Best and Worst School Benefit Packages


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The realization that you can’t dine out because your school salary is too small in relation to  the local economy can be, at best, depressing—even more so if you’re putting in long hot days in overcrowded classrooms with no air conditioning or wifi and seriously lacking adequate teaching materials.

On the other hand, many international educators live like royalty, perhaps enjoying a maid, a nanny or cook, a driver, finely furnished housing, comprehensive health insurance, a complimentary car and strong savings and travel potential. Yes, many such schools do still exist in today’s worldwide economic downturn. All you have to do is find them!

Few schools, however, advertise their pay package, and recruiting venues usually release participating schools’ benefit information mere hours prior to the event. Many an international teaching candidate has dropped a school from their prospect list at the last minute, realizing a dip into savings would be needed just to make ends meet at the particular school.

Which schools offer international educators the opportunity to live in the style to which we would all like to become accustomed? Which schools will keep you just above the poverty level? Our Best and Worst of International School Packages Blog is the place  to share and compare information on what potential schools realistically have to offer.

962 Responses to Best and Worst School Benefit Packages

  1. Charlotte says:

    I’m currently teaching in Abu Dhabi, and for my next role, I’d like to try and go for a really good financial and benefits package. Is Aramco the best? And what’s it like in Saudi, as you’re on a compound most of the time I imagine. Where are Aramco jobs advertised? Where else are the best packages? I’m just asking about the best money and benefits, not so much about the quality of lifestyle in a place.

    • Barbara says:

      Charlotte: Did you find any information about high paying schools? I could really use some insight into finding the better paying packages. I’m with you. Put me on a compound, but show me the money. Thanks in advance for any info yo can share.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can you give me some list of best school in Dubai open for expat.. My husband is working there as engineer. And I am looking for best school for me to teach and for my 3yr.old daughter to study. Any school that offer educational benefits for dependent/child. I have 2years experience in teaching in elementary.

  3. Jason Huber says:

    Does anyone know about the salary and benefits package at the International School of Panama? My wife and I (both teachers) are considering to relocate to the city or near, within a year or so.

  4. Rana says:

    I just moved into Dubai and I have been wondering about the school payments for International schools there. What is an average payment there?

  5. Laura says:

    Hi there. Can you tell me why you made this comment?? Thanks.

  6. Lily says:

    Does anyone know about the package in the International School of Paris? Are the teacher required with French language certificate? thx.

    • Anonymous says:

      Teachers are not required to know French, but the school does offer avenues for learning the language. The pay is ok, but a family relying on the teachers salary is a stretch. The local economy is very expensive.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi all, anyone know or taught in Singapore International School of Bangkok (SISB)? How is the package like?

    • Anonymous says:

      Singaporean school packages are low to middling (between 50-70,000 per month) and the working conditions aren’t very favourable.

  8. shadylane says:

    Not worked there but know some who do / did.
    Salary is +/- 3000 usd per month net depending on experience etc. Housing allowance is ok. School is rumoured to be moving next year into town, although this is supposed to be hush hush.
    It’s a for profit school owned and run by a local. Teachers have often found it quite frustrating.

  9. Amy Teague says:

    Does anyone know about the salary and benefits package at the International School of Prague??

  10. Pester Meat says:

    Is it normal practice for expatriates to get better packages than their local counterparts in international schools? Even in Western countries?

    • turtle says:

      Yes, unfortunately. It’s a rare school that doesn’t have this. In my experience, it’s always created a divide between locals and expat staff.

  11. Mickovich says:

    Mariana.. Thanks for the kudos… Look, there are many schools here that use IB (151 across Australia at present). As stated, the salaries don’t vary much in Australia.. top scale teacher would be 10 years+ experience (no extra for masters.. many aussie teachers have masters as a matter of course these days). Such a teacher would earn $82 000 – $100,000 AUD (about $77000-94000 USD). They are not ‘packages’ generally, though some private schools offer salary packaging (which can add a few thousand dollars after tax). Accommodation, however, is generally cheaper than cities on the “international circuit”. Sydney is expensive, Melbourne reasonably so but most other capital cities are reasonable. Regional centres (less than 100K populations) have much cheaper rent and the beaches in Australia are simply awesome… most coastal towns have a couple of outstanding surf beaches!!

    In Brisbane, some good IB schools include St Peters, Indooroopilly, and the Brisbane Academies (state government run IB schools): Toowong, Science and Technology Academy, Kelvin Grove, Creative Arts Academy, Gold Coast, Health Sciences Academy.

    Advertisements for jobs are on the Australian “SEEK” website (biggest one in Australia) or in the National Newspaper, “The Australian”. Australia has no discrimination by country (it is outlawed), however, overseas applicants may need a ‘457’ visa to justify that the job cannot be filled by a local. Still generally works since the IB is growing enormously in Australia and there simply aren’t enough Aussie IB trained/experienced teachers yet. Good luck!

    • David says:

      My package teaching in an outback school is $108, 500 plus $10, 000 super, free house, free utilities and all the flies you can eat. Its a great experience and certainly more lucrative than any international school I taught at prior.

      • Yep, I agree. ..and almost nothing to spend your money on except fuel to go exploring and a decent 4WD!! :)

      • Meg says:

        Hi David- this is off topic but I am wondering if you are an Aussie teaching at an Outback school? If not, how did you get sponsored to teach in Aus? Signed, A Canadian teacher

      • David says:

        I am a Canadian Teacher with Aussie Passport. Many outback workers are on Working Holiday visas (easy to get if your country is on the list). A teacher in Australia must be registered in Australia to tesch.

  12. mickovich says:

    Possibly the best forum on the topic I’ve seen (wish I had one in 1998 when I started the circuit). Now some agreements:

    1. This forum is about the best and worst packages, so the most important variable is simply the potential to save.

    2. At present, this appears to be: Saudi (Aramco, still hands down), Schools in Bangkok (including ISB, Patana as mentioned), Nagoya International School), Singapore (Tanglin Trust, UWCSEA), Hong Kong (ESF, HKIS)

    3. Much depends on your COO. US rates may remain static, as many local currencies are tied to it. However, I am an Aussie and in 2002 I doubt that any here would have earnt anywhere near what I did for a top scale teacher (no leadership) at a certain well-known School system in HK with over 15 schools.. More than $220 000 USD in today’s terms AFTER tax. Serious. However, the exchange rate was $1AUD: 4 (averaged over 12 months in 2001-2002), Now the rate is $1AUD: 7.5. Having said that, we put 20% deposits on houses every two years whilst in Hong Kong. Times and rents, especially have changed, as have packages, so HK is no longer the world’s golden goose for teachers.

    4. The most experienced here talk about lifestyle and that is a more important factor. You can save 70% of the peak rates on this forum but live very comfortably as you never would back home, putting your kids into schools of the quality that, again, at home you could never afford to do.. what are these places.. It’s a bloody secret. No, ok, I’ll tell you:

    a) Thailand. Hot, Humid but bloody nice people, food you’ll get fat on and holidays awesome enough in the country you don’t need to fly overseas. Maids, tick, big townhouses, tick, cheap utilities, tick, Western Supermarkets/Food, tick!

    b) Anywhere in German-sepaking Europe. On borders you can pop over to even buy cheaper groceries, trains all over Europe for hols, Nice homes, stuff works, environment is civilised.

    c) Selected parts of Africa: Uganda, curiously not mentioned. International school of Uganda is a decent place with a lovely package and you can get a wonderful home, drivers, maids, cooks and live like Kings and Queens. Climate superb, Travel.. are you kidding me?? Excellent. Power is an issue, serious. However, it is better than it was and you can afford a Diesel generator for such occasions.

    d) Australia. Again, no one mentioned it but it can be insane here now with exchange rates and our high standard of living. Top scale teachers in Victoria and New South Wales in the government system is now touching $100 000 $AUD (close to $98 000 USD) and in QLD/SA/WA is about $80-88K AUD. Even in Central Business District of Brisbane, 100m2 flats can be as little as $1600 US. Growing number of IB Schools, students better behaved than Gulf States or the UK/Parts of the US. Schools across Australia don’t vary much in packages (maybe +/- 5% of those stated here). Now, if you want to travel?? It’s Australia. Some of the best parts of the planet all on a frickkin’ big island (the size of China!). Alpine skiing, Desert, Arguably best diving in the world, Uluru, Gorges, Rainforests, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart… all in the top 100 liveable cities for damn good reason. Yep. You could do a lot worse. :)

    • Mariana says:

      Hi Mickovich! Great post. I currently work at an IB school in Brazil. I would love to work in Australia, but haven’t seen any job postings (so far). I thought this could be due to internal hiring policies? Would you recommend schools in Australia that are offer good packages and are open to foreign hire?Thanks, Mariana.

    • Brent says:

      Hi Mickovich, can you give us a general idea of what the package at the International School of Uganda includes? We are especially interested in dependent tuition information, as we have 4 children.

    • Happycamper says:

      Mickovich, can you explain Nagoya International School comment. Do you mean to say the package is good? what are you basing this on?

  13. ben says:

    To sum-up…

    Tier One: (“Superb” salary/benefits packages, easily save over 25K/year) Saudi Aramco, Int. School Bangkok, Lahore American Int. School and maybe a dozen or so others.

    Tier Two: (“Good” salary/benefit packages, easily save over 15K/year) Escuela Campo Alegre and maybe 25 others?

    Tier Three: (“Okay” salary/benefit packages, easily save over 7K/year) 50-100 schools?

    Tier Four: (“Bad” salary/benefit packages, save under 5K/year) Over a hundred schools?

    Note: Though everyone would agree Saudi Aramco schools are at the VERY top of this list, nothing is more confusing than hearing a discussion on the topic of the benefits they offer. It’s crazy, like Aramco reps search the internet and delete comments regarding their salary/benefits. When one DOES find info on it, there is always an immediate rebuttal post by someone else who contradicts. Oh! The mystery that is Aramco! What is the truth?!?! So alluring!!!

    Anyway, I’d like to see where schools fall with regard to each of these tiers (above).

    • karlmersharl says:

      Your forgetting place like China where you take home 50k UK a year.

      • AQI Watcher says:

        I agree with your China comment. My wife and I banked 100K last year, we have a pretty decent lifestyle in Shanghai, and we travel every break.

        • Barbara says:

          Hello AQI… where are you in China and how did you get the job (recruiters???). anything I have been offered in China is at very low rates of pay and I am not sure the best way to find the best jobs. All advice will be greatly appreciated and thanks!

          • AQI Watcher says:

            Hi Barbara,
            No recruiters, I got my job through word of mouth, and perhaps I just got lucky. Top paying schools will not deal with recruiters, unless you are referring to ISS, Search or TIE online.

  14. Tumbi says:

    anyone know that the salary package is like at International School of Kenya?

    • Anonymous says:

      You can just email them and they will send the package info to you

    • Nzuri sana says:

      Not very high in the British school I was at. I didn’t save much at all. But it’s a fantastic lifestyle – so much to do at the weekends and holidays. I got a free furnished house and flights. I stayed for four years. I loved it. Security is a worry, but the schools take care of you.

    • goinginternational says:

      I am also considering ISK- have you been able to learn anything about the package and working conditions?

  15. expatlife says:

    To all of you asking for details on salaries, benefits, etc. Join Search or ISS and you can get all the access you want to these details!

    • Beth says:

      Search has removed the salary from their listings. They are waiting for schools to update them on their end. It might be a while….

    • Happycamper says:

      I do not trust Search. The info is not current and I know of several “misrepresentations”. Ask someone who works there. Ring the school and ask of the person on staff you would be replacing.

  16. Adventureteacher says:

    Has anyone heard anything about the International School of Turin, in Italy? I’m considering accepting a job in their PYP grades. Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      I worked at ist for 1 year. The pay was relatively low and rents were high. No extras except for settling in allowance (1000 euro) and flights on end of contract. I’m now in china and saving more money than I was making in Turin.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Can any one advise me of the packages being offered in Johor Bahru in Malaysia. Any schools that do not honour and the ones to work for

  18. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have any information on the International School of Brussels? Pay/benefits/tuition (for children)?

  19. Pinoy says:

    Can anyone tell me the packages at Regents International School in Bangkok

  20. We removed your comments because they are not consistent with the thread of the blog. We invite you to post this question to our Forum where you should get some good response.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Ben @ ISR


  21. hunnicub says:

    What do people know about schools in Taiwan? Are there schools to stay away from there?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone worked at the International School of Durango, Mexico? Any ideas about their package? Quality?

    • Rebecca P. says:

      I’m not sure if you mean the American School of Durango (there is no school there called “International School of Durango”), but I worked there for two years, 2010-2012. I have a masters and made $15,500 USD. (I believe it’s a little higher now.) 30% was converted to pesos and paid twice per month. The other 70% was paid in dollars and direct deposited monthly to my account in the US…tax free! They also provided furnished housing (when I moved in, there was food in the refrigerator!), transportation at the beginning and end of the contract, 1000USD resigning bonus (which I didn’t get because I left at the end of my contract), and a few other benefits. I was able to live well on the 30%, allowing me to save almost all of the 70%, and I traveled A LOT. I managed to pay off my entire masters in the two years I was teaching there. It was a good first international teaching job, and the quality of life there is excellent, but I’m looking to make a lot more money, so I’m looking into China. The salaries there are easily triple what you can make in Mexico, and they have all the same benefits, plus some.

      • Amy says:

        Rebecca not trying at all to discourage but some thoughts on China. We currently live in southwest China and have for almost 6 years. My husband teaches at an International school here. Yes they do pay more, but be aware that the cost of living has increased dramatically and we are never able to save anything. In fact I usually feel like we are paying to teach here because we have to dip into our savings anytime anything extra comes up. Also because the health care is so poor you need to make sure you have the extra funds to travel to Thailand, Hong Kong, or back to your home country should any health issues come up. Obviously is doable to be here but if they tell you you will get rich don’t believe them. Just an example of the cost of living- we are paying at least $8 a gallon for milk and a lot of times more. Good luck.

        • Rebecca P. says:

          Hi Amy,

          I just saw your reply. Thanks for the warning…although I already signed with Shenyang International Pacific Academy! $42,500USD per year, plus furnished housing on campus (it’s a boarding school), one round-trip ticket home each year, $1500USD shipping allowance each way, and a few other things that I can’t quite remember. The savings potential is supposed to be $25,000USD per year. I start August 1, and it’s a two year contract. I’m looking forward to it, and we’ll see how it goes…luckily I don’t drink much milk. ;)

        • Hi, I work at an international school in Beijing and am saving the majority of my salary. It all depends on: A – the package, and B – your lifestyle. I lucked out with a good package: excellent healthcare and dental, housing near work, etc. We are DINKs so it’s easier to save, but we also eat a lot of Chinese food, or often dine at home.

          Rebecca, best of luck to you with your new contract!

  23. Culture creature says:

    Does anyone know of schools which will provide schooling for 3 offspring in Bangkok? I desperately want to live and work there but doubt if I could pay the school fees!

  24. new direction says:

    Are you replying to my Prague schools posting? Happy to email, but unsure how to personal message on this site to get your email. Looking at International schools in Prague.

  25. Claire MOYNIHAN says:

    Hi all. I am wondering does anyone know what it is like to live in Chongqing in southeast China. YCIS in Chongqing has a good package but I am wondering what life is like there? I’ve been in Dubai 3 years and haven’t saved much so I am looking for the best saving opportunity.

    • new direction says:

      My family worked with YCIS in Shanghai and the package was really good. From what I hear Chongqing has everything you will need, but the pollution is the big issue you will face with China.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for your response, I am unsure how to set up a new thread? That is good to know. I had never heard of Chongqing I must admit :)

        • Anonymous says:

          The pollution in China is a deal breaker if anyone in family has health issues. I am leaving mid year as are many of my colleagues and the pollution is a large part of the reason. It has gotten significantly worse in last two years. I’d also highly recommend you not bring any dogs (see my other post on pet thread)

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you kidding me YCIS! The packages are the worst in China if you have a trailing spouse and children they don’t get health benefits and it is expensive. They work there teachers to the bone and they have to work longer school year then any other international schools in Shanghai. Teachers always lose there prep time. One more thing! The pay is the worst to paying the teachers between 10 to 15 thousand a year less then all the other schools and the benefits the worst. They will pay your way there but you have to pay your way home at the end of you contract.. So maybe you should rethink before you come to work for YCIS….

  26. new direction says:

    We are looking at International schools in Prague. International School Prague / Riverside etc. What are packages and accommodation like? Apartment? Houses? Saving? Taxes? Lifestyles?

  27. McQwaid says:

    What does anyone know about British Columbia International School Bangkok BCISB in Bangkok? I have an offer but I’m not sure what to do.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Looking for a school in Chile with a good package.

    • Anonymous says:

      I heard Nidos de Aquilas is very good. both people and the package. Hope this helps

      • Anonymous says:

        I have a family with 2 teenagers. How much money can we save at the International School Nido de Aguilas? What does their package look like?

        • Anonymous says:

          Good package and great community, but pollution is a problem. We have one kid and save about 45,000 a year. Housing prices have doubled since we’ve been here.

        • anonymous says:

          A year after the last response, I know, but currently the potential for savings is almost none. The cost of living has skyrocketed in Santiago and isn’t getting better any time soon. We have two children and aren’t saving a dime.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no schools that have good packages here except Nido but be prepared the quality of international education is lower than other countries eg. in Asia, or Europe. But is by far the best bet in this country.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know what the package is like at Jakarta International Multicultural School?

  30. Does anyone know what the British School of Amsterdam package is like?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Yep, the more I am reading online, the figures they provided me with are on the low end and actually match what a local hire can make there. I am disappointed.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am curious about the salary package and housing stipend/accomodation options if employed as a teacher at Bangkok Patana School. ANy info would be great thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am interested if the information provided on their website is still accurate. They emailed me today and told me the salary for the position I applied for but didn’t elaborate much. Did you get contacted, too?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes I have been contacted but I am confused as their initial offer seems a bit low for such a prestigious international school, especially after reading what some comparable Thai schools pay their educators. Maybe the position I am being interviewed for is part time or an assistant teacher? It is either that or they’re low-balling me with their initial offer. They did not elaborate on too much, but they did send an attachment outlining the job duties in detail which was nice.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have any information on Hanova International School in X’ian, China? I am applying to this school and will will speaking to the director next week March 8, 2013. Martin Hughes is the director of the school. I currently teach in China.

    Quick responses will be appreciated.

    Thanks for your help.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hi, anyone got any recent information about Sekolah Global Indo Asia, Batam, Indonesia? Salary/package information ? How does this school compare to others?

    Thanks in advance.

  35. MrsLeigh says:

    Hi, anyone got any recent information about Regent International School Bangkok? Salary/package information is pretty sketchy. Know that Bangkok is cheap but how does Regents compare to others? Thanks

  36. ontheroadagain says:

    Hi Guys,

    anyone about the packages at Paris International School and Nice International School (France)? Thanks!

  37. Ines says:

    I would like to know about salary and conditions at UNIS New York,please!

  38. Still hoping says:

    Delleda International school Genoa — any info at all? It is public so I assume the pay is low, but are there other perks?

  39. Andrew says:

    Anyone know about United Nations School New York?

  40. Molly Burke Kirova says:

    Curious about AIS schools in Georgia, Zagreb, Ostrava? I don’t need to live high on the hog, but definitely need to be able to save.

    • A.Anderson says:

      Ostrava, Czech Republic can offer up to 70,000 Czech crowns (before tax of 15%) per year for a British trained teacher at: PORG.
      The International school of Ostrava about 50-60,000.
      I believe salaries in Prague are higher.

  41. sydney says:

    Does any one have information regarding Abu Dhabi? The ministry is bringing in expat teachers for the public school system. Anybody been there,
    done that?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would strongly advise against accepting any offers for public schools in the UAE. The package is not the same as private schools and the behaviour of the children is horrible. DO NOT DO IT!

  42. Pad Don says:

    Anyone got an idea of the package at British International School, Vietnam? Or even better, at the British Vietnam International School? Thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Between 30-45k (1-15 years experience) so I have heard. A mate applied a couple of years ago. Plus housing, healthcare and annual flights on top of that

  43. JoyDenz says:

    Boarding and residential facilities are very important to support students at all the levels .

  44. internationalteacher says:

    Worst housing package ever. It has to be International School of Ulaanbaatar. I worked there for 2 years and left after last school year to a better package and SUPERIOR HOUSING. The housing provided by the International school of Ulaanbaatar is downright awful and disgusting. You live with Mongolians in an apartment housing complex that is subsidized housing for Mongolians.The NOISE is constant and the hot water is not constant. You are lucky to have hot water in the winter. Staff wanted to move out of the housing but the housing stipend was so low that no one could move out so they all just left after 2 years. If you are worried about bad housing do not come to Mongolia. You will not be very happy with the housing.Mongolians do not sleep regular hours either so they can be up all night drilling or running around or doing something loud until 3or4am. It was the hardest part of living there not sleeping at night for 2 years. Be careful if you are considering coming to ISU and be aware that you will have below average housing and if you want to save money you can not move out because regular subsidized housing apartment complex’s are very expensive. Worst housing I have ever experienced and I have lived in numerous 3rd world countries in Asia, Africa and South America. Nothing has been as bad as ISU housing was.

    • sg says:

      how interesting! some teachers in UB think of ISU as the gold standard here… ;) anyways, there are many nice apartments available in Ulaanbaatar and they vary quite a lot in price. it helps to have a local friend do the negotiating. (tho it is true, you may have neighbors up singing to all hours of the night once in a while… ;)

    • luna says:

      There is worse. Newton College, Lima, Peru – no housing money whatsoever, and the landlords scam you off your 2-month-rent deposit. So, subtract USD14,000 from the annual salary right away.

      • anonymous says:

        Hi Luna, does Newton accept teachers with trailing spouses? I don’t mind taking a very low salary, but some schools will not even consider teachers with non-teaching dependents. What’s Newton’s policy?

        • luna says:

          Newton does accept teachers with trailing spouses. However, it does not offer any assistance in finding employment for the spouse. Officially, the spouse receives the right to work, but practically it is very difficult. You said, you don’t mind a very low salary, think a very low salary and supporting two (or more) people.

  45. movieturtle says:

    Anyone know anything about Tashkent International School or Uzbekistan? Thanks

  46. mpowell7 says:

    Hi there,
    I’m considering applying to American International School a nd Hong Kong International School. I can’t seem to find the payscale for either school or their benefit packages. Any ideas?

    • The Joneses says:

      HKIS is roughly 50K/year if you have a Masters and about 7 years of experience. They have a merit pay system for raises that is a bit complicated and time consuming. Good housing stipend in one of the most expensive cities in the world. AIS pays less.

      • Anonymous says:

        AIS Hong Kong’s salary is locally-based between HKD 35-37,000+…. Housing allowance of HKD 5,000 not enough to pay a modest apartment. Airfare only for teacher and not your dependents, no moving allowance, minimal PD (300-500 USD), medical insurance is co-pay. HKIS has better package.

        • shadylane says:

          Most of the ESF schools have better packages still. In USD their basic package is 60 to 90k as a classroom teacher. You also get a housing allowance etc. You pay 10% tax but then get it back later as an end of contract bonus. They also hire people based on their ability to teach rather than their faith.

  47. movieturtle says:

    I am looking at Saigon South International School. Does anyone have any information about the school and package? Thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Saigon South has the reputation of being a good school. There has been changes in management recently and some staff haven’t had contracts renewed. Whether this is good or bad, I don’t know.

      However, if you post your question of the forum you are likely to get replies from someone with insider knowledge.

      • Mrk says:

        Saigon South is an amazing school. Benefits are great, including the PD’s. one can live comfortably even with a single’s salary. The school is located in a very nice area. Housing is paid for and medical insurance is great. Yearly travel allowance is flexible and the kids are awesome.

  48. tangoart says:

    I read through all of the posts and did not find information on packages in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Experiencing rich culture, dancing, art, and music is important to me but saving is probably my biggest concern. This will be my first international experience after teaching for 11 years with two MAs. If you care to share about any country in South America that you think have great dancing, music, and opportunity for doing art, along with a good SA package, that is a safe place to live for a single woman, I would love to hear from you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try Nido in Chile or Graded in Sao Paolo. There are not many great schools (if any) but if you are looking for a nice lifestyle and money is not your priority then then SA is the way to go.

    • Anonymous says:

      Argentina is a very difficult country to live in at the moment as an expat. It is expensive to buy clothes or imported goods (such as electronics), and one big thing that has really changed in the last year or so is the ability to convert pesos to dollars. There are many restrictions right now and unless you go to the black market or exchange with visiting friends there is little to no chance on getting any foreign currency. Flights are also expensive and about to get even more so if the rumours that the president will put a surcharge onto international airfare is correct. The economy is very unstable at the moment and unless you can get a contract that offers either dollars or pounds sterling as part of your package I would think twice about signing here. Of course, if you are looking for a very cool and vibrant city with lots of opportunity to indulge and participate in the arts Buenos Aires is fantastic. It is beautiful and, although the portenos are very different to the typical South American Latino, the people are friendly and welcoming.

  49. Becky Smith says:

    Hi does anyone know about the Gems Wellington school in Dubai? I am a single NQT and have an interview but am not really sure weather I’d definately want to take the plunge.

  50. Papillon says:

    I am currently at the Cebu International School in Cebu, Philippines. The package here is terrible! I knew it wasn’t a great package before I came, but I had been led to believe that one could live on the salary here because of a low cost of living. It is possible, but with NO savings! Foreigners are required to pay Filipino taxes at 33%, and there are numerous other deductions that you only find out about after you arrive. For my first mid-month pay, I received about $200 after taxes and deductions, and that was after being at work for an entire month (the 2 week orientation is unpaid). Electricity and rent are very expensive in Cebu, and grocery prices are similar to those in the western world. This package does include annual flights home for employees, and beginning and end-of-contract flights for dependents. International health insurance is only paid for by the school for the employee(s); if you have dependents, you must pay for them yourself.

    • bill says:

      What is the starting base salary? Don’t they also provide lots of untaxed benefits which make up the bulk of your compensation? Are you paying 33% on all your income? I don’t believe that teachers paid that previously? Is this a new issue?

      • Anonymous says:

        The base pay is about $1000 U.S. and then foreign hires get a”overseas living allowance” which is similar. All of this is taxed at 33%, as is the housing allowance.There are no untaxed benefits…I have heard that there are such benefits at one on the schools in Manila, but not here. :(

  51. nathan says:

    Can anyone share their experiences at the International School of Luanda? It seems to have a pretty good salary and benefits package, but will the cost of living there prevent me from saving money?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, the package is excellent and you can save the majority of your wages despite the high cost of living as the school provides almost everything. they pay your TV, rent, water, electricity and they also pay your local taxes.

      • Rob says:

        What about crime and general quality of life in Luanda? Can you get out on the weekend to see the country? What about diseases? Basically, does the pay package make up for the difficult living conditions?

