Archive

Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

We now have over 7000 comments and information on International School Community: Membership Promotion of 20% off all subscriptions!

International School Community is celebrating the over 7000 comments and information which have now been posted on our website!  Currently, we are at 7068!

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 6.57.00 PMInternational School Community’s website launched back in February 2011.  When our first newsletter came out in May 2011, we only had 71 posted comments and information.  Lately, during the past 3-4 months, we have been getting between 100-400 new comments and information submitted each month.  We hope this trend continues!  The more members we have, the more people we have sharing what they know about life working at international schools.

To celebrate, all members can use the coupon code, 7000COMMENTS, to get 20% off of their next premium membership subscription.

With the coupon code:
•  1 month is only 8 USD
•  6 months is only 16 USD
•  1 year is only 24 USD!

Take advantage of this special deal now as this coupon code is valid only until 16 February, 2013.

As a premium member, you can search our vast collection of international school profile pages to find that specific international school you want to know about. You can also search our member profiles and send a private message to a member to get firsthand information about a school that member has worked at.

All premium members also have unlimited access to view all the comments and information that have been submitted so far on our school profile pages.  Being that the focus of our website is to serve the international school teaching community by providing real and useful information about international schools, we have specifically organized our website to promote our members to leave comments and information that are useful for everyone.  The comments are specifically designed to talk about what an international school teacher would want to know.  International School Community really wants to take writing comments and sharing information about international schools to the next level.  Log-on now to check out who our current members are and the latest comments and information submitted about international schools from all over the world!

We now have over 1000 members on International School Community: Membership Promotion of 50% off all subscriptions!

It is a time of celebration for International School Community as we now have over 1000 members on our website!

International School Community’s website launched back in February 2011.  When our first newsletter came out in May 2011, we only had 49 members!  Lately, during the past 3-4 months, we have been getting over 100 people signing up to become members each month.  We hope this trend continues!  The more members we have, the more people we have sharing what they know about life working at international schools.

International School Community’s goal is to be the largest online community for international schools educators.  Our website provides a useful, informative and celebratory environment for networking with other international school teachers and learning about different international schools around the world.

We wanted to create a website that would highlight the ins and outs of the international school educator profession and working at international schools (the benefits, the school itself, the city and travel information, etc.). Most of us got into this field because we strive to explore and experience different parts of the world firsthand.  However, we also got into this field for a multitude of other reasons: career, money, love, etc.

Another major goal for this website is to provide experienced teachers the platform to share what they know so that prospective and seasoned international school teachers can make more informed decisions as they venture out to a new international school.  Making connections and gathering information about international schools in our community has never been easier!  Whether you are looking to make new friends, network with other international school teachers or learn more about the wonderful world of teaching at international schools, International School Community is the place to be.

We want members to provide real information that is specific; information that is related to all the different topics we need to know about before signing a contract. International School Community offers more up-to-date information in a highly organized, easy-to-use manner.

You can search our vast collection of international school profile pages to find that specific international school you want to know about. You can also search our member profiles and be able to find a contact to send a private message to so that you can get firsthand information about a school that member has worked at. We also offer a vast amount of information and links related to the world of teaching at international schools and education in general via our blog.  While the focus of the site is to serve the international school teaching community by providing real and useful information about international schools, we have specifically organized our website to promote our members to leave comments and information that are useful for everyone.  Enjoy being an active member on this website and help yourself and others to continue on in the international school community.

We strive to have the largest collection of resources and services for the international teaching community.  International School Community really wants to take writing reviews and comments about international schools to the next level.  So, give us a chance! If you really have an interest in what this community has to offer, we promise you will not be disappointed with us!!

Here are what some of our current members are saying about International School Community:

“It’s really useful…it’s a really good way to find out practical info about schools when you’re looking for jobs. If you are interested in particular schools, you can just contact any member from that school to find out insider info! It’s also good if you just want to find out what life is like for teachers in other cities! Really unique idea!” (An international teacher in China)

“International School Community is a great resource for international school teachers. Whether you are doing research for a new job, or just connecting with other teachers, this site is has a plethora of great information. I especially love that this site has a positive feel to it, rather than a place for teachers to vent. I really recommend registering to be a part of this great idea.” (An international teacher in South Korea)

“You have an amazingly wonderful website and seeing these comments is extremely helpful to me.” (A teacher looking to teach abroad at international schools)

As we move forward making International School Community the website to go to when looking for information about working at international schools, we are currently working on our new website.  It is filled with many updates and new features!  Here is a sneak peak of our new homepage:

Join us today and receive 1 month free of premium membership.  If you are already a member enjoy a 50% off coupon when you renew your current subscription: HALFOFF912.  Just log on to your account, click on the My Account tab, then click on the “renew your subscription” link, enter in the code and you will get 50% off of the subscription you choose.  So, that is only $5 for one month, $10 for six months and only $15 for one year!  (This coupon code and promotion will expire on the 22nd of September, 2012.)

