As the job fair season begins and finishes in the next few months, it would be great to hear reviews from members who participated in a fair.

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Troy and everone -

Here is my dilemma - I am married with 2 children ages 7 and 10. My husband is not a teacher - he is in the law field and he is in the process of applying to the UN for a job in the same country/town that the school I am interested in is located. I did pay the membership fee to ISS, and have submitted my application materials. However, I just got an email from them saying that my opportunities will be extremely limited because I have 3 dependents, and that a work visa would be difficult for my husband to get. They wanted me to get a realistic picture of what chances I actually have. So - I paid $180 for them to tell me that. I have literaly been a member less than a week - have been waiting for them to approve my membership, and now it looks slim. I am not sure what to do... I am also wondering if I should write a message to the school to explain to them that my husband is applying to the UN? What do you think?


There may be a more pragmatic approach for you. You do not indicate the intended country, which may make a significant difference. It is not clear whether you will still take a job if all factors do not align.

If your husband got the UN position, would you go with or without the teaching job at that school? [Most countries have a need for ESL instructors]. If your husband does NOT get the UN position, would you still go? If the answer is "no," then you may want to treat the application process essentially as if you are going alone. In other words, if your husband does get a UN position, the issue of dependents will not be a major issue for you. Both employers would typically have accommodation for child dependents. Many schools assume that the "dependent" will be unemployed and that there will be financial hardship for the teacher employee.   I am not sure ISS really can comment knowledgeably about the chances of your husband getting a visa to work in a non teaching field with a different organization that may sponsor his visa. So what I am suggesting is to step back and decide exactly what help you want and need from ISS, recognizing THEIR limitations.  If what you need from them is just an interview with the school, I suggest not relying on the staff for career counseling. Too much information and trying to share your entire decision process may not be helpful to you. As for the letter, I think I would just contact the school to find out if I was a viable candidate and seriously considered for the position based upon your qualifications, not family status or contingencies. Unless the answer is a clear yes, there is no point going to the next step of complications respecting your husband and children.

The problem of two partners trying to coordinate job opportunities is not unusual, and is still very frustrating. Tim & Erin can tell you, as can others. When you limit your parameters as you seem to have done, however, I agree that being realistic about the limited opportunities is important to keep in mind.

Just one person's opinion.

Thanks Paul - this was helpful.


  One more salient point.  You can always apply to the school directly after you have arrived.  Like most schools back home, needs often arise at the beginning of the year.  I met a teacher whose husband works for USAID.  She just moves with him, and then walks into the school wherever he is posted and says, okay, "what have you got?"  It's not your best strategy, obviously, but it has worked for her.  The disadvantage is that she is often hired as a "local" hire, which means less pay and benefits.


Best of luck to you,


Hi Diana,

I highly recommend the CIS London fair in January, which will be taking place this weekend (a bit late to register, I guess). I can't really comment on their spring fair, beyond the fact that in my experience, the vast majority of schools do hire based on January-February job fairs, so I'd guess that there will be limited positions available in April. However, that being said, I know of one European international school that doesn't require their teachers to give notice until later in the spring, but I'm pretty sure it isn't the majority.

The reason I used the ISS database, and felt it was worth the money, was to see what positions were available. Jan CIS London is a great fair, but their website is really poor and there is almost no information before the fair. The ISS database gave me an excellent idea of the market and school profiles; being prepared with that information allowed me to feel much more confident about what I needed and wanted at CIS. CIS didn't even accurately list jobs that schools would be intereviewing for, or even confirm a list of schools attending, until maybe four days before the fair began. So, for my personality (I'd rather be over-prepared), I'm happy with my dual approach strategy. In the end, I interviewed with about ten different schools at CIS, got a 3-4 offers, and ultimately accepted one, which is where I work now.

I stayed with a friend outside of London, but my former student teacher went to London Search that same year and stayed at a nearby hostel, which worked out okay for her. If you can afford it, there's always the job fair hotel, but it was out of my budget. If you can, stay in London an extra day or two and enjoy it - such a great city!

Good luck in your job search.


I am attending the AASSA fair this year (Dec 5-8 in Atlanta) for the first time. In fact, it is my first fair. I really want to be in Mexico, Latin/South America so this fair makes sense. It's affordable and early in the season, which I hope will work in my favor as a school counselor. I have the impression that specialist positions do well at this fair.

Anyone ever attended this fair? Any advice you have to offer?

Fingers crossed and I will post a report here after I return!


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