Am I qualified enough to teach in an international school?

Here are six ways to find out the answer to one of our most common questions: Am I qualified enough to teach in an international school?

1. Teacher training - If you have graduated as a teacher, you’re half way there! Teaching in an international school is open to anyone who is a fully qualified teacher. This refers to approved teaching qualifications from many countries. Some of the most popular qualifications are those from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, South Africa and the United States.

2. Language - English-medium international schools teach using English as the language of learning for all subjects (or for the majority of subjects if it is a bilingual school). So, if English is your first language, you don’t have to be fluent in another language before teaching in a different country. In fact, teachers who speak English as their first language are usually those teachers who international schools are most keen to hire.

3. Curriculum experience - Almost half of all international schools in the world follow the National Curriculum of England. Many others follow an American style curriculum. The International Baccalaureate (IB) is also popular in many international schools, and there are a number of other internationally-oriented curricula (such as the International Primary Curriculum, IPC) that are used.  Two or three years of experience teaching any one of these curricula will be a significant advantage for you in getting a job at an international school.

4. Professional Development - Do you have a good record of professional development? Have you attended courses that might be of value to an international school?  These may be related to pedagogy, extra-curricular activities, student or family support, specialist skills or more. Any recent training will be of value to international schools.

5. International mindedness - By selecting to work in an international school, you are choosing to live in another country, and to teach children and work with staff from cultures different to your own.   One essential ‘qualification’ is to be internationally minded. This means you need to appreciate, accept and be sensitive to the expectations and approaches of people from other countries and cultures.  You need to view the world as one; where no culture, country or people are any more or less significant. 

6. Attitude - Enthusiasm, flexibility, resilience and patience are important attitude ‘qualifications’ for an international school teacher. For many international schools, attitude is just as important as experience.

So do you think that you’re sufficiently qualified?  Here are some tips to help you further:

• Take a look at the Latest Vacancies to get an idea of the qualification expectations of some international schools.
• Read about the qualifications and the experiences of some teachers who are already teaching in international schools on the Teacher Interviews page.
• And give us a call or send us an email: +44 (0)2929 2021 2083 or The TIC team will be very happy to help you!

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