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Who would you sign with?
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ProfessorBob77



Joined: 03 Apr 2004
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 12:24 pm    Post subject: Who would you sign with? Reply with quote

Hello all! I am new to the board,so yes I'm a "Newbie". I am currently teaching in China and am considering a move to Saudi in the coming year. If any one has the time to give some advice or background on the schools I am considering it would be greatly appreciated. First I will tell you the one school offers a bit more money. This school is a private Language school called"Saudi Academy for languages and training"and the other is Dammam Community College which is a prep year program. The Language school offers housing off of a compund and the DCC has a compound. I would lean towards living in a compound but I'd like the veterans to tell me what there feelings are?The College offers 20 hour weeks and less money and the private school offers more money but 35 hours a week teaching. This leaves me to wonder if "privates"are readily available in Saudi? If so then I would lean toward the less pay less hours offer. The last question I have is this. Can I get all of my paper work,visa and all the other goods done in china before I go to Saudi Arabia? I am afraid of heading all the way there and then finding out I got the shaft and am working illegally for some bogus operation. Two years in China and these things would cross your mind. Last ? is this, I have read on this board that people live off $550-$650 U.S. a month is that legit or people trying to promote lower wages for there schools? Thank you all and Enjoy the sun!
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dammam Community College depends on KFUPM. You might find a mismatch between the level of the course and the level of the students, but if they are still part of KFUPM, you'll be working for one of the best employers in Saudi.

The problem is that all government institutions base their salaries on experience so you will start pretty low if you only have a couple of years' experience, whilst private language schools tend ot offer everybody the same salary.

"Privates" are rare, and officially illegal in Saudi, though if Dammam Community College pays KFUPM rates you might manage to pick up a fair amount of extra money from overtime.

I have never heard of the other place, but in my opinion this one is a no-brainer, adn you should accept the Dammam post. An employer in Saudi has real power over you, so you don't want to take a risk.

Presuming you are being hired direct by the Community College you will have to get the work visa before you come to Saudi or you won't get on the plane. Normally you have to go back to your home country to do that; you can do it in China if you have a Chinese resdence permit, but it normally means Dammam would have to get your block visa reallocated from your home country to Beijin. Things might well go wrong, so if you are a US or UK citizen I would go home first. Contact their Personnle office first though.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12452
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 2:39 pm    Post subject: Hear, hear Reply with quote

Dear ProfessorBob77,
As usual, Mr. Jones knows what he's writing about. Good advice, all around, I'd say.
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12216
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that DCC is the best bet.
Stephen Jones is the man who knows about visas, so listen to him on that.

pm me if you ever make it to Saudi Arabia
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12452
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 4:53 pm    Post subject: Spending Reply with quote

Dear ProfessorBob77,
Quote:
I have read on this board that people live off $550-$650 U.S. a month is that legit or people trying to promote lower wages for there schools?

How much you spend in the Kingdom will depend almost entirely upon your needs, wants, habits and situation. Are you married with kids? You'll spend more. Do you intend to go out of country often? You'll spend more. Are you going to buy a car? Ditto. But as a single guy whose major expenses were the supermarket and the bookstores, I can assure you that I lived fine on about $500 (US - equal to about 1875 Saudi Riyals)
every month. Heck, there's just not much to spend on over there.
Regards,
John
P.S. Except, of course, that some people could probably spend a lot in Antarctica
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ProfessorBob77



Joined: 03 Apr 2004
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 10:03 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

I want to thank you for the information. I am a Canadian, so I guess I will have to head back to Canada before I can take up employment in Saudi Arabia. This is a bit of a let down due to the expense involved in a trip back home. One of the employers I talked to didn't either a)know this information or b)was misleading me in a phone interview, so I thank you once again for these facts. As for my marital status I am single so the $500-$600 U.S. a month figure would be a good guideline. I have been reading the board for months now and really enjoy the insight. This message board is perhaps the most informative on Daves ESL cafe. Thanks again, and if anyone wants advice on Northern China's work climate I can be of assistance.
The "Nutty Professor"
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Careful about Canada. The Saudi embassy was insisting that you got police clearance including a fingerprint check from the RCMP, and they were saying they could only process the applications in order and it was taking a minimum of five months. We've got a guy who tried for a visa in January, and he's still there. He even wrote to his MP, but she wrote back saying she couldn't do anything.

