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Ecuador Quito University CEC - Escuela Politecnica Nacional

 
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cobweb



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:04 am    Post subject: Ecuador Quito University CEC - Escuela Politecnica Nacional Reply with quote

Hi

I've recently been offered a position at "University CEC - Escuela Politecnica Nacional" in Quito, Ecuador. It's a year contract with 30 hours teaching a week, and 12 weeks paid vacation a year. The pay is around $700 a month, and there is an opportunity for teachers to take their "internationally recognized TEFL/TESL/CCA Certificate Program" for half price, which would mean around $400.

It all sounds pretty good to me, I just wondered if 1) anyone had any experience working here that they could share, or 2) how this position and the benefits compares to other university positions in Ecuador?

Thanks
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 862

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you qualified for University work? If you are, there are better deals out there, if not, then it would be a way of getting some University experience. I assume you don't have an English teaching qualification if you are considering taking theirs.

The pay is very low for a University in Quito, considerably less than you would make in a language school with 30 contact hours. You do get the paid holiday though, so maybe it balances out to some extent. Also, 30 contact hours is very high, are they expecting you to prep those lessons, or is it a read from the book/edutainment arrangement? The Uni itself is OK, public I think, so the classes may be big. Are you expected to teach on Saturdays?

You will have to live fairly frugally to survive on $700/month, especially if you are paying tax (that will depend on your visa). With those hours you won't really be able to take on additional work, and there's not much in the way of summer school work in Ecuador.

Most importantly, what are they offering you in the way of a visa, and who will be paying those costs?
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cobweb



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi thanks for your reply. I don't have a CELTA or university experience, but I have a bachelors and masters degree (in non-related subject areas), a TEFL certificate from i-to-i, and a year's teaching experience in a Korean public school. Does this make me qualified for university teaching or not?? I would like to do a CELTA but cannot afford it at the moment.

I had thought the pay was low too, but since 3 months are paid vacation, I thought it didn't seem too bad.

The teaching would actually be at the language institute of the university rather than to the actual students themselves - so to "students from local businesses, banks, high schools, and government institutions, as well as students from the majority of the other universities in Quito" and the average class size is 14. I don't have information about whether I'd be prepping the classes etc. But wouldn't be expected to work on Saturdays.

In fact, the arrangement they have is that I would be a "volunteer", and my wage would be a "volunteer stipend". So I guess this would be tax exempt.

What do you think now??

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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 862

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they talking about a volunteer visa, or a cultural exchange visa? (They both allow payment of a tax-free stipend, but are fundamentally different.) I would never recommend working in Ecuador on a volunteer visa. Regardless of how they try to tweak the paperwork, it's illegal and puts you in a very vulnerable position. Volunteer visas are one area that immigration have clamped down on hard recently.

The cultural exchange visa used to be a grey area, but currently it seems to be the government's preferred way for language schools to employ foreigners, and is therefore legitimate.

$700 month for 30 contact hours at a language school is at the low end of OK-ish given the paid holidays, assuming they aren't expecting you to do much in the way of prep and marking. Otherwise you could easily be looking at a 60hr+ week.

You could earn at least $1,000/month doing those sorts of hours at another language school. However, there would be just a few weeks holiday, and there is no guarantee you would actually be able to get that many hours regularly. So overall, assuming your $700 is guaranteed regardless of how may classes they actually have for you, it would probably work out about the same.
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cobweb



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again and thanks for your reply. The visa would be a 12-VIII cultural exchange visa.

Another question - the TEFL course they offer, an "internationally recognized TEFL/TESL/CCA Certificate Program" for $413 (this is the price of the course for English language instructors at the uni - with a 50% discount)- seems a pretty good deal, I know wouldn't be as widely accepted as a CELTA certificate, how valuable would this be for future employment in and outside of Ecuador? Is it better for me to save the time and money and do a CELTA course if I plan to continue being an EFL teacher?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 862

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends who and where you want to teach. I've only had a very quick look, but it seems to be a fairly standard generic TEFL course, it has the 6 hours observed teaching, which is important and 150 hrs of classes.

Some schools do prefer a brand name course like the CELTA, because they are seen as being more standardised, so schools feel like they have a better understanding of what the trainee will have covered. However, many places don't care one way or another as long as you specify that you had the 150hrs + 6hrs observed. Equally, many places won't care whether or not you have any sort of certification.

In other words, a brand name course may open a few doors to you that will otherwise be closed, but those jobs will be the minority. You will always have to explain and justify a generic course to employers who won't immediately know it by name. But taking the generic course will save you maybe $1,000 over taking a CELTA in Ecuador.
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