Around the world, there are cities that have more than one international school. Many times there is an American school, a British School, and an international school that uses an international curriculum.
Some cities, though, have MANY international schools! When that is the case, how do the comments about each school compare to each other?
This blog series looks at comparing some of these comments, all coming from international schools in the same city.
Currently, we have 31 schools listed in Hong Kong on International School Community.
22 schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:
American International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 24 Comments
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 79 Comments
Chinese International School (Hong Kong, China) – 9 Comments
Creative Secondary School (Hong Kong, China) – 39 Comments
Discovery College (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 17 Comments
German Swiss International School (Hong Kong, China) – 13 Comments
Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China) – 54 Comments
Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 110 Comments
International Christian School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 19 Comments
Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 18 Comments
“I was a local hire, so I didn’t get anything, but I don’t know if they have added this as a benefit.” – American International School (Hong Kong)
“You get an annual flight allowance of $1500 (around 11 644 HKD), but it is paid in 12 monthly installments.” – Creative Secondary School
“There are not many benefits, so it generally takes quite a bit of money initially to move here – paying apartment deposits, flights, etc. There is a small settling-in allowance, but it does not cover your expenses. The school offers a high salary, but not much in the way of benefits.” – Canadian International School (Hong Kong)
“It depends on who you ask at our school. There is a lot of work that you need to do. You are required to stay until 16h every day.” – Hong Kong International School
“Teachers normally teach 5 out of 8 blocks, plus an advisory lesson each week (and a 10 minute Homebase each morning).
There are a few after school/evening events during the year (back to school night, Graduation, PTCs etc), but nothing onerous.
ASAs are run by outside agencies, or usually receive some sort of stipend…. and are purely voluntary anyway.” – Hong Kong Academy
“They are reasonable. Teachers are expected to sponsor one club, but you can make up virtually anything. I had a “Culture Club” one year and took students on a monthly trip to explore one culture through theatre, arts, and cuisine.” – American International School (Hong Kong)
“The world is rather easy. You can show at 8 and complete at 3:30.” – Creative Secondary School
“Hong Kong has Mandatory Provident Fund. Teacher pays $1500/month direct deposit into account, directs where money goes (type of investment), and receives accrued money when leaving Hong Kong.” – Canadian International School (Hong Kong)
“Pension plan is a matching 3% on your salary.” – Hong Kong Academy
“You have to put money into a Provident fund, either 6% or 12% of your salary and the school matches the 6% or 12%. If you leave you have to take it out.” – Hong Kong International School
“There is a national plan…” – American International School (Hong Kong)
Demeanor of Students
“The students are from middle-class families which do not like local schools, but too poor to send their children to international schools.” – Creative Secondary School
“The majority of students are polite, well-behaved, and serious about their studies. Teachers are sometimes concerned that students are too serious about grades, at the expense of creativity and balanced life outside academics.” – Canadian International School (Hong Kong)
“The students are pleasant enough, and as an inclusive school with a wide international catchment area are certainly a varied bunch which keeps things interesting. Serious behaviour issues are rare.” – Hong Kong Academy
“The kids I have taught are very motivated and engaged in my lessons.” – Hong Kong International School
(These are just 4 of the 65 different comments topics that on each school profile page on our website.)
If you work at an international school in Hong Kong, share what you know. Consider becoming a Mayor for unlimited premium membership!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 to which they have never been. So let’s share what we know!
One of our members, who works at the Xian Hi-Tech International School (Xian, China), described his way to work there as follows:
The road to XHIS…….
This is going to sound terribly stereotypical but one of the many reasons I love living in Shaanxi province is the potatoes! Now can you guess where I come from? I will tell you later. My journey to work each day is a very short one, but my journey to Xi’an has been a long one. I hope you enjoy reading about it.
