This is the second article on teaching internationally. If you haven’t checked out the first – teaser – post in this Teaching Internationally Series, you can check it out here.
Have you always been curious how people get those jobs abroad? Well, here’s some insight into “our world”. Or at least one way (which I happen to think is the best way) to get yourself a rock star gig in an international school!
Start early! IF you want to use the best placement company (see #2) then you have a LONG process to go through. My husband and I have used them twice to secure jobs abroad. The first time, we started at the right time. Recruiting for international schools starts around November. So, you want to make sure that you’re ready with ALL your ducks in a row by then.
Our second go round, we decided really LATE that we wanted to go back out to teach internationally. And, really late is February. Although there are still job fairs going on and plenty of jobs – a lot of the bigger, not-for-profit schools will have already procured their harder to fill spots – i.e. High School Science and Math, followed by Middle School Science and Math. BUT, Europe is always the late hirers. They typically follow the schedule as we do in the States. Summer is for hiring there, usually.
What’s the right time to start looking?
Well, that depends on you. Are you UBER efficient? Do you have people ready to submit confidential references on a minute’s notice? Do you have all of your resume’s, CVs, certifications, and other paperwork ready to submit? If you can say yes to all of those, then you won’t have a long wait to be approved with the company below.
Our first time go round with Search Associates took about a month to get approval. The second time went by much quicker because we already knew what to do!
2. Search Associates
I strongly suggest you register with a company called Search Associates. They are the biggest company to help place teachers, counselors, administrators, librarians, etc… abroad. They have an extremely intensive enrollment process. And…they are pricey. You definitely get what you pay for, though. I also just found out that now they offer hiring within Canada and the US!
The process you have to go through is very time consuming and thorough, but in my experience, it has delivered. We have gotten jobs both times we’ve used them. We have also attended a job fair through them in Cambridge, MA. It was the FUNNEST thing EVER!
Just so you know, the vibe at international schools and with international teachers is the COOLEST thing. It’s just completely different than what you experience stateside. But…you’ll have to wait to hear more about this in the next post. Sorry – not sorry! 😉
3. Before you Accept
When you are considering teaching internationally at a school, make sure and check to see how it fares on ISR. That’s International Schools Review. Yep, it costs $, but it’s also totally worth it. If you really want to enjoy your experience while also being a top-notch teacher, you want a school that ranks over 5 stars. You also want to double check the package that the school is offering. Most of the bigger schools include a moving allowance. Both smaller and bigger schools usually provide airfare to and from the school and your home of record.
Do your research!
You are making the decision to move away from everything you know – family, friends, modern conveniences, English (maybe). You definitely want to make sure you are as prepared for this big adventure as possible.
The experience will NEVER be exactly as you expect it to be.
4. After You Accept
Once you accept a position, now the anxiety begins. Each time we accepted positions we were SO EXCITED! You know, except to break the news to our family and friends. But then, once you get knee deep in trying to figure out all the political bologna of getting the proper visa’s and stamps in your passports (and passports if you don’t have one yet), contacting a moving company, organizing plane tickets, and more little detail-type stuff depending on where you are moving to the overwhelm sets in.
You will make it through. And, it’s just all part of the adventure! If you have questions, leave a comment below, or send me an email!
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Until next time,
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