The Importance of Researching Your Next International School

With the new academic year 2024-2025 not too far away, the Compass team is in full swing screening adventurous educators who are looking to teach in a different country. As a company we always aim to get to know the International schools we work with as well as possible.  This also often includes a visit to the school so we can provide candidates with realistic first hand knowledge on the school.  However, we can’t stress enough to candidates how valuable it is to carry out your own research! It will make for a much easier transition into your new role and avoid any unwanted surprises.

The world of international teaching is full of exciting opportunities, but it’s crucial to thoroughly research your next international school before making the leap. Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or a first-time expatriate teacher, understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of each school can make all the difference in your experience abroad.

Choosing the right international school can have a significant impact on your overall happiness, job satisfaction, and professional growth.

As you navigate the process of finding your next international teaching position, here are some key reasons why researching your potential schools is essential:

1. **Cultural Fit**: Every international school has its own unique culture and atmosphere. By researching a school’s values, mission statement, and educational philosophy, you can gain insight into whether your teaching style and beliefs align with the school’s ethos. Consider factors such as the student body composition, the languages spoken, and the overall school community to determine if you’ll feel at home in that environment.

2. **Curriculum and Teaching Practices**: Different international schools follow different curricula, such as International Baccalaureate (IB), British, American, or local curriculum. Researching the curriculum and teaching practices of a school can help you understand the expectations for teaching and learning, as well as the resources available to support your teaching.

3. **Community and Support**: Moving to a new country can be both exciting and challenging. Researching a school’s support services for international teachers, such as orientation programmes, housing assistance, health insurance, and professional networks, can help ease the transition and ensure you have the support you need to succeed. Consider the school’s reputation within the expatriate community and the availability of social activities to help you build a strong support network.

4. **Contract and Benefits**: Before accepting a teaching position at an international school, it’s essential to thoroughly research the terms of your contract, including salary, benefits, housing allowance, relocation assistance, health insurance, and professional development opportunities. Understanding the financial and logistical aspects of the job can help you make an informed decision and avoid any surprises once you arrive.

5. **School Reputation**: Finally, researching a school’s reputation within the international education community can provide valuable insights into the quality of education, leadership, and overall satisfaction of teachers and students. Look for reviews and testimonials from current and former teachers, as well as accreditation status and any awards or recognitions the school has received.

In conclusion, researching your next international school is a critical step in ensuring a successful and fulfilling experience as an international teacher. By taking the time to explore and evaluate potential schools based on factors such as cultural fit, professional development opportunities, curriculum, work-life balance, community support, contract terms, and school reputation, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your values and goals as an educator.

Remember, each international school is unique, and what works for one teacher may not work for another. Trust your instincts, ask questions, and seek advice from fellow teachers and recruitment agencies to find the right fit for your next international teaching adventure. With careful research and preparation, you can embark on a rewarding journey that expands your horizons, enriches your teaching practice, and creates lasting memories in the global classroom.


How we support international teachers

Are you considering an international teaching post for August 2024? 

Here are some of the benefits of working with an international teaching recruitment agency to support you in finding your next international teaching or leadership adventure!

As the international education market develops and more and more options become available for international teachers and leaders, an increasing number of educators are exploring the range of opportunities that come with teaching abroad. Not to mention the unprecedented demand there is for qualified teachers worldwide, it goes without saying that the intricate process of finding the right international teaching position can be a daunting task. This is where the expertise of an international teaching recruitment agency proves invaluable. There are numerous benefits of collaborating with an agency such as Compass Education and we can streamline your journey towards a rewarding international teaching career. Here are some of the benefits we can offer :

Unmatched Expertise

We specialize in connecting qualified educators with reputable schools around the globe. Our dedicated teams possess a deep understanding of the international education sector and are well-versed in the unique requirements of international schools. We know our clients (international schools) well and are therefore able to provide up to date information and help find the right roles for candidates.

Extensive Network of Schools

One of the primary advantages of working with an international teaching recruitment agency is the expansive network we have cultivated over the years. We maintain relationships with a plethora of international schools, ranging from well-established institutions to new start-ups. We also work with international schools who support ECT’s, should that apply to you.

Streamlined Application Process

Navigating the intricate web of paperwork and requirements when applying for international teaching positions can be overwhelming. We serve as a liaison, simplifying the application process for you. From support in preparing your resume to obtaining necessary certifications, we guide you step by step, ensuring that all documentation is in order and submitted promptly.

Personalized Placement Assistance

Every educator has unique strengths, preferences, and career goals. We recognize this individuality and provide personalized placement assistance through an initial on-line screening interview. This enables us to better understand your experience, your subject expertise, and preferred locations, we can match you with schools that align with your professional aspirations. This personalized approach enhances job satisfaction and contributes to a successful teaching experience abroad.

Cultural Integration Support

At Compass we often invest in visits to the schools we work with which as well as getting to know our clients really well, also enables us to provide insights into the local culture and that of the school, to best advise our candidates.  First time international teachers often have questions about the local culture and customs and we are more than happy to provide this advice and support.

