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Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by doctorinthetardis, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. doctorinthetardis

    doctorinthetardis New commenter

    Hi I live in Jakarta and have never yet been to Surabaya ... All the advice I can offer you is that Indonesian culture is diverse and interesting, the language is relatively easy to learn and I would recoommend this website http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.org/ where you can post your question in the Expat Chat/ Living outside Jakarta forums. Good luck :D
  2. Purpletreefrog used to work in an International school in Surabaya you should PM him. I was on a PD course a few weeks back with some teachers from the American school there. They said they were enjoying it there. It's still a big city but easy to get to other places at the weekend. You are close enough to hop on a plane to Bali or Lombok at the weekends if you choose to.
  3. Correction that should be happygreenfrog. To many frogs around here :p
  4. *Too many.
  5. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    I can never understand anyone wanting to go overseas and mix with the expat community. If that is important, maybe you'd better have a rethink and stay at home.
    Yip, bulegila is correct, I've lived and worked in Surabaya, so feel free to pm me. If truth be told, Surabaya offers little outside of 'school hours' - it is a mall culture with food, shopping and cinema based there - and you've probably picked the wrong location if that is of importance to you.
  6. Don't get me wrong I'm more than excited about mixing with the locals and taking in the culture, but as far as for a first experience of International teaching, it would be nice to have the support of an expat community for some home comforts if needed.
    Since my original post I have signed the contract and can not wait to get out there now. Cheers, I will pm you if you don't mind.


    IAMBOG New commenter

    There are all sorts of characters and personalities trying to carve themselves a niche overseas. Some integrate into the local community, some don't. There's no right and wrong. When most of us prioritise what we are looking for in our next school, sure, 'meeting the locals' is probably on the list, but it's probably not in the top five priorities. Of course, being a single male helps with integration. Families might prefer more support from culturally similar friends.
    Because out daughter is in an all arabic speaking school, all her friends are Egyptian. Consequently, we spend a lot of weekends at kid's birthday parties, so there is some integration, although to be perfectly honest, I would prefer to be at the British Club with a few familiar faces. Most of the teachers at my school seem to live in the goldfish bowl that is our school (actually our school goldfish bowl seems to extend into the well known expat club in Maadi). I see this has its issues and have no interest in getting in the bowl.
    We didn't consciously separate ourselves from that, but I am glad it turned out that way.

    Different strokes for different folks
  8. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    I think that is pretty common. A delicate balance exists bewteen mixing with those expat parents and retaining a sense of distance. Sadly if you talk openly about anything - even the price of electric charged at your apartment - the whole community quickly know and you can quickly become undesirable at your place of work. I speak from first hand experience.
    In general, you are of course correct regarding 'each to their own' but it saddens me that too many seek to go overseas and duplicate their lifetsyle back home. I don't particular enjoy the social options in the Uk and it is with a sense of relief that i can live overseas.

    IAMBOG New commenter

    Yes, I know what you mean about being careful what you say to the parents in a social setting. We currently have something going on at school which we can't divulge for a few days. This makes it difficult talking to the parents, because for the last two weeks we've had to bend the truth and deny all knowledge of some stuff and it will be apparent we did this when the school makes the announcement (it's nothing major, but still makes it a bit tricky for us).
    This is our first international school and if we've learnt one thing, it is to make connections with other foreigners in a similar situation as quicky as possible. Form your own community of like minded individuals, preferably ones not working in your school. We haven't been particularly successfull at this so far (we live in a dry community with no focal social point for foreigners, ie. a restaurant that sells alcohol), however, we are making efforts to meet people and our second year here looks more socially positive than the first.
    You have to make it your own.

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