I have wanted to teach abroad ever since I stepped foot in the public school classroom. At first I looked at Department of Defense Schools, but never had response from recruiters or found any music teacher positions. I had no clue there was a thing such as Search Associates (which is like a middle man connecting teachers with international schools). So, as I stated earlier, when a friend told me about his new job in Romania, I jumped right in.
Search Associates is an AMAZING asset for the international teacher. All of the resumes, references, and job searches are on-line. Super simple. You pay a one time fee for 3 years of service and at the time it was $200. You are given a supervisor (mine was Dexter Lewis whom I loved) who helps you through the entire process from beginning to end. You fill out your forms, get your references to fill out their forms (don't forget, all on-line, which is awesome), and begin searching for possible jobs. Once you are a candidate, you may even begin hearing from schools who are interested in phone interviews before the big hiring fairs. I had 3 such schools call my references asking for more information about me and then finally asked me for phone interviews.
So, here is the time line I followed for beginning the teach abroad process:
August: contact Search Associates, send them requested information and see if they accept your candidacy, get your Search Associate Supervisor who guides you through the process
September-October: pay $200 Search Associates fee, fill out on-line resume and get 3-4 high quality references (mostly supervisors, although I also used a parent of a previous student and a co-worker who was a mentor to me), book flight and room at the appropriate hiring fair (I went to the one in Boston)
November-February: contact schools that look interesting to you for future employment (usually by email)
February: hiring fair