The schools we work with provide the most lucrative compensation packages in the industry. Live great and save extra money!

Learn More 

Most options

Great schools nationwide with options for Professional, Experienced and beginner teachers in almost every subject!

Learn More

Outstanding Support

A personal placement consultant as your sole point of contact through the whole process.

Learn More

top rated

International schools are prestigious; they pay the best, have the best facilities and only hire the best teachers, like we said: the best.

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? What’s an international school all about? What makes them stand out from the rest?

Let’s start with the basics. In order to be considered an actual international school, it is widely agreed that a school generally follows a national or international curriculum different from that of the host country. An emphasis is placed on international education and global citizenship. 

The school should have a  multinational teacher population,  international accreditation,   multinational and multilingual student body and  a moving population (higher than in national public schools). 

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.08.06 AM Different Shapes and Sizes

If you are interested in international school employment and it’ll be your first time abroad you will find it easier to teach in the curriculum you already have experience in (i.e. American, British, etc.), but with training available, you will find that you are qualified to teach in a variety of formats. Here’s a quick list of the most common international schools in China:


American schools   
Canadian Schools   
British schools   
IB Schools 

While some international schools have an American, British or other slant, some simply call themselves an international school because they have incorporated multiple approaches from different formats, and provide an international curriculum with a global perspective. Not all international schools deliver the IB program (just as not all IB schools are international), but one common thread that runs through these schools is the desire to create global citizens who have an understanding of other countries, cultures and histories beyond their own national perspective and/or system.

The Way Things Are Done
We know that international schools incorporate a multinational community of teachers and students, international accreditation and curricula. Let’s jump into the different curricula that you’ll be teaching at these schools.

Firstly, we have the IB curriculum. It’s classified as a global golden standard. The curriculum comprises out of four programs for students aged 3 to 19 from a wide range of cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.  Secondly there’s the American AP Program that has enabled millions of students to take college-level courses and exams, and to earn college credit or placement while still in high school. 
Also, the British A-Level is an examination in a particular subject that pupils have to pass if they want to go to university.

AP vs. A-levels: many share a fair amount of confusion to what the difference is between the American AP program and the UK A-levels. Here’s the gist: A-level is a course, AP is a test. In other words, if students studied the A-level course and passed the exam, they can directly apply to the world’s universities. Whereas taking the AP exam, students must have a high school diploma. This is why high school students can give up their domestic studies while it is not the case for students who merely have AP courses.

Hiring Season and Application Window
Typically international schools hire new teachers for the spring and fall semesters. February is when the spring semester starts, right after the Chinese New Year, while the fall semester usually starts in the last week of August or the first week of September.

Don’t miss the boat! Most career opportunities are recruited sooner than you think. About 80% of the hiring for these schools is done for a September start. Roughly 20% is for after Chinese New Year's in February. With this type of job you would want to apply anywhere between 2-9 months in advance. The more prestigious that the school is, the earlier we would advise you to apply. Once again, there are almost always urgent openings available near the beginning of each semester!

Related: When to apply to schools

What Do They Expect From Me?
As a general rule international schools employ foreign teachers who have at least 2 years of teaching experience. In most secondary schools, the teachers are expected to have a degree in and display strong command of their subject while being able to engage with their students. Most importantly, international school employment is focused on finding teachers that are passionate, well-rounded and who are committed to the values of an international education. In most cases, you’ll be expected to participate in extra-curricular activities and get involved in the school’s social programs.

The High Life
It’s no secret that a big perk with international school employment is the money. International schools can afford to pay their teachers a highly-competitive salary. Most schools also offer worldwide medical insurance, work bonuses, housing, flight reimbursement, relocation allowance, disability allowance, retirement plan and annual flight home allowance. 

The Main Point
International schools come in a wide variety of organizations, curricula, and styles, but they all give their teachers the opportunity to live and work overseas in a stimulating and exciting environment. Just as international schools serve to teach students that there’s a big world out there beyond their own country and culture, teachers at international schools benefit immeasurably as they learn the same life lessons along with their students.

Written by: Jumé Irmscher

Our blog

Foreign Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Residence Permits Can Return to China

Foreign Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Residence Permits…

 On March 26th, 2020, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs...

24 Sep 2020

Teaching in Prison

Teaching in Prison

  “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use...

22 Jul 2020

Teaching in a Hagwon - Things to Know

Teaching in a Hagwon - Things to…

  Depending on your experience with teaching English in South Korea,...

29 Jun 2020

Reverse Culture Shock - Expectations and Coping

Reverse Culture Shock - Expectations and Coping

  Whether you've already started considering the effects that reverse culture...

25 Jun 2020

Transferring Money From China to a Foreign Country

Transferring Money From China to a Foreign Country

  Many foreign teachers working in China are able to save a substantial...

08 Jun 2020

Coping with Culture Shock while Abroad

Coping with Culture Shock while Abroad

While you're preparing to move abroad for the first time,...

11 May 2020

Useful Phone Numbers in China

Useful Phone Numbers in China

  Moving to a new foreign country can be a great...

07 Apr 2020

Moving to China To-Do List

Moving to China To-Do List

  Moving to another country can be intimidating, so here is...

25 Mar 2020

Happy Teaching Nomads

  • Kimmi, USA  Placed in Shanghai

    Kimmi, USA Placed in Shanghai

    I truly appreciate all the work that Teaching Nomad did upon arriving to Shanghai. Teaching Nomad helped with everything else once I landed, from paperwork to directions. Everyone at the agency is wonderful and extremely helpful and welcoming.
  • Rafael, USA  Placed in Shanghai

    Rafael, USA Placed in Shanghai

    Teaching Nomad was by far the easiest process I have gone through. I was able to get all the information I needed to continue with the job application. It was quick, efficient, friendly, and effective (I got the job).
  • Andrew, USA  Placed in Shanghai

    Andrew, USA Placed in Shanghai

    I didn't know what professionalism was until I started working with Teaching Nomad. They have always responded to my questions and comment promptly and in a friendly manner. With Teaching Nomad I have truly found my dream contract.
  • Elsie,SA  Placed in Shanghai

    Elsie,SA Placed in Shanghai

    Teaching Nomad helped me at a time in my life when I needed to make a positive career move. They helped me find a position in which I feel challenged, motivated and where I have the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge as a teacher.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency with offices in Denver & Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.


Jobs on WeChat

wechat QR code

Reviewed on Go Overseas


Contact Us

  North Zhongshan Road No. 2000, Zhongqi Bldg., Suite 2501, Putuo District, Shanghai, PRC 200063

  3401 Quebec Street, Suite 9150, Denver, Colorado, 80207

 (+86) 21-8025-3905

 (+1) 720-531-6136

Authentications Hours:
8am - 5pm MST
Monday - Friday



Recover your password

Send us your email and we will send you instructions to reset your password

If you remember your password

*Required fileds