My name is Brian Lalor and I am in my third year at Xi’an Hi-Tech International School, in Shaanxi province in China. We are a two programme IB world school and are working towards offering three of the four excellent IB programmes. Our school is small at present with only 270 students but we are at capacity and have an exciting move to a new purpose-built campus coming up in August 2017.
Each morning I get up and travel about four minutes to school! I know, the shortest ever commute, right? Our school is situated in residential area and all of our teachers’ apartments are located around the school. We are about 30 minutes from the city center in the southern suburbs. I ride my bicycle to school each day, that is why my journey is so short.
On my journey to school I pass through the morning market. Here local vendors sell fruit, vegetables, nuts and breads for very reasonable prices. One of the wonderful advantages to living in Xi’an is the potential to save money. It is much easier to live here when compared to other big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong. Our school pays for our apartment, flights, international health insurance and gives us a monthly allowance for living overseas. Before coming to Xi’an I worked in Ha Noi for nine years, and in Jakarta before that. Each city has its own advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantages living in Xi’an are the standard of healthcare and the bad pollution in Winter.
Some of the wonders Xi’an has to offer are as follows. We are literally just a short 25-minute car ride to the beautiful Qin Ling Mountains which provides us with a great way to escape the heat in summer and some lovely snowy landscapes in winter. Another highly attractive feature unique to this city, is its amazing millenary history, with archaeological sites found literally in every part of town, with the city wall being one of its main attractions. And who hasn’t heard of the world-famous “Terra Cota Warriors”. Xi’an was once the ancient capital of China so as you can imagine there are lots to see in and around the community.
If you have not guessed it I am born and bread Irish. Oh those lovely potatoes! The food here is incredible and you could literally have a potato dish, every day of the week. Some noodles are even made out of potato here!
This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author and International School Community member.
What to know more what it is like to visit and live in China? Out of a total of 165 international schools there are 110 that have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:
Beijing BISS International School (Beijing, China) – 36 Comments
Beijing City International School (Beijing, China) – 31 Comments
Beijing International Bilingual Academy (Beijing, China) – 35 Comments
International School of Beijing (Beijing, China) – 25 Comments
Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 95 Comments
Western Academy Beijing (Beijing, China) – 43 Comments
Changchun American International School (Changchun, China) – 50 Comments
QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China) – 64 Comments
Guangdong Country Garden School (Foshan, China) – 48 Comments
Guangzhou Huamei International School (Guangzhou, China) – 48 Comments
Harbin No. 9 High School International Division (Songbei Campus) (Harbin, China) – 45 Comments
American International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 24 Comments
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 69 Comments
Creative Secondary School (Hong Kong, China) – 39 Comments
Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China) – 34 Comments
Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 104 Comments
Canadian International School Kunshan (Kunshan, China) – 28 Comments
Kang Chiao International School (Kunshan, China) – 41 Comments
Access International Academy (Ningbo) (Ningbo, China) – 48 Comments
British International School Shanghai – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 35 Comments
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 86 Comments
Shanghai American School – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 39 Comments
Shanghai Community International School (Shanghai, China) – 33 Comments
Shanghai Rego International School (CLOSED) (Shanghai, China) – 74 Comments
Shanghai United International School (Shanghai, China) – 40 Comments
Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 204 Comments
Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 27 Comments
Buena Vista Concordia International School (Shenzhen, China) – 39 Comments
International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (Shenzhen, China) – 26 Comments
QSI International School of Shekou (Shenzhen, China) – 20 Comments
Suzhou Singapore International School (Suzhou, China) – 47 Comments
Wellington College International Tianjin (Tianjin, China) – 54 Comments
EtonHouse International Schools, Wuxi (Wuxi, China) – 49 Comments
Xian Hi-Tech International School (Xian, China) – 54 Comments
Zhuhai International School (Zhuhai, China) – 59 Comments
So what is your journey to the international school you work at? Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’. Email us here if you are interested.continue reading
Get inspired to make your next travel plan!
Traveling Around: Hong Kong, China
Can you relate?
