Blogs of International Teachers

Blogs of international school teachers: “Cindy Vine”

June 7, 2012


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

Our 19th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Cindy Vine”  Check out the blog entries of this international school teacher who have lived and worked in nine different countries in her life so far.  She currently is working at International School Moshi (Moshi).

A few entries that we would like to highlight:

Teachers who get hit by the travel bug

“There is a category of teacher called Tourist Teachers.  These are teachers who only take up a job in an international school because they want to travel that country and have a base to come back to.  They tend to only stay a year or two, and then they move on to their next adventure.  Then you get another group of international teachers who enjoy soaking up the culture of different peoples and even though they travel and explore, they enjoy being immersed in the culture so they stay longer.”

Sometimes I feel like traveling is the number one goal of international school teachers, well at least for the teachers just starting out in the International School Community. Some of the more veteran teachers at an international school tend to not travel as much as the newbies.  The longer you stay at an international school, the less likely you will be traveling during your many holidays.  That is not true for everyone, but that is the trend that I have seen at the current and past international schools that I’ve worked at.  Sometimes it is all about the location and the experience living in that location.  I have noticed that the vast majority of people that move to a city in this world, move there because they intended to move there at some point in their life.  People like us tend to dedicate our lives to a language for example (let’s say Spanish).  A typical place for that type of a person to end up living (even if it is just for a short time) is a country that speaks that language that they have been studying for many years (Spanish).  Many international school teachers do take risks though and accept positions in countries that they know nothing about; they definitely didn’t study about the language there and know very little about the culture there either.  That doesn’t stop the travel bug in them though, exploring a land you know nothing about can be quite exciting for an international school teacher.  We like to travel to the unusual places in the world.  International school teachers are risk-takers and like the exploring of places a typical tourist wouldn’t normally travel to.  Sometimes the travel bug is so intense that staying at home during one, even just one, of their holidays is just not an option.

A visit to a Tanzanian Hospital

All I can say is that I am pleased I wasn’t seriously ill or dying.  If I was I would have died trying to open a file.

My appointment with the visiting dermatologist from the UK was at 10am.  I was told to open a file first.  Nobody actually explained the process of opening a file to me, and believe you me, there is a process!  At 8.30am I stood in a queue that moved forward painfully slowly as there are always people who join the queue from the side, and always join it in front of you.  After fifteen minutes the queue dissolved and expanded sideways into a mass of people all pushing and shoving to get to the front.  After elbowing my way to the front after what seemed to be an unusually long time of jostling, I was told to go to the next window.  Another queue just as wide as it was deep.  Have I ever mentioned how I hate waiting?  And I couldn’t even read my Kindle because I had to stand the whole time and try and keep my place by using my elbows to keep out those trying to push in.  Luckily, I perfected the skill of elbowing during numerous train trips to Shanghai when I lived in China.

When I finally got to the front of the second queue, I was told to go back to the first queue.  I nearly burst into tears.  My chest started closing and I could feel a panic attack developing.  By this time it was 10.15.  I had been queueing for an hour and forty-five minutes and had achieved nothing.  Like a sheep I joined the next queue, in my heart knowing it was a waste of time.  If I didn’t have this strange growth jutting out of me I would have left.  A kind nurse in another queue asked me if I had a piece of pink paper.  Of course I didn’t!  Why would I have a piece of pink paper?  Apparently, they only help people with a pink paper.  You have to first get a piece of pink paper from the department you are visiting, in my case, the dermatology department.  Nobody had thought to tell me this.  Two hours of my life wasted.  I hate that.

The nurse called someone to take me to dermatology, two car parks and three buildings away.

Now clutching the piece of pink paper, I once again joined the queue.  Some people who had been queueing almost as long as me took pity and let me go to the front and push my piece of pink paper through the little window.  I saw why the whole process took so long.  No computers in sight, everything written by hand.  Painstakingly.  Cindy was written down as Cinci.  At that stage I was beyond caring.  It was already 11am.  I had been there since 8.30am.  After handing in my paper I was told to sit down and wait.  At last I could read my Kindle.  After fifteen minutes I decided it might be a good idea to try and find out what happens next.  I once again rejoined the queue at the second window where it appeared you had to pay.  Of course, being a foreigner I knew I would get charged a lot more than the locals.  Another nurse who had been in the queue at 8.30am came into the waiting area.  “Oh Mama you are still here!  I have been and gone, been and gone and am already bringing in a new patient!”  My smile was a little sickly.  It was 11.20am.”

