How many times have you applied to a school wishing that you knew somebody that worked there?
Knowing somebody and getting the ‘inside scoop’ on an international school could definitely help you in your quest to set up an interview there.
Currently, our top 40 international schools with the most members are (6 December 2020):
30 members – American International School in Egypt
24 members – Copenhagen International School
24 members – Western International School of Shanghai
22 members –International School of Kuala Lumpur
22 members – International School Manila
21 members – MEF International School Istanbul
19 members – International School of Tanganyika
19 members – Jakarta Intercultural School
19 members – Seoul Foreign School
19 members – Seoul International School
18 members – Fairview International School
18 members – Brent International School Manila
17 members – Graded School Sao Paulo
17 members – Shanghai United International School (Hongqiao)
16 members – American School Foundation of Mexico City
17 members – International School Bangkok
17 members – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana
17 members – Shanghai Community International School
16 members – American School of Barcelona
16 members – Good Shepherd International School
16 members – Cairo American College
16 members – American International School of Johannesburg
16 members – United Nations International School (Vietnam)
16 members – International School Dhaka
16 members – Qatar Academy (Doha)
15 members – Istanbul International Community School
15 members – Singapore American School
15 members – NIST International School
15 members – American International School Dhaka
15 members – Suzhou Singapore International School
15 members – American School of Dubai
14 members – International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP)
14 members – KIS International School (Bangkok)
14 members – Yokohama International School
14 members – Hong Kong International School
14 members – International School Panama
14 members – International School Beijing
14 members – Western Academy of Beijing
14 members – American International School (Vietnam)
14 members – Shanghai American School – Pudong
With 100-200 new members joining each month, this list will continue to grow and grow; with even more members showing up as potential people to network with.
It is simple to network on our website: just click on a member and then click on the ‘Contact this member’ button (premium member feature). Then write him/her a message. When your message is sent, the other member will get an email alert letting them know that they have a new message waiting for them on our website (so, hopefully he/she will get back to you in a timely manner!). Numerous International School Community members have already taken advantage of this unique feature on our website!
As far as we know, International School Community is the one of the only websites where you can quickly and easily network with real people at a specific international school. Meaning, if you want to get in touch with somebody from Suzhou Singapore International School in China and you are currently a premium member of International School Community, you now have 15 members that you can contact on our website that either work there now or have worked there in the past. Get the answers to your questions; now that is easy networking!continue reading
At International School Community, we now have over 2150 international school profiles listed on our website!
Traill International School (Bangkok, Thailand)
Olive Tree International Academy (Hangzhou, China)
North London Collegiate School (Singapore) (Singapore)
Leeds International School (Galle, Sri Lanka)
The British College of Brazil (Sao Paolo, Brazil)
American International School in Egypt (Main Campus) (New Cairo City, Egypt) – 30 Members
Copenhagen International School (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 24 Members
Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 23 Members
International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 22 Members
International School Manila (Manila, Philippines) – 22 Members
British International School Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 70640 Views
Colegio Granadino Manizales (Manizales, Colombia) – 38970 Views
American International School of Budapest (Budapest, Hungary) – 20524 Views
Bodwell High School (Vancouver, Canada) – 5255 Views
Haileybury Almaty (Almaty, Kazakhstan) – 4288 Views
International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 4217 Views
Kyoto International School (Kyoto, Japan) – 63 Comments
School of the Nations (Brasilia) (Brasilia, Brazil) – 41 Comments
International School of Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – 135 Comments
Deutsche Schule Kobe – European School ‘s Wall(Kobe, Japan) – 50 Comments
United Lisbon International School (Lisbon, Portugal) – 0 Comments
But check them all our yourself! Get answers to your questions about the international schools you are interested in by clicking on the geographic region of your choice. It’s a great way to learn about different international schools around the world and gather information!
International School Community has the following 2171 international schools listed on our website (last updated on 27 September, 2020)
Central America (45)
Central/Eastern Europe (114)
East Asia (325)
Middle East (293)
North Africa (68)
North America (109)
SE Asia (335)
South America (100)
Sub-Saharan Africa (175)
Western Europe (325)continue reading
So interesting, our top 40 school profiles with the most views page.
It’s like, which school is the most popular amongst our 18K+ members? Before reading below or checking out the page, which schools do you think show up on this list?
Are the ones at the top those “Tier one” international schools that we all hear about? You might be surprised which schools are really on this list then!
The school that has the most views right now is the British International School Moscow (42 total comments), which currently has around 70337 views. Who wouldn’t want to work in Easter Europe?!
Here are some of the other top schools on our list (along with a sample comment from its school profile page):
Copenhagen International School (375 total comments) Copenhagen, Denmark
“This year CIS went to a recruiting fair in London. The director mentioned that he wants to make sure our school ‘stays visible’ at these fairs every once and awhile. There weren’t that many vacancies this year, which is typical because people tend to stay here a…”
NIST International School (298 total comments) Bangkok, Thailand
“Most of the large shopping malls have gourmet markets that include Western foods and ingredients, and two or three chains specifically cater to them as well. A huge number of expat-oriented pubs and restaurants can be found, especially along Sukhumvit Road…”
International School of Kuala Lumpur (135 total comments) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
“Pay is good, with a great retirement (EPF) program that can go up to 42% of salary (including both employer and employee amounts). Teachers are paid 10 times (August through June) but in June they also get their July salary.”
KIS International School (Bangkok) (343 total comments) Bangkok, Thailand
“KIS has just gone through its five-year accreditation for both the CIS and the IB as well as the one from the Thai Ministry of Education. Obviously the full reports have yet to be made public but the feedback from the team leaders was certainly constructive and said that the school was certainly heading in the right direction.”
Seoul Foreign School (172 total comments) Seoul, South Korea
“I literally think these are the best students to have on the planet. I can’t think of a country where the student caliber is any higher. Wonderful and attentive students who perform well. Require work to get them to think outside of the box and problem solve.”
Hong Kong International School (148 total comments) Hong Kong, China
“The school is a very well established school and has been a part of Hong Kong for nearly 50 years.”
Western International School of Shanghai (476 total comments) Shanghai, China
“Tons of activities if one wants to do something. It’s pretty easy to fund running, cycling, hiking, tennis, basketball, rugby, and so forth. Pretty much anything is on offer here!”
Singapore American School (292 total comments) Singapore, Singapore
“Short term disability benefit. Worldwide health insurance coverage.”
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (180 total comments) Shanghai, China
“The school buildings are quite modern. Many students walk to school as there are many neighbourhoods near the school.”
American International School in Egypt (Main Campus) (62 total comments) Cairo, Egypt
“This is a bit of an issue at AIS. They seem to hire people without checking references and most interviews are just over the phone or Skype. Several people get fired a year due to behaviors that I am sure would have shown before hiring should AIS do face to face interviews and…”
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (155 total comments) Hong Kong, China
“A fair number of teachers make multiple stops on their way back to “home” in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand. Since these are long flights (~10-18 hours), it is easy to find extended layovers en route.”
Green School Bali (137 total comments) Sibang, Indonesia
“A lot depends on where you’re living. If you’re in the Ubud area expect at least an hours commute to the airport. From Canggu, less time. Denpasar traffic, in fact traffic everywhere in the touristy parts of Bali is horrendous. Drivers charge varying amounts depending o…”
American School of Dubai (161 total comments) Dubai, UAE
“The area across the street from the school, Barsha Heights (previously known as Tecom) has a number of highrise buidlings and good number of restaurants and shops in the area. It’s a 10-15 minute walk from there for the teachers that live in that area. On the opposite side a…”
American School of Warsaw (155 total comments) Warsaw, Poland
“In connection to the school’s growing percentage of ELL students, every grade level in the elementary and middle schools now has a dedicated ELL coach/teacher/classroom aide.”
Check out the rest of the schools on our list here.continue reading
Now there are 2150+ international schools that have had comments/reviews submitted on them on our website (up almost 80 schools from one year ago)!
Once schools have over 70 submitted comments, then it is very likely that you will be able to see how a specific comment topic has changed (or not changed) over time; with all the comments being date stamped.
If there is more than one comment in a specific comment topic, the more recent comments either add on, compliment, or amend the previous comments.
Some of our schools that have many submitted comments will sometimes have over 15 comments in one comment topic!
Just click on the “Show all” link to see the complete history of comments in this comment topic.
So let’s get to it, which schools are in the top 26? This list comes from May 2020 with a sample comment for each school.
Here we go:
26. Hong Kong International School
(Hong Kong, China) – 148 Comments
“There is a clear and structured pay scale. You enter it according to experience and qualifications, up to a maximum experience level. Within the school you receive an annual ‘step’ for every year of experience, plus there are usually small inflationary raises to the salary scale. Additionally stipends are paid for team leader responsibility. There are resigning bonuses after four years of employment…”
25. American International School (Vietnam)
(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) – 153 Comments
“Now, it is extensive as it has not been done at all. Atlas Rubicon full steam ahead…”
24. Canadian International School (Hong Kong)
(Hong Kong, China) – 155 Comments
“CDNIS is an IB World School, implementing PYP, MYP, and DP. In a recent report by the IB governing body, CDNIS must make major administrative and governing reforms in the next year…”
23. American School of Warsaw
(Warsaw, Poland) – 155 Comments
“Since housing isn’t provided by the school, you get a lot of leeway in terms of what kind of accommodations you choose and whether you keep within your housing allowance or “top up” for a bigger/nicer/better place. As such, how well-appointed your apartment or hou…“
22. Colegio Gran Bretana
(Bogota, Colombia) – 156 Comments
“Many goods on display, if not found in supermarket, can be ordered online…”
21. Tarsus American College
(Mersin, Turkey) – 157 Comments
“Down to two weeks of holiday in January. No other breaks and we’ve been told that in addition to losing our fall and spring breaks for intensive staff-development other PD will be held on weekends…”
20. Tsinghua International School (Beijing)
(Beijing, China) – 158 Comments
“There is a new airport going in south of Beijing to relieve the traffic at the main airport…”
19. American School of Dubai
(Dubai, UAE) – 161 Comments
“Lately a number of teachers are heading to places like Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. They report great experiences! Oman remains the number one travel option, however, as it is right next door (door to door to Muscat is around the five hour mark) and has lots of great outdoor…”
18. MEF International School Istanbul
(Istanbul, Turkey) – 162 Comments
“Teacher turnover is high. Everything from 1st year teachers, teachers new to being over seas, to very experienced international educators. Living in Istanbul is a big draw…”
17. Pechersk School International
(Kyiv, Ukraine) – 162 Comments
“Apartments are furnished by landlords so it can vary – but generally pretty basic. School gave me a metro card and a SIM card and phone til I sorted out my own…”
16. International School of Tanganyika
(Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) – 171 Comments
“The IT infrastructure has improved significantly, but is still not without its challenges. Internet speed is reasonably fast, much much better than it used to be. All teachers are provided with a Macbook. At secondary there are 4 computer labs. The science department has 25 m…”
15. Seoul Foreign School
(Seoul, South Korea) – 172 Comments
“Tutoring through the school is available if it is not your student. The school takes a portion leaving you with about $20 for 30 minutes of tutoring. Coaching stipends from $350-900 and lifeguarding at the school pool can bring in 25-45 dollars an hour.”
