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Teaching in the ME

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by mpierre7, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. mpierre7

    mpierre7 New commenter

    Hi, I am a Secondary English teacher with two young children thinking about teaching in the ME (Dubai is the top of the list but i'm open to other areas) I have had a browse on the thread and read some awful stories but equally some success stories! I was just wondering if anyone had any advice on whether to apply to a government run school or a 'private school' and if possible some guidance (privately) on any schools to stay clear of. Ideally, I would like to start August 2018; does it make a difference whether you apply through an agency or direct to the school?

    I have worked out that most schools do offer a reduction or free education for your children, does anybody have any experience with this? Did your children settle in well? Was the transition, teaching and standard of living what you expected?

    Also, if anyone had any insight into the expected salary (4 years teaching experience with pastoral responsibility) that would also be amazing!

    I know that the ME isn't for everyone but I do really have my hear set on it, so any information or guidance would be greatly received!
  2. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    Welcome to a new, expanded, world!
    Firstly, international teaching, for the majority of teachers, is a magnificent decision... BUT there are horror stories - not every school is equal (just like in the U.K.), so the most important thing is to be confident in the schools you apply to - do as much research as possible!
    I do live in the UAE, and we do love it, but I would still guard against casting your net over such a small area - in fact, particularly Dubai - it is booming in terms of new schools right now... to the point of near-collapse in the private schools - there are too many places for the number of kids - leading to major issues in these (almost all) 'for profit' schools. The world is far bigger than Dubai, and you can have amazing experiences all around the globe with our skills-set... further east is certainly a favourite for many people - great lifestyle without having so much 'balancing' to off-set the issues there can be here. Having said that, it will be easier to break into the Dubai school market.
    I would definitely say go for private rather than public schools - many horror stories of the issues with government-run ADEC and KHDA schools and their students. However, as I mentioned, you must pick the private school carefully.
    Salaries vary widely, as there is not a country wide transparent scale as there is in the U.K. - schools pay according to: how much they charge for fees; if they are profit based or not; and how greedy the owner is if they are 'for profit'.
    Yes, greatly reduced, or even free, places for your children is the norm... but again, consider who you apply for - go for many of the schools in Dubai and your child may be virtually the only British child in the school - that may be fine with you, it wasn't for me.
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some very wise and practical advice from Powergnome3. Yes, I would agree with all of the above comments. Dubai used to be the "flavour of month" and yes, there are still some good schools there. Unfortunately, as in some other places in the ME, there are some pretty rubbishy places too. Of course some of the ISR reviews are exaggerated and over-the-top, but alas many of the bad reviews are actually quite accurate.

    To answer the OP's question about how to apply, I would say that some schools tend to focus on jobfairs, while others rely on advertisements in the TES. Agencies are quite popular, especially when the school has a last-minute vacancy. Of course many schools use several different methods to recruit their teachers, so it is not really the case that one method is "better" than another.

    I have sent you one of those TES Conversation things, mpierre7.
  4. charb74

    charb74 New commenter

    Abu Dhabi is also a nice city to live. and it is a better organised, calmer city compared to Dubai. There are great British Schools there. My advice would be to look for those schools which offer housing allowance rather than a flat. This way, you may have an option to rent a somewhat cheaper place and save more.
    I cannot tell you much about the salaries, but expenses. Electricity, water, gas, etc. is quite cheap. Internet is comparably expensive. We were a family of four and our expenses together with food, etc. never exceeded 4000 dirhams (=£750) per month. So a salary like 10k+ dirhams per month would be good, I believe.
  5. Jason_Bourne_

    Jason_Bourne_ Occasional commenter

    I would agree with all of the above apart from the last post which said that 10k + would be good... I disagree. If you send 4k on food that leaves you with 6k. Leasing a car would car around 2k. Internet and TV around 500 per month. Electricity bills, particularly in the summer months would be around 1k. That would only leave you with 2.5k per month which equates to 500 quid, not including any other costs...
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Better packages on offer in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia to mention a few. The ME is for people with no imagination or intelligence.

    Take home pay with accommodation in Shanghai minimum 50K GBP/year.
  7. rod901

    rod901 New commenter

    Hong Kong is so so expensive though. A bag of chips in HK will likely cost you £5. A kebab costs £8 (YES really) and a kebab is the utmost cheapest grub you can find there. A basic pasta and meat sauce in a cheap cafe will cost you £30!!!
    And unless you have free accommodation in HK, or are an investment banker, don't go there! Shanghai is also expensive rent in the cirt centre is costs 20,000 RMB per month (£2000) so make sure it's all free in your contract and that youdon't have to pay deposits for flats as you never get the deposits back from the landlords. 10k is no good in the ME....20K I would say is the bare minimum anyone should go to Dubai for. OK if you have free accommodation then maybe 15k but no lower.
  8. mpierre7

    mpierre7 New commenter

  9. mpierre7

    mpierre7 New commenter

    Thank you Powergnome3! I definitely do not want them to be the only British students, is there a way that I can find out the mix of students or is it that British schools with a British curriculum are more likely to have more expat children attend?

