We accept reviews from teachers or administrators who have worked in an international school within the past five years. Reports should not be overly negative, we prefer the three stars and a wish approach, and should not make derogatory statements directed at any individual who is named or easily identified. On the other hand, we are very happy for excellent teachers or administrators to be named if they are deserving of praise. As our database of international school reviews grows, we will sort the reviews by country. This is a free service for teachers and administrators, and the site admin reserves the right to edit or reject any posts that contravene our educational philosophy.
REVIEWS OF INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
St Andrew’s International School, Blantyre
SAintS is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the international sector. The school is on the fringe of Malawi’s business capital, Blantyre, and is set on a beautiful campus. St Andrew’s is a member of COBIS and offers IGCSE and A Level courses, as well a being the first school in Africa to offer BTEC. Academic standards are high, and the school has a wonderful community spirit. The school also benefits from the outstanding leadership of the Headteacher, Mrs Sarah Samanyika. I loved every minute of my time at SAintS and wholeheartedly recommend the school to anyone considering teaching in Sub Saharan Africa.
British International School of Casablanca
BISC is anything but a credible international school. Teachers and Administrators have no freedom to do their jobs and are under the constant gaze of the Board of Directors, who have offices within the school. There is a culture of fear and Mr Ahmed El Fehdi, the owner of the school, is liable to make operational decisions based upon feedback he receives from his friends who have children at the school. As a result, the school has no clear sense of direction or purpose. There are many excellent teachers at the school, but few are happy due to the ridiculous micromanagement of the Board. Staff turnover is high, and the school is barely sustainable. Casablanca is a great city to live in, and one can have a nice life in Morocco, but it’s probably wise to seek work somewhere other than BISC!
Norwegian International School, Port Harcourt
NIS is the personal fiefdom of the school owner Ada Udenzi, who is a very unpleasant woman. The school is housed in a concrete monstrosity and could potentially cater for several hundred students, but in reality, there are only a couple of hundred of roll. Despite being sold the vision of the school being a forward thinking and creative environment, the truth is that the only reason the school exists is to allow the owner to launder money. Nothing else could explain the huge investment into the infrastructure without any focus on developing the educational side of the school. I could share many horror stories about NIS, but I will give one example of the disingenuous nature of the institution. When I was hired, I was promised a tax-free US dollar salary, but on my arrival, I was told that I would be paid in the local currency due to legal reasons. As I had already relocated to Port Harcourt with my family, I had little option but to accept the changes in my terms and conditions of employment, and somehow, I managed to survive in the toxic environment for a whole year! Nigeria has a lot to offer, and I worked with some wonderful colleagues, but the whole experience was undermined by Ada Udenzi!
Baobab College, Lusaka
Baobab College is set on a beautiful campus in Makeni, which is very close to Lusaka. In the past it had a great reputation and was the international school of choice for many middle-class Zambians and foreigners. In recent years the school has regressed significantly, and its former reputation is a distant memory. This malaise has come about due to the gross incompetence of the Board of Directors and the school management. Salaries were once competitive and attracted the best local and international teachers, but these days the salary offered is barely enough for teachers to live basically in Lusaka. Moreover, the school has some very dubious hiring practices, and has developed a reputation for cancelling contracts offered to perspective employees. I am aware of one case where someone was employed to join the SLT and went as far as relocating his family to Zambia, before being informed that the job he had been employed for no longer existed. It is sad to see a once great school fall from grace!
Yew Wah International Education School Shanghai-Lingang
I spent four years at YWIES Shanghai-Lingang and by and large I had a positive experience. It was great to join a school in its infancy and to be part of the team that built up and developed the school. The students are overwhelmingly Chinese nationals, with only a handful of foreign students, so there is a bog focus on developing English language skills. Whilst this is challenging it is also incredibly rewarding to watch the students develop their language skills and ultimately be able to access IGCSE and A Level course. The school did begin to lose its sense of identity after a couple of years, and this was largely due to a wholesale change in school leadership. This led to many of the teachers leaving after having served a couple of two-year contracts. Whilst such a turnover of staff is normal in an international school, it was a shame to see many colleagues leaving because they had become increasingly disgruntled with the management. It’s now a couple of years since I left the school, and I hear from a few former colleagues, who opted to stay, that the sense of community that existed has now been eroded and that the school is failing to live up to the standards that were prevalent in the early years of its existence.
Marymount International School of Paris
Marymount is a beautiful school in the leafy suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, a stone’s throw from the centre of Paris. It is part of a global network of Marymount schools with sister schools in other parts of Europe, USA, Colombia and in Southern Africa. Marymount Paris is a very warm school with a strong sense of community, and the students are very happy in their learning. It is a lovely place to work, and that is evident from the low turnover of staff. In many senses, it is the hidden gem among the international schools of Paris.