        • lifelong int. teacher says:

          Living conditions are far from difficult. Housing is excellent, and includes swimming pool and gym in most complexes. School even pays for a maid.Crime is less than in most other parts of Africa and nothing to worry about, though you should not walk around swinging your ipad or walk downtown at night.. You can now travel almost anywhere and school provides vehicles and fuel. Lovely countryside and great beaches. There is a bit of malaria but it is otherwise a healthy, unpolluted environment where the school is situated. Healthcare in Luanda is minimal. Downside-Luanda is culturally very boring, especially if you don’t speak Potuguese although there is a fine 8 secreen cinema and many good restaurants. School looks after you well and you can save plenty if you choose. Sometimes there are unusual visa problems out of the school’s control…….

  52. Alankrit says:

    I am contemplating a position in the American International School At Chennai as Director of Business Affairs as a local hire, what are the pay scales for the same.

    • happy traveller says:

      Most international teachers do not know local pay scales. I taught there as an International teacher and saw local teacher pay scales. Big difference as locals get much less. In the business affairs sector I do not know.

      What I can say is that the local hire non-teaching staff there are terrific to work with and all very nice people. The school is emerging from a dark era of leadership under their former head of school. They got a new head of school last year so things should get better.

      If you are internationally qualified and not an Indian citizen don’t allow them to hire you as a local hire. I think it is unfair that they do that to some teachers too.

      Ask them about the salary. I think they will tell you. Good luck.

  53. InterEdTony says:

    There is little competition around in Togo so I would imagine the salary package is not too great… You can get some decent packages in Nigeria but you risk working for some real sharks. I enjoyed it there but would suggest some serious research before signing any contracts!

  54. Lou says:

    Thinking about a move to Togo. BSL. Does anyone have any info about the package on offer?


  55. yers says:

    Hi Guys,

    May I ask any of you to give me information regarding Jakarta International School (JIS)? How is it living in Jakarta? I know its a third world country, but I am unsure of the specifics.


    • Pokerface says:

      Jakarta is very polluted and the traffic is indescribably bad.Getting from one place to another can be twice the time it would take anywhere else.Having said that…JIS has a wonderful campus…Indonesian kids are fantastic and travel opportunities in Indonesia are endlessly rewarding.

      • yers says:

        Is the package good enough? Like housing, salary etc

        • Hallier says:

          The package is very good. Quality housing is provided. It is all taken care of. Your pay depends on experience and qualifications (a teacher with an MA plus 30 gets more than one with just an MA etc). A teacher with 8 years experience and a Masters starting at JIS will start on about 53k. This will rise about 4% a year. A prudent single could easily save 30k+. You also get retirement of 10% on top of that.

          But Jakarta is not the easiest city to live in. The main issue is the traffic, which makes it hard to get around the city. Many of the single females also find the dating situation to be frustrating.

    • a says:

      If you consider Indonesia “third-world” then it probably isn’t for you. The package is the whole experience not just the $

  56. dlsu says:

    i want to ask about the British international school manila (not Brent) is that also a good school? what about the pay? what about the housing? where is usually their housing pool? is it a better pay than International School Manila?

    • ScottG says:

      Salary and Housing: Depends if you are hired as an “expat” or a “local hire.” Expats (pardon the slang term) have housing allowances but is expected to live in condos/apartments chosen by the school on their first year of teaching. IS Manila is still better in terms of Salary and benefits.

  57. Curlz says:

    Anyone got experience of working at Bromsgrove International School in Bangkok? How does it compare with other schools in the region? Is the salary and benefits package reasonable for the area?

    • Anonymous says:

      Reviews on this site are TERRIBLE for Bromsgrove but they are only up till 2008.. Under new leadership so could be better now?? Package is very generous but with all the recent hardship and turnover in teachers it seems fair:) It is a small fish in big pond. Many better schools to consider and some people do not like the location as it is not in center of bangkok (although to others this is a positive)

  58. Anonymous says:

    Any ideas on the Salary (someone with 9 yrs experience) + Benefits package for Taejon Christian International School? Also, any info about the city itself would be extremely helpful…

    • Anonymous says:

      The TCIS pay scale is at or slightly above average for international schools in Korea. We found we could easily save 30% of our combined salaries as a couple. The community truly had a Christ centered feel (the name is not just for marketing). The school has been struggling to get a new campus built, but when complete it should be a great place to teach physically as the facilities were the only real drawback for us. Housing is provided and is fantastic…though you will likely be a ways away as the new campus is some distance from housing.

    • The Joneses says:

      TCIS pays considerably less than the most extablished Christian school, Seoul Foreign School. SFS probably has the best package in Korea, followed by: Chadwick International School, Seoul International School, Korea International School, Yongsan International School.

      • Anonymous says:

        TCIS and GSIS both salaries are not as high as SFS, but the housing and other benefits are fantastic, better than most in Korea. You are paid 1/2 US Dollar 1/2 Korean Won. We lived on Korean Won salary alone, including vacations and travel, and saved 100% of our US Salary.

  59. Hochiminh? says:

    Can anyone share their knowledge of, or experience in working in Ho Chi Minh City? Particularly, the American International School there. I am considering a position there at present but would like to know how people fare with the package and life in Saigon. I’m experienced in Asia, have been to Vietnam travelling. Your expertise appreciated!

    • Darren says:

      I am considering taking a job there too.. did you end up taking the position?

    • BB says:

      None of the American schools in Saigon have very good reputations. I’d be wary of working at any of them. Lot’s of negative reviews and rumours sweep through the international teaching community here about them from time to time.

      That said your money goes quite far living here. I live a very comfortable life with a maid, eating out all of the time, easily save money and could save a lot more if I tried. The city itself is great for dinning out, but that’s about it. Vietnam is great to travel in, but I’m not so convinced it’s a great place for living in. Lot’s of frustrations, as you would encounter in any developing countries.

      I like my lifestyle here, but I don’t love living here and had I travelled to Saigon before I moved here I doubt I would have taken the job.

      • McQwaid says:

        I know of a troubled and questionable colleague who up and ran from his last job without any notice and immediately took up post at this school. I don’t think they do background checks on new teachers because this person would never have made it in otherwise.

        This is problematic for us teachers because working with difficult and troubled colleagues makes our jobs unnecessarily difficult. I feel so sorry for the next group of teachers who unknowingly had to deal with this person.

      • shadylane says:

        SSIS is a great US curriculum school. The rest are dreadful and to be avoided.

  60. oldasiahand says:

    JUST ENJOY IT ALL! There is no such thing as the BEST package. It all depends on what your priorities are. I really like life in southeast asia and have been in three schools in this area and have saved quite a bit. Some people come here and complain about the lack of green public spaces, difficulty walking, pollution, horrendous traffic, difficulty finding “suitable” western male companionship, blah blah. I laugh when people say that their school has the “best package in the world” when things change every year to tip the balance in favor of one or another. If you simply want to save a lot of cash, go to Aramco but usually there is a reason why the pay is so high (difficult schedule, compound type of lifestyle, etc), it all depends. You can also go to other schools in saudi and save very little, or you can have a blast skiing in Switzerland (which would be a nightmare for me as i hate cold weather and the overly serious Europeans). Asia has been rising in the last few years but there are many schools in Asia that have very poor packages too. WHO KNOWS! Maybe China’s economy goes into recession following dwindling demand for their goods from depressed western economies, etc. Just chill people, do your research on the school you are considering to see how much you will be SAVING, not what the package is, and what lifestyle you will be having. You can live like a king or queen on 20,000$ a year in some places and starve on 50,000 in others!

  61. Starry says:

    I should add that they have little or few resources either. I left last summer and I hear it is still bad.
    On the plus side, apply to schools in large cities such as Munich or Berlin as they tend to ioffer quite good packages.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Does anybody have any information on the American School of Madrid? Teaching? Living? Travel? Packages? Etc…

  63. RussiaGuy says:

    I would love to hear any information on experiences living in Paris and working at the American School of Paris. I know how expensive it is to live in this great city.

    • anon says:

      I hear their principal is one of the best in the business. I don’t think people go there to save money. Be happy just to break even.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, the principal is the best. I have lived around the world for the last 12 years, and the admin is great. Lucky to break even, but it is Paris.

  64. Mr W. says:

    Join Search Associates and you can find research the packages of recruiting schools yourself. Oh and Luanda International School in Angola has one of if not THE best package in the world.

  65. chalo1972 says:

    Does anybody have information about Dipont Schools in China. I was offered an interview with them. Thanks ahead for sharing any information!

    • Experienced says:

      I interviewed with Dipont twice and was offered a position. Our discussion fell apart when they began to discuss the package. Their offer was $10k usd under the advertised range. The rest of the package was weak and school support poor.

      They wanted to put clauses in the contract regarding work hours and class sizes that I found unacceptable.

      In my final discussion they tried to suggest that there contract reflected an “industry norm”. Industry is the right word because Dipont is nothing but a middle man pulling a profit out of the desire of Chinese schools to buy Western brand names.

      Dipont and I went our separate ways and they continue to advertise on TIE for victims.

  66. Anonymous says:

    AIS Lagos.

    15 years experience with a masters plus 20 = USD86,000 per year; x 2 for a couple. You do the math and ask yourself where is there a better package.

    • Anonymous says:

      Couple can easily save $100,000 on the salary above, Have a cook, share a driver or have one of their own and travel a lot. Yes things are a little more expensive but its so minor in the scheme of things. (ie…School year 2009-2010)

      • Nike says:

        In answer to your question: Shanghai. There are schools where you can make a little more, and yes couples save over 100K.

  67. rumour5182 says:

    Does anyone have information about the International School of Krakow? I’m interviewing for a position there, and I’ve done a lot of research about the school, but I’m curious to hear from people who have experienced the city or the school and who can share their perspectives. Thanks!

    • Trojan says:

      I don’t know anything about the school, but Krakow is a great town. A big university town, so it has that youthful vibe. One of the few Polish cities to survive WWII pretty intact, so it has an amzaing (and huge) main square (rynek). I have had a couple friends live there for many years (with and without kids) and they all adored living there.

      • rumour5182 says:

        Thanks for the info! We’re really excited about the city — it sounds like it has a lot to offer us (young couple with no kids), and it’s so close to the rest of Europe that we can explore and get that experience without the Western Europe prices.
        Thanks again!

  68. wanttobeaninternationaleducator says:

    Does anyone have any information of NICS (network of international christian schools), program and packages? It seems to state that one has to be a church going christian. Also, does one have to do missionary work to be there?

    • guangzhou teacer says:

      These schools ask for pastoral referrees (hence, you would need to be attending church!!). Not sure about the missionary work.

      Why don’t you post these questions on the ISR forum? A better forum than this one.

  69. Sally says:

    Does anyone have any current information on the benefits, salary and conditions at Robert College in Istanbul? Would it be possible for two people to live modestly (but comfortably) on one salary?
    Is it legal for an American spouse – non teaching – to work in Istanbul?

    • Nibac says:

      1. I dont work at Robert College, but I do work at a private university in Istanbul.
      2. My husband and I are able to live modestly comfortable on one salary. (Even though I don’t receive any kind of housing stipend or assistance, we still manage to live 4 minutes from Taksim AND save ~35% every month on one salary)
      3. My American spouse is an artist, and he has a residency permit (i.e., it’s perfectly legal for “an American spouse – non teaching – to work in Istanbul”).
      Hope this helps!

  70. Silvia Schneirov says:

    Does anyone have information on salary and benefit package of the IB School of Panama ? Would they hire a 63 year old? I would be alone there so they would not have to pay for dependents.

    • Rob says:

      Salary about 30K US Dollars a year. Probably have a tough time finding a job anywhere at an International school at age 63. I know you don’t want to hear that, but that’s the reality. Most schools can’t hire you by law after age 60 because of work Visas. I work in China and mandatory retirement is age 60.

    • happy traveller says:

      While age can make it difficult to find an international teaching position it is not impossible. Some schools in undesirable locations will hire older teachers. Don’t give up–keep searching.
      I do find Turkey very expensive to live in as a function of salary and medical care is not cheap there. If you are not wanting to save money you would do ok in Turkey.

      • Weebil says:

        Actually, China does’t have an age restriction for Visas for Foreign Experts. Also, some schools in undesirable locations employ mainly young inexperienced teachers that can rip-off. Any school that employs teachers without at least 2 years in their own national system is a school worth avoiding.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true! China is imposing a 65 limit to issuing visas to expat teachers.

          • Anonymous says:

            You may both be correct. I am teaching in China right now and I currently work with a friend who is 67. However, he was teaching at a university until he was dismissed ON his 65th birthday. It may be that for certain positions, expats cannot get the visa after 65 but for others that population is still employable.

  71. Wiseteach says:

    Anybody have some experience working for MEF in Istanbul? How is the housing if one takes the small apartments on the grounds? I have a dog as well. I am a first timer with International teaching and am wondering about this pkg. Have a Skype interview next week so would appreciate ANY comments. Thanks.

  72. What’s the Salary for St Joseph’s International Int. School in Singapore like? how much is the housing allowance. Amounts net (ie what you get paid into your bank account would be great)

  73. Roundtrip says:

    Can anyone comment on the salary and other details at the American International School in Cairo?

    • petunia says:

      said to be the best in Cairo, in terms of package and situation at the school it has always seemed very well run to me on the outside. Looking at what other schools in Cairo are offering, the package is the best I’ve seen- furnished housing, yearly airfare, tuition for kids {though I don’t know if there’s a limit of how many} vision insurance, professional development of 1200 a year. Someone who is there needs to give their perspective, I’m only talking figures on paper here, but they look good.

      • Caribbean chica says:

        I Think your confusing Cairo American College CAC with American International School in Cairo AIS. They are both two completely different schools with the former of course being the best. Petunia your right about the what CAC offers but Roundtrip the school you are talking about is by no means CAC. do your research. Iv’e worked in CAIRO for two years. Best of Luck. I had two great years. :-)

  74. Anonymous says:

    I have a SKYPE interview for UWCSEA on Monday.
    I am very interested in the school and Singapore but was wondering how much approximately the salary is likely to be and whether I will be able to save money. I have a mortgage back home which I may need to cover. I am in my sixth year of teaching.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’d make approx 7,200 SGD + 3,000 Housing which is adjusted to refelct the varying rates.

      • Anonymous says:

        How about the benefits? Thank you.

      • silverminx says:

        Question for Singapore salary.

        7200, is that per month and is there tax to pay on that?

        • Anonymous says:

          Its per month and taxed. Once you get the job they highlight your tax deductions pay and conditions. Every year you receive around 20% gratuity. They are very helpful and link you straight away with someone from your dept that you can ask any questions. In March they”ll send out further info about your move. I didnt go with any outside expensives apart from my children. I’m not looking to save just to enjoy the experience as it’s a great oppurtunity for us and to travel.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just remember although the monthly salary seems great you will be paying easily 3000*+ per month for a decent apartment and EVERYTHING is crazy expensive there. If you have two salaries at that you can live very very comfortably in Singers. We did it on 1 and half salary and two little kids but saved nothing and didn`t travel much and never ate out a expat places as prices are nuts.

          • Anonymous says:

            Ive been offered a salary of SGD11,000 is that doable with 2 kids

            • Blackie says:

              I work at an International in Singapore. I take home 8.5k including housing and leadership – I do get a nice end of year bonus plus flights as well, I’m at the top of our ladder, but it’s significantly lower than your 11k. I have a non-working spouse and 1 child. I save about 40%, travel regularly, eat out regularly. Rent is expensive, but you can choose to live the high life and rent in expensive condo’s or rent a local apartment, for about half the price… join a private club and use their amenities instead. I’ve been here over 12 years and can never understand the need to be in a fancy condo… There are PLENTY of really lovely, cheaper HDB’s which significantly impact on your ability to save. Loving it still! I won’t be changing schools anytime soon! If you can’t have a great life with that money, there is something very wrong… come and enjoy!

      • Anon says:

        Hi, can you tell me is there medical insurance? is that part of the benefit package? and what about an education allowance? will they educate your kids for free?

  75. Anonymous says:

    I’m thinking of teaching english in Singapore and I wanted to know which is best: to teach in an IS or a public school. I will be traveling with two toddlers. Would housing, and schooling (for the toddlers) be supplied. And is it hard to get a teaching job in a university in Singapore. I have B.As in Philosophy and Mathematics and a Masters in Education.

    • Anonymous says:

      Replying to the person thinking of teaching in Singapore. Try United World College. It is a fabulous school and great package. I taught there for a bit. Don`t know about the Universities in Singapore but if you have kids you want to work at a school as they likely won`t pay for you to educate your kids in a way you will like. I would avoid the ministry of ed schools as they are competitive and very teacher centered. Unless of course, you are a math teacher and are a fan of the very popular Singapore Maths which is gaining massive worldwide cred. and probably would be cool to learn from the pros. Esp. if you like BIG classes sizes (30++)

  76. Patricia says:

    Just to warn people about the lack of benefits in CIS, Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was a shock to discover there is no sick pay for the first year of a 2 year contract. So anyone who is ill or has a day off has a day’s pay deducted from their monthly salary and it’s not 1/30 but 1/20 as there are usually 20 working days in the month. Am very unhappy about this situation as the contract says that “appropriate” sick pay will be paid and you do not find out that “appropriate” means none until you arrive and one of you gets ill! If you are hospitalised then there is a teachers’ insurance scheme which kicks in but most sick leave is not this serious.

  77. Gus says:

    Does anybody know anything about the Quality Schools International benefits or the school in Bosnia, Slovenia or Albania?
    Salary, or any other benefits?

    • QSI teacher says:

      QSI benefits are the same at all the schools: 10 days of sick leave, housing paid, the school pays electricity beyond $1000 a year, tuition for up to 4 kids, airfare home for you and spouse (if teaching) and up to 4 dependents each year. Salary starts at 24,000 and tops out at 40something. $2000 a year resigning bonus. Shipping is bad — $500 at the start and end of each contract for you and your teaching spouse.

      As for Bosnia, Slovenia and Albania you can forget those places if you’ve just started with QSI! All European positions go to QSI employees who have served their time in China or Kazakstan and are transferring out. Just about everyone starts in China or Kaz.

  78. Anonymous says:

    How much approx is housing allowance in Kuala Lumpur (International School Kuala Lumpur) for single person with no dependents? What is realistic cost of housing to live within walking or short public transportation from the school? Also, what does it mean when it says 10% tax allowance as a benefit? Does this mean those schools will pay that govt. 10% of salary tax owed and you pay the difference?

    • Anonymous says:

      My friend lives in KL and pays 3000 RMB per month for a two bedroom flat. I don’t know about the tax questions – sorry!

  79. Baldrick says:

    Anyone know about English Modern School in Doha, Qatar?

    • longbeach says:

      I’ve been wondering this too. The email on the info sheet I had bounced back to me. I emailed them via their website and never heard back from them. Seems disorganized if you’re recruiting people and you put the wrong email address.

  80. BK says:

    Anyone have any information regarding the Anglo-American School in Moscow? According to their website and job listings the package seems pretty good, but I am more concerned about the provided housing accommodations and what life is like in Moscow. Thanks.

    • RussiaGuy says:

      The package is definitely nice at AAS. I am in my second year and have signed on for a third. Moscow is definitely expensive and the traffic can be horrendous. The housing is included in the package and is spacious. When I was hired, there was a slideshow of the apartments on the AAS website.

  81. Robin says:

    Can anyone share their knowledge on the benefit package for Inter-American Academy in Guayaquil, Ecuador? Any other experiences, good or bad at that school?

  82. TaxProblems says:

    My salary at my current school is modest but comes with a housing allowance and the package is supposed to be tax-free. At my hiring interview it was explained to me that my salary was ”net” and that the school would take care of all the tax obligations.

    But last school year staff discovered that taxes are not being paid on our salaries. Instead the school maintains two sets of books. The official set of books fraudulently claims that a teacher salary is only 20,000 Php a month (about $450). The school pays income tax on this amount. In reality most teachers here are earning about $2,000 a month.

    This was discovered when one of the teachers checked the records at city hall.

    The worry among the teaching staff is that eventually the government tax people are going to find us individually liable for a huge tax bill.

    The English principal who hired me (John Boakes) was a party to this fraud, but I can no longer point my finger at him because he was fired last August.

    We are left with a Korean Chairman/Director (Mr Lee) who doesn’t speak English and treats all the Filipino and Western staff like dirt.

    A teacher who complained about the lack of tax payments (and other things) was jailed for a week on a trumped-up charge of liable. He didn’t return.

    And I won’t either. I’ll seek another position this hiring season. Obviously I will be seeking a package that doesn’t endanger me legally.

  83. I work in Kuwait, it’s not the most wonderful place on Earth, it’s limited in terms of what you can and cannot do – but Dubai (cheap to get to) not too far away for a weekend away. The social scene however amongst expats is good but you do seem to socialise with the same people. The school I work at is a good school in terms of Kuwait. The salaries are excellent, accommodation is good, especially family accommodation and utility bills paid. I have children but I have to pay 50% school fees – a downside. Airfares are paid for teachers but not dependents. There is also tuition to be had which is well paid. All in all, it’s a great place to save. Me and my husband are able to save 40 – 50K a year as well as have lots of holidays in the Gulf, a big trip at Christmas and home in the summer. Happy at the moment but looking to Asia for our next overseas post.

    • unimpressed says:

      I worked in a school in Kuwait 3 years ago and the pay was not that impressive, 750 Dinar a month tax free. It came with an apartment that was free and it was shabby to say the least.

      The weather was pretty good and of course so were the shopping malls and mariners, but not much more to do.
      i won’t be going back there.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Wonder if anyone could answer- what is the housing allowance for a single person at SAS (Singapore American School)? Any idea what the FSS and AWS amounts are too? They do not mention those amounts on website. Thanks- just trying to see how one might live as expat.

  85. alex says:

    Does anybody know anything about the Quality Schools International benefits or the school, themselves? I am thinking of applying (as a couple) because I have heard it is a good first-time international teacher school. We teach in the US and have never taught overseas. We are thinking of someplace in China, ideally. Do they pay well enough for a couple to save? Do they generally include housing or other benefits? I appreciate any info you can spare.

    Also, if you have any info on where else to look for a couple of first timers, we’ll take that as well!

    • Anonymous says:

      You definately should apply to QSI, worked with them before. Just watch out for the pollution in China. The best school is supposed to be in Shekou (nice weather, nice director).

      • alex says:

        Thanks for the info. I have been looking at the school in Shekou online and it seems like a good fit for my husband and myself. Especially since it is IB. Do you know how the pollution is in Shekou? I know it is near Hong Kong, but I know Hong Kong is a smaller (for China) city than many of the big ones in China.

  86. Anonymous says:

    Dear fellow educators:

    I have been surprised to see how little savings is available at some schools in Singapore and Hong Kong considering the reputations they have for great schools and great money. I’m looking to teach at a PYP school in SE Asia and save at least 15-20K a year. Here are some of the schools I’m looking at:

    International School of Ho Chi Minh City
    United Nations International School of Hanoi

    International School Singapore
    Canadian International School Singapore
    United World College SE Asia Singapore (all know the rep)

    Hong Kong-Canadian International School
    Hong Kong-Renaissance College


    I’m looking purely at savings potential (specific numbers) for a single.
    Any experiences here? Or other schools I have overlooked (PYP, good savings, good city)?

    Thanks much,

    • Blackie says:

      It’s great to look…. but, most of the schools you’re listing there are top of the line schools. I would be busy trying to find a school where I’d be happy, and worry about what I’ll get paid once I’ve had an interview. I work at one of the schools mentioned and I would say you should be able to save that much at any one of these schools… but it’s all based on how you live…. like to travel? Drink a lot? You like expensive clothes? Miss home, so gotta go back at Xmas as well as June? Then, you’ll save nothing. You could rent a place in Singapore for $2000 and save some housing allowance, or you could do the expat thing and rent an apartment and pay 3.5k and possibly eat into your salary…. All depends on how you want to live.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most schools in Singapore offer a housing allowance. I work at one of the big schools here at receive a large chunk of my housing allowance back in my paycheck. Rents run S$2500 to S$15k, but a nice 3br condo will run an expat around $3500.

        We were able to buy a car in S’pore, travel every holiday and still save $45k+ USD. Next year will be more with step increases and not having all the start up costs.

    • BB says:

      ISHCMC is now owned by Cognita. Lot’s of bad things happening there. Many long term staff leaving. Benefits and package is being cut. Well liked new Head was sacked recently. School has a great reputation in Saigon, but whether that reputation continues in the future…

  87. If you are an experienced teacher with a credential, you can be competitive in the international teaching market. Singapore is one of the most competitive markets in the world at the tier one schools.

    You would probably be well served by registering with search associates and going to a fair. UWC has already closed out it’s application period for the 2012 school year openings. There are several international schools in Singapore. UWC, SAS, and the British school being the most competitive. They’ll have literally thousands of applicants for a handful of openings this year. There are also schools like OFS, Canadian, etc… you need to really dig into ISR reviews and do homework on each of them… Any of them could have openings that meet your qualifications.

    As for “negotiating” a package, you need to just look at what each school offers. There aren’t really any negotiations for the most part.

  88. Gisella Longbotham says:

    I would like to know about NIST (The New International School of Thailand. Anyone who can give me as much information about the package, cost of living, community, taxes, etc? Thanks

    • They have an excellent package. They are a top notch international school. It is very competitive to get an interview there.

      They are in the heart of a busy part of the city, and very focused on IB, internationalism, etc…

      • Gisella Longbotham says:

        Hi James,
        Thanks for your information. Do you work at NIST or know someone who works there? I would like to know more specific things about the school, etc. If you don’t mind you can write to me at
        I would really appreciate it.

  89. happytraveler1812 says:

    Kaoshiung American School in Taiwan has a decent package, around 40K with master and 8 years. Great working conditions and Kaoshiung is a killer city to live in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Can you elaborate on the package? We really want to move to Taiwan. Thank you so much!!!

      • happytraveler1812 says:

        I’m around 40K with 8 years plus.They give you 10% of that for retirement which you get when you leave. Around $650 a month housing allowance for singles I think around $750 for couples. They pick places for you when you get here, which are in a high-rise with two bedrooms and office. Very modern places, kinda like a condo your grandparents live in. You can pick a different place the second year if you want to upgrade.You get a monthly utility allowance that covers around half of cable, wifi, electricity, gas. I probably pay another 75 out of pocket for the above. Ticket when you leave second year, but its one year contracts after and you get a ticket back home at summer. Great PD, I’m going to Thailand on their dime for the first few days of Spring break and get to travel after. I save 2K a month easy. Taiwan is modern , but you can find food for cheap on the streets and in Chinese places. Kaoshiung is a big city, but very calm. Great places to travel to the beaches and mountains. The people are super nice. Its totally safe. I love it here and hope to stay a long time :).

    • oishiisan says:

      do they offer housing?

  90. Anonymous says:

    I don’t work at TAS but I do work at a similar school in the region. I have seen and studied the TAS package just recently. Among the very best in the world AND US social security if you are an American.

