International School Recruiting Cycle

International School Recruiting Cycles vary by school, curriculum, region and country. But there is an ebb and flow to each year. Most international schools target new teachers during the same time frame each year.

Here are some guidelines designed to help you understand the International School Recruiting Cycle.

When should I apply for international school teaching jobs?

Timing your application to land on the desks of administrators at just the right time can be tricky.  Too soon and you go to the bottom of the pile, too late and well.. you are too late and the positions have been filled. Let’s take a look at how recruitment works from the schools’ POV. 

In the world of international schools, there are 2 main recruitment cycles: recruitment for jobs that start in August/September and those that start in January.  Considering when you are available to start a new job might help narrow down which schools you will apply to and when.

September Start Date: International School Recruiting Cycle

For schools that normally start back in January, administrators need a few weeks to get the semester started.  A few weeks into the new semester, they begin to anticipate their September student numbers, they ask existing teachers on staff who is leaving and who’s staying.  By mid January / February – schools start to determine what their specific needs will be for the following semester.  They start interviewing in late January, February and early March. 

The best time to apply for jobs starting in September : January 15 – March 1

International School Recruiting Cycle
When should I apply for an international teaching job that starts in September

January Start Date: International School Recruiting Cycle

Jobs that start in January follow a similar pattern.  The schools return in September, administration take a couple of weeks to settle in and usually start to determine needs by mid September / early October. The key difference in this international school recruiting cycle is that “turnaround period” (the time from when you sign your contract to when you actually start teaching at the school) is much shorter. It is important that you are organized and respond in a timely matter as there is much less time to screen applicants, interview, extend job offers and organize visas before the December seasonal holidays start.  Therefore, interviews can start as early as the end of September.    

Best time to apply for jobs starting in January: September 15 – October 15.  

International School Recruiting Cycle
Find out when the best time of year is to apply for jobs that start in January.

Don’t forget:

This is a general timeline.  Start dates differ by school and country.  If you have a particular school or country in mind, find out when school terms start and work backwards from there.

Larger schools and school groups will begin recruiting 1-2 months sooner than others. They know they will need more teachers and they have the resources required to start recruiting early.

In General:


  • Apply too early – your CV will end up at the bottom of a pile of ‘to be considered’ applicants.
  • Apply too late, all the good jobs will be filled, you’ll miss your chance.


  • Be organized.  Have all required documents and references ready to go.  Make sure your referees know you are seeking a new job and ask them to watch out for reference requests from school and recruiters and to respond quickly.  Ask them to check their spam folders – the request might have gone there.
  • Update your CV so all information is current.  Tailor your CV and Cover Letter to the job you are applying for
  • Follow up on applications – check in with a short email from time to time and until you are told the position has been filled.   Be courteous and brief.

If you miss your window don’t stress too much. There will always be unexpected vacancies.  Schools may determine they need one more teacher late in the recruiting cycle – teachers leave suddenly and unexpectedly, new teaching needs can be determined, teachers who have accepted posts may pull out, visas are denied… so stay vigilant, check vacancies often on your favorite teacher recruiting job board and on your target school’s vacancy page.


Visit Byron Recruitment’s Open Roles page or email to explore International School Teaching Jobs.

Bryon Recruitment
Supporting International School Teacher Recruiting

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