Career Advice Opinion

The World is Your Marketplace

By AAEE — February 15, 2010 2 min read
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Watching the Olympics games in Vancouver has reminded me of all the global opportunities for teachers. The world really is your job market. Last week alone I was contacted by an American school director from Vietnam and another looking for candidates to teach in Istanbul. Opportunities to teach in international schools continue to grow. However, the sponsorship and types of schools vary significantly. International schools are sponsored by governmental agencies, business agencies or individuals, for profit or non-profit. Similar to U.S. schools, most international schools hire certified teachers. Certification in multiple areas is highly valued and the ability to coach sports or assist in extra-curricular activities is highly sought after.

Some schools prefer candidates with two years of successful teaching experience. International travel and knowledge of a foreign language will give candidates a competitive edge. Housing is an issue to employers, so you will find some jobs reserved for married couples or “teams.”

Personal characteristics most desired include:
• Adaptability • Independent spirit • Emotional stability • Maturity
• Excellent physical health • Respect for cultural differences • Flexibility

Some tips for success:
• Start the process early.
• Research countries and specific schools.
• Write directly to schools.
• Register with international educational services.
• Correspond with administrators prior to attending international recruiting fairs.
• Apply again if not successful the first year.

International Job Search Resources
There are many organizations for profit and non-profit, dedicated to helping teachers find jobs overseas. Be aware that some will charge a fee for services, both to the candidate and the employer, while others will only charge the employer. Ask questions and check references. The following are organizations with proven reputations.

  • European Council of International Schools www.ecis.org
  • Fulbright Teacher Exchange www.fulbrightteacherexchange.org/
  • International Schools Services (ISS) http://www.iss.edu
  • Search Associates www.searchassociates.com
  • TIE: The International Educator www.tieonline.com
  • U.S. Department of Defense, Dependents Schools Office www.dodea.edu
  • U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas School www.state.gov/m/a/os/
  • U.S. Peace Corps Recruiting Office www.peacecorps.gov
  • University of Northern Iowa Overseas Placement Service for Educators www.uni.edu/placement/overseas/

Exciting adventures await the educator who wishes to travel afar and experience the world!

--Diana Sanchez
Career Counselor, California State University San Marcos AND
Technology Chair, California Association for Employment in Education

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