Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

?? Shared Housing ??
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 8:18 am    Post subject: ?? Shared Housing ?? Reply with quote

Hello Forum:

This topic came up on the Russian Forum a few days ago, and since it concerns all of us, I thought I would raise it here ... for your comments and opinions.

And, for the record, I'll be perfectly candid; this is perhaps the only aspect of EFL job-hunting that really pisses me off. I'm not job-hunting at the moment, but like most of us, I do scan the job-offered board from time to time, just to see who's offering what.

Let's face it: Most of us arrive in our host countries with little more than a few bruised suitcases, a tattered dictionary and a swiss army knife.

Where we are going to live and sleep for the next year or more ... is ... it would seem, an extremely important aspect of our overall experience and/or enjoyment in any given country.

If this is true ... can someone please tell me why so many schools are offering shared accommodations these days? Is it really that much cheaper for schools to rent one 2-room flat, vs. two 1-room flats? To be blunt: When teachers quit their jobs because of room-mate friction, is it really more economical?

Am I the only one that won't even read the rest of a job advert in which shared housing is being offered?

For me, coming home to a private flat is sacred. After a long day of pouring out my heart and soul into my classes, the last thing I want or need is to come home to a little chat with a room-mate from Hickville who insists on washing his dirty underwear in my kitchen sink. I mean, let's be honest. You read the posts here on Dave's. Would you actually be willing to live in the same house with some of these people for an entire year? I'm getting goose-bumps just thinking about it.

For me, the answer is definitely NOT. I need the peace and quiet. I cherish it. And sometimes, I just like to run around the house naked. (Dear Moderators: Can I post that kind of filth here?) Rolling Eyes

Anyway ... without further ranting, here are my specific questions:

1. Am I the only weirdo who feels like this? (no nasty replies, please) I know I'm weird.
2. Is anyone out there really happy with a shared housing arrangement, and if so, would you care to go into detail about it?
3. Is shared-housing a subtle form of age discrimination in hiring, to the extent that younger, recent college grads might be more willing to accept shared housing?
4. Did you ever have a room-mate who washed his dirty underwear in the kitchen sink? Evil or Very Mad

I appreciate all comments and opinions. This should be an interesting thread.

Best wishes,
keNt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shonai Ben



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 585
Location: on the floor

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is nice to know that someone else feels the same as me.
I too peruse the jobs out there and I pass over any job that
mentions shared housing.
That is one of the many reasons why I did not accept a position
at NOVA.
After a hard day at work I do not want to come home & have to
share my space with another person.I want peace & quiet.My own space.
I agree with you 100%. Exclamation
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto. I've just finished a one and a half month job search and at no time did I even consider a shared apartment.

Incidently, I'm doubting that it's age descrimination. I think they are just trying to make as much money as possible, and there is always someone who will take the position.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it really that much cheaper for schools to rent one 2-room flat, vs. two 1-room flats?


If you are NOVA, yes, because you charge full rent to each person in that apartment!

There may also be dealings with property tax that make it cheaper for some employers.

Quote:
can someone please tell me why so many schools are offering shared accommodations these days?

I can't speak for other countries, but in Japan housing is in short supply.

Quote:
When teachers quit their jobs because of room-mate friction, is it really more economical?


More economical for the teacher? Sometimes, yes. Even when one breaks even, sometimes the emotional pressure that is lifted is more than enough to compensate for a bad roommate.

I agree with Kent about feelings of privacy. When I began looking for work in Japan, I compared various language schools, even though some posted shared housing in their descriptions, but I put them way at the bottom of the list. Fortunately, they all seemed to offer the same rent and salaries, so shared housing was an easy deciding factor for me to rule out places where I didn't want to work.

Just read an interesting post on another forum by a woman who was accepted by a Tokyo employer. The boss and two teachers will be her roommates in a rather expensive apartment that is rent-free to her. Definitely not my cup of tea.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 12:24 pm    Post subject: Shared housing Reply with quote

Kent,

Personally, I wouldn't care to share housing with someone not of my own choosing. However, that aspect usually doesn't enter into the picture where I teach. No schools in this area offer housing as part of the package. Many foreign EFL teachers in this city share housing for economic reasons. Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is only slightly higher than for a 1-bedroom apartment.

I lived alone for over 20 years. Since moving to Mexico, I've had housemates. There are currently four of us living in my house. Note the world my, which means I decide who lives with me, and that definitely does make a difference. I wouldn't mind living alone again, although I'm surprised at how well I've adjusted to having housemates. Also, the amount of space, daily schedules, personalities, and other factors come into play, of course. I couldn't imagine living with some of the EFL teachers I've met, and I'm sure they couldn't imagine living with me either.

Keep in mind also that there are some people who really do not like to live alone. For them an inconsiderate housemate is still better than no housemate at all.

I think you made a valid point about age as well. Someone young and fresh out of college who's heading off to another part of the world would probably find it easier, maybe even reassuring, to share housing than those of us who are older and more set in our ways.

