As all International School Community members know, each of the 2201+ school profile pages on our website has four comments and information sections: School Information, Benefits Information, City Information and Travel Information. Our members are encouraged to submit comments and information on one or all of these sections if they currently work at an international school or have worked at one in the past. It is important that we all share what we know so that we can in turn help other new teachers make a more informed decision before they sign any contract! *Additionally, for every 10 comments you submit (which are anonymous by the way), you automatically get one free month of premium membership added on to your account! The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!
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So, what are the recent statistics about the City Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the City Information sections is 6457 (out of a total of 40745+ comments); up 939 comments since January 2020.
There are 17 subtopics in the City Information section on each school profile page. Check out each one of these subtopics below and find out out the total number of comments in that specific subtopic and also an example comment that has been submitted there.
• Name your favorite restaurants, favorite places to go to and favorite things to do in the city. (720 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Going to check out and relax in the church that was made in rock (Temppeliaukio) is a great thing to do on a rainy (or sunny) day. They play relaxing music as you just sit in one of the pews and look up to see the copper-designed ceiling. So beautiful!” – Helsinki International School (Helsinki, Finland) – 41 Comments
• Locations in the city geared towards the expat lifestyle (grocery stores, bars, etc.). (585 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Taipa has a lot geared towards expat. The local Park’n’Shop grocery store is full of imported things.” – The School of the Nations (Macao, China) – 20 Comments
• Sample prices for food, transportation, average hourly rates for a housekeeper, etc. (599 Total Comments)
Example comment: “You could definitely get a good main dish at a nice restaurant for 6-8 EUR. The public transportation is free for the locals, but for tourists, it is .80 to 1.60 EUR a ride. Of course there are cheaper tickets, like days passes, etc.” – International School of Estonia (Tallinn, Estonia) – 22 Comments
• Detailed info about lifestyles: singles vs. couples, gay vs. straight, nightlife vs. quiet and big city vs nature. (485 Total Comments)
Example comment: “If you like riding your bike around everywhere, there aren’t always the best bike paths in the city. In turn, you need to be alert at all times! With regards to nature, there are super green parks spotted all around the city center. There is also the Wisla river has some “beach” areas where people hang out on a warm day. It is a bit smelly there, but still nice.” – American School of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) – 161 Comments
• Languages of the host city and the level of English spoken there. (616 Total Comments)
Example comment: “On a scale from 1 to 5, English level is somewhere around 3+. Not everyone speaks English, so knowing German is a big advantage.” – Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 62 Comments
• Sample activities that you can do around the city? Including ones that you can do with a family (children)? (446 Total Comments)
Example comment: “During the summer don’t miss out on Treptower park with Badeschiff (not good for those with children). There is an artificial tropical island not far away from Berlin and many people take their kids there during winter, or to Wannsee during summer. Should you want to go and do the recreational swimming, Berlin Bade Betrieb is there for you on numerous locations.” – Berlin International School (Berlin, Germany) – 12 Comments
• Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year. (650 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Nov. 15 – March 15 is when the government heat is on in the apartments. That’s pretty much when temperatures are below freezing all the time. Over the weekend the weather changed to 5 – 10 degrees above freezing. Spring is about six weeks long. Then summer is hot.” – Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 182 Comments
• Places, markets and stores where you can find really good deals. (312 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Walmart and Kalea (like Ikea) has just about everything you’ll need to set up house. El Martially in zona 14 sells used furniture but bring a Guatemalan friend to negotiate for you. You can also by hand-made furniture off the street very cheaply.” – The American International School of Guatemala (Colegio Maya) (Guatemala City, Guatemala) – 75 Comments
• Describe a funny culture shock moment that you’ve had recently in this city. (150 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Babies and toddlers with open butt pants and shorts are always fun to see pee all over the place. Trying to cross the street without getting killed is fun as well.” – QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China) – 64 Comments
