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TEFL International - Alexandria
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rpc



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 16
Location: Sacramento, California

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 12:08 am    Post subject: TEFL International - Alexandria Reply with quote

I'm wanting to get a TESOL certification in Alexandria, but am unfamiliar with the organization offering it. It's called TEFL International, appears to have several locations and appears to be a member of the Better Business Bureau. It offers this disclaimer, though, at the very bottom of the web page advertisement for its Alexandria campus:

So why wait, get TEFL Course Egypt and Teach English now. Note: Local circumstances and extras may change without notice. This TEFL International Course conducted by a separate company working as a subcontractor of TEFL International and is not a non-profit organization.

I'm a little troubled by the two opening sentences being morphed in to one by a comma, but the part about the school being run by a subcontractor and "local circumstances" changing without notice is a legitimate concern. Is it unusual for a school to delegate its curriculum to a subcontractor? Is the subcontractor's for-profit status unusual? Most importantly, is anyone here familiar with this organization and/or with its Alexandria campus?


Last edited by rpc on Wed May 27, 2009 9:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15934
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This all sounds rather odd...

Personally if you want to do a cert in Egypt, I would suggest that you go to the British Council in Cairo and do the CELTA. Get a widely recognized certificate offered through an organization that you know can be trusted. It probably costs more, but is also worth it.

VS
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nstick13



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

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I contacted several of the people who have done TEFL Int'l in Alexandria, and that one in particular received good reviews, I ended up choosing the course VS talks about for several reasons.

1. If you do some Googling about TEFL Int'l, you'll come across some shady stories. I've read about all that can be read both on this forum, others, and on random blogs, and I don't think the bad story (ies?) are as bad as they seem. I didn't like the idea of it, though, when a better certificate is available with less "baggage" if you will. I trust that you can research this further if you like, but VS will vouch for me being well-informed (I think...)

2. I loved Alexandria, and it's an incredible city. I encourage you to visit there any time you get the chance. But, you probably will have an incredibly difficult time finding work in Alexandria. Your best bet will be--for obvious reasons--Cairo. And it certainly helps, at least for entry level jobs, to be connected in the city where you want to work, and already have somewhat of a stable "base". (Full disclosure: I will be doing CELTA in Cairo in October. That last part is not first hand experience, but it seems pretty reasonable and logical to me. To each their own.)

3. Cairo has a significantly larger ex-pat population. While I would definitely not call them a "support group" it's good to know that there are a fair amount of people (most in Maadi, I believe) who are from the UK, US, etc. As I prepare, that almost feels like a security blanket. This just may be being goofy/strange/who knows what else.

Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you'd like. I won't take kindly to information that's only a Google away, but I do have some perspective.

Weird to think that I'm now advising NEWBs here.... How the time flies.
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nstick13



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

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So why wait, get TEFL Course Egypt and Teach English now. Note: Local circumstances and extras may change without notice. This TEFL International Course conducted by a separate company working as a subcontractor of TEFL International and is not a non-profit organization.


And, about this. If I recall correctly, they took an excursion of some sort with this program, to the Red Sea? It didn't happen for EVERY course they did, only when they could get a deal on the travel/resort or whatever, or at least that's how it seemed to me. So if they couldn't get it cheap, you may not be able to go.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15934
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nstick13 wrote:
3. Cairo has a significantly larger ex-pat population. While I would definitely not call them a "support group" it's good to know that there are a fair amount of people (most in Maadi, I believe) who are from the UK, US, etc. As I prepare, that almost feels like a security blanket. This just may be being goofy/strange/who knows what else.

There are also large numbers of expats in Zamalek and Mohandessin, both of which tend to have the younger expats often in shared flats. (Maadi has the older, married with family expats because that is where the main International School is located - CAC). Numbers in these neighborhoods may have lowered since AUC moved out into the hinterlands.

Both of these areas are near the British Council. I used to walk over there from my Zamalek flat to use their library.

VS
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justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 645
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
I used to walk over there from my Zamalek flat to use their library.

VS


Fair enough, however Alexandria has the good library. Wink
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rpc



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 16
Location: Sacramento, California

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarrassing oversight on my part, but I just realized that there's a banner flying over this entire forum, reading, "TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe." Incidentally, I have a hard time imagining that Dave, whom I assume has at least a cursory understanding of most things TEFL, would broadcast an endorsement from a disreputable organization. Also, I Googled TEFL International and found out that they're one of the largest certifiers in the world. Obviously, that doesn't guarantee that each of their campuses is scam free; but it does suggest that they do decent enough business to stay in business.

nstick13 wrote:
...you probably will have an incredibly difficult time finding work in Alexandria.


