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.

Compass Education Consultancy specializes in recruiting exceptional talent for international schools. We provide services in leadership search, teacher recruitment, and consultancy.

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