Video Highlight

Video Highlight: St. Michael’s International School (Kobe, Japan)

March 16, 2012


St. Michael’s international School

The campus looked quite purpose-built and new.  Most likely not the same building as they originally had in 1931.

How interesting that it has the highest number of students of all international schools in Europe; using the school search feature on our website, the other top international schools in Europe only have around 1400 total students.

Did you see that huge soccer pitch? Usually, you only see such large playing fields in international schools in other regions of the world, not Europe.

Looks like all international schools like to have an international day.  It is nice when a school specifically states that they welcome EAL students and are there to support them during their schooling.

Check out their school profile page on International School Community here.

There are 2 other international schools in Kobe, Japan.  They are:

Marist Brothers International School

Canadian Academy (Kobe)

Overall there are 34 international schools in Japan, with 20 of those being in Tokyo.

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1996 (China, South Korea, Moldova, etc.)

July 4, 2011


Random year for international schools around the world: 1996

Utilizing the database of the 827 international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found 24 schools that were founded in 1996 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):

Shanghai Community Int’l School (Shanghai, China)

Shanghai Singapore International (Shanghai, China)

Suzhou Singapore International School (Suzhou, China)

“The SSIS was established in 1996 to provide quality international education to children of expatriate families in Shanghai. Currently, there are 2 campuses in Shanghai, MinHang Campus and XuHui Campus.”

Luanda International school (Angola, Luanda)

Busan Foreign School (Busan, South Korea)

“Busan Foreign School opened its doors to the Busan community and its surrounding areas in October of 1996. With only two students originally, it has since expanded to encompass nursery to twelfth grade, currently educating over 220 students from 25 different nations. In addition to the increase in enrollment, the curriculum has developed into a highly rigorous American standards-based program that offers students a wide variety of courses and activities.”

Tall Oaks International School (Accra, Ghana)

“The nursery was established in August 1996, to provide a safe, healthy and happy learning environment for children aged between 12 months and 5 years.”

Lekki British International School Lagos (Lagos, Nigeria)

“Welcome Lekki British School is the original British School in Nigeria. We opened our doors in 2000 to students and parents who are looking for a truly British School experience.”

Ocean of Light International School (Nukuʻalofa, Tonga)

“In 1996 as a response to a need from the community and as a social and economic development project, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Tonga established the school and registered it as a non-profit institution offering an international standard of education to the population of Tonga. Licensed by the Ministry of Education the school is now a well-known institution in Tonga.  The school opened its doors on March 3rd, 1996 with nine students, one teacher and one assistant teacher, covering classes one, two and three. By the end of the year the roll increased to 20. The following year approval was granted by the Ministry of Education to add classes 4, 5, and 6. More teachers were hired and the roll increased to 56.  By then the Board realized the difficulties of enrolling children to class one from the grass root level with no English background.”

American Academy for Girls Kuwait City (Salwa, Kuwait)

“The Al Jeel Al Jadeed Educational Institute opened The American Academy for Girls (AAG) in September 1996 to only 79 students from kindergarten through to grade five. Today, AAG has approximately 860 students from pre-kindergarten through to grade twelve.”

Qatar Academy (Doha, Qatar)

Jeddah Knowledge International School (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Horsholm International School (Horsholm, Denmark)

The International School of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan)

“Since its foundation in 1996 TISA has served both the expatriate community and those in the local community who are seeking an international education.”

Qsi International School of Chisinau (Chisinau, Moldova)

“QSI International School of Chisinau, a non-profit institution that opened in September 1996, offers high quality education in the English language for pre-school (beginning at age three years), elementary students (through the age of 13 years), and an expanding secondary program (currently to age 15).  The primary purpose of the school is to meet the needs of the children of foreign expatriates living in Chisinau who require this type of education with a view to continuing their education in their home countries with a minimum of adjustment problems.”

The International School of Bucharest (Bucharest, Romania)

ISB was founded in 1996 in a rented building with a total of just 17 pupils to meet the needs of the English-speaking community. Within a couple of years the school had grown in both size and scope. In order to serve an increasingly mobile international community, the curriculum gradually took into consideration the practices and requirements of a number of different systems.”

Pechersk School International (Kiev, Ukraine)

Canadian International School Bangalore (Bangalore, India)

Hanoi International School (Hanoi, Vietnam)

“In 1996 a joint venture company was launched following an agreement between the Centre for Education Technology (CET) and International School Development Inc. (ISD). The joint venture ship was on the basis of 30% interest to CET, which is the Vietnam side, and 70% interest to ISD, the US side.  The company then opened Hanoi International School in late 1996 using premises leased from the school next to today’s HIS. The student roll at the end of the first year was 54 from Pre-School to  Grade 11. Within that first cohort of students, 15 nationalities were represented. On the teaching side there were 13 teaching staff, including the Principal, and 16 Vietnamese support staff.”

Sekolah Ciputra (Surabaya, Indonesia)

“Much has been achieved since Yayasan Ciputra Pendidikan founded the school in 1996. Today Sekolah Ciputra is an international school and one of the most highly regarded IB World Schools in Indonesia. We believe that our International IB students are truly global citizens.”

International School of Skopje (Skopje, Macedonia)

St. Andrews I.S Green Valley (Pattaya, Thailand)

Arqam Academy – Doha (Doha, Qatar)

Dasman Model School (Kuwait City, Kuwait)

British International School (BIS) Phuket (Phuket, Thailand)

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Blogs of International Teachers

Blogs of International School Teachers – “Backpacking Teacher”

May 28, 2011


Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Check out the experiences of another teacher from the moment they signed the contract to what they are writing about after a few years working abroad.

Our 2nd blog that we would like to highlight is called “Backpacking Teacher.”  What an interesting experience living in Saigon and working at a young school that is growing and expanding.

