Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

SQU -- Accommodation
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Oman
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Chuma



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Opti wrote:
those teachers lucky enough to live in campus housing get their repairs done quite quickly and reliably by SQU campus repairmen & technicians.


Do new arrivals have a realistic chance of being placed in on campus housing?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Opti



Joined: 18 Sep 2006
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:53 pm    Post subject: Possibility of housing on campus? Reply with quote

Chuma wrote:
Opti wrote:
those teachers lucky enough to live in campus housing get their repairs done quite quickly and reliably by SQU campus repairmen & technicians.


Do new arrivals have a realistic chance of being placed in on campus housing?


Sorry, but I don't think so. Some teachers have been able to move on campus later when they presented some exceptional, compelling reason, such as having a disabled child or spouse, or a disabled elderly relative who lives with them for several months of the year. A few years ago, I heard that some teachers were able to move on campus when they said they couldn't drive, but I don't think that's an acceptable reason now.

I don't think that housing pays very much attention to individual preferences or special circumstances when they make the initial housing placements for new LC teachers because they are so busy. They seem to expect that if you have some exceptional reason to want on-campus housing, you'll apply to move after you've arrived and been placed in your assigned housing and don't like it.

Despite all this, I'd still go ahead and request on-campus housing after you get your acceptance notice from the LC. It can't hurt to try.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16025
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuma wrote:
Opti wrote:
those teachers lucky enough to live in campus housing get their repairs done quite quickly and reliably by SQU campus repairmen & technicians.


Do new arrivals have a realistic chance of being placed in on campus housing?

No...

Language Center teachers are at the bottom of the university pecking order since most are "mere MA holders." At the beginning all teachers were on campus - and some of these teachers from the 80s are still there, but as the university grew - and housing grew limited - professors get priority. Or as stated, a very few with unusual needs have managed to get there.

Realistically, assume that you will be off campus.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
arslonga



Joined: 21 Apr 2011
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:05 am    Post subject: commuting to and from SQU Reply with quote

Does SQU arrange bus transportation to and from the university for teachers living off-campus?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16025
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: commuting to and from SQU Reply with quote

arslonga wrote:
Does SQU arrange bus transportation to and from the university for teachers living off-campus?

No... providing bus transport seems to something that only happens in Saudi. The universities/colleges that I worked for in Oman, the UAE, and Kuwait did not.

It is why I tell people to assume that they will need to purchase a car. I always did. And I can count on one hand the number of teachers that I knew over the years who did not.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiment

Most of my colleagues don't have a car - neither do I.

The salary and living costs are such, that most teachers simply can't afford it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Chuma



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever will be wrote:
veiledsentiment

Most of my colleagues don't have a car - neither do I.

The salary and living costs are such, that most teachers simply can't afford it.


How do these teachers get to and from SQU?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16025
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe that whateverwillbe is at SQU - based on his/her posts which reflect conditions at recruiter based jobs in the hinterlands. Even my friends who swore that they weren't going to buy or lease a car did so within a month or so of arrival at SQU.

Affording a car depends on one's priorities and whether one is planning to stay for the full contract - which is 2 or 3 years at SQU. My advice has always been if one plans to stay for 1 contract, leasing is best... if one plans to stay for longer as most do there, buying is best.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sydney2002



Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS is 100% right about the "status" of LC teachers with housing. It is a little bit unfortunate, but when you consider how many foreign staff our housing dept. have to deal with year-round, it makes sense that someone has to be at the bottom of the priority list. That is us. Also keep in mind that they are government employees and will never be terminated, thus complaining to and about them will do no absolutely no good. It will only make the situation worse.

I wish I could be a little more encouraging about the housing situation. My experience with them so far has been mostly positive. But I have gone out of my way to show appreciation to them when they help me (which they have done more than once) and to avoid complaining about things that are not absolutely dire. And as other posters have stated here, your housing really does come down to the luck of the draw. We are very much at the mercy of our housing dept. and it really pays off to do your best to maintain a good relationship with them.


