Ten things to love about Cambodia

As you may know, our main hub here at Teacherhorizons is in the beautiful city of Siem Reap, Cambodia.  It is there I have spent the last 6 months enjoying the culture, climate and cuisine. We work with many schools in Cambodia, such as JPA who we mentioned recently in our blog The best international schools to teach at in the world. You can find out more about Cambodia and its opportunities via our Cambodia page, but I want to share my personal experience of this incredible country too. It was tough to choose just 10 great things about such a fantastic place but I gave it a go. So in no particular order…

 

1) Learning Khmer

20170523_230404_resizedOne of my reasons for moving abroad was to learn a new language and I was keen to end up some place where English is not widely spoken. Little did I know that many of the locals in Cambodia speak fantastic English and I wouldn’t need much Khmer to get by. But I tried anyway. My first experience of learning it came from a local man called Hi, who just started talking to me in a restaurant one day and taught me all the basics whilst I ate fried rice. He then told me about his family and showed me photos of them. I loved speaking Khmer. The language isn’t that hard when you get used to the different sounds and inflections, and the respect you get from locals when you use it is priceless. By the end of 6 months there I could pick words out of conversations and make attempts to get involved. In fact I once understood a man at the market asking his wife how much to charge me for a toy elephant. She replied “bei dollar” ($3), and he turned around to me and tried “nine dollars please”. Needless to say, I got it for 4!

 

bike ride2) The countryside

The countryside in Cambodia is unlike anywhere else, and in Siem Reap you only need to get on your bike and ride for 10 minutes before you reach dusty red roads surrounded by lush green rice paddies and palm trees. You can see for miles too, because of the flat landscape, which makes it even more stunning. I went on countless bike rides to enjoy this, one of which resulted in having to walk the bikes through bushes and ditches, only to end up at the Ton Le Sap river with no crossing for miles. Luckily a nice fisherman charged us a dollar, shoved our 7 bikes on his boat and trundled us across. Another time I decided to take the scenic route back from Kulen Mountain on the back of a friend’s dirt bike. That was a bumpy and skiddy experience that I won’t forget in a hurry – but was worth it when we stopped at lakes, climbed mini hills to look out over the paddies, and got lost in countless traditional villages.

 

3) The people
Phnom_Penh_sleeping_Tuk_Tuk_drivers_March_2009

We have already written a lovely blog piece about the smiling people of Cambodia, so I don’t feel like I need to repeat this too much. Have a read here. They are the most genuine and humbling people I have ever met, and I made many friends there who had a real impact on me. As a nation, they have been through a terrible time and have come out the other side better people than many of us could ever wish to be!

4)  Sweet coffee

In any local Khmer restaurant, you can request a ‘coffee with sweet milk’, which is an exceptionally strong iced coffee that has normally been slow dripped overnight, with condensed milk. It acts like rocket fuel. I actually had to cut down half way through my time there when Teacherhorizons candidates were struggling to catch my 100mph interview questions. It didn’t seem to affect the Cambodian tuk tuk drivers though, who would sit at these little cafes through much of the day drinking the rocket fuel, playing Khmer chess and then napping in a hammock which they had strung up in their tuk tuk.

 

 

running5) The villages

I had a few chances to get out into the rural villages of Cambodia during my time there. One was whilst working with Trailblazer Foundation which is a charity who support struggling communities in the areas of health, food security, education, and economic development. I helped to install wells and water filters in the villages surrounding Siem Reap, which was a fantastic experience. I was also able to see local villages during my many cycles around the temple ruins or on the way to one of the barays for swimming and barbecued frog. I loved the villages, there is a real sense of community there. When you cycle through you see all the children playing together in the rivers or the fields, or just lounging in the shade under their houses, which are normally self-built on stilts for that purpose. They would run after your bike practising their English: “Hello, hello, how are you? What is your name? Hello!” This would happen every time you pass a bunch of children. I never had my hands on the handlebars – always just waving and waving.

 

 

 

 

 

6) The food

phoLocal food in Cambodia is delicious. It is not spicy but they will always give you fresh chillies or a home made chilli and garlic sauce to spice things up if you want it. They have the fried rice and the noodle soup of other South East Asian countries but they also have their own dishes such as sour soup, lok lak (beef in a peppery soy sauce with rice), amok curry (fish based curry with coconut, turmeric, lemongrass and kaffir lime steamed in banana leaves). I actually was a bit of a traitor when I was there – I ate Vietnamese pho more than anything else, since we befriended a lovely lady in the Vietnamese area of town who charged $2.00 for a huge bowl which had pork, noodles and vegetables in it (find her on facebook here). My favourite breakfast was spicy fried pork and rice, served with a little bowl of soup and pickled vegetables. Delicious!

 

 

 

moto7) The roads

Now this was a love and a hate of mine in Cambodia. The best analogy to use to describe the roads in Siem Reap is the UK hazard perception test – a virtual prerequisite for the practical driving test, where you have to spot potential hazards and click on them. Eg. That car could pull out of the side road, *click* that child could run out *click*, that car could try to overtake on the blind corner *click*. In Cambodia though, every hazard happens. It’s not a hazard, it’s a given! Driving there is like playing a real life version of Mario Kart but with motorbikes and tuk tuks instead of go karts. Motorbikes hold up to 6 people; maybe 2 babies, a small child, a man, a woman and grandma. A tuk tuk holds up to 10, with people literally piled in the back and maybe a few straddling the joint between motorbike and trailer. I think the law is to drive on the right over there, but I was never quite certain in all honesty. One way systems are a free for all, and don’t even get me started on how the traffic lights work! It’s a definite experience, but be prepared to have some shady moments!

