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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.

International School Community Member Spotlight #16: Patty Sanchez (An international teacher currently working at American School of Barcelona)

Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Patty Sanchez:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I come from California and moved to Barcelona 10 years ago with the sole intention of exposing myself to a new culture.  I landed my first job as a teacher two weeks after arriving in August 2001. I got really lucky to have found a job so soon after coming here without any contacts. It was an intense two years working at a private Catholic school while adapting to a culture I had read about in my college history classes.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

After my second year I returned to California and taught ninth grade English. It was one my happiest years of teaching. I married my Catalan husband and returned to Spain and decided I would work in an international setting.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

I currently work at The American School of Barcelona. It’s a great place to work because the school environment is friendly and many of the teachers become an extension of your family. The school is progressive in its plan to prepare students with a well rounded academic experience with social issues and with an academic future. It’s a school where students feel safe and capable to accomplish their future success as students. We have really great teachers leading students with the tools they need to reason and investigate information surrounding everyday issues.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

At El Prat Airport in Barcelona immigration agents talked away while looking briefly at my passport and stamped it without saying anything to me. The agent just waved her hand gesturing I could pass to baggage claims. This would never happen in America. Agents in the U.S. quiz you about your city of birth, your middle name, your whereabouts, etc., until you start squirming and wonder if you indeed are American.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

If I had to look for a job in a new country, I would take into account salary and the location of the school. Is it in a safe area? Can I have a normal life outside of school? How much is the cost of living? Can I afford to live on my own on the salary I would be earning? Can I afford to travel after rent and utility bills? These would be the questions to take into account if you are looking to live abroad.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Make the best of it.

Thanks Patty! Also, check out her blog about her travels and life living abroad as an expat here.

If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Want to teach at an international school in Spain like Patty?  Currently, we have 25 international schools listed in Spain on International School Community.  Many of the international schools there have had comments and information submitted about them on our website:

American School of Barcelona (79 Comments)
Benjamin Franklin Int’l School (13 Comments)
American School Valencia (7 Comments)
Sotogrande International School (6 Comments)
British School of Alicante (3 Comments)
El Plantio International School Valencia (4 Comments)
King’s College – The British School of Madrid (3 Comments)

International School Community Member Spotlight #15: Tara Moore (An international teacher currently working at Colegio Granadino)

Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Tara Moore:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

My name is Tara Moore.  I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada and for the last eleven years I lived in Ajax, Ontario Canada.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

I graduated from Teacher’s College in 1995 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and there were no jobs for new teachers.  I had already volunteered overseas at the Baha’i World Centre in Israel for 18 months and spent 6 months volunteering in East Africa and the Baltics so I thought that International teaching made perfect sense.  I subscribed to The International Educator (TIE) and applied to several positions.  Within 3 – 4 months The American School of Guatemala hired me.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

I have worked at The American School of Guatemala and Colegio Granadino.  The American School of Guatemala was quite large and as I was teaching high school the students were fully bilingual.  The English classes only had fifteen students so I found that it was much easier to give the students one on one attention and really get to know them.

At Colegio Granadino the staff and students are very laid back. The students are really helpful and love to give advice as to which hairdresser I should go to and where I should do my shopping.  It is really easy to develop a relationship with the students, which is what they want as Colombia is very family/friend-centric.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

One of the things that amuses me in Manizales is how inquisitive people are here.  I am very fair and my four year old daughter is biracial with brown hair and skin.  When we are out together people stop me to ask if she is Colombian, where I adopted her and how long I have had her.  I find it funny because these are questions that people in Canada would think but certainly would not ask.  Also, people here are amazed that she can speak two languages as there are very few English speakers here and almost no young children who can speak English.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

I look for a smaller school in a smaller city.  I do not enjoy huge cities and quality of life outside of school is just as important as within.  I also want to know the average stay of the expat teachers because if there is too much turn over, for me that is a warning sign.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Challenging, enriching, frustrating, reflective, confirming

Thanks Tara!  If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Want to teach at an international school in Colombia like Tara?  Currently, we have 15 international schools listed in Colombia on International School Community.  Many of the international schools there have had comments and information submitted about them on our website:

Colegio Anglo Colombiano (8 Comments)
Colegio Granadino Manizales (22 Comments)
Colegio Nueva Granada (14 Comments)
Colegio Panamericano (23 Comments)
Columbus School Medellin (17 Comments)
Colegio Karl C. Parrish (17 Comments)
Colegio Albania (19 Comments)
Fundacion Liceo Ingles, Pereira (21 Comments)

