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Teaching and living in Moscow

 
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Anitata



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 42
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 5:17 pm    Post subject: Teaching and living in Moscow Reply with quote

Hello
I am currently teaching and living in Turkey. I am feeling a bit bored and thinking to move to other place next academic year. How is life like in Moscow??
Any feedbacks are welcome!!
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might tell you something that people in Moscow go to Turkey for vacation.
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Phillip Donnelly



Joined: 24 Mar 2004
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Anitata,
I honestly don't mean to be rude but if you look at other Forum entries and the Job Information Journal, you'll find an enormous amount of information answering your question has already been published.
Perhaps you could ask a more specific question. Again, please remember I'm not trying to be rude.
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Phillip said. And be sure to look at the Sticky Master index.

Also, race might be an issue. I can't comment on it directly but it would be something to factor in.
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Nexus



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 187
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 6:09 pm    Post subject: Turkey to Moscow Reply with quote

Hey Anitata,
I worked in Istanbul for about 3 years and I've been in Moscow for about 2.5 If you've got some specific questions after reading the JIJ entries etc I'll be happy to answer them and give you my take on how they compare. Feel free to PM me
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Trojan Horse



Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Posts: 61
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anitata, if you do a google search for "International House Moscow" "Language Link Moscow" to name just two schools, you'll find a link on their websites to journal entries and comments from past teachers on their experiences. Might be a good starting point. I doubt they include desperately critical entries on their websites but might give you a bit of an idea.
What's boring about Turkey? Been there too long?
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 978
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:54 am    Post subject: Teaching jobs in Moscow Reply with quote

You may be fed-up with Turkey-everywhere can get boring sometimes-but just DON'T, whatever you do, go and accept any of these$500 per MONTH(NOT PER WEEK!!) jobs that are regularly advertised there with firms like B.K.C. and LanguageLink etc!Unless of course you are a masochist and would enjoy spending your days teaching split-shifts and travelling on heavily over crowded metros and buses to some incredibly depressing,polluted and miserable suburbs of the city-then most likely having to go home exhausted to some remote and probably equally miserable shared appartment that does not even have a washing machine,only to discover that the number of self-service launderettes is almost zero in Moscow-and despite what the school may try to tell you, even poorer Russians have one at home nowadays!!
Having said that,Moscow is fascinating and therer are some great sites and scenes to be experienced there, but unfortunately with this kind of salary you will not be able to join in the party that the luckier people there are having at the moment due to the incredible wealth they earn from the oil boom etc!And when you find that many of your students are paying top prices for their lessons and probably spend far more than you earn on enjoying themselves shopping in luxury new malls etc, you will very quickly become P***** off to say the least.
If you still want to go there, apart from the obvious fact that the weather is much worse than in Turkey, then don't accept less than$1000 per month- and even then, only if a private(not shared, unless you know someone you want to share every minute at home with) appartment is included!

Good Luck and why not try North Cyprus instead, especially now the border there with the greek side is open for everyone!There are some nice universities there who recruit teachers!
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a lot of people who wash clothes by hand. It isn't so bad. We washed all my daughters cloth diapers by hand and hung them on a clothes line. Not everybody has a washing machine. True about the laundry mats. Not part of this culture.

$1000 a month? Where? With who? I don't know of any jobs like that. If somebody knows of a $1000 a month job, apartment included, no spllit shifts, and no commuting required, no private lessons necessary, let me know --Oh, they're probably keeping it a secret.

The Moscow metro is rather draining. I try to avoid Moscow as much as possible. I'm certainly paying the price. $1000 a month? In my dreams! I remember one really amazing period of about 2 months when I was getting 800 (out in the boondocks).