14. Cairo American College
(Cairo, Egypt) – 174 Comments
“The subway costs 2 Egyptian pounds per ride. Taxis vary, since you might have to haggle. Many people at the school use a regular driver. The one I use charges less than 200 Egyptian pounds for a trip to the airport, which is about an hour away…”
13. American School of Barcelona
(Barcelona, Spain) – 175 Comments
“The turn over rate is getting a bit higher because the cost of living in Spain is getting higher and higher and salaries are staying the same. Economically it is difficult in Spain right now. That being said Barcelona is a fantastic city to live in and no one wants to leave…”
12. Concordia International School (Shanghai)
(Shanghai, China) – 180 Comments
“The ‘common language spoken in the hallways’ depends on the grade level. Students who are only 3 or 4 might not have a lot of English. As the students get older, they are quite skilled in English…”
11. International School of Dakar
(Dakar, Senegal) – 181 Comments
“Very low turnover this year but we had a large turnover the previous year. Teachers tend to stay 3-4 years but some have stayed much longer…”
10. Oeiras International School
(Lisbon, Portugal) – 183 Comments
“Back in the re-accreditation mode again with the self study this year. The visit will be a joint visit next year with IB, ECIS and NEASC…”
9. Lahore American School
(Lahore, Pakistan) – 193 Comments
“1/2 of the teachers are from North America and 1/2 from Pakistan, a few from UK…”
8. Ghandi Memorial International School
(Jakarta, Indonesia) – 203 Comments
“Bahasa Indonesia is the official language, with English spoken in major cities and tourist areas…”
7. Stamford American International School
(Singapore, Singapore) – 237 Comments
“The school is the north-east corner of Singapore with very easy access to the city center. Staff can choose their own accommodation location based on their financial and lifestyle preferences. Most teachers live 2-3 MRT (underground) stations away. Public transport is excellent…”
6. Singapore American School
(Singapore) – 278 Comments
“Transport options are good. The taxi queue right outside of arrivals can be long at times, but the system works well to get people moving as fast as possible…”
5. NIST International School
(Bangkok, Thailand) – 298 Comments
“With the start of construction on the street the school is located on, the entire schedule has shifted to a later start. Elementary students begin at 8:00 and secondary students at 8:30. So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive…”
4. KIS International School
(Bangkok, Thailand) – 326 Comments
“Using a mobile is now so cheap that many teachers do not have a landline. The Satellite TV provider is dreadful, neither their offerings nor their boxes have changed in 20 years. If you want to watch sport most teachers just go to the pub…”
3. Copenhagen International School
(Copenhagen, Denmark) – 375 Comments
“You can get travellers and accident insurance from your bank here, like at Nordea. It is really cheap and it gives you health insurance coverage anywhere in the world! It is important to know about this option because now the Danish CPR health social health care card doesn’t…”
2. Good Shephard International School
(Ooty, India) – 409 Comments
“Presently they are having their Trinity College London Music Examinations. This is an option but they try to maintain high grades although most students only take Initial to Grade 1 due to restrictions of the admin to practice music…”
1. Western International School of Shanghai
(Shanghai, China) – 466 Comments
“Airport is okay. It’s clean and easy to navigate. Immigration can take a long time to get through at peek times during the year but it’s okay. They have water fountains, which as a frequent traveller I really appreciate…”
You can see rest of the Top 40 school profile pages with the most comments here on our website.
Keep the schools that you work at now (or have worked at in the past) updated with new comments. Want to share what you know and get unlimited free premium access to our website? Become a Mayor today!continue reading
One time in Bangkok, I was walking around the streets by myself in the heat of the summer. By accident, I tripped and fell down on the sidewalk. After I got myself up, something felt extremely wrong. I walked around for a bit, but I didn’t know what was wrong and I started to panic.
I found a taxi and decided to have him take me to my hotel. At first, the driver said a price for the taxi ride. I would have paid whatever, but I immediately started crying. The taxi driver immediately lowered the price (I originally got the tourist price I guess) and became very worried for me.
I got to the hotel, but then immediately realized that I needed to get to the hospital ASAP. I got into another taxi and arrived at a local hospital in Bangkok. When I first got in, they helped me immediately (remember I’m still on my own and don’t know how to speak Thai). The nurses put me on a gurney, and then started to proceed opening my backpack. I got stressed about that and was getting confused. I found out later that they were putting my valuable things into a safe place. How nice! But the nurses didn’t speak English, so there wasn’t a way of knowing what was going on when it was happening.
I was seen quite quickly by a doctor or maybe even two doctors. The problem was that I had a dislocated shoulder (first time it happened to me). They put it back in its place. And even though I was drugged a bit, I had to be on my way. I sincerely thanked them all I hope, but years later I had thought to send a thank you note to that hospital for such a kind and helpful experience there.
After searching the keyword ‘hospital‘ using our Comments Search function on our website (premium access required), we found 210 comments. Here are 9 of them that give some insight into the hospital experience in different countries around the world.
“They are just now implementing a level of international health insurance so will have more information about that later. The current uses the local system which is all in Lithuanian so can make it difficult to get seen as you have to go to an assigned doctor (who speaks little English) and to an assigned hospital. It is very difficult without knowing Lithuanian.”
“Health insurance is great and comprehensive. You’ll be provided with a list of fully covered hospitals and dentists and those that are co-pay. The hospitals are great. I’ve not had any bad experiences.
When I had a dental emergency I paid up front and was able to claim it all back.”
“The insurance is quite good in Maracaibo and in the USA. The doctors are trained, but hospitals are not equipped to serve patients right now. The price for medical care has increased by 10 fold in one year. It is a terrible situation for Venezuelans and foreigners who get sick.”
“Albert Einstein Israelite hospital is considered one of the best in South America and is located in the same neighborhood as the school.”
“Health insurance works ok. Most hospitals for foreigners have a direct billing accord with the insurance. More hospitals are getting built at the moment and there a few very decent expat hospitals but they are also money making machines. Local hospitals are ok but can be a very different experience.”
“Insurance is great. That said, most go to Bangkok or Singapore for yearly check ups and anything requiring a knife. Used a local hospital for PT and found it very ineffective. Okay for stitches or advice on passing a kidney stone. Super cheap MRI and X-rays. AISD has a on-site clinic that most use for colds, flu, dengue, vaccinations, etc.”
“Local hospitals [in Bangkok] vary – government hospitals usually have good doctors working off their government college loans; private hospitals are quite flash and many have decent reputations. International hospitals can be quite pricey, and while their reputation may sound great they can sometimes not provide the same value for service as the private and government hospitals.”
“School covers AETNA insurance. It is worldwide coverage EXCLUDING the USA. Local hospital is conveniently located near school. HR and Operations is very helpful to support new employees on any medical issues, even accompanying to the hospital if needed to support translation. You can generally find hospital staff who speak fluent English. Signage is bilingual. All health providers are located under the roof of the “hospital“”
“We currently have international insurance through Clements. I’ve been very happy with them. When my child was in the hospital, all that was required from me was a quick call and then they negotiated the payment with the hospital‘s accounting office. Doctor’s fees are quite reasonable in Japan, so for most charges, I pay cash and then have the reimbursements put through to my USA bank account. I am able to make my claims through an app on my phone and it is wonderful and quick. Reimbursements usually come within 2 weeks or so.”continue reading
Students are often taught that when they study at schools abroad they are opening their mind to new opportunities and lessons. In fact, there are plenty of universities that benefit from a diverse culture when they accept students from all over the world.
It isn’t just students that make up a diverse culture, though. Having a diverse panel of teachers from all over the world also plays a huge role in helping students learn from different points of view.
If you are interested in going to a diverse university, where should you go? What are the most culturally varied universities in the world?
It’s important to remember that a large part of looking at the universities with the most international teachers are often the most advertised through international programs for students. With more international students, though, you are likely to find more international teachers to match.
The first university we will look at today is the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne or, in English, the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. As is told in the name, this university is located in Lausanne, Switzerland.
This means that students and teachers are a cultural center in this French-speaking section of Switzerland. After all, they are studying and working in the heart of Europe with France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Liechtenstein all bordering the country making them close and ready for exploration.
As far as the university itself, it specializes in natural sciences and engineering. Interestingly enough, this is one of very few universities that run a nuclear reactor, a fusion reactor, a Gene/Q Supercomputer, as well as P3 biohazard facilities all for research and teaching purposes.
The university also runs a number of exchange programs. As a result, they are home to a diverse student body hailing from 112 different nationalities.
If you are looking for a particularly diverse university, the University of Hong Kong should definitely be on your list.
This university has the goal of becoming “Asia’s Most Global University”. In practice, this means that by 2019, they plan for 50% of their undergraduates to study internationally. By 2022, every undergraduate student will have the same opportunity making this a university rife with the possibility for each student to expand their horizons. Even at this point, diversity is a high priority with 40% of the University of Hong Kong being international students.
For professors, this is a great chance to build your career as this is a research driven university. In fact, 111 of the professors at this universities have been ranked within the top 1% in the world by Essential Science Indicators.
For students, the University of Hong Kong will help you graduate with a highly valuable degree. Throughout the last 11 years, they have boasted a 99.4% graduate employment rate.
If you decide the University of Hong Kong isn’t for you but you still want to work or study within Asia, you should consider the National University of Singapore. The National University of Singapore is actually considered one of the best universities in Asia, so students and professors alike can expect a lot of value out of their time here.
For students who are looking to travel, the National University of Singapore has plenty of overseas colleges that students can attend during overseas programs. These include chances to travel and study in Beijing, Israel, Munich, Shanghai, New York, Stockholm, Silicon Valley, and Lausanne. The National Universities of Singapore also works closely with two of the best American universities – Yale University and Duke University.
As a student, you would also have the chance to work towards double degree or joint degree with exchange programs with other leading universities.
The University of Geneva is not only known as one of the most diverse universities in the world, it is also known as Switzerland’s second largest university.
While studying or working at the University of Geneva, there are more than 280 different degree programs and over 250 continuing education programs. This, paired with the fact that they have an average of 16,000 international students from more than 140 different countries, makes the University of Geneva a place rife with opportunities for both students and teachers.
This article was submitted to us by ISC member and guest author, David Smith.continue reading
In my earlier career in public schools in Alberta, Canada I was a Drama teacher. The arts always seemed to be under threat in the public education system, and in my experience Music, Art and Drama teachers always seemed to be fighting for their survival. We had thriving Drama classes and a popular extra-curricular programme at my school where students in Junior High and Senior High competed in Zone and Provincial Drama Festivals, but when I went to teach in Australia on a year-long exchange they cancelled the Drama programme to save money, and only the Art classes and the Band programme survived the arts cuts that year.
Teaching in Queensland, Australia for a year was an eye-opener as far as the arts went. Programmes seemed to be very well supported with excellent facilities and had far more to offer students such as many workshops in specialities like mime, street theatre and dance for example than the much more basic curriculums I was used to in Canada. The arts curriculums seemed to be very extensive and arts taken for granted as a part of an Australian school. After a huge well supported musical “Annie Get Your Gun” I returned to my school in Canada where we had no theatre and I taught Drama in a regular classroom, pushing aside the desks as needed.
I had to return to Canada and teach as an English teacher even though I wanted to teach Drama. For many students in my experience, the arts are vital to balance out academics and sports. All students need an opportunity to excel and be successful in something, and for many that is not their regular exam classes or a sports team. So the art teacher and I collaborated and kept the school productions going, a total of 25 Junior and Senior High shows over the years where students could act, sing and dance or work backstage, or designing the set. Students loved the opportunity to be creative, and often it was the behaviourally challenged students or those who didn’t quite ‘fit in’ in other classes that loved Drama the most. We continued to participate in the Zone Festivals winning many times, and what a treat it was to be in a real theatre! The highlight was going to the Provincial Drama Festival and winning Best Ensemble and raft of other awards for our huge production of “The Canterbury Tales.’
Before I left Canada I was chosen for a Commonwealth Teacher Exchange to the United Kingdom. I went to teach in beautiful Norwich, Norfolk and became familiar with the British National Curriculum at KS3 and KS4 in particular. In England I was exposed to the rigour of a Drama programme shaped around students completing exams for their GCSE’s. I liked in particular how Drama, Music and Art were all exam subjects with strict, demanding curriculums and the disciplines were treated the same as academic subjects. In Alberta, Canada the arts are not exam subjects and the curriculum is very much left up to the teacher. I left England after our huge whole-school production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” with much to think about.
The thinking led me to the Search Associates Recruiting Fair in London, England and a decision to work in International Schools. I accepted an offer to teach GCSE Drama and IBDP Theatre at one of the top British Curriculum schools in China. The school was expanding from the Junior School to a brand-new Senior School. Before I became a teacher I had done a degree in Technical Theatre and so I had a lot of input into the building of the brand new Black Box classroom I would be working in and the incredible state-of the-art Theatre. What a treat it was to work in such amazing facilities with such keen students and such small classes after public education! I was familiar with the GCSE Drama curriculum and put students through both the EdExcel and the Cambridge exam board. My top tip for teachers wanting to work in British curriculum schools is don’t apply unless you already know the British National Curriculum, and the requirements of at least one GCSE exam board. It’s a very steep (I would say almost impossible) learning curve if you don’t already come in with that knowledge. It was no problem that I had no IBDP Theatre experience. The school had an unlimited budget and was quick to send me for training for my Category 1 IBDP Theatre course and countless other IBDP workshops. It’s easy to do well and get good results working in this kind of environment. Don’t kid yourself though-the results and marks really matter to the students, the parents and the school and if you don’t deliver you’ll be out. My love of Theatre and the performing arts in particular was well supported here with productions of “Aladdin,” “Macbeth,” “Blood Brothers,” “Cinderella” and “Marriage Proposal” amongst many other class and exam productions.