If you have Chinese residence it can be done in China - though you'd be one of the first. Some employers do offer contracts on visit visas, though these are technically illegal, and you do run the risk of going to jail. I would start checking up about the fingerprint check now - ask your family in Canada to go along to the RCMP place and see if you can get them to process it urgently.

I would also get back to Dammam and explain the fingerprint problem to them and ask them what they suggest.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12452
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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

Dear Stephen Jones,
And that's odd about Canada. The police clearance here in the States never took me more than a day or two. Of course, all those clearances were before 9/11, so maybe it's not so fast and easy these days.
Regards,
John
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last guy we got from the States got the police clearance in a day. Canadians who came before Sept 2003 managed the same, but now it seems things have changed. Most people don't believe me, but the guy concerned has actually forwarded me a copy of the letter he got from his MP about it, so it appears you need the Candian version of wasta to speed things up, and even MP's don't have it.
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Gnome



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 6:39 am    Post subject: Jones is coorect. Reply with quote

Stephen Jones is correct. It is extremely difficult to get the RCMP check and the process is very lengthy. Even the process for getting a new passport is taking 3 months. Now they want you to convert the old passports into the new high tech ones.....the ones without a smile on your face, so you will pass the bio-checks in the airports. It seems everything these days is conspiring to keep Canadians at home. If it isn't the incredible political situation in the Middle East, it is our own government incompetence. As for the Saudis, it seems they have forgotten that the 2001 terrorists came from the KSA and not Canada, so I wonder why they are insisting on RCMP checks.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12452
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Gnome,

Quote:
As for the Saudis, it seems they have forgotten that the 2001 terrorists came from the KSA and not Canada, so I wonder why they are insisting on RCMP checks.


Forgotten? I'm sure that some/many are still in denial about that (Prince Naif, for example, who not so very long ago was still claiming that 9/11 was a "Zionist plot").
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12216
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think more and more Saudis are being realistic about who was behind 911. However a substantial number still go for the line that it was all a conspiracy to make Saudi Arabia look bad.

Conspiracies and conspiracy theories are very common in this neck of the woods.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12452
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 10:46 am    Post subject: De Nile ain't only in Egypt Reply with quote

Dear scot47,
Not only there, of course; we have our nutcakes here as well. But if conspiracy theory ever becomes an Olympic event, there's no doubt in my mind that the Kingdom will take the gold (the silver and bronze will also belong to the Middle East).
Oh, there may occasionally actually be "successful conspiracies", but when to comes to a choice between:

It's the result of:

A. a conspiracy

and

B. a major fu** up

my money will be on B.

Regards,
John
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually exporting Islamic terrorism is a thriving sideline for many western countries; France and the UK spring to mind (think of the UK - Yemeni connection or the murder of Daniel Perle) but I doubt if that is the reason.

The point is that it used to be a routine job; I doubt if the Saudi government is even aware of the hassle it is causing to Saudi colleges apart from the teachers.
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andrew



Joined: 19 Feb 2003
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been 'hired' now by 3 language schools since last fall. All have not been able to get me even a "business" visa (it needs to be stamped by a local Board of Trade -to prove you are in a business) before being sent to the consulate in Ottawa to process. There is another 'business visa with authorization' by some Saudi agency I guess. I have had no luck with that type either."Visit" visas do not exist in Canada-except for family members. The criminal background check WITHOUT FINGERPRINTS takes only a day. With fingerprints-only Allah can knows.
I have given up on going back to the Royal Kingdom. You will have to hold the fort without me.
Hope this has been informative.
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