Best wishes,
B.R. de B.

P.S. Running around the house naked could be considered weird? I didn't know that. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Irish



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kent:

Glenski makes a good point--the economics of the situation probably depend a great deal on how hard housing is to come by in a given location. Affordable housing is very tight here in the islands so, even though I much prefer to live alone, I have to share if I want to complete my degree program. However, I chose who to live up with--as Ben pointed out, that makes a world of difference. The idea of letting someone else pick my housemates is very unsettling. I'd consider a job like that but only if everything else about it were wonderful (and it would still be at the bottom of my list). The only time I've had bad housemates is when I have had no say in who lives there, hence my reluctance to look at those shared job ads.

As for the age issue, I think Ben nailed it. Younger people might like the idea of living with someone who understands what it's like to adjust to life in a new country. However, that benefit goes out the window if the other person turns out to be a nutcase. For myself, I find that the older I get, the more territorial I become. I need my own space. Then again, there are those who enjoy having people around all the time. To each his own.

And, no, I haven't had a housemate who washes his dirty skivvies in the sink. But there was one who liked to turn the TV to the "all religious ranting station" in order to save our sinful souls. And then there was one who chewed with her mouth open. And another one who helpfully gave me unsolicited "advice" on our host country...except that 95% of his advice was actually a diatribe about what a backward, worthless place it was.

There were a few others but I can't bring myself to discuss them before my second cup of coffee.

Irish
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
andrew



Joined: 19 Feb 2003
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 5:26 pm    Post subject: roomies from hell Reply with quote

NONE OF YOUR EXAMPLES CAN COMPARE TO MINE, WORKING FOR A CONTRACTOR IN THE ROYAL KINGDOM OF SAUD. I, TOO, CLICK TO THE NEXT JOB AS SOON AS I READ 'PRIVATE ROOM' AS A FEATURE.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 6:10 pm    Post subject: shared facilities NO ! Reply with quote

Shared facilities are a definite no-no. However the sad truth is that employers will find some bozos who think it is okay. My advice is stick with your principleas and REFUSE any job where they say you have to share. Leave that to the 20-year olds in European and American metropoles who think it is "cool" to live like characters in that sitcom "Friends".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Kent,
You are not at all weird. I can assure you that the thought of sharing with someone like you fills me with horror Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
elainenatal



Joined: 29 Mar 2003
Posts: 34
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 11:23 pm    Post subject: Just the opposite situation! Reply with quote

Recently, I found myself in this situation.I was working in a country town in Oman and was provided with accommodation. This was a huge Arabian style villa with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and rooms everywhere. I found myself living in about 4 of the rooms and shutting up the rest as I didn't have enough furniture to go around.
Later, I found out that the company had leased the villa from a relative of the company's manager and had paid the annual lease in advance. Once the landlord got his money, he was uncontactable (either busy praying or away in Dubai, never at home or work) whenever there was a problem at the villa. Once, I was without water for 4 days.
Anyway, the place was just too big for one person! In fact, it was very lonely coming home to this huge empty house after work.
Another position arose with the company in the same town and it was taken by a friend and colleague from my own country. We asked if we could share the one villa as it had enough room to set up our own separate private areas so that we wouldn't get under each other's feet. We had worked it out that we could socialise whenever we wanted and we could have our own private areas to go to if needed.So, we asked the company if we could share the villa and split the other accommodation allowance (we would have given us a nice lifestyle paying for the bills and a maid to clean) but they replied that it was against company policy to allow sharing among employees! (although it was common knowledge so it's not a slanderous comment among all employees that the Manager was sharing with his 2IC, but it seemed to be a case of "do as I say not do as I do!")
So, we found ourselves in the opposite situation to what some of the other posters are describing but it really wasn't suitable being so isolated and lonely!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Kent,
I do not feel you are eird or selfish, far from it! BUt in a country like China, you can not always choose. There is as yet hardly any housing market, and the one that has been developing over the past ten years is chaotic and unreliable.
My first employer put me up in a two-bedroom flat. I also had two bathrooms, but only one kitchen and one living-room. We were strictly segregated according to nationality, so I was the odd one out, while there were 4 Ameicans sharing flats and two Brits, conveniently of the same sex.
There were constant hassles between those who shared accommodation, and no one in particular was to blame. If one liked wine and beer, then there alsways was a teetotaller around who not only practised his cult but also wanted others to practise it. Others were more religious and would adorn walls with biblical quotations that might put one or the other off.
Finally, I had to share my lodgings with an American of considerable age.
Initially, we had a good time, but then our relationship started to sour. Reasons? I had the smaller bedroom, so I used the living-room as a study, and I was being too selfish about it, showing dislike when he entered there.
He had another knack - one for women and girls! Although he was married, he frequently invited female company to our place, and some of these females got on my nerves. You can imagine how comfottable we eventually felt with each other!
But, one day I had the courage to apologise to him for misappropriating our living-room. He patiently listened me out, then slapped me on my back, and we were very great friends ever after, especially after he met a Chinese woman that inspired him to divorce his wife back in the states and to marry his Chinese sweetheart!
Not all expats I had to share flats with were as easygoing as he, though! The second time I shared a place with another guy he began using my things that I had had to buy at my own expense. There was no apology, and one day, that guy was gone, with some of the money he had earned by selling some of my stuff (luckily not very precious things, but my property, anyway!).
Now I live in my own dwelling place, and no, I am never going to share it with anybody!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 2:26 am    Post subject: Sharing?Avoid It Like the Plague! Reply with quote

