Shanghai skyline: Pearl Tower
Kuala Lumpur towers
Abu Dhabi mosque
International high school
International high school
A group of teachers discussing their lessons
A job interview at an international school
Shanghai skyline: Shanghai Tower
Shanghai skyline: Shanghai Tower

Jan 1, 1970

We spoke with both our Schools and our candidates and here’s a few of the things they had to say about this years’ events:

“The Fair was an incredible opportunity to meet professionals in the field and have the chance to develop my skills. Thank you”

Sonia Barghani, Candidate

“Organized, professional and very well run with a large selection of schools.”

Marc Warin, Candidate

“Very organized and friendly. CRS Staff were very thorough and helpful, always willing to offer assistance”

Maria Lau, Causeway Bay Victoria Kindergarten and International Kindergarten

“It was a great experience. The CRS team was very helpful and well organized. It was a great opportunity to meet different candidates and heads of schools. I have definitely benefited a lot from this Fair.”

Abdul Hafeez Khan, Candidate

“I was very impressed with the level of support offered by the CRS staff and how they were able to help us in contacting candidates and following up afterwards. They were a friendly bunch too, which always makes it easier to work with people”.

Matt Conn, Nanwai King’s College School, Wuxi

Another year, another set of Job Fairs! With almost 500 candidates and over 50 attending schools we had a fantastic turnout from both sides. We ran our Shanghai and Abu Dhabi events in January this year and welcomed a range of academic institutions and certified educators. Our PD Workshops were received with enthusiasm and enjoyed excellent participation from candidates. 


We are excited to announce that this year’s IPSEF Asia Forum will be hosted in Shanghai for the very first time! IPSEF have run their events in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai for the past 5 years and are now very much looking forward to the opportunity to host in China this year.

This event is a great blend of speakers, exhibitors and delegates that provides a unique and powerful platform to identify best practice in educational development and management, as well as expert advice on delivering new schools. It's a great opportunity to build connections with potential investors, suppliers, operators and regulators to identify best practice in planning new schools and developing established ones. 


24 & 25 April: Ipsef Asia Forum

23 & 26 April: School Visits

Over the course of four days there will be a mixture of speakers, panel discussions, workshops, networking mixers and school visits with a chance to meet with investors and leaders in their industries.


With this in mind, Explore CRS are partnering with IPSEF to help them organise their first ever event in Shanghai. China is at the forefront of the international education sector and with Explore CRS being headquartered from Shanghai we have an in-depth knowledge of the local market to offer our experienced assistance, plus a breadth of skills & expertise within the international education recruitment industry. 


Andaz Xintiandi Hotel

Shanghai, China

We have managed to secure a great venue for our event this year in an extremely convenient location. It’s also a beautiful setting for our networking and mixer events to give everyone a chance to build professional connections in a relaxed and friendly environment. 

We are excited about this chance to bring together industry profesionals and if you would like to register to attend it's not too late!

Please email for more details.

Sunshine is good for the soul!

The weather in The Middle East is undoubtedly one of the warmest and sunniest climates in the world. Yes, in the Summer it does reach some pretty high temperatures, but most buildings and cars are fully air-conditioned and in the cooler months it’s a wonderful time to enjoy the chance to sunbathe on the beaches of Dubai or the hiking trails of Lebanon. 


The Middle East offers an exciting social, cultural and religious environment to immerse yourself in. It's a great opportunity to experience a different world with different people whilst enjoying beautiful local architecture and local culinary delights. However, there is a growing expat community which have brought about the growth of more Westernised restaurants and hotels which makes it easy to connect with more familiar surroundings and people if you need a “taste of home”. 

Generous compensation.

Salaries and accommodation in The Middle East are high and quality of life is good. Many educators who teach in The Middle East can save a large amount of their earnings and if you have school-aged children a lot of the schools also provide education. The Middle East is an area of wealth and investment and this shows in the Schools as well. Most fee-paying schools will provide access to great facilities and resources in well run and attractive campuses.

Global Professional Development.

As an international educator it will be an asset to your CV to show that you have been able to acclimatize and adapt to teaching in The Middle East and had experience working in different locations. This exposure to varied curriculums and school policies especially in a region of such accelerated growth and investment will be an interesting and exciting place to work. 

When did you get into international education and why?

After qualifying as a teacher in Tasmania, I then traveled to Europe with sport, to cycle competitively in Belgium. Later, after teaching back in Australia for 10 years, I decided I wanted to travel more which led me to the UK and then to Italy. Working in international education is very different to the national education system and has a lot of positive benefits for teachers. This could come in the form of great salary packages or career development. One of the biggest draws for me personally was the stability that comes with working for an international school group. International schools have the autonomy to create their own educational policies whilst carrying out a bespoke mission and values specific to that establishment. By and large this should remain unaffected by political or governmental change within the country you’re teaching in. 

How long have you been in China and what brought you here?

I moved to China in January 2018 and I moved specifically for the Dipont & Nanwai King’s College School project. The opportunity to be involved with a school start-up from conception to launch was a great career move on a personal level, but also one that was very attractive in terms of the vision for the school itself. The idea for the school was what grabbed me at first and it just happened to be located in China. Since I have been here, the country - and particularly the people - have amazed me. 

What attracted you to come to China to help head up Nanwai King's launch?

The opportunity to be involved in a start-up school with such well known and established partners in Nanwai and King’s was what got my attention. Having real input towards the educational design of a new school and working with Dipont, on what is a new direction for them, was also a big pull. I was excited to be a part of the first school to put bilingual and international students side-by-side from K-12 in classes and on campus. Our partner schools have such great reputations and history that I knew it would be a well – and our operations are being handled by very experienced and professional leaders. It looked like - and has proven to be - a great learning experience and a real challenge each and every day.

What makes King’s College School different – and why does it stand out against other schools?

The reputation that KCS has is well deserved. I visited the school in Wimbledon, UK last January and will be returning in May of this year. Their approach to education and of helping students become well rounded individuals, while still managing to excel at academics, is a model that we are proud to be applying at Nanwai King’s. Their assistance in helping with our set up and providing future opportunities to our students will be invaluable in establishing our school as one of the best in China.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in opening the school and finding the right staff?

Everything! As a team, the Senior Leadership Team have been meeting via video conference since February 2017. Applying your skills and experience to what is a completely new country and culture for me, has been a challenge, but our team is very well balanced, and everyone brings different skills. Finding the right balance of highly qualified and experienced staff, committed to our co-curricular program, who also have the skills, enthusiasm and flexibility to work in a start-up school, is quite a big list of essential requirements.

What qualities were you looking for in your potential staff during the hiring process?

I went through the process myself of being selected and hired for the school, so I’m very familiar with what was required as a member of staff. As mentioned before, this is a start-up school that means we were looking for some very specific qualities. Passion - our teachers are all required to provide co-curricular classes whether that be through sport, cultural activities or any other new skills outside of the academic classroom. We wanted our staff to offer our students the most wholesome and well–rounded educational experience and that takes teachers who are passionate about developing their pupils across the board. Flexibility – we needed staff that would be prepared to support and give input in new structures and be understanding of the need for potential adjustments as the new structures are put into place. Adaptability – we were looking to create a team of international educators which meant we were looking at hiring teachers from around the globe. China is a unique country and we needed people who would be able to settle in and acclimatize with ease and efficiency. Also, an ability to adapt to changes in how the school structure and policies had been created where necessary for the benefit of the school and students. Emotional Intelligence - candidates who displayed strong “people” person skills were also high on our desired list. Bringing together large teams of people to work with parents, students and members of staff requires team spirit, patience and understanding. Embarking on a new project takes a lot of effort to get off the ground we needed people who could be supportive of each other and the mission.

