Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the AMISA member schools?
AMISA member schools may join our service organization as Member Schools (no more invitational and full etc). All Member schools must be accredited by a recognized US or international accrediting agency, thus assuring their quality and standard. Currently, there are 61 member schools in North, Central and South America and the surrounding islands.
When does the AMISA recruiting year start and end?
AMISA offers a year-round service, but most hiring is done at our Recruiting Fair in December with placements continuing until April or May.
When should I complete the online application?
The sooner, the better… but aim for a November 1 completion. Once your application is complete (including obtaining 3 confidential letters of reference from current and past employers and supervisors—not colleagues or friends!) and the registration fee has been paid, recruiters will have access to your online files.
Why a registration fee?
How do I pay?
What about certifications, degrees and teaching experience?
Candidates are required to hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree in the area they will be teaching.
Is a TESOL or TEFL “Certification” course an appropriate certification for an international school?
TESOL or TEFL are not recognized in our member schools. AMISA member schools are American International schools in the Americas, which use an American curriculum. They are not language schools. Therefore our schools look for certification in the curriculum subject area that you will be teaching. Schools would expect ESL teachers to hold a Bachelor’s Degree at a minimum and to be fully certified either by their State or nationally in their field.
When do schools post their openings?
Schools will post available positions on our website as soon as they become aware of them. The vast majority of positions, however, do not get posted until the weeks leading up to the fair…and many are announced at the fair itself. You can also expect that some jobs that are posted prior to the fair may be filled before the fair.
Should I email recruiters prior to the virtual fair?
You are welcome to email recruiters prior to the fair in order to establish interest in your candidacy. That said, you will find that many of the schools will not respond. This is not because they are not interested but rather because they see the fair dates as the dedicated timeframe in which to meet candidates online and hire them. The other reality is that schools receive many applications of candidates throughout the year and there is no way they can keep up with the volume of email traffic. That said, it cannot hurt to email a recruiter of a school in which you are interested with the aim of establishing contact prior to the fair.
Can’t I get hired by just emailing the schools?
I cannot attend each event during the virtual recruiting fair. Can I still be a candidate?
Yes, you can still be a candidate. We will host multiple virtual engagement events throughout November and December. We encourage you to attend as many as possible. Recruiters will schedule virtual interviews with candidates, which will allow for flexibility in recruiter/candidate engagement and communication.
Do I have to be a U.S. or Canadian citizen to work in an American school overseas?
Most of our schools hire all nationalities. A few schools do have government-imposed restrictions on certain other nationals.
What are my chances of being hired?
The ratio of candidates hired to the total number of applicants varies greatly from year to year depending upon the qualifications of the pool of candidates, the number and type of vacancies posted, and the “fit” between the two. Last year's rate was 50%.
Know exactly where you want to teach or stay open minded?
Some candidates approach the fair with the notion that there is only one school or one city that is for them. We strongly suggest against this approach since that particular place may not even have an opening and, even if they do, you may not be their ideal candidate.
What about child protection & background criminal checks?
USA (FBI Check)
Canada (RCMB Vulnerable Sector check)
England and Wales (DBS or ICPC)
Northern Ireland (Access NI Enhanced disclosure)
Republic of Ireland (Garda Vetting National Check)
Scotland (Enhanced PVG Disclosure)
Australia (Federal Working with Children Check)
New Zealand (Police Check with exception request)
What to look for in a job/salary package?
While teaching is a noble vocation, it is also a job. In selecting a job, compare not only salary packages but the savings you might realize. Consider the cost of living as well as the salary and benefit package. While money is one aspect of fulfillment, remember you are heading off to an adventure. Consider the size and type of school in which you want to work as well as the place you want to live. Aim for a place where you will be happy and a place that will provide what you are looking for at this stage of your life: a bustling city, or a more rural setting?; by the sea or up in the mountains?; a hot climate or a colder one?; a stable country or a more politically exciting one?
How can I find out more information about the schools and countries represented?
We highly recommend that you visit the schools' webpages and do internet searches of cities and countries in which you are interested.
What about couples, teaching couples, spouses and children?
What if I have an accompanying spouse not seeking employment?
Each year there are candidates whose spouse does not plan to work. Some schools will consider a candidate with a “trailing spouse” but MANY will not because of either financial realities or difficulties involved in getting a residence visa for the non-working spouse. Some trailing spouses are retired and do not need the benefits provided to a dependent spouse. If this is your situation, please be clear in explaining your situation to the recruiters—and know that your situation may make it more difficult to be hired.
What if I am a citizen of the country where I am seeking a position?
