Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Housing for UGRU Teachers

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> United Arab Emirates
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
usernamed



Joined: 06 May 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Housing for UGRU Teachers Reply with quote

Hi, Does anyone know what the housing situation will be for new teachers at UGRU next year?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Puzzlemenot



Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Housing for UGRU teachers Reply with quote

I too am interested in finding out what housing is like for UGRU teachers. I do know that a new housing complex was being designed in 2010. Not sure how far along that is.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Desert Camper



Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE

PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

---

Last edited by Desert Camper on Sat May 25, 2013 3:52 pm; edited 6 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
boyscout



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 16
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops! Here we go again! Embarassed
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
Mod Team


Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 6017
Location: Anxious? Stressed? Repeat the following 300 times daily: A wet robin never flies at night.

PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Please do not use racist terms on this board.
2. Please stay on topic.
3. Please read this warning again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Desert Camper



Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that, since the summer break is rapidly approaching and many new staff appear to be coming to UAEU's foundation/bridging program (the newly rechristened 'UFP') in August, I would revive this thread.

Unfortunately, I have to say that housing is the only part of my job at UAEU with which I am not totally satisfied, and in actual fact I am downright unhappy with my UAEU-provided accommodation. When I do come to leave UFP it will be solely as a result of the dismal housing I have been placed in, which is a shame.

I have married status and, unlike many of my colleagues whose spouses have never actually ever materialized, I am accompanied by my wife. In the recruitment process I was told that then-UGRU instructors with married status who came with their spouses were given modern flats or villas and that, for the most part, the neighbours would be fellow Western ex-pat teachers, many of whom would actually be UAEU colleagues.

In reality, however, I was given a decrepit, old flat without a modern kitchen indeed, without any kitchen (expect if by 'kitchen' you mean a room with a sink, which itself was obviously added as an afterthought) or a modern, fitted bathroom. The flooring tiles throughout the flat are reminiscent of a public toilet from the 1970s and we do not have a garden or even a small patio, which when you think about it is somewhat strange given that they are building these houses in the desert on land which I think is gifted to the developer by the sheikh MOD edit) In addition, our neighbours are certainly not UAEU teachers, or teachers from any other Al Ain-based institution for that matter (MOD edit).

Like some of my colleagues, I also have a dormitory directly opposite my accommodation where upwards of 40 or 50 male delivery drivers and supermarket workers live in tiny partitioned 'rooms'. Beds there can be rented by the month, week, day, and even by the hour. Needless to say, given the type of person attracted to/forced to take such lodgings, my wife is not at all comfortable with the residents of these dormitories, (MOD edit). As anyone who has ever observed these men stare at women well knows, they do not so much merely undress females with their eyes as more rape them with their eyes. Some of my friends' and colleagues' wives have, unfortunately, left Al Ain for this one reason alone.

Rats and other rodents are a huge problem, mainly since these men and also some of my North African Arab neighbours simply throw the remains of their meals out into the street (some low caste Indian will clear it up, right?), a street which also conveniently serves as a car park for the trucks and delivery vans driven by the men who rent beds by the hour opposite. Said trucks and vans come and go at all hours day and night, and they are also often loaded and unloaded directly outside my accommodation, no matter whether it is 2pm or 2am.

Unfortunately, the housing section of the human resources department at the university is imposing seemingly on a random basis a 'four year rule', whereby, once you have signed for a property, you cannot even so much as apply for a housing transfer till you have resided in the property for at least four years (which is a tad odd as we have 3-year contracts). You are not told this when you sign for the property, however, and in fact are not really even told that you are indeed signing for the property, only that you are confirming that you have 'seen' it.

In fairness, however, I have to stress that Al Ain and UAEU housing is a tale of two cities, and if you are lucky then you may get accommodation which is nothing short of stunning. Some of my colleagues of similar age, with the same marital status, qualifications, experience, pay, and contract are housed in nice compounds such as The Village and Sheikh Ahmed Compound, and some are even in the 'number one compound' (read, 'ex-pat ghetto') in Al Ain, the much coveted Andalus Housing Complex, immediately adjacent to Al Ain Mall.

Sadly, it appears to be sheer luck of the draw whether you will get this Western-style, Western-quality, gated-community housing, or accommodation that most unskilled construction workers would refuse to stay in. There is, sadly, no visible rhyme or reason to the housing 'policy'; indeed, it is not at all clear if they even have a policy as such. For whilst there are married faculty professors with teenage kids in grotty little flats on the edge of industrial Saniya or in the Town Centre (and not through choice), they simultaneously have unmarried UFP instructors who have no dependents housed in detached villas, complete with gardens, patios, balconies, and terraces, and all with fitted kitchens reminiscent of the TV show Master Chef or advertisements for Scandinavian kitchens, and bathrooms that look like they have been taken out of 5 star hotels.

