Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
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 

Finding a full time contract
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Poland
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
nickc88



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 9
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, thanks for your response!

Master Shake wrote:
Hi Nickc,

I can see a few things working against your plan:

1) The spring semester in Poland is from January to late June. You say you have work from May to November. No school will be happy if you leave a month early.


Ah, it's no big deal. My employer is flexible and would let me come back a little bit later in June. Or I could find someone to cover classes for a few weeks, although I realize that's not what they want with a contracted employer.

Quote:
2) There is a lot less work available for spring semester than fall. (Yes, you should come in December; start contacting schools even earlier.)


Okay great, good to know. Thanks.

Quote:

3) It will be a hassle to rent a room/apartment for 1 semester.


Why? AirBnB makes everything quite simple - if you have't looked at it, do so. I mean I understand leases usually don't run for 6 months, but what about sublets and just vacant rooms in apartment shares? Happens in other cities all the time.

Quote:
4) I already mentioned the visa/residency card issues (the residency card is essentially the visa), but I'll do it again since I think this is the biggest factor.

It's a shame we Americans can't dip into working in the EU easier, but we don't make it easy for Europeans working in the US either. That's reciprocity for you. I know of people who got busted and banned for working in Poland with no work permit (guy on this forum, in fact) so I wouldn't believe everything you read on Wikipedia.

If it's any consolation, I did exactly what you are trying to do (i.e. came to Gdansk to work spring semester) 9 years ago. So it can be done.


Yes, the wiki information is very, very confusing for me - the chart where it says that an American can work "without a visa" for their 90 day stay in Poland. That just doesn't make any sense. The only way I can see that being possibly legal is if the school employs you while your visa is in process.

Anyways, I'm coming to Poland in April to travel and I've set up a few interviews at schools just so I can get acclimated. I don't plan on looking for work there until December, when I'll be able to go over with money saved up. I guess worst case scenario is I could do privates under the table for 90 days then leave.

In better news, I also emailed a school in Prague (well, every school, to be exact), and one wants to do a Skype interview and meet in person when I'm in Prague this spring. They say they have a full time position available in Mid-March. This doesn't really fit my work schedule but it's nice to see offers exist. The only thing I don't understand is, say the Skype interview goes well and they offer a full time contract and I take the plunge and the position starts in mid March. Would I even be able to work for them before getting a work visa? I realize CZ has different protocols but I imagine it is similar.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11493
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Czech Republic it is normal to start work while on your 90 day visa-free tourist status, but paperwork should be filed asap. You will want to be 150% sure a potential employer will help with that.

It's not very common for employers in Prague to hire anyone sight-unseen from abroad (unless you have specialist qualifications); there are a lot of teachers around. An opening in March may indicate that someone's walked on them. You'll want to vet this offer carefully if you consider taking it. It may be fine, but this isn't a very typical situation for Prague.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nickc88



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 9
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
In the Czech Republic it is normal to start work while on your 90 day visa-free tourist status, but paperwork should be filed asap. You will want to be 150% sure a potential employer will help with that.


To make sure that they'll vouch for a work visa, basically?

Quote:

It's not very common for employers in Prague to hire anyone sight-unseen from abroad (unless you have specialist qualifications); there are a lot of teachers around. An opening in March may indicate that someone's walked on them. You'll want to vet this offer carefully if you consider taking it. It may be fine, but this isn't a very typical situation for Prague.


Well, they did say they want a skype interview in the meantime and then to meet when I'm in Prague. It does sound like someone walked on them. I wasn't planning on going to Prague that early, so I would want an official offer before making travel arrangements I think. If it's a 6 month contract though I would feel bad as I'd have to be back in the US in late May. I'm not sure what you consider specialist qualifications btw - I have a CELTA, a Master's degree from a very good school, worked for Kaplan International and currently a private educational consultant with a very high level clientele (Ivy League stuff).

If it's only for 2-3 months, let's say, would I be able to work for them without a visa, legally? Or would they have to file the paperwork even if I'm just finishing the rest of the 2 months of someone who walked on them?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11493
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most contracts run through June - there is little work around in July and August, and what there is will be filled by full-timers with contacts.

A CELTA, (presumably) unrelated MA, Kaplan = nothing super outstanding, though not bottom of the barrel, obviously. I don't know if some of your current educational consultant clientele are connected with international companies that operate in Prague (that might be an advantage), but if you are talking university level education consulting, that's unrelated to regular language school gigs. What sort of school is it?

