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Is a TESOL certificate and Bachelors enough to get a job?

 
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Rearviewmirror



Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject: Is a TESOL certificate and Bachelors enough to get a job? Reply with quote

Hi all...

I've been reading through the archived posts and the sticky and I've already learned a lot. I had originally been looking at Tunisia and Morocco for my first TEFL job but the more I look into it, the more I feel like Egypt might be the way to go.

I've got a TEFL/TESOL certificate from i-to-i and a Bachelors degree in Political Science (what is it with us PoliSci/Islamic studies kids eh?). I spent two months teaching in an English secondary school in Nottingham, and a month teaching English creative writing out in the West Bank, so while I haven't got much TEFL experience, I have worked with kids before.

My friend and I are looking to teach English in the Middle East/North Africa for a year. He's much the same as me (getting his TEFL certificate soon) but has two MAs. We'd ideally like to go somewhere where we can both get jobs, so we can share an apartment and get a better place for less money...

Ideally we want somewhere where we can make decent money, live comfortably, afford a few luxuries and trips in the region or save a bit of money every month. I've been diving in the Red Sea, and so would love to be close to the coast (probably Mediterranean is more realistic, as it seems like Cairo and Alex are the main teaching options) to enjoy some more of Egypt's gorgeous beaches. Basically teach by day, and relax in the evening and days off.

Now... Is any of this possible? Can we do it without attending a conference (I'm based in the UK, he's down in Georgia, USA)?

I've been looking at Alexandria, but it seems like schools are a bit scarce there - would that be correct?

Any advice or next steps about schools to contact or places to start would be hugely appreciated!

Thanks guys.
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nstick13



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 104
Location: The Ohio State University

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not what you know, or even your experience, it's who you know. Being American is enough of a qualification if you know the right people. If you do some Googling and look through the Egyptian yellow pages online you can find some stuff ahead of time, otherwise, work your bootie off when you're on the ground. You'll quite easily make ends meet--but be prepared to wait for a couple months.

Check out the Cairo Scholars Listserv--great resources. Just remember you can't ask for a job on the Listserv. I think it's run by the University of Texas. Again, teh Google is your friend.
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Rearviewmirror



Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately I'm not American (my friend is though) although I am a native English speaker (from the UK).

It sounds like it's a matter of just hustling to find work when I'm there. AMidEast seem to only pay local hire rates, which isn't really going to be enough to make ends meet.

Thanks a lot for the heads up on the Cairo Listserv - I've signed up to that as well.

Do you think in general it'll be quite hard to get based in Alex?

Thanks again!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15859
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would assume that "local hire" is all that you both will get. Foreign hire contracts are VERY rare in Egypt and the few out there will go to those with an MA in TEFL/AppLing + some years of related experience, or if you are looking at K-12/International Schools, you will need the cert/lic from your home country. Those without the creds end up local hire.

This is a poor country and pay will reflect that. Few are able to save much even if they really hustle and do lots of privates. With two of you, you can live quite well there, and travel Egypt easily, but the problem will be making foreign currency to buy any plane tickets out to nearby countries. (it can be hard to buy dollars)

VS
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Rearviewmirror



Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot VS - it's good to know not to keep looking for a kind of job that doesn't exist in Egypt.

I don't really mind if we can't afford to jet off to Cyprus, as my experiences in Dahab make me more than happy to enjoy the Red Sea and make the most of Egypt. I just wanted to check

Would 1400LE-2000LE per month be enough to live off and pay rent etc.? What sort of lifestyle would that allow for - meagre penny pinching, or fairly comfortable and able to eat in restaurants/travel in Egypt?

Thanks a lot for your help guys Smile
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15859
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah... a proper topic for my post #10000 Cool since I started my ME career in Cairo.

What you will find in Egypt is a two tier system where there is one price for Egyptians and one price for expats. (tourists and Gulf Arabs pay even more) How much you need to live on depends very much on your lifestyle... the more you want to live just like back home, the more it will cost. Imported items are expensive... and flat rentals can vary widely. That said, the longer one is there and figures out the "system" - the more cheaply one can live. The more survival Arabic you pick up, the better you bargain, the farther your money goes.

It can take a few months to get things organized... to pick up classes, perhaps at more than one place... and to get some private lessons. For instance, by the end of my second year, I had made contacts at a local "French school" (whose students studied in English, French, and Arabic), most of whom were trying to attend AUC and needed to pass the English test which included writing an essay. In the three weeks between their finals and the AUC entrance exam, I was able to earn enough money to pay most of my rent for the year.

What I'm saying is that with a bit of hustle, the two of you should be able to afford to do most anything you want within Egypt... including regular trips to Dahab or Luxor or Alexandria. The 5* hotels may be out of your price range most of the time though. Laughing

VS
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nstick13



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 104
Location: The Ohio State University

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats, VS!

