Finding a job in an International School

So you are interested in moving overseas to teach but where do you start? If you haven’t already done so read the first blog post in this series.

There are 584 jobs in international schools on the TES when I visited this morning


Narrow down what areas and countries you want to move to

This is a really important place to begin, think carefully about your own personal circumstances and think about the type of life you want to live as this will have an impact on where you will be happy to live. For example you or your family may have specific medical needs which will then influence where you could possibly live and work; you may already have a large family and therefore relocating them to certain countries around the world would then mean you would struggle to live the life you want because financially you just won’t be able to survive because the salaries may be lower and the cost of living high. So as you consider moving abroad you must make a shortlist of the places you would like to live, obviously climate and other basic factors would also come in to play so spend some time researching online living in different countries as an expatriate.

Narrowing this choice will also help save time once you start looking for specific roles. The important thing is for you to be realistic and to be honest about what you want, it is very easy to get carried away with the excitement and once you begin it can be like a roller-coaster ride. Before I left for the Seychelles I was offered an exciting Headship in Dubai on an amazing package that we nearly accepted. However after spending another 48 hours researching living in Dubai we decided it wasn’t really for us, it was too hot to live an outdoor life there for my youngest child at the time. Other people live there and have a great life with kids like but like with everything we are all different and want different things so what may be right for one teacher may not be right for you.

Where is the best place to find that job?


The best place to find any job vacancies is obviously the TES, it has the largest number of international schools advertising more than any other website or publication, it is a great place to start as there are probably only a handful of schools worldwide that don’t use it (we really are talking about a very small number). You can also register to receive alerts when vacancies that match your criteria are posted.

Recruitment agencies

There are various recruitment agencies and then registering your CV with them as soon as possible. They do both short term and longer term appointments they are particularly good at short term appointments where you could apply, be interviewed by Skype or telephone then be on a flight all within 2 weeks.

Recruitment Fayres

There are many international recruitment fayres, many are held at key dates in the year where schools and organisations around the world will recruit in one week in London and it is a good opportunity for you to make connections but also perhaps fit in more than one interview in one day or over a couple of days.

If you have any questions then get in touch.


on “Finding a job in an International School
6 Comments on “Finding a job in an International School
  1. Hi Dan,
    Thank you for your blog first of all, really helpful. Can you give me any insight on how likely international schools are to hiring teachers with families. I have 2 year old twins and a husband (not a teacher). You were obviously hired when you had a family, but you had a senior position. Do schools look for teachers with dependents or are you likely to go to the bottom of the pile so to speak. I’d like to think I have a strong CV and have taught abroad (TEFL in Japan nad France) for many years before I returned to the UK to gain my PGCE. After 5 years teaching in London I want to make the move internationally, but don’t know how feasible that is now with a family. Any advice would be encouraging.

  2. Hi Laura, Thank you for taking the time to read the posts and also comment, sorry about the delay in responding but I have been making the most of the summer holidays and have been away. I have decided to write the next blog post covering some of the questions that you have raised in your comments so I hope it helps 🙂

  3. Hi Dan,

    I have been interested in working for an International School for some time, but feel that I am now at a point in my career where I am ready to make that move. I have applied to several schools directly, based on openings that they posted on their websites, but I haven’t heard anything yet and was wondering if I was doing something wrong? I am primarily applying for History/Humanity positions but also offer my certification and teaching experience in English and Home Economics to be a more viable candidate. I have 12 years of high school teaching experience in the USA at the same school with multiple extra-curricular involvements as well. I received my QTS from England in 2016 and I include that along with my US teaching certifications. I revamped my CV as well. I am looking for a long-term to permanent position (I’m not looking to be a school/country jumper). I am 41 and single with no obligations in the US. I have primarily been looking at positions in Denmark and Germany since I have some ability/experience with their language and culture, but am willing to look other places as well. I am also considering using my QTS in England if there is a need for teachers and a possibility to be hired. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

  4. Hi Dan,
    I’m looking into moving abroad to teach and I’m finding your blog very interesting, so thanks for that!
    I’m interested in 2 main cities (due to family reasons), Madrid and Vienna. I’m about to finish my PGCE in the UK and I started to look for jobs a couple of months ago, which apparently is a bit late for international schools…. I was wondering what are the times of the year that international schools usually recruit. Could I find a job in January? or do I have to wait until September next year?
    There’s also the thing of being an NQT… I’ve seen some blogs of people that have completed their NQT year abroad, but most of the offers I see ask for at least 2 years experience… Do you think I should still apply although I don’t have the experience? (I worked as a TA for 2.5 years, and I’m hoping it counts as experience within a school setting…)
    Also, you mention recruitment agencies but the ones I’ve seen usually advertise jobs in Asia… any suggestions for agencies with jobs in other European countries?
    I’m also looking in TES but for some reason there’s hardly anything for Austria… what other websites are good for jobs in Europe?
    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  5. Thank you Luz for taking the time to comment. It is good if you have focused on two cities to work as it will narrow down the schools to explore however the downside is there will inevitably be fewer vacancies. I would suggest making a list of all the international schools in these areas and contacting them directly to explore working there. Yes NQT’s abroad is not as straight forward as some schools prefer to take with two years experience when teachers have completed their induction. There are some agencies that cover Europe but I would suggest going directly to schools instead as you have already a narrow field to explore. Best of luck with it all.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to comment Jim and good to hear from you. It sounds like you have some good experience, has anyone looked at your applications for you or have you had any feedback from the schools? I wonder if you are willing to extend the search a little you may find more suitable vacancies?

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