Are you moving to a new international school? You may be excited to start your new adventure, but don’t forget about the essentials. It can be overwhelming to arrive in a new city and not know where to buy things. You don’t want to end up paying more than you should have because you don’t know where to go to get the best prices.
Ideally, you would arrive at the airport, and someone from the school would pick you up and take you straight to your new fully-furnished home with groceries waiting for you. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. There will be things that you need to buy, and some are more important than others. If they are small things, it’s not a big deal to walk down the street to pick them up. It’s a great way to explore your new neighborhood.
However, if you need to buy many small items or a few big ones, it can be stressful. Depending on your living situation, you may need to make emergency purchases. You may need to go to a store like IKEA, which some schools may take you to in their van. Don’t forget that your new school may also require you to bring or buy some items for the classroom.
Living abroad is different from living in your home country. You need to be adaptable and open-minded. Don’t expect everything to be perfect when you arrive. Be prepared for a few surprises, such as surprise purchases, in your first few months.
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to figuring out which things you might need to buy once you arrive in your new host country, so you can stay the most informed as possible. It is called: “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?“
Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 403 comments in this comment topic (May 2023). Here are a few that have been submitted:
“You WILL need a car, although some teachers rent one. If you get a nanny (not on the school’s nanny visa) you will need to pay for their visa which is usually about 850 OMR for two years but must be paid up front. You will also need to pay for their healthcare (about 150 OMR for a year)…” – American British Academy (Muscat, Oman) – 65 Total Comments
“You need to come with a lot of money! This was a shock for us. We needed money for a car rental and eventual purchase (hard to finance a car as a foreigner) and first and last months rent plus damage deposit for housing…” – St. Andrews I.S Green Valley (Pattaya, Thailand) – 31 Total Comments
“The school provides a limited amount of textbooks or resources. As a new teacher, this is often a challenge as you develop or buy the resources needed for your daily lessons. The school has expectations on what will be taught but the teacher is responsible for providing the materials used in class. The school pays for one Twinkle subscription that teachers can use in school. The school also provides a color copier, lamination tools, some manipulatives, Google /SeeSaw classroom, and a class supplies list (glue, storage containers, notebooks, etc) from the teacher list given the prior year…” – International School of Brno (Brno, Czech Republic) – 99 Total Comments
“The school offers the help of a real state agent. He can help you to find your places and manage internet and utilities, at a cost. Other than that, you will have to buy everything else. Furnished apartments can be a good way to go if you do not want to spend much just landing…” – Benjamin Franklin International School (Barcelona, Spain) – 125 Commentscontinue reading
Our Job Vacancies feature (premium membership required) was launched just over two years ago, but its popularity already exceeds all our expectations. With our members submitting these job vacancies, each of their submissions helps another teacher find new and interesting positions at international schools worldwide. Every job vacancy submission helps schools around the globe reach new people who might just be the perfect fit for the position.
We would hereby like to thank the ISC Community for all of their 4900+ submissions (Oct 2022)
Check out this video from our Youtube Channel that highlights our job vacancy page.
Submit the job vacancies you know about today at your international school and earn free premium membership! You get one week of free premium membership for every job vacancy you submit.
Looking at all the submitted job vacancies so far, we would like to share a few statistics that we found.
So far 4916 job vacancies have been submitted in just over three years.
We have designed the job vacancies page to keep all of the submitted job vacancies on one page, even if they have expired. We wanted our members to see which job positions have shown up for a school over time, and how many times a certain job position has shown up over time as well. For example, maybe if the school has just posted about the job position you are looking for last month, that position probably won’t show up the following month or the following year or two for that matter. Or if the position keeps showing up for a school, one might wonder why they are consistently having that job available each year. The expired job vacancy postings are clearly marked, so it is clear which ones are active or not.
