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BAC Moscow
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: BAC Moscow Reply with quote

I have been offered a position at the British Academic Center in Moscow. They are offering 40k rub/mo and accommodation for 30 hrs/wk. Any thoughts? The interviewer couldn't tell me exactly where the accommodation would be (not that I would've gleaned anything from those details anyway) other than that it would be about 40 min from the school on the same metro line. So...any thoughts? Any tips on living in Moscow? What should I definitely ask the school before signing this contract?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9018
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know anything about them, but their website is a swish affair. But it includes an awful lot of marketing nonsense - 'We teach students to think in English' and the like.

Anyway, like your other post, get firm details on how accommodation is organised. You don't want to be stuck somewhere which entails a mini-bus to the last station of the metro and then a long train trip to Pushkinskaya, where their school is in the centre.

Questions to ask:

1. How may Young Learners classes likely? Teens too?

2. Off-site teaching? Distances involved? Early in the morning?

3. Visa status? Teacher visa, or Work visa?

4. Contract - Russian language only is valid - can you see it?

5. Teacher support? Workshops, seminars, observations?

6. Get firm info about arrangement for accommodation. How is it done?

7. Airport pick-up? This is really important!


Seems like a fairly typical McSchool operation - but I hasten to add that I have not worked for them, and know nothing about them first-hand.

Maybe ask to speak to a teacher currently working there?

Best of luck!
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although my first real job offer was exciting, I doubt I'll be taking a position at this school. The interviewer claimed that the residence was on the same Metro line as the school, which I took to mean one train and I'd be there. Again, probably naive, and yes, I'd need to nail down details.

They said that I would not be working with young learners, and while they asked about exam prep and business English experience, they also gave me no indication that I would be teaching those types of classes.

I didn't know that there was a teacher visa separate from the traditional work visa. Another question I'll need to ask.

I received a contract in English, but since I can't read Cyrillic, I'm not sure how much good the Russian copy would do me...unless someone here would be kind enough to read it for me? I can certainly ask for one.

I have no idea about teacher support. My assumption was that there would be very little, as this is (as you mentioned) clearly a lower-end offer from a McSchool.

Airport pickup was assured in the English contract that I received. I suppose I should confirm that.

I'm getting more and more set on Russia...I'll keep working to apply for other positions. Again, if anyone has any relevant contacts, or knows of any schools that are currently hiring, please let me know.
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smithrn1983



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 320
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've known a few people who have worked with BAC. They've got branches all over Moscow, and Moscow region. It seems that whether you have a good or bad experience with them will largely depend on which branch you wind up at. This is not unusual for the McSchools, really.

As for accommodation, I don't know anyone in Moscow who only has to use one metro line to get to work. It seems to be the nature of the business here that people teach at multiple locations. Please correct me if I'm wrong. That said, Moscow probably has THE most efficient metro system in the world, so you really don't need to worry about changing metro lines in the first place.
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except, of course, for the fact that I can't read Cyrillic.
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Nexus



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 187
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously, it won't take more than a week or two to get used to it.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9018
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metro stations signage is the best way to learn the letters! Two weeks tops!
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ComradeBL



Joined: 28 Aug 2010
Posts: 70
Location: 'stan!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confer that Cyrillic isn't terribly difficult...far greater logic than the Latin alphabet...
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You must learn to read. But it doesn't take long.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9018
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some letters are the same as the Latin alphabet. Some look the same as the Latin alphabet but sounds different. Only some of the Russian alphabet is totally new for most people only familiar with Latin scripts. Most touristy language books for learners break the alphabet down into digestible chunks. Here is the 'Teach Yourself' series Beginner's Russian.

These letters look and sound similar to English

А
Т
О
М
К

These letters look like English, but sound different. False friends, really.


С which sounds like 's'
Р which sounds like 'r'
Е which sounds like 'ye', as in 'yes'
В which sounds like 'v'
Н which sounds like 'n'
У which sounds like 'oo' as in 'boot'
Х which sounds like 'ch' as in 'Bach'

These letters look strange, but have familiar sounds.

