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New Survey: On average, how many interviews do you go to at a recruitment fair?

A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  On average, how many interviews do you go to at a recruitment fair?

Screen Shot 2013-01-20 at 5.19.24 PMIs this the year when the power comes back into the candidate’s favor?  If so, you may be looking at a nice number of secured interviews at the recruitment fair you go to this year!

Around seven to ten years ago it really seemed like a different story; there were many positions available and not enough candidates to fill the positions. With the power more on the candidate’s side, you might feel like you are very much in demand at the fair.

As of late, it seems like the international schools at the fair are very much in control.  They have a number of candidates to choose from, and most likely quality candidates at that.  More quality candidates competing with you to secure interviews might mean less interviews for you to attend.

Putting the topic of who’s has the power aside, if you are a top candidate with a lot of domestic and international school teaching experience, you might still be looking at going to seven-plus interviews at certain fairs.  On the other hand if you are just starting out in teaching and in the international school community, you possibly might be looking at only securing a few.

As experienced international school teacher veterans know, it is not so cut and dry like that.  There are too many factors at which to look.  It all depends too on “luck and timing.”  Anyone who is a quality teacher and a good fit for the school will most likely get short-listed disregarding your lack of experience.LucovichJobFairInterview-Cropped

Some teachers, however, go to the fair with a plan.  That plan is to seek out only a small handful of schools.  If they are unsuccessful at securing an interview at those schools, then that is it for them.  It is a bit stressful to attend a fair and have your hopes dashed as you find the two schools that you were most interested in is not interested in you “at this time”, the vacancy has gone away or it has already been filled. Unfortunately, in this circumstance, you potentially will end up not going to any interviews.

Other teachers are very open to where they would like to go.  For those teachers, they might indeed end up securing more interviews.  Typically, they do say that you should be open-minded to attend an interview even if the school is not the one you are necessarily looking at or even if it is not in a location you were originally considering.   It is a fine line though between being ‘open-minded’ and potentially just wasting your time and the school’s time.  Because of the electric feeling in the air, sometimes you get caught up in all of the excitement at the fair that it is just fun to go to all interviews that are presented to you. You never know what will happen and smart networking is always a good thing!

So, on average, how many interviews do you go to at a recruitment fair?  Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!  You can check out the latest voting results here.

From the staff at International School Community.

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Survey results are in: Which international school teacher conference do you prefer to go to?

The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community who voted have had the most success at IB conferences.

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IB conferences/workshops can prove to be a very motivating and enlightening experience.  Isn’t that what going to conferences is all about?  Most people might say that teaching is viewed as a career, and with careers comes professionalism.  Many international school teachers aspire to be the best professionals in the field.  The IB (PYP and MYP too) teachers definitely have similar aspirations as well; to learn more and more about the new ways of thinking and teaching using inquiry.  They are also looking to learn more about how to make their students’ thinking visible.

But like many workshops that you may attend at international school teaching conferences, the benefit of the workshop you attend greatly depends on the instructor that you get.  It can also be said that the success of your workshop depends on the people that attend it as well.  So many different factors come into play, but when all of them line up correctly, you are most likely in for an enlightening experience.  Those types of workshops can really inspire you throughout the rest of the conference and stay with you when you return back to work.

In terms of staff development benefits, the IBO requires that the teachers working in approved/accredited schools get on going PD in the IB philosophy and latest strategies on how best to instruct students in their inquiry programme. Instead of using your own PD monies to attend IB workshops, very often the school will take the costs involved out of their own monies.

There are many factors to consider when deciding on which international school at which to work.  Knowing about the professional development allowance (or lack there of) can prove to be helpful information to know; just to see what you can expect in terms of you getting the opportunity to attend workshops and conferences while you work there.  Luckily on International School Community, we have a Benefits Information section in the comments and information part of each school’s profile page that discusses this very topic.

• Professional development allowance details.

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Taken from International Community School Addis Ababa (35 Total Comments) school profile page.

