The long and the short of it
Dynamic Personnel has extensive experience of their industry and trade. Find the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers the team encounters here. We have grouped the Questions according to subject.
When should I apply for positions?
Any time. Dynamic Personnel recruits for positions throughout the year. The application form allows you to indicate when you are available to begin a teaching job overseas.
Once I have registered online, what will happen?
One of our consultants will receive your online registration and will pre-screen your details and CV to establish your suitability. To create your profile (only to be done once) with Dynamic Personnel, you will be emailed a full registration pack and once that has been completed and returned to the consultant we will automatically apply for positions on your behalf so you don’t need to apply for any positions we advertise, this is done automatically. Our Recruitment Consultants will contact you via email and sms/text if you are being considered for an interview.
Will I be guaranteed an interview if I apply for a job?
No. We will look at everyone’s CV’s and will select the best candidates for the job. We will however keep applying for positions you are suitable for until you ask us to stop marketing you. Once you are registered you don’t need to apply for every position we advertise as we will automatically put forward your application.
Which countries do we recruit from?
We primarily recruit teachers trained/experienced in one or more of the following countries; United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. All teachers that apply must be completely fluent in English.
Do I have to apply to each job separately?
No, once you are registered you don’t need to apply for every position we advertise as we will automatically put forward your application.
Can I apply before I graduate?
For all placements we would need a copy of your degree before you can apply.
Is there a fee to register?
All Middle Eastern and China placements are done free of charge.
Is there an obligation to use Dynamic Personnel`s services if I register?
No, there is no obligation. However, teachers who apply directly to schools are asked to keep Dynamic Personnel informed of their applications so that efforts are not duplicated. Please note: If a teacher has applied directly to a school not using Dynamic Personnel`s services, the agency cannot vouch for them or offer assistance if placed directly.
Do I have to speak the language of the host country?
International schools teach most or all subjects in English. To be able to communicate in the local language is always beneficial, but not required in a typical international school.
Can I drink alcohol in a dry country?
There are a number of dry countries where alcohol is not legally sold. In many of them it is not illegal to possess alcohol that you buy in a nearby country or to brew your own.
Can women drive in the Middle East and must they cover their hair?
Women are allowed to drive and can move around without restriction in all countries, except Saudi Arabia. While you may be asked to conform to a dress code (no bare shoulders or knees for women or ponytails for men) at the school, these restrictions do not apply in your private life. You are however advised to dress in a culturally sensitive way to avoid offence.
Will holidays be the same as at home?
Holidays and term dates are usually quite different to your home country and vary by school.
Will the work week be the same as at home?
Weekends vary around the world. In Saudi the weekend is Thursday and Friday, whereas in the UAE it`s Friday and Saturday. In Brunei the weekend is a split between Friday and Sunday! The work days are however the same for everyone and after a short while you won`t even notice the difference.
Will I have the same resources in my new school as at home?
Because international schools` resources must be imported, certain items may be more difficult to obtain. Talk to your new school about what you should take along and rely on your experienced new colleagues to find alternatives.
Would I be able to find Western food?
Although it may be cheaper to eat local food, you will find a wide variety of Western shops in most countries with international schools.
How safe is my information?
Very safe! Dynamic Personnel will never share your information with anyone apart from hiring schools without your explicit permission. The team takes the protection of your data very seriously.
Can I choose which city I will depart from if I get placed?
In general, if it does not significantly increase the cost of the ticket, you can choose the city of departure. Normally departures will only be from major cities but this again will differ from school to school.
Will someone meet me at the airport?
Yes, your school will arrange for one of their representatives to meet you at the airport.
What is a transcript?
In some countries the only document provided to graduates is a degree or certificate. Some applications require further detailed documentation, which is called a transcript or academic record. A university transcript is an official copy of a student`s academic record. Every course and experience for which you have earned academic credit is listed. To obtain one, you should contact your university and ask for student services, the registrar or bursar. Start by checking if you can request the transcript from the institution`s website. Transcripts can be provided free, or sometimes a small fee is charged. Please request transcripts at the earliest possible stage as it can take several weeks to get hold of them. Not having a transcript has held up many applications and offers!
Is it easy to access the internet in the Middle East?
Yes. Teachers will be responsible for organising the set-up themselves, but schools often assist with this.
Are common law marriages recognised in the Middle East?
Teachers planning to come to the UAE with a partner will need to be married and the marriage certificate will need to be authenticated by the appropriate offices. A wife cannot sponsor her husband so he would have to find employment in order to get his own sponsorship or go over on a tourist visa to look for suitable employment. We always recommend partners to follow as it has proven to be less stressful on a couple or family.
Is it safe for single women to travel to the Middle East?
The Middle East is a safe region and single women should have no problems. Common sense safety procedures should however always be practised and women are not encouraged to walk alone at night or to attend gatherings alone with groups unknown to them.
What happens if I have dependents?
Travelling abroad with a family can open up a world of opportunity for you as a teacher and for your dependent family. However, teachers with families face different challenges than single teachers and some schools are more family friendly than others. It is best to discuss this with your consultant. If a teacher is travelling with a family it is always advised that the teacher travel at first and the family follows.
Do women in the Middle East need to wear head scarves?
In most places women will not be forced to wear head scarves, except Saudi Arabia.
What is the dress code in schools?
All teachers should dress professionally while at work. Business casual wear is usually required. Jeans, shorts and flip-flops are not permitted at work. In private life, teachers are free to wear what they like, but it is recommended that you respect the Muslim customs.
Will you contact my referees?
No we will always ask for your permission before contacting any of your referees.
Are there an age restriction?
Some of the age restrictions relate to your age at the time your visa is issued, and others relate to your age at the time you are working in that particular country. Most Middle Eastern countries will not consider teachers over the age of 55 due to higher visa costs and stricter rules. Thailand will not consider teachers over the age of 45.
What happens if religion is different to my own?
In most countries expatriates are free to practice their own religion provided they do not proselytise, so you will find Christian churches in the Muslim country of the United Arab Emirates for instance, and you will find Synagogues in Buddhist Thailand.
Can I apply with a friend?
Friends can apply together, though may not be placed in the same school. While some schools will accommodate joint applications, we cannot guarantee specific placements. We need teachers to be flexible to travel alone or accept employment separately as placing couples or friends can sometimes be tricky.
Does this cost anything for teachers?
We only charge a fee for Thailand and South Korea placements but all Middle Eastern placements are done free of charge.
When and how will I get paid?
Teachers working in the Middle East are paid by direct deposit at the end of each month. Everyone will be responsible for opening a bank account. Salaries will be deposited in the local currency. Schools normally assist with this. It may be that for the first month you will be paid by cheque if your bank account hasn’t been finalised.
Is it difficult to open a bank account in the Middle East?
No, it`s quite simple once teachers have the proper paperwork. From there, one visit to the bank is usually all that is needed to open an account.
Can I send money home?
Yes, there are many institutions that teachers can use to send money home safely and efficiently.
Is the Middle East a cash society?
Yes and no. While teachers can use foreign credit cards in most places, paying with cash in the Middle East is common and convenient. Teachers are encouraged to carry cash with them at all times.
Which expenses will I have in the Middle East?
Daily expenses vary depending on lifestyle. You should typically plan for spending money on food, utilities, clothes and entertainment.
What is an average annual salary for teaching abroad?
Salaries vary from school to school and country to country. It is important to remember that although some countries have a much higher average salary than others, the cost of living tends to be much higher as well. When you calculate how much money you will be able to save, make sure that you take the cost of living into account. In some regions, the equivalent salary may seem smaller compared to what you are already getting. You need to take into consideration that many of the employment packages include accommodation, flights and medical insurance. Salaries are tax free in the Middle East and the cost of living also varies greatly.
Which benefits will I receive?
Much like the salaries, benefits vary depending on the country and the school. Some of the benefits that have been provided include: Paid round trip flights, Paid national holidays, Paid furnished accommodation (single or shared), Health benefits, Transport, End of contract bonus, Allowances, Family benefits
If the school offers housing, will I be sharing with other teachers?
Accommodation perks differ from school to school. Where shared accommodation is provided, it will be with other foreign teachers. In this case, you will have your own room and bathroom (in most cases), but will share common areas such as the kitchen, living room, bathroom and laundry facilities. Schools also offer singles accommodation (1 or 2 bedroom flat) where others prefer to give an accommodation allowance. For Thailand placements you will have 3 weeks accommodation as part of your package if the TEFL course is completed in Thailand.
Are holidays paid?
In most cases, you will be paid for national holidays that fall within your working year. Annual holiday pay is normally calculated on the amount of days worked. Vacation time varies depending on your employer and the general standards of the country that you are working in.
Will airfares be included?
Each school is different. You may have annual return flights, a one-way flight and in some instances the schools will ask for you to pay for your own flight and then reimburse you upon arrival. Airfare is not included in Thailand packages.
Will medical/health insurance be included?
A majority of the employment packages include medical insurance coverage. This is normally just a hospital plan and does not include dental or optical. However it is up to you on whether you arrange a private plan for yourself outside of what is covered.
Am I required to do a general health check before I leave?
For most countries you will not be required to do a medical test before departure, this is not the case for Kuwait and Saudi Arabia at present. They will require checks before a visa can get issued. These checks will be for the teachers account.
How long will my contract be for?
