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AMIDEAST Tunisia
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flow



Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Be wary Reply with quote

Diane12491 wrote:
Teachers are expected to be grateful for the number of hours they're given, even if it means being available to AMIDEAST 12 hours a day. .



hahaha reminds me of a job I had in Tunisia. I was a tour rep. Same thing, the owners expected me to be grateful that I had just gotten a job with them that included training. Had me work 15 hrs a day 7 days a week and never got paid. Needless to say that after 5 weeks I walked.

Tunisians lie through their teeth about everything and anything so beware.

Oh, and have you seen the garbage strewn all over the country? After independence in 1956 their garbage disposal sytem seemed to have faltered completely Laughing

Tunisia imo is best avoided unless of course you want to work in a dump surrounded by agressive, rude ppl - Tunisia is 200 years behind most countries, damn these folks are so dirty and backwards Shocked

Oh, one more thing, as a caucasian woman YOU WILL HAVE PROBLEMS there. Sexually frustrated Tunisian men can't get enough of either hassling or pestering or openly groping foreign women. What a bunch of losers and waht a country - never again Tunisia!
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mweens



Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cant help but notice that the latest posts about amideast are over a year old. Any updates?
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Janiny



Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I too would appreciate the latest on Amideast Tunis. Especially about Sousse.

Also there seems to be a difference between Amideast, seemingly an august and professional organization, and being on the ground, that is the actual English school one works for. Just how much of a connection is there between the two?

Merci beaucoup.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3805
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't comment specifically on AMIDEAST Tunisia, but it's very common for the organization to have a main office along with one or more branch facilities in other cities to serve a wider student population. And that's regardless of which country the organization is in.
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Janiny



Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serve them how? What is the connection between any given school and Amid East?
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boomerexpat



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 129
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, what is the total monthly cost of living like these days? Decent (not fancy) 1 or 2 bedroom apartment in safe, central neighborhood? Mostly eat at home. Thanks
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3805
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Janiny wrote:
Serve them how? What is the connection between any given school and Amid East?

Serve them by providing English language lessons, testing, managing scholarships, and other educational services sponsored by the US State Dept, of course. I have no clue what you mean by a "connection between any given school and AMIDEAST"; there are no separate entities/schools involved---it's all AMIDEAST. As I stated, AMIDEAST frequently has branches within the countries they're based out of. For example, AMIDEAST in Egypt has main offices in Cairo and Alexandria as well as branches in Dokki and Heliopolis; Morocco has two locations in Rabat and Casablanca; Yemen maintains a branch in Sana'a and one in Aden; and so on.

Per AMIDEAST's website:
    AMIDEAST is a leading American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Founded in 1951, AMIDEAST in its early years focused on promoting U.S. study to students in the MENA region and managing U.S. scholarships and exchanges such as the flagship Fulbright Foreign Student Program. While these important programs continue apace, our work has expanded significantly.

I suggest you take time to look at their website to familiarize yourself with what the organization does. That will answer quite a few of your questions.
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 63
Location: SumUt

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:08 am    Post subject: Re: Be wary Reply with quote

Diane12491 wrote:
As I've just spent a couple months at AMIDEAST in Tunis, I feel compelled to let the job-hunting community know what's going on there.

First and foremost, there is no concern for the welfare of the teachers they're bringing in. Teachers are not met at the airport, they're placed in cheap hotels that are barely livable and there's no orientation before you're thrown into a classroom. Teachers are expected to be grateful for the number of hours they're given, even if it means being available to AMIDEAST 12 hours a day. There have been over 10 teachers walk out in the past 3 or 4 months.

The most horrendous example of the apathy there is the story of a young American woman who, after living in her apartment for 2 weeks, was attacked by the security guard in the building. Luckily, she was able to get away from him without serious injury. When the English Director and Assistant Country Director heard about this, they were on their way home for the weekend....and just kept going. They felt the teachers should take care of her for the weekend and they'd look into it on Monday. They never did.

Students are another problem at AMIDEAST in Tunis. For the most part, they're nice, educated people. However, there are some who feel they're there to be entertained and will complain about teachers who are not entertaining enough for their tastes. This has happened to quite a few good teachers.

The city is....well.....disgusting. Since the revolution the garbage men have been on strike. So, there are piles of garbage on every street corner. The smell is bad now, and it will be unbearable when the weather heats up. Also, you'd think the people there would be energized and excited about the new direction of their country. You'd be wrong. People are aggressive and angry. The driving is insane (and I've lived all over the world) and very dangerous. The people are mistaking freedom with the absence of rules.

Tunis is also incredibly expensive. A small one bedroom apartment will cost you at least 800 TND per month plus utilities. Food is expensive and the produce is not very nice.

Check the rules about taking money out of the country before you go. It's a hassle and you will most likely end up dealing with the black market to exchange your dinars for real money before you leave.

On the good side, the school has a new Country Director who is trying to make things better for the teachers. Unfortunately, she's meeting with strong resistance from the 'old guard' who have been there for many years and don't want things to change.

Sorry for the long rant, but I wish someone would have posted the truth about this place before I wasted so much time and money going there.


Hm, you come all the way to Tunis (from wherever) and not even an airport pick-up? Tour of the city? Academic orientation? It doesn't bode well...

I have seen their ads here on the IJB and I was interested just because living in Tunisia for awhile is an intriguing proposition. Last year before I decided to renew my contract in Indonesia I thought about applying there. The Mediterranean climate would be more suitable for my wife than some of the other (colder) places I would personally be happy with, and since we are both Muslim we would probably feel a degree of "cultural comfort" there.

BUT, even before getting to some of the information presented here, and just going by what AMIDEAST tells you in their job posting:

* The pay is by the class / hour, according to the number of hours taught.

* There is no Minimum (guaranteed) number of classes or hours available.

(When available hours are divvied between numerous teachers and there are not enough to make everyone happy, it may often come down to factors like who is more favored by management, for whatever reason)

* There seem to be no "perks" or other compensation benefits, whatsoever, as one might expect with jobs in some other countries: NO flight reimbursement, NO accommodation or allowance, NO bonus system mentioned... nada. Not even an airport pick-up and welcome? That is a really negative omen.

Additionally, their hiring standards seem pretty high, especially in consideration of the lack of benefits.

I don't know how many folks with an MA Ed etc, want to work for a modest hourly wage with no guaranteed number of hours.

Then we get into the factors of apparent COL and living conditions (piles of stinking garbage on every street corner doesn't jibe with any "romantic" preconceived notions one might have), and the descriptions given of management / working conditions is not favorable, to be kind.

I have wondered, based on the info in their postings, who is willing to go there to work for them and why they do so. The answer seems to be that they want to go to the location so much that they will take any employment conditions offered, no matter how unfavorable.

If I were still single, younger and /or with more nickels saved in my empty peanut butter jars, and could handle "just surviving" for a year or two without being too set back, it might work for me. With a wife and wife's family to support and trying for a "third wheel" of our own, it doesn't.

If AMIDEAST's programs are sponsored by the U.S. State Department, it seems clearly to be a "hearts and minds" kind of operation. Seems that they are not willing to do much to win the hearts or minds of their teachers though.

On the plus side, if one is paid in peanuts, as has been said, and one craves peanut butter, it seems the problem and its solution go roughly hand-in-hand.
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