There have been many comments and information submitted in this topic on numerous school profiles on our website.

One International School Community member said about working at Mef Int’l School Istanbul: “IBO certified IBDP and PYP training provided. Outside speakers such as Virginia Rojas brought in to provide in house PD.”

Another member said about working at Western International School of Shanghai: “Most teachers don’t get any out of school PD their first year of contract. Depends on the needs of the school.”

Another member submitted a comment about working at American School of Barcelona: “The PD amount is 390 Euros a year. You can roll over this amount for 3 years. But the reality some people get more, it is not so clear cut on who gets what amount and who gets to go to what PD opportunity.”

If you are currently a member of International School Community, please take a moment to share what you know by submitting some comments and information about the PD allowances at your international school. You can start by logging on here.

Stay tuned for our next survey topic which is to come out in a few days time.

New Survey: Which international school teacher conference do you prefer to go to?

A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  Which international school teacher conference do you prefer to go to?

Most international schools will offer some benefits to their teachers.  If you are lucky, your school will offer a benefit that gives you a set amount of money each year to use on a professional development event of your choice.  Many of those international schools will also let you now roll-over your unused PD money into the following year, up to three years worth in total if you need to.  Knowing that going to and attending an international school teacher conference can be quite expensive (e.g. registration costs, flight, hotel, meals, taxi rides, etc.), it is good to know that your school will either pay for you to go to them (all expenses paid) or that you can use your own PD money to go to them (hopefully all expenses paid as well).

If you have the money and the school you work at is open to where you use your PD money, the question then is…where should you go?   There are a nice handful of conferences that international school teachers can go to (EARCOS, ECIS, AASSA, MAIS, AISA, IB, etc.).  They also pretty much offer the same style of conference: a variety of guest speakers show up to inspire the attendees somehow (professionals in education or in topics related to education), and then there are different workshops led by international school teachers themselves (sharing a new strategy, research, best-practice techniques, etc.).  Is there one of these conferences that is better than the others?  We are not for sure.  Mostly teachers just go to the one that is closest to their school.

One thing that does seem for sure is that it seems as if the numbers of attendees at international school conferences is lower than normal as of late (e.g. the ECIS Conference in Nice this year).  There are also less companies signed up to be exhibitors as well.  Some participants at ECIS this year were saying that just a few years back there were 1000s more attendees that showed up.  They also were surmising that because there are so many international school teacher conferences nowadays, there just isn’t enough time and money for all the exhibitors to go to them…and the same goes for the teachers and administrators.

Did you know that some international schools (mostly for-profit ones) will grant you the money to attend a PD event (if it directly relates to the benefit of the school) only if you plan on staying for another two years?  If you decide to leave the school before that two-year deadline, then you must pay back all the money that you used to go to that PD event!  Hopefully there aren’t too many international schools out there that do that to their teachers still.  It is so important that international school teachers are treated as professionals in the field of education.  As professionals, we need to stay up-to-date with current trends and practices, as well as what current research is saying about how to be an effective teacher.  Additionally, it is vitally important for international school teachers to be at these events so that they can network with others that also work in the international school community. Networking can maybe lead to a future job at another international school for you, but it also can help you do the things you need to do in your current placement.  Why do the job by yourself when there are most likely other international school teachers that also need to do that same job?  Two heads are better than one, no?  Then you can share the load and work together on different projects that are of interest to both of you.

So, which international school teacher conference do you prefer to go to?  Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!  You can check out the latest voting results here.

From the staff at International School Community.

Survey results are in: How many more years do you expect to keep teaching abroad at international schools?

The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community who voted expect to keep working abroad at international schools for at least 1-3 more years.

For many of us, I suppose teaching abroad at international schools is a temporary circumstance in our lives.  Some of us have international school colleagues that move abroad to teach, and after their one and only international school posting, they are now living and happily working back in their home countries. Sure, there is a chance of them moving abroad again, but it likely to not happen again.  Many people look for stability in their lives, and many people ultimately find that stability back in their home countries.

