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Any experience with the Hobby School in Mongolia?
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Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 1874
Location: Reverse Culture Shock Unit

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be able to give you an inkling.....

A few months ago I met a man who left Mongolia
with his wife and children. She is Mongolian.
He went there when it opened up in the nineties
and became a political consultant to the emerging
post-communist government. He made a lot of
money and still owns a great deal of property
in the capital, including a polo club on 40 000
ha of land. I presume he had a lot of influence.

Needless to say, his star waned. His client (the
leader of Mongolia) was murdered, as were some
of his own children. He escaped with his life,
but there was a bloodbath in which seven people
around him died. Now he lives in the West.

I have a feeling Ulaan Bataar is an interesting place.
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Joined: 29 May 2003
Posts: 297
Location: HCMC, Vietnam

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 5:18 am    Post subject: Good Luck Reply with quote

Good luck with Mongolia and keep me posted. I hope to pass through on the Trans Siberian soon and maybe work too, who knows. I do agree that you should be careful in making your decisions as to where to go, but I've been in Micronesia (Peace Corps) and Vietnam (teaching) and each place has had its challenges and perks. I'm sure with a little common sense you will do just fine.
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Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The going rate in Mongolia is about $600 U.S. It is a very "strange" place. In the middle of nowhere and not so easy to get into or out of.

I sure wouldn't do it as a fist time experience overseas. It will be cold, and you probably won't be able to buy clothes. "Probably" no you won't be able to. The nearest shoe store will be a thousand miles away, With an "exit" visa if they will give you one for one of the two flights a day out. If you can get a seat. $1500 is a lot of money to pay for a pair of shoes.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2003 5:58 pm    Post subject: Forget the Nay-Sayers; Mongolia is Wonderful Reply with quote

This thread is rapidly becoming very silly. NO SHOES or CLOTHES? Give me a break. What do you think the Mongolians do -- gnaw skins off of wolves and sheep? I lived and taught in UB for two years, and have nothing but good things to say about the city and the country. In fact, of the four countires that I've worked in (Ethiopia, Mongolia, Indonesia, and South Korea) Mongolia is by far my favorite place. I left two years ago, but even then there were lots of great restaurants (Mexican, Cuban, French, Korean, Chinese, Indian, etc.), theaters, an opera house, bookstores, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and GREAT shopping (think proximity to China.) I would think extra long and hard about moving somewhere rural, however, since "rural" takes on an entirely new meaning on the steppes of Mongolia. UB would be a FINE place for a new teacher to start -- don't let all those nay-sayers (particularly those who, as we say in these parts, like to speak out of their unmentionable orifices) rain on your parade. This board seems to attract people willing to slag off some poster for showing an interest in somewhere exotic, though the ones crying "dumb new teacher!" have never experienced those places for themselves.
As far as teaching opportunities go, the Hobby School has been around for several years, but last I knew their salary and workload were not particularly inspiring. Santis Educational Services, originally set up and run by an American (but now Mongolian owned) is a much better bet, professionally. Other possibilities include teaching at the International School, through the Soros Foundation, or UNDP (for the last three, a Masters degree would be helpful or necessary.) Both Peace Corps and VSO also have strong programs in Mongolia. Most volunteers get posted at the more remote corners of Mongolia, and contracts are for two years. Little money but great support (and most volunteers end up learning Mongolian very well.)
Be aware that Mongolia is not particularly cheap, so I'd be cautious about accepting any contract of less than $500 a month (and an apartment, air-fare, etc.) unless you want the volunteer thing.
Good luck with your job search, and I'll try to answer any of your questions. It's a fantastic country, and I wish you luck there.
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Joined: 24 May 2003
Posts: 3
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the useful information, Echidna! I've finally sent out my VSO application, so maybe I'll post some more questions soon.
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