"When I first came to AIS in February of 2012, the school was not fully finished, the name was yet to be determined, and enrollees to the new program could be counted on two hands. There was uncertainty in the air; parents were unsure if this upstart institution could provide the academic rigor that would lead their children on a path of success. Much has changed since then. We, as a school, have since blossomed to 1,000 students, expanded our offerings and upgraded our facilities, and with such improvements came international (WASC) accreditation. I’m proud to be an educator at AIS - to see the incremental successes year after year, to see the first graduating class in 2016, and to see that after I leave, it will be in good hands and will continue to thrive and provide academic excellence to the Myanmar community."
Tr. Vila, Secondary History Home Country: USA Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Recruit
“I have been at AIS for over four years and during my time here, I have made countless wonderful memories. After teaching abroad for eight years, I have never encountered such a committed and concerned alumni. The students at AIS have an incredible passion for learning and academic success. It is a joy to see my students daily. I am very happy to call AIS and Mandalay my second home.”
Tr. Matt S, Grade 2 Home Country: USA Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Recruit
Ayeyarwaddy International School is a great place to work. It is a big school, but there is a family sort of atmosphere here that keeps it small. As teachers, we all know that we work for the love of passing knowledge on to others, not monetary reward. That said, we have saved nearly 75% of our combined salaries each year. Sometimes even teachers need to savor that lovely feeling of having plenty of cash in our pockets. My wife and I have lived in a few places in our day, and one of the nicest is Mandalay, Myanmar. About 20 years ago, we were in the area and grew to love the SE Asian culture. So in 2016 when we saw the opportunity to live and work here again, we jumped at it. The people and the students are great. The respect that is given to teachers was a huge factor in us returning. When you talk to a student or family about school and life in general, it is taken to heart by the individuals you speak with. Changes occur in the student and support is given by the family, if necessary. As a teacher at AIS, you will have many chances to make a very noticeable immediate impact on the lives of others. It is wonderful. If you have never experienced working in a true learning environment, try AIS: it is good for the soul."
Tr. Joe, Elementary Principal Tr. Marilyn, Learning Support Home Country: USA
"A short bike ride or scooter ride will lead to great experiences with the locals or with the environment. There are pagodas, small villages, small flower plantations, waterfalls, and swimming holes to visit. Some of my best experiences have been hopping on the bike provided by the school, and pedaling a short distance down the road, and into the small local communities. The locals have invited me into their homes to share a meal or to sit and watch as they make fans, all while trying to communicate using hand signals, smiles and laughter. In addition to the small communities, there are many waterfalls and swimming holes to visit, some are hidden and are waiting to be discovered. Living in Mandalay has been a positive experience. Ayeyarwaddy International School is a good school to work at. The teachers are supportive and creative. If you love teaching, children, making a difference, and working with professionals, and if you have a sense of adventure and a smile on your face, then AIS might be the right fit for you!"
Tr. Pamela, Grade 3 Home Country: USA
"AIS will always have a special place in my heart. The school has a very supportive and selfless staff. If you ask for something, the staff will do everything they can to make it happen. The students are very respectful and eager to learn. It is an exciting time to be in this country because everything is developing at a rapid rate. You get to watch the country grow right before your eyes. AIS is a great place to be if you love sports and travel. There are many opportunities to play fun games and explore inside and outside of the country. Some of my best memories will be riding my motorcycle in the city and going on adventures with my colleagues. You won't find crazy buildings or a big city, but you will find beautiful scenery and the friendliest people you have ever met."
Tr. Jeremiah, Grade 4 Home Country: USA
"Although I have only been here for just over a year, I feel that this is a place worth staying. Living above the gorgeous school, looking at our beautiful playground, and looking at the mountains to the East, I feel lucky every day to be where I am. More importantly I feel lucky to be with the people I am with. My fellow fifth grade teachers have been extremely supportive and collaborative during my time settling in here. There is a tremendous amount of support as each lead teacher also has an assistant teacher in their class as well! My assistant teacher helps support the learning of students while also helping me run my class efficiently. I can't imagine teaching without her! But the most influential part of my time at AIS has been the students. I can say with all honesty that I am more quickly attached to my students than during my previous teaching experiences. The students are kind, hard working, and fun. I am truly grateful to be here and would recommend this school to just about anyone! As I was writing this testimonial during my planning time, another fifth grade teacher came into my room and handed me a homemade green tea latte! That is just one example of the kind of people that live and work at AIS!"
