Surveys

New Survey: How does your international school compare to other schools in your city?

May 11, 2016


A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  How does your international school compare to other schools in your city?

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Once you move to a city to work at your new international school, you find out pretty soon how your school compares to the other ones in the same city. Who knows how that happens, but it does.

The teachers at the schools labeled the worst feel embarrassed to even bring up their international school in conversation with other international school educators in the area or even throughout the world. In comparison, the teachers at the school labelled the “top” school in the city can have their heads held up high.

So then the question is what makes a school get the top or the worst ranking in the city? At International School Community, we like to think that all schools have something cool about them that makes them unique; which in turn makes them have a great learning environment for their kids.

See our blog article called “What Makes Your International School Unique?” for a look at this topic and also some related comments about a number of international schools around the world.

But it is not just these unique things that get internationals schools to the top or the bottom of the list, it has to do with a combination of different factors. Factors that come into play are the current state of the school’s building and campus, the quality of teachers and teaching, the benefits package for the teacher (the salary), the professional development opportunities, etc.

Though it is true that some cities in the world only have one international school in them, which in turn, I guess makes them the best international school in the city. But other cities in the world (e.g. Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, etc.), there are many international schools to choose from (for both parents and teachers). These cities have international schools that are actively competing for the top spot!

So, how does your international school compare to other schools in your city? Please take a moment and submit your vote!

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We have a comment topic related to this survey, except it is comparing international schools with home country ones. It is called: “How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country?

Here are a few sample comments from this comment topic:

“One of the biggest differences between the NIS schools and most other schools around the world is to do with vacations. In many countries, when students are not in school, neither are the teachers, with some exceptions for things like PD Days and report writing, etc.. This is not the case at NIS schools; regardless of whether the students are in school or not, teachers are expected to attend. If a teacher wishes to be absent, she or he must request leave – paid or unpaid. Given that international teachers have a total allowance of 56 days of paid leave (which includes weekend days if they are within the leave period), this can have a serious impact on vacations.” – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana (Astana, Kazakhstan)37 Comments

“It is very much based along English public school lines, but with a strong international flavour and ethos. There are many more nationalities present in the school than you would normally find in an English school.” – St. Julians School (Lisbon, Portugal)9 Comments

“Compared to teaching in the UK this is a dream, as long as you are prepared for the culture shock of living in a small village of thirteen million. Small classes, good behaviour and a genuine interest in study, excellent resources, great quality of life. Admin is less than in the UK although it is creeping up. Some of it good, some of it of limited value (just like the UK). I enjoy my teaching and the travel opportunities this place offers.” – Wellington College International Tianjin (Tianjin, China)54 Comments

“Different: The teacher’s salaries and the new teacher induction and support program are dismal. Same: Budget and lack of professional development opportunities within the school due to very strict labor laws.” – American School of Bilbao (Bilbao, Spain)26 Comments

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Surveys

New Survey: How Many Years Have You Been At Your Current Placement?

February 12, 2016


A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  How Many Years Have You Been At Your Current Placement?

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The (acceptable) minimum number of years to stay at an international school is typically two years; maybe because most initial contracts are for two years.

If you leave though after two years, sometimes you don’t get to fully enjoy your life in your host country. The reasoning is that you spend your first year getting used to everything. If you are already planning on leaving after you second year, then you spend most of your time (in your second year) getting prepared and ready to move away (thus not allowing you maybe to fully enjoy your life there).

If things are going well in your new school and new country, why not stay a bit longer than two years? It is nice to stay around and enjoy your school and surroundings, especially if there is also financial incentive to do so.  There are other reasons to stay longer as well. To see these reasons, check out this article on our blog:

Top 10 reasons to stay longer than four years at an international school

But there are also downsides to staying longer than four years at an international school. One example of a downside is that some international schools consider you similar to a local hire after five years.  Once you change from a foreign hire to a local hire, you are likely to lose some of your benefits (the benefits that initial attracted you to the position). Not a good feeling!

But if you find a partner who is local and doesn’t plan on moving any time soon, you might find yourself in for the long haul at a school. At some international schools in Europe, it is not uncommon to find teachers that have stayed 30+ years at on international school!

So, how many years have you been at your current school?  Please take a moment and submit your vote!

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We have a comment topic related to this survey. It is called: “In general, why are people staying at or leaving this school?

Here are a few sample comments from this comment topic:

“People stay because the standard of living is good, school is fine, pay is good, students are great and there’s a good work/life balance. Some people don’t get on with China, some (like us) loved it but it’s time to go somewhere a little easier to live, some because of issues with the school.” – Wellington College International Tianjin (Tianjin, China)47 Comments

“There seem to be a lot of people leaving as a result of the uncertainty about the direction in which the school is moving. Staff is told repeatedly that things will be changing, but the details of such changes are kept under wraps. The lack of transparency is resulting in a lot of insecurity.” – American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland)64 Comments

“People are staying for salary and tuition benefits, and an enjoyment of an easy lifestyle with help at home, access to the beach and desert camping and year-round warm/hot weather. Some people have nice accommodations as well. People are leaving due to workload, three superintendents in three years and the lack of focus and cultural upheaval that accompanies that, general low morale.” – American British Academy (Muscat, Oman)33 Comments

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Surveys

When looking for reviews and comments about an international school, which topic is the most important for you?