  91. Gee says:

    I just received the pay scales from a school in Saudi and I’m a bit confused. They said that the ‘salary is significantly higher than the UK’ yet its only works out at £25k. The benefits make it better obviously, am I missing something on the pay front?

    • Anonymous says:

      The golden days of amazing packages in Saudi are sadly over. The benefits are housing, flights, medical insurance which make the package pretty competitive. You can save most of your pay because there is nothing to do in Saudi!! And you do spend every holiday flying out of Saudi too – so just as well that you can save. Not as hard to live here as you would think, and a good place to focus on your work and only your work.

    • overseas teacher says:

      I had a friend who also used to work in Saudi and he said that you make a lot of money on tuition and it really bumps up your salary.

  92. Anonymous says:

    For SE Asia schools, add UNIS hanoi into your list. Great school with great peple.

    • InSing says:

      Yes, and I can add CIS in Singapore to that. Great place to work, awesome people – well, at least on the East Coast campus, I cant speak for the others.

      • Anonymous says:

        Any idea about the salary/package at CIS….the campus looks amazing!

        • Anonymous says:

          S$2200 per month housing, airfares (half for dependents), 15% bonus at 3rd year I think… top of scale is about S$5500…. nowhere near as good as UWC/Tanglin/SAS but it’s livable. Rents are high, but you don’t have to live in the fancy areas. Great school.. the new campus opens on Monday.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you so much! Very useful information. I have just been to the school to have a look around. It looks AMAZING!!

            • Anonymous says:

              I love the school, but it’s privately owned and comes with the trappings of that… I am at the other campus – comparatively speaking, ‘the poor cousins’… but we have a much more intimate and closely knit staff. The other ‘downer’ I guess is that they expect you to sign contracts by November 21 or you’ve essentially told them you’re not coming back the following year. This means that really, they’re holding you to the school – most schools are not into hiring at this stage…

            • Anonymous says:

              Thank you for you candid reply! I’m glad to hear you love the school. I would have no problem taking a pay cut for the right school (This would be about 50% of what I am on right now!)
              Is there anything else I should know..pros or cons?

            • Anonymous says:

              Excellent leadership – Management seem to really care about staff. Workload is as high as any of the top paying schools which makes the poorer wages a contentious issue. Depending on where you’re coming from, I think in general we do fairly well.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Any info on International School Kualu Lumpur? ISKL. I saw a benefit of 10% tax allowance, monthly housing allowance, and subsidized transport costs. What are the specific amounts/details of these benefits? Also, what is their relocationa allowance? Just curious. This is my first study of overseas positions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Package is a bit complicated to describe, but among the very best in all the world. I have it in front of me now. The max entry allows a single teacher with one dependent, who chooses reasonable housing, to take home after both taxes AND housing, in the middle 80’s USD. Yes middle 80’s is correct.

  94. aj says:

    Hi everyone,
    I would love any information that can be provided about Jakarta International School (JIS). I hear good things, but it would be a huge change from my current post in Germany.

    • Bill says:

      JIS is a very good school and one of the better SE Asian schools. Package is pretty good and very cheap to live in Indo. Jakarta is a bit hectic and traffic is a nightmare but indonesians are lovely and you are only a quick 1 hour flight to Bali and lots of other beautiful islands.

      The schools is MASSIVE and each school is quite far from each other. The facilities are top notch though.

      We would consider going there as well.

  95. Janet says:

    When I wrote about AISB it was a reply to a post about AIS in Budapest, so I thought that would be clear. Now that I am looking at the threads on the sight, I see that the threads aren’t always grouped together for the same school. Sorry for any confusion. It really is a great place to work and I do miss it in many ways.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t have thought it too confusing, since your reply was right underneath a post that actually said AIS in Budapest. That sort of thing is implied. I understood :)

    • motherto3 says:

      Hi there,
      I am ANXIOUSLY waiting to hear about jobs at AIS for 2011-2012…any idea? I am able to see the benefits parts, but no salary info…is there a range for someone with a Master’s? Do they ever hire families with only one teaching spouse? I want to live there, settle down there with my family…looking long term. I have applied, but looks like January will be the time to hear.

  96. Janet says:

    I taught at AISB for three years a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I don’t know the pay scale, but I decided to buy a house back in the States while working there because I had extra money. I was able to live well, travel, and make double payments on a house. Aaahh, too bad they have winter. ;)

  97. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have any information about the pay scale in Budapest for AIS? I ma considering moving there.

  98. Does anyone know if the Shanghai American School provides housing or do they give you an allowance? If they DO give you an allowance, do you know how much that is?
    Any info on SAS would be great!

    • I know three people who worked at SAS. Don’t know specifically how their housing was arranged, but they made great money, lived in an exciting place, and worked in a top notch international school. The pressure is very intense on both teachers and students, and the burnout is high, from what I hear. They loved living there, but the intensity of the whole thing seems to weigh on people after awhile.

      Very hard place to get hired. Lots of qualified applicants.

      • Thanks, James! I’ve heard great things about SAS. Thanks for the burnout warning. :)

        • Anonymous says:

          I would not worry too much about burnout. SAS takes good care of its people generally. Been here for several years and I find that the SAS staff has some of the best morale of anyplace I’ve ever worked. SAS is outstanding.

          • Anonymous says:

            For the vast majority of first year hires, SAS provides housing. You can choose to get an allowance after your first year. The allowance is just under 12000 RMB for singles and about 14500 RMB for couples. The amount is going up next year, too. Really nice apartments in the city cost from 10-13000 RMB.

  99. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have information about the Atlanta International School?

    • Anonymous says:

      My daughter went there a number of years ago and loved it. Not sure of its current state but expect it to be above board and a school that will honor its commitments.

  100. Anonymous says:

    I worked at the American School of Bangkok and the benefits there are…. oh wait there NO benefits and pay is low. It is still easy to get by in Thailand because it is super cheap country to live in, but you find your own apartment, there is no transportation to school unless you live close to where a school van stops to pick up a student and there is room. The health insurance is a joke and doesn’t cover anything and there is nothing for retirement or when you leave the school. If you sign on for more years you can expect a pay increase of 6-9 dollars a month on their salary scale.

  101. marie says:

    Can anyone tell me anything about The Harbour International School in Hong Kong, China? What are the pros and cons. What is the salary like, and is it a good place to work?

    • Anonymous says:

      I taught in HK for the past four years and never heard of this school. I would do a lot of homework before signing up with them.

  102. marie says:

    I have never taught there, but I grew up in Israel and most of my friends attended that school. Mostly all American students who are children of Embassy parents and Missionary Kids. As I recall it was a pretty well-to-do school. I have applied to teach there, but never see any openings. Israel is the most beautiful and wonderful place to live. I highly recommend it. Also, the school that I attending growing up was a Scottish International School in Jaffa. Most of the teachers were Scottish or Arab. The students were from every country of the world, and again they were children embassy parents. I recommend the American School over that one. By the way, Israel is one of the safest places to live in my opinion.

  103. kimberlee lear says:

    Does anyone have any information or experience with the Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel?

  104. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if housing is included for teachers at the Canadian School of Hong Kong?

  105. Al Pierce says:

    I would like information on Dubai English schools with high pay. Can you speak openly about Christianity there?

    • Jeff says:

      By “Dubai English Schools” do you mean schools who teach the British curriculum or just schools in which the curriculum is taught in English? There are both.

      As far as pay goes, Dubai used to be a place with obscenely high salaries and great savings potential. This has diminished in the past decade or so. But there are still some good schools here where a teacher can earn a decent salary and have a good teaching experience. Most of the schools in Dubai are for-profit, but the most notable exception to this is ASD, American School of Dubai. They also have one of the very best packages in Dubai.

      GEMS is a company that owns several schools in Dubai, most notably GEMS World Academy (fairly new), Wellington (British curriculum) and DAA (Dubai American Academy). These are generally seen as some of the best schools to work for in Dubai also, but it for profit so money may seem to get in the way of things sometimes.

      There are too many other schools in Dubai to list, some with fairly good reputations, others with atrocious. You’ll definitely want to look into the reviews on ISR before making a decision.

      As far as talking about Christianity, it is absolutely no problem, as long as you’re not trying to convert people. Missionary work is illegal. That said, their are actually several churches in Dubai and a very large practicing Christian population. Muslims do have respect for Christianity. There are several Christians teaching in my school, and my maid is Catholic.

      Hope this helps.

  106. travellingtoy says:

    Although lots of people want to go to France, be wary of budgetary constraints.
    At the International School of Paris, the take-home salary is low (especially for such an expensive city) and does not allow teachers to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Most teachers find they are required to give lots of extra private tuition to make ends meet.
    Housing or housing allowance is not offered and this is the biggest expense in Paris.
    Salary steps have been frozen.

  107. Anonymous says:

    Hi there,
    Bali is a wonderful place. I work here since 2008. Really its good to be here provided you are offered good salary too !
    You are interested in which school?

  108. NicBen says:

    Has anybody worked in Brunei? The package/benefits of some of the schools sound excellent. And any info on Bali would be appreciated too.

  109. Kipp says:

    We’re at Al Batinah International School in Oman and it’s a pretty great place for families and saving money. While the package itself isn’t spectacular (we’re on step 3 and making $40k each), the cost of living in Sohar is very low. We’re easily banking one salary. Medical insurance is decent, though you have to drive 2 hours to the capital, Muscat, to find a Western-style hospital. Housing is provided by the school. Our house is just fantastic, though other teachers haven’t had the same luck. The school also pays our utilities.

    It’s a new school (4 years), and still getting it’s feet on the ground (though we are certified PYP). If you’re an experienced teacher with a lot ideas, this might be a great place for you. There’s a lot of freedom. There’s not a lot of mentoring, however, so if you’re a new teacher this is something to keep in mind.

    Life in Oman is very relaxed and easy. If you love the outdoors, this is the place for you. Hiking, diving, 4×4 driving in the mountains. Beautiful!

  110. Janet says:

    Funny you ask that, we were just discussing this in the teacher’s lunchroom at my school with a teacher that worked at Aramco a few years ago. It seems they get about 30 vacation days a year plus the two Eids (week long Islamic Holidays). The teacher also said there are a few “Aramco Days” off sprinkled in as well. Very nice package, but fewer days off than a “traditional” school calendar.

  111. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone tell me the number of days teachers work in a year at Saudi Aramco schools? I see that their calendar is different than most other schools, but do they have a decent vacation time during the summer? Can you travel several times in the year?

  112. someryer says:

    does anyone have any informaion on Beacon Academy from the philippines in terms o salary and benefits?

    • Jim says:

      I don’t know specifics on Beacon, but I don’t think it could possibly be a competitive package. Their tuition is significantly less than ISM, British School, and Brent, which are the three main international schools in Manila.

      I think the faculty is mostly locals, and the student body is mostly local as well. I’m not sure about that. That is just the impression I get… I’ve never been to their campus.

      Cost of living in Manila has gone up quite a bit over the last few years. The package at Brent isn’t quite staying even with inflation. ISM and British school are still pretty good packages. There are lots of advantages/disadvantages to each of those three schools. They can be amazing places to work. I love Brent, for example. It’s been great. Beacon just doesn’t really get considered by most people to be a “true” international school yet, but like I say, I haven’t been there yet. It could be totally different than what I would expect…

      Best of luck!

    • underpaymeplease says:

      The salary range at Beacon is Php60,000 to 80,000 a month. After taxes this works out to about $1,000 to $1,250 usd a month.

      There is no housing allowance or any other significant benefit except local health insurance.

      For obvious reasons the vast majority of the faculty is local. They would love to hire more foreign teachers, but obviously aren’t too keen on paying them.

      Beacon is “for profit” although I’m sure that they tell everyone that they are non-profit. Most private schools in the Philippines are technically non-profit. It allows them to bank big profits tax-free.

      I’ll let you be the judge of the salary range when Beacon is asking new high school students to pay over $13k usd for the first year.

    • Scott says:

      I don’t think beacon is an international school in terms of the strict definition of what an “IS” school is. They offer the IB program, but if every teacher there are locals, then it is NOT an IS school. One of my nephews go there, and from what I heard, aside from one or two administrators who were trained abroad, the rest are locally educated… and have only but local experience…which to me is a misnomer. No school can give the international experience parents are looking for if none of their teachers have never left the Philippines long enough to assimilate ideas abroad. Conferences and seminars abroad are not enough. Teachers in an IS school school should have lived abroad for years so that they have something “international” to share (whether they are US citizens, Canadians or even Former Filipinos). I guess that’s why their salary and package are not that competitive…they are not an IS school.

      Their are good people there though–from what I heard. I would gladly consider enrolling my children at Beacon once they start hiring teachers with ACTUAL american or european experience.

      • underpaymeplease says:

        I agree with Scott. Beacon is a good school but it is not an “international” school. It is a good local school and I might cnsider it for my children. Unfortunately it is a very, very expensive local school. But given that it a proprietary school, that is understandable. It’s a business and as such it needs to generate a nice profit.

        Education in the Philippines is a very profitable business. And Beacon is a prime example of how the word “international” get used in the Philippines.

  113. Pak Mojo says:

    I have a friend who works in Stavanger. She has been there 5 years I think. Things are expensive of course, but the pay is adequate to live comfortably according to her. And the lifestyle is quite good. Best of all she loves to take vacations to continental Europe and comment on how things are so cheap there. Ha!

  114. TechJetSet says:

    I’m looking at Nueva Granada in Bogota and Cotapaxi in Quito. Anyone had any experience there, have info about the salary/benefit package? Thanks!

  115. zara says:

    hi, i am really2 interested to know how much is the starting pay in international school of stavanger and is it enough for the first year to live comfortably? thanks

  116. School Counselor says:

    Thanks so much for your response! I have read all the posts from the beginning in the past, but without a search function, it’s hard to do that every time you want to get back to some information….with 517 entries! I appreciate so much your insight. I think I probably can’t afford to work there with my debt, but I keep hoping there is a way to make ends meet. Does the school provide any language classes for staff in their professional development? I’ve been all over Europe, so for travel I can see myself being happy with budget trips around Spain and Portugal by train. Other than the pay, did you find it a good place to work? Are there many single folks on staff?

    • anonymous says:

      Well, yes, any debt could be a problem although you do get paid in Euros which is going up again. When I left, the school was actually offering free language classes once a week but I am not sure if that is still happening. You can use your PD money to take Spanish classes though. There are single staff there and it is pretty easy to meet people in the city to do things with. Everyone is nice at the school though and there is always something to do. And as for trains, I found the flights were actually a lot cheape. There are tons of budget airlines like and, where you can really fly cheap. Yes, it is a pretty good place to work. I knew the counselor you would be replacing and she did a good job getting a proper program into place. Sometimes school was kind of crazy and frustrating, especially the commute to get to school!, but it is worth it to live in Barcelona! (and you are right, it is impossible to find any posts now that there are so many on this blog.). Let me know if you have any other questions.

    • on your keyboard hit control “F” simultaneously and a search function will pop up.

  117. School Counselor says:


    Can anyone comment on the current package at The American School of Barcelona? The salary range is listed as $40,000-$55,000 USD (paid in euros) which I think works out to be about 29,000 euros. I read somewhere that rents in Barcelona have gone down because of the economy in Spain, but I don’t know if this salary is enough for a modest lifestyle, has any potential for savings? They don’t provide housing as part of the package. Any insight from folks currently in Spain or familiar with Barcelona in recent months would be so welcome!

    • anonymous says:

      If you read the beginning of this blog, you will find many comments about this school. I worked at this school for a few years, and the salary is the main reason why I recently left. I am not sure the rents have gone down that significantly, especially for some of the more popular neighborhoods. I did a lot of afterschool tutoring so I could afford to travel. One good thing is that you receive 14 salaries, 2 in December and June. This provides you with a forced savings for traveling during Christmas and Summer (there are no free flights or allowances as a school benefit). Although I had a a great time in Barcelona, I did not save anything, although I know some people who have by having a roommate to share the rent or really watching their money.

  118. Amy says:

    Anyone have any experience working at Leysin (LAS) or ISZL in Switzerland? Thanks for any “warnings” in advance.

    • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna says:

      I have a very close friend who is the college counselor there (for over 10 years) and she says that it is isolated but a nice package. However the management seems a bit ¨strange¨and they definitely prefer couples who can live in residence and supervise the kids 6 days a week! She also says that it is one of the cheapest and safest places in Europe but is in the mountains and isn’t near any major cities in Switzerland. she says the kids are generally nice ados but they get stir-crazy and therefore the school has tons of trips, expeditions, activities NS SO ON. iF YOU ARE AN OUTDOOR PERSON (SHE IS NOT)then its the place for you. Pets aren’t welcome either!

    • M says:

      ISZL is a good school to work at, but it has expanded hugely in the last few years and there have been a lot of changes, mostly better. The package is pretty good but Switzerland is incredibly expensive. If you are single you’ll be fine, if you are a teaching couple even better. If you are a family with only one teaching it’s pretty tough unless in a promoted position. Switzerland is pretty cool, everything is as you have probably heard – very clean and incredibly efficient. Probably a bit dull if you’re young and looking for an exciting nightlife – I don’t think there is one :)! Expat community if pretty big however and friendly.

  119. Meeshell says:

    Can anyone tell me about the International School of Curacao, AISK in Jamaica, Cedar International in BVI, or Good Hope in St. Croix? How about Gifft Hill in St Johns? Any info about your experience there, administration, benefits & pay? Please. Thanks so much!

    • anonymous says:

      I have a good friend at the Intl. School of Curacao. She likes it but hasn’t saved any money. She pays high taxes and she had to buy a car. Pluses are a 1 yr. contract and beach club membership. She said that it’s a very small place.

  120. Kate says:

    Just looking at jobs in International Schools are the moment. Have got a phone interview with Regent International School in Dubai. Having looked at another webistes comments about the school were not very positive and salary seemed to be around 7000AED per month. I didn’t think this was very much but maybe I am wrong? Does anyone know anything about the school?

    • chuck says:

      I used to live down the street from that school when I taught there 2 yrs ago. It looks small, in a nice neighbourhood. 7000AED is not very much money and you would barely break even in Dubai. I never heard anything about that school which is strange considering I could walk to it. There are many other better schools with much better packages. DIA around the corner pays 13000AED, DAA pays 10000, and ASD closer to 15000AED. All have good reps…..

      • Dubai says:

        DH. 7000 cannot pay for housing and in general will not get you through the month if you have dependents and definitely you cannot save from that. Apply at the American School of Dubai.

  121. Meeshell says:

    American School of Sao Paulo? Any info on the area, benefits, pay? I see that the MS Principal and MS Asst Principal positions are both open right now, so wonder “why” they would both leave at the same time… contracts ending at the same time for Administrator positions seems strange doesn’t it? Researching the school it looks like a great place and benefits look good from what they say. Any info?

    • Giproc says:

      If you’re talking about Graded in Sao Paolo, it’s widely considered to be the finest or one of the finest in South & Central America in terms of pay package and working conditions. Haven’t worked there but I’ve heard only great things about it.

    • luna says:

      I was there in 2010. MS Principal went to AAS in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the MS Asst Principal went to ASB in India. Not sure, if there was a specific reason, I did not teach MS. There was a lot of pressure from rich parents, who view the place as a social club. Otherwise, the package was wonderful – paid housing, free lunch, free transportation, good health insurance, grocery card, paid home internet (not any more, though), around 60K for masters + 3y, and good lump of money when you leave. The city is expensive, but you end up saving a lot.

  122. Hi,

    I am wondering if anyone has direct knowledge of prices for housing in Barcelona and how difficult (or easy) it is to live on the salary at the American School of Barcelona as a single? How is living in Barcelona for grocery prices, housing, public transportation? I am wondering how much money up front I would need to get a flat there and if I would be able to live on the salary and still make my student loan payment each month. My lifestyle is quite frugal and I like to cook. Of course it would be nice to travel a bit, but my main goal is to become fluent in Spanish, so I would probably travel mainly in Spain during my time there. Any insight would be helpful! Thanks.

    • Chris says:


      I was just in Barcelona for 3 months. It’s a great city and has a lot to offer. However, if your main goal is become fluent in Spanish I’m not sure if it’s the perfect place. While Spanish is widely used, Catalan is the main language and English is also widely spoken. I am a beginner and found that my language did not advance as quickly as Mandarin did for me when completely immersed and forced to speak.
      As for living expenses, expect to pay 600 euros/month for a nice apartment but as little as 350 if you’re willing to share and commute. Groceries are pretty inexpensive but eating out is not. It also depends what you’re used to…If you’re from the UK, it’s probably reasonable. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  123. yer says:

    Any word on Brent and IS Manila – from the Philippines in terms of housing, allowance, salary, etc? I would really appreciate any comment. Thank you.

    • on my way out says:

      At ISManila, the overall pay package is nice. With Masters & 10 yrs experience I’m making about US$45,000 this year. Housing is completely covered including utilities. Housing is assigned 1st year with option to move within the housing pool or switch to cash allowance 2nd yr. Travel allowance each yr; as American single, I get $2500 every summer. 13th month pay/ retirement bonus in Jan is 8% of salary. Another $1500 bonus for all expats in June. Re-signing bonus for 2 yrs is $10,000 (pd over 2 yrs), for 1 yr is $3500.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for your thoughts. I hope they offer me a two year contract when I apply :)

      • want to teach overseas says:

        Hi On my way out – ISM is my target school. I was born and raised here in the US but am of Filipino Heritage. I would LOVE to teach at ISM…but don’t know if I would ever be considered. I have a non-teaching spouse and a toddler, regular first grade classroom teacher of 5 years here in the US. Is it difficult to get in? Are they open to non-teaching spouses or dependents? I emailed my resume and haven’t heard back. Are there a lot of job inquiries? Thanks for any info.

        • alex says:

          I don’t know if anybody is still checking up on these posts, but I am very interested in ISM. It seems like a great school with amazing programs. Any ideas about what they are looking for in applicants?

          • Anonymous says:

            ISM is a great school; I’m completing my third year but will be moving on for another experience. I don’t know what you teach but I know that most of their hiring is done at the fairs; they go to all of the big ones ISS and SEARCH. They will interview you if another teacher who currently works at the school recommends you. Best to touch bases with them at a fair.

    • Anon says:

      My girlfriend has taught all over the world and said both Brent and the other Phill school – FAB – she’d go (back) in a heartbeat. Facilities, packages, etc. Not specific – but hope that helps some.

    • Brent & ISM are both quite solid. The package at ISM is a bit better, but Brent is in a great location for raising a family. ISM is in the CBD of Makati/Fort bonifacio, so it works very well for singles. People with kids love Brent.

      Work load is reasonable at both schools (a bit more intense at ISM). Kids at both schools are great and admin are supportive.

      Savings potential is probably 10-15k for a single at Brent, 20k at ISM. Depends on how you live. I’m at Brent. Teaching couple with two school aged kids. A full time driver, a full time maid. We give away about 8k per year to support some very good local projects. We live very well, eat out a lot, travel with the whole fam, and save about 10k per year.

  124. Stephen says:

    In that case I shall look into it. Thanks for the help :)

  125. Domhuaille says:

    Pure nonsense, we worked at AISK (their rivals) and I know they had numerous British trained teachers including NQT staff working at every school in Kuwait. It is well worth your while to enquire with Becky.

  126. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the heads up but we are British trained and so probably ineligible for US schools?

  127. Domhuaille says:

    You might want to try the American School of Kuwait. It is the most well respected school in that area and treats its staff better than most. Since the salaries and all benefits are tax-free, you can save a great deal on 2 salaries. contact Becky Ness, the college counselor at ASK and ask her about openings that might be coming up…she is honest and a wonderful person.

  128. Stephen says:

    Hello world. My wife and I (British) want to live in the Middle East for a few years. We are currently at a school in Egypt (3 yrs now) and on 5000 uk pound per month (between us).
    We really could do with some help in finding a school that pays equally well, but won’t drive you insane in return.

    • Anonymous says:

      Any chance you’d be willing to share where you’re currently working? After almost seven years back in North America, I’m ready to return to Cairo. I’d be happy to know in advance if the environments at any of the major schools have changed.

      Have you checked out Riffa Views in Bahrain? It looks quite good.

    • teacher says:

      British School Muscat – fantastic place to live – very good package

    • Jimmy says:

      that’s a very good salary for Egypt. what school do you work at? Im also British trained and am very interested in working in Cairo. Which schools have the best salary?

      • Mike says:

        Well Jim, been here for a number of years now, and we both make(wife and I) over 50K US dollars. This is MES Cairo, great school, but the best paying and facility wise is CAC. It is awesome and very community oriented since all the staff live around the school area.

        • Jimmy says:

          Thank you for the excellent advice, I will certainly apply to the schools mentioned. I wonder which school Stephen works in, as his salary along with his wife’s, equates to over 96k US dollars (5k UK pounds per month = 60k UK per annum)
          That is an amazing salary.

  129. laura says:

    i am a single female with one dependent looking to work in a warm climate next year. any suggestions on what schools i should consider that are single parent-friendly, pay well and have good pre K programs (she will be three in the fall 2011)?


    • Giproc says:

      Hi Laura, I can’t speak for the eastern hemisphere, but in the west it’s tough to find a warm climate, well paying job that will support a single hire with a young dependent. Central American and Caribbean schools generally don’t pay that well. Throw in the social instability in some countries, macho states and the fact that quite a few schools only offer half days for 3-year-olds and you may have some issues for the first year. (I’ve been in your exact situation and found it tough, but doable if you’re frugal and can find someone to care for you child for a few hours until you’re off work.)

      You really need to ask around, not only about the schools but also to find a family-friendly country. Many (Guatemala, Jamaica, Haiti and Mexico from experience) are not at this stage.

      That said, Brazil is quite stable, warm and more family friendly, albeit it’s getting very expensive. Some of the larger schools may even offer day-care or extended ours in N/PK to help out.

      Good luck!!

      • laura says:

        thanks, giproc. i am open to going east if necessary. i will check out brazil, too.

        • Anderson says:

          Check out MBIS Egypt. Great salary – ie: about £30000 a year plus housing, health insurance, annual family flights, yearly bonus, warm/hot weather year round tonnes to see and do around Egypt. Only hic is the pollution and road safety. If you can afford to buy a good car then you will almost crtainly sell it on after a few years at much the same price. Worth it for travelling around Egypt and knowing your child is safer being driven by you.
          You can easily save £10000 a year (no effort and great life style)
          Great primary school.
          CAC (if you’re from the US)is very good too.

      • Meeshell says:

        Giproc… why do you say that Jamaica is not family friendly? Curious if you have worked there and what your experience was. Thanks.