In my current school in Singapore I’m in a different role. I am Head of Arts for the Secondary school. I supervise the Music, Visual Arts, Drama and Theatre programmes. I have six teachers working in the Arts Department. We are an IB World School and run PYP, MYP and IBDP curriculum. It’s important as HOD Arts to make sure we offer a balanced programme, no one art discipline can take precedence over another. Our students in Years 7, 8 and 9 all take all three arts classes. In Years 10 and 11 they choose one of the Arts disciplines to specialize in for two years and complete their exam ePortfolio of four assignments in Year 11. At the school we also offer IBDP Visual Arts and Theatre for two years. I teach some Drama classes and Theatre, but I am also given a lot of HOD time to manage staff, take care of the budget, ensure curriculum is being taught well, arrange standardisation and moderation of marks and a myriad of other responsibilities. I have my IBDP Cat 2 now and am an Examiner for the IBDP Theatre curriculum.
We run Arts Nights for the performing arts in each semester, as well as a school Talent Show. The Visual Arts puts up displays of art at these times as well as participating in the huge IN Exhibition of Visual Art from fifteen International Schools in Singapore as well as the IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition in the Spring. We run extensive co-curricular and extra-curricular activities for the students in the arts like bands, singing groups, drumming lessons and arts workshops. We are an International School Theatre Association School and run a lot of workshops through them e.g bringing the theatre company ‘Frantic Assembly’ in from the UK or Marco Luly- a Commedia dell’ Arte expert in from Italy. We run two Musicals a year, the Secondary Musical for Years 9-13 and the Primary/Middle School Musical for Years 3-8. The last four years we have done “Urbs, Urbis,” “Arlecchino and the City of Love,” “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, “ “A Christmas Carol” and currently with a team of ten teachers and over 75 students “Cinderella, Rockerfella.” All of our shows are performed in professional theatre facilities we rent in Singapore. All of this is such a pleasant change from fighting for the arts survival in a Canadian public school, and having to fight for every cent we wanted to spend. I wish I had gone to work in International Schools much earlier in my career, but better late than never!
This article was submitted to us by International School Community member, Sara Lynn Burrough. Sara Lynn Burrough has worked as a Drama/Theatre teacher for the past 38 years in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, China and Singapore. She has a BEd, an MEd, was a professional stage manager at the Banff Centre for the Arts and studied Technical Theatre at McGill University in Montreal. In Canada as a teacher she worked for many years for Northern Gateway Schools in Alberta, and during that time was selected for two teacher exchange programmes. Her first exchange to Australia was with Alberta Education and the Queensland Department of Education where she taught at Costessey High School, in Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast. Her second exchange was with the prestigious ‘League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers’ (LECT) where she was one of two Canadian teachers selected to go to the United Kingdom for the millennial year to the United Kingdom. The Queen Mother was the patron of LECT and as she was celebrating her 100th birthday that year Sara Lynn was privileged to attend the celebrations in London as an invitee. In 2013 Sara Lynn decided to teach in International Schools and attended the Search Associates recruiting fair in London, England. From there she went to Dulwich College in Suzhou, China to teach GCSE Drama and IBDP Theatre in the Senior School. After China Sara Lynn went to Singapore for almost five years as Head of Arts (Music, Visual Arts, Drama) at Chatsworth International School where she taught MYP Drama and IBDP Theatre.
Using our unique Comment Search feature on our website (premium membership access needed), we found 96 comments that have the keyword “Drama” in them, and 14 comments that had the word “The Arts” in them.
Here are some comments that shown a positive light on Learning Support programs at international schools:
“The school just celebrated its 50th anniversary and there are many banners around the school. The school in involved with the SITS programme which is a quality drama and arts programme for kids.” – Oslo International School (17 Total Comments)
“Stoke City FC just started this school year and there are several other “big” initiatives as well, mostly in music and drama departments.” – Western International School of Shanghai (312 Total Comments)
“It is limited. In primary there is futsal, while secondary usually has volleyball and basketball. Baseball is popular but it is not offered in any organised way. The school usually participates at the MUN conference in Kobe in February each year. Drama and arts offerings have increased in recent years.” – Hiroshima International School (64 Total Comments)
“The school offers no sports programs, and occasionally offers a drama Club to students, depending on teacher interest.” – Alexandria International Academy (78 Total Comments)
“Piloting the iPad initiative this year and also looking to expand the arts program with the addition of the multi-purpose hall that houses a mini-theater.” – Universal American School in Dubai (57 Total Comments)
“There are opportunities in the arts (dance, voice, musical instrumental, drama), a good number of sports offerings (climbing, competitive sports, etc.). Lots!” – American School of Dubai (98 Total Comments)continue reading
International School Community is full of thousands of useful, informative comments…18371 comments (21 Oct. 2016) to be exact.
Members are recommended to keep their comments objective on our website. In one of the 65 comment topics, they are encouraged to share their international school interview experiences. How did it go? Was it easy to get? Recruitment fair or Skype? Was the experience positive or less than ideal?
We scoured our database of comments, and we found 13 that stood out to us as being some of the most interesting and insightful interview experiences.
13. “The school has improved its hiring practices during the last few years. Now department heads sometimes get involved in hiring decisions. Don’t let the director’s lack of enthusiasm during an interview throw you off – that’s just his personality – and don’t believe anything that he promises you, unless it is writing.” – Internationale Schule Frankfurt-Rhein-Main (Frankfurt, Germany) – 33 Comments
12. “Speaking from the Director’s office, you need to have a focus on collaborative action toward mission. Knowing our mission and core values is key to interview for our team. While we are happy to train, we are also looking for good experience and foundation that will add to our body of expertise and keep us refreshed in best practice.” – Anglo-American School of Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 66 Comments
11. “The school has not met any of my expectations in professionalism. Many of the things I was told in my interview turned out to be untrue. The fall of the peso has not been addressed by administration.” – Colegio Anglo Colombiano (Bogota, Colombia) – 32 Comments
10. “Singapore age restrictions keep hiring (and renewals) under age 60. First round interview is typically done via Skype, but they want to do second round interviews in person, in Singapore or London.” – United World College South East Asia (Singapore, Singapore) – 6 Comments
9. “They rely a lot on hiring people who are recommended by current employees. You still go through the interview process, etc. My initial contact to the school was through a connection I had to somebody already working here.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 27 Comments
8. “Please be careful when considering to work at this school! I wasn’t and am in quite a fit now…. On May 5, 2014 I had a telephone interview with the director and the head of secondary. On May 30, 2014 I got a firm job offer for September 2014. We discussed several contract details via mail (school fees, moving allowance etc.) but I did not receive a formal contract. On June 11 I wrote an email asking for a contract copy. On June 13 the job offer was revoked, giving as a reason that “the position no longer exists on the curriculum plan, so we cannot proceed with the appointment”. Draw your own conclusions about the school’s level of commitment and organisation.” – British School of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) – 3 Comments
7. “Face-to-face. As in most international school in Bangkok, it is much easier to get a job if you know someone on the inside of the school. The pay-scale is shrouded in secrecy (as in many schools here). The interview process is not that difficult, being from a native English-speaking country is a huge plus.” – Pan Asia International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 38 Comments
6. “I was hired via Skype, as well. The interview was very informal but informative about the school and life Venezuela.” – Escuela Las Morochas (Ciudad Ojeda, Venezuela) – 28 Comments
5. “The school does not attend any fairs. Hiring is done via announcements on the school’s website. The hiring process is not quick. Expect to be interviewed, via Skype most likely, four times. Each interview is with a person a bit further up the food chain. At the moment Indonesia has an age cutoff of 60.” – Green School Bali (Denpasar, Indonesia) – 54 Comments
4. “They do tend to hire internally a lot. The interview process is a bit intense with multiple interviews being set up for one person. They ask questions from a list. They are usually open to sponsoring visas for non EU candidates.” – International Community School London (London, United Kingdom) – 49 Comments
3. “I met with Julie Alder at the school campus because I was already in the city. I contacted them before I came and they were more than willing to give me a time and a place to meet and interview with me. The interview lasted 45 to 60 minutes. I also got to walk around and visit some classrooms.” – International School Singapore (Singapore, Singapore) – 17 Comments
2. “The school is quite small, so it doesn’t attend job fairs. I was interviewed by phone and got the job from there. I know they have also brought in teachers whom live nearby (within Western Europe) to interview them in person. Hiring restrictions: YES- they will now only hire people who have valid working papers to work in France. The school also now typically only employs expat teachers from the UK or within the EU. Many of the teachers who work at the school have a French spouse.” –International School of Lyon (Lyon, France) – 12 Comments
1. “I interviewed with the elementary principal this feb at the search associates fair in boston. She was very kind and sweet to me. The interview went very well, she was willing to allow me to lead the interview by showing her my portfolio. She was a very experienced teacher in the international school world. She was kind enough to send a note to me in my folder to let me know that I didn’t get the job, and she also highlighted somethings that I said in the interview. Very professional!” – American International School Bucharest (Bucharest, Romania) – 20 Comments
If you have an interesting and insightful international school interview experience that you would like to share, log in to International School Community and submit your comments. For every 10 submitted comments, you will get one month of free premium membership added to your account!continue reading
The journey to work is indeed an important one. The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries to which they have never been. So let’s share what we know!
One of our members, who works at the Xian Hi-Tech International School (Xian, China), described his way to work there as follows:
The road to XHIS…….
This is going to sound terribly stereotypical but one of the many reasons I love living in Shaanxi province is the potatoes! Now can you guess where I come from? I will tell you later. My journey to work each day is a very short one, but my journey to Xi’an has been a long one. I hope you enjoy reading about it.
My name is Brian Lalor and I am in my third year at Xi’an Hi-Tech International School, in Shaanxi province in China. We are a two programme IB world school and are working towards offering three of the four excellent IB programmes. Our school is small at present with only 270 students but we are at capacity and have an exciting move to a new purpose-built campus coming up in August 2017.
Each morning I get up and travel about four minutes to school! I know, the shortest ever commute, right? Our school is situated in residential area and all of our teachers’ apartments are located around the school. We are about 30 minutes from the city center in the southern suburbs. I ride my bicycle to school each day, that is why my journey is so short.
On my journey to school I pass through the morning market. Here local vendors sell fruit, vegetables, nuts and breads for very reasonable prices. One of the wonderful advantages to living in Xi’an is the potential to save money. It is much easier to live here when compared to other big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong. Our school pays for our apartment, flights, international health insurance and gives us a monthly allowance for living overseas. Before coming to Xi’an I worked in Ha Noi for nine years, and in Jakarta before that. Each city has its own advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantages living in Xi’an are the standard of healthcare and the bad pollution in Winter.
Some of the wonders Xi’an has to offer are as follows. We are literally just a short 25-minute car ride to the beautiful Qin Ling Mountains which provides us with a great way to escape the heat in summer and some lovely snowy landscapes in winter. Another highly attractive feature unique to this city, is its amazing millenary history, with archaeological sites found literally in every part of town, with the city wall being one of its main attractions. And who hasn’t heard of the world-famous “Terra Cota Warriors”. Xi’an was once the ancient capital of China so as you can imagine there are lots to see in and around the community.
If you have not guessed it I am born and bread Irish. Oh those lovely potatoes! The food here is incredible and you could literally have a potato dish, every day of the week. Some noodles are even made out of potato here!
This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author and International School Community member.
What to know more what it is like to visit and live in China? Out of a total of 165 international schools there are 110 that have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:
Beijing BISS International School (Beijing, China) – 36 Comments
Beijing City International School (Beijing, China) – 31 Comments
Beijing International Bilingual Academy (Beijing, China) – 35 Comments
International School of Beijing (Beijing, China) – 25 Comments
Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 95 Comments
Western Academy Beijing (Beijing, China) – 43 Comments
Changchun American International School (Changchun, China) – 50 Comments
QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China) – 64 Comments
Guangdong Country Garden School (Foshan, China) – 48 Comments
Guangzhou Huamei International School (Guangzhou, China) – 48 Comments
Harbin No. 9 High School International Division (Songbei Campus) (Harbin, China) – 45 Comments
American International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 24 Comments
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 69 Comments
Creative Secondary School (Hong Kong, China) – 39 Comments
Hong Kong Academy (Hong Kong, China) – 34 Comments
Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 104 Comments
Canadian International School Kunshan (Kunshan, China) – 28 Comments
Kang Chiao International School (Kunshan, China) – 41 Comments
Access International Academy (Ningbo) (Ningbo, China) – 48 Comments
British International School Shanghai – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 35 Comments
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 86 Comments
Shanghai American School – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 39 Comments
Shanghai Community International School (Shanghai, China) – 33 Comments
Shanghai Rego International School (CLOSED) (Shanghai, China) – 74 Comments
Shanghai United International School (Shanghai, China) – 40 Comments
Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 204 Comments
Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 27 Comments
Buena Vista Concordia International School (Shenzhen, China) – 39 Comments
International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (Shenzhen, China) – 26 Comments
QSI International School of Shekou (Shenzhen, China) – 20 Comments
Suzhou Singapore International School (Suzhou, China) – 47 Comments
Wellington College International Tianjin (Tianjin, China) – 54 Comments
EtonHouse International Schools, Wuxi (Wuxi, China) – 49 Comments
Xian Hi-Tech International School (Xian, China) – 54 Comments
Zhuhai International School (Zhuhai, China) – 59 Comments
So what is your journey to the international school you work at? Earn one year free of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’. Email us here if you are interested.continue reading
A new survey has arrived!
