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Should we accept this offer?

 
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Sodeosodeo



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:25 pm    Post subject: Should we accept this offer? Reply with quote

My boyfriend and I have both been offered native speaker positions at Wall Street Institute in Istanbul. Salary for each of us will be 1800 TL /month, with 33 working hours/week, 6 days a week. Flight reimbursement and healthcare will be given after 3 months. WSI will cover half of our fees to get visas and permits. 28 days vacation (Paid at end of contract), and national holidays.

We both have the 40 hour TEFL certificate along with 4 year degrees (not in English) and a little bit of coaching experience, so we are new to teaching.

We're looking for adventure and good eats. What do you guys think?
Can we live off of 3600 TL / month for the both of us? Will we have any fun? Will we be able to travel?

They've also asked us which side (Europe or Asia) that we'd prefer working. Any recommendations?

Anything helps! Thank you.
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guitarboy53



Joined: 11 Aug 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Sodeosodeo,

The offer from WSI sounds very low. Since all WSI locations are franchised, they treat their teachers differently depending on the location. Does the offer include housing? If so, making 3600 lira between two people will be doable. If they are not providing housing, forget it. Decent housing starts at 1k per month and your bills will be around 600 lira per month. Factor in food, transportation, fun and travel, you haven't got much left over.

My advice to you: keep looking. You will find a better offer. 33 working hours 6 days a week is simply too much.

Another thing to consider is private lessons. You can make upwards to 100 lira per hour or more depending on your qualifications and/or what subjects you decide to teach.

Remember, Istanbul is not a cheap city--at least it's not what it used to be. There are some really great opportunities, but it requires some legwork on your part to find them.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any other questions Smile
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 155
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Came here to agree with guitarboy up there. The offer is very low for the amount of hours. An average wage at language schools should be at least 18 TL per teaching hour, plus ask for rent stipend if they don't offer it. When I started at English Time I was paid 18 TL, plus 300 TL extra a month per rent, plus a 1600 USD bonus at the end of a 10 month contract. Wall Street is supposed to be a decent school, but if I were you I would haggle with them. You should be paid more for your time, Istanbul isn't cheap.
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svenhassel



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Location: Ayazaga

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

personally I wouldn't even consider any of the language schools in istanbul but i did hear that british side were good.

apply to uni prep schools first, you could be earning at least 3600 each for 24 contact hours there, probably 4000+. if that fails there are plenty of language schools to choose from with similiar offers to wall str.

good luck
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Sodeosodeo



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies!

Do you think that a 40 hour TEFL and a 4 year degree is qualified enough to land a gig at a Uni Prep School?

Can you recommend any to start with?
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 380
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sodeosodeo wrote:

Do you think that a 40 hour TEFL and a 4 year degree is qualified enough to land a gig at a Uni Prep?


No.

And regarding the contract from Wall Street, the major obstacle to your having fun wouldn't be the combined salary. It would be the 33 hours per week.

It's insane.
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svenhassel



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Location: Ayazaga

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

actually, yes.

EF will be hiring teachers to work in Beykent Uni next year no doubt, this is a good way to get your foot on the prep school ladder and the pay is far better than straight language school work. 90% of NS teachers move onto better things after one year at this place.

On the other hand:

Bilgi, Ozyegin and lesser reputed uni's have people teaching on their prep courses right now with just a celta and making well over 4000. Minimum Experience helps but I know people who have gone straight into these Universities from their Celta courses.

By the way, an MA in anything will land you a nice job in Koc teaching English, as the Dos there only has an MA in needle work or something....

There is a dire shortage of qualified teachers in Istanbul so these schools are accepting applications from the less qualified. It seems the most highly qualified and experienced teachers do not hang around in Turkey.

Many people running these courses also have little understanding of the TEFL industry and so cannot distinguish or chose not to distinguish between the celta/less prestigious tefl courses/the delta, and so if they like your CV and your face in the interview, you're hired.

Language schools should be a last resort... if only for the low pay and anti-social hours.

good luck!
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 155
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...celta/less prestigious tefl courses/the delta"

CELTA and TEFL are essentially the same thing. I don't know why TEFL gets a bad rap around here. As long as the course is accredited in some way (there are several) it's a legitimate certification and has the exact same weight as a CELTA.

Also, these comfortable prep school and uni positions are few and far between. 90% of the positions available at these schools are far less than comfortable. You'll work more hours for more pay, but not ridiculously more. I've had numerous friends work at universities and private schools only to quit because the work environment was crazy as were the hours and managment. There's a reason why you see experienced teachers at language schools occasionally. DO NOT go into prep/private schools or universities expecting to be paid 4000 TL, because there are very few schools that pay that much. More power to you if you can find a position like that, but it takes a good amount of luck and timing.

