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from North Asia to Egypt... I'm very uninformed!

 
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Noelle



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 301
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: from North Asia to Egypt... I'm very uninformed! Reply with quote

I am a bit new to this forum but not new to EFL.

I've been seriously considering the idea of coming to work in Egypt in a year or so. I have an M.A. in TESOL and about 3 years experience teaching in the U.S., China and South Korea, where I currently am right now. While I was in grad school, I received many different types of offers from countries in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe but nothing from the Middle East.

I'm just wondering... am I too underqualified because I only have a few years experience? Maybe it's harder for females. Also, I've heard that many countries prefer foreign teachers to be a bit older... I've just turned 29. I don't feel that young but who knows...?

I'm not really sure what kinds of questions to ask either but if anyone out there has worked in Asia and transitioned to Egypt, I'd really love to hear about it.
I am not interested in working with children. University or above would be my preference... maybe an academic high school.

I'd love some advice from those of you who are experienced in Egypt!
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Noelle:

There reallly are not many expat teaching opportunities in Egypt at the unviersity level. I'll let Veiled Sentiments speak to the American University of Cairo, who would be your best shot(or only shot) at university teaching.

I am sure that there would be opportunities for you to teach at the secondary level, though because you're not a qualified teacher, the better employers would likely shy away. At any rate, I think you'll find that many secondary teachers complain about the lack of discipline at that level.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16184
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You called? Cool

Hi Noelle,

There really isn't much available at university level in Egypt. There are a few private universities, but I am not familiar enough with them to recommend. There is one good place to work, The American University in Cairo... but... with its good reputation and pay... it rarely has openings and only hires very experienced teachers and with an MA+3, you are at the bottom of their requirements.

They have an adult education department, but it is local pay and no benefits, so probably not a great choice. There are some chain language schools and AMIDEAST which teach adults. British Council usually only hires people with British passports.

You might want to expand your search to Morocco, Jordan, and I'd like to add Lebanon because it has a number of universities that hire some native speakers... but... the political situation is a bit 'iffy' right now, so probably not for beginners to the area.

VS
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Noelle



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 301
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the heads up!

I really don't think I'd want to deal with secondary schools in Egypt. If I want that kind of headache, I may as well have it at home in my own country.

I would definitely be interested in Jordan, Oman or Morocco. Lebanon... not so much..

thanks again!
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teacherincairo



Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the teachers I've talked to who teach at private universities in Egypt, they're not all that different from the private secondary international schools in regards to teaching and work conditions. The pay is good, but the students... well... just like at the secondary level, they feel they've paid their money, so they'll get their degree.

A few years back I had dinner with a visiting professor who was teaching a graduate level, I believe, economics class at one of the best Universities in Cairo. Out of 12 students in his class he failed 8 of them at the end of the semester. He said he'd never taught a worse group of students. (Unmotivated, unprepared, plagiarism, cheating, rude... you name it. And these are "adults" in graduate school!)

The professor was sat down in front of the dean of the school and was told the students had complained that the final exam was too difficult, that's why they failed. The professor was then asked if he might consider giving a new exam, one that might be a bit more passable. When he refused he was told that because the students felt the exam was too hard, it would be unfair to fail them. All were passed. The professor resigned that day.
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Noelle



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 301
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These kinds of issues come up in any country where you've got a school that allows some kind of "no fail policy" or doesn't hold students accountable for their behavior or lack thereof.

I am interested in Egypt because I'd like to teach in a different kind of society and I've been advised that I could adapt much more quickly in Egypt than in other M.E. countries...

I would love to teach in a university language program but I wouldn't last day in a school where students are disrespectful if the school didn't take my side. I've taught some pretty rude students (mostly European) in the states but my school and/or director has always been on the side of the teacher.

If I were to work in Egypt, I think I'd be pretty adamant about teaching university students or higher. If those jobs are difficult or impossible to come by, I will look elsewhere!
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
and I've been advised that I could adapt much more quickly in Egypt than in other M.E. countries...


Really? I lived in the UAE before I lived in Egypt. Though I love Egypt, adaptation is a big challenge. I think most people experience a level of culture shock that makes the Gulf nations look like Disneyland.
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teacherincairo



Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...I wouldn't last day in a school where students are disrespectful if the school didn't take my side. I've taught some pretty rude students (mostly European) in the states but my school and/or director has always been on the side of the teacher."

You might want to give Egypt a miss then. Many Egpytian schools, even at the university level, take the "the customer is always right" adage to the Nth degree.

I did not find Egypt to be too difficult a country to adjust to as far as culture shock goes. But I'm a pretty "go with the flow" kinda guy and had years of traveling in the third world under my belt. That being said, on an almost daily basis something would happen that would drive me totally nuts. It's a crazy country with a lot of illogical, or culturally different, things going on. I loved that about Egypt; You knew that every day you'd see something you'd never seen before. But I have to admit I sure did enjoy leaving that country whenever I could, just to recharge the batteries.
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