For being a school in a country with so many problems, the International School of Islamabad really has a lot to offer!
I give this school a 9/10!
1. What type of school is it?
Non-profit, US accredited, offering an IB diploma
2. Student population:
The State.gov site states that there are 264 students with 30 nationalities represented within the student population. ISOI is a true international school!
3. Class size:
I have found a couple other schools in the world that profess to have great classroom ratios of around 12:1, but this school blows them out of the water by saying on their website that, “Our targeted student to staff ratio is 8:1.”
I can’t find detailed information about the technology available at the school other than, “two library media centers, and three technology centers” available on campus. This is quite good for a school with less than 300 students though!
I can’t say enough how much I love it when a school clearly lists their benefit information on their website so I don’t have to read forums and search for hours to find the answer to these questions!! They clearly state on the benefit page of the school website that the retirement program matches 8% of annual salary. Pretty great!
6. Overall package:
While the salary scale is not listed on their website ISR lists it as $40-60K per year. It is also said that the saving potential is around $30k per year for a single person. Nice!
Also on the benefit page of the website, there is a long list covering the package offered to expat teachers: $10k hardship allowance, resigning bonus of $4-12K, FICA for US teachers, housing, utilities, use of school vehicle, annual airfare for teacher and dependents, and shipping allowance. One thing they have that I’ve never seen a school offer is a yearly $500 to improve housing or home furnishings. Pretty sweet!
7. City Profile:
As I was researching the “City of Peace” I came across the US Travel warning to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan. It mentions that there have been over 200 acts of terror in Pakistan in 2015. Most of them seem to be concentrated around the city of Karachi (which is on the other side of the country) and the US Embassy is still open there (and in Islamabad) so Islamabad should be fine. I have been living in Venezuela which also has a travel warning in place because of all the murders and kidnappings. With that in mind, I would defer to the school and would just avoid Karachi like I avoid Caracas.
If I lived in Islamabad I would be hiking the Margalla Hills as much as possible. I would go visit beautiful rose gardens, bird aviaries, and several look out points. I would compare off roading in Oregon to the trails in Pakistan and I would go shopping for hand made items whenever possible. I would also EAT… a lot!
8. Salsa Dancing:
It looks like salsa has grown less popular since the last time I looked at this school. While there is a “Latin Dance School” listed on Facebook that is still active, there are no recent classes, nor events listed since about March of 2015. Minus a point for this!
Their website was very helpful for clearly stating that their school has a fantastic mix of teachers, “The school is staffed by 33 faculty members and 3 administrators; approximately 66% from North America, 11% from Pakistan, and 23% from the rest of the world. 30% of the staff hold Bachelor’s degrees and 63% hold Master’s degrees and 3% hold a Doctorate.”
I have never had food labeled as “Pakistani” so I searched online here, here, and here and found that it is very similar to Indian food. Yum! Daal, biryani, naan, kebab, mango lassi (love these!), samosas, pakoras, curry dishes and other soup dishes. OMG! I just want to go there and EAT! It all sounds delicious and I would absolutely love to take some cooking classes if I ever had the chance to work at ISOI.
Please comment! Have you been to Islamabad? Would you want to work there? Have you or someone you know worked at the International School of Islamabad? Can you add any info to what I’ve listed above?