha, Qatar) – 59 Commentscontinue reading