How to Travel the World While Teaching at International Schools

How to Travel the World While Teaching at International Schools

Idea of Having an International School Teacher Lifestyle

Have you ever thought of earning excellent money while working and doing something that you absolutely love? It is not just love but feeling passionate as well while contributing in some form that you feel very proud of, then teaching at international schools allows all those perks and benefits, and offers wide area of opportunities and advantages that range from handsome pay package to facilities such as accommodation, security, and travel. Teaching in an international school is one of the best kept secrets and a career boosting formula in the teaching profession. Although it requires a great deal of skill, sacrifice, patience and abundant knowledge of specialized subjects that for which, across the world there are thousands of candidates taking their first teaching position abroad in a given opportunity while strategically thinking that it will be their last and final destination of work, but it is not so in reality as it opens up a new arena of global exposure and demand in different countries that the professional life becomes much more exciting and fun. It is true and it is in practice that many teachers are making international education a career choice which has opened up new horizons in education sector that is filled with adventure, new experiences, travel, discovery, exploration and in the end, fulfillment.

Different Types of Curriculum in International Schools

International schools usually belong to one of the following systems: British such as IGCSE/GCSE, American, that are often offering Ap classes, or International Baccalaureate(IB). Some international schools are regular schools, using the same curriculum and standards as schools from their home country. There are British, Italian, Japanese, German, and many other international schools that have a different curriculum that they teach.

Main Reasons Someone Considers Teaching Abroad at an international school

The idea of traveling abroad and traveling to new locations while working sounds as a most promising and fulfilling reward for a career that is adopted, but the process of making it to the final podium of confirmed employment in an international schools comes with certain prerequisites. The adventure and an experience of living in some wonderful places and experience the cultures in ways tourists can’t. Excellent pay package, as even though the pay could be higher than in any traditional and non-international school, there can be a scope for a lot of savings and better financial planning, mainly because housing and accommodation, children's education in the same school, and other facilities are taken care by the school. In addition, the cost of living was cheaper in most of the places we lived so we saved there. And the important one being, the teaching conditions. Since the teaching faculty, students and overall staff is from different parts of the world, it always keeps an interesting outlook during work hours and after as well. The international exposure that one gets from students as well as fellow teachers is simply awesome and it helps to further the rapport and extend the career a bit better.

Prerequisites for International School Teacher Preparation

A lot of international schools hire teachers based on the educational qualification, and many others do based on the certification of the teacher. The certification is different in different countries, and it varies from state and country, and the certification is sort of a license that specifies the subject and grade level at which a teacher can teach. In order to get more information on the certification, the state's department of education is the best place to clarify. Many international schools require and accept certification from the state or region in which the teachers are licensed. In cases such as, when a teacher doesn't hold a certificate but holds a good amount of teaching experience at a private school, it works just as well. The teaching experience at a private school is as much valuable as a certification programme attended. In many instances, international schools are willing to hire teachers that hold no standard certificate and that they are not licensed, but only on the basis of  the fact that they bring an invaluable experience to their schools and students.

Most international schools are interested in teachers that hold a bachelor’s or master's degree in their subject area. That is, when the teacher is looking forward to teach Economics to high school students, then he/ she is required to have a BA or MA with Economics being one of the core specialized subject to have studied. It can be an added advantage if the prospective teacher has good amount of knowledge in Sociology, Psychology and Political Science as these subjects add extra points to the weight of the resume. Similarly, if the teacher is looking forward to teach Mathematics, or Science to middle or secondary school students, then it is required for the teacher to have graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science. And for elementary students, the teachers is required to hold a degree in Bachelor of Education, or a degree with specialization in childhood development and other related subjects.