Tr. Brock, Grade 5 & Secondary Social Studies Home Country: Canada UNI Recruit
"AIS is a good school, and I'm happy to be here. It's only been open for five full years and has accomplished some amazing things in that short life. At the same time, there's focus on improvement. Kids are the bottom line, which isn't always easy to achieve when a school is also a business. We have a great faculty. The school tries to be responsive to personal needs, especially with housing. On-campus living has been enjoyable; faculty neighbors are respectful but also very inclusive. We have fun. Living very well on the local economy is easy!"
Tr. Kris, Grade 1 Home Country: USA
"Ayeyarwaddy International School has amazing support from foreign teachers, local teachers, and administration. Everyone is working together to create success by bettering the school and improving student learning. One of my favorite parts about working at AIS is the freedom of creativity as a teacher because it allows me to produce a classroom that is exciting for students. From my teaching experiences at AIS, I have grown as a teacher and as a person. I truly love working here and I would recommend teaching at AIS to anyone."
Tr. Catherine, Art Home Country: USA UNI Recruit
"As a first-year teacher here at AIS, I have definitely felt listened to and appreciated whenever I feel I need support academically or emotionally. My transition into teaching internationally has gone smoother than I could have ever imagined!"
Tr. Kaitlyn, Grade 1 Home Country: USA
"I was a bit reluctant to move to Mandalay at first, but now I call this home and it's been 3 years already. I wouldn't mind extending my stay here for a couple of years more. From day one, everyone at AIS (administration, housing staff, and fellow teachers) has been supportive and helpful. The school provides a spacious apartment with clean water, electricity, laundry service, and Internet (all for free!) which makes saving money easier. Other than those small perks, you also get to teach students that are polite and hardworking. In addition, the school is located a short bike ride away from beautiful scenery, which makes weekends fun and adventurous!"
Tr. Romulo, ICT Home Country: Philippines
"I have been working at AIS for the past 5 school years, and I have always enjoyed my time here despite the normal ups and downs of life. I have good relationships that make me feel comfortable with the parents, co-workers, administration and especially with the students who are truly wonderful, eager to learn and with minimal, rare, behavior problems. During these years, I have learnt a lot; there have always been lots of opportunities for personal and professional development. The school is always thinking how to grow and how to improve so it never gets boring around here. I love living in Mandalay. Even if it is not as developed as other cities in South East Asia, I enjoy seeing a more traditional way of life paired with all the necessities that one might have in life. It is possible to find everything one might need at the local supermarkets, and the quality of the produce at the local markets is simply incredible: real organic food for a fraction of what you would pay in a Western country. It's a good place to live if you want to eat healthy and experiment with new kinds of fruits and vegetables. We are at the crossroad between China, India and Thailand, so we get the chance to learn so much not only about Myanmar culture but also about all the other ethnic groups and cultures that surround us. Good medical care is available in the city and in Bangkok, where you can get first-class hospitals and doctors, only a short flight away. The medical insurance provided by the school cooperates with all the major hospitals so that makes me feel very safe, and I don't have to worry about what happens if I get sick. The visa process has always been smooth, and the school has always given us detailed instructions and has always handled for us all the paperwork."
Tr. Anna, Preschool Home Country: Italy
“The students at AIS are exceedingly genuine, honest, and respectful. They come eager to learn each day, and have a very high level of English for being ELLs. The local staff is very helpful and bends over backwards to make sure the foreign staff is taken care of. The country is still new to foreign ideas, so it creates a uniquely challenging, but rewarding, teaching environment.“
Tr. Monica, Grade 5 Home Country: USA
"AIS is a home away from home. Since the very first day, I have felt safe in this very beautiful environment. The transition of moving to another country has been quite smooth thanks to the wonderful team (both local and foreign staff). In addition, I am amazed at how the students can speak and learn several languages, which truly makes them global citizens at this early stage of their lives. Their curiosity about different cultures is another aspect I should highlight. I am thrilled to be part of AIS!"