• Being overwhelmed by the thousands of people you see as you are getting out of the metro system.
• Trying your best to just walk in a straight line on a sidewalk because of all the people around you trying to also walk in a straight line to their destination.
• Enjoying the wonderful view of the mountains and sea and thinking how nice it would be to live here.
• Keeping your head looking up to the sky as you are walking around the city because of all the amazingly tall skyscrapers.
• Finding it very cool to get the chance to walk into a little temple and observe the locals in a non-obtrusive way.
• Being surprised to find that the normal grocery stores here have a wide range of products, including many products from my home country. How nice!
• Walking around the city and randomly running into the local zoo, realizing it is free and taking advantage of looking at all the cool animals on offer.
• Loving looking at all the large signs on each street, how they jet out over the streets.
• Eating at a more ‘local’ restaurant and getting the chance to eat some of the seasonal dishes on offer.
• Finding out that expats here can go to mainland China for some time, to go shopping, without having a tourist visa.
• Feeling lucky to go up to the peak on a cloudless, sunny day. The view is really outstanding.
• Running into a school that had outside walls that were so colorful and inviting.
• Riding on the old trams in the downtown area and finding out that they were shipped over long ago from somewhere in the UK I think.
• Taking a ride on a smaller city bus and seeing that there was a number sign telling how fast that the driver was driving.
• Enjoying eating at the non-restaurants places, like the ones that just have take-away food available, such tasty food!
• Being astounded hearing about how much apartments actually cost there, so expensive!
• Hearing Cantonese being spoken through the city, but then not really meeting anyone that didn’t also speak English.
• Finding it surprising how much there was discrimination between Hong Kongers and mainland Chinese people.
Currently we have 29 international schools listed in Hong Kong on International School Community. Here are the ones that have had comments submitted on them:
• American International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 24 Comments
• Hong Kong Academy Primary School (Hong Kong, China) – 34 Comments
• Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 62 Comments
• International Christian School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 19 Comments
• Singapore International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 14 Comments
• Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 17 Comments
If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your “Can you relate?” traveling experiences. Tell us where you are traveling in the world, what you are seeing and how you are coping with any culture shock. Once your Traveling Around experience is posted on our blog, International School Community will give you SIX free months of premium membership!continue reading
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 32nd blog that we would like to highlight is called “Expat Teacher Man” Check out the blog entries of this veteran international school educator who currently works at (53 Total Comments on our website) in Hong Kong. He also has worked at in Kobe, Japan and at
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“Find friends not associated with your school. International school teaching is incredibly demanding. Find friends outside your realm that will not remind you of work.
Accept yourself and your current situation. My dad told me often that I am going to have to learn to appreciate being alone if I am to survive overseas. He was so very right. I remember him specifically telling me to quit feeling sorry for myself and that if you are experiencing culture shock in Singapore….”Try moving to Mississippi!”
You are a professional, act like one. Do not personalize decisions made from your administrators. Move on…”
It is a great idea to make friends that don’t also work at your school. Making other friends can depend on: whether or not you can speak the local language at a highly proficient level, how many other expats that live in your new host country/city, and your personality.
It is also good to come to terms with your current situation with your new living and working spaces as quickly as possible; there does need to be some time to adjust though.
The drama at international schools can sometimes be very high, but many schools in your home country also have drama as well. Always great advice though; to make sure that you are being the most professional when working at your international school.
“I now teach at a prestigious school in Hong Kong. I have taught at Singapore American School and the Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan. The following is a body of thought on what to expect if you are fortunate to interview for an overseas teaching position. Most of my thinking comes from successfully securing jobs at three separate recruitment fairs. I am also sharing my learning from the Principals’ Training Center for International Educators. I hope it helps.
International School Services, Search Associates and the Council of International Schools are three of the top recruitment agencies that connect teachers with international schools. Each has recruitment fairs all over the world.Each is pretty similar in their approach and I recommend that you choose the one that is right for you. I have had a lot of luck with International School Services.
