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ILS Moscow (Odintsovo)
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Reykjabik



Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: ILS Moscow (Odintsovo) Reply with quote

Hi again everyone!

It seems I suddenly got another opportunity, apart from that I posted about a school in Kaliningrad. It's the International Language School in Odintsovo, Moscow. Has anyone heard of it, or worked for it?

I'm still waiting for them to tell me I'm in, but I'm having serious difficulties in deciding whether I'd take the job or not. Overall, the conditions are:

40 ac. hours/week, 40 minutes each (That's like 26 real hours/week).
60.000 RUB net/month.
Accomodation in Odintsovo, just for me.
Monday to Saturday.
Visa support.
5 days paid holidays per year, apart from national holidays.

So, what really convinces me is the pay and the accomodation for myself. But working 6 days a week, and having just 5 days of paid holidays really makes me want to turn down. Plus, I barely know nothing about Odintsovo, and as far as I know, there's not metro to get to Moscow, only buses and trains, which rather limits my possibilities of enjoying my Sundays there. What do you guys think of the conditions? Any advice would help. They're supposed to tell me today if I'm in, and I'm supposed to answer this week. Thanks in advance!
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Partizan



Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: ILS Moscow (Odintsovo) Reply with quote

Reykjabik wrote:
Hi again everyone!

It seems I suddenly got another opportunity, apart from that I posted about a school in Kaliningrad. It's the International Language School in Odintsovo, Moscow. Has anyone heard of it, or worked for it?

I'm still waiting for them to tell me I'm in, but I'm having serious difficulties in deciding whether I'd take the job or not. Overall, the conditions are:

40 ac. hours/week, 40 minutes each (That's like 26 real hours/week).
60.000 RUB net/month.
Accomodation in Odintsovo, just for me.
Monday to Saturday.
Visa support.
5 days paid holidays per year, apart from national holidays.

So, what really convinces me is the pay and the accomodation for myself. But working 6 days a week, and having just 5 days of paid holidays really makes me want to turn down. Plus, I barely know nothing about Odintsovo, and as far as I know, there's not metro to get to Moscow, only buses and trains, which rather limits my possibilities of enjoying my Sundays there. What do you guys think of the conditions? Any advice would help. They're supposed to tell me today if I'm in, and I'm supposed to answer this week. Thanks in advance!


Here's a simple piece of advice for you

Run a mile.
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds pretty decent to me, especially for a first-time gig.
Once you're in Moscow more opportunities will arise.
Taking a train (they're called elektrichkas in Russian) from Odinstova to a rail station in the center of Moscow takes around 30 min, if I'm not mistaken and costs around $2-3. So getting to the city shouldn't be too big of a problem.
Keep in mind that there are many public holidays -- January and May both have a week or so each. So 5 extra days is pretty good actually. That's about 3 weeks a year.
60k after accommodation is more than enough to get by if you don't eat out a lot or go to clubs, neither of which are that exciting in Moscow anyway unless you're extremely wealthy.
The real question is can you live in the Moscow region, which, compared to the city is pretty bare and uncivilized (in my subjective opinion)...
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Reykjabik



Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for both replies! It's actually interesting to have opposite views of it.

What exactly makes you recommend me to run away, Partizan? Is it some info you know about the school, the neighbourhood, the holidays...?

Foma87, I'm not much of a clubbing guy, and after being offered around 35,000 RUB both at BKC and in Kaliningrad, I think this salary is much worthy. I hope I can afford going to linguistic exchanges frequently though. About the train, the only thing that worries me is that I don't know schedules to come back from Moscow in case I fancy going out some night.

And as for the real question, why do you think the region is uncivilized? I'd actually wish to live closer to the city, but I'm afraid it doesn't depend on me.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Odintsovo is OK. Just dull. But safe. Nothing but tower blocks and dachas around. The elektrichka isn't so bad, but takes about 30 to 40 mins to the nearest metro station. Begovaya, is the nearest one, I think.

Of more concern is the high workload. 40 hrs will burn you. And 5 paid holidays is well below your legal entitlements. And Saturdays too?

Split shifts? Teaching teens/kids? All will take their toll. Better to check for more info on your teaching workload...

And your hourly rate is just about 375 rubles per ac hour. Pitiful. (For privates, some teacher charge 10 times that for 90 mins.) Sure, you have a flat thrown in, but it could be cruddy beyond belief.

