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Advice for a Newbie?

 
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lachoca



Joined: 05 Jun 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:57 pm    Post subject: Advice for a Newbie? Reply with quote

Hi All,

I have been reading everyone's posts for the past couple months, and have found it to be extremely helpful in planning my move to Turkey. Now, with my departure just two weeks away, I would like to ask for some advice from the veteran teachers in Turkey.

Well first allow me to elaborate on my situation. I have a BA and a TEFL certificate, although minimal teaching experience, and I am interested in teaching in a language school. I have not applied for any jobs over the internet as I would like to see the schools and speak with teachers before I commit myself to a certain school. I am wondering though what is proper protocol when one arrives in Istanbul? Do I need to send my resume in advance, or can I call schools and arrange interviews when I'm in Istanbul? And finally, would I be committing a grave faux pas by just showing up to schools and dropping off my resume?

Also, although I would like to work full time, I am not that interested in obtaining a work visa as it seems to be more trouble than it is worth. Can you work at a language school without a work visa, and either get a residency permit or just leave Turkey every few months?

Besides the materials that I have already accumulated, are there any special teaching materials/books that I should be bringing with me? In hindsight is there anything that you wish you had brought to Turkey?

And finally, I am interesting in applying for work at English Time, English Centre, Inlingua, Yildizar College and City of London College. Are these good choices? Is it possible to get work with them? Are there any other language schools that I should apply to?

Thank you very much for any help/advice you can give me. Very Happy
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SweetOne



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:44 am    Post subject: Re: Advice for a Newbie? Reply with quote

lachoca wrote:
Hi All,

Also, although I would like to work full time, I am not that interested in obtaining a work visa as it seems to be more trouble than it is worth. Can you work at a language school without a work visa, and either get a residency permit or just leave Turkey every few months?


Well, I think the concensus is going to be: Get the work permit. Yes, it is a pain in the tookus to obtain, but in the long run, I think it will be worth it. Maybe after I have been teaching for a few years in Turkey I will feel differently, but being a foreigner, I wouldn't want to take a chance that could end up disastrous.

I was going to go on a tourist visa and 'wing it' but decided not to after recieving sage advise from a few posters. They have been there for a while and take their jobs seriously. That's what I plan to do. If you want to just backpack around, then that's a different story. I am interested in staying in the same place for a minimum of one year. For that reason, hopping out of the country every three months is not an option for me.

Since you are qualified to teach there, I would go for the work visa.

Good luck in your plans and keep us posted.

Peace
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gelin



Joined: 09 Mar 2003
Posts: 144
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to agree with Sweet One. A work permit will allow you to fight for your rights, while not having one leaves you defenseless. It will also keep you from having to do a visa run. Yes, you can get a residence permit, but they've also tightened restrictions on them, from what I've heard, and they are only for someone NOT working. They will ask you how you intend to live (money-wise), so if you have a ton of money in the bank and can show that, then maybe you could acquire one. I think it's easier to go the proper and safe route. Bol sans -- good luck!
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boxcarwilly



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:32 pm    Post subject: A Few Things Reply with quote

If you are arriving fairly soon, you won't have time to process a work visa in your home country and even if you could, you would need a contract and other paperwork to get it. I believe a work visa is out for you unless you can find an employer here that will do the paperwork for you and then you have to fly back to you home country and wait for it. If you can find work in a high school or university, the process is easier as it is a different government ministery that has to be applied to. Turkey is a strange place. I have been here for a year and now have a good understanding of how things work and how to get things done. One word of advice - do not trust any employer to keep his word on a contract. The legal system here or lack thereof lets employers do just about anything they want with no consequences. You might think you have a deal but expect some twists and turns. The Turks are a very friendly and warm people until you begin working with them and then it's all about how much they can but in their pockets. They are not unique in the world but certainly are no different. Try English Time - not the highest paying school but without the headaches of some of the others you listed. With some experience you can branch out and find the right fit for you.
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lachoca



Joined: 05 Jun 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 6:13 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thank you all for your advice, your insight has been most helpful. I am interested in teaching in Istanbul for at least one year, if not longer, so as long as it is possible, I guess I will attempt to get the work visa.
Thanks again, and perhaps we will cross paths in Turkey. Very Happy
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kaw



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 302
Location: somewhere hot and sunny

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 5:14 am    Post subject: More tips Reply with quote

Hiya
I know that this is pretty old news now but every little helps. I worked in Istanbul between 2000-02 and had (on the whole) a fantastic time. I started working in ILM and I can't say it was the best of exeperiences - a DOS who didn't know the first thing about teaching and management who conveniently didn't understand/misunderstood the meaning of honesty. Don't worry I won't mention names. Resources were at that time very limited and it was up to the teachers to create what they could - if you want to get into Materials development it could be a good place to go. After my contract I moved to Interlang - which on the whole was one of the best places I've worked. The school was well resourced, there were regular staff development workshops, assistance with career development and housing - or a rent allowance provided. One of the possible downsides was that breaks had to be spent in the canteen chatting to students - so they weren't breaks as such.
I don't kow if the system is still the same but pay was on a sale relative to qualifications and experience and as far as I can remember - paid on time. There is a probation period all new teachers must go through which included observations and working on specific tasks - can be daunting but all feedback was in my opinion justified and you can always learn something new. It does however mean submitting formal lesson plans. Now as most teachers know - these tend to disappear after a while - and post it notes on your photocopies tend to take their place. I'd read up on them again if I were you.
As far as visas go - getting a work visa really isn't that much of a hassle and if you work for a decent school they'll tend to do must of the paperwork for you.

Istanbul is a great place and I would love to go back but the money really isn't enough anymore and besides I quite like it over here in the M.E.

Have a fantastic time. Oh and try these places out first - Interlang, The English Centre (had a very good repuation), ILM - if you don't like it you could always move on somewhere else and maybe even DILKO - not sure how they are at the moment. English TImer are everywhere - again - mixed reputation, as for Inlingua - my very first teaching job was with Inlingua in Italy and if they are using the same very old and tired books in Istanbul I really wouldn't bother - as an example - here's a line from a Pre-Int/Intermediate book I can clearly remember - "For adults ony" "He kissed her gently on the brow" What more can I say.................

K
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