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Why Saudi and not Japan?
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sidjameson



Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 628
Location: osaka

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guest. Yes you are right. I am lucky and the local tax does apply. but everybody I know gets transportation paid for. Maybe it's Osaka. How about where you are?
Don't you think though that anyone can earn about $4000 a month without killing themselves? Again talking about the guys with a little experience.
What does a teacher, teaching 25 hours a week, typically earn in Saudi?
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dmb



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 8397

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again I'm not talking about Saudi but Qatar. you'll get about $3000 amonth. But also no bills, no tax, car, insurance and accomodation. You also get holiday pay and end of contract bonus which equals 2 months pay. Also an important factor is the cost of living. I eat out on a regular basis(almost every night)

In japan can you have a curry, salad, rice and nan bread for $2? It's normal here.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:58 pm    Post subject: Arrrggghhhhh! Reply with quote

Dear sidjameson,

"How would you describe the general mood of the teachers over there? Happy, having a good time(of course there must be some sacrifices) or is it a more grin and bear it type situation?"

Lordy, I HATE this kind of question - mainly because "mood" depends almost entirely upon the individual, so giving a "general" response could be very misleading. When there, I used to get e-mails from teachers considering going to the Kingdom and some would inevitably ask:

"Will I like it there?"

Well, sweet sufferin' succotash - how the heck would I know, having not a clue as to what that person was like?
Sorry sid - your post triggered one of my "pet peeves". OK, I'll give it a shot. Happy?? Nope, I can't say that I saw too many happy teachers over there - but then, I don't see too many happy people anywhere. But, if you get a good employment situation (and I had one) you can be content. Of course, somethimes you have to "grin and bear it" no matter where you are, but one's "mood" is going to depend primarily on two main factors:

1. the sort of person you are
2. your job situation

I'm afraid that's the best I can do.
Regards,
John
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

25 hours per week?

John -- Have you ever taught that many hours? It used to be 12-15, but places may be creeping up to 20 these days. (or so it seems in Oman and the Emirates) The max I ever taught was 20 at one job and I was saving over $2000 per month (if I had stayed, it would now be double that).

How about the other Saudi hands? or Emirates as it is a similar situation in many ways.

One big difference that I can see is that few teachers have more than one job in the Middle East. I only did private lessons when a poor grad student in Egypt or a couple times as personal favors in Oman.

VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:45 pm    Post subject: The Hours Reply with quote

Dear veiledsentiments,
When I first started out at the IPA (1980) the contract load was 18 hours a week (50 minute classes). It got pushed up to 22 sometime in the 90s, can't recall exactly when. But I used to do considerable overload (as it was called there) and averaged about 32 hours a week, especially in the late 90s, early 2000s.
A fair number of my colleagues had (illegal) 2nd jobs, either as private tutors or with other companies. I had a few myself, and the ironic thing is that in almost all of those cases, it was Saudi colleagues from the IPA who asked me to take them on.
Regards,
John
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

The only place I ever worked that offered the option of overtime classes on another campus was Kuwait University. (and I wasn't interested) Extra work was forbidden in every one of my contracts. Fortunately I felt that I was making enough, so I didn't mind. (not to mention that I normally taught writing and was happy to have an evening to relax and read some grammatical prose.)

VS
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guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sidjameson,
Before my present job I was at a large eikaiwa. There was no chance of me earning the wage you mentioned.

My present job is in a high school in a pretty rural area. My salary is about $2500 with a house included. Because it is so rural there is is little demand for English. There are no nearby opportunities to make extra money. I am leaving my present school in 5 days, but staying with my company. My salary will go up to about $2900. I will also be living in a much more urban area and I will have to pay my own accommodation. I expect to be able to take on enough extra work to make the $4000 mark you post. It's taken me over three and a half years to make this number a possibility.

I think that many of the very qualified people working in the ME can make more than me with less time here. But, age is a factor, and I think they would have to work more hours in Japan than the ME.

A big key to making money in Japan is getting into one of the big cities. This is where opportunities abound, but the competition is steeper.
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ohman



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 239
Location: B' Um Fouk, Egypt

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:13 am    Post subject: Wanna Job? You can have mine Reply with quote

Why Saudi and not Japan?
Saudi Arabia is a horrible place to live these days. It is the most backward quasi-modern country on the planet and there are well educated thoughtful Saudis who would be the first to tell you that.

Pick up another evening job or more privates where you are and make the same money. Give it a year until we find out which way the winds of reform blow. They could blow into the 21st century but just as likely blow towards the 6th.