Cyprus? Hmmmm.......
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 978
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:30 pm    Post subject: Interesting points..... Reply with quote

Sorry to sound inquistive folks, but do you live and work outside Moscow?
If so, then my comments about salaries don't apply, although even in a provincial city,$500 per month is not much nowadays, especially for a foreigner.As for cloth diapers for babies etc. I am sure they have disposables everywhere in Russia today, even if the locally made ones are not so good quality etc!(See my comments on this subject in my private letter to you of 02/07/04)
My main argument is that especially in Moscow, there are quite a lot of average people who have a relatively good standard of living nowadays, not just the crooks and super elite, so why should someone from abroad be conned into working for peanuts, and often under not very good conditions and accom. etc.My other gripe is about expecting teachers to share appartments with unknown people-unless you make friends with someone and volunteer to share after presumably you discover you are compatible about daily living habits etc, then sorry, but for me and many other people, this is a definite no!Everyone needs space sometimes, and lack of privacy is not acceptable at home, especially as it seems most teachers work split-shifts, often have to travel a long way, and apparently should not expect a washing machine to be provided either!!Even sharing with a nice girlfriend/boyfriend can turn sour, and the problem then is, who moves out???
As for giving extra private lessons, it may sound a good way to earn more money-if your schedule will allow you the time, and you have the energy!
Have a good weekend!
M.
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I think skepticism about living conditions for new teachers in Moscow is well founded. Yes, I live in a smaller city. And I didn't come to Russia for upward mobility. My motives and ideas and ideals are different (and admittedly, naive and perhaps mixed up). So I'm hardly a model for everyone else out there.

Part of the reason I didn' t have a washing machine was that our flat was literally too small to fit one. There was no space for one. Otherwise, I probably would have bought one. They aren't that expensive. There are some rather inexpensive models. In fact, I saw one the other day basically seemed to be some mechanical parts stuck onto a blue plastic barrel. I can't imagine any self-respecting upwardly mobile Russian using one of those. A washing machine does seem to be one of the basic signs of the good life for Russians these days.

But if I wanted home appliances I could of had them in America. That's not why I came overseas. There's actually something satisfying in the simplicity of hand washing. And it changes your attitude a bit. You adjust. We had some old cloth diaper material leftover from when my wife was in diapers. That old soviet gauze was good stuff. Well made. And people just used plain gauze and folded it for the diapers. We didn't even use diaper pins. My mother in law nearly died of fright when I went toward my daughter with a pin in my hand. Just tied 'em. And there's a comraderie to it. Everybody remembers a time when their house was festooned with drying nappies. It even looks kind of cool, kind of fairytaleish, spiderwebby.

I'm not saying that you should live in a dirty, noisy, crowded slum where you can't even hang your clothes outside because the air is too dirty, all to make someone else rich, in the naive mistaken belief that you are somehow transcending your privileged western upbringing. Just that a washing machine isn't necessarily the highest indicator of well-being.
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ana



Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 16
Location: Sunny Bolton

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Teaching jobs in Moscow Reply with quote

maruss wrote:
spending your days teaching split-shifts and travelling on heavily over crowded metros and buses to some incredibly depressing,polluted and miserable suburbs of the city-then most likely having to go home exhausted to some remote and probably equally miserable shared appartment that does not even have a washing machine,only to discover that the number of self-service launderettes is almost zero in Moscow


Sounds like most cities to me. Although I haven't had the pleasure of living in many. But from what people have said, city living is the same across the world. If you don't like 'em don't live in 'em.

And you mention money in your message. 1000$ including accomodation! One question: Do you teach tefl?

Anna
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 978
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:31 pm    Post subject: salaries in Moscow etc. Reply with quote