• Where did the school take you in the city when you first arrived? What were some staff outings/party locations? (210 Total Comments)
Example comment: “When you first arrive, the school sets up a week-long itinerary. . .shopping at many shops, eating at a variety of restaurants. It’s one of the highlights of coming here. Many of the places seen during orientation are too expensive for people to return to often.” – The American School of Kinshasa (Kinshasa, Congo (DRC)) – 59 Comments
• What is the best part of living in this city for you? (315 Total Comments)
Example comment: “I love the ease of getting what you want, when you want.” – Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 157 Comments
• What advice can you give on how to set things up like internet, phone, experience dealing with landlord, etc.? (270 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Internet’s been funky lately but that’s just the new reality in China at the moment. Nobody can do anything about it.” – Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 481 Comments
• Tell your experience moving your items to this city. What company, insurance policy, etc. did you use? (110 Total Comments)
Example comment: “SOS International is a popular choice and you can use it at their clinics here. It’s pricey, though.” – Orchlon School (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) – 76 Comments
• Tell about your experience with the local banks and dealing with multiple currencies. (273 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Most local banks charge $10-$20 for an account. The government now also charges 10% of any fees charged by the bank. Most banks then charge you 1% to withdraw dollars, even if you have a dollar account. This is because their exchange rate is horrible, so people take out the money in dollars then walk to an exchange bureau and get a much better rate. IST has a few agreements in place so that the first $1000 a month does not get charged the fee. Other than that, the banks are okay. Nothing to write home about and you have to watch for random fees, but you can usually get it sorted. Some people just use overseas accounts and you can get money from the ATM, but people often find thousands of dollars missing from accounts when they do that.” – International School of Tanganyika (Dar es salaam, Tanzania) – 171 Comments
• What are some locals customs (regarding eating, drinking and going out, family, socializing, etc.) that you find interesting for expats to know about? (182 Total Comments)
Example comment: “When you receive something in person, from somebody else, it is best to take it using both hands, not just one. Do it with two hands to show respect and appreciation.” – Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China) – 67 Comments
• Tell about your experiences in the local grocery stores. What can you get or cannot get? Which ones are your favorites. (233 Total Comments)
Example comment: “If you are from an Asian country I would suggest finding an H Mart. The Buford Highway farmers market has country specific named aisles with all of the countries. The Dekalb farmers market has a lot of unique fruits (think durian) and vegetables that you won’t find in a typical grocery store as well. All of these markets are worth a visit, especially the Dekalb Farmers Market (don’t go on a weekend!) and are huge.” – Atlanta International School (Atlanta, United States) – 31 Comments
• What is the most challenging/difficult part of living in the city? (301 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The Spanish spoken here is very difficult to understand. There is a lot of slang and people speak very fast.” – Santiago College (Santiago, Chile) – 72 Commentscontinue reading
Why not make things easy?
The all-in-one search bar has arrived on our homepage!
Just enter in your keyword, select either Schools (to search our School List page), Members (to search our Members List page) or Comments (to search ALL 11500+ comments on our website), and then press the Search button.
It is all super slick and fun to use. Who knows what results you will find on the different results page? So, search away!
We are still super excited about our newest search feature, the Comments Search. To our knowledge, it is something no other review website offers right now.
With the Comments Search, you can get straight to the comments that you are interested in reading the most (example keywords for the Comments Search: salary, teaching couple, daycare, masters, etc.) UPDATE – now you can just search a school name (e.g American School of Barcelona) in the Comments Search bar. If that school has had comments submitted on it, ALL the comments will show up in the Comments Search results. So cool!
We’ve also updated the rest of our homepage’s design. We have rearranged a few things to have a fresh new look and make it easier to navigate.
Thanks to all our members for their feedback and advice on our the new all-in-one search bar. Your request has now become a reality! This new search bar will definitely come in handy as recruitment season starts this coming October. Exciting times for International School Community!continue reading
We are excited to unveil the new and improved school profile page! The school profile pages are arguably the most important pages on our website; for they are where you can read and submit useful and informative comments.