For other international school educators, when they start working at international schools, they can’t seem to get enough of this life.  Working at international schools and moving from country to country can be very addictive.  10 total people out of 23 voted that they will be working at international schools 7-10 more years and even maybe for forever!  The salaries/benefits, work conditions and standard of life must be quite attractive for these people. If things are going well and you are not having to worry about money, why not choose to stay working at international schools?  It is nice to not have to worry about paying for housing or any utilities for example.  It is also maybe nice to not have to clean your house or wash your clothes as you may be able to hire a house keeper to do those things for you in your current position.  These people might have met their partner while living in their host country and now have decided to stay abroad for the long term!

Then there are the teachers that have made the all-important (and possibly difficult) decision to make this year their last one (3 people in our survey have said that this is what their future holds for them).  To say goodbye to the international school teaching world is sometimes not an easy decision to make.  Livin’ the ‘good life’ will soon be ending for you, and you may not ultimately want things to end.  Also, the anticipation of reverse culture shock is not necessarily welcomed with open arms.  Cringe!

On the other hand, your current situation might just be a very bad fit for you, enough of a bad fit that you have decided to not take the risk of working at another international school.  A very negative experience at one international school might have you come to the realization that this life really just is not a good fit for you.

Moving back home has it pros and cons, and one must look at them carefully.  One reason to not move back to many of the states in the United States is that the job market for teachers is not so good right now.  There are many, many teachers applying for one position still right now.  Hopefully as the U.S. economy improves, more money for staffing and for school districts in general will become available which may lead to more jobs for prospective teachers.  I think the same thing is happening at many international schools right now.  Many international schools are looking for and actually finding more families with children to attend their school.  More students typically means a higher need for more staffing.  How nice would it be if the power was back in the candidate’s hand at the recruitment fairs; more options and opportunities for us!

There are many factors to consider when deciding to stay abroad or move back home.  Knowing about what kinds of teachers work at an international school and the average staff turnover rate can prove to be helpful information to know; just to see what others are doing who maybe from the same country and situation as you.  Luckily on International School Community, we have a School Information section in the comments and information part of each school’s profile page that discusses this very topic.

• Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate.

There have been many comments and information submitted in this topic on numerous school profiles on our website.

One International School Community member said about working at Khartoum International Community School: “You will find a range of teachers from New Zealand to Canada, via UK, Egypt, Palestine, South Africa, Australia, France and more. Most teachers are expat hire. Local hire teachers are well qualified. The school is still only 7 years old so turnover rate is hard to reflect on. It ranges from 1-7 years at current time.”

Another member said about working at Tsinghua International School (Beijing): “Can’t really comment too much on this as things may have changed. When I was there lots of staff were from North America, but what could be called “old Chinese hands.” They’d lived in China a long time. Other staff were Chinese with American passports. All were great, but at the time, not many were what you’d think of as north American trained teachers. Very high turnover when I was there.”

Another member submitted a comment about working at Colegio Granadino Manizales: “The school has both Colombian and expat teachers. All of the expat teachers are North American and all are qualified teachers. The Colombian teachers are also well certified. There is not a high turnover rate at the school. Many expat teachers, though young, stay three or four years and some have been at the school much longer.”

So how many more years do you expect to keep teaching abroad at international schools? Please share what your plans are!

Stay tuned for our next survey topic to come out in a few days time.

New Survey: How many more years do you expect to keep teaching abroad at international schools?

A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  How many more years do you expect to keep teaching abroad at international schools?

Now is the time of the school year already when you need to decide whether you are going to move on or not.  Maybe you are planning to stay for another year or two, maybe three or four years.  Maybe this is your last year and you are already planning on heading on to new adventures working at another international school.  Maybe, just maybe, this is your last year teaching abroad.  Due to foreseen or unforeseen circumstances, your time working at international schools is either over or temporarily put on hiatus.