You technically get 90 days in the country visa-free. You are not supposed to work in that time period, so if your new employer cheated on you, you would have no recourse, but it's not that likely you'd actually get caught.

Again, the short-term rental will be an issue - they are available, but tend to be very pricey in relation to EFL/private language school salaries. Is the school offering you a flat-share or something? That would help.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nickc88



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 9
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The school seems to be a typical private language school with an emphasis on corporate/business clients. Looks pretty legit. Maybe they just need someone to finish out the term. I'm waiting to hear back.

Yeah, if it's only or 2-3 months, I doubt I'd be able to find a place easily (in any city). But if you go through AirBnB, you could find some reasonable monthly deals. I live in NYC where rent is astronomical so Central European rents are kind of cute to me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Louisdf



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the OP doesn't realise that in Poland a lot of people have a masters degree so it's not something impressive. There is a lot more emphasis on prior experience. For Business English, students prefer someone who has experience working in a company.

Also, many classes are 1:1 at the moment. You will be expected to customise your lessons according to that students needs (which may well change after a few months). You just get paid per hour taught, not for any preparation or travel time. You will need to travel around the city several times a day for 60-90 minute lessons. Students will cancel classes the day before/a few days before when they are on holiday/are sick/have business trips etc. and you will not be paid anything. Sometimes they reschedule to another day, but there is no guarantee. Also, there are various public holidays throughout the year when you will not be earning any money. Of course, whenever you are ill or cannot teach for any reason you will not be paid.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nickc88



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 9
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louisdf wrote:
I think the OP doesn't realise that in Poland a lot of people have a masters degree so it's not something impressive. There is a lot more emphasis on prior experience. For Business English, students prefer someone who has experience working in a company.

Also, many classes are 1:1 at the moment. You will be expected to customise your lessons according to that students needs (which may well change after a few months). You just get paid per hour taught, not for any preparation or travel time. You will need to travel around the city several times a day for 60-90 minute lessons. Students will cancel classes the day before/a few days before when they are on holiday/are sick/have business trips etc. and you will not be paid anything. Sometimes they reschedule to another day, but there is no guarantee. Also, there are various public holidays throughout the year when you will not be earning any money. Of course, whenever you are ill or cannot teach for any reason you will not be paid.


Umm, thanks for your unnecessary pessimistic attitude which seems the norm on some other threads. None of the things you are talking about really address any of my concerns. I have really good prior experience - stop acting as if you know the personal work history of every poster. It sounds like you are just trolling this forum to try and scare people off. As I've said, I make enough money in NYC so I'm not terribly concerned about how much it pays there. I have plenty of 1:1 experience and business settings, etc. It sounds like you didn't read the thread. I am trying to find a full time contract (was offered one) to avoid the running around as you mentioned.

Thanks Spiral and Master Shake for your help!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11493
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louisfd isn't a troll, and he describes things quite accurately. A full time contract doesn't prevent the running around scenario, as the majority of business classes are taught in the offices of your students. You will want to clarify with a school what percent of classes are held at the school itself, and get an idea of how much travel time daily you should expect. You will also want to ask about time slots-starting early, finishing late, with a gap midday is fairly common. It is also true that you may not be paid for cancelled classes if sufficient notice is given.
It is also correct that a high percentage of European EFL students are MA holders; this does not have the clout here that it does in the US.

Overall, even the greatest teacher in the world coming in for a short-term gig can't provide great service to a school or its students - it takes a semester (at least) to really get oriented to the work, school, students, and logistics. A short-term gig therefore essentially guarantees that you will be assigned the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff that the established staff prefer not to do, so you will want to ask very clear questions so that you know exactly what you are getting into. It may all be fine for you, but logically, you won't be assigned the more desirable stuff. You'll want to ask quite a lot of questions to avoid an exhausting semester that doesn't pay off for either you or the students (and I'm not referring to financial remuneration here).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Louisdf



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nickc88 wrote:
Louisdf wrote:
I think the OP doesn't realise that in Poland a lot of people have a masters degree so it's not something impressive. There is a lot more emphasis on prior experience. For Business English, students prefer someone who has experience working in a company.