 

 

 8) The festivals

water pistolKhmers are always celebrating something. One day decorations are going up, and the next day the entire city will be one big party. My favourite festival was, of course, Khmer New Year (Chaul Chnam Thmey) which is held in April at the traditional Lunar New Year, and celebrates the end of the harvesting season, when farmers enjoy the fruits of their labor before the rainy season begins. I was well warned about the traditions of Khmer New Year through the stories and experiences of other expats, as well as the Khmer staff at the TH office (meet the team here!). However, I still don’t think I was prepared as we donned our waterproofs and pistols on the first night and entered the centre of the city. There was not a dry spot in sight. Every man woman and child had a water pistol and was squirting anyone they could see. On top of that, there was baby powder (often scented!) being thrown around. You can see plumes and clouds surrounding the streets and it sort of forms a slimy scented paste on your skin as you join in the celebrations. Every shop has a water station to refill pistols, and it genuinely feels like the whole city has regressed to childhood and is having the world’s most epic waterfight. Oh and it lasts 3 days. No joke, I was still being squirted on the street as I rode to work days later.

angkot watNot only is the centre the place to be at New Year, but the temples open up and are free for all. Locals and their families enjoy picnics and a fair around the outside of Angkor Wat. There’s shopping, dancing, music, food, and traditional games. My favourite games to watch were Leak Konsaeng, which involves chasing someone around a circle whipping them with a scarf, and  Veay Ka Orm, where they take turns to bash a suspended terracotta pot with a bamboo stick until it breaks and scatters sweets and talcum powder over the winners head. Alongside the games, the water fight continues. I braved the temples on the back of a motorbike and whilst my friend drove, I fought the battle. This time there were trucks crammed with Cambodians who were armed with buckets, guns and water bombs. We even got squirted with a pressure washer at one point! I’ve never enjoyed being part of a festival so much before. The locals especially appreciated us joining in, we know this because they would point, smile, wave, then promptly soak us.

 

 

9) Beauty treatments
thai massage

I had barely ever had a massage or had my nails done before I got to Cambodia. In the UK you pay a minimum of £50 for an hour massage and £25 for a manicure, and it’s a luxury I never felt I could justify. Cambodia (and much of Asia) on the other hand… I would spend $10 for shellac gel nails, and could go in with any picture of any design and have it done. Hello Christmas nails with snowdrops and Santas! I also had many massages, some of which were fairly normal, others which weren’t. When a friend came to visit we decided a four hand massage was an experience we should try. It was wonderful! Another time I got a Khmer massage for free when I bought a day pass to a posh hotel swimming pool. I was led through to a room full of beds and beckoned to change my clothes into some crazy looking grey outfit, which I couldn’t work out how to put on. I was looking so confused that the woman actually dressed me which was an awkward start.  Then she started the massage which began like normal – on your front with face in a hole – and turned into what I can only describe as enjoyable torture. She was pulling me in all directions and actually hitting me. She had me in positions I didn’t know I could get into, and was leaping around the bed like a maniac, twisting my limbs in hers and then yanking them. All this was happening to a soundtrack of intense power ballads like ‘my heart will go on’ and ‘I will always love you’, along with the sounds of slapping and grunting coming from neighbouring beds behind screens. I feel strongly that the Khmer massage is an experience everyone should have, but be warned – it is anything but soothing and relaxing!!

 

pub st10) Not feeling like a tourist

The sheer sincerity of the people of Cambodia, and the later introduction of tourism means that they welcome holidaymakers and expats with open arms, grateful for the trade we bring to their cities, but not abusing it as in other parts of South East Asia. I noticed this as soon as I touched down for the first time in Siem Reap International Airport, and there was a desk to go to for information about transfers to the city. The prices for a tuk tuk, a moto or a taxi were clearly laid out, and after living in Cambodia for 6 months I can confirm they are perfectly reasonable too. When I landed in Bangkok I was offered ten different prices to the city, with tourists and forums warning ‘don’t use the meter, it’s often rigged’ or ‘make sure you use the meter, else you’ll be scammed’, I didn’t know what to think! This genuineness of Cambodia was to continue for my entire stay. Whilst they hoik up prices in the centre like ‘pub street’, and you will haggle hard for your tourist tat in the markets, you won’t find any aggressive or pushy sellers, and if you step outside the tourist centre, in any shop, restaurant or market stall you will be charged like a local, especially if you speak a bit of Khmer! I never felt short changed and I never felt taken advantage of in Cambodia, and that was an authenticity I hadn’t anticipated from such a newly developing country. It’s things like this that made my love for the place grow stronger every day I was there.

 

I could go on forever about my love for Cambodia, but it’s time to wrap up! I hope that this post inspires you to give Cambodia a try, or heightens your excitement if you are lucky enough to be heading out there in August. Have a look at some last minute opportunities by heading to our Cambodia page. To apply you must sign up here. The country absolutely blew me away, and I don’t doubt it will do the same for you.

 

countryside

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

Green School, the Balinese dream school.

One of our unique selling points here at Teacherhorizons is that we visit many of the schools that we work with. We do this for a few reasons; to see the day to day running of the school, to meet the leadership team, to speak with students about what it’s like to learn there, and to ensure that we give accurate and first-hand information to our candidates. Our Operations Manager, Emily, was lucky enough to visit Green School in Bali just last month. So Emily, what is it like?

 

Some would consider Green School an educational paradise, and after my visit in April 2017 I would definitely agree. Not only is the school set in a stunning location, it also offers a forward-thinking, holistic approach to education that enables students to grow and develop into environmentally responsible and community minded individuals.

 

IMG_7897

 

First Impressions…

I couldn’t start with anything other than the school’s desire to instill environmental and social responsibility in their students. In order to achieve this, they use a very holistic and student guided approach to learning, which they feel inspires and empowers each child to be a ‘green leader’.

The open-air, bamboo classrooms at the school keep students constantly engaged with the environment and remind them of the beautiful world that is at their fingertips. Actually, all of the buildings and spaces at Green School are made from bamboo and are an architectural wonder in their own right. Both students and staff have comfortable, practical spaces to work and relax in, that not only serve their purpose but are a constant reminder of the school’s ethos and mission.

The staff! I met with a number of classroom teachers, as well as some of the senior leadership team. All were welcoming, enthusiastic, energetic leaders that were obviously passionate about more than just teaching children the information they need in order to pass a test.

We class Green School as one of the top schools to work at in the world. Read about it, and other top schools here.

 

IMG_7901

 

A Walk Through Campus…

Now you have a better idea of the kind of learning environment Green School is, I have to give you a little more detail about my visit and experience.

