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General Advice?

 
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iggyb



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: General Advice? Reply with quote

I just accepted a job with ADVETI. Completely new to the Gulf.

If I were your brother or sister, what advice or info would you give about settling in (assuming you like your brother or sister)?

I'm not so much concerned about in the classroom.

I've taught for 9 years - mostly in Korea - and I've taught all ages, skill levels, and in widely different circumstances. Hakwons. Korean elementary school. American high school. I don't rank myself higher or lower than the average teacher, but I am confident in my ability to adjust. All I really cross my fingers for is that the classroom has adequate technology and isn't over 35 students per class.

What I'm more concerned about is settling down in a region I have not researched (yet) and that is very different from past experience.

I don't drink. And I don't need an active nightlife. Nothing against either. Did them in the past but haven't in a long time. (Marriage tends to do that.)

I like siteseeing and exploring and learning about a place.

I worked in Korea twice for a total of about 8 years, and I spent more time away from the expat scene than I did in it, especially this second, more recent time. I knew some expat instructors who had to hit Itaewan or Kangnam every weekend even if it took 2 hours to get there. That's not me.

When I taught Korean adults, I spent a fair amount of time with them. What are the chances of that in the UAE? Advisable or not? (It seems like that isn't much an option in Saudi Arabia from what little I've been reading.)

My primary concern is finding housing - with a close second being setting up banking so my wife (who will remain in the US) can access the account.

Further back, I'm interested in the type of national holidays and common school vacation times - and how much they give you a chance to travel...?

Some instructors in Korea did short vacations to China, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. What about people in Abu Dhabi?

I've read many/most instructors in the Gulf lease or buy a car. Never did that in Korea. Would have been terrified to do so.

Anything else?

Thanks in advance for any response...
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16129
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Socializing is done with your fellow expats who will be of varying nationalities. The local people are very family oriented, and there is little concept of making "friends" when you have 15 siblings and 123 first cousins. Laughing

Housing isn't cheap and will depend on where you are working and choose to live.

My employers normally directed me to their bank which meant that the pay was quickly deposited each month. Those at other banks may have to wait another day or two. Any bank can transfer your money... most people do it by computer these days.

The holidays coming up soon are Eid al-Adha and National Day. The problem with holidays in this part of the world is that they tend to not have set dates or lengths. It is decided rather last minute so it is very hard to make reservations. Presumably they will have a break between semesters. There are not any official holidays hitting in 2nd semester right now. Makes it a rather long slog. (does ADVETI have a website that might tell you this?) Oman and India are usually the target for short trips.

I always owned a car as I very quickly hated dealing with standing about waiting for a ride home when it was 45 degrees with 90% humidity.

Your fellow teachers would be the best source re banking, housing, and transportation. I'd say to ask whoever hired you to connect you with someone, but based on the reputation of this group, I wouldn't count on much help.

VS
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:56 am    Post subject: Banking Reply with quote

HSBC can be good as you can use the debit card all over the world.

ADCB is great. Online international transfers are free. I paid $5 to my US bank from their side, but there was no charge from ADCB's side. ADCB has excellent online bill payment services, too.
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iggyb



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. The global debit was what we had with KEB and it worked well. My wife could withdraw what she wanted when she wanted.

Heat and humidity don't bother me. I look for those regions. I'd prefer tropical - with lots of greenery as well as the ocean and beeches.

The Canadians I worked with in Korea complained a lot about the heat. I didn't really feel it. The cold, however, was a different story. That is what I try to avoid when possible...
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Captain Willard



Joined: 11 Sep 2010
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iggyb wrote:

Heat and humidity don't bother me. I look for those regions. I'd prefer tropical - with lots of greenery as well as the ocean and beeches.


Unfortunately, there are no beech trees in the gulf, but you will find many palm trees.
Laughing
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iggyb



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
based on the reputation of this group, I wouldn't count on much help.

The recruiter I got this job through was Reach Recruitment. They have been fine. We haven't had to contact each other much, but I've had no issues with them.

At the interview, most of the people were coming through teachaway, and that seemed to be a professional recruiting firm. They had someone there to run the interviews and seemed to have kept all their people up to speed on required documents and whatnot. I made a mental note to keep them in mind in the future.

So, so far, I haven't seen any of the problems I'm reading about concerning Kapland and recruiting.

But, of course, I'm not at the finish line yet. I still need to sign the final contract, get the visa, and make it to the school...

And Korea taught me things can fall apart all of a sudden (at least in Korea).
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Eisenhorn



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: HCT Land. UAE

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the things you are looking for look at www.dubizzle.com and choose the emirate you are in and look for apartments, and then other items.
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