Wondering if you should sign the contract you received from the international school you recently applied to? Here are some things to consider before you do!
If you haven’t already read reviews on the working conditions before applying to the international school, it’s worth checking some out before you sign the dotted lines, and the websites below are a good place to start.
International Schools Review
International School Community
International Schools and Information
Alongside reading school reviews, it’s also a good idea to check how the salary they are offering compares to other international schools in the area; if it’s significantly lower, this could be a red flag.
Double check your expected working hours and holidays as some schools will require you to run after school activities during the week or to help run programs over the holidays. Make sure you know what the expectations are and if you are okay with them.
Does the school have a dress code? If so, are you willing to comply with what they are asking?
Provided housing or housing allowance should be written into the contract and it’s a good idea to connect with some of the teachers who are already working at the school to find out what the living conditions are like – is the provided housing acceptable? Is the allowance enough to pay rent for decent accommodation?
It’s common for international schools to offer added perks for teachers, some of the most common being:
If the school isn’t offering any of these, you may want to reconsider signing the contract.
That the school helps get a valid work visa for you before you go is a huge one. I cannot count the number of times I have seen teachers being asked to work without the proper work visas until all the documents are in order – this can sometimes take up to 3 or 4 months. During this time a teacher can only hope that there are no surprise visits from the immigration department to the school checking that each staff member is cleared to work.
In addition to all of the above, it’s also wise to find out how much you will be taxed – will it just be the local tax you need to pay or tax in your home country as well? If there’s a possibility that you will be taxed in your home country as well, you may wish to look into whether declaring non-residency is an option for you and if isn’t, ask yourself if what you earn after taxes will be enough.
Have you recently accepted a job at an international school? Have any other advice for teachers before they sign their contracts?
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