Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have teaching experience?
Although we prefer teachers who have classroom experience beyond student teaching, it is not required in every case. While most mission organizations require a teacher to have at least two years experience NICS is generally willing to invest the time and effort to help you get that experience. In return, we get energetic teachers with a teachable spirit and a willingness to learn. Final decisions regarding staff placement are made by each school's administrator.
What type of curriculum is used?
We use a variety of American-based curricula. Each of the NICS schools has an administrator and curriculum committee that determines the best curriculum and resources for their school. Just like schools in the United States, the amount of resources depends on the size of the school.
What will my employment status be?
You will be an employee for the school but you will also be sent as a NICS M-staffer and will be required to meet those requirements before your contract will be issued.
Will I be paid a salary?
It depends on the school and the location. NICS has three basic types of schools, Pioneer (Start up), Transitional (Becoming an International school) and International (Established). While each school has different positive aspects that make it unique, the Pioneer and Transitional may require the raising of some support and the International schools will provide a salary. The salary is one that will allow you to live comfortably in that country. By comfortable we mean able to cover all living expenses (Apartment, utilities, clothing, food and able to go out to eat a couple of times each week and still be able to save enough money to come home for Christmas or travel during the summer break).
What training does NICS offer to new staff?
NICS requires its new missionary educators to attend an intense two-week training program called IMPACT (the acronym stands for International Ministry Preparation And Cross-Cultural Training). IMPACT takes place each year in late June/early July and is hosted near the NICS Home Office near Memphis, TN.
Do I have to speak the language of the country?
No. It is not necessary to know the language of your host country. In fact most of our teachers only know English when they arrive. Knowing the language of the host country will help you in communicating in the local environment but the parents of our students place their children in our schools primarily because our schools are an English speaking, American-styled school. All of our students speak English, although English may not be their native language. Those children who need help are placed in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class in addition to their regular studies.
How is housing handled for teachers?
Most of our schools have apartments or houses located near the school that they rent on a continual basis. Administrators from the schools work with new staff to help them secure a place to live before they arrive. Married couples are given their own apartment, while singles normally share an apartment with another single but accommodations vary depending on the country.
Does NICS offer any Health Insurance?
Yes. We believe that health insurance is a necessity, so NICS provides complete world-wide health coverage to all of its fully-appointed missionary staff and their families. In most cases the schools pay for this cost. After a deductible is met, all staff members living outside of the United States are covered at 100%. While they are in the United States and Canada, they are covered as high as 90% if using the preferred network. NOTE: individuals that are hired/classified as “Locally Hired Personnel” at each school are not offered the NICS missionary health insurance coverage.
What about my college loans?
Often the repayment of college loans may be deferred. Check with your lending institution to see if deferred payments are an option for you. Additionally, some NICS schools offer assistance with college loan repayment after an individual completes their initial contract and re-signs for another term. Generally speaking, applicants with a college loan repayment in excess of $200 per month should consider paying their debt down before attempting to serve overseas. Of course, each situation is different, and applicants are encouraged to discuss this with the school director during the interview process. Lastly, new hires may elect to use their school-paid salary to pay off college loan debt, and may raise financial support through NICS to cover living expenses while serving overseas.
Will NICS place anyone without Teacher Certification?
Because most of our schools are accredited or are in the accreditation process, they must maintain a high ratio of certified teachers who are teaching in their area of certification. However, if you have a Bachelors degree in a specialized field (Engineering, Nursing etc.) from an American university you may be able to get a temporary certificate and be placed in a school with a high certification ratio as long as you are working on classes that will lead to a more permanent certificate. This is handled on a case by case basis.
Will I need to raise financial support?
Many of our positions are fully salaried. Which means that for a single person the school would pay a salary that would allow them to live comfortably in that country. By comfortable we mean able to cover all living expenses (Apartment, utilities, clothing, food and able to go out to eat a couple of times each week and still be able to save enough money to come home for Christmas or travel during the summer break). Usually families will have to raise some support depending on the size of your family and the location that you choose. Some of our schools pay only a partial salary and some pay no salary at all. This all gets a little confusing but it depends on the school and that school's location.