There have been job postings submitted in a number of countries from around the world:
• Hong Kong
and many more…
There have also been job postings submitted for a number of school positions:
• EAL Teacher: Around 100
• Science: Around 380
• Maths: Around 400
• History: Around 60
• Classroom Teacher: Around 140
• PE: Around 90
• Business Teacher: Around 80
• Design Teacher: Around 110
• Art Teacher: Around 380
• Principal: Around 130
and many more…
We are so glad that we have added this feature to our website. If you have a good story of how our posted job vacancies led to you getting an interview and eventually an offer, let us know by writing to us via our Contact Us page.continue reading
Most of us have been in the situation while job hunting for a position at an international school when the topic of our relationship status comes up. Of course, it is none of their business and a very strange thing to ask at a job interview. But in the world of international schools, it is quite common to ask this and important information to know from the school’s perspective.
International schools have this idea that teaching couples are the ideal hiring choice as they try to fill their vacancies. It is like a 2-for-1 deal. It is a dream for an international school to find a teaching couple that consists of two top-notch teachers with lots of experience. The general observation though is that the school often hires one top-notch partner first who is a really good fit for a certain position, and then finds a vacant position for the spouse who might not truly be their first choice for that role.
Regardless of finding the perfect fit for those positions, teaching couples are supposed to be more stable. They can support each other better when adapting to a new country and culture. No international school likes it when a teacher arrives and within the first few months can’t handle their new situation which leads to their prompt resignation, or even a no-show. If a teacher is already living with someone familiar, this person will automatically have the feeling of home which will lessen the sometimes harsh effects of culture shock making it more manageable for them to settle in. Also, when partners go through some of the negative parts (and positive ones) of culture shock together, these experiences become nice bonding moments. With those shared experiences, teaching couples potentially could indeed be more stable.
Another reason international schools like to hire teaching couples is that it is cheaper when they are handing out the housing allowances. Usually, the housing allowance is a bit more for teaching couples, but it is definitely less than two single teacher housing allowances combined. But if teaching couples want, they can even get a smaller apartment that is cheaper and could save the difference (not available in every school). In turn, teaching couples can often save more money than single teachers. They can even save one partner’s whole salary in some situations in certain countries. If one can keep saving more money, teaching couples may stay longer at that school.
The truth is, though, that not all teaching couples have these same positive experiences and advantages. Moving abroad as a couple can be just as unpredictable as going as a single teacher. Imagine a teaching couple that has moved from a spacious apartment and now has to live together in close quarters. This situation can create not-seen-before tensions. Additionally, maybe you are a new couple and haven’t experienced living together for that long. Add on culture shock and adapting to a new work environment and that can be a recipe for disaster.
If a teaching couple hasn’t worked together in the same school before, then the couple could find it challenging to establish the balance of work and life as their life and community become part of the work. This gets even trickier when maybe their children are being taught at the same school! It could also really get on the teaching couples’ nerves being together all the time, every day. However, odds are that this is not so challenging because many teaching couples don’t really see each other that much especially if the teachers are teaching at different grades or departments.
And there can be also downsides for the international schools themselves when they hire teaching couples. For one, it is often a difficult task to fill two vacant positions using a teaching couple. Then when a teaching couple leaves, it can be quite the challenge to easily find their replacements (like another, similar teaching couple). Many teaching couples are often on the market longer because of this quest to find the perfect match. Of course, both parties can be flexible, but this flexibility can lead to a less than perfect fit. It is recommended for a teaching couple to address these expectations early in their job-seeking process.
If an international school is going through some tough financial times and needs to let some staff go, it can get complicated when they have to sift through the staff while also thinking about whether they are part of a “package” or not.
Certain international schools are now specifically stating that they prefer single teachers to hiring teaching couples. So a single teacher just needs to find the right school for themselves, and also have a bit of luck and good timing on their side. It’s a pity when an international school has interviewed a single teacher and has told them they are a really good fit and then just before handing out their contract, they respond that they have given the position to a teaching couple. This situation has happened so many times to single jobseekers and has created this sense of “I need to be in a teaching couple to get hired at an international school”. However, this idea is simply not the case for all international schools. The reality is that at one school teaching couples are favored and single teachers can actually be more desirable at a different one.
Many of us teach abroad to save money! So, why do some international schools make their teachers pay for simple supplies? Well not all do, but according to a number of comments submitted on our website, some indeed leave their teachers in a situation where they need to. Why do some international schools give nice big budgets to classroom teachers and others do not?
