What if I am interested in only one specific location?

CIS represents more than 700 schools from all over the world and, therefore, we prefer to register only educators who are willing to consider appointment in several geographical regions. We advise individuals against targeting specific schools or countries as we cannot guarantee which schools will have openings in your areas of expertise or utilize our services at any given time. If your search is focused on one specific location, we suggest you contact individual schools in your location of choice independently to find out about their openings/requirements. General contact details for CIS member schools may be found in our online Membership Directory.

Are employment opportunities available for educators with families or non-teaching partners?

Schools usually offer comprehensive benefits packages to internationally-hired staff. Housing or a housing allowance is also provided in most locations outside of Western Europe. In addition, schools sponsor visas and work permits for their international hires, including any dependents who may accompany them. Therefore, schools will be taking into consideration the extra costs and potential complications involved in relocating you and your family. An educator without dependents or a couple of which both partners are educators are each less expensive to hire. If you are a single candidate with dependent children or you have a non-teaching spouse, your chances of being offered a position will be somewhat reduced. It doesn’t preclude your registration with CIS but, understand that you will need to be flexible and open-minded as to where you would like to teach.

What if my partner is also an educator?

CIS has a successful track-record placing educator couples. You must both register separately online and enter the name of your partner in the field provided. Your records will be linked on our database and once your separate files are complete, they will be arranged back-to-back. Schools tend to focus on couples at the beginning of the recruitment season when they have the most vacancies to fill, as later on it may be difficult to find a subject fit.

Does CIS assist educators in specialist roles such as counselling, media, information technology and learning Support?

Yes, as long as educators hold an appropriate educational qualification in their areas of expertise and have experience working in a school.

Are non-EU citizens able to obtain jobs in Europe?

Many schools based in Europe are facing increased difficulty in obtaining work permits and visas for non-EU citizens. In order to obtain such documents, the schools must be able to prove that they are cannot meet their faculty requirements by hiring locally. Schools will be very specific about such requirements and it is best to check with them directly if not addressed.

How do I arrange for a visa?

The school will help arrange one for you if it is required and in most cases, cover the cost associated with the visa.

What is the standard contract length?

Two years, usually with the option to renew.

What salary and benefits can I expect to be offered?

It varies from school to school according to the cost of living in the host country, the size of the school, and local conditions. We encourage schools participating in a recruitment fair to complete an information sheet which includes a salary scale and check-list of benefits, prior to the event. Benefit packages may include: annual round-trip transportation to the school location, housing or a housing allowance, relocation/shipping allowance, settling-in allowance, medical and dental insurance, sick leave, tuition for school-aged children. When considering an offer, it is important to take account of the net rather than gross amount of the salary along with benefits package and as related to your personal situation. For example:

  • The salary offered is generous however, high local taxes must be paid and no housing is provided. An educator in this situation might struggle to support a family, but they may consider it worth it in order to work at an outstanding school in a country where they have always wanted to live.
  • The salary appears low but, there are no local taxes to be paid, housing is provided and the only expenses may consist of food and travel. The saving potential for a single educator or teaching couple in this scenario is high!

Can I teach in Australia?

Yes, schools in Australia do hire internationally. A visa will be required which is not necessarily something that the schools will arrange on your behalf. CIS has many member schools in Australia; however, they do not typically use our recruitment services for a variety of reasons; their location makes it too costly for recruiters to travel to our recruitment events; the schools follow a Southern Hemisphere academic year (ie the school year begins in February) and many of our candidates will be under Northern Hemisphere contracts.

Useful websites:

Are recruitment services available for educators seeking school leadership positions?

A different recruitment process exists for those educators seeking a Head of School/Director position as opposed to a teaching, counselling or educational specialist position. Applications for specific leadership vacancies as advertised on our website should be made on an individual basis. You will need to complete the leadership application form (available to download from the Leadership Search Services page of our website) in order to register and receive notifications of new vacancies. Note that leadership posts such as Vice Principal/Curriculum Coordinators/Team Leads, Heads of Department and Athletics/Activities Coordinators falls under the teacher recruitment remit.

Due to strong competition for leadership vacancies, applicants are usually required to have current experience working in an international school at the same level in order to be considered.

Are there age restrictions?

CIS does not have any age constraints; however, some schools are bound by the age restrictions imposed by the Foreign Ministries in their host countries; in many cases regulations must be complied with in order to procure visas/work permits. If you are around or past retirement age (60-65 approximately), finding a new international position may take longer and determination and flexibility will stand you in good stead. You may find the following article encouraging: Does Age Matter? International Schools and Overseas Hiring Practices

How much experience do I need?

In order to register with CIS, we require 1-2 year’s current teaching experience in addition to your student/practice teaching undertaken in order to become fully qualified. Note some schools actually have a policy of not hiring candidates without a minimum two years’ experience as they do not have sufficient support in place for a new teacher.

Can a new teacher find employment in an international school?

Some schools may consider hiring a newly qualified teacher if they can demonstrate previous relevant experience before obtaining their qualification. This might involve having taught English abroad or working as a teaching assistant. It is important that they can obtain excellent references and come across well in interview.

Please ensure you review the application process page before beginning.

Do I need IB training?

No, but IB teaching experience is considered an asset by many schools. Most reputable international schools around the world follow an external examination curriculum at the secondary school and, other than a school that might entirely follow the British National system of education, the IB is by far the most popular. The feedback which we receive from first time international school candidates reflect difficulty to get to interview stage without knowledge or understanding of the IB. Some schools which offer the IB programme and are located in less desirable areas may be willing to provide you with the training, but you might consider funding yourself on an IB certified workshop. You can then legitimately say that you are qualified to teach the IB programme, which will increase your chances of an appointment. The IB does offer the opportunity for online professional learning and more information can be found at their website:

Do I need to have a degree in the subject that I wish to teach?

In some countries/schools, yes, you will need a degree in the same subject you are teaching. This may be related to obtaining work permits / visas from the host country government. 

What qualifications and experience do I need to find a position as a Librarian?

You would need a library degree plus either teaching experience, or experience of working in a school library. School librarians, especially those at the elementary level, must be able to support classroom teachers in the content area of literacy. 

Does a degree together with an ESL certificate satisfy the qualification requirements for teaching internationally?

To meet CIS registration criteria and register with our recruitment service, candidates must have a formal teaching qualification in addition to a degree and an ESL certificate, unless the degree is in education. There are language schools around the world that do not require formal teacher certification but the quality and reputation of such schools vary. 

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CIS is a membership community working collaboratively to shape international education through professional services to schools,
higher education institutions, and individuals. Global citizenship is the centre of everything we do at CIS to support our members.
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