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Heliopolis ILI

 
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Selyer



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 62
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 3:26 pm    Post subject: Heliopolis ILI Reply with quote

Has anyone got good, current info about IH Cairo aka Heliopolis ILI? Anybody worked there or know people who work there? Anybody in Cairo who knows what the scoop is with them?

I know, I know, they're rather general questions, but I'd like to get a better feel for what ILI (and Cairo!) is like so as to decide if I want to investigate them seriously. Yes, I've read the job info journals and other posts on the Egypt bit of the forum.

As for me and my qualifications: single American female, MA in Education, CELTA B, and 10 years teaching experience (though the majority of that has been ESL and Bilingual ED in the American public school system).

Any helpful input will be greatly appreciated...and thanks! Smile
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Selyer,

First off, let me admit that I know little or nothing about ILI as I have always avoided language schools. To me they have always been the option for those with little education or experience. With your qualifications and background, you should be able to get a good position with decent pay and benefits without going the language school route.

Why not in the worldwide system of American Schools - like the Cairo American College in Maadi south of Cairo?

Why not something within the university systems of the Middle East? I would suggest the American University in Cairo, but it is rather difficult to get into these days as they are doing little hiring in EFL.

Just a thought. Perhaps you are interested in joining a language school and perhaps someone will come on and say that ILI is a great place to teach. Perhaps if you are looking for something short-term just in order to spend a bit of time in Egypt, it may be perfect.

Hopefully someone can give specific information on it. As an American female who spent many years in Cairo, I highly recommend it as an experience you will never forget. Smile

VS
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Selyer



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 62
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 10:02 pm    Post subject: Why, indeed Reply with quote

Hi VS. Thanks for the reply. I figured if nothing else you would surely have some nugget of wisdom regarding Cairo in general! Laughing

I know with my qualifications I probably could find something better than a language school, but I wanted a little bit of a change from standard classroom teaching. I've had great fun this year (currently teaching for an IH school here in Poland) and I thought I'd give it another year, anyhow, before stepping back into the more "conventional" world of teaching. As for teaching in a university system, it seems like a lot of them want an MA in Applied Linguistics or TEFL (mine's in Bilngual/Multicultural Education). Figured I give language schools a whirl and then decide if I want to go back to the US to teach again or look into international schools, unis, etc.

Just out of curiousity, how long since you were last in Cairo? From your various posts on the forum it seems you've spent a good deal of time in the Middle East (you always seem to have helpful and savvy advice to profer) but if I'm not mistaken you're back in the States now, yes?

Thanks again!
Selyer
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Selyer,

Yes, I'm retired back in the states living on my petrodollars. Smile I got my MA in Cairo at AUC many years ago, and last taught at AUC in 2001. I was on my way back to the US and stopped to visit friends for a month. They were short a teacher and I ended up teaching for a semester.

So, you just want some relaxed teaching and money isn't a major factor? Some other options might be AMIDEAST, but they are in Alexandria rather than Cairo. Also, AUC has adult education classes that are great fun to teach, but the pay is very low. Sad

BTW, I don't think that your MA would be a drawback everywhere as I have taught with people whose MAs were in things like criminology. Yours is education related and you have the CELTA and experience - I think many doors are open to you in the Middle East!! If you want to get into more details about living there, you might want to send me a PM.

VS
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Al Waystryn



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:56 pm    Post subject: ILI Heliopolis Reply with quote

Hiya,
I can't believe I'm the first one to respond to say that ILI Heliopolis is a great place to work. It's amazing how many people I meet (all over the world in fact) who have either worked at ILI or got their CELTAs there.
But let me tell you why I think it's great. First of all, Egypt is an experience not to be missed. Teachers at ILI have the best holidays! In fact, they want to start their own website about their holidays just to show off their photos... The reality is that the Egyptian Pound has taken a beating in the foreign exchange, but for people living and working in Egypt with residence visas, life is cheap and you can live like a king (or queen). Diving in the Red Sea, cruises down the Nile, horseback riding around the Pyramids, lounging at the pool in summer, catching the fast boat to Jordan, desert safari's, and all the ancient Egyptian tombs and monuments you've only read about.
Secondly, the work environment at ILI is great. (maybe I should've mentioned this first) They've got a well stocked teacher's resource library and there's always somebody to bounce ideas off of or give you a hand. It's not the competitive, cut throat atmosphere that I've experienced in other schools. A big problem at other schools in Egypt (especially the English language schools) is the resentment of foreign teachers by local staff. At ILI, everybody works together, from the doormen on up. English and Arabic teachers work together as colleagues, get together outside school, and attend each others classes.
Another plus is that ILI is part of International House which has schools all over the world, terrific teacher development programs and an international transfer system. Currently ILI has senior positions available for experienced teachers who want to move up the ladder. It's a great opportunity to get some valuable experience and add higher qualifications to your CV.
But, don't take my word for it. Apply to ILI. They are one of the increasingly rare schools that will gladly put shortlisted candidates in touch with current (and former) teachers for the real story.
Also, you can see photos of the school on the IH web site (ILI Heliopolis's web site is still under construction). They're promoting the Arabic courses at ILI, but it's the same school (and country...). Go to www.ihworld.com/cd - start the CD, choose Arabic, Egypt - then choose IH Heliopolis to view the photos. There is an ILI in Safahyeen, but it's Arabic only.
And look for other posts to follow - I'll spread the word that someone on Dave's Cafe wants info about ILI. It's a small world, and most of it has passed through Cairo at one point or another.
Best Regards,
Al
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markinson



Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Selyar,
I've been working in Egypt for a while and can tell you that getting into the private school American system here is not for those who want their soul to remain intact. To generalise, the several dozen or so International schools in this country are badly organised and their main purpose is taking hard currency off unknowing parents to line the directors' pockets.
Having worked at ILI I can also tell you that it is well run and professional. And, everything that has been mentioned about holiday snaps and professional development is dead right. The money may not be as good as at international schools, but it is plenty to live off and even (if you don't go crazy) enough to save a little bit.
Also, the fact that you have a CELTA makes me think you are more interested in the adult end of the market. Another possibly wise move in this country, where kids (especially boys) can be little monsters. Anyway, will stop here. If you are interested in working in Egypt I would definately check out ILI, as (and I hate to say this) it being run by non Egyptians makes it a much easier and more enjoyable place to work than a lot of other schools and institutions here.
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Selyer



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 62
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Al, Markinson. Thanks for the replies. Any more information you can give me on life and teaching in Egypt in general? How long have you guys been in Cairo/Egypt? Best things about it? Worst things about it? Things I should consider that perhaps haven't occurred to me to even think about? Anything like that.

For Al...have you worked for ILI or perhaps just CELTA'd there? If you are working/have worked there, for how long? How long have you been teaching, in general?

For Markinson...when and for how long did you work for ILI? Why did you leave? Anything I should be wary of? How long have you been teaching in general?

What about things like residence visas? I've heard of some people have trouble getting theirs and thus being charged higher (foreigners) rates for everything even though they've been living in Cairo for awhile. What would you guys consider a decent, "reasonable amount to expect to get paid" income?

Thanks again for you input. Smile
Selyer
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Al Waystryn



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 11:08 am    Post subject: Life in Egypt Reply with quote

Hi Selyar,

My relationship with ILI began over 2 years ago. I didn't do my CELTA here - I did it in NYC 10 years ago and paid way too much money for it! (But that's another story...)

I came as a summer teacher to see what it was like, then came back the next summer and decided to stay on. A lot of people do that. And, there are some perennial summer teachers who come back every year.

Somehow, Cairo gets under your skin. You either hate it or love it. I still can't figure out why I like it. The traffic and noise are horrible. The choices for bars and clubs are truly limited. Egyptian wine sucks. There is no 'singles' scene (dating is not an acceptable concept for Muslims). I'm not getting rich. But somehow it's all ok.

Everyday is something different. I'm constantly saying 'you don't see that everyday', and the next day there's something else! I spend a lot of time speculating about what's going on - the fact that I'm foreign and speak only baby Arabic means that I'm pretty clueless, but I'm never bored!

And I love my job. What can I say? I've worked in 3 other continents, and Egyptian students are not the easiest to teach, but they are communicative! Plus, we get students from all over - Chinese, Afghani's, Palestinians, Sudanese, Maldivian, Brunian, Thai, Iranian, Russian, etc., etc. just to keep things interesting.

But the best part is the staff. Everybody really pulls together, as I mentioned before. ILI does arrange for visas for its teachers, by the way, and has a standard starting salary for contract teachers with increments added for experience and advanced qualifications, etc. I don't remember what the base salary is but it's definitely liveable.

My advice about coming to Cairo - you need a real sense of adventure and a genuine interest in people and different cultures. And, (excuse the jargon) an ability to tolerate ambiguity (being clueless, in other words).
Don't do it for the money. Do it for the experience. ILI is a great school if you are serious about teaching and professional development, and Cairo is a great place to live if you're the type who can relax and enjoy the chaos.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I couldn't agree more with Al-Wahstryn concerning living in Cairo. There truly is no middle ground between those who love and those who hate it. Cool

When I went there back in the 80's I wasn't sure if I would stay, but ended up there for years - and even once I moved to to bigger and better things (read - I needed to make more money), I spent my vacations in Cairo.

As we said, 'every day is an adventure' - and you quickly learn why Egyptians have such a good sense of humor. You can't live there without it. Laughing

VS
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Selyer



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 62
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya. Thanks again Al and VS for your replies. Very Happy

Al, I'm thinking of doing precisely what you mentioned (Cairo for a summer to feel things out). I just have to get my act together and send off my CV but I'm waiting to find out for sure if I'd even be available. Got some things pending here in Poland that I won't know for sure about until the next few days here.

Thanks again...and perhaps I'll run into you in Cairo one of these days! Very Happy
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lozwich



Joined: 25 May 2003
Posts: 1536

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

Does anyone have any updated information to add to this interesting thread?

I'm thinking about Cairo, and would be interested to see what (if anything) has changed at ILI in the last year or so.

Thanks!
Lozwich.
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Al Haq



Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Ingilterra

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 9:11 am    Post subject: ILI Good News Reply with quote

Hi,

I completed my CELTA there last Sept and I was impressed by the facilities and the excellent CELTA trainers. The teaching practice gave me just what I needed to before embarking on a teaching career!

I would say unless things are substantially different from when I was there...give it a go. Cairo is a fantastic place to live and work so what have you got to lose. It's also relatively very cheap compared to other TEFL training courses worldwide.

One caveat: I believe that the administration are undergoing some turf wars at the moment amid rumours that ILI may be moving to alternative premises.....but this should not detract from an otherwise good choice to do your CELTA.

Happy pondering!

PS. "Al Waystryn" (ho,ho,ho) a regular poster here, is more than likely the pseudonym of the onetime DOS at ILI (edited by moderator). What she says is true but bear that in mind if any more "glowing" reports are made about ILI!
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