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Uniservices PNU .. Needed: teachers who can advise
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applepie



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:42 pm    Post subject: Uniservices PNU .. Needed: teachers who can advise Reply with quote

Sorry, I hope it's ok to start a new thread with this - it's important so didn't want it getting lost amongst other posts Smile

Hi All
I received a contract from Uniservices on Friday .. I have done as much research as I can, and at this point am seriously considering the position.
There are, however, a few questions that I have for teachers who are currently at PNU at the minute:

Teaching:
Are teachers expected to be at the Uni outside of the set 20 hrs face - face teaching time?
Are there any additional office hours?
Are holidays set / is a portion set aside to be requested?
Are trousers an absolute no no whilst teaching? Are T shirts acceptable or does it HAVE to be shirts & blouses?
Is transportation to work still an issue?

Accommodation:
What are the living quarters actually like?
Are you provided with utensils / linen / towels etc when you 1st arrive?
What are the household amenities?
Are singles ever housed with those with children?
Is there internet & is it reliable?
Are there still issues with the heating?


Are the gym/ pool still not accessible?


Are there any items (personal / household) that you wish you had had the foresight to bring with you ?


Thank you so very much in advance - sorry if it is question overload, but I am trying my best to be prepared! I'd very much welcome PMs for answers to the above/ any additional information that may be useful/ tips / issues etc etc for anyone who may not want to post.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12098
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you need is available in KSA. Bring 20kg of personal items. Assume that your luggage MAY be delayed in transit so carry what you REALLY need in hand luggage !
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ellethom



Joined: 29 Sep 2011
Posts: 39
Location: Wherever I May Roam

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T shirts and pants are definite no nos at PNu. The teaching time is accurate and the office hours are fixed. basically you get it at either 7.30 or 8.30 and you work until 3.30 or 4.30 You are NOT free to leave early, trust me on this.

As far as uniservices....read your contract CAREFULLY and PM me about the real deal at PNU
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12098
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Women teachers in most places DRESS UP, ie FORMALLY, for work !
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3613
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Uniservices PNU .. Needed: teachers who can advise Reply with quote

applepie wrote:
Are trousers an absolute no no whilst teaching? Are T shirts acceptable or does it HAVE to be shirts & blouses?

Ditto about t-shirts and pants not being allowed, which is likely to be the case for faculty and staff at every female campus in the Kingdom. Check out these two threads about appropriate clothing (no pun intended):

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applepie



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I really appreciate the info...
If anyone can shed further light that'd be great!!
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anvesha



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: What to bring Reply with quote

The information I have seen, passed on to recruits by UniServices as originating from teachers currently at PNU, has been that new arrivals are being advised to "bring food/snacks for several days" in their luggage, as they may not be able to get to shops (located outside of the campus) very quickly to get supplies.

As for the availability of food on campus, apparently the campus shop is not yet open, and it is not clear if there are any student eateries on campus that teachers could also use (in terms of whether you could even get access to them, if they are located on the same campus as where you would be working, or closed by the time you get back from work, and whether fraternization is tolerated).

Also being advised is to "bring a change of clothes for work", plus a towel, in hand luggage, because checked baggage can go astray and take some days to retrieve, and no, there are no towels, no toilet paper, no cutlery, no utensils, provided in the accommodation.

I am not sure how one can fit all this into hand luggage -- food, change of clothes, towel.
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readytotravel



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't worry too much about food. Most likely you will have a roommate who has been here for awhile as well as other seasoned teachers in your apartment building. There is a bus to the supermarket daily. Bring a snack if you must, especially if you are arriving in the wee hours. The old campus where the PYP teachers teach has (crappy) food. So does the new campus where you will be living, but it won't be convenient to you unless you are teaching in the EAP or ELDP programs.

Do bring a change of clothes to be on the safe side.
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jaffa



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:02 am    Post subject: Re: What to bring Reply with quote

anvesha wrote:
new arrivals are being advised to "bring food/snacks for several days" in their luggage, as they may not be able to get to shops (located outside of the campus) very quickly to get supplies.


Oh man, this is a new low in teaching in the kingdom ... Bring your own food! Surprised What's next? Bring your own salary, because we'll be siphoning off everything you earn?
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anvesha



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

readytotravel,

Thank you for the reassurance. I hope it will not be too much of a burden upon those already present, to help out new teachers, as there does not seem to be any designated party on campus with responsibility to assist new arrivals.

The other point which concerns me is whether the contract which I received and signed many months ago may be changed in any way when I meet with staff at PNU to complete formalities.

If that occurred, I would decline to sign and prepare to leave. But is it likely that I would be prevented from doing so? I imagine that I would still probably need an exist visa, even though employment itself had never begun?

Lastly, how soon after arrival might I be expected to appear at classes and conduct lessons -- assuming that I have clean clothes to wear, toiletries to wash with, and enough food that I do not fall down in a faint. I have not been able to gather any information on this question from the recruiters.

I am falling into cynicism in starting to suspect that UniServices may just wish to get as many candidates ("warm bodies") to PNU to obtain its consulting fee, and is not too concerned about how candidates (sorry, people!) will fare after that. All I have received from them in response to my queries is basically the "inshallah" attitude, even though none of them are even Muslims.
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applepie



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Oh man, this is a new low in teaching in the kingdom ... Bring your own food! What's next? Bring your own salary, because we'll be siphoning off everything you earn?



Wow my sentiments indeed ... So much information that seems too ridiculous to be true - but probably is spot on Shocked
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 236

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anvesha wrote:
I hope it will not be too much of a burden upon those already present, to help out new teachers, as there does not seem to be any designated party on campus with responsibility to assist new arrivals.


That certainly was the welcoming committee when I got to Saudi Arabia ... HR asked those already present to feed and help out the "new girl". As the first women on campus, they did not have a welcoming committee and probably wished that they had brought in some Ramen noodles for the first days when they were LOCKED in the accommodations with no phone cards.

Anyway, this probably will not happen to you.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I wouldn't touch an employer like this with a barge pole... no less put myself under their power.

Rolling Eyes

I prefer to work for professionals, not cowboy outfits who treat women like crap.

VS
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readytotravel



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uniservices is not perfect, but it is not a cowboy unit. They develop the curriculum as well as recruit. There is a contact person on campus and she will be well aware of your arrival time/date. You will be picked up at the airport and delivered to your accommodations. You will be expected to report for work on the next working day from when you arrive. All will be well. There are many teachers here willing to guide and assist. You will receive tons of unsolicited advice from us Wink!

I don't know if your contract will change, but the one I signed when I arrived was exactly the same as the one I signed in the States a few months before.

Direct hires have a much better deal than those that work for contractors. We are paid more and have better accommodations. Leave your cynicism at home. There is plenty here to share.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3613
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... A recent Uniservices recruitment ad for PNU teachers states:

    * Gain international experience * Build financial independence * Enjoy an exotic adventure * Help empower Saudi women.
Shocked
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