Financial Considerations and Benefits

Understanding the financial aspects of an international teaching position is crucial. Compass provides valuable insights into salary structures, cost of living in different regions, and additional benefits offered by schools. This transparency allows you to make informed decisions about your financial well-being while enjoying the unique perks associated with teaching abroad.

Ongoing Support During the Assignment

Once you secure an international teaching position, the journey is far from over. Compass remains in touch with its candidates, offering ongoing support up until arriving in country to start your contract.  We will also connect you to other teachers in your new school so it doesn’t feel too unfamiliar upon arrival!


In conclusion, embarking on an international teaching career is a transformative adventure, and partnering with an international teaching recruitment agency can significantly enhance this experience. From personalized placement assistance to ongoing support until you begin your contract, we will play a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless transition and a successful teaching experience abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What qualifications do I need to work with an international teaching recruitment agency?

The international schools we work with typically require teachers to have a recognized teaching qualification, degree in your subject, relevant teaching experience, and fluency in English. Additional requirements may vary based on the specific needs of schools and regions.

  1. How long does the placement process take?

The placement process duration varies, but on average, it takes a few weeks to a few months. Factors such as the time of year, the demand for teachers in specific regions, and the completeness of your application can influence the timeline.

  1. Are there fees associated with using an international teaching job agency?

No, there aren’t any associated costs for candidates working with us.

  1. Can I choose the location and type of school for my international teaching position?

Yes, and the more research you do the better.  By communicating your desired location, type of school, and other preferences, we work with you to find a placement that aligns with your professional and personal goals.




Safer Recruitment Practices for International Schools

In the ever-evolving landscape of international education, ensuring the safety and well-being of students is paramount. This week Compass attended the Association of British Schools Overseas annual Conference in Richmond which hosted the launch of the British International Schools Safeguarding Coalition (BISSC). This new Coalition will promote and develop best safeguarding and safer recruitment practice across the British International Schools sector: such a worthwhile initiative.

At Compass, implementing robust and effective recruitment practices has always been a priority for us and something we talk about regularly with the international schools we work with as well as the teachers we recruit.

International schools, often catering to diverse student populations, must go the extra mile to guarantee a secure environment for learning. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key elements of safer recruitment practices for international schools, exploring why they are essential and providing practical insights for implementation.

Why Safer Recruitment Matters

Creating a safe learning environment begins with the recruitment process. Safer recruitment practices are designed to ensure risks are mitigated and to safeguard the well-being of students, fostering an atmosphere conducive to learning and personal development.

International schools perhaps face distinct challenges compared to their domestic counterparts. Dealing with a diverse student body, often comprising students from different cultural backgrounds, requires a nuanced approach to recruitment. Cultural sensitivity, language proficiency, and an understanding of international child protection standards are integral components of safer recruitment in this context.

Key Components of Safer Recruitment include:

  1. Thorough Background Checks

Before hiring any staff member, international schools must conduct comprehensive background checks. At Compass, we support schools with this service ensuring references of candidates are sought and verified as well as thorough employment history verification. This also includes criminal record checks. It is essential to collaborate with international agencies to ensure the accuracy and completeness of these checks, considering the global nature of the school community.

  1. Cultural Sensitivity Training

Given the diverse student population in international schools, cultural sensitivity is crucial. All staff members, especially those in direct contact with students, should undergo training to understand and respect different cultural norms and practices. This helps in creating an inclusive and harmonious learning environment.

  1. Child Protection Training

Staff members in international schools should receive thorough training on child protection policies and procedures. This includes recognizing signs of abuse, reporting mechanisms, and understanding the school’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment for all students. Regular refresher courses should be conducted to keep staff members informed about evolving best practices.

  1. Interview Techniques

The interview process is a critical stage in safer recruitment. Implementing behavioral and situational questions can provide insights into a candidate’s approach to various scenarios. Additionally, panel interviews involving multiple staff members can help in evaluating a candidate from different perspectives, ensuring a comprehensive assessment.

  1. Transparent Communication

Open and transparent communication is essential throughout the recruitment process. Candidates should be informed about the school’s commitment to child protection and the measures in place to ensure a safe environment. This sets clear expectations from the beginning and reinforces the school’s dedication to safety.

The Role of Technology

In the digital age, technology can play a pivotal role in enhancing safer recruitment practices. Recruitment agencies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) more and more that can streamline the recruitment process, ensuring that all necessary checks and procedures are systematically conducted. Additionally, video conferencing tools facilitate remote interviews, enabling schools to access a broader pool of candidates while maintaining a rigorous selection process.


In conclusion, prioritizing safer recruitment practices is non-negotiable for recruitment agencies and international schools committed to providing a secure and nurturing learning environment. By integrating thorough background checks, cultural sensitivity training, child protection education, effective interview techniques, and transparent communication, we can significantly reduce the risk of compromising student safety.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Why are safer recruitment practices crucial for international schools?