It is difficult to predict the future of your life and your career, especially when you are an international school teacher.  One moment you are saying to people that you are going to stay a minimum of four years at your new school that you just moved to, a few months later you find yourself telling people this might be your last year.  One moment things are going really well at your new job and you are learning tons and growing as a teacher, yet another moment there are things happening that are telling you it is not truly a good fit for you anymore.

You might find yourself falling in love with your host city, making you want to stay longer.  You also might be finding yourself second-guessing whether you see yourself in your host city long term; there are other expat teachers at your school that have made your host city their home, but that future does not seem to be a reality in your life.

Us international school teachers go through many emotions while working abroad.  We use these emotions as indicators on whether we should continue on in our current post or not.  Unfortunately, all these emotions can sometimes be confusing to interpret.  We also get influenced by the other expat teachers that we are working with.  How long are they staying?  What are the reasons they have for deciding to stay or to move on?

Many prospective teachers are very keen to know the staff turnover rate at an international school.  Even though turn over is actually quite common at international schools, there might be a correlation between an overly high turnover rate and your fate at that school if you indeed sign a contract to work with them.  It is important to remember though that everyone is different and can have very different experiences working at the same school.  Ask around though; contact people who currently work there or have worked there in the past on International School Community.  The more information your know, the better indicators you will get about a school’s turnover rate and reasons teachers move away from that school.  Could your current international school be the last one you work at?

But when is it all over for you, this wonderful time that we enjoy working abroad at international schools? For many of us, there is eventually a time when something is telling you it is over.  It is definitely a challenge to continue on for years and years as an international school teacher.  Could we really work at six, seven, eight different international schools in our teaching career?  Even though we love the challenge of living abroad in a foreign land and experiencing a new culture firsthand, to continue in this lifestyle choice could have it limits.

So, how many more years do you expect to keep teaching abroad at international schools?  Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!  You can check out the latest voting results here.

Survey results are in: Where are you spending your ‘extra’ money while teaching abroad?

The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community who voted are spending their ‘Extra’ money on traveling, clothes and food.

I guess it comes as no surprise that international school teachers are traveling a lot.  If we have the time and means to do it, then we often take advantage of this time in our lives (because it might not last for ever!).  We love the fact that we are getting more time for holidays throughout the school year (than maybe you would be getting in your home country).  Some international schools are also celebrating up to three countries’ national holidays!  Being that many of us don’t have family living where we are currently living in the world, there is sometimes no good reason to stick around our host city during our vacation time.  When holiday time comes around, we are all asking each other “Where are you traveling to?”

At one point in my international school teaching career, I was traveling so much that I was averaging 12 new countries a year!  New countries!  And I was at a placement with the lowest salary of my teaching career.  I guess then it all depends on your location in the world and how well that city’s airport is connected to other cities in the world.  Sometimes the cost of living in the city can play a factor as well to how much money you have left over for traveling.  If you pay rent in your current placement, having a roommate too can help you put more of your earnings towards traveling instead of a higher monthly rent that you would be paying if you were living by yourself.

There are many factors to consider.  Knowing about all this information about traveling before you sign a contract can quite important then…that is if traveling is one of your top priorities while living abroad.  Luckily on International School Community, we have a Travel Section in the comments and information part of each school’s profile that discusses this very topic.  There are four topics in this section:

• Sample travel airfares from host city airport to destinations nearby.

• Describe proximity of major airport hubs to the city center and give sample taxi, train, subway and/or bus fares to get there.

• Popular travel websites to buy plane tickets or tours that are popular for expats living in the city and/or country.

• Places to travel to outside the city by bus or train.

There have been many comments and information submitted in the Travel Section on numerous school profiles on our website.

One International School Community member said about working at American School of Barcelona: “It is easy to get to almost every European city from Barcelona for a decent price. You do have to shop around and it is better to book ahead. A flight from Barcelona to the east coast of the USA at Christmas costs around 500-900 Euros.”

