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Ukraine, American English Center
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squirrel2go



Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Las Vegas Nevada

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:45 am    Post subject: Ukraine, American English Center Reply with quote

Hello! I am quite new on these boards, and this topic might be well covered somewhere but i didnt find it yet.

The American English Center in Ukraine, with locations in Odessa, Kiev, and Dnipropetrovsk, has recently placed an ad for employment. It looks almost too good to be true, and we all know what they say about such appearances! lol! Well, I am asking if anyone is familiar with this school, or the contact name, Jon Pernick. I have to admit, I am more than slightly interested in the opportunity, assuming it's legit.


Anyone have some info for me on this one?
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 938
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember seeing those ads. Isn't American English Center the one that requires no teaching experience or qualifications, but gives you all kinds of perks like free Russian lessons, mobile phone, training etc.?

Yes, I would be very cautious with that school. I don't know much about ESL schools in the Ukraine, but from what I hear good schools are few and far between.
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squirrel2go



Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Las Vegas Nevada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, without looking it up again I dont know that the perks were THAT extensive... but the lack of qualifications u noted is spot on to what i recall.

Again... looks too good. I am not jumping on anything just yet, that's for sure! lol! But I hope more ppl will have feedback on this one.

As luck would have it, i have a friend in Ukraine right now, only he wont be visiting Odessa and I think his time in Kiev is over now. But he has a friend in Odessa, and he seems to think that guy will be willing and able to look into this thing for me from a more firsthand perspective. We'll see... but i appreciate your cautious tones! I have to keep some reality in focus here. Gettin excited about the future! Wink
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 938
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stumbling upon that ad was what sparked my interest in teaching in the Ukraine!

Then I looked into it further. I've read in this forum that there are only something like 2-3 'legit' English schools in the whole country...someone correct me if I'm wrong.

And one of these legit schools was International House, and somebody's trying to sue them a couple threads down Exclamation I sure hope someone else comes along to offer you some guidance.
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wildchild



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
Posts: 519
Location: Puebla 2009 - 2010

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

did you all explore their website at all?

Did you find the link to their class photos?
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squirrel2go



Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Las Vegas Nevada

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After you suggested it, i did. They do have class photos... is that a good sign? Am i missing something obvious here? I apologize, i am still very new to this whole concept. To me, the website looked pretty upstanding.
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canucktechie



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 343
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:

Then I looked into it further. I've read in this forum that there are only something like 2-3 'legit' English schools in the whole country...someone correct me if I'm wrong.

And one of these legit schools was International House, and somebody's trying to sue them a couple threads down

The IH schools in Ukraine (like elsewhere in the world) are all independent of each other, so difficulties with one school do not mean anything with regard to the other schools. You can say the same about English First, although EF schools seem to be more consistently bad. Laughing

There are other decent places to work beside British Council, London School, and IH, but these are the only schools that offer full time work and a professional development environment for a significant number of teachers.

American English Center is for real all right, they have advertising in the Metro in Kiev. Their pay is also the going rate for Ukraine. What I find a bit curious though is the apparent lack of qualifications required for teachers, compared to the other schools.
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paulbaxter



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw the ad for this school myself recently. I have been considering looking for a teaching position in Ukraine, so I was also interested in this ad.

However, I did a search and found the email for someone who taught there. He highly discouraged me from taking a position at this school. He told me they withheld his pay for two months and he lost 30 pounds since he couldn't afford to eat.

I'm sure if you did a search you could find the same guy. He said the Phoenix School in Kiev is much better.
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squirrel2go



Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Las Vegas Nevada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow... thats a horror story!! Shocked
Not cool, not at all. But maybe its one of those "one guy's experience" sorts of things and not the norm?? I would hope. Yikes.

I have since done lots of looking and my initial utterignorance about teaching in Ukraine has since become just typical ignorance. I see there are lots of schools and opportunities, and though its attractive to be able to teach without a boatload of qualifications ( I was hoping my interview might speak for itself)... i have gotten a plan for finishing my bachelors and doing a CELTA certification before I look for real work. But Ukraine is still very attractive to me, and I hope to learn more still about this school as well as Phoenix and others...

ANY OTHERS WITH INFO/STORIES? Love to hear em... this is a topic i think most of us newbies with a Euro inclination would love to see expanded.

Thanks!
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ccrider



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 11
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have contact information for the Phoenix School in Kyiv? I tried a web search and couldn't find any info.

thanks
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BrianPBG



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 5
Location: bowleys quarters

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.phoenix7kiev.com/
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canucktechie



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 343
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is anything you should know about Ukraine it is this - it's a very dodgy place where you cannot take anything for granted from an employer. Russia is dodgy too, but it has much higher demand for teachers which means you have more bargaining power.

Don't consider going if you don't have a cash stash to see you through a period of difficulty.
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phrodo41



Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: re:American English Center Reply with quote

...

Last edited by phrodo41 on Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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I_kid



Joined: 29 Apr 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have taught for American English Center for a year now in both its Kyiv school and Odessa school. All in all I had a fantastic experience. The Ukrainian and American teachers are great, as is the whole staff. Ukraine and Kiev in particular can be very expensive, even with a salary of 1000 dollars a month, about half of that can get eaten up by rent depending on where you want to live and whether you want to live alone. Still, considering how little work you actually have to do at AEC, its a great deal - lessons are prepared for the most part and teachers add whatever they want to present them. For me, this usually included games and activities but still pretty much sticking with the lessons that the school provided. This meant that after a few semesters of teaching, prep time was minimal and I was able to have free time whenever I wasn't working (teachers also don't have to grade). Although the school may not be the best for improving your technical grammar skills, its a great place to start off teaching or have fun living and working with great people (teachers and students) in Ukraine. I've known a few of the detractors that have bashed the school on this board and in my year of teaching I didn't have any of the problems they mentioned. To give an example of how supportive the school is, I taught in Kiev for a few months in preparation for moving to Odessa to help them start the new school there, while in Kiev I made a lot of friends (Ukrainian and American) and had great students, the Odessa school is smaller and while the students and staff are fantastic, I missed my friends. I mentioned this to the director and a few weeks later they had a new teacher in Odessa and I was back in Kiev where I was happier. Anyone looking to live and work in Ukraine (especially without CELTA or Trinity) should consider this school.
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Cbad Chad



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:18 am    Post subject: AES Ukraine Reply with quote

I am really curious about this school. Ever since '98 I have been interested in working in Ukraine, Belarus, or Russia - but those annoying visa restrictions kept me out and in easier climes . . now the wall is down and the market open. It is an exciting time for Ukraine.

So I will try to get employed with AES, if possible. They listed a need for teachers. I am 39, and may be too old for them though. Those Peace Corp folks have an age limit, right? Isn't it like "Logan's Run"?

If you get the Logan's Run reference then you should report to, uh, festival . . or carnival . . or whatever that rebirth disintegration thing was. Big ol' bug zapper. You are ready to be reborn.

I can't really remember that story so well . .

Keep you posted . .
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