Topic: How does your international school compare to other schools in your city?
Once you move to a city to work at your new international school, you find out pretty soon how your school compares to the other ones in the same city. Who knows how that happens, but it does.
The teachers at the schools labeled the worst feel embarrassed to even bring up their international school in conversation with other international school educators in the area or even throughout the world. In comparison, the teachers at the school labelled the “top” school in the city can have their heads held up high.
So then the question is what makes a school get the top or the worst ranking in the city? At International School Community, we like to think that all schools have something cool about them that makes them unique; which in turn makes them have a great learning environment for their kids.
See our blog article called “What Makes Your International School Unique?” for a look at this topic and also some related comments about a number of international schools around the world.
But it is not just these unique things that get internationals schools to the top or the bottom of the list, it has to do with a combination of different factors. Factors that come into play are the current state of the school’s building and campus, the quality of teachers and teaching, the benefits package for the teacher (the salary), the professional development opportunities, etc.
Though it is true that some cities in the world only have one international school in them, which in turn, I guess makes them the best international school in the city. But other cities in the world (e.g. Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, etc.), there are many international schools to choose from (for both parents and teachers). These cities have international schools that are actively competing for the top spot!
So, how does your international school compare to other schools in your city? Please take a moment and submit your vote!
We have a comment topic related to this survey, except it is comparing international schools with home country ones. It is called: “How is this school different or the same when compared to schools in your home country?”
Here are a few sample comments from this comment topic:
“One of the biggest differences between the NIS schools and most other schools around the world is to do with vacations. In many countries, when students are not in school, neither are the teachers, with some exceptions for things like PD Days and report writing, etc.. This is not the case at NIS schools; regardless of whether the students are in school or not, teachers are expected to attend. If a teacher wishes to be absent, she or he must request leave – paid or unpaid. Given that international teachers have a total allowance of 56 days of paid leave (which includes weekend days if they are within the leave period), this can have a serious impact on vacations.” – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana (Astana, Kazakhstan) – 37 Comments
“It is very much based along English public school lines, but with a strong international flavour and ethos. There are many more nationalities present in the school than you would normally find in an English school.” – St. Julians School (Lisbon, Portugal) – 9 Comments
“Compared to teaching in the UK this is a dream, as long as you are prepared for the culture shock of living in a small village of thirteen million. Small classes, good behaviour and a genuine interest in study, excellent resources, great quality of life. Admin is less than in the UK although it is creeping up. Some of it good, some of it of limited value (just like the UK). I enjoy my teaching and the travel opportunities this place offers.” – Wellington College International Tianjin (Tianjin, China) – 54 Comments
“Different: The teacher’s salaries and the new teacher induction and support program are dismal. Same: Budget and lack of professional development opportunities within the school due to very strict labor laws.” – American School of Bilbao (Bilbao, Spain) – 26 Commentscontinue reading
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad and working at an international school?
Our 44th blog that we would like to highlight is called “The Roaming Filipina” Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who works at Shekou International School in Shenzhen, China.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“I attended my first Search fair in Cambridge, MA and came away with interview experience, but no job. ISM even left me a “thanks, but no thanks” note. Frustrated, but undeterred. Through that experience I learned that it wasn’t really about moving to the Philippines anymore, but about fulfilling my desire to explore the world.
About 2 weeks after the Cambridge fair, one listing caught my eye. A listing for a whole school counselor at a school in Uzbekistan. YES UZBEKISTAN. I waited a day or two to think about whether or not I really wanted to apply to this school. Afterall, it is in a country that I knew so little about. My boyfriend gave me a weird look, but said that I should do it if it’s what I really want. I also sent resumes to more schools in the East Asia/SE Asia region and even considered teaching English somewhere. But after perusing the school’s site thoroughly and reading every article I could possibly find on Google, I started to imagine myself living in Central Asia. It didn’t seem so bad.
I interviewed with the two principals and Head of School on Skype. After a few days, they asked if I wanted to meet face to face in California. I was offered the position and I immediately accepted. I spent three GREAT years in Uzbekistan…”
Getting your first job overseas is always exciting and typically makes for a great story to tell your international school teacher friends.
Want to read more about what “newbies” to international school teaching should know about? Check out our blog series called “For the Newbies.“
“Day Two and Three – Saturday & Sunday
This is THE HEART of the fair. It is the day you sign-up for interviews and will likely do all your initial interviews during this time. Do:
• WEAR YOUR POWER SUIT – DRESS TO IMPRESS
• organize your resumes, laptop, etc. I preferred to keep my laptop/iPad with me so I can work on stuff outside of my room – saved a lot of time vs. going back to my room between interviews.
• agree to interviews with schools that you’re not sure you’re interested in. Good for practice and you never know – it might be a GREAT fit for you.
• find a quiet corner besides your room to chill between interviews – you just never know who is walking around. Visibility is important.
• breathmints – use them
• prioritize which school tables you want to hit first during sign-ups. Some schools are REALLY popular so you might want to go to the ones that have shorter lines first and get interviews lined up.
• if you get a “fast pass” – direct invitation from the school to bypass the line to schedule an interview, HIT THOSE SCHOOLS FIRST
• try to get to the interview 10 minutes before – don’t schedule your interviews so close together that you’d be late. Also – keep in mind that hotel elevators will be really busy, especially if there are 200+ candidates rushing to interviews...”
Great advice from an experience international school teacher. Going to the recruitments fairs with a plan of attack is always a good choice. Knowing ahead of time what to expect can better help you manage your emotions throughout the fair experience.
For more advice check out our blog series called “Nine Lessons Learned Regarding International School Hiring Fairs.” As a sneak peek, lesson number one is “Bad interviews are good things.“
Want to work for an international school in China like this blogger? Currently, we have 160 international schools listed in this country. 109 have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:
Wellington College International Tianjin (Tianjin, China) – 47 Comments
EtonHouse International Schools, Wuxi (Wuxi, China) – 49 Comments
Suzhou Singapore International School (Suzhou, China) – 47 Comments
Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 202 Comments
British International School Shanghai – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 35 Comments
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 77 Comments
Access International Academy (Ningbo) (Ningbo, China) – 48 Comments
Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 92 Comments
Creative Secondary School (Hong Kong, China) – 39 Comments
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 55 Comments
QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China) – 64 Comments
Guangdong Country Garden School (Foshan, China) – 48 Comments
Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 93 Comments
Western Academy Beijing (Beijing, China) – 43 Comments
Additionally, there are 264 International School Community members who currently live in China. Check out which ones and where they work here. Feel free to go ahead and contact them with any questions that you might have as well; nice to get first hand information about what it is like to live and work there!continue reading
Around the world, there are cities that have more than one international school. Many times there is an American school, a British School, and an international school that uses an international curriculum.
Some cities though have MANY international schools! When that is the case, how do the comments about each school compare to each other?
Our new blog series will look at comparing some of these comments, all coming from international schools in the same city.
Currently, we have 25 schools listed in Shanghai on International School Community.
Schools with the most submitted comments:
Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 50 Comments
Shanghai Community International School (Shanghai, China) – 33 Comments
Shanghai American School – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 18 Comments
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 37 Comments
British International School Shanghai – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 25 Comments
Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 146 Comments
“You can expect to make 16000 RMB a month after taxes.” – Singapore International School (Shanghai)
“Base pay for teachers with 3 or more yrs of experience is between $32,000 and $39,000 (tax-free). Entry level is a little bit lower at $26,000-$32,000.” – Shanghai Community International School
“I would say that teachers NET is around 21000 – this must be dependent on teaching experience etc” – Shanghai United International School
“The full salary is paid in RMB. The school adds an extra 500 RMB towards utility bills. The yearly pay is divided into 12 months. For newcomers, their first pay is in September 20th, although school starts early August. This is clearly stated in the contract but those new teachers coming in need to be aware of this that they won’t see money until September.” – Western International School of Shanghai
“Teachers need to have at least two years of teaching experience in order to be considered.” – Concordia International School (Shanghai)
“WISS starts recruiting early but is very fair to its teachers. Those who “may” leave have their position advertised and only have to make a final decision when someone has been found as a replacement.” – Western International School of Shanghai
“They rely a lot on hiring people who are recommended by current employees. You still go through the interview process, etc. My initial contact to the school was through a connection I had to somebody already working here.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai)
“They attend Search Associates in January. They advertise in TES and through Teachanywhere.com. They interview in person or via Skype.” – British International School Shanghai – Pudong
Recent things the school has taken on
“A few years ago, the school decided it was important to do open houses (like other international schools in Shanghai) and that added a lot more work for the teachers. But hopefully they discontinued that this year.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai)
“The school is now implementing ‘high performance learning’ initiative which is being implemented across all the Nord Anglia Schools” – British International School Shanghai – Puxi
“There were many accomplishments from staff and students. It is amazing how many different areas were top notch: Sports, drama department, music program, Chinese language and much more.” – Shanghai Community International School
“Furnished 2-bedroom for single & married teachers, not sure about families. Furnished means basic furnishings including TV, sofa, dining table & chairs, beds & bedding, bath linens, kitchen appliances, & basic cooking utensils & dishes. After one year, staff can opt to take housing allowance instead of school housing. Most people are satisfied with housing overall, although sometimes it takes several “reminders” for repairs or service requests in school apts. Utility costs vary but are fairly cheap. My average for electricity, gas, & water is 100-200 RMB per month. Internet is 1,400 RMB per year. Mobile phone depends on plan/amount of data.” – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai)
“Housing is provided by WISS for the 1st year. Teachers can decide for themselves for subsequent years whether they want to stay in the provided accommodation or find their own place.” – Western International School of Shanghai
“Hosing allowance provided but most staff pay a bit more out of their own pocket to live in more desirable areas Staff can chose to stay in school housing” – British International School Shanghai – Puxi
(These are just 4 of the 65 different comments topics that on each school profile page on our website.)
If you work at an international school in Shanghai, share what you know. Consider becoming a Mayor for unlimited premium membership!continue reading
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
Our 40th blog that we would like to highlight is called “Farleys Far Away” Check out the blog entries of these international school educators who work at Korea International School (Seoul) in South Korea.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“A very, very long time ago, Jim decided to teach in Taipei, Taiwan. He lived there for 2 years and met me when he got back. That was 12 long awesome years ago. This entire time he’s told me how he would like to move back to East Asia. For 11 years I said, “No. Way. Jose.
Then, at the beginning of this school year, there were rumblings of change at my school. Our state assessment scores left something to be desired (something being, native English speakers from the middle or upper class) and there are a couple of ways the district “fixes” this problem. One of those ways is by letting all the teachers go. If you have tenure, like me, they’ll place you for one year, then after that year, you’re on your own. It’s pretty bleak and I was sad to leave a staff of extremely talented, caring teachers, but what can you do? I know what you can do-you can leave the country!
We signed up for the Overseas Recruitment Fair at the University of Northern Iowa. That was an intense weekend. On the flight to Cedar Rapids we were sitting next to the middle school principal at Korea International School. Korea hadn’t really been on the radar, but after a brief interview on Sunday, and then several Skype interviews, and a little bit of research into life in Korea we were on our way.
That’s how it happened. 11 years of convincing and one quick weekend of deciding…”
Many times you need to wait until the right moment in time to start your career in international school teaching. Some teachers wait one year while others wait 12!
Want to learn more about what it is like to go to an international school recruitment fair? Check out our popular blog category called “9 Lessons Learned Regarding International School Hiring Fairs.”