A walk through the campus really opened my eyes to the style of education on offer to students at Green School. Students have practical, hands-on opportunities to learn; from a rabbit hutch full of white, fluffy friends to a garden full of plants and vegetables that need tending to. Of course, students still spend some lessons with pen to paper, but ‘learning by doing’ is evident throughout the curriculum. One area where it is obvious is the teaching of entrepreneurial skills. Enterprise and Entrepreneurship are not subjects at Green School, but they are the backbone of every lesson. They are the ways of being and doing which will undoubtedly enable Green School students to impact the world.

 

 

“Students practice entrepreneurial skills on a regular basis – as questioners, thinkers, tryers, failers, and active learners. It starts with the youngest learners, forming personal characteristics, and builds throughout middle and high school where our advanced and confident learners make an impact on the world.”

 

 

IMG_7899 (1)

 

Truly Inspired…

During my visit I was invited to attend a talk by Wilbur Sargunaraj, India’s first YouTube star. Wilbur was talking to the high school students about being culturally intelligent and responsible on social media. Wilbur uses his online following to campaign about critical global issues of poverty, caste, exploitation and justice. The students were asked to think about how they could use their social media presence to create social change. Let me set the scene for you… I was sitting in an open-air, bamboo yoga studio, two stories up overlooking the Balinese countryside, listening to this talk with a bunch of high school students who were learning about how they can use technology in a pro-active and beneficial way. I was truly inspired! And honestly, I left ready to make some changes to my own social media presence and use.

Over lunch, which was a bowl full of colourful, freshly made Mexican dishes and salads, a female student plugged her microphone into an amp and started singing. She wasn’t nervous about sharing her talent with her peers or the staff and her music was greatly received. It was clear to me that it was common practise for students to be encouraged like this, not only by staff but also by their peers, to pursue whatever passion, project or idea inspires them.

 

 

When my day came to an end, I was left wondering why there aren’t more schools like Green School. The tranquil, lush surroundings of the school make a great environment for learning. The emphasis put on community, creativity, individuality, expression, innovation and growth can surely only lead to success for all involved.

“We believe in three simple rules underlying every decision: be local, let your environment be your guide and envisage how your grandchildren will be affected by your actions.”

IMG_7879

 

For the chance to work in this inspirational school or others in the same area, sign up here and look through our schools in Indonesia.

Do you work at another amazing international school which deserves a mention in our blog? Get in touch with editor@teacherhorizons.com to discuss your school and your blog idea.

Written by Emily Parkman, Teacherhorizons' multi-talented and super organised Operations Manager.

Beijing: A teacher’s experience

With schools in Asia starting to finish up their recruitment for 2017-18, we thought it might be fitting to have a chat with some of our candidates who have now been living and working there almost a year. Mike Manktelow is just finishing his first year at Yew Chung International School in Beijing. So come on Mike, how has it been?

 

 

Where are you teaching and what’s your school like? What made you choose that location/school?

I am teaching in Beijing, China, at a school called Yew Chung International School (YCIS). I choose this school as I wanted to develop as a teacher. It’s a big school group so it has great things that come along with it, like an attractive package and good CPD.

How did you get your job? What was the process like?

I got my job through Teacherhorizons who interviewed me first and then sent an application onto YCIS on my behalf. I was quickly notified by Teacherhorizons that I would be contacted for an interview and went from there. It was quite an exciting process and felt relatively easy.

Another happy teacher, Julia Clegg, has taught in Qingdao; read her story.

 

 

The Great Wall 4

 

What is the city like? Is there an active expat scene? What do you do in your free time?

The city is huge and buzzing! I’ve never experienced anything like it. It wasn’t like this was my first position abroad but I was in awe when I arrived in Beijing. Nothing really prepares you for the sheer size of the city, with millions of people and so much to do.

Which tourist sites or must-visit places are nearby?

Some of the tourist sites I have seen so far are The Great Wall, which is immense and so breathtaking, and The Forbidden City, which is also a great tourist area full of tradition and culture. There are lovely parks dotted around the city too, which are extremely nice to walk around on a sunny day.

What is the climate like? Is there any extreme weather? If so, how do you deal with it?

When I first arrived in Beijing in August it was boiling and very humid. But not uncomfortable somehow. It started to cool down a little bit towards the end of October.

 What’s the cost of living like? Are you able to save money?

The cost of living is relatively low. You can go to local markets and buy groceries quite cheaply. Also, local markets are full of great stuff and can be cheap depending on your bartering skills.

 

 

 

What is the food like? Is international food available? Have you tried any unusual local dishes?

The local food is great! The best and most famous Chinese I have had is the Peking Duck. Delicious! Basically duck wraps, but the best I’ve ever had.

How is the culture different from your home culture? Have you experienced any culture shock?

I wouldn’t say I have experienced much culture shock as I came directly from Mongolia to Beijing and not from the UK. The biggest shock for me was how big and busy the city was rather than the actual culture.

Another of our teachers Helen Weir has written a blog about learning Mandarin, read it here.

 

 

 

What’s the best thing about living and teaching in your chosen city? What have been your highlights so far?

One of the best things about Beijing is that it is an efficient city. You can get to where you want to go by bus or subway with minimal fuss and cost. Also if you are feeling lazy and don’t want to cook or go out to eat, you can have meals delivered to your door. We all know teachers have long days and weeks working very hard, so sometimes it’s great just to go home, order some food on your phone and wait for that knock on the door!  My highlights definitely include the trip to The Great Wall. It was incredible!

Are there any drawbacks? What kind of person would not be suited to this location?

Teaching abroad is a big adventure, so I would say you need to be adventurous. It might be months before you get to go home so you need to be the kind of person who is open and willing to live in a country with a completely different culture. You need to be a person who is comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone; being flexible is very important. Finally, you need to be able to laugh at things that do not always go right!

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of coming to live and work in your current location?

Go for it. You only live once! Have an open mind, be patient and have fun.

 

Yew Chung Education Foundation is one of our biggest school groups in China. To find out about others, sign up here and have a look at our schools in China.  To find out more general information about international schools in China, read a blog written by our very own, Alexis Toye.

