One of the first posts I ever wrote was about how to get an international job. Since then I have had many people ask me where I look for jobs at and my answer has evolved. I think it is time for an updated list!
In the list below I’ve organized my findings into the most popular sites that I’ve used myself or quite a few of my friends have used, places to do some research about the schools, and some other search sites that I’ve heard about but haven’t investigated much.
Top 7 Most Popular Recruiters/Fairs/Search Sites
Search Associates: When I was just finishing graduate school and still working on earning my ESOL endorsement, I used to Search to find and apply to jobs. Search Associates is a huge recruiter that you have most likely heard of. They have a giant database of jobs with helpful info about schools. You upload all of your documents, recommendations, and your resume so schools can find you. They host international job fairs (which I have never attended, btw) so that you can interview with several schools over the course of one long weekend.
The only thing I don’t like about them is that after you are hired your access to their database is revoked. I got a job within a month of searching (I didn’t even find the school through them!), didn’t go to a job fair, and yet I couldn’t use their system to research other schools (as you know I love to do).
I know many people who have found jobs with Search. Their website says, Roughly 70% of the candidates who are registered will eventually secure a job.” They have schools listed from all around the world with several job fairs. If you want to apply to a good school, it will most likely be listed on Search. $225 is the most expensive of the big three, but nearly all of my friends who have used a recruiter went through Search.
International Schools Services: I have no personal knowledge of them, but one of my colleagues promised me ISS is the more “exclusive” option. She told me that they have fewer schools because the schools they have are the best. She said that they only accept more established teachers so those teachers had a better chance at getting jobs. Perhaps this is why none of my young teacher friends use them. Shrug.
Their website says, “$195 signing fee, you are a member the ISS network with full access to the database, virtual iFairs, and Recruiting Fairs (IRCs) in cities around the world- for 2 years or until you find a job. The majority of candidates attending these IRCs sign jobs on the spot, with many others within just a few weeks.” I couldn’t find a statistic of the percentage of hired teachers.
University of Northern Iowa: It might be due to the fact that I earned a “School Age Care Leadership” certificate through them while I was still in undergrad, but I have a soft spot for UNI. For my second round of job searching, I almost went with UNI because they are the most economical and the lady who helped talked me through the registration process was super nice. The only reason I didn’t use them is that I found a job on my own first.
It is a bit more limited than the other big recruiters, but some say that this is what gives them a more personal touch. UNI only has one job fair, but you are given access to info about those schools and schools are given access to your info too. 119 schools registered for the fair last year (a few canceled). My friend who was hired there says that a recruiter told her that they go to UNI looking for the mid-western “wholesome teacher” candidate. Their website says that over 63% of teachers who participated found placements last year.
I have met quite a few people in Venezuela who got jobs at this fair, but as it is fairly small, I would take a look at the schools that will attend and see if the fair is for you. $50 isn’t a bad price for this service.
Association of American Schools in South America (AASSA): A few of my friends were hired at this job fair. The AASSA fair in Atlanta is hosted specifically for jobs in South America, so if this were where you want to work, then this would be a smart recruiter to register with. They also give you access to a database, which schools can use to find you. This is a smaller fair with only about 50 schools, BUT they say that 95% of candidates who attend the fair get hired so it seems like good odds. $110 for a fair with odds like that does not seem like a bad deal.
I like that they have a video database about the schools that recruit through AASSA!
Queens University Recruitment Fair– I have a couple of friends who were hired here. As far as I know it is almost entirely for Canadians. $125 (CAD) for access to their database, an online fair, and an onsite fair in January.
TIE On-Line– This is the one that I have used to help me get all of my international school jobs (all four of them). I love TIE because it is only $39 for a year’s worth of job database access. Like the big recruiters, you can find information about benefits, general info about a school, and they also host your resume so that schools can find you.
You have to do a bit more work on your part: search for the schools that interest you, read what they post on TIE, read the school’s website, sometimes fill out an application on a school’s website too, send the school your resume and contact details, and then arrange a Skype interview with them. However, I think it ends up being the cheapest deal because you are interviewing from the comfort of your home rather than flying to another city, getting a hotel room, and paying hundreds of dollars for one long weekend of interviewing.
Joy Jobs (aff link)- It is not as pretty as the rest, but I find that this site will find what seems like EVERY job available. I love that they have a resume guide and that Igor will help you set up a website and give you advice about what to include. My friend got a job in Thailand through them. It is $39.99 per year.
Do Some Research Before you Apply
I have always searched for the countries I might like to live and made a list of the international schools there. Then I search for information and make notes about the international school’s website. After that, I write individual cover letters, mentioning a feature or two about the school and country positively in the cover letter and apply directly to the school via email with cover letter and resume. Follow up with a question or two specifically about the school and ask for the procedure to apply if they did not send it to you. Schools do not always reply to these “cold calls”, but some do and then they schedule a Skype interview with you.
Here are a few websites that I always love to check for more information about the schools:
International Schools Review (ISR)- If you pay about $29 a year you have access to tons of reviews made by teachers/parents/admin from all around the world. They also have a fantastic forum that has some great info but is becoming less useful now that they have such strict rules about comments regarding schools.
International School Community- Like ISR, but it is more incentivized so that teachers who leave comments can get free months of access. Many school profiles are complete on this website, but not all comments are useful and if you don’t have enough comments to make, you will need to pay $30 per year/$20 for six months/$50 for 2 years. Potentially free if you comment, post, become a mayor, or interview with them.
Teacher Horizons– This school is kind of like ISR, but it is free and is usually not very complete. They also have about 300 jobs listed right now. Their website is also kind of convoluted.
Facebook- There are tons of groups for international teachers, just use the search function and the words, “International teacher”.
Other Search Sites (I haven’t used most of the following sites):
Department of Defense Schools- I used to dream of working for a DoD School… then I started the application process and realized how many hoops you have to jump through. I only ever applied right after graduating from grad school without any experience so naturally I wasn’t hired for one of these highly competitive spots. I’ve heard that they don’t normally hire until the end of the school year which would make me go crazy since most international schools hire around Nov-Mar.
Council of International Schools– Recruits mostly for European and IB Schools. Free.
Carney, Sandoe & Associates– I’ve heard that this is for mostly admin jobs, but they say that they also have international school positions available for teachers too.
International Supply Teachers– This is always my plan B in case I have to be evacuated from Venezuela due to unrest: this company supplies substitute teachers for international schools all around the world. I don’t know anyone who has done it, but it sounds so much more fun than subbing in Portland! They even wave their $75 placement fee if you were teaching full time at a school and needed to be evacuated.
TIC Recruitment– They say that they recruit for the best international schools in the world. Free.
Compass Teaching– Recruits mostly for UK and IB Schools. Free.
Teach Away– They have many TESOL jobs on their jobs board, but they also recruit for a few international schools. I once interviewed for a school in Cyprus with them. The only thing I didn’t like is that they didn’t tell me the name of the school so I couldn’t do much research ahead of time. Free.
TES– Mostly European schools, but some in Asia and the Middle East too. Free.
IB School Jobs recruits specifically for IB jobs and it is free. I just heard about them recently.
Teaching Nomad seems to recruit for more ESL positions, but they say that they have a mix of jobs available. I just heard about them recently. Free.
Asia Teaching Jobs– mostly ESL jobs listed here
www.ajarn.com- jobs in Thailand
Its Academic– seems to focus on Canadian international schools and ESL schools abroad. Free.
True Teaching– recruiter for international school jobs. You need to register to see jobs. Free.
Do you have other international job sites I should add to this list? Do you have any experience with the ones I’ve listed above?