        • Giproc says:

          Hi Meeshell, yes I’ve lived and worked in Kingston. There is little to do in Kingston for families. Between the rough zones and the squalor, there’s not much in between. Despite the tourist areas a few hours from Kingston, this is a poor country with many social issues and lingering xenophobia, especially regarding whites. Weak health care, mediocre pay package (30- 32k with no pension and only a 1 to 1.5K re-signing bonus in an expensive country), good to very good housing, the beaches on the north and west shores are fine but Monday to Friday is a drag, especially for non-working spouses or couples with children. Overall, my experience in Jamaica was just okay, the biggest problem being an inexperienced administration at the school that left the faculty frustrated. Any post is only as good as you make it, so I must say I enjoyed the two years, but that’s more than enough.

    • Sandra says:

      Why don’t you try Thailand? I lived there from 2002-2005 and moved back to the states afterwards. I am now planning my return, I’ve missed it everyday since being back. I have already secured a position and will be going Aug 2011. While working there, there were three single moms at the school. I think most if not all are still there.

      • Meeshell says:

        Sandra… what school in Tailand? and how are the pay and benefits?

        • Katie says:

          My mum worked at Harrow Int. School (Bangkok) for 10 years and earned about 4,311 US dollars a month. The school gives you a townhouse to live in- located on campus- free of charge, and ALL your kids can study there for free.

          • anonymous says:

            Yes, but that’s about to change. Staff with children will most likely be paying 10% of fees from Aug 2011 and 20% from Aug 2012. That being said, it’s a very easy place to live and work if you have children and are a single parent. There is even a creche for staff children from as young as 2 months.

  130. Rick says:

    I didn’t see anywhere and if it is, I apologize. Does anyone have any information on The American School of Guatemala? It seems to be an ideal place and I have been to Guatemala. Any with experience working at this school? Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      The package was ok when I worked there 10 years ago and it has gotten much better since. A pretty decent housing allowance has been added. Even 10 years ago, when it wasn’t considered a well paying school, it was enough to lead a comfortable lifestyle and save a bit. However, the cost of living has gone through the roof in recent years and Guatemala City, however nice it might be, is one of the most dangerous cities on the planet. We lost 3 parents to political violence/homicide in my first year…rather unfortunate because I loved my time there.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a good school. Benefit packages are much better at schools in Guatemala City than in other cities in Guatemala, such as Antigua, Guatemala.

  131. baabaablacksheep says:

    23,500 CNY a month would seem to be ok. I would guess that you get 20,000 after tax. We are up the road in Changchun where most people live well on 5-6,000 although you can live on much, much less if you are frugal and live like a local. Dalian may be a little dearer.

    • Asiabound says:

      Thanks baabaablacksheep for the information. You say that 23,500 CNY seems okay. Should I be looking for a school willing to pay more? What is a decent salary for a first year international teacher in China?

      • baabaablacksheep says:

        It’s more than we earn in Changchun but less than you would make in Shanghai or Beijing – which are more expensive places to live. It all depends on whether you are happy with the school and the rest of the package.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hey Baabaablacksheep,
          I am looking for some info on Changchun American International School. Could you please tell me how is the work culture, salary package+ benefits and cost of living there?
          Thank you in advance.

  132. Asiabound says:

    Does anyone know whether the package at Dalian Maple Leaf School in China includes housing. Their website is a bit confusing. It states that it provides housing but then goes on about rental rates. Also, I’d like to know how its salary of $44,000 CAN (23,500 CNY) compares to other international schools nearby. Is this a good salary for a first year teacher?

    • ShanghaiTeacher says:

      Although this is much after the fact, Dalian is an easy place to live on the salary at ML. I was there for multiple years. Food, living, and transport are all cheap. There are some taxes (about 18% on your gross salary), and no housing allowance. The housing provided by the school is tolerable on campus but is more expensive than living off-campus (the school won’t tell you this). The nearby apartments in Jinshitan town are reasonably priced. $45,000 is equal to just over 250,000 Chinese RMB, and when I was living in Kaifaqu (a suburb between Dalian city and Jinshitan where the school is), I paid 30,000rmb for 12 months which included all my utilities. You can live extremely frugally and save quite a bit if you want to. It’s also easy to save less and enjoy eating out all the time and traveling on the quite generous holidays (though if you’re applying for 2014-2015, you’ll likely work more than 10 Saturdays during the year). There are much better packages where much more money can be made/saved in places like Shanghai (where I am now… much better package).

  133. Movieturtle says:

    I work at asfm in Monterrey. Not sure if we will have any counselor positions available next year but I came here 3years ago with lofty debt and have been able to pay it down a decent chunk and still enjoy traveling around Mexico and enjoy life in Monterrey. It isn’t the most culturally stimulating city but there are good people, cities within car/bus ride distance, it Is close to Texas, and is easy to fly out of. We make well over the previously mentioned 23,000 a year with various bonus “fellowships”. The school community is tight knit and enjoys having fun together. There is a step scale program. Let me know if you have other questions.

    • School Counselor says:

      Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it! I m encouraged by your experience at ASFM in Monterrey. And thank-you for your willingness to answer questions! How is the community for specifically for single folks? Do staff get an allowance to find their own housing, or does the school provide housing? Do most singles share or live solo? I’m single, in my 30’s and am attracted to a school/community where I can make friends, as I would be leaving a great community behind here in the US. Also curious how your school responded to the recent violence reported in Monterrey outside of a school. I personally have spent enough time in Mexico to feel very comfortable there and in general am not scared off by new reports, but I know my Mom will ask!

      • Dee says:

        The violence happened outside of our school but was not related to our school. Our school and the US consulate, who are building a new facility next door to us, have heightened security in many ways we don’t fully know. Our campus is fully secure with only visitors on a list permitted and we are definitely practicing lockdown and fire drills more than before.

        Most international employees are singles in their 20s & 30s. The school helps you find a place for at least your first year and after that you can branch out if you choose. They do provide a stipend that should cover your housing and bills even if you live alone. I am 32 and have 3 roommates, but many live alone or with or 2 roommates. We do a lot together-travel, movies, dinner, outings, etc. There are people of all energy levels so there are plenty of people to hang out with.

  134. junglist says:

    I will be graduating from with an M.Ed in December, and already have a B.Ed and Hon. B.A. (all Toronto), plus three years pre-certified ESL teaching in Japan (JET), and hundreds of volunteer hours, including in schools in very, very rough communities in Kingston, Jamaica. No post-cert experience, though.

    My plan is to research schools over the next few months, apply directly to them, and attend the recruitment fair at Queen’s Uni in February. I’d like to teach in Asia again, but would also be very interested in Latin America if I could save at least $10 000 USD. Any ideas of where someone in my situation might want to focus geographically? I teach HS History and Social Sciences and realize that my CV would not be very competitive next to more experienced teachers. Are my savings goals unrealistic for my first year? Should I perhaps focus on just getting some experience somewhere and put off scaling down my (not too atrocious) debt for a couple years?

    • Don McMahon says:

      Junglist, based on your background,experience and training I would say one of the Gulf states would make sense for you. Stay away from Kuwait but Oman,Bahrain,Saudi (especially Aramco),UAE and maybe Yemen might be a good start for you. There are no income or sales taxes there and the full package is usually pretty generous. Latin America can be good as well but the cost of living can be high in some places like Ecuador and Argentina. Mexico pays very poorly and many of the Caribbean islands are too expensive as well.
      Asia often pays well and is also often tax free but the quality of schools varies enormously. The Queen’s Uni Fair is a good place to start BUT do your research before going there. Know the schools reputation,record and turnover. Know what the culture and people are like in the target country and how they treat “visitors”.

    • Feeling lucky says:

      Consider Central Asia. Yes, it can be difficult – for example, Kazakhstan can be very challenging at times, socially speaking, but the savings potential is awesome. $10,000 savings per year is not unreasonable for a beginning teacher.

  135. lisahanna says:

    Avoid turkey…even though bilkent is doing good things….but it is still a ministry school

  136. Wolff says:

    Anybody have any experience or information on the Ozel Bilkent School in Ankara or the QSI school in Minsk?

    • marionmac says:

      I worked at Bilkent University school, just up the hill from Ozel Bilkent School. I visited Ozel a couple of times. It is indeed a ministry school which would not be my preference as the rules are very tight. Yu do not get the same International holidays. Ankara is not at all like Istanbul but certain places like up at Ulus can get under your skin and become places that you miss. Pay is low, health benefits are dubious and Turkey is becoming increasingly expensive. BUT Turkey travel is most rewarding and the people are abut the best you’ll find in the world.

  137. paula says:

    Does anyone have information about the American School of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico? thanks :)

    • ga dawg says:

      hey paula,
      interviewed with this school last year. the director was very clear with us about the lack of savings potential. even with a masters and 6 years experience me and my wife would have been making around $23,000. the school provides housing on the beach right by the school and flights in and out, a basic medical package, that can be used in USA. we went to PV for our honeymoon and thought it would be nice to teach there, but we may have to wait a few years and save some money before we do.

      • School Counselor says:

        ga dawg~ thanks for the info on The American School in PV. $23,000 sounds about typical for Mexico and Latin America from what I have read, but correct me if I am wrong…if housing is covered by benefits, as is health insurance and a yearly flight back to the US, the cost of eating and travel in Mexico is low, so it seems like one could save. Not save the thousands that a Middle East school would provide, but certainly save half your salary? Do they have a stepped pay scale or do all new staff start the same? I really love the size of the school, the whole PV area and want to spend a few years becoming fully fluent in Spanish. Any additional insight would be so appreciated, as I am just starting my first international job search as a school counselor. I do have 10 year stateside experience as a teacher and administrator. And a masters, obviously. But alot of debt from graduate school.

  138. Bill says:

    Does anyone have direct experience with living in Curitiba? I will be starting at ISC in July and am very excited and know what they are offering, but would love to hear how it really falls together while living there.


    • troy says:

      My friend was there and he said he high-tailed it out of there after the minimum 2 years due to low salary and expensive cost of living.

    • troy says:

      Also he said the tax rate was quite high in Brazil.

      • Bill says:

        Thanks Troy,

        I think the salaries have gone up a bit recently and I am aware of the insane taxes. Sadly, although my base salary in NYC is $20,000 more than what I will start at in Brazil, after taxes and rent I will be clearing significantly more at ISC. So, maybe not at the high end of Int. Schools, but better than here and a good start on IB training and teaching. That’s how I’m approaching it.

        • zeno says:


          What is ISC paying these days? I travelled through Curitiba a couple of years back, and after hearing about the school there was quite interested in a potential teaching post. If it’s of any worth,from a traveller’s perspective I found the city (and Brazil in general) quite expensive.

          • Waldo says:

            Unless there’s been a change in both leadership and school policy, ISC is notoriuos for “balancing the budget” on the backs of the teachers. Based on information I have received from two former ISC teachers, you are delusional to think that you will be able to save money working there. Even your housing “benefit” is taxed!

            • williamjtolley says:

              In truth, business matters have yet to be made completely transparent. There is always some unexpected issue coming up. You can, however, save money.

  139. Phil says:

    Hi People,

    I have been offered a job at the Internationale Schule Frankfurt. The pay is not so good but I think it is a good foot in the door for me, and I really wanted to go to Germany so I am happy to accept it.

    I wanted to know about the tax system in Germany, because I have heard that if I stay for 2 years or less than I can get some of my tax back when I return to Australia.

    Does anybody know if this is true or not and how it works?



    • Anon says:

      Hi Phil
      I taught at ISF for two years. Yes this is true, as an Australian you CAN get your taxes back which is around 46% of your salary. A huge benefit for Australians and Americans (sadly not Canadians). I almost think they factor this into your salary.
      There are two ways to do this, one is to get it as a lump sum when you leave and the second is monthly.
      Just ask around at the school for a lawyer’s contact details. You’ll need one to help you sort stuff out but I’m sure you can find one quite easily.
      The pay might not be the best but there are other ways to make money there like summer school and tutoring.

      Hope this helps!
      PS. I found the students there a bit spoiled and sometimes have attitude, but overall they are some of the best ones I’ve ever taught!!!!

    • ChicagoGal says:

      Hi Phil,

      I’m going to be teaching at ISF this coming school year, too! I’m so glad you asked this question! I had no idea that there was a way to get taxes back. What are you going to be teaching? We should get in touch!

      • Phil says:

        Hi Guys,

        Thanks very much for the information Anon… that sounds wonderful that I can claim so much money back.. makes me feel much better about the low pay!

        ChicagoGal – Nice to hear from you! I am going to be teaching Chemistry.. I would love to get in touch with you. How about you email me..


        • Anonymous says:

          Hold on there guys…it’s not so easy to claim your taxes back. It all depends on the tax specialist and tax office you go through. So, there are many different interpretations of the rules. At my school in my Munich, 3 teachers look like they’ll be getting their taxes back, while about 4 or 5 will not.

          Some tax offices ask for quite a bit of info before they can grant a refund – proof of payment of property/state taxes in US while working in Germany, employment contract in the US for period immediately after leaving Germany, etc.

          It’s very important to speak to as many specialists as possible. It is most certainly not a given that the money is yours after two years.

          Good luck.

  140. greg chase says:

    What are the public schools in United Arab Emirates like to teach in?

    • hercules says:

      Be very careful of some of the schools in UAE. The public schools also don’t pay well and are usually all arabic teachers. Do your homework before you sign up!

    • motherto3 says:

      ADEC is great to work for. Sure, your actual school is hit or miss for placement, but overall, the salary is amazing, free housing, healthcare and plan tickets each year, plus and end of contract bonus. We love it here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Greg, You will be on a plane by Christmas break assuming you even get a Christmas Break in the public schools here. Do not even think about teaching in UAE public schools. We are in the private school system here and it is hard enough. The schools secretly are proud to tell parents how FEW locals they allow in because of the massive behaviour issues that come with that, namely the boys, who are uncontrollable in mass.Classroom management, impossible. If you are teaching in a public school you are A) an English teacher or B) teaching another subject to kids who speak little to no English, regardless of age.There is no accountability and you are nothing more than a servant to the parents and admin. I would never and I mean NEVER work in a public school here or anywhere in the Middle East due to the culture of the youth and views towards teachers as slaves.Be warned!

      • uaeteacher says:

        actually, I am going on my fourth year teaching in the UAE in public schools and these people are speaking like they know nothing about the public sector. we get three weeks off for Christmas, two off for spring break and 6 weeks for summer. With a Masters and 2 years experience I started at 45000 per year and get about 2400 for ticket home each year. My housing the first year was a 2 br at about 1200 sq ft. Our apt now is on Reem Island and we have wonderful amenities in our building.In addition to paying off student loans from home, I am able to have fun and save money.How much depends on the individual. My summer ticket money this year has allowed me to travel to 3 different cities in Asia along with paying for the hotels Im staying in.Thats not to say the work isnt hard and there are some draw backs. The boys are difficult and getting a good/bad school can be a crap shoot.But the same can be said for other countries as well.

        • pete22 says:

          uaeteacher, how did you go about breaking into the uae public schools? Did you go through a third party system or is there a way to apply directly? Is your apartment on Reem Island provided, or did you move there yourself? Seems like a great job – everyone needs a little challenge in the classroom. Any other insights or suggestions you could share on working where you are, I’m very interested.

  141. Anhar says:

    Is 30,000 CNY a month too low to live well in Shanghai? Not likely that I’ll go native with food and dinning options.
    And cannot share housing as I am too mature/advanced in years to have roomies.
    Above is the total Gross salary package including housing and before tax but the offer has a tax deductible portion of about 8,000. The rest of salary at 15% tax. I think this will end up being quite low for a senior teacher? Comments?

    • Molson says:

      If that is your BEFORE tax rate, then YES, it is extremely low, especially for a teacher with a lot of experience.

      The tax rate in China is 20%. You get an exemption on the first 4000 or so RMB a month.

      So for your taxes, it would be something like 30,000-4,000=26,000 x 20% = 5200, so you are at 20,800.

      This is less than I get on a lvl 1 scale at my international school near Beijing.

      I too have to pay rent, and you will end up paying 3000-4000 for a single apartment in Shanghai.

      IMO experienced teachers in Shanghai should be getting 30k+ a month AFTER taxes, or 25k and a nice apartment.

    • KC says:

      I’m not so experienced and work at a smaller school, so make less than that. I have a great apartment in a nice neighborhood, use taxis instead of the metro, and eat in mostly Western-style restaurants (or have it delivered in). I’m still able to save about 10,000 CNY a month.

  142. Anna says:

    Does anyone have any information about the Cochabamba Cooperative School in Bolivia? (I made an earlier post that has disappeared). ie. cost of living vs. salary, is there really that potential to thrive on so little?

    • Anonymous says:

      I had a friend who taught there about 8 years ago so a lot could have changed, but she enjoyed it a lot and lived very well. I’m not sure about benefits and/or savings potential. She was right out of college so her expectations weren’t that high. I do remember her talking about the parents being very nice and mostly Bolivian.

      The cost of living in Bolivia is very low, I’ve lived there in the past, although I wasn’t teaching. Cocha is a lovely city, smaller than Santa Cruz and La Paz, and a lot more relaxed. It has great weather, is very pretty and is not as high up as other Altiplano cities and definitely more friendly. Overall living in Bolivia, at least before Morales, was great and even the big cities feel like small towns. If you want a more cosmopolitan environment however, Bolivia is not the right place, even in LP or SC. And avoid bus travel there, it can be terrifying especially at the higher elevations!

  143. Anhar says:

    Fairview is a boarding school. Will you have to do boarding duties after work? I would consider the level of supervision after school as a big factor in you choice.

    The lowest salary if you are a young teacher and only a few years out of uni would be RM 8,000 (package including housing and EPF) that is the absolute min for an expat to have quality of life here. But really an average min for teacher RM 15,000 is average and EPF (compulsory pension available to expats on leaving the country) will give you a nice handshake at the end of your contract. Most of the established schools will pay more than RM 15,000 total package. Make sure children’s fees are included as the cost of fees is very high at private schools RM 30,000 plus.

    Lifestyle in KL is good but international teachers have to stop accepting salaries well below what they would be paid in their home countries as this is not really a backpacker lifestyle, the schools are very demanding and the parents have high expectations.

    The school I worked at in KL (GIS) had to increase the salary by about 30% (the first year after I started) to get good experienced teacher. if they dont pay well then those clued up individuals who are international career teachers will not go there and you get lots of packpacker teachers who only stay for two years.

    You have to be able to live in the country you are working in and then also go home and be able to live in your own country during the breaks without suffering financially.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve heard of REAL offering international teachers RM4000 for a fresh teacher with 4 years exp and Bed with masters in relevant subject. Any comments?

      I live in KL and RM 8000 is the amount a general manager of a decent sized retail store earns. To expect RM 8k and higher isnt really taking into account the local conditions. If you live expensively, rent the expensive properties and eat expensive food then no amount of money will suffice.

      standard meal in kl = RM 10. x30 days, 3 meals = RM 900 on food. Accomodation ranges 1500-3500 (avg 2000) based on location. That means you need about 2900 min to live, the rest becomes disposable income. if accomodation is provided by your school then really its about RM 1000 to live sensibly (no alcohol!!) the rest is luxuries!

      • Malaysianteacher says:

        Yeah. Rm4000 is about right for real. Similar happenings with Tenby and many small private international schools.

        • Josephine says:

          Hello, is 4000 RM inclusive of housing? I have an MA and a few years experience teaching college, research and event management. I was asked about remuneration, but thought I should leave it to the school to make the offer!

    • Julia says:

      Hello, I know you massage is old, but maybe you see my question… I applied for a counsellor job at Garden International School. Did you like it there and how was your salary? How did you like living in Kuala Lumpur? I have travelled to KL before and I really likes it…

  144. InternationalEducator says:

    Does anyone know about Fairview International School in Kuala Lumpur? I have observed that no body has commented on the previous posts related to Fairview International School, KL.
    Please help. Thanks

  145. Anhar says:

    Please confirm if it is always a requirement to have an EU passport to work in Europe? I’ve worked in three countries but in the US and Asia so I’d love to go to Europe and each time I see a posting for a job the EU passport seems to be part of the criteria.
    Thanks for any info re this.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the case in some countries but not all. Germany and Spain, for example, do not require EU passports.

      Good luck.

      • verity1 says:

        please note that spain and germany ARE part of the EU and therefore require an eu passport or work permit!!

        • Anonymous says:

          actually Germany does not require EU passport. I m not an EU citizen and I have a job there. So all you need is to get a work permit.

    • Anonymous says:

      You dont need to have EU passport to work in Germany. I have got a job there and I m not EU citizen. You need to get a work permit and your school will help you with that.

  146. Victoria says:

    I am beginning to research some schools in Germany. I know the cost of living is high, and I am curious how much disparity exists among schools in the same region. Can anyone speak to the benefits and compensation at any of the following schools?
    Bonn International School
    International School of Düsseldorf
    Internationale Schule am Rhein in Neuss
    International School of Cologne
    Any other international schools in this region?
    I would appreciate any information about these schools or other international schools in the region. Thanks in advance!

    • Anonymous says:

      Munich International School pays about 56-60,000 euros a year. Sounds pretty good, no? However, taxes are incredibly high – expect to pay 46% to the German government. Cost of living is also incredibly high. Germany doesn’t offer a real international school experience – you’ll live life like teachers do in the UK or US. Not worth it…

  147. mpt says:

    Look at South East Asia. Tax is generally a lot lower and accommodation cheaper. I’m currently in Malaysia and a single parent in boarding. Eating out, movies and holidays are also very cheap as well.

  148. Joe Pfalzer says:

    Anyone have information on Cempaka Schools in Kuala Lumpur. Benefits package, housing, cost of living? Thanks in advance!

    • Anhar says:

      Cempaka is an OK local private school but the salary is much lower, perhaps half to two thirds of what the top British or American International schools are paying teachers. Yes eating out is cheaper if you go native and eat at the mamma stalls but if you like to live like an expat expect your cost of living to be closer to Western countries as will your grocery bill if you shop for anything imported or other than local produce. Milk is horrible in this country I have no idea what they do to it. Also you will be ripped off on a regular basis unless you are really firm and prepared to walk away, especially with taxi’s. Movies are cheap but for the popular (commercial block busters) there are long lines, also poor choices and quality. I’m yet to find alternative films or art house cinemas in KL area. Books are expensive or brobably just the currency conversion makes them seem so. Pirate DVD’s are about 60% of the market you have to make a moral choice about that. There is only one national satelite TV, Astro. It is the only way you get BBC, CNN or other international news. The local news is in Bahasa Melayu.

    • Mark says:

      Not sure about Cempaka Schools but I work at an international KL and have never heard of it so I’m guess it’s not that good.

      Cost of living is relatively high in KL but you can get by cheaply. Housing for a decent expat place is $1000 US plus for a basic 2 bedroom place. Food can be cheap if you eat at stalls but if you prefer expat stuff, then it is expensive. Transportation is a problem and it is difficult to get around without your own car. Taxis are notoriously bad and although there is a decent monorail/train system, it does not go to all areas in the city. I’m guessing Cempaka Schools doesn’t offer a great package since it is never at any of the fairs I go to. The two best are ISKl and MKIS. Look into those before you consider a 2nd or 3rd tier school in KL.

  149. weedonald says:

    Anonymous at 8:42am …I never worked at ASF but worked for 5 years in MC at another school and had many friends who were either teachers or administrators at ASF. The package is decent for a private school in Mexico but is tax free only for Americans. The housing allowance is good for 5 years and gets you a nice but small apartment in Mexico City,close to ASF. The school is supposed to be a USHS but in fact is more an international curriculum, with both AP and USHS. The cost of living in MC is higher than most other places in Mexico but there is excellent public transport (don’t take taxis off the street) and the food is cheap and plentiful. MC is polluted, noisy, dirty and crowded but there is much to do and see there as well. The school is in a fairly large area in the suburbs of MC, but only about 10 minutes from downtown (the Zocalo/town square or Centro Historico)and the shopping is ample by US standards. Mexicans are great people, especially if you try to speak Spanish to them. The cops are almost 100% corrupt and can be quite aggressive about bribes(la mordida), the bureaucrats are the same as everywhere and the drivers are insane.The kids are nice but can behave like entitled brats and private education is not as highly valued as it is in the rest of North America. There is still a bit of anti-Americanism but it has diminished considerably since Obama’s election. It is a relatively safe city if you behave just like you would do in NYC or LA…avoiding certain areas and not being ostentatious (money,jewellry, too gringo-like). Overall it is a good 2 year experience living and working in the largest city in the world.

  150. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have information about the American School Foundation in Mexico City? Information about the package, school environment, cost of living with average salary, etc. would be great. Thanks in advance!

    • katweasel says:

      Excellent place to live, if you keep your head down and follow the party line school life will be great. The package is enough to easily get by on – once again this is Latin America and I doubt you will be able to save very much. That said I had a wonderful time teaching at ASF (2 years)- the New High School Principal is very cool and a vast improvement on the previous principals.

  151. Bicultural says:

    Could somebody please provide some information on the packages at the big Scandinavian schools like Copenhagen International School, Oslo International School, and Stockholm International School? In particular, what would it be like for a young, single teacher? Thanks.

    • Penelope says:

      Copenhagen International School was a great work environment when I was there, all the expats will very generously help you. I taught there 2008-2009 and loved the experience, however my understanding is that this year the board shoved out the head of school who I liked & respected very much, so the new one is an unknown quantity to me. The primary principal was Fantastic but also left after a very long and stable tenure. Can’t speak to the current. These 2 factors could make a lot of difference right there.

      Regarding package… as a single and overseas hire, I was able to save maybe 800$ (USD) a month with my takehome pay (including some traveling) but that was fairly spartan living while there. {I was given a few steps on the pay scale.} I didn’t buy anything since it was so ridiculously expensive. Literally, the equivalent of the dollar store is two dollars there, and everything begins at double what I would see at home. A small housing allowance is given for overseas hires but it is unlikely to cover all because housing is so much money. They will help you find housing and you will need their help but you need to be careful about this. They have no problem putting you in Far more expensive housing than you want because it is the quickest way for them to be done with your issue. Taxes were 44% for me by the time I left. Copenhagen is a great place for a lot of reasons. I imagine, looking around, that the savings for a frugal single is better at CIS than at many places in Europe and Latin America. The work environment while I was there was fantastic.

      • Bicultural says:

        Thanks for the reply, Penelope! Sounds like Copenhagen is a good place to teach if you are able to control the urge to spend.
        One question about the tax rate: were you paying 44% tax the entire time while you were there in Copenhagen?

        • Penelope says:

          I never really understood my pay… it was in Danish kroner, and the system of paying bills in Denmark and banking is different than what I am used to. You pay for each thing you do at the bank with a teller, it costs to send the electrons to pay bills online, though they want you to do that. I paid the equivalent of ten dollars to go into a store and pay a bill before I understood the online banking (seven dollars to receive the bill, three to give the money to someone). I think, the first half of the calender year, I paid 38% on what I earned because it was a lower number, having not been earning since January 1. I think. Why the percentage went up, I wasn’t completely clear on, but it did.