Written by Mike Manktelow, a primary teacher in his third year teaching internationally. He is currently teaching a Year 6 class in Beijing, and was in Mongolia before that.

We asked our teachers… “Tell me a funny story”

At Teacherhorizons we love to get feedback from teachers about their experiences all over the world. We recently sent out a questionnaire to get some of this inside scoop. We have already shared with you the answers to “tell me something you have learned” (read it here) and there will be more to read in the coming months!

This week I am going to let you in on some responses to: “Tell me about a funny or interesting moment that has happened to you whilst teaching internationally”. Enjoy!

 

“I enjoy little moments that are totally different from anything that would happen in my own country. For example, I remember looking outside my window whilst marking at my desk to see a snake chase and eventually catch a frog; it was like a real life David Attenborough episode! I later saw Archie the school pup chase a snake and think he had killed it, only to then watch it then wiggle away moments later.”

 

“I guess the funny things usually come from misunderstandings, due to accents or different uses of words. But the thing that makes it memorable is seeing students coming into a system with no knowledge of the language and just pushing through the fear. It is amazing when they finally start smiling as words begin to make sense. I still get a thrill from teaching science with an Australian accent and hearing the kids saying it exactly the same as me.”

 

“I love Asia: On one of my first days of teaching there was a funny noise coming from the AC, it seemed like it was wheezing and stuttering. Then, a dead lizard flew out of it and landed on the floor with scales falling like rain all over the students.”

laughing students

“My most memorable teaching experience is during a countrywide, three day storm, when I had to teach a lesson using the torches on students’ phones, covered by clear water bottles, as lamps.”

 

“I enjoy the cultural differences which can feel horrendously awkward at the time but are hilarious later. One example for me is when the Head Teacher of the school I worked at in Nepal wanted to hold my hand as he showed me around the premises. I politely declined.”

 

“My most memorable experience was when I was teaching the grade 4 pupils and one of them interrupted me saying he knew what I was teaching and told a completely out of topic explanation. I felt I had to let him finish but it was all so wrong.”

 

“A memorable moment for me was in December last year when I had to go briefly back to my country, Kenya, so I left school a week before it closed. My pupils became very emotional because they thought I was not coming back. I was really touched to see how much they loved and appreciated me.”

 

Do you have your own funny or interesting stories? Please feel free to comment below, or to contribute to our teacher questionnaire by clicking here and answering the questions. We would love to use your answers in our next blog!

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

The best international schools to teach at in the world.

We work with some incredible schools here at Teacherhorizons, many of which blow us away with the difference they are making to future generations; and they are looking for new teachers every year. In this blog we want to introduce you to a few of these.

So here are, in our opinion, some of the best schools to teach at in the world. Prepare to be amazed.

 

green schoolGreen School is a wall-less, natural campus that is located in the middle of the rice paddies and jungle in Bali, Indonesia. The school educates for sustainability through community-integrated and entrepreneurial learning. Open-air bamboo structures encourage the children to connect with their environment, chase adventure, and pursue their passions. Their holistic approach to education engages the four intelligences — physical, emotional, intellectual and intrapersonal — through the Three Frames of Learning. Children in the Primary School can take part in special activities that range from helping with the daily running of the school to learning about the arts and culture of Bali which are integrated into the school‘s festivals and assemblies.

Green School is a truly inspirational school whose founders state “we are building Green School to create a new paradigm for learning. We want children to cultivate physical sensibilities that will enable them to adapt and be capable in the world. We want children to develop spiritual awareness and emotional intuition, and to encourage them to be in awe of life’s possibilities.”
Interested in Indonesia? Browse our international schools in Indonesia to find your perfect position.

 

 

African Leadership Academy (ALA) is a unique school which seeks to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting its future leaders. The Academy selects exceptionally gifted young people from 35 countries across Africa and offers them scholarships to a world class education in South Africa. It welcomes teachers from around the world to inspire the students to become Africa’s leaders after attending Ivy League universities. The school combines an intense curriculum with a focus on ethical and entrepreneurial leadership skills, discussion-based lessons and strategic development, empowering its students to face these issues head-on. African Leadership Academy seeks to transform Africa, achieve extraordinary social impact and accelerate the continent’s growth trajectory. And we have no doubt that they will.

Click here to have a look at other opportunities in South Africa.

 


JPAJay Pritzker Academy (JPA)
is a Pre-K – Senior Year (3-18 year olds) co-ed day school, located approximately 10 miles from Siem Reap, Cambodia. It is an incredibly special school, made so by its student intake, mission and values. JPA takes academically talented and motivated students from the small villages in rural Cambodia and gives them a first class American education which enables them to achieve scholarships and study at top international Universities. The school’s mission is to maximize the potential of its students and enable them to build a better future for themselves, their families and their country. Many of us here at Teacherhorizons have visited JPA and found it to be a haven of peace and tranquility;  a description which refers both to its exterior and scenic grounds in the countryside as well as inside its beautifully behaved classes.

Want more info? Read this blog written by a JPA teacher.

 

 

????????????????????????????????????Prem Tinsulanonda International is a truly exceptional school, which is guided by its philosophy of “educating global citizens who strive for excellence, live sustainably, lead responsibly, celebrate diversity, and whose integrity champions a just and more peaceful world.” In line with this holistic approach to education, Prem is an accredited IB school, and teaches the IB curriculum at PYP, MYP and DP. Another of the school’s unique selling points is its location. Prem is just 20km north of Chiang Mai, and this attracts students and teachers from all over the world. Whilst Prem has facilities for full boarders, at the same time, it caters for local students from Chiang Mai.

Read this blog for more information about how to break into the world of IB!

 

 

Woodstock School is situated in a truly stunning and remote part of the world. Sitting in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, the school takes full advantage of this location by placing a strong emphasis on outdoor education, which they encourage through their partnership with the Hanifl Centre. Students study for an American High School Diploma, while the school also runs the iGCSE and AP programmes.
Woodstock is a Christian learning school, but this doesn’t mean that you have to be a Christian to apply. Instead, they’re looking for teachers who are ready to join a close-knit, supportive community, and become fully involved in the school’s pursuit of a holistic education for their students.
Interested in India? Browse our international schools in India to find your perfect position.

