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Advice requested before applying in Oman
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 60
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know Hawthorn was the recruiter that replaced Bhawan Cyberteck last year in supplying teachers to the colleges-and they are all on around 1000 Rial a month, + furnished accommodation and transportation to/from work is provided-no idea where the 1500 figure comes from? I recently saw an add on Dave's from a recruiting company [not Hawthorn] for these colleges of applied sciences jobs- so, is it possible that Hawthorn will be losing the contract for next year?
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 194
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz wrote:
As far as I know Hawthorn was the recruiter that replaced Bhawan Cyberteck last year in supplying teachers to the colleges-and they are all on around 1000 Rial a month, + furnished accommodation and transportation to/from work is provided-no idea where the 1500 figure comes from? I recently saw an add on Dave's from a recruiting company [not Hawthorn] for these colleges of applied sciences jobs- so, is it possible that Hawthorn will be losing the contract for next year?


The poster I was replying to had asked about direct hire pay rates, the COAS have both recruiter placed teachers and direct hire and there is a big difference in the salary as the recruiter obviously takes a cut. 1000 OMR + free accommodation is about right for Hawthorn but I know personally that 1505 OMR is dead right for a Masters + 4 years experience.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15596
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nakhon Nowhere wrote:
What salary could a direct hire with an MA TESL and years of experience expect from a university in Oman?

Much depends on what kind of experience... how many were teaching Academic English to university level? The best way to find out is to apply and see what they offer. Check SQU's website to see if they are accepting outside offers or if attendance at TESOLArabia is being required. Google the other private colleges/universities and apply. Their salaries will be close to the recruiter jobs and the advantage could be locating in Muscat.

Quote:
is it possible that Hawthorn will be losing the contract for next year?

Unlikely... the man running it has been around Oman universities forever. Hawthorn has been recruiting for some years now. There are a number of recruiters.

VS
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 60
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the fact that 1st year direct hire is unlikely it seems to come down to this-MOHE-the colleges of applied science and going through Hawthorn. [1000 Rial + furnished accommodation+ travel to/ from work] or MOM-the colleges of Technology and applying through TATI or Globnet. [1.380Rial-find your own accomodation+ transport] I work for the later, more lucrative given the considerable difference in salary-but a pain in the ass upon arrival, since neither college or recruiter gives much help....
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oldmankit



Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PattyFlipper wrote:
The Colleges of Technology are basically babysitting operations, intended to keep unemployed and potentially disaffected Omani youth off the streets and away from Molotov cocktails, and to provide a modest stipend for attendance on which some families (particularly those with several offspring at the college), survive. There are few jobs available in most of these interior towns, and youth unemployment rates are astronomical.

Student motivation and behavior varies. While only a few of them are generally as arrogant, obnoxious or unruly as some Kuwaiti students can be, English and general education levels are low and management expectations in terms of curriculum, progression and achievement unrealistic. This however is a common theme throughout the Gulf (and not entirely unheard of in Thailand either Smile ). That said, Omanis are usually polite and respectful, and it is not too difficult to win them over in the classroom. And when they are good, they are very, very good.

Working conditions can vary from college to college, depending on the local administration. Some are perfectly tolerable, while others may be less so. Staff turnover in the college system seems to have decreased in recent years, with far fewer teachers doing the 'midnight run'. This may be due to a rather more rigorous recruitment process, or perhaps because fewer Westerners are being hired overall.

Not sure whereabouts in Thailand you are located, but your biggest hurdle may actually be adjusting to life in some of these small and often remote towns in which the colleges are situated. If you are presently out in Nakhon Nowhere, the transition may not be so difficult; however moving from say Bangkok or Chiangmai to Ibri is going to be a bit of a shock to the system. The upside to this is that there is little to spend your money on, and as long as you are not rushing off to Muscat or Dubai every weekend to preserve your sanity, you should be able to bank a sizable portion of your salary.


Thank you! This is super-helpful, just what I was looking for. I am confident I could survive for a year, or perhaps even enjoy the job.

I do live in Bangkok, though I'm not one to take advantage of the city's attractions. I was raised in the country and would be happy to go back to life in the boondocks.
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oldmankit



Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
I have the same quals as you plus an MSc in Educational Technology and have been employed in a College of Applied Science (Tertiary) for the last three years. One the agents who recruits for the Colleges, Hawthorn, definitely accepts teachers with just an unrelated BA/BSc + Celta so maybe worth checking them out.

The students here are generally ok, albeit lazy and inclined to cut corners whenever possible, other posters have pointed out that motivation levels are low and that many are in College purely to get the stipend, this is true.