International School Community Newsletter v2011.08 – 10 December, 2011

Site Stats:
Current members: 195 ( 23)
School profiles
: 985 ( 30)
Blog entries
: 152 ( 25)
Posted comments & info
:
1677 ( 250)
Facebook likes: 118 ( 13)
Twitter followers: 206 ( 11)


School Profile Search Result #1:

Only on International School Community will you be able to search for the perfect international school for you. Utilizing the School Profile Search feature on International School Community, you can search for the perfect school using up to 8 different criteria.
Search Result #1

Criteria chosen:
1. Region of the world (All)
2. Curriculum (USA)
3. School Nature (Non-Profit)
4. No. of students (Medium: 300-700)
5. Country (All)
6. Year founded (16-50 Years Old)
7. Kinds of students (Mostly International)
8. Size of city (Medium: 750K-3 Million)

Check out the results of this example search on our blog!


New members:

·Gary Conomos
(North Pine Christian College)
·jltassie Anderson
(Anglo American School of Sofia)
·Jennifer Kim
(Korea International School)
·Becky Galvan
(A’takamul International School)
·Cory Greenberg
(Copenhagen International School)
·Damir Tejic
(International School of Beijing)


Current Survey Topic:

Vote here!


Member spotlight:


Jo Hughson

I worked at SRIS for three years. I taught Grade One and Grade Two in the time that I spent there. SRIS had a fantastic and diverse range of teachers that I felt privileged to work with. I learned a lot from them…”

Check out the rest of her interview on our blog here.  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!


v2011.08 – 10 December, 2011:

The holiday break is nearly upon us!  Is it cold where you live right now? It is for most people in the northern hemisphere.  There are though however some of us that are working in locations closer to the equator, and their weather must be quite nice right now.  Some of us farther away from the equator have already taken out our winter jacket and even have progressed to the “heavier” winter jacket this past week.

So, the big question is: Why did we choose to work here?  And that question is mostly directed towards the weather of your current location.  The local people where you are living probably say to you, “Out of all the places you could have chosen from (In their mind…Barbados, Thailand, Rome, etc.), how is it possible that you have chosen this cold, miserable place?  What they don’t realize is that some of us actually prefer to be in a place that has four distinct seasons.  Some of us like like the snow!

There are many reasons to move to another country: Money, Travel, Love, Career, etc.  We must be honest (not usually in an interview though) and admit that moving to another country based on its climate is very important for most international school teachers.  That is why International School Community has included a category under the City Section on the school profile pages about climate: Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year.  Here is an example:

Right now there are 38 comments and information that have been submitted in this category on a number of international school profile pages on our website.

Feel free to make your own searches (both close to the equator and farther away from the equator, depending on your preference!) for international schools based on your criteria on International School Community.  Members with premium membership are able to do unlimited searches on our website.  If you are already a member, you can easily renew your subscription on your profile page.  If you are not a member, become a member today and get 1 month free of premium membership.

With regards to our current members, International School Community’s members work at or have worked at 84 international schools! Check out which schools here.

 


Recently updated schools:

· 09 Dec  International School of Ouagadougou  (7 new comments)
(Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)
“Settling-in allowance is 600 USD, you get around 2000 USD for a flight home every year. Other benefits are French lessons, a car loan and recruitment leave…”· 09 Dec  Bahrain Bayan School (6 new comments)
(Isa Town, Bahrain)
“It is important to note that female teachers applying are unable to sponsor their dependent husband and children. The age limit for hiring is 58 years old. The school retirement age is 60, so they usually don’t hire people close to that age…”

· 08 Dec  The American School of Kinshasa  (4 new comments)
(Kinshasa, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the)
“TASOK is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The School was re-accredited in 2008…”

· 08 Dec  Dasman Model School (7 new comments)
(Kuwait City, Kuwait)
“The school offers a bilingual program for students in grades K to 12. DMS has a fully self-contained Special Needs Division within the main school…”

· 08 Dec  Thai-Chinese Int’l School Bangkok (7 new comments)

(Bangkok, Thailand)
“Tuition for 2 children studying at TCIS is free although there are annual student supply fees of Baht 15,000+ / child to be paid by teacher for education materials, PreK-Gr2 lunch/snacks, insurance upgrades, year books, ID card, and graduation…”

