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Princess Noura University (PNU)
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16070
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
and lastly wrote:
Also, have there been any cases of sexual harassment/rape of foreign females? Is this something I should be very concerned about in KSA?

No. This is more likely a problem for Indonesian or Filipina maids working in private homes. Expat women from other parts of the world generally find the Kingdom quite safe compared to their home countries, mostly due to the gender segregation.

Just to clarify this one a bit. While one is probably safe from rape, sexual harassment on the street is common, but mainly tiresome rather than dangerous. Really really tiresome... Rolling Eyes

We have had examples of women of color with Western passports who have had more issues and left PNU/KSA because of it.

VS
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vamanos12



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know is it only a two year contract with this school? Not my favorite question, but what would be the consequences of not meeting the two year contract and doing only 1 year?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16070
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most contracts have an exit clause. The employer can pretty much dump you at any time for any reason (with severance at the better employers... the bad ones will make up a reason to fire you)... but you must give notice in writing X amount of time before you plan to depart. Normally something like 6 months or a semester. In other words, you would need to have made up your mind by mid-semester of your first year that you don't plan to come back.

But... can't guarantee this is what the PNU contract says...

VS
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stynkitofu



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for answering my questions, NS & VS.

Is it common practice for teachers living in university housing to pay for utilities? Or does this vary based on each institution? If I were to pay for my utilities, how much should I generally expect to pay per month?

I found out that I will be directly employed by PNU even though I was recruited by an external agency. I have read many negative comments about teachers' experiences at PNU but, they have all been very vague. Can anyone share a more detailed account of their experience?

Are there any male teachers/administrators at PNU?

This might be a silly question, but what is the dress code for women who plan to use the gym/pool?

Are there craft stores in Riyadh, like Michael's, JoAnn, or A.C. Moore?

Does anyone know if PNU requires their teachers to surrender their passports? Has anyone encountered any serious problems with surrendering their passports to their employer? Is the iqama enough identification?

How do female teachers go out in public? Can women go out together without a man accompanying them? Is it acceptable for a woman to go out alone, as long as she is dressed appropriately?

What things would you recommend a female teacher pack with her for her first time living in the KSA/working for PNU?
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vamanos12



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone who has interviewed for the PNU contract via University of Auckland understand what the year long schedule is? The recruiter didn't know the dates and said it was on the webpage, but I didn't see anything. Do you have Summers off or do they expect you to work June, July, August? I was told that it was a year by year contract and you have to give 2 months notice, so that is a positive.
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wantok



Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....

Last edited by wantok on Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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posh



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wantok wrote:
Do not necessarily expect to be in a classroom in early September, no matter what the headhunter says. Ramadan is happening and during that time everything in business and gov't closes down during the day. Do not expect much service from Saudi embassies, either.


Styn: Of course there are male admin and teachers at PNU -- kept at quite some enforced distance from you. The men teach from a closet in front of a one-way mirror. Students see him, but not the converse. Teacher and students communicate via mic.


Ramadan is in August this year - it goes backwards.

Teaching in front of a one-way mirror! Now that is wee-erd Shocked
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teechagimme



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 56
Location: S. Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can just imagine how much learning happens when the teacher can't even see the students who are acting out...and it's not like PNU students have the slightest desire or motivation to learn. Quelle nightmare!
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posh



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would make monitoring pairwork a bit tricky.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pair work is a nono in KSA. Group work sometimes works but forget all the stuff you did on your CELTA.
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wantok



Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....

Last edited by wantok on Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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desert_traveller



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 306

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Pair work is a nono in KSA.

As far as I can remember, any sort of work is a no-no in the KSA.
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c_dange
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stynkitofu, to answer a few of your questions:

- It's not uncommon in KSA to surrender your passport to your employer. They are kept in a safe at the company's head office and can be requested at any time. You are given a photocopy which, because of this common practice, serves as credible ID when you're out n about. Unless you have an iqama, which is more valuable than your passport in KSA. If you want to leave the country you need to trade in your iqama and ask for your passport back...along with an exit visa. In my experience, the company has been happy to comply with this request.

- I have never been short changed on my salary, and so far the contract I signed has been honoured. However, sometimes payday can be one or two days late...this is usually due to laziness and a Saudi disregard for time rather than the company trying to screw you. There is no tax deducted from your monthly salary.

- The school year for 2012/2013 will start after Ramadan (late August) and end in early June. At that point you have the option for a 2-month vacation. If you want to earn more money your company may offer you the option of working one of the months for extra pay. This could include summer school, summer camp, or working at one of their private language centres. You also get a 3-week mid semester break in January (paid) and both Eid holidays paid (about 10-14 days each).

- It's common to experience sexual harassment from the neighbourhood adolescent boys or the male migrant workers who loiter on street corners. But that depends how you define sexual harassment - unabashed staring? people speaking at you in Arabic? a bad vibe from a stranger? For the most part, these are minor annoyances and they don't pevent me from moving around. The general attitude of the Saudi public is one of protectionism towards women as 'the weaker sex'. I find that wearing the hijab (even though it's not required) helps to command others' respect and avoid unwanted attention.

- Although there are absolutely no men allowed on PNU campus, our 'all-women's' compound has a handful of male security guards who hold insider privileges. I have had nothing but positive experiences with them and doubt that they would jeopardize their jobs by harassing women.

- As for sexual assault, the biggest threat is from cab drivers who sometimes overstep their boundaries...obviously you have to exercise caution when getting into a car with someone you don't know. This is clearly a problem of women not being able to drive...combined with the fact that you reveal yourself as a foreigner whenever you speak English. But to answer your question, I don't live in fear of being raped in KSA anymore than I live with that fear here in Canada.

- Packing is a very personal endeavour, but I'd recommend bringing any pharmaceutics or beauty products that you can't live without. Regular toiletries are widely available here, as are foreign and local clothing options. Reading material and music can be sparse. But don't shy away from bringing your favourite party dress or cute pair of heels. There is a social life to be found here where the abayas do come off!
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Linguist



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But don't shy away from bringing your favourite party dress or cute pair of heels. There is a social life to be found here where the abayas do come off!


Laughing Laughing Laughing
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posh



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

c_dange wrote:
There is a social life to be found here where the abayas do come off!


Yeah! Where?
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