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Help needed for finding the right country in the Middle East
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KAS91



Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Coffs Harbour, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Help needed for finding the right country in the Middle East Reply with quote

Hi,
My name is Kelsie and I'm thinking of applying for jobs over in the Middle East next year. I'm 23, have a bachelor of International Studies, and currently doing a post grad certificate in TESOL at a university in Sydney. I'm also volunteer working at my local TAFE (college) teaching English to adult migrants and refugees. I've been given a lot of responsibility for example making lesson plans, home work books and giving assessments, as well as teaching half the class. At the end of the year I would have been there for a year. I've also lived in England for a year and South America for 7 months. I was thinking about Oman, Iran, or Bahrain, but I'm just not sure. I'm not sure if I will have the right amount or type of experience. If anyone could help me with some advice that would be great.
Thank you
Kels
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3624
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: Help needed for finding the right country in the Middle Reply with quote

KAS91 wrote:
I'm not sure if I will have the right amount or type of experience.

Yes, your biggest obstacle is your lack of professional (paid) English language teaching experience at the tertiary (university) level. Volunteer work with migrants and refugees is considered zero experience by employers in this region.

Unfortunately, newbies can't be choosy about where to take that first job. The days of hiring EFL teachers based solely on their native-speaking abilities and nothing more are way gone. In this region, the better employers expect teachers to have several years of experience and an MA in TESOL or Applied Linguistics or English Language Teaching or...

Anyway, you're only 23; finish your post-grad TESOL cert and then look into Asia for your first teaching job. Once you've gained several years of experience, start thinking about getting a TEFL-related MA if you expect to teach in the Gulf or make teaching a career. Otherwise, consider Morocco if you don't plan to upgrade your credentials.

By the way, tiny Bahrain doesn't have many TEFL jobs. We also don't see much about Iran on this forum probably because they produce their own capable language teachers. Oman seems to be requiring a TEFL-related BA as well as paid teaching experience.
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justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 644
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered Egypt?
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1432

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Egypt Reply with quote

I doubt Egypt is the best place for a young foreign woman in these troubled times.

Nomad's advice is sound. There are plenty of opportunities in East Asia for people with limited experience.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try China - then Araby !
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KAS91



Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Coffs Harbour, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:06 am    Post subject: Egypt Reply with quote

I'm very up to date with politics and would only teach in Egypt if it was outside of Cario. I'm very interested in the culture and history of the Middle East which is why I want to head there. Though I do have student loan to pay off so I need to go to a place where I'm able to continue with the payments. I'm actually considering about working in Australia for a year or two if I have to before heading over. I'm just looking at all my options. A lot of the students I have been working with are from Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt and Syria. I would love to be able to go over experience the good things in this region. Thank you for all the advice.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kashgar, Chinese Turkestan ? Sinkiang ?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a good reason why your students are studying outside their countries. Syrians and Afghanis flee if they can... and true of many Egyptians too. Iran has very few teaching opportunities for expats and even if you can find someone to hire you, getting work visas is problematic and thus have you working illegally. (also an issue in Egypt) Syria is a definite no go country for the foreseeable future and Afghanistan is a whole other set of problems.

The problem in all of these countries is that you will only earn survival pay - and you will need to hustle to even do that - not enough to pay bills back home. While Egypt offers opportunities to earn decent money, it is very difficult to convert it to another currency to send it elsewhere.

Your idea to work in your home country for a couple years would be a good choice. But you need to get full time experience on your CV... not to mention to pay off loans. Like the others here, I think Asia is a better choice for you at this point.

VS
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3624
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Egypt Reply with quote

KAS91 wrote:
I'm very interested in the culture and history of the Middle East which is why I want to head there.

A lot of the students I have been working with are from Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt and Syria. I would love to be able to go over experience the good things in this region.

And as VS pointed out, your refugee and emigrant students fled the "good" things about their countries, and for good reason.

Teaching EFL is not the same as trekking about like a tourist, oh-ing and ah-ing over the culture and historical sites. TEFL is a job---often having to work/live in some of the same good, bad and sometimes downright unpleasant conditions as the students you would teach. In other words, you won't always get to pick what's "good" about being in certain countries in this region.

