As all International School Community members know, each of the 2120+ school profile pages on our website has four comments and information sections: School Information, Benefits Information, City Information and Travel Information. Our members are encouraged to submit comments and information on one or all of these sections if they currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the past. It is important that we all share what we know so that we can in turn help other new teachers make a more informed decision before they sign any contract! *Additionally, for every 10 comments you submit (which are anonymous by the way), you automatically get one free month of premium membership added on to your account! The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!
FOR UNLIMITED FREE MEMBERSHIP, BECOME A MAYOR OF A SCHOOL TODAY!
So, what are the recent statistics about the City Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the City Information sections is 5518 (out of a total of 35256+ comments); up 1134 comments since February 2019.
There are 17 subtopics in the City Information section on each school profile page. Check out each one of these subtopics below and find out out the total number of comments in that specific subtopic and also an example comment that has been submitted there.
• Name your favorite restaurants, favorite places to go to and favorite things to do in the city. (599 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Going to check out and relax in the church that was made in rock (Temppeliaukio) is a great things to do on a rainy (or sunny) day. They play relaxing music as you just sit in one of the pews and looks up to see the copper designed ceiling. So beautiful!” – Helsinki International School (Helsinki, Finland) – 41 Comments
• Locations in the city geared towards the expat lifestyle (grocery stores, bars, etc.). (516 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Taipa has a lot geared towards expat. The local Park’n’Shop grocery store is full of imported things.” – The School of the Nations (Macao, China) – 20 Comments
• Sample prices for food, transportation, average hourly rates for a housekeeper, etc. (525 Total Comments)
Example comment: “You could definitely get a good main dish at a nice restaurant for 6-8 EUR. The public transportation is free for the locals, but for tourists, it is .80 to 1.60 EUR a ride. Of course there are cheaper tickets, like days passes, etc.” – International School of Estonia (Tallinn, Estonia) – 22 Comments
• Detailed info about lifestyles: singles vs. couples, gay vs. straight, nightlife vs. quiet and big city vs nature. (423 Total Comments)
Example comment: “If you like riding your bike around everywhere, there aren’t always the best bike paths in the city. In turn, you need to be alert at all times! With regards to nature, there are super green parks spotted all around the city center. There is also the Wisla river has some “beach” areas where people hang out on a warm day. It is a bit smelly there, but still nice.” – American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) – 143 Comments
• Languages of the host city and the level of English spoken there. (533 Total Comments)
Example comment: “On a scale from 1 to 5, English level is somewhere around 3+. Not everyone speaks English, so knowing German is a big advantage.” – Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 46 Comments
• Sample activities that you can do around the city? Including ones that you can do with a family (children)? (373 Total Comments)
Example comment: “During the summer don’t miss out on Treptower park with Badeschiff (not good for those with children). There is an artificial tropical island not far away from Berlin and many people take their kids there during winter, or to Wannsee during summer. Should you want to go and do the recreational swimming, Berlin Bade Betrieb is there for you on numerous locations.” – Berlin International School (Berlin, Germany) – 12 Comments
• Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year. (578 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Nov. 15 – March 15 is when the government heat is on in the apartments. That’s pretty much when temperatures are below freezing all the time. Over the weekend the weather changed to 5 – 10 degrees above freezing. Spring is about six weeks long. Then summer is hot.” – Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 158 Comments
• Places, markets and stores where you can find really good deals. (266 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Walmart and Kalea (like Ikea) has just about everything you’ll need to set up house. El Martially in zona 14 sells used furniture but bring a Guatemalan friend to negotiate for you. You can also by hand-made furniture off the street very cheaply.” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya) (Guatemala City, Guatemala) – 75 Comments
• Describe a funny culture shock moment that you’ve had recently in this city. (122 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Babies and toddlers with open butt pants and shorts are always fun to see pee all over the place. Trying to cross the street without getting killed is fun as well.” – QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China) – 64 Comments
• Where did the school take you in the city when you first arrived? What were some staff outings/party locations? (170 Total Comments)
Example comment: “When you first arrive, the school sets up a week-long itinerary. . .shopping at many shops, eating at a variety of restaurants. It’s one of the highlights of coming here. Many of the places seen during orientation are too expensive for people to return to often.” – The American School of Kinshasa (Kinshasa, Congo (DRC)) – 59 Comments