Based on member feedback, we have designed a better interface for submitting the comments and also an easier, more intuitive way to submit the comments.
1. The “Show all # comments” link. Simply click here to view the rest of the comments in this comment topic; which will show up almost instantly right below the three most recent comments. No more pop-ups! This part of our website really sets us apart from other comment/review websites because it puts all the information about a specific comment topic all in ONE place!
2. The “Edit/Delete” links. Made a mistake on a submitted comment? Want to delete a previously submitted comment? Only the comments that you have personally submitted will have these Edit/Delete links.
(Taken from the American School of Barcelona school profile page – 119 Total Comments.)
We’ve also add another major update to our school profile pages. Now there are 26 more comment topics! Members can now submit comments on over 65 comments topics in total. The new topics are the following:
– Has the school met your expectations once you started working there?
– What does the school do to create a harmonious state of well-being and high morale amongst its staff?
– Describe the technologies available at the school and how people are/are not using them.
– Details about the current teacher appraisal process?
– Is the student population declining, staying the same or increasing? Give details why.
– How have certain things improved since you started working there?
– How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country?
– What controversies have been happening lately? Please be objective.
– What insider information would you give to a teacher considering working at this school?
– How much curriculum development work are you expected to do? (Atlas Rubicon, etc.)
– Details about the maternity benefits of the host country and school.
– What is the process of getting reimbursed for things?
– Details about new teacher orientation.
– In general, why are people staying at or leaving this school?
– Details about the teaching contract. What important things should prospective teachers know about?
– Describe a funny culture shock moment that you’ve had recently in this city.
– Where did the school take you in the city when you first arrived? What were some staff outings/party locations?
– What is the best part of living in this city for you?
– What advice can you give on how to set things up like internet, phone, experience dealing with landlord, etc.?
– Tell your experience moving your items to this city. What company, insurance policy, etc. did you use?
– Tell about your experience with the local banks and dealing with multiple currencies.
– What are some locals customs (regarding eating, drinking and going out, family, socializing, etc.) that you find interesting for expats to know about?
– Tell about your experiences in the local grocery stores. What can you get or cannot get? Which ones are your favorites.
– What is the most challenging/difficult part of living in the city?
– Are there many teachers that travel during the holidays? Where are they going?
– What are the airports like in this city? (arriving, departing, shopping, customs, etc.)
One more update to mention though, on the new and improved school profile pages, is the “jump links” we’ve added. Now you can get to the topics that interest you faster by clicking on these “jump links”.
Log-on today and check out all these school profile page updates. Also, please take a moment to test them out by submitting your comments in one or all of these new comment topics on the school you work at now or on the schools that you have worked at in the past.
Members of International School Community have written some new and informative comments on the following schools:
17 Oct International School Florence (10 new comments) Florence, Italy:
One of the new comments in the City Information section: “You can definitely find store workers that don’t know very much English. I just went to a nearby pasticerria and the guy didn’t know how to even say tomato. But most people are very kind and will definitely know some English to communicate with you at a basic level…”
10 Oct Anglo American School of Sofia (14 new comments) Sofia, Bulgaria:
One of the new comments in the School Information section: “The class size ranges from 12-20. There are generally 2 classes at each grade level. Each class has its own teaching assistant who also acts as a bus monitor…”
06 Oct Saint Andrews International High School (18 new comments) Blantyre, Malawi:
One of the new comments in the Benefits Information section: “13 salaries plus gratuity paid in local currency, no official link to dollar or pound. 30% tax. Salary depend on pay scale, one nudge up every year…”
Check out the rest of the last 40 international school profile pages that have been recently updated on International School Community here.continue reading
Only on International School Community will you be able to search for the perfect international school for you. Utilizing the School Profile Search feature on International School Community, you can search for the perfect school using up to 8 different criteria.
