Our mission for the International School Community website is to have the most updated information about what it is like to work at the numerous international schools around the world. One way to help us achieve that mission is to have Mayors.
Being a Mayor is super easy, and the best part is that you get unlimited free premium membership to our website!
And ANYONE can be the Mayor of their school. Most of our active Mayors are just regular teachers at their schools, but we also have heads of schools, HR representatives, principals, etc. as Mayors as well.
Mayors are commenting on the school and the benefits information, but they also comment on the city and travel information of the country as well. Mayors also don’t need to represent all aspects and perspectives of the school. They are recommended to just share their experience and perspective on living and working at that international school and in that city/country.
• Submit at least 3-6 new comments on your school every 1-2 months (on the 68 different comment topics). It takes like 5-8 minutes of your time to do this. It will take a Mayor 2 years to submit one comment in all 68 comment topics.
• Make sure to check on your school’s Wall and occasionally post updates about their school (any big changes to the school that are happening, good tips to know about, recent events at the schools, etc.)
• Make sure that your school has the most updated and correct information (e.g. basic info, links, Facebook page, Youtube video, etc.) on the Overview and Social Media tabs.
• Submit job vacancies that are currently available at your school.
• Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 547 Comments
• NIST International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 304 Comments
• Tarsus American College (Mersin, Turkey) – 278 Comments
• Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 168 Comments
• American School Foundation of Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico) – 129 Comments
• Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 180 Comments
• Yongsan International School of Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 145 Comments
• Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 414 Comments
• Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 223 Comments
• American International School Dhaka (Dhaka, Bangladesh) – 130 Comments
• International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 135 Comments
• Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 193 Comments
• Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 157 Comments
The more Mayors that we have on our website means the more our members will be informed; as there will be more up-to-date information on the schools they want to know about!
Become the Mayor of an international school that you work at today!
* Please note that being the Mayor of a school is anonymous and that all comments and job vacancies submitted on our website are also done so anonymously. Posting on the school profile page wall though is not anonymous.continue reading
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):
• 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)
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.continue reading
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 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 1487 individual comments about international school salaries that have been submitted on our website (September 2021). The specific comments and information about salaries have been submitted on 793 different international schools (September 2021).
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 have a 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 61 comments from 33 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!continue reading
As international teachers, we all left our home country for a reason. The motivations to become an international teacher are varied. Some of us wanted the adventure of seeing the world before its gone.
Others fell in love with a foreigner, started a family, and became an “international” teacher in name only. Others had so much personal debt, that if we worked in our home country, we might be debt-free before we retired. Or maybe we just wanted to be respected in our profession, and we wanted to live in a place where it was still safe for our kids to play ball games on the street in front of our houses. The motivations for international teaching are varied, but all of us are in some way or another. We are not just chasing our dream school, we’re searching for our new home.
We have all sat down with a recruiter or a Head of School, and listened to their sales pitch on why their school is “THE DREAM SCHOOL”. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, it ends up being an illusion. As an international teacher we must endure a lot; we pick up our lives, move two countries over, and settle in for a few years before repeating the cycle. Upon each new recruiting cycle, we hope that we have gained enough experience to finally get into the coveted Tier 1 international school, and that will be our “DREAM SCHOOL”.
But what do we and our families have to endure along the way? Over my last 10 years of international teaching, I experienced a school that hired and fired six principals in six months. Upon landing in that new country, Principal #7 informed us that all our contracts would have to be renegotiated. Our passports were then taken for “processing” and escorted to our new school compound and prevented from leaving for 13 weeks…”for our own safety”. The school was subsequently banned from ISS and Search Associates, had a 100% turnover of teachers two years in a row, but still received its full IB certification. After everything we had endured, we were escorted to the airport, given a large bundle of cash, and told to not bother applying for jobs in this country again. We took our bag of silver, shook our heads, and left happily.
International teaching is a balance between precarity and privilege. We accept the unknown and unstable working environment for the promise of a salary and lifestyle we could never have in our home country. When we are young and single, this is a great deal. But as we grow older, and have families, we start to look for more stability. Any international teacher who watched their once happy and thriving child leave a school they love, and then come home crying every day from their new school, understands the guilt and sadness it causes.
Recruiters and Heads of School are playing a finite game. Their focus is on hiring for this year and getting the best teacher they can into the classroom for this year. Most international teachers only last 2 years in a school anyway, so the “right fit” turns into the “right-now fit”. As an international teacher, what I have endured is nothing compared to what my family has endured. As I complete another contract and listen to another sales pitch, I am not chasing my DREAM SCHOOL, I’m searching for a home. I’m searching for a school that understands, if you take care of my family, I’ll renew my contract (time and time again). I’m searching for a school that understands, there are no such things as a dream school. We are searching for a school that aligns with our values, prioritizes family, and treats us like a member of the community, and not just a 2-year rental. That is my “DREAM SCHOOL”.
This article was submitted by an ISC member and veteran international school teacher. If you are interested in being a guest author on our blog, please contact us here.continue reading
As all International School Community members know, each of the 2199+ 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!
FOR UNLIMITED FREE MEMBERSHIP, BECOME A MAYOR OF A SCHOOL TODAY!
So, what are the recent statistics about the Travel Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the Travel Information sections is 2672 (out of a total of 40304+ comments); up almost 535 comments since August 2019.
There are 6 subtopics in the Travel Information section on each school profile page. Check out each one of these subtopics below and find out the total number of comments in that specific subtopic and also an example comment that has been submitted there.
Example comment: “You can fly mostly anywhere in Europe from Berlin. Unfortunately there has been a new airport in construction for many years now with no real outlook on when it will be complete. You have to connect elsewhere to fly internationally (i.e Copenhagen, Paris, London, Reykjavik etc.)” – Berlin Cosmopolitan School (Berlin, Germany) – 94 Comments
Example comment: “Narita International Airport is the most convenient in terms of distance, parking, and bus connections. It is approximately 45-50 minutes by car on the highway (tolls are about $12 or $13 USD each way), 75 minutes by car by more local roads, and about an hour by bus ($25 USD). Haneda Airport in Tokyo is further away from Tsukuba and more conveniently reached by a combination of the Tsukuba Xpress and Tokyo subways (90 to 120 minutes and $18 to $25 USD, depending on the various options and combinations). There is also the more local Ibaraki Airport (which has free parking) about 45 minutes from town, but flights are very limited and only include a few destinations within Japan (such as Kobe, Fukuoka, Naha and Sapporo) and Shanghai and Seoul (and sometimes Taipei by charter flights) internationally.” – Tsukuba International School (Tsukuba, Japan) – 47 Comments
Example comment: “My Switzerland is a very comprehensive and informative website for locals and expats. which provides a wide breadth of information.
https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/home.html” – Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 62 Comments
Example comment: “Expatriate teachers are recommended to not use public transit. The school recommends hiring a school driver to drive us to our desired destination using the car the school provides us. School drivers for a very reasonable rate. If there is a place you want to go, ask the head of security and he will check to ensure it is safe to travel to your desired destination.” – Lahore American School (Lahore, Pakistan) – 193 Comments
Example comment: “It truly depends on the teacher and their own personal situation. Many younger, single teachers will travel during breaks. Usual destinations are somewhere around east our southeast Asia. Teachers who are married with children will stay in Korea many times. During summer break, most teachers will go to their home country.” – Korea Kent Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 41 Comments
Example comment: “Queues at immigration can be very very very long. (between 15 min and 1.5 hours of waiting) Just make sure you have some battery left on that phone of yours! ;-)” – Dulwich College Beijing (Beijing, China) – 50 Commentscontinue reading