Missionaries who serve in our schools will be ministering to students from every major religion and many countries all over the world. Most of the students are there because their parents want them in an English speaking school and don't necessarily care that it is a Christian school. The benefits should be obvious. NICS has three basic types of schools:
Pioneer (Start Up)* - Our missionaries who serve in these schools have to have a pioneering spirit and love to the idea of being on the ground floor of a project. These schools generally start from the ground up and will struggle for a couple of years before they really take off. The research has already taken place to determine the need for an International school in the area but the real work has only just begun. Just like if you wanted to go start a church in the jungle somewhere, most people who serve in a Pioneer school would have to raise their own financial support. These schools are the future of NICS. As the school grows the need for your own financial support should decrease.
Transitional (Becoming an Established School)* - Our missionaries who serve in these schools have to be flexible. Usually the school is undergoing some significant changes. Maybe it started as a Pioneer school and has grown past the start-up phase but is not yet established. Maybe this school was started by a different mission agency and was turned over to NICS to run. Maybe the dynamics of the school have changed and the school is adjusting to a new focus. Whatever the case these schools are not quite a Pioneer school and not yet completely established. Usually these schools pay a partial salary and try to move a little closer to paying a full salary each year.
Established - These schools are usually very stable and experience a steady growth. Usually these schools pay a full salary but this is still ministry work and depending on the situation, the salary may need to be supplemented with some financial support.
While each school has different positive aspects that make it unique, the Pioneer and Transitional schools may require the raising of some financial support and the Established schools will generally provide a salary.
If you have any other questions or would like more information about raising financial support please do not hesitate to contact us. Each year we help over 100 new missionaries and families go to the mission field and rarely does anyone not make it to the field because of a lack of funding.
* We are excited to announce that the Peggy Scott Foundation has recently joined forces with NICS to attempt to help supplement financial support for a limited number of recipients for the 2016-17 school year. These funds will be distributed according to need to candidates required to raise support who are willing to go through the application process in order to be considered for assistance from this fund. Because the funds are limited and so many teachers are secured each year, there may not be funds available to assist everyone who applies. Please submit any inquiries regarding this source of funding to Tim Mudder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I have to raise support, will NICS help handle the money?
Yes. We'll handle all receipting, tracking and acknowledging of donations for you from the time of your appointment and throughout your time of service with NICS. A small administrative fee is deducted for expenses associated with this service.
Is my transportation included?
NICS schools do not typically cover the expense of transportation, but through one-time financial gifts from your church, family and friends the costs of transportation may be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.
Do the schools follow a calendar similar to the United States?
Yes. Most schools will normally will start in August and finish in May or June. The length of Christmas holidays and summer breaks and other holidays will vary.
How long does the hiring process take?
You will normally receive word two to three weeks after we have received your completed application packet and references, depending on the time of the year. We will do everything possible to screen your application and arrive at a decision in a timely manner.
I have children. Can they attend the NICS School?
Absolutely! Your children deserve the best possible education, and we welcome them into our schools. Best of all, children of fully-appointed NICS missionary staff members will attend the school tuition free! NOTE: the school may extend this tuition benefit to children of “Locally Hired Personnel”, but it is not required by the agency.
What is the usual length of a teacher’s contract with a NICS school?
Most schools and most positions will require an initial two-year minimum contract. Once the initial contract is completed, many schools will sign contracts with staff on a year-by-year basis. NOTE: on occasion, a director may allow an initial one year contract if there are special circumstances involved.
What makes a NICS school different from a national school or an “English Language Institute” overseas?
While there are many differences between the two types of schools, one of the main differences involves the program offered at a NICS school. While some national schools or English language institutes may have a strong focus on English-language learning or acquisition, a NICS school is an English-speaking school in totality. National schools may hire individuals without an education background who have an ESL or TESOL certificate, but NICS schools are seeking faculty members with education degrees and teacher certification (even to fill ESL positions within member schools).