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Avoid Kazakhstan !!!

 
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CanukBook



Joined: 15 Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Canada, ey?

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:47 am    Post subject: Avoid Kazakhstan !!! Reply with quote

Based on my experience, as well as the experiences of other teachers, Kazakhstan offers one of the worst salary + benefits packages anywhere in the world, as in, low salary and zero benefits. *** Disclaimer *** There are a few exceptions, but save yourself the grief of exposing yourself to the ignorant, poverty-ridden post-Soviet mentality and being exploited and worked like a dog for low wages, no medical insurance or little or no housing allowance. The offerings in Russia aren't much better, but least the Russian government requires companies which hire foreigners to provide medical insurance and housing.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 946
Location: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting. Kazakhstan is often mentioned by international school teachers as an option to consider. Personally, I know very little about it, but, apparently, you can make some good bank there. Anyway, that's just what I've heard and, in regards to regular TEFLing, beats me.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1218
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know two people teaching English in Kazakhstan, and they both love it and seem to be doing well. They get housing, airfares and medical insurance paid on top of their salary. I'm sure there are exploitative employers out there, as there are everywhere, but it seems a bit excessive to write an entire country off.
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Londonlover



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 90
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

minus 40 degrees centigrade in the winter months- many teachers won't want to hack that.
The money and conditions can be good in some universities e.g. Nazarbayev Uni.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11531
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
minus 40 degrees centigrade in the winter months- many teachers won't want to hack that.




...true, but some, like me, don't mind;-)
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kazpat



Joined: 04 Jul 2010
Posts: 140
Location: Kazakhstan

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This advice is applicable to those without teaching qualifications or those coming to teach illegally who are without contract and therefore not protected by the labor code. By qualifications I mean teaching license or MA. Since the implementation of the 30 day visa free regime for many western countries I have noticed a rise in those working illegally as well as predatory language centers and schools. Certainly some employers will try to exploit workers but the issues mentioned by OP are outlined in any work contract.

Yes, the wages many language mills offer are laughable. That is why one must only come here to work for a reputable state organization or university.

To get a work visa / permit you need a contract which must include health insurance (unless the law has changed) and the company must register the employee at an address. The same contract provided to the employee must be submitted to the immigration authorities. Any foreigner coming to KZ to teach legally knows the salary and benefits beforehand.

For those with teaching qualifications and a work visa or the right to work there are many good opportunities here. However, definitely take OP's advice if you have basic quals and are coming to work for some random language center.

Also note that teaching on a tourist visa or while here visa free can only get the employer a fine but can land a teacher in jail and deported.

I speak based on 10 years experience.
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juriusz



Joined: 05 Sep 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did one year in Kazakhstan. I worked for NIS. Good things:
salary,
housing - nice apartment, close to the school
days off (there was a catch though!)
school - IWBs, clean, nice, modern.
students - polite, responsive, the easiest classroom management ever.

Bad things:
the weather - most of the year it's dark when you start and dark when you finish. And of course -40 degrees for a bit of the year. Sandstorms in summer. Wind, wind and more wind.

working hours - sitting at an empty school for hours with absolutely nothing to do. Locals had to do Saturdays from time to time, international teachers were encouraged to do them as well. Workload wasn't that heavy, but they wanted you to sit there and do nothing.

management - insincere, lazy, inefficient, asking for money on different occasions. Communication often based on shouting. Not responding to different issues. Meetings like in '1984'. Worse for the locals than for the internationals, but still, horrible for all involved. I am not even using the word 'professionalism', my management was light years away from professionalism.

Local staff - jealous of your wages. But you just can't imagine how jealous. Making comments about you to students and their parents behind your back. Not willing to learn anything from you, actually destroying your work. Expecting you to buy them things and take them to dinners. Absolute hell of coteaching. If you need more details, feel free to ask.

Teaching - most of the time absolute chaos, no plans, or plans changed over and over again.

Boredom - there wasn't much to do where I lived. Single men were constantly finding themselves in problematic situations when local women would hit on them.

I did one year, politely declined to do another, and left. The worst year of my life. I am not touching Kazakhstan ever again. Actually, I met many nice people when I was traveling around the country, but sadly, my working place was hell. I managed to save a lot, but I would definitely not recommend the place.
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goodEnglishes



Joined: 19 May 2016
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:56 am    Post subject: This post should be taken down Reply with quote

This post is old and should be taken down. As another poster suggested, you can make great money in Kazakhstan (some of the better money in the field actually) if you have the right qualifications and teach at the right place. The TESOL field is too vast and changes too rapidly to leave a post up that is this old suggesting that everyone avoid an entire country based on one person's experiences there...
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