“Let me start by saying, everyone is fine. But we’re experiencing the health care system here in Korea. On Sunday, about 15 minutes before Jim left for his trip to Singapore, I had him check out August’s *ahem* you know. Well, things weren’t looking so good down there (it turns out August has a hernia). I called the director of KIS‘ wife, who is a nurse. She was very reassuring over the phone, so I allowed Jim to go to Singapore.
My boss recommended I get him checked out at the Baylor Clinic in Jeongja, which is very close to us. We found the building with no problem and made it to the clinic-on the 2nd floor. There are 2 floors to the clinic. Both say “Baylor Clinic” in English, but the rest is in Korean. The 2nd floor clinic had people in the waiting room, but no receptionist. We sat and as I looked around, I saw at least 2 signs that said “Audiology” so we decided to go to the 3rd floor clinic.
When we got there, I called Raina, our bilingual school nurse, and had her talk to the receptionist. It turns out the Baylor Clinic is an ENT. Good for a sore throat but probably not so good below the waist. However, Raina found out that there is a pediatrician on the 6th floor of the same building. Awesome.
As we waited for the elevator in front of a bank, a teller ran out and handed August a handful of candy, so he was in good spirits about the trip. He seriously had like 8 pieces of candy in his hands.
Ah yes, this is more like it…”
It is hard to know what going to the hospital will be like when living in a foreign country. You sure have some great memorable moments and not so great moments.
Want to learn more about what international school teachers think of the local hospitals in their host countries? Luckily, we have a comment topic on our school profile pages related to this theme called “Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals.” Here are a few examples of comments from this topic:
‘We have insurance with Metlife valid throughout the world. We also have a supplemental emergency medical evacuation insurance with AMREF. There is basic local care, but for serious or more difficult cases, evacuation to either South Africa or Nairobi is necessary.’ – International School of Tanganyika (Dar es salaam, Tanzania) – 140 Comments
‘Health insurance is okay, not great, but not awful. Co-pays range from 10-20% at some more expensive hospitals and international medical centres. Dental coverage included but again 0-30% copay depending on the procedure (cavities are covered 100%, root canals are not, for example). Local hospitals are a mixed bag. Some great, some very “Chinese” in their approach to medicine. Would recommend that you ask coworkers for referrals and get prior approval from insurance company whenever possible. In Shanghai, you will be able to find a competent, western-educated specialist in any & every medical field, although you may have to search a bit.’ – Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 50 Comments
Want to work for an international school in South Korea like this blogger? Currently, we have 28 international schools listed in this country. Here are a few that have had comments submitted on them:
• Daegu International School (Daegu, South Korea) – 15 Comments
• International School of Koje (Geoje, South Korea) – 51 Comments
•Dwight School Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 35 Comments
• Seoul Foreign School (Seoul, South Korea) – 45 Comments
• Seoul International School (Seoul, South Korea) – 82 Comments
• Colegio Granadino Manizales (Manizales, Colombia) – 43 Comments
• Yongsan International School of Seoul (Seoul, South Korea) – 57 Comments
Additionally, there are 63 International School Community members who currently live in South Korea. Check out which ones and where they work here. Feel free to go ahead and contact them with any questions that you might have as well; nice to get first hand information about what it is like to live and work there!continue reading
I was born, grew up, and graduated from college (BA in Mathematics and English Language and Literature) in Hungary. During my third year of college I found a flyer by the college entrance showing “Teach in New York” and I immediately got interested. As a result, I got in touch with AAECA (Austrian American Educational Cooperation Association) that was recruiting teachers to the Big Apple from all over Europe. I traveled to Vienna for an interview and, after I was accepted, for a weekend workshop. From then on it all worked out quite smoothly and just about a month after being handed my college diploma I found myself on a plane heading for New York City. After the initial chaos in NYC I was placed in Walton High School to teach 9th-10th grade Mathematics. After one year I was reassigned to teach at Bronx High School for Law and Community Service and remained there for the following two years. During this time I met and married a Filipina and then we decided to move to the Philippines.
After teaching three years in the NYC public school system I got a position as Secondary Mathematics teacher at Cebu International School. There I got familiar with international teaching and the IB Diploma Programme. After my initial two-year contract with CIS I moved on to teach Upper School Mathematics at Xiamen International School in China, where I taught in both the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). During my 2nd and 3rd year at XIS I was appointed the Head of the Mathematics Department and for my final two years I held the position of the Diploma Programme coordinator as well as Pamoja Education’s Site-Based Coordinator.
After my five years in Xiamen I recently moved to Shanghai to continue teaching Secondary Mathematics at Western International School of Shanghai (WISS).
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
My first international school experience was in the Philippines, in Cebu city at Cebu International School. Through them I got introduced to International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Programme and became a DP Mathematics teacher, teaching Mathematical Studies SL and Mathematics SL. From here on living the life of an international school teacher came naturally and I very much enjoy what I do.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
In SY2006-2008 I worked in Cebu International School. After teaching three years in the NYC public school system this place felt like paradise to me. The students were attentive, kind, and genuinely fun to work with. Being in a small school such as CIS helped me make friends and rediscover what teaching was really all about. Being part of a small but genuinely kind and helpful community was an amazing way to start working in Asia, so far from my roots.
In SY2008-2013 I worked at Xiamen International School. After my first year at XIS I gained the respect of both the Upper School principal, Dr. David Freeman, and the Headmaster, John Godwin, who entrusted me with the position of the Head of the Mathematics Department. I held this position for two years before I was given the opportunity to be the Diploma Programme Coordinator for SY2011-2013. During these five years at XIS I also became MYP Mathematics Moderator and DP Mathematics Examiner, as well as Site-Based Coordinator for Pamoja Education. As the school is about a 40-minute bus ride from the island, where most faculty and families live, I started to regularly cycle to school to the point when it became routine to pedal to and from work every day.
Now, in SY2013-14, I am at Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) as a secondary Mathematics teacher and I immensely enjoy the start of this new chapter in my life in this fantastic school with such an amazing staff. Although the school is only a 5-minute bus ride from my home now, keeping my passion for cycling will be much easier as there are plenty expat cyclists who organize regular rides around Shanghai.
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
Having “cultural encounters” in China is really a daily experience. Moving around the city and observing the local customs and habits really became natural by now, after having spent five years in China. One of the many habits of the Chinese that still put a smile on my face is to see them walk backwards as a form of exercise in the pajamas. This morning as I ventured out for my morning jog, I discovered a running track nearby my home. (We just moved to Shanghai a few days ago and I’m still discovering my area.) On the track, at 6am, I found at least 15 people of all ages walking backwards in their pajamas to perform their (I guess regular) morning exercise. Yes, I smiled.
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
Having a non-teaching spouse and two school-aged boys my very first criterion is whether the school accepts two children as dependents. Once that’s given I check the school’s location, the programs they offer (which is crucial for me being an experienced MYP/DP teacher), and the salary and benefits. The size of school becomes important only when seriously considering an offer simply because I have experience with both large and smaller size schools.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Living life full of energy.
If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here. If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!
Want to work for an international school in the China like Denes? Currently, we have 22 international schools listed in Shanghai on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
v2012.04 – 7 April, 2012:
We hope everyone is enjoying their spring break. The range of different countries being visited during this time of traveling (with the international school teachers that the ISCommunity staff know) is quite intreguing and exciting: Bucharest, Tbilisi, Aruba, Madrid, Amersterdam, Bangkok, Colombo, Almaty, Tenerife, London, Dubai, etc.
In the international schools we have worked at though, it seems quite common that the more veteran teachers (ones that have been at the same international school for 20+ years) don’t seem to travel as much any more. Is that the future of international school teachers? Do you “lose interest” in traveling the longer you stay at an international school post?
It is true however that there are some good reasons for deciding not to travel during school breaks: saving money, spending time with family, going to a summer home, high airline ticket prices, etc.
Furthermore, if you travel “too much” sometimes people start seeing trips as being all the same, appearing a bit too similar. Not that the cities and countries are the same, but the experiences and actions are the same sometimes. For example: going into an old church, walking through a museum, shopping at the main market, checking into a hotel, going through security at an airport, going out to restaurants every night, not being able to communicate with the locals very well, getting a coffee at the Starbucks, etc.
Some times traveling naturally gets to this point. Not that you stay at this point and never go back, but it is possible that when you travel as much as international school teachers do, it is bound to happen at some point.
So if you did decide to travel this holiday, what goals did you have for this trip? (e.g. pleasure, adventure, beach, visit old friends, etc.)
With regards to our website, we have had another surge of new members on International School Community this past month taking us over the 400 mark. Now, ISCommunity members currently work at or have worked at over 141 different international schools in over 50 countries!
Furthermore, we have just reached the 4000 milestone for the number of submitted comments and information! More information and comments means our members being more informed about the world of international school teaching!
From the staff at International School Community.
· 04 Apr QSI International School of Tbilisi (8 new comments)
“There is a flea market that is open every day near the highway and river. There are many people selling antiques and also…”
· 03 Apr Kongsberg International School (7 new comments)
“There is a one hour commute from Oslo with direct train links to the city and to the main airport as well…”
· Teach Internationally – Opportunities the World Over for Qualified Teachers
“With over 6,000 international schools throughout the world, it’s a market much bigger than most people – even those within the education sector – realise…”
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #10 – Surround yourself with positive people. Do not allow negative comments and attitudes to darken your outlook.
“It is hard to stay positive, but when culture shock is at its worst, it is very easy to slip. Sure the other new teachers at your school (and the veteran ones) have a lot to say to you about the host country and culture, but…”
· International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #3: Africa
“With the Egyptian elections over, I predict a huge requirement for teachers in Egypt as the country pulls itself up by its bootstraps and with the help of international investment will try to change the face of the country…”
· Survey results are in: Which international school recruitment fair have you had the most success at?
“The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community have had the most success at the Search Associates international school teacher recruitment fairs…”
· International schools that were founded in 1970 (Salalah, Nairobi, Monterrey, San Josa and Brussels)
“Founded in 1970 in response to the need for a top quality co-educational school in Monterrey, Mexico, Colegio Ingles offers international students…”
· The number of children at international schools reaches 3 million!
“The latest figures published by ISC Research show that the number of children attending the world’s international schools has passed three million. This is phenomenal growth in…”
While living in foreign country you might periodically ask yourself: What is this thing?“You eyes search around for a purpose. I can‘t see what this is for?! You try and fiddle around with it. Try and turn it on! Is this right?”“I just found this on the bottom of one of my walls, very close to the floor, and just outside my bathroom. When I turn it on, the green light goes on but nothing happens. So, I guess I will just keep it off. Thank goodness for the internet. It turns out it is some sort of thermostat. I am still not for sure if I will use it though. For sure people don’t typically have these things on the walls (near the floor) in homes in the United States…”
We invite our readers and members to discuss their list of things that they haven’t done in a year (or more for that matter).
Highlighted blogs of international teachers:
This international school teacher’s blog is about teaching and living in Japan.
One of her blog entries (One Week After) is describing her experience when the big earthquake hit Japan last year:
“The students broke into groups in all 3 of our classrooms. I wandered around, listening to their conversations. The students were animated, hanging out with friends, sharing their passions and their proud moments from the week. And then 2:47. The classroom started shaking. I was standing near a group of girls who immediately got under a table. Usually, earthquakes stop within seconds, but this didn’t. It was rocking us like babies in a rocker, and it wasn’t stopping…”
Another one of her entries (Teaching and Discovery) is about how teachers feel when they first go back to school after the summer holidays:
“We’re back to school again, and it’s almost as if we never left. Great group of kids again. The students always amaze me with their energy and joie de vivre. It would be hard to go back to students who don’t find school so amusing…”
There are so many international schools in Shanghai. Which ones are good places for international school teachers to work at? How does the parent community view the international schools there.
We stumbled upon a great resource at Move One. Their website has a wealth of information about the ins and outs of moving abroad to a variety of cities around the world. They have many videos explaining what the international school situation is like in cities like Prague, Kiev, Budapest, etc.
Check out their video about Shanghai’s international schools.
Here is what Moveoneinc.com had to say in general about expats that are moving to China and the current schooling situation:
“In the past few years, a number of local Chinese schools have opened up to expat children and some expats without education allowances are giving it a go. Although these are remarkably cheaper than private schools and give children the opportunity to become immersed in the Chinese language and culture, most expats still opt to send their children to international schools.