Another member said about working at American School of Asuncion: “It is very difficult to travel on a regular weekend, since Asuncion is basically in the middle of nowhere, and flights to the closest cool cities (Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro) are expensive. It is also becoming more and more pricey with the Visas required for Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. They range from $60-140.”

Another member submitted a comment about the traveling opportunities while working at Kodaikanal International School: “KIS is fortunate in having a fully staffed Travel Office to coordinate student, staff and community travel. Our travel partner ‘Around the World Travel’ is an India-wide agency with decades of experience in providing national and international travel options to and from KIS.”

We also have other comments and information topics in the City Section of the school profile pages that are related to clothing and food.  One of these topics covers the best places in your host city to find good deals on clothing and other shopping.  We all can benefit from hearing about places that are good to go to versus spending time and energy going to ones that aren’t so good in our host city.

For those international school teachers that put going out to eat a lot as a top priority while living abroad, there are also topics that discuss the best places in the city to go out to eat.  We even have a topic that is about restaurants that appeal to the expat community living in that host city (we all want a little ‘familiar’ food every now and then!).

Some of us spend our ‘extra’ money buying imported goods.  Typically the food sold in the local expat grocery store is at a very high price, prices you would never pay if you were living in your home country.  But because of the ‘extra’ money that many international school teachers have while living abroad, we can afford buying these products. Well we can often buy these high-priced products, but maybe not live on these products!

So what are ou spending your ‘extra’ money on while living abroad?  With the appeal of being able to travel to most places in the world and being able to go out to eat more often, it is indeed difficult to save your ‘extra’ money at times.  According to the survey results though, there are some international school teachers that are saving their money.  Some schools actually force you to save in a way, when they transfer part of your salary into your home country bank account while they transfer another part into your local bank account.  Typically you can live on the money transferred into your local account, letting you save the money in your home country bank account very easily and make is ‘less accessible’ to spend too!

To save or not to save…that is the question!

New Survey: Where are you spending your “extra” money while teaching abroad?

A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  Where are you spending your “extra” money while teaching abroad?

You tell your old teacher-friends from your home country about it.  It is the one thing you can boast about as it is not so common probably in your home country: A teacher having “extra” money.  International school teachers really do have an opportunity (in most placements) to be making “extra” money, some placements more than others.

Because you typically don’t need to have a car and sometimes don’t need to pay for your rent (among many other things that take a big cut out of your paycheck each month), international school teachers have some discretionary income for sure.  In some international schools, the percentage of your income that is discretionary can be over 50%!

Most teachers I know specifically go into the International School Community to make money.  Many of us have a good opportunity to make this extra money and then are able to do what we really would like to do with our lives.  Now this could mean many things to different people, thus our survey question.

Do you like to spend your extra money on traveling, new clothes (or getting them make for you) and going out to eat all the time?

Or maybe you are teaching abroad to increase the money in you savings account in your home country?

Are there any international school teachers out there donating their extra earnings?

On www.internationalschoolcommunity.com, each school profile page has a topic under the City section that is specifically about the places you can go and spend your extra money.  It is called:

Places, markets and stores where you can find really good deals.


Copenhagen International School

We have another topic on each school profile page under the Travel section that is specifically about how much traveling costs in that city in the world.  It is called:

Sample travel airfares from host city airport to destinations nearby.


American School of Barcelona

Finally, if you are into saving money while teaching abroad at international schools, we have a topic in our Benefits section on each school profile page about saving potential. It is called:

Average amount of money that is left to be saved

American School of Asuncion

There have been 100s of comments and information already submitted in these topics on numerous school profile pages on our website.  Log-on today to check out the latest comments related to how teachers are spending their “extra” money while teaching abroad.  If you currently work at or have worked at an international school, please also log-on and share what you know about how you and your colleagues spend their extra money.

So, Where are you spending your “extra” money while teaching abroad?  Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!  You can check out the latest voting results here.