How do you see international education in China progressing over the next five to ten years and how do you think Nanwai King’s embraces/embodies/contributes to that?

Preparing students with a well-rounded education that first and foremost makes them better global citizens, also makes them more attractive as applicants to foreign universities. Nanwai King’s College School Is committed to supporting students with a strong pastoral program and helping them to push their own limits though our co-curricular program. Foreign universities already look for these attributes in potential students and as our program builds over the next 5 to 10 years, local and locally based international parents will see that only concentrating on exam results will not be enough to guarantee their child can succeed at university and in the workplace of the 21st century.

What would you say to potential educators considering China as their next move? What makes it a positive career move? What advice would you give?

Do it. China is an amazing place with a huge desire to innovate and excel. China wants to be at the forefront of global business in the future and the way to make this happen is through education. There are a lot of opportunities in education here in China, but my advice would be to research the school well and make sure the program that is being offered is of a world-class standard and the school is aligned with reputable local and international partners. That way overseas hired staff can make the biggest difference to the students they are teaching and make the most of the vast opportunities that are on offer in China today.

When did you get into International Education and why?

I originally left the UK for Finland in 1991 to marry a Finnish national. This led me to a role at a school in Finland. The experience changed my entire perspective of teaching. I had started to feel despondent about education in the UK. It felt too test based, too focused on data and statistics rather than the children themselves. It was great to experience teaching within the Finnish education system, a country that routinely tops rankings of global education systems. I’ve since taught in Thailand, Spain, China and now Qatar.

How long have you been in Qatar and what attracted you to that region?

I moved to Qatar in 2014. I guess I was attracted through a spirit of adventure as I had never lived in the Middle East. I was conscious that new schools were being built and educational change was taking place in this part of the world and was excited to become a part of that. The school I joined had a reputation for being at the forefront of innovative thinking which was a big pull.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in running a secondary school in The Middle East?

The local culture and its differences from The West can take getting a little getting used to. The school I am in has about 80% international and 20% local students so it’s very important to try and find a balance in how you communicate and connect with this range of students and their parents. There is a mix of different backgrounds and educational experiences so it’s necessary to be sensitive to this level of diversity on a day-to-day basis and also find ways in which to celebrate its uniqueness.

The climate itself take a little acclimatizing to as the summer months are so much hotter than anywhere else that I have worked. Qatar, however, is one of the safest places to live and it feels very different to what might be being portrayed in the western media right now. It has been very important to me as an educator to gain an understating and appreciation of what is actually happening in this fascinating area.

What qualities do you look for in your potential staff especially in this Middle Eastern environment?

Efficacy and a collaborative approach are essentials. You will, no doubt, be surprised along the way and find it challenging at times which means it is very important to welcome interdependence. It’s all about the team and not the individual. It is also important to expand one’s consciousness of the many cultural differences. Trying to implement the same teaching style used elsewhere in the world won’t necessarily work in Qatar and adjustments will need to be made in order to be successful. In particular, candidates will need to be aware that they might not be familiar with such a broad international student base and the associated diversity of learning experiences. With this in mind, it makes sense to opt for a more personalised approach, and above all, maintain a sense of humour!

The Middle East has seen a rapid growth in the number of international schools over the last few years. Where do you see it progressing – what would be your predictions for growth or areas of focus over the next 5 years?

Certainly, The Middle East appears to be committed to expansion and the influence of international education on local practice is becoming more noticeable. There is a growing middle market that will start to blossom much like what we have seen in China with the growth in bi-lingual schools. International-style curricula are definitely growing in popularity and I think there will be more schools with a mix of Western and Arabic teachers as well as students. As many countries in the region are in the midst of major economic restructuring programmes, it seems likely that there will be more focus on investment in human resources and that means more education.

So, what would you say to any teachers considering a move to The Middle East?

There are already some very well-known names out here which means you will be working alongside some very experienced and talented colleagues. An extensive range of IB training is available right here in Qatar as well as other world-class professional development opportunities. At ISL Qatar we offer a vast range of professional learning courses including hosting, and subsidizing, the Bath MA in International Education, the ECIS Middle Leadership Certificate and Cognitive Coaching with Ochan Powell.

If you are an adventurous type with an interest in what is happening in a part of the world that is undergoing some exciting developments in the education industry, then this is a great place to come. It has a high quality lifestyle and, speaking now as a parent, is very safe. Accommodation, restaurants and shopping malls are of a great standard and Qatar is a great hub from which to explore other parts of the world in the hands of the world’s best airline.


The recruitment fair is a great place to connect and build relationships with both your peers and any prospective employers. Make sure you talk to as many people as possible to maximise your time there. We have received feedback from past fair-attending candidates, who found real value in having the opportunity to meet other educators. It can help to better understand your position in the market and keep you abreast of what’s happening in your sector in general. Of course, the chance to talk to potential new schools you might be interested in interviewing with is a particular advantage.


Try to find out which schools will be attending the Fair in advance and prepare accordingly. At the Explore CRS events we release our attending school directory about a month beforehand. This gives our candidates ample time to research schools of interest before meeting with them.


These job fairs can be quite time pressured environments and whilst this can be an invigorating experience it also means you need to put your best foot forward quickly. You will get a couple of minutes to impress and arrange interviews with schools you haven’t previously connected with, so with this in mind, it would make sense to think about what you want to say before you start approaching the schools. Have a quick summary prepared about your experience and what you’re interested in. Confidence in your delivery will also go a long way!


These events are by nature a fairly intense couple of days, especially for the recruiting schools. They spend the majority of the event interviewing continuously, which whilst very rewarding, is also tiring and demanding. In order to stand out positively, it’s important to remain engaged and interested during the interviews you have. This is your chance to be remembered and leave a lasting impression, so smile and inject some of your personality into the meeting. These recruiters are not only looking at your skills and qualifications, they are also trying to find the right energy and fit for their schools.


This one should go without saying, but ensure you have plenty of copies of your CV printed and ready to hand out. Have them organized and ready to distribute as you circulate the Fair. This is what you get to leave with them long after the meeting is over so make sure it’s well presented. If you are well prepared with what you need then you should be able to relax more and hopefully just enjoy meeting new people and exploring your future options.

get in touch

If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role

We've been working hard with our workshop leaders to put together a fresh and informative set of sessions. These workshops are a great way to get a better understanding of the attending schools and will give you a chance to showcase your skills and connect with other teachers. Attendees on all of our workshops receive a certificate of attendance.

Shanghai job fair

7-9 December 2018
Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai, 500 Weihai Road, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200041

To book your place on any of the workshops, please email Vanessa Cumbers with your choices:

Friday 7 December 2018

10am - 11.30am

Developing teacher and student leadership: schools, classrooms and beyond

Delivered by: Olguita Vazquez, Principal, Qatar Leadership Academy, Qatar Foundation

Teacher and student leadership can be developed for the benefit of school communities and for the wider world. Identifying student leaders and offering them opportunities to lead is at the heart of student-centered instruction. Finding opportunities to lead as teachers will enhance the learning community we belong to, as well as our individual growth.

Suitable for: All educators

10am - 11.30am

Things you might not want to do in an interview

Delivered by: Bryan Manditsch, Principal, International School of Vietnam

To highlight some obvious (and maybe not so obvious) pitfalls in an interview for an international post. Looking at a range of possible mistakes in an interview, with the chance to discuss why some might not be mistakes after all.

