International Schools - where to start?

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International Schools - where to start?

Unread post by mirros » 10 Jul 2010, 10:15

Hi all, I'm seeking advice from anyone with experience or knowledge in International Schools.

I've been reading this forum with great interest, trying to ascertain if the teaching abroad life is for me.

I'm a qualified high school teacher with three years full-time experience in Australia. English is one of my teaching subjects. I'm looking at getting TEFL qualified this year.

I have often thought of getting TEFL-qualified and travelling around exotic countries teaching English. In theory, the idea really appeals to me. However, now that I'm a bit older and wiser (particularly after having read this forum), I'm still not sold on it. I don't know if the hassle of dodgy companies, low-paying schools, difficult visas and high-risk is for me - particularly since I would be doing this solo. And female.

I can't help but feel that an International school is a safer way to go. From what I have read, my qualifications are good enough to give me a chance, at least, at high-end positions like this. I don't have IB qualifications, which i imagine would be a bonus. But, I'm not sure how to go about starting?

Specific questions:
*I've visited a few different internationals schools as a student, and my understanding is they operate generally the same as Western private schools - where are you are teaching your specialised subject area to native English speakers. Is my impression correct?
*Am i correct in thinking that they're a safer, more legitimite option?
*What has people's experience been like as a teacher/administrator/parent there?
*Where do i hunt for jobs? Should I contact schools directly, or are there reputable organisations that gather job notices together?
*Is TEFL/TESOL a general requirement at internationals schools?

I appreciate any help or advice you are able to throw my way!
Thanks in advance.


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Re: International Schools - where to start?

Unread post by Lucy » 11 Jul 2010, 11:55

hello Mirros,

I haven't taught in the type of school you describe and don't know anybody with that experience. having said that, I'm sure it is an interesting option and one that is worth following up. It would certainly be a different experience to that of teaching in EFL schools.

You could start by choosing the country or city that you are interested in working in. Then do a google search for international schools in that area. You can also contact consulates; they should be able to help you. The Guardian and Times Educational Supplement sometimes carry this type of job ad. Another alternative is to teach in schools on military bases. There are schools set up for the children of members of the armed forces abroad. This would be a different experience; it all depends on what you want to do.

As for qualifications that are needed, I really don't know. I'm sure if you look around and contact the schools directly, you'll find out what qualifications and experience are needed.

All the best,


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Re: International Schools - where to start?

Unread post by jeffreyrod » 03 Mar 2011, 14:47

If you are looking for an exotic place then I don't have a suggestion for you, but if you're looking for a great place to teach and live then I suggest you look at Canada! You could be teaching EFL in all provinces, even in Quebec where most of the population is French but where English is a very important thing and most people are bilingual. Quebec might not be exotic or anything, the winters are very cold, but it's such a beautiful place! Quebec City is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the people are great and I really wouldn't live anywhere else, except maybe at the beach :p. Although, there is somewhat of an exotic place in Canada, the province of British Columbia is a pretty special place. It`s very nice and warm in the summer and the winters are gentle, there's the Pacific ocean to one side and the beautiful Rockies on the other. And it's only a 2-hour boat ride to California!

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