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Have you taught in an "international school"?
Thread poster: Daina Jauntirans

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:40
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Jun 13, 2006

If you have taught in an international school, I would be interested in hearing about your experiences - how you got the job, what the job was like, was it difficult to get work permits and visas, etc.

I am particularly interested in whether teachers with families have a chance at getting jobs in international schools. We are an American family, if that makes a difference.


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 21:40
French to English
Couples with non-teaching spouses can be an obstacle Jun 13, 2006

In order to control expatriation costs, couples with one non-teaching spouse are not considered prime recruits. A teaching couple with children does not present a problem if there is an appropriate school for the children in the area where you will be working, or perhaps even at the same school. You would usually also get free or very reduced tuition in that type of scenario.

For top-tier schools, visas are no problem. The school will ensure that you have the paperwork you need to get one, but you still have to do the running around before you leave home, in some cases.

For more info, see:

http://www.search-associates.com/

http://www.ecis.org/

These are the major recruitment agencies serving top-tier international schools. (The lower-tier schools can be a bit of a jungle and the conditions are often not great, so best to shoot for the top!)

I got my international school job through

http://www.carneysandoe.com/Default.asp?bhcp=1

However, international school recruitment is not their main focus. My situation was a bit of a fluke, really.

There is also the DOD school system. I believe recruitment is from the US only, so you would have to apply before you leave.

Good luck!

Sara

[Edited at 2006-06-13 17:34]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:40
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks - that's what I thought Jun 13, 2006

I thought that might be the case. We're hoping my husband will be a good candidate nonetheless, because by that time he will have an MA in Bilingual and Bicultural Ed and teaching certification. He already has international teaching experience and a CELTA certificate.

Thanks for the links - I will check them all out!


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Marsha Wilkie  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 15:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, I have. Jun 14, 2006

I have taught English and other subjects in two international schools in Bogotá, Colombia. Being a Colombian myself, my experience as to how I got the jobs would be useless to you, but I saw quite a number of husband-wife pairs. Schools prefer them because they lower costs.

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:40
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
If we don't need relocation costs for me? Jun 14, 2006

I wonder if we offered to pay our own relocation costs and just have them take care of whatever is normally covered for my husband if they would consider it? We're just at the very beginning stages of researching this, so your advice is helpful.

It would be a shame if this were the deal-breaker for a job like this. I'll have to look into various other possibilities, too.

[Edited at 2006-06-14 17:26]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:40
German to English
Teaching in an international school Jun 14, 2006

Hi Daina - this sounds like an exciting time for you. It reminds me of the time when I wrote dozens of letters to schools all over the world looking for a teaching job when teaching jobs were hard to get in the US. At that time I had three young children and a non-teaching wife.

I've never taught in an international school, but I did teach in two German high schools many years ago when there was still a teacher shortage in Germany.

I'm really not sure I fully understand your situation. You write that your husband will have a teaching certificate by the time you make the move. So you'll be a teaching couple, right?


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:40
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
He's the teacher; I am the non-teaching wife Jun 14, 2006

Kim Metzger wrote:

I'm really not sure I fully understand your situation. You write that your husband will have a teaching certificate by the time you make the move. So you'll be a teaching couple, right?



Hi Kim,

My husband will be finishing a Master's in Bilingual/Bicultural Ed with elementary teaching certification in a couple of years, and I am (and will continue to be) a freelance translator. We have 2 kids - one would be starting kindergarten, the other third grade. Because the older one is in a Spanish immersion class, we thought it would be interesting for my husband to look for a teaching job abroad, preferably in a Spanish-speaking country.

I guess the main issues are how to get one of these jobs in the first place and whether I as the "trailing spouse" (as they're known) would have difficulty getting a visa/continuing to work. Probably depends on the country. I didn't know I would be considered a liability in the application process because I don't teach.

I guess we could look for possibilities in Puerto Rico, too, since that wouldn't require visas or work permits (for us as US citizens).


[Edited at 2006-06-14 23:05]

[Edited at 2006-06-14 23:06]

[Edited at 2006-06-14 23:07]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:40
German to English
Teaching in an international school Jun 15, 2006

Hi Daina -

Here's some information about Mexico that you might find helpful. We have an American School here in Guadalajara: http://www.asfg.mx/

The teachers are recruited in the US and from what I can tell, the pay is quite decent. It's a U.S.-accredited school and "sponsored officially by the U.S. Department of State's Office of Overseas Schools."

They write: "We recruit our credentialed English language faculty from the U.S. and from other overseas American Schools worldwide to give our students the best education available from experienced U.S. trained teachers."

I'm not up-to-date on salaries for international schools, but I do know from experience that if the teaching salary is rather small, the school director will be worried that things will end in financial disaster for the teacher and his/her family in the middle of the school year and will be reluctant to hire a teacher in that position. So your job would be to convince the principal that he will have nothing to worry about because you are self-employed and earn X$ annually as a freelance translator. Moving to another country shouldn't affect your earnings.

Here's some (probably out-of-date) info on visa requirements

http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/visa.html

Best wishes, Kim


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:40
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks so much for the tips and information! Aug 1, 2006

Kim and Sara,

Thanks so much for providing this information! We
will definitely be checking into Guadalajara, as well as
(hopefully) schools in Merida and Oaxaca. Other options we
are considering are Spain (I am also a Latvian citizen, so
I can work there), Costa Rica, Puerto Rico (no work visa
necessary!) and Chile (sounds amazing, but far away).

Based on this advice, we'll look into the American and DoD schools, too, as well as packaging ourselves as a self-sustaining family to be more attractive to the schools. I'm hoping this won't be too difficult, as I have a portable job, we have international experience and my daughters will have some Spanish already.

Thanks again.


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