(Click here for the last 40 schools to be updated with new comments)


Recent blog entries:

· Out of the thousands of international schools, people ask me why did I choose to work here?
“One year you are thinking that Asia is the place for you to move to the following school year, but then suddenly you open your eyes and you are actually in South America…”

· Educators Overseas: Helping teachers secure a job teaching abroad.
“There are many ways to secure a teaching job at an international school.  The website Educators Overseas also offers such a service.  Here is what they have to say about their philosophy of helping candidates find the “right fit” in their search to teach abroad…”

· The Wonderful World of Int’l School Hiring Fairs: Lesson #4 – “Being yourself is better, come what may, than trying to be someone else.”
“Even worse is when you realize mid-interview that you are indeed not the “best fit” as you had hoped you would be for that international school you have been wanting to work at that in the city you really had been wanting to live in…”

· Great resource: Association of International Schools in Africa
“Curious about what international schools there are in Africa?  The Association of International Schools in Africa website has 100s of international schools listed that are found in many of the African countries…”

· Comments and information about salaries on International School Community #2 (Hangzhou Int’l School, American School of Bcn & Int’l School of KL)
“Our reps are in the process of renegotiation our salaries. It is a difficult time in Spain right now, so it is not likely we will get much of a raise. The board is focusing on…”


Recently added schools:


Requested schools to be reviewed:


This last month we have had visits from 73 countries around the world!


International School Community News v2011.06 – 9 October, 2011

Site Stats:
Current members: 151
School profiles: 897
Blog entries: 105
Posted comments & info: 1079
Facebook likes: 91
Twitter followers: 169

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


Recently updated schools:

· 09 Oct  Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (5 new comments)
(Lisbon, Portugal)
“The general allowance for all the shipping, baggage, flight, etc…is 2,250 USD, which is also taxed and reimbursed in Euros….”· 08 Oct  German-American International School (2 new comments)
(Menlo Park, United States)
“The settling-in allowance is 1000 U.S. dollars and the airfare allowance is the same amount as well but the flight is only for the start of the contract….”· 08 Oct  International School of Kigali  (7 new comments)
(Kigali, Rwanda)
“There are 21 full-time faculty, 1 classroom assistant and a Director who represent diverse nationalities. Nine nationalities are represented. Teachers are predominately from the US, with the UK, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Kenya…”

· 08 Oct  Nishimachi International School (7 new comments)
(Tokyo, Japan)
“The school has a retirement plan, but it is only available to teachers after 3 years of service…”

· 06 Oct  Universal American School (6 new comments)
(Hawalli, Kuwait)
“The school year comprises two semesters (four nine-week quarters of a 4X4 “accelerated block” schedule) between late August and early-June….”

(Click here for the last 40 schools to be updated with new comments)


Recent blog entries:

· 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…”


Recently added schools:



Requested schools to be reviewed
:


This last month we have had visits from 60 countries around the world!


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!


New members:

·Slc Chu (International School Singapore)
·Eli Mouland (Canada)
·Josselyn van der Pol (Berlin Brandenburg International School)
·Ian Lally (John F. Kennedy School Berlin)
·Anastasia AnastasiaV (The International School of Moscow)


Current Survey Topic:

Vote here!


Member spotlight:

Taylor Smith

“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!


Highlighted Link
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.

School profile highlights #8: Yokohama Int’l School, Brent School Manila and Dhahran Ahliyya Schools

Members of International School Community have written some new and informative comments and information on the following schools:

Yokohama International School  (4 new comments):

New information or comment: “In 2000, YIS became the first school in Japan to offer the Reggio Emilia programme for the early learners, and a year later became the first school in Japan authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme.”

__________________________________________________________________________

Brent School Manila (4 new comments):

New information or comment: “There are 296 full-time employees at Brent International School Manila. Faculty members are credentialed teachers. Many have earned a Master’s Degree.”

__________________________________________________________________________

Dhahran Ahliyya Schools (4 new comments):

New information or comment: “The Local Transportation Allowance is SR.600 for all employees who receive the allowance. Its purpose is to help with the costs of local transportation. It is paid throughout the year including periods of vacation and is included in the termination benefits.”

School profile highlights #3: El Plantio International School Valencia, WIS of Shanghai and American School of BCN

Members of International School Community have written some new and informative comments on the following schools:


El Plantio International School Valencia: “Teachers have the opportunity to coordinate subjects and to go on professional development courses which are related to their subject area and are designed to support teachers working in international schools.”


Western Int’l School of Shanghai: “Primary is capped at 18 kids. WISS is becoming a very favourable school in Shanghai and it deserves to be in that position. The class sizes are swelling. Mine full.”