Avoiding sharing a housing arrangement is almost like one of the Ten Commandents of TESOL.Almost always,it is NOTHING but trouble.I have done it in my younger days,but never again.Even sharing with people you may consider your friends can be difficult.Having a couple of beers with your friends and hanging out with them is one thing...LIVING with them is something else!

Anybody who has been in this business any length of time knows these things usually do not work out.Maybe one guy is a neatnik Felix Unger type who hits the roof if a few dirty dishes are left in the sink and another guy is a slobnik Oscar Madison type.

And that is only the tip of the iceberg....it is bad enough living with the same people you work with in a NORMAL situation....in the TESOL milieu,where you have so many who are a little strange(to be very charitable)...it can be pure hell.

And then of course,if you share,not only do you have to put up with the people you are sharing with...but often their questionable "friends"...which can sometimes be the worst thing of all.

To those who get themselves into a situation where they have to share....I hope you have uncommonly good luck and get normal.reasonable people to share with....but do not count on it in this business. Rolling Eyes

Oh,yeah,I would also suggest that anyone contemplating any of those homestay things,living with a family....those are also a no-no....usually nothing but trouble...although some schools in some parts of the world will try to sucker you into believing that "you will learn more about the culture"...etc.blah blah..Just plain old cheapness on the part of the school.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 7:18 am    Post subject: a few follow-up remarks Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, for the excellent and candid replies. I especially liked bnix's reference to the Ten Commandments of TESOL. Very funny ... and I agree with him 110%.

Returning to question #3 in my original post regarding shared housing as a subtle form of age discrimination: Surely, employers and school managers MUST KNOW that by offering shared housing, they are SEVERELY limiting the amount of inquiries they will receive, especially from the experienced and older 'vets' among us. Based on the 11 replies so far, at least 9 posters would not even consider shared housing. You do the math.

Elainenatal, Irish and Ben would do so only if THEY are the ones choosing their room-mate(s), and that option is almost never on the table when you accept an EFL job.

My grand scheme (if there was one?) in posting this topic here ... is the hope that a few school managers and directors are reading this thread too. As Writerman eloquently pointed out, "Why do they offer shared housing? Because they can."

If we all stick together on this, (fat chance, I know Rolling Eyes ) and follow Scot47's advice by refusing to reply to shared-housing job offers, well ... the day will come when "they can't."

Regards,
keNt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Based on the 11 replies so far, at least 9 posters would not even consider shared housing. You do the math.


Unfortunately, Kent, we don't know the ages of these 11 people, nor does this represent a statistically significant sample size to draw any conclusions. And, we only heard from the people who were willing to answer.

Take a look at one thread on www.bigdaikon.com, where someone asked the ages of people online there. With about 30 or more responses, the answer were almost all in their 20's, one or two in their 30's, and one in his 50's. Hmmmmmm. Wonder if any of those would give the same answers to your poll?

Quote:
Surely, employers and school managers MUST KNOW that by offering shared housing, they are SEVERELY limiting the amount of inquiries they will receive, especially from the experienced and older 'vets' among us.


I wish I had demographics on the age of teachers in Japan, but I'd be willing to guess that the majority of them are under 30 and have less than 2 years of experience here. So much for "older vets" outnumbering the younguns.

Quote:
If we all stick together on this, (fat chance, I know ) and follow Scot47's advice by refusing to reply to shared-housing job offers, well ... the day will come when "they can't."


Noble as this thought is, I don't think you're going to see a serious change in the younguns' attitudes, so the employers won't have any reason to change, either. As long as employers hire fresh college grads who still have living together engrained on their minds, and who have huge loans to repay, shared housing will continue to be a reality.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 12:36 pm    Post subject: good points by Glenski Reply with quote

Hello Glenski Cool

Good points you raised, as always. I agree with most of what you've said. The real question in my mind is not so much one of who outnumbers who in terms of age, but rather this: By offering shared housing, aren't many schools rather obviously 'loosing out' on hiring the better candidates? I think the answer is definitely 'yes'.

As long as school directors and HR managers understand why they aren't getting the experienced teachers' resumes' (from those of us who are older, maybe wiser, and more set in our ways) then I guess I can live with that.

I agree with you (and others here) who've said that there will always be young-guns out there who are willing and eager to accept less-than-ideal EFL contracts, salaries, and housing arrangements. There's no doubt about that at all.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC