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Georgia recently?
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jooooooey



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:40 am    Post subject: Georgia recently? Reply with quote

I haven't seen much on Georgia lately, except one long rant that was closed. Footprints recruiting is trying to place some teachers in the public schools of this country. It doesn't pay anything ($300 a month) but there is food and housing, and free flights. Says most of the jobs are in Batumi. I was just wondering if anyone had anything to say about the place recently. I know there has been a lot of problems with war and whatever else there. (So I am not asking about the economic benefits of this country, as can be implied)
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Georgia recently? Reply with quote

jooooooey wrote:
I haven't seen much on Georgia lately, except one long rant that was closed. Footprints recruiting is trying to place some teachers in the public schools of this country. It doesn't pay anything ($300 a month) but there is food and housing, and free flights. Says most of the jobs are in Batumi. I was just wondering if anyone had anything to say about the place recently. I know there has been a lot of problems with war and whatever else there. (So I am not asking about the economic benefits of this country, as can be implied)


I was there last fall working for the US government. You can check out my website where I have at last count 168 stories with pictures on Georgia. If there are specific questions you have, don't hesitate to ask. The direct link is below:

http://travldawrld.blogspot.com/search/label/Georgia

Sadebugo
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jooooooey



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just wondering about the actual teaching more than anything. I don't know if anyone has worked in the public school system there. There is a startling lack of qualifications needed for this job, and I am afraid of getting myself into something that I regret. I also don't know much about Batumi. I wouldn't really want to be stuck in a tourist town where everyone speaks English. It's a smaller city.

Thanks for the reply.
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jooooooey wrote:
I was just wondering about the actual teaching more than anything. I don't know if anyone has worked in the public school system there. There is a startling lack of qualifications needed for this job, and I am afraid of getting myself into something that I regret. I also don't know much about Batumi. I wouldn't really want to be stuck in a tourist town where everyone speaks English. It's a smaller city.

Thanks for the reply.


I taught EFL to MOD civilians and military so can't comment on the public schools but I really enjoyed the country and the people. I've never been to Batumi but heard a lot of Georgians vacation there. I've also seen ads for the program you're considering and it sounds like the EPIK program in Korea--high aspirations but little planning.

Sadebugo
http://travldawrld.blogspot.com/
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live right by the Abkhazian border and it is totally safe. PM me, too many details to give you.
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Alsion



Joined: 04 Jul 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just spent a month in Georgia. I didn't make it to Batumi but it's not that touristy a country, even in Tbilisi (English teachers I met actually wished there were a few more expats to socialise with). However, there are a lot of Israeli toursts (perhaps 70% of foreigners I met)! The place is perfectly safe in my opinion. I chatted to Georgians about the schools programme you mention and read a lot of political articles - they are just chronically short of English teachers and the current Government is keen to get more English into schools. I understand that the programme was intended to appeal to young graduates in the UK/US/Australia etc looking for a fun gap year - you stay with a local family, learn Georgian, etc. It's a cultural exchange programme as much as anything. I understood that it was spread across the country especially outside the main towns, where perhaps decent English teachers are otherwise hard to come by. Thus I'd be surprised if they really were concentrated in Batumi, although they are perhaps preparing for the influx of foreign tourists like in every big city, with building works all over the place. Whether the expected numbers of tourists actually come in the next few years remains to be seen!
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Splenda



Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone comment on whether Georgia is a place to some Russian while teaching there? I am wondering what portion of the population speak Russian, or is Georgian the only language spoken there.
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Splenda wrote:
Can anyone comment on whether Georgia is a place to some Russian while teaching there? I am wondering what portion of the population speak Russian, or is Georgian the only language spoken there.


Most adult Georgians learned Russian in school and use it as sort of a lingua franca as the Georgian language isn't spoken widely outside the country. Although I didn't ask about this while living there, I imagine there are numerous schools to learn the language although the focus now seems to be English.

