Every year, I am asked how to find an international teaching position. People I don’t know will private message me on Facebook, I get inquiries via Twitter from people looking to travel the world and even emails from Travelingmom readers after previously posting about this very topic.
International teaching allows those people who have always wanted to spread their wings that very opportunity. Well, here I am again, ready to move on due to my husband’s relocation, and I’m in the middle of trying to secure another International teaching position.
Are You Prepared for International Teaching?
Let me begin with this…if you’re looking to land your first job in a highly desirable location such as Singapore, London, Paris or any other metropolitan living location, start your hunt early, brush up your CV and go to the job fairs. If you’re properly prepared, you’ll have a head start against the others who think the job will just land in their lap.
You must start early I cannot emphasize this enough. The International teaching recruitment season begins in October (the previous year) for some schools, and they are finished hiring around February. You need to know what your goals are pretty early on in the process.
Be Realistic About International Teaching Jobs
If you have a family in tow, think about what will really make you happy. If you require a stand alone house with a yard, you’ve just cut down many of your living options around the world (unless you’re willing to pay a hefty sum out of pocket). However, if you’re OK with a 3-4 bedroom apartment and a balcony, you can live almost anywhere.
Consider the Whole Package
Think about the package being offered. Many areas of the world will pay for all of your family’s flights, your housing, your kids tuition, insurance and even a relocation/settling in allowance. You’ll find this to be the case throughout most of Asia and the Middle East. As you move towards Europe, you’ll begin losing benefits like the housing. Tuition for your kids is a big deal. In many places, it’s not realistic or even possible for your kids to attend local/public schooling. Your only option will be expensive private schooling. What’s important to you in your journey?
My Journey with International Teaching
My first International job was in the United Arab Emirates, with the Abu Dhabi Education Council, where I taught Emirati children in local government schools. I found it through a company called AIDC. The package, at the time, was great for us. They provided flights, housing, insurance and an amazing salary. What was missing was tuition for the children. With three children, this became a problem for us. The kids are not allowed to join the public schools, which meant we would have to cough of a very hefty sum for them to attend an International school. Our only hope? Homeschool. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t what I wanted for my children. So, my next mission was to find a place where I could work and further my professional development AND provide a solid education for my children. So, I joined the masses of International teachers and began the search again.
This time, I tried using Search Associates. Search Associates allows teachers to find positions around the world, even allowing you to narrow your search parameters and customize what you’re looking for in a career. It was here that I found my current teaching post at Ajman Academy, located in the United Arab Emirates as well. This time, I received a housing allowance, insurance, flights AND education for my children. My kids are happy, loving attending a school with all the latest and greatest technology, including a 1:1 iPad program, and I’m receiving the professional development I was looking for by receiving IBO PYP Category 1 training. Sadly, its time for us to move on after this contract. During our time in the United Arab Emirates, my husband landed a job, and now the company is asking us to relocate. So, I’m back on the hunt for another position, and I’m finding even more recruiting companies to share with you.
Where to Look for International Teaching Jobs
AIDC- This company recruits for the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. I trust them 100% and still remain in contact with them four years later.
Search Associates – My direct line of contact is Mr. David Cope. This is my second time working with him, and I feel completely supported. Search Associates may or may not require a fee to join, depending on your location. Many of the top International schools register with Search Associates and attend their job fairs around the world. You are required to fill out a profile, upload a CV and have confidential references submitted.
Carney, Sandoe & Associates – This is another highly respected recruiting firm specializing in placement within the USA and locations around the world. You must apply and wait to be accepted or rejected as a candidate. I was unable to be accepted due to my limited geographical search (my husband’s job has specific countries in mind.)
Teacher Horizons – The site is free, but you must fill out an online profile. From there, you can search openings in various regions around the world.
Council of International Schools (COIS) – Another highly reputable site. Many schools around the world are accredited by COIS, so its good to be in their candidate pool. Again, you must apply and wait for activation. You will need three referees before being activated.
Now you need to do your due diligence, research, network, connect and wear out the tread on your shoes. Don’t sit back and wait, be proactive. You are bound to receive rejections from schools as its a highly competitive arena, especially if you have dependents coming with you. I am a fantastic, innovative and technologically savvy teacher…but my applications always have a red flag: three children and a husband. What they don’t know is that my husband is employed and we’re willing to negotiate on benefits. Make sure you stand out. Thousands of applications are received each year for the top schools around the world. Make sure your CV is brushed up, your cover letter is sincere and personalized to the school and your teaching philosophy is current.
And while you’re doing all this…cross your fingers for me!