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A Job in Switzerland

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by the hippo, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    You will get much better-value rentals up the mountain, if you are looking at areas around Lac Leman.
  2. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    Also worth comparing actual amount of lessons per week (and duration of lessons). I was offered several jobs at the same time. In one the actual teaching time was 27 hours and in the other (my current job) it was 20 hours (well, actually 20 x 55 min lessons). This makes a massive difference. Looking back on it 27 hours of actual lessons is way too much, unless of course you are repeating a lot using same lesson for different classes. I even remember a friend in HK told me she was only on 13 hours a week (her salary was excellent). I was pretty jealous as my salary is nothing compared to hers yet she teaches much less than I do. Furthermore, the job might pay more but if you're offered one with a bigger salary and has 8 hours of teaching more is it worth the extra money?

    Another important factor are holidays. My salary is so so but you could not ask for better holidays in my school: 2 weeks at Halloween, 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks in Feb, 2 weeks in April, 6-7 weeks in summer. The year is broken up nicely. Once I begin to get irritated by kids a holiday is coming up!

    I remember being interested in moving to Taiwan and used a popular Taiwan forum for advice, but when people mentioned the holidays in typical school jobs there they seemed awfully short and I was surprised they were so bad. This kind of thing can make a big difference to your state of mind given that teaching can at times be stressful.
  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Average decent school would be 180 days contracted time, with around 176 contact from my experience.
  4. bubblegirl83

    bubblegirl83 New commenter

    Hello! I have current experience of Switzerland. Feel free to send me a conversation.
    migratingbird likes this.
  5. libra28

    libra28 New commenter

    Just notes guys that many schools in Swiss are having to cut back on contracts and conditions...our school was promised of a restructuring of salaries including a salary framework but this wont be happening..there are good and not so good schools out here .. the oldies like ISL , ISG and the boarding schools have much better packages and remunerations that many of the `International `schools don`t seem to have... some schools are specifying only EU folk.....
  6. MayaJones

    MayaJones New commenter

    Monthly outgoing for a family of 4 might look something like this:

    in Euro

    Rent: 2000
    Food 600
    Compulsory Health Insurance 350
    Bills 200
    Fuel 100
    Total: 3200

  7. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    The GEMS school closed their doors for good
  8. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    As their rent was greater than their gross income, it wasn't exactly a shocker.
  9. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    They also handled it really badly and left students, families and faculty in the lurch.
  10. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Sounds like a shoddy business plan from the start then
  11. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Very true. This is an article, in French, from last year: https://www.24heures.ch/vaud-regions/la-cote/ecole-privee-gems-etoy-cesser-activites/story/19302007

    A key point is this: When it opened in 2013, the GEMS World Academy in Etoy, saw big, very big. Its marketing manager for Europe, Robert Curtis, had announced the enrollment of 400 students in the first year, and assured that this number would quickly increase to 900. In a second step, it was expected that the site would further expand for accommodate 2,000 students. According to "Le Temps", in 2019, the school had only 340 students.
  12. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    While I wouldn't completely disagree with you (I had colleagues working there), it was also a matter fo circumstances not meeting what they surmised from due diligence.

    From what I am aware, the school was opened with a plan to start turning a profit within 5 years. It did its due diligence, looked at the expected growth and put its money down. Unfortunately, so did another school - neither being aware of the actions of the other. In the meantime, a leading relatively local day school increased the number of places it had, further reducing the potential student pool.

    They advertised for a Head of Secondary and then withdrew the position. That was the first warning shot and anybody with any nouce should have taken heed. A few months later, it was goodbye.

    I visited the school a number of times for one thing or another. Happy staff, happy kids, a nice atmosphere and buildings but the place was clearly underutilised.

    All in all a sad state of affairs.

    There is an underlying story to this which is quite interesting.

    The mothership wishes to move into what is deemed as *elite education". Unfortunately, elite education is somewhat difficult concept to get hold of, as it encompasses much that is obvious but difficult to quantify. The school in Etoy was meant to be the entry into this world, and the start of something special. The initial faculty were all outsiders who had never taught at a mothership school before. Those who saw the location and the building knew that this was a somewhat challenging task. So, what now? I would recommend a quick look at a boarding school near Paris, where the next great leap forward is taking place.
  13. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    I hadn't heard the challenges caused by another school opening. Makes sense. But that part of CH was probably saturated with schools already.

    I'd visited a couple of times and like you found it to be a happy place, but rather empty. I knew a couple of people there as well, who I hold in high regard, and I think they had good staff and leadership at the school level.

    Adds though to the list of less of than good things about the larger group.
  14. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    That company has a complex reputation. A friend of mine (not a teacher) had his daughter attend one of their schools in the UAE. His daughter really enjoyed being there and spoke highly of the learning opportunities, in contrast to the school she attended in the UK post their UAE interlude.

    There are also mixed messages from colleagues who have taught in those schools. Some are positive, some are very negative.
  15. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    I worked at the same company for a school in a non-UAE country. Same thing happened as in Switzerland. My take on it is the pure arrogance of the company. They don't understand that their name means nothing outside UAE. They won't listen to anyone who tries to tell them about the local market, assuming they know best. They work on the premise that they can take the model that works in the ME and just drop it anywhere and it will work. It doesn't.
  16. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Certainly, the company is blessed with a certain lack of introspection, but it is more than that. It has a business model that allows it to expand rapidly and aims on making a profit within a given period of time. Everything is metric driven (doesn't work too well in education) and, when the metric suggest upping sticks and leaving, they up sticks and leave.

    However, the arrogance of which you speak is prevalent in many organisations, unfortunately.
  17. belkhas02

    belkhas02 New commenter

    Hi there,

    I have just sent you a private message / conversation but forgot to let you know via this thread.

    Thanks in anticipation for your insight :)


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