Survey results are in: How important is it to be able to communicate in the local language in your current placement?

The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community who voted think that it is basically not so important to be able to communicate in the local language at their current placement.

Of course, knowing the local language is important.  We all know how closely related a language is to the culture that uses it.  On the other hand, how much can native speakers of English “get-away with” not communicating in the local language and only speaking English?  It is getting easier and easier it seems in many locations in the world.

So let’s say you are living in a place where it is very important to be able to communicate in the local language.  Do you have the “gift” of language learning?  Most likely you are thinking that all the other people around you have the gift and you don’t!  It is the argument that people (e.g. international school teachers) to talk about often and at length: can all people learn 2nd languages as an adult or is it just some people who have the gift and can do it much more “easily”?

It is always a topic of discussion for an expat and their other expat colleagues; your colleagues ability to learn (or not learn) the local language.  You often hear us saying to each other: “wow you are very good at (local language)!” or “You are studying a lot it seems and it is paying off” or “I wish I could speak as good as you.”  These comments or observations may or may not be exactly true, but it is definitely our perception of other expats around us and we are very sensitive to this issue due to our own ability or or lack of ability to communicate in the local language.

You might say it is important in every location to know the local language; it can greatly enhance your experience living in a culture and part of the world that is unknown to you. Even if the need isn’t there to be able to communicate in the local language, most of us want to put forth our best effort to learn it and not just give up so easily.  Taking risks, going outside of your comfort zone, and being willing to make mistakes would be part of a philosophy that a successful 2nd language learner would adopt.  Some countries even provide you with free language classes as a new immigrant there paid for by the local government.  That would make it even easier for you to take on this challenge to acquire another language.

Have you been in the following situation though?  One day you walk into a store in your current placement.  You start talking in the local language.   The person working at the store just immediately talks back to you in English.  Then the next day you walk into the same store, but different worker.  You ask if they know English.  The person says yes and proceeds to give you a lecture on how you should learn the local language and try and speak it.

Sometimes it seems like you can’t win some days.  Local people in other countries kind of act the same in this regards.  It doesn’t matter where you are, the locals definitely have their opinion about the second language learning abilities of the immigrants living there and how they should be able to use the language.  Many times though your exchange is very positive, sometimes too positive…when the local showers you with compliments about your ability giving you a false sense of your true ability in the language.  It is all a matter of opinion sometimes.  One local might think you are good, another one not so much.

I have even been in some countries (where there is a relatively small population speaking a certain language), and they just tell me “well it is not so useful to learn our language, you might as well just stay with communicating in English as all people here can speak it.” Funny that!

One International School Community member said: “On my current assignment in Copenhagen, I technically do speak the local language, since English is ubiquitous. However, I find it difficult to learn Danish as there is little opportunity to practice given my full time commitment to speaking English at work and taking on-line classes at night. On previous assignments in Japan and Bosnia and Herzegovina, I found not learning the language to be a stumbling block to communication and true understanding. Ultimately, learning the local language helped to further my interests to open up rich conversation about culture as well as to make a connection with others. I’ve noticed this helpful both inside and outside the classroom.”

One final question then is how do you respond to the 2nd language learners of English in your home country (if that is indeed an English-speaking country)?  Surely, now you can relate better to their situation and be more sensitive to their ability level in English (if it is low).

In conclusion, what does the future hold for being able to communicate in the local language in your current placement in the future?  Maybe we will see there being even a lesser need to be able to communicate in the local language, maybe in some locations in the world you will need to know the local language even more.  How important is it to you in your current placement? Does your international school specifically look for teachers who are able to communicate in their local language?  Some international schools do consider it to be important if you are at a school that has a high population of local students whose parents don’t speak English very well.  Please share your comments about your current placement and how you use (or don’t need to use) the local language.

New Survey: How important is it to be able to communicate in the local language in your current placement?

A new survey has arrived!

Topic:  How important is it to be able to communicate in the local language in your current placement?