Going to hospitals in other countries (even if they are “expat” hospitals with mostly English-speaking doctors) can be quite the experience.  I for one have had relatively very good experiences going to hospitals in the countries that I have lived in.  We have to remember too that many hospitals in the USA also have their problems; they are definitely not perfect places to visit either.  I have said many times that it is very important that there is at least an option to be able to speak in English to your physician.  I have had though one doctor say to me that I should speak in the XXXX language to him instead of English. Even though the doctor could speak English he preferred to continue our appointment in his language. Luckily I knew the language, but it is quite difficult to talk about your personal health in a second language, that for sure. Because of all this (including the language and cultural barrier) going to the hospital in a foreign country can be very stressful at times.

Check out the international schools that are listed in Tanzania on International School Community.

Currently, there are 9 international schools listed on our website, with 5 of them being schools that have had information and comments submitted on them.  Check out the submitted comments about these schools here.

If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.

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Highlighted Year for Int’l Schools

International schools that were founded in 1969 (Hong Kong, Seychelles, Madagascar, etc.)

August 28, 2011


Random year for international schools around the world: 1969

Utilizing the database of the 850 international schools currently listed on International School Community, we found  schools that were founded in 1969 (excepts about their founding are taken from the schools’ websites):

German Swiss International School (Hong Kong, China)

“The German Swiss International School Hong Kong (GSIS) was established in 1969 by German Swiss families who were looking for a bilingual German-English education in an international setting. From these early beginnings, GSIS has grown into one of the leading international schools in Hong Kong. The school’s main campus is strategically located in the picturesque and prestigious setting of The Peak, Hong Kong.”

American School of Antananarivo (Antananarivo, Madagascar)

“ASA was founded in September, 1969 as an independent, non-sectarian, co-educational day school. Its function is to provide an excellent education in an international setting to children through the twelfth grade.”

International School of Seychelles (Victoria, Seychelles)

“ISS has grown to nearly 700 students from a small beginning of nine students in 1969. ISS continues to be a vibrant learning community with students excelling themselves both academically, in sports and in many other ways.”

International School Moshi (Moshi) (Moshi, Tanzania)

“Established in 1969 to serve the needs of the expatriate and local communities, the school has grown to provide a fully accredited international education for children from age 3 to age 19, offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma, Middle Years and Primary Years programmes.”

Sir James Henderson School (Milan, Italy)

“The Sir James Henderson British School of Milan was founded in 1969 by British parents who wanted to provide a British education to their children. The school was named after Sir James Henderson, a British businessman who started up Coats in Italy after WW1. He also founded the British Chamber of Commerce and the first Rotary Club in Italy. His wife provided a generous donation to start the school.  In 1969 the school had just over 90 students (84 in the lower school,12 children in the upper school). In 1994 it had 380 students and currently the school has over 770 students (440 in the lower school, over 330 children in the upper school).”

Bangalore International School (Bangalore, India)

“Bangalore International School, or American Community School as it was once called, was started in 1969. In the 60s and the 70s, although there were hundreds of American and Canadian families living in the city, there were no local schooling options that offered a North American curriculum and instruction style. The only available choice would have been boarding school. And luckily for us, this idea did not appeal to Eloise R. Bennett and her family, the founders of BIS. On contract through the University of Tennessee for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bennett family moved to Bangalore for two years between 1969 and 1971. Finding no suitable schooling options, they decided to open their own, and so the American Community School was born, in a garage on Millers Road.”

Medan International School Sumatra (Medan, Indonesia)

“Medan International School began in 1969 and has being operating from its present site, approximately 10km for the centre of Medan, since 1980. Medan is a large city of over three million people, although the expatriate population is relatively small.”

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