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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by blondie_, Mar 1, 2008.
Has anyone applied for a job in the Cayman Islands? Or can share any info on working there?
Hi there, I have applied, and all being well will be starting in August!!! How about you?
I'd be careful about going to work in Cayman. The Gov't schools pay better than the private ones but the discipline is poor in Gov't schools. Which have you applied for? Cayman is great if youre a diver but the cost of living is high there and schools dont contribute to this. I worked there recently for two years at one of the private schools and now work in Africa where the pay is better and so is the social life.
It does of course depend what youre looking for but standards and pay I experienced were both below par - the schools get away with this by the fact that teachers are attracted by the exotic possibility of working on a beautiful caribbean island...which it definitely is...
Tread carefully... I personally left because financially it was a real squeeze every month to break even...
Hi wrexham92, your name caught my attention, are you a fellow Wrexham 'er'???
All of the above is true. I'm there at the moment and trying to leave. Beware of accompanying spouses without jobs etc. Also live in partners not allowed. It's incredibly difficult to get to interviews from here too, and very expensive to get off the island, even to Miami.
What advice would you give a teaching couple? If your both earning is life a lot better?
starkeyh, what is the deal with live in partners? How would anyone know?
What is a decent wage for a teacher over there with 3 yrs experience?
Do you have a sep email i can contact you on?
Seymourskinner do have another email also?
Ditto the difficulty of getting off island. Miami's ok for shopping - lots of mall's etc.. but Jamaica and Cuba are both more worth a visit. Can fly direct to Cuba from Cayman so its a relatively cost-effective destination.
Live-in partners are not allowed. It is frowned upon as the Cayman Islands is quite Christian so need to be married to live together, although like many things if youre working hard and doing a good job it may be ignored by the powers-that-be.
Salary-wise it would be easier to live on two wages, more so if your partner/spouse is not a teacher but perhaps works in Banking/Insurance/Real Estate etc.. I think dual income teachers salaries would still be hard to live on. Depends of course what standards of living you want. Generally though; gas, supermarket, nightlife, eating out is all expensive there.
I wouldn't say any of the private schools there pay a 'decent wage' - not in comparison to overseas jobs I've had before, both in the Middle east and Africa. The wage doesn't stretch to covering living costs in Cayman and you'd struggle to afford to return to the UK more than once a year.
great beaches & bankruptcy!
Thank you Wrexham. Lots of good info. Have you got any information about working in the government schools? They seem to be investing so much into them.
How near do you need to live to the schools? Could you live anywhere on the island and commute? Accomodation seems to get cheaper the further away you get from Seven Mile Beach!
The Gov't schools still pay much better than the private schools I think. From what I remember tho the behaviour of the students is more challenging. The Gov't schools I heard had things like withdrawl rooms for example where students go when they swear/bring something they shouldn't into school/refuse to follow instructions etc.. They did have security guards who worked at the Gov't schools most days too. It was mostly Jamaican and Caymanian students. Expat students i.e. British, American, Canadian etc.. were not allowed to go to Government schools - they went to one of the two private schools (Cayman Prep or St Ignatius). Not sure if this is still the case...
It would be a good challenge to work there if that's what youre looking for.
Expect a 'small island' mentality i.e. all Government offices close at about 2pm every day and also, and this took some getting used to, all bars/clubs/restaurants etc.. close at midnight on Saturday! (due to it being quite a Christian island) and Sunday is the sabbath. So Friday night is the night to go out with some bars/clubs being open until 2am or 3am.
There was plenty of accomodation available although the rent was expensive i.e. US$2000 p/m for a two bedroom place in a reasonable location. Thats not including bills of course. The high rent was one of the main reasons I left. Didn't get any subsidy from the school towards this. Maybe its cheaper now. I dont know. I suppose you pay the price to live on a beautiful carribean island!
As I remember 7 mile is right bang in the middle of most of the hotels and bars etc.. and there was lots of building and development going on when I left. You don't need to be living near there though. The island is pretty small and even a thirty minute journey in a car would be considered a 'long' trip. I don't think I was ever in a traffic jam whilst I was there!
Overall, if youre looking for beautiful beaches and an easy lifestyle then go for it. Every weekend there did feel like a mini-holiday. You can drive around the island, chill on the beach, do some watersports and eat some great food etc..
Its a small island so I did get to know people quickly and mostly the Caymanian's were friendly and very easy-going.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. That is really helpful! The rent does seem expensive. It looks like you can buy a condo on the island and spend less on rent. Is this a ridiculous idea? Of course you would want to settle in and make sure it was for you. But would rather it was a longer term proposition as I want to settle down for a while! Any ideas?
Thanks for all the info anymore or opinions are greatly received.
Seymourskinner do you have an email i get you on?Would really appreciate it.
My email is: email@example.com
Rents went crazy after Hurricane Ivan, but now coming down a bit. Some new roads are easing rush hour traffic from areas beyond George Town and now feasible to live further out (I do, and I have a place right on the beach) Two salaries required for two people. Don't try to come here with a live-in partner if you are not married. People find out everything. Government schools have new management and a few excellent teachers from my place (private) are hopping over the fence to Government because of better salaries and benefits, particularly lower down the pay scale.
I'd say Cayman was a 'longer term' place. Least that's what I thought. Say 3+ years. Buying a place is a good idea provided you can afford it - Cayman was very safe and there were plenty of banks to chosoe from. Not sure if you can buy a place without having residency first tho! You'd have to research that. I think you probably can.
If youre looking longer term then Cayman is probably better suited to that than other places i've worked overseas but I'd say go out there and rent first and see how you settle into the island...
Thank you for that information StarkeyH. How long have you been there? Have you found it easy to intergrate into the community? Have you found the teaching salary enough to go on trips to Cuba, Miami, back home etc. There are some great benefits of living on a tropical island, but what are the annoyances? (apart from the cost!).
I'm going in August to work in Government primary school. Have colleague already there who is enjoying the life. Biggest challenges - discipline and motivation. Loads of information on www.caymannewresident.com (the paper copy of which they give you with job offer).
Yes this is a very good website. There is also www.caymangoodtaste.com which is a book showing menus from all the restaurants on the island. Also, gives you ideas for costs!
Cayman is a lovely island and the people are really nice. But it is small and people while nice are very cliquish, Rents and utilities are absurd. Like a family of 4 in a 3 bedroom house- maybe $4-5 K a month in rent and utilities! You could rent smaller and like in 70 sq meters and pay $2-3K or buy a house and pay a high monthly mortgage and need at least $30K in down payment, charges and tax? and if you leave the island- well I know of houses and apartments in all price categories still not sold after 3 years and with 4 price cuts. Some bought recently are renting lower then the mortgage! Cayman is more an immigrant place (but with the 7 year roll over not really an option for most) then an expat place. My advice get a Job in Thailand- Great beaches and much cheaper or the middle East -beaches and better pay. With the money you save you can come visit Cayman and enjoy yourself more in two weeks then you ever would if you lived here. The schools are OK- nothing like the schools in Singapore or Dubai.. More like Kuwait. The government schools pay well but are poorly run and the private schools pay less and are also poorly run but have nicer kids. Cayman is not the best place to come if you are 20 something and want to party, not a place to come to make money, not place to help your career, but if you like fine beaches, expensive priced (but not necessary good) restaurants, professional mediocrity, and have an extra income (retirement or trust fund) then Cayman is for you!