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Sohar University
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Mystic Eyes



Joined: 16 Mar 2004
Posts: 11
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 10:20 am    Post subject: Sohar University Reply with quote

Dear all,

Does anyone have any info on Sohar University in Oman. I've recently applied and I just received an e-mail from them requesting a phone interview. I'd really appreciate any information about the working conditions there and living in Sohar.

Mystic Eyes
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cody jarrett



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 21
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine worked at Sohar Uni a couple of years ago, and I have visited the campus and stayed in the town.

The university is new and has had teething problems - especially with getting the yearly government grants on time, which can delay payment of wages/overtime. Maybe that problem is solved by now.

My buddy said his colleagues were fine to work with and the students were also, in the main, a pleasure to teach. The students are mostly at an elementary level of English when they arrive, which means that they must work hard to get to the level required to understand university lectures. Unfortunately, most of them do not work hard enough, but what is new,

Sohar is a sleepy seaside town with a couple of good hotels that are the local expat meeting places. No schools for kids though. Al Ain and Dubai are not far away by car and it is easy to rent a car - short or long term lease.

Hope that helps,
Cody
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Mystic Eyes



Joined: 16 Mar 2004
Posts: 11
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Cody. I guess it all sounds good, but the big drawback for me is the fact that there aren't any schools in Sohar, as I have a 5 yr. old son, so that rules out Sohar for me. Would you know if there are any good schools just outside Sohar, and if there are, how far away?

Mystic Eyes
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystic Eyes,

Just outside of Sohar is pretty much empty desert. The closest place with schools for expat kids would be the capital area. Way too far for commuting.

I think you will need to restrict your applications in Oman to those institutions in Muscat.

VS
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cody jarrett



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 21
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having checked with another colleague who also knows a bit about Sohar, it seems that there is an Indian school in Sohar and a Pakistani school. Both use English as the medium of instruction and are willing to take other expat kids when their school places have not been filled with their own nationals.

Worth checking out, but Muscat is a better bet.

Cody
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brad



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 2:22 pm    Post subject: Environmental Friendliness Reply with quote

I am very interested in your insight to the area as I am currently exploring a number of opportunities and need more information on the acceptance of 'North American' couples. Your reply indicates that you have such insight.
What are my chances of receiving advance pay as I have lost several thousands of dollars on my last two ESL contracts in China and South Korea?
Are there any terms and conditions that are part of a standard contract that I should question or of which I should be wary?
Is Muscat in the same country? Where would I obtain more information on job opportunities there?
Thank you.
Brian
cody jarrett wrote:
A friend of mine worked at Sohar Uni a couple of years ago, and I have visited the campus and stayed in the town.

The university is new and has had teething problems - especially with getting the yearly government grants on time, which can delay payment of wages/overtime. Maybe that problem is solved by now.

My buddy said his colleagues were fine to work with and the students were also, in the main, a pleasure to teach. The students are mostly at an elementary level of English when they arrive, which means that they must work hard to get to the level required to understand university lectures. Unfortunately, most of them do not work hard enough, but what is new,

Sohar is a sleepy seaside town with a couple of good hotels that are the local expat meeting places. No schools for kids though. Al Ain and Dubai are not far away by car and it is easy to rent a car - short or long term lease.

Hope that helps,
Cody
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kaw



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 302
Location: somewhere hot and sunny

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine is currently working in Sohar and things seem to be fine. As for schooling - his son (who's about 6 now - I think) is enrolled in the Indian school there and is doing ok although learning to speak English as an Indian would.
When you say 'Advance Pay' what exactly do you mean? Although I can't speak for Sohar - both the Uni's I've worked in in Oman have been ok about advancing a reasonable amount of my salary.
As for contracts - it's normal in Oman to get your flights paid, 30+days holiday, health cover, housing or an allowance for it and a transport allowance (usually if you buy a car).

Out of curiosity - how much do you actually know about Oman? Muscat - a great place is the capital - and about an hour and half away from Sohar. There are several colleges there as well as a few language schools. Type in 'educational institutions' (or similar) into any search engine and you should be able to find the names of several.