Tr. Demetrio, Secondary Spanish Home Country: Spain
"AIS has been nothing but a positive experience for me. I feel so supported by my grade team, my principal and all other members of the staff. I am extremely impressed by the amount of materials we have at this school and at how willing everyone is to share or help me with what I need. There are also so many extra little perks to make my time here comfortable and convenient. Just to name a few, I have a fabulous teaching assistant, my apartment is cleaned weekly, and as I recently found out, the school pre-organizes bus rides to the airport when we are going on visa runs! I am so grateful to have this opportunity, and I would recommend that anyone join the staff here at AIS."
Tr. Shelly, Grade 3 Home Country: USA
"This is my fourth year teaching at the school, and it has been one of the best experiences for me. I have learned so much about myself as a teacher. There is a freedom at AIS that you won’t find at many other schools. I have been able to try out many different strategies and styles of teaching without the pressure to teach from the book. The staff at the school is always ready to help and often go an extra mile to make sure everyone is happy. Everyday when my students walk in the door, they are eager and ready to learn, and I am reminded why I love working here so much." Tr. Amanda, Grade 3 Home Country: USA
“The past 4+ years at AIS have been great. This opportunity has given me the chance to meet supportive and involved parents, engaged students, and interesting people in the community. The families at AIS have made me feel like I am welcome in Mandalay. They have invited me to celebrate holidays and cultural events in their homes and around the city. I feel like I have learned a great deal about Myanmar through AIS. It has been a wonderful experience.”
Tr. Lori, Grade 1 Home Country: USA Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Recruit
"As a veteran of international teaching, I can, without reservation, recommend Ayeyarwaddy International School, and Mandalay, as worthy of serious consideration for any professional educator hoping to expand their horizons and personal growth. The school facility is modern, well-maintained, and purpose built to accommodate our rapidly expanding enrollment. Our classrooms feature cutting edge tech, and our administration is supportive, insightful, and always accessible - this is not always the case in an international school! Professional development is a priority here at AIS, and no reasonable request for personal PD is denied. Our campus community is diverse, hosting teachers that represent nearly every continent, and our local teachers go out of their way to welcome foreign teachers and help make their acculturation process smooth and painless. Lead teachers are partnered with local Assistant Teachers to best serve the needs of our students as they acquire English, and our Assistant Teachers are dedicated, creative, and experienced. AIS students are a joy to teach, and their parents are involved and active in the school community. It is not unusual to see students of all ages enjoying the facilities of the campus, along with their families, well after 5:00 PM. AIS is not just a school for many of our students and families, but an integral part of their lives and community. Living in Mandalay is exceptionally easy for a teacher with western sensibilities, provided you bring with you the usual level of flexibility that international teaching demands. The Myanmar culture is deep and rich, and the people of Mandalay are delightfully hospitable, and genuinely interested in making foreigners welcome. Local cuisine, and that of neighboring countries is plentiful and delicious, and yes, you can easily satisfy your burger-lust or pizza craving, if that is how you are feeling. The local economy is easy on the US dollar, and one can enjoy a great standard of living along with excellent savings potential."
Tr. George, Secondary English Home Country: USA
"I love teaching at AIS for many reasons. My students are polite and ready to learn, my co-workers are also polite and very supportive, and the campus is extremely safe. As a husband and father of 4 children who also live on campus, I have to say I was very concerned about life in Mandalay before I moved here. After having lived on campus for almost 9 months, I am an eyewitness to the feeling of safety we have here. I am not afraid to let my children go to the playground, gym, or field by themselves. The security guards at AIS are professional, and the lighting around campus is fantastic. We have never had our motorcycles or any of our possessions tampered with. My wife and children also feel very safe, and it didn't take very long after moving here before we started calling AIS our new home!"
Tr. Sean, Preschool Home Country: USA
"I have been teaching fifth grade at Ayeyarwaddy International school since the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. I have enjoyed my time in Myanmar immensely. Myanmar has an abundance of natural sites to visit, and the people are some of the friendliest, most helpful, and most welcoming I have encountered on my travels. I’ve felt perfectly safe in Mandalay and on my travels throughout the country. AIS is the top school in Mandalay, and the students reflect that. They are able to communicate effectively in English, and they are respectful to both teachers and assistant teachers. My classroom has an interactive whiteboard/smart-board as well as a new, up-to-date computer. Our well-stocked library is growing steadily, and the students love our regular visits. We get a budget to spend on class resources, and we can make requests for texts and activity books we think will be helpful to the students."
