How Recruiting Fairs Fared in Our Survey

October 1, 2015

     ISR wanted to know if the trend away from Recruiting Fairs has been growing since our 2013 Survey. Our most recent Survey reveals that YES, there appears to be a significant shift away from brick and mortar venues, and an increased reliance on the internet as the preferred recruiting method.

It’s no secret that more than one recruiting agency is currently in the process of implementing virtual fairs. Apparently they have seen the writing on the wall, so to speak.


   The way we see it is this: About 17% fewer candidates attended Fairs as compared to 2013. This equates to nearly a full 50% of respondents opting to avoid Recruiting Fairs. Of those who did attend Fairs, fewer candidates said the Fair was not beneficial. Does this mean it’s possible that with less teachers attending Fairs, those that DO attend receive an increased level of attention?

Of course, there is a variety of ways to interpret data. Our interpretation is that physical Recruiting Fairs are becoming a secondary method of recruiting. What’s your take on the survey results?

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Schools That Change Their Names

February 5, 2015

rebrandingOver the years, we’ve noticed that some International Schools have changed their names, some more drastically than others. Why would a school do this? Here are our thoughts on the topic.

#1. It makes good sense that a school would add a word or two to its name to reflect a major change. For example, with the addition of a second language as the medium of instruction, the International School of Jupiter might become the Bilingual School of Jupiter. Likewise, adopting a Montessori format would prompt the addition of the word “Montessori” to an institution’s name.

#2. If a school were to expand its enrollment policies to include International students and not just locals, it stands to reason that it may decide to change its name from The Jupiter School in Crater One to The Jupiter International School in Crater One. Or, even simply The International School of Jupiter.

#3. Some schools, however, change their names so thoroughly that any and all connections to their former identity is totally erased. Why would the International School of Jupiter become Pluto Neighborhood School of International Education? Of the 13 International Schools listed below, 12 changed their names to just such an extent.

Are drastic name changes done for tax and/or licensing reasons? Or, is it an indication of new ownership or a complete overhaul of the facilities, programs & procedures? Are the name-changing reasons authentic and transparent, or are they to thwart unwanted attention from the glare of previous poor publicity and misdeeds? We do wonder why, if at all possible, a school wouldn’t want to retain at least some connection to its previous name, especially if  it were proud of its accomplishments & reputation under that name?

We speculate that a complete name change, especially in the absence of a regulatory advantage, new ownership or a major overhaul, may be motivated by promotional goals or motives similar to those of a person who changes their name from Bob Smith to Awesome McWonderful.

Of course, all these ideas are just speculation on our part. If YOU have taught at a school that changed its name, we invite you to share your experience. What prompted your school to change its name? What was accomplished by changing the name? In your opinion, was this a good change or a bad one?

Schools Reviewed on ISR That Changed Their Names
Current Name
Former Name
Beijing International Bilingual Academy China Kinstar International Bilingual School
Busan International Foreign School Korea International School Busan
Yongsan International School Seoul
International Christian School
American Baccalaureate School Kuwait American Bilingual School
Canadian Bilingual School Kuwait Gulf International School
International School Myanmar Yangon International Education Center
Muscat International School Oman Muscat Private School
Doha British School Qatar Doha Montessori British School
Awsaj Academy Qatar Learning Center School
Excelsior International School Singapore Emaar Raffles
Heathfield International School Thailand Lord Shaftesbury International School
Al Mizhar American Academy UAE American Academy for Girls
St. Paul American School Hanoi Vietnam American International School

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Going Home to Stay

March 15, 2012

With the school year coming to a conclusion, some of us are anticipating moving home for more than just the summer recess. This transition can be both exciting and most certainly, daunting. There’s so much to consider and so many tasks to accomplish. It’s just like staring over! Fortunately, advice and comradery is not far away.

Claudia: “For me, coming home was a brand new adventure, and it’s amazing how even though family tell you how much they want you back, they have all moved on with their own busy routines that don’t include you. Even my parents! My husband and I found out about gatherings and outings we used to be included in well after the fact and we felt like outcasts. It was a weird time.”

Russ: “None of my friends really wanted to hear about my trip, or see pictures and they REALLY got tired when I kept bringing up stories and situations about how another culture solves the problem so easily. This is especially true of other teachers who don’t want to hear how great my students were, or how much easier things were.”

