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Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by MisterMaker, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    1000's of expats in Prague. French, Russian, German, some Asian, not many Spanish, some Nigerians, Lebanese, a few Saudi's,.....
  2. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    I often come across candidates that ask about the expat community at interview. Whilst I don't completely discount them, the certainly drop a few points.
    If you want to be surrounded by Brits there's a county in Europe you'll find millions of them; why not try looking for work there.
    Donkey, this is a real tourist teacher question and Mistermaker makes a fair point.
  3. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    I think your response is a little unfair. I lived in a country where no matter how hard one tried, it was very difficult to make friends with the locals. There was still a hierarchy of who could be friends with whom and they just couldn't be themselves if they were with someone who was of 'higher rank' as they saw it.
    Therefore, your only recourse, if you didn't want to be a complete isolate, was the expat community. If theposter doesn't speak the lingo then it will be hard to socialise with the locals.
    I think it is a fair question.
  4. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    @ Yasimum
    In the ME you're not likely to meet and spend time with many locals, however, everywhere else I've been locals tend to be more than keen to be buddies.
    The OP was talking about Prague! If you're expecting to mainly mingle with expats in Prague I'd say that's a fairly narrow minded approach to teaching overseas.
  5. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    "Before the Velvet Revolution in 1989 in which the Czech people
    peacefully kicked out the Communists most Czechs had to learn Russian in
    school. But now, with the Russians gone, English is the secondary
    language of choice. Everybody under the age of 25 knows at least a
    little English - enough to give you directions or point to to the
    nearest McDonald's. With older people you will have better luck if you
    speak Russian."
    Not sounding to me like the sort of fluency you could build a deep friendship on and Czech is notoriously difficult for foreigners to learn. So I still maintain it is a fair question the OP asked.

  6. I don't think that is the locals doing. Are you excusing the ex-pat who doesn't mix with locals in the ME? Narrow minded not to mix with Czechs but not so to not mix with Emirates/Saudis/ Kuwaitis etc..?
  7. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Yes, indeed, I don't think it is true anyway what MM is saying. There are lots of countries where it is difficult to break into the local scene. Many locals are wary of expats anyway just by the transient nature of being an expat for the most part.
    How on earth can you make a judgement call on someone being narrow minded by virtue of a simple question.
    Pffft! I'm off to bed, the high seas are waiting.
  8. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Ooops one more point I wanted to make. Sometimes the expat community are just woeful (this was the case where I was) so it is definitely a last resort but one does need some sort of social life on the weekends.

  9. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    You're putting words in my mouth FP. There are simply few opportunities to mix with locals in the ME as they tend to keep themselves to themselves - it isn't a choice for many but the higher level folk to rub shoulders.
    Sorry, Yasi, but when I was in Prague for a short time in 2009 I found it rather easy to find locals who spoke good English. If I had the opportunity to work there in the future I'd expect I'd have a good mix of expat and local socialising.
    The point I'm making is that if you go to work overseas with the intent to have similar folk to yourself as your buddies you're perhaps a tad shortsighted. When I was in Nigeria recently I was the only white guy for fifty miles but I didn't feel the need to hunt out Brits all the time; I even spent an evening with a New Zealander!
    Hardly controversial considering some of the **** I come out with.[​IMG]
  10. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Now that I do agree with!
  11. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Well, I'm a nice person (most of the time) and I really chafed against the expat enclave because most of them were bloody horrible but the locals were all VERY religious so their weekends were taken up with going to church and even when they were socialising, they weren't comfortable with me around. So I stopped being around.
    I found a couple of like minded expats and that was the extent of my social life. Very disappointing as the reason I went there was mainly to be part of the local culture and to have my daughter associate with different people to what she is exposed to here.
    Two occasions I remember vividly was getting into a mini bus with a group of teachers going into town. It was riotous before I got in and then the whole way into town was deathly silence. One afternoon my daughter and I were catching our usual taxi home and I offered a lift to one of my teachers. My daughter and I sat in the back together as we usually did and she got in the front. She kept saying how awful it was for her to be sitting in the front whilst I was sitting in the back and it was so uncomfortable. Never did that again either.
    If I were going OS again, one of the questions I would ask would be about the mix of the community as I would never want to risk ever feeling that isolated again.

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