Search Result #1
1. Region of the world (All)
2. Curriculum (USA)
3. School Nature (Non-Profit)
4. No. of students (Medium: 300-700)
5. Country (All)
6. Year founded (16-50 Years Old)
7. Kinds of students (Mostly International)
8. Size of city (Medium: 750K-3 Million)
Check out the results of this example search on our blog!
(North Pine Christian College)
(Anglo American School of Sofia)
(Korea International School)
(A’takamul International School)
(Copenhagen International School)
(International School of Beijing)
“I worked at SRIS for three years. I taught Grade One and Grade Two in the time that I spent there. SRIS had a fantastic and diverse range of teachers that I felt privileged to work with. I learned a lot from them…”
Check out the rest of her interview on our blog here. If you’d like to be one of our next member spotlights send us a message here. Highlighted members will receive a coupon code for 6 free months of premium access!
v2011.08 – 10 December, 2011:
The holiday break is nearly upon us! Is it cold where you live right now? It is for most people in the northern hemisphere. There are though however some of us that are working in locations closer to the equator, and their weather must be quite nice right now. Some of us farther away from the equator have already taken out our winter jacket and even have progressed to the “heavier” winter jacket this past week.
So, the big question is: Why did we choose to work here? And that question is mostly directed towards the weather of your current location. The local people where you are living probably say to you, “Out of all the places you could have chosen from (In their mind…Barbados, Thailand, Rome, etc.), how is it possible that you have chosen this cold, miserable place? What they don’t realize is that some of us actually prefer to be in a place that has four distinct seasons. Some of us like like the snow!
There are many reasons to move to another country: Money, Travel, Love, Career, etc. We must be honest (not usually in an interview though) and admit that moving to another country based on its climate is very important for most international school teachers. That is why International School Community has included a category under the City Section on the school profile pages about climate: Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year. Here is an example:
Right now there are 38 comments and information that have been submitted in this category on a number of international school profile pages on our website.
Feel free to make your own searches (both close to the equator and farther away from the equator, depending on your preference!) for international schools based on your criteria on International School Community. Members with premium membership are able to do unlimited searches on our website. If you are already a member, you can easily renew your subscription on your profile page. If you are not a member, become a member today and get 1 month free of premium membership.
· 08 Dec The American School of Kinshasa (4 new comments)
(Kinshasa, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the)
“TASOK is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The School was re-accredited in 2008…”
· 08 Dec Dasman Model School (7 new comments)
(Kuwait City, Kuwait)
“The school offers a bilingual program for students in grades K to 12. DMS has a fully self-contained Special Needs Division within the main school…”
· 08 Dec Thai-Chinese Int’l School Bangkok (7 new comments)
“Tuition for 2 children studying at TCIS is free although there are annual student supply fees of Baht 15,000+ / child to be paid by teacher for education materials, PreK-Gr2 lunch/snacks, insurance upgrades, year books, ID card, and graduation…”
· Out of the thousands of international schools, people ask me why did I choose to work here?
“One year you are thinking that Asia is the place for you to move to the following school year, but then suddenly you open your eyes and you are actually in South America…”
· Educators Overseas: Helping teachers secure a job teaching abroad.
“There are many ways to secure a teaching job at an international school. The website Educators Overseas also offers such a service. Here is what they have to say about their philosophy of helping candidates find the “right fit” in their search to teach abroad…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #4 – “Being yourself is better, come what may, than trying to be someone else.”
“Even worse is when you realize mid-interview that you are indeed not the “best fit” as you had hoped you would be for that international school you have been wanting to work at that in the city you really had been wanting to live in…”
· Great resource: Association of International Schools in Africa
“Curious about what international schools there are in Africa? The Association of International Schools in Africa website has 100s of international schools listed that are found in many of the African countries…”
· Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #2 (Hangzhou Int’l School, American School of Bcn & Int’l School of KL)
“Our reps are in the process of renegotiation our salaries. It is a difficult time in Spain right now, so it is not likely we will get much of a raise. The board is focusing on…”