I'm concerned.

Is it really that bad?

Can you expand a little on the differences between finding work in Alexandria and any other city?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think anyone suggested that this organization is a scam or disreputable. Their ad was merely rather oddly stated. It is obviously a franchise program... and all are not necessarily equal. I know people who have gone through the program in Alexandria. I have even suggested people do it because they wanted to do a cert in Egypt and for a few years this was the only one. That said, when one can now get the CELTA in Cairo at the British Council, there is no competition. Not only is it the top of the line, most widely respected EFL/ESL cert, there are more job opportunities in Cairo than Alex purely because of the size difference.

But if your heart is set on Alex, go ahead...

VS
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rpc



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 16
Location: Sacramento, California

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
I don't think anyone suggested that this organization is a scam or disreputable. Their ad was merely rather oddly stated. It is obviously a franchise program... and all are not necessarily equal. I know people who have gone through the program in Alexandria. I have even suggested people do it because they wanted to do a cert in Egypt and for a few years this was the only one. That said, when one can now get the CELTA in Cairo at the British Council, there is no competition. Not only is it the top of the line, most widely respected EFL/ESL cert, there are more job opportunities in Cairo than Alex purely because of the size difference.

But if your heart is set on Alex, go ahead...

VS


Do you have any ground-level information on Cairo? Quality-of-life type stuff? Amount of superiority of the CELTA over the TEFL cert? In other words, the stuff that you can't find on wikipedia.

And thank you, VS, for your contributions here.

I researched air fare and found that flying in to Cairo is substantially cheaper than flying in to Alexandria, while the price of the Cairo CELTA course is only 180 dollars more than the Alexandria TEFL course.
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really? The price is that close? No competition then, do the CELTA. For international jobs, it is THE cert to have because it is very controlled and an employer knows exactly what he is getting when he hires someone who has it.

What do you want to know as far as quality of life? Cairo is a crowded, dusty, polluted, crazy, fascinating, noisy, amazing place. My favorite place in the world. Cool That said, it is the type of place that people either love or hate... very little in between. Those of us who have lived there long term call it "the adventure" of living in Cairo. Egypt is a poor country so many things can bother those who have never lived or traveled in such a place. But, it will also be an experience you will never forget. I had never been overseas before... took a 2 week tour of Egypt and moved there the next year and stayed for three years getting my MA in TEFL.

Touch base with nstick13 and compare notes with him. He has done a lot of research into living in Cairo while he does the CELTA.

VS
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justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 645
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, love Cairo. It's everything that VS said it is ... it's an amazing place.

Quality of life? This is Egypt. Quality of life depends on how much money you make and how you choose to spend it. But then that's true anywhere, I suppose. Cairo offers lifestyles that go from one extreme to the other - oppulant wealth to chickens-in-the-hallways poor - and everything in the middle.

I couldn't live in it, though. It's way too big. Too dirty. Too much air pollution. Too crowded. And way too hot. Still, I visit every chance I get because I love it.
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nstick13



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

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rpc:
if you'd like, shoot me an e-mail
nstick13 at gmail dot com

Sorry I didn't put it in my other post.
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rpc



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 16
Location: Sacramento, California

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So here's an interesting twist of fate...

A couple of months ago I contacted a medical staffing agency, looking for work, (because I'm an EMT). I didn't hear anything from them for some time, though, so I completely forgot about them. Then, a few days ago, they sent me an email describing a very lucrative opportunity to work on a military base in - of all places - Kuwait. And according to the documentation they sent me, the employer will provide an apartment, meals while on duty (48 hours on, 48 off), and a $64,000 salary for six months' work.

So I rushed to the passport agency in downtown Seattle yesterday and got my passport. Now I'm waiting to do a telephone interview with the folks in Kuwait. If all goes well, I'll be dispatched to Kuwait City some time within the next few days, or as late as the end of this month. If all doesn't go well, I won't do it and will follow my ambition to move to Egypt, do the CELTA thing, teach EFL, etc.
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nstick13



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

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. As I've heard several times, all you need is a skill.

Hope it works out! Good luck!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15934
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds great rpc... I should think that there is a more need and better pay for EMTs in the US than for ESL.

I too hope it works out for you... and at that money, for longer term. Laughing

Is that for the US military or Kuwaiti military?

VS
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