China’s larger cities, such as Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou, offer a diverse range of international schools based on the International Baccalaureate programs, the American curriculum as well as the English National curriculum. These have a very high reputation and offer first-rate facilities, advanced teaching technology and equipment, internationally experienced teachers, low student/teacher ratios, and a wide variety of extracurricular activities.”
Their website has many more videos about life in Shanghai. The numerous topics covered are: medical clinics, what to do in case of an emergency, housing, kids activities, Chinese language, expat shopping, and more…
Currently on www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have 18 international school listed in the city of Shanghai. The number of comments and information that have been submitted for each school is listed to the right the link to each school.
British International School Shanghai – Puxi ( 0 Comments)
British International School Shanghai – Pudong ( 0 Comments)
British International School Shanghai – Nanxiang ( 0 Comments)
Concordia International School (Shanghai) ( 15 Comments)
Dulwich College Shanghai ( 7 Comments)
Fudan International School ( 1 Comments)
Livingston American School Shanghai ( 0 Comments)
Shanghai American School – Puxi ( 0 Comments)
Shanghai American School – Pudong ( 0 Comments)
Shanghai Community Int’l School ( 10 Comments)
Singapore International School (Shanghai) ( 5 Comments)
Shanghai United International School ( 0 Comments)
Shanghai Rego International School ( 72 Comments)
Western International School of Shanghai ( 27 Comments)
YK Pao School, Shanghai ( 0 Comments)
Rainbow Bridge International School ( 11 Comments)
Yew Chung International School (Shanghai) ( 0 Comments)
Lycée Français de Shanghai ( 0 Comments)
If you know about what it is like working at one of these international schools in Shanghai, log-on today and submit your own comments and information. If you submit more than 30 comments and information, then you can get 1 year of premium access to International School Community for free!continue reading
· 04 Feb Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong) (8 new comments)
(Hong Kong, China)
“New teachers are placed in furnished quarters (in China). There is a housing allowance of 1200 USD for teachers in Hong Kong. Management fee for the housing is paid for by school. Teachers in HK will be housed in hotel for 2 months…”
· 04 Feb St. Andrew’s – International School of the Bahamas (7 new comments)
“There is a retirement plan offered. The school’s contribution is 7%…”
· 03 Feb Karachi American School (5 new comments)
“Due to visa restrictions, the school prefer hiring teaching couples with US certification. Due to new visa and tax laws US citizenship is a priority when the school is recruiting. Age limit for hiring is 55 years old…”
· 03 Feb Üsküdar American Academy & Sev Elementary (7 new comments)
“There is a masters/PHD stipend and a contract extension bonus…”
· Great resource: Maps of world website and information about international schools
“This website not surprisingly is an excellent resource for finding the map that best fits your needs, but it also oddly enough has some information about international schools.There are at least two sections that we found that highlight the international schools in specific locations around world. We would like to highlight…”
· Highlighted article: Mumbai’s new genre international schools
“Another issue with a resurgence of international schools is finding highly qualified teachers to work at them. Hiring international teachers can be a big business as well with sometimes many international schools fighting over to get first pick at finding suitable candidates…”
· Video highlight: A discussion about language learning and the second language learning of children at international schools
“How great to start off each day with the flag ceremony and the Thai National Anthem! Being that the majority of their students are Thai, they have a strong focus on honoring and respecting Thai and Asian cultural values…”
· Highlighted article: India’s most admired international schools
“It is challenging to come up though with the perfect second language acquisition environment in international schools. There are many factors that come into play…”
· Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #3 (Harbin No. 9 School, Int’l School of Helsinki & Cph Int’l School)
“18000RMB per month 2000RMB taken out in taxes each month. No receipt of this transaction is given as would be the regular accounting practice for a well run school. YOu may need a record of this when you leave the country…”
Teachers International Consultancy (TIC)“Have you ever wanted to teach internationally but struggled to know what school and what country would be best? Do you have questions about getting an international job? Well Teachers International Consultancy (TIC) is holding two one-hour webinars on Thursday 9th February to help teachers during their decision-making process. Both webinars will be run by Andrew Wigford, Director of TIC, who has over 20 years of international teaching experience. The first webinar focuses on finding the right international school and the right job. This will include information on the different types of international schools, their locations and the different curriculum options. Plus, there will be a question and answer session where you can ask Andrew any questions you may have. This webinar will take place at 5pm GMT on Thursday 9th February…”
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
A few photos:
“Here’s a collection of photos we took the other day, on the roof of our apartment block. If you consider the size of our apartment and that there are two like that on each floor, it’ll give a real idea of the size of the space up there. There’s a few ISD families in this block, with young children; we’re figuring it’d be great to meet up for brunch on the roof during weekends…” Where shall we go?:
“I know we’ve only just arrived, but it’s time to start thinking about where to go on holiday. We’ve a week in October, a month at Christmas, and two weeks at Easter. So many places are relatively close, so we’re spoilt for choice. Only problem is it costs about $200 in exit taxes per person….”
*If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.
Are you thinking about starting in the international school community? Do you know what you are really getting yourself into? It is hard to know if you don’t have friends already in the International School Community.
We would like to highlight a blog entry from the T Tech Tips’ blog. This international school educator provides some great insight to the real lives of international school teachers and the decisions that we are faced with as we move around the world from school to school.
“It’s that time of year again in the international education world of contracts, decisions, and thinking about your future. Kim Cofino has a great post about finding the right fit…the right school. Whether you are an international educator or not it’s worth a read. International Teachers are different…we’re weird….we don’t like stability, we like change and challenge. We like travel, culture and to be honest I think we all like just being different. If you’ve met an international educator you’ll know what I’m talking about. Countries, airports, and airlines are just common conversation.
“But that’s us…..we live on year by year contracts, don’t try to make us sign a multi-year deal….cause that’s a deal breaker in itself (part of the reason we left Shanghai). We’re renegades, we’re individuals, and nobody is going to tell us where we’re going to live or that we can’t leave….cause we will just to prove you wrong. Yeah….International Educators are different. We expect open bars at conferences. We expect conferences to be in amazing locations. Borneo, Bangkok, Greece, Shanghai, Singapore, Egypt, Nice, etc. Yeah…..international conferences are rough.”
It is true that we (international school educators) are strange. Most people’s families don’t lead lives like us. My relatives all either live in the same city as each other or the city next to that city. He is right in saying that we are living a wonderful live when the expectation is that we are sent to conferences in international locations around the world; that does not happen to teachers teaching in the public school system in the United States. There was just a PYP conference in Malta and an ECIS conference in Lisbon this past October. Many teachers from my school were attendees!
“And then there is the friendships you create. Deep meaningful friendships with people who become your family. My best friends little brother, who I’ve known since he was in 6th grade graduated from University as an elementary teacher and decided to try out the international teaching thing. His first posting has been Kuwait where he’s in his second year, meaning that he’s now having to decide whether to stay another year or decide if it’s time to move on. He wrote a blog post, a couple lately actually, talking about his decision and how attached one becomes to friends, a country and these amazing kids we have the honor of teaching. Some very reflective blog posts from a young teacher trying to figure out life, education, and the meaning of it all.”
It is tough to leave friends and your host country of 2-3 years. It is important to note forget the students that you will miss. Not necessarily the individual students, but the general demeanor of the kids at the school. One school I have been at had really “active” kids, another school had kids with less “personality.” International school teachers must keep that in mind as they are thinking about moving on because you can’t just find the same kinds of student just anywhere.
“As I’ve done more consulting and conferences in the past two years people ask me quite often, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
It’s a questions I honestly can’t answer because I don’t know where I see myself in 1 year. But here’s what I do know.
So this year when it came to deciding to sign contracts at ISB for another year we sat down with the administration to see if I could have my cake and eat it too. Could I work in a school with students and continue to consult and present? Three years ago we reached an agreement that allowed me to take days without pay up to 20% to do consulting. Which brought me to ISB in the first place. With a new contract season upon us it was time to see if we could come to an agreement again….and I’m happy to say we did.
Next year I’ll be on a 90% contract at ISB as the High School Technology & Learning Coordinator. So I’ve given up 10% of my contract to focus on following my recent passion of consulting and presenting.”
What a great opportunity to take your career to the next level! I guess there is much flexibility in our jobs working at international schools. For die-hard members of our international school community, it truly is hard to decide where you will be in five years. Most of us plan year to year, maybe 2 years in advance. Some international schools allow a year to year contract, others make you sign a two-year contract. Either way, each year international educators always have a mini-plan in the back of their mind about where they would like to go next. It is what excites us; the endless possibilities of where you can live and work.continue reading
v2011.06 – 9 October, 2011:
Are you ready for your midterm break yet? If you live in China (or Asia in general), most likely you have already gone on your midterm trip. Some have gone to Bali, others to Vietnam. If you live in Europe, then your midterm break is probably in just 1-2 weeks time, or week 42 as it is known amongst the locals. Some will go to Malta, others to Greece. If you live in the United States and work for a public school, then you most likely will not get any week off of work until Christmas. Another one of the many perks teaching abroad at international schools!
We all need a break at this point in the year. Ironically though, some trips take time to plan…a lot of time! Hours and hours of searching on various search websites for flights. More hours searching and searching for the right hostal or hotel to stay at or what tour to join. The frustrating part sometimes is that the cheapest flight prices in certain countries are actually found on websites that are only in the host country’s language. Great if you can read that langauge, but a bit challenging if you don’t. It is good to have a native speaker help you out with checking out the airfares on those websites, just to double check you are getting the best deal.
The midterm break is a good chance to go visit some of your friends around the world. Got a friend now in Egypt? Now is your chance to go visit him/her! At International School Community, networking and gathering information is very easy. Get answers about schools that you are interested in by clicking on the school profile page link and sending a message to one of the members of that school on our website. It’s a great way to get firsthand information! Also, it is a great way to start making some new friends across the world that you can go visit. Currently, International School Community members work at or have worked at 72 international schools! Check out which schools here.
Photo by Duncan P Walker
· Featured article: Moving Overseas with Children by Teachers International Consultancy (part 2)
“If your child is joining an international school where many expatriate children attend, then expect the school to be the social as well as the learning centre for the community…”
· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #2 – “Energy is eternal delight”
“We have all had interviews in one of those hotel rooms where the interviewers seem disorganized, unaware really of who is sitting in front of them at the moment. Some interviewers due indeed look rather confused and out-of-sorts…”
· Educating children abroad can be an expensive business, so it’s important to start planning early
“One good benefit that international schools provide for their teachers is free tuition for their children to attend the school. That is worth around £20,000! Too bad teachers without children can’t pocket that money if they were offered the same benefit…”
· Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #1 (Hong Kong, Shanghai & Seoul)
“I have 14 years experience and my Masters. I earn about $1,500 per month in Won (about $400 of that is taken out of my paycheck for a retirement plan which is matched by school which I have access to at the end of the school year), and then another $2,000 in US dollars which is sent to my US account every month. I pay no taxes….”
· Great link – U.S. Dept. of State’s information on Teaching Overseas
“There is a list of 197 international schools that the U.S. Department provides assistance to. These school support an American-style education…”
1000 comments and information celebration:
International School Community is celebrating over 1000 comments and information which have been posted now on our website! Currently, we are at 1079. For a limited time, all members can use the coupon code (1000COMMENTS) to get 50% off of their next premium membership subscription. With the coupon code: 1 month is only 5 USD, 6 months is now only 10 USD and 1 year is only 15 USD!
Take advantage of this special deal now as this coupon code is valid only until 8 November, 2011. International School Community is the website to go to for international school teachers!
·Slc Chu (International School Singapore)
Current Survey Topic:
“I was recommended a job by an old swimming friend who was already working in an international school. The job was in Shanghai, China so without hestiation, I packed my bags and made the beiggest decision of my life (or so I thought at that point)…
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!
An international school’s encounter with internet pirates“Over the past several months, the International School of Stavanger has been challenged with a new and unpleasant phenomenon – being taken ‘virtual hostage’ by internet pirates.In February, 2011 we started getting some emails from candidates applying for non-existent ESL and English teaching jobs. They referred to having seeing ads on various ESL employment websites.When I went onto one of these websites, sure enough there was a posting for an ESL job at our school starting in May 2011. The job would pay benefits including 1800 Euro per month and the advert suggested applicants write to an individual (who really does work here), referring to her as the ‘Recruitment Manager.’
Of course, the job was pure fiction. Probably the silliest part is the idea that we would be paying a Euro-based salary. The Norwegian Kroner is the only currency we use for salary payments. (However, that last piece of information is also what has led the police to believe that this mischief had been accomplished not by a disgruntled individual with a possible connection to the school, but was probably was a ‘phishing’ expedition.)”