Safer recruitment practices are essential for international schools to ensure the safety and well-being of their diverse student population. By implementing robust practices, schools can prevent the entry of individuals with harmful intentions and create a secure learning environment. Interntaional teacher recruitment agencies like Compass will support you with this.

2. What role does technology play in enhancing safer recruitment practices?

Technology, including applicant tracking systems and video conferencing tools, can streamline the recruitment process for international schools. These tools facilitate efficient background checks, remote interviews, and overall process optimization.

3. What steps can international schools take to ensure transparent communication during the recruitment process?

To ensure transparent communication, international schools should clearly communicate their commitment to child protection, inform candidates about safety measures in place, and set clear expectations from the beginning of the recruitment process.


Your next move in international teaching

International Teaching : your next move …it is never too early to start!

Are you a dedicated educator with a passion for teaching and a desire to explore the world? If so, you might be considering the prospect of landing your next international teaching post. The world is full of opportunities for qualified teachers to embark on a rewarding journey to share their knowledge and experience with students from diverse cultures.  At Compass Teaching, we are already receiving CVs and registrations from candidates who are keen to secure a role for August 2024, as well as key vacancies from international schools for the next academic year.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of finding your ideal international teaching position. From understanding the requirements and qualifications to crafting an impressive resumé and succeeding at interview.  Our team of consultants would also  be delighted to answer any questions you may have in person.

Why International Teaching ?

International teaching is a unique and exciting opportunity for educators. There are over 15,000 international schools around the world which cater to a diverse student body, made up of expatriate children and local students. The experience of teaching abroad is both personally and professionally enriching, here are some key reasons to teach abroad:

Cultural Enrichment: Teaching abroad allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture, broaden your horizons, and gain a deeper understanding of global perspectives.

Professional Growth: International teaching can offer diverse teaching experiences, helping you develop adaptability, cultural sensitivity, and enhanced teaching techniques.

Travel Opportunities: It’s a passport to explore different countries and regions, making your weekends and vacations filled with adventures.

Global Networking: You’ll meet fellow educators from around the world, expanding your professional network.

Qualifications and Requirements : Before you start your search for an international teaching post, it’s crucial to understand the qualifications and requirements that schools typically look for. The specifics can vary by country and institution, but here are some common prerequisites:

  • A Degree in your subject: Most schools will request a degree in your taught subject or a Bachelors in Education for Primary teaching roles.
  • Teaching Certification: Most international schools require teachers to possess a teaching certificate or license from their home country.
  • Relevant Experience: Having prior teaching experience, especially in an international or multicultural setting, is often preferred.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Schools value teachers who are culturally sensitive, open-minded, and adaptable.
  • Work Authorization: Ensure you have the legal right to work in your chosen country.

Now that you have a good grasp of what international teaching entails and the qualifications you need, it’s time to start your job search. We do of course recommend you consider working with reputable international teacher recruitment agencies. We can connect you with schools worldwide and assist you throughout the application process. An agency like Compass can serve in an advisory capacity and as a sounding board. Leverage your professional network is also a good idea. Reach out to colleagues who have taught abroad or use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with educators working internationally.

Update your Resume/CV

Your resumé is your first opportunity to make a lasting impression on potential employers. It should showcase your qualifications, experience, and teaching philosophy. It is worth spending time to craft your resumé, ensuring it includes solid detail of what you have achieved over your teaching career to date. Think abour iinclusing some or all of the following:

Contact Information: Include your full name, current address, phone number, and a professional email address.

Objective Statement: Write a concise statement at the beginning of your resume that highlights your career goals and how you can add value to an international school.

Qualifications and Certifications: List your educational background, certifications, and any relevant training or workshops you’ve completed.

Teaching Experience: Detail your teaching positions, including the schools, dates, subjects/grades taught, and key achievements.

Professional Development: Highlight any professional development, conferences, or workshops you’ve attended.

Skills: Mention specific skills relevant to teaching and adapting to new environments.

References: Include references or mention that they are available upon request.

The Interview Process

Once your resumé catches the eye of a potential employer, you’ll likely be invited for an on-line interview. This is your chance to shine and demonstrate why you’re the ideal candidate for the position. Here’s how to prepare:

Research the School: Learn about the school’s mission, values, and teaching approach. Tailor your answers to align with their goals.

Teaching Philosophy: Be prepared to discuss your teaching philosophy and how it fits with the school’s ethos.

Cultural Sensitivity: Emphasize your ability to work effectively in a multicultural environment.

Questions for the School: Prepare questions to ask the school, demonstrating your genuine interest in the position and institution.

Once you’ve aced the interview and received a job offer, it’s time to consider questions around the contract. Here are some key points to keep in mind during negotiations:

Salary and Benefits: Discuss your salary, benefits, and any additional perks. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what’s included in your compensation package.

Contract Length: Understand the duration of the contract and any renewal options.

Housing and Relocation Assistance: Inquire about the school’s policy regarding housing and relocation support.