          ALSO: Copenhagen and Denmark might NOT be the place to go if you own property elsewhere. The Danish government levies taxes on ANY properties you own that they know about. ANYONE should ask FIRST about this if this could even remotely apply to you, because the taxes are HIGH. The Danish government knows about every krona that passes through a Danish bank, they are Serious about collecting taxes.

          Having said that, it was fairly easy to send kroner home to my US bank account, after the initial (somewhat involved) set up with xe trade.

          • Penelope says:

            I mean the first half of the school year, the second half of the calender year, my tax rate was 38%. Later, in March (?) it went up to 44%. I never got the correlation.

            • Bicultural says:

              That’s bizarre. Despite all the taxes, I am encouraged to learn that you were able to save a decent amount each month. Plus, it sounds like you enjoyed your experience and might recommend it as a good place to teach. Thanks again for all of your feedback.

  152. lisawife#4 says:

    schools in guangzhou, china? any feedback, folks???

    • Guangzhou Teacher says:

      Scroll up to January 8 and you’ll see my comments on the American IS in Guangzhou (I could not copy it down to here). In my opinion, only consider this school and the British School. Utaloy is the other large int school in the city; however, it is a for profit school and the teachers there do not appear all that happy. Be warned that the pollution is really bad here, especially between November and March.

  153. Lisa says:

    Did Riyadh, be careful. Don’t go except to the schools that Western embassy kids attend.
    Make sure you are given housing in a compound with lots of amenities. Your only freedom will be on the compound. Prepare to be bored or at the least entertain yourself only with school facilities or on your compound. You will be limited to how much you can do in public, for example I tried to go bowling and wasn’t allowed (The place was empty and I was in full abaya with my hair covered only with my husband)
    I felt 10 years old again living there. I was never completely comfortable out and about without my husband. Girl friends and I were denied enterance to family sections without a male escort for example.
    Good luck

  154. Scarpa says:

    I’ve been offered a package at a school in Riyadh. Anyone have any info they can share with me (I’m aware I won’t be driving and will be wearing the latest fashion in “abiyahs”).

  155. Peace says:

    Does anyone have information on the Mazapan School in Honduras? I read the review and it sounded a bit too good to be true, or am I just a cynic? Does the rosy review on ISR match the reality on the ground? Does anyone know? Thanks!

    • pamarian says:

      I tried to contact the person who wrote that review to see if it was actually true. I never got a response, but am not sure if I contacted the right person. I agree..the school seems wonderful..but I too wonder. The pay is low and housing allowance $200 a month..I wonder if the trade off of living in such a place would be worth it.

  156. Peace says:

    I read some information about the cost of living in the city of Cartagena, Columbia that said it was an expensive city. The George Washington School in Cartagena states that a single teacher can save about 40% of his/her $30,000 salary (40% paid in U.S. dollars).

    Does anyone know how far $30,000 ($12,000 in dollars and $17,000 in Columbian pesos) will go in the city of Cartagena? Any other details you can share about the The George Washington School in Cartagena? Thanks!

    • Ready says:

      You can live comfortably on the pesos the school provides. However, you’ll only be saving about $700 US a month. Cartagena, and Colombia are fabulous places to live if you like music, dancing and warm, fun people. It’s unfortunate that the pay is not better, but that’s life in Latin America. In any case, take a job in Cartagena for the place. Culture, easy travel, and Colombians! It was a great place to work as a newish teacher.

      • Peace says:

        Thanks Ready! Do you know anything about the Colegio Albania in Guajira? It looks as if the school is in a desert, arid and hot, and the town is small with a population of 3,000. Lonely Planet calls that region of Columbia similar to the Wild West.

        • david says:

          I lived in Colombia a few years back and yes, the Guajira is an isolated place, beautiful and interesting to visit but not sure I would want to live there. There are some activities to keep you busy there but mostly people fly out to Barranquila or Cartagena for entertainment. I worked in Cartagena for 6 years. Not a great salary but, as Ready said, a fantastic place to live with great people and fun to be had. Getting more expensive these days though.

          • katweasel says:

            Excellent place to live – you though will possibly not save anything there. I spent 7 years in Colombia 2 at the George Washington – sadly had to move to begin the process of saving something.

  157. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know anything about PSI in the Ukraine? Package, quality of life, can a family live off of 1 salary?

    • Annie says:

      The package includes good housing in the city center, hopefully near the school. The school itself is in a nice district. A family can DEFINITELY live off one salary, probably up to 4 kids. The housing would be tight though. The salary used to be about 28k-35K, but that was 5 years ago. It may have changed. I don’t know about the admin personally as I didn’t work there, but friends who did were very happy with it and I know it has a good rep in Ukraine. It’s killing the British International School. The kids are a mix of Ukrainian and expat, which is good. I don’t know about healthcare, but doctors etc. are rather cheap there.

      There is a lot more info on this school and city if you scroll up almost a quarter of the way up the page. Look for my name in the response. I lived in Ukraine for a while, and still visit and have friends there, so feel free to ask anything!

      • Annie says:

        The Frequently asked q’s section on the website is very helpful as well. Lots of into on the package. Tuition is covered for dependents, too. Forgot to mention that…

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you for the information. I’m looking at this school and also another in Sophia, Bulgaria. I really don’t know much about the living conditions in either place. I imagine the winters are tough. Are either of these places easy to live with a toddler? IS the school community tight knit? Travel options easy?


          • Annymous says:

            I can only tell you abouut AAS I have heard that the package at the other school isn’t as good and they are having a new director this year so all change. The weather is cold here but this year is not too bad and the rest of the year the climate is great. The community is quiet tight knie and quite a few of the school families live in the same complex near the school. There are great opportunities to travel as Bulgaria is a very centrallly located country. Living here with a toddler should be easy Bulgaria is a vert family friendly country. As the packeage is generous it is possible to save a good chunk of your salary. It’s fun living her and I have enjoyed my time and I’m still here, it’s very cheap to live here!!

          • Annie says:

            Ukraine is toddler friendly in the sense that everyone is kind to children and very helpful, giving up seats on the bus, etc. Kiev, however, is difficult to navigate extensively with small children and no car. Most get around on the subway, and you hardly see children there. The subways are VERY deep and have really long and fast escalators. I was there in winter of 2008 with my 18 month and almost 3-year-old. I was terrified on the subway because I thought if I let go of them on the escalator, they could easily fall beacuse it was SO fast and the steps are rather small. So basically I was a nervous wreck. I’m not generally a nervy person, but it is difficult to manage kids and belongings in that situation.
            However, there are many children in Kiev and what they usually do is ride mashrutkas (mini-buses) or trams, which are very easy with kids, and if you live within walking distance of your school, you’ll hardly ever need the subway, so you’d be fine. When I traveled the rest of Ukraine with both my kids I was fine, including overnight trains, it was just the subway that wigged me out. Most Ukrainians send their small children to a kindergarten in their own neighborhood. Most are very good if you wanted to take that route. Then you could walk them to school and then take the subway on your own. That was our plan if we ever moved back there. The best way would be to live in Pechersk so you can all walk to school together. Most apartments have playgrounds in the commons and crimes against children are very rare. Everyone looks out for everyone else, which I love about Ukraine. The winters are harsh, but you get a very long break, and I suggest you go somewhere warm. There are a lot of holidays to break it up. Their new year holidays go roughly until the 8th of Jan. and then there is another week off in February, then you’re in March and it’s not bad at all. Half way through November through Christmas is the longest stretch for the cold weather. If you can make that you’ll be fine. But it is VERY cold. Just learn how to walk on ice! And buy a parka…

  158. cbpspan says:

    Does anybody have any information on the American School of London? Salary package, governance, work environment? Would greatly appreciate any insight you might have.

    • movieturtle says:

      I emailed a friend who works at ASL and this is all she wrote back, sorry it may not be helpful for you.

      “I don’t know particulars offhand but I can tell you that I am impressed by ASL in all those categories. I have heard it can be harder to manage financially for families with children. It pays to have a masters in terms of salary and affordability of living in London”

    • Came for a job, not a date! says:

      Just saw the ASL (London) presentation at one of the job fairs, and have 2 friends working/have worked there. Salary about 50,000 pounds per year. This sounds great, but the school is in one of the most expensive parts of London (where celebrities live). So housing is exhorbitant–many share to cut costs. London is of course, London, so the competition to get into this school is stiff. It is one of the better (or the best) paying international school in the London area. Tax free salary for 2 years, after third year you owe back taxes. (be sure to ask if the school covers this, witholds from salary, or you are responsible.)

      • cbpspan says:

        Many thanks for your input. Any opinion on how a married couple, both with MA and two children, would fare at ASL financially? What about work environment? Is the administration supportive?

        • cliffski says:

          I don’t know all the details but I do know that ASL does NOT provide 100% tuition for dependent children.

          • Jane says:

            Not true. I have worked at ASL they provide 100% tuition for all dependent children. These benefits have also just been extended to staff.

  159. SantiWannabe says:

    Does anyone have any information to share about the Nido de Aguila school in Santiago, Chile? I’d like to know about what families are like, do staff live near school? What is housing like? Anything will be helpful.

    • J says:

      Nido in Santiago, Chile is great, teachers live close to the school, housing is good, lots of get thogether and BBQ. Teachers are friendly with the new ones, and classrooms are brand new (new buildings) with exellent technology…..
      You dont save too much but is a great experience

      • tflanag1 says:

        Is it possible to save much at Nido? Does the school provide housing? Finally, could you tell me if Santiago is a dog-friendly city? Thank you!

        • R says:

          Nido is by FAR the best school in Chile. I wouldn´t hesitate to take any job they offer and the salary is by far the best in the country. I was offered a job there which I regret taking as the local hire package is equivalent to what I get as expat hire at what is considered the most prestigious chilean school (with a supposed british style curriculum).

          • A says:

            Does anyone have specific salary info for Nido?
            What are travel opportunities like around South America, from Santiago?
            How much are you able to save, specifically?
            Thank you!

            • C says:

              Teachers tend to take home about $5000/month with the housing allowance and salary. It is a high cost of living here, but I have found you can manage well. I save about $1200 a month, have traveled all over Chile with plans to head to Peru, Brazil and Argentina this year. Teaching couples can save lots more, but as a single I think it is still pretty good. I’m contributing a lot to my retirement, have a solid nest egg going and have not felt it at all. The standard of living is high—kids are sweet (although not as hard-working as most Asian schools, from what I hear), the workload for teachers is very manageable and it’s safe, clean water, nice places to live, beach and mountains are very close.

  160. me says:

    Any input on Seoul International School? Someone did ask earlier but there was no reply? How is the salary, housing, life in general?

    • Larry says:

      SIS is OK but there is only one true International School in Korea and that is Seoul Foreign School. Most other schools (including SIS) are mainly made up of students that are ethnically Korean. Seoul isn’t a cheap place to live though. Some people love it, some don’t.

    • Molson says:

      I haven’t worked there yet, but from what I’ve heard I get mixed reviews. I know this doesn’t really help you. However, I wanted to post and say that it is located just outside of Seoul which makes a huge difference IMO. The previous reply about the only “real” IS being SFS is incorrect. There are four international schools around Seoul that fit the bill, in fact Yongsan International School (a Christian outfit) is the most multicultural one of the bunch as it gets most of the embassy kids.

      Anyways, SIS is located in a rich subburb of Seoul. I lived in the same town for a year about 10 years ago before SIS and KIS were as recognized as they are now. For location it is not bad.

      You get an apartment, and in Korea 4.5% of your salary goes towards a mandatory pension scheme. This is matched by your employer, so if your country has a treaty to get the money back, that is another 4.5% added to your salary.

      Also, Korean international schools pay the taxes for you. Normally this was nothing, as taxes were 3-5%. The law recently changed and foreigners don’t get a sweet tax exemption like they used to. Thus, make sure the school is still paying taxes for you. If they do, then it is a really good deal.

      Lastly, Korean law states that all employers must give a 13th month severance based on 1/12th of the employees salary. If your offer only states a yearly salary, make sure to get it outlined what the monthly salary is and what the severance is. I heard at some of the lower tier schools this has been a big issue.

      I hope this helps.

    • Anonymous says:

      In addition to what Molson said:
      Schools that offer to pay taxes for you, besides giving international health care, flights home every year, housing, professional development money, and competitive salaries and they are international schools – SFS (Seoul International School), GSIS (Gyeonggi Suwon International School) and Chadwick International School.

  161. seaninniger says:


    For an experienced and certified teacher, my experience was the packages, benefits, and working conditions are pretty bad with the exception of one school: Cairo American College. Packages and benefits do also not make up for the notorious treatment of parents in Cairo that see teachers as an extension of their employee-staff. That said, one of the benefits on any school is living in Cairo!

  162. Peace says:

    I am interested in the American School of Monterrey in Mexico. Has anyone worked there? How much money could you save? What did you think of the benefits package overall?

    • movieturtle says:

      I work there currently and am in my 2nd year. ASFM is a good school. Pay packages are good (ave. $32,000). Flight home each year, christmas and end of year bonus, matching program for retirement/savings, good housing allowance which should easily cover your house/apartment and expenses. The school pays your utilities, except phone/internet. Monterrey is nice enough, a car is suggested but there are taxis everywhere if not. The people who work here are wonderful. I have made some great friends. Travel around Mexico is pretty inexpensive. Food and such are inexpensive so your savings could be about $1000 a month. Part of the salary is paid in US dollars to a bank in TX and the rest is paid in pesos. The US amount is a set cost so it doesn’t change based on the changes in the dollar, which is a comfort.

      What do you teach? Elementary school is very intense and requires a lot of work. But they are getting a brand new building next year which will be great. The MS/HS is also intense but a bit more laid back. We have fun as a group and the school supports a “family feel”.

      The MS/HS building is 13 years old but is in impeccable shape. We have 2 soccer fields, basketball courts, 2 gyms, a wonderful library, great auditorium and black box theatre, indoor/outdoor cafeteria/recess area, big classrooms, computer labs, onsite maintenance that take care of school and house needs.

      I have been told that this is not a great school for people with children but they do pay for 2 children’s tuitions.

      The school is not a true “international” school as 95% of the students are Mexican but ASFM is the best school in Monterrey and the kids are great!!! Let me know if you have more questions. If you haven’t looked at their website you should, it has great information.

      • Peace says:

        Thanks so much for your feedback Movieturtle. I did spend some time looking at ASFM’s site and was impressed at all the information that is provided there.

        Are you taking advantage of the school’s contribution- 50% of the cost of a graduate degree- to earn your MA? I saw this perk in the benefits package. You mentioned elementary, but I teach high school English. Anything you can tell me about high school? Do you have a car? I wonder if I could bring my car from the States.


        • movieturtle says:

          Great to hear you have been hunting around the website. I am not taking advantage of the Masters but many teachers do. It is a great deal and you really don’t notice the money you pay because it comes out of your paycheck. They also have an Mac buy-in program that is great if you are interested.

          HS is great from what I know. The teachers work well together and the kids are pretty good. We don’t have a lot of behavior issues. Some entitlement but they are hard workers for the most part.

          I do have a car. I drove down from GA. It isn’t necessary. There are enough people that you can usually find a ride and there are a ton of taxis and it is pretty cheap to get around–40 pesos max to get from HS to San Pedro (nice area) and that is less than $4 US dollars.

          You can bring your car from the states. If you still owe money on it you will need to talk to your lender and find out what they require. I paid my car off before coming. You also need to check with your state about their requirements for keeping US insurance. MX insurance isn’t too bad. Some policies require you to keep US ins. and some don’t. I used

          Let me know if you have any more questions!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Can you tell me about the insurance package for ASFM in Monterrey? Also, when you say elementary is intense, how so? Where does the pressure come from? Admin, parents, both? What is the pressure on? Test scores? I worked at a very intense school in Texas and am wondering if it would be comparable. Is it sometimes a little too much for the staff to bare, or do people generally feel supported and appreciated? Are staff members helpful of newbies? Also, is the curriculum clearly laid out or is it a lot of developing plans on your own? Wow, I have a lot of questions! Thanks for any information you can provide!

        • Movieturtle says:

          I will share what I have heard about the ELEM campus since I teach ms/hs. You would probably find it comparable to where you are now. The pressure is from admin and parent alike. However the school is shifting admin next year so some changes may occur, it is an internal shift so I can’t imagine drastic changes. The teachers are extremely supportive of each other and the curriculum is pretty structured and laid out. I feel like a lot of the pressure/stress is on brand new-never taught teachers so if you have experience you will be fine.

          • Anonymous says:

            What kind of safety issues are there in Mexico? Supposedly it is becoming quite dangerous?? We are living in South America right now but in a safe part. Do you recommend for teachers with families? Thanks

            • Movieturtle says:

              I will be honest, Mexico is just as unsafe as any other country however there are not a lot of random acts of violence here. The drug war co es and goes but when it is around the cartels are killing the intended Mexican victim, not innocent bystanders 90% of the time. My life hasn’t changed, I still travel around Mexico as much as I did before the war flared up last year. I have been in Monterreyfor 4 years and dont feel unsafe at all. I live alone and don’t worry about it. I live my life and so do my friends.

        • Movieturtle says:

          Sorry forgot about insurance. We have major medical and you can pay about $25 a month for a more comprehensive plan but there is a doctor at each campus who you can go to for free if you have a cold, etc.

  163. Marcus says:

    Does anyone know about the New Cairo British International School and the Modern English School Cairo? how much do they pay, what are the facilities like?

    • Anonymous says:

      Modern English school pays well. British International School generally considered the top salary in Cairo, but MES right behind. They also have an excellent bonus they pay out if you stay beyond the original contract. Faculty used to be on their own for benefits though, may or may not be an issue for you.
      I don’t know much about the facilities, but both NCBIS and MES are in modern suburbs of Cairo.

      • Marcus says:

        thanks for the info, although i’m a bit confused by the last bit -“Faculty used to be on their own for benefits though, may or may not be an issue for you” – can you explain/elaborate please?

        • Anonymous says:

          Five years ago when I lived there the people I knew at MES were paid very well, but had no medical benefits. This was not a problem for them as they were young,single, healthy and the cost for a visit to the doctor or dentist is extremely inexpensive there.

    • Anon says:

      NCBIS pay around 28,000 sterling top of scale (tax free) for teacher with no responsibilites + 5000 sterling housing allowance + annual flights + international medical cover + shipping. Good CPD, school going IB.

      • says:

        Dear Sir,
        I am a parent interested in sending my children to NCBIS. I was wondering what your experience teaching there was like, and how you would rate the quality of the education being delivered there. Thanking you for your advice.

  164. Expatmom says:

    Hi there,

    Yes all Brasil schools tax 27-30%. Crazy but true! The package is not that great but the quality of life can’t be beat. If you don’t have major expenses back home, you will be able to live comfortably but not save much. I was there for 6 years and loved every minute of it. We finally left because with two kids it was not working $$ wise. If you have more questions email me directly, I will be happy to answer.

  165. Peace says:

    I read the review for the Pan American School of Bahia in Brazil, and I noticed the reviewer mentioned that her salary was taxed at 30%. Ouch! Has anyone worked there? Can you talk about your salary and the cost of living? What was your experience like at the school? Thanks.

  166. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have any info on living in Bulgaria and The Anglo-American School of Sofia? Is this a good place for kids and a healthy lifestyle?


    • Anonymous2 says:

      Hi I’ve worked at the school for 2 years. The salary is tax free for 5 years and it’s a good salary in Euros even though we are in the local currency. Housing is paid for and is good and half of the bills are paid for. I’ve heard that the shipping is generous and helathcare is paid for. You can save a good chunk of your salary and Bulgaria is a good location as it is a good base for travelling throughout Europe. It’s good for healthy lifestyle as fruit and veg is cheap and the countryside is good for the outdoor life.

      • Downunder says:

        Does anyone have any recent information on schools in Bulgaria? Especially inclusions like housing and tuition? Thanks

  167. daisy says:

    What schools in Abu Dhabi or Dubai offer better teacher packages when it comes to dependent tuition, housing, etc…??? What if you go with a non-teacher spouse? Do you odds lessen?

    • guest5 says:

      In Dubai, I would choose The American School of Dubai, in Abu Dhabi, I would choose American Community School. Both are non-profit schools that are well-established (have been around for a long time) Your odds do probably lessen if going with a non-teaching spouse. Some schools are beginning to restrict the number of dependents per teacher.

    • DubaiTeacher says:

      The Universal American School offers new teachers around 35-40 K to start depending on experience. This is all very transparent and they will send you the year pay scale to see how experience/qualifications add up. Housing is 15 minutes from school, transport provided. The director is phenomenal – everyone adores him. Discipline is generally not a problem. DP and PYP IB in full swing. Discounts on purchasing a late model SUV from dealers linked to the school. Very easy living, and the school environment is cordial and laid-back. It is part of a for-profit network of schools with is beneficial if you enjoy the region and the admin, you might transfer within the company to Egypt, Qatar, Lebanon…for example.

  168. OCanada says:

    Jtea, I don’t know first hand about the living/teaching conditions, but I had a phone interview with the elementary school principal, and she was very frank when I asked her specfic questions about the school. They don’t have a set curriculum for language arts/math – it is a work in progress. I asked about the compound and she said it was okay. There is work that is going to be done to continually fix it up as more expats come back.

  169. jTea says:

    Can anyone tell me about teaching conditions and salary/package at the AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL IN JEDDAH? There are some bad reviews on this website, although from a few years ago. What’s the current situation?

  170. gettingoing says:

    I am attending the search fair in february. I am curious about packages in Bangkok and Europe. I’m open to all cities and experiences. I know it’s broad but if anyone has worked at schools with good packages (not looking to save, just enough to live well and travel a little) let me know. Thanks!!!

    • Europe says:

      The American International School of Budapest is a great place to work. The package is great and Budapest is amazing. Not many better places to work in Europe than AISB.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would not agree with this. Budapest is an expensive city to live in. Renting apartments and houses that are comparable to accomodations in Western Europe and North America is extremely expensive, you will be lucky if your housing allowance covers it. Utilities are outrageously expensive. Heating will probably cost you several hundred dollars a month from Mid October to April. Quality goods are higher priced here than in western countries because they figure only the rich can afford them and the price of gasoline is now higher in than in any neighboring country including Austria About $1.90 per liter. But the main problem with the salary is that the dollar has lost nearly half of its value in the past four years and the school board refusing to adjust salaries accordingly, this year teachers received a one percent raise. The school is in financial trouble and it is actually cutting benefits. Don’t come here if you are looking to save money!

        • DG93 says:

          As a teacher at AISB, I think a more balanced answer is needed than the one above. As stated Budapest is not a cheap city to live in. Rent is quite expensive but even if you go over the housing allowance you probably wont be paying more than a couple of hundred bucks out of pocket for a nice place which in my opinion is still pretty good. I would agree that gas and utilities are expensive. However, with the salary and benefits package you can still save a significant amount of money especially as a teaching couple – as long as the dollar doesn’t dip much further. Plus Budapest is a beautiful city with lots to do especially if you are moving here with kids.

        • ATeacher says:

          Interesting take on the situation in Budapest. I actually worked there myself for a few years and even with the dollar devaluation, I still saved well over USD $20,000 per year as a single, while still traveling extensively.

          When I was at AISB, they even paid teachers a one-time BONUS because of the dollar devaluation. I can tell you from experience that not many schools around the world would even consider this. If you were paying “a few hundred dollars” for heating alone then you either had a huge pad or you were jacking the heat way up, 24-7. My heating bill for an apt. of approx 100 square meters was about USD $200 a month (at the most) in the coldest months.

          The bottom line is that anywhere is Europe is expensive nowadays if you are paid in dollars. However, I still maintain that there is not many better places to work in Europe in terms of culture, quality school, and benefits package.

          • bobila says:

            Hands down….Budapest is an awesome place to live and top notch for families. We live near woods and have a nice home in a Hungarian neighborhood. Great location, pay and stunning campus!

      • motherto3 says:

        Hi there, any info on a range of salary for someone with a Master’s? I see the overall benefits are good. Also, do you know if they ever hire someone who has a non-teaching spouse and three children? I’d be willing to negotiate some of the benefits to be able to go. I’m looking to settle down for the long run, and it seems like a perfect fit.

  171. Nordic soul says:

    Anyone have info about salary and packages at The Regent School, Bangkok? How does it compare with Int’l School Bangkok? Thanks in advance.

    • Guangzhou Teacher says:

      I think The Regents School is a ‘for profit’ school – these tend to pay lower salaries and offer less. ISB is one of the longer standing schools that was started up by embassies. It is part of the IASAS group (includes schools like Jakarta Int and Singapore Int). These schools tend to offer the best packages in South East Asia.

    • Marcus says:

      Regent School offer a package of around 80,000 baht for teachers with 6 years experience and enough acc. allowance for a decent 2 bed apt – decent money to spend in thailand but not much saveability tbh.

  172. Peace says:

    I am interested in the package and life at Escuela Campo Alegre. I read the director’s review of the school, and it sounded upbeat. Has anyone worked there? What do you think?

    • ATeacher says:

      I worked at ECA and can say it is one of the top 3 schools in Latin America in terms of quality education and benefits package. Of course, Venezuela is a little dodgy at this point, so you’ll have to assess your ability to handle constant political strife.

      • Dubai says:

        I have a friend who works for Escuela Campo Alegre in Venezuela and he said that the high school is good. the Elementary has lots of teacher who been there many years and who are not willing to change. Therefore the ES is not as good.
        Also he has been mugged and drugged twice during his stay.
        Make sure your most of your salary is deposited in an account outside of Venezuela. If not you cannot get it out of there.

  173. Anon says:

    I’m not sure about the package at that particular school but I do work in Turkey. The mandatory retirement age for teachers is 65. I would also be curious about the student body: all Turkish or international. Turkish students can be difficult and Ministry of Education does not allow for discipline. Those factors plus EXTREMELY overprotective parents can make for a stressful situation. Istanbul is also a very expensive place, but also very exciting with lots of great history.

  174. Nordic soul says:

    Does anyone know anything about the pay at IICS (Istanbul International Community School)? I know there have been issues with the housing but how about the pay and pay scale entry levels? Any info would be appreciated. Also anyone know what the retirement age in Turkey? Thank you.

  175. lima, Peru says:

    I teach in Lima. Roosevelt (US) & Markham (British) probably top the list. Roosevelt package excellent. Also check out Newton & San Silvestre (British).

    council of british international schools

    international schools in Peru

  176. carrieatl says:

    Hi all!

    I am just finishing up my Master’s program, and am looking to teach abroad next year in Central/South America. Does anyone have any information about schools in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, or anywhere else in that part of the world?