American School of Barcelona
:
“They just got a new soccer field. Before it was this desert with only sand everywhere. Check out their website for a video of the official induction of their new field. The video is cool and the field looks and is amazing.”

School profile pages on International School Community: 4 comment sections and 3 survey sections

Each school profile page on International School Community has 4 sections: School, Benefits, City and Travel.  In each of those 4 categories, there are comment sections (see below) where members can leave firsthand information about what it is like working at a specific school.  3 categories (School, Benefits, and City) have survey sections (see below) where you can submit your votes on topics related to that category.  3 categories (School, Benefits and City) also have photo uploading features.

Our goal is for our members to submit real information that is very specific so that prospective teachers can make better, more informed decisions as they consider working at an international school.  International School Community has organized each school profile page to reflect each important aspect of the lives of international school teachers.  We have also organized it in a way to make it easier and faster to find the information you want to know about.

If you are a current member, please take a moment to share what you know about the school you currently work at or about the schools that you have worked at in the past.  If you aren’t a member just yet, join now today!

SCHOOL INFO – OPEN TEXT BOXES:
• What type/s of accreditation does this school have? When is the accreditation up for renewal? Any religious affiliations?
• Recent things that the school has taken on (i.e. new curriculum, specific professional development, etc.).
• Describe their hiring policies. Which recruiting fairs do they go to? How do they typically hire (e.g. face-to-face interview, Skype, etc.)? Are there any hiring restrictions mandated by the country?
• Describe school’s location in relation to the city center and to the teachers’ housing.
• Are the expectations high of teaching staff? Describe workload details.
• Average class size for primary and secondary.  Describe any aid support.
• Describe language abilities of students at this school and what is the “common language spoken in the hallways”?
• Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate.
• What types of budgets to classroom teachers/departments get?
• PARENTS ONLY – General comments from parents of students that go to this school.

SCHOOL INFO – SURVEY TOPICS:
– General behavior of the students
– Method of teacher appraisal
– Human resources and Business Department
– Effectiveness of administration
– School visions/commitment/curriculum use
– Current staff morale indicator
– New teacher orientation
– Teacher collegiality
– Effectiveness of board or school decision makes
– Quality of school building and campus
– Quality of resources currently available at the school
– Support services (EAL, SEN, Mother Tongue Programs, etc…)

BENEFITS INFO – OPEN TEXT BOXES:
• Average monthly salary after taxes and in what currency (explain taxation situation). How often do you get paid throughout the year?
• Details about the staff housing or the housing allowance.  If there is no housing allowance, how much are rent costs and utilities?
• Average amount of money that is left to be saved.
• Detailed info about flight, shipping and settling-in allowances.
• Health insurance and medical benefits.
• Ways to make extra money (tutoring, afterschool activities, etc.).
• Information about benefits for teachers with dependents.
• Professional development allowance details.
• Pension plan.
• Describe your experience bringing pets.
• How do the school’s benefits compare to other international schools in the area/city?
• Explain how salaries are decided (e.g. is there a pay schedule? extra step for masters degree? Annual pay raises?).

BENEFITS INFO – SURVEY TOPICS:
– Cost of living in relation to the salary.
– Does the school pay staff on time?
– School’s help and guidance regarding work visas.
– Possibility of living here with a non-working partner on one salary.

CITY INFO – OPEN TEXT BOXES:
• Name your favorite restaurants, favorite places to go to and favorite things to do in the city.
• Locations in the city geared towards the expat lifestyle (grocery stores, bars, etc.).
• Sample prices for food, transportation, average hourly rates for a housekeeper, etc.
• Detailed info about lifestyles: singles vs. couples, gay vs. straight, nightlife vs. quiet and big city vs nature.
• Languages of the host city and the level of English spoken there.
• Sample activities, classes and clubs for teachers with children.
• Describe the city’s weather at different times of the year.
• Places, markets and stores where you can find really good deals.

CITY INFO – SURVEY TOPICS:
– In general, how do you like living in this city?
– Availability and quality of local healthcare
– Temperament of locals towards foreigners
– Cost and efficiency of the public transportation
– Stability of local area and country
– Potential of making friends with locals and other expats outside of the school

TRAVEL INFO – OPEN TEXT BOXES:
• 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 are also photo uploading sections for 3 out of the 4 sections:
PHOTO UPLOAD FOR CITY SECTION – “upload pictures of the city”
PHOTO UPLOAD FOR SCHOOL SECTION – “upload pictures of the school”
PHOTO UPLOAD FOR BENEFITS SECTION – “upload pictures of sample teacher housing”