Some might say that only the for-profit international schools don’t give appropriate budgets. However, that would not be true. A number of non-profit international schools also leave their staff with limited budgets to buy supplies.
Let’s say that your international school does provide some money to buy some supplies. It is nice to get at least something for your classroom! But the question is, when you are working abroad, where can you/the school buy these supplies?
If you order from your host country, then it will be cheaper, but the supplies might not be exactly what you want or have a quality you are used to. If you order from abroad, then the costs will be higher because of shipping and the wait time will most likely be a long time (with the risk of never even getting your order because it gets lost somewhere along the way).
Another question to consider is does a big budget for classroom teachers equal to better instruction and more learning for students. Teachers can get quite creative in a budget-less classroom, and it is fairly certain that good learning still happens.
But when an emergency arrises and materials that are necessary for the lesson/curriculum are not there, a number of teachers will use money out of their own pocket to buy them. It is the sacrifice that many teachers choose to do to make sure that their students are getting the best education possible and that the promise the school has made to paying parents can be met.
But does the administration/owner of an international school really want their own teachers to be using their own money to buy basic and necessary supplies for their classrooms? It would be hard to believe that they would. But when other factors (like a recession in the world or a declining student population) come into play, sometimes schools don’t have a choice to provide a nice budget for their staff.
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to what kind of budgets international schools offer, so you can stay the most informed as possible. It is called: “What types of budgets do classroom teachers/departments get?”
Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 212 comments in this comment topic (March 2016). Here are a few that have been submitted:
“Teachers have no budget to spend in their classrooms. They can take supplies from the resource room, which has basic materials like pens, white board markers, tape, etc. Everything else has to be paid for yourself.” – The International School of Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt) – 12 Comments
“Budgets for resources are never an issue – if you have a good reason for purchasing something and can demonstrate the learning that it will support then you are generally approved. Art, Maths and Science materials are often ordered in from overseas and are of high quality.” – Ican British International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) – 51 Comments
“In past years, teachers have been required to submit their budget requests in October for the following school year � a full ten months before the beginning of the year being budgeted for! This was a major source of stress. As of today, no one has been asked to submit a budget and the budget process has not been discussed.” – American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) – 64 Comments
“The businessman Mr. Strothoff pays for the school and pays most operating costs. In general, teachers fight for basic things such as staplers, two-hole punchers, tape, whiteboard markers, etc. Departments have budgets but protocol for ordering and getting something as simple as a pear of scissors is 100 layers of red-tape.” – Strothoff International School (Frankfurt, Germany) – 49 Commentscontinue reading
Only on International School Community will you be able to search for the perfect international school for you. You get the possibility to search (using our unique search engine) for international schools based on the type of school that best fits your criteria. There are many different kinds of international schools: ones that are small in student numbers to ones that have more than 1200 students, ones that are for-profit to ones that are non-profit, ones that are in very large cities to ones that are in towns of only 1000 people, etc. Each international school teacher has their own type of a school that best fits their needs as a teacher and as a professional. Your personal life is also very important when you are trying to find the right match. Most of us know what it is like to be working at an international school that doesn’t fit your needs, so it’s best to find one that does!
Utilizing the School Profile Search feature on International School Community, you can search our 1474 schools (updated from 1445 on 20 June 2013) for the perfect school using up to 8 different criteria. The 8 criteria are: Region of the world, Curriculum, School Nature, Number of Students, Country, Year Founded, Kinds of Students and Size of City. You can do a school profile search in three different locations on our website: the homepage, the Schools List page and on the side of every school profile page. Check out our past school profile search results here.
Search Result #12
Schools Found: 8
The eight international schools that met the criteria were found in two countries:
Why not start your own searches now and then start finding information about the schools that best fit your needs? Additionally, all premium members are able to access the 9000 comments and information (updated from 8470 on 20 June 2013) that have been submitted on the hundreds of international school profiles on our website.
Join International School Community today and you will automatically get the ability to make unlimited searches to find the international schools that fit your criteria (with a free 7-day trail of premium membership).continue reading