You don't mention your quals/experience - if you have your MA then I'd suggest heading to the Emirates instead where the money tends to be better and you'll have a larger choice of schools for your kid.

K
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brad



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a M.Ed. along with 2 undergraduate degrees and a professional engineering designation. Where in the Emirates would you suggestion I search for a suitable position? Thank you.
Brian
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crocus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad

If you really want Oman, you could try the Language Centre at Sultan Qaboos University; they're losing teachers this year and probably still need to recruit more.

Money depends on how long you've had your Masters - if it's 10+ years then you would probably be appointed as Assistant Lecturer on 835 rials basic + University Allowance of about 60 + Utilities allowance of about 44. [This would be according to the new scales that are just about to come in - we don't have any Lecturers anymore; just Senior Language Instructors and Assistant Lecturers - doesn't look great on the CV!] Of course, there's flights once a year, accommodation supplied (or allowance in lieu), transport allowance if you live off campus, 60 days paid holiday a year. Also, quite near the University there's the Royal Flight School (elementary kids only) and I believe you get an education allowance to pay some of the fees.

Happy hunting,
Crocus
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lionbrian



Joined: 26 Apr 2003
Posts: 136
Location: Micronesia

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 12:00 am    Post subject: FOR CROUS! Reply with quote

Dear Crocus,

As I am seriously in need for your help, I have sent you (p.m) a long message regarding the SQU job. Could you please reply?

Thanks a lot again for your input!

Enjoy the rest of your day!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crocus,

What is the salary for other than a 10 year old MA? What is the salary range these days?

Have they gone back to requiring an MA plus at least one years of experience?

VS
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crocus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi VS

The salary scales are just in the middle of changing for the people at the Language Centre - should (hopefully Rolling Eyes ) be up and running before the summer.

Probably the lowest any expat would be on would be the Instructor scale which seems to be coming in around the 700 rial base + the other allowances mentioned previously. This is, I think, for those with experience but not necessarily a Masters. Next is the Senior Instructor - at 750 base + allowances; next the Assistant Lecturer. Despite some members of staff having PhDs + experience, they have still been put on the Assistant Lecturer scale, not the Lecturer. Rumour has it that there are none 'worthy' of being lecturers apart from locals with PhDs who come back and are immediately made Assistant Professors.

Having said this, not sure if anyone has actually received a revamped contract yet, so who knows?? Still, it's a pretty decent place to work; the people who work there are very supportive of each other; no great politics at work; students are really nice; interesting place to live and explore. People could do worse (as long as they don't need the best money!)

Hope this gives an idea.

Crocus
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Crocus,

There had been hints of a new pay scale, so I hope that when something official comes out, you can post it on here for those that may be looking. Maybe give us a new thread with all the interesting details??

I taught there way back when the paint was barely dry and all of us lived on campus and many of us still got to be the first tenant - otherwise known as 'the good old days.' Cool

At the time they were requiring MAs. But, since it was mostly Americans that had them Shocked they decided to revamp things.

I still have friends teaching there and it is still a good place to work - as you said - if money is not your main goal.

VS
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brad



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crocus,
Thanks for your reply. I have had my M.Ed. for 9 years and am trying to find a school/university which recognizes its value (i.e., pays high). I guess that I should be looking for some place in UAE instead of Oman, but I am wondering what the (average) difference there is in salaries offered, and if the difference makes it worth the additional search? Thank you.
JYL
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad,

I am not sure that your questions are answerable. For instance, what is your understanding of the term 'pays high.' And only you can answer the question of 'whether it is worth the search.' We can only generalize and say that on average, the Emirates pays better than Oman merely because it is a richer country. But then you could apply to all those high payers in the Emirates and not one of them will offer you a job.

Much will depend on whether the individual institution believes that your teaching and educational experience is relevant to their needs.

And you often won't know that until you send in applications. If you search around on this board, you can find lots of discussions on many different institutions in Oman and the Emirates. If you find places that sound interesting, almost all of them have websites that pop up with a little use of google.

Then you can come back and here and ask more specific questions. Smile

VS
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