Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Teach Overseas: for Teachers

Teach abroad to enhance your professional skills and to gain a new perspective of yourself and your home country, while also discovering new parts of the world. Queen’s international recruitment services can help you find the perfect teaching position abroad – whether you interested in attending a face-to-face recruitment fair or registering for an online overseas placement service. 

Attend the Teachers' Overseas Recruiting Fair - January 25-27, 2019

At our Teachers’ Overseas Recruiting Fair (TORF), registered candidates have the opportunity to interview for teaching positions around the world, learn about the international schools through presentations, attend workshops, and meet with school administrators face-to-face, and potentially sign contracts by the end of the fair.

Thank you to all for a very successful TORF weekend!  While TORF is over for this year, many international schools are still actively recruiting through our Teachers’ Overseas Placement Services (TOPS) online, and candidates are welcome to register for the service.  TOPS registration is $50 for the remainder of the year, and will remain open until August 2019.

Teachers' Overseas Recruiting Fair

A recruiting fair is an opportunity for certified teachers to interview with and sign contracts with international schools. It is different than a career fair, which is usually an information fair.

By registering for TORF, you gain access to our Schools’ Database which gives you an abundance of information beyond what is available on the schools’ websites. This database provides you with the information you need about schools, salaries and benefits, and vacancies so you can be ready for the Recruiting Fair.

Experienced staff at Queen’s are also able to help you understand each school’s individual nature so you can make the important decision about where to teach overseas.

By signing up you will also be able to take part in our International Teaching Overseas webinars in advance of TORF which will help you prepare for your teaching abroad adventure. 

Advantages of Attending TORF

Attending TORF in person is the most successful way of securing a position at an international school that is right for you. Teachers who attend TORF tell us that being at the fair is an education in international teaching, and that the support they received helped them to make the best decision about their future. We are committed to providing the most trustworthy advice and support during the recruitment process.

  • Many schools prefer to hire through face-to-face interviews
  • TORF occurs during the height of the recruiting 'season' - there are hundreds of positions available
  • You can attend multiple school presentations
  • There are formal and informal networking opportunities with other teachers and with international school recruiters
  • Experienced individuals are on-hand all weekend to help you through your decisions
  • Financial and international tax experts are on site to advise you on your financial matters

Please note that the positions and location of the schools vary widely, and that the numbers of positions will decrease after the peak period during TORF. As a result, we offer no guarantee that an appropriate vacancy in your preferred location will be available. For this reason, we suggest that each candidate be open to considering vacancies in schools in at least two continents to increase the likelihood of securing a contract.

Teachers' Overseas Placement Service 

We offer a year-round recruiting service to assist certified teachers* to connect with international school recruiters. Teachers and teacher candidates who register with us will be able to access our international schools’ database, view school vacancies, and apply for positions online. Registrants will also have the option to attend our Teachers’ Overseas Recruiting Fair (TORF) at no extra charge.  We are able to assist any teacher in finding an international teaching position – whether you are able to attend the fair or not.

* International schools hire teachers with an undergraduate degree and teaching certification in the K-12 range from Canada or the US. If you are unsure if your qualifications would meet the requirements, please email torf@queensu.ca.

NEW! Attending Schools for TORF 2019
This list will be updated as the schools complete the registration process. Please check back often.
Withdrawn Brazil Porto Alegre   The Pan American School of Porto Alegre
*NEW* Online only Bahamas Freeport   Lucaya International School
Confirmed Bulgaria Sofia   American College of Sofia
Confirmed China Beijing   Canadian International School of Beijing
Confirmed China Jiangmen   Boren-Sino Canadian School
*NEW* Online only China Macao   School of the Nations, Macau
Confirmed China Various cities   Canadian Trillium Colleges
Confirmed China Various cities   Maple Leaf Education Systems
Confirmed China Various cities   Bond Schools International - Bond Education Group
Confirmed China Macao   The International School of Macao (TIS)
Confirmed China Guangzhou   Canadian International School of Guangzhou
Confirmed Cambodia Phnom Penh   Canadian International School of Phnom Penh
Withdrawn Colombia Bucaramanga   Colegio Panamericano
Confirmed Colombia La Guajira   Colegio Albania
Confirmed Colombia Medellin   The Columbus School
Confirmed Cuba Havana   International School of Havana
Confirmed Egypt Cairo   Canadian International School in Egypt
Confirmed Honduras San Pedro Sula   Escuela Internacional Sampedrana
Confirmed Italy Milan   Bilingual European School
Confirmed Japan Sataima (Tokyo)   Columbia International School
Confirmed Korea Jeju   Branksome Hall Asia
Confirmed Kuwait Hawalli   American Creativity Academy
Confirmed Kuwait Hawalli   American International School of Kuwait
Confirmed Kuwait Hawalli   American School of Kuwait
Confirmed Malaysia Iskandar   Sunway International School (Iskandar, Malaysia)
Confirmed Malaysia Kuala Lumpur   Sunway International School (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Confirmed Mexico Guadalajara   Canadian School Guadalajara
Confirmed México México City   Peterson Schools
Confirmed México Monterrey   Colegio Inglés
Confirmed Mexico Puerto Vallarta   American School of Puerto Vallarta
Confirmed Mexico Queretaro   John F. Kennedy American School
Withdrawn Morocco Rabat   Rabat American School
*NEW* Confirmed Myanmar Mandalay   BFI Education
Confirmed Philippines Manila   Brent Schools Inc.
*NEW* Confirmed Saudi Arabia Riyadh   American International School - Riyadh
Confirmed Taiwan Kaoshiung City   I Shou International School
Confirmed Taiwan Taichung   Cornel School
Confirmed Thailand Bangkok   International School of Bangkok
Confirmed - Online Only Trinidad Port of Spain   Maple Leaf International School
Withdrawn United Arab Emirates Dubai   Esol - Universal American School in Dubai
Confirmed Venezuela Maracaibo   Escuela Bella Vista
Confirmed Venezuela Valencia   Colegio Internacional de Carabobo
Confirmed Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City   American International School, Vietnam
Confirmed Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City   Canadian International School, Vietnam


