Frequently Asked Questions
All you need to know about teaching overseas in an international school
There is so much to think about when considering a new opportunity - even more to consider when thinking about applying for or accepting a new job overseas. Be it a new city, a new language, a different culture or a new education system, there are so many questions that need answering. We have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions below. If you don't find the answers you are looking for, please contact us.
How do I find a job in an international school?
You can register with TIC and we can guide you through the whole process. Should you see a position of interest, we will share school information with you and forward your information over to the Headteacher at the School should you wish to apply. We can help make the whole process easier and ensure that the right person sees your CV as quickly as possible.
How do I know which is the right international school for me?
This is a very important question. Ensuring you choose the right international school is crucial. You should always take time to look into each school's ethos, values, salary/benefit package and the local area (among a long list of other things). You should ideally look before you apply, but certainly before you accept a job. TIC prides itself on working hard to check out and vet every international school we work with. The TIC team also visit lots of schools all over the world every year.
Do I have to speak the local language?
No you don't, but lots of teachers learn new languages whilst teaching in different international schools. Some international schools provide language lessons as part of the package.
What are the chances of gaining promotion in an international school?
Very good, staff turnover is generally higher in international schools because teachers tend to move around a lot more, so promotion possibilities are more frequent. Many teachers stay in international schools for a long time and have very successful careers.
What are salaries like compared to the UK?
Salaries vary from country to country. Most international salaries are on par with UK salaries, however, some may be lower. That being said, once you have taken into account the local cost of living (which is often much lower than the UK), the salary usually works out the same amount, if not more. Most international schools also offer free accommodation (or an accommodation allowance), flights, medical insurance, pensions and bonuses. Some salaries are also tax-free.
Can I choose which country I work in?
There are international schools in almost every country in the world so there is a lot of choice. However, to maximize your chances it is best to not limit yourself to one or two countries. It is better to choose the right job and school rather than the country.
What do Headteachers look for?
International Headteachers look for fully qualified teachers with teaching experience. They also need to know that you can adapt to working in their school and the culture of the country. Flexibility and adaptability are key qualities as are experience and professional knowledge. A willingness to become involved in after school activities and community events is also valued. Due to employment conditions, some Heads prefer to employ single or married teaching couples. In some countries, there are also age restrictions.
Do you work the same hours and have the same holidays?
Many schools have a very similar school calendar to schools in the UK but there will always be some variations. Schools tend to start the year in August and finish in June. Some operate on a southern hemisphere calendar i.e. Jan– Dec. Working hours tend to be very similar except in very hot countries where the working day may begin much earlier and finish around 1 or 2pm.
When should I apply?
International schools recruit mainly in January, February and March but schools start looking in September. You will need to have references and police check documents ready for the application process. It is very important that you have an up-to-date CV and a letter of application too. If you register with us, it is important to have all the pages of your profile completed and ensure you keep your profile active and up to date. We will contact you regarding opportunities based on the information we have on file for you.
What are the benefits of working overseas?
Research suggests that teachers enjoy and gain so much from their international school experiences. They have great life experiences from being immersed in other cultures and they benefit professionally from working with teachers from other countries and education systems. Most of our teachers admit that their teaching abilities have improved considerably as a result of working overseas.