Also, many classes are 1:1 at the moment. You will be expected to customise your lessons according to that students needs (which may well change after a few months). You just get paid per hour taught, not for any preparation or travel time. You will need to travel around the city several times a day for 60-90 minute lessons. Students will cancel classes the day before/a few days before when they are on holiday/are sick/have business trips etc. and you will not be paid anything. Sometimes they reschedule to another day, but there is no guarantee. Also, there are various public holidays throughout the year when you will not be earning any money. Of course, whenever you are ill or cannot teach for any reason you will not be paid.


Umm, thanks for your unnecessary pessimistic attitude which seems the norm on some other threads. None of the things you are talking about really address any of my concerns. I have really good prior experience - stop acting as if you know the personal work history of every poster. It sounds like you are just trolling this forum to try and scare people off. As I've said, I make enough money in NYC so I'm not terribly concerned about how much it pays there. I have plenty of 1:1 experience and business settings, etc. It sounds like you didn't read the thread. I am trying to find a full time contract (was offered one) to avoid the running around as you mentioned.

Thanks Spiral and Master Shake for your help!

That's the reality of the market, it is very rare to get a full-time contract these days. It is better to know what to expect before you go, than find this out when you arrive and be disappointed. One of the things you fail to realise is that social security costs are substantially higher in Poland (and in most of Europe too) than in the US. If a school gives you a full time contract, at least 40% of the gross payment will go towards tax, health insurance and a pension fund that may not even be worth ending. With a full-time contract, the notice period also needs to be long (generally at least 30 days). No school is going to want to pay you during the Summer/Christmas/other public holidays when there are no classes. That’s why the vast majority of schools only “co-operate” with people on a contractor basis, so they can just pay teachers for only the hours taught.
You say you were offered a full time contract, outside of the country. It is in your interests to investigate whether this actually in reality a full time contract with a guaranteed monthly salary and a proper notice period. It could well be one of the many hourly paid contractor offers (with no security, requiring you to pay your own social security costs etc.), represented to you as “a job.” There was already a thread on this forum about the Academy of New York which posted several ‘job offer’ adverts online, only for the reality to be that all the teachers who worked there were paid per hour at a below-market rate.
Of course, the flip side to cancellations, is that students sometimes cancel too late (late the night before or the same day). In that case you still get paid in full and you have more free time. But when this happens a lot, the company just cancels the contract.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nickc88



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 9
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it. So it sounds like I just need to ask if they mean full time in terms of a full time contract with a guaranteed monthly salary VS. insinuating full time hours with travel around the city and no actual contractual agreement? And in that case I would invoice them for the hours?

"With a full-time contract, the notice period also needs to be long (generally at least 30 days)."

Do you mean the notice to start, or the notice when you quit?

Also, when you talk about paying your own social security tax if you don't have a full time salaried contract, you basically mean reporting your taxes after the quarter? Like the same as if you were a 1099 freelance worker in the US?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11493
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
terms of a full time contract with a guaranteed monthly salary VS. insinuating full time hours with travel around the city and no actual contractual agreement?


Dude, a full time contract with a guaranteed monthly salary involves travel around the city.

A part time/hour-work-based contract involves travel around the city.

You don't avoid travel around the city in any scenario. It's where the students are.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiral's right - even well-established schools like the British Council in Warsaw teach an ever increasing number of lessons off-site, meaning either in-company lessons or at public/private schools.

As a newbie who's just turning up for a semester, nickc, you're probably going to get a lot of these off-site lessons.

One nice thing about being a newbie in Poland is that you pay about half the regular social security and health care costs if you start your own company. This applies for the first two years you work in Poland.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's true about the traveling. This being said, it's up to you to not take classes which put you on one end of town then have you wasting sometimes hours running to the other. Pick an area (usually the center) and refuse to take things that are out of a certain range, check transport, do buses, trams or subways go every couple of minutes or, like, once every 20 minutes?--this can have a major impact on how you get around. Schools may try to tell you things like, oh, it only takes 15 minutes to get there but in reality it may take an hour.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nickc88



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 9
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, thanks all.

Master Shake - when you say "start your own company" do you mean applying for a specific visa status that qualifies you as a freelancer? (IE, a 1099 Visa in the US)? If so, could you tell me the name of that visa so I could read up on it?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1597
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:14 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Starting your own company and invoicing and getting an account? Doesn't that get you into a whole new world of pain with zameldowanias, kartas, PESEL and NIP being required etc?

I think this guy is flogging a dead horse.

No-one will hire you in Poland on a full-time contract for a few months.

Oh and working in Poland is exactly as Loisdf described it.
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 -> Poland 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 © 2018 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China