Might be OK for you to experience Russia for the first time. But it sounds like you'll be stick in the sticks, alone, with no support network. Might as well work for a McSchool in the centre. At least the grimness of the winter won't be a solitary trial...

Best of luck whatever you do.
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Reykjabik



Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your answer, Sasha!

I know the workload is a lot, especially taking into account that this would be my first ESL experience after CELTA. But since the academic hour is comprised of 40 minutes, I've done the maths and it equals to 26 real hours, which at least doesn't sound that bad.

About the paid holidays, that's what concerns me the most. It seems it's not the usual thing in Moscow (nor should be anywhere), and apparently it doesn't even seem legal. Actually I have the contract right now in front of me (yay, I've been "chosen", be it good news or not), and it says 7 days per 12 month (the interviewer said 5). And yeah, Saturdays are work days too. The interviewer said only in the mornings, but the contract says that it can be in the afternoons as well. Something else to worry about.

No split-shifts as far as I know, and it's all teaching kids and pre-teens. About the McSchool, I'm supposed to start at BKC next September if nothing interesting comes out before...

Thanks for all the help!
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be worth doing. Not sure. But the 40 mins part should not lull you into thinking the hours are light. You'll still have to fit in prep time for all those lessons. And strangely, 45 mins is the usual academic hour here not sure that 5 mins under will make a whole lot of diff. And teaching kiddies is not the same as what your Celta prepared you for, so expect a steep learning curve.

I'd still just go with BKC and ask for a central location. Unless you want the isolation as a spur to learn Russian.
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The closest metro is Kuntsevo, which is six stops from Odinstovo (i.e. 15-20min). To Belorussky rail station in central Moscow 10 stops at 33min. Trains run from 4.30am to midnight from Belorussky rail station to Odinstovo with a two hour break starting around 11.00am. Busses might run from Kuntsevo metro (or other outlying metro stations) also. A cab from one of these stations is also possible, though a bit spendy, but probably not more than $30. See http://www.tutu.ru/06.php for map and http://www.tutu.ru/rasp.php?st1=20000&st2=1701&date=11.07.2014 for schedule of trains. The school could also provide you with this info.

I'm not sure whether workers are entitled to extra paid holiday in addition to public holidays according the Russian labor code (I'll check later). Either way, it looks like your contract gives you about 3-4 weeks a year in total, which is quite a lot don't you say? You could clarify also.
I work 7 days a week during the academic year (in addition to studying in the evening) so 6 days with lots of free-time in between sounds great to me!
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh forget about the comment about the regions being uncivilized, they're fine. Fresh produce is much cheaper and the air much fresher. It's a bit dull, though, as Sasha says. Learn some Russian and pick up a gal. You'll never leave.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1022
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: What can I add? Reply with quote

Odintsovo used to be in the sticks-then it started to be fashionable for those who had dachas and wanted to escape the concrete jungle of the city-then they started building block of flats there too! I would agree that it is remarkably uninteresting, like many other Moscow overspill areas but it is to the south-west where the air is reputedly cleaner-although if you get stuck in any of those notorious traffic-jams into town you will soon hate it!
I also agree that teaching kids is VERY different from your CELTA course and it really wears you out because you are not just teaching them the language but also have to keep changing activities as their attention span is limited. This is why I avoided it and only had older teenagers and adults in my classes. Also bear in mind that this is a private school which aims to make money from the middle-class parents of the often spoiled and maybe obnoxious kids you will be teaching and for paying you around $2000 per month plus a free single flat they will want their pound of flesh from you in return. Without wanting to put a damper on things before you start-if you accept it- my advice is to be careful, cover your back and be ready for anything until the situation proves otherwise! Always expect the unexpected n Russia!
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Brunouno



Joined: 18 Apr 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the late reply to this topic. I don't visit this forum as often anymore. I had a Skype interview with this school a few months ago.

I would be very cautious, especially if you're a newbie. Does your contract state that you'll work 40 hours a week and, if you teach under the workload, will or can these hours be rolled onto the following week? Perhaps they have changed their contract, but when I applied, they said the workload is 156 (from memory) academic hours a month.

When I tried to discuss weekly expectations, they were quite vague which launched a red flag for me. Even a company like Language Link doesn't rollover any unused hours. If your contract only states that you commit to 156 hours a month, then you have a hell of a lot of work ahead of you.

Don't kid yourself, it will be very hard going and especially if it's mostly children and teens. Tatiana, the woman who I had the interview with, was very interested in knowing my experience with young and very young learners, and trust me, many Moscow kids are difficult in more ways than one; being out in the sticks may have an effect though on their performance.

