Guest Blogger

Getting to Know Your Way: Finding International School library Positions

I blame it all on movies like The King and I. It’s because of movies like this, that I want to work abroad. Watching Anna teach, the students, the scenery, (not to mention those amazing dresses of hers), and more, was enough to make me want to hop on a plane to somewhere wonderful and start teaching. The role of a Teacher Librarian abroad offers first-hand the sights, scents and sounds of a country other than your own; real-world application of a new language, a different school and different customs. It can truly be life-changing. Currently and happily on a stint in the U.S., wanderlust always calls; I keep an eye on international library job opportunities. Here are some suggestions about how to apply for positions via online recruiting services, and what to look out for.

Recruiting for the next school year often starts as early as December, for the following year. Recruiters may offer both online recruitment, and face-to-face job fairs. The process starts with creating an online profile via your recruiting company. Be prepared to fill out online information, including uploading your certifications, a CV, experience and information including confidential references, plus a video call address. Once your profile is accepted, you will gain access to information on teaching positions around the world, as well as job fairs. A small, one-time fee is charged during the initial sign-up process.

Think about where you want to go. Be open-minded, and when you open school profiles and job descriptions, read all the fine print, and know that this may change over the course of your application. This also means read the final contract before signing it. The job posting covers the contract requirements of the job posting, including the length of the contract, age limits, if any, degree specifics, curriculum information, salary (not necessarily USD), housing and flight reimbursement.

Be aware of the culture, customs and political climate of the country. Ask questions before, during and after your interview, which is generally via video call. Check U.S. government information online regarding your country of interest. Follow expat blogs, and try to get a feel for your level of tolerance; the language barriers, how to handle money and transportation, and homesickness. Search online and print resources for current information. Learn all you can about the countries you would like to teach in, because you will be happier if you do, and so will your students.

If applying online, write a cover letter, and hit “send”. If you want to go to a job fair, follow the online procedure as indicated in your profile. And remember one thing, sometimes, it doesn’t work out. Then this is what you do: channel Anna in The King and I, figure out what you need to do, and apply for another position. Your adventure awaits!


Courtesy photo from Guest Blogger
Courtesy photo from Guest Blogger

Our guest blogger today is Brenda Hahn. Brenda’s permanent home is in Florida, where she and her family live. As a Teacher/Librarian, she has worked in U.S. public schools, public libraries and in several international schools. Brenda’s vivid imagination keeps her library skills and literacy instruction both current and fun. She can be reached at

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at

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