Currently there are over 6,000 international schools in over 230 countries. I am one of nearly 300,000 staff members that make a living at an international school. If you have three or more years experience as a certified teacher and you have proper references, I imagine you are likely to get a teaching position somewhere overseas.
However, the most sought after positions are highly competitive. My Hong Kong interview process spanned three consecutive days. I spoke with my current supervisor a total of seven times before finally signing my contract…”
It is interesting that this blogger hasn’t mentioned getting hired by Skype as that seems to be getting more and more common these days. There are good reasons to decide to attend a big recruitment fair, but sometimes that isn’t possible for everyone. At one of the big fairs you can: interview with many different international schools from all over the world, network with many international school teachers and administration, and hopefully sign a contract then and there!
Want to work for an international school in Hong Kong like this blogger? Currently, we have 26 international schools listed in the Hong Kong on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
• • • • • • • •continue reading
There are so many international schools in Hong Kong. Which ones are good places for international school teachers to work at? How does the international teaching community view the international schools there?
Inspiring speech by the founder of this school – Dr. Mel Kieschnick. What a history this school must have being that it was founded back in 1956!d
There have been 33 comments and information submitted on this international school on our website. Want to know more about what life is like as a teacher at this international school? Take a look a their profile page on our website – Hong Kong International School
Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 23 international schools listed in the city of Hong Kong. The number of comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right the link to each school. Here are a just a few of them:
• American International School (Hong Kong) (22 Comments)
• Hong Kong Academy Primary School (14 Comments)
• Renaissance College Hong Kong (5 Comments)
• Singapore International School (Hong Kong) (7 Comments)
• Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) (8 Comments)
• International Christian School (Hong Kong) (19 Comments)
• Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (11 Comments)
If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in Hong Kong, log-on today and submit your own comments and information. If you submit more than 30 comments and information, then you can get 1 year of premium access to International School Community for free!continue reading
v2012.05 – 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
The Top Schools website (http://www.topschools.hk/) has some excellent information about the many international schools in Hong Kong.
There are many international educators interested in working at these schools. There are around 29 international schools listed on the Top Schools website. Some of the international schools listed on their website are: Australian International School, Canadian International School, Kingston International School, German Swiss International School, etc…
Highlighted sections from their website:
DISCOVERY BAY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
“With 940 students, DBIS follows a curriculum based on that of the National Curriculum of England and Wales. Admissions are non selective and students are drawn from the Discovery Bay community. Demand for places is high and the school introduced a iPremium School Development Levy of HK$450,000 – s a means for parents to gain a “fast track” entry to the Kindergarten and Primary sections. Presumably, this means those that pay this premium levy get priority in the selection process.”
HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
“A highly reputable school following an American-style curriculum. 58% of its students are American and 56% are Christian. Debenture holders receive priority. Lower Primary will be relocated for three academic years. R2, Grade 1 and Grade 2 classes will relocate to an existing unused school building in Chai Wan. Click for detailed info on the relocation.”
HARROW INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
“Opening September 2012. The first international day and boarding school in Hong Kong. Operated by the Harrow International Group, Harrow International school is an arm of the 439-year old British school that educated Winston Churchill. The Hong Kong branch is the third in Asia. The others are in Beijing and Bangkok. This is a full through-train school accepting students as young as 2. Debentures sold out. The first batch of individual debentures and individual capital certificates has been fully subscribed. Parents interested in ICCs and IDs, may apply to be put on the waiting list. The price of the second batch is yet to be determined. Applicants may opt to pay the annual levy at $50,000/year – this is non-interest bearing, non-refundable and non-transferable.”
