FAQs About Becoming an International School Teacher

Last year, we had posted about How to Become an International School Teacher? This post continues to consistently get a lot of hits and comments from people all over the world. So we decided to follow-up on that post and share out some of the answers to the many questions we have received. 

Q: What would be the next step for me if I wanted to have the possibility to teach at an International School?
M: It depends on where you want to go. Most top international schools around the world require a teaching license, and there are several programs that can get you your teaching license in nine months, and a lot of universities are offering online programs for it now as well (usually you have to do your internship wherever the university is located).

Q: Could you give me a bit more info on these teaching licenses? I’ve looked on the internet, and mostly I’ve run into TEFL licenses for teaching English.
J: I recommend going through the process of getting your master’s degree and a teaching license through an accredited university. You can do that easily online through a lot of different universities. I just did a google search on online masters degree in education. Here are some universities here:http://www.elearners.com/online-degrees/master/education.htm?page=8  Make sure that the online master degree program allows you to be certified.

Q: Is a Masters Degree in Education after I get my bachelors the right thing to do? Do you get a teaching license along with the degree? And is there really a difference whether you take up the course online or actually sit in the college? 
M: YES get a masters in education, but you don’t necessarily have to. There are programs you can take to get your teaching license in less than a year without getting your masters. One thing to be careful of if you do decide to get a masters in education, is to make sure that the program also gives you a teaching license. Certifying yourself to teach, and getting your masters in education are two separate things, but many programs will offer them together. They are usually two years long. In order to teach at any international school you must have a teaching certificate/license.

Q:
 
What qualifications are necessary in order to become a teacher at an international school?
J: Most reputable international schools will want teachers to be certified and have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some of the more competitive schools would like you to have at least 2 years of teaching experience and/or your master’s degree as well. If you are already living abroad and you want to pursue teaching, you can start an online teaching program where you can get certified and/or your masters.
M: No matter what, to become a teacher you should have your teaching certificate (as mentioned several times previously, but hey- some people overlook it!). There are several programs available that last from one to two years, and others as short as nine months. There are also programs that will give you a master’s degree as well as a teaching certificate, but not ALL education master programs do that, so make sure you do your research.

Q: 
I read on this post that Nov. is when the recruitment starts happening? Is there a general timeline I should be aware of as I start searching?
J: International schools tend to recruit earlier than schools back in the US. Many international schools will require teachers to let them know if they are not coming back the following year anywhere from October-January of the previous year. The recruiting fairs start as early as January and many schools even hire before that if they already know of openings! It never hurts to start looking for openings and send your resume to schools that you are really interested in earlier on.

Q:  Do you know anything about teaching at a DOD school on bases overseas?
J: Unfortunately I can’t say that I know much about the DOD school system.  You can find more information on their website here: http://www.dodea.edu/  

Q: Is there anything else specifically that they look for in international teachers, that I should be aware of?
J: It really depends on the school, and what fit is good for them. There are some newer schools that may tend to hire more young & single teachers, verses some schools that prefer married couples. Many schools do generally prefer married couples when hiring. Some schools may have more of a focus on a certain type of curriculum like IB or AP, and may prefer candidates with experience in teaching that. While other schools are willing to spend time and to get teachers trained for those programs.

Q: How hard is it to find a job as an international teacher given you have very limited experience in teaching, but have the necessary degrees and attitude? 
J: There are actually many international schools out there. Again, if you are willing to teach at newer schools in countries or cities that are not as popular for foreigners to live at, you will probably have a better chance. It really depends on how picky you are going to be with the school and country you want to live at.
M: To go off of what J said, once you have a solid two or three years of teaching experience at a possible “less popular” international school the chances of getting a job at a school and in a country that you desire are much higher.


Q: What should I prepare to become as an international teacher in IB?

M: To my understanding (and quick research) there is no special “IB” certification you can get, you receive the training that you need when you work at an IB school.

Feel free to leave us any further questions you may have in the comments section!

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