Most people are somewhere between these two extremes, but either way it has to be said that housing at UAEU is to my mind the only aspect of the job that is not fine, and in fact the poor quality of housing given to many staff does not reflect well on UAEU or the UAE.

Someone above refers to a new compound being built, which I can only guess must be the extension of Oasis Villas/The Village opposite Tawam Hospital. Less than a hundred shoebox-like buildings are going up, however, and so there will be nowhere enough to satisfy UFP staff, let alone the whole university, and besides, all because there are villas in compounds available does not, sadly, mean that staff will be housed there.

Furthermore, I have been told that these new villas are being built to order for HCT and ADEC teachers. On that latter point, it is worth mentioning that even kindergarten teachers with ADEC are housed in The Village and HCT staff, even those on the foundation program, are often given villas in Andalus. Teachers at Al Ains numerous international schools are also typically allocated housing which is vastly superior to that given to UFP instructors at UAEU.

I truly believe that this post is easily the best ESL foundation program job in the entire Middle East, and arguably even in the whole world. After all, we are paid 19,500 AED a month (tax free), have free housing (of sorts), free medical cover and flights for ourselves, spouse, and any dependents, an educational allowance for any children, a 3-year contract (at a time when many other institutions are only offering one or at most two years on their contracts), and we also receive one month's base salary for each year we serve, payable as part of our final settlement. In addition, we have three whole months a year off, fully paid, and we are free to leave the country if we so desire for any part or all of those three months.

In return, all we have to do is to teach 20 hours a week (or less if you teach on the writing program), usually spread over 4 days, and must complete a few hours a week of 'committee work' (speaking centre, writing centre, etc.). We are also left alone by the management, as long, of course, as we do the job for which we are employed. Furthermore, all members of management are themselves former foundation program teachers, and so have come up through the ranks, as it were, and thus have personal experience of being an instructor on the bridging program. To their credit they also keep administration and meetings down to an absolute minimum. Finally, I have seen evidence that they try and accommodate everyones wishes and preferences when it comes to desired courses, campuses, and timetables.

However, and this is a big however, those that run the foundation program are not responsible for, or have any input regarding, provision of university accommodation. If they were, then the allocation of housing would doubtless be a great deal fairer, more logical, and vastly more consistent. As it stands, unfortunately, the housing given to many UFP instructors is substandard (both in terms of state of repair and location) and this point needs to be understood by any potential recruit. You may get a semi-detached villa in The Village or in Sheikh Ahmed Compound, but you may not, and in fact most probably will not.


Last edited by Desert Camper on Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4824
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, you certainly could have made your point more diplomatically and without the ethnocentric comments. I know westerners who would make for lousy neighbors.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Solid Scotsman



Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desert Camper wrote:
I thought that, since the summer break is rapidly approaching and many new staff appear to be coming to UAEU's foundation/bridging program (the newly rechristened 'UFP') in August, I would revive this thread.

Unfortunately, I have to say that housing is the only part of my job at UAEU with which I am not totally satisfied, and in actual fact I am downright unhappy with my UAEU-provided accommodation. When I do come to leave UFP it will be solely as a result of the dismal housing I have been placed in, which is a shame.

I have married status and, unlike many of my colleagues whose spouses have never actually ever materialized, I am accompanied by my wife. In the recruitment process I was told that then-UGRU instructors with married status who came with their spouses were given modern flats or villas and that, for the most part, the neighbours would be fellow Western ex-pat teachers, many of whom would actually be UAEU colleagues.

In reality, however, I was given a decrepit, old flat without a modern kitchen � indeed, without any kitchen (expect if by 'kitchen' you mean a room with a sink, which itself was obviously added as an afterthought) � or a modern, fitted bathroom. The flooring tiles throughout the flat are reminiscent of a public toilet from the 1970s and we do not have a garden or even a small patio, which when you think about it is somewhat strange given that they are building these houses in the desert on land which I think is gifted to the developer by the sheikh MOD edit) In addition, our neighbours are certainly not UAEU teachers, or teachers from any other Al Ain-based institution for that matter (MOD edit).

Like some of my colleagues, I also have a dormitory directly opposite my accommodation where upwards of 40 or 50 male delivery drivers and supermarket workers live in tiny partitioned 'rooms'. Beds there can be rented by the month, week, day, and even by the hour. Needless to say, given the type of person attracted to/forced to take such lodgings, my wife is not at all comfortable with the residents of these dormitories, (MOD edit). As anyone who has ever observed these men stare at women well knows, they do not so much merely undress females with their eyes as more rape them with their eyes. Some of my friends' and colleagues' wives have, unfortunately, left Al Ain for this one reason alone.