Currently, there are 17 international schools listed under Hong Kong on International School Community:
American International School (Hong Kong) ( 22 Comments)
German Swiss International School ( 2 Comments)
Hong Kong Academy Primary School ( 14 Comments)
Hong Kong International School ( 2 Comments)
Independent School Foundation Academy ( 0 Comments)
Kennedy School ( 0 Comments)
Renaissance College Hong Kong ( 5 Comments)
The ISF Acadmey (Hong Kong) ( 0 Comments)
Japanese International School ( 0 Comments)
Singapore International School (Hong Kong) ( 7 Comments)
Diocesan Boys School ( 0 Comments)
Hong Lok Yuen International School ( 4 Comments)
Discovery College (Hong Kong) ( 5 Comments)
Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) ( 8 Comments)
International Christian School (Hong Kong) ( 11 Comments)
Check out the latest comments and information that have been submitted on these schools or submit your own at International School Community.
· 04 Feb Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) (8 new comments)
(Hong Kong, China)
“New teachers are placed in furnished quarters (in China). There is a housing allowance of 1200 USD for teachers in Hong Kong. Management fee for the housing is paid for by school. Teachers in HK will be housed in hotel for 2 months…”
· 04 Feb St. Andrew’s – International School of the Bahamas (7 new comments)
“There is a retirement plan offered. The school’s contribution is 7%…”
· 03 Feb Karachi American School (5 new comments)
“Due to visa restrictions, the school prefer hiring teaching couples with US certification. Due to new visa and tax laws US citizenship is a priority when the school is recruiting. Age limit for hiring is 55 years old…”
· 03 Feb Üsküdar American Academy & Sev Elementary (7 new comments)
“There is a masters/PHD stipend and a contract extension bonus…”
· Great resource: Maps of world website and information about international schools
“This website not surprisingly is an excellent resource for finding the map that best fits your needs, but it also oddly enough has some information about international schools.There are at least two sections that we found that highlight the international schools in specific locations around world. We would like to highlight…”
· Highlighted article: Mumbai’s new genre international schools
“Another issue with a resurgence of international schools is finding highly qualified teachers to work at them. Hiring international teachers can be a big business as well with sometimes many international schools fighting over to get first pick at finding suitable candidates…”
· Video highlight: A discussion about language learning and the second language learning of children at international schools
“How great to start off each day with the flag ceremony and the Thai National Anthem! Being that the majority of their students are Thai, they have a strong focus on honoring and respecting Thai and Asian cultural values…”
· Highlighted article: India’s most admired international schools
“It is challenging to come up though with the perfect second language acquisition environment in international schools. There are many factors that come into play…”
· Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #3 (Harbin No. 9 School, Int’l School of Helsinki & Cph Int’l School)
“18000RMB per month 2000RMB taken out in taxes each month. No receipt of this transaction is given as would be the regular accounting practice for a well run school. YOu may need a record of this when you leave the country…”
Teachers International Consultancy (TIC)“Have you ever wanted to teach internationally but struggled to know what school and what country would be best? Do you have questions about getting an international job? Well Teachers International Consultancy (TIC) is holding two one-hour webinars on Thursday 9th February to help teachers during their decision-making process. Both webinars will be run by Andrew Wigford, Director of TIC, who has over 20 years of international teaching experience. The first webinar focuses on finding the right international school and the right job. This will include information on the different types of international schools, their locations and the different curriculum options. Plus, there will be a question and answer session where you can ask Andrew any questions you may have. This webinar will take place at 5pm GMT on Thursday 9th February…”
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
A few photos:
“Here’s a collection of photos we took the other day, on the roof of our apartment block. If you consider the size of our apartment and that there are two like that on each floor, it’ll give a real idea of the size of the space up there. There’s a few ISD families in this block, with young children; we’re figuring it’d be great to meet up for brunch on the roof during weekends…” Where shall we go?:
“I know we’ve only just arrived, but it’s time to start thinking about where to go on holiday. We’ve a week in October, a month at Christmas, and two weeks at Easter. So many places are relatively close, so we’re spoilt for choice. Only problem is it costs about $200 in exit taxes per person….”
