I think that this fair is suited to teachers who have not yet taught overseas or have not been to a job fair before. The majority of schools were from Asia and schools were well aware that teachers attending this fair were new to the international scene. This job fair would also suit teachers who don’t mind where they want to go…teachers need to keep an open mind when signing up for interviews and not focus on one school or place. I arrived in Sydney having researched two countries that I desperately wanted to work in, but after interviewing with the schools decided that they wouldn’t be a good fit or weren’t offering jobs at the Sydney fair, and so I kept an open mind, and happily walked away with a job in a different country.
With the job fair so early in the year and with schools still waiting to hear back from staff as to whether or not they were returning for the following year, several schools were not able to offer jobs at the fair. This made for some difficult decisions – do i take a job at a school i’m not particularly interested in that i’ve been offered at the fair, or decline and wait to hear back from a school of preference who may not have a job to offer me in the end?. I would question the credibility of a few of the schools attending the job fair as well. It was my understanding that Search Associates placed teachers in ‘good’ schools that were well recognized and it appeared that some schools were not ‘international’ schools or, after speaking with principals from other schools, not good schools to work in.
The experience was a lot less stressful than originally thought and the interviews were somewhat casual and relaxed.
New Zealand 1/20
My first fair and I thought it was great. I have been with Search Associates for most of last year and I found they reply to any emails I sent very promptly with good advice. The fair was well organized, they had a group of people who were very accessible and we were given good advice at an early meeting. I found it a very busy time with attending presentations and interviews but people were very understanding if you walked in or out of presentations because of interviews.Yes it was an expensive hotel – a treat for me! Search Associates were there for schools and teachers, they were trying to make a ‘good match’ which would be to the advantage of everyone. I accepted one of the offers I received.
In response to the posting below from Vietnam,I am the person that wrote the first review “Excellent Fair” “wouldnt change a thing”. I am NOT in anyway a representative of Search Associates. I joined Search on Saturday the 2/1/10, went to the fair on Sunday 3/1/10 and got a job offer on Monday 4/1/10. I DID find the fair to be excellent. We were informed of what was expected from us and the recruiters and if we needed help Search was onsite to help (which they were). I had a wonderful experience, I cant speak for anyone else and I resent the fact that because my comments were all positive, that they were therefore invalid. I had not worked overseas before, never been to a international job fair before and have just 2 years teaching experience therefore, I WOULD recommend Search Associates especially if you are new to the whole experience, open minded, flexible and looking for a new and wonderful experience. I think some people just like to complain. I’m sure if I really sat down and started to analyze the whole fair from beginning to end that I could find something to whinge about but I’m not that type of person. I got a job at the school I wanted, maybe others didn’t and that is why our experiences are vastly different. My suggestion is to try it for yourself.
OK. The one review that is all positive and “change nothing” is obviously written by Search Associates. I went to their fair Feb. 2009 in Cambridge and got the same sense of the 1st reviewer (the one that starts with “Excellent fair” at the bottom of the page). One associate would be helpful but the other was just completely inept.
There were a reasonable number of schools attending for the 160-odd job seekers but were mostly based in Asia plus a couple of middle-East schools. I found the majority of schools to be reasonably organized but expected better communication from the Search Associates staff. I’ve always got positions directly through the school so this was my first fair – there was an assumption that everyone knew how it worked when the reality was that many (most?) attending this fair were first time international school job seekers. On the opening day, we were told that the average rate of offers for this fair was that 1 in 2 of us would have an offer by the end of the fair. I didn’t really believe this but, talking to people afterwards, it seems that it really was the case. Many of the positions that were advertised as ‘definite’ on the Search Associates web site prior to the fair weren’t available, but other schools that had no positions advertised, did have some available at the fair. The hotel was expensive and the rooms somewhat small. Wifi was available via Telstra but ridiculously expensive – take your own internet dongle if you have one. If you’re not overly fussed on geography it seems that this is a good fair to attend, especially for your first international posting as that is what the majority of teachers here are looking for, and the schools that attend are aware of that and not overly bothered by it.
Excellent Fair. It was run really well. It was my first fair so I was a little nervous about the process but everything was spelled out clearly on ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’. There were approximately 60 schools there and 160 candidates. Lots of jobs, venue was a good size with nice surroundings, lots of support, not sure about the wifi, but everyone that had laptops appeared to be using the Wi Fi without a problem. There were lots of interviews from about 8am – 6pm, quite a few people were offered jobs on the spot including couples and singles and myself!. Heaps of people got ‘white slips’ in their folders from schools requesting an interview with them. I would definitely recommend this fair especially since it was the first for Search and with the amount of job offers, first in best dressed seems to be the motto of the day. Nothing I would change.