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Empty promises from Prince Mohammed University in Al Khobar

 
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bima



Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject: Empty promises from Prince Mohammed University in Al Khobar Reply with quote

Dear all.
First, I want you to know that this is my first time posting on here. Second, I want to thank you in advance for reading my post and providing me with honest advice.

Please be kind with you words Smile I don’t appreciate harsh criticism and rude comments. Thanks!

Now, here it goes: Sometime in June I started looking for teaching jobs overseas and a friend told me that his university in KSA was hiring. I contacted the HR Director at Prince Mohammed University and got a Skype interview to teach ESL in their all-female campus in Al Khobar. Then a second interview took place and a week later they offered me the job.

Time Line (NOTE: DATES ARE APPROXIMATE)

• Sunday, July 10th got a job offer from PMU.
• August 4th semester starts and I’m supposed to arrive there no later than August 2nd.
• Between Sunday, July 16th and Sunday July 30th I was supposed to receive PMU’s contract on the mail but I didn’t.
• PMU originally said that I would be getting a work visa and should be ready to fly on August 4th.
• August 6th PMU contacted me asking if I would be willing to enter the country on a business visa. I did some research and was hesitant about it but after talking on the phone with the HR Director he reassured me it would be ok, so I accepted.
• August 19th I received PMU’s contract and mailed out all my documents (medical report, passport, certified copies of my diplomas, etc) to my visa agent in Washington D.C.
• From August 19th to September 2nd nothing happened. I contacted PMU’s HR people several times via email and had no response.
• September 5th PMU’s HR person finally replied to my emails apologizing for the delay and asking me to wait for another 2 weeks.
• September 19th I emailed PMU’s HR person inquiring about an update but of course didn’t hear from them again until the 25th.
• September 25th HR person emailed me back saying that they were having issues obtaining visas for other teachers like myself (single female American).
• From September 25th to October 8th I heard nothing about the status of my visa.
• October 9th my friend who teaches at PMU emailed me reassuring me that I would get the visa. He said that his work visa took 4 months to get processed! He also told me that HR was still working on my visa.
• October 10th to November 10th nothing happened!
• November 11th I talked to my visa agent asking her for advice on my situation and she said that according to PMU's HR person they were still interested in my candidacy and were working on the visa.

I have given up on PMU and have moved on! I just wanted to share my experience so you know what to expect when dealing with schools in KSA. I'm just curious to know if anybody else has gone through the same ordeal with PMU and what the experience has been if already there.

Also, I'm currently looking for a teaching job. Could any of you direct me to a reputable school/recruiter for a decent ESL teaching job in the Middle East (outside KSA)? I have done research on Oman and it sounds like a good place to live and work.

Thank you for your ideas, suggestions and kind advice.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12094
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not all are as bad as this. Many are, and PMU has a poor reputation in the hirin g and firting processes.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15858
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly typical story... true of many of the Saudi employers and if you do a search here, you will find plenty of complaints about them covering years.

In order to advise you on jobs, we need to know your credentials. These days you need a related BA + a good TEFL cert like the CELTA + 2-3 years of related experience. To get to the best jobs you need a related MA + 2-3 years.

As to the recruiter based Oman jobs, spend a day or so reading threads over there about the good, bad, and ugly. The best thing that can be said of most of the jobs is that they are hiring nearly all of the time, get your foot in the door to the Gulf, and give you experience with Arabic speakers.

VS
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bima



Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject: Thank you for your advice Reply with quote

Hi VS. Thank you for your feedback. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in human relations and a 120-hour TEFL certificate. I have taught Spanish in Hong Kong and psychology in the US. I have tutored English to children ages 8 to 17 for two and a half years, which equals to approximately 3000 hours of in-class instruction. Please let me know your thoughts.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3596
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Thank you for your advice Reply with quote

bima wrote:
I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in human relations and a 120-hour TEFL certificate. I have taught Spanish in Hong Kong and psychology in the US. I have tutored English to children ages 8 to 17 for two and a half years, which equals to approximately 3000 hours of in-class instruction. Please let me know your thoughts.

Unfortunately, employers in this region won't count your English tutoring nor your experience teaching in non-TEFL situations. Have you looked at other countries in, say, Asia or Latin America?
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 315
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi.

I think VS is spot-on when she suggested that Oman might be a good place for you. With a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in human relations, you are not going to get any good jobs in KSA - maybe at Wall Street School of English, or Direct English where you might make around 10,000sr a month. I know of a couple of Western teachers that work at Wall Street and they make 9,000sr per month with housing provided for them.

With your 120 TESOL, Oman would be in a better position to hire you at one of their colleges of sciences. I taught in Sohar at the college. You could make around 2500 - 3000 USD per month (with housing). Get a couple of years exp. and then apply to KSA.

BTW, your 3000 hours of tutoring will not be counted unless you can provide an official letter of employment (if you worked for a company or a school that provides tutoring services). It sounds like you may have given private lessons and the people in HR over here in KSA will not use that of as "real" classroom experience.

If I were you, I would go to South Korea (I spent two years teaching there), or Japan where I taught for three years.

Good luck! Smile
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12094
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good chance to learn a useful expression in Arabic "Kalam Fadi !" (= Empty Words)
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15858
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Thank you for your advice Reply with quote

bima wrote:
Hi VS. Thank you for your feedback. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in human relations and a 120-hour TEFL certificate. I have taught Spanish in Hong Kong and psychology in the US. I have tutored English to children ages 8 to 17 for two and a half years, which equals to approximately 3000 hours of in-class instruction. Please let me know your thoughts.

Here is another catch for you. Even in Oman, one of the two Ministries that is hiring instructors has been enforcing a rule lately that you need to have a "related" BA. (education, English) Both of your degrees are unrelated and will not be considered by anyone that you would want to work with in the Gulf. And, as had been pointed out, tutoring doesn't count as experience.

The Gulf is one of the highest pay possibilities in TEFL/TESL and thus they can demand certain credentials and experience. Asia seems to be your best option.

VS
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cairanya



Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Thank you for your advice Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
bima wrote:
Hi VS. Thank you for your feedback. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in human relations and a 120-hour TEFL certificate. I have taught Spanish in Hong Kong and psychology in the US. I have tutored English to children ages 8 to 17 for two and a half years, which equals to approximately 3000 hours of in-class instruction. Please let me know your thoughts.

Here is another catch for you. Even in Oman, one of the two Ministries that is hiring instructors has been enforcing a rule lately that you need to have a "related" BA. (education, English) Both of your degrees are unrelated and will not be considered by anyone that you would want to work with in the Gulf. And, as had been pointed out, tutoring doesn't count as experience.

The Gulf is one of the highest pay possibilities in TEFL/TESL and thus they can demand certain credentials and experience. Asia seems to be your best option.

VS


Which Ministry?
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