Traveling Around

Traveling Around: Tel Aviv, Israel (The life of an international school teacher is good!)

April 18, 2014

Traveling Around: Tel Aviv, Israel

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Can you relate?

• Getting stopped by the passport control workers for questioning for two hours because of some of the stamps you have in your passport.
• Asking for help with the train from the airport to the center of the city because of the huge culture shock of not knowing how to read the local script or understand any of the announcements going on over the speaker system.
• Arriving at your hotel so late (and missing your dinner) and going to the nearest restaurant possible which just so happens to be Mexican.
• Going straight to the beach the first morning your have (a nice change of scenery from your home country) and having a nice stroll on the sand.
• Realizing that if you get a cache of the map of the city on google maps that you can use the GPS even without having internet access.
• Finding a local who in the end gives you excellent advice to go to a place that has the best falafel in the city; and it actually being very good!
• Enjoying visiting a country/city during a non-high season time that is actually a very nice time to go; enjoying the city without hardly any tourists.
• Being entranced by the local stray cat population and taking many pictures of them!
• Learning more about the local political situation by listening to a number of local and personal perspectives.
• Seeing a group of people (in this instance Hasidic Jews) in a whole new light after watching and observing them up close, rather than from far away.
• Appreciating that the airport security isn’t that bad when compared to the security measures that you must go through at the Tel Aviv airport.
• Getting used to the sight of many uniformed soldiers (very quickly actually) walking around the city.
• Walking around at night trying to find a specific restaurant, then getting to the place and enjoying the guest speaker that they were having that night (she was talking in Hebrew, but the waiter told me all about her).
• Taking advantage of the beaches a second time (even though it was too cold to swim in them) to check out the nice turquoise color, it was beautiful.
• Having to leave a day early because the airline that I was flying with cancelled their flight with less than 48 hours notice!
• Going though another tough security control leaving the country and having the agent open up my suitcase to then take almost everything out of it to check the things inside. Not fun to repack everything!

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Currently we have 4 international schools listed in Israel on International School Community:

Anglican International School Jerusalem (3 Comments)
• Jerusalem American International School (8 Comments)
• Eastern Mediterranean International School (0 Comments)
• Walworth Barbour American International School (27 Comments)

If you are on a trip right now, away from your host country, write to us at 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 6 free months of premium membership!

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How NOT to Save Money

How NOT to save money when working as an international school teacher #2: Go out to eat all the time!

March 16, 2014

We all hear about the big possibility of saving money while working at international schools, but the reality is that many of us don’t save much of any money.  So, why aren’t these international school teachers saving money?

How NOT to save money when working as an international school teacher #2 – Go out to eat all the time!

IMAG0333 When you are on a trip, it is easy to spend lots of money going out to eat. I mean most likely you are staying at a hotel or in a room at some hostel and not able to cook a dinner for yourself there.  So you can justify going to a restaurant for both lunch and dinner when traveling.  It is a luxury, that’s for sure, because you wouldn’t normally being going out to eat for lunch and dinner where you are living.  Not unless you are an international school teacher though!

In some locations in the world, you can indeed justify going out to eat for most meals during the week.  I mean it could be that you are living somewhere where the food is really ‘cheap’.  Even if you are making a lot of money (and have your housing, etc. all paid for), it is always nice to get a bargain for your meal and you would be a fool to not take advantage of this supposedly cheap and good-tasting food while you are living in your host country.

You could also justify going out to eat a lot in your currently location because going out to eat is more convenient than going somewhere to buy groceries, and then going back to your home to cook them (for maybe 1-2 hours let’s say…maybe you are short on time as well).


Some international schools in Shanghai have deals with nearby restaurants which allows for easy ordering if you want to buy a lunch from them.  It is a nice perk if your school is waaaaay out in the suburbs somewhere.  And because it is cheap, why not go for it?

But even in these types of locations where many international school teachers eat out a lot, it can start to get a bit excessive.  All your pocket-money might start to dwindle away.  Additionally, in locations where there is cheap food and you are also making a nice salary, there are also going to be more expensive places to choose to eat at as well.  It is nice to live it up and take advantage of the expat life in most cities in the world, but there is a price to pay for that kind of lifestyle and you must be mindful of the amount of money you are actually spending!  At some of these ‘expat-priced’ restaurants you pay a premium to get the style of food that expats like.  Problem is that you most likely would NOT pay the same price for that same food in your home counties.  A ‘you deserve it’ attitude comes into play and your wallet pays the cost.

IMAG0117Now to the locations where it is ridiculously expensive to eat out, let’s say Norway.  What is an international school teacher to do then?  Going out to a restaurant in these expensive cities will really take a toll on our bank account.  Some people though still choose to do it.  I think it is related to the idea that they are still ‘traveling’ in their host country.  Like I said before, when you are traveling, you go out to eat all the time.  Not all teachers do it in these expensive cities, but some do and it can get out of control real quick.  Gotta be careful so that you are saving some money as well.


To save you some money, we do have a comment topic on our website related to this theme.  It is in the city section of the comments and information tab on the school profile pages. It is called: Name your favorite restaurants, favorite places to go to and favorite things to do in the city.

‘Spanish Stairs is the great place to hang out. It has many nice shops, restaurants and a beautiful view, especially in the sunset. For restaurants, I recommend Pastaritto-Pizzaritto in Via Quattro Novembre. Prices are decent and the food is delicious.’ – Marymount International School (Rome) (Rome, Italy) – 7 Comments

‘I like “Witwe Polte”. It’s a small restaurant in the 7th district. It’s called the Spittelberg area, where you can also find a beautiful Christmas market in winter.’ – AMADEUS International School Vienna (Vienna, Austria) – 13 Comments

‘There are some great places to eat near and in the main market, Mahane Yehuda. There are always people around there and it is very lively. Though it can be a bit touristy, there are also a lot of locals that are here as well.’ – Jerusalem American International School (Jerusalem, Israel) – 8 Comments

‘It is a bit touristy, but there are many restaurants around the Dam tram stop. Just a short 5-7 minute walk in many directions you can find some cozy restaurants to eat at. There are Christmas markets already set up right now, it is nice to walk around during the evening.’ – International School Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – 26 Comments

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