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International School Community is full of thousands of useful, informative comments…14691 comments (25 Oct. 2015) to be exact.
Members are recommended to keep their comments objective on our website, and sometimes they need to share how it really is working at their international school.
We scoured our database of comments, and we found 12 that stood out to us as being some of the most controversial.
12. In general, why are people staying at or leaving this school?
The management is largely ineffective and there is no clear goal for the school overall. There are no lines of communication between administrators and teachers, and not even within departments at the same school. There is very much of an “every man for himself” attitude. The pay is good enough to make some people stay for a while because of that. – Cambridge International School (Cambridge, United Kingdom) – 9 Comments
11. Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals.
“Most of the third tier International Schools (which PAIS is one of) will just pay the bare minimum legal requirement, as a box-ticking exercise to be able to say their teachers are covered. In reality the insurance is little more than a joke, teachers have shared anecdotes of actually getting laughed at when showing their card at a hospital. This is endemic across many, many schools here. With that said, PAIS’s teacher insurance program is not the absolute lowest, there are worse ones, but not by far.” – Pan Asia International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 16 Comments
10. Pension plan details.
“There is something not at all right about the pension plan. No one understands it. Very little information is given. No other international schools in Germany use this dodgy system. The director used to be a banker and so he knows how to manipulate the system I guess. It’s a very insecure feeling.” – Metropolitan School Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany) – 36 Comments
9. Average amount of money that is left to be saved.
“Hong Kong is no longer the “Golden Goose”, with rent increases and the peg to the US eating away much of the previous savings potential. I worked at the Hong Kong YCIS when the accommodation packages were being negotiated with staff. Previously, the school provided small and basic accommodation but it was conveniently located (Wanchai, Sai Kung, Tai Po). They warned expats at the time about going to cash allowances, since the rents at the time were at a very low point (1999). Now they have almost tripled, and the cash allowance won’t even cover half the cost of the same flats the school used to provide.. Careful what you wish for, I guess.” – Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 17 Comments
8. Details about the staff housing or the housing allowance. If there is no housing allowance, how much are rent costs and utilities?
“Housing is a contentious issue. Most housing is either at elementary campus (older apartments, flood-prone), Twiga Apartments near the secondary (nice new apartments, but with a high population density and a LOT of children), Regents Estate (older apartments a bit of a way from both campuses. Used to be nice, but need better maintenance). There is a new building going up at elementary campus, consisting of fairly small 2 bedroom apartments. The school has committed to investing quite a bit of money to improve the older elementary housing and bring it up to standards and flood proof them. However, options are still limited and especially new teachers end up “at the bottom of the barrel”. Dar es Salaam in general has notoriously high rental prices.” – International School of Tanganyika (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) – 141 Comments
7. Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year?
“There is no tax in the UAE so what you earn is yours. It is VERY expensive to enjoy the UAE however, so don’t get too excited about a salary which would be attractive in your own country’s equivalent money. The school pays you each month, but it is often paid late (could be up to a week late!) and there’s nothing you can do about it. The UAE law states that ALL teachers should be paid a minimum of 12,000 dirhams, however Wesgreen pays most teachers way less than this and instead pay the fine to the ministry of labour (which is considerably less than paying staff members the correct wage!). Take my advice and DO NOT ACCEPT LESS THAN 10,000 DIRHAMS! The school will try to pay you as least as they can and you will be upset when you speak to another teacher in the same department doing exactly the same job earning 2 or 3 thousand more dirhams than you! This happens a lot! Men seem to get paid more than the female staff (doing exactly the same job) and passport holders of certain countries seem to get paid more than other also. Even if you think you will be fine earning 8 or 9 thousand, wait until you see the price of a decent food shop, or a normal meal out or a few drinks in a bar etc. etc. it is VERY expensive to enjoy Dubai!!!” – Wesgreen International Private School (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates) – 23 Comments