Tr. Louise, Grade 5 Home Country: S. Africa
AIS has made me feel at home from the moment I stepped off the plane. The support staff is always warm and friendly. They will bend over backwards to help you with supplies, translation, or even finding local businesses to get what you need. My weekends are full of exploring the downtown areas, riverfront, and the mountains behind our school. There are many things I love about living here, but my favorite part is the students! They come in each day eager and ready to learn. It is easy to want to come into work every day when I have a wonderful collaborative team, an excellent assistant teacher, and such wonderful students!"
Tr. Sam, Grade 2 Home Country: USA
"Working at AIS these last two years has been a great teaching experience. The students are incredibly respectful, motivated, and friendly, making each day enjoyable. There is also a lot of freedom and flexibility at AIS, which has allowed me to test new experiments and be creative with my lesson plans. The local staff is incredibly helpful, and the fact that you have a teaching assistant drastically reduces the workload. Outside of the school, there is a strong sense of camaraderie and many beautiful sites to explore around Mandalay. A short motorbike ride away you can find waterfalls, pagodas, caves, rock climbing walls, and beautiful small villages. As long as you have a sense of adventure, there is always something new to discover around Mandalay. The Ayeyarwaddy International School is improving every year, and I am proud to have been a part of its growth."
Tr. Niko, Secondary Science Home Country: USA
"We have an Assistant Teacher for all Lead Teachers to help us. The management and the staff are very friendly, kind, and helpful. The school is situated in a pollution free region, except for the temporary noise experienced due to the recent construction of a new on-campus building. Electricity, water and WiFi are available 24/7. Laundry and cleaning services are provided by the staff of AIS once a week. The campus security team is polite and responsible. I have never seen such support from any of the staff in my previous assignments. Weekends are times for the teachers to explore the surroundings and the natural beauty of Myanmar. There are many after-school get-togethers organized by the school community. Teachers often prepare BBQ on the roof-top and enjoy with friends and colleagues. Visa runs allow us to explore nearby countries once every 70 days. Teachers play volleyball, basketball, badminton and Frisbee together. People of different countries (USA, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Slovakia, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, Japan and India) live in one campus like a family. I like the life at AIS!"
Tr. Ponnumuthu, Secondary Mathematics Home Country: India
"My time in Myanmar has been great. Myanmar people are extremely friendly, crime is practically non-existent (left phones and wallets are returned to their owners), and there is a multitude of unspoilt travel destinations (Google image search Horse Shoe Island and Cocks Comb Island to see my two favourite destinations so far). Although some areas of the country are restricted, most are not. My wife and I did not have any trouble travelling across the country during Christmas break using planes, trains, buses, motorcycles and minivans. We have felt 110% safe everywhere we have been and rate Myanmar as one of our favourite countries to explore. Ayeyarwaddy International School is a great place to work. The kids speak good English and are respectful, the administration and support staff are helpful and attentive, the foreign teachers are welcoming, and the housing is comfortable. The resources at the school are adequate and are constantly being added to (any reasonable requests for additional resources are encouraged and accommodated). We maintain a high standard of living at school as Mandalay has numerous quality restaurants, malls with electronics stores as well as supermarkets with imported products. The prices are very low and we save a lot of money each month."
Tr. Jean, Grade 5 Home Country: S. Africa
"It sounds cliché, but my time at Ayeyarwaddy International School has reinvigorated my passion for teaching. I'll admit I had apprehensions about moving to Myanmar, but each one has proven to be baseless. Between truly welcoming local and foreign communities, hard-working students, beautiful natural landscapes, and stunning man-made places of interest, I consider myself extremely lucky to be here. Now is a great time to be in Mandalay."
Tr. Quinn, Secondary English Home Country: USA
"The Academic Year 2015-2016 was my first teaching year at AIS, and I was warmly welcomed by the administrators, foreign colleagues and local staff. Everyone shows full support to the new faculty members, and I always feel encouraged every day I am working with my students."
