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

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:15 pm    Post subject: BKC - ZELENOGRAD & SATELLITES Reply with quote

Hi...Alekto told me a bit about Zelenograd, and I'm interested to know a bit more.

Has anyone else worked for BKC-IH in Zelenograd or similar satellite towns?

If so, what's life like on a day to day / night to night basis.

Is internet connection available in your flat there...I've heard the phone lines can be pretty bad....????

And is it true that you get your own flat...not a shared one?

Thanks...c ya... Arrow Arrow Arrow
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Joined: 16 Sep 2004
Posts: 21
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: BKC - ZELENOGRAD & SATELLITES Reply with quote

Ok, here's some basic info on working in Zelenograd:

Firstly, while Zelenograd is green for a Russian town, it's a lot bigger and more modern than most people expect. It was a secret town, pretty much self-sufficient as they go and founded on top of a smaller town (called Krukovo - which is why the train station still uses that name) after the war. Picturesque it is *not* unless you like communist domino blocks. But there are lots of trees and forests around, which make up for it...plenty of shops and supermarkets...basically, it's a perfectly habitable place.

Teaching there generally means one pattern: do whatever you want in the morning, teach in the late afternoon/evening. I have never heard of there being split shifts at the school (although technically possible) and lessons basically start at 4 and finish at 9.15. So after lessons, you might head out with some of the other teachers for a drink...but you aren't going to be doing anything manic or crazy. There isn't that much to do in town really aside from drink with friends, watch tv and "go for a walk" (the Russian term for "hanging out")

You get an internet connection by buying phone cards (that also double as internet cards), setting up an account (really not that hard, especially if you get someone to talk you through the instructions) and then just plugging your modem into the phone line and dialing up. Because you don't pay for local area calls here, you only pay for the internet time you use up on the card. I reconmend Zebra - they've been the most reliable dial-up connection - but you'll be lucky to get a speed of over 30kbps. In Zelenograd I actually had an excellent connection, sometimes as fast as 45kbps!

Unfortunately, you used to get a flat of your own in Z-town but because prices for accomodation have gone up, they're now tending to put new teachers together. You could still inisist you're on your own if you want and pay a little extra. But unfortunately, it looks as though the days of one teacher, one flat are over Crying or Very sad

What else can I say? The organisation is better than Moscow, because it's so small. There were only 7 of us in the school last year - from New Zealand, America, the UK and Canada - and there is another foreign language school in town (Language Link) although I've never met any of them (and I've heard they're told not to associate with us!!!!!). You're going to be in a small but easygoing school basically, without much hasstle, unlike Moscow where you have to run around a lot more.

The school is well-resourced (even exceptionally so - it was complimented on it during the IH inspection a year or so ago) and you get your own desk, your own classroom (well, in one of the schools - in the other you use a state school classroom, so you can't be as creative with it, but it works pretty well actually) between schools, should you be put on both sites (rare) is easy and the staff, if you win their hearts, are very helpful (the school director is a classic example of this: if she doesn't like you, things will become more difficult than neccessary, but I got on with her fine and never had any fact she was wonderfully helpful and she *is* a good director.).

It's a great school for an inexperienced teacher - either someone new to Russia and not willing to brave it out much, or someone new to teaching. Zelenograd is quiet and laid-back, so you can just focus on getting your lessons together, maybe having some Russian lessons and heading up to Moscow (45 minutes by train - give yourself at least 1 hour and add travel time to the station itself...about 1.5 hours in total...if you time it right) at the weekends.

I was happy with the situation for 2 years...and really, it was tempting to stay in the nice, comfy school for another. But I wanted to take on the big smoke and benefit from living in the city I can meet more people, go to bars in the evening and never have to worry about the last train home. Life in Moscow is a bit more hectic and interesting. If you're prepared to entertain yourself and don't mind missing on "big city life" then Z-town is fine.

If you need to be entertained and think you'll go a little crazy being relatively isolated/alone, then skip it.

I can pm peoople any answers to specific questions if they wish Smile
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Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey alekto - how did the registration issue get solved eventually? I'd love to know how it's working out for you ..
drop me a PM! Smile
->an ex-russian EFLer , but only a short way from the border just in case Smile
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