 

 

 

uwc thailand2United World College Thailand is part of the UWC movement which consists of schools and colleges in 17 different countries. UWC schools offer scholarship and bursary schemes and some accept a number of fee-paying students. The group has a dedicated and expert bunch of volunteers who form their ‘National Committee’ and select students from their home countries to join the movement. Students selected for UWC must fit the values of the movement by being internationally and interculturally aware and must have a passion for environmental sustainability. They have compassion, integrity and a sense of idealism. Finding these students and bringing them together in a celebration of difference is what UWC schools are all about, and with more than 60.000 alumni they are making an outstanding movement.

UWC Thailand is an IB community welcoming students aged 2- 18 years. Situated in beautiful northern Phuket, Thailand, they have students from 65 different nationalities making them a truly international community. Their mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. The curriculum includes social-emotional learning and mindfulness.

We recently began working with UWC Dilijan, in Armenia! Find out more details here. 



schule schlossSchule Schloss Salem is one of the most beautiful schools we work with in the world. Located in an old German castle situated in the foothills of the Alps, it has stunning views over Lake Konstanz and the Switzerland in the distance. It’s unique in that it is both a grammar school and a boarding school offering an international education through the IB. Teacherhorizons teachers we’ve placed at SSS speak highly of the philosophy, the students and the support they have had from the school. The quality of life for teachers is also very good with an excellent package and benefits available. The school is a member of the prestigious Round Square network of schools which span across fifty countries.

To learn more about international school salaries and packages, read this blog written by one of our Directors, John Regan. John is also a former international Principal so knows his facts!

 

 

United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) is also part of the UWC movement, and we rate it as one of the most inspiring schools to teach at in the world with its focus on developing its students into caring and principled future leaders. The school offers scholarships to students from all over the world giving the school a genuinely international, collaborative feel.  Teacherhorizons has visited the school a number of times and supported with recruitment since 2012. the facilities are fantastic and the package offered to teachers is one of the best around. Competition is always tough but feedback from teachers we’ve placed there is overwhelmingly positive. UWC has 17 schools and colleges across five continents so teaching at a UWC school opens doors to opportunities in other locations.
Nelson Mandela best described the UWC group when he said: “The striking thing about the UWC is that they embrace the entire world across all divides of race, history, culture, wealth, religion, economic status and political belief”.
Interested in working at this incredible school? Read more about the school and its opportunities here. 

 

As we grow, we will work with more and more of these exciting and innovative schools, so make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates. If you want to teach somewhere like GreenSchoolALAPremJPAWoodstock SchoolSchule Schloss Salem, UWC Thailand or UWC South East Asia then simply sign up here to get started.

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

The best international schools to teach at in the world.

We work with some incredible schools here at Teacherhorizons, many of which blow us away with the difference they are making to future generations; and they are looking for new teachers every year. In this blog we want to introduce you to a few of these.

So here are, in our opinion, some of the best schools to teach at in the world. Prepare to be amazed.

 

green schoolGreen School is a wall-less, natural campus that is located in the middle of the rice paddies and jungle in Bali, Indonesia. The school educates for sustainability through community-integrated and entrepreneurial learning. Open-air bamboo structures encourage the children to connect with their environment, chase adventure, and pursue their passions. Their holistic approach to education engages the four intelligences — physical, emotional, intellectual and intrapersonal — through the Three Frames of Learning. Children in the Primary School can take part in special activities that range from helping with the daily running of the school to learning about the arts and culture of Bali which are integrated into the school‘s festivals and assemblies.

Green School is a truly inspirational school whose founders state “we are building Green School to create a new paradigm for learning. We want children to cultivate physical sensibilities that will enable them to adapt and be capable in the world. We want children to develop spiritual awareness and emotional intuition, and to encourage them to be in awe of life’s possibilities.”
Interested in Indonesia? Browse our international schools in Indonesia to find your perfect position.

 

 

African Leadership Academy (ALA) is a unique school which seeks to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting its future leaders. The Academy selects exceptionally gifted young people from 35 countries across Africa and offers them scholarships to a world class education in South Africa. It welcomes teachers from around the world to inspire the students to become Africa’s leaders after attending Ivy League universities. The school combines an intense curriculum with a focus on ethical and entrepreneurial leadership skills, discussion-based lessons and strategic development, empowering its students to face these issues head-on. African Leadership Academy seeks to transform Africa, achieve extraordinary social impact and accelerate the continent’s growth trajectory. And we have no doubt that they will.

Click here to have a look at other opportunities in South Africa.

 


JPAJay Pritzker Academy (JPA)
is a Pre-K – Senior Year (3-18 year olds) co-ed day school, located approximately 10 miles from Siem Reap, Cambodia. It is an incredibly special school, made so by its student intake, mission and values. JPA takes academically talented and motivated students from the small villages in rural Cambodia and gives them a first class American education which enables them to achieve scholarships and study at top international Universities. The school’s mission is to maximize the potential of its students and enable them to build a better future for themselves, their families and their country. Many of us here at Teacherhorizons have visited JPA and found it to be a haven of peace and tranquility;  a description which refers both to its exterior and scenic grounds in the countryside as well as inside its beautifully behaved classes.

Want more info? Read this blog written by a JPA teacher.

 

 

????????????????????????????????????

Prem Tinsulanonda International is a truly exceptional school, which is guided by its philosophy of “educating global citizens who strive for excellence, live sustainably, lead responsibly, celebrate diversity, and whose integrity champions a just and more peaceful world.” In line with this holistic approach to education, Prem is an accredited IB school, and teaches the IB curriculum at PYP, MYP and DP. Another of the school’s unique selling points is its location. Prem is just 20km north of Chiang Mai, and this attracts students and teachers from all over the world. Whilst Prem has facilities for full boarders, at the same time, it caters for local students from Chiang Mai.

Read this blog for more information about how to break into the world of IB!

