Around the world, there are countries (like Albania) 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.
The big question always is…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 country.
Currently, we have 6 schools listed in Albania on International School Community.
4 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are some that have the most submitted comments:
World Academy of Tirana (41 Total Comments)
Albanian International School (32 Total Comments)
Albanian College Tirana (12 Total Comments)
Albanian College Durres (103 Total Comments)
“You can save around 1000 to 1500 Euros each month depending on your lifestyle. Traveling around the region is quite tempting, so you will have to prioritize if you really want to save some money or explore the world…” – Albanian College Durres
“Extremely easy to save money. Restaurants and local hotels are not expensive…” – World Academy of Tirana
“In south of city, owner just bought a field in front of school for student play…” – Albanian College Tirana
“The school has serious safety concerns. The railings could easily fit a small child through them. The ceilings on the main floor have collapsed. There is a pool in the basement without proper ventilation. The only outdoor space for the children to play is on the roof and it is woefully inadequate…” – Albanian College Durres
“The school moved to its current 4-storey building in 2015, with a purpose-built Science Laboratory, Design workshop, Permaculture Garden, multi-functional Sports Court, Gymnasium, Visual Arts studio, Dance Studio, Music Studio, two Libraries, Cafeteria and Bistro…” – World Academy of Tirana
“Housing is provided by the school. Value is 300E per month. Staff pays their own utilities, cable, internet, etc…” – World Academy of Tirana
“Housing allowance is 400 Euros per month for a single teacher…” – Albanian College Tirana
“Housing allowance ranges from 300-400 Euro’s per month depending on single status and number of dependents…” – Albanian College Durres
“Prices much lower than surrounding countries…beer in local restaurants range from 1.2 E to 2.5 euros…” – World Academy of Tirana
“To take a taxi from within the center of the city, it will cost you around 350-450 LEK. Quite cheap! Going out for food will probably cost you around 1600-1700 LEK for two people, and that includes a few drinks and appetizers…” – Albanian International School
“Housekeepers prices vary. Some expats pay 10,000 Leke per month for a housekeeper visit 2 per week…” – Albanian College Tirana
(These are just 4 of the 66 different comments topics that are on each school profile page on our website.)
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I’m from the USA, but I have been involved in humanitarian work and teaching around the world since 1973. A close friend of mine was a Montessori teacher from Ireland and she had invited me to come to the UK to work with her. After 3 months I moved to Essen, Germany to set up a Montessori center for very small children. I had 3 little students: my 5 month old daughter and 2 boys, both 4 yrs old. One was German and the other was Finnish. Neither of them spoke English or each other’s languages, so I taught them in English 5 hours a day. They learned fluent English by the time my daughter was 11 months old.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
In March I moved on to Italy and from there got married, lived on a farm, and we traveled around Europe working with youth groups and setting up little Montessori/Preschools in Italy, France, and Portugal. This was just the beginning of our travels with our little growing family of six.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
Currently, I am teaching Preschool (EYFS) Albanian International School in Tirana, Albania. I’ve been teaching at this school since it’s conception in 2011. I started as Librarian sorting through 12,000 books and documenting their titles and authors. Then I taught English to the students that first year. The next year I started with the Preschool kids and have been involved in these ages ever since. I really enjoy teaching the littlest students of our school! It’s so much fun and exciting when they learn a concept, begin to speak English, make friends and discover something new about the world we live in.
My day begins at 4am. I wake up early so that I can think through the day, change any plans that may need to be changed and listen to calm music before I have to really get up at 6am. Then I leave the house at 7:30 and take a short walk to school.
One of our favorite things to do during rainy season is to dance for our exercise/play time. Albania has a long rainy season of December through middle of June! It rains every day and it is cold. We keep the little ones inside so discovering “Just Dance Kids” on YouTube has been a life saver! The kids love dancing along with the figures on the screen and are now proficient dancers.
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
A really funny thing happened to me last week. We had been preparing for the Albanian independence days celebrations at school. My kids were dancing and singing in Albanian for weeks in preparation for their show. On Saturday after the show I was walking down the street to the supermarket playing music in my head. Halfway home I realized that I was singing Albanian folk music instead of the usual music I play in my head. I’ve finally become Albanian! I’ve been here since 2010.
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
One of the important things I look for when searching for an international school is whether there is much pollution (I have asthma), a safe environment, and they won’t mind my age or nationality.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Exciting, fun, new friends, challenges!
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Want to work for an international school in the Eastern Europe like Barbara? Currently, we have 105 international schools listed in Eastern Europe on International School Community. 54 of them have had comments submitted on their profiles. Here are just a few of them:
Pechersk School International (Kyiv, Ukraine) – 122 Comments
International School of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia) – 34 Comments
Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 66 Comments
Wroclaw International School (Wroclaw, Poland) – 46 Comments
American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) – 82 Comments
International School of Latvia (Riga, Latvia) – 33 Comments
American International School of Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia) – 29 Comments
Anglo American School of Sofia (Sofia, Bulgaria) – 28 Comments
International School of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan) – 39 Comments