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The National University of Mongolia -- Don't bother!

 
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traveler106



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 30
Location: Mongolia

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:30 am    Post subject: The National University of Mongolia -- Don't bother! Reply with quote

Hi folks,

I just want to share my experience with you in case anyone is interested in teaching at the National University of Mongolia.

I started there last September and just finished the school year. I was so disappointed with the university that I have no intention of continuing with it. I actually never had a contract with them, so I could have quit any time, but I felt obligated to finish out the year.

So, I'll address the annoyances of the university one by one.

The International Office: They had about a year and a half to get me an invitation letter, but they never did. They kept saying they were just so busy. When I arrived, I found that most of the workers in the office sit around and surf the Internet most of the time. Furthermore, they got me a student visa instead of a work visa because they said it would be easier. They could have gotten me a work visa, they just didn't want to do the extra work.

The visa: I had to pay for my own visa when they got it for me, and I have to pay for my own exit visa (you need another visa to leave Mongolia). They won't even do the legwork for you for the exit visa. They just give you a letter that says you're allowed to leave and send you to the immigration office, which is not a fun place to deal with.

The accomodations: They set you up with a room in the international students' dormitory. That's right, it's a student dormitory, and the staff at the dorm will treat you like a student. It can be fun to live there, at first, but the novelty wears off real fast when you discover that the showers don't work and you have to pound on the door and argue with a guard if you come home after 10 p.m. There are plenty of other annoyances with the dorm, but it would take too long to list them.

The support: They won't give you any materials or suggest any cirriculum. You might be able to make some copies, if you're lucky.

The students: I taught in the master's program, and most of my students at NUM couldn't have cared less about English. They were only taking it because it was required. Also, despite the university's policy that all students entering the master's program must have at least an intermediate level of English, most of my students could hardly speak a word (the education here isn't very good, and the university will let anyone in who can pay the tuition, regardless of qualifications). With all the other problems, all you have left is job satisfaction, and you probably won't even get that.

The workload: They won't just expect you to teach, they'll also ask you to do a lot of extra work, such as copyediting documents, and they won't pay you for it.

The pay: They tell you that you'll easily make enough to live. That's a lie. The cost of living here in Ulaanbaatar is pretty high, considering the average income. Teaching 20 hours a week there will only get you a little more than $100 a month. When you consider the actual cost of living here and the cost of your plane ticket, you will lose a lot of money working at NUM. Just for a comparison, if you teach 20 hours a week at the private school where I work, which is actually a fun place to work, you'll earn about $1,200 a month.

One final note: Now that I'm quitting, they need to find a new teacher, and I've heard that the next foreign teacher they hire might have to sign a two-year contract. So, rather than make it more attractive to work there, they're just going to try to trick the next one into staying before that person knows what he or she is getting into.

There are better opportunities in Mongolia if you want to teach here.
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traveler106



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 30
Location: Mongolia

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 1:31 am    Post subject: One more thing Reply with quote

If you're a U.S. citizen, your visa is going to cost about 100 to 120 USD. You might not have to pay that much when you come here, but the immigration office will hit you with it when you apply for your exit visa.
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MADAMELEACH



Joined: 27 Aug 2009
Posts: 46
Location: WELLINGTON

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject: BLEAK Reply with quote

And god knows how you can bear the damn freezing, long cold winters Confused

Drunks in the city, night crime and robberies, abandoned children living like rats in the street drains etc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C_J6D-1Frg&feature=fvw
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wesharris



Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject: Re: BLEAK Reply with quote

MADAMELEACH wrote:
And god knows how you can bear the damn freezing, long cold winters Confused

Drunks in the city, night crime and robberies, abandoned children living like rats in the street drains etc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C_J6D-1Frg&feature=fvw

This particular thing is rather old. ... 10 years ago sure. But the government has been effectively dealing with that problem for a while now .
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TheAmericanNomad



Joined: 06 Dec 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

100 bucks a month? Are you serious?

I've seen jobs on here offering 700 - 800 a month, with accommodation paid for, how would a uni get away with that?

Was it a typo, did you mean 1000 a month? 100 a month is less than the average salary of Mongolians.
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markcmc



Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 232
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any updates from people who have worked at the university more recently?
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any direct knowledge of the university, but I do have direct and recent knowledge of UB.

It can be an extremely dangerous city.

I've seen serious fighting break out in the streets between locals, and I've spoken to several ex-pats who have had some very close shaves.

My wife and I came across a young Danish man one night who had been robbed, beaten, and stripped naked.

Other ex-pats have been murdered.

In one instance that I know of, a Japanese man was killed in his own apartment, after the robbers had forced entry.

In another instance, a young Japanese female teacher was murdered as she walked home late and alone after a party.

It's not guaranteed death, or robbery, by any means, but it's certainly not a place for the unwary.

And the "ger horoolos".....the huge encampments on the edge of the city, are definitely no-go unless you are with a local.

There are many social problems, and a lot of antipathy towards outsiders of all races, in certain quarters.

If you go, and Mongolia is worth seeing, just keep your wits about you, and take your precautions seriously.
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traveler106



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 30
Location: Mongolia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lowlander has good advice. You need to be very wary in Mongolia, particularly in UB. There have been several incidents of foreigners being targetted for violence simply because they were foreign. I've also heard about the Japanese people who were murdered (The woman he mentioned was beaten to death outside of her apartment building. The officially reported motivation was robbery, but simple robbers don't beat their victims to death.) and others, and I've also had a few incidents of my own. It's worth noting, as well, that the travel guides I've seen (Lonely Planet, in particular) seriously downplay this aspect of UB.
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