It’s holiday time and most of us are on some trip enjoying our time off. We might be home with our families in our home countries, or we also might be on some tropical island (if we are so lucky!).
But where you go often depends on how much the flight costs to the place you want to go. If your school is paying via your flight allowance benefit, then perfect! But if you are paying, then you for sure are looking out for the best deal (sometimes for hours on flight search websites!)
It is hard to know what it is like flying out of a city you haven’t lived in yet. How much are the flights to within the host country itself, to nearby countries and to your home country like England or the United States for example?
If the flights are too expensive in relation to your salary, then it might be very likely you won’t be going home a lot for the holidays. If going home every holiday season is important for you, then it is good to know this information up front before you make a decision to move and live somewhere.
An average international school teacher probably goes on at least one flight every one to two months while living abroad. That means many cities in a number of different countries. These costs can add up and take away from your savings, but it is just what international school teachers like to do!
When job searching, make sure to consider the full picture of the host country airport that you might just be using if you sign a contract with a school there.
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to getting the inside scoop on how much flights actually cost from various host cities across the world, so you can stay the most informed as possible. It is called: “Sample travel airfares from host city airport to destinations nearby.”
Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 141 comments in this comment topic (Dec. 2016). Here are a few that have been submitted:
“Direct flights to the US can be up to 2000USD (JFK), Europe around 1500USD and Australia similar. Prices shoot up around major holidays. There are a number of low-cost airlines operating, which means you can fly more or less anywhere in East/South East Asia for less that 200USD.” – Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China) – 54 Comments
“Flights purchased 21 days in advance on discount airlines within Europe can be as little as 20$. But beware, sometimes these flights are cancelled with little or now warning, and you’re left having to purchase a much more expensive one with a different airline at the last-minute. Flights to Asia or the USA will run between 500-1000$, depending on when you travel. Everything is more expensive in July and August, so try to plan travel in off-peak times for the best deals.” – Oeiras International School (Lisbon, Portugal) – 111 Comments
“Check KLM’s website every now and again. They sometimes give great deals on empty seats from Denpasar to Singapore. I’ve flown it for $59 on occasion. Also- pro tip- If you have money to spare and want a few hours of luxury. When checking in, go to the Business Class counter and ask if there are any empty seats. They used to sell them for $50 extra. Now they’ve fixed the price at about $110.” – Green School Bali (Denpasar, Indonesia) – 54 Comments
“Doha is a central airport in the world – usually the stopover for flights from Europe to Asia, so there are amazing flight options from here. Cheapest weekend flights are to other middle eastern countries/cities – Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Bahrain/ Oman. You can get good deals on Qatar Airways too. Popular destinations from here (but not in a weekend): Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Turkey. I think the flight prices aren’t too bad (in relation to salaries here) they might seem expensive when you exchange to another currency.” – Qatar Academy (Sidra) (Doha, Qatar) – 59 Commentscontinue reading
What reasons do parents think about when selecting a school for their children when they move abroad? Are they similar reasons for why teachers choose to work at an international school abroad as well? There are many different kinds of international schools and they are all in different situations. How important is finding out about how parent-friendly the international school is? It could be beneficial to ask these types of questions at your interview, before you make any big decisions to move or choose an international school at which to work. So, how do you choose the right international school for your children to attend or for you to work at? In this blog series, we will discuss the Tips for Selecting an International School.
Tip #12 – Is the school parent-friendly?
It is very important that the international school (that you are considering working at/sending your child to attend) communicates well with parents in order to keep them abreast of school policies, events and other developments. With the parents kept the most informed as possible, they are happier and more at ease about surprise changes that happen at the school.
Some people might say that international school parents are a little bit more (or A LOT more) invested in what is going on at their children’s school. Normally international schools have two parent teacher conferences during the school year, but those meetings can be as short as 20 minutes (not really much time to share everything that you’d really like to share).
But at an international school, you might find that you are meeting with parents more often than just two parents teacher conferences! Many international school parents like to set up more conferences with their teacher, meeting before or after school. They just want to “catch up” with what is going on at school and how their child is doing. They also want to give the teacher an update on how things are going at their home. These extra meetings can be really beneficial to have for all parties involved, but it is smart-thinking to make sure that these meetings also stay to a minimum (you don’t want the parents to constantly wanting to set up extra meetings with you…that’s for sure!). Some international school parents will have one person that stays at home all day (a n0n-working spouse). Those parents will have all the time in the day to meet with you! I worked with one international school teacher that wouldn’t even give out his email address to the parents of his students. Even knowing that communicating with parents via email is a great way to “get the job done”, there are definitely international school parents that will take advantage of having your email address.
In terms of communication with parents, you school might use a common online (password protected) resource for the parents to keep informed and stay up to day with all school happenings. It is great to have a “get-all-information” place for parents to go to whenever they want to know what is going on at school. Teachers can upload pictures and videos to this online portal, as well as putting up newsletters each month or so to let parents know more about curriculum-related things.
Even when an international school has the best communication possible all set up and running smoothly, there are always going to be some international school parents that just don’t make the effort to participate in this excellent communication. It is true that even if a school has a really clear plan for communication with parents, communication is a two-way street. Some international school parents have better things to do or bigger worries/concerns on their plate to make time for effectively utilizing (or even fully knowing about) the school’s current way of communicated with parents. We had a parent come in recently stating that they didn’t know anything what their child was learning at school (and other things), but when asked if they will looking at the online parent portal, they of coursed answered…no.
So how is parent-friendly is your international school?
Have a specific international school in mind that you thinking of applying at? Check out our “Where our Members have worked” page and start contacting some of our members that know about the international school you are interested in knowing more about. Our 3000+ members currently work at (or have worked at in the past) 516 different international schools. Feel free to send them a private message related to finding out more about how parent-friendly at their international school.
Furthermore, we have a comment topic section that is for parents to fill out or for teachers to share more information about how parent-friendly their international school is. It is called: PARENTS ONLY – General comments from parents of students that go to this school. Here are a few comments that have been submitted in that sections:
“At the old school in Tay Ho, VAIS, many parents withdrew their kids due to complaints that the Korean CEO who decided he was qualified to teach TOEFL prep classes so he could save on a qualified teacher, would openly cuss the students out in Korean during class and many students complained the class was more a Korean discussion class than an English one. He does not manage those classes any longer and thankfully so.” – Vietnam American International School (47 Total Comments)
“As a teacher/parent, I felt my kids had a solid group of other teachers’ kids to hang out with. There is a solid community feel in general and it is a welcoming atmosphere.” – Anglo American School of Sofia (21 Total Comments)
“Decisions made at the school are mostly knee-jerk reactions, and seem not to have a lot of fore-thought. This results in confusion and frustration, with parents, students and staff unclear where the boundaries are.” – Oeiras International School (28 Total Comments)continue reading