    • ecuador fan says:

      I worked in Ecuador in Guayaquil at two schools. Inter American is an international school located in a wealthy housing development. It’s a small but good school. The American School, run by Keith Miller is a very big school and basically a local school. Although Mr. Miller heads the school he is really like the CEO and the academic side is run by Ecuadorians with little clue as to how to run a school. Rich parents have clout so watch out. Guyaquil is a city with litlle character. The people are very Western and think of themselves as part of Florida. The beaches are just so-so. Quito is much move interesting

    • nah203 says:

      I am currently working at the Bristish School in Quito. I am here on a 2 year contract at the school. The school follows the British National Curriculum in Primary and PYP in secondary. It is made up of mainly rich, Ecuadorean children who have English as a second language. I like the fact it is a small school, with only one form entry. The staff are from all over the world and they work closely with the local staff. It is not a place you would come to save lots of money but you are able to travel a lot and save a little.

      I love Ecuador and am really glad I made the move. It’s a great place to travel around but it is not a place you would visit for the beaches. I have also managed to travel to many counties in S America in the holidays, it’s a great continent!

    • gettingoing says:

      I just attended the AASSA fair in Atlanta. I interviewed with schools in Costa Rica and Ecuador and got a really good idea of packages and directors. The Lincoln School in San Jose has a really awful package for us new teachers (I just finished my masters as well). After the housing stipend is deducted and the horrendous Costa Rican taxes (about 27%), there’s only about 1k$ disposable income/month. This is enough to MAYBE rent a car and drive to the coast one weekend/month but is certainly not enough to travel around the whole region. Depends on lifestyle I guess. The director is from Woodburn, OR (near where I’m from The cost of living isn’t THAT much lower in San Jose than your normal American city unless you’re eatin’ street meat and not buying American products.

      The American School in Quito: Part of me regrets not accepting their offer. It’s a cool city that’s relatively safe and is BEAUTIFUL with the mountains. It’s high altitude and stays cool most of the year but not cold. It’s EXTREMELY hard to find clothes that fit ANY westerner there as the Ecuadorean people are very very tiny. The package will allow you to save and travel around a little – travel in S. America is more expensive than you might think. But the Galapagos is close, Macchu Pichu, Amazon, the patagonia etc.

      I also was given an offer at the International School Sampedrana in San Pedro Sula in Honduras. Although savings potential is high there and you can do some amazing travel in the region, the crime there is ridiculous. Also, consider water/power issues of central america. Power is usually hydroelectric which means that the infrastructure is vulnerable to rolling black outs if droughts occur.

      Hope that helps a little. Language, culture, food and savings potential are great reasons to go to that reason, but do your homework.

      • carrieatl says:

        Thanks for all of that information, GettingGoing! I just e-mailed the American School. After all of this research, I think I really do have my heart set on working in Quito. I’m encouraged to hear that the AASSA conference was such a success for you. I was out of the country when it happened (which stinks because I live in Atlanta)!

        At this point, I would be THRILLED if I got an offer from either the American or British School in Quito.

        Out of curiosity, did you accept an offer anywhere? I have friends at the Academia Britanica Cuscatleca in El Salvador, and it’s amazing! So there’s another place you might look. I actually visited El Salvador in December and they have great packages and a fantastic lifestyle.

        • says:

          Am thinking of applying to job at Cuscatleca and would like more info – single parent with 9 year old so social life and security also important – could your friends give me any advice? diana

        • Anonymous says:

          What are the best things about working at Cuscatleca? May have an offer from them? San Salvador doesn’t sound great to be honest.

      • expat teach says:

        I currently teach at the American School of Asuncion, in Paraguay and I taught for two years at Escuela Internacional Sampedrana in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Honduras has gone through some serious political issues in the last 6 months, but according to my friends that are still there, it has stabilized. Problems in Honduras are petty crime. Power and water never went out my second year there. I was able to save about $2000-3000 a year, which isn’t much, but I have a lot of student loans and was at the absolute bottom of the pay scale. Honduras is a beautiful country, and I have done some of the most amazing traveling experiences in my life there.

        The school in Paraguay that I am currently at has a much higher savings potential, as I am making much more. They also have a master’s degree option where they help pay for it. The city is very tranquil, without a lot to do except hang out in the pool (it gets extremely hot here).

        • Anonymous says:

          I am planning on interviewing with your current school in Paraguay. Can you please tell me more about the saving potential with specifics? As well, the Master’s Degree program? Is it a safe area and is there anything to do outdoors or sports besides the pool? I like to work out, is there a good facility exercise and how is the housing option? Thanks so much.

  177. Anon says:

    Can someone provide info on the international schools in Guangzhou? Thanks

    • Guangzhou Teacher says:

      I work at the American IS of Guangzhou.

      A single teacher gets about $US1200 in housing. This can secure a good apartment with money left over to pay utilities, houshold help, internet etc.

      A teacher with 8 years experience and a masters will get about $50000 net (that’s incl money for retirement).

      The salary scale tops out at about $65000 (i think).

      The school provides annual flights, medical insurance and tuition for dependents. PD is tied to school goals, so a teacher’s chance to get the $1500 per year depends on the extent to which your request matches school needs. If u want to go to an IB workshop, you’ll get it. If u want money to work on your masters, you might not get the full amount

      Teaching loads are reasonable, as are co-curricular expectations.

      Hope this helps. Let me know your exact qualifications and experience, and I’ll give you a more exact starting salary.

      Oh … my understanding is that only the British school of Guangzhou comes close to offering this type of package. The others are not worth considering, IMHO

      • CM says:

        Guangzhou Teacher- Thanks for all your comments. Good information. I have been in Spain for 6 years and am interested in Hong Kong for different travel experiences and more money (hopefully). I am single though and wonder if you have any info on life for a single gal in this city. I definitely understand the challenges for a single woman in the Asian countries but perhaps Hong Kong has a larger expat community?? If you have any input please let me know. Thanks!

        • cbpspan says:

          Where have you been teaching in Spain? My wife and I are looking at opportunities there and are wondering how your experience has been, where you work, pay, etc.

          • CM says:

            Hi there. I have been in Barcelona for over 5 years. I am working at the American School of Barcelona. My experience overall has been good which is why I have stayed for so long. The reason I am finally leaving is pretty much the salary. The pay is low and the city is expensive, especially housing which is not paid for by the school, but on the positive side, rents have been going down. We are paid in 14 paychecks so you get an extra in December and June which is nice. I have had some really good professional development opportunities which ASB supports. I sadly have saved no money but I live in a great part of the city and made the decision to travel rather than bank any extra money. But life in Barcelona is good, and Spain is one of the top 5 countries with the most holidays ;-) Barcelona is a great place to live for singles, couples, and families. Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Oh if you have kids, the school does cover their tuition.

            • verity1 says:

              I am thinking of applying to BFIS in BCN, I am well qualified and have 10 years experience. what sort of salary can I expect? thanks

  178. Itchyfeet says:

    I’m considering a position at Huiija School in Beijing, whilst I have read the reviews I have not found out much about the package and conditions, life style etc. Is there anyone who has any first hand or knowledgable information. I am single,18 years experience, and have been teaching IB Dip and MYP for past 5 years..which I like. I would be very grateful for any information that is current.

  179. Kanuck says:

    I’m looking at the Antwerp International School. Anyone have info to share? We’re not worried about savings and live simply, but I don’t want to go into debt to buy groceries. We’re also hoping to get by without a car. Any advice?

    • Guangzhou Teacher says:

      I worked in Brussels in 2002-3. I was able to survive without a car as public transport was really good. I was also able to break even pretty easily even though I travelled quite a bit. You seem to be a couple – in that case, you should be ok as you can acheive economies of scale with your housing etc. Be careful with utilities bills (my power bill was quite high).

      I am pretty frugal and was not hitting the bars every weekend buying alcohol etc, and I only ate out once or twice a week. But as I said, I travelled to Italy 3 times, around France and to the UK (all on the salary I earned in Brussels).

      I only did it for 1 year because I really needed to save. If that is not an issue right now, go for it. The beauty of Belgium is that the labor law only allows the school to start you with a 1 year contract – so if it is too expensive, you can leave after 1 year and head off to more tax-free countries.

      Good luck:)

  180. amina says:

    Any info on living and working at AISJApan, ISK Kenya, ISB Beijing, Tanzania or ECA Caracas for quality of life and packages ??

    • Anonymous says:

      The package at ECA is excellent. I wrote a post on it a few months back. The school is also top tier.

      Caracas is well and truly a mixed bag. I spent several wonderful years there but the country has become a bit difficult. Crime, inflation, political uncertainty…however, if you were offered a job, I think it would be difficult to turn down.

    • Daisy says:

      ISK is meant to be good but living expenses there can be high.

  181. bonnaroo says:

    anyone have comments/experience with the lincoln school in ghana? thank you and happy new year to all!

    • SeanI says:

      I have not taught at Lincoln, but have been there twice for Model United Nations conferences and got to know a department head who was departing. Generally, he had positive things to say about the school and package.

      I stayed in teacher apartments across from the school during my two times there. The location was good and they were nice (ie, two bedrooms, modern, etc). I was told some teachers with families do have houses but that was one of the complaints.

      The facilities at Lincoln are very large and modern and Accra is an excellent introduction to Africa: English speaking, relatively low cost of living, easy access to other cities, etc.

      • Anonymous says:


        my wife and I are thinking about working with the lincoln school in Ghana do you have more details about what their package deal? Thanks in advance

  182. Snarned says:

    Teachers beware, if you accept an offer from any school in Kuwait be sure that you receive your No Objection Certificate before you come.Although it is not illegal to come on a visit visa and accept work. It is illegal to work without a work permit and a civil ID. If you are caught by the authorities, you will be arrested and deported. Remember if the school doesn’t offer you a work permit they will not claim you and you will be left on your own to grapple with your problems. Some schools have their license suspended, yet they continue to recruit teachers. Let this be a warning and a big red flag. If you are encouraged to come on a visit visa without a NOC, don’t accept the job. Don’t come. Another thing to look for is the offer of 1 year contract. If you do not get the pertinent documents in a timely manner, look for another job. The trick is to wait for the last moment, then tell you that the policy is changed and you must come on visit visa, then you will be sent to Bahrain. This will never happen because they do not have a license to employ new teachers legally.Be wise, be proactive and stay safe.

    • Kuwait Questions... says:

      Hi this sounds very familiar – could you give me a bit more information please. I haven’t been issued an NOC and the statement was that the Government has changed the goal posts and the school were trying to deal with it but were struggling so I would be sent on a commercial visa instead without an NOC. This information was given to me by the agency I went through to get the job – who I have very little faith in.

  183. JazzFan says:

    To Hello Anonymous (Sept 26, ’09): Schools are looking for native English speakers. Since your wife is a US citizen (by birth), she qualifies. Beware of age limits: some Middle East countries will not issue work permits if the teacher is 60-years-old. (There is no limit in Lebanon.) Answers to your other questions re dependents and non-teaching spouses depends on the what the school says (for they have to sort out the housing and health costs). Check with Search Associates for more definitive guidelines. Bon chance!

  184. FrankCastle says:

    My wife and I are at the top of the scale at Shanghai American school.We don’t deny ourselves anything and live very posh lifestyles and we will save well over 50k in the bank this year without too much difficulty.

    While at the JFK school in Berlin, Germany we saved about 20K U.S. a year.

    It’s tough to really compare packages, there are so many variables. I think the best question is, if you live a non-frugal life, travel a little and get your kids schooled, how much will you save in a year?

  185. seaninniger says:

    I’m currently in Africa and thinking of trying Eastern Europe. Anybody with knowledge or experience at Pechersk in Kiev, Ukraine?

    • Annie says:

      Kiev is an amazing city to live in, excellent underground and public transit. It’s easily accessible to the rest of Europe and the people are nice. I’ve heard good things about Pechersk, and the package is supposedly decent. I never worked there myself, but I haven’t heard anything bad. Ukraine has a relatively low cost of living. Your apartment will be included in your package, and is generally nice and in the city center. Outside of that you can live on 200 USD a month for food, utilities, and transport. Clothing is expensive, though. Eating out a lot will raise your budget, but most of the restaurants are cheap. There are some western places, but they aren’t great. You will definitely be able to save a lot. When I left in 2005, I could save 2k a month easily out of a $2800 salary. I had a cleaning lady once a week, ate out 3-4 times a week, and often took taxis. I also bought clothes every month, I traveled a lot and got salon treatments (mani/pedi/hair, etc.) regularly. That sort of thing is very reasonable. There wasn’t any tax for foreigners at the time, I’m not sure if that’s changed. Travel within the country is easy and cheap, and Ukraine has a lot to see. There are nice trains to Russia and Poland, too. I traveled frequently while there.

      If you want any more info on Ukraine, feel free to ask.

      • JazzFan says:

        What about air pollution? Can an asthmatic breathe comfortably without meds?

        • Annie says:

          In the winter it will be pretty easy to breathe because of the cold air – it has a lovely crisp feeling. It’s very damp in winter, so the pollution doesn’t seem so bad. When it’s hot and dry in summer, it’s worse, but you’ll probably be travelling then, anyway. It starts getting warm sometime in April, and is dry and hot by the end of May until the end of August. September is perfect weather, comfortable and sunny during the day, a little chilly at night. By October it’s cold and damp, so you’d be in the clear as far as air quality goes.

          I don’t have asthma, but I can’t stand cigarette smoke and am sensitive to polluted air, and I was fine in Kiev. A lot of restaurants are smoky there, so be aware of that. But public transport and metros are smoke-free. When you are crossing a busy street, especially when it’s warmer, of course it’s bad, but otherwise you should be fine. I never felt that I was in a polluted place unless I was in a busy street. The center of the country is much drier and in a steppe, so it’s very dusty. You might have a problem there.

    • Layla says:

      Pick your countries and school groups carefully. I had a great experience working in Albania – cost of living cheap and lifestyle reasonable. Kazaksthan though was freezing and miserable in winter and hot and dry in summer but most of all, was expensive. Don’t recommend QSI schools -salary for high cost locations is less than generous. Friends working in Moscow and Prague love the places.

  186. Anonymous says:

    Interested in schools in Vietnam. Any info on the packages at Saigon South, ISHCMC and the British International School would be greatly appreciated.

    • Becks says:

      I think the packages are all pretty similar. ISHCMC has just upped the housing allowance and salaries for next year, this may or may not continue in the future. Housing provided is very nice, cost of living in Saigon has increased by about 18% but one can still live well and save. Right now all new teachers are housed in a serviced apartment complex with pool, restaurant, shuttle service, gym etc.; some find it claustrophobic but you can save a lot as cleaning, maintenance, internet are all included and electricity is not too bad-plus there is a monthly electricity allowance. Health insurance is provided, but there is no retirement benefit. Flights and shipping allowances also provided. If you are a couple you can live on one salary quite comfortably. There may be some changes on the horizon, and the tax laws are now coming into effect, so ask about that if you are interviewed. Don’t know too much about BIS and SSIS in terms of package.

  187. Brit Guy says:

    I’m looking at some adverts for Malaysia, can anyone tell me about Kolej Tuanku Jaafar?

    • tim says:

      I worked there in the 90s. Started drama there. Lovely to be in the countryside. Great kids. At the time there were quite a few ex pat kids. It is totally boarding. Ex pats are less I believe and mainly S.E.Asians. Those who are there still like it. Not a great money saver but it has other delights.

  188. hercules says:

    Can anyone please tell us about Discovery Bay International School in Hong Kong. Is the school as good as it sounds? Would appreciate any feedback on this school asap. Thank you.

    • SnowBeaver says:

      Discovery Bay is a decent school. It is now undergoing PYP authorization which is good. I have a few friends who work there and they like it but far from being an amazing school. Apparently, if you live on Discovery Bay you get to drive these golf carts around (which are very expensive to buy) instead of cars!

  189. moodles says:

    Most frugal folks with two years experience stash away over $17k in ROK’s public schools. South Korea is a nice safe country, but winters are very cold. Summer and spring are fantastic, lots of expats arrange beach trips and camping trips.

    Housing is good, you receive an untaxed subsidy between $900-$400 per month depending on where you live. Comes fully furnished.

    Certified teachers with experience go straight to the top of the salary chart and have lots of opportunities for overtime. But the drawback is that it does not help you professionally advance.

  190. Mei says:

    In my experience so far…

    CHINA – Dujianyan IB school for locals not international: $24,000 per year saved $8,000. I managed to travel tons even flew to Europe during the year. The cost of living is very low, as I was not in a big city the pollution was not a problem and neither was crime, standard of living was pretty high too. I had a maid and a driver which were not paid local wage (too low!) but a reasonable wage I thought was more fair.

    BAHAMAS – Freeport, an international school: $32,000 per year saved $4000, I travelled a lot less here. Flights and shipping included ($1000-1500 which pays for a few things to be shipped not much due to all the tax & duty! Health insurance was in place but difficult to claim. No housing included which can be expensive! The cost of living is really really high! I calculated I broke even here!

    GERMANY – Leipzig, an another international school. Euro 43.000 Shipping and flights all cost included. Health is paid in part by you and employer, expensive but really good and easy to use. Sure the taxes are super high but I am managing to save nearly 500euro most months. I am travelling to many places again inclduing flying to Asia and the culture is fanatastic. Housing is not included but is not expensive. I am definitely not living like a student just not in the luxurious furnished apartments of Asian schools. I don’t think Germany is as bad as people have stated before, it is not more expensive than Switzerland for sure!

  191. Expatparent says:

    I do not know about Abuja package particularly, but I urge you to think long and hard before committing to live in Nigeria. We met amazing people and had a lot of fun while we lived in Lagos, but the day to day life in Nigeria is VERY hard. Imagine having to bring in all your meat in coolers….

    • seaninniger says:

      I would second what Expatparent said. Central and West-Africa are very difficult places at times. It requires a special person. Keep in mind health care is also very difficult to come by also.

    • JMS says:

      AIS Abuja is probably one of the best packages in Africa, but the other comments are correct: it is a very challenging life. The salary was the highest of my overseas career, but it was also the most expensive place I have ever lived (and I’ve lived in Korea and Kuwait!) I was able to save because I didn’t have access to an ATM which made it easier to live within my budget. Still, if you are thinking of Africa, Abuja is much safer and easier to navigate than Lagos or many other African cities.

  192. bonnaroo says:

    anyone have info on the american school of abuja, nigeria? the package looks ok but first hand exp. is always better! thanx.

    • Been there, done that says:

      Nigeria is not for the faint of heart. Abuja package may look good on the outside, but serious problems lie within. Are you ready for serious hardship and no real support for foreign hires from director or school??? You are on your own.

  193. expat says:

    I’m working in Saigon, Vietnam. Salaries similar for most schools here $3200 a month for experienced teachers with healthcare, annual flight home, accomodation, bonus, etc. It’s possible to save half to two thirds of your salary

  194. Sun5hine says:

    Does anybody know anything about Canggu Community School, Bali, Indonesia?


    • Searching9 says:

      My friend worked at the Canggu Community School for 2 years. He seemed to enjoy it for the most part. It’s a British school, very small and you teach your own specials classes. A little difficult to get used to if you’ve never had to before. I visited him and the school and found that most of the faculty were couples. He found fitting in and making friends a bit difficult as they had all been there a number of years and were quite established in their groups. He was able to find a group of guys to hang out with as he was an avid surfer and played with a Jazz Band on the weekends.
      Bali itself is a fantastic place to be. He rented a motorbike for the 2 years he was there and we traveled all over the southern part of the island easily. The surfing and scuba diving is amazing.
      The housing was lovely, 2 bedroom house, maid, gardner etc. The biggest shock was that he had to pay, in advance, for an entire year’s rent. He was not made aware of this at his hiring and as a result had to borrow the money from his principal and pay him back throughout the 2 years.

    • Happy teacher says:

      Canggu school is a lovely small school. Staff are friendly and good fun. Unfortunately the package is pretty awful and it is generally considered by the owners of the school that being in Bali compensates for this. (I disagree… Bali is GREAT but I still think a decent package is essential, especially if you have commitments in your home country)

      A single person will have enough money to live, go out and travel in the region but don’t expect to save much money. It is a developing school and there are many issues that will frustrate experienced International Teachers, but it depends what you are looking for. The housing allowance is small. You can find houses within the allowance, but these are often basic balinese homes and not what you would expect. If you are willing to add $200 a month to the allowance or share with other teachers you can find some lovely places. The biggest draw back is you are often asked to pay a year in advance, or at least 6 months. This was a massive shock when I arrived and something I wasn’t told about. The school now pays you your housing 6 months in advance which helps.

      In conclusion. An AMAZING lifestyle choice, especially if you surf, but definitely not a move to make if you are financially or career oriented.

    • Elli says:

      Hi! I work and live in Bali – at different school. Have friends at Canggu and they like it a lot. Bali is amazing – great weather, food, et al – but not what it used to be. The traffic is nuts now…pollution becoming a bit in your face. Considering all the places/reviews I’ve seen on this web – probably no problem if you dont know the difference/werent here ten/15 years ago when pristine, et al. Either way – can’t beat the Balinese people – gracious, peaceful, lovely. Not sure their housing package – i’ve a home here – but i’d look out for that. The prices have essentially doubled the past year or two; as long as thats included I think you’d have a fab time. Safe, great weather, save $, whats not to like?!

  195. Melissa says:

    I am also reading a lot about asia and middle east, but my husband and i want to be in western europe. we’re not concerned with saving a ton of money, but we don’t want to be destitute either. any tips on looking out for schools in germany, netherlands, belgium, france, spain, italy or of the same types? this is my first foray into international school job searches and would love some “go to” schools to send out resumes.

    • Cubfan says:

      If you are interested in Europe, I would look at the American School of Warsaw. The salaries are great, housing is paid for, and you can travel throughout Europe. Warsaw is a great home base and is easy to live in. Most people think of old communist days when Warsaw is mentioned, but this is a thriving European city with a lot to do and see. Warsaw is like Western Europe with Eastern European prices. Oustanding quality school as well.

  196. gcrugbguy says:

    Can anyone fill me in on schools in Kuala Lumper? Especially the expected wages, conditions and schools to avoid.

    • SnowBeaver says:

      There are 2 main ones. ISKL and Mt. Kiara. There is a smaller one Alice Smith School as well but doesn’t seem to recruit at the big fairs.

      ISKL-Better of the lot. Savings are probably 15-20k depending on your experience and lifestyle. Plus, the EPF retirement is best I have ever seen. School contributes 17% to your 11%. So basically, you are putting away 30% of your salary which you get at the end of your contract. So that’s another 20K or so a year. School is okay. Nothing spectacular but decent enough. I work there now.

      Mt. Kiara. Had some friends who worked there and the quality certainly isn’t as good as ISKL. Just bad admin in the past. The pay is significantly less than ISKL.

      • LetsGo says:

        How is your housing at ISKL? And what would make it move from decent to awesome in your book?

        • SnowBeaver says:

          Housing is good but depends where you live. If you live downtown, apartments are a bit smaller (but still nice). If you live closer to school, you can get some huge places. Housing allowance is cash so you can get places cheaper than the allowance and bank some. I pay a little extra for a nicer place.

          Decent to awesome? A lot of little things that could be done better: PD for staff, building a better sense of community, empowering middle management, valuing student learning vs assessment/standards benchmarks, better resources, and more effective communication.

          It is getting better than last year but still a way to go.

  197. vong says:

    QSI package in Almaty is good! The housing is great here it is way above average. I have a big plasma TV and live in a brand new building in a good location in the city. Annaul flights home, global health care. Facilities are average, good basketball court, the “weight room” is a joke however. Its just a stage with old home equipment most of which doesnt work. The problem with Kazakhstan however is the name of the country scares people, its polluted, and its isolated. Its a very boring place and most teachers count down the days to leave because of this.

    • Paeblo says:

      Depends on your definition of “good.” Did my year in Kazakhland and it was boring, expensive. Couldn’t afford much eating out or anything else.

      • Anonymous says:

        QSI gets a lot of bad press but they actually have one of the best packages out there if you have three or more children. No you do not always get bus. class flights but you get flights every year. QSI has given me large beautiful, well furnished homes in both of the cities I have worked at. They do have some schools in tough locations so do not go there if you are worried, you do get to say where you want to go as they have many schools in many countries. Yes others have better benefits but again with a family of three or more tuition can be an issue. Just remember to look at all of the variables when picking a school. You can not blame QSI for a city being expensive or boring, do your homework.
        BTW- I am by no means a “church goer”!

  198. Seattle says:

    Hi Folks,
    I’m getting ready to apply to schools overseas. I have 15 years experience in the elementary classroom with plenty of administrative duties over the years… I’m thinking of applying to administrative jobs. I’m curious, however, about “packages.” Though many schools list salaries and benefits on their websites, no one mentions admin. Is there not a distinction in pay? What about positions such as “Curriculum Coordinator,” are those jobs paid on the same scale as classroom teachers? Any insight would be greatly appreciated…

  199. Joshua Green says:

    Although Africa is not normally associated with great packages, I have to say that the American School of Antananarivo in Madagascar is is one of them. Salaries start in the high 20k which easily goes over 30k if you’ve got some years under your belt. This goes a long way in a country like Madagascar. Housing is fantastic with families and singles all living in large, nicely furnished houses with a garden, and often a close walk to school. Everyone has house help, some also have cooks and drivers. Starting in the second year the school will match up to 15% of retirement, and there are resigning bonuses for 3+ years. Flights home (which are expensive) are paid every year by the school.

    Living is pretty easy in Tana with temperate weather, chill people, and a slow laid back lifestyle. There are many great travel opportunities for the adventurous who are drawn to beaches, national parks, and lemurs. We had a cottage 2 hours outside of town on a beautiful and quiet lake which was more like Switzerland than Africa.

    I can’t say how it is now, after the political crisis, but would recommend the place and the school, and would say that the pay and package (what this discussion is about) are very good.

  200. bonnaroo says:

    really need info/first hand experience/friend of a friend, anything on the american cooperative school of tunis in tunisia and the american international school of bamako, mali. help! thank you!

  201. Anonymous says:

    Future Bilingual School (Fahaheel, Kuwait) doesn’t have a great package yet, but does include international medical insurance and of course the Kuwaiti national health plan (which isn’t bad itself). The school is still in its infancy As for EVERYTHING in Kuwait, just be prepared for long delays in everything. It takes months to get the Civil ID card. It may take months for your free internet to begin working.

  202. Anonymous says:

    Anyone have info on Cairo American College in Egypt? Can’t get anything on the package off their website.

  203. Leavingperu says:

    Very interesting reading. I am currently at Markham College in Lima, Peru. It is a great school – the kids are fantastic – the area is nice and there are huge travel possibilities! One thing though – check your contract – things that get said in Interview do not appear to be put into practice when you get here!

    I am desperately looking for info on the International school of Penang – package/lifestyle etc. Why are they posting so many jobs at the moment? are they opening another campus – I can’t seem to find the answer! Thankyou for your time!

    • ShoppingAround says:

      Have you heard much about the American School in Lima?

      • Leavingperu says:

        Roosevelt? I don’t know much about it, sorry…

      • cbpspan says:

        Any further knowledge about package at Colegio FDR?

        • best school says:

          I worked at FDR. Good money, great environment. Tons of teaching resoures and excellent technology.Great professional development. They treat you like a King. It was the best place I ever worked.