Rats and other rodents are a huge problem, mainly since these men � and also some of my North African Arab neighbours � simply throw the remains of their meals out into the street (some low caste Indian will clear it up, right?), a street which also conveniently serves as a car park for the trucks and delivery vans driven by the men who rent beds by the hour opposite. Said trucks and vans come and go at all hours day and night, and they are also often loaded and unloaded directly outside my accommodation, no matter whether it is 2pm or 2am.

Unfortunately, the housing section of the human resources department at the university is imposing � seemingly on a random basis � a 'four year rule', whereby, once you have signed for a property, you cannot even so much as apply for a housing transfer till you have resided in the property for at least four years (which is a tad odd as we have 3-year contracts). You are not told this when you sign for the property, however, and in fact are not really even told that you are indeed signing for the property, only that you are confirming that you have 'seen' it.

In fairness, however, I have to stress that Al Ain and UAEU housing is a tale of two cities, and if you are lucky then you may get accommodation which is nothing short of stunning. Some of my colleagues � of similar age, with the same marital status, qualifications, experience, pay, and contract � are housed in nice compounds such as The Village and Sheikh Ahmed Compound, and some are even in the 'number one compound' (read, 'ex-pat ghetto') in Al Ain, the much coveted Andalus Housing Complex, immediately adjacent to Al Ain Mall.

Sadly, it appears to be sheer luck of the draw whether you will get this Western-style, Western-quality, gated-community housing, or accommodation that most unskilled construction workers would refuse to stay in. There is, sadly, no visible rhyme or reason to the housing 'policy'; indeed, it is not at all clear if they even have a policy as such. For whilst there are married faculty professors with teenage kids in grotty little flats on the edge of industrial Saniya or in the Town Centre (and not through choice), they simultaneously have unmarried UFP instructors who have no dependents housed in detached villas, complete with gardens, patios, balconies, and terraces, and all with fitted kitchens reminiscent of the TV show Master Chef or advertisements for Scandinavian kitchens, and bathrooms that look like they have been taken out of 5 star hotels.

Most people are somewhere between these two extremes, but either way it has to be said that housing at UAEU is to my mind the only aspect of the job that is not fine, and in fact the poor quality of housing given to many staff does not reflect well on UAEU or the UAE.

Someone above refers to a new compound being built, which I can only guess must be the extension of Oasis Villas/The Village opposite Tawam Hospital. Less than a hundred shoebox-like buildings are going up, however, and so there will be nowhere enough to satisfy UFP staff, let alone the whole university, and besides, all because there are villas in compounds available does not, sadly, mean that staff will be housed there.

Furthermore, I have been told that these new villas are being built to order for HCT and ADEC teachers. On that latter point, it is worth mentioning that even kindergarten teachers with ADEC are housed in The Village and HCT staff, even those on the foundation program, are often given villas in Andalus. Teachers at Al Ain�s numerous international schools are also typically allocated housing which is vastly superior to that given to UFP instructors at UAEU.

I truly believe that this post is easily the best ESL foundation program job in the entire Middle East, and arguably even in the whole world. After all, we are paid 19,500 AED a month (tax free), have free housing (of sorts), free medical cover and flights for ourselves, spouse, and any dependents, an educational allowance for any children, a 3-year contract (at a time when many other institutions are only offering one or at most two years on their contracts), and we also receive one month's base salary for each year we serve, payable as part of our final settlement. In addition, we have three whole months a year off, fully paid, and we are free to leave the country if we so desire for any part or all of those three months.

In return, all we have to do is to teach 20 hours a week (or less if you teach on the writing program), usually spread over 4 days, and must complete a few hours a week of 'committee work' (speaking centre, writing centre, etc.). We are also left alone by the management, as long, of course, as we do the job for which we are employed. Furthermore, all members of management are themselves former foundation program teachers, and so have come up through the ranks, as it were, and thus have personal experience of being an instructor on the bridging program. To their credit they also keep administration and meetings down to an absolute minimum. Finally, I have seen evidence that they try and accommodate everyone�s wishes and preferences when it comes to desired courses, campuses, and timetables.

However, and this is a big however, those that run the foundation program are not responsible for, or have any input regarding, provision of university accommodation. If they were, then the allocation of housing would doubtless be a great deal fairer, more logical, and vastly more consistent. As it stands, unfortunately, the housing given to many UFP instructors is substandard (both in terms of state of repair and location) and this point needs to be understood by any potential recruit. You may get a semi-detached villa in The Village or in Sheikh Ahmed Compound, but you may not, and in fact most probably will not.


Got some rose-colored glasses on about The Village. Sure it's new, but it's had a fare share of water issues that still haven't been resolved, the new "family park" area is pretty lame as well. Plus, many expats are glad to leave there due to families that let their kids run wild at odd hours of the night. Many complaints due to bored teens who don't have enough respect during late hours waking up people's kids. Not everything is as it seems.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> United Arab Emirates All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC