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YCMES, Sana'a, Yemen
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itchyfoot



Joined: 22 Mar 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: YCMES, Sana'a, Yemen Reply with quote

Although there doesn't seem to be much interest in Yemen at this time, there is also very little information. I thought i would post my experience with YCMES in Sana'a

The fact of the matter is, this is a terrible place to work. Over the last 6 months, the school has seen a ridiculous turn-around of 13 staff members arriving and leaving. 7 have quit, 6 were fired. Admittedly, some of these premature departures were due to the difficult living conditions in Yemen. However, the majority were due to the deplorable management, namely the schools president.

Previously a centre for Arabic learning, the school has had to reinvent itself into an English school as no foreign students want to study n Yemen at the moment. A number of qualified, experienced directors have been brought in to fix the program. But the president is a constant source of struggle. He lacks any organization, plan or logic. As such, unrealistic expectations are placed on staff. After more than a decade in the industry, i can confidently say he's the worst manager i've worked with.

Perhaps more concerning for teachers is the financial situation of the school. Student numbers are low, but costs are high. The school is losing significant amounts of money. Pay is often late. The president has even asked to borrow money from staff to buy textbooks. Beyond the horrible working conditions, there is no guarantee of getting paid.

I cannot stress strongly enough that nobody should even remotely consider working for YCMES. The president will lie through his teeth to get you in country. Flight initially said to be paid for are actually deducted from your first salary payment. The college is not accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education. There are no organized cultural trips. And Arabic classes are often cancelled.

Do NOT work for YCMES.
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this helpful post. I did a phone interview with a couple of people from YCMES a few years ago. I decided against it primarily due to the security concerns, which were worsening daily, but also because one or two things I was told seemed a little fishy.
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sliim



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds just like MALI and that other place that closed down a few years ago. As far as ESL in Yemen goes, it is par for the course really.

I am sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. My bad experience in Yemen pointed me to a different career path--so it turned out to be a good thing for me after all.

Best of luck in the future.
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crewmeal1



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're advertising again in the job section. This time limiting the applications to what seems to be university lecturers. How on earth do they expect to recruit people that meet all those requirements in a war torn country and for very little return?
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Sirens of Cyprus



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that ad is pretty intense. What do they pay?
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crewmeal1



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Around $700 per month, shared accommodation, but free Arabic courses.
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: YCMES, Sana'a, Yemen Reply with quote

itchyfoot wrote:
The college is not accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education. There are no organized cultural trips. And Arabic classes are often cancelled.


http://www.ycmes.org/index.php/about-ycmes/ycmes-history

itchyfoot, are you saying they're lying on their website? I studied Arabic at YCMES for 8 months, and had a great experience. We did go on cultural trips, and students were allowed to travel throughout the country after getting approval from the gov't. I never got denied, and travelled to Aden a few times. I know that other students' travel plans were not hindered. Classes weren't cancelled often, as I recall. But this was way back in 2009-10.

I also taught at MALI for some of the time, and did know personally some of the teachers at YALI who weren't treated well at all, quite frankly.
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cartago



Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 214
Location: Iraq

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was offered a job there but turned it down because of the pay. They say Yemen is very cheap so perhaps it's enough to live there but they need to pay me higher if I'm going to work in such a dangerous place.
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cartago wrote:
I was offered a job there but turned it down because of the pay. They say Yemen is very cheap so perhaps it's enough to live there but they need to pay me higher if I'm going to work in such a dangerous place.


yea, you def won't get rich working in Yemen, but it is a culturally rich experience, I believe. I just got an email from a good friend (American male, retired prof of anthropology) who was in Yemen in January and Feb of this year and "will probably go back in May." I felt much safer in Sana'a than I did in some parts of D.C. or Chicago. But to each their own! best of luck with the job search, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like firsthand, current and informed info about living/studying/working in Yemen. Forget the BS you might read in the papers (esp American ones) regarding Yemen. The US and some other countries only see Yemen through a national security perspective, ignoring other related and equally important issues...
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 142
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'current and informed info'-from somebody who was there 2009-10..... Confused What I have read in the papers during the last 2-3 years makes Yemen sound like a heavy duty environment-teaching wise. Kidnappings of westerns for example-in fact, wasn't a British teacher shot dead a couple of years ago?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4318
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cartago wrote:
I was offered a job there but turned it down because of the pay. They say Yemen is very cheap so perhaps it's enough to live there but they need to pay me higher if I'm going to work in such a dangerous place.

Then keep looking elsewhere because Yemen is not the country to work in if you expect to increase your bank account. It's the poorest country in the Middle East with the average Yemeni earning about $100/month. It also has dwindling resources, especially water.
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz wrote:
'current and informed info'-from somebody who was there 2009-10..... Confused


i wasn't referring to myself. i was saying that if anyone would like firsthand, current and informed info on Yemen, i would be happy to put them in touch with my friend (so the info would be firsthand -- from him to you), who was there in Jan/Feb 2014 (so current) and is a retired anthropology prof with over 30 years of studying the country (so informed).

I don't mean to suggest that security issues arent a concern in Yemen. They are. I'm only suggesting that that is the dominant media narrative which doesnt give justice to the complex situation the country presents. Other issues, such as declining water resources, are usually skimmed over ... in the below link, you'll see a report about stability in Yemen prominently placed at the top, but keep scrolling down and read some of the other forum posts ....

http://www.chathamhouse.org/research/middle-east/current-projects/yemen-forum

On a slightly related issue... I only post it here as the thread seems to be locked (why is this?), but I do want a chance to respond as I was directly asked a question....

In the "Good countries to learn Arabic at a reasonable cost" thread.. I wrote:

before going to Yemen, i asked around to students in ME studies programs in the States where they studied Arabic and why...

Sentinel33 responded

I don't know what to say. I'm not sure I see what your point is. In any case...

I would like to respond that I my point was only to give an example of WHAT form of Arabic one might study (MSA) and WHY (a requirement of a ME studies grad program) I do understand that there are countless dialects which one really has to learn (They Egyptian dialect is most popular, usually used in TV soaps/pop culture,) because in many ME countries people don't speak MSA day to day on the streets. But in Yemen one is able to have themselves understood in MSA, and Yemenis are kind and will engage you in conversation. So you get more out of class practice with MSA then you would in a country where the dialect is quite different (ex: Morocco)...
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tvik



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 371
Location: here

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,

Judst wondering if anyone has more info on YCMES in Yemen. I just was offered a possible job there.... possible.

My degree was in Middle Eastern Civilizations and I had 2 good years in Oman recently plus Saudi and Turkey, so I'm curious. I don't really expect much but I'd like to survive the experience without getting kidnapped.

Any info you have is appreciated.

I'm mostly concerned with the security situation there, as I've read the above comments on the director of the school
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4318
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tvik wrote:
I'm mostly concerned with the security situation there, as I've read the above comments on the director of the school

It won't matter how safe the college is because the situation in Yemen remains quite volatile. Therefore, no one can predict if you'll be secure or not. And yes, there are still kidnappings. If you go, you do so knowing the full risks.
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crewmeal1



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also remember any travel or personal insurance may well be 'null and void' if anything happens to you whilst in Yemen. Embassy contact is also has minimal cover and you may well have to use a third party consulate if you encounter problems.
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