П which sounds like 'p' (as in maths, Pi,)
Л which sounds like 'l' (as in maths 'lambda' λ)
И which sounds like 'ee' as in 'meet'
З which sounds like 'z'
Д which sounds like 'd' (like the letter Delta)

Ф which sounds like 'f'
Ю which sounds like 'yoo' as in 'unique'
Г which sounds like 'g' as in 'good'

Б which sounds like 'b'
Э which sounds like 'e' as in 'leg'
Й which sounds like 'y' as in 'toy'
Ё which sounds like 'yo' as in 'yonder'
Я which sounds like 'ya' as 'yak'

These letters do not have just one English letter for them

Ж which sounds like 'zh' as in pleasure'
Ц which sounds like 'ts' as in 'cats'
Ч which sounds like 'ch' as in 'chicken'
Ш which sounds like 'sh' as in 'ship'
Щ which sounds like 'shsh' as in 'Spanish sherry'


Ы which sounds a little like 'i' as in 'ill'
Ь 'soft sign'. No real sound, but softens the letter before with a 'y'
Ъ 'hard sign'. Tiny pause. Don't worry about it.
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ComradeBL



Joined: 28 Aug 2010
Posts: 70
Location: 'stan!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Herr-ah-sho, Sasha!
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A suggestion: buy an introductory book on Russian, but just concentrate on the first chapter or two, which should introduce the alphabet and some basic things like please, thank you and sorry.

Don't go mad and buy lots of books. My own preference is the Penguin course.

Do note that books will teach you handwritten script as well as typescript. For the sake of easy learning, I think you should ignore the handwritten stuff for a while.
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njs7t3



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips. On a side-note, I asked to speak to a native English speaking teacher currently employed by BAC. I received this:

Hi Nathan,

How are you? Nice to meet you, if by this distant way. Actually, you're the second person I'm getting in contact with and I kinda wish I would've opted for such wise approach, since I basically came in here in June only to get initial cultural shock. It looked hairy for coupla days but really thanx to support from Natalia, my regional principal I got over it and would venture to say, things are looking a whole lot better and essentially normal. But not to bore you with superfluous stuff, here are answers to your questions:

I have been here since June 2nd of 2013, though I think it's worth the mention that Justin, American who works in nearby Noginsk has worked here for three years running, which is always a good sign, and a signal for added comfort, I'd venture to say.
Honestly, I'm located in the city of Elektrostal, with nearby (15 k's) Noginsk being the regional center. (it comprises both schools under one principal and they function as unit) First month was indeed taxing, for I shuttled to Noginsk daily and it encompassed travel by shuttle vans, where I had plenty of empty run. Eventually, school realized I was spending almost as much time in commute as in class so they mercifully adjusted that deal so that I only go to a corporate client thrice a week, which is a 15 min. cab ride from school, my last classes of the day. Otherwise Nathan, traffic is likely Russia's worst facet although I imagine other BAC centers are also in fair proximity, though again, I don't know details. So figure out your arrangement and you'll do yourself a favor if you'll teach in one place or have occasional stint in the other town.
40 k's in rubles should be plenty enough to live on, given your accommodation is paid for. However, I'll insert that 'depends on lifestyle' variable here. Compared to mere mortals, it's pretty good pay though food is where bulk of my expenses goes towards. Again, any tendencies that center around going out to eat and drink will hike your expenses considerably. I'm kinda modest person when it comes to money and if your lifestyle doesn't have flash in it, you could put aside half of what you earn, no problem. Just to give you numerical perspective.
At first glance, my apartment fell under that shock (without any awe!) category. Nevertheless, when I tried a substitution, it pleased me even less, so I observed that 'be careful what you ask for' adage, for most apartments paid for by school (and I'd venture to say goes for any branch) are in typical retro-Soviet architectural buildings. Other than hard on the eye, my place is functional with a caring landlord who comes to check periodically though I haven't experienced the brunt of Russian foul weather/winter. Having said that, I imagine it has handled plenty of winters and tenants before me, so I wouldn't worry to much about its capability.


Hope these weren't too windy of replies Nathan, and be glad to speak to you in person if you so desire. At any rate, if you decide to come, I think you won't make a mistake. Similarly, I had my reservations before my arrival, but it's been a very nice story up to this point. Take care, and again best of luck to you,

Alen


Raise you hand if you think this guy (or potentially gal or potentially janitor) is a native speaker.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9018
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
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Nexus



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 187
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha haaa hhaaahaaa, electrostal he says! ha hhaahhahhhahah Noginsk!!! hahhahhaha
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