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PNU status update
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giovanni



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:12 am    Post subject: PNU status update Reply with quote

I am waiting after my Skype interview for an offer to teach at PNU.

Can anyone currently at PNU please give me an update:

Are you on break right now?

Have you heard anything about changes to new hires/making offers?

Is the gymnasium open? If not, when will it be open?

Are there tennis courts?

Is the grocery store on campus open?

What do you do for fun? Are there women who go for a jog, is it safe to do so on campus, etc?

Are you happy with the accommodation?

How long did it take for you to get your visa?

What did you recommend to bring?

Thank you
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judyvar



Joined: 16 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Griffin, Georgia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giovanni I'm also waiting for an offer! I was told the hold up is on PNU. So Im just trying to be patient..and in the mean time gathering all the information that I can to make the process as smooth as possible.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12490
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holiday is from around 18 October until the beginning of November.
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lynnknows



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 153
Location: Here, there, everywhere

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not there now but I have tons of friends that are and I was there last year. I can tell you what I know


Is the gymnasium open? If not, when will it be open?
You will be working on the old campus. There IS NO gym there. The PYP program is NOT on the new very pretty campus.

Are there tennis courts?
NOPE, Saudi women are not into exercise. PE is not even legal for women in the country so you dont see things like these here much
Is the grocery store on campus open?

What do you do for fun? Are there women who go for a jog, is it safe to do so on campus, etc?
I have seen women walk around the campus for exercise. Everyone has their own idea of fun. You will inshaallah find a group of women you like and can start doing things with them.
Are you happy with the accommodaton?

If you are working for SBC, you will be living in a shared villa. It is nice and you will have transportation to and from work. It also has a gym on their compound. EDEX offers an allowance or you can live in their housing. They have people living in shared flats that are like extended stay hotels.
The other group of women from Aukland were living in studio flats that were not shared. HOWEVER, those were for the admin. I am not sure what they will have teachers living in.
How long did it take for you to get your visa?

What did you recommend to bring?
The uniform is long skirts and shirts with 3/4 length sleeves at least. So you may want to make sure you have enough of those.
Thank you
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judyvar



Joined: 16 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Griffin, Georgia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I interviewed with Uniservices (Auckland). They sent me pictures of the facilities. In the packet were Q & A's that were from the people that had just arrived. Vey helpful information!
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giovanni



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interviewing with Uniservices and U of Auckland too so I've seen the pictures I just wanted to know if there was anything not in the photos like scorpions or ant infestations I should know about Shocked

I understand that I'd be living on the new campus even if I'm not working there? I need the gym to be open, my plan is to make money and get ripped
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judyvar



Joined: 16 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Griffin, Georgia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My plans EXACTLY! Very Happy
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 5172
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

giovanni wrote:
I need the gym to be open, my plan is to make money and get ripped

Even if there is a gym (and it's open), be aware it may not have the type or caliber of exercise equipment and/or weight machines you expect. This is a country where women's sports are banned and female fitness clubs and gyms are rare to nonexistent, despite there being an interest in these facilities.
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giovanni



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is the photo they have on the website

[img]http://i46.tinypic.com/2ih35lw.png[/img]

and it better be exactly that Twisted Evil

just lookin for the free weights I'm not high maintenance those dumbbells will do me

The woman I spoke to at Uniservices said the gym was completed but they are looking to hire staff before it can open I thought that sounded a little strange
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 5172
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

giovanni wrote:
this is the photo they have on the website

http://i46.tinypic.com/2ih35lw.png and it better be exactly that Twisted Evil

just lookin for the free weights I'm not high maintenance those dumbbells will do me

The woman I spoke to at Uniservices said the gym was completed but they are looking to hire staff before it can open I thought that sounded a little strange

Hmm.... Odd that there are men in that photo. Razz

Anyway, nothing strange about not having staffed the gym yet; a friend of mine said the minimarket isn't even open. Plus, where I live (not in Riyadh), the pool hasn't been open for more than a year because the housing management can't find a Saudi woman who knows how to manage such a facility. As such, the residents expect the pool to never reopen.

I hope you read up more on life in the Kingdom. You'll begin to realize you should keep your expectations low to minimize any disappointment and unpleasant surprises.
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wantok



Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That photo has been Photoshopped just like this one.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444592404578030274200387136.html
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16186
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I highly doubt that it is photoshopped. They just took the photo when there were no women there. Not difficult to do...

VS
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lynnknows



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 153
Location: Here, there, everywhere

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That may be a real photo. The gym at the compound for SBC has modern equipment. It looks like a real gym. I have also gone to some other women's gyms that would put some of the gyms back in the US to shame. They had EVERYTHING a person could imagine.

I think there is a difference in a gym that may be geared for Saudi women and those for western expats. I may be wrong but this is what Ive seen.
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vivianne



Joined: 28 Feb 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the gym/pool etc is not open. Since the beginning of September they have been saying it will be open in two weeks. This month they said it would be open after Hajj break. There is an outdoor track, security was insisting it couldn't be used, but one teacher, then a few others, went ahead and used it. Now, it's been decided the outdoor track is open.

Please don't forget, as it appears that you are a US citizen, that the foreign earned income exclusion is only available if you are outside of the US for 330 out of 365 days. If you only work this school year, you do need to factor in paying federal taxes and then whatever the laws might be where you live for local and state taxes when calculating potential savings. If you do want the exclusion, you will need to find somewhere outside the US to be for most of the summer and get a contract to teach again next year.
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giovanni



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vivianne wrote:
No, the gym/pool etc is not open. Since the beginning of September they have been saying it will be open in two weeks. This month they said it would be open after Hajj break. There is an outdoor track, security was insisting it couldn't be used, but one teacher, then a few others, went ahead and used it. Now, it's been decided the outdoor track is open.

Please don't forget, as it appears that you are a US citizen, that the foreign earned income exclusion is only available if you are outside of the US for 330 out of 365 days. If you only work this school year, you do need to factor in paying federal taxes and then whatever the laws might be where you live for local and state taxes when calculating potential savings. If you do want the exclusion, you will need to find somewhere outside the US to be for most of the summer and get a contract to teach again next year.


Super helpful, thank you. I'm a dual US citizen with a Canadian passport but Uniservices seemed to prefer the US passport because of the holdup on issued visas to Canadians


Quote:

A U.S. citizen who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Earned-Income-Exclusion---Requirements

Wouldn't I qualify under that? Isn't the iqama a residency card?

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Earned-Income-Exclusion---Bona-Fide-Residence-Test
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