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Do you think leaving Paris for the Middle East is wise?
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Paris teacher



Joined: 17 Jun 2016
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:58 pm    Post subject: Do you think leaving Paris for the Middle East is wise? Reply with quote

Hello, everyone!
I have been teaching in Paris for nearly three years now. I have an EU passport, a BA in English, my M.Ed. in TESOL, a second BA in Spanish with a minor in French and a state teaching certification for teaching both languages at the high school level, plus a second master's degree in Spanish.

The problem is that while I love Paris and think it is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in the world, I am working to the point of exhaustion just to survive, and I am feeling more and more isolated. I work for a language school that pays 20 euros per hour, and I spend much time commuting via metro to different private corporations to give lessons. I also teach two classes at a private university where I am paid 40 euros per hour.

It's a lot of work and a lot of commuting just to earn enough to break even in this town.

I am thinking of leaving Europe for a few years to earn enough money to put a huge down payment on a small house or apartment in France or Italy, something I cannot do as an EFL teacher in Paris.

Do you think this is sensible or should I find a way to optimize my life and earnings in Paris instead?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paris teacher wrote:
Do you think this is sensible or should I find a way to optimize my life and earnings in Paris instead?

None of us can really answer that question for you given that we don't know you. Plus, you'll likely get responses from posters who had a bitter experience in the region for whatever reason; some folks can manage the Gulf just fine, while others have unrealistic expectations and/or ethnocentric beliefs.

The fact you're asking such a question means you're ambivalent about 1) leaving Paris, or 2) heading to the Gulf (i.e., KSA). Figure out your priorities while looking at better-paying options in Paris or ways to supplement your income. For example, maybe you can teach Spanish as well. But if you're already feeling exhausted in your present job... Anyway, make a list of your needs vs your wants and prioritize them. That should help you make your decision.
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Paris teacher



Joined: 17 Jun 2016
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Nomad Soul!

Yes, I am ambivalent about temporarily leaving a city I love for the unknown, however I do know that I need to think about retirement, and Saudi Arabia could facilitate that.

The thing is that teaching for a language school in Paris can be very draining and a true dead end. It's a good job for the retired, semi-retired, or those with a spouse who earns a substantial amount.


There are a lot of private colleges in Paris where one could teach and earn more for doing fewer hours, but one still manages to save very little.

As most people who teach in Paris will tell you, they are here for the life experience, not the salaries.

Teaching in the M.E. could give me that edge that I need to own a property for my old age so I am not living in a maid's room on the 7th floor when I am 75.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paris teacher wrote:
Teaching in the M.E. could give me that edge that I need to own a property for my old age so I am not living in a maid's room on the 7th floor when I am 75.

Or living as the maid... Laughing
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With your quals you shouldn't be hacking away at a language school in Paris or wherever.. Okay, doing that in order to move somewhere and get settled down but I think now you need to look around and get a better job in a college, university or somewhere that pays more.

I was in a somewhat similar situation in that I went to Tallinn, Estonia and liked the place. I made contacts and started getting opportunities like some work at the main university. However, the pay was really quite low and overall I decided that if I do what to buy my house in Portugal or Italy then I need to build up some savings. The Middle East still offers jobs where you can do this although programs are being cut back in some places. Saying that, I also see a lot of programs expanding such as in the Colleges of Excellence in Saudi Arabia and in some of the newer universities in the region.

Why don't you apply for a job at one of the College of Excellence programs in Saudi and see what they offer you? There has been a big increase in student enrolment in the last couple of years and teachers are needed. The job may not be the best in the world but it offers a good summer vacation and some decent money..

Once you get your foot in the door you can see what other opportunities arise. My thoughts, anyway!
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 483

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: Do you think leaving Paris for the Middle East is wise? Reply with quote

Paris teacher wrote:
I am thinking of leaving Europe for a few years to earn enough money to put a huge down payment on a small house or apartment in France or Italy, something I cannot do as an EFL teacher in Paris.
Do you think this is sensible or should I find a way to optimize my life and earnings in Paris instead?


Middle East, maybe ... sorry, but I think the KSA might be a huge culture shock after living in Paris. With an MA, I feel that you might still be able to get something in the UAE. Yes, the UAE has said that 2018 is the target year to sink the Foundation Programs, but that still gives you two years to save up for a purchase.

There will be more opportunities to tutor French and Spanish in the UAE than in KSA. You might look into UAE International schools, also. You could get a split assignment: teaching French and supporting EFL students.

Keep your eyes open for "pop-up" direct hires for Zayed, HCT, UAEU and Khalifa University. There might just be a perfect storm:
1. an influx of Emiratis who decide not to study abroad (crazy politics)
2. a surprise exit of non-returning staff (runners as the writing is on the wall)
3. cutbacks in federal funding that leaves universities understaffed (phasing out the Prep, who needs them?)

