Brussels sounds like a great place to live! With a wonderful quality of life (thanks to the highest taxes in the world at an average of 42.8%), great food, amazing world famous chocolate, and a world class school, Brussels is the place to be. Brussels is also only a short train ride from many different countries in Europe!
I give this school a 10/10!
1. What type of school is it?
Non-profit, US accredited, offering an IB diploma
2. Student population:
On the school website it says there are, “nearly 1550 students”, students from 70 different countries. I love that there is such an international mix!
3. Class size:
It seems like there is an average class size of about 21. This website notes that, “In grades 1 and 2 the maximum is 21, with each grade level sharing a teacher’s assistant.” I am of the firm belief that classrooms are much more efficient if there is an assistant available!
The school puts a lot of emphasis on technology! Starting in third grade students are required to bring their own tablets and in sixth grade students are given tablets to use.
Teachers are automatically paying into a state pension plan that they will have access to at retirement. They are part of the group pension plan which the school pays 5-10% of employee income into.
6. Overall package:
While the pay seems pretty great in Belgium, there is a large chunk that must be paid in taxes. From what I understand, according to this website, teachers would need to pay 50% of their wages in taxes (plus and minus a few exemptions). The tax rate combined with the fact that the school doesn’t pay for housing has me worried for single teachers. There are some other great benefits that make up for it: yearly cost of living increases, vacation pay, end of year bonus, commuting pay, home office allowance, subsidized internet, December gift vouchers, lunch vouchers, airfare (not sure if it is yearly or not), moving allowance, recruitment reimbursement fees, and insurance.
7. City Profile:
I’m really excited to be visiting Belgium this summer (though I will be spending most of my time in Bruges and the train station of Brussels). From the research that I’ve already done I know that Belgium is full of history, culture, good food, and (most importantly) CHOCOLATE. haha. They also have amazing quality of life with great cheap public transport, moderate housing costs, and lovely architecture.
8. Salsa Dancing:
This site lists 7 nights of salsa dancing per week! Brussels even has Cuban Salsa which I love the most!
On this website they say that there are, “235 full-time faculty members representing 21 nationalities.” ISB is also very emphatic about hiring teachers from all backgrounds, ages, ethnicity, married people, and singles. Working on a staff like that would be pretty great!
Belgium is famous for chocolate and beer. I’m not a fan of beer, but Belgium is also pretty famous for something called a “Lambic” which is a sweet and fruity beer that I can actually drink (because it reminds me more of a wine cooler than an actual beer). However, I am much more interested in the chocolate! I have also heard that fries were first invented in Brussels. Mussels are also a very popular dish too. Read more about traditional Belgian food here.
Please comment! Have you been to Brussels? Would you want to work there? Have you or someone you know worked at the International School of Brussels? Can you add any info to what I’ve listed above?