Entries we would like to highlight:

What do I expect from my new life in Saigon?
Before I head off for another overseas sojourn it’d be a nice idea to document what I’m expecting to find and what I’m looking forward to. That way, down the track, I can review my expectations against a future reality. Most of what I’m expecting is based upon what life was like when I lived in Indonesia.
I’m expecting:
The very poor and the very rich
A political system that exists largely in the background…

Worst thing that’s happened to you whilst traveling?
How about the time I worked in Indonesia managing a remote resort .. ah yes ..that one.  I managed this remote resort on the island of Java. The country was in upheaval, students had recently been shot on the streets of Jakarta and my security manager came into see me.  “Pak”, he says. “Bad news. The local people they not like the resort making money on their land. They coming tomorrow to burn it down”.  “ok”, says I, attempting to be calm. “time to put our contingency plans into gear”. Thinking all along how absurd it was that I had contingency plans, for rioting villagers, ready to go…

Reflections on my new school
The physical environment is superb with well appointed classrooms, interactive whiteboards in each classroom, air-conditioning and a management team that is very supportive of the teaching staff. The school has real potential and for a school this young it has made massive strides in it’s quest to be a leading school in Saigon. This can be shown by the number of teachers and students who have moved to the school from other international schools in town. It’s an exciting place to be and makes for an environment that’s both challenging and a pleasure to teach in. I’m certainly happy with my choice and enjoy working here.

The previous blog address of this teacher can be found here.  There are some great entries about the process a person goes through when searching for and getting a job at an international school.

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Discussion Topics

It’s all about luck and timing: Getting the international school job of your dreams

May 27, 2011


Do you want to live next to this?  Who doesn’t like the beach?


Or this? All expats dream of living in Europe!?

Or experience this view all the time during the winter?

If you really want to live and work in a specific city in the world and there are only 2-4 jobs available at the two international schools there, the chances are so very slim that you will ever get one of those jobs some day.  Looking and looking each year to see if one of those positions pops up on the vacancy websites.

So, it is all about luck and timing.  If, by chance, your job appears as a vacancy, your heart starts racing, but now what? Did you already decide on moving this year and are on the hunt for a job or would you have to “break contract” to accept this new job?

Take a chance!  Send in your CV and supporting materials and hope for the best.  The heavens might align and the school grants you an opportunity to interview.  I have had my share of interviews, and many don’t go your way.  Some years it feels like no schools want you…the good schools (e.g. your dream schools) and the not-so-good schools…even if you might have 15 years of experience on your back.

Yes, of course, schools looks at your CV and check out your experience.  “Do you have prior UK curriculum or PYP experience? No?  Sorry, we are looking for teachers that have had prior experience in our curriculum.”  How disheartening for some teachers that have their heart in a place (where their dream job is) that is seemingly so difficult to get into, when they aren’t the “right fit.”

A friend of mine (a seasoned international school teacher) told me recently it is all about whether the schools like you or don’t like you.  Check out the movie “She’s just not into you” by the way!  If you are indeed the one for the job, you are the one no matter what your CV says.  It has happened!

“I don’t have any connections? Surely the more people I know in the international school community the better.”  Will your contacts and networking connections help you land a job at your dream school?  100% yes, it happened to me personally.  HOWEVER, it is important to remember that even without those connections, it is possible to get that job, your dream job!  Remember, if you are the right one, it will be very clear that you are right one for the position.

So, keep your eyes and ears open and take chances in your life (even if it means that you might have to make a few sacrifices) and in your job search because you never know when your next opportunity will present itself and where your next placement will be.  So many teachers say “there is 99.9% chance that this is my last year in this country/city.”  Many times you can’t force a move or change in position.  Waiting for the right moment to pounce is important.  So, once again, it is all about luck and timing.  Wait for the right chance and then work hard to get the job, stay focused on your goal (and dream school), and it just might happen one day!

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Great Link

Great website – The International School Teacher

May 21, 2011


My friend told me about this relatively new website back in November 2010.  It is called The International School Teacher.

It is a forum/social networking/information gathering website designed for the international school teaching community.

Parts of the website I like:

International Schools
How can one increase their chances of getting a job?
Get married… and to someone who’s not only good looking, but also teaches! No really, if you happen to be what is referred to as a teaching couple, then you are indeed much more marketable. If a professional club were to sign a striker and get a defender in the mix… Schools do indeed kill two birds with one stone when hiring couples. Also, for many schools in cities where housing is an issue, they simply can’t afford to provide single teachers with their own housing.

As much as I don’t like to constantly hear people and schools say this, it just might actually be true.  A school does “save” money by hiring a teaching couple, and they do kill two birds with one stone.  I don’t really believe though that married couples are more “stable”  I’ve seen many couples leave after 2 years (even 1 year one time) at schools I’ve worked at.  One reason they leave early is because they find out their salary is sometimes not covering all their expenses (I’m referring to a school on the Mediterranean for example).  Sometimes, one member of the couple is not completely satisfied working at the school because the school really wanted to only hire their partner and have placed the other member in a position they don’t 100% enjoy or find fulfilling.

What you really love about your host country
I really appreciate this section because it highlights the positive aspects of our lives as international school teachers, something International School Community strives to do as well.  No matter where you are living in the world, there are always things that you enjoy and reminding yourself of those things is a very good idea sometimes (especially when you go through all the different stages of culture shock).  Here is an excerpt of one of the member’s reasons for why they like living in Cyprus:

– I can drive forty minutes from my house in one direction and be in the beach. I can drive forty minutes in another and be in snow.
– Large, luscious lemon trees in my yard
– Ottoman, Greco-Roman, and Venetian architecture

Check out the rest of the website here.

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