International School Community Member Spotlight #14: Carol Craig (An international teacher currently working in Nairobi, Kenya)

Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Carol Craig:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I started teaching when I was forty and realized after about 6 years working in RI and CT that if I wanted to make enough money to save anything I would have to go overseas to do it.  I also found that teachers in the U.S. were ill-treated in their school districts and that kids and parents were running the show in education stateside.  I had come out of sales and engineering fields where I was accustomed to being respected in my fields.  I started teaching math and science to educate young people about climate change and other important factors about the world around them.  I have lived all over the U.S. and always loved adventure, so I was a perfect candidate for being an overseas teacher.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

I heard about a job fair coming to Boston and decided to see what it was all about and low and behold, I got hired at my #1 choice in the Caribbean and off I went the next year.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

I have worked at a school in Port of Spain, Trinidad ( International School of Port of Spain) and then in Cairo at an all Egyptian school called Misr American College and now we are in Nairobi (Aga Khan Academy Mombasa).

All of the schools have been wonderful and fun.  Each of them had their own unique reasons for being such. For instance, I am a scuba diver and living on a Caribbean island allowed me to dive occasionally.  I have been to Grenada 3 times and to Tobago many times since I first started coming here.  I also met my husband while at this post and we just celebrated our third anniversary.  He is a local island man and has now shared many new and exciting adventures with me as a trailing spouse of an overseas teacher.  We spent an exciting two years in Egypt and even lived through the uprising/revolution there.  During our stay there we traveled all over Egypt taking a Nile River cruise, climbing Mt. Sinai and diving in the Red Sea, just to name a few of the adventures.  There were so many places to visit that we never went anywhere else during our time there.  We still have some spots that we did not get to, but when the contract ended, we came home to Trinidad for one year while he worked and I wrote a book.  Now we are in Kenya for a new adventure.  I had done summer volunteer work for four years in a row here when I first started teaching, so I have had experience with this part of the world.  There is still so much to see and do; it is a great country to live in.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

The cultural encounter that put a smile on my face was when I discovered a new roadside produce stand and I filled my canvas bag with an assortment of lovely fruits and vegetables which would have cost around $20US back home, but was only around $2.50 ~ Yea!

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

I look for a school that has a reasonable student/teacher ratio, I look at information on the standard of living based on salary, I look to see if housing is included, I read other teacher’s opinions about the school through websites like this (I do take comments with a grain of salt as more complainers tend to post vs. contented employees), I ask other overseas teachers what they know about a school I may be applying to.  I also talk to my director if he/she is someone who has worked the circuit.  I go to a myriad of websites to see what the new location is like economically, politically, and what there is to do from a sightseeing standpoint.  I ask a lot of questions during an interview regarding the teaching venue, the curriculum, the technology that is available and the extra-curricular expectations.  Is there medical insurance and also adequate medical facilities available?  What are some of the other benefits that I can expect?  Will there be an orientation and someone available to help us get settled into life at the new location?  What are the travel arrangements and also what visa requirements are there?  There is a lot to ask when getting ready to move overseas.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Exciting adventure of a lifetime!

Thanks Carol!  If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Want to teach at an international school in Kenya like Carol?  Currently, we have 9 international schools listed in Kenya on International School Community:

Aga Khan Academy Mombasa
St. Austin’s Academy Nairobi
Braeburn Mombasa International School
Oshwal Academy
Brookhouse International School
The Banda School
International School of Kenya
Pembroke House
Greensteds International School

International School Community Member Spotlight #13: Anne Llewellyn (An international teacher working in Peru)

Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Anne Llewellyn:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

Portland, OR. I worked as a research scientist with the EPA for several years until the funding dried up.  I then returned to uni for a MEd and a teaching certificate.  Then I said: “Now I am going to see the world”.  I am going to learn all that cultural/language/life I didn’t have time for when studying science.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

I love to learn about different cultures.  I did not want to be just a tourist.  I think everyone deserves a good education.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

China
India
Africa
South America

over 20 years

Traveling to other countries to live and work gave me a perspective on the country, people and culture not possible as a tourist.
Each country and each school has their own insights on teaching and education.
The best part of teaching for me was instilling into my students a knowledge, respect and love of their own country.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

I needed to get some contact lens wetting solution… easy enough in Lima, Peru.  So I went to the local optical shop.  I asked for and got wetting solution.  Then when I asked if the solution contained preservativos I got a very puzzled look from the young man.  It seems that the correct Spanish word is preservanties not preservativos.  I asked is the solution contained condoms!!!!  When told what I had asked for I laughed and laughed!  I will not forget the correct word as long as I live.  I love these kinds of experiences.  They make living in another language/culture/country worth it.