 

 

Woodstock School is situated in a truly stunning and remote part of the world. Sitting in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, the school takes full advantage of this location by placing a strong emphasis on outdoor education, which they encourage through their partnership with the Hanifl Centre. Students study for an American High School Diploma, while the school also runs the iGCSE and AP programmes.
Woodstock is a Christian learning school, but this doesn’t mean that you have to be a Christian to apply. Instead, they’re looking for teachers who are ready to join a close-knit, supportive community, and become fully involved in the school’s pursuit of a holistic education for their students.
Interested in India? Browse our international schools in India to find your perfect position.

 

 

 

uwc thailand2United World College Thailand is part of the UWC movement which consists of schools and colleges in 17 different countries. UWC schools offer scholarship and bursary schemes and some accept a number of fee-paying students. The group has a dedicated and expert bunch of volunteers who form their ‘National Committee’ and select students from their home countries to join the movement. Students selected for UWC must fit the values of the movement by being internationally and interculturally aware and must have a passion for environmental sustainability. They have compassion, integrity and a sense of idealism. Finding these students and bringing them together in a celebration of difference is what UWC schools are all about, and with more than 60.000 alumni they are making an outstanding movement.

UWC Thailand is an IB community welcoming students aged 2- 18 years. Situated in beautiful northern Phuket, Thailand, they have students from 65 different nationalities making them a truly international community. Their mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. The curriculum includes social-emotional learning and mindfulness.

We recently began working with UWC Dilijan, in Armenia! Find out more details here. 



schule schlossSchule Schloss Salem is one of the most beautiful schools we work with in the world. Located in an old German castle situated in the foothills of the Alps, it has stunning views over Lake Konstanz and the Switzerland in the distance. It’s unique in that it is both a grammar school and a boarding school offering an international education through the IB. Teacherhorizons teachers we’ve placed at SSS speak highly of the philosophy, the students and the support they have had from the school. The quality of life for teachers is also very good with an excellent package and benefits available. The school is a member of the prestigious Round Square network of schools which span across fifty countries.

To learn more about international school salaries and packages, read this blog written by one of our Directors, John Regan. John is also a former international Principal so knows his facts!

 

 

United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) is also part of the UWC movement, and we rate it as one of the most inspiring schools to teach at in the world with its focus on developing its students into caring and principled future leaders. The school offers scholarships to students from all over the world giving the school a genuinely international, collaborative feel.  Teacherhorizons has visited the school a number of times and supported with recruitment since 2012. the facilities are fantastic and the package offered to teachers is one of the best around. Competition is always tough but feedback from teachers we’ve placed there is overwhelmingly positive. UWC has 17 schools and colleges across five continents so teaching at a UWC school opens doors to opportunities in other locations.
Nelson Mandela best described the UWC group when he said: “The striking thing about the UWC is that they embrace the entire world across all divides of race, history, culture, wealth, religion, economic status and political belief”.
Interested in working at this incredible school? Read more about the school and its opportunities here. 

 

As we grow, we will work with more and more of these exciting and innovative schools, so make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates. If you want to teach somewhere like Green SchoolALAPremJPAWoodstock SchoolSchule Schloss Salem, UWC Thailand or UWC South East Asia then simply sign up here to get started.

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

Happy Teachers in 2017

We have had a record-breaking year so far in 2017, placing more teachers than ever in some amazing locations. Our Recruitment Advisers have enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them, and sharing in their joy when they received that dream offer. In this week’s blog, we look at some inspiring feedback from a few of the teachers we have helped on their international adventure this year.

 

Harriet Kilvington-ShawHarriet is moving to Hong Kong!

“I uploaded all my details to the teacher horizons site. Then I had a short chat with Anisha about what I was looking for and who would be coming with me. Having completed this process it was really easy, as I could just say that I wanted to go for a job without having to fill in endless applications again. This is great when you are really busy with your current job at the same time!

Using Teacherhorizons was great because it took the tediousness out of applications. You just have to focus on making one good application for the site and from that, they can recommend you to many schools. You also have someone to help you chase up schools if they are being slow getting back to you.

I am so excited to move to a bigger school and live in Hong Kong.”

Check out the schools we work with in Hong Kong.

 

Donna WatsonDonna is coming to join us here in Cambodia!

“The Teachehorizons website was great to spark my interest in the opportunities that exist all over the world. It provided a lot of information on the school, the country and other details too. The response time was very fast and the registration process couldn’t have been easier.

Tiffany from Teacherhorizons was the most amazing support. She was friendly and approachable and was happy to talk through my thinking and provide assistance in links or other people to speak to. She was quick to respond and was fair in trying to sort things out between schools and me. She took a real interest in me as a person and finding the best place for me, not just finding me a job.

I am now looking forward to working in a positive environment in a beautiful country.”

Everyone in Cambodia is smiling, have a look here! Or read this blog about teaching here.

 

 

Chris SaundersChris is going to teach in China!

“My Recruitment Adviser, Maggie, was amazing. She had great knowledge of the area and the schools and she made me feel very comfortable and confident from our first email to our skype call and after that. TH worked really hard promoting my CV and getting me an interview at a wonderful school in Eastern China.

I recommend using Teacherhorizons 100 percent times 50. I have mentioned them to many of my current colleagues so that they can benefit from the excellent service.

The move can’t come quick enough, I would start tomorrow ideally. Every day I’m thinking about my family and our new life in China, watching YouTube videos about the local area and doing some light reading. I have also starting to plan some new projects to teach when I get there.”

Read more about working in China. 

 

 

Melissa Diehl (1)Melissa is moving to Lebanon!

“Caroline from Teacher Horizons went above and beyond, helping me identify appropriate roles and counselling me in times of doubt! I felt a high degree of professionalism that I haven’t experienced with any other agency. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to her for her patience and support throughout this process.

I would recommend Teacherhorizons to other educators, because of their positive and encouraging approach to teacher recruitment. I feel confident that they are representing excellent schools and they have the teachers’ best interest in mind.

I can’t wait to work in Lebanon, in an intellectually challenging environment with forward thinking educators.”

Want to join Melissa? Have a look at schools in Lebanon. 

 

 

 

If you’re inspired, then why not browse our latest jobs in South America, Asia or Europe? Visit more of our happy teachers blogs to read more testimonials and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries.

