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IPA Saudi Arabia
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revilo



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 181
Location: Mos Eisley

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:47 am    Post subject: IPA Saudi Arabia Reply with quote

There is one poster here who worked for them for 19 years.

I'd like to hear from him. They are doing some recruiting. I did a search which turned up nothing.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17607
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume that you mean JohnSlat. He hasn't been posting for a few months now (though he is doing fine as I have emailed with him to make sure Cool). And the place has changed a lot over the years since he left.

Perhaps a current teacher will show up... or someone in Riyadh who has heard what is happening there today. If they do not want to post on the board, they could send you a PM.

VS
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Karitos



Joined: 05 Oct 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a reasonable place to work. I think the recent ad was through a third party contractor, whereas they've often hired directly.

Pretty straightforward teaching out of the textbook to a test, not a lot of CLT going on. Not a lot of nonsense with grading, etc. But, and significantly, at least for direct hires, housing allowance has gone away, and the salary is not very high ($2,800/month for MA with no teaching experience). Overtime is often offered.

For the contractors, I can't say much. I would ask very carefully if a housing allowance or housing is included for new hires.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11385
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
At least for direct hires, housing allowance has gone away.

For the contractors, I can't say much. I would ask very carefully if a housing allowance or housing is included for new hires.

The ad I saw was for direct hires and indicates an annual housing allowance of 17,000 SAR in addition to 8500 SAR as a one-time furniture allowance.
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Karitos



Joined: 05 Oct 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Quote:
At least for direct hires, housing allowance has gone away.

For the contractors, I can't say much. I would ask very carefully if a housing allowance or housing is included for new hires.

The ad I saw was for direct hires and indicates an annual housing allowance of 17,000 SAR in addition to 8500 SAR as a one-time furniture allowance.


Do you mind posting it? The one recently posted on Dave's was for a contractor (English First or something like that). What you reference was what IPA used to offer, but I was told recently that for new direct hires the housing allowance was going away.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11385
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karitos wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
The ad I saw was for direct hires and indicates an annual housing allowance of 17,000 SAR in addition to 8500 SAR as a one-time furniture allowance.

Do you mind posting it?

I can't post the links to the ad; it's on other TEFL job sites. However, if you do a Net search using: saudi ipa riyadh job english, you'll see the postings.
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Karitos



Joined: 05 Oct 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Karitos wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
The ad I saw was for direct hires and indicates an annual housing allowance of 17,000 SAR in addition to 8500 SAR as a one-time furniture allowance.

Do you mind posting it?

I can't post the links to the ad; it's on other TEFL job sites. However, if you do a Net search using: saudi ipa riyadh job english, you'll see the postings.


Gotcha. The one I saw in the search listing was quite old and no longer the offer they are giving.
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Grendal



Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 861
Location: Lurking in the depths of the Faisaliah Tower underground parking.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im the guy you seek karitos.

I'll share my info with all instead of pm-ing you OK?

Direct hires have an IPA compound they live on. Transport allowance is provided I believe, I'll check into that and confirm, and yearly holiday paid vacations are given with plane tickets.

Contractor hires (me) just look on in awe of our golden peers and are happy for their good fortune. We get straight salary for 10 months contract. full stop.

But from my eight years here in Saudi, this is the best place I've worked in and I am happy here. So the money is not an issue with me as it is with other contract hires who have massive families to support. Those are the people I worry about and feel sorry for.

Grendal
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n1322



Joined: 01 Sep 2016
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been offered a direct hire position with IPA, however the salary is very low and housing allowance is 17000SAR a year (no compound mentioned on offer letter).

They only count experience earned after your Masters.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17607
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

n1322 wrote:
They only count experience earned after your Masters.

That is the norm... at tertiary level...

VS
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danshengou



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 434
Location: A bizarre overcrowded hole

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

$2800? These are tough times we're living in.
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Dorry



Joined: 05 Aug 2009
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: IPA Women's Reply with quote

I'm working at the IPA, Women's Campus, now. Unlike other Gulf countries, the women's campus is much smaller than the men's but some things are the same:

1. There are 4 terms a year (actually more on the Men's where they are now required to work summers as far as I understand). The terms are 7.5 weeks long and during that time there are TWO mid-term tests and a Final Exam in FIVE different subjects. So it is very very assessment oriented, intense and with a focus on testing rather than teaching.

2. The syllabus is archaic. No integration of macro-skills or topics at any level and sentence level grammar is taught as a separate subject. The textbooks beggar belief. The lower level Reading textbook, for example, doesn't actually teach any reading skills and is roughly Upper Intermediate-Advanced level. The listening textbook is Elementary and the Writing about Pre-Intermediate level.

3. The proficiency levels are stuffed. Yes, yes, I know that there are differences in proficiency levels in any class but in ALL of the 4 classes I teach students who are a very strong Intermediate to Upper Intermediate level (and a few who have completed a previous degree) while in the same class there will also be students who are at Lower Elementary level. Class sizes range form 25-35 at the Women's so to teach effectively, I have often had to run different classes in parallel to accommodate the differences.

4. The Wifi is usually great and there are SmartBoards. However, when you are new and have no account access or when there are technical issues there is NOTHING to write on in the room. No whiteboard, chalkboard or paper. I deliver a lot of my classes via the students' phones, WhatsApp groups I established and my own website. I was told by a colleague at the Men's that they were not allowed to set up WhatsApp contact (and give out your number) however. I simply use my home mobile number as the student contact so it doesn't bother me.

5. Direct Hire v Contract: I am a direct hire. This means I get free accommodation and only work 18 hours per week unless I request more. So far as I can see, that is where the advantages end. Please consider this carefully if you are offered a direct hire position: The IPA doesn't and won't issue multiple exit visas. Each time you want to leave the country, you not only have to buy an exit and entry visa YOU HAVE TO LEAVE 2 MONTHS' SALARY with the IPA as surety of your return. Alternatively, a NON-SAUDI DIRECT HIRE may go guarantor for you as long as they are not leaving the country at the same time and they are not guaranteeing anyone else. If you do a runner, they lose 2 months' salary. So understandably, colleagues are reluctant to go guarantor. The same applies if you break your contract. 2 months' salary...

Contract staff have multiple exit visas, are not subject to these rules, and are provided with transport for shopping trips (this may only apply to women). The contract workers I work with tend to be loaded with more hours, extra responsibilities, and have tiny desks crammed into a single room in which they can't talk to students or do much else. On the other hand, they universally say they like the company they work for; ICEAT (and they are brilliant colleagues).

6. Transport & Accommodation: Currently my accommodation is in the Men's Building, a block away from the Women's Campus. It's great, except the "furnished accommodation" means nothing. No plugs in the sink, no appliances, NOTHING (and I have lived in a lot of furnished accommodation in different parts of the world).

It is a 5-10 minute Uber ride which usually costs less than 10 SAR one way. I could even walk it if I felt like get sexually harassed and dying in a road accident. However, please note that BOTH MEN'S AND WOMEN'S campuses will move next year. They are moving a good 40-55 minutes away and the corresponding cost 1 way appears to be about 45 SAR minimum one way at peak times. My transport allowance is 500 SAR from memory and the salary I will receive post move means that from next year I can't afford to work here. Will they raise it? Forget it. They don't pay for anything they don't have to - not even the legally required costs of getting a visa once you arrive, not even WATER in offices, let alone classrooms.

7. Salary: I'm not sure this will help you much because I have a PhD and more than 10 years' experience post PhD but I get 14,200 per month which includes the transport allowance. This is low but the cost of living in Saudi Arabia is much lower than the other Gulf countries.

8. Finally let me give you some good news, because I have loved working here in the main. The students are awesome. The nicest I've taught in the Gulf (3 other Gulf countries). They are loyal, they communicate, negotiate, ask for help, get cross, thank you, agree to change, learn, you name it. There is a very noticeable lack of entitlement which you run into in other Gulf countries. Having said that, it could be this institution, rather than Saudi as a whole, and yes, these statements involve generalization, stereotyping and racism. But if you want to know what the IPA is like - that's what it's like for me.

My colleagues are amazing. Saudi and non-Saudi both. Direct hire and contract both. They are collegial. They are supportive (just as well because at least at the Women's, they haven't heard of Induction....). Tests are decided on and written together. Each class has a coordinator who manages issues for individual students in the most wonderful form of pastoral care that I have ever witnessed. Individual beliefs, practices and idiosyncrasies are accommodated. This in itself means that any frustrations on a day to day level (encountered anywhere) are alleviated and the teaching experience can be very rewarding.
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1chunk



Joined: 05 Aug 2014
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Thanks for the informative post. Doesn't seem to be too bad but having to move further away next year isn't cool...ICEAT do have a good reputation, probably the best contractor in KSA.

FYI If I remember correctly a direct hire guy at IPA in Riyadh is on 16k basic. Smile
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11385
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dorry wrote:
I'm working at the IPA, Women's Campus, now. Unlike other Gulf countries, the women's campus is much smaller than the men's but some things are the same.
....

Salary: I'm not sure this will help you much because I have a PhD and more than 10 years' experience post PhD but I get 14,200 per month which includes the transport allowance. This is low but the cost of living in Saudi Arabia is much lower than the other Gulf countries.

I'm shocked your salary is 14,200 SAR, especially since you have a related PhD. I made much more than that with a MAT and less experience when I taught in Jeddah 4-5 years ago. I also suspect male teachers get paid more than their female peers.

and Dorry wrote:
The students are awesome. The nicest I've taught in the Gulf (3 other Gulf countries). They are loyal, they communicate, negotiate, ask for help, get cross, thank you, agree to change, learn, you name it. There is a very noticeable lack of entitlement which you run into in other Gulf countries. Having said that, it could be this institution, rather than Saudi as a whole, and yes, these statements involve generalization, stereotyping and racism.

That makes up for that ho-hum salary! I also had hard-working, lovely students. They were eager learners and never hesitated to ask questions in class or come to my office for help. I made sure their learning was both fun and meaningful and always looked forward to trying out crazy, new activities with them. Years later, I still think about my Saudi girls. I've taught in other Mid East countries and was fortunate to have had good, interested students overall.
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danshengou



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 434
Location: A bizarre overcrowded hole

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IPA never interested me, and this just confirms it. Lousy accommodation, low pay, stuffed classes, no exit visa, etc, etc. Pure drudgery. Thanks for the post!
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