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BKC - IH Moscow

 
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vjk



Joined: 31 Oct 2003
Posts: 11
Location: Currently Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject: BKC - IH Moscow Reply with quote

Currently residing in Melbourne, Australia, I'm not finding much on offer in the Ukraine, so am now looking at BKC-IH Moscow. Does anyone have anything to report about this school?

I'm also wondering about the go re Internet hook-up in a flat in Moscow. I want to be able to use my laptop to get online at home. I've gathered that the phone system can be problematic, so, .....ISPs...internet...are pre-paid ISP cards available????

When I was in China, there was no problem.....you just get a pre-paid card and hook up to the ISP.....sometimes a bit slow, but usually pretty good.

Is the power in Moscow 110v or 220/240v?

I'm told that if I wanted my own flat instead of sharing, it would cost USD$350 / month minimum...is that true, or can you get a reasonable, small flat cheaper than that?....school would pay $220 towards this.

Any and all suggestions welcomed.... Arrow Arrow Arrow
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canucktechie



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 343
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work at BKC but I'm not management so I think I'm unbiased Razz

Looking at the academic side of the school, I think it's very good. ADOS's are very skilled and helpful, there are monthly seminars for professional development, and there are observations and feedback. The regular teachers are a very good lot too.

As for the business side of the school, well you're in Russia. Don't expect Western efficiency in anything. That said, they do pay you on time. The accommodation is what a middle class Russian would live in - problems do occur but they do get fixed (eventually).

The worst thing about BKC is the dreaded split shift - e.g. your first class is at 9:00 and your last class ends at 21:15. Not everyone gets these 5 days a week, but you are lucky if you don't have any. They are really unavoidable as the school has to hold the classes when the students want them.

You can access the Internet very easily from your flat - there are various Internet cards for sale, it seems to cost < $1/hour. There is also internet access at all the major and some of the minor school locations.

Power is 220V with regular Euro type plugs. Adapters are easy to get if you have Brit plugs (or US plugs - provided the gear can handle the voltage).

As for getting your own flat, I really doubt you can find anything for less then $450/month near a metro station (even at the outer end). Add to this the multiple hassles of dealing with a landlord and the authorities yourself. I really don't see the point in renting yourself unless you are allergic to having a flatmate.

I applied unsuccessfully for work in Ukraine myself. The problem of course is that there are so few jobs there - I think BKC alone probably has more positions than the whole of Ukraine.
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vjk



Joined: 31 Oct 2003
Posts: 11
Location: Currently Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info.........canucktechie...?...a Russian word?

I'm quite familiar with the "dreaded split shifts", having had the same set up with EF in China. It's a drag, but, from what I've gathered, with BKC at least you always get 2 consecutive days off...yes / no?

I don't have any real problems with flat sharing....but I like to play my guitar and keyboards and record on my Laptop studio sometimes....which could be laaaaaate at night...but, hey, I guess I can always adapt...and use headphones.

As for the power, my gear runs on 240v, so I'd be able to find adaptors as needed.

I haven't had the "official" offer yet...still doing the on-line pre interview tasks etc...awaiting response to submissions I sent today.

Overall, I like the sound of the ongoing support and seminars, assuming that, unlike some other places, it is actually constructive feedback, and not just lip service.

So, would you recommend living in Moscow and working with BKC-IH? Can one do OK on the wages paid? As yet, I don't know what the wage would be.

Anyway, thanks again for your info, and keep enjoying it, as you seem to be... Arrow Arrow Arrow
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Castro



Joined: 14 May 2003
Posts: 57
Location: still Russia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello VJK,
canucktechie is not a Russian word. you can learn the language soon Laughing if i'm not mistaken it means some Canadian who is interested in technology or any technical stuff. i guess he is IT specialist. technically qualified person Wink

Well, canuctechie is absolutely right about renting. my girl-friend and i rent good one room flat for 450 $ next to metro. if you find something cheaper it's either crappy or at the world's end. takes you 1-2 hours to get home Crying or Very sad

as for internet access there are 2 ways:

1. a lot of internet cards (like Zebro) for 5, 10 , 15 , 20 $ each one for 0,5 $ per hour in average. for me 10 $ card is enough. especially, if you're online at nights (it's better than guitar for your neighbours) when it's for free (depends on provider Wink ).
2. http://www.stream.ru - unlimited access. license fee is 20 $ per month. + ADSL modem (40 $). but it's available only in 30 % of Moscow buildings. but since you are here your Russian students can help you with it.

you don't need any adaptors for your gears. for example, my Compaq laptop (240v) works fine.
Sure here is not the ghost of a chance for 110v stuff.
but if you still need any adapter go GORBUSHKA ( map is here - http://www.e-atlas.ru/english/default.htm) where you find everything you need (it's a huge market) and it's cheap (for example, DVD for 5-6 $)


Good Luck,

BTW, HELLO canucktechie !!! Very Happy
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alekto



Joined: 16 Sep 2004
Posts: 21
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: BKC - IH Moscow Reply with quote

Hiya,

I worked out of town for BKC - in Zelenograd, one of their satellites. While this had a lot of downers (ie I wasn't in Moscow itself and it took at least an hour to get there) there were some advantages. No split shifts, your own desk and classroom and a small enough school for things to run relatively efficiently.

I've been working off-contract with BKC this year (although that won't last long: I've just dropped the one group I had due to a bit too hectic a workload) which has turned out very well in a way, because if I don't like a location or time I can just say no Razz .

Basically, everyone's said everything you need to know already. But I thought I'd say "hi" Very Happy
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canucktechie



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 343
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moscow has its up and down sides, just like any other big city. There is a LOT to do (including English language films). On the down side there is the long, cold winter, the incredibly crowded Metro, and the stress level of a 10 million+ city.

As for costs you can do well eating for $150/month, and entertainment costs me about $100/month - this will increase if you like hanging around night clubs (a couple of drinks can equal the price of a concert). Forget about restaurants - there are no cheap ones.

Generally nobody has any problems getting by but saving up enough money for that 3 month vacation is another story.
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vjk



Joined: 31 Oct 2003
Posts: 11
Location: Currently Melbourne

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all...vjk here again Cool

Thanks for all the advice and feedback.

I got through the on-line "pre-interview tasks", and am now awaiting a phone interview. All going well, I could be slippin' and a slidin' on the sidewalks of Moscow soon. Am I ready for the country? I reckon so. Is the country ready for me? Who knows?

Shall keep you informed, and maybe meet up one day soon.

Enjoy the journey... Arrow Arrow Arrow
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