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International Teaching Qualifications


Job offersAs a result of your advice (guerilla tactics) and the web page, my husband and I have been offered teaching positions at an international school in Germany.

If you would like to utilize our experience as a testament to your service, we will gladly speak in support of joyjobs.com.”


Karen, 2 job offers

quoteI just wanted to let you know that thanks to your website and your Job Guide I received two job offers.

I was so prepared that I got a job offer from the first school that interviewed me. I couldn't believe it! I also scored interviews with nine different schools.

My two offers were from schools in Vietnam, which I found quite funny since I never in a million years even considered Vietnam.

I clicked right away with the recruiters from United Nations International School in Hanoi Vietnam and I received the offer 8AM the second morning of the fair! WOW!

Later that day I had two other schools call me back for 2nd interviews! So it was a success!

Thank you so much for guiding me through this whole process! What a wonderful resource and I will recommend it to others.”

—Karen W.

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It's up to every school to decide what qualifications to require. It's a free market out there, so much depends on the supply and demand situation at the particular location.

Obviously, the schools in popular countries receive a lot of applications so they tend to be picky. For example, the American school of Barcelona requires a MA for every teaching position.

Most international schools are happy with the following:

visa / age buttonA four-year bachelor's degree

visa / age buttonTeacher certificate from your state / country

visa / age buttonTwo years of full-time elementary or secondary school experience

visa / age buttonA two year commitment (there are short-term contracts as well)

visa / age buttonProfessional References


How to become certified. US candidates, please contact your state's Department of Education and Professional Certification. Most states have alternative certification programs for those who already have a degree (other than Education.)

UK candidates may try this website.

Certification is not always required, especially if you have substantial experience and the schools is pressed for time to fill a vacancy. However, your chances are noticeably greater if you have your teaching license updated and current.

Important. Schools can only legally hire those who meet the country's work visa requirements. They may include teaching credentials, education and age. For example, Turkey requires that all teaching candidates be certified, regardless of the position.

Note, that many schools in the EU will not sponsor a visa unless they can't find a suitable candidate from within the EU.

What teaching areas are in demand?

All those with experience in the IB programmes - PYP, MYP, DP. If you are not familiar with the IB, go to the IBO website.

Secondary (A-Level / AP / IB DP ) Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Computers, Music and Library Science. The certification requirement may be waived for these teachers.

Most frequent: Elementary / Primary Classroom educators, as well as English teachers, at various age levels. These positions are abundant all over the world.

Specialists, Guidance Counselor, and Department heads


MA is required.

You must have substantial experience (more than 5 years) and excellent references.

Oftentimes, knowledge of a foreign language is expected.

International experience is desired.

Senior Leadership: Principals and Head Teachers


The competition for administrative jobs is substantial. The schools prefer administrators with overseas experience and full certification.

The school boards look for experienced international leaders who are familiar with the accreditation process, the IB curriculum, international recruitment, fundraising, cross-cultural networking and who can operate in a foreign environment (bilingual).

You have to be prepared for a global search and tough competition. You are not in the position to be picky. ("I want a job in Italy only for no less than US$90,000.")

Couples and Dependents

The rule of thumb is one dependent per one full-time contract. (A non-teaching spouse is counted as a dependent.)

While many schools welcome teachers with children, some schools do not accept any number of dependents.

Teaching teams are encouraged to apply.  Most jobs go to those who have no more than two dependents (kids or spouses.) Again, it's a big world so there are always exceptions.

–Is there anything for non-teaching spouses?

Counselors, librarians, coaches, substitute teachers, school nurses, audio-video media specialists, and secretaries are needed and hired throughout the year.

Generally, a non-teaching spouse is considered a dependent. The rule of thumb is one dependent per one full-time teaching contract. Kids are usually enrolled in the same school, and the tuition fees are waived.

–How long are overseas contracts?

A two-year commitment is the usual requirement to qualify for the usual benefits, such as free air passage, housing / baggage allowances, insurances, tuition for dependents and the like. Most of these contracts are renewable, with a bonus.

Language schools (EFL/ESL) offer shorter contracts, from 2-3 months to a year.

–Do I need to know a foreign language?

No, you do not. The work language is English. There are very few positions that require knowledge of a foreign language. Of course, it's helpful to have some basic language skills for your afterschool activities.

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