In the mean time, don't get ripped off with the low ball offer. You can make much more than that at a language school. Will the teachers, management, and students be of a good quality? No, not really. But working in a language school can allow you to live comfortably and figure out the teaching thing if you're just starting.
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svenhassel



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Location: Ayazaga

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sure, it's a question of how serious you want to get in this profession. You will work harder in a University because you will be teaching the four skills and language much more intensely in order to prepare students for academic study. At a Language school the focus is mainly commercial, to make profit for the owners, so the teaching is a means to that end.

If your primary aim is to travel then a language school is probably what you need. If you want to get into the teaching business and professional development is your primary focus then you need to be in a university environment or a serious language school.

As for why CELTA is taken more seriously.. probably because it's accredited by Cambridge University which is in itself accredited by long standing Government bodies. Many other tefl courses are totally unmonitored and so their quality cannot be assured.
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Sodeosodeo



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the great insight!

Our main reason for teaching is to provide income while we have a year long (possibly two) adventure experiencing new places and new people. Of course, we'd like to make a positive impact in the teaching world. In no way do we want to short change anyone, but at the same time if we're looking at 1-2 years and the investment of a CELTA seems a bit much.

Although we have little actual experience in the classroom, we have experience coaching and are both creative people. I think we still have something to offer a program. Sounds like a language school is probably our best bet, so we'll keep looking for a better offer. I contacted Wall Street and asked for 2000 TL/month salary plus 300 TL housing allowance and they refused. Seemed fair to me for working 6 days a week. Also, they don't provide health insurance for the first 3 months which I thought was strange.

Oh well, here's hoping something better comes along!
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La Reve



Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 62
Location: Ici

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Should we accept this offer? Reply with quote

Wall Street in Turkey is not admirable. They promise visas, then string people along for four months (legal time limit for a tourist visa, I think), then let their hired people get deported.

It also seems that many or most of the language schools in Istanbul do not offer legal work visas. Consequently, many teachers were travelling to Greece and directly returning to Istanbul on a new visa, but the government has recently changed the rules on that, making it impossible to continue doing that.

Sorry I don't have all the details, seeing as I work on the other side of the country.

Please have a sense of humility rather than youthful delusion. Not having taught in a classroom does not make you qualified for most decent jobs in most countries. Other than Korea and Japan. Japan seems to prefer anyone under 30, and Korea loves to exploit young, inexperienced people. Even with a masters, after teaching overseas for 10 years, I returned to college for a teacher's credential, something that is now becoming a requirement in the EFL field.

Your best bet, IMHO, would be volunteer jobs, hopefully ones that pay room and board. There's one listed for Northern Thailand. Sometimes such positions are posted for Burma too. Then there is some kind of special internships the US government was offering to young people to be teacher assistants in Spain. Have you checked out the Peace Corps?

You could also try China. Any job there would require a lot of research. You would also have to check the pollution levels. I know two people who had to leave China cause the pollution was making them sick everyday.

Good luck!
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mfuechec



Joined: 09 Feb 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's impossible to do a visa run now? Is that true? That's kinda gunna ruin my summer.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9378
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
CELTA and TEFL are essentially the same thing. I don't know why TEFL gets a bad rap around here. As long as the course is accredited in some way (there are several) it's a legitimate certification and has the exact same weight as a CELTA.


May I elucidate on this a bit?

TEFL just means Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and MANY cert course providers use the acronym as a part of their company names. This can be Joe Smith offering a $25 cert, all the way up to something that is really CELTA equivalent - in which case, as oipivo points out, it's equally acceptable.

If 'you' have a TEFL cert, it's important to highlight exactly what that entails on your CV and cover letter.

A generic TEFL cert that is 120 hours onsite and included at least 6 hours of supervised teaching practice with real students is equivalent to a CELTA.

A TEFL that was 40 hours on site and the teaching practice was with peer trainees is not.
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maenad1



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working with an unnamed TEFL certificate, you won't find a job at a university unless you are lucky, or with British Side. (That's the best language school).

Unnamed tefl certificates are often even BETTER than CELTA. However, virtually no employers have got either the time or motivation to dig around online and find out for certain how good yours is.

Think about it. If you get a cert from JOE BLOGGS ENGLISH TEACHING you will be suspicious, but what about one named (random name) CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH TEACHING INSTITUTE? It could be crap, or magnificient.

Just English and ILM are dependably fairly-good-not-rotten. Neither of them are franchised so there's no danger of ending up in a really terrible school. English Time is not franchised but I've never met someone who would recommend it.

Istanbul is good fun but it's not cheap. Try to make sure your school is fairly central and your accommodation is close to the school. Ask how many minutes travel time it is from the school to Taksim or Kadikoy. More than 30 - don't go.
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