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

Expat feedback: The truth about life in El Salvador

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, but has one of the biggest reputations. It is well known for its high crime rate, and gang violence headlines dominate your computer screen when you search it on Google. However, beneath this reputation there are luscious mountains and vast rainforests, broad valleys wedged between incredible volcanoes, and black-sand beaches with perfect surf.

So what is it really like there? Which of these two sides of El Salvador wins out? We asked one of our teachers, Matthew Sytsma, a few questions to find out.

 

Where are you teaching and what is it like to teach over there?

I live in San Salvador and work at The American School of El Salvador (Escuela Americana). I’ve worked here for 5 years now and have almost all good things to say about the school and the country. The students here are great, the only behavioural “issue” is general chattiness, but that is a very manageable problem. As in any school, there are dedicated students who perform well in all their courses, and the other “half” you need motivate with creativity and positivity. All of the students are generally good kids with positive intentions. They want to get to know you and are eager to have meaningful discussions in class.

 

What is the city like? Is there an expat scene? What do you do in your free time?

Life in El Salvador is AMAZING! There is so much to do. The American School community has been great every year so far.. The current community has people with many different interests: from Dungeons and Dragons, to serious biking, to surfing, to ultimate frisbee, to travel, etc.

I feel safe living here. The neighborhood for international teachers is gated off from the school and has its own guards protecting the gate from the street. The school and housing are located in a very safe and beautiful neighborhood. The community is enriched by the very large US Embassy that is a 10 minute drive from the school, where a group of us play ultimate frisbee twice a week. There is also a great community of international teachers working at the British School, 10 minutes away. Between the American School, The British School, and the US Embassy, plus all of the other expats here for various other jobs, the community is great.

El Salvadorans are also some of the most welcoming people in the world. You will feel accepted immediately pretty much anywhere you go. I had the opportunity to play American football with a group of local El Salvadorans, some of my friends from the British school also joined a local rugby team. There are local cultural events such as a fireball throwing celebration in Nejapa and a day of the dead (they call it “La Calabiuza”) celebration in Tonacatepeque among many others.

Another happy teacher, Eldon Pascoe moved to Mexico! Read his first impressions here.

 

Atardecer_-_Salinitas_El_Salvador
Which tourist sites or must-visit places are nearby?

El Salvador has a little bit of everything and its all within 3 hours (most much closer). There are great volcano hikes (the best is Santa Ana), there are beautiful crater lakes (Lago de Coatepeque and Lago Ilopango), there are beautiful rainforests (Imposible National Park), excellent camping/hiking (Montecristo), Mayan Ruins (Tazumal), and some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see (Punta Mango, El Zonte, etc).

There are so many things to do in El Salvador too. It is probably the best country in the world to learn to surf. The water is warm, the waves are consistent, there are no sharks and the crowds are much smaller than in the rest of the world. Our expat group gets together over many weekends to rent out a beach/lake house. (The best one is at the surf point “Punta Mango”).

 

What is the climate like? Is there any extreme weather? If so, how do you deal with it?

It feels like summer all year round. There is a dry season (November – May) and a rainy season (June – October). During the rainy season it rains pretty consistently in the late afternoon, but the rest of the day is still sunny. Overall, amazing climate compared to most places in the world.

What is the food like? Is international food available? Have you tried any unusual local dishes?

The local food is pupusas (tortillas packed with ingredients in the middle), eggs, chicken, rice, local cheese, plantains, etc. It’s a tropical climate so you get all the fruit and veggies that typically go with that.

There is also a decent amount of other international options at a relatively cheap price. There are some good German restaurants, Indian food, Italian, Sushi, etc.

 

How is the culture different from your home culture? Have you experienced any culture shock?

The biggest culture shock for me is always when I go back to the US. People are extremely nice and genuine here. You feel welcomed and are treated like you are special. Going back to the US people seem more stressed, less genuine, and as if they care less about others.

You will read a lot about gangs and violence in the news about El Salvador. The news is all true and it is very sad that ugly things are happening in parts of this beautiful country. Know however, that El Salvador is very clearly split into safe areas and not safe areas. There are a few places you do not ever want to go to in El Salvador, but most of the country is safe compared to other countries, even those with better reputations right next door. In my five years here I have never been robbed or heard any gun shots. The crime in El Salvador is gang related and rarely comes in contact with expats or tourists. I have heard many horror stories of robbings in Guatemala and Honduras, but very few in El Salvador. Again, it is horrific what the gangs are doing to the local poor and marginalized population, but those problems have not yet affected expat life in the country.

Another of our teachers comments on the culture in Quito, Ecuador.

 

What’s the cost of living like? Are you able to save money?

It’s really cheap living in El Salvador, and it helps that the school sets you up with a house. The only cheaper country I’ve come across in Central America is Nicaragua.

Are there any drawbacks to living in your city? What kind of person would not be suited to this location?

There’s a big drawback if you are the kind of person who just goes home after work and stays there. The coolest things to do in El Salvador are outside of the city (there are some great things inside the city during the week that I mentioned before as well). For this reason either having a car, or having a close friend with a car is vital, as the public transportation isn’t very safe.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of coming to live and work in your current location?

Come with an adventurous spirit and you won’t be disappointed. This school and this country has a ton to offer if you come with a positive attitude and are willing to throw yourself out there a bit.

Having written this I’m confused as to why I’m leaving… You would not regret coming to this beautiful country with its wonderful, welcoming people, and vast array of things to do. You would fall in love with it, and be happy in your work. I would full heartedly recommend working in El Salvador to my closest friends and family.

So perhaps, in fact, El Salvador could be Central America’s most underrated country! Are you keen to see for yourself? Why not browse schools and check out our current vacancies? You will have to be signed in to see them in full. Sign up to Teacherhorizons here!

Written by Matthew Sytsma, a dedicated educator, who has been teaching Politics, History and Geography at Escuela Americana in El Salvador for five years.

We asked our teachers… “Tell me something you have learned”

At Teacherhorizons we love to get feedback from teachers about their experiences all over the world. We recently sent out a questionnaire to get some of this inside scoop. In various blogs throughout the next few months I am going to share with you some stories, some ups and downs and some true thoughts and feelings which have come directly from international teachers. I hope that these blogs will help answer your questions, perhaps give you the confidence to take the plunge, or at the very least, provide an interesting read.