$100 CAD Early Bird Special (deadline December 17, 2018 at 11:59 pm)
$125 CAD Regular Registration (after December 17, 2018)
$50 CAD Reduced rate (after January 28, 2019)

After your application is reviewed you will receive an email with a link to pay your registration fee. Please allow for 2 days turnaround if applying in time for the Early Bird special.

There is no additional charge for attending the TORF onsite fair in January. The fee allows you to be active in our database, to apply for positions with our registered international schools, and to be visible to registered international school recruiters until August 2019. All currency is in Canadian Dollars.

Registration fees for teachers are extremely low, thanks to support from the Queen’s Faculty of Education and the registration fees paid by international schools.

Please note that there is a separate short registration for payments.


Please be aware of the registration deadlines, as we cannot accept late submissions. Please also note that international school recruiters will be able to see your documents on-line as soon as your file is activated. It is to your advantage to submit your documents and fee to activate your file and become visible.

  • Registration Form: Due by Monday January 14, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Payment & Document Submission: Due by Tuesday January 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST

Registration Procedure

To register as a candidate, you will need to:

  1. Complete your online registration (This will include information for your profile and uploading supporting documents).

  2. Your application will be reviewed by a TORF staff member ensuring that your profile and documentation is complete. Please note this is not an automated process, but requires a staff member to review.

  3. Make your payment. After your application is reviewed you will receive an email* with a link to pay your registration fee.

  4. Once your payment has been received your file will be activated and you will have access to see school profiles, including salaries, benefits, and vacancies, and the TORF weekend schedule (when available).

*While candidates can work on their registration over the Christmas holidays, the university will be closed and TORF applications will not be processed between December 19 – January 1 (inclusive). The office will re-open on January 2, 2019 and all applications and payments received during the closure will be processed as quickly as possible. We encourage candidates to complete their profiles and upload their documents over the break to ensure a quick completion of the registration process in January.

Registration Documents

Mandatory Documents

Recommended Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Referee list
  • Reference letters (at least one, more can be uploaded)
  • Teaching evaluation (for current/new teacher candidates)
  • Transcripts (for teacher candidate or specialists)
  • Teaching certification (for experienced teachers)
  • Police Check (if you currently have one)

* International schools hire teachers with an undergraduate degree and teaching certification in the K-12 range from Canada or the US. If you are unsure if your qualifications would meet the requirements, please email torf@queensu.ca.

Queen's University and CIS Partnership

A partnership with the Council of International Schools has been established to increase international opportunities for our TORF registrants. CIS has over 30 years' experience helping school educators and leaders find opportunities in high quality schools around the world. Working with CIS provides educators with access to positions in more than 680 member schools that offer quality international education.

CIS LogoExperienced teachers who are fully registered with TORF will have the option to also register with the CIS Educator Database. Through the CIS Educator Database, educators looking for international positions can use CIS as a central resource, as a result of this partnership.

Please note that you will need to complete an application package to CIS in addition to your application to attend TORF.

Learn about Teaching in International Schools

International Schools

International schools are usually private, tuition-based schools which can vary in size from 40 students to 2000 students, and are found in over 100 countries around the world. Most are non-profit with a parent-run board of directors, sponsored by a corporation, or by embassies. Some are proprietary in nature. The language of instruction is English, but some offer a bilingual program. For most schools, the academic year begins in August or September and runs until June.


All schools that work with us must be accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, including AdvancEd, CIS, WASC, NEASC and MSA. Some schools are accredited offshore Canadian schools. The number of schools accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is increasing.


Most opportunities through us are with schools in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia with fewer available in Europe and Africa. Schools in countries where English is the first language do not recruit teachers through us. Though our partnership with the Council of international Schools, registrants can have increased opportunity through their network, which include nearly 700 schools around the world.

