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Anybody living in Nizwa ?

 
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SaharaDesert



Joined: 05 Nov 2008
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:04 pm    Post subject: Anybody living in Nizwa ? Reply with quote

Before anybody tells me to Google it etc etc...I would love to hear from those in this forum who are currently living there...Love it or hate it ?
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to try to work at the Univ of Nizwa I would say don't.. I hear conditions are rapidly declining. Other gigs maybe a better bet.
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madrileno



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 264
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

currentaffairs wrote:
If you are going to try to work at the Univ of Nizwa I would say don't.. I hear conditions are rapidly declining. Other gigs maybe a better bet.


This. If you're interviewing for the college of technology there, it's a suitable foot in the door into Oman. If it's for the university of Nizwa however, I'd strongly advise looking elsewhere.
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Charlie123



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't look like this is the best of times for the university.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/oman/unpaid-staff-go-on-strike-in-oman-university-1.1937364
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Eijse74



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Oh, man...

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently in Nizwa, at one of the colleges. It's sheer bliss, and that's why I definitely won't be not not renewing my contract for next year. Why? Off the top of my head:

1. The money

My pay has remained the same (1385 OR per month) since I arrived years ago. I work for TATI, so I'm not encumbered by yearly increments, bonuses, or annoying cost of living adjustments. Blech, who enjoys having money, amirite?

Oman hasn't gotten cheaper over the years. Nowadays the economy is basically shot. Costs are rising, services are being cut. Naturally, having less purchasing power over time makes saving a challenge, and who doesn't love a challenge?

2. The teaching load

I have been very fortunate in that the workload at my college has been steadily increasing. People are noticeably stressed, and staff morale has taken a big hit in the last 12 months. It's great!

A few years ago, teaching 12-14 hours a week used to be the norm and there was a bit of downtime here and there. It was awful. Now it's 18-20 hours a week for months on end, and there's very little downtime. That's what I call an improvement!

3. The extra stuff

We're doing a lot of busywork these days, far more than we've ever had to do before. The latest thing now is making a 'course file' for EVERY CLASS that requires NO LESS THAN 26 SEPARATE ATTACHMENTS. It MUST BE PRINTED OUT, and some peoples' course files are hundreds of pages thick. It's not absurd at all though, like some people are saying. I say bring it on!

4. Office politics

There's a *lot* of favoritism shown to certain teachers when it comes to classes and timetabling. Some people don't do very much, while others are overburdened. I treasure the fact that I'm not one of the former.

5. Rewards

Thankfully, my workplace doesn't recognize top performers. There's no career progression unless you're a local, so there's no incentive to go above and beyond. If you do, your only reward will be extra work. Of course, the masochistic side of my personality gives this two thumbs up.

6. Organization

The college is delightfully disorganized. I particularly enjoy the chaos and mismanagement that marks the first six weeks of every semester (and frequently beyond).

7. Weather

Summer here = fantastic. This year the temperature reached a delicious 52 degrees Celsius in Nizwa - that's 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's winter at the moment, but it's noticeably warmer than it was at the same time last year. I predict summer this year will be a real stinker, and God willing it will be the worst ever. Global warming FTW!

8. More weather

Nizwa is very dusty. If you have allergies, you're in for a real treat. If you don't have allergies, don't be surprised if you develop them after a year or two. I mean, why should you miss out on all the fun?

Summary

There's probably more I could add, but I'd really have to sit down and think about it. In short, if I wasn't already here I'd definitely sign up for whatever teaching jobs are going in Nizwa. Actually I'd take anything in Oman in a heartbeat! It's all good!

TL;DR Come to Oman. Now. Shh, don't think... just come.


Last edited by Eijse74 on Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great description. LOL Would we call that damning with faint praise? (or rather effusive praise?)

Eijse74 wrote:

2. The teaching load

A few years ago, teaching 12-14 hours a week used to be the norm and there was a bit of downtime here and there. It was awful. Now it's 18-20 hours a week for months on end, and there's very little downtime. That's what I call an improvement!

This was the part that I found rather odd. You were only teaching 12-14 hours? Ever? When I arrived in the Gulf in the 80s the standard was 15. As the years passed that number only went up until by the time I left in the early 00's it was up to 20. This was in Oman, the UAE, and Kuwait.

So, at least your teaching hours have finally reached the usual Gulf average. Cool (I'm sure that makes you feel much more positive about your fabulous employer)

VS
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Eijse74



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Oh, man...

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, 12-14 teaching hours a week was pretty common at one point. Some people had 16, but that was considered a bit excessive. I realize we were spoiled.

The increase in teaching hours wouldn't really be that much of an issue if it wasn't for the mountains of paperwork the college suddenly seems to require, not to mention the pointless busywork. That's all new. It's that on top of so much other bs that's doing my head in.

I can't wait to get out!
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madrileno



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 264
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eijse74 wrote:
We're doing a lot of busywork these days, far more than we've ever had to do before. The latest thing now is making a 'course file' for EVERY CLASS that requires NO LESS THAN 26 SEPARATE ATTACHMENTS. It MUST BE PRINTED OUT, and some peoples' course files are hundreds of pages thick. It's not absurd at all though, like some people are saying. I say bring it on!

The college is delightfully disorganized. I particularly enjoy the chaos and mismanagement that marks the first six weeks of every semester (and frequently beyond).


Laughing This isn't by any chance related to the curriculum changes I hear all the MoM colleges are experiencing? I hear the MSE this semester was a particular clusterf*ck.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 512
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saving money living in Nizwa on 1385 OMR a month is a 'challenge'? I doubt it....for all the problems and challenges that are faced in the interior colleges- I don't think saving money is one of them...yet. I've taken 'time out' for a spell in China-same workload, same monstrous amount of paperwork, same communication problems with admin as found in the MOM Colleges-all for the wonderful monthly renumeration of $1,300. Insane to make that switch? yeah, I must have been.....and saving on THAT salary-is a real challenge. Shocked
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Eijse74



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Oh, man...

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz wrote:
Saving money living in Nizwa on 1385 OMR a month is a 'challenge'? I doubt it....for all the problems and challenges that are faced in the interior colleges- I don't think saving money is one of them...yet. I've taken 'time out' for a spell in China-same workload, same monstrous amount of paperwork, same communication problems with admin as found in the MOM Colleges-all for the wonderful monthly renumeration of $1,300. Insane to make that switch? yeah, I must have been.....and saving on THAT salary-is a real challenge. Shocked


I'm not single, nor without kids. My point, though, was that Oman has gotten a lot more expensive over the last few years and it has made saving more of a challenge.
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Eijse74



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Oh, man...

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

madrileno wrote:
Laughing This isn't by any chance related to the curriculum changes I hear all the MoM colleges are experiencing? I hear the MSE this semester was a particular clusterf*ck.


Everything is a clusterf*ck in the Gulf.
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siologen



Joined: 25 Oct 2016
Posts: 336

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:00 am    Post subject: re: true.... Reply with quote

Quote:
Everything is a clusterf*ck in the Gulf.


True, and now it is just that but with lower salaries and seemingly higher living costs.
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