Highlighted blog of an international teacher:
The Night Before
“Once I get there I am sure the excitement will set in again. I am sure I will still have periods where I am homesick. I am so glad that the internet, cell phones and skype have all been invented, and I have access to them.”
Getting to know the school
“The schedule here is quite interesting and confusing right now. They have an 8 period day, but periods 1 &2, 3 & 4, and 6 & 7 are block periods. Periods 5 and 8 are single periods. They also do not have the classes the same time everyday.”*If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.
v2011.04 – 9 August, 2011:
Back to school! If you are new teacher at an international school this year, right now is the most exciting time. You are now officially in the honeymoon phase of your culture shock. Enjoy it. Many times for new teachers there is a nice BBQ at the director’s house, catered lunches during workshop days, a nice tour around the city, etc. If you are lucky, there is a nice group of new teachers at your school this year. Why, you ask? The other new teachers that start at your new school at the same time as you will typically become some of your best friends that you will make there. It is because you guys will be sharing the same experiences as you explore your new city, new country and new school together at the same time. So, new teachers enjoy your first few months! Take everything in stride and appreciate every minute. Try and say “yes” to all the invitations you will receive from other teachers in their attempt to make new friends with you.
· International schools that were founded in 1978 (Mauritania, Egypt, Kuwait, etc.)
“The Vienna International School was founded in September 1978 to serve the children of the United Nations and diplomatic community in Vienna. It is also open to children of the…”
· Blogs of international school teachers: “Ichi, Ni, San…Go.”
“It has some great insight into how important the first few weeks are for new teachers during their orientation days to their new city and new school. There is also much information to be …”
· School profile highlights #6: Luanda Int’l School, Amer. School of Tokyo and Int’l School of Iceland
“Candidates should note that most foreign-hire teachers live near the main campus in Chofu, a suburban environment one hour west of downtown Tokyo by train…”
· TEN COMMANDMENTS OF RELOCATING OVERSEAS: #2 – Anticipate a challenging adjustment period of six months
“Some international school teachers tend to experience different levels of culture shock and can pass though the stages quite quickly, but I still think for those people that you need to give yourself six full months to decide…”
· Stafford International School (3 new comments)
(Colombo, Sri Lanka)
“Religious activities are promoted with weekly assemblies by each group and the celebration of festivals in which all participate…”
· Copenhagen International School (10 new comments)
“The apartment that I got was complete unfurnished. I had to buy everything for it. Luckily, you can use the relocation allowance to help you buy furniture and what not (which is around USD 2000)…”
· Greengates School (British Int’l School) (5 new comments)
(Mexico City, Mexico)
“The PTA is very strong. International Day Fair is the most interesting event that you will see. High School graduation is very respected with Ambassadors as guest speakers …”
· Robert Muller Life School (3 new comments)
“The school has around 11 teachers and they are from Guatemalan and the United States…”
· International School Dhaka (3 new comments)
“This well-resourced school has a purpose-built centrally air- conditioned buildings and classrooms, specialist teaching rooms including…”
Back in July we celebrated our 100th member on International School Community! We are definitely on our way to our goal of having 200 members by the end of the year. Please refer your international school teacher friends to join our community.
Officially, we also have 66 likes on Facebook and on Twitter we have 119 followers. How exciting!
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)continue reading
As all International School Community members know, each of the 2180+ 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 will automatically get one free month of premium membership added to your account! The more comments you leave, the more free membership you get!
So, what are the recent statistics about the Benefits Information sections on all the school profile pages? The current total number of submitted comments in the Benefits Information section is 12207 (out of a total of 39249+ comments); that is up 1503 comments from around 13 months ago (Nov. 2019).
There are 20 subtopics in the Benefits 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 sub-topic and also an example comment that has been submitted there.
• Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year? (1415 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Salary is paid regularly each month directly into your bank account which the school will help you set up. It is paid in $US…” – Northbridge International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) – 59 Comments
• Details about the staff housing or the housing allowance. If there is no housing allowance, how much are rent costs and utilities? (1414 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Rent prices went up all over Shanghai in the past 1-2 years and even places near the school cost more now, as landlords start seeing that there’s many expats in the area willing to pay more…” – Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 481 Comments
• Average amount of money that is left to be saved. (761 Total Comments)
Example comment: “A teaching couple could easily live and travel on one salary and save 100% of the other. Savings opportunity is obviously significantly less on one salary, but still possible…” – Singapore American School (Singapore) – 309 Comments
• Detailed info about flight, shipping and settling-in allowances. Any other benefits (e.g. free lunches, etc.)? (1236 Total Comments)
Example comment: “$4000 per teaching couple moving allowance (once you arrive in cash), optional $10,000 loan from school interest free (to buy car), annual flights home…” – American International School of Lagos (Lagos, Nigeria) – 21 Comments
• Health insurance and medical benefits. Describe your experiences using these benefits and going to the local hospitals. (1085 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Teachers must pay for their own health insurance here as Switzerland doesn’t have a social health care program model. Some of the staff’s partners are actually the local doctors in Leysin, so expect to get seen or have your children get seen by them..” – Leysin American School (Leysin, Switzerland) – 113 Comments
• Ways to make extra money (tutoring, after-school activities, etc.). (523 Total Comments)
Example comment: “As the April 6, 2016 comment below states, there are many opportunities for increasing your monthly pay. Other than that, it is illegal to work for anyone but your visa provider (the school) in China. Lots of teachers tutor or work otherwise on the side anyway, but it is illegal.” – Kang Chiao International School (Kunshan, China) – 82 Comments
• Information about benefits for teachers with dependents. (825 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Teachers with dependents need to pay some fees. These vary and are at the discretion of the school so they could conceivably become higher each year. They do not like to hire people with dependents.” – MEF International School Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey) – 162 Comments
• Professional development allowance details. (617 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The PD allowance allows you to travel and pay for one IB workshop (or any conference) per year. Or you can do two IB online workshops…” – The International School of Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) – 181 Comments
• Pension plan details. (676 Total Comments)
Example comment: “It is not a pension. Due to Brazilian law, each teacher pays 8% of their salary each month into a guarantee fund. This is more or less an unemployment insurance. At the end of your contract, the school agrees to “fire” you, so you can access that fund. Based on the exchange rate at that time, it can vary in USD. At the beginning of my contract is was estimated around $12,000. But, now it will be much closer to $7,000. There is no way to know how much it will actually be in the end.” – American School of Belo Horizonte (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) – 78 Comments
• Describe your experience bringing pets. (310 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Some teachers bring their pets from the USA (and other countries like UAE and Qatar). Some do it via the airlines or a pet relocation service. You need to make sure you pet has their up-to-date shots and whatnot to avoid certain delays and hassles along the way. The shorter your flight to Egypt the easier it might be to get your pet to Egypt.” – American International School in Egypt (Main Campus) (New Cairo City, Egypt) – 62 Comments
• Explain how salaries are decided (e.g. is there a pay schedule? extra step for masters degree? Annual pay raises? Bonuses?). (617 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Each teacher is paid differently. No pay scale. Some teachers with lots of experience paid less than teachers with little experience. Men get paid more than women…” – American School of Durango (Durango, Mexico) – 54 Comments
• How do the school’s benefits compare to other international schools in the area/city? (393 Total Comments)
Example comment: “The pay is lower than other international schools in the area but the school fees are also lower. It is the mid range between the “posh” international schools and the ones that don’t hire internationally trained teachers.” – Ican British International School (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) – 74 Comments
• How is the school calendar? Is there ample vacation time? (592 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Point of contention. Clearly we are in a Muslim country so we have to abide by the holidays, but as Ramadan keeps pushing up 2 weeks every year, so does Eid (which usually falls in the first term. But we are in one of those awkward times where Eid is falling the first week of school so that means no break from the start of school until December. There is only one week at xmas this year, because we have to make sure to finish school around the start of Ramadan, it will be too hot to come to school while the kids (majority) will be fasting or they just won’t attend school. We will still have a week in Feb and a week in April. No long weekends here. 3 months off for summer.” – Qatar Academy (Sidra) (Doha, Qatar) – 97 Comments
• What are some things that you need to buy/pay for when you first arrive at the school that you didn’t know about beforehand? (330 Total Comments)
Example comment: “If you have a pet you have to pay an extra deposit to the landlord, not covered by school…” – Pechersk School International (Kyiv, Ukraine) – 162 Comments
• Details about the maternity benefits of the host country and school. (169 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Women get 12 weeks at 80% pay. She can take more time off, but without pay and at the business’ discretion. I think men don’t get any time off to be with their newborn.” – Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 59 Comments
• What is the process of getting reimbursed for things? (226 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Fill out a simple form, submit the receipt, and the money is deposited into your account after the purchase has been approved. If you are concerned as to whether or not you will be reimbursed, seek out approval first. I have never been turned down.” – Daegu International School (Daegu, South Korea) – 25 Comments
• Details about new teacher orientation. (270 Total Comments)
Example comment: “We were picked up at the airport by a school driver who drove the Superintendent there to meet us. We were taken directly to our house, and someone had purchased some staple foods for the refrigerator. There were new towels, sheets and pillows. Other teachers/admin in the neighborhood came to greet us that evening and brought over hot food for dinner. It was an excellent welcome. We immediately felt very much at home…” –Lahore American School (Lahore, Pakistan) – 193 Comments
• In general, why are people staying at or leaving this school? (403 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Everyone leaves because the salary scrap and administration is crap. If you had any moral integrity you would also leave after a week.” – Colombo International School (Colombo, Sri Lanka) – 64 Comments
• Details about the teaching contract. What important things should prospective teachers know about? (250 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Read carefully. 3 page contract is very vague and WILL be used in favor of the administration against you. Expect them to try and keep as much of your money as they can. Hence the 2 month salary withholding which you are assured you will get at back end of contract. This does not usually come to fruition.” – Pan Asia International School (Bangkok, Thailand) – 70 Comments
• Information on trailing spouses. Can they work under spousal visa (also availability of work) or is it possible to live only on one salary? (95 Total Comments)
Example comment: “Trailing spouses can only be sponsored if you are earning a certain amount. It is not very easy to get a job in some professionals; however, this might change soon with the sponsorship system changing often as we near the World Cup 2022.” – The English Modern School (Doha) (Doha, Qatar) – 91 Commentscontinue reading
On of the most visited pages on ISC is our Recently Updated Schools page. It shows the international schools that were most recently updated with new comments.
Now there is a faster way to find those new comments with the Newest Comments link on each school’s profile page. It is located just under the Overview link in the left column of a school’s profile page.
The Newest Comment page lists the last 20 comments that were submitted on that school.
Each of those 20 comments shows the date it was submitted, the Comment Topic Section and Comment Topic it was submitted in. And, of course, the new comment itself.
Once you are finished checking out the last 20 comments to be submitted on a school, then you can read the rest of the comments by clicking on the Comment Topic sections in the left column (School Information, Benefits Information, City Information, Travel Information).
It is what makes ISC so unique. Our mission was to have our members share information about the international schools they know about. But instead of having that information hiding in long paragraphs, etc. we’ve organized all of the information to be easily found into 66 comment topics. This organization helps our members find the information they are looking for faster!
Also, one of the best ISC features is the ability to see how the submitted comments in one comment topic have changed over time. Here is an example from Western International School of Shanghai’s profile page about housing allowances, etc.:
ISC is always looking to improve the user experience of our members. If you have other ideas for improvement or new feature ideas, please send us a message here.continue reading
How many times have you applied to a school wishing that you knew somebody that worked there?
Knowing somebody and getting the ‘inside scoop’ on an international school will definitely help you in your quest to set up an interview there.
Currently, our top 40 international schools with the most members are:
24 members – American International School in Egypt
23 members – Copenhagen International School
21 members – International School of Kuala Lumpur
21 members – International School Manila
17 members – Seoul International School
17 members – International School of Tanganyika
17 members – Jakarta International School
17 members – MEF International School Istanbul
17 members – Western International School of Shanghai
16 members – Fairview International School
16 members – American School Foundation of Mexico City
16 members – American School of Barcelona
15 members – Singapore American School
15 members – International School Bangkok
14 members – United Nations International School (Vietnam)
14 members – Shanghai Community International School
14 members – Shanghai United International School (Hongqiao)
14 members – Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana
14 members – Istanbul International Community School
14 members – NIST International School
14 members – Brent International School Manila
14 members – Seoul Foreign School
14 members – Qatar Academy (Doha)
13 members – KIS International School (Bangkok)
13 members – Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo
13 members – American School of Dubai
13 members – American International School of Johannesburg
13 members – American International School (Vietnam)
13 members – Cairo American College
13 members – Good Shepherd International School
12 members –Suzhou Singapore International School
12 members – Chadwick International School – Songdo
12 members – International School of Beijing
12 members – Western Academy of Beijing
12 members – American International School of Kuwait
12 members – Anglo-American School of Moscow
12 members – American School of Kuwait
12 members – Canadian International School (Singapore)
11 members – American Embassy School New Delhi
11 members – Bilkent Laboratory & International School
The members of these schools include members that currently work there now or have worked there in the past.
