Photo Contests

Top three photos for Your Favorite Mountain Picture: And the winners of this photo contest are…

June 6, 2017


We’re happy to announce the winners of our latest Photo Contest: Your Favorite Mountain Picture

First Place: Mt. Kazbegi and the Gergeti Trinity Church, Georgia

“This is Mt. Kazbegi and the Gergeti Trinity Church (Georgian: წმინდა სამება) in the country of Georgia. It was taken in April 2012 when I was 7 months pregnant with my son.”

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Congratulations, Kristina Blin (an international teacher working at Colegio Albania (Colombia, La Guajira).

Prize awarded: Premium membership for TWO YEARS on our website!

Second Place: Mt. Pulag, Philippines

“Mt. Pulag, Philippines is the highest mountain in the luzon island. This photo is taken at 2,926 metres above sea level.”

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Congratulations, Sassa Mendoza!

Prize awarded: Premium membership for ONE YEAR on our website!

Third PlaceSeoraksan National Park, South Korea

“This is a shot from the top of Seoraksan, Seoraksan National Park South Korea. These massive boulders were uniquely balanced on top of each other naturally. It was a misty morning, which gave the scene a bit more mystery as well.”

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Congratulations, Maurice Mickle!

Prize awarded: Premium membership for SIX MONTHS on our website!

Thanks to everyone who participated!  We have awarded everyone else ONE WEEK of premium membership for participating in this photo contest.

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Stay tuned for our next photo contest which will happen sometime during the next 2-3 months. Check out our previous Photo Contests here.

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Photo Contests

New Photo Contest: Your Favorite Mountain Picture

May 18, 2017


One of the best parts of living in a foreign country is checking out its nature. Going exploring outside of the city you are working and living in is so much fun and is a must do during your stay there.

To bad that these things take time sometimes. Meaning you don’t get to the locations that you have been really wanting to visit sometimes until 2-3 years after having moved there.

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JiuZhaiGou, China

But once you do, you find yourself in awe of the amazing country that you are living in; quickly making plans to see even more of your country during your next free weekend or long weekend holiday.

Hiking up a mountain while traveling is so thrilling. At first though you say to yourself “why am I doing this on my ‘vacation’? Why I am putting myself into such pain by climbing this impossible mountain?” But once you get to the top, it is always worth the effort and paid you’ve endured.

Getting a good view of the landscape and connecting with nature is a great way to take a break from your life teaching.

So, what is your favorite mountain picture that you’ve taken in your home country or while traveling?  Submit your photo to us and enter our photo contest! All participants receive free premium membership to our website!

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A mountain in the Faroe Islands

Photo contest topic:
Your Favorite Mountain Picture

The PRIZES:
1st prize: 2 YEARS FREE of premium membership
2nd prize: 1 YEAR FREE of premium membership
3rd prize: 6 MONTHS FREE of premium membership

(Those submissions that are not in the top three will receive 1 free week of premium membership just for participating.)

Send your photo to editor @ internationalschoolcommunity.com. Please remember to:

• Write your name and email address
• Attach your picture and write a short description about it
• Enter these words in your subject: International School Community Photo Contest Entry: Favorite Host Country Product

or

Tweet the photo and mention our profile @IS_Community to make sure we will see it. If you are on Instagram, use the official hashtag #iscommunityphoto

(Deadline to submit your photo: Tuesday, 30 May, 2017. Maximum one photo entry per contestant.)

Check out our previous Photo Contests here.

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Photo Contests

Best Xmas Photo in Host Country: And the Winners of This Photo Contest Are…

December 21, 2016


We’re happy to announce the winners of our Eighth Photo Contest (What Does Christmas Look Like in Your Host Country?).

First Place: Almaty, Kazakhstan

“While going to my local mall, I found they put in an ice skating rink!  How cool is that?!”

photo contest

Congratulations (this member wanted their entry to be anonymous)!

Prize awarded: Premium membership for TWO YEARS on our website!

Second Place: Qingdao, China

“This shot was taken inside the beautifully-decorated lobby of a hotel near Marina City.

photo contest

Congratulations K. Kelly (a former international teacher)!

Prize awarded: Premium membership for ONE YEAR on our website!

Third Place: Guangzhou, China

The people of Guangzhou are curious participants in Christmas.  Many young Chinese would dress in festive clothing and go to Sacred Heart Cathedral to take selfies and pictures during Mass and then leave after a few minutes. Just down the road was a market for buying everything associated with a commercial Christmas.

photo contest

Congratulations Steve Landvatter (an international teacher working in China).

Prize awarded: Premium membership for SIX MONTHS on our website!

Thanks to everyone who participated!  We have awarded everyone else ONE WEEK of premium membership for participating in this photo contest.

Stay tuned for our next photo contest which should happen sometime during the next 2-3 months. Check out our previous Photo Contests here.

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Photo Contests

New Photo Contest: What Does Christmas Look Like in Your Host Country?

December 4, 2016


A number of countries around the world celebrate the Christmas holiday season. Though some cities celebrate in similar ways to your home country, other cities in the world do it in their own unique and special way.

Even cities that don’t get much snow put up decorations. It might be that stores just want to get your attention to come into their stores and buy things, but these holiday decorations help make the holiday season brighter and more joyful for its citizens (especially for the expat community living there).