If you want an adventure, then only teach ESL in Australia and come to this part of the world as a tourist. Otherwise, take off those rose-colored glasses and get real about the countries you're interested in. Then you'll be ready to focus on teaching EFL and being the "good" for your students. All that cultural and historical stuff will become secondary.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 714

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

justcolleen wrote:
Have you considered Egypt?


What is the pay in Egypt like?
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justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 644
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

plumpy nut wrote:
justcolleen wrote:
Have you considered Egypt?


What is the pay in Egypt like?


It can be quite lucrative. I've been here most of six years (year seven begins next month!) and the money is the primary reason. The other reason is I quite enjoy the lifestyle.

Are there dangerous places in Egypt? Sure. The Sinai peninsula. Other than that, life is quite easy.
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justcolleen wrote:
I've been here most of six years (year seven begins next month!) and the money is the primary reason. The other reason is I quite enjoy the lifestyle.

Are there dangerous places in Egypt? Sure. The Sinai peninsula. Other than that, life is quite easy
.


Really? I'm astonished.

About 6 months ago, (19 Sept 2013 to be exact), you wrote on the Egypt Forum:

"This seasoned Egypt veteran left and there's no way I would go back unless/until it settles down - significantly. To say it's safe is foolish and I would never encourage anyone, especially women, to give Egypt a go. Right now, anyway, and quite likely for several years. It's become a dangerous place."

Anybody interested can check your full posting here:

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=100545&highlight=

In your post, you said you figured it would be too dangerous in Egypt "quite likely for several years".....yet a mere 6 months later, you're back in Misery. What happened? What changed? Where are you now?

As I've indicated several times on this and several other Forums, readers should take any "advice" or statements of fact given on these public sites with many grains of salt. You just never know who is advising and what true "agendas" the writer may have in saying what is being said.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3624
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I won't comment on Justcolleen's seemingly self-contradictory statements. However, I disagree with her suggestion that the OP consider Egypt (not exactly solid "advice," by the way). Justcolleen is older and has plenty of experience working and living in Egypt; the OP's situation will be quite different, especially since she's focused on culture and history and not on the realities of what's going on in the country. But then, she's also only 23.

Frankly, those who blindly follow a nameless/faceless stranger's advice without doing their own research and/or weighing all options take a huge gamble. That said, it's assumed everyone on this forum is an adult (even a 23-year old), so their decision is theirs alone regardless of the advice given by anonymous posters.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The situation in Egypt has had its ups and downs in the last three years and while it will likely never be the pleasant relaxed place that it used to be, things have settled down significantly. Understanding Justcolleen's affection for the country (which I share), it isn't unrealistic for her to go back.

But, I agree with Nomad, that while significantly better than it was, I wouldn't send in a young newbie female. People that know the culture, a bit of the language, and have a network of friends will likely do fine with common sense.

I wouldn't consider Egypt a lucrative payer with the exception of AUC. Certainly one can support themselves well in the local economy, but the catch would be the complication of changing money. If one has bills back home, getting and transferring dollars can be problematic - especially for someone who doesn't know the system.

VS
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I agree with VS and NS....and disagree with them at the same time.

The difference is one of degree......I'm sure Misery (my term for Egypt) has "settled down" from the recent turmoil, but if you read JustColleen's postings on this thread, the impression one would get is that there's nothing at all to living in Egypt (...life is quite easy).....kind of like living in Spain.....or Portugal.

The fact is, living in Egypt has never been "easy".......the last time I was there I was taken around and introduced to AUC faculty members.....they all seemed semi-hysterical.....big wide eyes like they were about to scream at.........something. Some even seemed to be drooling a bit I noticed...trembling hands were practically universal as was avoiding looking at you directly.....you know......like in a lunatic asylum.

JustColleen's last post also gave the impression that anyone questioning safety issues in Egypt was silly......she said: Are there dangerous places in Egypt? Sure. The Sinai peninsula. Other than that, life is quite easy. Implication: how could you ask such a dumb question.

Fact is, JustColleen scuttled and scurried out of Egypt back in Sept sometime, practically vowing never to return and yet, a few moths later, she's back again, basking on the shores of the Nile having an "easy" life.

Now, everything is "wonderful".


Last edited by SENTINEL33 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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