I think it is going to be a rocky start for many universities in the UAE come August and they may just stumble into the Eid in mid-September with desperate postings for positions.
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RedLightning



Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 131
Location: United States

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KSA
If you're tolerant and open-minded, your employer will place you in a compound where you can enjoy weekly BBQs, mingling with the opposite sex on a daily basis, and, generally speaking, will not actually 'live' in the host country or interact with the local population.

However, if you're a bigoted Westerner with ethnocentric beliefs, you'll be much more comfortable paying 30% higher rent then the guy down the hall because you're from the West(this after being rejected from most apartment vacancies due to your lack of South Asian heritage), being told "there nothing I can do...no problem, rain only 2,3 time a year"when gallons of water pour through your ceiling, having cans thrown at you from passing cars, being accosted in the street for not paying the taxi driver 50 SAR when the meter read 12, having locals cut in front of you in line and think nothing of it-shocked and confused when you bring mention, and surrounding yourself with people who possess no concept of personal space.

*Still, the money is good
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't you been reading the threads here, especially the threads on the Saudi forum? The answer is no, it isn't a good idea. Would you be able to get your Paris job back after figuring out the Middle East? Look at the Arab Spring and how wonderful it is. They have no morals or ethics there, you will be simply just a commodity for them to do with as they please.
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Paris teacher



Joined: 17 Jun 2016
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plumpynut,
The jobs I have in Paris are very, very easy to come by. Language schools here are often hiring and usually offer very low hourly wages, so finding something similar upon returning to Paris would not be a huge challenge.

I have to get serious about my retirement and working in Paris will not afford that. I need to find a university job that pays well, do it for at least two years, and then use that money to put a down payment on an apartment or buy one outright, then I can have some security for my old age.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15329

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The days of mega-savings in Saudi Arabia are long gone. Teaching there will allow you to save something but probably not enough to finance a comfortable retirement. You are 30 years too late.
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danshengou



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 434
Location: A bizarre overcrowded hole

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paris teacher wrote:
Plumpynut,
The jobs I have in Paris are very, very easy to come by. Language schools here are often hiring and usually offer very low hourly wages, so finding something similar upon returning to Paris would not be a huge challenge.


It seems that with all those qualifications, you could be doing a lot more than just language school work. Why not apply at an international school in France or Spain, or Dubai. Or network your way into a full-time lecturer job at a private university teaching Spanish or something. Or train to pass the agrégation. As far as Saudi goes, there are a few university jobs, but honestly it would be a huge adjustment and not enough money for your troubles.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danshengou wrote:
It seems that with all those qualifications, you could be doing a lot more than just language school work. Why not apply at an international school in France or Spain, or Dubai. Or network your way into a full-time lecturer job at a private university teaching Spanish or something. Or train to pass the agrégation. As far as Saudi goes, there are a few university jobs, but honestly it would be a huge adjustment and not enough money for your troubles.

The better international schools in Dubai want to see a teaching license. As for Saudi Arabia, the OP's M.Ed in TESOL and US teaching experience easily qualify him for direct-hire situations. He shouldn't even be looking at jobs with Saudi contracting companies.
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danshengou



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 434
Location: A bizarre overcrowded hole

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
danshengou wrote:
It seems that with all those qualifications, you could be doing a lot more than just language school work. Why not apply at an international school in France or Spain, or Dubai. Or network your way into a full-time lecturer job at a private university teaching Spanish or something. Or train to pass the agrégation. As far as Saudi goes, there are a few university jobs, but honestly it would be a huge adjustment and not enough money for your troubles.

The better international schools in Dubai want to see a teaching license. As for Saudi Arabia, the OP's M.Ed in TESOL and US teaching experience easily qualify him for direct-hire situations. He shouldn't even be looking at jobs with Saudi contracting companies.


I believe the OP is also a certified teacher, so Dubai should be an option. And the universities I was referring to in Saudi would be direct hire, definitely. The trouble is that the OP lacks relevant post-MA experience, so the salary offered would be on the low end.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11444
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danshengou wrote:
I believe the OP is also a certified teacher, so Dubai should be an option. And the universities I was referring to in Saudi would be direct hire, definitely. The trouble is that the OP lacks relevant post-MA experience, so the salary offered would be on the low end.

The OP has a US license to teach French and Spanish but didn't mention teaching experience in these languages in any of his threads. He could check UAE job ads to see if he'd meet the qualifications for French and/or Spanish teachers. BTW, he has relevant post-M.Ed. experience.

Frankly, in regard to direct-hire salaries that you consider to be at the "low end", it's hard to take your point as credible since you stated on the Saudi forum that you wouldn't accept anything less than 20,000 SAR per month (5300 USD/4300 GBP) that includes compound accommodation and 3 to 4 months off. The OP has realistic salary expectations. He can apply with different universities directly to see what he'd be offered; there's no one-size-fits-all criteria when it comes to how pay is calculated.
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danshengou



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 434
Location: A bizarre overcrowded hole

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the OP, just apply and see. I would advise avoiding Saudi as the salaries on offer, in my opinion, will not be worth the hassle.
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