          • Anonymous says:

            school for local kids, expat kids DO NOT fit in!!

            • Anonymous says:

              Do your research on FDR. Package is decent for S.A. but the local staff, parents and school board are not modeling the Learner Profile. The current Director is none too popular among the international teachers. Single teacher can save 12,000 a year.

        • Anonymous says:

          FDR, Lima, Peru. 2012. 10 yrs of teaching $41000. $800 monthly housing – enough or almost enough for a 3-bedroom apartment in Miraflores. 1 flight a year. $2000 signing bonus after 2 years. About $3000 for retirement. Cheap place to live. I was able to save $20000 a year with a lot of travel, but that’s me… Do the research about the school – lots of local kids. Lima is a fun place but has some really rough areas.

  204. somewhereoutthere says:

    Does anybody have any info/stories to share on either American School of Bombay or the Am. Embassy School in New Delhi? Currently in Africa, and understand the pay would be significantly better in India… but details?

    • Anonymous says:

      Good friend was in Delhi for 5 years and loved the school. Saved lots. Air pollution finally got to her.

      • hercules says:

        Can you tell me what teachers were paid (US $,s) in the Indian school? Travelled throughout India and would love to work there, but always thought the pay was low. Can you please enlighten me thanks.

    • Larry says:

      AES may be the best school in the world. The pay is fantastic.
      New Delhi may be one of the most dirty cities in the world.
      The Bombay school has a good reputation as well, although I do not really know the specifics.

      • cliffski says:

        Salary and benefits in Mumbai (at American School of Bombay) are excellent. Probably only a tiny bit lower than Delhi. Package is excellent pay, furnished housing and utilities, transport to school, good PD, and good health care. You can save a lot. Retirement is also excellent.

    • jetlagged says:

      AES (American Embassy School) New Delhi is an amazing place to work, and the package is fantastic. We are a family of four who live well, travel often, and save 40% of our combined salaries without really trying. We are given housing (either on or off the campus) free of bills, excellent healthcare, annual airfare, free tuition, etc.

      Yes, Delhi is tough; the air is bad and the poverty hard, but the campus is beautiful and the school is outstanding. They ask a lot of teachers, and give a lot in return.

  205. lippy says:

    The American School of Brasilia, Brazil is a great school for people starting a family as you can afford a great nanny and get 4-month maternity leave. Since Brasilia is the capital city, it hosts all the embassies so there are about 40% international students and about 60% wealthy Brazilians. The culture is very welcoming and the city, while a bit quiet and “boring”, you can be very active and the quality of life is very enjoyable. We were first year teachers when we went there 10 years ago and my husband and I saved about $20-25,000 each year, and about $110.00 after 5 years. Travel to/from there is lengthy and expensive, but there is alot to do close by. Healthcare is great and you can live within walking distance of school in a 3 bedroom apartment.

  206. WhatZisss says:

    Leysin in Switzerland is one of the poorer paying schools in the country. You’ll teach a full load and put in an extra 10-12 hours a week as a house parent and activities supervisor. You’re lied to about taxes and insurance and generally bring home about $600 USD less than they lead you to believe.

  207. travelgirl says:

    Hey all, thought id add a bit about Hong Kong. Fantastic packages to be found here, but some are better than others. ESF — English Schools Foundation– is one of the best. They offer high salaries and a gratuity that is 20% of your annual salary. Salaries at ESF probably start around 50,000 US dollars and go up to around 80,000 for a general classroom teacher. You also get a housing allowance every month, which is about 1,000 US dollars. But, housing in Hong Kong is very expensive if you want to be in the city….so your housing allowance only covers a little more than half of your rent. But the people who choose to live a little further out save a lot!!! Hong Kong is a thriving city, lots and lots of expats here, so most teachers here are very happy.

  208. Anonymous says:

    Any info about International School Manila. I see that they have improved their package considerably. Any info on cost of living and savings potential would be appreciated.


    • wind says:

      Presently at ISM. Very happy here with wife and starting a family among many others doing so here. If you have 8 or 9 years experience it is likely you would earn slightly more than 40K. Between my spouse and I we save a full salary without making much effort to do so. We have hired help, don’t hold back on travel, and are very happy with the package. If we sign for another two years the signing bonus will bump us to 50K or more each year (only if we commit to two years, about $1500 less if we only sign for one) and with that we believe we will save slightly more than a salary between us (probably $54K). Health care is good. Travel allowance and home leave is covered by the school up to a limit but we find the allownances gets us home each year and manages to pay for at least one local holiday at an upscale resort. Housing is expensive in Manila, but the school more than adequately covers the cost of rent, electricity, and water. Compared to other countries in Asia the housing is spacious and comfortable. Some move out of apartment housing and into a house after your first year or so. Yours truly, a happy teacher (a rare thing based on this site).

  209. Carioca says:

    The package at Escola Americana in Rio de Janeiro has changed significantly this year. The new salary package is now comparable with the average package in S. America, which is to say rather low with minimal savings potential as Brazil is an expensive place to live.

  210. Expatparent says:

    Dear Croecko,

    Thanks for your information about Oman. You are the second (or third) person to recommend Oman to me. I am going to look into it more.

    Does anyone know about the package at the American School of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil? I know South America tends to be low in general …. but great quality of life!

    For the person who asked about Qatar. If you work for a Qatar Foundation school the packages are great all around. I am not sure about ASD (American School of Doha) or the The British School. I have heard it is not as good.

  211. croecko says:

    Another school that especially families may want to consider is ABA Oman. It is an IB school in Muscat, the capital. Anyway, since I moved here over 4 years ago, the salary and benefits have been significantly enhanced to the point where I am now earning, tax free, just more than 50K per year. Of that sum, I can send home about 30K or maybe a bit more per year, and still have a very comfortable life here. I am a single dad, so another bonus is that househelp is affordable – I have a full-time housekeeper on a monthly salary of about $400.

  212. pootles says:

    Can anyone tell me about the international schools in Argentina or Brazil, salaries e.t.c thanks

    • brasileiro says:

      I love living and working in Brazil – married a Brazilian I met my first week! Great country, great people. The exchange rate is not in our favor right now, and their growing economy makes things more expensive so I would say it’s comparable to living in the states right now. Still a great place to be! Best paying school is Graded in Sao Paulo, better place to live is Curitiba, Rio, or Bahia.

      • DAZDAZ says:

        Hi, Can anyone elaborate more on the specifics of the packages, and how the schools are managed? Have the schools adjusted wage to match inflation? Thanks

  213. justme says:

    I am looking for information about Shanghai American School. What are the pros and cons?

    • SnowBeaver says:

      Pros-Good school and package

      Cons-you are living in China..need I say more?

      • hercules says:

        What is a “good package” with this school? Are you living in the midst of the city?

      • wanderer says:

        I must say, my wife and I had our doubts about working in China. After three years there, we can can say with out a doubt it was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. China gets in your blood. Pros – good package and you get to live in China

        • Anonymous says:

          Which city are you in? Any info on Shanghai American School please? I have heard the Puxi campus has its problems. Thanks

          • shanghai guy says:

            I don’t know what you have heard but there are no more issues here at SAS Puxi than any other school I have worked at both in NA and abroad. The facilities are generally great, the package has allowed us to save 50 grand over the past year, the school is in the burbs which has its good and bad points but you can live downtown if you want, the wellness allowance is generous, flights home every year, longevity bonus after 3 and subsequent years, global insurance, great housing, utilities are paid except for internet, school supplies galore and more. Down side is the distance from downtown, school academic mindset, size of school and distance from out-of-doors.

        • SnowBeaver says:

          I lived in China for 4 years. There are good and bad things about the country. Depends on your own values I guess. For me, things I value didn’t mesh with chinese values.

          The good: Interesting culture, learn a new language, great food and travel. Fun adventure. The money is good

          The bad: lack of “warmness” from people (compared to Latin America), not much of a music scene, and censorship, dealing with red tape with seemingly small issues

          The Ugly: The pollution-I still have a black lung, the spitting and general lack of manners/politeness

    • FrankCastle says:

      Pros: solid salary, great housing, free tuition for kids, excellent overall school facilities, modern city, easy lifestyle, many direct flights to USA, maids are cheap

      Cons: 2 school campus’s creates a communication problem, one campus is a 45-60 minute commute from housing, bad pollution, weak administration, downtown Shanghai is far from both campus’, expensive to travel,a lot of parental pressure and influence, the board is tight with money and has too much power

  214. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone comment on AIS Kuwait versus ASK in Kuwait?

    • q8 says:

      It has been 3 years, so things may have changed but for the last 8 years or so they have both been on the decline in several ways. ASK used to be the embassy school and non profit. The owner died and the kids didn’t share his values for education. Same with AIS, the dad died and the kids are more profit oriented.
      AIS is trying to be an IBO world School. ASK is more traditional American curriculum, AP etc. ASK has marginally better facility with a pool and more space. For ASK ask where they housing is. At one point ther moved them out and they had a commute. Traffic is bad in Q8.
      A lot of the rest comes down to the overseas hire Admin and how they run interference with ownership.

  215. Adam says:

    Having taught for two years in South Korea, I’d generally be a bit wary.

    Most of the “international schools” there are really just renamed hogwan, for-profit programs. Also, with the general glut of English teachers there, they can pay about the same as public schools and provide the same (low) level of benefits/housing.

    It’s nice to read this column, because I’ve been living in the underbelly.

    My current school is charging for rent, half pay on any holidays, charging for meals, virtually no insurance, and I’m using photocopies of fifteen year old books as my curriculum, since that’s all they have.

    They have refused to pay for airfare, health check, visa costs, or anything else, and the utilities are being charged to foreign teachers at a rate five times higher than native workers. Also, the school is close to two hours away from the city by public transport (It’s “near” Beijing, message me for more information).

    Before this, I’ve worked for schools where the owners kept 80% for profit in the middle of the Mexican mafia, schools with over an hour commute each way, Korean boarding high schools where kids have been sent to the hospital after teacher beatings, a cocaine-addicted principal, and being assaulted by students.

    It’s nice to know that someone, somewhere, has a decent benefit/pay/safety package.

    As for this job, it’s a total sham. There is only one student at international school level, and it’s the principal’s daughter. The facilities stink, the owners know nothing about education, and they think they can get people to pay $15,000+ US for THIS?

    Teacher with many horror stories seeks stable, sane job. Help!


    • Bill says:

      There are several reputable and truly International Schools here in Korea. Seoul Foreign is the oldest and most famous, but there are several others to consider. You can google them for Korea.. Gyeonggi Suwon Int’l school, Seoul International, Taejon Christian Int’l, Busan Int’l Foreign, Busan Foreign School, Chadwick Int’l, Dulwich College, North London College, Asia Pacific Int’l, Korea Int’l School, Yongsan Int’l School of Seoul, ICS – Uijongbu, ICS – Pyeongtaek, and Indianhead… You will find a lot of Koreans/Asian students there, but that is changing to a more international community. I would also check as some of the schools mentioned above have struggled over the last few yrs.

      GSIS and TCIS are IB world schools with PYP, MYP and DP. Seoul Foreign has DP, BIFS has PYP… others are International, using different curriculum – some American, some British influence.

      I would say do your homework on a school that calls themselves International… These listed above are the only real International schools I know of and I’ve been here 4 yrs… there could be a few other start ups that I missed, but there are many Hogwans that pretend to be real international schools…. some people go to Hagwan’s and love it and make really good money, but you really are just an English teacher.. kind of ESL

  216. KE says:

    Anybody have any info on the international schools in South Korea? Also, would like some info on the Maple leaf schools in China that use the BC (Canada) curriculum. Thanks :)

  217. ACook says:

    Can anyone give us advice about Luanda International School? How about Baku International School?
    Also, can anyone clarify the package Aramco has? We have heard such mixed messages such as there is only 3 weeks vacation per year with the school being year round.


    • Anonymous says:

      LIS, Luanda International School offers a great package, with great saving potential.

    • Woo Hoo says:

      School is not year round but teachers run vacation programs during every holiday break. Aramco is a very big company and teachers are just like all other Aramco employees and get the same holiday allowance. I am not sure exactly how many weeks but my friend who works there is still in Saudi now (middle July) and I finished school at end of June. sometimes you have to look beyond the pay packet.

  218. JnC says:

    This has taken hours but been a very interesting read! Has anyone got any information about the salary/package/lifestyle for International School of Penang (Uplands) Malaysia please?

    • stayawayfromhere says:

      The pay at ISP in considered to be one of the worst in Malaysia. Take home pay will be around 9,000 (currently £1600) per month including housing allowance, for a typical teacher with 10-15 years experience. A decent apartment can be rented for RM1600 per month, and utilities including internet and Astro satellite tv will total aprox RM400. Fuel is cheap – about RM60 for a full tank on a small car. School health care is ok for GP visits, but not much use for much else. Lifestyle in Penang is fantastic. The school day finishes at 240 two days a week and 3:20 on the other days.

  219. Big Baby says:

    Having worked in the UK, Middle East, Far East and now Europe, it really depends on what you want out of yuor package. As some posters have already said – 1. Quality of life 2. Financial rewards and experiences. Basically, working in the Middle /Far East can be very exciting, frustrarting, bring wonderful experiences and offer financial rewards which (most of) Europe and the UK can not. European and UK ´packages´are generally less attractive in terms of finance and éxotic´experiences, but can offer security, stability and a good quality of living.

  220. Anonymous says:

    Is there anyone out there with concrete information about GEMS World Academy Dubai? I’ve heard a lot of great things but all have been second hand. Info pertaining to a young family living in Dubai would be helpful too. Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      I live in Dubai and my neighbour work at that school and they have all praises. They have two young daughters who attend the school also…

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you. The people are your neighbors, does the school put a lot of teachers in your buiding or are they spread out around the city? How are the apartments? And is the school very close to the accommodations? I know you said you don’t actually work at the school but if you have answers for any of these questions I would greatly appreciate it.

        • chuck says:

          I worked at DAA and everything seemed chaotic at GEMS World. However, Dubai with kids isn’t the greatest. They will probably put you in a condo, surrounded by construction, and your extra time is spent walking through malls (boring) or the beach (which is nice) but eventually gets old. There is very little green space unless you are willing to drive through a lot of traffic.

  221. HeyHo!! says:

    Sweden any one please. What are the packages like at Internationella Engelska Skolan – also is it just full of young teachers or will there be any approaching 40 like myself!!! I also have a son -would he be able to attend one of their schools – thanks anyone

    • penelope says:

      I’m wondering, too. They seem to be a for profit chain. I can’t find much info outside of pundits on one or another side of privatization.

      • ME says:

        I’m wondering too about this school. I’m thinking about applying but worrying about whether a salary there would support a family of three. Anybody know what salary range they offer?

  222. Sebastiano says:

    Has anyone a idea about the package/salary of the International School Zurich North in Switzerland ?

    • Swissgirl says:

      ISZN pays 15-20% lower than all other international schools in Zurich and also lower than the local schools.

      • Anonymous says:

        But the work load is less and the staff is very nice///small classes,1-8, wonderful kids, but you wont make it on one salary if you are a family…Zurich is expensive

  223. SnowBeaver says:

    I can’t believe this hasn’t been mentioned yet but one of the best packages (if not the best) is Aramco school in Saudi Arabia.

    I know someone working there and the salary is around 100k a year, plus incredible benefits (4-5k for summer flights alone) and the best part is if you stay 10 years, you get a retirement package of 20k a month…for life. Yes, that’s right, I said 20k a month.

    After that, American School of Japan in Tokyo pays extremely well.

    Other schools in Asia that pay very well:
    HKIS in Hong Kong
    ISB in Bangkok (already mentioned)
    YIS in Japan
    ISKL in Malaysia (Retirement package is fantastic)
    Singapore American
    UWC in Singapore

    • asharts says:

      My husband and I are interested in the Saudi School Aramco. What are the conditions like teaching there? Accomodation and cost of living? Is it compound living? And are the children ex-pat’s children? We are currently at a really badly run so called “international” school in UAE and are looking to move on as fast as we can. The administration is shocking and the way staff are treated is appalling. Had heard that Saudi offers some great packages, but to choose carefully. Your reply would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    • Terry says:

      Actually, HKIS is NOT a great package and neither is ISKL. They both used to be good, but have not kept up with inflation.

      International School Yangon, American International School-Dhaka, International School Beijing and Shanghai American School have far better packages.

      • SnowBeaver says:

        HKIS is a good package. My buddy works there now and he is saving 20-30k a year. ISKL is good because the retirement is 17% a year from the school so that’s 20k a year from the pension alone. That is not counting what you save from the 5k a month salary.

        • Richard says:

          17% a year pension nets you 20 000 USD a year??? I hope you don’t teach math. Must be quite the scheme they’ve got going there.

          • SnowBeaver says:

            17% (school) PLUS 11% (employee) yes in fact does net you 20,000 USD a year. Maybe you should politely ask to clarify rather than trying to be a smart ass

    • vong says:

      I call BS.. yeah they have a high salary but why would they pay you 20k a month for the rest of your life? Why would they pay you more to retired teachers than to active ones? That just doesn’t make sense. I am teaching my students about “fish tales”, i should bring you in.

      • Fred says:

        I have worked at Saudi Aramco Schools for many years. The students are some of the best I have ever taught. They are as colorblind to nationality, religion, and ethnicity as any group I know. The teachers are excellent. The pay package is superb, especially for Americans. One teacher recently left with 25 years experience. He was making USD $100,000 a year and his retirement LUMP SUM PAYOUT at termination was $1+ million USD. He could have taken a monthly annuity but chose the LUMP SUM PAYOUT. This was in addition to his 401 K Savings plan which Saudi Aramco matches at 9%. Put in $1000, they match a $1000. If you stay 20 years you should be able to walk away with USD 2 million. And, it is a great place to work. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

        • Vinny says:

          This is incredible. How is the living situation for teachers with families? As in what types of opportunities are there for children?

    • Smurf says:

      It’s not after ten years…
      One gets a severance package after two or more years based on a percentage of your salary times the number of years working there-the longer you remain the higher the percentage. Retirement payments after 60 unless you’re bought out [for retire] one or two years earlier.

      It’s a great lifestyle , especially for families with kids. There’s a downside to every new locale- research about the country for yourself. Women who want to consider working and living here should have a strong sense of self, whether married or otherwise.

    • Woo Hoo says:

      Saudi Schools certainly pay very well but they get their pound of flesh. Check out the details about holidays etc before you get too excited about the salary.

    • USAteacher says:

      Saudi Aramco offers the best package in the world, period. Everyone who knows the package, knows this. You have to live in Saudi Arabia is the downside. They apologize to you at the end of the month, with your paycheck.

      If you are a single teacher you will start off around 100k in salary and benefits. Another poster mentioned the 401k is a 9% match, thus you put in 9% and Aramco will match another 9% for a total of 18%. You can put up to 50% of your salary in your 401k but only 9% will be matched.

      In addition US Dollar payroll teachers will be vested in the pension after 5 years. Canadians after 10 years. Roughly Americans after 5 years will have about 100k from the pension alone.

      Both 401k and pension are invested and serviced by Vanguard. They give you projections and you can really go off into la la land if you run the numbers. If you stay let’s say 25 years until you are 60 hypothetically, your pension will be almost 2 million and your 401k will be 1.3 million. Thus you will walk away with over 3 million USD. These are just the facts. If you were a driller or worked out in the company you will be making 2 or 3 times this depending on if you work on oil rigs etc in the oil business. It is all relative and teachers are at the bottom of the food chain here at Saudi Aramco.

      If you are American and have 10 years in and leave when you are 50 or older, then you have lifetime health insurance for free, worldwide. This was United Health Care but they recently switched to Aetna. This is the next milestone after getting 5 years in to be vested.

      You only get 1k professional development, actually they just increased it to 1250 a year, which is frustrating low.

      You do get a repatriation leave payment. Depending on your point of origin. Most get around 5-6k per dependent! Yes that is right you get it for each child and your spouse. So a family with 3 kids gets a 25k + check to send you off on your summer vacation.

      You do have to work more days. You have 42 days a year you can leave as a dollar hire, trailing spouses are called casuals and they can leave when no school is in session, they just don’t get paid for days they are off. However a dollar hire has to put in roughly 210 days a year in the classroom, of which about 180 are student contact days.

      Health care if free and Aramco has their own hospitals on each compound, with medicine being free. I wouldn’t say the care if as good as the states for many are not US trained. It is average for general care, but for specialties I would go back to the states. Worldwide coverage is $50 bucks a month they deduct out of your paycheck provided by Aetna.

      Your housing is based on your number of dependents. There is a strict housing policy to bid on better or more desireable housing. This is one of the few things that actually functions well in Aramco. You stay for many years, you get your choice of a house basically. They charge you a small rent each month roughly it comes out to be $125 per person. Thus a family of 3 children for a total of 5 is roughly $600-700 a month. Utilities are totally free, except internet is $40 a month, which is filtered by the way.

      You get a business class airfare when you are newly hired to KSA for you and all your family. You can choose to ship your belonging or take a cash in lieu. A single teacher told me they got like $6500 for their cash in lieu of shipping. Huge amount of weight is given. Cars/golf carts are shipped on your own dime.

      There are annual raises and everyone in SAS gets the exact same. The last couple years have been leaner by SAS standards with roughly 4% a year. However from 05-08 they were 8% or so.

      A huge perk is for any dependent 10th grade -12th grade Aramco will pay up to 40k per child to attend any boarding school in the world of your choice. In addition they will give you cash equivalent for 3 trips home for each student in boarding school. Once in college there is no assitance but you still get 2 trips equivalent in your paycheck.

      I know several teachers who are making 200k a year including this benefit.

      Your income is tax protected to a certain point and they have Price Waterhouse Coopers do your taxes complimentary. That is a nice perk.

      There is a website or somethign like that which has quite a bit of info on it as well.

      All in all it is a tremendous opportunity unlike anywhere in the world. If you started this coming fall and stayed 25 years lets say as a single teacher you would make well over 5 million in salary and benefits over that time. A teacher couple you can add another 33% or so to that number. Unmatched compensation and benefits. However living in KSA isn’t for everyone.

      All the best.

      • movieturtle says:

        This is very thorough, thank you. I was wondering what travel for a single woman is line in that area of the world? I mean I realize the salary is nice enough to allow you to travel outside but I was curious about that area?

        Also what are the compounds like? How does daily life run?

        • USAteacher says:

          You really should read up on this area. You will want to leave every chance you get and obviously you will have enough funds to do so. The compounds are like any small city, self contained. You can check out the aramco website for community information. Just search aramco and start poking around.

        • Saudiexpat says:

          Check out this site to see more on the compound and what there is to do around Dhahran.

      • carolinagirl says:

        I am a retired Aramco teacher (2010)and while our retiree medical with AETNA is about the best around, it is NOT free. That is a myth and I have heard it over and over again over the years. As a single, I pay $160 a month and I DO have it for the rest of my life (as long as I keep my monthly payments current). Another fallacy: only those who have been there for some years make $100,000 a year….unless you are an administrater or in some other area of the company, don’t expect that when you start out there. The beauty is the tax exclusion along with the fabulous benefits package. I do agree, it is a great place to work but be advised it is year-round. If you are used to having a three-month summer, you’ll have to adjust. And there are many restrictions. Check out everything before going and you’ll be fine there…I have many memories from my years with Aramco.

        • teachertobe says:

          I’m looking into teaching in Aramco, but I having trouble finding accurate information, especially about contracts and salary ranges for beginning teachers, do you know where I can find more information. Is it worth teaching there for one year?

        • kayaker1 says:

          I have been following this thread with interest. I too have been trying to gather information about teaching at an Aramco school. I have been unable to find a school calendar, and was wondering about when teachers are offered their breaks. I also read that in order to leave the country you must get your sponsor employer to obtain a permit for you. Is this difficult to obtain? Is it fairly easy to travel from Saudi Arabia, or is it frought with red tape? If you are able to provide any insight, it would be greatly appreciated!

    • Anonymous says:

      About Saudi Aramco schools.. I work there, and the retirement package is not 20K a month. Its a lump sum of 100K at 5 years, and a bit more than double at 10.

  224. starsnstripes says:

    My husband and I are newly qualified teachers, we teach in public schools in South Korea. Surprisingly we are able to save over $40,000 a year here (together). Despite the weak won, the overtime pay is very generous. Anything over 20 classes per week is overtime, I make over $300 a week in overtime for teaching an extra 5 hours, never working past five. The housing they provide is decent, two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and office. We have 5 weeks of vacation and we recieved tickets home after renewing our contracts. Although we don’t teach in international schools we still make $3,600 per month.

    However we’ve got itchy feet again and after our third contract is up, we’re looking to move soon.

    • Single_Science_gal says:

      I worked at International School of Frankfurt. It was a good school for a first job, however not much opportunity for savings unless you teach summer school (very worthwile money wise) or do private tutoring through the school that starts at 60euro/hour. They do pay Math/Science teachers more. What is great is that if you leave after two years you get your taxes back, amounting to about 10,000 Euro but it is very annoying that it doesn’t apply to Canadians. So it is worth it for Americans or Australians.

      I am looking at schools in Asia. I teach Math and Science and am a single young female. I am in my current job for “fun” and experience, I have build up a good resume. What I need from my next job is the ability to save a LOT of money. Please can people gives the NAMES! of any schools in Asia that offer good packages. I don’t mind long days or working hard.

      • englush says:

        The International School of Macau has a nice salary if you don’t break contract and get the bonus. I’m at 8 years and make 55K USD. I should say I got 55K. The local currency is pegged to the Hong Kong dollar which is pegged to the USD. Sinking like a stone. It’s a 100% Alberta school with kids writing the grade 12 Diploma exams and graduating with an Alberta diploma. It feels mor like a Canadian school than an international one. This is both a good and not so good thing.

        • Guangzhou Teacher says:

          I am interested in the International School of Macau. Do they offer housing, retirement etc. Is the 55k a net figure, or is tax deducted? I’d be keen to learn more as I have just visited there and it’s a pretty pleasant place.

      • Guangzhou Teacher says:

        With Math/Science, you should find it easy to find a job at a good school in Asia.

        I have worked in Indonesia and China and would offer one word of caution (Actually more than 1 word). Although you can make a lot of money, there are often not a heck of a lot a suitable dating options for single femaless.

        I know that in Jakarta, it was a common complaint of many of my female colleagues. To be honest, they were frustrated and miserable, as the single males preferred the local ladies. (generalisation, but pretty true)

        Having said that, if you google IASAS schools, there will be a list of high payiing schools in Asia that you could write too. You could also consider New Int School of Thailand, and the big schools in China (google ACAMIS and you’ll find a list of these schools). Also check out Singpore schools (Singapre American, United World College, Overseas Family School, Canadian Int School). Singapore is such a big expat hub that the dating concerns I mentioned earlier may not apply.

        Good luck.