Hi Anna and all the others who are interested!
This subject has been written about umpteen times before, probably because in Russia, nothing is as it seems!
Basically,$500 per month in Moscow nowadays is not even reasonable money, especially a foreigner who will be expected to work under what are quite stressful conditions and in an often not very pleasant environment,unles you are lucky enough to get work at a school in a decent area and get an appartment in one of the cleaner parts of the city that is properly equipped with at least a washing machine etc!
As an example, my best Russian friend, who is very decent and respectable, but by no means super rich or in the mafia etc. takes home around $2000 per month from a very legal job-this is not at all unusual nowadays as there are some people earning even more than him-not everyone but by no means one in a million!
My biggest gripe is that most of the big schools charge their students at least $15-$20 per houir for a lesson, expect you to share what is often a crummy appartment with no washing machine etc. usually miles from where you will be working, and in split shifts etc!So not only do you end up earning peanuts, but you also find you are forced to work 12 or more hours per day in effect because it is virtually impossible to go home between your morning lessons and evening ones,unless you are an addict for travelling on grimy,overcrowded buses and metro trains, fighting to get on and off etc!You will very quickly discover that self-service launderettes are virtually none-existent in most parts of moscow as well, so not only do you end up exhausted but also dirty and out of pocket too!
Meanwhile,I can tell you from experience living in Cyprus for 25 years that there are thousands of Russians who holiday there every year and all the charter flights from Moscow etc, are full at this time of the year with people who are usually ordinary families, not new Russian mafiosi!Try telling them you are even thinking of going to work in Moscow for $500 per month and they will tell you that you are out of your mind!!They probably earn double that amount and foreigners who work there earn twice that!Nothing will change in E.F.L. as long as the schools can find fodder for their cannons to work for them while they are raking in the cash on their backs!
Be warned and avoid the trap!
M.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 978
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: salaries in Moscow etc. Reply with quote

Hi Anna and all the others who are interested!
This subject has been written about umpteen times before, probably because in Russia, nothing is as it seems!
Basically,$500 per month in Moscow nowadays is not even reasonable money, especially a foreigner who will be expected to work under what are quite stressful conditions and in an often not very pleasant environment,unles you are lucky enough to get work at a school in a decent area and get an appartment in one of the cleaner parts of the city that is properly equipped with at least a washing machine etc!
As an example, my best Russian friend, who is very decent and respectable, but by no means super rich or in the mafia etc. takes home around $2000 per month from a very legal job-this is not at all unusual nowadays as there are some people earning even more than him-not everyone but by no means one in a million!
My biggest gripe is that most of the big schools charge their students at least $15-$20 per houir for a lesson, expect you to share what is often a crummy appartment with no washing machine etc. usually miles from where you will be working, and in split shifts etc!So not only do you end up earning peanuts, but you also find you are forced to work 12 or more hours per day in effect because it is virtually impossible to go home between your morning lessons and evening ones,unless you are an addict for travelling on grimy,overcrowded buses and metro trains, fighting to get on and off etc!You will very quickly discover that self-service launderettes are virtually none-existent in most parts of moscow as well, so not only do you end up exhausted but also dirty and out of pocket too!
Meanwhile,I can tell you from experience living in Cyprus for 25 years that there are thousands of Russians who holiday there every year and all the charter flights from Moscow etc, are full at this time of the year with people who are usually ordinary families, not new Russian mafiosi!Try telling them you are even thinking of going to work in Moscow for $500 per month and they will tell you that you are out of your mind!!They probably earn double that amount and foreigners who work there earn twice that!Nothing will change in E.F.L. as long as the schools can find fodder for their cannons to work for them while they are raking in the cash on their backs!
Be warned and avoid the trap!
M.
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bobs12



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 310
Location: Saint Petersburg

PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick tip on getting over 1000 from a school-

Go to them in off-peak season and make demands, and you might just get it. Bluff a little. But you'll still have the joy of travelling halfway across the city before lunch (lunch? ha! you can forget about that!) and having absolutely no time for your personal life. Weekends will be spent sleeping it off.

Even in St. Petersburg, getting 800 plus is not such a challenge. Remember that the schools can easily pay it. However, bear in mind that most schools are going to do their best to claw back as much as they can from you one way or another (at least that's the situation in Petersburg)

It's worth thinking twice about working for these schools. That's easy for me to say now that I'm not, but when my current job finishes I'll probably take on a minimal schedule from a school to pay the rent while I either look for another company or fish for private lessons.
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