Visa and Work Permits: Clarify the process for obtaining the necessary work permits and visas.

Professional Development: Discuss opportunities for professional development and ongoing training.

Embarking on an international teaching journey can be a life-changing experience. It offers personal and professional growth, cultural enrichment, and the chance to make a positive impact on students from around the world. To get started, make sure you meet the qualifications, create a compelling resume, and prepare thoroughly for interviews. As you explore international teaching opportunities, remember that the world is your classroom, and your next adventure awaits!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How do I know if I will enjoy international teaching? The big step into international teaching shouldn’t be taken lightly and you should ensure that you research international schools and destinations that are of interest to you. Also try to connect with international teachers to hear about their experiences.
  2. Where can I find international teaching job opportunities?: Register your CV with www.compassteaching.com! We would be delighted to advise you.



Your new international teaching role

Settling into your new role in an international school

Embarking on your first teaching adventure abroad is both thrilling and nerve-wracking.

Here are some valuable tips to help you navigate the transition smoothly and make the most of your exciting experience!

Preparation is key

Even before you board the plane, take time to research and get to know your international school’s country. It’s invaluable to study its culture, customs, and local norms. This will not only make you feel more confident upon arrival but also help you avoid unintentional cultural missteps.

While fluency in the local language might not be necessary, knowing a few key phrases can go a long way in building connections and showing respect to your new community.

Do gather all necessary documents such as your professional qualifications, passport, visa, work permits, and any other required paperwork well in advance a some may need to be certified in advance and this will take time. Finally, do also keep both physical and digital copies in a secure location.

When securing an international teaching position with an agency your accommodation will be a significant part of the package and knowing where you are setting up your new life will ease your initial transition. It is important before arriving in country that you know there is safe and comfortable place to stay to help you adjust to your new surroundings.

Try to engage in community events, join social groups, and attend networking gatherings to meet new people. A trusted international teacher recruitment agency will signpost a support system, whether with fellow expatriates or knowledge of the school’s onboarding system to give you a confident start for work life balance.

Teaching abroad offers opportunities to embrace cultural differences. It’s important to approach these experiences  with an open mind and be willing to learn from the new environment and adapt to local customs. Remember, your openness will help you connect with your students and colleagues.

Now let’s turn to the key reason why you are there – to thrive in the classroom! It’s important to familiarize yourself with the curriculum, teaching methods, and classroom expectations of your new school. This understanding will help you deliver effective lessons and connect with your students. Furthermore it will support the development of positive relationships with your students, colleagues, and administrators and create a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment that will set the tone for a successful teaching experience.

Being away from family and the challenges of teaching abroad can be demanding and self-care must be a priority. It is advisable to engage in activities you enjoy, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and seek support if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Stay healthy by taking care of your physical well-being, eating nutritious meals, staying active, and getting enough sleep. Familiarize yourself with local healthcare options as well.

This is an important time to keep a journal or blog to chronicle your experiences as the time will go so quickly and the challenges and triumphs will not only serve as a personal keepsake, but it could also inspire others who are considering teaching abroad.

Finally, teaching abroad for the first time is a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth. By preparing thoroughly, embracing cultural differences, connecting with your community, and focusing on your well-being, you can make the most of this transformative experience.

FAQ’s from International Teachers
  1.  Do I need to be fluent in the local language to teach abroad? While fluency is beneficial, many international schools offer programs in English. Learning some basic phrases will be helpful, but you can still succeed without complete fluency.
  2. How can I overcome homesickness while teaching abroad? Stay connected with loved ones through video calls and social media. Engage in local activities, make new friends, and give yourself time to adapt to your new environment.
  3. What’s the best way to immerse myself in the local culture? Participate in cultural events, try local foods, and engage in community activities. Building relationships with locals will provide you with insights into their way of life.
  4. How can I handle the challenges of a different education system? Attend professional development sessions offered by your school, seek guidance from experienced colleagues, and maintain an open dialogue with your students and administrators.
  5. What resources are available for handling unexpected situations abroad? Familiarize yourself with the nearest embassy or consulate, have emergency contacts saved, and learn about local emergency services. Your school’s administrative staff can also provide guidance in case of unexpected situations.

Teaching abroad is a remarkable journey of cultural exchange and personal development. By approaching it with curiosity, flexibility, and a willingness to learn, you’ll not only excel in the classroom but also create lasting memories that will shape your teaching career.



Introducing our international teacher recruitment team

Compass Education was first founded in 2011 by Tom Arnold, and through his vision, quickly became a leading international teacher recruitment agency. Today, we remain a small, family-run business that gets to know our clients and candidates to ensure that we continue to deliver outstanding service.

With that in mind, it seems only fair, that you get the opportunity to get to know us too. In this blog, we will introduce our consultants, so you can learn a little about the team working hard on your behalf.