• What is the best part of living in this city for you? (268 Total Comments)
Example comment: “I love the ease of getting what you want, when you want.” – Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 145 Comments
• What advice can you give on how to set things up like internet, phone, experience dealing with landlord, etc.? (224 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Internet’s been funky lately but that’s just the new reality in China at the moment. Nobody can do anything about it.” – Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 436 Comments
• Tell your experience moving your items to this city. What company, insurance policy, etc. did you use? (89 Total Comments)
Example comment: “SOS International is a popular choice and you can use it at their clinics here. It’s pricey, though.” – Orchlon School (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) – 76 Comments
• Tell about your experience with the local banks and dealing with multiple currencies. (228 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Most local banks charge $10-$20 for an account. The government now also charges 10% of any fees charged by the bank. Most banks then charge you 1% to withdraw dollars, even if you have a dollar account. This is because their exchange rate is horrible, so people take out the money in dollars then walk to an exchange bureau and get a much better rate. IST has a few agreements in place so that the first $1000 a month does not get charged the fee. Other than that, the banks are okay. Nothing to write home about and you have to watch for random fees, but you can usually get it sorted. Some people just use overseas accounts and you can get money from the ATM, but people often find thousands of dollars missing from accounts when they do that.” – International School of Tanganyika (Dar es salaam, Tanzania) – 171 Comments
• What are some locals customs (regarding eating, drinking and going out, family, socializing, etc.) that you find interesting for expats to know about? (157 Total Comments)
Example comment: “When you receive something in person, from somebody else, it is best to take it using both hands, not just one. Do it with two hands to show respect and appreciation.” – Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China) – 67 Comments
• Tell about your experiences in the local grocery stores. What can you get or cannot get? Which ones are your favorites. (192 Total Comments)
Example comment: “If you are from an Asian country I would suggest finding an H Mart. The Buford Highway farmers market has country specific named aisles with all of the countries. The Dekalb farmers market has a lot of unique fruits (think durian) and vegetables that you won’t find in a typical grocery store as well. All of these markets are worth a visit, especially the Dekalb Farmers Market (don’t go on a weekend!) and are huge.” – Atlanta International School (Atlanta, United States) – 31 Comments
• What is the most challenging/difficult part of living in the city? (255 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The Spanish spoken here is very difficult to understand. There is a lot of slang and people speak very fast.” –Santiago College (Santiago, Chile) – 24 Commentscontinue reading
Our 17847 current members (up 3500 members from December 2018) work at or have worked at 1200+ international schools.
How amazing is that?! In just over nine years now, our “international school community” has grown into an excellent network of international school teachers. With so much experience and knowledge about life working at over 1200 international schools on our website, the other members are able to stay updated and informed about the schools at which they are interested in working. Additionally, now it is even easier to find the right members to contact for networking purposes and for gathering more information about the specific questions you may have about working at a certain international school.
Which international schools on our website have the most members you ask? Here are our top 10 schools:
American International School in Egypt
Copenhagen International School
Western International School of Shanghai
International School of Kuala Lumpur
International School Manila
Jakarta Intercultural School
MEF International School (Istanbul)
Seoul Foreign School
International School of Tanganyika
Brent International School Manila
Want to see the rest of the top 40 list of schools with the most members? Check out this page which displays the names and avatar pictures of each member that either currently works at that school now or has worked there in the past.
So take a moment to browse our School list page, over members have worked at over 1200 international school from all over the world. Maybe you will find that we have some members who know about the international school about which you are looking to gain more information.continue reading
Our mission for the International School Community website is to have the most updated information about what it is like to work at the numerous international schools around the world. One way to help us achieve that mission is to have Mayors.
Being a Mayor is super easy, and the best part is that you get unlimited free premium membership to our website!
• Submit at least 3-6 new comments on your school every 1-2 months (on the 66 different comment topics). It takes like 5-8 minutes of your time to do this.
