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TEFL Alexandria
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear you're planning on going home permanently, Mad. There is A LOT of culture shock involved in that first year, and I'm sure not having the luxury of full time work (hence full time colleagues)makes it harder to meet people. Have you considered joining the Cairo Hash? They run/walk/drink together. Lots of Egyptians and foreigners. It's a nice way to meet people. Or if you're into sports, the Cairo Rugby club? Looking back, I made most of my Cairo friends through work, and a few from eslcafe who were new to Cairo like me. What about CSA (Community Services Association, I think)? They have a gym, Arabic classes (and other classes)...if you're still looking for full time work at a school, I'd be happy to put my feelers out there.
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madhouseminx



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

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, but my mind's made up.

I've looked into CSA and most of their activities take place during the day when I need to be available to work and you have to sign up ahead of time or they fill up...never heard of the Rugby Club...I used to do Hash House Harriers in Grenada...but I didn't know they had it here.

I made just enough money to pay my rent last month (so no extra money to pay for an Arabic class) and dipped into my savings to take a trip to Dahab and get my scuba license for my birthday over the Eid holiday.

It's just not worth it for me to stay...I made more money at home relatively speaking.

I went to the British expat club and every one of them there was with their husband/wife...there just are no single people my age to travel with or hang out with. Plus my dog died yesterday....my life is becoming a country music song. Smile

Just going downtown is a hassle (since I always go alone)...so I'm just not motivated to stay here anymore.
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Deathalicious



Joined: 02 Nov 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry to hear that it has been so hard for you. I still want to go, but it's helpful to keep in perspective that it's going to be difficult.

I think I'll meditate on my choices over the weekend and make the decision this coming Monday. Neutral
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madhouseminx



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

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's ok....you just need a support group. I came here because I wanted to not because I had to and I have no regrets. Life is too short and there are lots of other places in the world.

I tried it here..really liked Syria...now I'll try somewhere else. You may love it here...it has potential...I would never try to discourage anyone else from coming here (with the exception of what I said about TeflInt.) it's just not the right time or circumstances for me to stay any longer.

Looking forward to a week in London on my way home! Razz
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16066
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mad... Sorry to hear that things didn't work out and you're heading back home... it was worth the try. Who knew that you would be such a man magnet? Shocked Laughing And there is that 'making a living' thing that can elude one. My situation there was really a series of fortunate accidents. (fate?) And it does take time to set up a network of friends and income sources... more than a year probably. (if you are not arriving with a job that provides you with a living wage, housing, and a social network)

BTW... the Hash seems to be based in Ma'adi... if you have time before you depart.

VS
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Deathalicious



Joined: 02 Nov 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Okay,

So I have heard from someone whose daughter just recently took the program, and apparently she enjoyed the class and is currently in the internship program. She agreed that the accomodation is terrible.

So, I'm probably going to go with TEFL Alexandria, if only because it will provide me with a transition period into English/Arabic culture before having to go directly into teaching. And if I'm going to spend 4 weeks in an intensive TEFL program anyway, it may as well be in Alexandria instead of Washington, DC.

My question, now, is with accomodation: as mentioned above, the accomodation offered by TEFL International leaves a lot to be desired, apparently. It is apparently "filthy". How difficult would it be for me to arrange my own accomodation in Alexandria prior to arrival, and how would I do this in a way that ensures a flat really does exist when I arrive?

Thanks,
Death*
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16066
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since no one has responded with better information, let me just say that I suspect that it would be almost impossible to arrange a flat before arrival. It just doesn't work that way in Egypt unless you have someone there who can check things out beforehand. If you can afford it, plan to arrive and stay in a hotel until you can find a place... and that would also give you a chance to check out the offered housing.