Suitable for: All educators

1pm - 2.30pm

Being a changemaker – UWC values for teachers

Delivered by: Pelham Lindfield Roberts, Principal, United World College Changshu; Kokming Lee, Dean of Studies, United World College Changshu

This interactive workshop will start with a brief introduction of UWC values and mission and link this to the need to promote/cultivate changemakers or agents of positive change in our student body. Participants will explore the question 'who is a changemaker?'. We will then look at these characteristics, how to start being a changemaker and how to support others in doing this.

Suitable for: All educators

1pm - 2.30pm

Educational improvement through policy development

Delivered by: John Birchall, Education Director, Dipont Education

This session explores both 'imposed policies' and 'evolved policies', and how best to develop them with key examples and aspects to consider. We will look at some of the most important policy areas in schools such as: staff evaluation, child protection, health and safety, teaching and learning, homework and school ethos.

Suitable for: All educators

3pm - 4.30pm

How to create international mindedness in schools

Delivered by: Doruk Gurkan, Senior School Assistant Principal, Shanghai Singapore International School

International mindedness can be idealistic and pragmatic at the same time. The purpose of this session is consider what we can do as educators to promote pragmatic idealism in our schools. The presenter personally believes in international mindedness and tries to live by it.

Suitable for: All educators

3pm - 4.30pm

Active learning in the primary classroom

Delivered by: Eve Sun, Jade Song, Nuala Ni Chonlain, Viki Calendino, Primary Academic Quality Management Team, Dipont Education

This session will demonstrate how active learning can be incorporated into regular lessons and examine various forms of active learning. We will explore different models for classroom set-up, activities for individuals and groups, questioning techniques and use of other strategies to encourage active learning.

Suitable for: Primary educators 


Attendees to the fair were able to meet and have interviews with principals of the 28 international schools in attendance, including institutions such as YK Pao, Shanghai Singapore, International School Vietnam, Qatar Foundation, Nanwai King’s College and RDFZ King’s College Schools.


The three-day event began with a program of professional development workshops, delivered by international school leaders from China, Qatar and Vietnam. These sessions, which attracted record numbers of attendees, focused on topics such as leadership, policy development and active learning. 

Day two was the fair’s busiest day, with representatives from the schools meeting directly with interested candidates, before interviews began to take place in the afternoon and into day three.

It was an action-packed weekend with a high number of attendees receiving job offers on the third day. While exact numbers of job offers and acceptances have yet to be determined, they are expected to be high.

“We’re delighted that this year’s Shanghai recruitment fair attracted so many talented candidates looking for new international teaching opportunities,” said Vanessa Cumbers, head of recruitment at explore CRS.

“It is indicative of not only the ability of explore CRS to bring together the very best candidates and attending schools, but also to the huge number of international teaching opportunities available here in Asia.”

This is the seventh year that explore CRS has held a job fair in Shanghai, alongside a second fair held each year in Dubai in January. 

1. You're in high demand

For many roles, the market is tough and finding a quality job can be difficult. International teaching is different, with thousands of vacancies around the world each year. Explore CRS advertises a range of excellent teaching positions with high-quality schools across Asia. Our vacancies offer excellent benefits, the chance to work with highly motivated and polite students, and chances to progress in your career.

2. Advance your career

Teaching abroad is an investment in your future. For early career teachers it's a chance to take on more responsibility more quickly than you might expect at home, while for mid-career professionals, a break from the routine of teaching at home can reinvigorate you. 

3. It will change your life forever

Even one stint of teaching abroad will have a profound effect on your life and your point of view. It's the kind of experience that stays with you forever, providing a wealth of interesting adventures and stories that you will never forget.

4. Earn a good salary with fewer expenses

While salary shouldn’t always the deciding factor in taking a new position, the reality is that in many international teaching roles teachers can live comfortably and have enough left over to enjoy their free time. The vacancies we advertise often provide accommodation allowance and annual return airfare home, meaning more income goes into your pocket. Within three to five years, depending on your situation, you could have even saved enough for a deposit on a house or towards your childrens’ education.

5. See a country from a local's POV

Teaching and living abroad gives you the opportunity to experience another country and culture in a way that a tourist simply cannot. You gain a deeper understanding of that country, get to know its people and experience their way of living. Plus, when you teach overseas, you’re doing much more than just visiting another country. You become a productive member of that society, helping contribute to its development. 

6. Learn other languages

Almost everyone can pick up a few key words and phrases when surrounded by a new language and for those really serious about learning a foreign language, there's no better way to learn than being fully immersed in it. Plus, learning a new language offers proven benefits for intelligence, memory, and concentration, as well as lowered risks of dementia and Alzheimer's! 

7. Stand out from others

Employers of all kinds put a high value on international work experience as it shows that you are independent, courageous and adaptable, all essential qualities that stand you in good stead for the rest of your career. In addition, international experience is always a talking point and helps you stand out from the crowd whether it's in your future career or your personal life. 

8. Explore a new region

Life isn't all about work and teaching abroad gives you the perfect excuse to explore a new region during your vacations. Once you're in a new region, transport to neighboring countries will be much more affordable. Explore CRS client schools are based in a number of amazing locations across Asia, from where you can explore any number of fascinating countries. 

9. Make international connections

Your first step into a teaching position abroad can be the start of a career that takes you all around the world, thanks to the international network of contacts you will develop. But it's not just professional connections - an international network is always useful for future travel adventures!  

10. Reflect on your own culture

Working abroad will force you to ask yourself questions about your own culture and how you see things. Your students and colleagues will ask you questions about your home country that you've never considered before and it will you take a few moments to actually provide an answer. This will lead to new realizations about your own culture and an appreciation for things you never even knew you enjoyed.

11. See your subject with fresh eyes

If you've been teaching your subject for many years, taking your teaching skills abroad can make you feel like you're embarking on a whole new career. Perspectives on your subject might be different and ways of teaching it might vary so you'll see your subject in a totally new context. You will also be likely to have opportunities to teach different curricula such as IB and British or American without always needing previous experience. 

12. Become a better teacher...

Teaching in a new culture will generate new ideas and force you to relate to your students in a whole new way. Different cultures learn and interact in different ways, and you'll need to respond to their learning style, which will both challenge and stimulate you. 

13. ...while becoming a student!

When teaching and living abroad, you won't just be experiencing it from the front of the classroom, you'll become a learner too. The whole country will be your classroom and you'll learn new things everyday, both from your students and your colleagues. 

Next steps

If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role. Check out our vacancies list today! 

Book through us

Standard conference rates are 895 GBP per person or 595 GBP per person for three bookings or more. Book your place through us, however, and benefit from an exclusive Explore CRS discount.

Simply email to register your interest in attending and we will support you in the registration process.

A unique event for educators

IPSEF Asia will consist of a three-day programme comprising of two days of conference and exhibition, followed by one day of school visits. The event brings together Chinese, overseas, international and bilingual schools with the investors, regulators and firms behind new school operations.

This combination of attendees makes it a unique opportunity for schools and suppliers worldwide to explore and learn about the emerging Chinese market. Another important feature of IPSEF is the tabletop exhibits that enable operators to access and meet world-class suppliers in areas as diverse as architecture, ICT, recruitment, assessment, consultancy and professional services, amongst many others.

