This is my second post in a series about my “Top Schools List” because it is one question that I hear again and again. The problem that I have is that after nearly 10 years of teaching overseas, I have a LONG list of top schools that I would love to work at. Last week I focused on Asia because I think that is where many new international teachers should start looking (and really everyone should spend some time because it is so awesome). This week I am focusing on my favorite European schools because this is where all of the new international teachers always say that they want to be. I would also LOOOOOVVVEEE to work in Europe one day so I had to share my love too!
There are so many amazing schools in Europe! On top of that, I love the quality of life that you could have in Europe and the incredible travel opportunities. The problem is that many schools don’t need to hire US citizens when they have plenty of English speakers available. Then, when you find one or two schools that will hire you in a country, you have to compete with everyone and their mama who ALSO wants to work in Europe!
This competition means that schools don’t need to have the cushy benefits packages that you can find in Asia and the Middle East, because there are people who really just want to be in Europe and will take what they can get. Most of the schools on my list have pretty good packages because they are in Eastern Europe. Others on my list, I know nothing about the package and yet I would still love to work at the school because it just sounds that awesome to me (if you know some package details feel free to comment below or email me and I will update my list)!
So, while I have applied to several of these schools in the past, I can’t say I ever held out much hope in getting a job there. My friends who have gotten good jobs in Europe had a lot of experience, past leadership experience, IB PYP experience, and were really excellent interviewers. A couple of other people I know just got jobs in Europe that would pay them barely enough to scrape by and were happy to have help getting a visa so they could work there legally (and then they secretly tutored after hours to make enough money to survive).
Here is my TOP 10 Schools in Europe List:
- American International School of Budapest– not for profit, accredited by CIS and MSACS, 61 different nationalities, one of my most favorite cities in the world, small class size, can save 10k a year
- International School of Prague– nonprofit, strong PD, 60 nationalities, accredited by CIS and NEASC
- International School of Sofia– accredited by CIS and NEASC, one of the best packages in Europe with housing included, airfare, 50% utilities, retirement, car loan, strong PD program
- American Intl School of Bucharest– accredited by CIS and NEASC, tuition for 2 kids, can save 12k a year, tax-free salary, shipping allowance, 60 nationalities, small classes
- International School of Belgrade– accredited by CIS and NEASC, IBO World School offering all three IB programs, 41 nationalities, average class size is 15, tax-free salary, airfare, housing, utilities, tuition, shipping allowance, buy back for unused sick leave (why don’t more schools do this!)
- Istanbul International Community School– accredited by CIS and NEASC, nonprofit, IBO World School offering all three IB programs, tax-free salary, 60 nationalities, small class sizes, retirement, AND someone told me that this is one of the few schools that pay into the US social security system!
- Carlucci American International School of Lisbon– accredited by CIS and MSACS, nonprofit, 53 nationalities, CAISL is the only accredited American school in Portugal, small classes, great quality of life
- American School of Warsaw– accredited by CIS and NEASC, nonprofit, awesome core values like “put the same into life as you put into school”, IB Continuum School, great package with housing, medical, dental, and retirement program.
- Inter-Community School Zurich– nonprofit, IB World School, 53 nationalities, small teacher-student ratios, fantastic outdoor program, I haven’t met anyone who has traveled to Switzerland and didn’t rave about the quality of life, gorgeous scenery, and great chocolate! Those things alone make me want to work there.
- The International School of Amsterdam– accredited by CIS and NEASC, nonprofit, first school in the world to offer all three IB programs, 66 nationalities, and strong PD program. I actually know nothing about the package here, but the school and city seemed like a dream come true so I had to add it.
Like all of the other lists, I always have several more schools that I’ve been watching, but these 10 are the ones where I would love to work and then STAY at for a long time. I think that if I weren’t a solo parent to my son, I would still have several schools in Western Europe on my dream list (hello Rome and Barcelona!), but this mama needs to provide for her own retirement AND save for baby boy’s college fund!
My personal plan is to stay in Asia until my son finishes with elementary school and then go to Europe (or maybe Latin America again- because that is what I did before!) once I have more money saved. For now, I am believing in the extraordinary power of compound interest and working where my dollar can stretch the farthest.
Comment below! Did I list your dream European school? Do you think I need to remove something from my list and switch it with another school? Do you have details to add to my notes above? I would love to hear from you!