    • joseoul says:

      can you tell me anything about the schools Around Seoul? I have interviews with APIS and SIS coming up and would like to know what kind of package they offer, and if the schools are located in a good area

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve been working in South Korea for many years and apparently APIS package is good but stay away from SIS (bad package and school politics) this is what I heard from my friends. Schools with good packages and good working conditions are SFS and GSIS.
        The new school called Chadwick has the best package in the country and very good housing, although it is new and the politics might be difficult for westerns to handle.

        • anonymous says:

          I work at SIS and it is a great school with a very good package. The school does not do a good job marketing this package which is a shame. I have traveled every holiday and I will save $20,000 this year as a single. I don’t know of any school politics that seem any different than other schools I have worked in. I get housing, taxes paid, summer allowance, excellent healthcare, PD allowance, good salary, retirement pension, and assistance with too many things to mention here. The school is 98% Korean kids, most with a US passport. This is a turnoff to some people but it is fine for me. Great kids and great parents.

  225. trav45 says:

    Anyone know anything about schools in Mongolia?

    • uptheirons says:

      I taught at the American School of Ulaanbaatar. 0 years exp. gets you 20 000 USD and 10 years(max) is 30 000 USD. 1000 bucks if you have a masters. The local currency devalued 30% last year so I was able to save about 19 000 dollars. School provides housing and pays for utilities. The money ain’t worth it. Mongolia is a fascinating country-not for everbody- but there is no place like it.

    • UB teacher says:

      The International School of Ulaanbaatar pays a reasonable salary, but the exact scale is not open to scrutiny, so I can’t help you much with details. You are also provided with quite good accommodation and one flight home per year. Overall, a single teacher will live reasonably well and save a few thousand dollars per year, but the income is certainly less than in many other countries in Asia.

      • Teacher says:

        ISUB has absolutely lousy housing. You live with Mongolians in an apartment complex that has noise all the time. The Mongolians near me drilled until all hours of the night all the time. Then there are running children till all hours and screaming babies or people until all hours. You cant escape it in the housing the school provides. If you want to find your own place the housing stipend will NOT cover it. I left after only 2 years because it is a very hard place to live and the inflation rate is astronomical! Prices rose over 30% in food and 25% or more in housing rent.
        They are not raising salaries to meet these high prices. Mongolia is beautiful I traveled all over while living there but the hardship is not worth what they pay and the housing must improve if they want to keep staff.

  226. maestrasoyyo says:

    Looking into Graded in Sao Paolo. Any info you may have will be much appreciated. Housing/tuition/faculty/admin.


    • Graded Teacher says:

      If you are teaching in South America, Graded probably has the highest package. Salaries are on the website, but they left off the little note that about 11% is deferred compensation that you get when you leave (It’s part of the 8% that they talk about–it’s by law, so it’s safe.) Salaries on the website were when the dollar was R$2.1, but they expect R$1.9 for next year so it’s like a 10% raise. Salaries should also increase 4% or so in March for the dissiduo (inflation adjustment). Housing is so-so but doable. Superintendent is new so no feedback yet.

  227. looking at venezuela says:

    i would also like to hear from someone who has actually worked at colegio internacional de puerto la cruz, PLC, Venezuela. again, housing, benefits and living/working experience.
    thanks again,

  228. Pleasebespecific says:

    Could people who post messages PLEASE be specific with their information? A “great package” etc means different things to different people. $50,000 could be U.S. dollars, Australian dollars etc……As I understand it the whole point of this particular blog is to give teachers some helpful, specific information so that they can judge for themselves if it is a great package.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s $50,000 US dollars. Thought the post was helpful and obvious.

    • SnowBeaver says:

      I would classify anything as a “great package” as savings of 20k+, 7% retirement, shipping and housing allowance, health care (obviously) and PD money of $750 a year. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

  229. looking at venezuela says:

    thanks for the info. i was wondering about cic-velencia. if you or anyone knows about this school, it would be much appreciated.

    • Anonymous says:


      $35-40,000 although 20% is paid in the local currency. Housing paid for, TIE care, December and June bonuses. Quite possible to save $10-15,000 with travel. Inflation is out of control and your local currency portion is at the official rate of 2.15 – 1 US dollar. Things are quite expensive without much “culture.” Beautiful country, good people, but the infrastructure is falling apart.

  230. looking at venezuela says:

    does anyone have any information on Colegio Internacional de Puerto La Cruz or CIC- Velencia both in Venezuela? packages, benefits, quality of life etc. thanks

    • Anonymous says:

      I meant to say “opt” for ECA in the second to last line.

      • Anonymous says:

        CIPLC in Puerto la Cruz has a generous benefits package around 40-50k starting salary depending on experience…yearly flight home, insurance, professional dev. opportunities and excellent housing.

  231. Sam says:

    has anyone heard anything about or packages for untied world college of south east asia – singapore. I have seen afew positions advertised there but have not been able to get any info on teachers who have taught there…

    • Jonesy says:

      I’ve heard all good things about the school. There is one review on this website and a few things on the forum board. I get the impression it’s a top notch school and that salaries are pretty good. It’s going to be expanding massively in the next few years so it’s a good time to join if you’re looking for promotion. I know Tanglin Trust pays well and I think UWC is about the same.

      • help with applications please says:

        Where is Tanglin Trust please?

        • help with applications please says:

          It’s ok I found out it’s in Singapore. It isn’t listed on Search so how does one apply for this school? Do they only advertise in TES in the UK?

      • Nomad says:

        I worked briefly at UWC singapore…best int´l work experience of my life. Great staff, great pay…top notch !

        • Anonymous says:

          Hi Nomad,

          Are you able to give information about salary and benefits at UWC Singapore for experienced teacher of 14 years? I can’t find the info anywhere…


  232. mb330 says:

    I don’t know how I could have forgotten THIS part of the package!!! My school offers a 10% gratuity (bonus) for a one-year contract and a 15% gratuity for a two-year contract.

  233. mb330 says:

    Just a few things to add to what has been said about teaching in Hong Kong. I have been teaching overseas for more than 10 years now in some good and some not-so-good situations. Hong Kong is a VERY good situation! The pay packages do vary so be cautious in your evaluation BUT we are able to save some serious money while living in one of the world’s most interesting and liveable cities. Housing is relatively expensive but food, utilities and transportation are very reasonable. You do NOT need a car as HK has fabulous public transportation.
    In addition to a good base salary, my school also offers annual airfare to my hometown, partial tuition coverage at ANY school for my child, good insurance coverage (HK also has one of the best public health care systems I have seen), reasonable work load, and all normal Western holidays plus Chinese New Year break.

  234. Anonymous says:

    The package at Escuela Campo Alegre in Caracas is fantastic and the school is top tier. The country might be a mess, but it’s also absolutely beautiful. The Graded School in Sao Paulo is also excellent and their package quite good. These schools compare to what you would find in SE Asia.

    • gettinggoing says:

      Could you give me any info about what the package is like at Escuela Campo Alegre? I am just out of my Master’s program in the states and am so drawn to Venezuela. How is the housing there?

      • Anonymous says:

        Package is split 80% US$ and 20% local currency (90/10 if you are a couple). You will make about $50,000. On top of that, you are provided housing (good to very good), yearly airfare, an attractive wellness allowance, tuition for dependents and decent retirement contribution after your third year. A single teacher can save a bit more than $25,000 a year. Depending on lifestyle, several grand more. Again, the country is a mess and inflation is crazy at the moment, but my time at ECA was the best in my career.
        Good luck.

        • Anonymous says:

          ECA has changed the pay package due to the high inflation back in November. We are now paid 100% in US$. You receive a wellness allowance of $800 a year. We have a live in nanny and travel often. We still save about $40,000 a year.

  235. justasking says:

    Does anyone have any information about Sinarmas World Academy in Indonesia in terms of package and conditions

  236. bonnaroo says:

    also, at lincoln in buenos aries, it is my understanding that the school is in the suburbs and getting out there and back can be a hassle? was this yor experience?

    • Crossing Fingers and Toes says:

      Yes, Lincoln is located in the suburb of La Lucila which is a 20-30 min train ride into the heart of BA. The families tend to live in the burbs by the school, while more of the singles opt for city housing.

  237. bonnaroo says:

    thank you to those of you that wrote about south america, especially the lincoln school in b.a. anyone know anything about the american cooperative school in tunisia? also looking at in the international school in bamako, mali. any info is appreciated!

    • seaninniger says:

      I currently live in Niger and can tell you the hardest part of North-west Africa is the heat and dust. It is very very physically difficult at times with the heat (worse than SE-Asia for me).

  238. Deej says:

    Hi. Does anyone have any reservations/ recommendations about schools in Amman, Jordan? What is the typical salary for a teacher with 10 years exp? Thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Schools in Jordan pay around 3000JD (2000 UK pounds) net per month . It can vary depending on school. Lifestyle is great, but you have to work heard to at it – it’s not just availalbe on your doorstep. You will have a great time if you have kids.

    • Anonymous says:

      Extremely safe place to live. Cost of living high – comparable to most European countries, in fact, similar to UK . However, free acoomodation makes up for a lot. Some people don’t put enough effort into Amman, others love it and stay 5-10 years. YOu can get into the local culture or live in an expat bubble where you live just likie in Europe. Top paying schools: International academy Amman, International Community School, Acmerican Community School, Kings Academy.

      Schools where people are ahppy and stay for years: International Community School, , American Communty School, Amman Baccalaureate scholol – although the latter doesn’t have the best package and anot alot of expat staff.

      If you earn

      I made a mistake wit hte salary at the top as the exchange rate changes. Some schools pay 3000JD and you are taxed around 15%. Others pay a tax free 2100 sterling per month. You get an annual gratuity equivalent to one months’ salary and annual f flights. Usually flights for dependants. As for free tuition, all offer it, except IAA and Amman Bacc which only offer 50% for dependents (possibly up to 80% if tteaching couple). If you go out to nice restaurants, go the Red Sea /Dead Sea regularly, have a few drinks, go shopping, go hiking etc and travel in the region you might be able to save 800JD per month. If you live more frugally you can save more.

      • kimberlee lear says:

        Do you know anything about WBAIS in Israel? Walworth Barbour American International School north of Tel Aviv in Evan Yehuda?

        • Anonymous says:

          Solid school. I worked there for 2 years and was very impressed by the students. Also, Tel Aviv is an amazing city that has something for everything. I’d highly recommend working here if you have the chance.

  239. jackson says:

    What about schools in Egypt

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m at an American school in Alexandria.
      With more than 10 years experience, pay is just under 30K, but with the low cost of living you can save half of that. We get housing and housecleaning and pay no utilities except for satellite TV. The school contributes 10% of pay for retirement. Medical coverage is excellent, dental and optical is pretty good too. Egyptians are mostly friendly people. The downsides are the heat, the garbage everywhere, the elitist and way too talkative students, not much parental support.

    • seaninniger says:

      I loved Cairo. Alexandria is nice on the coast but doesn’t have the same opportunities to explore. There is a new mall and a Starbucks. Cairo is dirty. Maadi is someplace people love or hate (American suburb). I really loved the English bookstores, etc.

  240. Loving my Life says:

    I will echo some of the info about ISG in Dhahran. We were there for a number of years and it was great for us with young kids. The villas on the compound where we lived (An Naseem) were amazing. You get spoiled by the space! Moving on after can be a bit of an adjustment for some. The part about the cost of living being low is misleading. Kids love the compound life being surrounded by their friends. Our kids also loved it there.

    Adults can be a different story. Living on a small compound is like living in a fish bowl. Everyone knows your business. For some it tested marriages. There is not much to do in Saudi in comparison to many other places. The heat and humidity are oppressive from April-November. Going to Bahrain gets old. Nobody in our family ever came to visit us.

    The best benefit is if you have wee little ones under 3years they have a great on-site nursery/daycare facility on the school campus for all employees. It used to be a free benefit. Not sure if that is still the case.

    • metoo says:

      I agree with this post – especially about the housing at An Naseem. However I have heard that has since changed.

      People should take note of the second paragraph. It is all true – especially the part about marriages. Saudi is NOT the place to go if you have any cracks in a relationship. The reason the cost of living is quite low is because there is not much to spend your money on.

      We enjoyed our time there and were sad to leave but we decided the money just wasn’t worth all the terrorist attacks that were happening at the time. Since then I have heard the situation has improved.

  241. Tiffany Flanders says:

    I wanted to answer questions about my school in Saudi. It is not Aramco, it is Dhahran Elementary Middle School and is run by International Schools Group. It is a great school, and I do make over 50K. I do not have a master’s. I have 12 years experience, but they cap at 9. I have a great package, and cost of living here is low. See my previous post for what is in the package. But no, the cereal is not $16 a box! Ha! It is about $8. But, you make so much darn money that it’s no big deal to pay a little extra for American foods. If you like just off brand or European brands, it’s not high at all. Going out to eat and take out is super cheap!!!! We get take out a lot. It is a wonderful place for kids to grow up and most Saudi’s are gracious and very sweet. Our kids are so happy here. The hospital we go to is very posh. The doctors are mostly trained in the U.S. It is hard to leave here and go to another school, because the package is just so good. Better time off than Aramco too.

    • ??? says:

      Id agree – we were in the british section for many years and we loved it, great package. lovely students – were sad to leave

  242. Artislife says:

    Shekou International School in Shenzhen near Hong Kong offers a great package. A masters and six get you 50K. Cost of living, though higher than some parts of China, is reasonable, and the school pays all taxes. Most teachers make money on the housing allowance. PD is $1650 after the first year. Transport, utilities, and shipping are great. Some thrifty couples claim to save $70000+ a year, although I spend too much on travel (which is really convenient from Hong Kong.) Life here is easy with restaurants and bars nearby and walking is the preferred way to get around. The school is professional and staffed with professionals who work really hard but also enjoy life to the fullest.

  243. craftyteacher says:

    I was really amazed to read about KOC and MEF in Istanbul, as I’m at TED in Istanbul. My salary is similar though I’m experienced(ie OLD) and so I’m earning more than basic 20-25K. My apartment and heating are paid by school, in fact they arrange to pay all bills and deduct those other than heating from my salary. This saves on hassles. I am transported to and from school. (It takes about 20-30 minutes depending on how terrible the traffic is flowing:)Haven’t yet had experience with our medical coverage. Sick days are limited (3), but we are given a half day per week off to conduct personal business. No retirement or PD. I gave up somethings because Istanbul was really somewhere I desired to live.

    • ShoppingAround says:

      I was wondering if anyone had any information about IICS in Turkey? They appear to offer a pretty good package and Newcomer info on their site.

  244. wind says:

    I am surprised there are not more posts raving about the IASIS schools. So far only the International School Bangkok is mentioned and by all accounts I know of it does have a great package in addition to being a great school. Taipei American School also has an amazing package though I have heard of problems with the high school principal. Jakarta International School is another that merits serious consideration though you have to stop and debate whether you can handle the pollution and traffic. International School Manila is another, and seems to improve every year in recent years both in reputation as a school and how well they take care of their teachers. International School Kuala Lumpur is another member of this association of schools. Most of these schools are serious about being great, and this does mean serious work for teachers, but the people running these schools also understand they need to offer teachers great packages if they are going to attract and keep the kinds of teachers that make a school a great school.

    • looseleaf says:

      I think in Jakarta you also have to consider what you will do if there is another uprising. Don’t eliminate the prospects of politics when you take a job that pays tons of money. You might sail free, but you also might lose your job like some f my colleagues….in the middle of the year. Gaza Strip and Jakarta are two good examples.

      • jrejda says:

        Comparing Jakarta to Gaza in ridiculous. I have been in Java since 1998. Jakarta is big, dirty and noisy, but it is not a war zone and aside from some rumblings with the downfall of Suharto…the country has adapted well to democracy and is very stable politically compared to say, Thailand.

        • Guangzhou Teacher says:

          I agree 100% with this. Jakarta is a small risk (but not due to risks of uprisings – you just might be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a bomb goes off). To put this in context, this happened in Jakarta at the Marriott in July 2009 and before then in 2004. Not an everyday occurrence.

          I worked at Jakarta Int School – they actually post all their salary/benefit info on their website. Go take a look – it is not as good as it once was, but it is still a pretty sweet deal.

          • Yep says:

            I disagree with the notion of “Don’t eliminate the prospects of politics.” That’s only because there are so many things to consider about taking a job anywhere. To think that just about any place is more “dangerous” than any place else…well, ridiculous. Do your homework and decide for yourself if it’s a place for you.

  245. joop says:

    Does anyone know of salaries in the Shell schools by any chance???? think Fieldwork education looks after them for employing etc but I cant find anyhting about salary info.

    • Kathryn says:

      Pay at the Shell Schools depends on location. For example if you work in Nigeria you will get a 40%(approx) hardship allowance, Russia 33% etc.However if you work at one of the more attractive locations I don’t believe you will get this – but you will have other standard of living benefits. Part of your salary is linked to local cost of living and as vegetables can be expensive in the middle of a Russian winter this is a good thing! 2 return flights (business!) to base country are included with one extra (economy) in certain hardship locations. I was very happy with the package and it is possible to save a very good amount of money. Fieldwork education oversees the recruitment process and provides guidance on the IPC curriculum that the schools use. You need to get accepted by Fieldwork education into the pool and then the schools will draw CVs out of that. Each school individually interviews candidates. Expect to work hard, but the financial benefits and commitment to learning makes it worth it.

  246. Undervalued says:

    Look out for Canadian International School in Tokyo- they only offer 10-month contracts so teachers have no income over the summer break. This is extremely dodgy, especially considering you can technically only get a work visa in Japan with a minimum 12-month contract. Hmmm.
    Also, they used to set new teachers up in tourist guesthouses with shared rooms and kitchens. Not sure if this is the case now, but it certainly was two years ago. Minimal assistance is offered if you want to find something more adult.
    They tend to hire teachers with no or very little international experience who don’t really know what standards to expect, and so don’t know any better.
    Sorry to sound bitter, I just don’t like the fact that this ‘school’ does not value their teachers.

  247. Anonymous says:

    ACS Abu Dhabi is, as the posters already mentioned, not the best place to work. It may have been at one time, but I would caution anyone about the school. The salary is decent, but that’s where I would draw the line. The biggest issues at the moment are housing and health care. We had a good health care plan. That’s been replaced. Be wary about this plan. Also, housing is terrible. AD has a housing shortage and therefore the school has been hit with astronomical rent problems. This doesn’t mean that one of the administrators got a spanky, shiny new villa which cost an arm and a leg, but it does mean you won’t because of that. You will most likley be housed in run down apartments or old villas that have problems ranging from rodents, faulty A/C and bugs to no parking, neighbours who come in to your apartment uninvited and filthy surroundings.

    The salary, although increased recently, still doesn’t match that of other schools in the city with newer, less established schools paying much better than ACS.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can’t edit the above, but I meant to say that one of the admins got a new villa… you won’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are thinking of coming to Abu Dhabi- do your homework. Having first hand knowledge of a few schools, I would caution anyone… And in fact would recommend ACS over some of the other newer, for profit schools.

  248. toba says:

    Any comments on the Canadian International School Singapore?

    • lulu says:

      I work at the Canadian International School in Singapore. Salary here is okay, not the top, probably in the middle. Admin is super supportive and that’s why I’ve stayed for past 4 years. I’m single and living on my own and travel and still manage to save money. Good health care, no pollution, great working environment. Downside very hot and humid.

      • Anonymous says:

        Must disagree with the above post. Medical coverage by the school is nowhere near adequate, and housing allowance will not cover the cost of an average apartment. While Admin seems generally supportive, the school has many problems and overloads its teachers, both in terms of general timetables and extra duties.

  249. looseleaf says:

    Basic information on Italian international schools:
    Don’t expect to save money. Rents are around €1000 per month, and salaries are €1600 after taxes, but by international agreement, the first two years for US hires have no tax, so you get 30% more per month.
    Usually no housing help. Very few schools offer it.
    The automatic life-long contract no longer exists. Most schools offer a 2-year legal contract.
    Complete national health care.
    Legal papers are difficult to get. Be sure the school will pay for your trips back to your country to get papers in order if they don’t get done upon your arrival. European citizens enjoy easy visas, however.
    Expect to need to work extra hours if you take a job in Italy: private lessons, after school clubs, tutoring. A salary disappears right away.

  250. Pierre1 says:

    Portugal is not a place to save much money mainly because there is so much to spend it on here! The lifestyle is excellent, it’s a great place for families, there’s lots to do and see and the restaurants and nightlife are second-to-none. There are loads of really nice things to buy in terms of textiles and ceramics. The schools near Lisbon pay similar salaries to UK and teachers pay usual taxes. Accommodation is not cheap. Public transport is good. It is possible to cycle and walk a lot of the way these days as the coastal paths have been developed as cycle/walkways.

    • looseleaf says:

      Portugal sounds similar to Italy. In fact, Italy and Portugal are the two lowest paying countries in Europe for international school teachers salaries. They are beautiful, though.

  251. Expatparent says:

    Ok, my question is not about $ exactly, but more about quality of life. We are looking for a school with a good sense of community for our kids (ages 6 and 7). We want them to be able to take karate classes after school, ride their bikes, etc. Any suggestions?

    • Japan expat says:

      Take a look at the International schools in Japan, it’s a great place for kids and seems to have more bikes per square meter then any place in the world.

      • help with applications please says:

        Yes but not all schools cover dependents tuition and housing is ridiculously expensive. I have two kids and we currently pay 120,000 yen ($1300) out of pocket with two of us on a housing allowance. Good luck. We are moving on next year and are looking for somewhere with cheap childcare and/or a school that offers pre school from 2 years of age.

        • help with applications please says:

          Just to add to what I wrote. That said, if you get employed at ASIJ, St Marys, NIS, YIS you are guaranteed of saving money. It’s a safe place to live. However accommodation is generally small. Great food, cosmopolitan with some of the best restaurants in the world. We have spent over a decade here so it can’t be that bad!!!!

        • Japan expat says:

          You can add Canadian Academy in Kobe and Hokkaido international school both all provide enough benefits to allow for savings.

          As for housing size ASIJ and YIS teachers have a large enough allowance covering the cost for a large houses, but many prefer apartments as most houses in Japan are built with no insulation, making them difficult to keep warm in the winter. The apartments on the other hand can be large and have nice luxuries like heated floors.

          • Undervalued says:

            Look out for Canadian IS in Tokyo- they only offer 10-month contracts so teachers have no income over the summer break. This is extremely dodgy, especially considering you can technically only get a work visa in Japan with a minimum 12-month contract. Hmmm.
            Also, they don’t offer any tuition benefits for children of teachers.
            K. IS, also in Tokyo, is really a Japanese school run by business people who have no educational background. Usual package, but frustrating work conditions.
            Yokohama IS is your best bet in the Tokyo area- great package, plenty of PD opportunities, high work standards, good reputation. I was there for three years and hope to return one day!

            • Tracey says:

              Do you anything about Gunma Kokusai Academy? I am looking to work there, have 3 kids and a non teaching spouse who will hopefully teach english at a language school. My salary will be about 6,000, 000 with 45000 yen put towards accommodation. What is the cost of living like in Japan?

    • Internationalteacher says:

      American Community School of Amman (ACS AMMAN) in Jordan: As far as salary, we aren’t at the top, but the board and new director really want to encourage continuity. There have been increases in salary by more than %30 over the last few years to become more competitive in the region and be in the top 10. Housing is close to the school and is being upgraded as the director feels a happy staff who feel at home will be more productive and want to stay. It isn’t a real bike riding culture but then no where in the Middle East is honestly. Lots of fabulous day trips in Jordan, especially for kids!! They can climb amongst Roman Ruins and Crusader Castles. Tourism is HUGE here now and Amman is a rapidly growing and developing city with lots of big building developments going on including a new airport. There are more teachers with kids now which is nice. The new director has MS aged kids and is aware of the needs of teaching families. Perfect climate, blue skies, clean air, and everything you need is available. American food products are more expensive as one would expect anywhere outside of North America (ie: US cereal is about $8/box)

      • Internationalteacher says:

        Also, at ACS they pay into US social security, started a matched retirement savings through Raymond James, fully cover your kids tuition and busing as well as flights at beginning and end of each contract which might even improve this year if they add in the flight after your first year. It is a solid package, not at the top but if you weigh out everything it is a school with a warm sense of community in a country that is very easy to live in where friends and family will want to come visit you.

        • guest5 says:

          ACS doesn’t seem to have their salary schedule posted on their website. Do you think that a teaching couple with no dependents could save one salary? Do you get any sort of cost of living or foreign service supplement? Could you give us some idea of maximum starting salary?

    • larslarsen says:

      Come to Norway! It is a playground for children! It is clean and safe, and has a million outdoor places to discover. There are bike paths everywhere, playgrounds in every neighborhood, beaches, lakes, mountains and open fields. At the International School of Stavanger, the kids are sent out for recess three times a day. There are lots of extra curricular offerings and all students get Norwegian lessons too. I would encourage any teaching couple with kids to work here.

      • Bicultural says:

        Hi Larslarsen,

        Could you please share some information about benefits packages in Scandinavian international schools (or at least the ones you are familiar with)? How does the tax situation work for foreign teachers? Thanks!

        • Larslarsen says:

          My knowledge is limited to my own situation at one school- The Int’l School of Stavanger. As a sponsored foreign hire, you are entitled to 4.5 tax free years in Norway, which is very generous, as we benefit from the state systems, like health care and child care, etc.
          At our school, foreign hires get a cost-of-living allowance that helps with the housing costs, tuition for dependents, generous professional development funding, annual flights home after 2 yrs, a car loan, insurance and all the regular sick/personal days you’d expect.
          Plus, it’s nice place to live!
          Downsides would be the weather and darkness, which can be a serious factor in the winter. Maybe not the best place for singles, unless you’re really outdoorsy and don’t mind going solo.
          We also work pretty hard. While not exactly a pressure-cooker of academics, the school expects a big commitment of time from all teachers.
          But I’d still recommend it to my friends.

          • Guangzhou Teacher says:

            Are you able to provide info on the net salary a teacher would earn? For instance, what is the maximum starting salary at the school? Thanks:)

      • Saigon says:

        Can you please give the exact weblink for their application and postings. I’m trying to navigate through their website and it’s a bit challenging.

      • Lars , sounds great what the package like ?

    • Sonia says:

      South America, my friend! I live in Colombia right now and the sense of community is incredible. Children are very active (after school, clubs, tourism), the people are warm and friendly. You do not save as much as in Asia or the Middle East, but you will find a great way of life. And your children will pick up Spanish in no time.

      • SeekingSanity says:

        Sonia, What school are you at in Columbia? What is your salary and housing?

      • Sonia says:

        Colegio Bolivar in Cali is my current post. Colegio Granadino in Manizales is wonderful for kids because it’s a small school and they have lots of afterschool activities. The school in Bucaramanga seems nice as well because of the lifestyle there – lots of biking, but I don’t know what it’s like for kids.

    • reality says:

      I hope this reply isn’t in a column so thin that it’s unreadable! Anyhow, I will second the Canadian Academy nomination for good/great f