High calibre speakers

IPSEF Asia presents an unrivalled opportunity to hear from and network with high calibre senior representatives from leading educational establishments and the global and regional education communities

Those confirmed to be attending include:

  • Alex McGrath, Head of British Council Schools
  • Kaushik Mohan, Partner, L.E.K. Consulting
  • Jared Nolan, Head of Primary, Nord Anglia British International School Shanghai
  • Ali Raza, Southeast Asia Regional Director, Beaconhouse Group
  • Darin Schmidt, Principal, Shenzhen American International School
  • Dan Smith, Head of School, Ruamrudee International School
  • Jacqueline So, Co-Founder & Chief Executive, Malvern College Hong Kong
  • Elizabeth Thies, Head of School, BASIS International School Bangkok, Thailand
  • William Vanbergen, Founder and CEO, BE Education

Event details

IPSEF ASIA (International and Private Schools Education Forum), Shanghai

7-8 May Conference and exhibition, InterContinental Hotel, Shanghai, Pudong, China

9 May School visits, Various locations, Shanghai  

As experienced recruiters, Explore CRS consultants have spent hours searching for candidate profiles on LinkedIn, so we know what makes a good profile! Here are our top tips for making sure your LinkedIn profile is effective as possible.

Start with a picture

To start, pick a professional and friendly-looking picture. It’s what people searching for your profile will see first. To give the best initial impression, don’t use a passport picture as they can sometimes appear too serious and lacking in character. Recruiters are more likely to click on profiles that show smiling candidates as they give off a positive attitude, and a warm and friendly personality.

Fill your profile out

LinkedIn profiles are quite easy to complete. You can personalise the sections you want to use and decide what you want to highlight. Most importantly, have enough information so that others can understand your career path - don’t forget about your educational background or fail to explain your experience. Although not essential, having a succinct and interesting two-to-three-sentence summary about yourself often helps attract busy recruiters’ attention.

Keep your profile updated

If you have recently changed to a new job, update your profile. Recruiters will see you have just started a new position and that you are probably not looking for the moment. This might help also if you regularly get messages asking about your availability or interest in new positions.

Open to opportunities?

You may not know about this function on LinkedIn, but it’s a useful tool. If you have decided you are definitely interested in finding a job and that you want to hear about open vacancies, you can make your profile ‘open to opportunities’. This will alert recruiters to the fact you are searching.

To set this up, go to your privacy settings and scroll down to ‘Job seeking preferences’. From here, you can change and edit various parts of your profile to allow recruiters and HR personnel to see you are available. Be aware though that while LinkedIn gives you the option to hide this information from your current boss, it is not guaranteed that he or she won’t see it.

Get connected and be active

You have your profile ready, now it is time to connect with people from your sector or learn more about topics you are interested in. Reach out and connect with people you’d like to network with, and be courteous if people reach out to you.

Make sure the content you interact with is professional and share only information that might be relevant to your followers. Be as active as you can. Sharing information, posting articles and liking other people’s posts are all great ways to get your profile noticed and built up a solid online network.

let's connect!

We love to use LinkedIn to connect with potential candidates. If you’re job hunting, make sure to follow our LinkedIn page and don't forget to check out the vacancies available on our website. 

Don’t forget to think about what you don’t want in a new role

Too many candidates come at job hunting with a narrow angle, seeking only a particular role in a particular country, city or even a particular area of a city. Be clear in what you don’t want as there are many more options out there that you may have not even considered.

Don’t use general terms in online search engines

When searching for jobs online, consider the type of role or specific details that will allow you to hone your search. Phrases like ‘international teaching jobs’ are helpful but will leave you searching through many pages until you finally find something you’re looking for. The Explore CRS job search makes it easy to find interesting roles.

Don’t apply for everything!

This might sound a little surprising, but a significant number of candidates will see a job online and then apply for that and every other job posted on that ad site or agency or school page. Mass applying does not present your candidacy in the best light as it shows you are not really considering the merits and potential challenges of each role.

Don’t give up

The international teaching market can be a test of one’s resolve and patience as the search for a new role can take a lot longer than you might hope. Be persistent in your hunt and know that the process can be long, requiring you to stick with it in the hope of securing your dream role.

Don’t be afraid to ask important questions

If you’ve decided that this will be the last year of your contract, plan how you’d like to find a new role. Think about how long you will give yourself to find a role and what avenues and sources will you use. Ask yourself whether you have time for interviews during the workday and what you will do if you cannot find a new role in a given time. These are all pertinent questions to think about when making your preparations. 

Don’t leave it too late

Each year the recruitment season seems to start earlier and finish later. This can lead to the common misconception that you can start your pursuit of a new post at any point during the year. Our answer: don’t. Each year hundreds of schools publish vacancies early in the hope of attracting top talent at the beginning of the school year. Starting early can give you a longer time to really consider all of the options available to you, thereby ensuring you are not left scrambling for a position in May or June.

Don’t wait for good things to come to you

Take control of your job search - be proactive and choose who you want to help you. Work with a company like Explore CRS who you feel knows what you want and don’t be afraid to guide them in this. 

Don’t underestimate your worth

It is crucial to understand exactly where you stand in this very competitive and complex international teaching market. If you are a top level physics teacher with 10 years’ experience, what is your value? How many schools will need a candidate of your quality and if so, how much are you worth to them? Consider what skills you have to bring along to a school and how your experience/training will increase your value.

Don’t forget to check, check again and recheck

When sending out resumes/CVs to schools and education organisations and recruiters you must ensure that your documents are up to standard. Even a simple typo or mistake can put prospective employers off. Think about how you are presenting yourself and your details. Check out our top advice for writing your CV for more advice on this! 

Don’t limit your methods of finding your next job

Traditional means of employment are great - find a role, send a CV, wait for a message, interview - they are not, however, the only option. Think about the relationships you have, your network, other school contacts etc. The people you know can be a great resource when finding your next position. Just make sure to return the favour whenever possible.

next steps!

Of course, we think one of the biggest job search mistakes is not using Explore CRS as your dedicated recruitment consultants! Avoid this error and check out our vacancies list today.

What are your reasons for moving abroad?

We already wrote about our 13 reasons why you should teach abroad, but you should consider what exactly is pushing you to leave your country. Your potential future employers might ask you these questions as they want to make sure that you are serious moving abroad. They also want to be assured that you will stay at their school for at least a couple of years. International schools offer usually two-year contracts and don’t want to risk employing a teacher who will only stay three to six months.

Check where your expertise is needed

Do some research about where your skills and experience is most needed, as well as how competitive that particular market is for job hunters. Remember, different country, different labour market. International teachers are needed almost everywhere but some destinations might be more popular than others and the requirements might be different. You can search our vacancies database to find international teaching roles.

Do you meet the requirements?

Double check what the policies are for obtaining a work visa in your chosen country. Pay particular attention to the number of years of experience required, what qualifications and certifications you might need, and whether there are any restrictions on applicant nationality.

Research countries or regions you are interested in

Find out about cultural differences, local languages and the cost of living in expat communities. You might also want to look into that country’s education system. Investigate what you can expect from the schools as well as the quality of the local education.

If you are moving with your family, look at what it might be like for them to live abroad. Will it be possible for your partner to find work if necessary? And where will your children go to school? For most international teaching positions, schools will provide tuition for up to two children but if you have more than two, you need to consider the options available for them.

Adapt your CV

If you are going to apply for positions abroad you might need to change some of the features on your CV, depending on the labour market. Things like whether to include a photo, what personal details are crucial and the length of the CV can vary from country to country, so check this. The experienced recruitment consultants at Explore CRS can help give you advice on this where necessary. Or, you can read our blog post about improving your international teacher CV.