We all dream of becoming fluent in the local language of the place at which we are living, but it is not as easy task…well for most people.  I know international school teachers that have only lived in their city for two years and they are pretty fluent in the local language in my opinion.  We all secretly hate these people.  Then there are teachers who have lived in their city for more than 8 years, and they still don’t really speak the local language fluently enough to have friends that only can speak that language to them.

When that is the case (you are not able to do many things in the local language), it is important to know what the English language abilities of the local people are.  In some cities (for example in Scandinavia) most people speak English at a fairly high level.  In other cities (for example in China) most of the locals aren’t able to speak English at a high level (with many of them not knowing any English).

Each city is different, even within the same country.  In turn, let’s (international school teachers) share with each other what the language abilities of the locals are with each other; what is it really like when living in that city.

On www.internationalschoolcommunity.com we have a topic under the City section that is specifically about sharing information about the language abilities of the locals.  It is called: Languages of the host city and the level of English spoken there.


American School of Barcelona

There have been 100s of comments and information already submitted in this topic on numerous school profile pages on our website.  Log-on today to check out the latest comments related to the language of the host country people in the cities that have international schools that interest you most.  If you currently work at or have worked at an international school, please also log-on and share what you know about the English language abilities of the locals in your host country.

So, how important is it to be able to communicate in the local language in your current placement?  Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today!  You can check out the latest voting results here.

Survey results are in: How much does your school pay for your housing benefits?

The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community don’t receive any housing allowance at all in their current placement at the international school at which they work.  The survey also shows though that there are just about the same number of teachers that are receiving housing benefits with many getting the rent and all utilities paid for by their school.

Some of my international school teacher friends don’t get any housing allowance, namely those that are living in Western Europe.  The ones that aren’t getting a housing allowance in these countries in Europe have a variety of different salaries too which is important to note.  Those in schools on the Mediterranean have lower salaries and many have to actually have a roommate so that they can more easily afford the local rent.  Those international school teachers working in Switzerland and in Scandinavian countries have higher salaries and are able to live more comfortably in a nice apartment all by themselves.  In turn, if your school doesn’t offer a housing benefit to you, then make sure to do your research on the local rental situation in the city that you will be living in.  Also, make sure that you look at your actual monthly salary and minus the rent that you will have to pay.  Then you will get a good indicator on what your actual salary will be after you pay your monthly rent bill.  After you deduct the costs of the rent, you still might come out fairly well when you compare your school with other international schools that actually offer housing benefits.

Which brings us to the international schools that do offer housing benefits.  How cool is it to not have to pay for your housing?  Without having to pay for your rent, you definitely have a different mindset about your money and how you spend it while living abroad.  If you don’t have a rent payment each month, you can more easily travel sometimes, you can go out to eat more often, and take taxis everywhere through out the city.  Basically the rest of the regions of the world are offering some sort of housing benefit: SE Asia, Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, South America, Caribbean, Central America, etc…They do vary though from region to region and whether they include the costs of your utilities or not.  All things to make sure you understand completely when considering a placement in these areas.  The quality of housing varies as well from region to region and city to city, even the housing that is available more for the expats living there.  Many times too, if your housing is included, you will most likely be living in already furnished housing.  Do you enjoy living in an apartment with used furniture (sometimes quite old, ugly-looking and rundown)?  Some international school teachers enjoy the fact that they don’t have to buy furniture during their placement (and have to worry about getting rid of it/selling it when they leave).  Some teachers though enjoy collecting/buying their own furniture, thus possibly having a more “homey” feeling in their home.

So, what does the future hold for the kind of housing benefits that will dominate in the future for international schools in 2013?  Maybe we will see less international schools offering this benefit, maybe some will offer it more.  How important is it to you, the housing benefits, when considering a job at an international school? Some consider it the most important as your rent is usually the biggest chunk of your monthly expenses.  Without that payment to make each month, you have much more money to spend on other things….namely traveling!