Regarding the car/transport situation, VS is also correct about the absolute necessity of having one's own car. There are a few instructors at the LC who do not drive, but the majority of us cannot live here without our vehicles. I am one of those who insisted I would not drive here. Within a little more than one week, I had a rental car. Those initial 8 days without the car are not something I would ever care to relive here. Likewise, a new hire who came with our 2013 fall intake insisted on not driving during her first year and in March/April, she finally gave in, took driving lessons, got her license, and now has a car.

Despite the traffic disaster (and in Al Khoud, it IS a disaster in the early mornings), I still prefer living close to the campus. Teachers in Al-Zaiba/Athaiba have a longer commute most of the time, except during that peak morning period because they have other routes to get to campus where as we in Al Khoud are quite limited. The traffic is unavoidable if you have an 8am class and so it is best to plan carefully if you are not an early riser.

On another note, most of our male students are also housed in Al Khoud and find it very difficult to get onto the campus by 8am as well. By the time they get there, they have extremely limited parking options and will often arrive to class late and sometimes stressed. I actually feel for them quite a bit, especially when they're new.

In all of these situations, new teachers to the LC need to just come here with the mindset of being VERY flexible. But I think that goes for any newcomer arriving to any post in the Gulf, not only Oman or SQU.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sydney2002



Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to add that some of the foreign staff at the LC and at SQU complain to housing about the most absurd things. I was in the housing dept. a few months ago and listened to a professor from one of the colleges complaining for about 20 minutes about being given a double bed instead of queen-sized bed.

These people make the situation much more difficult for all of us:(
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuma:

I do not work at SQU but I do have to get to work somehow.

Most teachers that I know either live in walking distance to the workplace, use taxis or car pooling.

Walking every day in the heat of summer is pretty tough but it does save some of the hard earned money.

A few teachers have leased or bought (second hand) cars and charge a fee for picking up and taking other teachers to and fro work.
It covers the driver's expenses to a certain degree as some are having 3 passengers every day of the week.

They also make themselves available for grocery runs, hairdresser/ doctor/ dentists appointments, etc. for a fee to help with the car costs.

This is appreciated by females as Omani taxi drivers are infamous for their sexual harassment.

Car pooling is cheaper than taxis but more inconvenient, since most teachers have a mix of early and late shifts with schedules not always coinciding so that they'll have to hang around until they get that lift home or after the lift to work until their shift starts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16025
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever will be wrote:
Car pooling is cheaper than taxis but more inconvenient, since most teachers have a mix of early and late shifts with schedules not always coinciding so that they'll have to hang around until they get that lift home or after the lift to work until their shift starts.

It is this factor combined with the extreme heat that pushes most people to have their own car. Life is so much more pleasant if one can control our schedules... and standing outside in 45C waiting for a taxi is not fun.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sleepwalker



Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 361
Location: Reading the screen

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in Muscat at the same side as SQU and have a commute everyday.

I share a car with other staff and we pay the Omani driver a fee to take us to and from work. There is no standing around outside just a missed call just before arrival. We have the option of using him for other trips or taking a taxi.

People from car owning countries will say a car is essential but many teachers from other countries would disagree.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 137
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't drive-don't want to.....2 driving related fatalities connected with my college in last 6-7 months.....roads are often dangerous....Omani youngsters only 'thrill' seems to be driving crazily....also, while the recreational/ shopping places in Muscat may make car ownership worthwhile, certainly can't say that about the interior towns!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16025
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sleepwalker wrote:
People from car owning countries will say a car is essential but many teachers from other countries would disagree.

True, but both positions that I had in Muscat, it wasn't just Americans and Canadians that had cars, the Aussies, Brits, Kiwis, Indians, Pakistanis, et al, all had them too. At SQU I knew exactly one teacher without a car and it was an American - and we all lived in walking distance (in the cooler times) on campus.

I tried the shared taxi routine for a few months while I was in Kuwait, but it was both inconvenient and sometimes undependable. For a few months in Abu Dhabi, I hailed taxis, and there was waaaaaay too much standing around in the 40+C heat waiting... especially in the afternoons. Even then I was too old to put up with the hassle and inconvenience. Laughing

Any of the choices is do-able if one is only planning to stay for a year, but the longer one plans to stay, the more sense having a car makes.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Oman All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC