Stepping into International Teaching: Job Fairs

by Missi

in International Teaching

international teaching, teaching abroad

So, you want to dip your feet in international teaching, uh? Understood. It’s a positively life-changing, career-shakin’ move, and you just might become permanently hooked.

How can you get started?

International teaching job fairs are arguably your best bet for entering into the world of international teaching in Central and South America.

The recruiting season generally begins around early December, and these are some of the major players:

1.  The Association of American Schools in South America (AASSA)

This is THE international teaching job fair to attend if you want to teach abroad in Central or South America. This fair is devoted solely to international and American schools in these two regions, and it’s the first major fair of the recruiting season.

The AASSA fair is held annually the first weekend of December in Atlanta, Georgia. Registration to attend begins a few months before. Get more information at

2.  University of Northern Iowa (UNI)

The UNI recruiting fair is held every February in Waterloo, Iowa. It showcases schools from around the world, and Central and South American schools are represented pretty well.

Many international teachers who have attended say it’s heavily attended by those new to the international teaching scene, but it’s really anyone’s game (new or seasoned); if you have what a school’s looking for, you’re in!

Check out their website at UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair.

3.  International Schools Services (ISS)

One of the biggest fairs for international teaching, hosting several fairs throughout the year in various locations, ISS’s small pool of international and American schools from Latin America makes it a less appealing option for those desiring to teach abroad in the Americas, but it’s worth a look into.

You can find more information at their website: International Schools Services

4.  Search Associates

Though Central and South American schools make up a fraction of the schools represented, it’s worth a try if your location and timing are right.

Search Associates holds several international teaching job fairs throughout the year, in various locations around the world.

You can find everything you need to know at their website Search Associates.

What’s the Process to Attend One of These International Teaching Job Fairs?

Take a look at each organization’s website to see what qualifications one must have in order to register.  Almost all of them recommend that candidates have at least the following characteristics:

  • Two years teaching experience in target area
  • A teaching license/certificate from home country
  • Single status w/o dependents or a teaching couple
  • Flexibility in teaching location
  • Open-mindedness about cultural differences

All have these requirements:

  • At least a Bachelor´s degree
  • A registration fee (upwards of $100)
  • Submission of an online application

What Type of Schools are Represented at These Recruiting Fairs?

Many overseas schools identify themselves as international schools, but they come in a variety of flavors.

A significant portion of the schools present at these fairs fall under the umbrella of American Schools abroad, meaning that they are assisted in some way by the U. S. Department of State. They are usually nonprofit, independent and nondenominational.

While “American” children do attend these schools, you will often find that children of the host country’s elite form the majority of these schools’ population.

Other overseas schools identifying themselves as international schools do so based on the type of curriculum they implement, one that focuses on the development of global citizens and learners and/or one that integrates particular educational practices and theories.

You may also run across Canadian, British, or IB Schools at these international teaching job fairs.

Ultimately, the type of school you choose for your international teaching experience (or the one that chooses you) will depend on your qualifications and preferences.

Some of the international schools from this list recruit at the aforementioned job fairs.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Attending These International Teaching Job Fairs?


  • The costs associated with attending one of these recruiting fairs can add up rather quickly: transportation, lodging, registration fees, food, etc.

And it’s not even guaranteed that you’ll land a job. :(

  • Schools present are searching for candidates that are a “good fit” for their school, so having the best resume and/or interviewing skills in the world is not a job guarantee if you are not what they’re looking for.


Attending one of these international teaching job fairs is a great way to get a feel for what types of schools exist abroad.

Do some research, and consider registering for one of these fairs if you are serious about international teaching in Central or South America. Good luck and maybe I’ll see you abroad!

Are there any other international teaching job fairs worth mentioning that are good for those wanting to teach in Central or South America?

What has been your experience with these fairs?  Share your comments below.

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