How do you know if you’re applying to a good international school?

Finding the right international school job for you

With over 8,000 international schools to choose from, how do you know if a school looks after its staff and students? How do you know if it offers good resources and facilities, provides support for new teachers who have never lived overseas before, and strives for academic excellence? TIC's Recruitment Manager, Gemma McSweeney offers some advice on how to choose a good international school:

Research - Researching the school is essential. Start with their website - how does their educational philosophy align with yours? How long has the school been established and how long has the Head been at the school? What curricula does the school follow? How many students are enrolled? What are the facilities like? How does the school compare with previous schools? These are the first questions to explore.

Accreditation - Has the Council of International Schools accredited the school? CIS is an organisation dedicated to the continuous improvement of international schools. Look for a CIS logo or a CIS certificate on the school's website or check the CIS member directory. If the school is accredited, it means it has met certain criteria and is committed to high quality international education. If it is not accredited by CIS, is it a member of a reputable international school association (see below)?

Association Membership - There are a number of very reputable international school associations, some of which are selective of the schools that can be members, and others that encourage their member schools to continually improve, and support professional develop for their staff. TIC provides a full list of the reputable international school associations.

TIC recommended schools - TIC takes the job of placing teachers overseas very seriously. We only work with international schools that we have vetted or visited. We conduct many video interviews and podcasts with expatriate teachers during our visits, which we can send you. We only recommend schools that we think match with your requirements and are ‘good’, reputable schools.

TIC contacts - We work with schools in over 70 countries and have placed teachers all over the world. We keep in touch with our teachers and are happy to put you in contact with another teacher who is currently at a school you are interested in. There is nothing more reaffirming than speaking to another teacher or leader who is actually living in that particular country and teaching at that particular school.

TIC advice - TIC has been specialising in recruiting for international schools for nearly 10 years and we are happy to speak to you about any school you are interested in. Even if you have already applied for a job independently, if we know teachers who have worked at the school, or if we know the Headteacher, we will let you know and give you our thoughts on the school.

Our advice always is - Make sure you are applying to a school because you think you will be happy there. Two years is a big commitment so please don’t apply just because you want to live in a particular country. At the end of the day, it won’t matter if you are in beautiful Seychelles or sunny Italy if you are working at a poor quality school that doesn’t support its teachers or students.

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