• Make sure to check on your school’s Wall and occasionally post updates about their school (any big changes to the school that are happening, good tips to know about, recent events at the schools, etc.)
• Make sure that their school has the most updated and correct information (e.g. basic info, links, Facebook page, Youtube video, etc.) on the Overview and Social Media tabs.
• Submit job vacancies that are currently available at your school.
• Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 433 Comments
• NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 298 Comments
• Tarsus American College (Mersin, Turkey) – 139 Comments
• Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 155 Comments
• American School Foundation of Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico) – 127 Comments
• Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 180 Comments
• Yongsan International School of Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 138 Comments
• Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 366 Comments
• Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 166 Comments
• American International School Dhaka (Dhaka, Bangladesh) – 90 Comments
• International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 135 Comments
• Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 158 Comments
• Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 145 Comments
The more Mayors that we have on our website means the more our members will be informed; as there will be more up-to-date information on the schools they want to know about!
Become the Mayor of a school you work at (or have worked at) today!
* Please note that being the Mayor of a school is anonymous, and that all comments and job vacancies submitted on our website are also done so anonymously. Posting on the school profile page wall though is not anonymous.continue reading
It is a time of celebration for International School Community as we now have over 17500 members on our website….and it is Black Friday!
To celebrate 17500+ members and Black Friday, all members can get 30% off of all premium membership subscriptions from 29 Nov – 2 Dec, 2019 (ending 23:59 PST on 1 Dec, 2019).
The 30% off coupon code is: BLKF17KMEMB
Even if you are a member with Premium Membership already right now, you can still add more premium membership during this Black Friday promotion. Just login to our website and go to the Manage Subscription page, choose the membership option that you’d like and then enter this coupon code (BLKF17KMEMB). Next click on the Make a Payment button to pay either with your PayPal account or without logging in to PayPal and just paying with your credit card.
Once you have premium membership access, please take this time to submit some comments on the schools you know about on our website. For every 10 comments you submit, your account will automatically be updated with one free month of premium membership. There is no limit, too. So if you submit 40 comments, then you will get four months of premium membership added to your account for free!
International School Community’s website launched back in February 2011. When our first newsletter came out in May 2011, we only had 49 members! On average, we have been getting over 300-400 people signing up to become new members each month. We hope this trend continues! The more members we have (17500+ at the moment), the more people you have to network with.
International School Community’s goal is to be the largest online community for international schools educators. Our website provides a useful, informative and celebratory environment for networking with other international school teachers and learning about different international schools around the world.
We created a website that would highlight the ins and outs of working at international schools (the benefits, the school itself, the city and travel information, etc.).
Another major goal for this website is to provide experienced teachers the platform to share what they know so that prospective and seasoned international school teachers can make more informed decisions as they venture out to a new international school. Making connections and gathering information about international schools in our community has never been easier! Whether you are looking to make new friends, network with other international school teachers or learn more about the wonderful world of teaching at international schools, International School Community is the place to be.
We want members to provide real information that is specific; information that is related to all the different topics we need to know about before signing a contract. International School Community offers up-to-date information in a highly organized, easy-to-use manner.
You can search our vast collection of international school profile pages to find that specific international school you want to know about. You can also search our member profiles and be able to find a contact to send a private message to so that you can get firsthand information about a school that member has worked at.
We also offer a vast amount of information and links related to the world of teaching at international schools and education in general via our blog.
While the focus of the site is to serve the international school teaching community by providing real and useful information about international schools, we have specifically organized our website to promote our members to leave comments and information that are useful for everyone. Enjoy being an active member on our website!
We strive to have the largest collection of resources and services for the international teaching community. International School Community really wants to take writing reviews and comments about international schools to the next level.
