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career change

 
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civi68



Joined: 25 Apr 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2004 1:40 pm    Post subject: career change Reply with quote

Hello,

I am considering a career change to teaching English in a few years. I have traveled to st. pete, odessa, and Kherson. The culture and eastern european life interest me.
I currently manage an inpatient drug program in a prison and will receive a pension at age 50. I also have 4 years left in the air force national guard. I am considering retiring from both jobs at age 40 so I am guaranteed pensions and healthcare at age 60.
I would probably get a CELTA certificate. My question to the group is can I make a career of teaching english with a bachelor's degree in sociology and CELTA certificate for 10-15 years in eastern europe? I will have some money saved and my pensions will help when I get older. So, I would use money earned from teaching, savings, and eventually 2 pensions totaling over $1000 a month to hopefully sustain a living in eastern europe for many years. Is this a reasonable plan or is this career more of a short-term travel back and forth kind of career?

mike
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inmexico



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 110
Location: The twilight zone

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With your creds. I don't see why your plan wouldn't be feasable. I think there are an abundant number of ESL teachers who approach this type of career with short-term in mind, but I know there are many that have been teaching for many years. If you already have the pension thing worked out....GO FOR IT!
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't seem to have any specific question other than 'Is this feasible'. The answer is, with a CELTA or Trinity, definitely.

Once you have the qualification, if you're not fussy about exact location, it will be fairly easy. If you want to work in Ukraine, it shouldn't be too tough, but you might have to wait for the right opportunity since jobs aren't nearly as plentiful there as they are in Russia (there's a veritable glut of jobs in Moscow, a few in St Pete's (but more competition), and a smaller number of jobs in the Russian regions (but less competition)).

If you have other questions, just ask. The people on this forum will prob. know the answer.

udachi Smile
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Communist Smurf



Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently read an article in the Moscow Times that the average *Russian* (not only Muscovite) makes $75 per month. So if you plan on living outside Moscow, your retirement pay will provide a vast safety buffer without a steady income. But there seem to be a lot more jobs in Moscow. In otherwords, yes your plan sounds good.

If you plan on getting your CELTA, it's here in Moscow at BKC and LL. LL say they have it, but when you go to the U of Cambridge website, they only list BKC as having it in Moscow. BKC recently raised their price from something like $1200 to $1600 but LL is still $1200 (or atleast that's what the website says, it hasn't been updated in a while). It's still better than doing it in the states for $3000-3500.

While we're on the subject of retirement (not that I'm close to retiring), I've met some retired Americans that have some form of identification that is similar to the American green card. It serves as your "entry and exit visa", your local identification, and your permission to work in Russia without a work permit. I can't remember what it's called... Does anyone know anything about this? The only person I had the opportunity to speak to about it wasn't sure just why he was entitled to have it, but he is married to a Russian and has lived in Russia for 10 years now. He said he knows of an American couple that also have it, but he said he thinks one of them was born in Russia. He also said it costs something like $50, which is much better than paying the big bucks for your own visa every year (which from what I understand can cost you as much as $600?). He told me he got it from UVIR. I'd go there and ask myself, but I think I'd rather sit at home and jab my eyes with an ice pick than go there.

Besides that, it just looks cool. Anyone here got one?

CS
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, $600 is a realistic figure.. $200 for invitation + $200-$300 for the consular fee if you want processing in a day or two, + travel expenses.

Neuzheli $3500 for a CELTA in the US?? Where? That's daylight robbery. In London it cost me 900GBP last year, that's about $1600 at today's exchange rates.

As to that other document, I've never heard of it, but it sounds amazing. I'm not a USAnian anyway.
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Phillip Donnelly



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just checked with teacher training at BKC-IH and the price of a CELTA is now 1500 dollars. Although we have raised the price in dollars, we have also lowered the price in pounds sterling due to the current strength of the pound and weakness in the dollar.
As far as I know, Language Link are not running a CELTA this year and are not recognised by Cambridge as a training centre for this year. The word on the grapevine is that they dropped it as it wasn't profitable.
Re coming to live in Moscow and teaching for a long time, I think it is definitely feasible. Many of the teachers here at BKC are of a similar age.
Re where to work in Russia, I agree with the earlier entries that Moscow has far more work than the rest of Russia and demand for teachers exceeds supply at the moment.
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure it's feasible. Money isn't the only factor, of course.

Also, Russia is changing. I could certainly live well on 1000 a month (oh man, like a king). But who knows by the time 60 rolls around?

