International Schools: International Teacher Contracts
First, you should know that for the most part the salary and benefits that the school will offer you is not negotiable in order to make sure all teachers they hire are on the same level in terms payment and employment. When a school does offer you a contract, feel free to ask for a few days to think it over.
Once a school makes you an offer, below are a few things that you should make sure are covered in your contract or else in writing somewhere else (like in an email).
- Do they offer a housing allowance to spend on your own accommodation or do they provide you with the actual accommodation?
- Will teacher housing be shared or private?
- If it will be shared, will you have a say in who you live with?
- Are utilities, like water and electricity, covered by the school? If not, how much do they generally cost each month?
- Is health insurance included? If so, what are the conditions and coverage limitations?
- Remember: If health insurance isn’t included don’t let it be a deal breaker for youbecause travel health insurance is very affordable (unlike Stateside health insurance!). You can read more about it on our website here: Travel Abroad – Health and Travel Abroad – Insurance.
- Don’t forget that your salary doesn’t mean anything until you consider the cost of living of the country. A better question than “what is my salary” is “how much disposable income will I have after expenses”.
- Your salary should be clearly noted in your contract, including the currency you’ll be paid in (local or USD). Also, ask how you’ll get paid (US bank account or a local bank account) to help you prepare.
- Will you owe local taxes on the salary? If so, what is the tax rate? If you are a U.S. citizen you will have to file a tax return, but will be exempt from paying taxes on all your income up to $90,000 (sorry, but you can bet that you won’t make more than that!). U.S. citizen teachers can read more about that on the IRS’s website at www.irs.gov
- If you are going to a school that permits dependents, find out if their flights are included.
- If your dependents are school age, be sure to find out about tuition benefits for your children. If tuition is not included or if the school does not include your child’s grade, then find out how much it would cost to send them to another international school.
- Flights to and from your city of origin should be provided by the school or the cost of them should be reimbursed by the school, at least partially, if not 100%.
- What vacations and holidays are included?
- How do teachers get to and from the school from their housing?
- Does the school provide any allowance for excess baggage? (If not, then you can get a 5% discount off the shipment of baggage when you tell the shipping company X.S. Baggage you are with us: http://www.xsbaggage.com/).
- When does the contract/school year begin and end?
If some things above are not in the contract itself, just make sure they are in writing in some form – even an email is fine.