Here are what some of our current members are saying about International School Community:
“It’s really useful…it’s a really good way to find out practical info about schools when you’re looking for jobs. If you are interested in particular schools, you can just contact any member from that school to find out insider info! It’s also good if you just want to find out what life is like for teachers in other cities! Really unique idea!” (An international teacher in China)
“International School Community is a great resource for international school teachers. Whether you are doing research for a new job, or just connecting with other teachers, this site is has a plethora of great information. I especially love that this site has a positive feel to it, rather than a place for teachers to vent. I really recommend registering to be a part of this great idea.” (An international teacher in South Korea)
“You have an amazingly wonderful website and seeing these comments is extremely helpful to me.” (A teacher looking to teach abroad at international schools)
“I am very impressed for a website to take the time to do this. You have a great resource that I certainly could have used when I first set off overseas teaching in 1998!! The site works well and it is nice to get a good background on almost every school I’d wish to work in. You are doing a fantastic job with your website, keep it up!” (A veteran international school teacher)
“I truly love being an international educator and researching and comparing schools, as well as discovering great schools that aren’t as well-known. I am grateful for ISC having a platform that makes it all so easy.” (Another veteran international school teacher)continue reading
As all International School Community members know, each of the 2110+ school profile pages on our website has four comments and information sections: School Information, Benefits Information, City Information and Travel Information. Our members are encouraged to submit comments and information on one or all of these sections if they currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the past. It is important that we all share what we know so that we can in turn help other new teachers make a more informed decision before they sign any contract! *Additionally, for every 10 comments you submit (which are anonymous by the way), you will automatically get one free month of premium membership added on to your account! The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!
So, what are the recent statistics about the Benefits Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the Benefits Information section is 10704 (out of a total of 34612+ comments); that is up 6082 comments from around 12 months ago (Nov. 2018).
There are 20 subtopics in the Benefits Information section on each school profile page. Check out each one of these subtopics below and find out out the total number of comments in that specific sub topic and also an example comment that has been submitted there.
• Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year? (1269 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Salary is paid regularly each month directly into your bank account which the school will help you set up. It is paid in $US…” – Northbridge International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) – 59 Comments
• Details about the staff housing or the housing allowance. If there is no housing allowance, how much are rent costs and utilities? (1279 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Rent prices went up all over Shanghai in the past 1-2 years and even places near the school cost more now, as landlords start seeing that there’s many expats in the area willing to pay more…” – Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 433 Comments
• Average amount of money that is left to be saved. (672 Total Comments)
Example comment: “A teaching couple could easily live and travel on one salary and save 100% of the other. Savings opportunity is obviously significantly less on one salary, but still possible…” – Singapore American School (Singapore) – 256 Comments
• Detailed info about flight, shipping and settling-in allowances. Any other benefits (e.g. free lunches, etc.)? (1134 Total Comments)
Example comment: “$4000 per teaching couple moving allowance (once you arrive in cash), optional $10,000 loan from school interest free (to buy car), annual flights home…” – American International School of Lagos (Lagos, Nigeria) – 21 Comments
• Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals. (980 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Teachers must pay for their own health insurance here as Switzerland doesn’t have a social health care program model. Some of the staff’s partners are actually the local doctors in Leysin, so expect to get seen or have your children get seen by them..” – Leysin American School (Leysin, Switzerland) – 72 Comments
• Ways to make extra money (tutoring, after-school activities, etc.). (433 Total Comments)
Example comment: “As the April 6, 2016 comment below states, there are many opportunities for increasing your monthly pay. Other than that, it is illegal to work for anyone but your visa provider (the school) in China. Lots of teachers tutor or work otherwise on the side anyway, but it is illegal.” – Kang Chiao International School (Kunshan, China) – 81 Comments
• Information about benefits for teachers with dependents. (755 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Teachers with dependents need to pay some fees. These vary and are at the discretion of the school so they could conceivably become higher each year. They do not like to hire people with dependents.” – MEF International School Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey) – 160 Comments
• Professional development allowance details. (534 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The PD allowance allows you to travel and pay for one IB workshop (or any conference) per year. Or you can do two IB online workshops…” – The International School of Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) – 181 Comments