This week I am going to let you in on some responses to: “Tell me something you have learned from teaching internationally that you wouldn’t have learned from teaching in your own country”.

 

globe“I have learned that education can be enjoyed by teachers and by pupils, and that school and learning can be seen by children as a choice rather than as an obligation. There doesn’t need to be so much pressure and stress put on staff and pupils.  I feel that this could be achieved easily if assessment was more formative.”

“I have learned just how small the world is. Teaching is teaching anywhere, just with a few differences in the syllabus or  teaching methods, and these are great things to learn from and reflect on.”

“Teaching abroad has given me more enthusiasm than I ever had back home, and I have learned that enthusiasm is infectious. It can make a difference to the atmosphere and morale within your classroom and within your department. When things are not going well, I have learned to avoid gossiping or sharing negativity. Try to be frank but think about when and how to convey issues especially to those in leadership.”

Have a think about these 10 reasons to teach internationally.

 

clapping

“I have learned that US spelling and punctuation rules are very different to those in the UK!”

“You learn so much from teaching abroad. It is much easier to become a learner yourself (which is important for teachers!). You see new things every day, and that is thought provoking, inspiring and life affirming. You think about new things, meet new kinds of people and see things from new perspectives. I think teaching abroad helps teachers keep an open mind – something that can get harder for everyone as they get older.”

“I have learned that children are far more resilient than we give them credit for.”

Click here to sign up to Teacherhorizons (it takes just 60 seconds but may change your life!)

 

 

laughing children

“I have learned that kids are the same all over the world. They mostly want to be happy and have fun and laugh with/at their teachers! They also all genuinely enjoy learning (even though some pretend not to) if they are taught well.”

“I have learned how important it is to see new things, get inspired and keep an open mind. Teachers at home suffer from stress and burnout – not just because it’s often tough but because they don’t have an open mind. Teaching abroad can be a welcome break for many teachers. Even if it’s for just a couple of years, they can return home and bring a fresh approach to their teaching.”

 

 

Please feel free to comment below, or to contribute to our teacher questionnaire by clicking here and answering the questions. I would love to use your answers in our next blog!

 

Written by Tiffany Kibblewhite, Teacherhorizons Blog Manager and Recruitment Adviser.

Top tips for selling your teaching experience at interview.

Congratulations! All the work that went into updating your CV and completing your profile has paid off. You’ve made it through the shortlisting, and have been invited for an interview at your dream school. Now, with the chance of a job offer within reach, it’s up to you to make sure that you nail the interview, and land that dream job!

 

Interviews are the time for you sell yourself and your teaching experience; to show the interviewer that their school cannot possibly pass up this opportunity to take you on on-board. At the same time, you must try not to come across as too arrogant, as this can quickly turn your interviewer against you. It is a balancing act that is tough to perfect.

At Teacherhorizons, we are proud of the fact that we support our teachers entirely throughout the process of gaining a new international teaching position. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of 6 interview tips that from our experience, will really improve your chances of success.

 

1) Be enthusiastic

This is perhaps the most important advice we can offer. You should be prepared to speak with passion and enthusiasm about your subject and your motivations to teach. How will you answer questions about what made you become a teacher, what’s the best part of your day? What examples can you give to tell the interviewer about your imaginative and engaging lessons?

Engage with your interviewer, show your passion for teaching, and make sure they’re listening to every last word.

For more tips on first impressions, read a blog written by John Regan, one of our Recruitment Advisers who is also an experienced international school Principal.

 

2) Know your curriculum.

So, it turns out your dream school teaches a curriculum that you don’t have experience of. Gulp.

If this is the case, and you’re being invited to interview, it’s highly likely that the school will be willing to train you in this new curriculum. Still, you can prepare by taking the time to research the school’s curriculum, and find out as much about it as possible.

Show that you understand how assessment works in the AP, that you know what the Theory of Knowledge course entails in the IB, and how GCSEs are now being graded from 9-1. Completing this research is a great way to show your interviewer that, even without experience, you’re ready to take on the challenges of teaching a new curriculum.

 

3) Dress to impress.

The interview may be via Skype, but make sure you are dressed appropriately. If it’s early in the morning before work, or in the evening after a long day at school, make sure you’re wearing appropriate business dress. These small touches can really help to impress a prospective employer.

For tips specific to Skype interviews, have a read of this blog.

 

4) Know your school

What values does the school hold? Does it place a particular emphasis on sports or the performing arts? When was it founded?

Research the school as thoroughly as you’ve researched the curriculum, and think of examples to show how you demonstrate its values in your own teaching.

 

5) Extra-curricular experience

Many schools are looking for teachers who can offer a contribution both inside and outside the classroom. If you have experience of extra-curricular involvement, make sure to bring this up in your interview.

Coaching sports teams, leading student bands, running debate clubs; all of these experiences will be of great interest to your interviewer.

Find more info about getting involved outside of school here.

 

6) Know your statistics

We’ve all worked hard to help our students achieve well in their exams. What track record do you have with results? These statistics can be a great way to showcase your impact in the classroom, whether it’s the number of students who you guided from a D to a C, or the overall pass rate of your classes.

What are international schools really looking for in a teacher? Find out. 

 

At Teacherhorizons we are here to provide extra help or advice at any stage, so please do get in contact with your Recruitment Adviser if you are feeling especially worried about your interview. We have taken the time to get to know our schools well, so can often give a little bit of extra inside scoop. The main thing is to relax into the interview, and try to bond with your interviewer. Make sure you ask all of your burning questions too because remember, interviews are also a chance for you to get to know the school and make an informed decision about whether it is somewhere you would like to continue your teaching career.

GOOD LUCK!

 

We hope this advice is useful, please let us know your success stories by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page. If you would like to write a blog to share your advice and experiences with other curious teachers get in touch with Tiffany on editor@teacherhorizons.com.

Written by Henry Burke, our very own Maths, Business and Economics Recruitment Adviser. Henry works in our Siem Reap office and has successfully placed many teachers this year...He knows his stuff!