Costs of Becoming an International School Teacher


I realize that I didn’t post last week. Oops! I have been focusing on getting set up to recruit for a new job for next year. In case you didn’t know, many people recommend that you are all set up and ready to activate your recruiting profile(s) by November 1st. I haven’t really had to recruit since 2012 so I have a ton of updating to do.

While I have been getting my ducks in a row I have just been amazed at how quickly costs are adding up! My current school gives me days off for recruitment if I want to go to a job fair, but wow, I’m not sure I want to spend so much money when I am still trying to pay off my student loans. It made me really reflect on how much I have invested in my career already.  I think I need to decide by the end of November if I am going to be going to a fair or not which means I really have to get busy now!

In case you are reading this and you are just getting started, I thought I would share the costs that I’ve incurred in my path to becoming an international school teacher. Of course, you might go to a more afforable graduate school (I love my grad school to pieces, but it was certainly not cheap by any means!), but I don’t think my costs were that abnormal for a teacher in the US.

Initial Costs

4-year bachelor degree in the US= $64,000 (thanks to my scholarships I only had $16000 in student loans after four years)

16-month Master of Arts degree + TESOL certificate= $58,000USD

Praxis Tests $270

Oregon Teaching License: $140

Gold Seal Copy of Teaching License: $50

Fingerprint/Background Clearance Fee: $57

Getting copies of transcripts from all schools attended: $40

Getting everything apostilled: $10 p/document (easily $60)

Initial total= $122,617

Recruiting Costs

TIE Online $39 for an online subscription + $29 for instant job notification

SEARCH Associates membership = $225

Flight to a job fair from CCS (I searched for Boston as that is my ideal fair)= $662

Four nights at job fair hotel= $1196

Suit to wear at job fair= $200ish

Food for job fair= $250

Misc= $100

Total= $2701

I’m sure there are other costs involved, this is just a very broad outline of the costs you will have to cover if you want to be an international school teacher.  Also, I should mention that some people get hired without a master’s degree so you could save money that way, but a master’s is becoming more and more necessary every year.

Of course, now that I’ve been overseas for 7 years I have already paid the initial costs, but the recruiting costs are not cheap either!  It is my hope that I can skip the actual job fair and save myself about $2400 by interviewing over Skype.

Wish me luck!

Please comment: Am I forgetting a cost in my calculations that really should be included? Do you have more tips for cutting costs? 


7 responses to “Costs of Becoming an International School Teacher

  1. I reserved a room at the conference hotel in Boston and it was $139 per night. Still a pricey trip for you, but hotel costs should be closer to $650/700. I hope you’re able to get a position via skype – recruiting is expensive! I often wonder about international teachers who resign, but cannot find another job. The fair must be so much more stressful that way! So much more peace of mind not to need the fair. If you do end up going though, I hope to see you there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Katie! It is good to know that people can get better deals. I didn’t comparison shop at all. I only looked on for the hotel name that Search provided. I haven’t even activated my Search profile yet so maybe Search provides a link for a group rate at the hotel?

    I do have some hope that I will avoid job fair costs. Yesterday I activated my profile on TIEonline and less than 12 hours later a school contacted me. If not, I would love to see you there!


  3. Wow! 12 hours later – that’s wonderful. Congrats! Yes, Search does supply a link with a discounted rate. What do you think makes your resume stand out? My husband and I are working on ours. We’ve been teaching state-side for more than a decade, but haven’t taught internationally and we have two kids. I’m hoping that doesn’t keep us from finding a great fit for our family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you guys are both teachers (especially if one of you teaches a STEM subject) you will not have problems getting hired.

      I think I might stand out because I’ve spent a lot of time teaching internationally in hardship locations.


  4. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2016 | Teaching Wanderlust·

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