    I am open to other areas/ countries, it's just that I do have a few friends out there (non - teaching) who say that they are having the time of their life and I want in!

    I guess the moral of the story is to research the private school properly, i'm guessing the more established the better! I've seen some that have only been open a year or two.

    Thanks again for all of you advice!
  10. mpierre7

    mpierre7 New commenter

    Thank you for all of your advice so far! I am not 'set' on Dubai but something draws me to the ME! I'm not really too keen on China, I think the pollution is a big turn off! Even with the earning potential of 50K as February31st stated!

    If what Jason_bourne is saying is correct regarding £500 spare - I don't think that would be enough to make me go. I do want to experience teaching and living in another country but it has to also be financially viable too! I guess the ME is not the money well I thought that it would be!
  11. Jason_Bourne_

    Jason_Bourne_ Occasional commenter

    PM sent...
  12. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    Happy to give you a list of schools in Dubai that will give you what you're after if you send me a 'conversation'!
  13. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I will agree on the cost of accommodation been small and expensive rob901 but everything you said is wrong on cost of living imho!

    What restaurant are you paying 30GBP for a pasta dish, the Peninsula?
  14. rod901

    rod901 New commenter

    It is absolutely NOT wrong what I have said about the cost of living. I was in HK just a month ago for 3 days to sort out a visa. I can assure you I looked at a lot of eateries in Hong KOng although I was in Central Hong Kong not on the outskirts but then nobody is going to travel to the outskirts of hong kong to eat. It was a cafe in a building in central hong kong (maybe the Prince's building IDK?). It was just a run-of-the-mill cafe and it was over $300 HK for a crappy little pasta dish with meat sauce and one coke. A beer in any of the pubs in central HK will cost at least $75 HK dollars for one pint which is nearly £8. The train to the airport costs $115 one way ticket which is about £12 one way. Sandwiches at Pret a Manger in HK central station are about £3-£4. There are even more expensive places to eat. Oh and I popped up to the skyline bar in the Oriental hotel and any drink there costs a minimum £15 no joke. I do not know the cost of supermarket groceries in HK but I spent a lot of money there in 3 days including about £80 per night hotel accommodation. Indians in Tsin Tas Tshue were asking me if I wanted to buy a suit and I said yeh if it's about £50 but they wanted over £200 for a suit so I told them where to go politely. If you look at Numbeo HK is almost 5 times the cost of neighbouring Taiwan. Nah....honestly HK has got to be one of the most expensive places in Asia to do anything. Unless you are on free accommodation in HK and NEVER eat out, your money will soon dwindle there on the high cost of food and drinks. Sorry but this was my experience just one month ago and also flights anywhere from HK (or anywhere within Asia even) are very overpriced. YOu can pay almost the same for a flight a couple of hours long and it can cost almost the same as flying from the UK to say Bangkok. Yes there are cheap bucket seat flights available if you want to spend hours waiting for connections at the airport but if you want EVA air direct to somewhere then you'd better be prepared to pay up to £400 for a one way ticket sometimes. There are no £29.99 plus tax ryanair flights in Asia.
  15. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    What JB is saying about UKP500 to spare is definitely not right, or maybe it's right for him, but in my experience there is no requirement for costs to be that high. You can easily spend far less than he estimates. One could also spend more, I suppose, but most people I know spend less.
  16. makhnovite

    makhnovite Occasional commenter

    Tsin Tas Tshue??? Do you mean Tsim Sha Tsui, and yes its expensive there, it's tourist town!!
  17. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Apart from accommodation i have found HK cheaper then Shanghai!
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Is this really saying very much, february31st? Isn't it a bit like saying "I have found Antartica a bit warmer than northern Russia, apart from the blizzards"? Yes, there are some cheapie things in HK, if you know where to look, but visitors to HK usually don't. Accommodation is such an issue in HK that for many people this could be the tipping point, unless you enjoy living in a shared broom cupboard.
  19. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Well since they have closed M&S here in China I will have to start the shopping trips back to HK for underwear and shoes. Cheap flights available from Suzhou to HK for around 1200rmb return if you know how to look.

    Will bring back a few cases of Marmite, Bisto, Heinz Baked Beans(the ones they sell in China have a strange taste) and other British necessities!
    rouxx likes this.
  20. makhnovite

    makhnovite Occasional commenter

    "if you know where to look, but visitors to HK usually don't."

    But that's the point Hippo as international teachers we are not tourists and we can very soon learn where to look, so rod901's scare stories are not really relevant to people like us and other job seekers. feb31st is quite right the most frightening cost in HK is the accommodation but there are wet markets and cheap eats to be had all over, as with so many other destinations, if you want to live relatively cheaply you can.

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