Oman is still reasonably liberal and there is an active social scene in the bigger towns and in Muscat. I don't know what sort of money you're expecting but with your quals it would be about 1000 OMR + accommodation with a recruiter, more if you can get direct hire after a year here or even as a first post, although this is harder to do. The other big plusses here are that its tax free and the holidays are fantastic, 60 days paid leave per year and all the national and religious days in my College. The actual teaching semesters come to 2x15 so 30 weeks per year but the students never come for the first or last weeks so its really 26 minus whatever holidays happen during that time. Teaching hours are capped at 20 but few actually do that many....

Good luck!


Thanks so much for that summary of what I could expect. Those holidays and hours sound as good as what I'm on here. The difference being that I get 315 OMR (including housing allowance) over here!

Thanks also for the suggestion of a specific recruiter, Hawthorn.
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oldmankit



Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I'm 90% sure now that I'll stay in Thailand where I love my job, even though the money is lame. If I need money in a hurry later on, or if something goes wrong with my job, I'll make the jump and go through a recruiter for a technical college job.

And it looks like the TESOL Arabia course would be a waste of my time, since I don't have a related master's degree (and am not about to get one), so I can forget about that for now.

One last thing I forgot to mention in the original question. I'm married to a Thai woman. I've done a few searches to check that things should be OK for her to come to live with me once I had settled in to a job. It looked like it would be possible. But if anyone has any specific recommendations on that, I'd be grateful.
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="MuscatGary"]I have the same quals as you plus an MSc in Educational Technology and have been employed in a College of Applied Science (Tertiary) for the last three years. One the agents who recruits for the Colleges, Hawthorn, definitely accepts teachers with just an unrelated BA/BSc + Celta so maybe worth checking them out.

The students here are generally ok, albeit lazy and inclined to cut corners whenever possible, other posters have pointed out that motivation levels are low and that many are in College purely to get the stipend, this is true.

The students are generally argumentative, disputing lateness, non-existent homework, the use of mobile phones in class, plagiarism, etc. with a general lack of respect.


Oman is still reasonably liberal and there is an active social scene in the bigger towns and in Muscat. I don't know what sort of money you're expecting but with your quals it would be about 1000 OMR + accommodation with a recruiter, more if you can get direct hire after a year here or even as a first post, although this is harder to do. The other big plusses here are that its tax free and the holidays are fantastic, 60 days paid leave per year and all the national and religious days in my College.

In my college there are only 30 days paid leave.
There are only 6 public holidays for 2014 that do not fall on a weekend or during semester break.


The actual teaching semesters come to 2x15 so 30 weeks per year but the students never come for the first or last weeks so its really 26 minus whatever holidays happen during that time. Teaching hours are capped at 20 but few actually do that many....

Teaching hours are capped at 20 but an extra 6 hours "voluntary" work per week is demanded for clubs, writing support and academic advising (which is really extra small group tuition).


Good luck!
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oldmankit



Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it sounds like conditions really vary between colleges.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 194
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldmankit wrote:
So it sounds like conditions really vary between colleges.


Oh yes they do, I wouldn't accept a position like the one detailed in the previous post.
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: False Advertising Reply with quote

The conditions become only apparent after one has arrived.

For example working hours on exam days (which occur every three weeks), which are from 8:00 - 17:00. They are scheduled on the last day of the week and marked papers are expected back on the first day of the week. This means, marking _must_ be done on the weekend.

It's certainly not what I signed up for and after only a few weeks of this job I already have a gut full.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 194
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever will be, it sounds like you need to stand up for yourself or quit. I refuse to do any work in the evenings or at weekends as it's not in my contract. I even turn off the mobile number that I have given to the College and turn on one that only my friends have access to.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 60
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also curious to know the location of this college-sounds way beyond the expectations here in Ibri....
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 194
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz wrote:
I'm also curious to know the location of this college-sounds way beyond the expectations here in Ibri....


Me too but it sounds like a Muscat private sweatshop...
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Condition in the contract compared to those on the ground Reply with quote

Muscat Gary : it's not a private sweatshop. Sorry, can't be more specific with location, recruiter and organization as that would be giving it away and probably come back to haunt me.

The conditions were very different in the job offer that was emailed to me prior to arriving in Oman. Once I had landed and was in the recruiter's office, an employment contract was presented to me that had very different conditions. When I complained, the response was "You sign or we take you to airport". My bags where in the back of their car.

The recruiter pressured me into handing over my passport after I just got off the plane totally jet lagged and fazed. After some arguing, I was allowed to hang on to it. Perhaps that's why I received no assistance whatsoever with opening a bank account and finding an apartment?

Yes, I've already got a new phone number so I'm no longer available for work calls.

I'm hanging in there until I've got something else lined up.

In response to the original threat: beware and have a Plan B in place!
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