FAQ

Below you will find a list of some common questions related to International Teaching. Have a question and don't see your answer on our page? Contact us and we will do our very best to help. 

1. I don’t have a teaching qualification, can I still get a job teaching in an International School?

Yes you can. While a teaching certificate from your own country (PGCE or equivalent) is ideally sought, many schools will hire people without a teaching qualification. A BA degree with a TEFL course or an MA in TESOL or even just experience teaching may be enough to secure a position. However, it is important to note that without a teaching qualification you may be limited in your choice as some top-tier schools insist on a teaching qualification. If you want to know more about getting your teaching certificate, please visit our Becoming Teacher Certified Abroad page for more details.

2. Does International Teaching pay as well as a teaching job in my home country?

It depends on where you travel to versus where you call home. Teaching in the Middle East will see an increase savings potential for the majority of International Teachers as there is no income tax, whereas most teachers would find it hard to live comfortably and also save in Switzerland, as although the pay is high, so is the cost of living. Examining an entire benefits package in order to evaluate your savings potential abroad compared to at home is advisable. See our Benefit Packages page for more details.

3. Do I need experience with a particular curriculum to get a job?

Not necessarily. Although some schools may seek out teachers who have previous experience in their elected curriculum, others make their decision based on other factors. Some schools run more than one curriculum and therefore look for a wide range of experience and talent when hiring. The key is to be informed about the school that you are interested in applying to and do some basic research on their curriculum before your interview. Check out our International Curriculum page for more details.

4. I am an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher). Can I get an International Teaching job?

Yes you can. The fact is that schools will consider taking on NQTs, given that the candidate is suitable. In some cases a country’s visa restrictions may mean that a person without experience would not be eligible to work there, although depending on the person’s age this may be negotiated. Schools will bend to accommodate NQTs, particularly if they have not been successful in securing a candidate who meets all of their requirements. Some COBIS-certified schools will also facilitate new teachers during their obligatory NQT year by signing off that it has been completed etc. (British NQTs only)

 

5. I have a BA and a TEFL/TESOL certificate. Can I get a job in an International School?

While it will not be beyond your reach, more often than not International Schools will seek teachers who possess formal teaching qualifications from their home country. Someone with a Degree, a TEFL/TESOL certificate and experience teaching will have a better chance at securing an International School job than someone without experience. See our ESL page for information on how to gain experience if you are just starting out.

6. Do I need a visa to work in an International School?

Generally speaking yes. Most countries require visas for foreigners to work.  Most schools will talk new teachers through the visa process. For work visas, you are often required to apply in your home country through the relevant national embassy. Keep all your receipts as most schools will reimburse you for the costs when you arrive. Bear in mind, some schools will only cover the costs incurred in their country, not in your home country. Visit your chosen countries embassy website for more detailed information on requirements.

7. Can I transfer money to my bank in my home country?

Yes. It is getting easier all the time to transfer money back home. Most schools will set you up with a local bank account when you arrive and pay your salary into this. Internet banking is becoming one of the quickest and easiest ways to transfer your money. Again, most schools will talk you through the process. 

8. Do I have to pay tax on my salary abroad?

Tax obligations vary depending on where you are working. Some countries offer a tax free salary, others require you to pay a percentage of your salary. Your employer will take care of your tax obligations, usually subtracting it from your salary. It is important to note that you may still have tax obligations in your home country while working abroad, so it is important to check with your local revenue office for clarification. 

9. I have applied to dozens of schools but have received no reply. What am I doing wrong?

Probably nothing. It is not uncommon to receive no reply from schools, due perhaps to their finding a suitable candidate, their being inundated with applications, etc. It is important to keep applying as people do pull out of positions quite regularly in International Teaching, allowing the perseverant few to swoop in and take the jobs. See our Curriculum Vitae page for helpful guidance on securing jobs.

10. I’ve had many interviews but keep missing out on the job. What am I doing wrong?

You may be doing nothing wrong. It may simply be a case that you have narrowly missed out to someone with a little more experience or with slightly more convincing answers, etc. It is important to note than many International Schools will choose a candidate based on his or her suitability for their school above all else, i.e. someone who has worked in a school with a similar structure before or in the same country. It may just be that you have not yet interviewed with the school you are most suited for.

However, if you continue to be unsuccessful, it may be wise to consider how your referees are commenting on you. Although rare, there are cases of headmasters sabotaging teachers' chances of securing positions by giving unfair and dishonest references. If you have any doubts about the integrity and honesty of your referees, you may need to consider removing them from your CV and sourcing somebody more reliable.