Being away from friends and family during this time of the year is difficult, so having something to remind you of your home is a good thing. You try to keep some of your Christmas holiday traditions while living abroad, but inevitably you always create some new ones.

So, how does your host country celebrate the Christmas holiday season?  Submit your photo to us and enter our photo contest! All participants receive free premium membership to our website!

photo contest

Christmas decorations in Shanghai, China

Photo contest topic:
Your best photo on how your host country celebrates the Christmas season/holiday

The PRIZES:
1st prize: 2 YEARS FREE of premium membership
2nd prize: 1 YEAR FREE of premium membership
3rd prize: 6 MONTHS FREE of premium membership

(Those submissions that are not in the top three will receive 1 free week of premium membership just for participating.)

Send your photo to editor @ internationalschoolcommunity.com. Please remember to:

• Write your name and email address
• Attach your picture and write a short description about it
• Enter these words in your subject: International School Community Photo Contest Entry: Christmas season

or

Tweet the photo and mention our profile @IS_Community to make sure we will see it. If you are on Instagram, use the official hashtag #iscommunityphoto

(Deadline to submit your photo: 18 December, 2016. Maximum one photo entry per contestant.)

Check out our previous Photo Contests here.

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How NOT to Save Money

How Not to Save Money #9: Finding a New, Amazing Grocery Store in Your Host City

October 17, 2016


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 at all.  So, why aren’t these international school teachers saving money?

How NOT to save money when teaching abroad #9: Finding a New, Amazing Grocery Store in Your Host City

When you move abroad, the goal isn’t to recreate your exact life and lifestyle as you had in your home country. Check out the 10 Commandments of Relocated Overseas for more information about moving abroad.

International school teachers try their best to take in the local culture and local foods; it is a part of getting acclimated to their new setting.  On the other hand, it is important to “take a break” from that goal, and get some foods that remind you of home and your home culture.  In addition, having a wide variety of food choices while living abroad is also quite important.

One challenge of buying products in grocery stores in your host city is that you might not be able to read which food product is actually in the package/box. If you are not able to read in the local language there, it might be a challenge to even figure out which food products some items are. If you don’t know what it is, most of us wouldn’t necessary buy it.  Plus, if you are not able to read and understand all the ingredients of a product, then you probably won’t buy those ones either.

how not to save money

It is hard knowing exactly where to go grocery shopping during your first year of living in a new city. You tend to just go to the ones near to where you are living. Every once and awhile you might hear from a colleague of a new grocery store you should check out. Even if the grocery stores near to you are good (if you are lucky that is), it is still good to keep your ears open to what else is available in your host city.

Even after five years of living some place, things change and change fast sometimes. You can easily get into the routine of just going to the three stores around your home and be quite content with the food options those places have. But even the same chains of grocery stores in your host city can be very different from each other depending on their location (e.g. in a rich neighborhood vs. a non-rich neighborhood).

how not to save money

Recently, my partner and I were in a different location of our host city than we usually are when we were doing some grocery shopping. We went into this grocery store thinking that it would be quite similar to the same one we go to nearer to our home. But once we started looking around, this store had so many more products than we were used to!  Completely different products, more imported products, and brandnames (local and foreign) that we were used to buying but with many more varieties.

Of course, we got that awesome excitement feeling straightaway.  It’s that feeling of finding something new (and maybe familiar as well) while living abroad and the realization that there are many more options for groceries for you in your host city.

As you might have guessed, we filled up our grocery carts with many of these new products (well new products to us)…spending more money than our usual grocery store outings. Finding new food products, especially ones geared towards to the expats in that city, can definitely do some damage on your back account!

how not to save money

Finding a bunch of new products that you didn’t know existed in your host city can be one of the best feelings while living abroad. International school teachers definitely do their best to enjoy the local grocery stores and buying the local products (which can also be awesome and delicious) they sell in those stores, but mixing those products with some other ones that remind you of home or at least of a cuisine that is familiar to your palate, is also very desirable.  Just be careful though, because it can cost you a lot of money buying all these products you think you just “must have!”

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We have a comment topic on our website related to the theme of grocery stores in your host city.  It is in the city section of the comments and information tab on the school profile pages. It is called: Locations in the city geared towards the expat lifestyle (grocery stores, bars, etc.). Here are a few examples of comments related to grocery stores:

“There are “Foreign Food Markets” in Itaewon where you can buy anything, literally ANYTHING you could find in an American grocery store. And if they don’t have it, typically they can order it for you. Of course these shops are more expensive. Local grocery stores are well stocked with a wide variety of foods. The local grocery store closest to our campus, Saruga, carries everything (slightly higher prices though) and even has a (perfectly legal) “Black Market” in the middle of it where you can buy all kinds of food imported from the US. The only things we ever buy at the Black Market stalls are things like chips or candy (for parties), and some seasonings or spices.” – Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea)83 Comments

“One grocery store that I like is called Pomme’s on Davie St. They have a lot of organic items and produce from all over the world including many items made locally.” – Vancouver International School (Greybrook Academy) (Vancouver, Canada)11 Comments

“There are a number of grocery stores in the area that have imported items from the US and UK. Lulu’s Hypermartket is great.” – Rowad Alkhaleej International School (Dammam) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)69 Comments

“Oscar’s is a good grocery store in the area that caters to expats. You can get anything you need at the surrounding malls.” – The International School of Egypt (New Cairo City, Egypt)43 Comments

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