I don't trust these figures of 50 or 75 a month being the average income. Average official income, maybe. And this is for people with family, connections, already paid for apartments or old wooden houses or something. And they have vegetable gardens and stuff. Doesn't mean you can live well on that, or that you would want to.

As for this miracle $50 green card, I find it (no offense Smurf) very unlikely. Sounds too good to be true. A few years back if you were married to a Russian all that stuff was easy. But no longer. The laws have changed several times since I've gotten here and I still haven't managed (for various reasons) to get the card. And last I heard you had to ask for permission to leave if you had the residence permit (though at this point I'd accept that trade-off).

I just got a new visa and in addition to travel expenses I had to get insurance (granted a good thing to have anyway) for $200 and when I got back to Moscow the municipal office charged me another $200 to register in my Father in law's flat (I think this is to cover utilities for six months as utility charges are based on how many people are registered in the flat). I have to re-register in six months, I don't know if they'll charge me another $200.

Smurf's right about the ice-pick. Be prepared.

But it's a good place. If you have a little set aside, a way to earn some, and a pension in the future, you could do much worse than settle here. I have a university professor friend in the States who's trying to plan her retirement here. And personally, the wooden house, vegetable garden, and cow in the country sounds really nice to me, and I doubt if that option will disappear in the near future, despite the modernization of Moscow.

Hey, I'd love to be proven wrong on the green card thing. Oh man I'd love to be free of that headache.

See you soon.
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Communist Smurf



Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 7:11 pm    Post subject: Vid na gitel'stvo Reply with quote

It's called a Vid na gitel'stvo. You don't need to be a USAnian to get one, in fact it's the same ID that refugees are issued. I still don't know what it takes to get one and how the laws have changed but I'll mention something if I find something new. OVIR is my last resort. In the meantime, does anyone have an ice pick I can borrow?

The guy I talked to that had one said he has no problems entering or leaving the country (he didn't tell me the last time he left/returned) so as far as I know he doesn't need to request permission to leave. I'll just mention that I consider him a very reliable source -- this isn't gossip (unless you question my credibility, in which case skip this post and move on).

As far as the $75 per month, I just used that as an example to illustrate that getting a pension of $1000 per month is more than enough to survive on for a while, perhaps even in Moscow/Petersburg.

Zaneth, you had to get medical insurance before you got your visa? I got my visa in January in Tallin and didn't need insurance but it seemed everyone else (non-Americans) needed it. Have the laws changed recently (I'm assuming you're American)?

Waxwing, it's pretty ridiculous considering the extra money you pay in the states exceeds what it would cost you to travel to a foreign country and go on vacation for a month while taking the same course. It makes me wondering why they (teacher training programs in the states) think they can get away with charging so much. These same schools are sponsored by Dave's website.

CS
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't question your credibility. Rules here are different at different times and different places. Usually it seems that the people in the offices don't even know the rules. It's a complicated trick getting anything done.

Perhaps I could have gotten away without the insurance, or with a super skimpy one time payment policy. I decided to get my ducks in a row before I went, figuring that it would be cheaper to buy it in small town Russia than long-open-to-the-West Estonia. Last time I forgot to take pictures and they cost me a lot more in Estonia and cost me a day of time (though that ended up working out for the best - another story).

I was just talking to a friend. He's Russian, his mother recently came here from a former republic. He said the vid na gitelstvo is the second stage. The first is for a temporary residence permit. It requires registration (permanent registration, where the owner gives you legal rights almost to or equal to their own), medical check (must be done at the assigned place), aids test, certificate from the home country saying you aren't a criminal (which must be notarized and apostilled, translated and notarized again), and some other odds and ends. I don't know if it requires marriage. My friend took about a week to gather the paperwork for his mother. Another person I know was doing paperwork for her American born son. They couldn't register at her parents house until they got permission from her brother, because he was also registered there. He lives abroad. After they got his (notarized) letter of permission they had to translate it (in Moscow) before they could register. This is for someone's parents house in a small town.

Then there's something like a 3 year waiting period and then you get something else. Then after 5 years you can apply for citizenship.

That's a sketch of the info as I have it. A lot of this is from recent changes.

But I have heard bits and pieces of other information that didn't exactly fit into this plan. There very well might be other pathways.
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and yes, you assume correctly. I looked for you last time I was at the Embassy but I didn't see anyone with a funny hat and bushy white beard.
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

civi68, your experience in prisons and military should be good training for dealing with Russian gov't.
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