Name: Kathryn Kirk

Role: Director (& Owner)

How long have you been working with Compass?  2 years

What are your primary responsibilities? Managing the day-to-day running of Compass

What is your preferred method of communication (e.g., email, in-person, video call)? Video Call

What is one thing you hope to achieve as part of this team? I want to grow the team further and build on the excellent foundations already in place, whilst supporting the team as best I can. 

What is the greatest tip you can give to applicants that want to teach abroad? Research, research, research! Be as clear as you can about your expectations and ambitions, and follow your dreams! 

What is your favourite thing about your job? Interacting with schools and candidates and supporting them. Listening to the consultants report back on their work, and seeing the progress we make as a team.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, travelling and walking my dog. I am definitely more of a morning person, and to unwind I tend to put on my running shoes. I take my running quite seriously these days, and you will often find me training for a triathlon. 

I am a strong believer that life is a journey and not a destination, and my favourite quote is: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou. 

Name: Heather Thompson

Role: Recruitment Consultant

How long have you been working with Compass?  8 years

What are your primary responsibilities? The recruitment of excellent international teachers

What is your preferred method of communication (e.g., email, in-person, video call)? Video Call

What is one thing you hope to achieve as part of this team? I hope that my experience both as a recruitment specialist and also as someone that has relocated many times can benefit others. My husband is an international headteacher, so I have a wealth of relevant knowledge and help to impart.

What is the greatest tip you can give to applicants that want to teach abroad? Be open-minded and flexible. 

What is your favourite thing about your job? Placing someone in a job they are thrilled to have been offered. 

I am another morning person, who loves spending time with my family and walking the dog. To unwind, you often find me cycling or tinkering in the garden. I also love meeting friends and new people, which bodes well for my line of work.

Name: Honoria Arnold

Role: Administrative Consultant

How long have you been working with Compass?  13 years

What are your primary responsibilities? I am first in line when responding to candidate registration. This usually involves screening newly registered candidates, maintaining the candidate database, uploading new job adverts and maintaining the vacancy website.

What is your preferred method of communication (e.g., email, in-person, video call)? Video Call

What is one thing you hope to achieve as part of this team? My main goal is maintaining an excellent database, to help the recruitment team match the right candidates with the right international teaching jobs.

What is the greatest tip you can give to applicants that want to teach abroad? Seize the opportunity of a position that suits you and your profile.

What is your favourite thing about your job? Being involved in helping dreams come true.

A fun fact about me, that not many know, is that a photo of me was featured in the Beatles Museum in Liverpool. To find out why, you will have to register! To unwind after a busy day or recruitment season, I will often snuggle up and watch a good murder mystery. Always open to a recommendation or two. The motto that drives me is: “To do little things well.”

Name: Nicola Hemingway

Role: Senior Consultant

How long have you been working with Compass?  A year (in September)

What are your primary responsibilities? Recruiting brilliant international educators, and developing teacher & leadership recruitment.

What is your preferred method of communication (e.g., email, in-person, video call)? Video Call

What is one thing you hope to achieve as part of this team? To be able to work together to support international schools, their teachers and their leaders build the best educational teams possible. 

What is the greatest tip you can give to applicants that want to teach abroad? Take time at the start of the search, to look into locations and the differing types of schools available. This is where an education consultant can be invaluable as they will be able to provide you with the information needed to support you in making the decision that is right for you and your career and life aspirations.

What is your favourite thing about your job? Hearing updates from candidates about how much they are enjoying their new careers and country.

I am definitely a morning person, especially in the summertime. Outside of work, I particularly enjoy travel and cookery and especially enjoy combining the two and learning about a country via their local food! The quote that motivates me is from Jane Goodall – “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

We work very closely with international schools and international teachers and leaders. For our clients, which include some of the best international schools in the world, we work alongside you, to best understand your needs and provide you with the best-fit teachers and leaders.  For our candidates, we take pride in dedicating as much time as possible to supporting you on your international teaching journey and finding the right role for you, in the right school.

As a leading education recruitment consultancy, Compass has been successfully supporting international schools since 2011. With a wealth of experience in education and recruitment, our dedicated team of consultants ensures that we meet the challenges of fast-paced teacher recruitment and navigate the intricacies of leadership appointments. 

Get in touch, if you would like to work with us.

We would love to hear from you.


Tips for tackling the international school job application

Your curriculum vitae or resume is most likely to be the first impression you make on potential employers, so when applying for an international school job, it is essential that it showcases your skills, experience, and qualifications in the best possible light. But with so many job seekers vying for the same positions, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd. That’s why in this blog, we’ll be sharing some essential tips and tricks to help you improve your resume and increase your chances of landing your dream job. Whether you’re just starting your career or looking to take the next step, these tips will help you create a resume that gets noticed and sets you apart from other applicants. So, let’s dive in and learn how to make your resume shine!

As a teacher applying to international schools, there are several key items you should include in your resume to make it appealing to potential employers. Here are some suggestions:

Professional experience

Start with your professional experience, which should be listed in reverse chronological order (most recent job first). Include your job title, the name of the school or organisation you worked for, the dates of employment, and a brief description of your duties and accomplishments.

Educational background

List your highest degree earned and any other relevant coursework or certifications. If you have any specialised training or certifications, be sure to mention them here.

Languages spoken

In the international school community, being able to communicate in multiple languages is often seen as a valuable asset. Make sure to include any languages you speak fluently or at a conversational level.

Teaching Philosophy 

Many international schools are looking for teachers who are passionate about teaching and have a strong teaching philosophy. Include a brief statement about your teaching philosophy and what you believe are the most important aspects of teaching.

Experience teaching international curricula 

If you have experience teaching international curricula such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), be sure to highlight this experience in your resume.

Technology skills

In today’s increasingly digital world, international schools are looking for teachers who are comfortable using technology in the classroom. Make sure to highlight any technology skills or experience you have, such as using educational software or online learning platforms.

Cross-cultural experience 

International schools value teachers who have experience working in cross-cultural settings. If you have lived or worked abroad, have experience teaching students from diverse cultural backgrounds, or have experience of immersing yourself in other cultures on home soil – be sure to mention this in your resume.

Professional development

Show that you are committed to continuous learning and improvement by listing any professional development courses or workshops you have attended, whether these are through your current job or under your own initiative. This will demonstrate that you are willing to adapt to new teaching methods and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in education.

Community spirit

Hiring managers at international schools are looking for applicants that will be able to settle into life in a new host country, teaching abroad is not for everyone, so don’t be shy about hobbies that might help you integrate with the wider community. 

Once you have your framework, and are happy with the content, there are two more things to consider. 

  • Have you tailored it to the school in question? 

If you really want a role, you must be prepared to show it in your application. Reflect the school’s own language in your resume and covering letter, ensure that your teaching philosophy aligns with theirs, demonstrate your experience with their curricula, show an interest in the culture of the host country. Speak directly to your future Headteacher. 

  • Check your spelling and grammar.

There is nothing more infuriating for a hiring manager, then finding a candidate that has all of the appropriate experience, on a resume littered with obvious mistakes. You can ask a trusted friend or colleague to check it for you, or you can turn to one of the many tools available online instead: Grammarly, Language Tool, or Microsoft Word to name but a few.  

Your resume is the most important tool you have in your toolkit, particularly in the early stages of your job search. It’s your chance to showcase your skills, experience, and accomplishments, and to make a strong first impression with potential schools. They will also refer back to it throughout the interview process, so take your time to get it right. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this blog, you can improve your resume and increase your chances of landing your dream job teaching abroad. Remember to tailor your resume to each job you apply for, highlight your most relevant skills and experiences, and use clear and concise language to make your resume stand out. With a well-crafted resume and a commitment to continuous improvement, you can take your career to the next level and achieve your professional goals.

Don’t forget, the team here at Compass are here to help. If you are a qualified teacher who is interested in teaching abroad, then get in touch, we would love to hear from you. 

We would love to hear from you.


Living and teaching in Milan

Milan is a vibrant city located in the northern part of Italy and is the capital of the Lombardy region. With relatively inexpensive and direct flights readily available from the UK through multiple airlines, Milan’s easy-to-reach location is one of the many features of this city that appeals to international teachers. 

Milan is a major economic hub and a centre for industries such as fashion, design, finance, technology, and media. The city provides a wealth of job opportunities, particularly for those in creative fields, making it an appealing destination for expatriates. As a result, there are a number of international schools catering to the educational needs of expatriate families.

Teaching abroad in Milan can be a rewarding and enriching experience provided you find a school that is right for you. International schools in Milan cater to a diverse community of expatriates, offering a variety of curricula such as British, American, and International Baccalaureate (IB). Remember, each international school is unique, so it’s important to thoroughly research and connect with the specific school you are considering to gain insights from current or former teachers.

International schools in Milan typically offer a range of benefits and support to their teachers. While the specific offerings can vary between schools, competitive salaries that are commensurate with the teacher’s qualifications and experience should be expected. Occasionally, the salary packages may also include additional benefits such as transportation allowance, and health insurance.

As an international teacher, it is also fair to expect support in settling into your new environment. That may be through a cultural integration programme, mentorship or buddy programme, and/or a well-integrated school community. If this is your first international teaching post, it should be reassuring to learn that a good international school understand the challenges that teachers may face when adjusting to a new cultural environment, and make every effort to welcome you appropriately.

Through a professional lens, the international schools that we work with, provide teachers with access to well-equipped classrooms, teaching resources, and professional development opportunities. All with the central ambition of delivering high-quality instruction and engaging students effectively. 

In fact, Milan is a hub for many educational conferences, workshops, and professional development opportunities. As a teacher, you may have access to these events to further enhance your teaching skills and stay up to date with educational trends.

Outside of school

Expats can take advantage of the city’s excellent transportation links to explore neighbouring countries, visit surrounding beauty spots, or take short trips to popular cities like Venice, Florence, and the Swiss Alps. Milan’s central location in northern Italy allows for easy access to other European destinations. 

But there is plenty to see and do around the city too. Milan is in close proximity to several beautiful lakes, such as Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, and Lake Garda. These lakes offer stunning natural scenery, water sports, and leisure activities. They are popular destinations for locals, expats, and tourists. To the north of Milan, the landscape transitions into the Italian Alps. While not directly part of the city’s geography, the proximity of the Alps provides easy access to breathtaking mountain scenery, hiking, skiing, and other outdoor pursuits. If you like open green spaces but don’t want to travel too far, the city itself has plenty of parks providing residents with recreational spaces and opportunities for relaxation amidst the urban environment.

The city is also home to iconic landmarks such as the magnificent Duomo di Milano, La Scala Opera House, and numerous museums and art galleries. It offers a lively cultural scene with fashion events, design exhibitions, and artistic festivals, attracting those with an appreciation for art and culture. Expats with an interest in fashion and luxury find the city particularly appealing, with a plethora of high-end boutiques, designer stores, and fashion districts to explore.

Italy is, of course, famous for its cuisine, and Milan is no exception. The city offers a wide array of culinary delights, from traditional Italian trattorias to Michelin-starred restaurants. Expats are spoiled for choice when it comes to authentic Italian flavours.


While living and teaching in Milan as an expatriate can be exciting and rewarding, there are some challenges that you may encounter. It’s important to be aware of these and prepare for them:

Language barrier

Italian is the primary language spoken in Milan, and while many people, especially in international schools, speak English, there may still be instances where language barriers arise in day-to-day interactions. Learning some Italian can help you navigate daily life and communicate with locals.

Housing and cost of living

Milan is known for its higher cost of living compared to other Italian cities. Finding suitable accommodation within your budget can be a challenge, particularly in desirable neighbourhoods. It’s important to research housing options in advance and budget accordingly.

Bureaucratic processes

Navigating administrative processes, such as obtaining work permits, visas, and dealing with local authorities, can sometimes be complex and time-consuming. It’s essential to familiarise yourself with the necessary paperwork and seek guidance from your agency, school or employer to ensure a smooth transition.

Final thoughts

Milan offers a high standard of living with a well-developed infrastructure, efficient public transportation, quality healthcare, and a range of amenities and services. The city’s parks, recreational facilities, and diverse entertainment options provide a well-rounded lifestyle for residents.

It’s important to note that the cost of living in Milan can be relatively high compared to other Italian cities, particularly in terms of housing and dining out. However, for many international teachers, the advantages and opportunities the city offers outweigh the associated expenses.

Ultimately, the appeal of Milan as a destination for teaching abroad lies in its cultural richness, lifestyle amenities, and the opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant Italian way of life.

It’s important to research and consider the specific international school in Milan you are interested in, as each school may have its own unique environment, curriculum, and community. As always, we are here to help, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more about opportunities to live and teach in Milan.

We would love to hear from you.


The global rise of international schools – and what that means for You

The demand for international schools has been steadily increasing for the last forty years.  According to a recent report by ISC Research, the number of international schools worldwide increased from 8,700 in January 2013 to 13,190 in January 2023. The reasons behind the growth are varied, but some of the primary drivers include globalisation, increased mobility of students and families, and a growing demand for high-quality education.

According to data taken from ISC Research Whitepaper: Why more international schools keep opening, February 2023: Asia as a total region currently represents 57% of the entire market for the number of international schools, in comparison, Europe represents 18%. 

With the world becoming more interconnected, international schools have emerged as a way for parents to ensure their children receive an education that is recognised globally. International schools tend to follow recognised curricula such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) programs, that are well respected and valued by universities and employers around the world. This means that students who attend international schools can continue their education, or entry to the workplace, seamlessly, no matter where they are in the world.

Another reason for the growth of international schools is the increasing mobility of students and families. With the rise of expatriate communities and the ease of international travel, many families are choosing to live and work overseas. International schools provide an opportunity for these families to ensure their children receive an education that is consistent with their home country’s curriculum and standards. Conversely, there is also a desire by more young people to study for higher education, which will take them beyond their home country.

Many parents are willing to pay a premium for high-quality education. In many countries across Asia, international schools are often seen as a priority investment for families that can afford private schooling. The schools often offer smaller class sizes that allow for differentiated and individualised attention for students, and more resources than local schools. Furthermore, international schools are often staffed by highly qualified and experienced teachers who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom.

What does this mean for international teachers?

For qualified teachers who want to work overseas, the growth of international schools presents many opportunities. International schools are always in need of qualified and experienced teachers, particularly those who are fluent in English and have experience teaching international curricula. 

However, the process of finding a job in an international school can be challenging, and there are several factors that teachers should consider before pursuing this career path. Firstly, it is important to note that competition for jobs in international schools can be intense, and schools often receive hundreds of applications for each position. Therefore, it is essential for teachers to have a strong resume and cover letter that highlights their experience and qualifications.

