My First (and only!) International Job Interview

Once Alex and I (finally) made the decision to move to Brussels, I quickly started honing in on the job search. Alex has his formal paperwork from the university to present for his visa but I have nothing… unless I want to ride his coattails and move as a dependent on his student visa.

While eating waffles all day sounds fabulous, I figured I really probably should get a job… Not to mention, teaching English overseas has been a dream of mine for quite some time. So there is NO way I’m okay with spending my time abroad twiddling my thumbs on the couch!

International School of Brussels

International School of Brussels

Here’s the rundown, in timeline format:

-Sunday, February 16, late in the evening: Sent my CV and letter of motivation to the International School of Brussels for the position of high school English Language Development teacher/Head of Department. Thought this was a little lofty but I figured I would take the teaching position without the head of department title if they saw fit.

-Tuesday, February 18, 04:00EST (10:00am in Brussels): Received an email requesting a “Skype conversation” at my earliest convenience. Cue anxiety attack. Whoa… 36 hours and someone already wants to talk to me? I was definitely NOT thinking it would happen this fast!

-Wednesday, February 26, 04:30EST: Woke up dark and early (03:45EST), for a Skype conversation with the principal of the high school at International School of Brussels. Of course, he didn’t ask ANY of the questions listed on their website that I had prepared and rehearsed answers to. We talked for slightly less than an hour and at the end he asked to speak to my high school principal and my English Language Development coordinator. He also asked for us to find a time the first week of March for a second interview, with him again along with the assistant principal (who also teaches ELD).

The hardest part was telling my principal that I am leaving in the fall. I think I may have been even more nervous to tell her than for the interview itself! I love my job and my kids and this has been hands down the most supportive work environment I’ve ever been in. Whatever I need, my principal and my ESL coordinators will get for me or do for me… and fast. My principal assured me that ISB would think I “walked on water” by the time she was done talking to them and she is so excited for this opportunity for us. I think she was also pretty bummed when it hit her that I am leaving my post. Bittersweet for sure is how we both feel.

-Tuesday, March 4,~04:00EST: Received an email requesting a second Skype interview to talk with the assistant principal.

-Friday, March 7, 04:30EST: Woke up dark and early again (3:45EST) after a night of horrible, tossing and turning sleep. Talked for about 45 minutes again with the principal and added the assistant principal who said they had gotten a rave review from my principal, they didn’t even feel the need to talk to my English Coordinator, and they wanted to ask some of the same questions from my previous interview for the assistant principal to hear my responses. They offered me the position to teach ELD as well as to be the Head of Department. I logged off Skype and eavesdropping Alex came running out of the bedroom, tripped up the stairs, hair a mess, in his skivvies to celebrate with me (at 5:15am). Is 5:15am on a work day too early for a celebratory drink? Is jumping on the bed when you are 27 & 28 years old acceptable? Can the neighbors hear us screaming and laughing right now?

-Monday, March 11, 12:05EST: Received contract package in my email. Ran out of classroom trying not to pee my pants. It is amazing how differently educators are received in other parts of the world. I won’t get into the hairy details, but know that we will be well taken care of while we are there.

-Tuesday, March 12, 06:00EST: Accepted the offer! YAY! We’re REALLY going to Belgium!

Needless to say, we are definitely feeling like everything is lining up perfectly… almost a little too perfectly? Alex got his University of Kent acceptance letter THE DAY he got out of the Marines. Now, I got the first job I applied to and all within a 3 week time-frame. Goosebumps. I think we were expecting this process to be incredibly difficult and uphill the whole way, and while we’re sure there are obstacles yet to come (bonjour visa application process!), we have been blown away by how easily it is all coming together. Definitely feeling like we are on the right path!

Celebrate with us! Drink a barrel or two for me, would ya?

Barrels and barrels of glorious lambics.

Barrels and barrels of glorious lambics.