With 100-300 new members joining each month, this list will continue to grow and grow; with even more members showing up as potential people to network with.
It is simple to network on our website: just click on a member and then click on the ‘Contact this member’ button (Premium membership access required). Then write him/her a message. When your message is sent, the other member will get an email alert letting them know that they have a new message waiting for them on our website (you don’t need premium membership access to reply to a private message on our website). Numerous International School Community members have already taken advantage of this unique feature on our website!
As far as we know, International School Community is the only website where you can quickly and easily network with real people at a specific international school. Meaning, if you want to get in touch with somebody from the United Nations International School in New York and you are currently a premium member of International School Community, you now have 6 members that you can contact on our website that either work there now or have worked there in the past.
Get the answers to your questions; now that is easy networking!
Our blog gets hundreds of views every day. One time we had over 2200 views in one day!
ISC writes and publishes many of the articles on our blog, but we also have a growing number of member-submitted articles. These articles are submitted by people new to international teaching, seasoned international school educators, and those people that have retired from international education. Member-submitted articles come from parents, authors, directors, teachers, students, companies, etc.
Since 2011, the ISC blog has been viewed over 250,000 times! But which blog articles were the ones that our readers wanted to check out and read the most? We’ll start with #10 and move down to the most popular article on our blog.
“So interesting, our top 40 school profiles with the most views page. It’s like, which school is the most popular amongst our 13K+ members? Before reading below or checking out the page, which schools do you think show up on this list? Are the ones at the top those “Tier one” international schools that we all hear about? You might be surprised which schools are really on this list then…”
“Not all teachers decide to move abroad because they have a sense for adventure. It is because they need to save some money to pay off their debts; which we all know is something hard to accomplish as a teacher back in your home country…”
“One of the best things about being an international school teacher is that we have the ability to travel, sometimes much more than if we were teaching in our home country. *Some items in this list are meant to be “tongue-in-cheek” and making fun of our “first world people problems” that we sometimes experience while traveling around the world. Of course we love this ability to travel and appreciate every minute of it…”
“The full salary is paid in RMB. The school adds an extra 500 RMB towards utility bills. The yearly pay is divided into 12 months. For newcomers, their first pay is in September 20th, although school starts early August. This is clearly stated in the contract but those new teachers coming in need to be aware of this that they won’t see money until September…”
“In 2012 the school implemented the Literacy by Design program for K3 – Grade 4, and the IB Diploma Programme in 2013. It also began scheduling more consistent weekly professional development meetings in 2013, including WASC focus and home group sessions, and grade-level meetings. As of 2012, it joined EARCOS and now regularly sends its staff to the annual conferences…”
“Yes, it is November and many international school teachers are already thinking about the next school year (18-19). Actually, many of these teachers started recruiting back in September or August! It is necessary to recruit this early because international schools seem to be hiring earlier and earlier every year. Additionally, the international school recruitment fairs are also requiring candidates to have already applied to attend their fairs by now; by November you are most likely too late to apply to attend one (especially the ones in Bangkok)…”
“The school’s workload is average. We certainly hear of neighboring (similar caliber) schools who expect a lot more out of their teaching staff. In addition to a normal teaching day, teachers also are expected to lead 2 after school activities (running 10 weeks long each) per year. Coaching satisfies this requirement. This is standard for international schools in Malaysia, as the government requires schools to offer ASAs. Some teachers work…”
“The 2 campuses are in the west side and east side of the city. The west side, Lakeside, is on the MRT line that will go into the city centre. The east coast campus, Tanjong Katong, you need to take a bus to the MRT which will then go into the city. The bus will also take you into downtown within about half an hour to 40 mins depending on where you live. Most…”
“Many international school teachers don’t think enough about retirement. And that’s understandable. The whole concept can seem confusing. Andrew Hallam, however, says it isn’t. He says that those who fail to plan are planning to fail. That could mean eating dog food instead of gourmet, during your golden years…”
“A seasoned international school teacher (SIST) has worked at 3+ international schools in more than three parts of the world (or more). They know the ins and outs of international schools. They now have many old friends (from international schools that they’ve worked at) that have since moved on and now live in all parts of the world. Many teachers say that they originally meant to be abroad for only 2-3 years, but once you get into the international school community, it is easy to get hooked…”
Keep checking out our blog every week. We typically post a new article every 3-6 days. If you are interested in submitting an article to our blog as a guest author, email us at editor @ internationalschoolcommunity.com . All guest authors receive between 6-12 months of free premium membership to our website!continue reading
Since we started our website back in February 2011, we have had a total of 35 member spotlight articles highlighted on our blog. Thanks to all 35 members who have participated so far!
Learning more about our fellow international school teachers can be very enlightening, inspiring and also quite interesting!
Who were the 35 members that have been our members spotlights so far you ask? Well they haven’t all been teachers, some have held other positions either in a school setting or in a field of eduction with also a connection to international schools. Others had prior experience working in international schools. Here is the breakdown of what job titles they have:
International School Teachers: 25
Staff Development Coordinator: 1
International school directors: 4
Curriculum coordinator: 1
Veteran international school teacher: 1
International School Consultant: 1
Members of an international school board of directors: 1
There are 6 parts to the questionnaire that all member spotlights fill out:
• Tell us about your background. Where are you from?
• How did you get started in the international teaching community?
• Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
• Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
• What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
• In exactly five words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
It is pretty amazing the amount of experience and useful information that our member spotlights have provided in their answers to these six parts.
So, how did all of our members answer this part of the questionnaire: In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
• Living life full of energy
• Culturally enriching, questioning true internationalism.
• Beautiful, soul satisfying, enriching, enlightening and delightful.
• Eye-opening, educational, humbling, challenging, fulfilling.
• Successfully making a positive difference!
• truly rewarding challenging and capability enhancing.
• Discovery. Rewarding. Engaging. Relationships. Awesome.
• Opportunity for growth, an eye opener.
• Exciting, inspiring, educating, challenging and fulfilling.
• Adventure, culture, education, difference, satisfaction.
• Open-minded, Professional, Dedicated, Discovery, Fun
• Transforming, Exciting, Challenging, Embracing, Engaging
• Make the best of it.
• Challenging, enriching, frustrating, reflective, confirming
• Exciting adventure of a lifetime!
• Fantastic Educational Humbling Expanding Gratifying
• The job of a lifetime.
• Challenging, invigorating, demanding, breathtaking , fun!
• Hard work, but immensely rewarding.
• Stimulating, unpredictable, addictive, inspiring, challenging.
• Fascinating, exciting, lucrative, wide-ranging and addictive!
• Eye opening, cultural, well paid, opportunity, life changing.
• Exciting, interesting, enlightening, educational and unique.
• 1. Rewarding 2. Different 3. Adventurous 4. Dynamic 5. Unpredictable
• Full of variety, rewarding, challenging.
• Rewarding, eye-opening, fun, flexible, and ADDICTIVE
• The opportunity of a lifetime.
• Lifelong learning at its finest!
• Rejuvenating, Creative, Innovative, Culturally Rich
• The novelty never wears off!
• Exhilarating, Challenging, Adventurous, Broadening, Inspiring
• Enriching, adventurous, challenging, rewarding, limitless.
• Exciting, fun, new friends, challenges!
These 35 members have a wealth of knowledge about working at a number of international schools. Maybe you have worked at an international school that they have worked at as well?! Here are just a few of the schools that they either currently work at now or have worked at in the past:
• Cebu International School – 7 Comments
• Xiamen International School (Xiamen, China) – 25 Comments
• Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 222 Comments
• Benjamin Franklin Int’l School (Barcelona, Spain) – 66 Comments
• Universal American School in Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – 17 Comments
• Thai-Chinese Int’l School Bangkok – 21 Comments
• American International School in Egypt – 62 Comments
• International School of Tanganyika – 145 Comments
• Mahatma Gandhi International School – 3 Comments
• British Early Years Centre (Bangkok, Thailand) – 10 Comments
• American School Madrid (Madrid, Spain) – 54 Comments
• Frankfurt International School & Wiesbaden (Frankfurt, Germany) – 13 Comments
• Albanian International School (Tirana, Albania) – 19 Comments
• British International School Moscow (Moscow, Russia) – 11 Comments
• Stamford American International School (Singapore, Singapore) – 47 Comments
Thanks again to everyone who has participated in the Member Spotlight feature on our blog so far.
If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here at editor @ internationalschoolcommunity.com. All highlighted members receive 1 free year of premium access to our website!continue reading
I was just talking with an international school teacher friend of mine who is part of a teaching couple with 3 children. They are looking for another job right now; their next international school. I asked her where in the world that they would most like to move to. She told me that it would have to be in a city where the “living is cheap!”
I have actually lived in 2 of the cities currently on the list for 2010 of the most expensive cities in the world. One of them is in the top half of the list and the other is in the lower half. I’m not for sure that looking at this list is really helpful when deciding where to live internationally (if you get offered a job at an international school there, mind you). It seems like the salary and/or benefits are typically raised in accordance to the high cost of living in the city, but not always I suppose.
Housing allowance: the main factor at play?
Some schools on the list (Canadian International School Singapore, Shanghai Community International School, Hong Kong International School, Seoul International School, etc…) offer generous housing allowances; when the school pays for all of your rent (and sometimes even the utilities). However, I know other schools on the list (American School of Barcelona, Acs International Schools – Egham Campus, etc…) that don’t offer a housing allowance. Not having to pay for rent (which is sometimes 1/3 of your take home pay) plays an important factor in how expensive the city is for you. I was told by another friend who has worked at international schools for 4 years now that she plans to never pay for housing again! I guess once you get that benefit, it is hard to go back to paying for your own rent! There is always the money-saving option of having a roommate to help with high rent costs, but many teachers, as they get older, don’t want to consider that as an ideal option.
High-priced goods: paying 2-3 times what you would normally pay.
I know some teachers in the “most expensive cities in the world” sometimes think twice about paying 7 USD for a loaf of bread at a bakery geared towards the expat community. Surely, that is expensive. They would never do that if they lived in their home country. I can’t even think of a place that would sell a loaf of bread for that price in the United States. BUT, they actually have the money now in their budget to buy those types of things. For sure the stores know the secret; which is that many of the expats living there don’t have to pay for their housing and have extra money to pay high prices for things that remind them of home/western-type stuff. Especially when a new teacher first moves to a new city (when they don’t know exactly where to buy things yet and where the best prices are at different stores), there are always expats willing and able to pay high prices for western things.
There are always cheaper alternatives.
When you first move to a city, you don’t know where to get the good prices. Once you find those places and ask your colleagues where to go, then for sure you might think the city is much less expensive than you had originally thought. Especially if you are in a city that has a culture similar to the type of foods you like to eat. For example, if you want to buy Cranberry juice in the United States, it is going to be relatively cheap. However, cranberry juice is not a popular juice to drink in most other countries in the world, thus it is going to be much more expensive (if you are luckily to even find it). Buying the local version of the products you like will for sure be a cheaper alternative.
Taxis and transportation.
If you live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, you will most likely also be paying a lot of money for taxis and other transportation. It is especially true for cities on the list like London, Tokyo and Barcelona. However, it is not necessary true for other cities on the list like Shanghai and Beijing. Not being able to utilize taxis because of financial constraints can definitely play a factor in your decision to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
There are so many factors that come into play when you decide whether a city is going to be too expensive for you. It is difficult to get a good idea of how that will effect your decision to move there before you are actually living there. I interviewed with a school in Singapore and they were really adamant about getting me to realize beforehand how expensive it was to live there. It was difficult for me to fully understand their concerns (after looking at their salary and benefits) without actually having experienced the high cost firsthand. Luckily, International School Community is now here to help international educators. We have specifically designed our school profile pages to include questions about everything related to money, benefits and the many facets of the cost of living. With new comments being submitted every week, International School Community is certainly the website to find out important information about many international schools around the world!continue reading