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Is the ME really worth it these days?

 
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:18 pm    Post subject: Is the ME really worth it these days? Reply with quote

As someone who's never worked in the ME, I can only base my assumptions on second-hand knowledge from colleagues who've worked there before and from reading forums such as this.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but generally speaking, would the following assumptions be true?

Wages have stagnated or even decreased;
The students are unmotivated, argumentative and entitled;
Cushy oil jobs are few and far between;
The torment of living in the ME with a lack of alcohol and other vices is simply not worth the money being paid;
Many teachers in the ME are somewhat odd and not in a good way.

I'm a long-term Asia vet who's in need of a change; it would be nice to put my head down for ten years and retire in Thailand.

Non-related BA, Delta, CELTA are the quals; done pretty much everything in relation to EFL.

Stay in Asia or head to the ME?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say that your summary is pretty accurate with the exception that alcohol is available for foreign non-Muslims everywhere there but Saudi and Kuwait. And most people who really want it in those two manage to get it and/or make their own.

Unless you have some interest in the Middle East, the high pay of the past is pretty much gone (competition for the better jobs left is very high... and end up with those with direct Middle East experience).

I'd stay in Asia... better the devil you know...

VS
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11351
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
The torment of living in the ME with a lack of alcohol and other vices is simply not worth the money being paid.
....
Stay in Asia or head to the ME?

This is a no-brainer: Stay in Asia if those activities rank high on your must-have list.

Be aware that quals obtained via online study are not accepted in the majority of the Gulf. Plus, an unrelated degree (even with a Delta) isn't likely to net you the better direct-hire work.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 937
Location: Temburong, Brunei

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Unheard Utterance wrote:
The torment of living in the ME with a lack of alcohol and other vices is simply not worth the money being paid.
....
Stay in Asia or head to the ME?

This is a no-brainer: Stay in Asia if those activities rank high on your must-have list.


Uh huh. If you're a heavy drinker [not saying that the OP is] then you will likely be better off in Asia. I met a couple of those in Oman and it's almost like watching Peter being robbed to pay Paul. They went to the bars every night/every other night and the decent money they were making was effectively being siphoned away on high booze prices. I honestly think, financially, they would probably have been better off in a country like Vietnam, where, admittedly, the pay isn't as good but, then again, you can easily buy a beer for fifty cents.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies, but, I must say, I think you've jumped on the alcohol thing a bit.

No, I'm not an alcoholic. I do enjoy a single malt after dinner 3-4 times a week, as in, one small glass. I have lived in Vietnam, and I did do the 25 cent beer thing for a few months, but it does get old rather quickly.

I suppose I should have put "outdoor activities" instead of alcohol, but so be it.

Yes, I think it's a case of "better the devil you know" and stay in Asia, but if a military job arises and the timing it right, I might just go for it in the ME.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11351
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
Yes, I think it's a case of "better the devil you know" and stay in Asia, but if a military job arises and the timing it right, I might just go for it in the ME.

If you've already decided the Gulf is an option despite all the negatives you listed, then what was the purpose of this thread? Confused
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
I suppose I should have put "outdoor activities" instead of alcohol, but so be it.

Yes, I think it's a case of "better the devil you know" and stay in Asia, but if a military job arises and the timing it right, I might just go for it in the ME.

Outdoor activities can be pretty restricted for more than half the year because of the extreme heat.

No reason not to apply if you see something related to your experience, just check the employer carefully... probably here first. Many of the contractor related jobs are pretty bad.

VS
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 937
Location: Temburong, Brunei

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that case, my advice for Unheard Utterance would be to give the Gulf a go. I personally prefer Asia, but, I don't regret my two years working in Oman. When I had my fill of Arabia then the Orient was still there. Besides, even it doesn't work out, at least you can say you tried it for yourself. I was able to bank away a tidy sum while I was it as well Cool.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
In that case, my advice for Unheard Utterance would be to give the Gulf a go. I personally prefer Asia, but, I don't regret my two years working in Oman. When I had my fill of Arabia then the Orient was still there. Besides, even it doesn't work out, at least you can say you tried it for yourself. I was able to bank away a tidy sum while I was it as well Cool.


Hello Sgt Welsh. Oman is indeed on my list. Even though I'd like to settle down soon, I do have an urge to give the ME a go and Oman is certainly one place I'd like to experience for a year or two; possibly longer.

I'd only go if I found a quality Military English job as I doubt I'd get a decent job without a Masters teaching in other contexts.

I was just putting some feelers out. My impression of EFL as a whole is that it's become very competitive and more and more people are realising that a CELTA and non-related BA are not going to get you far. Even once lucrative and difficult places like the ME are not nearly as good as they once were.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 937
Location: Temburong, Brunei

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:


I'd only go if I found a quality Military English job as I doubt I'd get a decent job without a Masters teaching in other contexts.

I was just putting some feelers out. My impression of EFL as a whole is that it's become very competitive and more and more people are realising that a CELTA and non-related BA are not going to get you far. Even once lucrative and difficult places like the ME are not nearly as good as they once were.


Depends how you define "decent". I just had a BA (Hons), a CELTA and about five years' experience when I got my job at the CAS in Salalah. This allowed me to save quite a bit and experience the Gulf. I've got no regrets. I'm on a better package now, but, then again, I'm expected to work a damn sight harder than what I was in Oman. Like I said, if you want to try it, I'd advise giving it a go. If it doesn't work out then the Orient will still be there and at least you can say you've experienced it for yourself.
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