Which countries need international school teachers?

International Schools are in almost every country worldwide

Increasing numbers of teachers are looking to work overseas, or to continue their existing international school career with a move to a new country. Here we have a brief look at the growth of international schools, and below is the top 10 list of the current top countries for international schools.

How many international schools are there?

In the last two decades, the number of international schools globally has increased 4 times. According to data from ISC Research, there are now:

  • more than 10,000 international schools
  • half a million staff
  • teaching close to 6 million students

In another article we examine what has driven international school growth and why it is set to continue through this century!

What is an international school?

An international school provides an education using a curriculum that is typically different from that of the host country. (In some cases – such as ‘international’ schools in the UK – the curriculum may match the local curriculum but where the school, and often its students, are more international in orientation, potentially serving expat families).

The main curricula offered by international schools are:

  • British curriculum
  • US
  • International Baccalaureate

Where can I teach abroad?

There are now international schools in almost every country worldwide (and our members at Searchality are based in more than 160 countries).

Unsurprisingly, there are most jobs in the countries with the most international schools. As of 2019 the top 10 cities for international schools are:

  1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 309 schools
  2. Shanghai, China- 174 schools
  3. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 163 schools
  4. Beijing, China – 151 schools
  5. Doha, Qatar – 142 schools
  6. Singapore – 135 schools
  7. Tokyo, Japan – 125 schools
  8. Phnom Penh, Cambodia – 121 schools
  9. Bangkok, Thailand – 119 schools
  10. Karachi, Pakistan – 109 schools

Data from ISC Research 2019

However, although these are the top locations for international school teacher demand due to their concentration of international schools, you can likely find teaching jobs in every country worldwide. If you want to narrow down your search consider factors that are important to you:

  • Urban vs Rural
  • Number of seasons (4, or fewer!)
  • Range of temperatures
  • Travel opportunities
  • Personal hobbies and interests

Salaries do vary across countries too but your personal tastes will likely impact your savings potential much more than just the base salary and benefits. (For thoughts on earning and saving wisely, have a look at ex-teacher Andrew Hallam’s book: Millionaire Teacher).

If you search for a teaching job via Searchality’s website, you don’t have to restrict your search in advance.

We recommend you stay open to all countries and opportunities that match your skills and career interests. Your next job might in a fantastic location that you’d never even thought of!

We will then contact all suitable schools for you and if they like you, you can then confirm your interest in their specific role, opportunity and benefits package. (See how Searchality works).

(In a separate article here, we’ve had a look at what is driving the growth of international schools. Have a look)

What qualifications do I need to teach overseas?

For a full time position in an international school it is almost certain that you will need at least a teaching qualification and a Bachelor’s Degree. For the school to hire you (and get a visa for you from their local authorities), you will normally need to have at least two years’ teaching experience.

Some countries will have upper age limits too.

How can I find a job in an international school?

There are many ways to find jobs abroad. In the past these have been time-consuming and expensive, involving a combination of:

  • recruitment job fairs
  • direct school website applications
  • job ads
  • country-specific recruitment consultants

Searchality takes the time and cost out of finding jobs abroad. When you have entered your profile, we can apply instantly for all relevant jobs for you worldwide. Find out more.