Sadebugo
http://travldawrld.blogspot.com/
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kclaib



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 7
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alsion wrote:
I just spent a month in Georgia. I didn't make it to Batumi but it's not that touristy a country, even in Tbilisi (English teachers I met actually wished there were a few more expats to socialise with). However, there are a lot of Israeli toursts (perhaps 70% of foreigners I met)! The place is perfectly safe in my opinion. I chatted to Georgians about the schools programme you mention and read a lot of political articles - they are just chronically short of English teachers and the current Government is keen to get more English into schools. I understand that the programme was intended to appeal to young graduates in the UK/US/Australia etc looking for a fun gap year - you stay with a local family, learn Georgian, etc. It's a cultural exchange programme as much as anything. I understood that it was spread across the country especially outside the main towns, where perhaps decent English teachers are otherwise hard to come by. Thus I'd be surprised if they really were concentrated in Batumi, although they are perhaps preparing for the influx of foreign tourists like in every big city, with building works all over the place. Whether the expected numbers of tourists actually come in the next few years remains to be seen!


So could one land in Tbilisi and find work quickly?
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Georgia recently? Reply with quote

jooooooey wrote:
I haven't seen much on Georgia lately, except one long rant that was closed.
Oh those rants. I do miss them. Crying or Very sad
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jooooooey



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just following up my post. I went ahead and signed up for the program, I've been here since October.

About Russian: Nearly every single Georgian I have met speaks Russian to some degree or other. The older generation usually does not know English, but will know Russian. There are also a lot of products/medicine in Russian. It is not necessary, but I really wish I knew it since I don't speak much Georgian. However, the younger generation knows English. Most (at least the younger ones) are not so keen on Russian, due to politics and otherwise, but will still know it.

I get the feeling that English will take over Russian as the lingua franca in the future, but then again, Russia is on the border, an English country is not.

As for the program:

The public schools have a lot of problems: underfunded, bad facilities, low pay for the teachers, discipline problems... But for me, it has been great. I got placed in Tbilisi, which is where the majority get placed (a large percent of the population is there). I think the Batumi thing was to appeal to potential teachers as a paradise town, but it is rather small. I help my teachers, am given the freedom to teach them more or less how I want when I run the class. Sometimes I do a lot of sitting around, but sometimes I am very active. The work day is fairly short, the kids are incredibly enthusiastic. I've found that when you introduce things that stimulate their minds (they are used to a lot of repetition stuff) such as games or whatever, they suddenly get much more interested.

Tibilis is very interesting, as is the rest of the country. The only thing is that you don't get to choose where, and if you are a city person there's a chance you could get placed in a little farm town or something. But some of the little towns are very beautiful and interesting.

A lot of my fellow native English speakers weren't so hot on the program, largely because of the poor state of a lot of the schools. But I have liked it a lot. The place is very safe, I have never felt in danger of getting robbed or mugged or anything anywhere I go, like I do in some parts of cities in the US. And the country is very interesting.

I think a larger majority of the native English speakers were fresh-out-of-college younger kids, but there were also a lot of seasoned teachers, or older teachers just looking for something different. Some of the volunteers didn't see much to do in their school, and so didn't try to do much, and hence did a lot of sitting around in their classes and not teaching.

You know, I don't think I've met any Israeli, but maybe it's just the parts of Georgia that I've been. I met a couple American and Australian tourists, but I think the tourism thing is relatively new here so it hasn't developed.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. Feel free to PM or write me if anyone has any questions.
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jooooooey wrote:
I am just following up my post. I went ahead and signed up for the program, I've been here since October.

About Russian: Nearly every single Georgian I have met speaks Russian to some degree or other. The older generation usually does not know English, but will know Russian. There are also a lot of products/medicine in Russian. It is not necessary, but I really wish I knew it since I don't speak much Georgian. However, the younger generation knows English. Most (at least the younger ones) are not so keen on Russian, due to politics and otherwise, but will still know it.

I get the feeling that English will take over Russian as the lingua franca in the future, but then again, Russia is on the border, an English country is not.