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, VS. I think you would find yourself charged more money doing it yourself than the accommodation the school will find for you. Another thing to bear in mind: it won't be like home. The plumbing, the fixtures....it all takes a bit of adjustment, to say the least. Enter with an open mind, and a willingness to clean and fumigate yourself.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16066
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember my first flat in Cairo. Everyone told me about how this was the most fantastic flat ever!! ... in the graduate student price range, of course. When I first walked in, I was totally shocked. I could only describe it as slum living: filthy butagaz tanks to run the stove, a refrigerator that was surely older than I was (and even then I was no spring chicken), walls that had last been painted in the early 1960's, no screens, no hot water in the kitchen.

But I came to love the place... just as every grad student who ever lived there did...

definitely different standards. Cool

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tacky gold painted furniture is often a turn off, or showers w/o curtains!! Cabinet doors that fall off every time you open them...these are few of my favourite things!

Our first flat was located DIRECTLY OPPOSITE a government school that was essentially 3 schools in one, operating from 7:00 am until late afternoon. The call to prayer was BLASTED at our 6th story unit. The shower? Zero water pressure. It really just dribbled. The toilet seat gave me a blood blister every time i sat down. We couldn't walk from our flat to catch the school bus without being HECKLED by 7 year old children attending the school, who went so far as to throw rocks as us one day as they called out "Shalome". Nice, huh? But that place had a view of the Citadel all the way from Maadi. Somehow, that made the other things seem more tolerable. And the inside corridor? Horrible by North American standards, but that's life in Egypt.
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Deathalicious



Joined: 02 Nov 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:16 am    Post subject: Thanks again. Now, airports! Reply with quote

Okay, so based on everyone's input I have decided to go ahead with TEFL Int. *and* to brave their possibly repulsive accomodation. After all, I'm a messy guy and I myself have made apartments dirty enough to warrant hazmat tactics.

Now, the question is, what's a good way of getting into Alexandria? Some airline sites seem to choose ALY for the airports, others HBE. I'm not sure what either of the airports are or which one is better than the other. Or...do I just want to fly into Cairo and take a bus or train to Alexandria?

Thanks all! See ya in a couple'a months!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16066
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never known anyone who flew to Alex. Everyone alwasys takes the train as it is relatively cheap. I have never done the airport to Ramses station trip... always had someone to arrange things for me while living there. Cool If no one can help you here, try going to the Lonely Planet Thorntree and searching.

You could always do some touristy stuff in Cairo if it is your first visit...

VS
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madhouseminx



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TEFL Int. will arrange pick up at the Cairo airport for you. Make sure you get Khaled's cel phone number incase you miss the pick up (it's happened before)or to confirm the time after you arrive. If you do miss the pick up, then the most comfortable way to get to Alex is the train...It costs less than 10.00. Next best thing is the SuperJet bus.

WARNING: The address for TEFLInt. is INCORRECT on the websites...do not rely on that. The accomodation is easy to find once you get to Alex. Just tell the cab driver "Loran" (that the neighborhood in Alex that the accomodation is in) "Corniche" and "Cookie Man". The acc. is in an alley behind Cookie Man.

Good luck!
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madhouseminx



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is true though...it is a pain in the a-- to get to the train station or bus station for that matter from the airport and you may end up waiting several hours for the next train to leave for Alex.

My advice: DON"T MISS THE PICK UP! Also, get a "Lonely Planet" book. It gives you all of the info you need about getting to Alex from Cairo. The book isn't always 100% accurate, but it has been a life saver for me with all of my travelling on my own. It also tells you how much you can expect to pay for a cab ride from the airport. I went sightseeing on my 1st day in Cairo and got ripped off big time because i did not do enough research before I got here. I bought my Lonely Planet 2 months into my stay....wish I would have had one before I left home.
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to recall in the Teaching Training Forum a good few years ago a lot of arguments about TEFL International (which, at the time, was only based in Thailand) in comparison to the Trinity and Cambridge certficates. Madhouse, did the quality of the course seem to compare with others who did different courses? In places like the ME, I think this was less important, but I was living in Europe at the time, and most academies were not too keen on accepting course certificates that weren't accredited by the British Council (e.g. Trinity and Cambridge).
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