Difference Between Teaching in an International School and Other Teaching Abroad Opportunities

A lot of schools claim to be “international, but in reality and actual quality of education and exposure imparted, the true international school is a school that allows and enrolls students from a across the world. The students are admitted from a variety of countries, thereby giving the school an international and global feel for the ones studying in it. Typically, almost all the international schools tend to be located in major cities, diplomatic capitals and international financial centers or in the outskirts of a city or town. The aspect of teaching to a wide range of students that have come from different cultures and backgrounds is an interesting one, and students include ambassadors’ kids, expat kids, teachers’ kids and local children whose parents can afford the best and top notch education system for their children.

Many teachers that are interested in teaching international schools are in dilemma of  thoughts such as , does overseas teaching experience alone is required to get hired by an international school? It is not, and you don't need to have taught overseas before. But there is one important aspect, and that is, the teacher needs to have taught for a minimum of two years at a private school, before you can teach at an international school. There is a huge misconception regarding teaching abroad on the lines of being unable to learn how to teach and to get the first experience running a classroom in a foreign land teaching foreign students. In today's scenario when IT professionals are taking jobs everywhere, from associate positions to CEO and Management levels, how different is it in education sector? International schools seek teachers that have proved their mettle and performance in managing tough classrooms, or those that take responsibilities as individuals and independent managers.

The benefits of teaching at an international school

As the barriers of age, understanding of local and regional culture, and problems of relocation are overcome, there are certain plus points in being a teacher at an international school:

  • Broadening the knowledge and experience through adapting to life and work in a different community and culture.
  • Working in a fascinating and diverse multicultural environments that range from host country schools to schools catering mainly for expatriates, and everything in between.
  • Becoming a part of the team of energized and highly competent international teachers.
  • Enjoying and improving the stimulus of developing your professional career in exciting new places.
  • Making a difference in the lives of global children.
  • Enjoying an attractive lifestyle and unparalleled opportunities for travel that is not limited to one state or one country.
  • Living comfortably with the potential for significant savings, and children's education that have global exposure at the same time.
  • Earning attractive salaries and having many other benefits such as housing, annual home leave with round-trip air fares, and health insurances.
  • Experiencing the richly varied world of international schools, with English as the language of instruction, small class sizes, motivated students and high standards.

How to get a job teaching at an international school?

The world of international education steadily growing, and with it there is also the demand for high-quality teachers with unmatched skills, enthusiasm and commitment. Teaching overseas is an excellent career choice, and one that could positively transform lives of many. With many international schools coming up and setting up their educational institutions across the world, there is a huge market and potential for many young and upcoming teachers as well as experienced and matured teachers. There is a place for young and energetic to wise and incomparable teachers.

To apply you will need to send in an application form, which is usually available and submittable online. The next step will be to obtain two to three professional references, and write a personal essay of 500 to 1,000 words. If you are serious about teaching overseas, it is important that the candidate must try to get their application in by the end of November at the latest, preferably in October, which is preceding the academic year in which one can hope to go overseas and get hired. Recruiting agencies run annual job fairs between January and June for the following academic school year, and competition for places to attend the fairs in January and February, when the bulk of the hiring for the following year takes place. The tricky and confusing problem is that attending a job fair can be expensive, especially if a candidate needs to factor in travel and hotel costs. It is worth contacting schools ahead of fair season, in November and December, to see if you can interview via online video chat services such as Google Hangout and Skype.

Here are some organizations that could be helpful while trying to get job teaching at an international school abroad:

  • TIE Online - Teach Abroad: Get An International Teaching Job And Pursue An Overseas Career In Educat
  • Council of International Schools (CIS)
  • Search Associates
  • Just International Schools.com
  • International Schools Services
  • Council of International Schools
  • Queen's University Overseas Teacher Placement Service
  • University of Northern Iowa Overseas Placement Service.
  • International Schools Review
  • Queen's University Faculty of Education - International Teacher Placement Service (ITPS)
  • University of Northern Iowa Overseas Placement Service
  • International Schools Services
  • International Schools Services Online Directory of International Schools
  • Teach Abroad: Search Associates