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

Get as much information from other teachers as possible.  Period.  Then make your own decisions.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Fantastic
Educational
Humbling
Expanding
Gratifying

are the 5 words that come to mind.

Thanks Anne!  If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Want to teach at an international school in Peru like Anne?  Currently, we have 6 international schools listed in Peru on International School Community:

Colegio Roosevelt Lima (FDR) [The American School of Lima]
Colegio Peruano Britanico
Hiram Bingham the British International School of Lima
Colegio San Silvestre
International Christian School of Lima
Colegio Trener

International School Community Member Spotlight #11: Sonya terBorg (Riverstone International School)

Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Sonya terBorg:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the South Island of New Zealand.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

A friend told me about Search Associates, I tried it out, loved it and was hooked!

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

Vientiane International School in Laos, Bonn International School in Germany, New International School Thailand (NIST)Yokohama International School in Japan and Riverstone International School in Boise, Idaho, USA.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

For the first time since leaving New Zealand, I have a car.  That also meant taking the driving test again – not only the written test, but the practical portion too!  Boise is a pretty rural place and on the testing day, we were driving around when my instructor pointed out a family of deer off to the side of the road, over the hill a bit.  I wasn’t sure if it was a trick – would she take her eyes off the road? – or if he was just excited to share the local wildlife with this crazy foreigner.  Either way, I played it safe and just nodded and “Hmmmm-ed” enthusiastically.  And passed the test!

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

A great leader is really important to me.  I try and find out about the school leadership so I know that I am putting myself in a position where I feel I will be challenged and encouraged to grow as a learner.  My priorities change a lot sometimes though.  When I got the job at NIST it was my first time as an  Art Specialist – I needed someone who would take a chance on an unknown.  For my current job, it was my first time ‘hunting’ for work as part of a couple so options for my husband to work were high on the list.  Now we have a third member of our family, our dog, Abby.  Somewhere dog friendly will be a definite requirement for our next move – whenever and wherever that may be!

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

The job of a lifetime.

Thanks Sonya! Want to know more, feel free to check out her blog:

If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Want to teach at an international school in the United States like Sonya?  Currently, we have 37 international schools list in United States on International School Community.  Some of our members have left comments and information on the following schools in this country:

International School of Monterey (12 Comments)
Atlanta International School (4 Comments)
British School of Washington (3 Comments)
The Dwight School (NYC) (3 Comments)
The Newman School MA (4 Comments)
Lycee International School of Los Angeles (2 Comments)
German-American International School (2 Comments)
St. Timothy’s School (4 Comments)

Survey results are in: Which international school recruitment fair have you had the most success at?

The survey results are in, and it seems as if most visitors and members of International School Community have had the most success at the Search Associates international school teacher recruitment fairs.  The survey does show though, that most international school teacher recruitment fairs are providing at least some success for teachers.  With the exception of the Queens fair, the other recruitment fairs seem to be ones to consider going to.  Maybe we will do this survey again in 2013 and see if we get similar results.

There are many reasons why international school teachers decide or not decide to go to a specific recruitment fair, and one of those reasons is to save money.  Even though the international school teacher lifestyle affords us many opportunities and enough salary to travel and to travel often, traveling is still not that cheap.  The price of the flight and the hotel, plus the cost of the recruitment fair itself and also going out to eat each day can add up pretty quickly.  Soon, you are spending 1000s of USD for a 3-4 day “vacation” to a city in the world where you may or may not even score a job that you want.  For this reason, I suppose that is why not many of our visitors have neven been to the Queens fair to have success at it; it is in Canada which is not really close to many of the places where people are working at international schools.  It is a good fair to go though if you are already living in Canada.

What will the future hold though for the chance to interview face-to-face at international school teacher recruitment fairs?  I got my last job completely from over Skype.  I am thinking that is the way to go, and I know that many other international school teachers agree.  To be honest though, I did attend a Search Associates fair a few months before I got offered a different job completely from interviewing over Skype.  I did get offered a job at the Search fair, but I declined it.  I did though make a “vacation” out of the trip to Boston (spending some time with friends in NYC), so all was not lost.

So, what recruitment fairs will be the most successful ones for international school teachers in 2013?  Maybe Search Associates will continue to keep the lead. Maybe more teachers will be hired over Skype and the trend for online interviewing will take over the need to even attend a fair at all.