Kinabalu International School has an excellent track record in retaining its teaching staff, with the majority renewing contracts beyond the initial two year period.


Following the decision to leave the Middle East in the search of greenery and an outdoor lifestyle; moving to Kota Kinabalu has been the best decision that my husband and I have made. Moving to a new country can be a stressful and worrying experience, however, KIS have perfected their transition for new employees.

Whilst preparing to move, any questions that you have are answered promptly and you are made to feel instantly welcomed. Upon arrival in Kota Kinabalu you are met at the airport by existing KIS staff who look after you and help you settle into your new home and workplace with ease.

At KIS, the school culture is one where individuals feel valued, cared for and respected. This allows for effective teaching and learning and teachers are able to provide the best care for their pupils. Teachers have the ability to tailor lessons to suit every child’s needs without all of the constraints that they may experience in the UK education system.



Making the decision to move to Sabah wasn’t difficult, both my wife and I had spent hours researching the school and (in truth) drooling over countless internet images of Sabah’s azure seas, lush virgin rainforest and dramatic mountain range; but inevitably as the time for the move approached (or should I say crawled towards us!) so did the reality of our situation: What are the practicalities of living somewhere as “exotic” as Borneo? How different could life be? What if the experience was a complete disaster? It was with this mix of heady excitement and gut-wrenching trepidation that we landed into Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

We shouldn’t have been worried. From the offset we’ve been well looked after. With the assistance of members of staff, board members, estate agents and banking representatives, it was amazing how much we were able to achieve in the first week. For example; I knew that I wouldn’t get lost on the first day of term, I was going to be paid real money for working in paradise, and that we’d negotiated a good price for an apartment not too far from the school.

I’m now into my fifth academic year at KIS and during this time the student body has almost doubled, the staffing has inevitably increased and a wider range of subjects are being offered to those students at IGCSE, AS and A level. Considering that the school has grown rapidly, KIS still maintains the feel of a much smaller school. As a teacher, I think that the merits of a school can be measured by how much investment and in turn satisfaction is evident across the whole school community and that sense of satisfaction is almost palpable when you arrive at KIS!



Teaching at KIS is like being part of a very large family, which is why I am currently in my eleventh year of teaching here. When I first arrived the school only had around ninety students, so I have seen many changes over the years, but thankfully that close knit family and community feel hasn’t changed at all, which is why I am very happy that my own children are now a part of this big family too!

The teaching team has grown rapidly over the past few years, but in Primary we all work hard to offer the students a world class education in our quiet corner of Borneo. The teaching team (teachers and TAs) work very hard to make all newcomers to KIS, both staff and students, feel welcome and a part of the community as quickly as possible.

Living and working in Kota Kinabalu for the past twelve years has been extremely rewarding. It is lovely to experience the wonders of the area that I live in through the eyes of the children that I have taught, whether it has been taking the children jungle trekking, snorkelling, to the local wildlife reserves to see the Orang Utans and monkeys or to the cultural museums. All of these trips have been amazing. At KIS we believe in teaching the children about their local environment as well as the wider world around them.