Are you ready to live far from friends and family?

Keep in mind that when you move abroad, you will be far from your comfort zone and might miss elements of your current routine or lifestyle. Think about how far you are willing to move from home, and be ready to face some challenges as you gain interesting new experiences.

If possible, reach out to other foreigners living in your chosen country, they can give you precious advice and internal perspectives of life there. In addition, many of the recruitment consultants at Explore CRS are expats themselves and can offer advice about living abroad.

next steps!

If you are interested in starting your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps. Check out our vacancies list today

This year, the annual Explore CRS recruitment fair will be held at Raha International School in Abu Dhabi on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 December 2019. The event marks the first time that Explore CRS has partnered with a school to deliver the popular annual jobs fair.

Vanessa Cumbers, director at Explore CRS, explains the decision behind the change of approach: “We've usually hosted the fair at hotels in the UAE but this year we were keen to hold it in an educational environment. We’ve worked with Raha for many years and they have the space and facilities we need to make this event a success.

“We’re pleased to be able to work with one of our long-term clients and that candidates attending the fair will be able to visit such a successful and well-established school. We’re very much looking forward to the event in December.”

Kathryn Simms, vice principal at Raha, added: "We are very excited to be expanding on our partnership with Explore CRS this year by hosting their UAE fair. Our successful and long relationship with CRS has benefited our students by giving us access to the best teachers across the globe. We hope that this relationship will continue to flourish and help us to enrich the lives of our learners." 

Jobs fair in Abu Dhabi

This is the sixth year that the recruitment fair has been held in the UAE. As in previous years, the fair will gather top schools in the Middle East region, China and southeast Asia who are looking for teachers.

Abdul Hafeez Khan attended a previous UAE fair as a candidate and said: “It was a great experience. The CRS team was very helpful and well organised. It was a great opportunity to meet different candidates and heads of schools.”

A second recruitment fair, held in Shanghai on Friday 10 to Sunday 12 January 2020, will bring together candidates and recruiters from the east and southeast Asia regions. 

next steps!

If you’d like to attend either fair, please make sure to create and complete a candidate profile.

Upon completion, an Explore CRS consultant will contact you to find out more about what you’re looking for and to answer any questions you have.

When you work with Explore CRS, you will be allocated a designated recruiter who will get to know you and either your career goals (for candidates) or your school's needs (for school recruiters).

Collectively, our team has over 40 years’ experience in educational recruitment and is made up of five nationalities. Many in the team have been international teachers themselves and therefore understand the complex issues schools face. Our consultants can provide valuable insight and advice to international educators.

Let's meet the Explore CRS consultants! 

1) Use the summer to ask some important questions

The time and space away from school can be as an ideal opportunity to work out whether you want to move on the following year, or not. The physical distance from school will probably allow for a much more balanced decision about your future than during the middle of term, after a stressful meeting or a tough class. It’s also a good landmark in time to consider where you want to be a year from now and perhaps allow for time to do some good research into possible alternative locations or schools. 

2) Have a discussion with family early

Every year international teachers face the decision of whether to resign with a current school, explore their options, or actively seek a new job. Although it seems obvious to say, for those with a partner and children to consider, an early discussion about this will hugely reduce stress later on.

The recruitment season tends to be full of the unexpected. There might be the perfect job in a location that you’re not sure about or a position with more responsibility or pay but in a school that you wasn’t high on your list. Either way, it’s important to have a good discussion about what you can compromise on (because there will almost always need to be something) and what you really can’t.

A key decision is whether you will stay at your current school if the right thing doesn’t come up or whether you are definitely leaving and planning to take the best offer you get. This is better decided early on rather than in the hotel lobby of a job fair or during a 48-hour decision window while planning Monday’s classes. 

3) Update your CV and picture

CVs go out of date quickly and very soon don’t reflect all the great programmes you were involved in, the curriculum training you did or the trips you organised since you last looked for a job.

A CV update well worth putting time into - read our post about what makes a good international teachers’ CV. If the job you’re seeking is different from your current role, then it’s important to remove the information that’s not relevant to the new position. For example, if you’re in a teaching role and aiming for a head of department position, you will want to include the training and leadership activities and programmes you’ve been involved in and delete the responsibilities that might be implied in your role as a teacher.

When selecting a profile picture to accompany your CV, adopting a rule of ‘no older than one year’ is a reasonable way to ensure both your CV and photograph do actually reflect the person your interviewer could meet.

If you’re already signed up with Explore CRS, be sure to update your candidate profile at the same time as your CV so that we have the most up-to-date information about you. 

4) Update your social media and social circle

This is more applicable if you have decided to leave and have already let your school know you won’t be staying after next year. If you are in that position, it’s important to have every angle working for you in your search for the best new role.

Updating your LinkedIn profile can attract employers who search for candidates using key terms, while setting your profile status to ‘searching’ will alert recruiters to your availability. Read our tips on using LinkedIn effectively in your job search.

You might also want to see if your first-choice institutions have social media accounts and profiles (such as on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) that you can follow to stay updated on jobs and other information about them.

Letting your friends and fellow teachers know you’re looking is also worthwhile. A personal referral to a position, jobs fair or recruitment company that you didn’t know about is very often a successful path into a new job.

5) Register with a free recruitment company (like Explore CRS!)

Speak with friends and read online reviews, but if a recruitment company is free and will keep an eye out for vacancies for you, then why not explore this route alongside your own job hunting? A recruitment agent will have useful advice, good relationships with principals and heads of schools, and might just put a position in front of you that you had not considered.

This step comes at the end of the preparation process because the perfect time to register is after you’ve considered the idea of moving on and have updated your CV. The registration process with Explore CRS doesn’t take long either - just around 30 minutes (10 minutes online and then 15 to 20 minutes on the phone with a consultant). 

next steps!

We wish you well in your job search and hope you’ll let us help you with it.

Don’t forget to spend a few minutes creating a candidate profile and one of the Explore CRS consultants will be in touch to discuss your job search goals. 

Vanessa Cumbers

Vanessa is from the United Kingdom and has worked within the international education recruitment/HR sector for more than 20 years. She moved to China in 2008 to work for a major international recruitment firm before joining Dipont Education as HR director in 2009. In 2012, she established Explore CRS as a subsidiary company of Dipont. Married to a former UK naval officer, Vanessa now splits her time between Shanghai and their home in Ludlow, England.

Email Vanessa.

Josh Gaeta

Josh joined Explore CRS in July 2016. He graduated with a BA in history and moved to China in 2012 after travelling around Europe for three months post-graduation. Having initially worked as a teacher in China, Josh transitioned into education recruitment in order to build knowledge and develop skills in a different field. He is currently studying a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Josh is married to a Chinese woman and has a young family. He is a fantastic squash player and enjoys cooking, watching football, eating and travelling.

Email Josh.

Robin Watts

Robin has been with the company since March 2016 and has lived in China for five and half years. A psychology graduate, Robin later completed a PGCE and taught psychology and physical education in the UK for six years before moving to China. In China, he made the transition from teaching into recruitment and is now studying for a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Level 5 qualification in human resources to develop his skills further. He is a keen supporter, and now veteran player, of football and while his level of spoken Chinese remains basic, he enjoys the country's hot summers and delicious food.

Email Robin.