Tr. Ralph, Physical Education Home Country: Philippines
"It has been over a year since I arrived in Mandalay. Time is flying here. Before I came to Mandalay, I was a little anxious about teaching at AIS and Mandalay itself. Now, I am so excited and grateful for being here and for teaching our students. I have found that AIS students are the most hard-working, collaborating and enthusiastic students I have ever taught. It is a pleasure working with them. I even chose to give up some personal time to work with them on Saturdays! :) AIS is an amazing school with an attractive school environment and extraordinary people. I wish time would slow down here." Tr. Erik, Physical Education Home Country: Slovakia
"Working at Ayeyarwaddy International School has been one of the most unique experiences I have embarked upon. Between the students and the local staff, you are bound to fall in love with Myanmar and working as a teacher in this country. I don't think I could have picked a better place to begin my experience in Southeast Asia, and AIS is always looking for ways to make the school better for both students and teachers. I am happy that I am able to give what I can and help educate this wonderful community of students here at Ayeyarwaddy International School."
Tr. Brittany, Preschool Home Country: USA Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Recruit
"I have only been at AIS for about 1 month, but I feel so at home here. The staff, both foreign and local, are incredibly welcoming and helpful. I love my second graders and it's a joy to come to school every morning knowing my students are excited to learn!"
Tr. Harper, Grade 2 Home Country: USA UNI Recruit
"Making the decision to teach abroad at AIS is a decision I am very happy to have made! Since I have arrived in Mandalay, I have been blown away by the generosity, support, and kindness of the people here - not only at AIS, but also in the community. Mandalay is a large city, but it has quickly felt like home. The school environment is a great place to work at. People are quick to answer questions and help you in any way you need. The students are very polite, creative, and enthusiastic. There are wonderful places to visit in and around Mandalay - the culture in Myanmar is amazing! I have had so many wonderful experiences while living and working in Mandalay. It is definitely a place I am glad to have found."
Tr. Angela, Grade 4 Home Country: USA
“Our students are very enthusiastic about learning! Our teachers and administration share that enthusiasm and generate an energy of positivity and growth. At AIS, I feel very supported and motivated to be my best self and to constantly reflect on how I can improve in my craft of teaching. The camaraderie of staff fosters professional collaboration and inspiration to make learning and our community fun and a great place to be!”
Tr. Katie K, Secondary Spanish & Learning Support Home Country: USA Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Recruit
“It is a very exhilarating time at AIS and I love that I am part of it. The students are excited about the future and we are providing them educational opportunities that weren't available to residents of Mandalay in the past. I can't wait to see our first graduating class in 2017 and am eager to see where the students will go to university. I also really love living in Mandalay and experiencing firsthand the changes that are happening here every day!”
Tr. Suzanne, School Counselor Home Country: USA UNI Recruit
“My experience with the entire staff at AIS has been incredible! Moving to another country and starting my first year of teaching all at once posed some unique challenges, but the staff at the school made this transition remarkably easier than expected. There is a strong support system at AIS, and I am grateful to be a part of this family!”
Tr. Amy, Grade 1 Home Country: USA UNI Recruit
"I chose to come to Myanmar and Ayeyarwaddy International School because it presented a unique opportunity to be a part of a building process. This meant that I was able to play an active role in defining the school culture at AIS instead of merely supporting the status quo elsewhere. Both Myanmar and AIS are in the midst of a tremendous growth cycle these days, and I feel fortunate to have the chance to participate in this process intimately."
Tr. Justin, Grade 5 & Secondary Assistant Principal Home Country: Canada
“The administrators and faculty of AIS went above and beyond my expectations in preparing me for my arrival in Mandalay. The help, advice, support and answers that I received made the transition to life in Myanmar smooth and painless. I was pleasantly surprised by how empathetic and understanding the administrative staff was in providing one-on-one feedback and information on every topic from visas to vaccinations.” Tr. Elise, Grade 5 Home Country: Canada
"I taught Math courses in the Philippines for more than a decade. It was really a challenge for me to come up with very good PowerPoint slides, and my "sketching" skills were also tested since I needed to draw good figures on the whiteboard. But because of the Smart Board I have in my classroom here in AIS, I can easily come up with engaging and interesting math activities. Every classroom in AIS has a Smart Board!"