Generally speaking, your contract will be for two years. We do also have schools who offer a one year contract. The length of the contract cannot be negotiated; it will depend on the school.
Will I get paid for sick days?
This will totally depend on the country where you work as all countries have different rules.
Will I have other deductions from my salary?
You may be required to pay for a percentage of your local health insurance and pension plan. This will depend on the country that you are working in, but this will be clearly outlined in your contract prior to your departure.
Attestation and Visas
Cost of Attestation
The only costs you would have to bear are that of the attestation of your documents (and in some cases medicals). The costs differ from country to country and from time to time. Only once you’ve accepted employment will it be necessary to start the process. We can put you in contact with agents who specialize in this field, who will be able to give you a quote and help you through the process step by step. You are welcome to proceed with the attestation process yourself and are not obligated to make use of the agent’s services. South African applicants will be required to, in most cases, submit their degrees to SAQA (South African Qualifications Agency) and DIRCO (Department of Internal Relations & Cooperation). This is a lengthy process and often causes majors delays in the attestation process. We strongly advise you start with this verification process of your degree certificates (SAQA and DIRCO) immediately in order to not delay your attestation once an offer has been accepted. Attestation will not be necessary for Thailand.
What kind of visa will I need for teaching abroad?
For most countries, you will need to apply for and obtain a work visa prior to your departure. Dynamic Personnel and the school will assist you in your visa application process.
How long will it take to get a work visa?
This depends on a number of factors – the country where you will be working, the time of year, the type of visa, etc.
Which qualifications are required before I apply?
Each position has its own specific job requirements. The basic requirements are a bachelor degree, PGCE, Diploma in Education, Higher Diploma in Education or a Masters degree. Schools will also accept a Bachelor degree in any field of study for instance a BA in English is enough to teach English abroad. For Thailand placements a Bachelor degree is required.
Are TEFL certificates essential or sufficient to get a job at an international school?
Most international schools do not require TEFL certificates. You will encounter students for whom English is not the first language, so TEFL skills could be helpful, but it`s usually not the subject you will be teaching.
How long do interviews last?
Each interview will last approximately 25 to 45 minutes. Due to all our schools being international most interviews will be done by skype or telephonic. We also have Principals travelling to do in person interviews in various locations around the world.
What is the dress code?
It is very important to make a good first impression, whether it is in person or on skype so please ensure that you are dressed in professional attire.
If you are unsure of how skype works, a consultant would be able to assist you when you are being requested for an interview.
Criminal Record Checks
Dynamic Personnel will request a criminal record check from your last country of residence as part of your registration. Dynamic Personnel has a comprehensive list and information regarding the procedures for these record checks of the main countries of residence of most teachers. Should you be in doubt, check with your local embassy or visit your local police station, accompanied by a translator to explain your needs in the local language. Australia – you need an Australian Federal Police Check/National Police Check. You can find forms and information on the following website: https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/police-checks.aspx Canada – you need a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Federal Police) check rather than a regional police check. Details and forms are available here: https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/criminal-record-and-vulnerable-sector-checks China – you can obtain a police certificate from the local Public Security Bureau by asking someone to act on your behalf in China. To do this, you must give specific written authorisation to this person, along with: a photocopy of your passport, including the page that contains the Chinese visa. The person acting on your behalf must present the documents to the local Public Security Bureau. Ireland – you apply through the Garda Central Vetting Unit. Contact them to obtain a form. Garda Central Vetting Unit Racecourse Road Thurles Tipperary, Ireland Tel: +353 504 27300/+353 504 27300 Fax: +353 0504 27373 More information can be found at: https://www.teachingcouncil.ie/garda-vetting/garda-vetting-application-form.505.html New Zealand – you need to obtain a police clearance through New Zealand Licensing and Vetting Services Centre https://www.police.govt.nz/service/vetting South Africa – you need a Police Clearance Certificate from the Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria. It takes between 28 to 50 days to receive your police check https://www.dfa.gov.za/consular/policeclear.htm United States – a FBI check is needed, rather than a local police state check. Detailed information from the US State Department is at https://www.asktheconsul.org/E2ec07.htm To get the FBI CBC the person making the request will need a cover letter and fingerprint card. These forms and information can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks or https://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/fprequest.htm United Kingdom – an enhanced Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check is needed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you are in the UK, your school should have done one for you but it needs to be less than 1 year old at the time you are leaving the country and we need to have a copy of the CRB on file. If you do not have one, or if it is not recent enough, we can get one for you but it will cost £44 and it will be mailed to you. Scotland – contact Disclosure Scotland https://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk United Arab Emirates and other Arab speaking Gulf States – the concept of standardised criminal record clearances does not exist in these countries. We have created several letters written in Arabic that you can take with you to the police station which asks for some kind of document that demonstrates you do not have a criminal record in that country.