In addition to the competition, teachers also need to consider the potential challenges of working in an international school. For example, teachers may need to adapt to different teaching styles and cultural norms, they may need to be flexible and willing to adapt to different curricula and teaching methods, as international schools may follow different educational systems than those in their home country. Furthermore, teachers should consider how they would feel being away from their immediate support network. A good international school, will go to great lengths to help new teachers settle in and establish connections within the community, but inevitably there will come a point when they miss home, so it is important to feel prepared for that too. 

In conclusion

Despite these challenges, there are many benefits to working in an international school. For example, teachers have the opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, which can be highly rewarding. Furthermore, teachers in international schools often have access to more resources and technology than they would in local schools, which can help them become more effective educators. Additionally, teachers in international schools often receive competitive salaries and benefits packages, which can make a move overseas financially attractive.

It is important to remember that whilst there is a growing number of international schools offering opportunities to teach abroad, not all international schools are created equal. There are many factors that can influence the quality of education and the working environment at an international school. When considering job opportunities, there are several things that applicants should look out for to ensure that they are applying to reputable and high-quality schools. These include things like the school’s reputation, teacher turnover rates, resources and facilities, curriculum and teaching methods. 




Want to teach abroad? Have you done your homework?


Applying for a teaching position at an international school can be a daunting process, especially when you haven’t done it before. But it doesn’t have to be. Understanding what to expect during the recruitment process can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty. Here are a few pointers on what to expect along the way. 




Step 1: Research and Apply




The first step in the recruitment process is a bit of desk research. It’s time to find out what’s out there, and remember to look early. Recruitment for teaching overseas starts early in the calendar year. An optional, but easy way to do this, is to speak with the experts. There are international teacher recruitment agencies that have long-established relationships with schools around the world. They would be well placed to find a suitable setting that aligned with your interests and qualifications, as well as prepare you for the application process. Of course, many international schools have their own website where you can find information about the school, its mission, and the types of positions they are currently hiring for. You can also find international teaching job listings on more general job boards. Once you have found a school or position that interests you, you can submit your application, which typically includes your resume, cover letter, and references.




Step 2: Interviews




Similarly to a teaching role in your native country, if your application is short-listed, you will be asked to participate in a series of interviews. These interviews can take place over the phone, via video call, or in person. In some cases, depending on the role that you have applied for, you may be asked to meet with key stakeholders across the school community. These could include groups of parents or students. The school may also ask for additional documentation such as your teaching certification, transcripts, and proof of language proficiency. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your qualifications, experience, and importantly your teaching philosophy. They may also ask you to demonstrate your teaching skills by giving a mock lesson or lesson plan. It is important to remember that they are not just looking at your professional teaching ability, but also, your suitability for living in the host country. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that show you have considered this.



Extra: The international teaching profession is a small, well-networked community, try to avoid missing an interview with little or no notice. It could be remembered. 




Step 3: Pre-Employment Checks




Once the school has selected a candidate, they will conduct usual pre-employment checks. These checks may include background checks, reference checks, and verification of your teaching certification. The school may also ask you to submit a medical form and provide proof of your health insurance. It may sound obvious, but it is also worth checking that your passport has a suitable length of time left on it. You may be needing it soon!




Step 4: Offer of employment




If the school is satisfied with the results of your pre-employment checks, they will extend an offer. The job offer will include details such as the start date, salary, and benefits. The school may also provide information about housing, relocation assistance, school places for your family if needed, and the school’s policies and procedures.




Step 5: Visa and Work Permit




Once you have accepted the offer of employment, the school will assist you with obtaining the necessary visa and work permit. They may even book your flight. The process for obtaining a visa and work permit can vary depending on the country and school. The school will provide you with the necessary forms and instructions, but it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that all the necessary documents are submitted and processed in a timely manner. This is your first real opportunity to show how organised you are, and these early impressions count.




Step 6: Arrival and Orientation




Once you have obtained your visa and work permit, you can make arrangements to travel to your new host country. Before your arrival, the school will provide you with information about practical matters. When you arrive, the school will typically provide an orientation program to help you acclimate to the new culture and environment.This will likely take place a week or so before the returning staff come back. It is a great opportunity to get to know your new environment and bed in before the real work begins. If the intrepid explorer in you wants to get to know your new location, before you join the school community, it is sometimes worth travelling ahead of schedule and enjoying some holiday before term starts.  



The recruitment process for international teaching positions can take several months, so it’s important to be patient and persistent. Keep in mind that the process will vary depending on the school and country, so it’s essential to stay in communication with the school throughout the process.



In conclusion, applying for a teaching position at an international school can be a rewarding experience. Understanding the recruitment process and what to expect can help you navigate the process with confidence. Remember to research and apply to schools that align with your interests and qualifications, participate in the interviews, and follow through on the pre-employment checks. Once you receive a job offer, assist the school in obtaining the necessary visa and work permit and prepare for your arrival and orientation. With the right mindset and preparation, you can secure a teaching position at an international school and embark on an adventure of a lifetime.


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