6. Are the expectations high of teaching staff? Are there extra curricular responsibilities? Describe workload details.
“The workload on paper looks amazing…but the lack of organization, the reactive nature, covering classes as a substitute, poor communication, confusing expectations all tend to destroy ones ability to focus on what’s best for the kids like planning and implementing really great lessons k-12.” – Seisen International School (Tokyo, Japan) – 51 Comments
5. What does the school do to create a harmonious state of well-being and high morale amongst its staff?
“Note: About the male principal–he was sleeping on the job!! While the rest of us teachers were putting in over 40 hrs a week–he would sleep every afternoon. He deserved to be fired! When he and the Head teacher would come into our classrooms to visit–they would yell at us in front of the students–very de-moralizing! I’m so glad those people don’t work at our school anymore! AND–the students and parents were happier after they were fired!! The female principal took too many “free days” and her husband who was teaching French, had failed to do a good job. They left after a professional French teacher from the University of Tirana came and did an assessment of the student’s learning abilities. The students had ALL failed the test!” – Albanian International School (Tirana, Albania) – 19 Comments
4. What insider information would you give to a teacher considering working at this school?
“Do not join this school if you are expecting to be treated professionally by the upper management (above principal level) Feedback from the Director responsible for Quality Control is non-existent. Do not believe anything you are told as it can bechanged at the last moment on a whim.” – United Private Schools (Muscat, Oman) – 7 Comments
3. What controversies have been happening lately? Please be objective.
“An endless list of controversies. All teachers on different pay scales and contracts (causing division amongst staff). A Managing Director who tried to cut staff holidays and pay, and then allegedly assaulted a staff member. The introduction of teaching some subjects in German, causing teachers to feel demotivated and concerned about their jobs, as well as a great deal of parent dissatisfaction” – Berlin British School (Berlin, Germany) – 31 Comments
2. Recent things that the school has taken on (i.e. new curriculum, specific professional development, etc.).
“International schools must comply with new ministerial decree The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | May 23 2014 | 10:38 PM Share The Education and Culture Ministry says that international schools must make adjustments to their curriculum as stipulated by a new ministerial decree issued on April 23. Education and Culture Ministerial Decree No. 31/2014 on the cooperation and management of foreign education institutions with Indonesian education institutions stipulates that educators at international schools must be registered with the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry and the Education and Culture Ministry, Antara news agency reported. Furthermore, the Education and Culture Ministry’s director general of early childhood education programs, Lydia Freyani Hawadi, said that teachers at international schools must also be proficient in Indonesian, as stipulated by Manpower and Transmigration Ministry laws. She explained that they must be proficient in the language because Indonesian students studying at international schools must take four compulsory subjects: religious studies, Indonesian language, history and citizenship studies. “The teacher’s education must be suited to the subject they teach,” Lydia told reporters on Friday. A school’s curriculum must also be adjusted to national standards, and foreign students must be taught cultural studies, she said. Furthermore, Lydia emphasized that international schools could not be fully owned by foreign stakeholders, as the law stipulates that foreigners can only own 49 percent of a school. The school must also be able to prove that it has enough capital to run the school for the next six years. “Most importantly, there will no longer be ‘international schools’. They must change their names,” she explained. Lydia said that the ministry had held talks with 44 schools to discuss the new ministerial decree, adding that a majority of the schools did not have any accreditation. If a school does not comply with the ministry’s demands, the school management could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined Rp 1 billion (US$86,000) under Law No. 20/2003 on the national education system. (fss)” – Surabaya International School (Surabaya, Indonesia) – 54 Comments
1. Details about the teaching contract. What important things should prospective teachers know about?
“Read your contract carefully. do not sign an unsigned contract. contracts signed by the teachers have been changed and then signed by the owner. If you have issues with the owner his first and only reaction is to tell you to take him to court where he will happily drag the case out to cost you a lot of money.” – Makuhari International School (Tokyo, Japan) – 22 Comments
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