International Teaching FAQs
The answers to some of our most frequently asked questions
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW?
Accommodation – where would I live?
Most schools provide accommodation in the Middle East and Asia, which can vary from shared accommodation to individual apartments. Some offer housing allowances as an alternative to school housing and will provide you with hotel accommodation for a fixed period until you find your own accommodation. Single teachers often look to share with colleagues for both financial and social reasons.
Benefits – what other help can I get?
Schools often provide assistance with travel. This can vary from annual return flights to start and end of contract. Medical insurance is also something that the majority of schools provide, but the terms of who is covered varies so check if it is employee only / employee and spouse / employee, spouse and school age dependents (1, 2 or 3) there is no set rule.
Contracts – what are the employment terms at International Schools?
1-year or 2-year initial contracts are typically offered when you start at an International School, with the option to extend if agreeable to both parties.
Curriculum – what will I be teaching?
The curriculum varies: we tend to work with International British schools who follow the English National Curriculum or the Cambridge International curriculum. We also work with British schools that follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the International Baccalaureate as well as schemes from Australian, American, Canadian, IB and CBSE (Indian).
CV / Resume – is a photo needed on an international CV?
It’s a classic question and the answer is, it is both allowed and expected so do add a photo because it brings your CV to life. Remember that the CV or resume internationally is your application form so be sure to include photo, contact details (telephone, email and Skype), date of birth, marital status (occupation of spouse if they are travelling with you), number of school age dependents and a striking but brief Personal Statement of 5 or 6 lines.
Include details of your education, degree and/or PGCE as well as giving full detail of your work experience including your role, size of the school, ages taught, subject at what level, school name and location because international employers will not be familiar with your domestic regions and school types. Give your dates of employment and reason for leaving. A table is often preferred and easier to populate.
Do detail your references rather than say they are ‘available on request’ because it saves time if the referee contact details are listed.
Pay – how does the salary compare?
Each school is independent so this is reflected in the salary on offer. Salary often takes into account qualifications and experience and, unlike their UK counterparts, international schools have caught on to the advantages of paying more to attract teachers of ‘shortage or hard to fill’ subjects.
Structure – are the phases the same as in the UK?
Unlike in the UK, the vast majority of international schools are ‘through schools from 3 to 18 and while UK primary teachers teach all subjects, overseas schools tend to have ‘specialist’ teachers for certain subjects such as PE, Music, host religion and languages.
Our top tips
- Do your homework! Read inspection reports on the school, not just blogs.
- Research any specific information on teaching in the Middle East and Asia or any countries where you think customs and expectations may be different.
- Weigh up all the factors when choosing the right role for you. Some countries offer better pay but the living costs are also higher.