Flats: I had a huge, 3 BR flat near Sheraton Cairo, and paid 1400 LE/month (shared with two others). A 10 minute walk down the street, near the Dokki Metro, my girlfriend had a much smaller 3 BR flat for only 900 LE/month. Utes weren't expensive. Food isn't expensive, especially if you like the local flavors (I miss taamiyyah and potato and babaganoosh sandwiches).

Also, regarding travel, while you won't afford the 5* places, service here is dirt cheap, so nearly every place is all inclusive. You can get a great resort that's all inclusive for $40 (about 250 LE) a night. Buses are easy and go everywhere in the country (though rarely timely or comfortable, but you're used to that by now).

Sorry about the American comment--you'll be fine with UK as well. My damn imperialism speaking.

And, I'll go ahead and merge VS's idea about "hustle" with mine about "it's who you know, not what" and say that you need to hustle to meet people. I could've had a few pretty good jobs, but was planning on leaving the country, simply because I met people. You may not want to, but a network or foreigners in country helps.

Have fun in Cairo! In many ways I miss it so.
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madhouseminx



Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 70
Location: I am here.

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and so would love to be close to the coast (probably Mediterranean is more realistic, as it seems like Cairo and Alex are the main teaching options) to enjoy some more of Egypt's gorgeous beaches.[quote]

Beautiful beaches in Alex? Not so much. There is one so-so beach here that I feel sort of comfortable going to...go out of Alex to Agami or somewhere and it's much nicer. As far as diving in Alex? No. There is some antiquity diving here, but other than that forget it.

I fly out to Sharm and get a ride out to Dahab as often as I can. A round trip flight runs around 250.00 from here.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15859
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nstick13 wrote:
And, I'll go ahead and merge VS's idea about "hustle" with mine about "it's who you know, not what" and say that you need to hustle to meet people.

Exactly... a big part of "hustle" is meeting people and developing a network of both students and friends, who may or may not be fellow teachers. Those of us who were living on our wits there, often traded private students... helped avoid boredom for both us and the students.

Of course, the reality is that both of these factors are important everywhere in the world. It is just a bit more so in the Middle East. Cool

VS
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AsmaInEgypt



Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wondering, where are you getting the figure of 1400LE-2000LE per month? Is that the salary you're expecting, or what you want to restrict your spending to?

In Alex, the starting salary that a foreign teacher (with just a degree, no experience even) can get at language schools is 3,000 egyptian pounds. That figure can rise up to 7,000 in Cairo with experience and becoming more valuable to the school. I haven't heard of more than that from any foreigners I know teaching in Alex or Cairo. (but I'm not even taking into consideration the really westernized top tier schools like Schutz or Cairo American College that cater to expats and the wealthiest egyptians, who pay highly qualified and credentialed teachers international-hire salaries). Egyptian teachers applying for the same jobs as you might get offered around 600 pounds. So don't ask egyptian teachers about salaries, talk only to foreigners about salaries and their work experiences.

In terms of Alex vs. Cairo, I think Alex is a much nicer place to live - the sea breeze, fresh air, people are much less stressed out and hence nicer. You're much less likely to get robbed or scammed. Walking on the corniche is a great substitute for a beach if you can't drive out to Agami or elsewhere on the north coast. Plus, it's much cheaper as long as you start renting in the fall/winter/early spring. Prices shoot up in the summer.

I would expect rent for a nice furnished 2+ bedroom flat to be no less than 1,500 in more central and nice locations in Alex (like smouha), more likely 2,000-2,500. Going further east, towards Montaza, like in sidi bishr or miami, can get you cheaper rent - closer to 1,000. I'm inflating a little to compensate for you being non-egyptian. You might want to wait to find a job before renting to minimize your commute, but the great thing about Alex is that it's so much more compact and easy to traverse compared to Cairo. Add around 10-20 le max for your commute each day by taxi, 20 le each day for food, and that's an extra 1,000 le per month to live really comfortably. As you get used to local prices and find the cheaper places to buy and cheaper modes of transport and eat out less, you can reduce expenses, but I would "plan" to spend 3,000 le per month for the first few months, on the higher end.
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AsmaInEgypt



Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

about applying for jobs, by the way... even though contacts are a great help, in Alex, foreigners are fewer and farther in between than in Cairo and there isn't the same degree of expat networking. It was very productive for me to simply go school-to-school in Alex to feel out which places I would want to apply to work in and ask to meet the principals rather than just fill out the application. You can get a sense of their personalities, their professionalism, ask what positions they could see you filling, ask about salaries, ask for a school tour, see if you like the facilities and # of kids per classroom, environment, etc. They care less about advanced degrees (past the BA) and more about teaching experience so play that up... TEFL is a plus.
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justcolleen



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

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salaries in Alexandria, at the international schools, and not at Schutz, move into the 8,000 LE to 10,000 LE range.

Accepting 3,000 LE is accepting the same salary as someone with no university degree and no experience would be offered and most certainly smacks of a job without a proper, registered, contract (because registered contracts are the only legal and binding contracts) and without a proper work permit.
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elrasho



Joined: 16 May 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got offered a teaching job in Alexandria for 5000EGP a month. I asked for 7000EGP and they told me to get on my bike!
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