I was here pre-9/11 and now post. Before, I'd have handed you an empty platitude about "the mind being its own place". . .but then that particular shopworn axiom was written by a man who idolized an English puritan every bit as whacked out as a mutawa.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:46 am    Post subject: The horror, the horror Reply with quote

Dear ohman,
Milton and Cromwell, natch. So, it's Paradise Lost, huh? No more making a heaven of Hell? Perhaps, for ONCE in my life, my sense of timing wasn't all that bad.
Regards,
John
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titanicman



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:03 am    Post subject: Dating Reply with quote

Dating successfully in compounds does work out. A female Korean friend dated a European man for some time in KSA compounds before marrying back in their hometowns. They met here, dated here, married there, and are now back living here together.
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are just too many negatives to go to Saudi these days.
The salaries in most cases are going nowhere and have not increased for at least 10 years. There is also now the ongoing security issues coupled with a very anti western attitude. If you add the other cultural problems like a lack of nomal social interaction then you have a very unattractive package. I forgot also the low US dollar which means if you are not American a signifigant decrease in salary.
For English teaching i think there are much better options at the moment and i would consider China or Vietnam or Japan. I know in Australia that they have jobs going in China with western salaries which are arranged thru the colleges and as such are not nomally advertised so i would probably go that way.
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shebab



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you add the other cultural problems like a lack of nomal social interaction then you have a very unattractive package


What exactly is "normal" social interaction? Going to bars and tatoo parlors? Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country. It has its own social norms which are very different from those in the US (or even from neighboring Gulf countries). Some people actually enjoy staying home with a good book, chatting with Indian sales people in a shopping mall or even meeting other Arabs at a coffee shop in the old souk. Perhaps learning Arabic could take up some of your time. After all, that is the language of the country!

As for security issues, try living in Medellin Colombia during the mid 90s...

The one thing which has always turned me off to Saudi was the negativity of its Western "expats". Perhaps if they left Saudi Arabia and went back to a "normal" society, they would quickly find they had nothing to complain about and be bored out of their minds!
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mostly I agree with you shebab. Not all of us need bars and pubs in order to socilialize - I certainly, would perfer a good chat with intelligent friends than shoulting over blairing music in some club.

However, having said that, I do think establishing any kind of social life is a challenge for a single person in KSA these days, esp. if you are a woman. As a woman, I can't just head down to the cafe and start chatting with the chebab - I even have to be careful not to get too friendly with the Indian sales assistant! Also, as you know, Saudi society is extremely difficult to penetrate, again, esp.if you're a woman as the Saudi women you meet have almost no independence and it is hard to get to spend timewith them outside work.

As for the ex-pat community... Well, previous post s of mine have made clear that I share your rather negative attitude to our fellow ex-pats - with some exceptions, of course. I always tell people here that it's not the Saudis who bother me so much, it's the other expats with their whining jingoism. As you say, they love being in a place where they can feel superior and also like some sort of threathened minority.
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shebab
I am not sure what your problem is but the fact is that Saudi is a very difficult country to live in for a western expat.
There is no lack of bars in Saudi by the way as most compounds have private bars where you can get as smashed as you like if that is your thing.
I have mentioned all the things in another post that you can do to make your stay more pleasureable but the fact remains that Saudi society is not inclusive and does not really welcome non muslims and even non Saudis for that matter. The little things that you take for granted at home do not exist here. There is a very good reason why people have historically been paid more here and that is because it is a difficult place to live.
If you take away the good salary hardly anyone would come.
That should tell you something.
Inspite of these diffiuclties i and many others have managed to fashion a life of sorts which does not include getting smashed all the time and whingeing and complaining. My stint in Saudi has helped me to change careers and offer me opportunities that were not available to me in my home country and i have also managed to guarantee myself some sort of financial security as a result.
Nonetheless the situation here is deteriorating and one must recognise the fact that you are also making a big personal sacrifice by living in an extremely repressive and xenophobic environment.
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ohman



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 239
Location: B' Um Fouk, Egypt

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Nonetheless the situation here is deteriorating


That says it all. Those teachers who remain, and who are content, have been here for so many years, they seem to hardly know the difference between then and now. Why leave if you have the curriculum memorized frontwards and backwards, have acquired a bit of wasta, have secured the best perks like primo housing and schedules loaded with release time? For everyone else, the stress can be phenomenal. The sandbags, the machine guns, the increased check points can be too much.

bin Laden is a hero, plain and simple, and when bombs explode in Spain or Moscow, it is for these young fellas you'll teach here like their side scoring a goal. And they are not shy about tellig you this.

A university job with three night classes at an ELS or Amideast teaching TOEFL prep will pay basically what you'd make in kingdom.
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