Monday, August 29, 2011

Sign Me Up: Finding an Overseas Position

Part OnePart Two

So how do you go about actually finding an overseas position?  Especially your first time out, you’ll have better luck going through one of the many job fairs.  There are four main fairs:

International School Services:  This is by far the largest of the job fairs, but also has a reputation for being less selective in the schools that attend, so be sure to do your research (more on that later).   It’s also more expensive.  You’ll pay $185 to register with them, plus $290 to attend the conference.

Search-Associates:  A slightly smaller fair, Search has the reputation for being more selective in the schools that can attend and its teacher candidates. You will pay $200 to register, but this includes the cost of one fair.   Search has the benefit of working with a specific associate, who, theoretically, gets to know you and can help you in the process.  There is much debate as to how much actual promoting the associates do, however, as they are responsible for entire geographic areas.

University of Northern Iowa:  In February, their Overseas Placement Service runs what is generally considered a less “prestigious” job fair , but actually quite a few top-tier schools from around the world attend.

CIS:  For those in the UK (and the rest of Europe), The Council of International Schools is another major player.  They hold two conferences in London, and thanks to those great "socialist" ideals, there's no cost to candidates, apart from flights and hotel, of course.  Non-Europeans can attend, but many of the schools at the fairs offer national curricula such as GCSE and A-levels.

All of these agencies allow you to access password-protected job openings as well as details about the position and the school’s package.  Except for UNI, they hold the job fair in large (expensive!) hotels; it is worth staying in the hotels, however, as quite a bit of networking goes on in elevators hallways. It’s also a relief to be able to disappear into your room to relax between interviews.  The hotel and airfare, depending on how far you’re flying, can easily add another $1,000 to the cost of your job hunt.

Having said that, more and more schools are conducting Skype interviews, especially for experienced teachers,  which lowers costs for everyone.


The International Educator:   A newspaper dedicated to international teaching, with a corresponding website. Many of the schools run ads here, listing their openings.

International Schools Review.  I have a like/hate relationship with this website.  For a $29 fee, members can search the site for teacher reviews of hundreds of international schools.  Personally, I feel the site as a whole takes a somewhat adversarial position towards overseas schools. In some ways, this is understandable, as international educators have no unions to fight their case if problems arise, and the job fair folks tend to favor the schools since the bulk of their money comes from them.  ISR has emerged as a strong advocate for teachers and equitable treatment.  Read their blog, and you’ll have a good sense of the issues  and what to watch out for during your job hunt.  I'll write more about this site next post.

TES:  The Times Education Supplement posts openings in the UK and internationally.

 Speaking of which:

Next Post:  Do Your Homework!

No comments:

Post a Comment