November 20, 2015


A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  When looking for reviews and comments about an international school, which topic is the most important for you?

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Right now our members are looking for as much information as they can. The more information the better.  Luckily, we just celebrated getting over 15000 comments! So International School Community is definitely the website to go to when looking to gather information about different international schools from around the world.

Even though we have over 65 separate comment topics on each school profile page, you might say that these six topics are some of the most important to know about.

Current statistics about these rather important comment topics on our website (taken from 20 November 2015):

Salary – 811 Total Comments
Retirement Plan Details – 367 Total Comments
Housing Benefits – 805 Total Comments
Teaching Contract Details – 36 Total Comments
Hiring Policy – 949 Total Comments
Savings Potential – 385 Total Comments

Of course all comments and reviews related to these comment topics are important. Recruiting international schools teachers need to know this information, detailed information, about these topics before they sign a contract.

But, which topic is the most important to you?  Please take a moment and submit your vote!

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We actually have two blog categories related this to survey question.

One blog category is called Hiring Policies at Int’l Schools.
Here are a few of the entries in this section:

• Comments about Hiring Policies #9: Int’l High School of San Fran, The American School of Kinshasa & British Early Years Centre – Read Here.

• Comments and information about hiring policies on International School Community #8: Benjamin Franklin Int’l School, American Cooperative School of Tunis & Green School Bali – Read Here.

• Comments and information about hiring policies on International School Community #7: Int’l School of KL, Escola Internacional de Alphaville & Guangdong Country Garden School – Read Here.

The other category is called “Salaries at Int’l Schools.”
Here are a few of the entries in this section:

• Comments and information about salaries on ISCommunity #7: Blue Valley School, Ivy Collegiate Academy & Wellspring Int’l School (Hanoi) – Read Here.

• Comments and information about salaries on ISCommunity #6: Khartoum Int’l Community School, Int’l School of KL & Vietnam American Int’l School – Read Here.

• Comments and information about salaries on ISCommunity #5: Hong Kong Int’l School, Shanghai Community Int’l School & Guamani Private School – Read Here.

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Surveys

New Survey: When starting your job search, what is your first priority in deciding where to go?

September 19, 2015


A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  When starting your job search, what is your first priority in deciding where to go?

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We tell the international school that we are interviewing with one thing, while in the back of our head we maybe are thinking of another.

So, which things are we then thinking about?

International school teachers have many things on their mind while recruiting, and it is smart thinking to be honest with yourself. Typically, each person sets their own goal; one they feel strongly about.  Stick to this goal (and achieve it!) and your next international school teaching position will likely be a good experience for you.

It is very possible that your goal is to work at a specific, top-tier international school. For these teachers, career and work-life is a high priority, and they’ll potentially sacrifice other factors (location, weather, etc.) to work at their favorite school; that is hopefully a perfect match for them.

Others have a goal to be living in a specific part of the world for their next international school teaching position. Whether it is to be closer to family and friends (or a lover), location is a super high priority and seeking out and contacting schools in that area will be their first step in their job search.

5899676716_ff0d235315_zThere are other international school teachers though that have money on their minds. There are a number of international school teachers that want the best salary and benefits packages on offer in our international school community, and these teachers know which schools are paying the most. Saving money and paying off mortgages and loans back home is a top priority for many recruiting teachers.

Of course, priorities can change during your job search, and there might be 2-3 top priorities that have equal value. Additionally, when a good opportunity comes up (one that doesn’t necessary meet your first priority goal), it is usually a good idea to be open-minded and take a chance.  As a good rule of thumb, many times these “schools that weren’t on your radar” can turn out to be just what you were looking for!

Because teachers recruiting are so varied and are in all kinds of situations, take a moment to go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!  What goal are you making your first priority this recruitment season?

Check out the latest voting results here.

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We actually have a blog category related this to question if the answer to the new survey question for you was school. The blog category is called: 12 Tips for Selecting an International School

Here are all the tips:
• Selecting an international school: Tip #1 – Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of local and international school systems. Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #2 – Location: Is the school conveniently located? Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #3 – Vision: What is the vision that is expressed by the school head or officials? Is it consistent with the actual operation of the school?  Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #4 – Is the school accredited? If so, by what international and local bodies? Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #5 – Does the school have a clear primary language of instruction? Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #6 – How well is the school linked to other international schools? Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #7 – Does the school feature a curriculum that is consistent with your future plans? Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #8 – Are the teachers fully qualified? Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #9 – Does the international school properly deal with disciplinary problems? Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #10 – Does the school facilitate learning about the host country?  Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #11 – Does the school provide or have access to qualified teachers who cater to students with special needs? Read Article

• Selecting an international school: Tip #12 – Is the school parent-friendly? Read Article

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