Tr. Jonathan, Secondary Math Home Country: Philippines
“I'm thankful for the wonderful team of teachers whom I am working with now in my preschool class. They are nothing but helpful, supportive and friendly to me. They make work more fun and productive. They treat me as if I'm their local sister, make me try different food and tour me around Mandalay. The simple things that they do for me make me feel less homesick. My students here are just the same -- friendly, energetic and happy bunch of kids. They never fail to make me smile every day.”
Tr. Vanessa, Preschool Home Country: Philippines
"I grew up in Myanmar, went to college in the US, and recently returned to Mandalay. I was a little surprised the first time I walked into AIS and saw the students communicating with each other in English, which was totally different from my childhood. We are lucky to have supportive teachers, parents, and leadership in this community, and I am very grateful that I am a part of the AIS family."
May Yee Sein, Family Outreach Coordinator Home Country: Myanmar
"I'm a first-year teacher, and AIS has been a great experience! As soon as my wife and I landed we were welcomed to the city of Mandalay and AIS with open arms. The staff here has been more than helpful and accommodating. We have had such a great time exploring the city and meeting new people around Mandalay. The city is so much fun to explore and the work environment at AIS is professional, challenging, and fun!"
Tr. CJ, Grade 5 Home Country: Canada
“I have a shy student in my class who is new to AIS this year and new to English. One day my class needed a break. I wanted the break to be something silly with movement, but also a tiny bit educational. I settled on whole class Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, despite the lackluster reception it initially received in my 4th grade class in the US. Imagine my surprise when the entire class, including my shy new student, were enthralled! Everyone participated, and we even came up with a new (to me) slow motion version. It was a win-win-win: my students had a short break, my new student learned a few new English vocabulary words, and everybody had fun!” Tr. Emily, Grade 4 Home Country: USA UNI Recruit
"I love teaching here at AIS. As a teacher here, I have freedom to be creative and expand on the curriculum in different and innovative ways. Unlike what you find in North America, AIS doesn't focus on teaching to the test. We use assessment to identify student needs, but don't let testing take over everything from curriculum formation to teacher evaluation. I began my time here as a fourth-grade teacher and was given the opportunity to move into another specialty area: science. We have a great lab (that is available to the whole school) that I use almost every week for teaching hands-on science! As someone who loves to travel, living in Myanmar has also been a great opportunity for me. If you come here you have a chance to intimately get to know a unique and growing culture. There are also ample vacations and opportunities to explore elsewhere!"
Tr. Molly, Grade 4 & Secondary Science Home Country: USA
"It has been exciting for me to be part of a new, growing, and improving school community. Here at AIS, I have been fortunate to have many opportunities to contribute to the school and community . . . I've enjoyed all of these opportunities and challenges in the last three years of living, working, and learning at AIS."
Tr. Matt T, Secondary History & English Home Country: USA
"AIS is very concerned with the success of every single student and is willing to implement innovative programs to affect student outcomes in a positive way. AIS is a real home for learning."
Tr. Rodante, Secondary Math Home Country: Philippines
"Upon arriving at AIS, I was quite anxious to begin because I was entering my first year of teaching. However, the support and encouragement I have received from both my team members, as well as the other grade level teachers, made me feel at home within the first week. The transition into the AIS family has been beyond positive, and I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the school year has in store. I have settled into my classroom community and the Mandalay community with ease, and I couldn't think of a better place to spend my first year of teaching!"
Tr. Catherine, Grade 2 Home Country: USA
“From the day I arrived I have felt sincerely supported by everyone here: by the office staff, the housing staff, the administrators, and especially my fellow teachers! They are an amazing group of dedicated educators who will share with and support you in every way.”
Tr. Lesa, K-12 Art Home Country: USA
“Since I last traveled Asia, Myanmar has been on my bucket list. I never thought, however, that one day I would call this country home. Today, I am so happy that I do. It was a huge step out of my comfort zone, but since the moment I was waiting in the Bangkok airport and met a handful of returning teachers, I have felt comfortable and at home. The staff are helpful in so many different ways, from taking you to the doctor, helping you buy a motorbike, showing you how to use the copier or giving you helpful advice in the 'first year of teaching stress'. I am very happy I chose to come to AIS.”
Tr. Natasha, Grade 1 Home Country: Canada TORF Recruit