Edmond: “We’ve been out long enough. We have money in the bank, seen a good chunk of the world and are thinking of trying life Stateside again. It just feels like time to go home. We find we miss the football games, seasonal celebrations and the myriad of family gatherings. If we do go home and find it’s not as wonderful as we are imagining we can always go back out again. This might be easier said than done.”

ISR invites you to participate in our GOING HOME Blog to share experiences and concerns, ask questions and offer advice on this very important topic.

To Yard Sale or Not?

March 8, 2012

“Dear ISR, I’m getting ready to move overseas for the first time. I’ve got an apartment full of furniture, bicycles, kids’ toys, clothes, kitchen stuff and well, the usual things people tend to collect. I’m trying to figure out what I should do with all this stuff! Our school offers a moderate shipping allowance but not enough to ship the big pieces.

I’m definitely in a quandary at this point: If I sell everything I’ll for sure have a wad of cash. If I keep it all, I’ll have to pay storage for at least 2 years and that’s about $1800. I’d really like to know what international teachers already overseas have done with their belongs and if they later wished they had done something different. Thanks for your help with this question, any advice is appreciated.”

Still On the Fence About Teaching Internationally?

March 1, 2012

Are you considering going international & not quite sure the overseas life style is for you? You are not alone. A States-side teacher recently wrote to say: “I live in the U.S. & have a pretty great life. I have a stable teaching job that pays well with good benefits. I like the area where I currently live & am blessed with great friends. HOWEVER, I keep getting this pull in my gut towards travel & adventure. I want to see places & meet new people, explore exotic cultures, eat weird foods, be thoroughly challenged…”

f these comments resonate harmoniously in your psyche, you’re no doubt looking for some answers to help you get off that fence. Good news! Our States-side teacher posed 5 insightful questions, the answers to which are certain to help you decide which side of the fence is the right side for you. ISR invites experienced international teachers to lend a helping hand & shed some light on the following questions:

1. If you could go back in time, would you teach internationally or stay at home?
2. Are you financially better off teaching internationally?
3. Has it been easy to make friends or has it been lonely away from home?
4. What have been your favorite countries and/or schools?
5. What are the best things about teaching internationally? What are the worst?

My Favorite International Teacher Blog

February 23, 2012

Blogging is now the preferred medium of International Educators for sharing overseas travel and teaching adventures with friends and family. With plenty of space for commentary, Blogs also provide ample room for photos, and even home-made video clips. Best of all, Blogs are designed for interaction between reader and Blog owner. Taking just minutes to set up a personal Blog, it’s small wonder Blogging has become so popular among international educators.

Blogs are actually more than a great way to share experiences with folks back home and can be of tremendous value to other International Teachers, especially those new to the international teaching adventure and looking for information. Reading about the experiences of overseas educators, particularly those in a region we may be considering for our next career move, helps immensely with the decision-making process.

International Teachers’ Blogs usually provide a first-hand look at what life is really like in various locations. A family Blog displaying a rewarding time for both parents and children can signal a family-friendly location. Photos strictly of fern and fauna may point to little available cultural activity. But, the real beauty of a Blog is that we can ask questions of the Blog owner, who can then personalize the information just for us.

We invite you to join us on My Favorite International Teacher Blog to share information about, and links to, Blogs of interest to International Educators.

Teaching in Indonesia May Be Out Next Year!

February 16, 2012

In 2013 an alarming education policy will take effect in Indonesia. The new legislation, Peraturan Pemerintah Republik Indonesia Nomor 17 tahun 2010, has far-reaching implications for international educators wishing to teach in Indonesia. Here are the basics of the legislation as explained to ISR:

1. “National Plus Schools” [nat’l curriculum + internat’l curriculum, eg: Cambridge] will now be called “International Schools.” This means that for every foreign teacher there must be 3 local Indonesian teachers. Foreign teachers will only be allowed to teach English and NOthing more, as all other subjects will be taught by locals.

2. Schools currently called “International Schools” will become “Foreign Schools.” NO Indonesian citizens will be allowed to attend these schools.

It appears international teachers in Indonesia will be relegated to teaching ESL. If this bill affects your plans, please join us here on the Indonesia Education Legislation Blog to share information and ideas on this topic with other international educators.