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International Teaching Qualifications

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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.

The general requirements to get you into the pool of candidates are as follows:

visa / age buttonA Bachelor's degree

visa / age buttonTeacher certificate from your state / country

visa / age buttonTwo years of full-time classroom experience



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

Age limits may apply. For more informaiton on visas visit this page.

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, please visit the IBO website.

Secondary (A-Level / AP / IB DP ) Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Computers, Music and Library Science.

Most frequent vacancies: Elementary / Primary Classroom educators as well as English teachers. 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.

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?

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

Substitute (supply) teachers are in perennial demand.


Generally, a non-teaching spouse is considered a dependent. The rule of thumb is one dependent per one full-time teaching contract.

–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 don't. Knowledge of the local language helps but there are very few schools that require you to speak a foreign language. These are typically early childhood positions as well as some jobs in bilingual countries.

–How do I 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.

UK candidates visit 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.

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