As for the program:

The public schools have a lot of problems: underfunded, bad facilities, low pay for the teachers, discipline problems... But for me, it has been great. I got placed in Tbilisi, which is where the majority get placed (a large percent of the population is there). I think the Batumi thing was to appeal to potential teachers as a paradise town, but it is rather small. I help my teachers, am given the freedom to teach them more or less how I want when I run the class. Sometimes I do a lot of sitting around, but sometimes I am very active. The work day is fairly short, the kids are incredibly enthusiastic. I've found that when you introduce things that stimulate their minds (they are used to a lot of repetition stuff) such as games or whatever, they suddenly get much more interested.

Tibilis is very interesting, as is the rest of the country. The only thing is that you don't get to choose where, and if you are a city person there's a chance you could get placed in a little farm town or something. But some of the little towns are very beautiful and interesting.

A lot of my fellow native English speakers weren't so hot on the program, largely because of the poor state of a lot of the schools. But I have liked it a lot. The place is very safe, I have never felt in danger of getting robbed or mugged or anything anywhere I go, like I do in some parts of cities in the US. And the country is very interesting.

I think a larger majority of the native English speakers were fresh-out-of-college younger kids, but there were also a lot of seasoned teachers, or older teachers just looking for something different. Some of the volunteers didn't see much to do in their school, and so didn't try to do much, and hence did a lot of sitting around in their classes and not teaching.

You know, I don't think I've met any Israeli, but maybe it's just the parts of Georgia that I've been. I met a couple American and Australian tourists, but I think the tourism thing is relatively new here so it hasn't developed.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. Feel free to PM or write me if anyone has any questions.


Thanks so much for updating us! I hope you appreciate the time you have there. I left Georgia 15 months ago and still think about it daily. It will be my home when I retire.

Sadebugo
http://travldawrld.blogspot.com/
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WanderAround



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update! I have also been looking into the program, but there are a couple different recruiters offering the positions.

One is Footprints, and the other is Greenheart Travel.

From what I have read about the Footprints program, it is ending around the middle of the year, while the program by Greenheart Travel offers start dates twice per month for the rest of 2011.

I will be graduating in August, so I am looking for something in September.

I'll send you a PM, as I have a few other questions about the process.

Thanks!
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mackayscanland



Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Sadebugo,

I'm glad to finally be able to talk with someone who is there! Q's (and there will be plenty of them).

How's the wifi?
work hours?
days, ect.
weekend exploring?
short contracts?

Just throw some info out there on why to go there!
I'm trying to make arrangements to go there in the summer(late may-aug).

Thanks for all the info in advance, much gratis!
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Sadebugo



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 518

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mackayscanland wrote:
Hey Sadebugo,

I'm glad to finally be able to talk with someone who is there! Q's (and there will be plenty of them).

How's the wifi?
work hours?
days, ect.
weekend exploring?
short contracts?

Just throw some info out there on why to go there!
I'm trying to make arrangements to go there in the summer(late may-aug).

Thanks for all the info in advance, much gratis!


I'm not there now, but wish I were. Actually, I'm returning to Djibouti for a six-month assignment leaving in two weeks. But, I think I can answer a few of your questions.

Now keep in mind, the US government sent me to Georgia so what I experienced may be a little different that what you will.

*If you're in T'bilisi, internet service is generally good whether you have your own connection or use a cafe. In the time I was there, I rarely experienced an outage and the speed was acceptable. I have no idea about the service outside T'bilisi.

*Monday through Friday beginning at 9am while ending at 5pm. Again, this may have been specific to my job.

*It was very easy getting outside the city. Most people take a taxi and negotiate a price beforehand. For example, I contracted a driver to take me to Mtskheta which is about 30-40 kms outside the capital. For six hours, taking me anywhere I wanted in that town, he charged the equivalent of 50 dollars. Since I went with someone, we split the cost. Very cheap and convenient. If you find the right driver with some English skills, he can also function as a pseudo-tourist guide. Once I found a good one, I used him every weekend.

*I think the TLG contracts are relatively short but, as I said before, I went with my employer and did not work in the private sector.

Hope this helped a little, Sadebugo
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