5 Steps to Finding an International Teaching Job

You’ve decided you want to teach abroad. You’ve narrowed your search to a particular part of the world or even a specific school, You’ve updated your CV and Cover Letter and prepared all your documents. So now, what are the next steps to finding an international teaching job and starting your new adventure?

Step One:  Get your timing right

Schools start recruiting up to 10 months before the start of the school year, but the busiest time for recruiting new staff is between 5-8 months before the start of term.  Finding an international teaching job requires you to plan ahead. Most schools recruit the majority of teachers for the start of the year, typically September.  A smaller number of teachers are recruited for the start of the 2nd term, in January each year.  In China most international schools don’t hire teachers in January, but rather in mid-February after the Chinese Lunar Year holidays are over.  In Malaysia it’s normal for new teachers to start in July or August each year. It’s different everywhere, so do research into different countries’ school term schedules and also check on the individual schools you are interested in.

Step Two:  Ask yourself what’s important

Schools offer a variety and of combinations of benefits, so you need to consider what’s most important for you and your family. Finding an international teaching job means you have to take the time to consider all these questions.

  • Is there a housing allowance or is there staff housing provided? Which do you prefer?
  • If the package includes round trip flights, does it also cover family/dependent flights?
  • Is there free or subsidized schooling for your children? 
  • Is there a health Insurance package? What about your family? 
  • How many holidays are offered? 
  • What currency is the salary paid into, and is it paid locally or into your bank at home? 
  • What professional development opportunities will you have? 
  • Also consider bonuses and the resignation policy. Is there a bonus for completing a contract and/or extending it for another year?
  • How much notice do you need to give in order to resign and is there a penalty for early resignation?

Step Three:  Use all your resources

Recruiting companies, job boards, school websites—you should use all of these as tools when finding an international teaching job.  The more options you utilize, the more opportunities you’ll generate.  Use your network and reach out to fellow teachers.  Utilize your social channels; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and especially LinkedIn are essential tools to help you find and land your next teaching job.

Research the schools and jobs you are considering.  What type of leadership do they have – are they educators you’d like to work with?  Visit their website to get a sense of the school’s values and priorities.  Read teacher reviews. However, remember the internet attracts negativity, so take everything with a grain of salt.  When was the review written?  How many negative reviews are there?  Has the school addressed any of the negative reviews?  Remember when you have had a bad experience, you tell 20 people, but when you’ve had a good experience you might only tell one or two. That’s especially true in the faceless internet.

Step Four:  Choose a reputable recruiter

With recruiting companies, ask a lot of questions and only work with those you trust.  Communication is key. Be careful working with agencies that want to charge you, the teacher, a fee. Recruiters can be a great resource when you find the right one… trust, open communication, honesty, transparency are all important to the teacher – recruiter relationship. Be concerned if they try to direct you to a job, school or country you don’t want to go to.  Click HERE to learn why Byron Recruitment thinks they can help you.

Step Five:  Follow up

Finding an international teaching job takes persistence and drive, but it’s absolutely worth all the hard work and trouble. Be sure to reach out to your recruiting agents on a regular basis.  This keeps your application ‘top of mind’ and demonstrates you are serious about relocating for the right opportunity.  Send them a reminder every week or so.  Just a short note to say hi, I’m still available, do you have anything for me?  For schools, you can certainly do the same, although I would limit it to once a month. Remember timing is important, so make sure to check in at a time of year they’re likely to be hiring.

If you’re ready to start applying for exciting international teaching jobs, look HERE or email teachers@byronrecruitment.com.

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