Morgane Hervio

Morgane brings the French touch to the team. She graduated in 2015 with a masters degree in international cooperation and intercultural relations. In January 2017 Morgane joined Explore CRS as an intern and is now a confident recruitment consultant. Her experience of travelling and living across the world has allowed her to embrace different cultures and to effectively understand cross-cultural communication. As well as French, Morgane is fluent in English and Spanish, and knows some basic Chinese.

Email Morgane.

Nick Halaiko

Nick joined Explore CRS in July 2018 and has been in China for around seven years. He used to be a teacher and taught English and geography before deciding to work in educational recruitment. Nick has also lived in Japan and Saudi Arabia, and enjoys travelling to new destinations as well as spending time in the mountains and at the beach.

Email Nick.

Rosy Zhao

Rosy joined Explore CRS in 2018. She is fluent in English and Mandarin and is local to the city of Shanghai. As the newest member of the team, Rosy arrived with nearly four years' experience of recruiting ESL teachers. She has enjoyed the challenge of working with international and bilingual schools and teachers with varied backgrounds. Rosy regularly uses her experience to address the concerns of foreign teachers relocating to a new country. She is a friendly face in the team and is a determined worker with a get-up-and-go attitude.

Email Rosy.

The partnership has been developed as part of Explore CRS’ ongoing commitment to providing the best service to candidates. Explore CRS consultants have long recognised that while not all candidates from the USA have a formal teaching certification, their chances of getting a well-paid international teaching job are greatly improved if they do.

Often, due to visa requirements of the countries in which Explore CRS places candidates, a formal teaching certification is a mandatory requirement from client schools. Even where a formal licence is not a requirement, it is always a strong preference and will greatly improve the job options available to a teacher.

“Having discussed the programme with the team at TeacherReady and worked with candidates who have completed it, we feel confident to recommend it as an internationally recognised, rigorous and well-supported programme,” explains Vanessa Cumbers, director of Explore CRS.

“TeacherReady’s online teaching certification programme offers good value for money and is a great way to move a teacher’s career to the next level.”

Non-financial partnership

As this is a non-financial partnership with TeacherReady, Explore CRS receives no monetary benefit from recommending their services to individual candidates.

“For us, it’s simply about ensuring our candidates are ready for the international teaching jobs market,” adds Vanessa.

For TeacherReady, the collaboration means they have a reputable international recruitment partner that they can recommend to their graduating students.

“Many of our students want to teach overseas when they graduate from our programme, so it’s fantastic to be able to tell them about the vacancies offered through Explore CRS,” says Tatiana Keith, TeacherReady Operations and Field Placements Manager.

find out more!

Visit the TeacherReady website to find out more about their accelerated and accredited online teacher certification preparation programme.

Ready to search for an international teaching job? Check out the Explore CRS job search

We’re looking for an enthusiastic and driven individual who is keen to receive training and advice from experienced recruiters.

This is a great opportunity for someone looking to start or further develop a career in recruitment. 

Our new associate recruiter will:

  • Work within an energetic team made up of many nationalities
  • Have the opportunity to make uncapped commission on placements
  • Be involved in the project planning and delivery of two international job fairs
  • Enjoy fabulous views of Jing’an Temple from our downtown office.

The ideal candidate will need:

  • Two years of relevant experience 
  • To meet the requirements to qualify for a full working visa in China
  • Excellent working levels of English (both expatriate and local Chinese candidates can be considered)
  • Experience in marketing, sales or communications would be highly regarded
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel etc) - good IT skills will be highly sought after
  • To be highly efficient, self-motivated, organised and driven.

The role involves:

  • Generating candidates through a variety of channels and conducting pre-screening interviews with them
  • Identifying good matches between available candidates and available positions
  • Organising workflow and managing your personal time to maximise efficiency and productivity
  • Keeping detailed records of candidates, interviews, placements and data within the Bullhorn Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  • Communicating with various stakeholders including fellow consultants, candidates and client schools in an effective and personalised manner
  • Learning through formal and informal training, and developing through feedback provided by senior consultants. 

next steps!

If you’re interested in joining the Explore CRS team as our new associate recruiter, please email a CV/resume and covering letter to

Over 400 candidates and 50 schools 

Our annual events had a fantastic turnout of high quality candidates seeking international teaching jobs and a broad range of respected schools from across Wider Asia.

Each Fair ran over the course of 3 jam-packed days with professional development workshops, interviews, networking, info-sharing and making new friends! Over the course of the fairs we saw around 400 candidates and over 50 respected schools.


With all these education professionals under one roof we decided to uncover some key pointers for both schools and candidates during recruitment season.

As the hosting consultants at these events, we sometimes feel a little like matchmakers, and in this case we wanted to share what we’ve learned when it comes to helping everyone find their perfect fit.

In an industry that has been growing steadily over the last 10 years what would you say have been the biggest changes/challenges you’ve seen in the UAE?

It has been a long time since the UAE has been viewed as a “hardship” destination. Over the past ten years it has progressively generated more and more premium sector (particularly UK branded) schools. The marketplace has become overcrowded and as a result it’s raised competition. 10 years ago parents would’ve had to apply to a number of schools at once to find a place for their child, but with the range of choices that now exist, the balance has shifted and families are able to be more selective about which school they would like to send their children to.

One of the other biggest changes is the approach to teaching and the quality of institutions. Since the introduction of The Knowledge and Human Authority (KHDA) the quality of provision has significantly improved . The Bureau has been carrying out annual inspections across schools under a unified framework in order to assess the quality of all aspects of school management. . Better quality checks and a new directive in looking at education in a more holistic view, encompassing more than just classroom academia. Regulatory authorities have taken an interest in understanding the importance of mindfulness and monitoring a “Happiness Index”. Appreciating and prioritizing quality of life outside the classroom as well as the academic approach are being valued equally.

In an industry that has been growing steadily over the last 10 years what would you say have been the biggest changes/challenges you’ve seen in China?

In 2009 we had 9 or 10 schools, fast forward to 2017 and we have 27 schools and counting. At present the sector is not showing any signs of slowing down, so we have to be very focused on staff recruitment and retention. Teachers on the international circuit tend to carry out shorter tenures in general, so we have been working on ways to try and increase teacher retention. In fact, it’s something we’ve seen a great improvement on in the last few years. Having mentioned the fact that we are always looking for highly qualified and experienced teachers to join our team, we know we need to be competitive in this already saturated market. Quality of instruction and the proof of great academic results in the school will always be highly valued. On top of this I would say that the tried and tested method that has been working for Dipont since 2003 is the clear and consistent management structure we have in place. We are a professional and experienced outfit and we have a breadth of staff from all across the world. This makes for a truly International education company. Strength lies in professionalism and a solid structure. The support structure includes heads of department, Center Principals, who are expected to be developmental leaders, the Academic Quality Management team, who provide curriculum support across the Dipont system, and the external training we send teachers to throughout the year. For these support positions, the company always advertises internally before going externally.

There’s also a need here to get Chinese parents on board with a different teaching style, that is somewhat different to what has long been ingrained culturally, and to prove that there is value and results in the western style of teaching that is to some families unfamiliar. This can take patience, time and continually advocating the methodology whilst working on achieving results. A great way to do this would be in making a concerted effort to collate data following up on the success rate of those students that went on to get accepted and graduate from the colleges of their choice.


It’s no secret that the benefits of teaching in the international education sector are encouraging more and more teachers to explore career opportunities further afield. Competitive salaries, great benefits packages and a chance for professional development in an exciting new setting, mean that this industry is seeing phenomenal growth right now.

