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Moving in 2 months--what to ask?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by somewheresoon, May 27, 2020.

  1. somewheresoon

    somewheresoon New commenter

    Hello. I am new to this forum and am about to embark on my first international teaching job in quite a few years. Obviously, I'm feeling more than a little uncertain about this move, given the current visa and travel restrictions in place across the globe. Since I'm supposed to be moving in August, I need to contact the school for more details and assurances about the move, but I'm not sure what questions I should be asking (I don't know what I don't know) or what information I should expect to have with two months remaining.

    I haven't received communications about potential apartments, although housing is included in my contract. Should I be worried or is that information I'll likely receive just before departure? I also don't yet have a plane ticket--Is that normal?

    From reading these forums, it appears that I should be worried about my contract and about how my school plans to approach potential school closures in the fall. Here are the questions I am planning to ask. Is there anything I'm missing?

    ---Will my contract be honored if I am not able to enter the country in August?
    ---If I am able to enter, what does the quarantine process entail?
    ---What contingencies are in place for teachers who are not on site for the beginning of the year? (I am worried that I won't get paid, that I won't be able to afford to live at home on a low salary if working remotely, that we'll have no ability to plan ahead by signing leases or looking for partner's job if we don't know how long we'll be stuck at home, etc.)

    Is there anything else I should be asking, or anything else I should be thinking about right now? Thank you in advance for your help.
  2. myothername

    myothername New commenter

    What country is this?
  3. somewheresoon

    somewheresoon New commenter

  4. myothername

    myothername New commenter

    Then yes, I think your questions and concerns are reasonable.

    It seems as if decisions and plans made months ago now look much different in a covid world. I wish I knew how the pandemic will continue to affect hard-hit countries into next year, because that is definitely going to shape what the future looks like.

    You have to realise that all of the things you think you know, and everything you have been told about what it was like to live and teach in the country where you are going in pre-covid times might no longer apply. Now you must wonder what it will be like to live with the changes, uncertainty, and second waves that are sure to be part of life for some time. Look into what medical care looks like, and what resources are in place if you become ill. Remember that hospitals and doctor visits for non-covid related issues might be impossible or dangerous for the near future because of the risk of infection from the many covid patients.

    No one really knows.
  5. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Some schools are very good at communicating with new teachers, and some are very laid back. This is new and exciting for you, but remember that it's just an ordinary part of the school year for schools, and as the current academic year hasn't ended yet, they may not have got on to the 'new teachers' admin yet. It can be normal to not have much information at this point, even in a typical year.

    I think it's normal for you to want to know these things, but not knowing isn't necessarily something you need to be worrying about.

    Housing: They may have something lined up already (current teacher who is leaving's apartment) but they haven't mentioned it yet. They might think you don't need to know until nearer the time. You might as well ask. But it could be that the current teacher who is leaving has a husband and four children, so her apartment will be too big for you and the school will look for something else. Or maybe they will just be looking for something else for another reason... and you don't tend to look for apartments months in advance, because you don't want to sign and pay rent for an apartment to stand empty for two months.

    Plane ticket: Some schools book for you, some let you book and then reimburse the money. If you're not sure which it will be in your school, you can definitely ask. If they are booking, they may have decided not to book yet until there's a bit more certainty with flights.
  6. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    If it's Egypt, then in all likelihood the school will have agents who you can contact once you arrive to find an apartment. When we moved there in 2015, we spent the first three days in a hotel (not the greatest) paid for by the school while we sped around Al Rehab until we found an apartment.

    The first thing you need to do is speak to the school about the contract. If they can't give assurances now then alarm bells should ring and, if I were you, I'd be looking at options in the UK for a year. Egyptian schools can and do play fast and loose with contracts at times and I wouldn't be surprised if you were told in August that you can't go.

    Plane tickets - they should tell you what they normally do. At my school, they let me choose - they would search for the cheapest flight back to home of record and then either book it for me or give me the cash equivalent. Others are a bit more strict.

    All your questions though are relevant and important to you, so you shouldn't be afraid to ask!
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Al Rehab! The school for ex-alcoholics! I was there under the infamous Mr. Black.
  8. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    ex ?
  9. Singland

    Singland New commenter

    I'm in the same boat, hoping to move to Egypt in early August. I am selling my furniture and packing up my house gradually. I want to be prepared if it all goes ahead, but what will be will be. I've had a fair bit of contact with the school and housing, flights etc have been discussed, but still can't be sure what health cover will be in the event of covid illness, or how work will be carried out in lockdown.
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If you want to give up your alcoholism, then you go into rehab.
  11. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Which school?
    Remember to by cryptic or the thread will be deleted
    For example
    Biscuit School
    Al Jolsson School
    Chewing the Fat
    Amy Winehouse School
  12. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    hippo - not the school there, but one nearby on the Suez Road near the Marriott. And Rehab isn't so good for alcoholics, now Cheers and Drinkies deliver there!
  13. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    My question was aimed at somewheresoon
  14. somewheresoon

    somewheresoon New commenter

    bigfatgit--How about the "HI!!! How YA doing?" school.
  15. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

  16. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    somewheresoon - got you!

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