Variety of Positions

The variety of positions available depends on the needs of the schools and will vary from year to year.  All teaching positions will be for the academic subjects. International schools also need principals, college counsellors and school librarians.


School curricula can be based on one or more of: the International Baccalaureate (IB), American curriculum, the IGCSE from the UK, host country requirements, and others, including Canadian (usually Ontario). The majority of the students are university bound


Students in international schools can be entirely host country nationals, or drawn primarily from the international community. Usually, the student body is a mixture of the two groups, as are the teachers.

Language Fluency

As the language of instruction is English, fluency in another language is not a requirement to teach in an international school.


Contracts at international schools almost invariably are for 2 years. Very few schools offer 1 year contracts. Contracts are not negotiable.


When considered on their own, salary figures can be misleading and can provide an incomplete picture of the full value of the packages available. To fully assess the value of a package, one must consider more than the exchange rates of national currencies. The cost of living, what is covered by the package, and what expenses you will not incur overseas must also be taken into account.

To compare the value of one package to another, or to one's living expenses at home, it is important to focus on the savings potential rather than the salary alone.

"How much can I save?" is the best question that takes into account all the variables including salaries, benefits including housing, taxes, exchange rates, cost of living, and others. It also takes into account that many of your current expenses here in Canada will be non-existent overseas or may be covered by the school. For example, a basic salary of $25,000 in one location could produce annual savings of $15,000 while a salary of $50,000 in another location could result in no savings at all.


Benefits offered by international schools vary widely. Airfare at the start and at the end of the contract for the hired teacher is always provided. A few schools will also offer airfare for the summer break in between school years. Housing is almost always included – the school either will provide furnished housing or will provide a housing stipend above and beyond the salary. Shipping allowances, signing bonuses, professional development, and health insurance are typical benefits offered by international schools around the world. Some schools will offer enrolment in a Master’s program as a benefit; some schools offer sports club memberships. Some offer daily lunches! All of these variables affect the savings potential at the individual schools.



International schools hire teachers with an undergraduate degree and teaching certification in the K-12 range from Canada or the US. If you have teaching certification from outside of Canada or the US, or have any questions about your qualifications, please be in touch with us.

Personal Qualities

International schools are looking for dedicated strong teachers who are able to embrace, withstand and thrive within the challenges of living in another culture. The qualities they are seeking include flexibility, sense of humour, self-reliance, tolerance, open-mindedness and a sense of curiosity. We have been told that international school recruiters like to hire Canadian teachers, as they have a positive attitude, an open-ness to other cultures, and strong preparation for teaching.

Teaching Experience Requirements

Given the demands of adjustment to a new culture, professional environment and climate, most international schools prefer to hire teachers with at least two years’ experience – those with their teaching skills  'in place'.  Please check with us if you have any questions about how your teaching experience will be viewed by the international schools.

  • I have less than two years’ experience:  Many schools will consider new teachers - some schools prefer to hire newly graduating teachers. Generally speaking, 80 % of the international schools that work with TORF will consider teachers with less than two years’ teaching experience.
  • I am near retirement:

In some countries, there are age restrictions on visas imposed by the host country government. Please contact us if you have concerns.

Single Teachers or Teaching Couples

For reasons of travel expenses, housing, work permits and visas, single teachers and teaching couples are in demand.

Non-Teaching Spouses/Partners/Children

Teachers with non-teaching spouses or partners, and teachers with children may find reduced opportunities in international schools. Please consult the various categories below, to see how these circumstances will affect your marketability and contact us if you have any concerns.

  • I have a non-teaching spouse or partner accompanying me overseas:

Hiring teachers with non-teaching spouses or partners can be problematic for international schools. The problems encountered are logistical, including obtaining entry visas for the spouse or partner, complicated housing issues, an insufficient salary to support dependents, among other issues. Based on our experience, approximately 25% of candidates in this situation have experienced success at TORF. But every situation is different – please contact us for clarification.

  • I have a spouse or partner not accompanying me overseas:

International schools are reluctant to hire teachers whose spouses or partners will not be accompanying the teacher overseas. In the schools’ experience, there are many precedents where a long distance, separated relationship has not worked well in the past. Based on our experience, approximately 25% of candidates in this situation have experienced success at TORF. To increase your chances of being hired, you will have to reassure international recruiters that a separated, long distance relationship for the better part of two years will work for you and your spouse/partner.

  • We are not married:

Local standards or national laws in certain locations, such as North Africa and the Middle East, require that couples living together be legally married.

  • I have children accompanying me overseas:

In our experience roughly 80% of schools are able to hire teachers with dependent children. Please be aware that not every school will be able to accommodate teachers with dependent children.

  • I have more than two dependent children accompanying me overseas:

Couples with more than two children may find reduced chances with international schools. This is a logistical problem, due to the limits of housing, the cost to a school for transportation, benefits, tuition for staff dependents, or because the school enrolment is at capacity.

Go to Registration Form

Contact Us

For questions about eligibility or registration, please contact: