Information for Members

ISC Helps You to Compare the Salaries at 810+ International Schools

December 11, 2022

A survey that we did a few years ago made it clear which information international school teachers want to find out about when recruiting, and that is Salary Details.

What if you are only considering working in Shanghai? Or maybe you are only interested in working in Germany and are flexible about the city in which you would live. It would be invaluable information if you could access details about the salaries of all the international schools in that area of the world. Once you are able to take a look at the different salary details of a number of international schools, it could help you make a better decision on whether to accept an offer or not or which school you should put most of your focus on.

Compare School Salaries page: A unique feature on International School Community

Currently, we have over 1592 individual comments about international school salaries that have been submitted on our website (December 2022).  The specific comments and information about salaries have been submitted on 814 different international schools (December 2022).

The topic related to salaries (that members have left comments on) is on the Benefits tab which can be found on each school profile page.  The comment topic is called “Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year?”  Members are encouraged to leave informative details on a typical teacher’s monthly take-home salary at that school.

When you first visit the School Salaries page (premium membership access is needed), you will find that all the international schools (that have comments about salaries on their profile pages) are listed in alphabetical order. You can browse through all the schools there. But if you want to just view the schools from a specific region, country, or city in the world, then make sure to use the filter button on the right.  The filter feature allows you to filter the schools listed here and narrow down the list. You can more quickly find the specific schools at which you are most interested in checking out.

For example, let’s say you are only interested in working at an international school in Central/Eastern Europe.  Just click on the Select Region tab and select Central/Eastern Europe. After that, press the green Search button, and Voilà…only the schools matching your criteria show (currently 66 comments from 35 different international schools).

To see the exact salary comments, just click on the school. Here are some examples:

You could say that international schools like to keep their exact salary details secret.  Rarely do you find specific information about take-home salary on their websites.  Even on other websites where international schools display their vacancies, specific salary details are sometimes hard to find.  In turn, our Compare School Salaries page is quite special, useful, and unique!

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Information for Members

Get to the Comments you Want to Read Faster with our Unique Keyword Search

January 30, 2022

The ISC Comments Search feature is what makes our website unique.

One major goal of our website is to help our users get to the comments (specific to the topic they want to know about) easier and faster!

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say that you want to read some comments related to the topic of “teaching couples“. Simply enter in the keyword/s in the Search Bar at the top of our homepage (or at the top of any page of our website) or go directly to the Comments Search page on our website to search your keyword directly there.

Then it will take you to our Comments Search results page (Premium Feature). There you will find all the comments (out of over 42943+ comments on our website – 30 January 2022) that have that keyword/those keywords in them. You can also just search by school name here as well, which will show all the comments about that school in one list!

You will find your keyword/s in bold/green as you browse through all the comments that fit your criteria.

When we searched the keyword “teaching couples” we got 206 comments (up 10 from one year ago) that had those keywords; ordered by the date they were submitted.

As you scroll down, if you find a comment that interests you and you want to learn more about that school (i.e. check out the other comments about that school), just click on the school profile link to the left of the comment.

Other keyword search results (performed on 30 January, 2022):

Retirement – 319 comments (up 20 from last year)
Communication – 149 comments (up 28 from last year)
Savings – 163 comments (up 24 from last year)

Relocation – 109 comments (up 20 from last year)
Shipping – 301 comments (up 43 from last year)
Gay – 105 comments (up 10 from last year)
Singles – 178 comments (up 15 from last year)
Morale – 169 comments (up 24 from last year)

Affordable – 127 comments (up 27 from last year)
Hospital – 261 comments (up 39 from last year)
Happy – 329 comments (up 52 from last year)

Search your keyword here!

We are so excited about this Comments Search feature on our website as it really makes finding and reading comments easier for our members.  It is one of the many unique features on International School Community that makes us stand out when compared to other international school review websites.

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Top 10 Lists

8 Reasons International Hires Get Nervous When Turning Into a Local Hire

May 22, 2016

Oh, the bountiful benefits that foreign-hired teachers get!  You are treated like royalty in comparison to teachers that get hired locally. But these “royal” benefits often don’t last forever.  International schools across the globe have policies in place that say once you past a certain number of years working there (e.g. let’s say five years is the average), your foreign-hired benefits are over.