It also means a chance to travel the world, experience new cultures and landscapes, and enhance your CV with international teaching experience. All this, plus the chance to join some of the most well-respected schools in the world with access to top of the range facilities.


So with all these great reasons to take the leap towards an international career how do you make your CV stand out from the crowd? We asked our consultants here at Explore CRS for their top tips and what they look for when they’re reading through your CVs.

When applying for a job in the international education sector, it’s become standard practice to interview over Skype when a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible. It’s important to remember however that just because the interview isn’t physically taking place in the same room…it’s still an interview!

You would be surprised at some of the stories our consultants have about some of the things they’ve seen! Here they are with some of their tips on how best to impress when on screen.

Interviewing at International Schools 

Interviews aren’t everyone’s favourite thing. However, international school recruiters will put a large emphasis on the interview in order to assess a candidate’s personality, their values and teaching style, team fit and how well they handle pressure. This is especially important when you consider that teachers have busy schedules, deal with a wide variety of issues and have significant responsibility demanded of them.


There’s no getting around the interview when applying for an international teaching position, therefore the best thing to do is become the best interviewee possible. So how does one achieve this? Here are a few things to keep in mind to have your best interview:


A self-directed and life-long learner with a genuine passion for Science and its role in society. 

Another year, another set of Job Fairs!

With almost 500 candidates and over 50 attending schools we had a fantastic turnout from both sides. We ran our Shanghai and Abu Dhabi events in January this year and welcomed a range of academic institutions and certified educators. Our PD Workshops were received with enthusiasm and enjoyed excellent participation from candidates.

We were well represented across the wider Asia region with attending schools from Shanghai, Doha, Saudi Arabia, Beijing and Hong Kong to name just a few. With a variety of positions on offer, we managed to bring together a collection of diverse professionals for two successful Fairs over the course of both events.

The Fairs were filled with interviews, professional development, client and candidate networking mixers all of which provided everyone the chance to make friendly and professional connections. 

With so much competition how can one school stand out from the rest and attract students?

There is indeed a pressure now for schools to win over the families and hit student enrollment targets. My answer to that would be to ensure the school develops a USP. When launching a new school amongst the already crowded market it would be wise to find a fresh angle to present to parents and students.

A great example of this would be when Taaleem opened the Dubai British School Jumeirah Park. We collaborated with Michelin Star chef Gary Rhodes to create a healthy, fresh and where possible, organic lunch menu for the students. The children were asked for their input when it came to menu creation and there was a real dedication to making meal times an enjoyable part of the school day that the students looked forward to. The idea was to help the students respect meal time as a place to not only satisfy hunger but to learn about eating healthily and the nutritional value of eating well. It was also about learning and developing social skills and table manners.

By focusing on a key area that applies across life and wanting to dedicate real time and expertise to it – it proves to parents that the school is taking the child’s health seriously and looking at learning from a holistic view. It’s not enough anymore to just rely on an established school name or reputation, there needs to be attention to turning out well rounded students with life skills outside of the standard curriculum.

Have you seen a particular shift in attitudes or teaching styles and structures over the past 8 years? 

Absolutely. Within China we’ve got two different educational cultures operating here. The national Chinese curriculum which is heavily test focused especially on the International Higher Education Entrance Examination (GaoKao). The teaching style is intense with a heavy emphasis on academic results in a rather traditional style of long hours, hard discipline, teacher instruction and student note taking with one syllabus for all. The Western education style uses a different approach that encourages more critical thinking, debate, and independent research. Different syllabi cater to different student ability and there is a less instructional set up to the classroom dynamic from the teacher. The growth in popularity of international schools in China has encouraged what I would hope is a greater balance between the two teaching methods, drawing on positive elements from both sides and finding a harmonious learning environment for the students. The aim is to fully prepare these students to be able to flourish and continue their studies in colleges and universities mainly in the US and UK.

Keep it simple and relevant

Condense your CV down to the necessary information. We don’t need to see your high school grades. Think about how much personal information you include as well. Our mission is to quickly and efficiently set you off in the right next steps in your career.

Be on time

Just because the interview is taking place online it still needs to be booked in and often across different time zones. It’s just common courtesy to arrive punctually or let your interviewer know if you are unable to attend, running late, need to rearrange etc. You wouldn't just not turn up to an in person interview would you? 


A smiling and friendly face is always a good icebreaker. It will help you to relax and show your interviewer how you can connect to students with warmth.

Research the School and the Position

This will not only provide you with talking points, but it can show a recruiter that you have done your research and take the position seriously.

Prepare Questions

Any recruiter will welcome questions about the position and the school. This will again show the recruiter that you care. It will also give you a better idea of the position so you know if it’s a good fit. This is especially the case if you’re applying for an international job. For example, if you’re looking at teacher jobs in Shanghai, you’ll want to ………. .

Dress the Part

It’s important to make sure you create a good first impression and we all know that looking professional for a formal interview makes sense. A prospective teacher should look smart and dressed for the occasion – whether the interview is in-person or via Skype.

Prepare to talk about yourself

This may sound obvious but make sure you prepare some good examples you can share with the interviewer about past successes and difficulties. This allow you to demonstrate your achievements as well as how you’ve learnt from (or overcome) a challenging situation.

October holiday, it's almost time

The Golden Week (黄金周)

The Golden Week (黄金周), in the People's Republic of China, is the name given to a semi-annual 7-day national holiday, implemented in 2000: The "Chinese Lunar New Year Golden Week" (Chinese New Year) begins in January or February. The "National Day Golden Week" begins around 1 October.

There was then a major reform in 2008, abolishing the Labour Day Golden Week and adding three traditional Chinese holidays (Qingming Festival, Duanwu Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival). From at least 2000 until this reform, the Spring Festival public holiday began on New Year's Day itself.

Once again, it is time to start planning your holidays for the year ahead. (Check out our recommendations for cheap flights in China here).

Complete public holiday schedule

China’s General Office of the State Council released the complete public holiday schedule for 2017 yesterday, and it pretty much looks the same as it always has.

One major difference this year is that Mid-Autumn Festival falls in the middle of Golden Week, so you'll get to enjoy a full eight days off during the first week of October. And Dragon Boat Festival falls a little earlier this year, taking place at the end of May.

You'll also only have to work FIVE weekend days in 2017, down from six this year. Because nothing says "enjoy your holiday" quite like having to pay it back.

Without further ado, your 2017 public holidays...

Which Fair did you attend? 

I came to the Shanghai event after being told about it by a friend. It was actually the first recruitment fair I’ve ever been to.

How did you find the organisation and structure of the Fair itself?

Very good! As far as I could see everything ran like clockwork and was very well organized. After initial sign-in, coffee was provided before heading into the main ballroom at 9am to see the attending schools. This was a really efficient way of getting to meet and greet with a variety of institutions and learn a little bit about them. I managed to set up four interviews from the Open Ballroom session.

How many offers did you receive? 

Of the four interviews I had, I received three offers which I was very pleased with.

So we asked… “Teachers – what matters most to you?”

A happy living environment

A happy home is a happy heart and the quality of life outside the school is something that can reflect in the classroom, especially if you are planning a move outside of your ‘home’ country. Life as an expatriate can take some getting used to and whilst those in international education are aware of the lifestyle and its rewards and challenges, ensuring stability of the home is a priority.

School Structure

What is my role within the team? The department? It’s good to manage expectations and to understand where and how you’ll fit into your new teaching job.