Because of the laws of certain countries, the hiring practice restrictions placed by certain Boards, or the demands placed on Boards by members of the parent communities, citizens of a host school country may find that they may not be considered as overseas hire candidates. If you are Brazilian, as one example, you may find that some schools will not be able to hire you on an overseas hire salary and benefit package.
What types of positions are schools seeking to fill?
Are positions for Head of School (i.e. Director) recruited for at AMISA?
No. Applying for Director’s positions is a whole separate process. At the current time, AMISA does not conduct head searches for schools.
What about contracts?
Contracts are generally offered for an initial period of two years and most are renewable annually after the initial two years. Contracts in the international school world are taken VERY seriously and are, literally, binding upon both the school and the employee. Breaking a contract is not taken lightly… Candidates should, therefore, make sure they have a thorough understanding of the contractual agreement into which they are entering.
Will the 2021 Recruiting Events be in-person, hybrid, or virtual?
The 2021 Recruiting Events will be completely virtual. We are planning numerous virtual engagement events that will connect candidates and recruiters no matter where they are in the world! Visit www.amisa.us/recruitment-events for more info!
How do I use the chat feature on the AMISA database?
Access Chat for Candidates:
1. Click the Chat link in the nav bar.
2. The candidate will be taken to the AMISA Office chatroom first.
3. The candidate can then select any school from the left side.
Access Chat for Recruiters:
1. Click the Chat link in the nav bar.
2. The recruiter will be taken to the AMISA Office chatroom first.
3. The recruiter can then select their school from the left side.
Direct Messages (top left) - This shows all of their direct chats. The name in red is the active chatroom. When a new direct chat is requested, it will show a "Requesting Direct Chat" notice in red below the name and play a sound (if audio is allowed by their browser). Click the direct chat name to enter the direct chatroom. You can move your mouse over the direct chat name to show an "x" which will allow you to close the direct chatroom, but only once you have left to another chatroom first.
Joined Chatrooms (middle left) - This shows all of the visited/joined chatrooms. The room name in red is the active chatroom. You can click on the chatroom name to switch chatrooms. You can move your mouse over the chatroom name to show an "x" which will allow you to close the direct chatroom, but only once you have left to another chatroom first.
All Chatrooms (bottom left) - This shows all of the chatrooms. You can click on the chatroom name to enter that chatroom.
Active Chatroom (middle) - This shows the active chatroom messages. Recruiters will see buttons at the top to download visitors and messages. They will need to download these at the end of each day, since it will only download the current day's visitors and messages. Candidates will only see the Profile and Vacancies buttons to view each accordingly for the active school. They can type a message at the bottom and either click the submit button or just hit the enter button on their keyboard to post a message in the chatroom. Recruiters can delete messages within their school's chatroom by hovering over the name associated with that message and clicking the "x" next to their name.
Current Chatroom Users (right) - This shows all of the active users in the active chatroom. The name in bold is the current user's name. You can move your mouse over the names to show the red "Chat" button and click to enter a direct chat with that user.
I'm a recruiter. How long are chat transcripts available for me to download after meeting with candidates in the chat room?
What is a typical/reasonable time frame to give teachers to accept or decline an offer?
Recruiting Events FAQs
How do I apply for the Recruiting Fair?
Apply to become an AMISA candidate. All sections of the application must be completed in order for us to review your qualifications and accept you as a candidate. If accepted, you will receive instructions on paying the one-time application fee. Once accepted you are invited to the AMISA Recruiting Fair.
What are the benefits and realities of the AMISA Recruiting Fair?
The AMISA Recruiting Fair hotel
How do I get to the hotel?
We selected the Grand Hyatt partially because it is easily reached by taking the MARTA from the Atlanta Hartfield Airport for just $2.25 inbound and $1.75 back to the airport. (MARTA directions: take the northbound train to Exit N7 and follow the signs to the Grand Hyatt at the exit. It’s about a 7-minute walk). You can also take a taxi for $42 from the airport to the hotel. It takes 35-40 minutes from the airport to the hotel.
What happens at the Recruiting Fair?
What should I take to the signup session and interviews?
What else should I take to the fair?
You should definitely bring a laptop or other device with wireless connectivity to be able to link to the AMISA website and Recruiting Database. AMISA will provide a room at the Grand Hyatt with wireless capability for 25 laptops. Having this connectivity will be particularly helpful as you’re doing your research on possible openings prior to the fair.
How do I dress for the fair?
As with any professional interview situation, dress for success. Job fairs and interviews are settings where first impressions get you in the door, or not. Be presentable and be real.