Now there is no need to worry if you leave before this change happens. But if you like the school and the city/country you are living in, you might find yourself getting nervous about this transition into locally hired status.

Eight Reasons International Hires Get Nervous When Turning Into a Local Hire


1. Good-bye to your annual or biennial flight benefit
The best part of going back home for a visit is not paying for that flight! Some schools just give you a set amount, others will buy your flight for you (in economy class, of course). Either way, you are not paying what could be upwards of EUR 1500 just to get back to your homeland every year. But the longer you stay in your host country, the more likely the school you are working at might think that your current country is your new home. If that is the belief, then that might be the reason international schools eventually take away this benefit.

2. No more extra payment each month that foreign-hires get
Some international schools give an extra payment to all foreign-hired staff each month. It is meant to be a marketing tool that schools use to attract quality foreign-hired teachers. You can get very used to receiving this extra payment in your salary each month. This extra money can be used as your rent money or your travel money. If you are clever, you will use this extra payment and put it into some type of investment (see Top 10 Tips to Build a Solid Retirement). After some time though, say goodbye to seeing this extra payment in your monthly pay-slip.

3. Now you need to move out of school housing and start paying your own rent
It is not always ideal to be living in school housing, but it is definitely ideal when your school is paying for your rent and part or all of your utilities. But as you gain more seniority at your school, the more and more new teachers arrive. Some schools will limit the number of years you can receive their housing allowance benefits (e.g. the new teachers require your school housing unit). As you near to the end of this wonderful benefit, it’s best to make a plan to if you are to continue renting somewhere else or maybe even buy some local property.


4. Leaving benefits go away or are diminished
It is nice to know that when you ultimately leave a school that they will help you with moving some of your things and buy your flight back to your home country. Locally hired staff often don’t get this benefit when they finally decide to move on, maybe to another international school for example. At some international schools, if you give enough notice before you decide to leave, they will let you continue to receive the leaving benefits. But at others, you will be on your own when you finally decide to leave after you become a local hire.

5. You slowly turn into the locally hired teachers that you maybe scoffed at when you first arrived
You probably said to yourself, I’ll never be like them. Foreign-hired teachers often get too comfortable in their status as foreign-hired and think they’re on the top of the world.  They look at locally hired teachers and think “why would anyone ever want to be locally hired!?” Meaning that if you are locally hired, you don’t get all those extra benefits. But after some time, foreign-hired teachers slowly are turning into one of them. It is not all that bad being on a local contract, and many, if not all, teachers will survive that transition.

6. You start to take part in some low staff morale thoughts
When you are losing some benefits, even though you have put in years and years of effort to do the best at your job, it doesn’t feel good inside. It is confusing to be losing money as you gain seniority at your school, a bit disheartening. Your professionalism will be tested during this transition, but typically it won’t be that damaging. Nice though to talk with other teachers at your school that have recently gone through that same transition into locally hired status to get their advice.  The loss in benefits might not be as dramatic as you are obsessing about.


7. Am I going to stay here forever (like 30+ years)!?
You never know when you will move on to another international school. Many SISTs (see Top 10 Character Traits of a Seasoned International School Teachers) will changes schools every 2-5 years. Once you get to six years of working at a school, you are definitely turning into more of a local hire. Other teachers with locally hired status at your school have been there maybe 10, 20, or even 30+ years!  It can be a bit nerve-wracking to think that you will never work at another international school in the world. There are so many countries to live in and schools to work at!

8. Will I have to pay full tuition to have my children attend my school?
One of the best benefits for teachers with children is that you typically don’t have to pay for tuition (if your want your children to attend the international school you are currently working at). Often this benefit is that the school will pay for 90-100% of your children’s tuition. At some international schools, tuition costs parents and companies 10s of 1000s of EUR a year. Locally hired teachers don’t regularly receive this same benefit for their children. They might receive a reduced rate of 50% if they are lucky, but many do not receive any financial support for their children’s tuition.


Of course, many say that international schools should just give equal benefits and equal pay for all teachers at their school, regardless of whether they were foreign hired or not. It doesn’t create the best school climate anyway. But this concern of wanting to save money wherever possible, the “tradition” of having this disparity will continue in many international schools all over the world.

This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author and International School Community member. If you would like to submit an article as a guest author, email us here. All guest authors receive six months of premium membership to our website!

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