Quality of facilities and resources

Knowing what kind of teaching aids and budget/support/resource is made available can shape how an educator customizes and delivers their lessons.

What are my professional development opportunities

Understanding your prospects and how to progress in your career in the international teaching market is essential to maintaining motivation and enthusiasm. Will this job help you in building the future you want?

The school reputation

A well respected and established school can be a big attraction. The chance to be part of a school culture that upholds strong and credible standards and teaching methods, that align with yours, can help to ensure the “right fit”.

Apparently school fees in Dubai are set to rise again by 4.8%. Do you believe this is justified?

70% of the cost of a school is its staff. Whilst it is important to recompense great educators fairly to ensure that staff feel valued, we at Taaleem group have decided to freeze the school fees at this precise moment in time. We understand that families are feeling the pressure in a difficult financial climate and we want them to know that as a school group we understand that. We do not want to become a source of added anxiety or economic stress. Freezing teachers’ pay and only increasing following inflation rises seems the fairest way. We can incentivize our teacher’s through career development and through being honest from the beginning and managing their salary expectations at the start. We are able to offer a different type of stability through our benefits package which would include housing and flights, a nice set of lifestyle benefits and a dedication to helping those educators really flourish in their careers.

One final general question, what do you see as the key benefits/advantages for educators working in the UAE?   

The UAE is one of the safest places to live in the world as crime rates are so low. It’s also an exciting and fast paced environment to live in. Career development is great, as are pay and conditions. Dubai is now on the map as a luxury destination and the lifestyle perks here can be bountiful. Weather is beautiful and it's a chance to live and work in a country that is embracing forward thinking initiatives . In 2010, the United Arab Emirates’ Government launched the UAE Vision 2021', which “sets the key themes for the Socio-economic development of the UAE” and calls for “a shift to a diversified and knowledge-based economy”. It's a chance to be a part of an environment actively promoting progress and learning.

One final general question, what do you see as the key benefits/advantages for educators working in the China?

For sure one of the most enjoyable aspects of living in this country is the teaching. Chinese kids are such a receptive audience and very eager to learn. They are a hardworking and ambitious student body. It allows the teacher to just focus on the academics and curricula and see really fulfilling results. China also still has a relatively low cost of living and Dipont provides housing and other benefits which allows a teacher to save roughly 50% of your earnings. We are constantly assessing how competitive we remain within the market too, to ensure we can provide the best for our staff. I would also say that Dipont has built a really relatable and familiar feeling establishment. This model is what a Western teacher will already have experienced so it should feel like an easy transition. Besides this, China is also a great hub for travel around the rest of South East Asia. Japan, Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, to name just a few, these are all within a few hours’ flights and become affordable destinations when you can save a large portion of your earnings.


It’s amazing how many CVs come through with grammatical or spelling mistakes. Check it once, check it again and then ask someone else to check it too.

Think about your presentation on camera

I have dialled in for Skype interviews with candidates and been surprised at what people have thought was acceptable dress and what’s in the background behind them! 

get in touch

If you are interested in progressing  your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role

How was the support from the Explore CRS staff at the Fair?

Helpful and knowledgeable. They were on hand to provide useful pointers and suggestions and were very honest about the schools and what to expect.

What was the best thing about the Fair? Where could we improve?

The structure of the second day was well organised and the Open Ballroom session was a convenient way to see all the schools quickly. It also gave you a chance to learn a bit about each one before deciding to proceed further to interview. I didn't however have a chance to attend any PD workshops over the weekend. I was interviewing most of Saturday and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take the Friday off work, but I heard from other candidates that they were worthwhile.

Would you come again?

Yes, and I would definitely recommend it to friends and colleagues.

How would you rate the post-fair follow up?

It was good. Once I decided on the position I wanted, my designated consultant helped me with the contract negotiations and final sign off. I managed to secure a great new position which was an upward career move for me and I am really happy in my new school.

We spoke with both our Schools and our candidates and here’s a few of the things they had to say about this years’ events:

“The Fair was an incredible opportunity to meet professionals in the field and have the chance to develop my skills. Thank you”

Sonia Barghani, Candidate

“Organized, professional and very well run with a large selection of schools.”

Marc Warin, Candidate

“Very organized and friendly. CRS Staff were very thorough and helpful, always willing to offer assistance”

Maria Lau, Causeway Bay Victoria Kindergarten and International Kindergarten

“It was a great experience. The CRS team was very helpful and well organized. It was a great opportunity to meet different candidates and heads of schools. I have definitely benefited a lot from this Fair.”

Abdul Hafeez Khan, Candidate

“I was very impressed with the level of support offered by the CRS staff and how they were able to help us in contacting candidates and following up afterwards. They were a friendly bunch too, which always makes it easier to work with people”.

Matt Conn, Nanwai King’s College School, Wuxi

And what about the schools? What matters most to them?

Does the candidate match with the mission and vision of the school?

Recruiting schools want to see a candidate who can provide real examples that demonstrate their adaptability. Are you happy to learn and collaborate? Be adaptable/flexible and embrace a school curriculum and culture?

Have you stepped outside of your normal job description to offer more to the school?

Did you implement any after school clubs/extra-curricular activities? Did you volunteer to run any events? Schools are looking to recruit international teachers with enthusiasm and commitment to enhancing students’ lives beyond the classroom.

Your character as a teacher

When you are interviewing with a school you are giving them a key insight into how you manage in a slightly stressful environment and with new people and unfamiliar surroundings. It provides a glimpse of who you are and how you might fit into their recruiting school.

Can you as a person cope with the school environment we have?

One of the most commonly repeated requests from international recruiting schools we hear is “make sure they are the right fit”. An extremely talented educator with great experience could seem great on paper but not the right fit due to varying factors. It may be environment based. Relocating from a very established, well-resourced school into a brand new school with less structure and resource could prove challenging.

Experience living overseas

To work within the international education sector means to understand that you will be outside of your familiar surroundings and culture, at times your comfort zone. The right candidate needs to be comfortable with adapting to new environments and legal/religious systems and social values and norms.

get in touch

If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role

Explain your acronyms

In the international education sector there are so many different institutions and academic bodies that it really makes sense to write out the name in full first and then use the acronym in brackets. This is especially important if it’s not a well-known or globally used acronym. We want recruiting schools to be able to understand your CV!

Think about your profile name and any message

It would be an idea to have separate personal and professional Skype accounts if your personal Skype handle is something that could be seen as unprofessional. It may sound small but these things can definitely impact an employer’s perception of you. Make sure you are presenting your best version of you for interview.

get in touch

If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role

get in touch

If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role

get in touch

If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role

Include curricula experience

Recruiting schools will quickly scan CVs to pick out curricula experience. More and more we are seeing requests for IB experienced teachers, for example, and although often first preference will be for prior experience, many schools appreciate the similarities between curricula and just want to understand what you’ve been involved with.

Remain professional throughout

There is a process to go through. From when you first register online to when you sign the contract for the new position. Until the ink has dried on the offer acceptance, you need to remember this is still your chance to impress your potential employer and maintaining professionalism is key.

get in touch

If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role.

Create a candidate profile and one of our consultants will be in touch to discuss next steps with you. 

get in touch

If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role. Email or register a profile today.


Sep 3, 2019

Meet the Explore CRS team!

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For Candidates

Aug 7, 2019

5 ways to prepare for the international teaching recruitment season

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Recruitment Fairs

Jul 16, 2019

UAE recruitment fair to be held at a school for first time

read article