When Russian teachers are in a minority at a school, they know their place. When Russian teachers are a majority and you're the minority, they will look down on you and treat you in a totally different manner in SOME circumstances; they aren't all evil ))

The biggest no-no that I got from this mob was that groups are shared with Russian teachers. You can lookup my experience with this on my post about FLC. This will make your job much more difficult and will involve a lot of rigmarole. During the interview I was told that a Russian teacher teaches 1 unit in a course book and the native speaker the next. This is very unpractical, because if a teacher doesn't finish a unit in a single class, they will have to finish that unit the lesson after the Russian teacher has taught their unit on a totally different topic and grammar.


When I told her this, she just replied saying that this is the best system we have of going about it. I ended the interview after this and said I wasn't interested. I recommend you do the same. The money isn't bad compared to many other schools, but working is all that you'll be doing whilst in Russia If you take this job.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1022
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:51 pm    Post subject: heed this warning..... Reply with quote

there are too many 'grey-areas' about the expected working hours for a start and this is not a good sign! Expect that you will probably end up doing more than you sign up for.....
Teaching children is hard work at the best of times and as this is a private school in a Moscow satellite town where their parents can afford what are probably high fees,then be sure that some of the kids will be obnoxious, spoiled brats.. but woe betide you if you dare to upset them and they complain to your boss or their parents because you can be sure that you will get the blame!
Sharing classes with Russian teachers also sounds like a recipe for trouble! I also once taught some lessons at a private school in South -west Moscow where even though most of the Russian teachers spoke fluent English, nobody would talk to me or even try to make me feel welcome: all of the expat teachers who had tried before me said they hated it for the same reasons.
Although the salary they are offering is not that bad compared to what many others offer, be sure they are well-aware of that and will make sure that you earn it!
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LAR1SSA



Joined: 02 Nov 2013
Posts: 35
Location: Memphis

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: ILS Moscow (Odintsovo) Reply with quote

Reykjabik wrote:
Hi again everyone!

It seems I suddenly got another opportunity, apart from that I posted about a school in Kaliningrad. It's the International Language School in Odintsovo, Moscow. Has anyone heard of it, or worked for it?

I'm still waiting for them to tell me I'm in, but I'm having serious difficulties in deciding whether I'd take the job or not. Overall, the conditions are:

40 ac. hours/week, 40 minutes each (That's like 26 real hours/week).
60.000 RUB net/month.
Accomodation in Odintsovo, just for me.
Monday to Saturday.
Visa support.
5 days paid holidays per year, apart from national holidays.

So, what really convinces me is the pay and the accomodation for myself. But working 6 days a week, and having just 5 days of paid holidays really makes me want to turn down. Plus, I barely know nothing about Odintsovo, and as far as I know, there's not metro to get to Moscow, only buses and trains, which rather limits my possibilities of enjoying my Sundays there. What do you guys think of the conditions? Any advice would help. They're supposed to tell me today if I'm in, and I'm supposed to answer this week. Thanks in advance!


I've been working just outside of odintsovo and wow what a boring and sad placed. However, I think it could be a good experience if you are trying to truly emerge yourself in Russian culture. I ride there everyday from Beloruskaya Voxol on the elechtrichka (excuse my spelling in Latin). It takes about 40 minutes to get to Zhravnitsa where I work and at about 30 to 35 minutes we pass by Odintsovo. Train runs every 20-30 minutes to every hr depending on time of day. Sometimes when the train isn't running I take a bus to Moscow to go home from Odintsovo, the bus leaves every 10-15 minutes and cost 60 rubles. It takes about 45 minutes to the Metro station Fili in Moscow. So its very possible to travel there everyday. I do it 2-3 a week now and it takes me about 1 hr 10 minutes to 1hr and 15 minutes. That is nothing considering even if you live in the outskirts of Moscow where the metro reaches it can STILL take you 1hr 15 minutes to arrive in some parts of the city!!!

EDIT I forgot to mention the only reason I bother traveling there is for 1800 rubles per hour to teach/walk around with children. Any less and I wouldn't make that annoying commute at 8 in the morning.
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Brunouno



Joined: 18 Apr 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They've just advertised again on Dave's, so perhaps he didn't take the job.....
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1022
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:24 pm    Post subject: he got wise! Reply with quote

They will now be searching for their next victim!
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