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OUTSIDE Bratislava?

 
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brightlightcity



Joined: 27 May 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:58 am    Post subject: OUTSIDE Bratislava? Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I have just been offered a job in Slovakia, in a small city called Banska Bystrica. Does anyone have any info on working in a city outside of Bratislava? Any info on Slovakia or inside anything from former teachers would be great. Food, people, ESL students, attitudes toward English schools in general?

I passed through Bratislava a few years ago on a backpacking trip but beyond that I don't have any Slovakian experience or info.


Thanks!!
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Kofola



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 148
Location: Slovakia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I have worked in many different towns in Slovakia.

The students are friendly and very keen, generally speaking. It's very hard to get jobs these days without some knowledge of English, so they tend to be motivated. But it does depend on whether you are teaching adults or young teens. Teenagers are generally better behaved than their more western counterparts, but this is changing quickly.

The food is good - typically Slav mostly. But you can find restaurants of all sorts these days. The daily lunch menu costs about 3 euros. The law states that all full time employees must get lunch vouchers provided. They should cover a two-course lunch. Otherwise eating out is expensive.

You've probably been told that the salary offered is good by local standards. That's because wages are really low here. Some things are cheaper, but many things are not. Clothes are much more expensive. A lot of people in Bratislava go shopping in Austria as it's cheaper. Supermarket food is often comparable to prices in the UK. Transport is very cheap. So is coffee or a beer.

BB is a lovely place. I have friends who live there so visit sometimes. Great hiking and skiing nearby. It's a university town so there's a nice mix of people.

Hope it helps.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9493
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to ask the school some questions regarding the cost of renting a flat and what percentage of your salary you should expect to spend on this. As Kofola has pointed out, local wages will be relatively low - but the locals won't have to pay rents at the same rate as an expat foreigner will - and most families will have multiple incomes to support their housing costs.

The point is that you can find yourself spending half (or even more) of your net salary on housing, and this is something you probably want to factor in.
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brightlightcity



Joined: 27 May 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They said that I would pay between 100 and 150 euros for housing, and my salary is around 7 euros an hour. No guaranteed teaching hours, but I'm sure that I can work with that. What do you think?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9493
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to be sure that the 7 euro is net. If not, you will want to know the taxable rate.

So, you must work about 21 hours per month just to pay for housing. That's about one full work week, normally, but if they aren't guaranteeing any hours, that's ... a bit scary - I might try to get them to guarantee an average across the Sept-June period of, say, 6 or 8 (2-hour) classes per week at minimum. You'll need to calculate the bare minimum income monthly you will need to meet expenses.

I presume they are reluctant to guarantee anything in light of the fact that there will be times in the year when there are no classes (winter and spring holidays, July & August, etc). This is why you might push for a minimum average across the contract period. They ARE offering a contract, right???

In circumstances like this, you should technically be free to build up a bank of private students to supplement your income, but you might also want to clarify the school's position on this. If you meet a student through the school, can you later work with him/her privately at his/her request? What about his/her family members? Will you be restricted? Obviously, you don't want to steal students from the school, and in a small town, this might be inevitable to some degree....you will need to know to what degree your ability to recruit private students will be limited.
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Kofola



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 148
Location: Slovakia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would ask some very detailed questions about what they are actually offering you.

If your contract is with them but they can't guarantee you minimum hours, don't provide you with accommodation etc, then what is the advantage of working for them?

Normally working for an employer means that you earn less per hour eg 7 euros as opposed to 20, but are entitled to the perks such as paid holidays, luncheon vouchers, expenses and the fact that they are obliged to provide you with work and if they are unable to do so still have to pay you. And of course you don't need an accountant.

You shouldn't have any problems finding private sts. There are many uni students there, ski resorts nearby with related service industries, and it is a large town by Slovak standards (in the top 4). Even in the smallest town I worked in (17,000), I always had far more requests for private lessons than could cope with.

Whatever they tell you about tax, be aware that the govt is currently discussing how to raise taxation to cover the deficit in public finances - be it income tax increases or VAT (currently a uniform 19% on everything) the latter being touted a lot in the media at the moment.
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