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Hiring schools abroad often receive hundreds of applications for each vacancy they’ve posted.

And because great schools are built on great teachers, they’re very committed to making the right hire and usually have a pretty good idea of what they want more of at their school. So, what are these highly coveted qualities that make an ideal international teaching candidate?

To find out, we reached out to some hiring schools to find out what they want to see in every candidate they hire. In no particular order, here are the 5 qualities employers overseas are really looking for.

1. Teachers with the right qualifications

This one’s a bit of a no-brainer When you’re job hunting, you need the right education and experience. We recommend you read the job requirements carefully before applying, but as a general rule:

To teach at an international school or program overseas, you’ll need to have:

Depending on the position, you may also need a couple years of teaching experience in the right curriculum under your belt. Not sure if you fit the bill?

Drop by our job board for the largest variety of certified teaching jobs around the world.

To teach English abroad, you’ll need to have:

  • Your bachelor’s degree
  • An internationally-recognized ESL certification (like a TEFL)

2. Culturally responsive teachers

This one is high on our list for a reason – it’s a must-have for any teach abroad candidate. International and language schools abroad are diverse places.

This means that hiring schools are looking for educators who not only embrace their students’ cultural backgrounds – they’re also seeking teachers who can actively nurture a culturally responsive learning environment in the classroom.

Need to brush up on your making your classroom more culturally sensitive? Read more about becoming a culturally responsive teacher.

3. Open-minded teachers

Not being open-minded is a surefire path to misery if you’re teaching abroad. Different cultures think, act and behave differently to what might be the norm for you and where you call home. You need to be curious and willing to consider things from different angles and viewpoints.

If you’re excited to embrace this, then great! Every day may surprise you at the start, but you’ll gain a whole new perspective on life and education.

4. Adaptable teachers

Remember, the way schools run in other countries may not be what you’re used to. They may be less (or more) organized and you may have fewer (or greater) responsibilities.

Hiring schools will be on the lookout for candidates with the right mindset, who can demonstrate comfort with change and a willingness to learn new ways of doing things.

5. Teachers who care about their own professional development

Our classrooms are changing at an ever-increasing pace – hiring schools are more eager than ever to hire candidates who are proactive about their professional development and care about making their classrooms a great place to learn for each and every student.

If you’re looking for a smart way to make your application stand out from the competition, we recommend you take some professional development courses – especially any courses covering emerging trends in 21st century education, like digital literacy.

So there you have it – five qualities that will get you hired to teach abroad in no time! Hopefully this has helped paint a clearer picture of what employers look for in a teach abroad candidate.

Interested in landing your dream teaching job abroad? Get your application in today to teach in the UK >

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