• Pension plan details. (610 Total Comments)
Example comment: “It is not a pension. Due to Brazilian law, each teacher pays 8% of their salary each month into a guarantee fund. This is more or less an unemployment insurance. At the end of your contract, the school agrees to “fire” you, so you can access that fund. Based on the exchange rate at that time, it can vary in USD. At the beginning of my contract is was estimated around $12,000. But, now it will be much closer to $7,000. There is no way to know how much it will actually be in the end.” – American School of Belo Horizonte (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) – 78 Comments
• Describe your experience bringing pets. (259 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Some teachers bring their pets from the USA (and other countries like UAE and Qatar). Some do it via the airlines or a pet relocation service. You need to make sure you pet has their up-to-date shots and whatnot to avoid certain delays and hassles along the way. The shorter your flight to Egypt the easier it might be to get your pet to Egypt.” – American International School in Egypt (Main Campus) (New Cairo City, Egypt) – 62 Comments
• Explain how salaries are decided (e.g. is there a pay schedule? extra step for masters degree? Annual pay raises? Bonuses?). (542 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Each teacher is paid differently. No pay scale. Some teachers with lots of experience paid less than teachers with little experience. Men get paid more than women…” – American School of Durango (Durango, Mexico) – 39 Comments
• How do the school’s benefits compare to other international schools in the area/city? (332 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The pay is lower than other international schools in the area but the school fees are also lower. It is the mid range between the “posh” international schools and the ones that don’t hire internationally trained teachers.” – Ican British International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) – 74 Comments
• How is the school calendar? Is there ample vacation time? (517 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Point of contention. Clearly we are in a Muslim country so we have to abide by the holidays, but as Ramadan keeps pushing up 2 weeks every year, so does Eid (which usually falls in the first term. But we are in one of those awkward times where Eid is falling the first week of school so that means no break from the start of school until December. There is only one week at xmas this year, because we have to make sure to finish school around the start of Ramadan, it will be too hot to come to school while the kids (majority) will be fasting or they just won’t attend school. We will still have a week in Feb and a week in April. No long weekends here. 3 months off for summer.” – Qatar Academy (Sidra) (Doha, Qatar) – 97 Comments
• What are some things that you need to buy/pay for when you first arrive at the school that you didn’t know about beforehand? (276 Total Comments)
Example comment: “If you have a pet you have to pay an extra deposit to the landlord, not covered by school…” – Pechersk School International (Kyiv, Ukraine) – 162 Comments
• Details about the maternity benefits of the host country and school. (139 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Women get 12 weeks at 80% pay. She can take more time off, but without pay and at the business’ discretion. I think men don’t get any time off to be with their newborn.” – Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 46 Comments
• What is the process of getting reimbursed for things? (179 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Fill out a simple form, submit the receipt, and the money is deposited into your account after the purchase has been approved. If you are concerned as to whether or not you will be reimbursed, seek out approval first. I have never been turned down.” – Daegu International School (Daegu, South Korea) – 25 Comments
• Details about new teacher orientation. (212 Total Comments)
Example comment: “We were picked up at the airport by a school driver who drove the Superintendent there to meet us. We were taken directly to our house, and someone had purchased some staple foods for the refrigerator. There were new towels, sheets and pillows. Other teachers/admin in the neighborhood came to greet us that evening and brought over hot food for dinner. It was an excellent welcome. We immediately felt very much at home…” –Lahore American School (Lahore, Pakistan) – 175 Comments
• In general, why are people staying at or leaving this school? (320 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Everyone leaves because the salary scrap and administration is crap. If you had any moral integrity you would also leave after a week.” – Colombo International School (Colombo, Sri Lanka) – 64 Comments
• Details about the teaching contract. What important things should prospective teachers know about? (209 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Read carefully. 3 page contract is very vague and WILL be used in favor of the administration against you. Expect them to try and keep as much of your money as they can. Hence the 2 month salary withholding which you are assured you will get at back end of contract. This does not usually come to fruition.” – Pan Asia International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 69 Comments
• Information on trailing spouses. Can they work under spousal visa (also availability of work) or is it possible to live only on one salary? (53 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Trailing spouses can only be sponsored if you are earning a certain amount. It is not very easy to get a job in some professionals; however, this might change soon with the sponsorship system changing often as we near the World Cup 2022.” – The English Modern School (Doha) (Doha, Qatar) – 64 Commentscontinue reading